Sunday, 1 March 2015

March Grocery Challenge

My fridge today, after the shopping
Thanks to Sarah from Frugal by Choice, Cheap by Necessity. I am starting a Grocery Challenge during March.

This is a great occasion as, even if I try to take a list of all my grocery expenses, I am not very organized and I usually arrive at the end of the month with an approximate amount of expenses....I need some self-discipline and this Challenge is a very good occasion to keep me on the right path.

I have some problems with tracking my Grocery Shopping:

The first problem  is that I do not write down immediately the amount of the shopping ( I am a bit lazy in this...I know ) and I always try to keep all the receipts of the month together but, I don't know why ( or I know? )  at the end of the month there is always something missing.

The second problem is that I go shopping with a list, but I always spend more than expected. Why?

- is it because I do not have a specific detailed list?
- is it because I sometimes buy what's not on the list?

Well, this Challenge is the occasion to look for an answer.

This is what I decided for the month of March:

- I set an amount of  € 350,00 for Grocery Shopping for our Family of 4 ( as I know that we usually  spend more than € 400,00 each month )
- I will go shopping with a detailed list of what is really missing after having checked the pantry and the freezer
- I'll write a calculation of the expenses on this blog in order to get the situation under control

Let's start:

- I did my first shopping today for an amount of  € 93,00. Remaining Euro 257,00

Note: We ate almost all the food in the pantry and in the freezer during the month of February and so we'll have to buy almost everything we need during March.

My fridge and my pantry are now well stocked and I am ready to start my first week of the challenge.

My pantry today, after the shoopping

Oh Oh, looking at these photos I realize that I need more organization, sorry!

Are you good at tracking your Grocery Shopping? Any advice?


  1. Good luck. It really is hard keeping up with food purchases and expenses. I've never been good and I just buy for one. I look forward to hearing about your experience.

  2. I am very organized. My suggestion to you would be the following: don't do your grocery shopping when you are hungry. Make a list of things that you need and shop just for those items. If you have your cupboards organized (and it doesn't need to be perfect), it is easier to find what you want when you need it. As well, keep the things you need the most often on the lower shelves.

    Not sure if this helps, but I hope it does. :)

  3. I am trying to do the same this we can cheer one another on throughout the month!!

  4. Shopping with a list helps us. I also try to create a rough meal plan so I'm buying things that actually make sense! It's still easy to spend more than I planned. I stay within our monthly food budget most of the time.

    1. Thank you Holly! I hope to become a good planner as you in the future :)

  5. hello sabrina,
    i made a shoppinglist. iand i made a monthly meal plan. i grow spices and salad in window boxes,that helps.
    good luck with your challenge!
    lg regina

  6. hi,
    The foodbudget is one that can offer alot of saving. This is how our plan developed: At the very start we estimated a budget of what we thought we spent (we were very surprised how wrong we were - we spent mad amounts) We got to estimate a normal amount, we chose discount shops, we made a meal plan and tried to stick to it. We are now this far: I have taken stock of the pantry, foodcupboards and fridge/freezer, to avoid double buys. Its written down and put in a folder and updated.
    I have written down in excel each regular item we buy for food - toiletries and housecleaning. I have put each item in excel with the price and shop we buy it from. I use three supermarkets, Aldi, Albert Heijn and Jumbo. With excel I then worked out which item was cheapest. I had to visit all the shops quite a few times and take notes, internet was also a help using their homepages and folders online.
    I compare the weekly prices and the bargains and make menu choices. I make lists according to shopoffers.We buy meat in bulk from a good farmer. So for example: Today I did alot of shopping at Aldi, I will buy the tomatoes and avocados from Jumbo because that worked out cheaper. No Albert Heijn this week, other shops were better offers I only buy what I need, and I pay cash. Once you work out the pricing, its a great help. It takes time and effort but its well worth it. Shops do not help, they price per 5 apples or loo paper by roll and not sheets, but you can beat them! Good luck. If you want the excel formula to work out price/kilo/liter/piece, let me know.