How A Grocery Budget Can Effect Your Relationship

Looking at last month’s budget, I am struck by how off I was. Groceries were almost $250 off my budget. What kind of personal finance blogger am I? To be fair, eating out spending for me was one meal out, meaning I was eating more food at home. (Other things that threw me off: stuff for the dog, my spontaneous weekend trip to Boston, and the fact that I paid to have my taxes done, which I wasn’t going to do initially.)

Pastayum_2 To get the full picture, fuel spending was half what it usually is and I didn’t have to buy any gifts last month (I budget $150 a month for that and if you think of birthdays, weddings, and holiday giving really isn’t much).

The grocery overspend made Sean wonder, too. Then I showed him some information in the blogosphere. Apparently, in times of trouble, food companies may not increase prices but decrease volumes as a way of saving money instead (CNN Money). I am also intrigued by putting a teenager on a grocery budget, which to me makes sense if your older children are always putting things in your cart(Debt-Free Revolution). Sean admits to wanting to impulse buy and I hate to act like Mean Mommy and say "no" to him just adding stuff randomly to the cart. He’s agreed to sticking to the list with no whining and I’ve proposed that we don’t go to the grocery store this week to get a jump start on saving money this month. So far, so good.

This strict budget has been a way to make us both accountable (for shared expenses) and has kept me honest. I think it’s important for couples to be on the same page financially, even if it is something silly like groceries. The Simple Dollar had a great post on how to talk to your partner about money: The First Money Talk: The When and How of a Conversation Every Couple Needs to Have. Both Sean and I have regular conversations about money coming in and going out so we both have an idea what the other is dealing with. Do other people do this as well?

Photo: Homemade food: Inexpensive, yummy, and nutritious!