RETIREMENT PLANNING INCLUDES FOOD BUDGET CONSIDERATIONS
The cost of retirement does not come with a free meal pass and for that reason many seniors continue to budget as long as they can. One popular question I get asked on the blog is-How much money is needed for a retirement food budget?
Retirement goals+Retirement Health are important financial considerations for the future especially when estimating financial needs. If you are close to retirement I’d say with-in 5-7 years it would be smart to estimate your future costs and whether you will be ready for them financially.
Once you have that magic estimated number that you can work with then you will at least have a clearer picture. This will also ease any retirement stress you may be feeling when the time comes to say good-bye to your career and hello to retired life.
Obviously monthly net income is factored into the equation as well how much money is left after all the fixed expenses are paid. Your income needs during retirement may decrease however an increase in eating out and travelling may see an increase in your dollar needs.
You might find that you won’t need as much money as your pre-retirement income to continue what you did before retiring. Although, retirees-to-be may want to do what they weren’t able to do during their working years. The problem is, we don’t really know what will happen but having an idea of what you would like helps sets the pace.
Your financial advisor might encourage your Income Replacement Ratio (IRR) to lean towards 80% of your pre-retirement income. This means you need to save money to supplement government pensions unless you plan to live on less.
Something else to chew on is whether you’ve factored longevity into your long-term retirement outlook. You might live longer than you expect. For this reason you may want to mull over future expenses to see how long of a stretch your money will make.
Will retirement change the way you eat and shop?
Quite possibly and for those who don’t have a pension, retirement savings or other income sources to rely on the food budget can become a juggling act. Relying on government Old-Age Security and the Canadian Pension Plan may be tight to get by on but this is all some retirees have to work with.
Ideally, you will want to know about what to expect during your retirement years before-hand. I don’t mean hiring a psychic rather understanding the process of retirement and what you might be facing when you get there. One of your best resources might be talking to those who are already retired or recently retired.
You don’t have to wait until you are a senior to do the research either especially when it comes to investing in an Registered Retirement Savings Plan or Tax Free Savings Account. The earlier you start investing the more time your money has to work for you. It’s important to plan today for tomorrow and without learning about what retirement entails there’s no way you can plan ahead.
What is the Old-Age Security?
The Old Age Security program is the Government of Canada’s largest pension program. It is funded out of the general revenues of the Government of Canada, which means that you do not pay into it directly.
The Old Age Security (OAS) pension is a monthly payment available to seniors aged 65 and older who meet the Canadian legal status and residence requirements. You may need to apply to receive it.
In addition to the OAS pension, there are three types of OAS benefits:
- Guaranteed Income Supplement
If you live in Canada and you have a low income, this monthly non-taxable benefit can be added to your OAS pension.
If you are 60 to 64 years of age and your spouse or common-law partner is receiving the OAS pension and is eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), you might be eligible to receive this benefit.
- Allowance for the Survivor
If you are 60 to 64 years of age and you are widowed, you might be eligible to receive this benefit.
It’s not easy, it never is unless financial awareness is taken into consideration early on but there are ways to at least make your retirement food budget work for you.
Discount, Discount, Discount
Once you arrive at the age of 55 the seniors perks tend to kick in (some even at 50) even at the grocery store. A 20% discount which many shops offer once a month goes a long way when you are retired especially when living on a fixed income.
Even those that have a frosted retirement bank account are still encouraged to manage their money wisely. Once it’s gone, it’s gone unless there is a steady stream of extra or passive income.
Some people choose to work part-time to supplement their retirement income like both my parents do house-sitting across the UK. I’m sure they do it more for the luxury then anything since they don’t really need the money.
This might not last forever though.
Living richly during the golden years sounds like the greatest retirement plan of all but as the years go on expenses go up and obstacles may find their way into the mix.
Whether retirement is years away or around the corner for you it’s important to consider the costs involved when you’re no longer working. Retirement costs will vary depending on where you live, needs and extended life-span.
Retirement housing for example can be extremely costly especially if you move to a gated retirement community or retirement home. Although, if you consider the costs of running a house you might find that it’s worth it for you. Mrs. CBB’s grandmother is in a retirement home for seniors paying thousands every month for housing and care.
No matter where you go unless it’s to a retirement home you will have to cook meals or at least take care of your food shopping and meal prep.
If you are unable to you may have to rely on others for help or pay for services. There may be seniors services that are government supplemented for low-income retirees too so find out ahead of time. You can’t predict this stuff BUT you can consider the possibilities.
When creating your retirement budget ideally it’s based on your current needs situation and how much of that you will want in retirement.
