Monday, November 14, 2016

Grocery Spending- Part 2: The 50% Challenge

Update:  Alright, it's week two for me on the 50% Grocery Challenge!  I know that next weekend, I need to shop for all of the Thanksgiving ingredients needed for my contribution to our annual Thanksgiving Potluck.  So, I decided to try it again.  Could I hit my goal a 2nd week in a row?

Now, last week, I told a lot of you that I spend about $100 per week on groceries.  If I could cut that by 50% for a couple of weeks, I could easily buy these extra items needed for the Thanksgiving Potluck without exceeding my "normal" grocery budget for the month.  Given the fact that November and December hold two major holidays that I celebrate, PLUS the birthdays of both my partner and myself, NOT exceeding my regular grocery budget would be a huge help.

Since I am someone that loves "rules" or "guidelines," here are the ones  adopted.

The 50% Challenge

  1. Analyze your assets!  You probably have tons of things that you can use to your advantage in your pantry, freezer, or refrigerator.  Go rummage through them.  You will build your week around the things you already have working in your favor.  It turned out that my assets included tons of grains, beans, canned tomato products, and pasta (frozen and dried).
  2. Decide how many different meals you need.  They key word here is different.  Our breakfasts and lunches are identical 5 days a week.  What about dinner?  As a time saver, we cook 2 big meals on the weekend, and reheat them for dinners during busy week nights.  So, for my household, that's 4.  We need 4 different meals!
  3. Decide WHAT those meals are going to be based on your assets.  My breakfasts and lunches will be the same that they have been, and dinners will be based on a big pot of chili, and pasta if we run out (didn't use any of the pasta last week). 
  4. Make a grocery list.  Only write down realistically what you need to fill in the gaps.  The point in the list is to avoid impulse buys.
  5. Buy only what is on the list!
  6. Be willing to compromise on brands in order to get sale prices.
  7. Buy in bulk.  It's cheaper than prepackaged most of the time.
  8. NEW:  Consider how might you use the same set of ingredients to create two different things?

I went to the grocery store, setting out on my weekly grocery mission.  I also needed to build in the ingredients for a special birthday brunch for my partner.  The addition of number 8....Same ingredients, two meals... proved to be extremely helpful.

The results...
and drumroll please.....


Mission Accomplished!


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