Menu Planning Monday January 10th: How to determine the correct grocery budget for your family

Almost every blog that participates in menu planning Monday does so in part to help them work within their given budget. I find it interesting to see how much variance there is from one grocery budget to the next. Some people are able and choose to feed large families for $10 or $15 per person each week while others spend more like $50 a person. If you are someone interested in starting to budget for food or if you already budget but would like to reduce that number it can be tricky to determine what amount of money works for you.

We have had several different budgets over the years including some super frugal times, which for us was about $150 a month up to the times when we really weren’t very vigilant and spent closer to $400 a month. We include dog food at about $40 a month and our cleaning supplies, dish washer detergent and laundry soap in those numbers. Currently we are doing $300 a month for all three of us and the items listed above, we are using the cash envelopes system in order to better keep track of where the money goes.

We came up with the number based on looking at the average amount of money we spent on groceries the year before and by considering what our overall goals are. We use Quicken to keep track of our expenses so we had that information readily available, If you do not then you need to take some time, maybe as much as the next three months, to get an accurate idea of what you are spending. You could also take some time and go through past bank statements and see if you can piece together a rough idea. If you don’t like the reality of the number then you need to really think about what you can do to reduce that number, maybe you need to focus on sale items or maybe you need to make cheaper food for dinner. I think for many of us it comes down to making more food from scratch and less convenient items. Currently I am focusing on using coupons to get the basics for cheaper so that we can purchase more of the expensive stuff like coconut flour and goat cheese.

My point with all this is that it doesn’t really matter what budget other people have what matters is your needs and goals and the amount of time you are willing to invest in making the change.

Dinners this week include…

check out more ideas for menu planning check out organizing junkie

Much love, Aislinn and Emily

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