Saturday, August 30, 2008


Unbelievably, the Discount Food Store is closing next week. I can't believe it. This store has been a lifesaver for my grocery budget over the last year and I am really disappointed that it is closing.

But, the closing of the store is a great impetus for a new challenge. Mary at Owlhaven is doing another 30 Days of Nothing for the month of September. She is starting with a stocked pantry, and a large garden, and hopes to spend no more than $200 on groceries in September...for her family of 12. Wow.

Since my Shop Local Challenge a year ago, I have routinely spent about $200 a month on groceries for our famly of 5, relying heavily on the discount food store.

With the Discount Food Store closing, and food costs reaching unprecedented heights, it is going to be quite the challenge to keep my grocery costs within the $200 a month range. But, you know I am a sucker for a challenge!

So, for the next 30 days, I will be challenging myself to feed my family of five for around $200 a month, or $50 a week. The main objective is to supply my family with nutritious and fresh food on a budget. I will be documenting what I purchase each week, and how much I spend. Additionally, I will documenting our weekly menus, including snacks.

What falls into the grocery category? Well, obviously, all food items. Additionally, all paper goods, home goods (light bulbs, trash bags, cleaning supplies, etc), and body care items (shampoo, conditioner, razors).

Now, I do have one caveat: items that my husband buys without my sanction do not count toward my grocery budget. So, if I ask him to run by the store for me, then those items will count toward my grocery budget. However, if he decides to stop and pick up ten boxes of Sour Patch Kids on the way home from work, then I am not counting that in my total for the month.

Additionally, I did not decide to do this until today. My pantry is not well stocked. I have not been stockpiling groceries to see me through September. What I spend in September is an accurate, feasible budget for our family. I have no idea whether I will be able to cook well for our family and friends on this budget. I may go way over. I may not. That is what makes this interesting. Plus, it is a great way to be reminded of the abundance that we enjoy every day. Even with cutting way back, and being more frugal with our grocery spending this month, we still have much, much more than we need. It is good to be reminded of this.

So, what about you? Want to join me? Set your own budget, your own guidelines. Choose another area of spending entirely. It could be eye-opening. Check it out...30 days of nothing.


  1. I'm really enjoying reading your blog I'll watch closely to see how you do with your budget. This are really financially difficult in Britain at the moment too, so I hope to pick up some tips from you. Glad to hear your family is on the mend.

  2. Yeah, I am so glad your doing this so I can copy your every move! I have been trying really hard to cut back on the grocery budget, and have also been going to the discount food store, sad! $200 for a month, I was spending about $400 a few months we go!

  3. SO relieved that they are both doing well...prayed for all of you many times!! And your dear, dear husband...that's amazing, friend!!! TOO precious :)

  4. Help me clean out my freezer. It's not fresh, but it was when I put it in there! Mama

  5. Laurel,
    Are you talking about the Dented Food Can store? Or Aldi? I have been searching for one in my area ever since you mentioned you love yours. Do you know of a website to find them?
    This is awesome, I will love seeing your month.
    Be specific, ok, so I can learn!! =)

  6. Start looking for a salvage store your area:

    (Laurel, do you think this is too far away?

    I am interested to see your menus and other daily foods while you are doing this project. My grocery bill used to come out to $60-80/week, but my children were barely eating and used little to no other household or personal items.

  7. I saw your name after I signed up! I would love to know more about how you spend so little on groceries.


  8. Anonymous4:38 PM

    Wow! Good luck on the challenge. We are excited about doing this challenge too.

  9. So glad you're taking the challenge! I'll look forward to reading more!

    Mary, mom to many

  10. Welcome aboard. I also wonder how you sepnd so little. I'm a single person and I don't spend that much less than you. At least not proportionately.

    I'm looking forward to reading your budget tips too. Have a great week pursuing your "nothing" goals.