Monday, October 7, 2019

How I Cut My Grocery Spending in Half in September

At the beginning of September, I was inspired by multiple sources to take a look at our spending, create a realistic budget, and stick to it! Some of these sources of inspiration were as follows:

+ The Cultivate a Good Life podcast episodes 48 & 49 where Becky & Becky interview Miranda Anderson (author of the book titled More Than Enough) and then the Beckys discuss their own personal application of what they learned from this book.

+ Hearing about how my friends budget and about how they recently reached some monetary goals.

+ Conversations with friends about @funcheaporfree's "shelftember challenge."

girl sitting with grocery order from Aldi

From what I understood after listening to my friend's descriptions, the "shelftember challenge" was to meal plan around the items you already have on hand. The goal was to keep the spending down to around $25 a week on necessities like milk, eggs, and produce. While I thought this idea was fantastic, I didn't think we could realistically keep our spending as low as $25 a week (groceries in the city are EXPENSIVE). I did, however, love the thought of cooking more, eating out less, and planning meals based around ingredients we have on hand. So that's what I did!

I followed my sister-in-law Dani's example and took a full inventory of everything we had in stock each Saturday in September and wrote it all out on a piece of paper. From there, I got out my cookbooks and planned 6 meals for the week (I left out Friday for date night) based on ingredients in our inventory. Once I had my meals planned, I made lists of all the ingredients necessary to make the planned meals. I checked off each item we already had and grocery shopped online using Instacart for the rest. As I added items to my cart, I checked those off of my list as well.

If you haven't used Instacart and it's available in your area, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?! Especially if you have kids! An Instacart shopper does the shopping for you and they deliver your groceries right to your door within a couple of hours of ordering. It's SO EASY! After I've submitted each Instacart order, the site shows me how many hours of shopping I saved and sometimes it makes me want to sing because I loathe the grocery store. Instacart has been one of the very best perks of living in the city! Also, this is in no way sponsored. I just really love Instacart!

If you want to give it a try, be sure to use the code PARKERH10A1BF to get $10 towards your first order.

I cooked dinner 26/30 days in September which is UNHEARD OF around here! I have decided to stop calling myself a bad cook haha. If I made supper that many days this month and the majority of the meals I made were actually quite good, I think it's safe to say that I'm an okay cook now. We have lived to tell the tale and I'm really excited to keep this system going!

girl sitting with grocery order from Aldi

If you have any other meal planning, grocery budgeting tips for me, I'd love to hear them!

xoxo, Chelan

P.S. Pin this image below to easily access these tips later!

Food prep with text overlay saying how I cut my grocery spending in September

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