Day Seventeen: Track Your Food Spending to Save
Welcome to 31 day series I’m creating for you called Crush Your Food Costs. Read more about it here and catch up with past tips if you’re late to the party.
The tip I’m sharing with you today is essential to crushing your food budget. If you don’t know where you are, you can’t figure out where you’re going.
This process is simple but it requires a 30-day commitment. I’ve only tracked my food spending a few times but it’s been worth it every time. You might think you know what you’re spending and on what but you really don’t until you record every purchase with pencil and paper for a month.
Both you and your partner or any other adult in the house should track what they’re spending each day on food–not just groceries but the coffee on the way to work, the afternoon candy bar at the vending machine, the after work happy hour, everything.
It’s important to track not only how much you’re spending but what you’re buying. At the end of 30 days, or to make it simple, at the end of each week, add up the categories, such as lunches, breakfast drive-through runs, Friday night sushi dates or grocery store cheese aisles. This will show you what you’re spending and where and can enlighten your partner. I can assure you there will be at least one or two areas of spending you didn’t realize had gotten out of hand.
If we hadn’t done this, I wouldn’t have found out that Mr. 47 really likes to have an Odwalla smoothie during his morning break at work. I never bought those at the grocery store because a. I think they’re expensive and I’m not that nuts about them and b. I had no idea he liked to drink them. But, buying a case at the grocery store or at a warehouse store is usually cheaper than buying one every day at the Quickie Mart.
You can use an app to track your spending or a piece of paper and pencil. Here are a few free apps you can download:
Have you ever tracked your food spending or your regular, everyday spending? What did you discover?