Yesterday I spent a great deal of time at the grocery store, and let me tell you, I am really getting fed up with how expensive it is to eat healthy. The things like fresh fruit and veggies, whole wheat bread, and yogurt get to be so expensive when you have a very small grocery budget! I'm estimating around $25 of my weekly budget this week were to those things alone, which some of you might think is reasonable, but with a tiny budget that doesn't leave much for regular food, vitamins, toilet paper, laundry detergent, cleaning and beauty supplies, ect. We honestly rarely buy junk food these days (or even things like cheese, for goodness sakes) so you'd think my bill would be lower than back in those days, but it's actually higher (yet my budget is lower) and I'm looking for ways to cut back.
One thing I've come up with is to buy the generic coffee instead of my beloved Dunkin Donuts Hazelnut or Seattle's Best blend. It will save me around four dollars every two to three weeks (which, to be honest, isn't really worth it) but I've got to trim costs somehow! I'm even brewing one cup less everyday to try and squeeze a few more days out of each bag!
I'm also (probably) giving up my 100 calorie packs of cookies. They are my one sweet that I regularly allow myself but it is about three bucks a week for those. Maybe just buy them one week a month? You can guess which week...
What else?? Microwave meals. Yep, those add up quickly. I usually get them on sale for around two bucks each, but buying two or three for me and a couple for the kiddo gets expensive. I hate to give them up though, they honestly save me from fast food at lunchtime more times than I can count. Maybe I'll just go to one a week and see how it goes. If I turn to fast food, the money is better spent on those Lean Cuisines! :)
Let me ask this: What does everyone eat for lunch, besides turkey sandwiches or diet microwave meals? Those are my go-to lunches, and I really don't want to start eating lunchmeat six days a week! I don't really care for most soups (especially the low-fat, low-sodium type) so that is out...and I need things that would actually be cheaper than $2-$2.50 a meal, yet calorie friendly.
Lastly, I know that it is way past time to give up the bottled water. I HATE this expense but we all drink so much more water when I buy it bottled and frankly, Hubby has been insisting on me buying it for a long while now. We've tried plain tap water and even a sink filter attachment before and we all hated it and everyone stopped drinking water altogether .
(Side note: Our water here is from Lake Erie and there are constantly these muscle things and algae blooms that get into the water supply and make it taste disgusting. Few people here drink tap water for this reason. Even my coffee gets funk-y.)
I think what I'll do to start is buy a big jug of generic water for two bucks (instead of the four to five bucks I spend for the Ice Mountain bottles) and see if everyone will still drink it and if Hubby will go along with it.
And now I'm out of ideas. Those changes won't add up to much...I need to think bigger! But what??
Wow. Long, rambling, boring post. Sorry, the grocery budget is totally on my mind today! :) Any cost cutting ideas out there for me? Please, share!!