Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Food Expenses: January 2017

My official 2017 weekly grocery budget is $100/wk for 4 people (2 adults, 2 teens) but I would really like to spend $50 or less.  This ONLY includes food and drinks, nothing else.  My weeks go from Wednesday-Tuesday so my monthly budget isn't always the same, month to month.

Eating out/Ordering In food expenses are separate and ideally would be either none or would amount, together with what I spent on groceries to what my monthly food budget is. It's been suggested to me that I actually budget for eating out/ordering in separately, but even though I am tracking each penny that we spend, we don't have to count each penny that we spend. I just like to.  So I don't feel necessarily compelled to make sure we never eat out. There will be times when I don't feel like cooking, or months when we have a lot of celebrations or socialization to conduct.  **shrug**  I'm not going to completely obsess about it. However, I do want to keep track of where it all goes so that we can never say "I don't know what happens..." or blame it on someone/something else.


My budget for January was $400.
  • We spent $292.05 out of pocket, including all rebates, on groceries alone. 
  • We spent $238.50 in eating out/ordering in expenses.
  • So altogether we spent $530.55 on feeding ourselves (and others at times), far more than the $400 I would have liked to stay under. Still, according to the USDA's website, our family of 4 should be spending $684.40 on the "thrifty plan" so I think we're doing quite well despite our splurges!
Detail of grocery expenses ($292.05)
  • Baking supplies: $2.00
    • (2) cans peach pie filling
  • Beverages: $137.90
    • (12) 750 ml whiskey
    • (9) 12-ct packs Diet Dr. Pepper
    • (1) bag hazelnut coffee
    • (1) box peppermint herbal tea
  • Breads: $15.41
    • (7) loaves white bread
    • (4) packages whole wheat naan bread
    • (4) packages Sandwich Thins
    • (2) 8-ct hamburger buns
    • (2) packages Fold It flatbreads
  • Cereals: $1.50
    • (4) boxes Special K Red Berries
    • (4) boxes Lucky Charms
    • (3) boxes Rice Krispies
  • Dairy: $14.52
    • (3) gallons whole milk
    • (1) gallon 2% milk (donated to BFF)
    • (22) yogurt cups
    • (1) 32-oz container plain yogurt
    • (2) packages string cheese
    • (2) packages American cheese slices
    • (1) 16-oz container light sour cream
  • Dry/Pantry/Frozen: $8.95
    • (8) cans soup
    • (2) can mini raviolis
    • (2) 40-ct boxes Truvia sweetener
    • (1) 2-oz bottle ground pepper
    • (1) 40-oz jar creamy peanut butter
    • (2) bags frozen cheese ravioli
    • (1) bag oyster crackers
    • (4) 8-oz cans No Salt Added tomato sauce
    • (4) jars salsa verde
  • Produce/Juice: $46.34
    • Vegetables
      • 4 pints grape tomatoes
      • 20 oz zucchini
      • 3 cucumbers
      • 2 lbs carrots
      • 0.32 lbs tomatoes on the vine
      • 1 head cauliflower
      • 4 ears sweet corn
      • 3 bags spinach
      • 8 oz mushrooms
      • 4 cans no salt added corn
      • 5 lbs gold potatoes
      • 1 lb Brussel sprouts
      • 2 cans chick peas
      • 4 cans Great Northern beans
      • 4 cans black beans
      • 1 lb dry lentils
      • 1 lb dry split peas 
      • 1 lb parsnips
    • Fruit
      • 1 package Dole Fruit Mixations
      • 9.96 lbs bananas
      • 6 lbs Fuji apples
      • 6 lbs Red Delicious apples
      • 3 pints blueberries
      • 1 cantaloupe
      • 5.25 lbs papaya
      • 1 lb strawberries
    • Juice
      • 64 oz 100% apple juice
  • Proteins: $58.78
    • 3 dozens large eggs
    • 3 lbs bologna
    • 1 bag chicken nuggets
    • 1 bag chicken tenders
    • 4 bags meatballs
    • 5 lbs ground beef (73%)
    • 2 lbs Black Forest ham
    • 11.17 lbs chicken breasts on the bone
    • 3.05 lbs ham steaks
    • 10.27 lbs whole fryers
    • 8 oz smoked salmon
    • 1 Butterball smoked turkey sausage dinner
  • Snacks: $6.65
    • 4 boxes Special K Red Berries cereal bars
    • 1 box protein bars
    • 1 bag pretzel sticks
    • 1 bag sour worms
    • 2 bags bagel chips (donated to BFF)
    • 1 box saltines
    • 2 boxes Swiss rolls

Eating Out/Ordering In Expenses ($238.50) categorized by:
  • Laziness/Cook's Night Off: $33.97
  • Dates/Socialization/Celebrations: $196.20
  • Treats: $8.33
  • Travel: $0.00
  • Groceries: 
    • I was able to use some gift cards at CVS (earned via our American Express Rewards program) and at Walmart (earned via Swagbucks) to lower my OOP this month.
    • I stocked up on whiskey for the year, which was a huge part of my spending.  Without it, I would have spent only $155.15 on groceries!!! This is like Alison territory, we're talking!
    • This is the smallest amount I have ever spent on "snacks".  I guess it helps that Greg and I are both on a diet :)
    • We also bought less milk and cheese this month.
    • Even though I did buy meat to stock up, I have been using up what we have in the freezer.
  • Eating Out/Ordering In:  
    • We celebrated 2 birthdays this month and we typically include a meal out in the celebration.
    • Both Greg and myself ate out with a friend, once each.
    • I took my daughter out to a nice lunch during a "Mom-Daughter Day".
    • I bought lunch for Youngest Son as a treat since we didn't go out to lunch on our "Mom-Son Day".
    • Greg took his daughter and her family out to breakfast when she came down for a short visit.
    • I didn't want to cook the night the kittens came back from the vet's because I needed to monitor them, and no one stepped in to do it for me, so we ordered out.
    • Greg and I didn't go on any dates at restaurants. Instead, we packed picnics when we went walking :)
  • Goals for February: My budget will be $400.  My freezers are still full so as long as I don't go overboard on snacks and keep earning those Swagbucks gift cards, I should be able to keep expenses down:)  There is Valentine's Day and I go out to lunch with a friend once a month, but those are the only times that I know for sure will include a meal out.
How did you do in January? What is your budget for February?


  1. You did quite well, altogether! You did great on the groceries part of it; it's the eating out portion that put you over the top, but as long as you are OK with it, then, it should be fine. Often, expenses vary from month to month, don't they? I came under my budget for both, groceries ($75) and eating out ($25); I'll carry the balances forward. It allows me to stock up and/or splurge without feeling guilty about going over budget.

    1. Thanks, Bless. You know, I'm actually very pleased with our Eating Out/Ordering In expenses for January since so much of it was due to birthdays and necessary socializing/family activities. Not all months will be like this (thankfully we don't have birthdays every month!). I'm my worst enemy, really. Tonight I didn't feel like cooking so I went to pick up various pre-cooked foods at Publix, but I'm counting it as a February expense since I had already published my January Expenses!


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