Sunday, March 6, 2011

MPM # 44 - Menu Planning Saves!

Last week, I mentioned checking our grocery habits for the past couple of months.

I'm going to run a report on our budget for groceries to see how our month added up with the careful planning and scheduled grocery shops.

So I've compared January & February 2010 to January & February 2011 - I planned in 2010 too but I've tried to be more consistent and better organized in 2011.

January 2010 $959.54
January 2011 $709.55
Savings: $249.99
February 2010 $737.68
February 2011 $665.84
Savings: $71.84

I have to admit, I'm disappointed but I also know that the cost of food here has increased a lot lately (Milk has gone up $0.50 per 4L (1 gallon) in just the past six weeks). I've also been trying to introduce more (fresh) vegetables into our menu planning - we always have vegetables but generally, it's the 'boring' things like peas, corn and green beans (all frozen).

One thing I've never quite understood of the pioneers who settled here is why they did... We are so far from any place warm that there is no "fresh" produce here other than the months of July and August. So as you may well imagine, anything I buy "fresh" right now is a premium as it's being imported from every where but here (I think the closest place of import is California). I bought a pound of strawberries last weekend - and it was a great price - $2.99 - and only one was rotten! I can get nectarines - from Brazil or Chile - but they are hard, woody and $4.99 per pound.

But I digress, there is a decrease over both months and that is a good thing. There are also a few too many shops at the local bulk store and I know that I kind of overdid a few things. I like tightening my belt, but it's really easy to get off track (and harder to get back on). We'll keep tracking and planning carefully. In an effort to reduce our grocery bill even more, my husband and TroubleMaker braved the crazies and shopped on 10% (off your total grocery bill) Tuesday... Normally, I wouldn't insist on shopping on that day, but running the numbers, we just aren't seeing the savings I was hoping for! I guess I need to adjust my expectations - we aren't going to eat a healthy, well balanced meals for $200 per month!

So perhaps my expectations were a little off - so I did some digging and found some information. It seems that my fellow Canadians spend about what we do on groceries - somewhere between $500 & $600 per month - some statistics suggest $250 per person per month. Phew... That makes me feel better - but it encourages me too - I don't want to be just average, in this case, I don't even mind being a bit below average!

Here's what we've got planned for this week - how about you?

March 7 to March 13

Monday KD and Fish Sticks (TroubleMaker's pick)
Tuesday Tacos
Wednesday Zesty Chicken and Rice Skillet
Thursday Egg Wraps with Tater Tots
Friday Nachos with refried beans, salsa and sour cream
Saturday Pizza Party
Sunday Crock pot meat balls and gravy

For more great menu saving planning ideas, check out all the people posting and sharing their menus at the Org Junkie's Menu Plan Monday!

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