Feeding a family on $90 a week is possible because of a Weekly Grocery Budget. I’m all about saving money and budgeting – here are my secrets.
A favorite quote of mine: “A penny saved is a penny earned”
To this day I’ll bend over and pick up a penny, when it’s on the ground. Many say it has no worth…but if you can’t value a penny you can’t value a dollar…if you can’t value your dollar you can’t value your ten dollar bill. It’s a mind set.
Please don’t get the mindset that you have a low-income therefore you can’t budget, you are just trying to make ends meet and get from one pay check to the next…FALSE! You can do it…here are my secrets and tips for creating a Weekly Grocery Budget.
How can I spend less on groceries?
This maybe a looming question before we even get into creating a budget. I get it…you feel like you spend a huge portion of your pay check just on food and you probably do. There are numerous ways to spend less on groceries at the same time before you can tackle that you need to create a budget to know what you do have to spend on groceries.
As a mom that is always trying to save money – and groceries being on area – I get sick of reading all of these articles on Aldi hauls and these amazing grocery stores that people can just make a huge grocery haul at – I don’t have those stores in my area. So I can’t compare my budget and grocery list to those peeps, it’s annoying, but hey it’s reality. I will say my main man when it comes to money Dave Ramsey has a few extra tips if you are more interested in that than creating a budget…
How do you buy groceries on a budget?
- Always start with a meal plan and a grocery/food list
- See if you can save money with apps, rebates or coupons (and don’t do like me get to the check out line and forget to give them your coupon!! – never fails every single time!)
- Learn to cook from scratch, avoid pre-made and processed foods
- Shop the sales
- Shop the Seasonal produce and items
- Minimize as much waste as possible – eat leftovers, freeze extra, plan meals in the same meal plan rotation that have similar ingredients
- Have some cheap and easy meal nights i.e. beans and rice, meatless Monday etc.
Since the day we got married we have been on a budget and it has been nothing but good for us. I honestly don’t know of any month where we completely blew our budget and couldn’t figure out or where I money went. We tell our money where to go – and if it’s not there in the budget we make do until the next pay cycle.
Finances and marriage are two words that generally don’t get along well, but for us it’s two words that fit together so well. I truly believe it’s because since day one of our marriage we have been on the same page financially. There are no accounts for “his” money and “her” money. It’s all “our” money…one bank account, both on the account and all of our personal money goes right in there together. We are a team headed in the same direction with the same goals.
Many times I have been asked how do you even start with making a budget? It’s simple and I’m here today to break it down for you and help you create a budget that works for you and helps you save money in the end! The goal of a budget is for you to tell your money where to go. Every dime that you make should be accounted for and have a purpose and a plan within your budget. Take charge of your money, not your money taking a hold on you!
Our biggest area of savings is the ability to use online or apps within my phone to help save money! i.e. Hopster Mobile Rebates– providing rebates for your favorite groceries, beauty essentials, appliances, pet supplies and new products you’ll want to try. There are so many wonderful tools to aid us in this journey of saving money!
Step 1: Discuss
Talk through your money and income with your spouse. If you are single talk it through with a loved one or close friend that can help keep you accountable. Get on the same page and talk it through until you are on the same page. Communication is key. Don’t move forward until you’ve communicated and discussed your goals together.
Step 2: Pen and Paper
It’s time to get a clean piece of paper and a pen…write down every bit of monthly income (or if you get paid every two weeks go with that amount).
Now write down every bill you have within your household: i.e. Groceries, utilities, health insurance, car insurance, phone bill, car maintenance/gasoline, eat out money, clothes, gifts, personal blow money (as we call it), debts, home/rental insurance, savings etc.
Step 3: Tell your money where to go
Now it’s time to tell your money (every dime) where and what it’s doing. You start with your total monthly (or however you get paid) and you break it down into the categories you wrote down in step #2.
You start with your bills and then end up with your categories that are not mandatory to function in life.
You can go without eating out and you can go without new clothes…but you need food and of course need to pay your bills you owe.
Step 4: Make goals
Within your budget make goals to pay off debt or to save more. Write your goals down and write down your steps to meet that goal. So if you are looking to pay off $1000.00 of debt, write down how you will do that each month and when you will meet that goal. If you get any extra, unexpected money put it straight to that…not towards going through a drive-thru!
Step 5: Penny Pinch
Get creative within your categories. Are there ways you can save on gift giving this year? i.e. a talent you have that you can create/make something or give of your time instead?
Is there a way to save on groceries every month? For me I like to look at local ads and compare prices, snag coupons or even more convenient use an app on my phone!
Creating a Grocery Budget is simple within your over all budget.
- Stick to your budgeted amount
- Plan and write down your meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner along with snacks
- Plan a meal rotation that works with in your family (monthly or 2-3 months cycle)
- Grocery shop 1 time every two weeks- the more time you spend in the stores the more money you’ll spend
- Cook! Make your meals, don’t buy pre-made items
- Stick to the Basics
- Snag coupons, apps, local ads
How about cut out eating out more than one time a week? Do you find yourself picking up drinks and candy bars at the gas station- this list the #1 way to save money, you’ll be very surprised!
Step 6: When it’s Gone it’s Gone
For our areas of budget i.e. groceries, blow money, clothes, gifts. We take cash out for our payment period and put it in an envelope. When the cash is gone, that budget is gone…when there is no money in that category we don’t buy. It’s as simple as that. We don’t charge it on the card we don’t borrow from another category…it’s called self control and we don’t spend.
Step 7: Stop Swiping and Spending
Did you know the average person spends more when they swipe a card…whether it’s a debit or a credit card. Cash you are more likely to hang onto and not spend as easily. It’s true, whether you believe it or not…whether you think you have self control or not…it’s a proven study. Put the credit cards and debit cards away.