We’re in the home stretch of No Spend Month! Only a few more days to go! (Current $ totals at the end of the post.)
The Final Shop
Yesterday, we stopped by the grocery store on our way home from church.
We knew we only had about $30 left to spend on food until the end of No Spend Month so we brainstormed a few meals in the parking lot based on what we knew we had at home.
Juan stayed in the car with our sleeping baby and I braved the store, armed with our list and the calculator on my phone. I managed to get everything we needed for $27.28!
Here are some tips I’ve found helpful this month:
1. Check the Store Flyer.
Find out what the weekly specials are before you get to the store.
This way, you can plan your weekly menu around what is on sale and avoid searching for the deals when you are at the store (and buying things you don’t need).
If it’s a good deal AND is something you need, it’s on your list. Speaking of…
2. Make a List.
This one is pretty obvious. Figure out what you need to buy for the week and buy ONLY what is on the list. Get in. Get out.
3.Buy only what you will actually use.
We started No Spend Month with two pot roasts in the freezer that I bought back in March on a “Buy One, Get One FREE!” promotion.
Stocking up on an amazing deal is great, but those savings won’t do you any good if you don’t actually use what you buy. Meat freezes well so we were able to still enjoy those pot roasts, but not everything lasts that long.
Eat the food you have. Then buy more.
And if that new recipe that calls for an exotic spice or unusual ingredient? See if your store has a bulk section where you can buy only what you need instead of a whole container.
4. Shop the Outside Aisles.
Grocery stores usually put the produce, dairy & meat sections around the outer edges of the store. These are usually the only places you need to shop to get wonderful ingredients for homecooked meals.
Instead of buying pre-made goodies, buy some basic staples and make them yourself.
Chances are, you will spend less, eat better AND your home will smell like chocolate. (We used this easy brownie recipe multiple times this month.)
5. Meet the Dirty Dozen (& the Clean Fifteen).
We generally buy organic produce, but it’s often more expensive.
As a compromise, this month we’ve been using the EWG’s Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen lists to let us know where buying organic matters most and which conventional foods are safest from a “pesticide in your mouth” standpoint.
The No Spend Month Numbers
Last week we spent $161.96.
$103.35 on Groceries
$35.22 on Dining Out
$23.39 on Gas
We have $68.72 left!