Grocery Budget Check Up Week One: Determine Your Grocery Budget

 

It's that time of year (I know y'all are so excited!) Time to start talking grocery budgets.  

 

Woohooo! 😉 (I know, I know . . . but it really is kinda fun when you're able to whittle that grocery budget down ~ promise!)

 

I've had an overwhelming number of requests this last week from people asking how much their grocery budget should be, how to use coupons effectively, and how to really change their grocery budget in 2014. Here are a few (easy!) tips that will hopefully get you started:

  1. Consider what your grocery budget currently is. If you're new to couponing, plan to decrease your budget by 10-20% over the next three to four weeks, and then determine to slash it by up to 50% in the next 3-4 months.  (Read this post for more tips.)
  2. Choose one (one!) store to shop at and learn their coupon policy really well. Find every website you can sharing information about deals at that store, and look for as much information online prior to shopping each week so that you go in prepared to get the best deals.  (See more on beginning couponing information HERE to get started.)
  3. Look at what's in your pantry and take a few days off from shopping by using what you already have.
  4. Shop the sales ads. Chicken on sale? Then your family gets chicken tonight. 😉 Once you've built your stockpile up you'll have a little more variety, but for now use your stores sales ad as a guide to your menu planning each week.

 

In 2014, my goal is to spend $85 each week at the grocery. 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: $6.75
  • Publix:  $61.21
  • Total: $67.96

 

I've increased our budget a bit over the last year as my kids are getting bigger.  I wanted a little wiggle room to purchase extra fresh fruits and veggies instead of so much “snack” food, and started using only printable coupons will work to help save my sanity (I loved it in 2013!)  While this means my budget isn't down in the $50-$60 range, I'm content with spending less than $85 each week.

 

If you need to change your grocery budget in 2014, 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 2014 to pinch those pennies even further. You can share your goals by clicking HERE ~ I love hearing from you!

 

 

Also check out this post on ways to prepare when the unexpected really happens ~ see how wise financial planning saved my in-laws hundreds of thousands of dollars a few years ago.

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Comments

  1. I will be following your site even closer this year. My husband has given me ridiculously low amount to shop on. I get $10 for milk, $15 for other grocery items each week.

    • WHAT Margaret??? At our very lowest (years ago), I was able to do maybe $40-$45, but I can’t imagine moving things down that much! Definitely watch for deals (and maybe you’ll surprise us…) would love to know how it goes!

  2. Connie Smith Corey says

    What do you include in your budget? For example, mine includes food/paper products/cleaning products and hba items.

    • Hi Connie! Mine includes just about everything – the only items that kind of sneak around it are anything that I sometimes pick up online (usually toilet paper and paper towels.) Other than that, anything that you would normally buy at the grocery (i.e. cleaning products, health and beauty, vitamins, food, etc.) all comes out of that budget Hope that helps!

  3. I have had to increase our budget to $100. We go through about 8 gallons of milk a week so that alone takes up about 1/4 of our budget. 🙁

    • It’s definitely getting harder as the kids are getting bigger Alice! Fresh produce and milk are where we spend the bulk of our money.. but it’s worth it for our kids (and won’t last forever!)

  4. Frankie Bolander says

    We have 4 adults in our home and milk IS one of our biggest grocery expenses. With 2 of us having food allergies/lactose issues I also have to purchase Almond milk and Lactose Free milk, expensive, so I try to only pay 1.99 per gallon for our regular Whole milk. I dilute it with water, I know it sounds gross, but you cannot tell when water is added to it at all and it really stretches the gallon. 🙂 Does anyone know a way to save more on Almond or Lactose free milk??

    • Hi Frankie! Diluting the water some actually makes a little sense … and definitely makes it last longer! If you have a Kroger or Kroger affiliate store they usually have the best prices on those kinds of milk, and I would email those companies specifically and ask for coupons to see if they might send you a few (maybe just say that you absolutely love their product and were wondering if they ever off coupons on it.) Let me know if that works! 🙂

    • I also dilute my milk with water! We usually drink Skim milk in our house so when I buy 1% and dilute it with water you cant really tell a difference! Well my children definitely cant anyways! Every little savings helps!

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