Grocery Budgeting for Families
The monthly food budget for every household will vary because of factors like income, environment circumstances, dietary needs, and more. On average most households spend one out of every ten dollars ($1/$10) on food. According to a USDA report, “Total food budget share increased from 9.4 percent of disposable income to 10.3 percent in 2021 — divided between food at home (5.2 percent) and food away from home (5.1 percent).”
For many reasons, creating a household grocery budget and sticking to it is a great way to save on groceries.
- Buy the foods you need first – This includes prioritizing fresh items to create well balanced meals, including vegetables and protein sources. If you buy all the must haves on your list and have money left over, then it’s a sign to indulge in a treat!
- Appreciate how much you spend – or should spend – on food. When you give yourself a limit, it’s easier to make choices on what goes into your cart and what can wait until next time. Check your recent credit or debit card statements to see how much you’ve been spending on food. If you pay in cash, keep track of your receipts for three months to see how they compare.
- Balance dining out with eating in – Depending on your schedule, it may not always be the best option to eat at home, but every dollar saved on dining out can typically deliver much more value at the grocery store.
Expand your weekly food budget with these cost saving tips:
- Find digital cash back for key items on your list – Reliable platforms like Ibotta post new offers daily, separated by category, so you can easily fill out your shopping list with products that will feed you and put cash back in your pockets.
- Know the grocery cycle for your store – how often products go on sale, and when to stock up on seasonal items.
- Buy in volume – For non perishables and canned foods, warehouse stores often offer lower prices per unit – but not always, be sure to compare deals with your local grocer.
- Buy just what you need – Bulk bins offer huge savings on items you just need a little of – or a very specific amount to create a meal – spices, dried beans, baking ingredients, nuts, dried fruit, etc.