Getting to the Table

BudgetMeal Plan

Budget

Average Household

The amount that an average family spends on groceries per week can vary depending on factors such as family size, location, dietary preferences, and budget constraints.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the average weekly grocery expenditure for a family of four (two adults and two children) in the United States can range from around $130 to $300. However, it’s important to note that this is an average estimate, and individual circumstances can lead to higher or lower spending.

Factors that can influence grocery spending include the cost of living in a particular area, dietary choices (organic, specialty diets), buying preferences (brand names vs. store brands), and eating out habits.

Cost savings at home

1. Buying Ingredients: You buy the ingredients from the grocery store or market. This is usually cheaper than buying ready-made meals or eating out at restaurants. 

2. Portion Control: You can control how much food you make and eat. This means you can make just the right amount for yourself or your family, avoiding wasted food and saving money.

3. Leftovers: Instead of throwing them away, you can store them in the refrigerator and eat them for another meal. This saves money because you don’t have to buy more food or eat out again.

By cooking at home, you can have tasty and healthy meals while saving money. Plus, it can be a fun and creative activity to do with your family or friends. So let’s put on our chef hats and start cooking!

Make your Budget

1. Calculate Your Income: Knowing your income helps you understand how much you have available to spend.

2. Subtract Essential Expenses: Rent or mortgage, utilities (electricity, water), transportation, and other necessary bills. Subtract the total amount of essential expenses from your income.

5. Estimate Grocery Costs: Think about how much money you want to spend on groceries each month. This will depend on your family’s needs, size, and dietary preferences. 

There are several online resources that offer free pre-made weekly meal plans to help with meal preparation and planning. Here are a few popular options:

Recipe Indexes

BBC

Use a recipe index to choose 4-5 meals for a week. Then put together you grocery list based on the meals you have chosen

If this is a new phrase to you, check out this page for all the information on myplate.

Pick 4-5 foods from each category, make sure to choose fruits and veggies that are in season for extra savings, you can even go to your local farmers market

  • This gives you a list of items that are flexible and budget friendly allowing you to be as creative as you want.
  • This is also a great way for you kiddos to get involved (check out kids tips for more ways to involve your family with food)

    Tips and Tricks

    Coupons

    1. Plan your shopping list: Check if you have any coupons for those specific items. This will help you stay focused and avoid impulse purchases.

    2. Organize your coupons: Keep your coupons organized so you can easily find them when needed.

    3. Stack coupons: Some stores allow you to use a manufacturer coupon along with a store coupon for the same item, maximizing your savings.

    4. Sign up for loyalty programs: Many grocery stores offer loyalty programs that provide additional discounts and exclusive coupons.

     

    Think Seasonal

    1. Flavor and Taste:  Fruits and vegetables that are allowed to fully ripen naturally tend to have better texture, sweetness, and overall flavor.

    2. Cost Savings: Seasonal produce is generally more abundant, which can lead to lower prices due to reduced transportation and storage costs.

    3. Support Local Economy: Purchasing seasonal produce from local farmers supports local agriculture and the local economy.

    4. Variety and Diversity: Embracing seasonal produce encourages you to explore a wider range of fruits and vegetables throughout the year.

    Take Stock

    1. Avoiding Overbuying: This helps you avoid buying duplicates or excessive amounts of certain items. It saves you money and prevents unnecessary food waste.

    2. Ensuring Freshness: This helps you prioritize using those ingredients and avoid wasting them. You can plan meals around perishable items to ensure they are consumed before they spoil.

    3. Identifying Staples and Key Ingredients:  It ensures you don’t forget to replenish important ingredients that you rely on for everyday cooking.

    Frozen is your friend

    1. Longer Shelf Life: Frozen produce has a longer shelf life compared to fresh produce. It doesn’t spoil as quickly, which means you can stock up when there are sales or discounts without worrying about it going bad.

    2. Reduced Food Waste: With frozen produce, you can use what you need and store the rest for later without the risk of spoilage.

    3. Cost-Effective Availability: Frozen produce is often available year-round and is not as affected by seasonal price fluctuations as fresh produce.

    4. Bulk Buying Options: Look for sales or discounts on bulk frozen produce to save even more. You can portion out what you need for a particular meal and store the rest for later use.