Over the last 4 weeks, I challenged myself to only spend $40 a week for groceries. It was a challenge, but I am happy to report that I was quite successful. (My weekly total averaged a little less than $43 a week.)

I learned several things:

Shopping at Aldi is a great way to save money. I never used to go to Aldi because the one near us was dirty and always very busy. I recently found one close to work that is clean and much less busy. Even though the challenge is over, I will still be going there.

Our budget didn’t support the cat food we were buying. We adopted our cats from a foster home when they were little; they were fed Purina One there, so we just kept buying that. Now, however, we are slowly transitioning our cats to a less expensive brand.

We have a lot of food stocked up. When I started the challenge, our deep freezer and little freezer over the refrigerator were both completely full. Now, the deep freezer is about 2/3 full as is the little freezer. We still have a great deal of meat stocked up, which will make it easier to try to keep our grocery bill low.

I would have a very difficult, almost impossible, time regularly spending $40 a week without using coupons. Even with coupons, I don’t see how I could sustain that amount if the freezer were not full of meat.

This challenge was a great activity for me. I was routinely spending $350 a month for groceries. Now I see that it can be done for less, much less. For the next four weeks, I will try not to spend more than an average of $60 a week. Maybe that will be a sustainable level we can manage month in and month out.

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