Spending money on groceries is necessary, but are you spending too much? Grocery costs take up the majority of the expenses when it comes to most families.
Food is important, we need it to survive, but that doesn’t mean you cannot set a budget and shop for groceries at an affordable price.
Following a budget takes time and a little bit of planning ahead. Don’t expect to have a perfect food budget right away.
By doing a little bit of tracking each month you can figure out what you’re actually spending and come up with a realistic budget that you can follow!
In this post I’m going to explain everything you need to know on how to create a grocery budget for your family.
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How to create a grocery budget you can stick to
I used to go to the grocery store, fill up my trolley of all the foods I wanted, and let myself be surprised at the register with the high price of groceries. This type of shopping was costing me a fortune!
Over the past few years, I’ve been able to cut my family’s grocery costs in half with budgeting and planning.
One of the biggest factors that contributed to our drastic grocery savings has been my solid grocery budget.
Why do you need a grocery budget?
If you don’t have a budget to stick to, you find yourself spending big. And for some people, spending money you don’t even have – and then it goes on the old plastic friend, no thanks.
When you have a budget and a plan, you know exactly how much you can spend each week. You won’t overspend and risk leaving funds low for other expenses.
Read my post of cutting back your expenses below!
How much should your budget be?
Many experts suggest the average person spends £28 per week in the UK. So, if you have a 4-person family, your budget would be £112 a week. So, if possible, you should aim at this figure or there about.
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 6 – my partner, her two daughters, myself, plus I have my twins visit three time a week.
We eat pretty healthy with lots of produce and fresh ingredients. My twins don’t eat a ton of food because they’re only 6, so they’re grocery expenses are not much.
We shop mainly at Aldi, which is very cheap and has excellent products for the price.
So, because of all these things, my grocery budget is £120 per week.
All things considered; 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.
Interested in finding out how living a Frugal lifestyle can save you thousands? See my post below:
Create a budget that challenges you
I encourage you to keep your budgeting attainable but challenging. Start by cutting back 5 or 10 pound/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!
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Track your grocery budget
It’s really important to keep track of all the money you spend! Keep all your receipts and add up every penny you spend.
I put all of my receipts into an envelope that I keep in the draw. 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.
How to Create a Grocery Budget – Final thought
Now you know everything you need to know to start budgeting your grocery shopping. Set the right grocery budget for your family and make sure it’s challenging but possible. Then, track your spending to make sure you’re sticking to your budget.
Do you have any tips for creating grocery budget that you can stick to?
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Welcome to my blog! I’m a money-enthusiast, who enjoys helping like-minded people make money, save money and manage their finances. I have also created a lifestyle section, where I will be sharing what has helped me in my journey towards a happy life after 4 years of battling severe anxiety, depression and alcoholism.