Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Grocery spending numbers for the first half of 2016

The first half of the year is over, and I've been actively tracking our groceries by category for the entire year. It's been really helpful to see what throws us off.

For a quick visual representation, the breakout by category is as follows:

I was surprised by two of the categories - dairy & fruit. If you would have asked me at the beginning of the year, I would have been convinced that vegetables were our more expensive category. So, I will continue to use this data to ensure we are spending wisely in each category (no waste, best prices available, etc) & monitor our spend over time. I'm very happy to see that prepared food is such a tiny sliver of our budget. I'm pretty sure that was all frozen pizza while I was traveling. 

And, for actual numbers:
Total spend for the first half of the year = $3721.88
Spend per month = $620.31
People fed = 2 adults (working out approximately 5x/week), a 9 year old boy, a 10 year old boy who both play sports 5x/week

Fruit - $974.09
Meat/Fish - $749.03
Vegetables - $659.36
Dairy - $545.68
Pantry - $333.31
Snacks - $117.52
Prepared Food - $92.81

My goal will be to drive down our meat/fish spending, as well as dairy. Both have a relatively small amount of waste associated with it, but I think I can do better. With fruit, we're doing an admirable job of eating it all before it goes bad (or, freezing for smoothies), so I think our only options would be to consume less or to find a cheaper source. We buy at Costco, which, on average, is cheapest. Getting a cheaper per unit price would likely be more work than I can take on right on.

What about you? Are you tracking your grocery spend for the year? How are you doing against budget? Our budgeted spend is actually $550/month, so we are trending above that in the first half. Talk to me about groceries! They fascinate me, clearly. :-) 


  1. Our budget is $550 for two adults in Canada (Approx $425) per month and we eat pretty well. I tend to only buy veggies when they are on sale and each store seems to use them as loss leaders these days. I also grow tomatoes, cilantro and chives although the tomatoes are just starting to ripen. I buy fruit but also have frozen fruit (mangos) on hand for smoothies. I don't divide out my categories like you - now I am wondering what we spend on fruit and veggies. In my books though, you clearly are doing a good job if you are eating a lot of veggies and fruit, so worth paying more for.

    1. It's true that it would be hard to convince myself that it's a good decision to eat less fruit & veggies simply to cut on costs. So for now, everything stays & I look at the other categories to ensure we're most efficiently using our budget. We're getting much better at reducing waste, which means trimming the easy excess. We meal plan & try to use leftovers as a core part of our menu (although, that's really about time management during the work week) & enjoy food. :-)

  2. I love this! I break down my spending in a similar way. Our spending was $2819 for food only, for two adults, for the past 6 months - so that's $470/month (Canadian).