02 September 2013

Of course you can feed your family for $300 a month!


The $300 a month food challenge has been going for over two years now. Many Cheapskating families have adjusted the way they tackle groceries and the result has been slashed grocery budgets all over the country.

But every week, without fail, I get emails from Cheapskaters who insist they could not possibly get their grocery bill any lower, and certainly not down to $300.

Of course they can, and you can too, if you really want to. Now remember the $300 is for a family of four. Increase (or decrease) the amount by $75 for each additional person in your family i.e. a family of six would have a grocery budget of $450 a month.

Before you decide it's just too hard remember that the grocery bill is really the only portion of your Spending Plan that you have complete and utter control over. You alone decide how much is spent every time you do the shopping.

The easiest way to reduce your grocery bill is to cut out convenience foods.  Go and get your last grocery receipt and a highlighter. Go through that list and highlight every convenience product you bought.

Convenience products are:
  • Chips
  • Soft drink
  • Cordial
  • Frozen pizza
  • Frozen pies
  • Frozen meals
  • Marinated meats
  • Jars of sauces
  • Packets of seasonings, spice mixes etc
  • Cake, muffin and biscuit mixes
  • Prepared cakes, muffins and biscuits
  • Frozen desserts
  • Packaged salads
  • Lollies
  • Grated cheese
  • Individual pots of yoghurt
  • Individual snack packs of anything
  • Spray cleaners that do just one job
  • Window and glass cleaners
  • Floor cleaners
You get the idea. When you've finished highlighting, add up the cost of all those "convenience" groceries.  Is it scary? If you are spending more than $300 a month for groceries it probably is.

All of the items I've listed above can be made easily and very cheaply at home as MOOs. You don't need to buy them. And regardless of what you've been brainwashed into thinking, you can make them, they are not difficult, they are not more expensive and they do not require any special skills, tools or ingredients.

You can start reducing your grocery bill right now by keeping those things off your shopping list and out of your trolley.

Instead make use of the recipes and instructions for the dozens of MOOs in the Member's Centre.

You'll be saving money, time and energy and doing your bit to keep our world in tip top shape too.

While we're talking about grocery budgets, if you think $75 a week is impossible, how would you manage on $5.55 (£3.20)? Here's an interesting article on grocery budgets around the world.  Have a really good look at the pictures, they are real eye openers. The more affluent countries not only have the biggest grocery bills but they have the least amount of fresh food in their weekly shop, while the poorest countries a greater proportion of fresh fruit and vegetables, followed by grains, then dairy then meat and fish and very little, if any, junk and convenience foods. 



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1 comment:

  1. That was an interesting article, thanks for sharing Cath.
    It makes you stop and think about what you buy, and I was not actually surprised to see that the Americans and British and Aussies seemed to lean more toward convenience foods/and lots of soft drink!! Whereas the families from the lower socioeconomic countries were buying more fresh fruit and veg, and the staples of food.
    It sure was an eye opener.
    We hardly buy any soft drink now, only for special occasions.
    Janine

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