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Need a little extra help controlling or keeping track of your grocery budget? Try out a cash-only system!
1. Know the Benefits
Only using cash at the store can help in many ways, the biggest being you can’t spend what you don’t have! It helps to see what you have on hand and what you can spend, thus increasing budgeting skills and self control. If you’ve been paying with a credit card, using cash will help reduce the amount of interest charged. Additionally, stores have to pay a fee for every card transaction, so you’ll save them money by only paying cash. And when the store saves, they won’t have to raise their prices as often to cover the costs, saving you money in the long run.
2. Establish a Grocery Budget
Go over your past receipts or bank statements and see how much you are currently paying per week or month at grocery stores. To curb unneeded impulse buying or over-purchasing, take the average you have spent and see what you can trim. Remember not to reduce what you spend drastically all at once, but gradually work your way down, utilizing your stockpile while supplementing with fresh produce, bread, dairy, and protein. Find an amount you and your family are comfortable with and withdraw that in cash.
3. Divide and Conquer!
Decide on what timetable you would like to separate your cash into. You can choose weekly, every other week, or monthly divisions, whichever suits your needs best. The most popular option tends to be a bimonthly system since it corresponds with paychecks. Some weeks can be more expensive than others, and if left to a monthly sum, the last week’s amount may be comparatively meager. Take the allotted cash and place it in an envelope or paper clip together in your wallet/ purse. Only spend money from that amount at the grocery store and after several weeks, you can adjust the amount to fit your needs, if needed.
If you have an aversion to loose change, either look for a donation box at checkout, or start a change jar at home and use it for fun money at the end of the month.