How do you control your food budget every month?

@mermaidivy (15417)
United States
July 15, 2009 2:40pm CST
We just spent another 80 bucks on food shopping again this month after we just bought some food on last Friday. Most of the time, before I go to grocery store, I write down what I want and supposingly only grab the items that are on the list, right? But everytime when I am at the store, I just grab what I see and think of "Ahhh I can cook this and that, let's grab them as well!" So I end up paying a lot more than I expect EVERYTIME... it was supposed to be like 30 dollars trip butended up paying more than a half... So how do you control it? Do you actually look at the newspaper and mark down which one is the best sales? I think I should do this next time when I do food shopping, I think I wcould save a lot by doing that. What do you think?
4 people like this
21 responses
@writersedge (22579)
• United States
16 Jul 09
Coupons, trade food, grow food, gather food
1 person likes this
@mermaidivy (15417)
• United States
16 Jul 09
What is gather food?
1 person likes this
@writersedge (22579)
• United States
17 Jul 09
Actually Euell (Eull-spelling?) Gibbons was the MOST famous before wild man. Mr. Gibbons went world wide.
1 person likes this
@loki1982 (767)
• Dallas, Texas
16 Jul 09
Im not a picky eater, so if I want to save on eating expenses I just simply chose more cost effective foods. A loaf of bread, cheese and ham/chicken/turkey is fairly cheap and will last awhile. You get what, like 8-10 sandwhiches out of a loaf. Ramin noodles are another cheap thing you could try. This may not be effective for you, but it has worked for me.
1 person likes this
@mermaidivy (15417)
• United States
16 Jul 09
I do get ramin noodle for lunch myself but I get fresh food for cooking for my husband.
1 person likes this
@shia88 (4582)
• Malaysia
16 Jul 09
I set a budget for food and daily expenses every month...for example : set about Rm500/month. You can only spend up to that limit everymonth..not more than that.I have been practising it for few months and it works well for me.No more over-spending and my finance is well controlled too.
1 person likes this
@mermaidivy (15417)
• United States
16 Jul 09
I think I should set a budget too...makes me save money.
1 person likes this
@mobhomeir (7567)
• Philippines
17 Jul 09
I think we have same attitude when it comes to grocery time. Though I have also a list of all priorities, that would not be followed after I would already eyes-tempting items...Grrrrrr I hate it only when I found out it exceed my budget...
1 person likes this
@yogambal_64 (1016)
• India
16 Jul 09
Ya, the best idea would be to go through the paper and find out what offers are best and where. But, while shopping please do note that you do not bring home expired tinned or packets. It is better to shop making a list of items required but once you feel like buying anything extra just think twice if it is required utmost. If not you can very well purchase the item next month deleting the items you have purchased this month that way their will be a change in menu also.
@mermaidivy (15417)
• United States
16 Jul 09
I think I have got to do that... check out which is the best deal...
• India
16 Jul 09
never calculate about wat u eat live freely u will realise one day that u have control itt
@mermaidivy (15417)
• United States
16 Jul 09
@cher913 (25897)
• Canada
16 Jul 09
we shop every other week for groceries and thats it. if we have forgotten anything, we live without. we also go to a butcher for our meats (cheaper than the grocery store). plus shop for regular groceries at a discount place. we eat a lot of soups and stews in the winter. (i can get two soup bones for just over a dollar!)
@mermaidivy (15417)
• United States
16 Jul 09
THat's pretty cheap. I think we even spend more on food in the winter...
@snowy22315 (27010)
• United States
16 Jul 09
If I knew that I would probably end up spending a lot less money on food than I do. I tend to just get what I like and this ends up actually costing money. It is sometimes difficult to get what I want in terms of money and the cost of groceries.
@mermaidivy (15417)
• United States
16 Jul 09
That's what I mean...
@smileonstar (4014)
• United States
16 Jul 09
Hello, you said you spend $80 a month for grocery? wow!!! that's cheap. I have 2 children and 2 adults included myself, and I spend around $50 per week, Yes PER WEEK. Like I always said, Stick with the LIST... if you write down your stuff on the list and you get something else that's not on the list, then it means you broke your habit. I always love to cook, and everytime I go shopping for food I always stick with my list. I will not go over or less than what i need. I always buy what I need, not what I want. If you want to grab something else that's not on the list then you have to get rid off something on your list. Most of my food is asian food so, no coupon at all... all I have to shop is at Asian place and they are cheap and have what I need.
@mermaidivy (15417)
• United States
16 Jul 09
$80 is an extra after we spent on food at the beginning of this month and we only have 2 people in the house... I basdically only make dinner at the week nights... so it is a lot...
• India
16 Jul 09
hey for me it is not possible for me to control it bcecause now a days it is reaaly very costly affair to deal with the food budget and it is really not in hand to control titly by hands. lets seewhat government is going to do for all of us to maintain the ecomomy of individual.
@mermaidivy (15417)
• United States
16 Jul 09
THhnks for responding :-)
• India
16 Jul 09
I have trimmed down a lot in trying to budget food expenses. When the going was not so bad, I used to buy a lot of non-essential items…mainly packed and processed and export stuff that we used to love to have. You know, my basic idea is that we are working so hard to enjoy life and good variety food is one of my favourite ways to enjoy. I also spent a substantial amount of takeaways, you know…not feeling like cooking dinner tonight…but now with everything becoming so expensive, I have stuck all these off my list. I am sticking to the bare essentials so that we don’t compromise on the actual nutritional value of the food.
