Budget Check Up Week One: Have You Determined Your 2013 Grocery Budget?


I asked a few days ago on Facebook what was the number one area you'd like help focusing on this month, and received so many great suggestionsThanks in large part to your ideas, we'll be starting a 25 Days of Organization series on Monday (I just wasn't organized enough to get it started sooner. . . ) 🙂 , 28 Days of Slow Cooker Recipes in February, and 31 Days of Random Acts of Kindness in March. (Are you so impressed I've planned things that far ahead of time? I sure am!) 


Overwhelmingly though there were comments left requesting a focus on budgeting, and since I want to reign in and track my own spending in 2013, I figured we could all jump in together. Like many folks, I've failed to keep good account of my grocery budget over the last few months, and really do want to begin tackling that this year.


So, today I'm sharing my budget goals and I would love (love, love, LOVE!) for you to share yours too. In 2013, my goal is to spend $85 each week at the grocery (which is an increase of about $15 – $20 per week for our family), but I'd really like to stick to that. I did do some major stocking up this week (after not having a regular grocery trip in the last month. . . ) so here's where I'm at today:


  • Aldi: $20.11
  • Publix:  $63.10
  • Sam's Club: $17.75


While I'm obviously over some this week, I was pretty far under for the last month so I'm letting that slide. However, it's time to get on track now that our cupboards are stocked up! I've increased our budget a bit as my kids are getting bigger, I really do want more room for fresh fruits and veggies instead of so much “snack” food, and I'm trying out how using only printable coupons will work to help save my sanity ~ so I know I will be missing a few deals here and there.


If you need to change your grocery budget in 2013, today is a PERFECT day to start, and I promise, you. can. do. this. (really!) Determine today how you want your year to look, set realistic goals, and decide to take control of your finances instead of allowing them to control you.  I can't wait to hear what your goals are, and am excited to see how we'll do in 2013 to pinch those pennies even further. You can share your goals by clicking HERE ~ I love hearing from you!


New to budgeting and don't know where to begin? Here are a few posts that might help you get started:

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  1. Elizabeth Rotering says

    600 a month for a family of seven and two daycare kiddos.
    That is my goal

    • Thanks so much for sharing Elizabeth – I know that’ll be tight (you’ve got to be busy!) but I think you can do it! 🙂

  2. I have never had a strict grocery budget, but managed to average about $200 weekly for family of 6 and 1 toddler I keep daily through the week. We recently paid off my van and will eliminate our other car payment soon. We have a substantial emergency fund set aside. So, I’m now tackling changing over to all cash and hopefully will be able to cut grocery budget in half. Gasp! Typing it out loud is scary because it seems so unattainable. I’ve not shopped at all this year…teehee. Wish I could say that longer, but Publix is on my schedule tomorrow. Fingers crossed that I can stay on budget AND that my family doesn’t attempt to eat the furniture to supplement. 🙂

  3. Last year was $50 per week for a family of 5 but we have to up that prices on meat are not the best. My 2 year is starting to eat a little more too! Going to do my best to keep it at $75 or under!

    • That’s fantastic Shannon – great job! I miss those days of $50 a week, but know it’s just not realistic right now. I’m sure you can stay at $75!

  4. We are at $125 a month for a family of 4 and two dogs.

  5. Hi Laurie, Happy New Year. How much do you budget for drug store and “supermarket” purchases? My monthly budget covers all three, so I’d like to be able to compare. thanks for all you do!

    • I keep mine all together, and honestly I don’t have time to drug store shop nearly as much as I’d like. You might try holiding out at least $5- $10 per week for drug store deals, or at least look at the ads before shopping and determine how you want your budget allocated each week. Hope that helps!

  6. Hi my goal is to keep groceries at $ 75 a week or less for our family of 4. That is a major challenge for us but I am up for it!

  7. I’ve reduced our weekly grocery budget from $350 a week to around $60 a week (family of 2 + 2 dogs & lots of family over most weekends) since the end of Oct ’12 but I’m hoping to get it under $30 per week in the next few months. I rarely ever buy meat since we now have freezers full of deer meat & stuff so that has helped a ton! Meal planning & stockpiling are the biggest things helping me though:)

  8. We have $700 a month for all our personal, household, and grocery items. We are a family of 8 one of them is under 2 months old.

