Saturday, October 6, 2012

Grocery Spending - September

While I love spreadsheets... tracking groceries is a little tricky. This is all stuff we purchased in September, however some of these things are still in our cabinet/freezer so it's hard to say that they were 'for September' when they weren't consumed in the same month. However having these items on hand will theoretically cheaper grocery bills in the following month because I already have things. It's hard to say. I think I'll get a better idea of grocery budget after a few months. Meanwhile I keep all my receipts and try to log them right after the grocery shopping trip (or else I forget what I got and the shorthand of the cash register may be indecipherable!)

TOTAL*        $638.86
Alcohol        $103.11
Coffeeshop      $14.31
Dairy        $16.44
Eggs                $15.99
Fats                $16.84
Fruit                $66.28
Liquids        $26.33
Meat      $112.89
Nuts + Seeds $24.39
Restaurants  $100.07
Spices $18.93
Sweets $29.64
Veggies $87.72 + $80 (167.72)
supplies $5.93

*I don't have all the receipts from my fella's spending on food out of the house. Also we have a CSA that we already paid for that adds about $20/ week, so for the month of September that adds about $80 bucks to the veggie budget. But like I mentioned at the beginning of the post, it was paid for in June and August (split the payment into two parts) so it's hard to count now. I guess it really depends on what I want to get out of this tracking.

Here is a list of pretty much all the food we bought categorized. Looks like alcohol and meat are our big budget areas. Trying to eat healthy, on a mostly Paleo diet it makes sense that meat would be a high category... but this also sheds light on our eating habits. A little too much alcohol (I'm tying this while sipping my second Crispin Hard Cider, have I mentioned how much I love Crispin brand?)

$640 for two people doesn't seem like that much in comparison to that I used to spend $400-$500/month for just myself. I can see in these numbers that the alcohol consumption is a little higher than I would like, fruit consumption is not as bad as I thought and I need to figure some better labels. Should eggs be their own category? What category should coconut milk fall into? Perhaps I could also break things down into Paleo and non-paleo spending. That'd be a good indicator as well if I'm staying on budget both financially and caloric-ally  Hmm. Any other thoughts on how to organize things?

I feel like keeping track of food at this scale, and relating it to finances is going to help keep things clearer in my goals of saving money and heating healthy. This was the first full month... so we'll see how things go as I collect more data!

One additional thing that I like about doing this spreadsheet is it makes me more aware of how much things cost and where I get the best deal. This way, when I see something on sale, like I did with coconut milk at Uwajimaya, I know it's a good deal because I've been paying close attention to the price of things. Even between Trader Joe's and Winco (coconut oil is cheaper at TJ's btw, by 50 cents). I try to get recepits for everything now and I also compare with my account tracking what I bought on my cards (mostly restaurant purchases) and what I have written down in my spreadsheets (both for food, and in my monthly budget spreadsheet I hope to write about another time, it's helped put my spending into perspective.