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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