Wednesday, July 18, 2012

$40 Grocery Budget (item breakdown, tips and more!)


Okay, this kind of budget may sound extreme to some of you. Having a $40 weekly budget may not work due to the size of your family, location or other aspects in your own personal life. However, this has been my own personal challenge. And honestly, my grocery shopping usually stays within a $35-45 budget. But, for the last few weeks, I've been taking it a step further. If you want to implement a budget to fit your own lifestyle, you can use this simple shopping list break down to help!

Meat :

Choose at least two options to help create variety.
Center your meals around meat that is on sale for the week!

 Choose a specific amount to stick with such as 3-4 options.
Again, choose veggies that are on sale.
Farmers markets are a great place to snag steals!

Personally, we have one staple fruit that we always buy, then a secondary fruit.
The second fruit is based on what is cheap and I can freeze (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, etc.)

For cheese, I like to buy blocks since they typically last longer and are much cheaper.
Sliced Cheese is a must for us.
We buy two different kinds of milk and buy the lowest priced options.

Once all of our main food has been purchase (all of the above) I use whatever money left in the budget to purchase things like Peanut Butter, Spices, Bread, Condiments, etc.

Here's a peak into a previous shopping trip: (note, we still had tons of veggies left over from last week...ha!)

Frozen Chicken (store brand): $6
Slice Lunch Meats: $4
Cucumbers: $2
Squash: $2
Swiss Cheese Slices: $2
1% Milk 1/2 Gallon: $2
Almond Coconut Milk: $3
Whipped Cream Cheese: $2
Wheat Bread: $2
Cashews: $3
Low Sugar Oatmeal: $2
Grape Jelly: $2
Worcestershire Sauce: $2
Snack Baggies: $2
Lunch Baggies: $2

Grand Total: $38 + tax (I think my total was $40.48...I had an in store coupon + discounts that helped)

Since I'm now good to go with items like jelly and lunch baggies, I can use that money to stock up on more fruits or veggies. I like to freeze them for future use!

So this is my plan of attack. What do you use to keep your grocery budget down? Any tips you want to share?

Link Up: TuesdayWeekly Wednesday, Making Space Monday


  1. It's Party Time over at Debt Free Mommy Blog and you are invited! Please come link up anything related to making your space better at and mark your calendars for every Making Space Mondays linky party. The fun begins at 9:00 pm tonight. Hope to see you there!

  2. Thanks for the invite @DebtFreeMommy!

  3. I really need to get better at shopping for groceries. We spend SO much money on food! Thanks for linking up at Making Space Mondays! Hope to see you at the next party. -Tabitha

  4. I feed a family of 4 natural/organic only for $200.00 or less per month!My goal is to spend $30.00 per week at the grocery and then no more than $200.00 per month. I take the extra $20.00 per week and put in a reserve account for when things go on sale we can stock up!

  5. Hi there. Found you on Pinterest this evening. Thanks for the tips. I compare sale ads, and go to different grocery stores to get better prices. I normally keep this to 2 main grocery stores. I do understand that Walmart price matches, maybe one day I will actually utilize that, but our main stores are very close to each other so it isn't really out of the way. We also use the cash envelope system for our groceries which has really helped us to stay within our budget, which I try to keep between $250 and $300. Thanks again for the great tips!!

  6. Whole chickens are inexpensive, especially when on sale, I will boil the whole chicken and get more meat off the bone after it's cooked than when it's raw, I split this up into a few ziplock baggies to use over the course of the week in different meals. I also save and freeze the broth to be used later in soups instead of the store bought kind. Not only does this save money, but it makes dinner throughout the week easier cause the chicken is already cooked.

  7. We have a budget of $30 a week for the 2 of us. What really helps us is that we are brand loyal to only a few things. I do use coupons, but we have a low-cost no-frills grocery store (Aldi's) that is near us and that is my benchmark for prices. If I can get something cheaper at Aldi's then I won't get it at Giant Eagle even if it's on sale and I have a coupon. I also learned to can last year and with that and our small freezer, we are able to preserve things when they are cheap to have when they are not. Also we don't eat a ton of meat at each meal, so that stretches the budget. But I think THE BEST tip I have is that we have gone to cash only for as many expenses as we can. My husband gets $30 in cash from the bank each Thursday and that goes in to our food envelope. Yes, every now and then we go over that a bit, but that is rare as it makes us think twice about spending more than we have on hand in cash.

  8. I'm loving all of your tips! Thanks so much for sharing. :)

  9. These are all good ideas and I implement quite a few, though I just getting into the cash for groceries and mean to make that our new normal. I am however wondering how other purchases fit into all of this such as TP, laundry soap, shampoo, etc...?

  10. I don't count those items as groceries. I have a separate budget for necessities which include soap, tp, etc. I also make a lot of my own cleaners/DT's in order to save money. Maybe we'll create another post to address this issue!

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