Well dang y’all. I was ready to waltz into here and celebrate my success in keeping the grocery bill delightfully low this month, but no such celebration will be taking place. Ok, maybe a small, silent, quick “yay” fist bump. But that’s about it.
Everyone knows grocery prices are soaring; it’s just shocking to see in black and white. We ate out maybe twice this month and all other meals were at home. It’s true I bought some specialty items like the “00” pizza flour and we prioritize unprocessed whole foods with an emphasis on produce and protein, but we’ve done this for sometime and this is definitely the highest our bills have consistently been ever. See our March meals in this post.
You can see January’s spending here ($1,279.10) and February’s spending details here ($1,598.03). As a quick reminder, this total is for food purchased and eaten at home only. It does not include dining out (though that is minimal) and does not include household items like toilet paper or cleaning products.
Ok, let’s break it down.
- Costco $525.11
- Publix $514.11
- Butcher Box $208.08
- Whole Foods $63.48
- Food Lion $63.07
- GRAND TOTAL: $1,373.85
In comparison to last month, I dropped the monthly total by $224.18. And now that I type it out, that’s nothing to scoff at, especially since I bought wine and fun items too (again, my fancy flour, some pricier snacks for the kids like dried mango, and collagen for coffee).
This month I did a better job with my meal planning routine, in the fact that I diligently shopped our freezer and fridge, then looked at the sales and BOGOs at Publix before making our plan and list. I do still think that helped. I think I just assumed before tracking that my monthly total bounced between $1000-$1,100 and to have proof that it’s significantly and consistently higher than that is interesting.
April should be interesting (and HIGH) because we are picking up our 1/2 cow today. It comes out to $5 a pound for grass-fed (perhaps grain finished? I’ll ask) and that’s pretty incredible. Will it help lower our bills for the months to follow? I’ll be interested to see! Now to just convince David to get those chickens… 😉
Fellow grocery budget nerd here…. 🙂
One thing I keep in mind for my family’s food budget is when I do a grocery shop in relation to the end of the month. For example, I might do a shop in the last day or two of a month (so it would count towards that month’s total), but we wouldn’t actually consume that food until the following month. With that in mind, perhaps instead of considering your monthly totals, you could take a look at your average cost per week with an eye toward lowering the average cost per week. You’d just have to tally year to date, then divide by the number of weeks in the year (for example, we’re in the 13th week of 2022).
Another way we save is to just take a week off grocery shopping now and then. We can just “live without” certain things for a week, and get creative with figuring out meals.
Brittany Dixon says
Aboslutely- such a great point Laura! I noticed that last month as I had to do a “haul” on the last day of the month. I found myself wanting to “push” it to the next (for that real reason? ha) but wasn’t able to do so. We just bought a half a cow this month, too, so while I will continue to track monthly, I’ll definitely need to do a breakdown of average weekly. Maybe at 6 months and at the end of the year? Thanks for your feedback!
Interesting! Now I’m wondering about my own monthly grocery spending. We have the same situation where we rarely eat out, unless it’s vacation. Lately I’ve been shopping more at King Soopers (Krogers) and less at Costco, mostly for the better variety- I’m aiming for 30+ different fruits and vegetables per week for gut health. Another local grocery chain, Safeway, feels much pricier with no quality benefit- I’d expect my bill to be 1.5 times what it is at King Soopers. I still get many staples at Costco- cereal, beer, granola bars, olive oil, coffee, etc. But, I feel like I get actually get about a cart full of real food and great produce at King Soopers for about $150, which lasts about a week. I would be surprised if our monthly bill was more than $800 or $900, but maybe I’m wrong. I’m going to start tracking today since it’s the first of the month and I’m going on a grocery haul. Another thing is I probably only get to the grocery store 3- 4 times in a month so tracking should be easy, with just one extra weekly delivery for milk and eggs. It’s funny for me to think back to my college grocery budget- $25 per week! I lived off beans and pasta and discount produce at my local grocery store, which was very affordable. I still rock the discount produce aisle at King Soopers- every bag is $1!
Brittany Dixon says
It’s nice when you only go to the store about once a week; it makes a difference for ease and tracking for sure! I used to do the same but lately find myself swinging by places 1-2 times a week to grab whatever items we need (today it’s coffee and creamer). If you do track yours, I’d love to hear what it turns out as!
You definitely should get 3 or 4 chickens. I have 24 chickens, on average we get 21 eggs a day and I sell them for $4/dozen. We go through about $35 of feed per month but I usually sell enough eggs to cover the costs of feed and then the kids get to keep whatever money is left after buying feed to cover their “labor”. Our chickens eat all of our food scraps too so we virtually have zero food waste, all the vegetable peelings, apple cores, strawberry stems, even their own eggshells go back to the chickens plus they will eat at the grass clippings and help mae compost for my garden. And they are pretty self-sufficient for a few days that you can leave them without providing daily care if they have a safe enclosed coop.
Brittany Dixon says
That sounds like such an amazing set up! I especially love how the kids “work” it and get something for their efforts.