How to budget for groceries | Find your budgeting style
There are so many ways to budget, but not every method suits everyone. Find the right method for you, and you're more likely to stick to your budget.
Find below an overview of practical, user friendly methods to keep an eye on your food budget.
Meal planning: Great for organised mammas.
Meal planning is a simple and effective way to plan your spending over the course of a month.
By writing a chart of the week's meals and sticking to it, you can control your weekly food budget to the very last penny.
A big advantage to this method is that you avoid the end of the month hodge-podge of meals, and ensure tasty dinners the whole month through.
Old fashioned cash users: Great for more ad-hoc mammas who like to see what's out there.
At the beginning of each week, take out a set sum of money from a cash machine. Make sure you pay for your food shopping with this and not a credit or debit card.
This means that you simply cannot go over your budget and helps you see just how much food you can get for your money.
You can also use your creative side by putting ingredients together that you might not have thought about before - after all, necessity is the mother of invention (and some great recipes).
Bulk buying online: Great for long-term budgeters
Bulk buying online means that you're less likely to purchase impulse buys and you can tot up your shopping total as you go.
Another benefit is that you can seriously bulk buy and not worry about getting it all home - particularly important if you don't have a car.
Fancy buying a month's worth of pasta? No problem - let the delivery driver do all of the heavy lifting.
Scratch n dent hunters: Great for those who like to say 'knickers' to the big supermarkets.
Scratch n dent budgeters pounce on the reduced section of their local supermarkets, knowing exactly when to go. A major benefit is saving as much as 75% off your meat bill, by buying in close to sell by date products.
A good time to go for these deals is Monday morning or at about 3pm, when the supermarkets are trying to offload goods that haven't sold over the weekend.
Be prepared for some sharp elbowed bargain hunters, and make sure to freeze everything as soon as you get home.