This printable weekly or monthly grocery budget template is a twofer—it’ll help you track your spending on food and grocery related items and can serve as a grocery list. In fact, let’s just go ahead and call it a printable budget grocery list!
How much did you spend on groceries last week? Last month? Go ahead, take a guess…. According to US News the average is $387 per household per month.
Now, obviously, your grocery related spending is going to fluctuate. It’s going to depend on whether you’re working with a grocery budget for two, a grocery budget for a family of four, or some other number of individuals entirely! It’s also going to fluctuate based on where you live and what your dietary needs or preferences are. And of course, even within your own family, your spending will vary from visit-to-visit depending on what you have to purchase that particular time.
However, regardless of all of that, it is important to have some idea of what you’re going to spend at the grocery store. Without that information, how can you properly work food into your household budget? Which brings me to….
How to Budget Groceries
Before I get to the printable budget grocery list, let’s talk about how to budget groceries. This isn’t about how to put together a healthy grocery list on a budget or how to grocery shop on a budget. (Although we will get to the latter in a bit.) Rather, what I want to talk about is how to actually get an accurate representation of your food expenses into your household budget.
As already mentioned, your grocery related spending is always going to vary, but with a little work you can come up with a fairly accurate estimation. The first thing you’ll want to do is collect documentation regarding what you’ve spent in the past. Look for:
- Online order confirmations if you buy groceries online.
- Bank statements, which won’t break down your order by item but will give you a total.
- Old grocery lists, which won’t give you a dollar amount but will show what you’ve been purchasing.
Tip: Try to get several months’, if not a full year’s, worth of data. More data will give you a more accurate average. That extra data will also allow you to look for seasonal fluctuations. For example, if you grow some of your own food, you may have lower grocery bills in the summer.
Then, with all of this documentation, start trying to put together an idea of how much, on average, your family is spending per month at the grocery store. This monthly total may be just one lump sum or it may be broken out by category or item, as we’ll do on the budget grocery list. If possible, check to see if this average fluctuates drastically by season.
Take your estimated monthly spending and add it to your printable monthly budget planner template or whatever tool you’re using for your household budgeting needs. (You do have a household budget, right?)
If you’re able to break the spending down into categories or specific items, print out the weekly or monthly grocery budget template below and write in your estimated spending. Note, if you figured out your spending per month but grocery shop on a weekly basis, be sure to turn that monthly estimate into a weekly one. To be precise, you can take your monthly spend, multiply it by twelve, and then divide it by 52 (the number of weeks in the year), unless you saw big seasonal fluctuations in spending.
For example, if you spend $15 a month on apples, to find your weekly spending you would do the following: $15 * 12 = $180 / 52 = $3.46. You spend $3.46 per week on apples on average.
As you continue to purchase groceries to feed your famished family, be sure to update your budget sheets! Write in what you actually spent and analyze how that compared to the estimated spending. And over time, update your estimates to match reality. Budgeting is a skill, and like all skills, it takes practice; keep at it—you’ll only get better!
Printable Weekly or Monthly Grocery Budget Template
Now that we’ve talked about how to budget groceries, let’s check out this printable weekly or monthly grocery budget template, which you can also conveniently use as a grocery list! It’s broken into four pages to cover as many possible grocery related items as possible, including baby products, so that this printable will work as a grocery budget for 2, a grocery budget for a family of 4, or any other combo. Here’s an overview of the pages:
- Page one – Produce, meat, bread/bakery, breakfast items, canned goods.
- Page two – Dairy, frozen, beverages, baking supplies, pasta/rice.
- Page three – Sauces/oils, condiments, snacks, seasonings, baby products, personal care.
- Page four – Household goods, pet products, paper/plastic, other.
Each page offers a:
- Blank box that you can put a checkmark in after you’ve purchased the item.
- Quantity (Qty) field for you to note how many of each thing you need.
- Budget (Bud.) field for you to estimate your cost.
- Actual (Act.) field for you to write down what you really paid.
- Difference (Dif.) field for you to calculate the difference and determine if you were over or under budget.
Tip: You can use this printable to help you determine whether you should shop around or not. For example, let’s say you budgeted a certain amount for paper towels but once at the store, the price is much higher. This may indicate you should go online (or to your local paper) to look for a coupon, try another store, or even order online.
How to Grocery Shop on a Budget
Whether you’re trying to stick to a grocery budget for 2 or a grocery budget for a family of 4, there are going to be challenges—especially given that prices can fluctuate widely from week-to-week. With that in mind, let’s talk about how to grocery shop on a budget, even if you’re going for a healthy grocery list on a budget. Here are some tips:
- Start with the items you have to have and then see if your budget will support items that are more “wish list” goods. For example, if you have a baby, diapers are pretty darn important so make sure those get added to the cart; however, you may be able to survive without candy or potato chips for the week.
- Try generic brands.
- Use these groceries shopping secrets, they’ll help you save money!
- Determine if you should shop at warehouse stores. Here are 8 reasons why I don’t shop at warehouse stores, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t right for your family.
- Opt for cheap meals so you can save money on ingredients. Check out 39 Cheap Meals for Large Families and 56 Cheap and Easy Family Meals.
- Plan your meals with a printable weekly meal planner template so that you can mindfully shop for ingredients and get the best price vs. having to run out and just grab stuff in your rush to make dinner on the fly.
Beyond the Weekly or Monthly Grocery Budget Template: More Resources and Printables
While this budget grocery list printable can make your trips to the grocery store more efficient and budget-friendly, it won’t do much for the rest of your expenses. Here are other budgeting resources, templates, and printables to help you get your family’s finances in order:
- How to Make a Budget in Excel
- Best Budget Tracker Template Printable
- Wedding Budget Checklist
- Best Money Tracker Template Printable