The Finance Fiend

Getting Financial Freedom by 35!

Food Glorious Food! March 24, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Rebecca @ 11:07 am

The song that made Oliver the musical awesome.  A song totally devoted to food.  This post is totally devoted to food.  Its all about your grocery budget.

Now I know you can find people saying they feed their family of 4 on $50 a week, I have seen these claim and I have seen what they eat.  But, I do not think its healthy. You should not try to cut money from your grocery category.

Why shouldn’t I cut from my grocery budget? It is a variable expense.

True, it is a variable expense, but when you cut from your grocery budget you are more likely to over spend in that category, or eat unbalanced meals. Potatoes are a great inexpensive food source, but if your grocery budget only allows you to eat potatoes every day its not healthy.  There are also the option of doing the coupon thing, but from my experience in order to truly save lots of money, it takes time and a serious commitment.  Very few people have the time/patience to do this.  I don’t so I do not do use coupons.  Occasionally I will use a coupon, but I don’t shop based on coupons.

Now, we eat at home most of the time, and we also keep a well stocked pantry. That means we plan on having plenty of food in the house at all times.  We also shop the sales and if some food item that we eat regularly is a particularly good price we will buy extra.  We also have long term food storage that we buy through our church that we use and eat on a regular basis.  Regardless of that we have budgeted $100/month per person.  That gives us $300/month.  How did I get this number?

Look at your credit card statement, bank statement or receipts.  We use a credit card for all of our grocery purchases, so it is was rather easy to look and see how much we were spending a month on food. A comparison of a few month\’s worth of grocery shopping let me know what was reasonable for our family.

Then I added in some extra.

Thats right I made my grocery category of the budget MORE than what we had been spending. Why? Well, one reason is that the baby is hitting toddler stage, and will be eating real food. Another reason, our health (in my opinion) suffered on that diet.  We were eating lots of meals filled with pasta.  While pasta is great, Macaroni and Cheese is a side dish and it should stay that way.  I am fine with not eating meat every meal, but eating pasta every other day and having it be the only thing you are eating is not good for you.

Besides, if I spend $50 more a month on groceries instead of spending $150/month on take out, I am still saving money. So look at what you have been spending, and add at least 20% before you put that number in your budget.  Trust me, it will save you more in the long run.

How much do you spend on groceries a month?

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