More than half of 2016 has passed so it’s time for a half-year grocery tally! I’ve tracked and analyzed my grocery spending every year since I started this blog. At our house we’ve gone through some dramatic changes in food shopping and eating styles, from a family of 3 to an “empty nest,” from (half-hearted) meat eaters to mostly vegetarian, from a reliance on prepared foods to cooking from scratch, and from “winging it” to meal planning.
If you divide our annual grocery bill by the number of us who were living here, the numbers are about the same: $3133 per person when there were 3 of us (five years ago), versus $3041 for each of us now that we are two. Despite all the changes we’ve made and all the economizing we’ve done, it isn’t a big difference. I will chalk it up to rising food costs.
For the first half of this year, the grocery bills were running a little low. We’ve had both of our major vacations, during which our meals were paid from vacation savings. We also spent most of our entertainment budget on meals out. Now comes the long haul with almost all of our meals made in-house for the rest of the year. So far, we’ve spent $114/week for food, snacks, paper goods, cleaning products, personal care items and cat food/litter. (We have two cats). My “stretch” goal is $6000 a year on all those things, eating in our usual way, but I don’t think we’ll attain it this year – since I won’t be eating lentil soup every day to make the goal – although coincidentally, it was on tonight’s menu 🙂
For the past 2-3 years I have been bemoaning how I never bake any more; I no longer bake bread and rarely make yogurt. On the plus side, I cook all types of beans from dried. I’m working on baked beans: my recipe needs work but it’s gradually improving. Another thing I’ve done is substituted homemade popcorn for other salty snacks. Last year, Rom and I decided not to keep ice cream in the house, and instead go out for ice cream when we feel like it, and we are sticking with that plan. I have minimal food waste, however, I could save a lot of money (and packaging) by making my own snacks such as muffins and cookies.
A few notables:
Biggest grocery splurges: the usual suspects! Goat cheese, salad greens, cashews and pecans, local honey, locally-ground coffee, soy milk (Maybe I am secretly from Portland OR?)
Biggest price increases: bread, eggs
Pricey non-food items: unscented hair gel ordered online for $20 including shipping (it will last a year) and non-soap cleanser for $16 (ditto)
Free items this year (from family): jam, maple syrup, stored parsnips, weekly Sunday dinners, tea biscuits and cookies (lots)
Free items (2-for-1 deals, etc.): 1/2 pint blackberries, 1/2 lb mushrooms, 2 tubs yogurt
Mistakes: $18.99 green protein powder only suitable for green smoothies 😦
Buy/eat most of: apples (as always), raisins, spoon-size shredded wheat cereal, whole wheat bread, bagels, milk and soy milk, yogurt
Bought more of this year: almonds and broccoli!
Bought less of this year: lost the Clif bar habit 🙂
|Personal Care||$ 128.69|
In the pie chart, the packaged foods section includes bread, cereal, crackers, hot and cold drinks, snacks and desserts, and a few prepared meals such as frozen pizzas and veggie burgers.
How are you doing with your food spending this year? Are you satisfied with what you get for the money?