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:
Prices for Tea
|Brand||Store||Size||Price||Per Cup||Total Monthly||Yearly|
|Tazo Awake Tea||Target||20||$2.99||$.1495||$13.64||$163.70|
|Tazo Awake Tea||Target/Shoprite||20||$3.49||$.174||$15.92||$191.08|
|Tazo Awake Tea||Walmart||48||$5.98||$.1495||$13.64||$163.70|
|Trader Joe's English Breakfast||Trader Joe's||48||$2.29||$.047||$4.35||$52.24|
|Newman's Own English Breakfast||Shoprite||100||$3.49||$.0349||$3.18||$38.12|
|Newman's Own English Breakfast||Shoprite||100||$3.99||$.0399||$3.641||$43.69|
|Newman's Own English Breakfast||Shoprite||100||$4.39||$.0439||$4.01||$48.07|
The regular price for at a 20 pack is $3.49 at Target and higher at our local Shoprite and Whole Foods Market. Trader Joe's price went up from $1.99 to 2.29. Also the price at Shoprite for Newman's Own English Breakfast Tea went from $3.99 to $4.39 (To find my total, I multiplied the per cup price by 3, then multiplied the product by 365, and divided by 12.)
Something New to Me...
At the end of June 2017, I went to our local Walmart in search of the latest Skylander game for our youngest son's birthday. Since I had the time I roamed the small grocery department of our local store. I was surprised to find Tazo Awake Tea in a large box, 48 teabags/ $5.98. On a recent shopping trip to Target I also found the larger 48 count box there.
I did not realize that Newman's Own has a line of tea until it was on sale at our local Shoprite for $3.49/100 tea bags. The regular price was $3.99 and is now $4.49.
How much am I really saving?
Looking at the numbers overall, there is a significant savings by switching tea brands. However, in my pantry, I have all three brands of tea. I still drink 3 cups a day. So, realisticly, the numbers are:
|Brand||Price Per UP|
|Tazo Awake||$ .1495/cup|
|1 Trader Joe's||$ .047/cup|
|1 Newman's Own||$ .0439/cup|
|Averagae Daily Cost||$ .24|
Monthly Savings: $6.32
Yearly Savings: $75.89
I based these numbers of the lowest price I paid for Tazo Tea in 2015, since most of the time I purchased the tea at the sales price.
I received an L.L.Bean travel mug for Christmas a few year ago. I bring that everywhere to avoid buying tea. On the rare occasion I buy tea at a coffee shop, I order a medium/grande and I ask for the second tea bag on the side instead of in the cup. It's my own BOGO thanks to the cafe worker at Whole Foods Market. I ordered a medium tea and was asked if I want 1 or 2 teabags. I said one and was given the extra without asking since I was paid for a medium.
Read this post to learn how I saved more money!