June Financial Goals: Cutting Our Grocery Budget Challenge! Care to join me?

I’ve been in “survival” mode with our food budget for the last 6 weeks. Do you ever feel that way? It’s like everything in life is in a holding pattern. The kids are still fed three squares a day – but creativity and color are a little… lacking.

The good news about this survival mode is that at least we didn’t go over budget. We just squeezed by.

Unlike many months, though, where I use my budget to not only feed my family for the week, but also to bulk up my stockpile, this past month, I just depleted my stockpile. Other than a quick pre-road-trip visit to CVS last week, there weren’t any awesome stockpile deals in May.

Fortunately, it’s a new month and I’m feeling motivated to kick things back into high savings gear. So, I’m issuing myself a little challenge: Cut our food & household budget by 10%.

That means that we’ll have just $450 to spend this month – and that has to include some Shavuot meals, which, while far from as costly as Pesach or Rosh Hashana, due tend to be a bit fancier than our normal fare.

As many of you know already, we typically budget $500 per month to cover everything… diapers, wipes, toiletries, cleaning supplies – and, of course, food.  This month, we’ll (hopefully) be doing all of that on $450.

Here are a few of the things I’ll be watching out for this month:

  • Taking inventory of my freezer – we have a good amount of meat, chicken and fish in our freezer, so I will definitely be working that into our menu plan for June (coming soon)
  • Looking for coupons and sales on dairy products, so that Shavuot can be both fancy and frugal!
  • Restocking my toiletries and toilet paper stockpile – I’ve been going through my stockpile and filling up boxes for Joplin. While I was doing this, I noticed that we are running precariously low on toilet paper, so restocking that is a #1 priority this month. I’ve also cleared out all my shampoo and OTC first-aid supplies, so I will also be on the look-out for those items this month.
  • Eating more fresh produce – Our CSA is in high-gear and our garden is starting to take off. In fact, I shouldn’t have to buy many, if any, veggies this month as long as I take advantage of all the kale and kholrabi I’ll be getting! That means I just need to focus on finding some fruit deals. The organic grapes at Whole Foods are definitely on my list for this week!

Are you interested in joining me in issuing yourself a grocery store challenge? Whether it’s a dollar amount you want to aim for – or just that you want to start menu planning – or clipping a few coupons… whatever your goal, I’m eager to hear what you are challenging yourself to do… and how you’re going to achieve your goal.


  1. This is our third year of planting a garden. We do a form of container gardening called ‘square foot gardening’. There is a great website devoted to it http://www.squarefootgardening.com/
    It is a great resource for anyone who may be intimidated by the thought of starting a garden for the first time.
    The first year we had one 4×4 box, the second year, hubby built another and this year he has built two more. We have squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, Sugar snap peas, two types of green beans, egg plant and a few other things. Our fig trees and blueberry bushes are going gang busters!!
    Good luck on your challenge!!!

  2. I am definitely interested in slashing our food budget this summer. We are moving at the end of June ($$) which, unfortunately, means no garden. As well, we just got notice of some serious, albeit temporary, changes to our weekly income, so I need to save wherever possible.

  3. Orthonomics says

    I will join you. I need to account for the rising gas prices and some thing we have planned, so there goes the food budget. So far this year, I’m just a bit above average. But I also had some pricier food purchases for an event and I have stocked like tissues are going out of style. My goal for June will be under $300.

  4. I admire your goal! Please keep us posted with any tricks you learn along the way…..I really am struggling to keep to a budget of $150/week. I am wondering if the fact that I have two very hungry tweens — along with a need to have low cholesterol pricey things such as eggbeaters, only white meat chicken and very lean ground beef– is making the difference.

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