I got a email from Lisa asking “How to set a grocery Budget”?
Based on the amount of emails I receive I know there are just a few beginners out that are struggling on how to slowly start reducing their grocery budget.
First off let me tell you my weekly budget for my family of six is $75 a week. Doesn’t seem like a lot does it? Well, it didn’t start out at $75 a week. With planning and stockpiling that is the amount that is comfortable for my family’s needs. Your budget may be different than mine. You may find that you only need to spend $50 a week. My weekly budget includes food items, cleaning supply’s and toiletries. I spend very little on Produce because we grow a garden every year and I put away enough to last a year.
To start your own grocery budget, I highly recommend you sit down and know what the amount you are already spending each week. Make sure to include those last minute trips each week into the store because you may have forgotten something.
Once you know the amount you spend each week, keep it there. Yes, you will have to stay on that amount for just a little bit to realistically see a reduction in your weekly budget. But only for a little while.
Step 1: You have a budget. Now sit down with the grocery ads and meal plan your weekly menu based on what is on sale and the items you already have in your pantry and freezer. Don’t forget your coupons.
Step 2: Slowly start purchasing great deals to build your stockpile. Between your meal plan and your stockpile, stick to the weekly budget amount you have already set.
Step 3: After a few weeks as your stockpile grows your budget will slowly decrease as you are “Needing” less items from the store. Don’t be discouraged though, because this does take some time. Usually about 3-4 months for most. Once you have a established stockpile you will only be shopping each week for perishable items and the “deals” to add to your stockpile.
Step 4: Be sure to print, or cut from the coupon inserts ALL Coupons you know you will use. Nothing is harder on the budget than a trip to the store to buy products you have coupons for, sitting on the counter at home. A few dollars here and there, add up to hundreds of dollars of the course of a year.