If you feel like you are spending too much money on food, then you may feel the answer is to set a food budget. However, you may never have done this before and may not know how to do it. There is not one right answer really, but below are some steps you could take to help.
Decide what you can afford to spend
You probably have an idea of the amount that you would like to spend on food compared with what you are spending. Maybe you want to cut the budget by a specific amount of money or you just want to reduce it. It is a good idea to have a specific figure in mind because that will help you to plan more specifically. If you just know that you overspend generally each month and feel that food is an area you can cut down, then make sure you find out how much you overspend so that you can budget to cut down on at least that amount of money.
Look at what you need to spend
It is a good idea to make sure that you are also aware of what you need to spend. We need a certain amount of food and we need to address out nutrient needs as well. However, many of us will buy more food than we need or we will eat more than we need or have unhealthy foods so even though we eat what feels like enough or to much we do not meet our nutritional requirements. This means that we might need to rethink the types of things that we are buying. We want to be sure that are getting good value for money from our food shopping so that we buy good quality food which is nutritious. Many people believe that healthier food is more expensive but this is generally not the case. If you make sure that you are not buying unhealthy food, that you get your portion size right and that you cook from scratch then you will spend a lot less compared to buying a lot of pre made foods, eating out, take away meals and things like this. Items labelled as health foods are often expensive but you can be healthy without eating these things. Just having plenty of fruit and vegetables, (frozen, tinned or fresh), some whole grains, and a small amount of quality protein will give you a good diet without huge expense.
Find the right supermarket
There are supermarkets that are known to be more expensive than others but it is wise to be very careful. You will often find that the cheaper ones will not have such healthy food options or such a good variety of some types of food. They may also not be as cheap as you think. It is a good idea to check the prices for yourself depending on what you are buying and use the supermarket that is cheaper for you. It will depend on exactly what items you buy as although one supermarket might be cheaper for some people, it may not be cheaper for everyone. Also be careful when buying food from budget shops as sometimes they are cheaper but they have smaller quantities and so may not actually offer good value for money as you are getting less so you will run out more quickly. Also bear in mind the travel costs to the supermarket as if you have to drive further to get there then this will incur higher fuel or travel costs. You should be able to work out the travel costs using Google maps or a similar site to check this.