Longer time readers of KHGS may remember the Big Budget Challenge I set myself last summer. I’d been spending far too much of my hard earned cash and wanted to make a concerted effort to save some money in order to pay off my credit card. Check out these posts for more info:
The ‘what I learned’ posts have some great tips for budgeting, part 2 focuses on grocery spending so check them out!
Unfortunately due to my health food / magazine / clothing addictions as well as a couple of unexpected and extremely hefty bills, I have found myself with a serious need to pinch some pennies again. So I’m bringing back the challenge for round 2! It also seems that a number of you guys are also feeling the need to cut back a bit so I thought it might be fun to be thrifty chicks together!
If you would like to join in with the Big Budget Challenge please do! Just copy and paste the above blog button and link it back to this post.
I thought a good way to do it would be for each of us to set our own ‘rules’ and whenever we do a post with a budgeting feature or theme, we use the Big Budget Challenge button above and then email me the link to that post. That way I can do a weekly round up post of all the budget themed posts from the people that are joining in. How does that sound?
This time round I am actually going to be a bit more strict! Here are the rules I’m setting myself for the month of October and November:
- Reduce my grocery budget down to £250 a month. I have no idea how this compares to what other people spend, but this is for me and James, all of my meals and all of James’s meals apart from his lunch which he buys himself at work, as well as cleaning products etc. Hopefully I’ll be able to spend less than this with any luck!
- Set a personal budget of £50 a month. All spending that isn’t bills, groceries, cleaning stuff etc has to be within this budget. Any ‘health food’, vitamins, magazines, clothes, nights out, Starbucks, gifts for other people etc will have to come out of this budget.
Those are my two big rules! – I can’t trim any other areas of my personal budget as everything else is set bills. I’ll also be continuing to liberate my wardrobe and making the most of the clothes and accessories I have to curb any fashion shopping hauls!
Obviously the whole grocery and health food thing is where I’m going to have to pay most of my attention as this is where I always struggle! Therefore most of my posts on will be on saving money in this area.
Luckily I’m going into the challenge with fairly well stocked cupboards but I do have a plan as to how I’m going to tackle this:
- Each week will have a £50 budget which I’ll take out in cash.
- I will be shopping about to find the best deals, especially on fruit and veg – I’ll be making the most of supermarket offers, Aldi’s ‘Super Six’ (a selection of 6 items of fresh produce on special offer) and my green grocers 10% discount offer. I’m the first to admit I used to be an Aldi and Lidl snob, but they really do have some brilliant deals, and in my experience the quality is just as good as the major supermarkets.
- I will still meal plan, but in order to make the most of the cheapest produce available I will plan out meals after doing a shop instead of before (I also have a few thoughts around meal planning, snacks and intuitive eating that I’ll be sharing soon!)
- I’ll be making my own versions of things whenever possible such as raw nut butters, energy bars, raw crackers, hummus, nut milks, pumpkin puree etc.
- I’ve bought a couple of bags of cheap dried beans and whole grains so I can cook beans from scratch, I’ll also be bring back grain of the week!
I’m still going to get my organic veg box twice a month even though I know its not the cheapest option, however I am committed to the values and ethics of buying organic and local whenever possible and at least this way I still get to do that some of the time!
As for all the ‘health food’ goodies such as peanut flour, chia seeds, maca powder, kashi go lean, protein powders – basically stuff from iHerb and Goodness Direct, I’m going to have to prioritise what I buy in line with the budget I have available. As I said I’m lucky to have a well stocked kitchen but I do think I’m in a place now where I have experimented and tried out lots of different foods and products so I know which ones I love the most and should be able to avoid buying other stuff just for the sake of it!
I do have a massive pile of clothes to eBay so I’m hoping that will generate some spare cash to help pay off my bills and save for Christmas.
If your sticking to a budget right now what are your rules going to be? How much do you tend to spend on groceries each week?
Its also your last chance to enter my international GIVEAWAY for the vegan recipe book Blissful Bites!