Friday, January 6, 2017

Year End Grocery Spending

I haven't been tracking our year to date spending on an ongoing basis but I have a notebook with all my numbers recorded.  This year seems to be missing a lot of savings amounts like last year because I was too busy to track all that I saved.  I am hoping to be better next year tracking my savings but it is less important then just making sure that the spending is under control.

My goal is to spend under $160 on all of our household expenses for groceries, paper supplies, cleaning supplies, and medicine (except prescriptions) per month.  This gives me a total for $1920.00 for the year to spend on our family of three.  Below is the monthly totals that I spent on those items:

                                                            January                     $155.93
                                                            February                   $101.57

                                                            March                       $154.63
                                                            April                         $139.69
                                                            May                          $89.17
                                                            June                          $277.59
                                                            July                          $105.85
                                                            August                     $128.65
                                                            September               $92.32
                                                            October                   $259.92
                                                            November               $130.46
                                                            December               $156.56

                                                            Total OOP              $1792.34

I spent more then I have in the last four years but I think that I got a lot of things to take care of my family and still stay under budget.  It has been very hard to maintain the spending that low while working two part time jobs this year because there is very little time to put into following blogs and planning shopping trips.  I normally throw together trips at the last minute and possibly in the store to be honest.  I have had trouble keeping up the coupon cutting but mostly maintained the best that I could!!

                                                           Monthly Average     $149.36

I am happy to start a new year and try my best to do it again.  With my son getting bigger and eating more, we might have an increase in the budget to maintain that but the $160 monthly budget has been working for over 4 years and I know that the method is going to work to come up with the new budget.  Hope you have a great year and look forward to sharing for another year to come!!!


  1. What a great accomplishment! Your family is very lucky to have a wife/mom as expert at frugal shopping as you are!

    Growing kids (and especially boys) can be a challenge when trying to keep the food costs down because portions need to start being larger, or they start disliking some foods and liking others, and once they're teens, they're like goats because they eat everything in sight!

    1. Thank you for the huge compliment. I certainly try to do my best but there are many days that don't turn out as well as others but I am able to put it all together and make the best out of whatever we have.

      I can't wait for the time that he is going to eat lots and I know that it is coming as soon as he gets over this picky eating. Here is hoping that my grocery shopping can keep up!! Right now I just was told that he would die without granola bars but I went and used a rain check to get granola bars which are now $3.50 per box!!! Ummm, not going to happen!!!! Thankful for my $1.97 rain check and scared what happens when I run out with no rain check waiting :(

    2. That when you tell him "see you in the afterlife!" LOL. My kids know that there are some items that I won't get unless I can get them free or close to free. Like Special K. My daughter insists on the Kellogg's version, not the generic so she has to wait until it's on sale at CVS AND I have good coupons AND a gift card. I won't pay $4.50 for a box of it even if I can get it free with a gift card. Also, I told her it's for breakfast only because she was eating 1 box per day at some point. That's ridiculous! She's been much better since and now she's telling me she doesn't even eat it as much as she did before.

    3. Totally agree!! My son knows that we don't buy things unless they were on sale and we have a coupon. Of course, there are certain things that don't have that flexibility like granola bars :) He is only 8 years old so he certainly doesn't understand all the ins and outs of the finances but they just raised the price to $3.49 per box of 5 granola bars which made me choke!! That is crazy high!! I will be stocking up on way more when they are on sale for back to school for sure!

  2. I know how difficult it is to stay at $300 a month for household expenses for just two retired people. How do you manage with half the money and an extra body?? You simply amaze me.

    1. I certainly work hard at it but I don't think that it is anything super amazing. We must have great stores and great sales. I put them together and cook way too many meals at home from scratch. Here is hoping for another good year!

  3. You are doing extremely well! I increase my grocery budget to $150 for 2 people when my daughter is home, and that is for food only; no household, pet supplies, etc. You are an inspiration to us all!

    1. It is basically the same to feed three people that it is two so I am sure we are doing the same things. Here is hoping that we both do well for 2017 too!!

  4. Congratulations on sticking to your grocery budget! Right now I am doing a pantry challenge, but after that I will be sticking to (I hope) a $200/month budget for the two of us, including household items. This is quite a bit lower than I've done before, but the positive note is that I have a ton of food in the pantry and freezer to supplement that budget. I'm really inspired by the amount of baked goods you make from scratch -- I want to increase that this year.

    1. I did one no spend/ low spend a few years ago and realized that is basically ever month for me so now I have the pantry challenge ever month :) I think that the thing that keeps us going is all the baked goods. I make at least one quick bread and one batch of muffins for breakfasts during the week and usually something over the weekend. I also try to make at least one dessert like item a week. This week we are enjoying rice krispie treats and next week we will be having brownies (not from scratch but from the box- sadly, a family favorite). Making bread and baked goods helps when you aren't going to grocery store all the time. We just finished a package of paper towels and I am pretty sure we moved them from the other house a year and a half ago. I just bought a 12 pack so hoping that lasts for another few years so that I don't have to put out $20 for the shelf price of paper towels!! UGH!


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