If you’ve been following a few years, you’ve seen me adjust my grocery budget here and there. I’ve gone from $350 per month, to $80 per week, to $85 per week. The last part of 2012 it was hard to stick to any budget, because of unpredictable grocery price fluctuations. And I look ahead now with bewilderment. It is virtually impossible to predict what will happen in the grocery marketplace. That makes it hard to budget.
How much are you increasing your grocery budget this year? I’m adding 18% to my spending total, and using that for my budget. The increase gives me a nice round number that will fit with our finances (other expenses are going down this year), and should allow healthful eating with just a little extra effort.
I’m also shopping more purposefully this year, paying more attention to ingredients in all foods I buy (especially the ones marketed as “healthy”), and am finding some surprising things. The reaction is that I’m preferring to cook from scratch. My produce drawers are bursting. Since I’ve given up pork, I can better focus on deals on beef, chicken and fish. So I guess you could call it simplifying. Another thing I did was clear out and rearrange my kitchen cabinets. Sounds simple, but it really helped me purge old ideas along with things I no longer needed. (Freecycled!) And that part of my spring cleaning is done.
Now I’m set up for a successful year in the kitchen. Healthy meals = healthy bodies = happy family.