About 4 years ago I learned to stick to a pretty strict grocery budget of $50 per week, that’s for just me with lots of produce and the occasional splurge on smoked salmon and Camembert. I usually also included things like toilet paper and household cleaner in this budget, while TP is quite expensive the household cleaner costs me virtually zilch because I make most of my own cleaning materials (That’s for a later post!)
I actually managed to stick to this $50 per week for about two years but it pretty well went out the window after I bought my house. For some reason as we got settled and my income increased a little I found my grocery budget inflating to be any amount I wanted it to be. I am estimating that it ballooned up to about $80 a week because I wasn’t paying enough attention and because of lifestyle inflation . Until recently I was aware of this pretty huge increase but not actively doing something about it. $80 a week in grocery store stuff is a lot of money for just one person! You should also know that this doesn’t include the occasional take-out or restaurant meal.
Since I am now working with a fantastic budgeting program, YNAB; You Need A Budget, I am able to keep tabs better on my grocery spending and I’ve been able to set an amount per month that I should spend on groceries. I’m trying to go with about $60 a week and I am thinking of bringing that back down to $50 a week once I get used to it again. Even though grocery prices have gone up in the past few years I think that with enough effort, watching sales and using coupons I should be able to bring the spending down significantly!
For the month of December I set a budget of $220 knowing that on top of that I will also be getting some fancy food and treats in a gift box from work… Knowing I’m going to get that box I might actually be able to bring my budget down more but it’s the holidays after all and I’m going to splurge on some yummy foods!
I’ve been slowly bringing down the money spent on groceries over the last few weeks, I carry a little plastic notecard envelope with me with current coupons, I’m keeping my re-usable grocery bags in the car to save on plastic, I’m working with grocery lists and I make sure my belly is full of food before I go so I avoid impulse buys that I don’t really need. Doing all those things should definitely help bring the number down!
How much do you usually spend per week on food? I know I could still spend less but I don’t really want to, I really love food! I would love to hear any tips or suggestions you may have below 🙂