Showing posts with label Budgeting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Budgeting. Show all posts

January 28, 2014

Menu Planning & Grocery Shopping

Now that the hubby and I are living out on our own again, I have begun meal planning again in order to both save money and stay organised.

I first became a fan of meal planning back in 2012 (the hubby and I were living on our own) not long after I was made redundant and we had to learn to live on only one income for the first time ever. I will tell you now, we were not the most intelligent people when it came to budgeting and living within our means when we had two incomes coming into our house. We were both working well paid 42+ hour a week jobs which meant we were getting a lot of money, put getting paid alternate fortnights onto that and we were getting close to 1500 a week in wages. We did not save! I repeat again we did not save! At least definitely not as well as we should have, so when I was made redundant we did not have any sort of rainy day fund behind us which meant quickly learning to live on a very small budget.

During that time I learnt how to live on $60 a week for two people, two cats and run a house. I found my best option at the time was to shop fortnightly as that gave me a budget of $120 to work with which is a little easier then $60.

Now that I am back working again, the hubby has a much better job; we are much better off than before (and yes we are now saving, really saving, true saving in case something similar happens again) but I still prefer to budget out our wages and stick to it!

Currently I budget $500 a month on groceries. This is a large amount I know that, especially for two people and one cat. But it is a budget, not a target. From that $500 I budget $250 a fortnight. $200 in the main shop and $50 for top-ups in the second week (fresh fruit and veges, milk, bead & anything fresh we may require for meals planned).

At the moment we are finding that we are using the full $250 a fortnight, that is mainly due to the fact we are still setting ourselves up in our house and therefore are still buying a lot of basics for our pantry (baking ingredients, stocking our freezer with meat {when on special}, cleaning products etc).

We are hoping that once we have stocked our pantry and freezer enough we will only need around $150 a fortnight (including the second week top-up). Any money left over in our monthly grocery budget at that point, will stay in our grocery budget for the future. Sometimes things come up, a last minute dinner or summer BBQ invite, a shared lunch at work. Plus it is always nice to have a small cushion in your budget. If we find that we are grossly over budgeting then we will look at our budget and reallocate some of the money elsewhere (most likely to paying off debt faster).

This post was meant to be about how I meal plan and write a grocery list to accompany but it has instead turned into a background story and a grocery budget explanation. So I will leave that for another post. In future I will be putting a meal plan and accompanying grocery list up on here every fortnight (or there abouts), as well a possibly a recipe if the meal plan calls for a particular one.

If you would like a small run down of our whole budget, let me know and I will discuss with the hubby whether that is an option {personal info, you get the picture}. However I may look at doing a post about how I go about making my budget using an example income.

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