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How to Calculate a Food Budget

author image Joshua McCarron
Joshua McCarron has been writing both online and offline since 1995. He has been employed as a copywriter since 2005 and in that position has written numerous blogs, online articles, websites, sales letters and news releases. McCarron graduated from York University in Toronto with a bachelor's degree in English.
How to Calculate a Food Budget
A couple sits at the table analyzing bills and their budget. Photo Credit: Buccina Studios/Photodisc/Getty Images

Just as with every other family expense, your monthly grocery bill should be budgeted into the overall plan. Food is an expense just like a car or mortgage payment, and if you don’t make an appropriate budget, your food spending may get out of control. Take a look at your family’s overall income and expense picture to help you calculate a monthly food budget you can live with.

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Step 1

Sit down and make a list of all the net income that comes into the house on a monthly basis.

Step 2

Make a list of all of the expenses that are incurred on a monthly basis. Include miscellaneous expenses, entertainment and anything else that you would typically spend money on in a standard month.

Step 3

Calculate what 12 to 14 percent of your total income would be, and allocate this amount to your grocery bill. Add up all your expenses, including your grocery amount, and subtract that number from your income.

Step 4

Add more money to your food budget if you have a surplus at the end of the month and want to allocate more to food. Subtract money from your food budget if you are short and need to allocate money to other bills.

Step 5

Create a menu plan using the total budget you’ve decided on for a specific time period. Make the menu weekly if you are paid weekly, or bi-weekly if you are paid bi-weekly.

Step 6

Withdraw your food budget money from the bank and place it in a jar or envelope in the house, to make it easier to stick to the budget and always know how much is left.

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