Here is the first part of how to plan your monthly grocery budget if you’ve missed.
Now that we have covered the basics in part 2, let’s dive right into budgeting basics. When it comes to budgeting, sticking to the budget is KEY more than anything else. Start slow and don’t burn yourself in the process.
How To Create Your Grocery Budget:
- If you have access to last month’s bills, check out how much you spent on grocery. If not, track the expenses (you can manually track them using this budgeting excel file) for this month and review your grocery spending at the end of the month.
- Take that exact total amount and use it as your budget for next month. Let’s say you spent $500 for groceries last month, without changing the number use it as your budget for next month
- The reason we’re taking the last month bill as-it-is is, it takes couple of months to understand where you can cut costs. Until then, sticking to the budget is key. Once we are able to spend within the allotted budget for couple of months, we thrive for it in the coming months. Then we can take next step of finding the unnecessaries and cutting down the budget
- The next step is to create your grocery list. I have tried a number of options before and finally sticking to excel file for grocery list. Talking about it in a separate section below.
RELATED: How to save money in grocery shopping without printing coupons
- Once you have that magic grocery budget number, INFORM your family. It is important if you’re not the only one who does grocery shopping. In our family, even though I do majority of the grocery shopping, my husband grabs something on the way when he goes to the grocery store. Every time he goes to grocery shopping, I let him know how much is left in the budget. My guy hates it. But I also know it will stop him from buying anything unnecessary.
Creating Grocery List:
I created a spreadsheet file called “Grocery List” in Google Drive and shared it with the husband. That way he can also have access to the list anywhere anytime. Initially I used to write the list of groceries that I absolutely need and add/delete once the purchase is done. What works for me the best is, having the full list of groceries that I use for my cooking. I have more than 100 items in the file and I color code them according the the needs.
For example, I absolutely need to buy the GREEN items in the next trip. Either I no longer have them or they’re about to get over.
ORANGE items are half way through and I need to buy them in the next couple of trips. I have the option buy them in the next trip and freeze for later use if I have cushion in the budget.
You can download my current grocery list (including Indian groceries) that I’m using for my family. It might not be the absolute full list and add/delete according to your family needs.
TO BE CONTINUED…
How to plan your monthly grocery budget series: