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Four Tips to a Cash Only Grocery Budget

ByLucille Wood

Apr 12, 2022

Four Tips to a Cash Only Grocery Budget

In a world that is geared towards using technology such as credit cards and debit cards, it might seem surprising that this article promotes the use of cash for a grocery budget. The keep it simple method of credit and debit cards easily allows people to over spend and include more wants than expected when grocery shopping.

Think about this for a second, do you know how much your last grocery bill was? I do. I brought $60.00 to the store and spent $54.65. I know this because I did not have unlimited amounts of money to spend. Grocery stores are very smart and have a plan to separate us from as much money as they can in return for food. Going over budget with a credit or debit card is as simple as a swipe.

The cash only program makes you think about what it is you need to purchase. Nobody wants the embarrassing event of putting more items in a cart than they can pay for at checkout. Using real money will allow you to build discipline when it comes to staying within a grocery budget.

Here are a couple ideas to help you stay within budget.

The first tip is to not bring your whole budget with you when you shop. Leave at least 40% of the money you have on hand at any time at home. This means if you have a $100 budget only bring $60 the first shopping day. The following shopping day only bring $20 and the last shopping day play it by your list.

The second tip is learn to estimate the cost of food. When I head out to the store, I have estimated a little bit on the high side about how much money I will need before I leave the house. I plan to only purchase approximately 3 days worth of food. Some items will last more than three days which is perfectly fine. When I purchase items such as breakfast cereal I know that it may last a couple weeks to slightly over a month.

The third tip is I only put $20 bills or smaller into my grocery jar. While stuffing a $100 bill into the jar looks and feels great, the reality is you then must take your whole budget to the store. Having $20 bills allows you to take multiples of $20 and leave the rest safe at home for use in the near future.

The fourth tip is to keep your grocery cash separate from all other money. I use my right pocket. Cash goes in before shopping, change and receipt are deposited into the right pocket after I purchase all my groceries.Happy grocery shopping with your budget!