Monthly Food Spending

I decided to try and get a handle on my monthly food spending, so this month / billing cycle I tried to take pictures of just about everything that our household bought, either cash or with the food credit card.

After typing up all of the non-pictures, I realized that, oops, I didn’t do such a great job of picture-taking. I included the prices of those items and brief descriptions to give you an idea.

My goal food budget is $300 per month for two people, for the last few months I have raised it to $350. Rising food prices have become a bit of a pickle for me, and the $300/month budget has been in effect since 2004, so I will admit it might be a bit outdated/unrealistic if I continue the purchasing trends I keep exhibiting. But, like any good number cruncher, I psychotically want to keep that budget as close to $300 per month as possible, so we shall see what we can do to bring this number down in the next few months.

I also purchased 50 lbs of beef, bulk (for $200), at the end of October in the hopes of keeping food costs down. This worked out to $4/lb (cut weight), but I have not yet included this in my calculations. I’ll work on amortizing my beef next month.

Should I tell you how much I spent? Do you want to guess? Ok, here’s the deal. I’ll tell you at the end of the post, so you can look and estimate on your way down. Feel free to judge me for my love of that fake buttery syrup spread too. I snuck it in the cart when Albany John wasn’t looking.



Not pictured – Asian Food Market $27 (sauces, pork, wonton skins, veggies)

Veggie Cart – 11/8 – $15 (strawberries, canteloupe, pears, grapefruit, orange, onions, red onions)

Hannaford – cash – Light Orange drink, $1.47 after tax

BJ’s – 3 gal Peanut Oil, $35.99
Hannaford – $9, turkey, one box pasta, yogurt

Hannaford – $19.51, Land O Lakes Butter, .5 gal milk, eggs, one Fund a Feast box
BJ’s – $17.89, King Arthur Flour and Walnuts
Hoosick St Wine – $29.14 – Rum and Wine
Bed Bath and Beyond – $16.18 – kitchen shelving
Beef – rough estimate, $20-30
Upcoming veggie cart trip – $15
Total Spent: $370-380 (including beef estimate and one more veggie cart purchase)
Yipes!
I am a bit surprised (but maybe not SO very surprised) at the amount I am [over] spending. This was definitely an educational experience for me, and hopefully it will help me curb any impulse spending in the future.
The idea of having set meals planned out for the week makes me kind of depressed, since I like changing things up at the last minute. Albany John had a good idea to make a general guideline of available meals out of items in our pantry, for maybe a week or something like that. This would help all of the last minute trips to the grocery store for a few extra items we don’t have, and also contribute less waste overall (although I think we’ve been pretty good about not wasting as much this month).
So, how does your actual vs. budgeted food spending look like? It looks like I am way over my goal budget of $300 per month. Have you cut back on spending, or increased your spending amounts for groceries?
Over the next few months I am going to see if I can wrangle this budget back down to $300, or see if $350 is going to be my new monthly food budget.
6 comments
  1. Mr. Dave said:

    I saw the Egg Nog!!! I am an egg nog freak, you made me want some and now I am jonesin’. I think I am going to run to P-chops for some beer and nog.

  2. jmp said:

    oh gosh, albany jane. if i were to count my liquor and wine purchases, i’d be way over my food budget.

  3. Mr. Dave said:

    I agree, I don’t include liquor purchases in my food budget. Liquor is in another category, kind of like oxygen or sunlight.

  4. Hmmmmmm won ton wrappers. what were the strawberries for? aren’t they out of season

  5. mr. dave – pshh, I highly prefer the Stewart’s nog, but this was pretty good stuff too. I’ve still got some sitting in the fridge though.jmp – oh, this was just what Albany John accidentally put on the co-food-purchases card… please don’t make me count how much I spend on booze a month. That would really make me sad! (or happy)phairhead – Ah, that was the veggie cart. They were really fresh, and only $2. I didn’t see them this weekend, though, so maybe it is all out. Phho!

  6. Glenna said:

    Wow! I’m impressed. That’s very cool and organized. I’m thinking about copying you and getting a handle on my food expenditures too.

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