Are you spending too much on groceries? For many families, groceries are one of their biggest expenses. And yeah, food is pretty important. But you can definitely get those groceries (even healthy groceries) for an affordable price. You just need to have a grocery budget in place and then stick to your budget! You can do it! In this post I’m going to show you how.
How to Set and Stick to a Grocery Budget
Why do you need a grocery budget?
If you don’t have a budget, your budget is just however much money you have. And for some, even more money than you have — credit card debt, no thank you.
When you do have a budget, you know how much money you’re going to spend each week. You can plan for it. And the rest of your money won’t somehow disappear.
What should your budget be?
Many experts suggest $25 per person per week. So if you have a 4 person family, your budget would be $100 a week.
This is a great starting point but I think you’re more likely to be successful if you adapt this to fit your family’s specific circumstances. Here are some examples on what I mean:
- Do you live in an area where groceries are very expensive? Your budget may need to be more.
- Likewise, if you live in an area where groceries are less expensive… you can probably get by with less.
- Do you have specific food allergies or restrictions in your family? That may increase your budget some.
- Are you pregnant or nursing? You will probably need to spend a little more for extra food.
I grocery shop for my family of 2 – my husband and I. I’m pregnant, so I need a more food than usual. My husband and I have made the decision to eat mostly healthy, and mostly organic (aka expensive) foods. And we live in New England… everything is expensive here.
So, because of all these things, my grocery budget is $70 per week.
While that isn’t cheap, it is an affordable budget for us. It is much less than we were spending on groceries before we started sticking to a budget.
Should your budget be the same as mine? Probably not.
You’ll need to consider your family’s needs in determining your budget. I know that’s not the cut and dry answer that you’re probably looking for, but it’s realistic and it will actually work.
Keep it Challenging
I encourage you to keep your budgeting attainable but challenging. Start by cutting back 5 or 10 dollars each week. You’ll know you’ve hit your just right budget when it’s tough but still feeling possible.
Just sticking to a budget is sure to save you money. But the tighter your budget is, the more money you’ll save.
Know what your spending
You don’t need to carry a calculator around the store and be super precise down to the penny when you’re putting items in your cart.
Here’s the secret… Overestimate!
If you put something in your cart that cost $2.50, call it $3. Then if the next item rounds up to $4, your running total is $7. Keep a running total going in your head of what your spending.
It’s important that you always round up. You don’t want to round down because that will cause you to go over your budget. By rounding up, you’ll come in a little bit under budget. And that is a beautiful thing!
It’s super important to keep track of all the money you spend! Keep all your receipts and add up every dime you spend.
I put all of my receipts into an envelope that I keep in my purse. On the outside of the envelope I add up how much I’ve spent so I know if I’m getting close to my weekly budget goal. I can easily check this to see how much I have left to spend.
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