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The Grocery Budget

One of the lessons in my class recently was teaching the students how to make a budget for themselves. Now my students have very limited expenses but we were looking at someone that would have been out on their own with a job and household expenses. We would evaluate hypothetical situations and look at ways to decrease the spending and increase the saving. Oftentimes the students would always say that the person could lower their grocery bill. It was quickly apparent that a lot of kids don’t realize the true cost of groceries. Since meal planning and grocery lists that only involve exactly what we need are one of my top priorities, I decided we would do an exercise of the sort.

I asked my students to make a food journal for a week of what they ate. From that journal they had to create their entire grocery list of what they would need to purchase. Then they went online like they were making a grocery order and created a cart of everything they needed. They also had a column to list out all the times they ate out. I had student’s individual weekly food budget needs vary from $56 to $140 based on what they had eaten. One student’s family had eaten fast food every night which greatly increased their total. A student with dietary restrictions that has to eat a lot of specialty food had a higher grocery budget than many others but her overall fell in the middle since she didn’t eat out much.

This was a very eye opening experience for many of my students. I even had some comment that they now understand why their parents got irritated when food got wasted. After telling some friends about this exercise I did with my students, they were interested in learning more about saving money on groceries. So, stay tuned, I will continue to post tips and ideas to eat well, not waster food, and spend less overall on your grocery budget!


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