Author Topic: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!  (Read 33891 times)

Zikoris

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3783
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Vancouver, BC
  • Vancouverstachian
Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« on: February 26, 2014, 05:13:17 PM »
I don't know about you guys, but I'd like more information than a Mint total on my monthly groceries. I want to know what percentage goes to produce, baking supplies, soy milk, grapefruit juice, the works. So the challenge is: join me in keeping all your grocery receipts for the month of March, and get some numbers!

Has anyone done this already? I couldn't even guess at our breakdowns. It will be interesting to see.

HappierAtHome

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8156
  • Location: Australia
Re: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2014, 05:19:20 PM »
I'm in! It'll be fascinating.

I usually track total grocery spend and food versus non food, so this will give me a lot more info and, hopefully, insight :-)

geekette

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2025
Re: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2014, 08:24:15 PM »
I don't break it down quite like that, but I do separate out food, household, and junk food.  Second month in, and I do find myself not buying as much junk, which certainly helps!

dragoncar

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9309
  • Registered member
Re: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2014, 08:29:17 PM »
Lentils: 100%

HappierAtHome

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8156
  • Location: Australia
Re: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2014, 08:42:03 PM »
Has anyone done this already?

In response to that part of your post... I know I've seen people referring to this on other threads. But I can't find them now. So hopefully those peeps will weigh in soon.

happy

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6523
  • Location: NSW Australia
Re: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2014, 08:48:43 PM »
@ Dragoncar: so that automobile of yours runs on methane?

Interesting you should mention this idea OP, I 've just been thinking about it.  I track "groceries"…i.e. things that are bought in the grocery shop. But this might include on occasion items like cheap undies and sox,  school exercise books, paracetamol and so forth.  So this year I'm trying to remember to track such things in the correct category.

But in spite of various techniques like stockpiling on special, buying unprocessed foods to cook from scratch, making my own laundry liquid etc, the food/grocery bill is still higher than I want. After all, this is a weekly spend…if I can lose $20/week = 1000 dollars a year.


KMMK

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1465
  • Age: 43
  • Location: Edmonton, AB, Canada
    • Meena Kestirke Insurance
Re: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2014, 08:58:03 PM »
I started a detailed food tracking spreadsheet in the beginning of February, but I plan to do it for 6 months to get more accurate numbers. Too many things are infrequent purchases. I'm not that interested in reducing my spending, but would like to find out where price reduction would count the most, and on what categories we spend the most money. I've also been tracking cost relative to calories, which is turning into an interesting way to rank food purchases.

ruthiegirl

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 337
Re: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2014, 09:17:35 PM »
I did this in February and it freaking rocked.  I learned so much about our habits.

We eat too much cheese.  Ditto on the cold cuts.  These are getting cut back hard in favor of bean spreads for sandwich fillings. 

We eat a lot of frozen fruit and it can be expensive.  My kids snack on frozen blueberries for dessert and while we can do this occasionally, it needs to be limited a bit. 

Vegetables, rice, beans, peanut butter, and oats are dirt cheap.  More of these. 

I am never buying cold cereal again.  Biggest waste of money ever. 

Homemade popcorn with various spices/toppings is hands down the cheapest and tastiest snack item for my family.  We love it. 

The best thing I learned is that I can cut back without any complaints from my family.  They ate everything and not a single whine or moan. 

I am going to do this again in March and shave a few more dollars off the food bill. 

Zikoris

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3783
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Vancouver, BC
  • Vancouverstachian
Re: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2014, 09:38:36 PM »
I forgot to mention, we're also going to keep a food journal for the month of everything we eat. This project will give us a great picture of what we buy and eat!

MinimalistMoustache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 83
Re: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2014, 09:49:58 PM »
I'll join in -- have been wanting to do this after realizing a few months ago my food spending was off the charts (lots of "comfort food" shopping the past 3 years). Just this week began keeping a pantry again. It was my habit years ago, and I usually ended up as the neighborhood "store" for friends who kept running short.

