"Hi. I simply love your blog, wish I had the time to read all of it. Would be great if you had a mailing list to send us weekly tips/etc. Anyway, my question is: how much should a family of two (adults) spend on groceries each month? I have been looking online and there is no exact answer.
Thank you so much!!!!"
Thank you so much!!!!"
Thank you so much for your question E. I actually get a lot of questions very similar to this one. I wish I had an exact answer for you, but I can't give you that. A grocery budget is a personal decision. It should be made between yourself and spouse. You need to look at your bills and see what you can honestly afford on groceries. If you feel you can spend less, then try it out. Try to implement little saving techniques and see how your grocery budget will be transformed. Below are a few tips and tricks to help you reduce your grocery budget and get yourself on the path of saving and living within your means.
Tip #1 - Only Go to the Store Once
Whether you grocery shop once a week, every two weeks, or every month. Only go once. Once you have done your shopping, don't go back to the store. Remember impulse buying is a given. We are humans and it is hard to resist those end cap deals or late night munchie cravings. It happens to the best of us, so stay away. Staying out of the store means less money spent and a happier bank account:)
Tip #2- Only Buy What is on the List
If you have meal planned and done your prep work then your shopping trip should go off without a hitch. You should feel the pure satisfaction of knowing that all your planning paid off, since you stayed within your budget. It is when we venture off of the grocery list, that our food budget can increase dramatically. Keep to the list. Go through the store with blinders on and only buy what you need for that week (two weeks, month, etc). Be diligent about it. Remember that if you over spend on groceries, then the money will have to come from somewhere else. Over spending on groceries means you may not have money for something else later in the month.
Every month I know that I have $400 to grocery shop. Before I use to see this as a horrible challenge. I mean how the heck was I going to feed my family of four on $400? It seemed crazy. It was crazy because I didn't have a plan. I knew that the $600-$800 I was spending every month was a direct result of my poor planning. I was out of control. I had no one to blame, but myself. My family was suffering because I was not doing my part. I needed to try harder. I knew that $400 is what was in the budget for groceries, so I had to make it work. I knew that I had to plan every single penny. It was a lot of work, but now it is second nature. After doing it for 4 years I have gotten pretty good at it. I walk through the grocery store with a calculator. I don't want to be surprised when I get to the check out. I want to know exactly how much my total will be. Before I got to the checkout, if my total is more than I budgeted, I put stuff back. Remember that once your budget is gone, it is gone. Pick a budget and stick to it NO MATTER WHAT.
Tip #4- Pay Cash
Paying cash is essential. It enables you to not over spend. Don't bring credit cards or debit cards, in order to "save you" just in case you buy to much. Only go into the store with what you are able to spend on groceries. Hold yourself accountable. Again use that calculator and put your math skills to work. This is the only way to stay within your budget.
Tip #5- Make a Plan and Stick to It
This is the last one and is so very important. Make a P-L-A-N. This is is essential folks. If you have no plan, you will fail before you begin. You wouldn't build a house without a plan, you wouldn't make a cake without a recipe, so why grocery shop without a list? You need to have a purpose and have direction. If you don't have a plan, then you will wonder aimlessly only buying snacks and realizing you have nothing to feed your family. Meal plan for the week, two weeks, or month. Plan each meal and what snacks your family would like. Include a list of fresh fruits and veggies that are on sale. Look at the local adds. See what is on sale and try to only buy what is on sale or in season. Plan your meals off of the ads, what you already have in your pantry, and your meal plan. By having a plan, your grocery trip and budget will be transformed.
These 5 tips are ones that I follow every single month. These 5 tips help me keep to my $400 grocery budget. I promise if you follow these tips you will be able to cut your grocery budget and save your family money. Talk as a family and decide what budget is best for you. Communication is key ladies and gents. If you do all this I know you will reap the benefits.
If anyone else has some great tips for E, please share. I love hearing how you all are saving and making great changes.
Find more answers to your questions in past Reader's Corner Posts.
The Blissful Exchange Topic for the week is up on the facebook page. Hop on over and give your 2 cents on how to save $$$ on dry cleaning. Any green cleaning options, DIY tricks, or tips would be appreciated:)