Tuesday, September 6, 2016

$125 Monthly Grocery Budget for a Family of 5...Say What!?!? ~ Exceptions

There are EXCEPTIONS to almost every rule.  While we had a strict grocery and personal care budget of $125 a month, we did pay for a few other things throughout the year. 

For the past three years, we have been shareholders of a local CSA called Seton Harvest.  Twenty-six or twenty-seven weeks out of the year, we pick up a bag full of fresh vegetables, fruits, and herbs on Tuesday evenings. For the CSA, we pay up front typically with our tax return.  We get a discount for volunteering and an extra pick up (making it 27 weeks) when we make a deposit for the next year.  Being a CSA shareholder adds $30-$45 extra a month depending on if we purchase a partial or full share.  Even on the weeks we do not pick up, we still benefit from the CSA because we’ve frozen or canned the excess vegetables over the summer and fall.  We feel like that amount is well worth the fresh produce.  The CSA also provides us entertainment throughout the year, so it is an even better deal!

We enjoy eating out when our budget allows.  Sometimes, it is a few meals a month.  This comes from a different part of the budget.  It is important to note that often times when we eat out, we have left overs that will feed all or part of our family for another meal.  This often happens when we pick up a few pizzas or get Chinese or Mexican take out. 

Once a year, we find a local sale on ground turkey and turkey sausage for $1 a pound.  One year, it was even 79 cents a pound.  We speak to the store manager and they order extra for us.  We end up buying 100 pounds and this stays in our freezer throughout the year and is always used before the sale runs again.  This ensures that we almost always have something if our typical monthly budgeted food is running low.  We pay for this out of our miscellaneous budget or from an extra paycheck.

Occasionally, we will go deal hunting as a form of entertainment.  We will go to Big Lots, Walmart, Rural King, or another store and see what food deals we can find.  If we’ve already used up our allotted grocery money for the month, we will use miscellaneous money to cover this.  This is actually a form of entertainment for us.  We love finding a great deal and get the added bonus of getting extra food.  This also allows us to try new things we wouldn’t normally buy.

The last exception to our $125 budget is eggs.  We have our own chickens, so we do not buy eggs from the grocery store.  The chickens and their feed do have a cost, but that money comes from a different budget

Next up...Plan Before You Go!
Do you have any exceptions to your grocery budget?

Check out the other posts in this series: Say What!?!?!

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