Why Spending More on Groceries Is Good for Your Budget | Giftie Etcetera: Why Spending More on Groceries Is Good for Your Budget

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Why Spending More on Groceries Is Good for Your Budget

I am as obsessed as most homemakers with budgeting blogs. I watch people coupon and spend $200 a month on groceries - and I imagine doing the same thing.

I could bake all my bread from scratch! Casseroles, pasta, rice...I could totally do that. Homemade lemonade and making my own cheese? Sure.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! That is so not happening. I couldn't even stick to couponing.

budget, off topic

Instead, I spend about $150 a week on groceries for a family of four. 
Why so much?

First, it's not that much. $150 divided by seven days equals about $22 a day. Divide that by four, and we are spending about $5.36 per person per day on food.

Try eating out for $5.36. It is impossible.

Second, I tracked our eating habits over the years. $150 is a good balance for our family.

If we spend $200 a week on food, we still eat out once or twice a week, and we waste food in the fridge.

If we spend $120 a week on food (something we tried), we run out of new stuff to eat in about five days and eat out even more. (I've already established that we cannot eat out for $5.36 per person per day.)

Third, we eat healthier at the $150 per week mark.

I can splurge on lots of fruit and veggies. I can afford to add black beans to the chili and enchiladas. And we can get an indulgence or two (like some frozen yogurt and ice cream cones or the perfect ranch dressing for dipping homemade buffalo chicken strips) to make our eating plan more exciting.

We do live in a low cost area and have access to an excellent, inexpensive produce stand. Also, this $150 includes at least one quick meal (say, rotisserie chicken) on grocery night.

I tracked our spending on Spending Tracking (an app from Microsoft) and when we spend about $150 per week on food, we eat out less often and save significant amounts of money from our total food budget (groceries plus eating out) compared to our $120 a month days) of about $400 per month!

If I am very careful (freezing leftovers, cooking regularly with a menu plan, and stocking up on sale staple products), we can get away with a budget of $140. 

My formula for a good grocery budget:

($5 x the # of people x 7) + $10 for luxury/treat items = YOUR BUDGET

For us:

($5 x 4 x 7) + $10 =

($20 x 7) + $10 =

($140) + $10 = $150

Try it! A $150 budget (or the equivalent for your family) might actually save you money overall.

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Jaime Barfield said...

I found a neat video on youtube about grocery budgeting one day and started following that plan. It's a $100/mo per person in the house. For us, this is $400 a month. Granted, some months I get creative, but we have made it work. I take the $400 and break it down based on how many weeks are in the month and that is what I spend that week on groceries. With coupons (sometimes) and sales, I am able to keep healthy stuff as well as stuff my kids love in the cabinets and fridge. :)

~ Mari said...

littleangel, do you happen to still have a link to that? maybe i can find a happy medium between that and giftie's plan. :)

VodkaSoyLatte said...

How old are your kids? I have 12 and 14-year old boys. Lol.... Especially now that they're home for the summer.

Mary Wimbley said...

Yeah, I think I may try a combination of those plans, too. I pretty much blew it this month, but maybe I can make up for it in future months. One thing's for sure--I'm making every effort to learn from my mistakes.

Mary Wimbley said...

Mari, guess what? I happen to be littleangel4523's best friend. Want to know something funny? When I talked to her, she remembered that I was the one that had actually emailed her that video a long time ago! I had forgotten all about it! LOL

Anyway, she asked me to look it up again and I found it today. Here it is:


If the link doesn't work, try searching "Simplest budgeting technique ever" or "Jordan Page FunCheapOrFree".

Hope this helps! :)

Jaime Barfield said...

thanks for sharing mrandisg. Glad you were able to find that link again. Hope it helps guys!

~ Mari said...

hey there! thanks for the link. i appreciate it. :)