Our Monthly Grocery Budget


Our monthly grocery budget is $300 for a family of four.  For a few years, I was able to keep our budget around $175, but after having our second child and trying to focus on a healthier lifestyle (less processed, more whole foods), I bumped it up to $300.  I do have to add that we get a significant amount of meat from my (very generous) parents who buy a portion of a cow and a pig and share with us.  If we had to buy meat, I would probably up our budget to around $350.

WHAT OUR MONTHLY BUDGET INCLUDES:

- All food items

- Paper goods (TP, paper towels)

- Toiletry items (toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo,etc)

- Diapers and wipes

- All cleaning supplies

- Stamps for rebates

- Newspaper subscription for coupons

I use a Google Docs spreadsheet created by The Coupon Project to track my shopping trips including, shelf cost, coupon amount, total savings and variance to my monthly budget.  This has been such a huge help to me!  The spreadsheet is so easy and keeps everything in one place for me.

Here’s a breakdown of what needs to be entered on the spreadsheet:

  • SHELF COST: I enter in the amount I would have paid at the store that day, without coupon or rebate.  I don’t factor in the full price as I would usually never pay full price for ANYTHING!
  • COUPONS: Manufacturer coupons and catalina coupons
  • DISCOUNTS: I include store coupons here, to keep them separate from manufacturer coupons.
  • REBATES: This is for any type of rebate I am submitting, mail-in or through Rite Aid’s Single Check Rebates program.

Everything else is calculated for you!  You may interpret each of the above entries a little different than I do, but the key is to keep it consistent.  If you don’t do the same thing every time you make an entry, your results won’t be accurate.

I love that it tracks my spending before and after rebates.  This will help keep me in line and not spend too much out of pocket each month.  Even if I am coming in under budget, if I spent all of our monthly cash on rebate items, it would go pretty quick.

Please remember, every family is different.  I am constantly re-evaluating our budget as our life changes and goes through its ebb and flow.  The point is that we save money and we do the best we can every month.

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