For all of 2013 I’ve been keeping a close eye on our grocery budget and publishing the results every month here on Green Bay Consumer. My goal when I started the year was to see if I was still spending around $450/month in groceries as I had been prior to having two more kids, a slowed economy, inflation, etc.
With December only being half over, I simply took my current spending total and doubled it.
Here’s how it all looks.
For the year, I spent $4670.53 on groceries. Dividing that by 12 months, my total came to $389.21 in monthly spending, well under the $450 budget I made for our family. As I’ve mentioned previously, our family has made the move to more natural/organic items and have avoided the processed-yet-cheap convenience foods like Hamburger Helper so I’m very pleased with our numbers.
Besides avoiding pre-processed foods, I simply shopped the lowest-priced grocery stores, shopped the sales and combined coupons whenever possible, canned/froze my own food and more. I avoided impulse items and thought twice about adding some items to the cart when I knew I was getting close to my budget for the month.
Will I try to go lower in 2014? I see no reason to change our $45o/month budget. That gives me a cushion of spending for those months where stocking up on an item can push the spending higher.
I hope this exercise has encouraged you to take a closer look at your spending on variable items like groceries. By simply monitoring my family’s spending this way, I became more aware and also made smarter choices in the grocery store.
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