Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Food Expenses: February 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 February was $400.
  • We spent $248.17 out of pocket, including all rebates, on groceries alone. 
  • We spent $242.17 in eating out/ordering in expenses.
  • So altogether we spent $490.34 on feeding ourselves (and others at times), still more than the $400 I would have liked to stay under, but less than we spent in January. 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 ($248.17)
  • Baking supplies: $0.00
    • I didn't need anything
  • Beverages: $2.76
    • (3) 12-packs Diet Coke with Lime
    • (1) 2 L Diet Coke
    • (1) box peppermint herbal tea
  • Breads: $12.86
    • (8) white bread loaves
    • (4) packages naan bread
    • (3) 8-ct hamburger buns
    • (2) loaves garlic French bread
    • (10) large flour tortillas
  • Cereals: MINUS $2.00
    • 2 boxes Rice Krispies
    • 2 boxes Cocoa Puffs
  • Dairy: $28.86
    • 3 gallons whole milk
    • 34 cups yogurt
    • 3 packages American cheese slices
    • 2 canisters grated Parmesan
    • 4 packages string cheese
    • 1 package blue cheese slices
  • Dry/Pantry/Frozen: $33.22
    • 1 jar pesto
    • 5 bottles Truvia Nectar
    • 8 cans soup
    • 1 container coarse black pepper
    • 1 container oregano
    • 1 bottle ketchup
    • 1 bag potato chips
    • 2 boxes saltines
    • 2 containers Italian bread crumbs
    • 6 40-oz jars crunchy peanut butter
    • 13 boxes pasta
    • 16 oz egg noodles
    • 6 jars minced garlic
    • 1 jar grape jelly
  • Produce/Juice: $84.38
    • Vegetables
      • 12 ears corn
      • 3 avocados
      • 1 crown of broccoli
      • 1 cabbage
      • 4 lbs carrots
      • 4 cucumbers
      • 9 Romaine hearts
      • 1 bag collard greens
      • 5 lbs gold potatoes
      • 10 lbs russet potatoes
      • 1 lb Roma tomatoes
      • 4 cans diced tomatoes
      • 1 tube cilantro paste
    • Fruit
      • 1 pint raspberries
      • 8 lbs strawberries
      • 2 cantaloupes
      • 13.13 lbs papaya
      • 11.76 lbs bananas
      • 11 lbs apples
      • 2 6-packs applesauce
      • 10 lbs red grapes
      • 6 lbs mandarins
    • Juice
      • 1 bottle apple juice
  • Proteins: $67.57
    • 5.95 lbs spare ribs
    • 2 dozens large eggs
    • 4.00 Butterball Smoked Sausages
    • 5.04 lbs boneless chicken breasts
    • 4.76 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs
    • 2 boxes Barber Chicken
    • 2 lbs bologna
    • 2 lbs Black Forest turkey
    • 1 lb Black Forest Ham
    • 1 bag chicken nuggets
    • 10.00 lbs ground beef
    • 3.91 lbs corned beef
    • 2 12-oz packages bacon
    • 4.25 lbs pork loin
    • 2 cans tuna
    • 1 package chipotle chicken sausages
  • Snacks: $20.52
    • 2 layers cakes
    • 3 mini bags gummy worms
    • 3 bags pretzels sticks
    • 4 boxes Swiss rolls
    • 2 packages PB crackers
    • 2 bags marshmallows
    • 1 box donut holes
    • 4-ct chocolate pudding cups

Eating Out/Ordering In Expenses ($242.17) categorized by:
  • Laziness/Cook's Night Off: $43.94
  • Dates/Socialization/Celebrations: $168.22
  • Treats: $30.01
  • Travel: $0.00
  • Groceries: 
    • I was able to use a gift card 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 a lot of pantry items this month, including crunchy peanut butter, pasta, and canned soups.
    • I also stocked up on proteins. My freezer is full!
    • Even though I tripled what I spent on snacks last month, I still think I bought fewer snacks than I used to.
    • Our string cheese expenses were up since Greg has discovered he likes it!
  • Eating Out/Ordering In:  
    • I only took 1 night off from cooking and that was back on January 31st! However, since I had already closed the January books, I'm counting it as a February expense.
    • I did a lot of socializing with the kids this month:  we took my daughter out to dinner to celebrate being admitted to UF and my son out for a snack to celebrate his qualifying for the FBLA State Convention Competition, I had a Mommy date with each the 3 younger kids
    • I ate out with a friend.
    • Greg and I mostly packed picnics when we went walking but we did go out to lunch once and we bought snacks a couple of times
  • Goals for March: My budget will be $400.  My freezers are still full so as long as I don't go overboard on snacks and shop at Walmart with my Swagbucks gift cards, I should be able to keep expenses down:) I want to buy some seafood this month. I will go out to lunch with a friend for our monthly date and we also have Spring Break for a week so I might drag the kids on outings, in which case we might go out to eat. But I also need to get back on the wagon with my diet!
How did you do in February? What is your budget for March?


  1. You went over by less than $100. I think that is excellent! If you really needed to keep to the $400 limit, you could always try the cash in an envelope method - once it is gone, it is gone!

    I did OK in February. I came under in both the groceries and the eating out budgets. Budget in March is the same ($75 for groceries; $25 for eating out; plus whatever gets carried over from February).

    1. So my going over budget is "excellent" but your staying under budget is merely "OK"?! You're too nice, you know this?

      I don't use cash hardly ever so I don't think the envelope method would work for me. At some point I even knew all my credit card numbers by heart! But I understand that the method works for those who really cannot afford to go one cent over their budget. Thankfully, we're not in this situation.


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