Thursday, February 22, 2007

Mommy Help! Part 2

Well I got my menu and shopping list finished yesterday. I've done a menu and shopping list for two weeks worth. My husband gets paid every two weeks, so that's when I do my shopping.

The planning the menu process went rather smoothly, though it is time consuming. I think I spent about three hours on a two week menu. But I know as I do this more often it will be a faster process for me.

I my previous post I listed several sites to use for this process. I think I used almost everyone of them, and tried out the forms. I'm still trying to decide which forms are more efficient. I'll let you know that later.

After I was happy with the menu and decided that it fit my family I created my shopping list, and estimated the cost of the items I needed. At the bottom of the list I about had a heart attach when I saw the cost! $370 for two weeks of groceries! Now I know why I go over my grocery budget so much. Looking back I spend about $700-$800 a month in groceries, but I budget for only $500-$600 a month. See a problem with my math. This planning tells me something. I spend more because I make a hundred trips to the store and don't plan meals that fit my allowable budget. So I need to rework my menu to fit my budget. Back to the drawing board. Argh!

This is a good things though. If I can learn to plan in advance what we are going to eat and plan it to fit my budget, then I can accomplish a couple things. First I take the guess work out of "what are we having for dinner tonight?" I won't find myself opening the fridge and cabinet 20 times before I come up with something. Second, hopefully, I can get my grocery spending to fit the budget I can afford to allow for us. Though I got to admit that will be the biggest challenge. It is hard to feed a family of five on only $550, give or take, each month. Especially when I still buy diapers for Jamie and lots of Pepsi's that I can't get my husband off of.

If anyone has got any advice for shopping on about $550 a month for a family of five I could sure use the advice. I'll let you know how it comes out after I revisit the drawing board.


Phil said...

I'd like to know too. I go over-budget on food all the time. It's hard to eat healthy while also watching the bottom line, especially with fresh fruit and veggies as that requires more frequent trips to the store.

One thing I've cut almost completely out is snack food. My kids have to eat carrots only in between meals. I just don't keep cookies or chips in the house. We have popcorn on movie nights. Luckily they don't get tired of carrots! I do, though.

amyrebba said...

I know what you mean. I haven't baught cookies, chips and such for years. At least not in my regular grocery shopping. I will on a rare occasion pick something like that up, but it's usually because we have something planned. I've even quit buying cereal. My kids eat oat meal, toast, PB&J, rice and such. $4 for a box that only last for about 3-4 bowls is redicules and won't let the kids eat the sugary stuff.

I basicly shop the outside perimater of the store, with only a few isles visited for canned goods and baking goods.

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