What Is A Good Grocery Budget For One Person?

Budgeting your money can be really hard, and it can be surprising how much food takes up of your weekly and monthly budget, especially if you don’t plan out what you intend to spend. 

What Is A Good Grocery Budget For One Person?

Without proper planning, your grocery budget can sore dramatically, and it could be really hard to see where you can cut costs without impacting your health and making sure that you still get all of your nutritional needs met. 

 How Big Should My Grocery Budget Be?

Before you find out what a good grocery budget would be for yourself, work out what your monthly or weekly income is. 

You can do this by my figurine out all of your different income sources and taking the net total. 

Once you have the total of your income, you should then take away all the essential purchases that you have to make every month.

This would be something like your rent or mortgage,  your essential bills,  anything you need for outside activities,  maintenance for yourself such as for your car or for your house along with any extra expenses such as a cell phone bill and other non-negotiable elements. 

Are You Trying To Save? 

Another thing to bear in mind is whether you are trying to save as well.

If you are trying to save money in order to have an emergency fund, or to make a bigger purchase in the future, take this weekly or monthly amount away from your total income along with all of your essential purchases and bills. 

Food can be really expensive if you don’t control your budget. It’s super easy to get carried away especially when you don’t make a plan.

However, the best thing about having a food budget is that you can also cut it down quite easily with just a bit of forethought and planning. 

Depending on your dietary needs, your preferences, and the food options available to you in your area, you should be able to have a weekly grocery budget for one person for around $25 to $40.

Whatever your chosen cost of groceries, you should try to stick to your monthly food budget, and it should be low enough that it doesn’t cause you financial strain to maintain, your grocery bills can be lowered dramatically if you use grocery lists. 

Once you’ve worked out your monthly grocery budget, you can look at what you currently spend per month on groceries and what you can do to curb your spending levels. 

What To Do To Lower Your Grocery Budget?

What Is A Good Grocery Budget For One Person?

If you want to lower your grocery budget, there are several things that you can do. The first step is to decide exactly what you will buy each week or month.

This is easier to do for single people as you can pick foods you currently like and enjoy, reducing how much you waste food per month. 

This means looking at your menu planner (if you’re using one) and seeing which foods you already eat regularly. Then, look at what else you can include into your meals and snacks. Turn this into a meal plan. 

For example, instead of buying bread for breakfast, why not make some granola or buy something in bulk?

Instead of buying a ready-made pasta meal for dinner, why not make a quick stir-fry? Or, instead of buying pre-made salad dressing, why not make your own? 

The next step is to start shopping smarter. Take note of how much you spend on certain items and compare them to similar products.

Look for discounts and sales where possible. Also, consider purchasing generic brands rather than name brand products. 

Where To Start?

Buy your usual groceries for the week and keep the receipts, so you can find out how much money on food you spend. 

Ask yourself these questions at the end of the week, once you have used up your food:

  • Did I need to go out again to top up my groceries?
  • Were there items that I bought that I did not use?
  • Did I throw away unused food?
  • Did anything go out of date before I could use it?
  • Were there cheaper alternatives for the food I bought?
  • Did I spend more than I can afford on groceries if I shopped like this every week?
  • Was I spending more than the average cost of food prices by going to the wrong stores?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you need to look back at your receipts of all the money you spent on food for the week and think about better ways of managing your money without wasting food. 

Tips For Lowering Your Food Costs

1. Eat the same meal more than once in the week- it’s tempting to always have different meals every day of the week, but this often leads to food waste, literally throwing your money in the garbage.

If you cook a meal, try to make enough for you to have the following day. This will also lessen your food budget as you won’t have to buy multiple ingredients for every meal.

It is also a good way of not having to cook up a meal for one every single day, giving you more time to do other fun things!

2. Cook more from scratch – buying ready meals and prepackaged food may seem cheaper, but you are likely not getting the nutrients you need over the long term which will lead to higher risk of having to pay medical bills down the line, or in the short term, getting hungry and snacking on more food thus wasting money you don’t need to.

Picking up fresh, or frozen, fruits and vegetables to cook with will save you lots of money and will provide you with a more balanced diet, keeping you fuller for longer. 

3. Ditch the fast food – do you actually feel satisfied after eating a fast food meal? Or do you find yourself snacking later and getting ravenously hungry.

When you don’t give your body the nutrients it needs, it craves other foods and this can be a huge unnecessary drain on your food budget. 

4. Make a shopping list – for single people, the best thing is that you can tailor your food plans to a food item that you enjoy.

Curb your spending on food by only buying things you know you will eat over the course of the week or month to avoid wasting money, whilst still aiming for a healthy shop. 

Final Thoughts

Writing a list and working out what you have available is the best way to have a good grocery budget you can stick to.

With food prices rising, it can seem impossible to buy the food per week that you need, but by planning ahead and hunting for cheaper options, you’ll be surprised how much of your grocery bill you can reduce. 

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Fred Combes
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