Our Grocery Budget Goal for 2009: $750

As some of you are aware, we have been trying to feed our family for $20 a week for a little over a year now.  I am very grateful for the many ways God has provided for us to try to reach that goal.  We have been able to do so successfully for a whole year, and we have been amazed at how far each dollar can go.  As the year 2008 came to a close, I began to learn a bit more about how I could get more bang for my buck (and coupons) at grocery stores, not just drug stores.  So this year, we are going to strive for a new goal…

The Goal:

We will alot $750 for the entire year to be spent on our groceries. (That comes to $14.42/week).  As last week still fell under our $20/week budget, the budget begins today!

Why $750?

Last year, we spent approximately $1040 for the year on groceries/household items ($20 x 52).  After learning so much during the latter part of the year, I think we can do a bit better.  The difference between the 2 amounts is $290, so we will be able to save at least that much if we can reach this goal.  (This is a savings of almost $2,000 from the annual amount we typically spent during our first year of marriage!)

Of course, this is assuming that our economy will continue at a somewhat similar state (at least, as it relates to grocery stores and coupons) as it is now.   Right now, we can get many items for little money (using coupons, Sav Mor sales, etc…), but it may come to a point where we need to eat beans and rice, rice and beans, and rice-bean casserole. :)

Other factors:

  • We will be out of the country for almost 1 month–that eliminates 1 month of groceries (but also one month for stockpiling)–one reason we went with $750 instead of a higher amount.
  • I follow a blog called “Jane 4 girls $800 Annual Budget“–I guess you could say that Jane was a big inspiration for setting this particular goal.
  • We are currently a family of 3: 2 adults, and 1 11-month old who would like to eat like an adult :)  (My husband’s brother is also staying with us for the next 2 weeks, and I am amazed at how much more food it takes to feed just one extra mouth-he’s been here for a week already, so kudos to those of you living on a similar budget with older kids in the house!  (We love having him here, though!)
  • We already have a fairly full pantry, and if needed, we should be able to use it for several months.  My goal is to continue to stockpile as I encounter super deals!
  • The goal is to provide healthy, nutritious meals for our family, not just to spend as little as possible.  Otherwise, we’d be eating Ramen every meal.
  • (In case you’re wondering, we do not receive government assistance for our food.)

Isn’t this a little extreme?

Probably to some people, but it is a great goal for us to shoot for.  When my husband and I were first married, we had a little over $20,000 in school debt.  Our goal is to eliminate the rest of that debt this year.  Additionally, we will be making an overseas mission trip, which is an expenditure we will have to fund.  In a sense, it seems impossible, but saving is a creative means to stretching our dollars a little bit more. We have never gone hungry, and most of the time we have plenty of food to share with friends and folks in need.

We believe God is sovereign, and these are simply the plans and desires that we submit to His ultimately perfect plan.  He may have other plans for our finances, and if so, we gladly yield.

Savings Inspiration:

It’s still not too late to set some financial goals for 2009, for January, or even just for this week.  Having a goal or budget will really help keep things in order, and you might be amazed at how much you can save, whether you are saving to pay off debt, or to save up for a house, car, or other goal.  (If a budget is new for you, I recommend starting with a weekly allotment.  Try to estimate your normal spending for basic needs, then try to keep it at that level, then lower it in small increments.)

Here are some other goals you might find inspirational:

Do you have goals for this year?  Other good inspirations for saving?

It is my hope to share updates on how we’re reaching our goal, so stay tuned!

.

potential savings:
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