What would drastically change the way your expenses are earned, saved or spent when you retire?
For example any or all the below can and will affect your retirement food budget especially if you are in a fixed-income. When fixed expenses go up holding up the variables can be a struggle. Ask yourself- “Do I really need internet?” Saving money wherever you can will then be a bigger priority.
- Health and Benefits Coverage changes
- End of on-going payments
- Debt repayment
- Government pension or investment rule changes
- Rising food costs- Cost of living increases
- Death of spouse/partner
- Divorce- Do I have to share my RRSP’s with my spouse when I divorce?
- Older kids move home
- You move in with your kids
- You babysit the grand-kids
- Income loss
- Extra income
I’m sure there are many other things to consider but you get the idea.
How much money do I need to retire?
No one knows but considering a minimum 2% rate of inflation each year and how much you would like to net depends upon many of the above variables. That means if you want to travel during your retiring years your expenses may increase in one budget category but lower in another.
If you’re away for 2 months of the year at an all-inclusive destination with no need to spend money on groceries you should lower your monthly food allowance. Your grocery budget will be less but you will have other expenses to consider while vacationing. What’s that saying, “Take from one pot and put it in the other.” <<< Maybe I just made that up. Quote me!
The time-frame when you plan to retire also dictates how much money you will need to get you through the years. If you retire early you’ll need more money than if you retired later but again, no one really knows what your particular situation will be. Personally I believe a huge part of retirement expenses depends on the person(s) involved and how they choose to live their golden years.
My parents have retirement savings and passive income but they are still very frugal yet travel each year for a month or two at a time. There’s no reason to stop trying to save money when you retire by using coupons, finding hot deals and continuing to budget. Retirement does not equal free rein on the bank account. Managing your money is just as important when you retire as it is during your working years.
Retirement Health status
As we age our health may change which means our diets potentially could change as could medical costs both impacting the budget. Depending on what your health status is your grocery budget may go up or go down as dietary needs are incorporated into meals. Exclusively buying organic, gluten-free or other health products will increase the food budget unless you are vigilant about grocery store savings.
If you are unable to cook and must pay someone to bring you prepared food on a weekly or monthly basis this will increase food costs as well. There are professional grocery shoppers for hire who grocery shop for those who are unable to get out of the house or are too busy to shop.
It may be worth paying someone to shop for you but considering many stores will deliver right to your front door for a fee it may be cheaper going that route. I’m sure in the future grocery shopping will be far different from what it is today. Maybe I’ll be able to come back and edit this blog post with an update when I’m 7o years old. That’s another 30 years for all of you who are wondering.
Alternatively some Ontario grocery stores such as Walmart and Zehrs offer grocery pick-up by placing your order online and picking it up at a specified time. No effort required especially if you don’t have a clue how to grocery shop. You will pay for this service but it may be worth it to you.
Living alone during retirement
If you are living alone during retirement costs could go either way especially if you aren’t able to cook for yourself. A number of retirees who lose their partner are unable to cook because they don’t know how to. For those that don’t marry or live alone for whatever reason must consider their future or current needs with or without help.
My father does not know how to cook and has relies on my mother for meals. If my mom was to leave for whatever reason my dad would be lost in the kitchen.This makes food delivery service apps, pre-made meals and eating out appealing all of which will cost more money because convenience costs.
Joining local cooking courses may help lower your food budget for the long-term only if you find it a valuable tool. Learn how to cook some of your favourite simple meals that you can make at home. These basic kitchen skills help decrease the need to eat out or hire help in the food department.
Once Mrs. CBB’s grandfather passed away her grandmother was alone in a big house. She was fortunate to have two of her children still living in the city along with many grandchildren.
They made grandma a priority and brought her meals, took her out for breakfast, lunch and dinners as well helped with grocery shopping. She was a fantastic cook and baker before she went into the retirement home.
Retirement Food Budget Needs
Eating well- How important is it to you?
You might not eat out much now but you might when you retire. Should you budget for it? That’s only a question YOU can answer. If eating out is on your retirement bucket-list then yes budget for it.
What will your retirement food budget include?
Here’s the thing. You like what you like and I like what I like. Your food budget is custom to whatever you fancy to pay for. When creating a retirement food budget recognize what you plan to include in your budget categories.
- Health and beauty
- Alcoholic beverages
- Grocery foods
- Cleaning products
- Pet food
Couple’s Retirement eating
I base plenty of my ideals about retirement from what my parents have done in the past compared to how they are living today. One huge change is that they eat less food but they enjoy eating out more which is part of their food expenses. Eating out means they will spend less on groceries but more on entertainment.
