For many of us, figuring out just how much money we should — and do! — spend on food is especially tricky. It involves stringing together so many moving parts: what to eat (ideally planned days in advance), what ingredients you'll need (versus what you might already have on hand), and a realistic budget that leaves room to eat healthfully without spending too much.
Are you spending more on food than you should? Not sure what your total even comes to? One of these journals could help you get a handle on your food spending in 2018.
See our tutorial: How To Start a Bullet Journal
1. A comprehensive calendar system
One of the first keys of sticking to a budget is knowing where you spend your money in the first place! So start tracking and adapt this calendar-style system from @katortot. If you're accountable for every single purchase you make, you'll start to notice trends and pitfalls. Maybe you always spend more at the grocery store if you swing by on your way home from work, when you're hungry for dinner? Or maybe you spend more per week if you make one big shopping trip a week.
2. A basic list
This basic list-style tracker from @evi.bujo is a simpler way to do the same: Just write down the date, expense type, and amount. Use it every time you buy something food-related to get a sense of your monthly grocery spend.
3. A fill-in ticker
This chart-style tracker from @sunflowerwavejournaling is great for visual people who really need to see how much they're spending! This version has lines for food, other, and gas, but you could have just groceries and eating out, or all of your budget line items. The key is that you shade in what you're spending so you can quickly see when you're getting close to the max.
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4. A single spread
This budget tracker from @lefty.n.letters includes the grocery expenses on the same spread as the calendar and monthly to-dos instead of separating it out in another part of the journal. This way, keeping an eye on the budget is always top of mind and you can see how that weekly shopping adds up in a month.
5. A gridded weekly report
Similarly, this stripped-down tracker from @minimal_almanac is quick and to the point, and keeps the food budget top-of-mind with all the other monthly expenses.
6. An emphasis on savings
This big-picture budget tracker from @lim_bows makes it clear: Your expenses have to be less than your income! The big equation at the bottom — plus space to include notes about unexpected costs or spending habits — is easily to understand.
7. An option for chart-lovers
Another one for visual learners: from @leslie_learns, a line graph, on which you plot your monthly expenses to see how they vary. To adapt it for groceries only, try breaking it down weekly instead of monthly, or even by grocery type (produce, meat, dry goods, etc.).
8. A list of prices
Figure out how much you can expect to spend at the grocery store ahead of time by listing past costs by category, like @buymorebulletjournals did. You can refer to it when you're meal planning and you can closely estimate how much a certain meal will cost you. This can also help if you're trying to decide if a coupon or discount is worth using!
How do you track your food and grocery expenses?