Saturday, January 29, 2011

Frugal Grocery February

I mentioned in a post earlier this week that I was planning to do Frugal February again. I’ve just inventoried my stockpile and we have so much food I can't fit anything else in my freezers.  Half of me is patting myself on the back and other half is horrified at how much I have.
Some of you expressed an interest in giving this a try.  There really are no hard and fast rules. Everyone’s grocery budget is different so I can't arbitrarily say what people should spend. You need to come up with your own goal for your grocery budget for the month.  A 30% reduction for a month ? 50% ? I did this challenge this time last year and spent about half of my usual budget. I'm going for the same target this year. Our weekly budget is less this year since our household size has halved but I think I can still do it.  
So here is my plan :
Armed with my freezer inventory I'm going to make a menu plan each week based around what food I already have. Then I'll only spend money on what is necessary to pad out my planned menu. That's likely to be things like fruit, vegetables, bread and milk.

My grocery shopping total will include everything I normally buy including cleaning items, toilet paper, toothpaste and other personal care items.  Since I already have 108 toilet rolls here we probably wont need to buy bog paper. I'm always planning for a gastro outbreak. And for the washing powder factory to go on strike.

I'll post my main meal menus each week so you can see we aren't living on canned spaghetti or two minute noodles week in and week out.

My goals are to save money, still eat well,  and start clearing out those freezers. I am a serial meat buyer and this is going to mean some significant change on my part for February since my plan is to buy no meat at all.

I'll report back weekly with a post on Mondays and the next weeks menu plan. You can link up if you're playing so other participants can see how you're doing.  I suspect this is going to make for some interesting and creative meals. Feel free to share recipes, frugal tips and whatever else you like! It's amazing what you can make with what you already have stashed in your cupboards /pantry and freezer if you engage in a bit of pre-planning.

The challenge starts February 1st and runs through to February 28th inclusive. To make it interesting,   I'm going to offer a prize to the person who saves the most percentage wise off their groceries for the month . If you're overseas I'll send you a little something Aussie to pop in  your pantry in March- how does that sound? And if you're Australian and you win, I'll send you something fabulously South Australian. We'll work on the honour system here - at the end of the month you email me the percentage you saved based on your normal budget and I'll take you at your word and announce a winner. In the case of two people getting the exact same percentage we'll let random number thingy choose the winner.

So who wants to play and how much do you think you can shave off your grocery budget for February?

 

17 comments:

Lorraine said...

this is timely for me because i realised last week that I have enough food in the freezer and pantry to feed me for ages....and enough cleaning products and toilet paper to last months...!I decided then that I would only buy fruit/veg/bread etc as needed...this was also bought about because I was too lazy to go to the supermarket during the week and HAD to use stuff from the freezer and pantry...so cooked up a big batch of spag bol last night which will last a few days...LOL I only have a tiny freezer so there isn't that much in there...but there is enough for a few more meals yet! Since I have no real budget for food I won't know how much I have saved but am happy to play along just for the fun of it....so...great minds think alike...Frugal Feb here we come!

Tracy said...

Shay,
We are getting to that point of having so much in our pantry we can't possibly fit anymore in. I am not a meat-eater, nor is my son so we don't have a lot of that and we like salads and fruit so a lot of ours are those types of food...what we could cut back on are the drinks of Gatorade, Vitamin Water, juices...so maybe that's a thought!
I'll stay posted on your success...

Sarcastic Quilter said...

Well good for you! I will not be participating but will gladly cheer you on. :)

Seams Inspired said...

Excellent notion, Shay! :o)

We're pretty much bare-bones as it is; however, I'll play along. I think I'll try couponing again and see what happens. I'm off to search for some healthy-food coupons...all I've found so far are for junk food. Happy Saturday night! :o)

Sara said...

Since my mum does all that stuff, I can't really play along. I will say this though, my sister works in the woolies meat department so our freezers have plenty of meat that was bought heavily discounted and my dad fishes, so we always have heaps of fish and crayfish in our freezers.