My mom used to cook proper full meals 2-3 times a day when I was growing up but now that they moderate their food intake she no longer does this. They just aren’t as hungry as they used to be as their lives are sedentary compared to before. Their health has also changed.
There are a few things that may continue to improve your retirement grocery budget;
Keep in mind any of these could change over the years. There may also be new ways to save but never stop saving or finding out the new trends in food savings.
- Bulk Buying
- Coupons and Coupon Apps
- Flyer Specials
- Price Matching
- Scanning Code of Practice.
Let’s explore each below.
If you plan to bulk buy during your retirement years you can save some money by splitting the costs of store memberships and shopping together. Although bulk shopping during retirement seems silly there are many items that you can stock up on to save money depending on what you include in your food budget.
Related: Is Costco worth the membership fee?
Using an organic produce delivery service also offers you the option to buy produce that fits your household needs and budget. The great part about this service is that it’s delivered, weekly fresh produce to your door and with potential for less waste.
Smaller portion sizes
Flirt with the idea that you may not eat as much food throughout your retirement years. This means you won’t need to spend as much money at the grocery store.
Mrs. CBB’s grandparents went from eating full roast dinners in their 50’s and 60’s to soup and a sandwich in their 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Not only that but they went to social events and church functions more often which included eating out with their senior friends.
Retirement gardening and foraging
If you have a green thumb and are looking for simple retirement hobbies consider growing a vegetable garden which will keep produce costs down. If your property allows for fruit trees this will also encourage a lowered food budget. Our 9o year-old neighbour has a lovely crop of red tomatoes every year and is so proud of it. Did I mention he’s 90? I know, right.
If you live in an apartment or a place without any yard space you can still grow vegetables and herbs on your balcony in pots. Herbs such as basil are great to grow indoors and thrive outdoors during the summer and fall months.
Foraging is also a fabulous way to get exercise and free food at the same time to help offset your retirement food budget. Joining a foraging club is a great way to meet people and learn about how to forage food as some of nature’s bounty can be deadly if eaten without knowledge.
One of my favourite foragers is Beth who blogs at Aunt B on a Budget and inspires me with her cooking, foraging and food prep methods. She can turn anything into something beautiful and delicious.
Deals, Discounts, Coupons
I suspect as the years ease forward that the savings we find at the grocery store will follow suit. There will always be a need to eat which means competition among grocery chains followed by traditional consumer savings.
During your retirement years make sure to take advantage of any senior discounts and continue to evolve with savings tactics to lower your retirement food budget.
Just because you’ve retired doesn’t mean you leave frugality behind unless that is the route you choose to take. In that case you likely wouldn’t be reading this blog post right now.
- Couponing apps
- Reduced Food Items
- Bulk splitting (buy in bulk with a friend and split)
- Flyer specials
- Meal Plans or Bulk cooking and freezer meals
- Price matching
- Scanning Code of Practice (if available)
Discussion Question: Are you planning to splurge at the grocery store and specialty stores when you retire?
What CBB Facebook fans had to say:
More…hubby is 10 years from retirement and at an inflation rate of 2% per annum, we’ll be paying 20% more for the food that we currently buy.- Mary C.
Our food budget def did not drop when he retired (at 53). He traveled for years and years and years, then suddenly he was home 24/7! Luckily, before I had to consider drastic measures, he went back to work as a contractor two weeks later, but was home nights. Then I retired a few years later, at 56. I also went back to work.
We are both permanently retired now but babysit the great grand-kids so our grocery bill has really climbed because they love fruit and I love chocolate, lol. Of course, after his second surgery, we had no grocery bill for awhile, except stuff for the kids, I lived on candy and my homemade bread.
Now that he is eating real food again, we are back to buying real groceries again but spend all our time reading labels like crazy. Learned that ‘no salt’ doesn’t mean “no sodium.” – Pat S.
I will be retiring in about 8 years so I have made up a list of things I will need/want that I am able to afford now! I am doing a lot of canning,dry canning and dehydrating and I have a working pantry so that will all help me to spend less in the grocery store when I retire and leave more money to do the things I want.- Heather S.
Hubby is already retired due to health reasons and we have to watch the money as the income here is not that high on CPP-D. We also still have the two boys living at home. Both are a big help to me here.– Christine W.
hmm…. I have a feeling I would spend less on groceries so that I have more money to spend money on other fun activities or dates out- Kevin S.I hope to be spending less, but then it depends on what I need– Mona M.
