Grocery Budgeting and Meal Planning

I am taking the budgeting seriously this month. I want to come up with a concrete budget monthly plan. And to get that, I need numbers as proof. So what I have been doing since the first of the month was log all expenses. I also have been refraining from spending anything else from what I receive (and withdraw) from my bank. When I do grocery shopping I keep the receipts and log the prices of commonly-used items in an Excel file. I have been playing with brand names and sizes so I can compare which is more economical. Our budget this month will balloon I’m sure but at least we can start right next month. I am so tired of getting a payday advance every month. While it is easy and very helpful for families who need cash, it certainly is better to have cash on hand all the time so you can budget easily and save the rest.

Here are things I did:
1. Play with menus for the week. I incorporated fish and more veggies for us from two to three times a week.
2. Monthly commodities like rice, mineral water, gas and my daughter’s milk are budgeted at the beginning of the month. (Rice and gas are replaced every 2-3 months).
3. I realized I’m spending a lot on my son’s snacks and lunch meal at school. I need tips and creative ideas to have variety on a budget.
4. We haven’t eaten out since the month started. But we do grab a bit after a mass on a food stand. I need to incorporate that in our budget.
5. Fresh fruits need to be in our food too – I want my kids to be healthy. But since I don’t want to have much petty cash with me all the time, it needs to be bought when the helper goes to market.
6. It is cheaper to buy menu items from the market. Grocery shopping is better for items in the fridge and snacks.


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