I find all this terribly disappointing, because it means there's never enough room for icecream :(

Kate said...

Sounds like fun, but since I don't do the grocery shopping (or the cooking for that matter), I'm just going to follow along.

Ann said...

Hi Shay, First let me say delighted to meet you and thank you for popping over to my blog and leaving a comment. I love your idea. I think I would like to participate. I started last week actually. Had a wad full of extra coupons at the check-out besides the store coupons and my bill reduced by $35 I left the shop with a big grin on my face.

Ann Marie said...

Wow perfect timing........Just made that comment earlier this week, that we need to stop buying groceries, we are out of room! So I can play along. Because I am already doing what you are doing, planning menus around what is in the cupboards. Buying only the essentials, milk, bread, eggs. The occasional oddball ingredient too. I will also try to blog about this on my blog too over at www.16muddyfeet.blogspot.com

Anabel said...

I would love to play, but I am such a bad budgeter that I have no idea how much we already spend on groceries-- hahahaha. I really need to start paying attention to where money is going-- all I know is that it's gone at the end of the month! Maybe while you're doing this, I'll be paying better attention to how much I spend! ;]

Marg said...

I will be with you in spirit, but I won't commit, I'm disastrous at sticking to anything. Maybe I'm not just a quiltaholic and chocoholic, I'm commitment phobic as well. I will try and reduce my grocery bill as I do have rather a lot of food in my pantry and freezer. I realised that I could very easily make do, when I couldn't buy fresh fruit and vegetables a couple of weeks ago.
I will definitely cheer you on from the sidelines.

Logopaedchen/Kirsten said...

What a good idea..but I honestly have to say I have no idea how much we spend on food each month..so I honestly couldn´t say how much I saved....but I will think about joining anyway, since me freezer needs some clearing out.

clare's craftroom said...

I open the pantry door and food falls out but all I hear is "there's nothing to eat " . I will be watching all this with interest and stealing all the good recipes and tips , thanks !

Cynthia L. said...

Before I play along, I want to know if the Aussie treat that could be won will be Vegemite! If so, count me OUT!!! The Vegemite you sent me sits on top of the microwave to remind me of how much I love you and of how crazy you Aussies are!

I will join if you send TimTams!!!

I do not have as much freezer space as you, but I keep mine pretty loaded. Look forward to saving money and sharing recipes!

Audra said...

I am so game! I agree that I have way too much in the freezer and need to clear it out to see what is stuck to the bottom...most likely a fish that I won't eat (something the mister caught!)

Sorry to be a stranger to your blog for so long, just know I missed you like crazy and can't wait to catch up.

JKP said...

I want to play/join...whatever. Count me in! I'm not sure what I actually pay per month right now. I will have to figure it out. I do know that on Thursday evening I went to the grocery store and spent $166 (U.S.) and saved $104 using my store card and coupons. I had a lot of b1g1 free coupons that were going to expire so I stocked up on those things (they were non-food items). I won't have to buy some things for quite a while.

Baa-Me Kniits said...

What a great idea Shay! I will be along in spirit but not in person if that makes sense??? I think with cyclone Anthony just about to cross the coast south of us and another one out in the coral sea due to hit land on Thurs somewhere along the FNQ coastline I had better keep my pantry stocked to the maximum that it is and buy what I can when I can as the roads as sure as eggs (where does that saying come from??) are going to be cut again :-) The joys of the wet season!! Still if I can't go out I can spend more time on the internet and I have been looking at quilty stuff!! Where is the best place to buy Minkee charm packs?? Thats that real soft stuff isn't it? Thought I would start with nice easy ragged edge baby quilt or laprug :-)

Thea said...

I want to play along but I won't be able to win because I don't know how much I regularly spend. However, I want to use up the food in my pantry so this will be a good excuse for doing that! Looking forward to it!