Probably the same amount. I eat what I want when I want. I don’t deprive myself. I’m trying to wean myself off soda and eat less sugary treats.- LilaMore money on groceries because of eating more at home as there will no longer be “lunch” items to buy and no fast food. This means we will likely buy more to prepare at home which equals more groceries.- Colleen K.
April Grocery Game Challenge
Join in the 2017 Grocery Game Challenge (GGC) fun and post your grocery shop in the comment section of each GGC blog post. Here are The Grocery Game Challenge rules to get you started and where you’ll also find a link for the 2017 GGC schedule. Please feel free to download, save and even print the schedule.
Post your shop and you can be next.
New monthly prize: See the Grocery Game Rules
April 2017 Blog Posts:
- 3 Grocery Games I Play With Our Son While Shopping – Last shop for March
- Exclusive Easter Menu Ideas To Fit Your Budget– GGC #1
Free Money Saving Tools 2017
Click, Save and Print. It’s that easy!
This is the budget that brought us to debt freedom back in 2013 and now I’m offering to all of you for FREE. We still use this budget every month as it helps us to see our overall financial picture.
Free Money Saving Downloads are awesome lists that were created to get us on track to work towards reaching our budgeting goals and now we are sharing them with you.
Get organized with a FREE freezer inventory, meal plan, shopping list, price comparison list and much more all for FREE.
CLICK HERE to download all the free lists and even our family budget spreadsheet. So many free resources at your fingertips.
Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide 2017
The Ultimate Grocery Shopping guide is ongoing with new informative money-saving posts added every month.
Even if you don’t live in Canada there are some amazing budget saving tips that will help put you on the path to more savings at the supermarket.
Share this guide with your friends and tell them about Canadian Budget Binder especially if they are struggling with their grocery budget.
The time is NOW to get started saving money on groceries so please enjoy the many money-saving posts in the The Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide.
2017 Grocery Shop Results
Yearly grocery budget for two + 1 Toddler 2017: $3180 or $265/mth
(The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $300/year or $25/month.
Points Overview (add any other sections you need to show us your savings)
- Total Grocery Budget for this Month: $265
- Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $265
- Total Gift Cards used to date: $0
- Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
- Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
- PC Points Plus Earned to date: 467,000
- Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0
- Shoppers Optimum: Just under 850,000 Optimum points (I will update this twice a year) $1500 worth of free stuff.
Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)
- Zweet to cash out : $18.25
- Checkout51 to cash out : $24.50
Our Grocery Shop This Week
- Planters roasted almonds- Sale $2.99
- Planters roasted cashews- Sale $2.99
- 3 x 1L 5% Cream $8.97 sale $2.99 each
- 3 x Black Diamond Old Cheddar 500g $11.97 Sale $3.99 each
- Mini Pizza $6.99 sale
- PC frozen corn sale $1.77
- PC frozen green beans sale $1.77
- PC white mushrooms 1lb $3.99-50% $2.00
- 3 x seedless cucumber $0.99 each $2.97
- Watermelon half $6.99-50% $3.50
- PC cured bacon $7.49-50% $11.25
- Rubschlager Sesame Bread $3.49-50% $1.75
- Bresse Bleu Cheese $7.69-50% $3.95
- Pillers Deli Sliced Salami $1.60-50% $0.80
- Ziggys Deli sliced Roast Beef $5.59-50% $2.80
- 3 x large packs of PC cauliflower stuffed fresh ravioli $7.00-50% $10.50
- Bananas $1.60
Total Out-of-Pocket $78.60
All totals below already have tax factored into them.
- Total to spend this month : $265
- Stockpile budget 2016 : $25.00
- Stockpile budget used this month: $11.76
- Total coupons used this week: $0
- Total coupons used to date: $0
- Total in-store discounts this week: $280.18 Wow!
- Total in-store discounts to date: $384.65
- Total spent this week: $78.60
- Total spent so far this month: $207.66
- Total over/Under spend this shop: lots $12.60
- Total over/Under spend for the month: n/a
- Total left to spend for the month: $57.34
- Total Spent To Date 2017: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $231.06+Feb $255.16+March ($5 budget increase) $263.60 + April $
Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)
We stocked up again at Zehrs while we were there. Although some of the 50% off items weren’t on our list we took the opportunity to enjoy them half off. This means we will alter our shop for the rest of the month with 1 no-shop. All we will need is a banana, cream, apple and veg stock up. Our luck we’ll find the best meat department deals next week.
