Update on 2011 Resolutions and Changes

Well….here we are at the beginning of February, with the first month of 2011 already a memory. There are feet of snow on the ground in many areas of the midwest, ice wreaking havoc in several other parts of the country, and the groundhog didn’t see his shadow this morning. I thought it would be a good time to recap what I attempted to change in our budgetary lives and how much I spend on groceries. Maybe this isn’t the best time to write this post, but if I wait too much longer, I know that things will get busy and it will be March before I’m able to sit down and catch up. It also may not be the best time to write anything because I went grocery shopping earlier this afternoon and it was a discouraging event. I am shocked at the prices of certain foods and that, combined with the weight of hearing how most items’ prices will only go up, doesn’t really leave me feeling optimistic about my success of spending less on food.

Aside from that, here’s my intentionally vague recap. (Why vague, you ask? For some reason–and I’ve talked with Todd about this, with him coming to the conclusion that I’m just weird–I don’t like to give out hard and fast numbers on what I spend on food. I liken it to sharing my weight with others, which I would really rather not do. Ever. Even under duress. It’s also up there with the dreaded, “Sooo….are you gonna have more?!?!” In any case, I’d rather stick to generalities right now and work up to full disclosure later on. Don’t hold your breath on me ever t elling you what I weigh, however.) I re-read my blog entry which set my goals for the month, and I hoped to reduce my bill by 1/3. My ideal goal is to reduce it by 1/2 and keep it there, but I’m willing to take baby steps. I also made the grand statement that I was goign to shop only at Aldi’s for a month and see how productive that could be. Surprisingly to me, I ran into quite a bit of opposition about that decision–not so much from my family, but from other “well-wishers.” I know we all approach food differently, have our own suppositions about good food vs. bad food, and desire to prepare and serve all types of food for our families. I do have to say I was a little taken aback by those who didn’t approve of my choice, but after having a good long sigh about it, I’ve come to the conclusion that if you’d like to a) buy the food we eat here and b) come to my house and cook it for me, then sure, hack away at the current system. I understand that there is room for improvement in any program and I’ll be first to say that mine needs constant updating, but I grow weary of the unsolicited advice.

WOW, I keep getting off track from my topic sentence, don’t I? Perhaps this REALLY isn’t a good day to write! In any case, after tallying up my saved receipts from the month, I was happy to see that I hadn’t just cut the bill by 33%, but went all the way to around 44%! I credit this not only to Aldi, but more specifically to Aldi’s policy of cash or debit card only. There are no two ways around the fact that when you pay with cash, you can only buy what you have money for. So there’s that. I also found out quickly that shopping exclusively at Aldi was an impossibility. They simply don’t carry some things that we need here. It wasn’t too much of a hassle, though. I would go through the Meijer ad and the Aldi ad, create my menu plan, compare prices of the sale items and Aldi’s regular prices, and fashion my shopping lists from there. Unquestionably, I saved most on dairy and produce, but there were sales at Meijer that beat even Aldi prices, so I felt I got fairly good deals across the board on my fresh veggies and fruits. I try to purchase only meat that’s on sale, and that didn’t change this month.

Overall, I’m glad I have been able to make one small step to spending less on our food budget. I feel like the first month, at least, was a success. For the month of February, I will continue to shop at Aldi and compare prices with other places. My goal is to spend even less, obviously (who would strive to spend more?). More updates to follow as well.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Marta
    Feb 02, 2011 @ 20:42:59

    Congratulations! That’s awesome! I need to check out Aldi (I’ve seen one, but can’t remember where…) too. I’ve saved a lot at a local Fruit and Vegetable market, so I go there first and get as much on my list as possible, then head to other stores. Sometimes I hit 4-5 stores, it makes for an EPIC shopping day, but hey, its $$ in the pocket right!?! Right now I have more time then money.


  2. Sarah G
    Feb 02, 2011 @ 21:26:14

    this is awesome! i also shop at aldi, deb…i am amazed at the reduction in my weekly grocery spending. it’s cut my bill by half also. 🙂 go, go!


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