June was an interesting month spending-wise because it combined travel and hosting friends. We spent a week out west at Vermejo and Great Sand Dunes National Park and while I counted our grocery pick up out there, I am not tracking any eating out in this exercise. We also spent a weekend in Georgia with my family. Then we got home and I needed to restock the fridge, plus we hosted friends for the 4th, so I was at the store a lot.
- Food Lion: $5.00
- Walmart: $29.13
- Whole Foods: $100.39
- Publix: $147.66
- Lowe’s Foods: $147.98
- Costco: $478.84
- GRAND TOTAL: $909.00
This is the second month in a row we’ve been under $1,000 and I’m really pleased by that. However, I don’t get overly celebratory about it because I’m not closely tracking eating out. Though we haven’t increased eating out a lot, we’ve been treated to some meals while traveling (thank you Mema, Grandpa, and Nana!) and we were gone 10ish days throughout the month. So I don’t feel it’s super reflective of a full month of home grocery buying and consuming. However, it does balance out a little that we hosted friends because of course you spend a bit more on food to do that (but I love visitors so I’m thrilled that we can do that).
Still, under $1,000 feels good. But to get a more clear picture now that we’re halfway through the year, and through my tracking exercise, let’s see what out monthly average is:
- January: $1,279.10
- February: $1,598.03
- March: $1,373.85
- April: $2,259.27 *half cow*
- May: $941.53
- June: $909.00
- GRAND TOTAL: $8,360.78
- Monthly average: $1,393.46
Like I mentioned initially, this is truly an exercise of observance. Do I find myself wanting to make changes to keep our bill lower? Absolutely! However, any first step in budgeting is just tracking to see what you are spending. So with that, I’m not trying to judge our spending, but just observe and analyze.
Honestly, the spending sounds high to me, but high compared to what? I’m not sure. What I used to spend? Yes. Other families? Yes and no; I know people that spend way less than me and others that spend way more based on their own family’s needs and eating habits. It’s really hard to compare to other families because of that reason.
And yet I never feel like with this spending that we have a surplus of food. I’m good at not having food waste, so we eat 99% of what we bring into the house, but with that I rarely have extra snacks and such sitting around. This means I spend more time in the kitchen prepping meals, which I’m OK with, but it just seems like our spending should go further.
I am not am alarmist but it does blow my mind when I read articles and see videos from farmers saying that we haven’t even hit the high inflation for food yet. I hear that eggs could go up to $1/each and chicken to $17.00/lb. Food inflation this year is expected to exceed historical averages and the inflation rate for 2021 (source).
I know I’m fortunate that I am able to feed my family the way I do. I sometimes get uncomfortable sharing these spending recaps because I know we are most likely heading towards harder economic times as a country and putting food on the table will be a real strain on many families. I’m using this as a catalyst to embark on my goal of getting more involved with Feed NC. We’ve given to them financially and through food donations for a couple years, but I feel my heart being pulled to do more. I am going to start with signing up for a tour, which the girls and I will go on early next week to learn more. If you are local and interested, they do a great job of listing out opportunities on their website.
We are home throughout the month of July, so I’m interested to see how that impacts my spending. Will I be able to make more from scratch because we’re around? Will I spend more because we’ll be eating all three meals of the day at home? We shall see! I’m back to sharing most of my dinner preparation again on Instagram, so follow along if that’s your thing. If it’s not, I have a meals lately post coming soon to the blog.
If you’re up for sharing, what are some observations you’ve noticed lately in your grocery spending or habits? I noticed that the bag of avocados at Costco, which got up to $10.49 are back down to $6.49, so that was nice to see!