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How much money should I spend on food each month?

By September 8, 2014 - 12:00pm
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I got grocery shopping about once a week and am always wondering if I spend too much money on food. Some weeks I feel like my food is used up so quickly. What's a good way to figure out how much money to spend on food each week? Do you have any tips on creating food lists before going grocery shopping?

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Expert HERWriter Guide Blogger

Hi Lindsay, thanks for your question! I too have wondered at times where my food money has gone - one thing I've learned to do is to not go to the grocery store when I'm hungry as I tend to buy more impulse items when I'm hungry. Is that the case for you too?

In terms of building an ideal food budget, there's no set amount, it really depends on how many people you are feeding, your local market pricing for food, your income and how much you actually can spend, your standard of living and so forth. The only one who can come up with the right number is going to be you.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

First, keep track of what you are currently spending on food by collecting your receipts for the next few weeks, or by going back over receipts you already have to get an idea of what you are already spending each month. Look at what you've been buying. You can then develop a picture of both your basic, necessary food purchases and the "extras" that may be making your expenses higher than you would like. When you have a handle on the basics then you can develop a list around that, and determine if you can afford more items and if so, how much more you can spend. 

Second, take a look at what you buy and why. If, for example, you have a goal to improve your health, then your food budget and shopping lists should be built around that. With a specific goal in mind, you can then look at ways to reduce your costs, such as bulk buying certain items, stocking up during sales, and so forth.

There's some additional tips on building a healthy diet on a budget in this article from the EmpowHER community.

Let us know if this helps you get on the path of building a better food budget.



September 8, 2014 - 5:28pm
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