Also like the idea of the food journal. Thanks for initiating this.

ps: do we get to stock up in the next two days?
:-P
just kidding

ashley

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 77
Re: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2014, 09:54:43 PM »
I started doing this last month. I keep an excel spreadsheet and record every item and the cost. I have it set up to subtotal each category (produce, dry goods, condiments, etc.). My grocery spending goal for the year is $1000 or less, so I'm finding it useful to see exactly where my money is going and where I need to make adjustments.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2014, 09:56:41 PM by ashley »

MinimalistMoustache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 83
Re: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2014, 12:47:34 AM »
I started doing this last month. I keep an excel spreadsheet and record every item and the cost. I have it set up to subtotal each category (produce, dry goods, condiments, etc.). My grocery spending goal for the year is $1000 or less, so I'm finding it useful to see exactly where my money is going and where I need to make adjustments.

Ashley, I'm sincerely impressed with your food plan! And your blog too!

I am recovering from a serious case of habitual "food as medication." My wake-up call was adding up grocery receipts a few weeks ago. Though I gave a good deal of food away and bought groceries for some folks, it's not a sustainable way to live. Some months came close to what you've budgeted for a year. ;-(

Good idea, tracking in Excel. I'm also going to give that a shot. So relieved to have these forums for insights and motivation.

kolorado

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 368
Re: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2014, 07:15:45 AM »
 I do this every six months or so to stay on track. Mostly what I need to stay on track of is not spending more than 10% of my food budget on the extras. A few things in my extras: soda, ice cream, chips, cereals, coffee. I want to be careful to keep all these high expense, and generally unhealthy, things a treat in our eyes. We always spend our own personal pocket money on candy and any other treats we want.
 Since I have a large freezer and buy from a produce co-op, one month's spending in percentages wouldn't be an accurate picture of what we ate. I tend to buy ridiculous quantities of loss leaders at a time( for example, this month 18lbs of sale butter, should last until summer). So I've also done this challenge through the back door; adding up the cost of all the items we eat as we eat them and taking percentages from there. It's fascinating to see the results.

rocksinmyhead

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1491
  • Location: Oklahoma
Re: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2014, 07:28:22 AM »
I'm so in!!! since finding this forum I've been disturbed by how much my boyfriend and I spend on groceries, and frustrated because I'm not sure how to bring it down. I just started keeping track of this anyway last week with the idea of keeping a price book, so this will be good motivation to keep it up!

I did this in February and it freaking rocked.  I learned so much about our habits.

We eat too much cheese.  Ditto on the cold cuts.  These are getting cut back hard in favor of bean spreads for sandwich fillings. 

We eat a lot of frozen fruit and it can be expensive.  My kids snack on frozen blueberries for dessert and while we can do this occasionally, it needs to be limited a bit. 

Vegetables, rice, beans, peanut butter, and oats are dirt cheap.  More of these. 

I am never buying cold cereal again.  Biggest waste of money ever. 

Homemade popcorn with various spices/toppings is hands down the cheapest and tastiest snack item for my family.  We love it. 

The best thing I learned is that I can cut back without any complaints from my family.  They ate everything and not a single whine or moan. 

I am going to do this again in March and shave a few more dollars off the food bill.

I'm totally looking forward to having these kinds of realizations... but a little worried that cheese is also going to be one of our big ones :( man, I love cheese.

ethereality

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 209
Re: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2014, 04:02:05 PM »
Will definitely do this. I'm really curious as this is my first time really doing grocery shopping on my own (was part of a mandatory school meal plan), so I have no idea the breakdown.

ashley

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 77
Re: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2014, 09:10:03 PM »
I started doing this last month. I keep an excel spreadsheet and record every item and the cost. I have it set up to subtotal each category (produce, dry goods, condiments, etc.). My grocery spending goal for the year is $1000 or less, so I'm finding it useful to see exactly where my money is going and where I need to make adjustments.

Ashley, I'm sincerely impressed with your food plan! And your blog too!

I am recovering from a serious case of habitual "food as medication." My wake-up call was adding up grocery receipts a few weeks ago. Though I gave a good deal of food away and bought groceries for some folks, it's not a sustainable way to live. Some months came close to what you've budgeted for a year. ;-(

Good idea, tracking in Excel. I'm also going to give that a shot. So relieved to have these forums for insights and motivation.

