How to Stop Blowing Your Grocery Budget
Grocery spending is a necessary evil. You have to have food but with rising food prices, it is not hard to overspend on groceries. If you are regularly spending more on food than you have budgeted for, evaluate your budget and take steps to make it better suited for your grocery allowance.
You could be soaring past your grocery budget if your figures are unreasonably small. This could be because your budget is inspired by a blogger with a similar-sized family who lives in a different area of the country or perhaps the blogger spends more time in the kitchen than you can afford to. But spending hours meal planning, clipping coupons, and cooking from scratch may not be in your cards.
- Break Down Your Spending by Category
To reduce your expenses, start out by breaking down your spending by category. If you have old receipts from recent shopping trips, pull those out; otherwise save your receipts for your next few shopping trips so you can break down your spending by category. Divide it into categories such as meat, breads and grains, dairy, produce, cleaning products, toiletries, etc. Once you are ready, add up all you spend in each category over the course of one month to get a starting average.
Set an Informed Budget
Once you have a better grasp on how much you spend on groceries you can set a new budget. If you are not confident setting a new budget, look at the USDA food plan for a family of your size.
Look for Savings in Your Highest Spending Categories
Another way to save is by looking at where you spend the most money. If you spend half of your food budget in one category, such as on meat, consider cutting back. Perhaps eat meatless meals once or twice a week or buy less prepared meals that you can make at home for less. Target your categories you spend the most in and see what you can to reduce spending.
Create a List of Easy-Fix Meals
Many families overspend because they lack time to prepare food. Some tap into their grocery budget for quick meals out. To combat this issue, create a list of meals that your family enjoys that are easy to fix. Check Pinterest for recipes for easy and quick meals that rely on ingredients your family enjoys. Freezer cooking is another great way to save.
If you are already saving on groceries, these tips may help you to save even more. Check out Madison Monroe and Associates online today for more tips on making smarter financial decisions.