I started using THIS Savings Tracker in 2010. I like to see the overall amounts at the end of the month.
Here’s a look at the summary of my February spending:
Shelf Cost: $923.15
When I say grocery budget I include:
Food, household items, beauty, health and personal items such as cleaners, TP, shampoo, makeup, medications and feminine products.
Note: Prescriptions are from a different fund
Basically it’s my everything budget
Next I think it’s important to know where your money is going. Identify ways to cut the budget if you can and know other ways to cut if you HAD to. Money Saving Mom has a fantastic series going right now, 31 Days to a Better Grocery Budget. I know you ALL read Money Saving Mom so you already know this. For the 1 person that doesn’t, START!
Here’s the reason’s for my budget and where if I HAD to I could cut it:
Feeding a family of 4 plus a cat and fish: No I’m not going to cut a family member or pet, but I could cut some of what I buy
Cat: The biggest part of my cat expense is the litter. I use the crystals that cost me about $15-$17 month! Oh, yes. It makes my life easier, so I buy it.
Coffee Creamer and milk: We use A LOT of coffee creamer and milk. Hubby takes a thermos of coffee to work every morning and I have 2 cups in the am. But wait, in the afternoon we also drink coffee in the winter months (I know, I need to work on this). We also go through 2-3 gallons of milk a week or more. I figure my average spending on creamer and milk is $14+ week!
Meat: My husband expects meat at virtually every meal. In an effort to use less I don’t serve meals where meat is the main event as often, and when I make casseroles and such I use less meat and more veggies (he hasn’t noticed yet).
Lunches: I make lunch for my husband everyday (almost). He works in the construction industry (union pipe fitter) so lunches must be good cold and include a lot of food. He burns about 2X the amount of calories in an 8 hr work day than the average person should consume a day. Further, I also make lunch for my brother so that’s lunches for 2 grown men.
Sensitive Skin: Some family members have sensitive skin, so I have to watch what products I buy. Example: we can only use All or Tide Free and Clear laundry detergent.
I do want to add that before I started my crazy obsession with coupons and saving money, I’d spend $600-$700 month on groceries for 2 adults and a baby! I’d also only average $40-$50 a month in coupon savings.
Look at the USDA guide HERE to see what it says you should be spending on food. My family size’s liberal plan is $226.30 week! The thrifty plan is $116.20 week or $503.30 month! I’m not sure if I should be happy for my family or sad for everyone else.
I would be interested to know your budget, budget killers or tips for cutting your budget.