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Grocery Budget Challenge: Take 1

Hey guys! Sorry about the major lack of posts lately. I go out of town (in this case, back in March?), then fall out of the habit of posting regularly. I’ve been meaning to before today, but to be totally honest, have just been lazy. Typing on a computer? Ugh. So much work (but not really).

My new goal is to post 3 times a week on the same three themes. Right now I’m thinking 1.) eating healthy on a budget, 2.) a food review (like, a new protein bar, for example), and 3.) a recipe. What do you think? If you guys have suggestions on posts you’d like to see, I would love to know what you think!! Gotta give the people what they want :).



Anyway, let’s talk about grocery budgets. Or in my case, lack thereof.

Ugh, where do I begin? I’ve followed a budget for groceries before but always fall off the wagon. I’ll be honest here, I never grew up understanding budgeting and definitely didn’t follow one in college. So, my “adult years” have been a little inconsistent when it comes to spending.

At this point in my life, I spend the most on food. Should I be embarrassed about that? Gone are the days when clothes and makeup made up the pit that my money would fall into…now it’s food. But food is awesome so nope, no shame here.

Of course, food can and DOES add up quickly. Especially when you start shopping at places like Costco or Sam’s Club. You have to have a budget for those places otherwise the money just vanishes. Or you can take my approach and steer clear of them unless you really need something (my approach for now).

Average Food Budgets for American Families: 

For someone like me, who really doesn’t know how much is considered “a lot” when it comes to food budgets, it’s great to know what a typical family spends on food per week. The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) actually posts a breakdown of the average individual and families cost of food at home by week and month.

My family is a family of four with two kids- 2 and 4. Under this group, here is the breakdown of average food costs at home per week (info was from February 2015):

  • Thrifty Plan– $131.00 per week
  • Low-Cost Plan-$167.30
  • Moderate-Cost Plan– $207.10
  • Liberal Plan-$256.50

(Here is a link to that page).

Just looking at these numbers, I believe we would (or could) fall into the Moderate-Cost Plan. We eat most of our meals at home or pack lunches, so we should be able to pull this off.

My Current Situation

My current “budget” for grocery shopping is…I have no budget. True Life: I’m 32, a mother of two, and have no grocery budget (does anyone else miss that MTV show True Life? True Life: I have calf implants..ha! Maybe they still have it… I donno..again, I’m 32).

My guess on how much I spend weekly on groceries is probably around $300. Some weeks more, some less. That is only groceries. So, you can see that we go above and beyond liberal.

Of course, what you spend on groceries depends on your personal income. Without getting into too many details, I will say $300 ish a week, is too much. We could and need to shave that down.

The real issue for me is just keeping track of where the money goes. Instead of going to the store and buying whatever catches my eye, therefore spending who knows how much, keeping track will give me and my family a good idea of spending, budgeting, and self control.

My Weekly Grocery Budget Goal:


My NEW goal for groceries only is $200. Two hundred dollars for a family of four (2 small kids). That’s basically the moderate-cost plan.

I could do this the hard way: show up, buy some stuff, and whatever amount is left for the week will have to get us through. Or, what I assume is the easier way: take an inventory of food we have (hello, pantry!), plan out meals for the week, shop accordingly.

For now, I’m only going to shop at our local store-NO Costco. Costco is another beast for another day. Baby steps.

I’ll update you next week with how the week went! Anyone want to join me on this budget challenge?

Do you stick to a grocery budget? Any good tips?? 

2 comments to Grocery Budget Challenge: Take 1

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