How to Make your Monthly Grocery Budget
How to Lower your Grocery Shopping Budget and How to Stick to your Monthly Grocery Shopping Budget
1. Start Thinking.
Determine How Much you are Currently Spending.
To determine how much you are currently spending on groceries, total up last month’s grocery receipts. If you don’t have the receipts from last month, commit to tracking how much you spend on groceries next month. You can track and monitor your grocery shopping habits by reviewing your bank or credit card statements or by using financial apps.
Determine How Much you Can Spend.
Now that you know how much you are currently spending on groceries, keep that number in consideration as you determine how much you can comfortably spend on groceries. Consider all your bills and necessities and find the maximum monetary value that you can allocate to groceries for the month.
Determine How Much you Want to Spend.
Once you have a monetary value that you can comfortably spend on groceries, determine how much you would like to spend on groceries. You may be able to comfortably spend $500 on groceries per month, but if you’re a single bachelorette that is rarely home, you may not want to spend very much money on groceries. Choose how much (within your budget) you want to spend on groceries each month.
2. How to Lower your Budget (if necessary).
Weigh all your options when considering how you can lower your budget. Some options to consider in lowering your grocery budget are:
+ Shopping at discount grocery stores – this means no specialty stores like Whole Foods or The Fresh Market. This may be difficult, but if you truly need to lower your monthly grocery bill, this is a MUST.
+ Buy the generic versions of your favorites when (if) they are cheaper than the name brand. Some people absolutely hate buying generic items because they feel it is inferior in quality to the name brand, but this isn’t always the case. Generic brand items can be very good quality and very affordable.
+ Eat the same things all the time. Make it a point to eat cheap foods that you can buy in bulk – like rice and beans. + Choose to do without certain foods. Convenience foods like chips, cookies, and candies are expensive and not necessary to maintain a balanced diet.
How to Stick to your Grocery Shopping Budget
3. Use cash
If you’ve never heard of the envelope method or the envelope system, it’s a system that was made popular by financial guru Dave Ramsey. In a nutshell, when using the envelope system, you must place a certain amount of cash into an envelope labeled for a specific task, once the cash inside of that envelope has been used, you cannot spend any more money on that task.
How to Use the Envelope system for Groceries
First, you must withdraw the amount you plan to spend on groceries for that month. Don’t procrastinate – while in the bank, take an envelope and label it Grocery shopping, seal your envelope and only open it when you’re in the grocery store.
TIP: Leave your credit cards at home – If you don’t have your credit cards with you then you won’t be able to use them
4. Bring a Calculator with You.
Use your calculator as you shop to keep you on target with your budget. For each item that you pick up, enter the amount into your calculator immediately. If you reach your limit before you have everything that you need, feel free to replace pricier items with their generic counterparts or omit items that aren’t necessary. Do whatever it takes to keep you within, and better yet, under your budget.
**Keep in mind: If you are using coupons you’ll need to subtract those amounts from your total as you shop.**
5. Finally, be Self-Disciplined and Strong.
While checking out, if you are approaching the limits of your budget, practice self-discipline and tell the clerk that unfortunately, you won’t be purchasing the rest of the items. If necessary, offer to put the items you are not purchasing away. This will take some discipline, and even courage, but you can do it. You can create a grocery budget and stick to it!