I mentioned on Tuesday how I am considering a change to my grocery budget. I had started thinking about how to make my budget work for me more a couple weeks ago. Then I read this post by Laura (she is my bff...she just doesn't know it yet) and really started thinking about making some changes.
The thing is, having a set weekly/monthly budget is great for many people. But it is difficult for me. It is not that I don't enjoy the challenge of having to stay so tightly within my budget. I do (it gives me a personal satisfaction...and plus I am a grocery nerd). And I certainly like showing that it is possible to eat a natural, whole foods diet with limited funds. But with the way I shop and where I live, shopping more like Laura works best for me.
I am slowly weaning myself off grocery stores you could say (except Earth Fare...they don't count!) in favor of more natural alternatives. Milk and produce straight from the farmer. Meat from a co-op that gets it direct from the farmer. Bulk grains from a co-op-like small health food store. Various foods from Amazon. The point is that I do not just go into one or two stores every week and check all the items off my grocery list. I also do not go to the same sources every week or even month.
I have said before that I live in the middle of nowhere. While I am conveniently located between two major cities, it still takes 35-55 minutes of mostly interstate driving to get to any of my favorite (read: decent) places to shop. I try to combine trips as much as possible, but it is not the greenest or thriftiest move to drive that far all the time. And I can only combine so many outings while shopping with a toddler.
So my grocery shopping now consists of a lot of bulk buying (whether that means 50 lb bags of wheat or just multiple bags of frozen fruit) and I hope to buy more in bulk to simplify and cut down on trips. I have been struggling with trying to juggle the budget around to leave a little wiggle room for bulk buying each month so I have decided to throw the budget out the window.
Okay, not really. Our current income only leaves a certain amount for us to comfortably spend, though our budget is set up to where we can spend a little more one month and a little less the next. So what does that mean? I will now be having expensive stock up months that will most certainly cost me over $200. But that stocking up will enable me to spend more time at home and less on the road. I will also have inexpensive months because of it. My goal is for my spending over the year to average out to about $200 a month.
Provided all my rambling makes sense, what do you think? Do you think this will change my blog at all. How about you? Do you follow a strict weekly/monthly budget or do you let it average out?
Posted by Marishannon