Grocery budgeting is difficult for the majority of human beings save for a small portion of people who actually like to budget. Why is grocery budgeting so hard? This article will cover the hidden pitfalls of grocery budgeting and give tips to follow to make this part of the budget less of a chore.
Not Tracking Items Purchased
One of the biggest culprits associated with blowing a grocery budget is not keeping track of what is purchased on a regular basis. Not keeping track of items while at the store can lead to putting other items that were not on the list, to begin with. To avoid this, it is recommended to plan in advance:
- Make a list of all the essentials needed before heading to the store
- Plan out any recipes in advance and add supplies to the grocery list.
- Do not look up recipes in the store on a smart phone or take one from a package. This also contributes to adding extra items that don’t fit into the budget.
Take Stock of the Pantry
Knowing what is in the kitchen is just as important as going shopping to stock it. Making a shopping list without going through and seeing what is still in the pantry will most certainly result in buying a few things again. But grocery budgeting doesn’t end with shopping lists or taking stock of the pantry. Determining what goes into it is equally important.
Most people like to take advantage of coupons or sales on different products at the store when they come up. Others like to purchase in bulk too. The conclusion is buying a few of an item on sale or a lot in bulk is actually saving money and time. But these cost-saving methods are actually only effective if the products are used. So if these items aren’t used within a reasonable amount of time or shopping hasn’t decreased as a result of these extra purchases, they are probably pushing up the grocery bill.
- Sales are a valuable part of grocery budgeting when used in the right way. Getting creative with ingredients that are on sale or available in bulk has some very good points including:
- Being able to use them in multiple meals.
- Using them to create substitutes during cooking. Like cocoa, butter, and sugar being used for chocolate.
- Being lead to create meals that have never been made or tried before.
Eating out impacts the budget for groceries in a significant way. In fact, the frequency of going out to dinner or getting dinner delivered can really raise the grocery bill. One family realized that they actually spent $1000 dollars a month just on that. Combating the desire to eat out isn’t that difficult. As with anything else, it should be done in moderation. It should also be added into the grocery budget and subtracted when money is spent.
Not every grocery budgeting method will work for everyone. But with these tips, hopefully it will be easier to understand how grocery money is spent and the adjustments needed to make the budget work.