I have always thought our grocery budget was normal until I started talking to some ladies at church. My family is made up of 3. Me. My husband. & Baby Jase. But we have people over for dinner at least two times a week so our menu has to range for a number of people.
These are some steps I use to plan my grocery trip to stay on budget for our family.
1.) Make a set budget: every families budget is going to be different because of different incomes, family members, prices. Our budget is around $40 a week. Some people that sounds a little cheap but I'm telling you it's do- able. So talk to your spouse about how much you can spend a week, start with an amount and if you see you need more or less adjust from there.
2.) Plan ahead: this is how I plan my shopping trip. I right down the meals I will want to be having for the week which is about 7-12. I think write down all the things I need to make the recipe. After that I go through the pantry and fridge and see what I already have to make sure I do not over buy
3.) Utalize leftovers: weird tip for a budget. But do you make a dish, that you know you will have leftovers? I do. For example I make a chicken dish on top of rice. We always have chicken left over. So I plan it that I can cook the chicken dish one meal, then the next I use the left over chicken to make a pot-pie!!!
4.) Make only one trip to the grocery store: I plan weekly for my shopping trips. I know some women that plan for 3 months which is awesome!! I only have room for about a month and plus we don't have the finances to buy that much In advanced. But find out how long you want to plan. Go shopping and do not return to the store again. The more trips you make the more chance that you will buy things you do not need.
5.) Pay with cash: I will admit i do not stick to this all the time, but the more you do the better you will budget. I have learned if I pay with my card I spend a little extra. A little sometimes is all the difference. If you go to the store with $30 in cash that's what you have, and you can not spend any more.
These are some stradagies I use to make sure I do not go over my budget. The first time you go to the store, and things don't work out. DO NOT GET DISCOURAGED. Try again next week and I'm sure you will get it. If you have questions on how much you should spend on a meal, or what I cook, or how could I possibly cook good meals on this budget ?? Ask away.