Thank you! I'm struggling to find interesting things to blog about (how many pictures can I take of my salad?), so I appreciate the kind words.

I totally relate to the "food as medication" thing. Add to that the fact that I LOVE grocery shopping, and things can get out of control. When I'm bored or sad it's very tempting for me to wander into the grocery store. Tracking everything makes me really evaluate every purchase, which is sort of the idea of setting such a strict budget anyway.

dragoncar

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9309
  • Registered member
Re: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2014, 09:35:50 PM »
I started doing this last month. I keep an excel spreadsheet and record every item and the cost. I have it set up to subtotal each category (produce, dry goods, condiments, etc.). My grocery spending goal for the year is $1000 or less, so I'm finding it useful to see exactly where my money is going and where I need to make adjustments.

Ashley, I'm sincerely impressed with your food plan! And your blog too!

I am recovering from a serious case of habitual "food as medication." My wake-up call was adding up grocery receipts a few weeks ago. Though I gave a good deal of food away and bought groceries for some folks, it's not a sustainable way to live. Some months came close to what you've budgeted for a year. ;-(

Good idea, tracking in Excel. I'm also going to give that a shot. So relieved to have these forums for insights and motivation.

Thank you! I'm struggling to find interesting things to blog about (how many pictures can I take of my salad?), so I appreciate the kind words.

I totally relate to the "food as medication" thing. Add to that the fact that I LOVE grocery shopping, and things can get out of control. When I'm bored or sad it's very tempting for me to wander into the grocery store. Tracking everything makes me really evaluate every purchase, which is sort of the idea of setting such a strict budget anyway.

You could have a great salad blog.  You just need a voice.  Think "thug salad"

horsepoor

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3385
  • Location: At the Barn
  • Horses: for sanity & poverty!
Re: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2014, 09:40:18 PM »
I'm in!  I'd like to keep groceries to $350 this month, and categorizing the receipts would really help.  It should also help me forecast what our monthly spend should be when the veggie garden is really cranking.

As far as stocking up before the first - only if there's a sale to take advantage of.  I'm planning to go grab some organic chickens tomorrow since they go off sale at the end of the month.  If I'm really lucky, there will be some markdowns, too, but I'll add these to my March budget.

Nickyd£g

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 165
  • Location: Scotland, UK
Re: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2014, 05:15:35 AM »
I am in too! I've way overspent on food over the past few years - I seem to have an irrational panic of running out of food, combined with a "but I don't want fish and vegetables tonight, I want macaroni cheese!" attitude which has resulted in buying ridiculous amounts of crap.  I have decided to shop weekly, with £25 cash, a menu plan, a shopping list and a calculator and EAT the food I meal plan ffs!  I'll be rich and thin ;)

MarciaB

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 496
  • Age: 59
  • Location: Oregon
Re: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« Reply #19 on: February 28, 2014, 06:15:20 AM »
This is very timely for me. I tracked "grocery store" spending for the month of February and was appalled to find the total was close to $500. WTF?! This includes non-food items (toilet paper etc.) and wine. And a couple of weekends I was feeding groups of family and such. But still, are you shittin' me?! This challenge could not have come at a better time, something has to give.

MayDay

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4420
Re: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« Reply #20 on: March 01, 2014, 10:46:11 AM »
I have been tracking since December.  Over that time, here are my numbers:

Produce     32%
Dairy   16%
Eggs             3%
Dry Staples       8%
Bread Products   4%
Dry goods   13%
Beverages   6%
Alcohol   5%
Prepared meals/Convenience food     7%
Baking supplies   5%

It has mostly made me more conscious about spending on prepared food (still working on it, I don't expect zero but would like under 5%) alcohol, and fruit.  For reference we are a family of 4, vegetarian, and spend about 500-600 a month (working on being sub-500 all the time, I was 450$ in February, which is the cheapest its been in like 5 years!).

