I’m a big advocate for having a budget that includes, of course, a set amount spent on groceries. Even if you haven’t made the step to establish a whole household budget, you can still benefit greatly from tracking your spending in certain areas. Tracking grocery spending is a good place to start, since for most of us, it is one of the larger household expenses.
For the first week, don’t shop any differently than you normally do. Pick a day of the week, and then start tracking the money that you spend on groceries for the full seven days. Make note of any money you spend on groceries, be it a full shopping trip or just milk and eggs. One easy way to do this is to put a pouch or small plastic zippered bag in your purse or your car. Anytime you have a receipt for groceries, place it in the pouch or bag. At the end of the week, add up the amount.
If you don’t usually do a once-a-week grocery shop, you can track your grocery spending for two weeks or more and then divide the total to get an average weekly amount.
Once you now your average amount per week, make it a goal to reduce your grocery bill. There are several ways to pay less for groceries including: using coupons, buying generic food, staying away from processed food, shopping the weekly sales, stockpiling bargain items, buying in bulk, choosing less expensive ingredients, incorporating meatless meals, making bread and oatmeal from scratch, and reducing your consumption of non-necessities such as soda and candy.
Keep tracking your grocery expenses for at least another month and see how much you save!