They say that the home food budget is second to the mortgage in price per month. With inflation and the cost of things increasing, you are getting less bang for your buck! That same $500 or $600 doesn't get you as far. So I am back to intentional food budgeting monthly! Since I love to cook, my food budget is always the thing I struggle with the most, but intentionality helps me to stay focused and take action.
I have read multiple food budget articles, which are so different! The USDA has an estimator that states a family of 5 costs over $1,000 per month, which puts me at 12k per year, and that's crazy! Other articles say to find a reasonable budget for your family, count all the people in your house and give $100 per person per month. We have five people (2 adults and three children between the ages of 7-15), so our budget would be $500 per month. Our sweet spot that I can comfortably keep is $600 per month, which is what I aim for. However, if I am not seeking and go willy-nilly to the food store without a plan, it is easy to get off track and buy things to expand my budget quickly.
This budget is also possible because I do a lot of cooking for my family, and I do not buy many processed foods that cost more. I always purchase basic staples (starch/rice, meat & veggies), and I meal plan weekly and monthly to keep on track. It may seem elaborate if you are new to this concept, but honestly, just like a muscle, the more you practice, the easier it becomes. When you shop and plan this way, it becomes beneficial, and you will rely on it.
I hope that for the next 12 months, I can keep a record of my food shopping habits. Then, I can celebrate the wins and work on anything that needs to be addressed. I can discuss some of the meals we eat on this platform and how that affects our budget. Posting here keeps me accountable! How is your food budget?