Friday, January 29, 2016

How do we spend our grocery money?

First up, I'm back from Tokyo & super jet lagged, so please excuse any nonsensical statements or errors. :-)

I'm calling it a day (ha ha) for January, and adding up all of our expenses for the month. I've been trying to understand more about where we spend our grocery dollars, so this month, I made an effort to track what we're actually buying, and group it into categories.

So, without further ado, here's a summary of how we spent our grocery money in January:

Total spent = $652.01. Disappointing on its own, as our goal is $550.

  • Dairy - 13.5% of the spending. This included organic eggs, milk, cheddar cheese, feta, & parmesan cheese. Apparently, we eat a lot of cheese. ;-)
  • Fruit - 19% of the spending. Grapes are the most expensive fruit we buy, at $10 for a Costco container. M& I disagree on this purchase, as the grape quality is very hit or miss.
  • Grains - 5%, and that's unusually high (I think?), as I stocked up on pasta on sale.
  • Meat/fish - 21% of the spending. This included beef, sausage, shrimp, fish, chicken. 
  • Vegetables - 22% of the spending.
  • Snacks - 4%, and this is because Nick is in charge of a "store" every other week at school as part of a classroom learning event, and has to supply his own snacks. I could have made my own, but both times I was traveling or otherwise occupied when he needed to bring in something. Plus, I think pretzel chips & tortilla chips that were for our family.
  • Pantry - 9.5%. We were out of a lot at the beginning of the year - olive oil, vanilla, mustard, plus two jars of tahini (hummus making) that were on clearance.
  • Prepared foods - 7%. This is unusually high (again, I think), as I stocked up on food for M to make easy dinners while I was traveling. He works much later than I do, so when I travel, meals have to be quick & easy.

It's pretty fascinating to see it all broken out, and now I know which areas I want to keep a closer eye on over the upcoming months. I'm also curious to see if the percentages change in any significant way.

How about you? Do you track your grocery spending? Here's hoping for an inexpensive February!! :-) 


  1. We don't track things quite as closely as you do but in Feb I will separate food from nonfood and tax. Tougher to stay near budget in January, that is for sure.

    1. Ahh, January is the worst! You'd think it would be easy coming off of the holidays, but all of those healthy eating plans cost $. :-)

  2. I am over budget for groceries in January. I try to set a dollar limit for snacks of $10 a week for two adults, but we don't always succeed. We spend quite a bit on dairy including yogurt but then we are vegetarian. And probably a higher % than you do on grains (bread, bagels, oatmeal, rice, couscous, etc.) I am planning on a cheap February! Will your grocery bill be higher or lower with your kids at camp?

    1. The bill for groceries will be the same, as I'll pack them a lunch & snacks, as I would for school. They only get to buy hot lunch once a month or on special occasions, as it's really expensive.
      The snack budget can definitely creep up - processed food is just insanely expensive.