Even before the epidemic, the average household spent $300 to $550 per month on groceries, a significant portion of our monthly finances. Many of us nevertheless continue to estimate, bet, and pray our way through the aisles, dragging those uneasy doubts to the checkout line: Did I spend too much? Even so, can I afford this?
Because groceries make up a big part of your monthly spending, knowing your grocery budget gives you insight and control over not only how much you spend on food but also how your money flows.
What you’ve been spending on groceries, and should you continue to spend the same, especially if your financial situation has changed, is what we should be asking instead when we’re forced to reset all of our spending, whether due to a change in income or to prepare for an uncertain future.
I’ll describe what a grocery budget looks like, how to follow it, and a few strategies for completely re-racking your grocery budget below.
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Making A Grocery Budget
Food is a necessity for you and your family; thus, grocery shopping is a necessity. However, if you don’t establish a budget for household costs like food, you’re probably overpaying for them.
1. Grocery Budget
The saying “ignorance is bliss” is common knowledge. But really, is it? You must stop ignoring your bank account’s balance in the future. You don’t want to keep having mini-heart attacks where you worry about your ability to pay for the items in your cart.
To ensure that your spending never surpasses your income, create a simple budget. Why, then, does it seem so complicated?
Most Americans have trouble making a budget for a number of reasons, such as the fact that it takes time, requires thought, doesn’t seem as important as other tasks at first, and so on.
- Budgeting can sometimes be embarrassing, especially if you are aware of past financial transgressions.
- Making a budget can seem like a difficult undertaking when you sit down to do it. However, once you’ve finished, you’ll typically feel more content and accomplished. You can create a budget using Excel spreadsheets and other applications, too.
- It all boils down to planning out your spending and your paycheck.
- Examining your debit or credit card accounts for many full months and noting how much you spent in each category, such as recurring costs, food, petrol, utilities, insurance, clothing, takeout, etc., is an excellent method to do this.
- When you have totaled all the categories, compare them to your revenue. This can help you determine how much you can afford to spend in each category while still having enough cash on hand for unanticipated costs.
That tiny voice in your head will kindly warn you when you’re going over budget if you know how much you should spend.
2. Make a list and stick to it.
Even if we don’t want to acknowledge it, many shoppers give in to temptation. It’s simple to buy a pack of Oreos on the spur of the moment, even when you know you didn’t budget for them. Attempting to eliminate as much of that temptation as you can is part of controlling it.
- A shopping list is an excellent way to keep track of what you need while also assisting you in staying within your budget, whether you wing supper every night or plan every meal for the week.
- It’s considerably simpler to avoid the cookie aisle when shopping online. A list is created, each item is searched for and added to your cart, and finally you check out. No sweets at the check-out counter.
- No children were yelling for expensive character candies. No pointless “as seen on TV” gizmos to seduce you. You control the urge so that you don’t have to pay for it at the register.
When I run out of something at home, I just add it to the cart on my phone’s grocery shopping app and keep adding it throughout the week until I’m ready to check out.
3. Use Internet Resources to Save Money
You may find the best deal on an item by buying online. For instance, you can arrange your internet search results for spaghetti sauce so that the cheapest goods are displayed first.
Additionally, you can benefit from any sales or promoted categories. Online grocers have agreements to push out products, much like traditional retailers do.
Even though some stores don’t offer clearance items online all the time, most allow you to purchase them during their advertised sales.
Each of us has a few brands that we use exclusively. However, I prefer to save money whenever I can, so with every other purchase, I’ll look for the best deal.
4. Coupons and Reward Programs
Many grocery stores, especially local ones, have a loyalty program that gives members or cardholders better prices. And since obtaining a loyalty card is free, all you need to do is sign up, either online or on your subsequent store visit.
Manufacturer and shop coupons can be found on the retailer’s website as well as on websites and applications like Flipp, Ibotta, and Coupons.com, for example.
The fact that 21% of consumers are using coupons more frequently than they did in the past is hardly surprising given inflation. Get your digital coupon book out and start shopping because every dollar you can save will add up in the long run.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do you understand by “meal planning”?
Meal planning is making a list of all the meals you’ll be making throughout the next week and writing down the ingredients you’ll need for each one.
Is eating at home cheaper?
Avoid eating out if you want to save as much money as you can. For our family of five, one meal out can cost as much as half of our weekly shopping budget.
Can I utilize budget-friendly meal delivery kits?
Whether you enjoy utilizing meal kits or not, you may be aware of their alleged high cost. However, many meal kits are rather inexpensively priced as a result of inflation, which has caused an erratic but rapid increase in shop pricing.