As part of my home inventory, I decided not to include food or other consumables. Then I started wondering how much food is in the house during an average week. So of course, I had to find out!
Here are pictures of all my food storage. Can you guess how many food items are here and how much they would cost to replace?
The answer is: 280 items with a replacement cost of $1149 (not including 20 items which were either gifts or homemade or things I wouldn’t replace).
To put that in perspective, my usual grocery spending per month, for our family of 2 people and 2 cats, is:
- $398 for food
- $23 for cleaning supplies and paper goods
- $31 for personal care / toiletries
- $24 for cat food and litter
for a total of $476 a month. So it would appear that I have on hand, at any given time, almost 2.5 months’ worth of groceries. That wouldn’t be true, though, because a lot of the items I have are condiments and seasonings and specialty items that I might only buy once a year, such as chutney or cardamom. I have some high-cost items that I buy regularly, such as coffee and goat cheese, and some low cost items that are staples of my diet, like lentils and beans. Sometimes I seem to run out of all the good stuff at once and have an expensive month, but it evens out.
My store of food fits easily into the fridge, freezer and 3 cupboards (7 shelves) and I don’t have stashes anywhere else. I would guess that the amount of food we have may be on the low end compared to other couples, because we don’t have meat or very much packaged food, we don’t have a second fridge or a chest freezer, and we don’t have a vegetable garden. I’m sure it’s all relative and some will think we have a lot!
One thing you’ll notice is that I can’t go into the fridge or cupboards and pull out something for dinner (other than leftovers) because we committed some time ago to making meals from scratch – although there is that emergency box of Kraft Dinner…
We usually go out to a restaurant about once a month (or maybe 2 lunches) and have treats at a café once or twice a month, adding another $85/month to our food budget.
I’ll leave you with an example of how one area was costed up.
Cupboard, top shelf: $32.90 (12 items)
- Leftover Pocky — didn’t count
- Annual box of Girl Guide cookies $5
- Pirate cookies $3
- 3 bags candy $10
- 2 pkg gum $1.50
- Almond extract $3.10
- Maple extract $3.10
- Chocolate chips $3
- Shredded dried coconut $2.50
- Not seen: mini marshmallows (for making fudge) $1.70
- Sprinkles, all colours (from Bulk Barn, would not replace)
Middle shelf: $92.20 (21 items)
- Falafel mix $2.30
- Israeli couscous $4
- Couscous $2.60
- Dried fruit $6/pkg
- Dried cranberries $4
- Dried apricots $5.70 (in tin)
- Raisins, 1 kg $9 for 2 kg
- Candied ginger $3.70
- Almonds $5.50
- Cashews $5.80
- Walnuts $11
- Sunflower seeds $1.30
- Baking powder $4
- Baking soda $1.50
- Salt $2
- Sea salt $5.20
- Vanilla extract $6
- Yeast $4.40
- Rye flour $3.50
- Bran flakes $1.50
- Molasses $3.20
- Extra sugar and brown sugar (included elsewhere)
Bottom shelf: $37.20 (15 items)
- Coconut oil $2.10
- Barley $1.50
- Mung beans $2.30
- Millet $2.30
- Bulgur $2.30
- Red quinoa $4.90
- Red lentils $2
- Green lentils $2.40
- Chick peas (dried) $3.50
- Whole wheat and white rotini $2 each
- Sugar $2
- Brown sugar $2.80
- Icing sugar $2.80
- Corn starch $2.30
Total for this cupboard: $162.30 (48 items)
I must confess that the prices are all accurate (local, current, non-sale prices) because I know prices on my usual purchases, I have been keeping grocery receipts for quite a while and can look things up, and I stopped by Sobey’s on my way home to scout out a few missing numbers!
If anyone has an exceptionally inquiring mind, I have included An Exacting Life Food Inventory as a document, listing all items and all prices – which might help you identify any strange things you see lurking in my fridge!