Sunday, October 18, 2015

3 Month Food Spending Challenge

Looking back at last year, 2014, I spent just short of $5K on food/toiletries that year.  As the cost of food/toiletries has risen over the years since the beginning of the "Great" Recession and the freebies/offers/good coupons have disappeared over these same years it's gotten harder and harder to keep my spending on these essentials as low as I have in previous years.  But I'll be danged if I can't feed my family(and feed them well)on less than $5K spending a year!  So 2015 has become a challenge for me, to get that food/toiletries spending down lower than the $5K mark I almost crossed in 2014.

We are sitting at $3,485.77 spent on food/toiletries as we cross over into the last 3 months of the year.  That leaves a space of $1514.22(1 penny short of $5K)in my food spending for the year.  This is more than $500 per month for food for each of the next 3 months of 2015.

So I am challenging myself to stay under $5K for food and toiletries for 2015.  Unless I go nuts on Thanksgiving and Christmas spending I have GOT THIS!

I'm at $141.88 spending for October.  $1372.34 to go until Jan. 1 2016.

How about you?
Do you want to set a threshold for food/toiletries spending to stay under for the year?
Tell us how much you have spent through September and what amount you want to set for a goal for the last 3 months of the year.



  1. The coupons have been rotten for awhile. I buy mostly store brands. We eat basic foods and it really is tough to stay under budget.
    Kathi from Florida

  2. My 2015 grocery budget (Canadian funds which is currently $1 usd = $1.30 which includes over the counter meds/makeup/bathroom items is $6700 which is $550 for the two of us per month (approx USD 423/mos) and $650 for January when my stepdaughter was staying with us. As at end of September I am at $5202.83 so that means I should have been at $5050 by end of September, but I am over. I hope to be under $550 this month, and even lower in December when I am going to use up my grocery store points to try and lower bills. We shall see but it is tougher and tougher especially when the Canadian dollar is so low against the American where we get a lot of our groceries from. Buying bulk is helping like my recent purchase of 40 lbs of rice. I tend to buy lots of chicken and little beef as beef is so freaking expensive here.

  3. I thought the lack of coupons for things I use and need was due to my not looking well enough. One week, I forgot to buy the paper. Another week, I did not feel like looking through coupons and they eventually all expired!!! I do think I spend no more than $100 each month for food. Sometimes, I am horrified when I spend $70 in a week, but the next week or two will be a $3 or $20 week. I don't eat anything fancy. Since the good sales on grapes, like $0.69/lb., I just don't buy grapes.

    Price-matching local stores and three online ads from stores in Huntsville have saved me in the produce dept.

    I already have a turkey from the first of the year, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin, Those won't be on my list.

  4. I am still waiting after many years for the 'budget' to gel. Meanwhile I seem to buy what I want/when etc. which is not good.

  5. I don't keep a traditional grocery budget, but I shop sales and stock up when things are their cheapest, then buy nothing when sales aren't as good. I average about 450 a month, but have months when I am much over that and months I barely shop at all.

  6. Does that number include meals out/take-out? I haven't added up any figures yet but my eat out budget is very low. I refuse to give up quality food/organic though for my health's sake and I buy virtually no processed food. I'm still working though with no plans to retire so I can do it. Also, I eat very little meat and that really helps the budget. Toiletries- mine last a longggg time!

  7. Although I feed my family on markdown foods mainly due to crappy financial circumstances we are working our way out of I did not think to keep a total through the year. Well that can be my goal for next year to keep a running total. I am pretty good at getting bargains although do not have coupons in Australia. Ruth.

  8. If we keep on going like we are going (and it truly is as frugal as I want to go) we're looking at an annual food bill of $6000 for two people (plus holidays etc and a few dinner parties). That's $500 a month with practically zero for restaurants. This is one category (food) that I am not going to eat crappy nor will I subsist on rice and beans. I want real food and if I can afford it, that's what we're having! Fresh salad every day, always fresh seasonal fruits and veggies, fish, chicken, extremely healthy choices. I am not going to scrimp and save in this department. I eat to live and not the other way around.
    I shop mostly at Aldi and they do not do coupons. Anything Aldi doesn't have, I buy at other grocery stores offering loss leaders and coupons.
    I could never understand why some people go bottom shelf with their food choices when eating is the most important factor of staying alive. They shortchange their food bill but double up on their cell phone plans or cable bills and go top shelf (or drive very expensive cars and live in very expensive houses). *shrug*
    Food is number one in our house. Sorry.


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