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July’s Challege–Eating Real Food on a Budget

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Real Food on a Budget

Coming off our 30 days of real food challenge, we are still doing our body’s good and eating all natural, preservative and artificial flavoring/ingredient free foods as well as making some staples from scratch.  I mentioned in a few of the update posts that I hadn’t been doing my best to budget our groceries per week.  In all honesty, I didn’t try very hard.  The only things I really saved any money on were our meats and our eggs.  The cruelty free meats we used I either got clearanced out or on sale, and the eggs I have been buying fresh from the farm from my boss.  I did try to buy my produce on sale only, but things we use everyday like lettuce, spinach, berries, bananas, and apples, aren’t always on sale.  In all, I spent $400 during our 30 day challenge.  YIKES!  That’s $200 a person just for us to eat (some of that money did go to toiletries as well, but most was for food).

So, I thought–why not challenge myself to spend half of that for July?  Surely, I can spend less than $200 and still eat only whole foods.  It may be tough, but I think I can do it!  Now, to be fair, when I was couponing and not paying attention to what we were eating, I was spending somewhere around $100 a month just for food.  Since organic, real, whole food coupons are harder to come by, I won’t be able to save as much.

Obviously toiletries, and food/supplies for the animals, aren’t included in the $200.  That will put us around $300 a month for everything. 

Just as a side note–cats are expensive.   Especially when you have 3 of them.  I spend more a month in cat food and litter that I do on the dog every 2 months.  $60 a month on the cats for food and litter, and $50 every 2 months on a large bag of food for the dog.  This of course doesn’t include all of their needed medications.  Even with that, though, the dog still wins.  My husband who is the cat lover can’t tell me the dog costs too much!!

Anyway, back to the challenge.   $200 for foodstuff for the month of July.  To make it even more interesting, this will include grilling out with friends next Saturday.  And we all know how parties can break budgets! 

To help me save the most money I’ll be scouring sales flyers and available coupons each week to put together my meals on things that I can get cheap.  I’ll be checking all of the normal coupon sites for organic and natural products.

Coupons.com

Smart Source

Red Plum

Target

Common Kindness

Mambo Sprouts

I will also be following our favorite manufacturer’s on Facebook, as well as visiting their websites to find available coupons.

There are also a few money saving smart phone apps available to use too. 

Ibotta–has several redeemable rebates on select grocery products.  Several stores available, such as Sprouts, Walmart, Target, and HEB.  Available stores and rebates will vary by location.  There are commonly rebates on eggs and milk, as well as many pantry items.  Just add the rebates to your list before visiting the store by completing specific tasks.  Purchase the item at the appropriate store.  When you get home, redeem the rebates by snapping a picture of your receipt and scanning the product.  After a few hours your rebate amount will be added to your account.  Once you reach $5 you can cash out with Pay Pal. 

Checkout 51–similar to Ibotta, but you don’t have to add rebates before shopping, and rebates are not store specific.  Each week there are new rebates available.  When you get home upload your receipt and select which items you purchased that have available rebates.  After a few hours your receipt will  be reviewed and rebate amount will be added to your account.  You can cash out when you reach $20.

Favado–An all in one list of what’s on sale each week at multiple stores.   Select your favorite stores and the app will list each item that is on sale.  To make this app even more helpful, it will also tell you if there is an available coupon and if so, where you might find that coupon. 

Cartwheel–Target’s money saving app.   Add deals to your Cartwheel for a % off a specific item.  Once you are at checkout, the cashier scans the barcode in the app and the money is taken off at the time of purchase.  % ranges from 5%-30% off items. 

I have been whining and complaining since moving to Texas, that I just don’t seem to have the same luck with couponing.  Maybe it is the stores I frequent aren’t as great with their coupon policies, or maybe it’s just me not trying hard enough.  But put a challenge in front of me, and I’ll take it! 

Each week I will make sure to keep ya’ll updated on how I’m doing, post pictures of my shopping trips and break down costs on everything.  I’m excited and looking forward to another challenge!

 

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[…] and following her progress. Didn’t she make it look simple!? Then she ups the ante by keeping a budget for July!! (I am awful, 100% awful, at budgeting especially when it comes to food.) So when Amanda came to […]

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[…] Alright, so let’s start.  For last week, I did my grocery shopping  before I left for Veronica’s.  If you recall, I spent $59.65 on food and $4.68 on personal items the first week, leaving me with $140.35 left for food and $95.32 left for personal items.  You can read the rules of our challenge HERE. […]

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Chrystal @ YUM eating

Friday 4th of July 2014

I live in a rural area so unless I can print it, I have lack of coupons. There are a few cities close that have a small coupon insert, but I refuse to buy a product just because their is a coupon. So , that does not justify the cost of the newspaper. I like to think I do ok. I shop the farmers market and we have gotten to be pretty good 'friends' with some of the vendors who are getting better about cutting deals on eggs if I bring back the carton and some will discount me for using my own bags. I use apps too as well as the printable sites to save where I can. I will be keeping an eye on your July challenge!

Amanda

Friday 4th of July 2014

I can't justify buying a newspaper either! I just print mine off and on occasion a friend will give me inserts from her paper. I have really gotten away from using coupons but rather just stock up when there is a sale. We have been going to more and more farmers markets as well. Those are some good tips to try! Thank you for checking out my blog!