So it's August 1st, and I am beginning to track our spending to see if we actually spend $400 or less on groceries.
I am going to have an easy first week, because our church is having VBS, I'm volunteering, and therefore I am elgible for free dinner for my whole family! I don't consider this cheating on my budget. I consider it a reward for my time in volunteering. Actually, getting involved in your church or community is a great way to save money. Whether it's a free meal or a pot-luck, you have the chance to save money on groceries AND spend time getting to know people better. That's what I call a 2-for-1 deal!
So I don't plan on cooking any dinners until Saturday, which means we won't need many groceries, if any.
Our breakfasts will come from what we already have on hand: bagels, toast, oatmeal, cold cereal, milk, juice, jelly, honey, butter, fruit, eggs, bacon, sausage, waffle mix, pancake mix, and leftover waffles in the freezer from the last time I made them (which go in the toaster, and taste yummy with peanut butter).
Our lunches, also from what's on hand, will include Easy Mac (sometimes I add chopped lunchmeat or steamed veggies), carrots/celery with ranch dressing, hot dogs, PBJ sandwiches, deli meat sandwiches, leftover pizza, and maybe tuna salad sandwiches. My husband willingly takes a packed lunch to work whenever it's feasible with his schedule.
We did make a trip into the store last night for a couple jugs of OJ, which I will count toward August's expenses, even though technically it was purchased in July, but we didn't start using it until August. :) So, my total expense so far is about $6.00. (I'll get the exact figure later.) (Update: it was $5.96.) And no, I didn't have any coupon with me. It happens!