Welcome to the second major series of posts on Frugal Made Fun! Each week, I'll post 1-2 tips on how to develop your own plan to save money on groceries. I'm going to start with some of the most basic, easiest things you can do to save money, and then progress from there. You can take as much or little advice as you like. As the series progresses, a little more work may be involved, but you will definitely save more money. Enjoy your first tip!
The title of this series is "Whip Your Grocery BUDGET Into Shape!" The key word being "Budget!" The first step to setting a budget on groceries is to get an idea of what you are currently spending. For the next couple of weeks, save your grocery reciepts and at the end of each week add up how much you spent. By the end of 4 weeks, you should have a pretty good idea of what you average on groceries per week. If this "average" seems appropriate in relation to the number of people in your family and in regards to your salary, then make that average your new grocery budget number. If it seems high, at least you have a starting point. Try to decrease it by 10-20% each month until you feel like you are at an appropriate number.
(For what it's worth, our food budget is about 12% of our takehome pay. But we also include household supplies, pet food, spending money, etc in that 12%. So technically it's probably more like 8% but I've never done the numbers officially).
Here are a couple of blog posts to help you start thinking about how much is appropriate for your grocery budget:
Appropriate Food Budget for Family of Four by Trent @ The Simple Dollar
The Average Food Budget of a Family of Four by eHow
The Grocery Budget at BeingFrugal.net