Coupons and Coupon Apps
Here are some great places you can find Canadian Coupons! These are your latest Checkout 51 offers which you can use to help save money. We’re finding less and less coupons in the stores these days. What are your thoughts? Are coupon apps taking over the paper coupons?
If you notice I’m missing a valuable link please message me and I’ll get it added to the savings list below.
Sign up for the Nielsen Canada Home Scan Program and you can earn rewards points fast to redeem for awesome products or gift cards. I did this in the UK and loved it!!
Plus check out these other hidden areas online to get more coupons!!
If any of these links are broken please report them to me.
- Healthy Essentials Printable Coupons (Johnson and Johnson)
- Danone Coupons Get up to $25 in coupons
- Clorox Coupons Sign up to print coupons in the Clorox family which include Greenworks, Glad etc.
- Kraft Canada Sign up and receive recipes and coupons by email
- MySavings.com Printable Smart Source Coupons
- Walmart Canada Printable Coupons
- Proctor and Gamble PandG Sign up for printable coupons
- Hidden Coupon Portals You Should know about – I found this over at Save a Loonie and you’ll want to sign up for notifications and check out the site so you get notified every time a hidden coupon is available from Save.ca, Brandsaver, Smart Source etc.
Grocery Game Challenge 2017 FAQ’s
- Grocery Game Challenge RULES: Read the rules first and if you have any questions email me or comment on this post with your question and someone will answer you as soon as possible. The rules have been updated to reflect changes for the 2017 challenge year.
- Do I have to be Canadian to post my Grocery Shop?: No, you don’t have to be Canadian to post your shops. We have fans who post their grocery shop who live all over the world.
- What is the monthly prize and who can claim it?- The monthly prize is a $10-$20-$50 PC Loblaws Gift Card and for our out of country friends it’s $CDN via PayPal. Please see GGC rules.
- When does the Grocery Game close each month?: The Grocery Game Challenge closes at midnight of the last Sunday of the last post for the month but you will still get a ballot when you post your shops even if they are late but I encourage you to stay on schedule. If you choose to post monthly or bi-weekly you will only get 1 ballot for that shop. It’s a proven fact the minute we stop doing something scheduled that we end up forgetting to do it altogether. Don’t let that be you! You can post your shops all month-long.
- Does your Grocery Budget include health and beauty and laundry products?: No, our Grocery Budget includes such items as shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap, fabric softener, dish soap etc. As of 2014-2015 we no longer include such items in our grocery budget so we can see actual food numbers at the end of the year in order to plan accordingly our budget.
- Do you stockpile food? We don’t mind stockpiling items that won’t be affected by expiry dates or have long expiry dates but not so much food any longer as we found we weren’t eating it fast enough. Stockpiling is still great and just one way to help cut your budget to save money if you do find items that you can buy in bulk at a sale price.
- Canadian Coupons:Where can I find Canadian Coupons?: Here are your latest Checkout 51 offers that you can use to help you save money in the Grocery Game Challenge. There are many great Canadian Couponing websites online that share weekly coupon match-ups so you can plan your grocery list.
- Best Coupon Apps: Coupons are slowly fading with mobile coupon apps being the big rave these days. Just recently the popular coupon site Save.ca that mailed coupons to households has gotten involved with the addition of a new mobile Save.ca app joining forces with the many other coupon apps available. If you find an app that I don’t talk about please let me know as they are always being added and I’d like to review them.
- What is the Best Flyer App- We use Flipp on our Iphone so if you wan to have all your flyers in one spot download Flipp from the Apple Store or get it on Google Play.
- What is an FPC?: An FPC is a free product coupon which means you can get a free product as described on the coupon.
- What is GGC?– The Grocery Game Challenge of course!
- How Do I Know what stores accept coupons?: If you are not sure it’s always best to call the store and ask.
- How Do I Grocery Shop?: I can tell you about grocery shopping and what we do in terms of shopping to save money and how it works for us. There are no wrong or right answers, just smart choices.
Nobody is perfect, heck we struggle with this part of our budget like many people do. This is why The Grocery Game Challenge is one of the most popular hang out spots for people who want to save money on groceries.
If you’ve just joined The Grocery Game Challenge 2017 get ready to look at your grocery budget by learning;
- Where you are spending money
- How much money you are spending
- How much money you are saving every month
If you want to learn everything I know about grocery shopping in Canada check out my Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide! It’s FREE!
If you know a topic that should be discussed send me an email. If I use your topic I will put your name in a draw for a prize at the end of the year.
You’ve made a wise decision to take control of your grocery budget now show me your shops and let’s get saving!
Welcome to The Grocery Game Challenge 2017!
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