How To Budget For Groceries

Recommendation

As a general rule the Credit Counselling Society of Canada recommends a budget of $200 to $250 monthly per person.

Our Computation

There are 8 people in our household. Following the lower end of the recommendation, 8 people x $200, brings our monthly grocery budget total to $1,600.

However, we follow a weekly budget, because it makes life admin easier for me. To get our weekly amount, first we multiply $1,600 by 12 months, which comes out to $19,200 annually. Then divide the annual amount by 52 weeks in a year, which is equal to $369.23 weekly.

Note that the grocery category in our budget includes not just food but also toiletries, cleaning supplies, and basically anything else you can buy at a grocery store. Also important to note that we are based in Alberta, Canada.

Double Check

We further checked this number by looking at how much we spent on groceries last year.

After going through our statements last year, we figured that we spent an average of $400 weekly on groceries.

Final Grocery Budget

So for our final grocery budget this year, we decided on keeping the $370 weekly.

By using this amount, we are still saving $30 per week compared to last year’s numbers without making ourselves feel like we’re “deprived”. Based on our success this year, we may challenge ourselves to further reduce this weekly grocery budget down to $350 next year.

Final Thoughts

The most important part of budgeting, which is where most people fail, is tracking your spending. So no matter how much you budget for groceries this year, track it.

If you don’t track your spending, then you wouldn’t know if your budget is working. Why spend so much time and brain function into setting a budget when you’re not periodically checking if you’re on track?

This is one of the major reasons why we keep a weekly budget. It makes tracking our spending easier for me. I set aside about 30 minutes every Thursday morning for our financial admin, which includes tracking spending from the past week and making sure that we are within our buget for each category.

How much is your budget for groceries? Chat with me in the comments below.

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