  9. My husband and I are going for $50 a week and shopping every week. Our goal is to buy more fresh food and to shop weekly so we can keep our fresh food stocked and less likely to go bad. We also use gift cards to purchase our food. The school I work at has a SCRIP program where companies give a percentage back to the school when someone buys a gift card to that company from the school. So every month I will buy $200 worth of gift cards. They come in $50 increments which will be perfect to use one each week and keep our budget in check!

  10. $50/week for two adults, a baby, and a toddler. Thanks to you I used Amazon Mom during my pregnancy to buy all of the diapers newborn will need for the next year so that won’t be a factor. I know I can stick to it, but it’ll be tricky during the months that I buy a big case of chicken from Zaycon. Thanks for the motivation!

  11. Our budget used to be around $50/week but, with 3 growing kids, we had to increase it to $75/week. We go through approx. 6 gallons of milk, so that takes up about 1/3 of my weekly budget! Wish we could find coupons for milk…..

  12. Shannon Jones says

    Wow! I can’t believe how you guys are getting by on $75 a week (or less!) for a family of four. I am spending way too much ($150-$200/week for 2 adults, a teenager, and a toddler), but my little one has multiple food allergies and her food is so expensive. The teenager is also eating us out of house and home! I really would love to get to $75/week but have no idea how to do it. I use coupons and shop sales and still can’t manage it. I like the gift card idea. I don’t think I would be able to handle using only cash for groceries, but maybe if I get a couple of gift cards to the stores I shop most often, I will be more aware of what I am spending and how much I have left. I may give that a try.

    • It is not easy to start but using cash helps me stay on budget, gift cards would be a good way too. I also make a list and stick to it, I know where everything is in my store and I only walk down the isles that are on my list to save me from buying something I dont need. I have 2 teenage boys and a 2 year old so I know how they can eat, I have a stock of chex mix, noodles, and granola bars that all can be found very cheap and the noodles I usually make money on and use the overage to either purchase the other snacks or some kind of meat or produce. Having the right store in your area helps too! I would not be able to do what I do without Publix that is for sure!

  13. My budget got out of hand through the holiday season but getting back on track with the new year. We budget $75 a week for 2 adults, a 2 yr old in diapers and 1 large dog. Does that seem reasonable? Or do you think it is possible to get it down to $60 a week? I do not coupon but shop mostly at Aldi and Trader Joes.

  14. Virginia Knutsen says

    We are on one income for 4 people and 1 dog. I have $350 available per month for food, clothes, and household needs after bills are paid. It’s very tight, but doable.

  15. Toi Balentine says

    My goal is $200 a week. For 2 adults, 7 yearold, 3 yearold, and 10 month old. Which I still have 2 in diapers and 1 on infant Formula. I’m hoping to come in under budget since we now have a Publix, potty training the 3 yearold, and my little guy will be coming off Formula by the summer.

  16. I am shooting for 100.00 a week for groceries for my family of 4 plus 2 dogs and 2 cats. The biggest obstacles that I face are my daughters are both milk addicts- we go through approximately 2 gallons a day, and we have quite a bit of teenaged guest on the weekends. I stock up on popcorn when it is at a good price, as well as, refrigerated cookie dough but soft drinks really do add up even when you find a deal!

  17. Our goal for 2013 is $125 a week for all groceries, pet food, and household items. We are a family of four with 3 dogs. We also drink/cook with 6 or more gallons of milk per week. I would love for our budget to be in the $50-$75 range, but realisitcally, that is not possible with two growing kids that are constantly hungry, and the increase in grocery prices over the last year. One of our resolutions this year is to start a vegetable garden and learn to can and preserve more foods. I am excited about what 2013 has to offer my family! Thanks for all you do Laurie!

  18. I have been couponing for a few years, but never had a budget. This year I am going to try to stick to a budget, but not too sure yet if I’ll be able to keep it up. I have two teenaged sons, three dogs and the hubby and me. After paying closer attention over the past few months of hitting multiple stores, I did find that I was spending way too much trying to get a lot of the deals. I am going to slack off on that. I am going to try more creative menu planning (creative for me, probably standard for most) by planning our meals around the local grocery store’s meat sales (good meat and much cheaper than Publix). I am going to aim for $150/week or $600 a month for groceries/toiletries/household/dog food. We’ll see how it goes. I downloaded a savings tracker the other night and am looking forward to keeping a real tally on my spending.

