HOW MUCH TO SPEND ON GROCERIES
How we worked out how much to spend on our groceries.
In the past when we bought our groceries, we (I mean my husband, as he’s the one that does our grocery shopping) would go to the shops and buy what we would need for the next couple of days or what we had run out of.
We didn’t really have any idea how much we were spending weekly on grocery (we both get paid on a weekly basis). We would either get a couple of coins from our coin tub if it was just small purchases like milk and bread or use the debit card for bigger purchases.
So, when we were starting to look at changing our financial ways, we shopped as per normal, but started collecting all the receipts for that week’s shopping.
We scrutinised our spending and looked at each item to see if it was a necessity or a luxury. On this particular stop at the shops, hubby had bought savoury rolls and finger bun for the boys (a little bit of luxury item, but hey those boys are a bit cute!)
We also looked at the brands we were buying to see if we were able to substitute it for a no name brand.
In this shopping budget, we also had to incorporate extra food to make for our lunches, so instead of me buying take out for lunch (which could cost up to $40-50/week), we (again I mean my husband) would cook a little bit more of the dinner so I could take it for lunch the next day.
We collected the receipts for a good few weeks just to be able to see a good average of our weekly grocery budget and we came up with about $125/week.
We have 2 growing boys (11 and 9 years old) who are pretty much eating us out of house and home every growing day (and I hear it gets worse from here).
So, for the last few months, each week we have had $125 budgeted for our grocery, however this week, we had to increase it to $150/week. Again, we’ll see how that goes and see if we can pinch a bit so it may not have to be the full $150.
From articles I’ve read, as a rule of thumb you should be spending around 9-14% of your take home income on food (that’s total for grocery and also eating out). We have taken off dining out from the budget while we are working towards paying off our debt, so our $150/week works within the 9-14% range.
Now after each week, if there are a few dollars left over, we have been putting it towards our debt and starting the new week with the new allocated weekly budget.
To ensure we are keeping within our weekly budget, for the things we need, we write it down on our grocery list and when we go to the shop, my husband only buys what is on the list.
If it’s coming towards the end of the week and our funds are getting low, to ensure we do not dip into any of our other expense funds, we just check what is in the cupboard to see what can be made from what’s in there or check out any of the meals in the freezer that we had frozen.
I know most of the unnecessary grocery spend normally comes from my request: like salted caramel popcorn, dips, biscuits, prawns and mussels for dinner. So, I have curtailed my special request (for most part LOL).
Hope this post helps you in figuring out how much to spend on your own groceries – just amend to suit if you get paid fortnightly/bi-weekly or on a month-to-month basis.