Friday, October 31, 2008

Ten Months of Groceries!

Its the end of the month, so it is "payday" along with "pay bills day", which means I am working in my Quicken program crunching the numbers. Looking at where we are going for this next month and looking at where we can improve from what we spent last month.

Anyway, I like going and looking at our groceries category to see what was our final monthly total. Well today I decided to look at the big picture in the grocery category, in other words what have we spent for just food to feed my family of seven.

You have seen my weekly savings shopping posts with the totals so I thought I would take the time to give you a look at the big picture as well.

Here is the breakdown...

Grand Total spent on 10 months of food: $5,422.42
Monthly Average Total: $542.24
Average PER Day for 305 days: $17.78
Average PER meal(3 meals each day) for 7 people: $5.93

Now just for comparison, I went to the USDA's Food Plans that are published each month to see if my numbers would fall in their different plans. I decided to start with the "thrifty plan" and here is what I found...

They based their figures on the 2005 MyPyramid food intake recommendations. So looking at the charts and the fine print for a family of 7, I am to take the individual prices in the different age groups and subtract 10% off each amount. So I took the numbers in the "monthly thrifty plan" and did my adjustments and came up with a total of $854.82 for the month. Which figures out to $8548.20 for the 10 months! Average per day would be $28.03 and $9.34 per meal each day! I like my figures better! :)

I know that I have picky eaters who could care less about eating fruits and veggies, so I know that they probably don't get the daily recommended amount. However, I still have fruits & veggies available for consumption on a daily basis, even if it is mostly apples, grapes, carrots and corn!

Putting all the numbers aside, with my figures and shopping methods we have been able to keep up on a freezer and pantry stockpile! We have been able to share meals with others. We are just picky enough in our eating habits that we eat meat at every dinner meal but I keep the meals simple. We also don't do meatless or breakfast meals for dinner! We don't do a lot of processed foods, however, I do keep things like chicken nuggets and frozen fries on hand for quick meals. I make from scratch the majority of our snacks and sweet tooth longings.

I am sure that I could get my current monthly figure of $542.24 to be lower but with all the food price fluctuations recently I don't think I can do without some major changes in our eating habits.

So there you have the big picture of my grocery shopping! Just one side note, so far for non-food items(things like shampoo, body wash, laundry soap, fabric softener, stain remover, bathroom cleaners, toothpaste, etc), I have spent $956.31 for 10 months or $95.63 per month! That figure won't be changing too much because I did a lot of stockpiling at the beginning of the year when I was trying out the drug store shopping scene and found that type of shopping was not for me.


Kate said...

Wow, this is so cool. I want to do that too and see what my averages are. Great idea!

I have never understood the high amounts of the "thrifty" plan of the USDA. I mean $9.34 a meal? You could eat at many restaurants for less than that amount. Your plan sounds much more reasonable.

Melinda said...

That is very interesting!

I think starting January I will keep track of my grocery bill!

Although I know I do not spend anywhere near $9.34 per meal per day!