Now is the Time to Create a Real World Food BudgetJuly 24th, 2014
Let’s face it, we can spend a lot of money — too much money — on food!
In his best selling book, The total money makeover : a proven plan for financial fitness, Dave Ramsey suggests that families spend somewhere between 5-15% of their monthly income on food, and he includes eating out.
The United States Department of Agriculture has published a food budget plan chart for individuals and families:
- Thrifty plan
- Low-cost plan
- Moderate-cost plan
- Liberal plan
Official USDA Food Plans
Click here to view the Official USDA Food Plans: Cost of Food at Home at Four Levels.
Food Budget in the Real World
For example, a single fellow, age 49, who needs to cut expenses and lose a few pounds (or 20) could select the “Thrifty” plan and spend no more than $187.70 per month on food (which is $46.88 per week).
At the beginning of each month or week, he could withdraw that amount from his bank account and pay cash for all of his food purchases. (The coins he receives in change could go into a piggy bank to be rolled at the end of the year for a “surprise” windfall.)
This chap would need to be frugal because when that money is gone, it’s gone until the next week (or month).
Afraid of Getting Mugged? Use a Debit Card Instead
Another option would be to use a debit card; graciously accept your receipts from the cashier (or food serving person if you’re dining out) and carefully total up the costs for your food purchases.
Hang tough! Do not exceed the costs for the food plan you’ve selected.
TIP: Think cheap and healthy when you’re shopping (canned fruit is good, Doritos not so good) and never shop when you’re hungry.
NOTE: Read about debit cards here.
No body is worth more than your body
— Melody Carstairs