Budget Grocery Shopping
Each day of the series offers new tips, ideas and a challenge to start the year with a solid financial plan.
Today, we begin to tackle specific line items in your budget—we’re focusing on the areas that most people will be able to reduce, like food, clothing and travel. We offer money saving ideas for each of these categories (and more!) every day. This week, we’ll talk about how to budget each item as provide a few tips to get what you need (and want) within your budget—starting with what is likely your largest expense each month. Food!
Creating a grocery budget is a difficult process to teach, since it’s so subjective. I can’t really tell you how much to spend, unless I know exactly how many people you have in your household and how you cook. Are you providing 3 meals each day? Or do some of you eat lunch away from home? (Tip: Packing a lunch can save a lot of money on other aspects of your budget!)
Rather than focus on how much other people spend or what you think you should spend, take a look what you’re already spending. Analyze the grocery receipts for your last few shopping trips. Consider each receipt in the same process we have used for our entire budget.
Identify low priority items you can stop buying, highlight your most expensive items & start finding ways to save and examine inexpensive items that are a great value to work more of it into your diet & cooking habits. Some foods you’re already buying will naturally stand out as high value foods you should eat more often. Others (like soda) will call attention to little leaks in your grocery bills—low value items you can reserve as an occasional treat or eliminate altogether.
Once you break a few habits, and start really thinking about your grocery list each week, the amount of money you spend each week will start to drop. f you really want to lower your grocery bills, you can utilize coupons, build a stockpile and plan meals around the deals. Next week, we’ll break down these smart shopping principles that can reduce your grocery spending even more.
I’m not a financial planner or a budget expert. I’ll just be walking you through the steps I take each time my budget needs an adjustment. In fact, I’ll be participating myself!