    • I think you’ll like sticking to a budget Mary – I think it helps me to not grab stuff I don’t need, but focus on deals on the things we really do use. I’m looking forward to hearing how it goes for you!

  19. I am new to your site, but love it!

    We try to spend $100 a week for a family of 3 – plus 2 dogs. We include everything in this budget from food for ourselves, food for the dogs (aside from all natural kibble, I also “cook” for them several times per week) toiletries, personal needs etc.

    When we need something extra, like clothing, gifts, etc.. I try my best to shop from my pantry stockpile so we don’t have to dip into our other funds for that week/month.

    It’s a challenge some weeks, but easier others. Even though I could probably up my weekly budget, I find that putting that extra money into savings makes me so much happier!

  20. Hi Laurie!
    I just stumbled across your blog this evening while I was doing the family budget. I wanted to get an idea if we were spending too much in the grocery category and I googled “2013 grocery budget for family of 6” and up came your wonderful blog. Thank you everyone for sharing your comments, it has helped me get a good grasp on reality. 🙂
    Grocery prices are rising, I have a family of 6 and 1 kitty (including a baby on formula) and we spend between $150 – $175/week on anything you would purchase in a grocery store (food, toiletries, kitty stuff, makeup, etc). With so many littles I only shop one store (a far cry from the days I used to shop at 5 stores in one trip to save money. Back in those days they paid ME to shop. 🙂 Those days are over now). We eat very minimally processed foods and I make most of our food from scratch so I pretty much shop the perimeter of our grocery store. We use cloth diapers which saves money and we splurge on cereal only during a child’s birthday. I make our own yogurt, granola, granola bars etc. and the majority of our snacks are fresh fruit and veggies. We eat meat several times a week but have cut back to save money. We live in Maine so there is no Aldi or Publix… prices are high but we do what we can with what we have and are very grateful. Would love to hear how you guys save money! 🙂

  21. HELP! I too stumbled across this blog while doing a search for 2013 grocery budget for family of 6. I am extremely embarrassed to admit this, but we spend more money on food per month than we do our mortgage, aver $1,000. WTH am I doing wrong? I clip coupons and price match whenever I can. I am in Round Rock, TX, so my main grocery store is either Walmart or HEB. I shop Walmart because they price match and except all coupons, even competitors. But there is no doubling or tripling of the coupons. There is 6 people in my family and 2 cats. I include all toiletries and pet products in the grocery budget. Basically if I can buy it at the grocery store, it gets counted as groceries.

    I am in need of some serious help. I just don’t understand HOW to reduce this part of our budget, but I HAVE to. I will be look forward to all tips, tricks and advice.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Cristy! I think learning to shop the best store in your area using coupons (my guess is HEB, unless you have a Kroger?) and learn to shop there really, REALLY well using coupons. Plan your meals around your sale ad, stock up on items when they’re on sale and only buy things that are on sale (even if you have a coupon for it, you may pay too much if it’s not on sale!)

      Start by checking out my beginning coupon series, especially watching the “beginning couponing video series” you can find here. Feel free to ask if you have any questions ~ I know you can get that grocery budget down quite a bit this year, and am excited to find out how you do!

      Get started here~


      Good luck!

  22. If we are doing 31 days of random kindness, I’ve missed it:(

    • Hi Janell! I posted this last week ~


      As much as I wanted to do 31 days of random acts of kindness, I was having such a hard time keeping up with the daily posts that I’m letting it go at least this month (I still would love to tackle it though!) I love doing the series, but thought for this month we can do a weekly giving post…. but, it’s definitely on my “want-to-do” list!

  23. You all inspire me! We don’t really have a budget but we should! And i bet we spend close to $500 a month on groceries for 2 adults, 3 healthy boys that love to eat, lol (one is on gluten free diet), multiple cats and lizard. Im really going to do a try out for the remaining of this year and maybe starting next year fresh with a strict budget. Our school has script program as well so i think if i use those gift cards and not bring my credit card or cash with me to the store, it will help me stay within budget, haha. Oh, am I correct to assume that eating out once in a while is not included?

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