How to Find the Perfect Grocery Budget for YOU!

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When my husband and I were just starting out, we had no grocery budget.

In fact, we had no budget at all.

Every time he got paid, I would go to the grocery store and get whatever we needed (it was really more like what we wanted, but I told myself it was what we needed).  Then, I would pay whatever bills I could with whatever was left.  I told myself, “We have to eat!”  Needless to say, our bills were always behind, and every week we had to run out and pick up more items to make meals.  Going without a plan made our lives SO much more challenging and dug us into a DEEP hole of debt.  Faced with the possibility of losing everything, we eventually had to buckle down and create a budget.

I had no idea where to begin.

People ask me all the time how they can begin making a grocery budget, and I think they are facing the same situation I faced.  They have been going with the flow, and flowed right into trouble!  They are looking for a solution and begin by asking others about their grocery budget.  That doesn’t work because every family’s needs are different.  There are different diets, health needs, preferences, and financial abilities.  Grocery stores availability and the time your have available to prepare food are also considerations.  You want to find the budget that is right for YOU!

If you need help figuring out how to create the perfect grocery budget for you, let me tell you how you can figure it out in only 5 steps.

How to Find the Perfect Grocery Budget for You- frugalfamilyfood.com

 

It takes a little time, but rejoice in the progress that you are make at each step.  You are getting your family on the road to financial success and making sure they are eating well!

1. Consider What You Currently Spend

You have to start somewhere and the very best place to start is by considering what you currently spend.  Take your receipts from the last month and add them up.  Didn’t keep your receipts?  An estimate works for now- just be honest.  Either way, you will need to figure out what you believe you are currently spending every month on groceries to give yourself a place to start.

2. Cut Back

Take the amount that you spend per month and reduce it by 20%.

Yes.  Reduce it.

I think just about every family who is getting by without a serious budget can cut back by 20% off the top.  This will be the budget for the next month.

3. Follow that Budget for a Month 

Stick to it.  It’s just that simple.  I recommend that you make a meal plan (Don’t know how?  We give you a tool to get started here) for every week.  This will help you to get and stay organized.  Plus, you can better track your expenses. Use your meal plan to stay on budget.  Don’t sell yourself short and make excuses.  Follow the plan, and you will get honest results.

 

4.  Reflect on Your Results

Once you complete a month on a budget, you can reflect on your successes (and even the failures).  Were you able to follow your meal plan?  Did you see areas where you could improve?  Is there still plenty of room?  Was the budget snug, but doable? Was the budget WAY too tight?  Consider all the details of how the budget worked for you.

5.  Make Any Adjustments

After considering the results, you can make adjustments.  Some may have found that they underestimated what they originally spent, causing the budget to be far too tight. You may have hit on just the right number.  It was perfect- not too tight, not too loose.  Chances are, though, you could still cut back a bit more.  If that’s the case, I recommend that you cut down by another 10% and see how that goes for a month.  If you still have room, cut back another 10% the next month.  I like to encourage people to keep cutting back until you can make it… but just barely.  Then, I tell them to add another 20% on top of that tight budget to leave cash for wiggle room and stock ups.

Viola!  You have your PERFECT grocery budget for YOU!

 

 

Amanda is a wife, mom, and all around frugal lady.  She shares her family and faith on The Fundamental Home and Fundamental Faith YouTube channels.  She also blogs at thefundamentalhome.com   There, you can find her blog series, “How I Feed My Family of 5 for $100 Every Month.”  Amanda is co-creator of Frugal Family Food and, as such, is dedicated to helping families eat well on a budget. 

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Comments

  1. So happy for your new site! Great tips and can’t wait to learn more from you amazing ladies!

  2. This is very helpful. My family has entered a new season this summer of having to tighten our spending. We are a family of three trying to live on $200 a month for a food budget. Sadly May didn’t go as well and I am wanting to succeed for June. I want to reduce our spending to $50 a week but I am just not making the mark. I am hoping all these amazing resources you have provided will help get me on track. Thank you so much for all your hard work you two put in to help us other moms and families figure out how to spend less and still have plenty.

    • Aw! I am so glad that the resources will be a help to you! Let us know if we can help in any way!

