How to Spend Your FOOD Dollars
Your grocery budget can seem overwhelming, but today you are going to become EMPOWERED towards a HOPE and a FUTURE. Firstly, you need to figure out the amount you are going to spend on your monthly groceries. Secondly, you need to figure out how to spend your food dollars in a manner so as to provide healthy balanced meals for your family.
The ultimate goal of your grocery shopping is to be able to eat healthy and well without financially stressing your budget. You can’t work properly if you’re not fed properly. And if you can’t work properly, then how can YOU be EMPOWERED to improve your financial situation?
We can all agree that FOOD is vitally important for your overall health and that of your children. Aren’t you sick and tired of being sick and tired? So the next most important basic fundamental NEED after securing proper housing and utilities is of course—FOOD.
How Much To Spend On Your Monthly Groceries
For further information on how to figure out how to divide your finances to pay for housing, utilities, and food, go to the following article:
In that article you will see that when it comes to determining how much you should spend on your food bill, you will see that it should be 16-18% of your overall income. But whether you spend $200 or $600 a month (or more) on FOOD—there are basic guidelines for breaking it down and spending it.
These guidelines will help YOU:
Stretch your FOOD dollars
Ensure that all FOOD groups are covered
Put more FOOD in your fridge, freezer, and cupboards
Find more money left over. (You’re kidding, right?) Nope, YOU just might. Results will vary.
However, if you need to figure out how to find the low/high 16-18% calculation for your monthly grocery budget, grab your FREE Basic Budgeting 10 page Workbook.
Divided Into 5 FOOD Categories
The next step is to divide up this 16-18% funds between all of the 5 major food groups. Whether you are making your weekly (biweekly, or monthly) shopping lists, allow for the following 5 Groups–
Milk & Cheese Products
Fruits & Vegetables
Meat, Fish and Eggs
Bread, Flour, and Cereals
Fats, Sugars, & Extras (spices, sauces, etc.)
It is important to make sure these 5 Food Groups get covered first, after all, these are the items that will feed your family. Working on finding the money necessary for basic toiletries such as toilet paper, soap, shampoo, cleaners, and pet food will come later. But make sure you have FOOD to eat FIRST.
The amount to spend in each FOOD Group should be about the same. For instance if you have $400 available for FOOD for the month—YOU should be spending it like this.
Calculation 1: Food Group Money Breakdown
Money available for month divided by 5 FOOD Groups = $ dollars for each FOOD Group
eg. $400 divide by 5 = $80
So that means YOU now have:
Milk & Cheese products $80
Fruits & Vegetables $80
Meat, Fish & Eggs $80
Bread, Flour, and Cereals $80
Fats, Sugars, & Extras (spices, sauces, etc.) $80
ADJUST to YOUR Family’s NEEDS
This plan will vary with each FOOD Budget. For instance, our household FOOD budget for 2 adults is only $200/month based on the fact that our monthly income is $1,000. So that breaks down to having only $40 for each of these FOOD Groups. Yes, the $200 is a little higher than the 16-18% figure I’ve suggested to you, but that seems to the lowest in budget I can go while still providing the foods necessary, but it also includes our toiletries and pet food in this amount.
As well, those who have gluten-sensitivity issues—YOU won’t be spending as much in the Bread, Flour, and Cereals category. However, that allows YOU flexibility to increase FOOD dollars in other categories. That’s what I do, I increase our proteins and keep the empty carbs of starchy vegetables, and breads, flour, and cereals to a bare minimum and many months, not at all.
But no matter how YOU need to tweak this FOOD dollar calculation for YOUR family—REMEMBER the following 3 FOOD Groups need to stay pretty balanced.
Milk & Cheese Products—this includes those on soy, almond, or coconut milk substitutes
Fruits & Vegetables
Meat, Fish & Eggs
Now I hear,
“BUT, I have picky eaters”
“There are allergies”
That’s ok. This is just a place to get YOU started. Now YOU are EMPOWERED to tweak this to YOUR family’s specific NEEDS.
This Journey Is Yours
Remember—this journey is about YOU. EMPOWERING YOU in your circumstances so YOU can change things for a HOPE and a FUTURE.
And the FUTURE here is putting more FOOD on your table. Now that you know how to spend your food dollars and how much you have available to spend in each FOOD Group, we can move onto the next steps such as the importance of taking stock of what you already have on hand at home. It may surprise you.