September Goals: A $200 Grocery Budget Plus A Decluttered Kitchen

September Goals: $200 Grocery Budget and a Decluttered KitchenIt’s almost fall. As the temperature slowly starts to drop (at least in theory – not in the Midwest, though, apparently), that means it’s time for football games, homemade chili, sweater weather, and new goals. First up? Food! Most months our grocery budget comes in at around $250 for the two of us. Typically, household goods (that’s a really fancy way to say toilet paper and other assorted necessities) is included in that price.* However, I would really like to see if we can reduce our budget by 20% and keep our spending to $200 this month.

Here’s what I won’t do:

  • Waste food we’ve already purchased in August
  • Ignore the food that’s growing in our garden
  • Stop eating the foods we like
  • Switch to mostly processed, prepackaged food

Here’s what I will do:

  • Record every receipt total plus list the actual items purchased 
  • Track what staple items I’m using that I did not have to buy this month
  • Indicate when produce comes from the store or our garden
  • Attempt to incorporate more all-natural and organic items into our diet

Additionally, I’m not going to claim that we are dietitians or even model eaters. We try to eat healthfully, and I’m hoping this exercise makes us even more aware of what we’re putting into our bodies. But in the interest of full disclosure…sometimes Mr. P eats like he has six stomachs. And I have a sweet tooth. And eating the same thing for lunch every day of my life is fine by me.**

Since I’ll be keeping an extra close eye on our food this month, I figure it’s only logical to declutter the kitchen as well. Though you’d never guess it from my post about consumerism, clutter, and Clueless, we live with a lot of invisible clutter. What I mean is that the flat surfaces in my home are already mostly sans stuff all the time (see, Ms. Kondo, I can be taught!). However, the accoutrements lurking inside our cabinets and hiding in drawers are another story. I’ll start by taking inventory and hopefully by the month’s end, I’ll have bid adieu to the hard-boiled egg slicer.

Here goes nothing!

*This is where all those people who hate on couponers may have to eat a little crow. Mmm. Tasty.

**Peanut butter and jelly, I can’t seem to quit you.

So Tell Me…What are your goals for September? How much do you spend on groceries? Do you have any tips for decluttering your kitchen?

September Goals: A $200 Grocery Budget Plus A Decluttered Kitchen

10 thoughts on “September Goals: A $200 Grocery Budget Plus A Decluttered Kitchen

    1. Mike,

      Yes! If anything, I hope by paying attention, we actually start to eat better. I know having this goal has already made me more thoughtful when it comes to planning my grocery list for the week. Now to see if I can actually accomplish it!

  1. I’m already impressed that you manage a $250 budget for groceries for two people! I’m working on getting our two-person monthly grocery budget down from the current $600 it sits at now, and it has not been the easiest, haha. Although I’m also a huge fan of eating the same thing every day for lunch, which makes things a lot simpler!

    Really looking forward to seeing how this goes for you!

    1. Des,

      Living in the suburbs definitely benefits us in terms of lowering some (not all) of our grocery costs. When we first got married two years ago, I didn’t really even think about how much we spent…or how much we went out to eat. So this could be interesting! Thanks for sharing your grocery budget. It’s helpful to get numbers from real people – not just national averages and whatnot.

    1. Thank you, Shannyn! We’re fortunate to live outside the city in this regard. The ‘burbs might not have the nightlife or the culture, but I can have a big garden and buy cheaper groceries. We’ll see how this goes!

  2. My goal for September is to get everything done before FinCon, enjoy FinCon and then get back into our regular, hectic groove without too much lag. That might sound like three goals, but it’s not.

    I definitely have a sweet tooth too. I cut down on sugary stuff. I try to stay away from a lot of it, and I’ve nixed desserts. The one exception being protein bars at 7g of total sugar/sugar alcohol. It’s the best I can do, though.

    Like you, I don’t mind eating the same thing over and over (and over and… you get the point). I have PB toast first thing in the morning, a protein bar 2-3 hours later, more PB toast after that, a small frozen meal and then a protein bar as “dessert.” It keeps me on track calorie-wise, and I don’t have to worry about what to eat.

    Good luck on your goals!

    1. That’s awesome that you’ve been able to nix so many sweets from your day. The protein bar sounds fine by me 🙂 I am such a PB lover. I have to make sure I don’t overdo it. My idea of a tablespoon and the nutrition label’s idea of a tablespoon are vastly different! Enjoy FinCon and good luck getting back into the groove afterwards.

  3. I’m also working toward a $200/month grocery bill with my S.O! We’re not quite there yet (not even close), but it’s a challenge that I’m willing to take on.

    I really like your approach. I think food waste is becoming one of my biggest pet peeves, it’s like throwing money into the garbage.

    I look forward to reading about how your plan goes!

    1. Erin,

      Food waste drives me crazy. I recently finished Zero Waste Home and several homesteading books. While I don’t think I’ll ever be at that level, I’m doing what I can by being more purposeful with planning and cooking.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *