Did you take the Grocery Budget Challenge to Trim Your Grocery Budget By 15%  last month? How did you do?
If you remember, some of my friends felt like their grocery budgets were out of control. Both families of 5, they shared that their grocery budgets were $800 and well over $1,200 each month. I challenged them to trim their budget by 15%.
The family with the grocery budget over $1,200 cut their grocery bill by 25%! They didn’t use any coupons .
The other family, with a starting budget of $800, came in at $707. While they were short of the 15% goal, they still shaved off almost $100 from their monthly budget. Not bad!
Successful Grocery Shopping Strategies
Here’s what they had to say about some of the successful strategies they used:
I found that planning and shopping for the month was the most helpful strategy for saving money. Because I cook with a lot of fresh ingredients I had to go to the grocery store weekly as well, but I kept to just shopping the perimeter on those trips. The monetary savings was nice, but what I appreciated even more was the time savings.
Buying in Bulk :
I also found it helpful to buy meat in bulk and freeze it. I would argue that I will see even more savings this upcoming month than I did in the past month because I still have so much meat (mostly ground beef and chicken) in the freezer to use next month. Lastly, I bought strawberries in bulk (15 lbs. to be exact) and spent an hour one day hulling and freezing them to use in my morning shakes. In the past I have bought pre-packaged frozen strawberries and they were significantly more expensive.
Strategies That Didn’t Work
As with most money saving strategies, some just don’t work very well. To keep it realistic, I also asked the families to share their struggles and any strategies that didn’t work very well.
I thought that I would save a lot of money baking my own loaves of bread, but when it was all said and done the taste was great but the very minimal savings were not worth it. I will continue to bake my own bread for pleasure and taste, but not to save money.
Be More Aware of What You Purchase
In addition to trying to slash their budget, they also became more aware of their food purchases. One family shared their big realizations during the challenge:
- We go through a lot more bread, salsa, and cheese than I ever realized. Those were some of the things that I could have bought more of in advance if I had known.
- Buying milk in bulk did not save me any money, but I LOVED the convenience of it. Instead of having to run out to the store for milk on a regular basis, I would just go downstairs and get another container from our basement refrigerator. (We bought the organic Kirkland brand milk and it lasts for a month.)
How to Trim Your Grocery Budget
If you missed the challenge last month, but still want to focus on trimming your grocery budget, here are the tips and tricks we shared to get started:
- Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express  for 6% cash back on groceries.
- 8 Ways to Stop Wasting Food 
- 11 Ways to Save Money on Groceries 
- Guide to Couponing 
- Gaming the Grocery System 
- Can You Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half Shopping Only Once a Month? 
- What Am I Supposed to Buy at Costco? 
- Have You Tried Peapod Groceries? 
- 6 Ways to Change the Impact of Food on your Budget 
- 11 Ways to Save on Food in College 
- Frugal Foodie: 6 Alternatives to Dining Out 
- New Walmart Price Match: What They Will and Won’t Match 
- How to Use Coupons After TLC’s Extreme Coupon Show Fraud 
- 14 Ways to Save on Your Grocery Bill 
- Which Vegetables are in Season by Month 
- Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half with America’s Cheapest Family (Book) 
Did you Take the Challenge?
Did you take the grocery budget challenge last month? How did it go?