Cut Back the Grocery Budget

DSC02884.JPG

A few months ago we paid cash for a new to us mini van.  Previously I was driving a Volkswagen Passat and there was a lot of hair pulling, screaming, crying etc. going on in that vehicle with 5 people (most of that done by the 3 girls in the back).  The mini van has been a wonderful addition to our family.  However, by taking such a large chunk out of the savings account it meant we had to cut back on all spending to build the savings account back up.  

I used this as a challenge to cut back the food budget drastically.  That month the total amount we spent on food was $75 for a family of five.  

How did we do this?
- I planned meals using the food in my freezer, fridge and pantry.  When food that we use is at a great price I buy extra. 
-The menu was not fancy or extremely diverse but we all had food in our bellies.
-The produce I did buy was the best deal I could get per pound with price matching.
-We did not buy any extras (in our house that means things like coffee creamer (ouch), ice cream (double ouch), chips (ouch for my husband), soda, candy etc.) 
-I made everything from scratch, which encouraged me to try new recipes.
-I also learned the art of substituting ingredients in a recipe with something that you have on hand.  Google is a wonderful tool for this.

Since that month I have reevaluated my grocery shopping habits.  Have you challenged your grocery shopping habits lately?