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How To Reduce Overspending On Groceries: Grocery Spending Tracker (Free Budget Binder Printable)

Using a grocery spending tracker became a reality this month as I’ve finally created a free budget binder printable for you.

Grocery expenses in Canada have long since been the topic of everyone’s monthly budget and more so since Covid-19.

Some of the cheapest grocery stores in Canada are inching their way up to some of the most expensive price points in years.

I believe this is why couponing and price-matching are still very much alive as is why consumers are using cashback apps and rewards points.

Related: Save more using a rewards and membership tracker (Free Budget Binder Printable)

grocery tracker

Most importantly, my grocery expense template offers accountability to your food budget.

Dear Mr.CBB,

I’m consistently spending more money on our monthly groceries and use a budget but I’m still messing things up.

What do you use and suggest for someone like me who is missing the mark when it comes to staying under budget?


Francesca L.

Dear Francesa,

This is a great question since some shoppers find it easy to shop without a list then guesstimate overall food costs.

The downside to this type of mind budgeting is that you can easily overspend and missed opportunities.

Grocery Expenses On The Increase

Feeding a family on a budget does come with challenges but nothing that can’t be overcome without planning.

Planning consists of anything from meal planningfood stock inventories, and shopping for the best grocery deals.

Juggling work, family, and balancing a budget including grocery expenses per month can add to the stress of overspending.

Since Covid-19 we’ve noticed a slight incline in our monthly grocery expenses and for a variety of reasons.

  • Wearing a mask to grocery shop is new
  • Feeling rushed at the grocery store or a desire to get in and get out
  • Anxiety and focused on what not to do instead of what I need to do
  • Not entirely confident with online grocery shopping and getting the best deals
  • Limited amount of loss leader sales per customer
  • Doubling up to avoid line-ups at the grocery store
  • Not using a grocery expense tracker (BINGO)

I’ve been wanting to create a simple grocery expenses tracker as offers the user quick data about grocery shopping.

Related: 5 Pointers To Find The Best Price On Food

Grocery Spending Tracker Pros

Let’s talk about the cons first.

The only con to using a grocery spending tracker is that you have to manually add up the numbers.

However, for a numbers nerd like myself, I don’t mind doing that at all.

If we take a look at the pros of using a grocery expense tracker you’ll see why it’s a smart choice for the frugal-minded person.

  1. How much our grocery budget is
  2. Tracking each receipt as they come into the house
  3. Tally of your receipts to track grocery expenses
  4. What you are buying and any notes about the grocery shop that you feel relevant. ex: Feeling anxious, bought in-store manager deal.
  5. Mindfulness of your grocery expenses.

excel budget grocery tracker

Also, our free budget excel spreadsheet allows the user to input the receipt as it comes in the house and will keep a running tally for you.

On the excel screenshot above I’ve inserted two grocery receipts along with the number of coupons used.

Following that process over to the far right you can see the total grocery expenses already used for the month of September.

For those of you who aren’t computer savvy and would rather use a pencil process, the Grocery Expense Tracker is a well-rounded addition to your budget binder.

Average Cost Of Groceries

The cost of groceries never decreases since manufacturers have to deal with the same form of inflation as everyone else.

As lifestyles change and kids come into the picture many families will see an increase in their food expenses.

Although, if you’re smart with your grocery shopping habits you can continue to save while you shop.

However, as a consumer, you have the power to control what you put into your grocery cart along with other savings perks.

Our average food costs per month range between $525 to $600 depending on whether we go to Costco or not.

How To Calculate The Average Cost Of Groceries

When it comes to grocery tracking this number is your personal number because it’s how you shop.

Ideally, use your grocery spending tracker for three months and shop as you normally do.

At the end of the three months tally up how much money you’ve spent and then divide it by 3 to get the average amount spent.

For example:

  • September $900
  • October $500
  • November $350

$900+$500+$350= $1750 for three months of groceries

$1750/3= $583.33 is on average what you spend each month.

How Much Should Your Grocery Budget Be?

If I were to create a grocery budget from the average number above I’d go with $600 a month.

However, your grocery expense tracker amount doesn’t necessarily mean you can afford $600 each month.

One of the toughest parts of budgeting is trying to balance it so you’re not spending more than you earn.

Once you’ve run your budgeting numbers through a basic budget you should be able to estimate how much your grocery budget should be.

Grocery Spending Tracker Mobile Apps

I’m one of those people who will not remember to use a mobile app to do anything.

When it comes to money I’m either paper and pencil or I use computer spreadsheets to calculate our budget.

However, there are many people who love using budget and tracking apps which may be of great benefit if you stick with it.

It’s easy to forget about something you don’t see unless you plan to input data or set time aside to run numbers.

When it comes to using an app they all differ and calculate on different levels based on your needs.

I had a look at some of the best grocery expenses tracker apps and here are two I’d suggest checking out.

Both of these mobile apps come highly rated and free to use as long as you commit to using it.

Other Ways To Shop Without A Grocery Expenses Tracker

The biggest mistake any Canadian grocery shopper can make is to shop without a list and just swipe the debit or credit card.

Two of the most popular methods of budgeting are the envelope budgeting system and the jars budgeting system.

The great thing about these types of budgeting systems is that you always know how much money you have left to spend in each category.

If you’re using either one of these systems you won’t be needing this grocery budget, expense tracker.

However, just because you have money in an envelope or jar doesn’t mean you should stop being mindful.

It’s paramount to always review your documents and the cash money to verify your remaining balance.

Download Your Free Grocery Expense Tracker

grocery budget tracker

I’ve never written about the ins and outs of a budget binder because I’ve been building freebies for it first.

This free grocery expense tracker is just another budgeting printable in a series of many.

Download and save this to your computer where you can edit the document or print to insert into your budget binder.

Grocery expenses are a heavy burden and many items might not make the list based on needs vs. wants

Continue to plan and track grocery expenses and you’ll soon see how far you can stretch your food costs.

Read: My Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide For Canadians

Discussion: Do you use any form of Grocery Expenses Tracker? Leave me your comments below as I’d love to read your input.


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