Grocery Challenge: Wrap Up

grocery-shopping-list-cart-coupons-organized

The All You Grocery Challenge ended on Monday and I am sure those of you who participated are glad it’s over.  not glad about participating but the work in tracking expenses right?  I know that part takes time and that’s the reason I apologize for not sharing last week.  However, I have rounded up my receipts and totaled my expenses and am sharing to share my totals with you.

Week 4

Walmart $33.64
Pick N Save $24.2
Thai Take Out $40
Jimmy Johns $7.34
Starbucks $4.15
Total $109.33

Week 5

Walmart:$57.44 (this actually includes food that we are still using this week)
Pick N Save: $10.46
McDonalds: $8.83 (from visit to my OB 40 miles away, no joke)
Costco: $15.60

Challenge total:

Groceries: $208.75
Eating Out:$199.55

Lessons Learned:

  • Eating out is a budget buster.  I am sure that doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone.  Half of the expense to feed my family was from eating out and I will be honest and admit that we did make an effort to be “good.”  So why is this realization important for you?  If you are not including eating out as part of the cost of feeding your family every week you are deluding yourself.  If you are only counting the $50 or whatever you spend at the grocery store as part of your “feeding your family” budget then you are underestimating your expenses.
  • A pantry is a big blessing and you need to use what you have in there.  I am so happy my family is able to enjoy of a well stocked pantry.  Using a lot of what we have in the pantry allowed us not only to keep grocery costs down but also helped us find quick meal solutions instead of ordering take out.  But you also need to make sure you use what you have there.  I am ashamed to say that I found some expired food in there or that I kept buying items I had plenty of already (cereal, anyone?).  I hope you have had a chance to explore Mealtime.org to help you find organization solutions and ideas to use those items you have in the pantry.  I still owe you a giveaway sponsored by them, I am sorry.  I am trying to get through the Back to School giveaways before focusing on this one.  It’s coming, and it’s huge!
  • I am not good a meal planning.  I think my failure as a meal planner comes from not seeing meal planning as the flexible tool it is.  I sometimes feel that if my plan says I must cook “X” on Tuesday, if I don’t get around doing it I feel like I have failed the whole week.  Do you have any tips on how you make meal planning work for you?  I could use them.

Thank you everyone who signed up for this challenge and participated alongside me.  I am really crossing my fingers and hoping to hear it was one of my readers who won this challenge.  If you participated, how did you do?

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