A budget is essentially a statement of income and expenditure. Balancing both is a major exercise in money management. A budget helps to live within one's income and enables to identify wasteful expenditure.
A family comprises of children, adults and aged. Therefore the nutritional requirements of each member of the family would be different. Before actually planning a budget, we ascertain the availability of food items and the prices at which they are available.
There are a number of alternative commodities available to fulfill the family requirements.
It is very important to plan well the purchase of food items, keeping in mind your income, the prices you have to pay, the quality of commodities available and the taste preferences of the family.
While planing a food budget, the first step is to be aware of the total money, which can be set aside for food expenditure. This will vary with the total income of the family.
The family belonging to the high income group may spend 30%, middle income group may spend 50% whereas the low income group may spend as much as 80-90% of the total income on food.
Once the amount is decided, it can be distributed among the different food stuffs.
There are commodities which provide energy for our daily living such as cereals, roots and tubers and oil. Other commodities such as milk, vegetables, fruits, meat, fish and eggs supplement the food items mentioned above. These commodities are so important that they have become an indispensable par of our diet.
-It is helpful to maintain a detailed record of food expenses for 2-3 months before planning a budget.
-List the samples you need each month. The food items that help you avoid having bare cupboard is called as staples. These might include sugar, spices, salt, peanut butter, rice, canned food items etc.
-Eat at home more often than eating at restaurants. Buying packaged and processed food would prove to be more expensive.
-Make a detailed food plan for a week or month ahead but buy only what you can store or use within that time.
How to keep a record of food expenses:
it is helpful to maintain a detailed record of food expenses for 2-3 months before planning a budget. While recording the food expenses, the food items may be classified as follows:
|Food items||Money spent/Month|
2. Pulses and nuts
5. Meat, Fish, Egg
7. Coffee, Tea
8. Sugar and Jaggery
9. Fats and oils
11. Ready to eat items
The expenditure record can then be suitably modified to meet the nutritional requirements with minimum expenses. As far as possible equal emphasis should be given to the 3 basic food groups in a food budget.