How to Come up with a Food Budget

I’ve recently been researching how to come up with a reasonable food budget.  My first attempt was making up a figure.  I started with $150 for 30 days of shopping, which I did very well.  You can read the post here. However, I’m finding it hard at times when I get home and there are no snacks, nothing “quick” for my son to eat in a pinch.  If it wasn’t frozen or a leftover, it took forever to cook something.  I found this frustrating on nights I work until 7pm and I’m not home until around 730pm.  He was starving!  And I definately don’t want him cooking alone when I am not home.  So I thought about raising my budget slightly to accomodate healthy snacky type foods he can eat to tide him over.

I found this website on another blog I read and it helped a lot!  For my son his cost states $157/month.  For my age bracket it states $187.60/month. The site is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Cost of Food at Home

http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/sites/default/files/usda_food_plans_cost_of_food/CostofFoodJul2014.pdf

I realize my budget is way too low and also that food costs are not the same in every state.  So this figure is purely a suggestion in my eyes.  I coupon for things we DO eat and things my son CAN eat.  But I won’t coupon just to coupon.  A lot of it is pure CRAP!  So in knowing my budget “should” be $344.60 for the both of us, I realize that this just isn’t doable with the money I make.  So I will tweak a bit, but it gave me a more realistic view.  Next month, I will try a $200 budget and get even more creative with my spending.  I can increase a little each month until I see that the dollar amount allocated is working, doable, and fills our bellies without going without because quite frankly, I don’t want to cook. 

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