It can be frustrating to dig into your purse only to find that you’ve exhausted your monthly budget. Unconsciously, a lot of us end up spending more than the necessary amount of money on groceries, which is why planning a monthly budget and knowing the amount you should be spending on groceries every month is imperative. How much you should spend on groceries is a tricky question that doesn’t have a black and white answer. There is, however, a guideline that you can work around to save some extra money. It depends on several factors which will be discussed in this article. Staying under a budget ensures that you do not overspend on groceries and consume healthy and nutritious foods. Keep reading to know how much you should be spending on groceries.
Ascertain The Amount Of Food You Consume In A Month
First things first, you need to know the amount of food that is consumed in your household. For example, roughly how many bags of flour do you buy in a month? It may be possible that you’re overspending on certain foods and not spending enough on some. Or you may even be purchasing expensive variants of the same item. You need to determine the number of members in your family and get a rough idea of the amount of food.
- Size of The Household
The number of members who live in your household also determines how much you should be spending. For instance, a family with four members is likely to spend more than a couple. The suggested budget for a family of four individuals is 892$. The budget may be lower or higher, depending on what people eat regularly. You can also allocate an amount per family member so that you have an idea of how much you should be ideally spending.
- Age Factor
You may have a toddler or kids living in the house who may not have the same appetite as adults do and may require different items such as milk, baby food, etc. So the budget of a family with four adults will be different from a family with two adults and two kids.
- Special Requirements
There may be individuals in your family who have special dietary requirements. A lot of people are allergic to certain foods and may require different diets. If you or someone in your family consumes gluten-free, nut-free foods, then the cost of groceries will depend on the value of these items.
Is Dining Out Costing You Your Savings?
The Department of Agriculture in the United States of America claims that Americans spend about 11% of their monthly incomes on dining out. That is a massive chunk of money that is being spent on food items that would cost you very little if you tried to have them at home. Plus, you would also be saving on the traveling expenses if you choose to dine at home. If you enjoy eating out, then make sure that you look for cheaper options.
Keep your monthly budget in mind and spend accordingly. You may even set out to find local, family-run eateries in the vicinity which offer low-costing and nutritious meals.
Look For Alternatives For Branded Food Items
You may have favorite branded food items that you like, but if they’re taking a toll on your monthly budget, it may be time to cut back or find cheaper alternatives. Generic food items cost less than branded ones, and they may even compete with them in terms of quality. You may find more affordable fruits and vegetables at your local supermarket than at a fancy store. Sometimes the amount of difference may be minimal, but when you try to buy several products that are generic or store-branded, you’ll see that it makes a massive difference to your budget.
Plan Your Menu: Save Time and Money!
It can be beneficial to plan your weekly or monthly menu ahead of time. It gives you an idea of how much of essential items you would require every week. Try to make everything from scratch. For example, a bag of frozen fries may cost way more than potatoes (which you can turn into fries with a handful of ingredients). Try to experiment with recipes that call for a couple of ingredients. This way, you’ll have something wholesome and fresh on the table while saving some money.
Try to make larger meals so that there is enough left for the next day. You’ll save a lot of energy. You may even try making extra gravy to add anything you like to the leftover gravy. Make some chicken curry and toss in some cottage cheese or tofu to the leftover curry to have a new meal. Bingo!
Stay Under Your Budget
It can be tempting to buy that expensive lunch meal or pick up things that you don’t need, but it can be an enriching experience to save a massive amount of money every month without compromising on your nutrition. So, try to stay under your budget and always look for discounts, coupons, and sales, which might help you score a deal. If you tend to spend a great deal on coffee, then make some at home and carry it around in a flask.
Find The Ideal Grocery Store
It might be possible that the supermarket or store that you usually buy your groceries from may be overcharging you. Or it may be possible that they’re not giving you discounts that other grocers do. Always try to look for other grocery stores or search for websites online which provide food items at a reasonable price. You may also look for flyers in magazines and newspapers and know more about offers that are running in stores. You can also try to source your essential items from local vendors, farmers, and suppliers who supply eateries.
Having a food budget for the month will help you save a considerable amount of money. You’ll have more savings to finance luxurious items that you’ve always wanted. Plan ahead of time, make a budget, and get started right away!