The New Home Economics

The Grocery Budget, 2010

2 Comments

(Final harvest, October 2010)

I’ve just completed my yearly review of our grocery budget.  Despite my big goal of reducing our grocery expenses in 2010, we actually increased how much we spent.  #sadtrombone

To review:
Total grocery expenditure, 2008: $7,661
Total grocery expenditure, 2009: $7,609
Average for both years: around $640 a month

Now for 2010:
Total grocery expenditure, including CSA: $8,273
Monthly average: around $665

Yikes, that’s $25 more per month!  How did this happen?  A few reasons off the top of my head:

  • We switched to butter from grass-based cows. Sometimes I make it myself, sometimes I buy PastureLand butter.  Either way, it’s both expensive and tasty. And packed with vitamins of course.
  • We bought our meat mostly in the form of meat bundles from the co-op.  You get nicer cuts of meat, like steaks, roasts, etc., for a lower per-pound price.  When we buy meat off the shelf we tend to just get the cheapest cut we can find.  Nobody needs that many drummies.
  • Started buying more non-food items, like soap and toothpaste, at the co-op.  This is partly to avoid going to Target, and also partly to try and support local merchants.  So, I should really run our Target numbers because we probably reduced our monthly Target bill by at least $25.  There.  I feel better already.

SO instead of being unrealistic about 2011, how about this: I will just try to hold the line and not increase again this year.  The only major difference coming up this year is that we are discontinuing our CSA.  I was disappointed in the amount of produce we received in our weekly box.  I also have plans for some major garden expansion this year, so we might be able to grow enough of our own to have plenty to eat and still put some by for next winter.

Here are my grocery budget posts from last year: Part 1 | Part 2

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2 thoughts on “The Grocery Budget, 2010

  1. Great post. I’ve learned that very few people really track their food costs – including me. There is a lot of good data showing that Americans in general like cheap food and clearly you’re making some choices that are not cheap – but the long term price is worth it.

  2. What we found really helpful in cutting the grocery bill down is planning spendings ahead of time. We actually have a two-week menu on our fridge with every breakfast/lunch/dinner planned out. This not only helps preventing compulsory shopping, it allows for preparing healthier meals, and for less too! Cooking at home aint that bad – family of 4, both working parents and two young kids – we cook once every two days, both mom and dad taking turns of course 🙂

    I’ve noticed that we can now afford buying all-organic items (USDA Certified where possible) and spend less money than before. Co-ops (Costco) do offer a nice selection of good food although sometimes bringing home a 5 Gal drum of organic guacamole is not a good idea because you wont finish it beofre it goes bad. Shopping these days means shopping smart and from multiple stores. We do avoid take-outs where possible (maybe do it once every two weeks).

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