How I Create a Grocery Shopping Budget

Screenshot of the grocery budget excel spreadsheet template by Frolic & Courage.

In this blog, I share a quick version of how I create a grocery shopping budget to keep track of grocery spending using my special excel spreadsheet template.

I love to cook and eat! That’s why you’ll see a whole menu item dedicated to cooking easy and delicious recipes and food I’ve tried from around the world on this blog. Because I loved to eat so much, I would blow my grocery budget until I decided to get serious about my spending. 

I didn’t have a strategy to keep me focused in the grocery store and on target with my overall financial goals. After taking Dave Ramsey’s financial Peace University class years ago I learned to create a solid spending strategy and a grocery budget that works really well for me.

That’s why I created this grocery budget tracking excel spreadsheet. It has helped me meet or exceed my financial goals in this category for years. I received a comment on a video asking me where they could buy my spreadsheet so for the first time ever,  I’m making this grocery budget excel template available for you to download. It’s super cheap and will help you stay on track.

Screenshot of a filled out grocery budget excel spreadsheet template by Frolic & Courage.

With that said, let’s go through the exact details of how I create a grocery shopping budget to keep track of grocery spending using my special excel spreadsheet template.

Start with Your Monthly Budget

My Grocery budget is birthed from my overall monthly budget. I total all of my income then subtract all of my bills, such as mortgage/rent, electricity, gas, water, etc. Whatever is leftover after all the fixed expenses can be applied to groceries, fun money, and any sinking funds. 

Determine Your Grocery Shopping Time Period

I grocery shop when I get paid, which is every two weeks, so my grocery budget is created to last for two weeks. I tend to buy groceries in bulk to last two weeks, but your situation may be different. It could be every week, every few days, or every months – whatever works best for you! Find out how much money you have to spend and allocate a reasonable portion towards groceries.

Open the Grocery Shopping Excel Spreadsheet

Before I leave the house, I create a grocery shopping list using my grocery shopping excel spreadsheet. IMPORTANT: do NOT go shopping without it and you’ll see why in my latest YouTube video.

Next, if I’m feeling on top of my game that week, I will start to meal plan. I could plan every breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and snack for the week or the entire month using the grocery shopping excel spreadsheet, but two weeks works just fine for me.

Screenshot of the meal planning calendar by Frolic & Courage.
It’s easy to see what I’m going to eat for the week when I type my meal in my meal planning excel spreadsheet.

Take Inventory of What you Have

Once finished, I’ll break all of the meals down into ingredients then start adding the items I need to the spreadsheet along with the planned expense for each item.

In order to maximize my grocery shopping budget, I look at what I already have in my pantry, fridge, and freezer. Dave Ramsey suggests eating what you already have first, so I try to only get the items I truly need for two weeks. From there, I may tweak my grocery shopping excel spreadsheet to eliminate things I already have. Money is saved before I start grocery shopping!

Shop ’till you Drop

With my trusty list in hand, I head to the grocery store. While in the stores, I pull up my grocery shopping excel spreadsheet to filter to the exact store and sort my category (ie- grocery aisle). As I shop, I enter the actual expense of every item on my list. This helps me stay focused and on budget!

Finally, once I’ve hit all of my favorite stores I will return home and review my grocery shopping budget excel spreadsheet. I look at what expenses I planned well and others where my estimate may have been off. I never delete items from my list because I am likely to buy again, but if I want to create a new grocery shopping excel spreadsheet for a special event I’ll just copy/paste and start again.

Thumbnail for the How I Create a Grocery Shopping Budget | Excel Spreadsheet Template | Frolic & Courage YouTube video.
Watch me prepare my grocery shopping budget using my excel spreadsheet!

That’s as simple as it gets! Do you have a grocery shopping budget strategy? Share your tips below!

Antoinette | Frolic & Courage

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