  3. This is the info I’ve been searching for!!!! Thank you. Plain, simple, and adjustable for my family.

  4. A beautiful website that will only get better and better. Great Info on here already! Looking forward to it all to come

  5. I’m so excited for y’all and all of us subs too. Great looking website. Very clean and not cluttered. Love it . Thank you both for all your hard work!! Shine On Girls!!

  6. The website is so exciting. I watch you both on YouTube and think it is wonderful that your mission is to glorify God! Bless you both.

  7. Your advice has been so helpful to me. Looking forward to more on this website! Not to be critical but you said if we see something to let you know. I’m a real word policeman so I noticed a couple places in the article… “time YOUR have available to prepare food” & “progress that you are make”. I hope that’s helpful. I blog too and I know you can read and re-read and still things don’t always turn out. 🙂 Also, I’m on my phone and where it says “click here”, it does nothing. Maybe because of the device I’m using? Same with your photo. Nothing happens. Y’all have fun!

  8. Congratulations on your awesome looking web site. I look forward to learning from you and perhaps even contributing some words of wisdom from an elderly lady. 😊 you both are two of my favorite “youtubers”! I prefer youtube over television!

  9. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! So glad to see your dream come true. Looking forward to “Low Spend June”. Also love your new house Tangi!

  10. Thank you for creating Frugal Family Food. Love your videos and all the info you share. Looking forward to the growth of this website!

  11. I always find it interesting what the USDA says I should be spending on groceries. For decades, I have budgeted $100/person for food, personal care, cleaning/laundry needs, paper/plastic goods. Note that pet supplies/needs are tallied separately. I know that if times are tight, I can go a low as $67/month per person without impacting the nutritional choices I make. Currently, the USDA tells me that my monthly budget just for FOOD (note that my “grocery” budget does include some nonfood items) should be $511.90 for the “thrifty plan” for 3 adults now at home (at one point, we were a family of 6). My budget is $300 and we eat extremely well. I also encourage seasonal eating, sticking with domestically produced over foreign imports, shopping alternative sources, home gardening/preservation and farmer’s markets, making as much as possible from scratch and shopping for ingredients over prepared/packaged foods. Pancakes, as an example, can be made for pennies vs buying frozen or dairy case premade ones, and certainly less than turning to a package mix, which contains ingredients most likely found in the average kitchen. Avoid food waste at all costs! Eat your leftovers (for me, it’s typically my lunch at home or even toted to work when I did work outside the home), incorporate them into “planned overs” as I call them, such as the leftover tomato sauce from last night’s stuffed peppers (as in the sauce from the crock pot) will be the base for tonight’s spaghetti sauce. Not able to use the leftovers right away? freeze them and they become a “frozen asset” to turn to. ALWAYS shop the fridge/freezer/pantry before considering spending a single penny at the store. Menu plan ahead of shopping but be flexible. Planned on ground beef in spaghetti but you come across a screaming deal/mark down on Italian sausage? no question, buy the sausage instead, hopefully some extra to tuck into the freezer for future meals. Choose simple meals, casseroles, soups, sandwiches and watch expensive ingredients-substitute when possible, use less amounts (especially meat), etc. Nice looking site, ladies! Looking forward to more!

  12. Love your website! Going to attempt cutting my budget this month by 20%. Love the budgets & worksheets you have available as well. Thank you 😊

  13. The website looks great! Briana did an awesome job with your photos.
    I am looking forward to reading all the info you ladies share on your page!
    Thank you all!

  14. I’m so happy for y’all, what a blessing it is to have a great place to go, for information to help your family budget in all area’s of your home. I pray God will bless y’all and others through your new website! Give God the glory and many blessing will come!

    Toodles from 🌸Peace & Pantry home🌸

  15. I’m doing your low spend June, but since I’m not 100% sure what my usual budget for food is, I know I overestimated, but I included things like toiletries, paper goods, and animal food/needs, as well as medications needed throughout the month. I’m aiming to reduce to approximately 100$/week…for everything. And considering I have two dogs that are 75 and 110lbs respectively, they go through almost 75$ of food/month. So, yeah, tightening these belts and bootstraps, but I’m ready for the challenge!

  16. Wow is all I can say. I am so excited to be participating in the low spend month. I did my inventory and have found stuff I forgot about. Now when I shop I will be shopping one month ahead. I was only shopping 2 weeks ahead.
    I will be honest I was getting bored with the same old stuff on you tube. Now looking at this website I feel frugally recharged!!
    Thanks for all the great advice and tips!

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