A question from a reader...
I know you try and stay below $60 a week. PLUS I believe you only bring cash right? So how do you calculate your groceries while going through the store to ensure you are only spending so much? Do you have a calculator with you? If you do, what happens if you hit the wrong button and zero everything out or something? I've always wondered how people keep track while in the grocery store. Thanks so much for sharing your groceries and stuff! I LOVE your blog!
You're right. I do only bring cash, no debit or credit cards. It helps me to stay accountable to the fact that I truly have to stay on budget. I usually shop with a clipboard with my shopping list attached. The clipboard is so I have a sturdy surface to cross out what I've already bought and to make notes or calculate as I go.
My shopping list (and maybe I'll make a PDF that you can download and use if anybody is interested) is in several rows and columns. It's all organized under headings like Produce, Canned Goods, Baking Supplies, Meat...etc. so I don't have to backtrack all over the store for missed items. I like to get in and get out.
In the margins I keep a running total of everything that goes into my cart. Number one, so I can control how much I'm spending and how much I have left to spend. Number two, is so I know if the checker is charging me correctly. I can't tell you how many times I've arrived home to find out that I've been overcharged for something.
Also, I don't use a calculator for the very reason that I've slipped up too many times to count and accidentally erased my running total. The woman standing in the aisle with the horrified look on her face would be ME after slipping and hitting the clear button on my calculator. Ugh.
To make it easy I always round up the price of the item as I'm adding them up. If I bought something for $.98 I would round it to the nearest dime which would be $1 so that it's easy to add and I have a built in cushion for any addition errors I might have made or to allow for tax.
So that's how I do it. Again, I want to say that mine is NOT the only way to do this. It works for me but I know there are tons of great ideas and resources out there. I'm smart enough to know that I don't know it all. So if it works for you too, great.