What would you do with an extra $50, $100 or $200 a week? Yes! It’s possible to feed a family of three healthy and delicious meals for $120 a week. Here is my ultimate guide. Join me for the $120 grocery challenge and see where the savings can take you.
Why I created the #120grocerychallenge
We all know how easy it is to whip out that card and lose control of your spending. Tap, tap, tap. We keep telling ourselves that the small amounts don’t matter, but they do. Hell, they do. They add up and quickly.
I was spending over $1,200 on groceries a month for just two people. Even with a budgeting app, I just kept going over with no consequence… Last month I trialled having only $120 per week to spend on groceries (including all meals, snacks and household items). I did it for 4 weeks and it was a success!
Each week I saved over $150! If I can do it, you can too!
Around $40 per person a week is a good place to start. There is less food waste, more creative cooking and we are eating even more veggies. Additionally, the budget allows for 1-2 meals to be eaten out each week. But even then we ended up sharing a $10 happy hour pizza. Being frugal seems to be contagious!
Read my ultimate guide to setting and sticking to a weekly grocery budget, that is fun and ACTUALLY works and let’s start saving. All the while still enjoying delicious food!
Why join the #120grocerychallenge
The simple answer is because you will save money. How much? It’s up to you really. But first, let me ask you these questions…
- Do you go to the supermarket to get ONE thing and come back with 2 bags full?
- Do you feel like your grocery bills are higher than they should be?
- Do you use pay wave or tap to pay often? Do you then track your spending?
- Or perhaps you find yourself regularly throwing away A LOT of food (read: money) in the bin?
If you’ve answered YES to any of the questions above, then you have nothing to lose by joining the challenge and definitely something to gain. It’s easy. It’s fun. And by sharing your #120dollargrocerychallenge experience on socials you can inspire others.
Think of all the things you could do with the extra cash. Family outings. Meals out. A holiday. Umm… bills!
Use this ultimate budgeting guide as a starting point to help you stick to a weekly grocery budget. Then make it your own!
The problem with regular budgeting is that there simply is no accountability. Even with an app. Each time I’d go over, the app would show my grocery budget highlighted in red instead of black and that was it. Aw well… I guess I’ll try again next month. And so it went on. One thing that budgeting apps can be great for though is tracking overall spending. They help you realise the areas where you could improve. And groceries is most definitely one of those. If you are reading this you can probably relate…
Well, despite trying to budget my grocery spend every week over the past 2 years, I kept going over. Waaaaay over. And that’s with the help of a budgeting app. I’d start okay and then, on average, I was $400 a month over. Some months I had spent $800 extra!
I knew I needed to change HOW I approached the whole budget thing. And so, I worked out the perfect way how you can stick to your weekly grocery budget. You can read all about it in this free Ultimate Guide post.
Reduce food waste.
Another reason to join? Helping to reduce food waste, of course! Did you know that Australians regularly throw away 1 in 5 grocery bags worth of food? Crazy, right?
Imagine going to the supermarket, doing your shop then on your way out placing one of the 5 bags straight in the bin. You wouldn’t WANT to do that. And yet collectively, we do.
By sticking to #120grocerychallenge weekly grocery budget you will shop more mindfully, and eat more mindfully, too. The amount of food waste you’ll have will be much smaller. And you can always try to share your waste with people who compost it to save it from going to landfill.
How to make the #120dollargrocerychallenge a success
To get you started (and keep you going), I wrote this free Ultimate guide to creating and sticking to a weekly grocery budget.
You can read more in-depth tips in the post above, but if you prefer just a dot point summary, here it is. All it takes is a few simple steps, a couple of small changes and approaching groceries and meal planning from a different angle.
- Forget the credit card – use cash instead
Each Sunday I took out $120 and that was my weekly grocery budget. My first week’s grocery bill also included $40 worth of half-price dishwashing tabs, washing detergent and loo paper that will last for a couple of months. So, effectively I spent $80 on food. It was a revelation. It could be done and, probably, the most EXCITING part of the challenge.
- Make it fun
Sticking to a budget can actually be quite fun. Seriously! Especially toward the end of the week when you only have limited resources to shop with. It makes you become more resourceful and creative in the kitchen.
- Swap between stores and pick loyalty offers the SMART way
If you’re a member of grocery store loyalty clubs, use those memberships to your advantage, not theirs. Most rewards schemes are designed to ultimately benefit retailers. But you can be smart about it.
- Shop seasonally and beware of the middle aisles
Shopping for fresh produce that’s in season means buying fruit and veg at its cheapest. Frozen veggies are also a great budget-friendly alternative when out of season, so use those to supplement your selection. The latter are also fantastic in soups. By avoiding most of the processed foods from the middle aisles you will also find it easier to stick to the $120 grocery challenge.
- Know your stores
Spending $120 a week on groceries can be done and shopping around can save you a LOT of money. If you are lucky enough to have a number of grocery stores around you, you’ll save even more in less time! Knowing your stores and what is best priced where is really helpful with sticking to a budget.
- Shop with meal planning in mind
- Cook in bulk and make the freezer your friend!
Cooking in bulk saves both time and money off the weekly grocery budget. It’s quite often cheaper per kilo to buy more mince or to purchase a whole cauliflower compared to a half.
Will you join me? #120dollargrocerychallenge
I will be sharing tips for spending only $120 a week on groceries without overspending. I’ll share many more creative cooking ideas using veggies. Cooking up food in bulk. Using pantry and freezer staples. And some meal planning. This is one area I have struggled with so if you have any tips for meal planning, please share!
Last month I trialled having only $120 per week to spend on groceries. That’s breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for 3 people included. I did it for 4 weeks and it was a success! Around $40 per person a week is a good place to start. Additionally, the budget allows for 1-2 meals to be eaten out each week. But even then we ended up sharing a $10 happy hour pizza. Being frugal seems to be contagious!