The Grocery Budget and Food Storage Series
By Angie Roberts Harris
What’s for Dinner?
I am sure that every American asks this question at least once a day, ‘What do you want to eat’? The bigger question, however, should be ‘How much is it going to cost’? As a child, my family went grocery shopping every Saturday morning and my mother knew exactly what we needed because she had a meal plan.
How much should I spend?
Dave Ramsey, a personal money-management expert and popular radio host, suggests spending between 5-15% of your take home pay on groceries, including eating out. For example, if your take home pay is $2,500 per month, the Dave Ramsey formula allows approximately $125-$375 per month or $31-$94 per week on ALL food.
The envelope system is a great place to start. First, determine your weekly food budget and place the cash in an envelope for the entire month. Next, each time you go to a grocery or convenience store, restaurant, or through the lunch line, use cash from the envelope. Depending on your habits or the size of your family, the budget could be very tight! A word of caution; school/ work lunches or special events like a birthday dinner could use your entire weekly or monthly budget before ever stepping foot into a grocery store.
What do we really need?
Short term food storage includes items on sale. For instance, if your family enjoys eating spaghetti once a week and the meal requires one jar of sauce, you will need 26 jars of sauce for six months. A sale on the sauce saves $1.00 per jar plus any coupons you may find, putting at least $26.00 back into your grocery budget. Keep a list of the items your family eats, watch the sales, and stock up! After a few months, you will begin to notice huge savings in your food bill.
Food for thought: How many hours do you work per week to cover your food budget?
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Angie Roberts Harris, wife and mother of five, has been working with food storage and emergency preparedness principles for over 30 years. She now is a Thrive Life Consultant and has integrated their products into her home.