@mermaidivy (15417)
• United States
16 Jul 09
I don't buy instat food instead of all fresh food so it makes the trip more expensive becau seI like to cook and I don't really like instatn food (packed food...).
@Shellyann36 (7097)
• United States
16 Jul 09
I keep up with what I have on hand and devise a list from what I need. I then go though the weekly adds to get the best deals on the things that I need. If something is not on sale that I need I will try to arrange my menu so that I do not use that item. Ex- say I want to make tacos for supper one evening, well sour cream is something that we like on our tacos, if I am out of sour cream and it is not on sale I will not buy it until it is on sale and I will replace tacos with something else for that evening meal. I plan my menus by the meats that are on sale and I am a coupon clipping woman! This all adds up. Plus I never ever shop when I am hungry. This saves me so much money! Being organized, knowing what you need, creating a list and a menu from sales and coupon rebates helps so very much and should keep you on the right track. With 5 people in the house and 3 of them being teenage boys I think my budget is pretty well in hand. I normally spend about $400 a month on our food. Of course when I have extra money and there are good sales going on I will stock up on items that we use frequently such as canned foods and things of that nature that will not perish quickly. Our main budget goes to meats as well as fresh fruits and veggies monthly. I hope this helps you.
@mermaidivy (15417)
• United States
16 Jul 09
Thanks for your ideas!! I think it sounds good ;-)
@airakumar (1556)
• India
16 Jul 09
The same happen with me. When I go to buy something I buy more. The more I see, The more I buy and this way my budgets goes more than we have calculated. At least I have found that I cannot cut and control on food budget. Food is something we enjoy and I know we can save more on it by avoiding unnecessarily things. I hope I could do this in future and save money a lot.
@mermaidivy (15417)
• United States
16 Jul 09
I hope I can change this habit too so I could save some money!!
@vivianchen (2649)
• China
16 Jul 09
Hello there, I couldn't agree more! I am doing the same thing. Not only to the grocery store buying food, but also on the shopping for clothes or shoes or jeans. I always end up buying more than i expected myself too. That is just too bad, because i have to limit my budget for cloth and staff like that, i need to gathering money for travel.
@mermaidivy (15417)
• United States
16 Jul 09
When it comes ot mall shopping, I do't usually have a budget, just buy whatever I want because we should pamper ourselves once in a while right ?;-)
• Canada
16 Jul 09
how i control my budget is look in flyers at places to shop then go but noname stuff insted of named stuff and budget till u get more money like get noname pasta or w/e lol it could help u save alot of money -dylanD
@mermaidivy (15417)
• United States
16 Jul 09
I don't like those though, it really makes a huge difference of the tastes...
@xichen7 (153)
• Philippines
16 Jul 09
At the biginning of month, I have a plan of food for whole month. And check how much you can spend every week. Before I go to shopping, I will prepare a list of what I really need to buy. And when you go to the suppermarket, I only bring the money I need. But sometimes I will have special food want to eat at that time, so before I go I will check the plan that this week how much money I can use. If still can remain, I will bring the money for that. If don't have, I will buy next time.
@mermaidivy (15417)
• United States
16 Jul 09
Thanks for responding :-)
@thea09 (18299)
• Greece
15 Jul 09
Hi mermaidivy, try and plan your meals for the week ahead and write that list and stick to it. If you see non perishables on sale that you would normally buy then stock up, rather than buying something rashly. In England they used to have offers like buy one get one free and I'd stock up then and used to have a cellar full of washing powder. There are rarely offers like this here but yesterday there was one on my normal conditioner so I stocked up saving on future purchases.
@mermaidivy (15417)
• United States
16 Jul 09
hmmm the other thing is I don't look at sales deal on nespaper at home so when I am at the store, when I see buy one get one free and I need that product, I will get it, that makes me grab more stuff as well... Thanks for responding :-)
@thedaddym (1737)
• United States
15 Jul 09
My wife does it, but it is part of our over all budget. My wife gets a certain amount for groceries every month. Once it is gone it is gone. If she goes under budget she can use the money for other things that the family needs like clothes or household items. But it is budgeted ahead of time based on our income and expenses.
@mermaidivy (15417)
• United States
16 Jul 09
My husband has suggested to give me budget every month so I can control it, I think it's a good idea. Thanks for responding :-)
@saundyl (9698)
• Canada
21 Jul 09
I make a list and try to stick to it - i make meal plans or plan to eat with family. Its easier to stick to a list if i know what i'm going to cook. I also only take what i'm budgeting for then try to keep as much of that as possible by only purchasing sale items and combining those sales with coupons. I do look at the paper and i take time to go order coupons. I also am not afraid to ask for a manager and say this store has such and such for this price can you match it or do better for me? (lots of times if you take the time to ask they do...but otherwise i can take my business all to the other store because they DO auto price match and as a member of the store at christmas we all get share payments)
• India
16 Jul 09
stop eating pizza's,burgers and other cheesy thing and try to eat something healthy like eggs,barley,corn etc. so u can surely reduce ur montly budget on food