In the month of November we had our lowest budgeted month for groceries yet. We paid approximately $250 for two people’s groceries for the entire month, which isn’t too bad at all! I’d be happy to get it even lower but I realize this may be unrealistic and don’t want to be stressing out too much about our spending; as long as it’s reasonable I’m definitely okay with it.
The main reason why our grocery bills were so low in November was because we ate everything in the refrigerator until there was nothing left. It wasn’t as pleasant as getting to pick whatever I wanted out of a variety of things, but it felt great to actually use up almost all of the food we purchased before going to get more. It easily cut our amount of food waste in half or so.
If I don’t feel like eating peppers but that’s all that’s left in the fridge, that’s what I get! I think that living in a first world country has created a mindset where people don’t even notice the food that is going to waste simply because they don’t want it. Many people can only dream of having a choice in what food they eat, if there is any food to eat at all. I realize I completely sound like a parent telling their child to eat all of their vegetables because “there are starving children in Africa”, but it really is true!
Another thing we have been more mindful of is when we go away for a few days to visit family (which is the requirement since they live so far away), we try to be mindful and not do a big grocery shop right beforehand. Inevitably some of that food goes to waste as we forget about it or don’t get back home in time to eat it all. It’s better again to leave the fridge a little bit emptier rather than more full.
Some of the regular practices we have such as buying what’s on sale for the week and freezing, and getting discounted meat and other items (as long as they’re still good) also helped to lower the bill. Staying away from junk food helps too. We’ve been making more of an effort to avoid frozen pizza and the like. It’s not that this food is that expensive (when on sale), but I end up hungry 15 minutes later because it’s basically just eating cardboard crap! So I end up eating twice the amount, gaining weight, feeling crappy and spending more money in the grand scheme of things.