My Grocery Shopping Budget Hack

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Whether you’re a household of 1 or 5, one can easily get carried away when shopping in the grocery store, which can make sticking to your grocery budget a challenge.

In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we spend an average of $7,700 on groceries every year, and an average of 41 minutes in the grocery store each visit.

There are many ways to save time and money when it comes to grocery shopping, like shopping your pantry first, being on a cash budget, and ultimately sticking to a list of things you actually need. However, we’re human and it can take grabbing just one extra thing to put you over your grocery budget.

Allow me to introduce you to the gadget that changed the game for my grocery shopping budget:

It’s a tally counter!

A tally counter is a handheld device used to count things like people and animals, or to keep track of things that are coming and going like people at an event.

Here’s how I use a tally counter to stay within my grocery budget while shopping:

How It Works

  • To begin, turn the dial to set the tracker to “OOOO”. Then, for every dollar an item costs that I add to my basket/cart, I add one click to the tally counter by pressing the lever.

For example, this cashew yogurt costs $1.69.

  • So I add 2 clicks to tally counter.

There’s no tax on this item so 2 clicks sufficed but if there was applicable tax, I’d add one more click.

I continue to add clicks to the tally counter as I move through the store, grabbing the items on my grocery list.

At the end of my shopping, the tally counter read “85” which meant my grocery bill would come to an estimated $85 at the register, so I was still under my $100 budget.

Are you dying to know what my actual today at the register was?

That’s right…$79.54!

I told you…GAME CHANGER!

Why It Works

Each click added to the counter represents a whole dollar so it’s rounding up for you. So as long as you remember to add the right number of clicks as you shop, your actual total when you get to the register will always be less than your tally counter total…helping to keep you well within your grocery budget.

You can also keep an eye on your total as you move throughout the grocery store, without the risk of accidentally erasing it like many of us have done when using the calculator app on our phones.

Which means there’s also no toggling back and forth a grocery list and app on your phone shaving time off the average grocery store visit

My tally counter along with my Becta Design Cash Envelopes, help to keep me under my grocery budget EVERY SINGLE TIME!

Try it out! You can grab your tally counter here! I promise, it’ll be a game changer for you too!

Related: My Review of Becta Design Cash Envelopes

Published by Nika | Debtfreegonnabe

Nika, the voice behind Debt Free Gonnabe, is on a journey to tackle her 6-figure debt. Since starting her journey, she has become passionate about helping others get started and take control of their finances. When she's not obsessing over budgets and spreadsheets, she enjoys taking in baseball games, Zumba and indoor cycling classes, and reading.

2 thoughts on “My Grocery Shopping Budget Hack

  1. This is genius! Just ordered one! Like you mentioned, much easier than toggling between calculator and notes apps.

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