Food Budgeting: An Experiment in Spending Less [ Month 2 Results]

4.11.2016



I'm back to share another month of grocery expenses! I've decided I won't do this every single month in 2016... that's a bit much. But I will continue to track expenses and share an update post every few months. In case you missed the beginning, I suggest you read this post on How We Budget For Food and this post, which talks about what we spent in February and shares 4 tips for keeping your grocery budget costs down.

I told you that our average spending in 2015 was $277 on grocery and $80 on lunch and that I wanted to see if I could cut that average down in 2016.

January 2016: $278 on grocery / $83 on lunch
February 2016: $185 on grocery / $44 on lunch
Here's how we did in March: $277 on grocery / $87 on lunch

I don't consider that number a fail or a success. I didn't spend more than our regular average, but obviously I didn't spend less either. I find it too funny that when I don't intentionally focus on spending less, I spend almost exactly the same amount every month. I guess that means we have our food system down to an art. Admittedly, I was busy last month and didn't focus on following my 4 grocery store tips as much as I did in February. I also had used up all of our food in February and had a few large trips to stock back up. And there may have been, ahem, a few last-minute purchases off the list for ice cream and such. This month I want to do better!

Since last month's update I have become crazy app lady with THREE rebate apps. Every little bit adds up, people. I hope those of you who downloaded the Ibotta app are enjoying it! If you haven't yet, I really think you will love it. 

If you sign up for Ibotta here using the code vkyogbc, you get $10 just for claiming your first rebate! (I get a few dollars too, so thanks in advance for using my code, friends!)

You can get rebates on cleaning supplies, diapers, and alcohol too, so don't think it's just for food. I also have the MobiSave app and, thanks to a few recommendations on my last post, I downloaded Checkout51. Here's how much I got back in rebates from each app:

$16 Ibotta
$3.80 Mobisave
$3.50 Checkout51
Total rebate app savings: $23.30

So even though I spent almost the same as my average, I ended up in the positive because of the rebates I got, which is exciting! This month I am trying to get our overall number down again, and I will check back in a few months with a report.

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How are you doing on your grocery spending this year?
Do you use any rebate/coupon apps I should try out?

16 comments:

  1. Just signed up with your Ibotta code :) You don't even want to know how much our groceries are every month. It is out of control!!! Hopefully the Ibotta app will set off some of our costs. I wish I would have downloaded it yesterday, I see five things I bought at Target on there! Next week!! Thanks!

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  2. I'm amazed at how little you spend on groceries. I spend about $100 more per month on just one person! Impressive. Great job!

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  3. I enjoy your updates so I'm glad you'll keep us posted throughout the year, however often. Your last post about this really inspired me to get back on track with a better meal plan/budget each month and last week we did really good to kick off April- so thank you! :) I also started using Ibotta and Checkout 51 again... both apps I've had previously but got lazy and forgot all about.

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  4. You're doing great! We're working on meal planning and budgeting too so your tips are great!

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  5. Hey, doing the exact same as your average from last year isn't bad! Because obviously it wasn't a huge number to start with anyway! I definitely notice the biggest difference when I take time to shop at Aldi first to pick up my staples before going elsewhere. I did that last week - go me. And today I didn't. In fact today I just went straight to Sprouts (similar to Whole Foods, but smaller and not quite as expensive) so I spent more than normal anyway, ha! Sometimes the convenience of just one store is worth it and today was one of those days!

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  6. okay, you've convinced me! i just downloaded the ibotta app. i am curious to see how much i get back in rebates!

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  7. I've heard so many great things about Ibotta and am going to sign up now! Finally! I used to also use Shopkick - you can basically get "points" for just walking into a place/store, and end up with gift cards! Its' pretty neat - sure it may take time, but like you said, every little bit adds up and helps! :) I love these posts of yours!! Thanks for sharing, its super inspiring!

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  8. I love Ibotta! Going to check out some of the others now!

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  9. I've got to download MobiSave and Ibotta - if I ever get my phone back from getting repaired, that is!

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  10. Not too long ago I signed up for Ibotta but I keep forgetting to use it and I keep throwing my receipts away! Grrrrrrr! I used to use Checkout 51 as well and the stupid app kept losing my info and I lost all my rewards 3 times. So I got mad and deleted it. :)

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  11. I love those budget posts.
    We've been sticking to our food budget so far this year. Let's hope it will last. :)

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  12. I signed up for ibotta, and referred a friend, so I'm already over $20 there! I don't like that I can't claim my regular grocery stuff there, since it's store specific and my little grocery store isn't on the app. But, I do like that I can double up my Walmart savings with Walmart's Savings Catcher, ibotta, and sometimes even Checkout 51 if I do end up buying some groceries at Walmart.

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  13. i've got to check out ibotta
    also - i love this series - helps me remember to stay on top of my food budget.

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  14. It's always those big stock-up-on-everything-at-the-same time trips that are a little hard on the budget momentarily, but they're so much more efficient than constant small trips--that's why I prefer the big ones!

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  15. Hooray for Ibotta! I love that app. AND I need to start using it again more. I just haven't been to the store in a while.

    I think $270 is a pretty darn good number. Does that include R's food too? Also, can you imagine a food budget if you had a teenage boy? HA! It'd be double.

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  16. okay i think i signed up for ibotta last time you posted about it - and i am 99% sure i used your code - but i forgot to download the app so i am doing that now. any money is better than no money :)

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