Setting a Grocery Budget That Sticks
Many people fail to keep a successful grocery budget, why? The main reason is that it is not realistic. They may ask around to their family and friends to see what they spend, then calculate their budget based on those answers. They may decide what the ‘want’ to spend, but then fail to realize their dietary restrictions. Whatever the case may be, setting an unrealistic budget is a great way to have an un-successful grocery bill at the end of the month.
There are many ways to set a successful grocery budget, but for starters you need to take a look at what you have been spending over the past month, add it up and divide it by 4. This will give you a base for your budget. The first step is to stick to this number, if you can stick to this amount for a month, you are getting somewhere. Once you have been able to successfully keep to a set amount, now try to decrease it slowly over time.
Here are some tips on how to decrease it over time:
1. Plan meals around sale items: Plan your weekly meals based on what meat and produce is on sale.
2. Shop for the free or cheap: Finding the free or cheap items that you can get with coupons is a great way to stay in budget. Use these free or cheap items, along with your great meat and produce savings to plan those meals.
3. Skip 1 ingredient trips: These 1 ingredient trips can cost you extra money, who really goes into the store and comes out with that 1 thing?
4. Learn seasonal sale cycles: You will start to see seasonal sale cycles over the months. Soup goes on sale in September; hot dogs in May and so on. You will learn when to stock up on things, so that you don’t have to pay full price for them later on in the year.
These are just a few ways to keep your grocery budget successful and realistic. It may take you 2-3 months to get the right budget set for your groceries, and when you do, it is remarkable how much better you feel when you actually stick to it!