Creating a grocery budget can be overwhelming. From deciding where and how to grocery shop, to being serious about saving money on groceries, solidifying an actual budget can sober you quickly.
But, I’m going to let you in on a secret: there’s more than one way to create one. Yup, that’s right. Don’t let those “experts” guilt you into those grocery budgets they write about, or use to create YouTube videos.
How Many Ways Can I Make A Grocery Budget?
There are 3 different ways to make a grocery budget. You read that right. You can utilize your current income, use the USDA Food Plan, or the number of people in your home. Let me break each option down for you, so you can make an informed decision.
Grocery Budget From Monthly Income
When I shared how to make a basic budget, I mentioned your food budget for the month should be 5% of your take-home pay. This is the way to figure out your grocery budget, when you have a zero based budget. We started by creating our grocery budget this way, but ended up moving to the 3rd hack detailed below. If you are getting into budgeting, using this system may work best for you because you can challenge yourself to stick to that percentage.
Using USDA Food Plan
Did you know the US government provides monthly documentation for you to use, to create your grocery budget? The USDA Food Plan calculates how much you should spend on food via 4 different tiers: thrifty, low-cost, moderate-cost, and liberal. They also break it down by gender, age, and families of 2 and 4.
Budget Per Family Member
If you came to this post because you needed to find the easiest write-up of how to make a grocery budget. Well, here it is. There is one simple way; set an actual dollar amount for each member of your family.
What the heck does that mean? It means decide if the amount will be 50 dollars, 100 dollars, or even 150 dollars per person. Then, work with that number. Here’s a quick breakdown of how this should work in your family:
- Thrifty Grocery Budget – $50 per person (including babies on formula/eating table food)
- Frugal Grocery Budget – $100 per person (including babies on formula/eating table food)
- Moderate Grocery Budget – $150 per person (including babies on formula/eating table food)
- Liberal Grocery Budget – $200 per person (including babies on formula/eating table food)
There you go, friend. If you make a grocery budget, keep it simple. These 3 ways are pretty easy, but that last one is the key to learning how to start on this journey, and get that budget as low as you can. If you are in the liberal area, work on moving to the moderate area. Give yourself permission to work on that challenge.
I hope this post helps you decide to make a grocery budget that works for your family. Do you still have questions? Ask them below, and I’d love to help you figure this out.