Many of us are in a similar boat. We're trying to eat healthy, quality foods, but yet we must also balance that desire with a budget. Sure it would be awesome to spend as much money as desired on food...and easy! But that's just not a reality for most people.
If your food budget is out of control or if you are wrestling with your budget, here is an idea that might help.
1. Set your ideal amount of money to spend on groceries. By ideal, I mean ideal in terms of your budget. The lowest amount of money you wish you could spend per month on groceries.
2. Purpose to stick to it COMPLETELY for the next 3 months. Do not overspend, at all. If necessary, use cash. Use your iphone calculator as you shop. Put items back. Go without, make compromises or look for new, cheaper sources for key/costly food items. Eat more of the cheap stuff. (Not the junky cheap stuff, but the healthy cheap stuff...like carrots!)
3. At the end of 3 months, re-evaluate. You'll have a reasonable amount of data to consider. The first month will probably be hard, but the second and third months will likely be easier. Some questions to ask yourself as you re-evaluate:
* What compromises did I have to make? Are they worth it?
* Which compromises am I okay with continuing to make at this time?
* Are there compromises I made that I really believe I shouldn't make? How much more money a month will I need to cover those extra expenses?
* Are there any other corners I can cut? Any money-saving changes I can try that I haven't yet thought of or done?
* How practical/reasonable was that amount of money for our monthly food costs?
* Did this endeavor prove to be easier than I anticipated or did it prove to be more difficult?
* Can we continue spending this amount, or do we need to change it?