How to Budget

Okay so 2021 is just days away and we have already planned out most of the years content. We are super excited to see some big things happening here. We will be uploading at least twice a week with #TuesdayTips as our accountability day. This is the first in our series to kick off the New Year.

Budgeting is a specific amount of money to be spent on a project, or by a person or organization in a time period. When we talk about Budgeting for food, we specify how much we plan on spending for a grocery trip on the things we need to buy.

For ex.

Grocery List:

Apples – 1.99 a lb

Ice Cream -3.99

Flour- 8.99

Butter -3.99 lb

Chocolate chips – 2.99 12 oz

Okay so say this is our list. We would add up what we need to spend which is $21.95. Now some places have tax on food so you do need to check that that’s included. Where I’m from they don’t tax on food. So knowing what you plan on eating, meaning learning to meal plan, so you can stick to your budget will help. I also suggest things in bulk and coupons when you can. Especially if those ingredients you use the most. I will cover how to meal plan in next weeks #TuesdaysTips so stay tuned for that.

However, budgeting also plays a role in recipes too. So here is how you are going to budget for a recipe. This will also help you determine how much per a person it costs. Now just because something (say Chocolate Chip Cookies) cost $2 in one place, doesn’t mean they won’t cost more somewhere else because of price differences. Usually it’s a large distance but even between New York City and Upstate New York where we moved to, there’s quite a big difference.

This is our chocolate Chip cookie Recipe, it make 24 -28 cookies, which is important to know. Now I’m going to break this down for you all based on New York prices.

Here is the online version of shopping at my closest store .

As you can see, if I had to buy all the ingredients in one go, it would cost $41 dollars, however you usually have ingredients on hand, like flour, sugar, eggs, and butter because they are just staples. Plus we are not using the entirety of every ingredient so we need to break it down even more. I know math gets confusing for many but it’s really important to learn how to do calculations. Math and science are major components in the Food Industry.

The first thing we are going to do is break down our ingredients into simplist form. I find grams work the best because we will need to calculate with our recipe so for conversion sakes (it is also best to do grams for baking and using the scale. Also good for calculating recipe prices and finding out how much things cost. *Please remember prices change and varies in your area*)

So above I started to calculate how many grams are in each package. From there I put how much it costs in the store. Now the equation to find the Cost per gram is:

Price / Grams =Cost per a gram.

Ex: Brown Sugar $2.29/ 453.59 g = $.0053

Now using the graph I created, we will put in how many grams needed for the recipe. We did the conversions above. Now to calculate how much it is per ingredient our equation is:

Grams needed X Cost per gram + Cost of ingredient per gram

Ex: Brown Sugar 201 g X $.0053 = $1.02

Now we do that for all the ingredients and add up that final price.

$.32 + .54 + 1.02 + 1.70 + 3.94 + .65 + .06 + .01 =$8.03.

$8.03 is how much the entire recipe costs. However we can brake it down by person, or how much it makes by dividing the Final cost by amount

Final Cost / Amount it serves

Ex: 48.03/ 24 = .34 per a cookie.

That isn’t bad right? No, however the reason bakeries and restaurants charge more is because there are more expense like paying employees, rent, heating, machinery/cooking equipment and making a profit. There is a whole other method on how to price to charge to make a profit, which if I get enough interest I’ll do another #TuesdayTips article.

But why is this important for home cooks, you ask? Well when you have have a specific amount of people to feed and only have a certain amount of money, you need to know how much things cost. Meal planning will help a lot when it comes to budgeting as well. which will be covered in next weeks #TuesdayTips, but say I want to have a weeks worth of of food on $30 dollars to feed four people. Now that is a really low budget right? Absolutely it is but when you use ingredients you have around your house, buy in bulk, use coupons and use left overs, it makes it far easier to keep it inexpensive and stick to your budget.

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