Recently I have been spending/ wasting a considerable amount of time watching Youtube videos of grocery hauls, pantries and freezers along with the traditional January- Eat out of the Pantry challenge. It actually has brought several things to light for me and I decided that I would share a couple of those things with you.
First a couple of facts that I know I have said but wanted to make sure these are obvious when I am reading this 3-5 years from now.
1. Matt lost his job in November 2021. This was a sudden and unexpected change.
2. We had budgeted $650 a month of groceries in 2021. We overspent this budget 3 months of the year but stayed under budget in November. We were over budget in December due to some stocking up.
3. I set our grocery budget for January until June at $200 a month or $50 a year.
4. Once Matt returns to steady full-time employment, I plan to use the difference of $450 a month to save in order to purchase a cow this summer and re-stock our meat.
5. If Matt’s unemployment would end prior to him having a full-time job, I am planning to then switch my grocery shopping to only things that we are completely out of and NEED!
After reviewing that list, I can make the following statements:
1. We could likely exist on $25 a week if we needed to by only purchasing things we are completely out of.
2. I am keeping a rolling grocery list of items that we are currently low on. I am restocking to the level that I normally would. For example, we have 2 cans of corn left, I will be purchasing 8 cans on one of my next few trips. I really could get by with purchasing 2 more but instead, I want to keep a doable level for me. This will allow me to switch to number 5 above for several months in not longer if the need arises.
3. I am continuing to purchase items I know we will use in the next couple of months when I see them on sale. For example, 2 Liter Diet Cokes are on sale this week. I will be purchasing my normal amount of 20 bottle plus an additional 10 bottles of regular Coke for the kids. I also plan to purchase 10 non-caffeinate soda to restock as well.
4. In order to use the items that we have in the freezer, I have to meal plan. And I am also trying to add one meatless meal a week and at least one meal a week to use items that we have in the freezer but normally would not choose like chicken legs or meatloaf muffins.
5. We are in a very blessed position that allows us to wait on God’s timing for Matt’s new job. Currently you would not be able to tell from our lifestyle that we are basically a one income family at this point.
6. I need to remember that we need to keep the budget at $200 a month including Amazon in order to enjoy things like our planned trips without it becoming a financial strain or hardship.
7. I am not the only person in the world who has enough food for 6 months to a year on hand!