I can’t tell you what it is about March, but I always feel like we run out of money before the month is even close to being over. We have a large bulk order of stuff to purchase early in the month (gallon of coconut oil, organic butter, 25 pounds of organic popcorn, etc.,), so to ensure we can make that happen, I am launching a grocery challenge for the month of March.
Like previous challenges, I am setting the parameters for me, and inviting you to play along…under your own rules and guidelines.
For our family, I am planning to spend no more than $100 over the course of the month. We have plenty of food in the house…it just will require some creativity by me, leaps of faith by the other eating members of the family, and some willingness to gently say “I’m sorry, that’s not in the budget this month”.
Grocery challenges always end up having multiple benefits for us. For one, it saves us a lot of money, or allows us to redirect the grocery funds in other directions. It also clears up my shelves, fridge, and big freezer of the random items that I have no idea why I initially purchased them. And most importantly, it makes space for the potential garden bounty that will hopefully be coming our way in the next few months.
I think our biggest challenge will of course be fresh produce, and those random ingredients and “wants” that I would normally just go and get during my weekly shopping trips. And a grouchy husband who was not thrilled when I just told him my idea. Troy goes through an incredible amount of lunch meat each week, so convincing him to look for alternatives will require me to put on my thinking hat. Pre-planning is so important, and while I’m fine with looking at ingredients and seeing food, Troy seems to only consider something that is ready now without mixing or chopping to be “food”. Neither concept is good or bad; it’s just a hurdle to overcome. My personal challenge will be whether or not to buy raw milk weekly to make homemade Greek yogurt. It’s my favorite breakfast that I don’t tire of, but perhaps I should be looking at alternatives?
I always prefer to do such grocery challenges in winter or early spring, because it forces me to stretch my creativity further than during summer and fall when the garden is practically vomiting fresh produce on the daily. It’s not hard to do a grocery challenge when you’re picking tomatoes, raspberries, blueberries, and cucumbers daily, and by the bucket.
So, if you’d like to join me, commiserate when you’re finally forced to use that dusty can of lima beans, and save a boat load of cash, add your name to the comments. And if you’re willing to share, list what you think the biggest challenges will be for your family!
And please remember, the monetary amount you are pledging to spend is of your own choosing. In no way, shape, or form should you aim to the same amount as us. You normally spend $800 a month on groceries? Well, maybe your goal is spend $500 for March. You need to define what works best for your family.