If you don’t have a grocery budget in place, it is really easy to overspend. Instead of spending extra money at the grocery store, I’d like to share some ways that may help you develop a grocery budget that works for you and your family. Hopefully, you’ll also help your savings grow a little.
Be honest with yourself
The first step in developing a grocery budget is to figure out what you have been spending. Be completely honest about the dollar amount as well. One of the biggest keys to budgeting anything in life is being honest about what you are actually spending. I recommend keeping all of your grocery receipts for a month or look back at the last month’s transactions. Then, sit down and figure out what you are actually spending. If the amount you’ve spent surprises you, don’t worry; we can help you fix it.
Create your budget
One of my favorite options to help create a grocery budget is the one hundred dollar rule. This rule allows you to allocate one hundred dollars per person in your household for groceries. For example, if you have five people in your family, your monthly grocery budget would be five hundred dollars. Then take the five hundred dollars and break it down to a weekly allowance of one hundred and twenty five dollars to grocery shop. This amount could differ depending on how many meals are eaten at home as well However, if you usually spend seven hundred dollars a month on groceries and can cut it down to five hundred and still get all of your family’s favorites, consider taking the other two hundred and putting it into your savings account.
Stretch your grocery budget
Some simple ways to stretch your grocery budget include meal planning, creating a shopping list and shopping the sales. Before I make my grocery list, I take a quick inventory of what I have left in the pantry or freezer. Then from there, I will take a peek at the weekly grocery ad and plan my meals out for the week. This way, when I go grocery shopping I have a plan and am not tempted to put a ton of extra items in my cart making it more likely to stick to what I am really there for. Also, consider signing up for your favorite grocery stores’ digital coupon program. Most grocery stores offer digital coupons for easy clipping or offer rewards programs. Since setting a grocery budget for my family, we end up eating more meals at home and I have been able to save money without finding myself having to throw out unused food.