Sunday, December 27, 2009

New Years Resolution - Cutting back on grocery bills!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! I hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful (and, of course, gluten free) holiday season. In the middle of all the parties and celebrations and gatherings, though (yes, some of which are still going on), I'm starting to think of New Years resolutions -- that time of year has already crept up on us! Every year I make the same resolution -- to lose 5, 10, 15 lbs. I'll go to the gym (for a few weeks -- usually until the Spring semester starts and I'm busy with homework), cook healthy meals, omit cookies, candies, chips, and alcohol, and try to be virtuous as long as I can.

Well, I'm still probably going to end up doing that (at least until I take the guaranteed holiday 5 lbs. off then all bets are off) but decided this year to make a resolution that I've got a better chance of sticking to:

Spend less on groceries. While maintaining most of our current lifestyle, eating healthy meals and not crap. (Or at least, not ALL crap - some crap in moderation is OK).

Right now my husband and I spend approximately $150 on groceries per week. That's just for us, and doesn't include our puggle or our ferrets. I know we eat gluten free, but come on -- we can do a LOT better!

So, in detail, my New Years Resolution to spend less on groceries includes:
  • Start by getting the grocery bill down to $100/week. That includes gluten free flours, regular groceries, cleaning supplies and laundry detergents. (I am not including pet food, which we have a separate budget for -- we splurge on the all-natural, bad-carb-free, canned dog food. It's expensive but worth it). Once we're down to $100/week, we'll go from there.
  • Plan out meals in advance. This means leftovers on evenings when I have class or something else going on after work -- and long, time-consuming meals with a lot of leftovers have to be made on the weekends.
  • Cut down my reliance on pre-packaged gluten free convenience foods. It's easy to ask my husband to whip up Ian's fish sticks and tater tots on his bowling league night, but our waistlines and wallets are insisting that this be an occasional treat only. However, I don't consider gluten free pasta to be a convenience food. :-)
  • On the same vein, TV dinners are a convenience, but only once in a while when they're on sale or we absolutely need them.
  • Continue to shop partially organic. By this I mean, shop organic when I can, but always shop organic when it comes to things like lettuce. That's non-negotiable.
  • Try to balance shopping locally with shopping at Walmart.
  • Clip coupons and plan meals based on grocery store circulars. And Don't Shop Off List!
  • Try to limit dinners out/takeout to once per month unless it's a special occasion (I'll admit, this is probably the first one that's going to slip -- especially since I'm a sushi addict).
There you have it. I think it sounds do-able.

To start myself off -- I found a great common-sense article detailing how to save money at the grocery store.

Oh yeah -- and as an incentive to keep at it -- The money we save on groceries will be used to pay for a vacation in 2010!


Anonymous said...

solution to one of your resolutions: wanna take a sushi cooking (is that a correct term) class with me? That way, you can learn how to roll sushi and make it at home, and save on the eating out budget

Lemme know what you think :)

Kat said...

Sounds awesome!!

When/where/how much is it?

Jake said...

Liz is that you? :) Other than the GF, this sounds just like what we did like 4 years ago. Isn't it fun?

karen said...

This is a biggie for me, too! (Although I didn't think about it when I just posted ... oh well ...) We got $200 in gift cards for Christmas from my sorta-in-laws for Sears BUT since they're also good at KMart and KMart has an okay selection of food needs THAT'S what we're doing with them! I know that Tom's folks probably figured we'd put them towards something extravagant or useful ... but nowadays a good supply of food on hand is both of those :)