After moving to a suburban area where we needed a car to shop, I felt like I was constantly going to the store.
In June 2015, I decided to count how many times I went shopping for groceries that month. I went 11 times to the stores! Although it was a birthday month for our youngest, totaling the days spent shopping confirmed how I felt. I shop too much! Then, I totaled all the receipts for groceries for the months of May, June, and July, to see how much I actually spent. Here are the numbers for a family of 6 in 2015:
May 2015 - $991.55
June 2015 - $937.23
July 2015 - $884.89
That was a montly average of $937.89.
Where did the money go...
I then totaled the receipts based on traditional grocery store categories like bread, dairy, etc. So, the challenge of finding ways to save began as I started adding up how much and how often we ate certain foods. As with the most mornings, it began with bread and a cup of tea:
The Bread Challenge
Our family loves bread. In 2015, I would buy, on average, 16 loaves of bread a month for a family of 6. Most days we would have toast for breakfast and sandwiches for lunch. The loaves went quickly and the money spent on bread ballooned. Before the challenge, I spent approximately $40.00 or more a month on bread at various stores. I wasn't freezing extra loaves of bread. So if I ran out of the bread from Costco, I would pick up loaves at the store I was shopping at that week. I reduced the number of loaves to 12 a month, saving approximately $12.00/a month.
Bread Challenge 2015
|Store||Brand||Number of Loaves||Cost||Monthly Cost|
|Costco||Schmidt Old Thyme||2||$4.19||$8.38|
|Trader Joe's||White Whole Wheat||3||$2.49||$7.47|
|Whole Foods Market||365||1||$3.49||$3.49|
RETHINK. RECALCULATE. 2017
I reduced the number of loaves I buy a month at Costco to 10. Now, I buy 4 Schmidt Old Tyme Bread at Costco for $3.99 (2 loaves) and 1 Arnold Omega 3 at $5.99. That totals $21.95 a month.
Bread Challenge 2.0
|YEAR||Number of Loaves||Monthly Cost||Yearly Cost|
By reducing the amount of bread we eat daily and buying them at Costco, we've saved almost $216.60 in 2017 compared to 2015!
I am a tea drinker and love a great black tea. My favorite tea is Tazo Awake Tea but that comes with a high price tag, especially when it's not on sale. The best price, in my area was at Target for $2.99 each when on sale. I would stock up on tea when shopping there but run through the boxes quickly. I drink an average of 3 cups a day. That's $.1495 a cup totaling $13.64 a month spent on Tazo Awake Tea. I started looking for cheaper alternatives as a way to reduce our monthly grocery shopping budget. Below is a price list for the tea I buy and how a simple change can lead to big savings: