How to Create & Stick to the Grocery Budget

Ever go to the grocery store and walk out with items you never planned to grab?  Or spend a little over your budget?  [raises hand] Been there, done that!  The grocery budget is easily one of the more costly items on the budget and it can be so frustrating when you go over.

Here is my step-by-step process when buying weekly groceries.

Make a List: 

How to Create & Stick to the Grocery Budget

Look through your cabinets and fridge and list the items you are

  • low on that you use often
  • core items- i.e.  meats, starches, veggies, fruits
  • snacks and “would-likes”

Price the Items on the List:

How to Create & Stick to the Grocery Budget

After you create your list, quantify and price out each item.  Go as far as choosing how much you are willing to pay for each item, as well!  This not only exercises your awareness for cost and value, but also provides a bit of leverage when comparing prices among different stores.  Or, even substitute items that ended up pricier than you are willing to spend (i.e. substituting chicken for steak).

This turns grocery shopping from a chore to a game!

Take & Use Coupons 

How to Create & Stick to the Grocery Budget

I have to admit that I typically forget most/all of my coupons at home!  So, I seldom rely on coupons to save a bit of money.  However, this week, I scored a coupon that is practically a $10 dollar bill- So, best believe I was making a u-turn home, had I forgotten it!

So, all that to say, if you have coupons and you plan to shop the items anyways, use them!  Place them in your purse and budget them in your shopping.

Watch the Unit Price 

How to Create & Stick to the Grocery Budget

How to Create & Stick to the Grocery Budget

It is easy to get caught up in the sales and overlook the unit price (the tiny print usually placed on the lower right corner).   Even large sized items can price more expensive than the same item in a smaller size.  The unit price reveals whether you are truly getting a bang for your buck!

Check How You Scored

How to Create & Stick to the Grocery Budget

I encourage you to take some time at the end of your shopping to compare the prices that you set and the goals you made and score how well you hit your targets.  This took some time and practice to get this system going where I can “name that price.”  The more you practice, the better you will get!

How do you stay on track when grocery shopping?  Share in the comments below. 🙂

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