5 Sneaky Ways Grocery Stores Take Your Money
Fight Higher Grocery Bills
7 Secrets to Grocery Store Savings
I'm trying to set up a budget for my family and would like to know how much an average family of four spends on groceries every month in the Southeastern U.S.? And does this include personal items, cleaning items and toiletries? Is there a general rule of thumb, such as not spending more than a certain percentage of net income? I can't find the answers to these questions anywhere and would really appreciate your input.
On Line Financial Resource
I have a web site I use a lot for this. It is Crown.org. This is Larry Burkette's online budget you can use for free. It tells you in dollars and percentages. Larry Burkette is gone now, but he was well known and the site is still helpful.
Grocery Budgeting with the Help of Tightwad
We are a family of five. I have a 12-year-old son who eats continuously, a nine-year-old girl and a one year old that eats almost nothing! I have recently decided to try to get my grocery bill as low as possible and use the surplus to pay off a credit card. I have been averaging $70 to $90 a week for the past two months. This includes cleaning, paper products, etc (except makeup). I found the best books on this are the Tightwad Gazettes and a small booklet called "The $30 a Week Grocery Budget" by Donna McKenna. I cook nearly everything from scratch. We have muffins, pancakes, oatmeal, etc. for breakfast. I pack lunches for my two older kids and husband. They have a sandwich, fruit or veggies, cookie and drink. Dinner is meat purchased on sale and chili or soup once a week. I have found a wonderful grocery store called "Save A Lot". I buy most of my stuff there and shop once a month at Wal-Mart and Sam's. I am happily watching my credit card balance fall every month!
Figure Out Your Personal Grocery Budget
Don't worry about the "average" family. Find out what you spend on your family. Fold a piece of paper into eight boxes with one for you and one for your spouse. Keep this in your purse or wallet. Write down everything you spend on a daily basis such as trips to fast food, coffee & candy bars etc. Keep your receipts, too. At the end of the week total each category. Then in about two to four weeks see what you average. Then sit down and see if there are any areas you can cut back. How much do you spend each week for "fast coffee"? Could you make coffee at home and save that way? Get the kids involved planning and shopping. See if you can lower your expenses and plan great meals. Make it fun.
A Bank With Calculators
Try Bankrate.com. They have a lot of calculators. I know for sure that they have cost of living calculators.
Updated September 2013
Take the Next Step
- Your groceries cost less when you get cash back! Checkout 51 can show you how!
- For all things "Groceries & Food," please visit www.stretcher.com
- Do you struggle to get ahead financially? Then you'll want to subscribe to our free weekly Surviving Tough Times newsletter aimed at helping you 'live better...for less'. Each issue features great ways to help you stretch your dollars and make the most of your resources.
More Tips & Tools to Help You
Live Better...For Less
- How to become a millionaire in 7 easy (hah!) steps
- 5 poor ways to save (and how to do better)
- 10 places to look for $500 in savings
Here are 10 ways to save $500 for when you drive, eat or travel.
- 9 savvy strategies to save for a rainy-day fund
- 5 big bills you can cut fast
- Money-saving secrets of the rich and frugal
- 4 ways to help your parents with their finances
- The dangers of convenience checks
- How to save big bucks on a college education
- Avoiding the pressure of peer spending
- The do's and don'ts of establishing credit
- 7 habits of highly frugal people
- Reduce your debt with this free debt course by The Dollar Stretcher
- Reduce your debt payoff time
- Find a better credit card rate
- Get better savings & MMA rates