As I have said, groceries are one of the biggest "discretionary" budget items that my family has. It is actually the second biggest line item in our budget, after mortgage payments. So, it is the area that we can also stand to save the most money in. After all, it doesn't do me much good to complain about my mortgage payment. There is only so much that you can do for it. You can refinance, which is a good idea if you can save interest, and are staying in the house long enough for the payback to work with closing costs. You could also lengthen the term of the mortgage to lower the payment, but that will cost you more in the long run.
Given the fact that I have an interest rate of about 5.875% on what was a fifteen year mortgage, and we have about 10 years left on it, I am not about to make either change! So, grocery budget, here it is.
When I first started talking about the grocery budget, I think that my wife wanted to kill me! She is the one responsible for the meals, and she was thinking that she was already scraping by, so there certainly was no way that we could save more on groceries.
In some ways, we are spending more on groceries, but have made severe cuts to the eating out and take out departments. I didn't keep very good books before the middle of this year, so it is hard to tell exactly what the difference is, but I am pretty certain that we have saved money in the long run. My wife is also happier now, as she says she has more food than ever to work with. We still have to fine tune every once in a while, but overall, we are doing great!
I moved our upright freezer out of the basement and into the garage, where it was more easily accessed, this fall. That was a godsend in itself! Now, the wife doesn't have to go down into the basement. Out of sight, out of mind was the theme, and it was hard to tell what was in the freezer. Now, we use it all of the time.
Recently, I found boneless chicken breast for $1.05 on special into Sam's club. We had been paying $1.79 per pound (in ten pound packages) at the local discount grocery store, and it is usually around $3.99 per pound at the regular grocery stores. Needless to say, I put a case of it in my cart, and pocketed almost $30.00 over the discount store price, and closer to $80.00 per case over the regular grocery store!
We have been looking for a deal on hamburger. It seems in my family that at least three to four meals per week are hamburger based. The discount grocery store sells 80% four pound packages for $2.19 per pound, which is about the best that we have found. Today, into Sam's, we found the case pricing of hamburger... $1.56 per pound for the same 80%! A case is 80 pounds, so we would save around $50.00 per case! If you buy 4 cases per year, you save $200.00! With our family of five, this is not unreasonable at all. The savings grow even more if you buy 90%, which was only $1.60 per pound!
Just imagine the power of doing that times about 8 items???
I guess that I could say, you know that you are getting your home finances in line when you get joy in a case price of hamburger!