Thursday, January 13, 2011

How To Stay Within Your Grocery Budget Every Trip!

My feet shift from side to side as I scan the food in my shopping cart.  Ahhhhhhh, I think that is about $115.00, I guest-i-mate in my head.

Beep - beep -  beep go my goodies across the scanner and into my cart.  As I load my bags, I anxiously keep checking the current price.  

Really!  That much already... I still have half my cart left on the conveyor belt!

UGGGG, I'm way over again!


my very wise and handsome husband came up with a plan for me.

"Why don't you just take  a notebook and write down the average price of each item as you put it into your cart."

I was super skeptical, but I tried it.  Guess what!  It has worked every time!

Here's how...

1. Grab yourself a tiny little notebook and throw it in your purse.

If an item is 3.29 (round down to 3).
If an item is 1.79 (round up to 2).

If it is over .50 round up, 
if it is under .50 round down.

I usually end up with a page full of random numbers.

When I get done, I pull my cart over and quickly add them up.  If I am over, I adjust by taking a few items out of my cart that I absolutely don't need.  I've also added everything up half way to get an idea.

No surprises!  No guessing!  It has worked for a year, every time!  

Does it sound like it is something you could try out?  What do you do?  How do you stay within your allotted budget?

Happy shopping!

Don't forget to enter the awesome $50.00 giveaway HERE.



  1. This is EXACTLY what I do at the grocery store, and it works SO WELL to keep me on budget! Thanks for sharing it with the rest of the world, Tracy! :)

  2. Great tip! I used that strategically consistently when we were first married, but I have to say I've gotten a little lazy w/ it. Gotta get back into the habit! =)

  3. I don't have a grocery budget! But I sure need one. How did you come up with yours?

  4. what a great idea, traci!
    i'm no good at coupons and such, but this i could do :)


  5. I've got to do this! I normally go to 2 stores, Aldi first and then Walmart to get what Aldi doesn't have. Aldi I do great at! But Walmart gets me every time! I see something new and then poof budget out the window!

  6. That's such a good tip, because no matter how long I've been doing the shopping (and almost the same things week after week), I get the guess-timate waaaaaay off every time. Yep - you guessed it - always too low for the actual cost.
    I'm gonna try this... x

  7. I don't write down the numbers, but I keep a running total in my head by rounding up or down. Nice to know that it works for other people too.

    Unfortunately I don't have the self discipline to remove items to make the budgeted amount. It's an issue. :)
    Great post.

  8. That is kinda neat! I never thought of that either!! I am working with a friend who saves a ton of money with coupons. I am learning all the skinny to save, save save!!! Hugs thanks for sharing!!!

  9. We used to do that, and got out of the habit. Looks like we'll revisit that now! Thanks for the reminder!

  10. It totally do that already! I also have started going off a cash system for things like this. I decide how much the shop will be for and just take out that much in cash and I don't use my card no matter what. This really helps me want to add it up as I go along. It works so well! :)

  11. I use the calculator in my phone and add it up along the way. I've gotten a feel for roughly how much i should be around at certain points in the shop, to make sure i have enough for the rest.

  12. We take a calculator and coupons... but we don't add the coupons in so we can be excited when the total drops at the checkout... We're dorks!

    When the calculator hits the limit we stop buying things. Easy as pie.

  13. That's a great idea Traci :) Good job.

  14. This is what I do: And yes, I use the round up and round down technique. Great idea, by the way. I plan my weekly meals from the sale flyer. I have done this for years, and it works every time. I do not go off the sale flyer unless there is an off-sale item that I absolutely have to have. I take the sale price items and add them up to fit my budget. I know exactly how much I'm going to spend when I go to the store. And I stay away from Wal Mart...

  15. I do this, too...only I use the calculator on my cell phone and add as I go...rounding up and down. I love it! And sometimes I round up so often that I end up spending less than I planned. :)

  16. YES!! This is what I do, too! And it makes me so proud of myself. I have one of those pocketbook planners with the organized sections and a built-in calculator. So I use the notes section to write everything down that I put into the cart and keep a running total of where I'm at in thirds throughout the store. I have started wanting to really stick to a grocery budget and this helps immensely.

    Love your blog, BTW!


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