An Easy Way To Budget For Groceries

by Pam on November 14, 2012

My husband and I like to eat, and I would say that we are both fairly big eaters.  We eat a lot of fresh produce and keep our fridge stocked full of a wide variety of veggies and fruits.

That being said, sometimes I find it difficult to keep our grocery spending in control.  In order to control our spending, we came up with a plan.  Here goes:

We decided to limit our spending to $400 per month for groceries.  Each month I keep track of every grocery purchase I make.  At the end of the month, I total the amount and see how we did.  By keeping track of our grocery spending throughout the month, it has been easier for me to know where we’re at.  It eliminated any guessing.

In addition to the $400 budget per month, we also allowed ourselves what we call a “Grace Pool”.  At the beginning of the year, we started with $500 in this grace pool.  That way if we happened to go over our budget, we could take money from the grace pool, resulting in a smaller pool.  Alternatively, on the months that we spent less than $400, we would add the difference to the grace pool.

This is our first year trying this out, and November happens to be our last month of this trial, since we started it last November.  We are currently at a negative number in the grace pool, meaning I cannot spend as much in the last month.  Starting in December we will try this again and see how it works for another year.

Everyone has a different way of managing their finances, and this way has been useful for us as it is simple and in a way it keeps me accountable.  If I didn’t record my spending, it would be very easy for me to overspend.  If you don’t already have a strategy in place for controlling your grocery spending, you could always give this a try and see how it works for you.

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