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Grocery Budget, the 2nd step to successful meal planning

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Monthly Grocery Budget
Do you know how much you spend each week?

In step 2, it is time to work out your grocery budget. Grocery budgets will differ from household to household. These are unique to each family’s needs, size, and ages.

How to create a grocery budget

A big family will have a bigger grocery budget. A family with a baby will have a different budget than a family with teenage boys.

How much should your budget be? There is no exact amount.

Grocery budgets should be based on household income. Ideally, this should not be more than 10% of the household income. This does not include toiletries or cleaning and laundry products.

As some households are living below the poverty line, this may not always be possible. https://www.thekitchn.com/top-10-tips-for-grocery-budgeting-grocery-intelligence-211173

Where you shop is also going to affect your grocery budget.

Begin working out what you spent last month, go through your bag and look for all your till slips, add them up. The one thing that you won’t have is how much you spent on parking guards.

For this blog post, I am going to use a family of 2 working adults and 2 school-age children, who have a combined monthly income of R15000 after-tax and no dietary requirements. Therefore, 10% would be only R1500 for the month. I suggest, if possible, adding an extra R500 for cleaning and laundry products.

Prioritising your grocery budget is the first step.  By this, I mean which are the items that you cannot live without.

Start your grocery list with milk, bread, eggs, oil, sugar, salt and butter/margarine. These are your basics and with these ingredients you have the base of almost any meal.

Canned and dry goods go on your grocery list next.  These are items that you can buy and keep in your cupboard for a while. They are not only for your meal plan but are items that will be available when you don’t have fresh food.

Beans, tomato and onion mix, pasta and packet soups are must-haves.

The beans can be used to stretch your meal, especially when added to stews and mince.

Tomato and onion mix is great for stews as well, not only for pap. Packet soups, while not the most nutritious are a good emergency meal when served with some bread or cooked up with some marrow bone. They also make a great gravy.

Divide your planned monthly grocery budget into however many weeks there are in the month. If you are disciplined enough and prefer to shop weekly, I would suggest withdrawing the full amount in cash and envelope budgeting. http://kasheringyourlife.co.za/5-steps-to-successful-envelope-budgeting/

The month of May has 4 1/2 weeks, which averages to R330 per week for food and R120 for cleaning products.

Doing one main shop at the beginning of the month is the habit that will make it easier to stick to your budget. To work out how much to spend on non-perishables and freezer items, take your weekly budget and divide that into three.

The first 3rd of the budget goes into your envelope for fresh produce that has to be bought weekly and the rest is for your monthly shop.

That means you put R110 into each envelope, i.e., week 1 = R110, week 2 R110 etc.

The remaining R990 is to use for your bulk shop, plus your cleaning products budget of R500.

If you are paid weekly, you can only shop weekly, but the principle of 10% for your groceries still applies.

One big shop at the beginning of the month can keep you all fed through the month and so will meal planning.

Do not go grocery shopping without a meal plan and shopping list, use your loyalty cards and coupon apps.

Healthy eating will help your immune system fight the winter viruses including COVID-19.

And remember —   NEVER go grocery shopping when you are hungry!   That leads to impulse buying of unnecessary items. http://kasheringyourlife.co.za/10-tips-help-save-when-shopping/

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