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After you’ve paid your bills for the month, where does the majority of your money go? Well, if you’re anything like me – food! Weekly food shops, top up shops, takeaways, snacks and eating out. It actually makes me feel a little sick when I think about just how much money (not to mention food!) I waste.
You know the cycle – buy a food shop, decide you can’t be bothered to cook, order takeaway instead while your fresh produce goes off in the fridge. Double the spend and a whole heap of waste – sound familiar?
Well enough is enough. I have decided to set myself a challenge for the month of July – to stretch my food stores as much as possible and to save half of my food budget. I usually budget £70 a week for a household of 2 adults and a toddler – yes, this probably sounds too much and it probably is! (But it does includes toiletries, cleaning products, nappies etc and baby food.)
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The July Grocery Challenge will run from 1st July to 28th July (payday) – and I will aim to spend no more than £140 of my £280 budget.
I will check in on Instagram (@katiesaves) each time I spend and the meal I’m cooking each day for accountability. If you want to join in, follow me and use the hashtag #julygrocerychallenge
I did a stock take of all the food, toiletries, cleaning and baby products in the house and made a list. From this list, I created a meal plan and made a shopping list of the things we actually needed. Our last food shop was delivered on the 14th June and since then we’ve just bought fresh basics – bread, milk etc. The total spend during the challenge so far is £26.68
Sausage and Mash
Chicken Tikka Masala
Pizza and Chips
Mixed berry banana bread
Fruit & Yogurt
This meal plan doesn’t require any additional shopping, so providing we stick to it, we should come in under the goal of £35 spend for the first week (we will probably need more bread and milk)
I’m not going to cut back on the stuff for the baby – so if we run out of toddler meals (which are easier for my MIL on the days she looks after her) or snacks (which I like to keep a stash of for when we’re out and about – I do make my own snacks too but sometimes she needs to be bribed with a chewy bar) then I will go over the £35 goal if needs be. And if goes without saying that I’ll buy nappies and wipes as we need them too!
Not only should seeing this challenge out save us a heap of money, I’m hoping that it will make us more disciplined and less wasteful. We are the first to admit that we can be lazy and succumb to takeaways for convenience which is bad not only for our wallet but our health too.
Both of us have noticed the pounds pile on and we are constantly tired and sluggish – I have no doubt that a month of home cooked meals will do us the world of good – even if some are ‘beige’, freezer fakeaways.
I’ve been blown away by the interest in the July Grocery Challenge on Instagram so far – it wasn’t something I’d planned to host, but something for myself… so it’s great to see so many people keen to join in. Follow me here – @katiesaves if you fancy joining us!
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I started Katie Saves while on Maternity Leave to document our adjustment to living on less. Now back in work - I blog about all things money with a little life organisation thrown in for good measure. Join me!