Zikoris

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3783
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Vancouver, BC
  • Vancouverstachian
Re: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« Reply #21 on: March 01, 2014, 11:23:25 AM »
As two vegans, our tentative categories are: Produce, "Meat"/Tofu, "Dairy", Baking, Condiments, Grains, Nuts/Seeds, Canned, and Other. Hopefully we don't have too much going into "Other", but I imagine there will be a few tricky-to-categorize items. I made up a spreadsheet last night, and we're looking forward to starting!

4alpacas

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1898
Re: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« Reply #22 on: March 01, 2014, 05:52:04 PM »
This sounds like a good idea for us! I've been slowly cutting back on our grocery bill, but we've stalled a bit. I want to get our budget below $300. I've got to think about categories.

Rural

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4932
Re: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« Reply #23 on: March 01, 2014, 06:18:38 PM »
I don't much want to, but it's probably a good idea. Categories would include:

Peanut butter
Peanuts (will be a considerable percentage)
Vegetables
Fruit
Meat and tofu (also TVP, but that's a biannual purchase)
Nutty bars and sugar-free chocolate (also a noticeable percentage, our respective vices)
Bread/flour/rice/pasta/couscous
Tuna fish lunch packs (his, no micro or refrigeration, and I refuse to send a PB sandwich since he eats PB for breakfast)
Salsa and assorted condiments
Frozen pizza (yeah, I know)
Cereal (to mix with peanuts above - Store brand Chex and Cheerios- and store brand raisin bran for normal eating)
Dairy
Dog and cat food (runs about 30% of total, or did last time I checked)

Think I'll try it and see. Assuming I stick to it -- I'm very much out of the habit of tracking or budgeting.

horsepoor

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3385
  • Location: At the Barn
  • Horses: for sanity & poverty!
Re: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« Reply #24 on: March 01, 2014, 07:32:16 PM »
I did some major shopping the last couple days (probably bought too much).  I'm entering the receipts into Excel, and have the following categories:

Beverages (if I buy alcohol, it will be a separate category)
Meat
Vegetables
Fruit
Seasonings
Staples (flour, other non-perishables)
Dairy

That allows me to sort, and in the next column, I am putting the actual item purchased.  Seems to be working well so far.

MinimalistMoustache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 83
Re: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« Reply #25 on: March 01, 2014, 11:10:55 PM »
In hindsight, I can now see how setting up categories can greatly assist a needed change in spending. Knowing what the culprits are is a huge part of doing things differently. At first, I had believed I would get too bogged down in time-consuming details, that it would be enough if I simply entered monetary totals for daily expenses (yeah, sounds like an excuse to me too now - ha ha ha).

I took time to read receipts from some purchases of the last few weeks -- Wow! No wonder I've felt overfed and very wasteful.

Thanks everyone for your generous ideas. These insights are helping me greatly.

N

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1375
  • Location: Chicago
  • You must change your life. -Rainer Maria Rilke
Re: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« Reply #26 on: March 02, 2014, 01:17:35 AM »
Im sure this will be illuminating. Im in!

horsepoor

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3385
  • Location: At the Barn
  • Horses: for sanity & poverty!
Re: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« Reply #27 on: March 02, 2014, 08:07:17 AM »
In hindsight, I can now see how setting up categories can greatly assist a needed change in spending. Knowing what the culprits are is a huge part of doing things differently. At first, I had believed I would get too bogged down in time-consuming details, that it would be enough if I simply entered monetary totals for daily expenses (yeah, sounds like an excuse to me too now - ha ha ha).

I took time to read receipts from some purchases of the last few weeks -- Wow! No wonder I've felt overfed and very wasteful.

Thanks everyone for your generous ideas. These insights are helping me greatly.

Same thing here.  I've been pleasantly surprised at how quick and easy it is to enter all the line items from each receipt.  Hardest part was recreating my bill from from memory for the fruit stand where I pay with cash and don't receive a receipt.

Also, knowing I have to enter everything in the spreadsheet ought to keep me honest when I'm at the store!

wintersun

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 327
Re: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« Reply #28 on: March 02, 2014, 06:33:01 PM »
I find this really interesting right now too.  I have been tracking it for three months and am getting a good idea of where this elusive money is going.

My categories are Meat; Produce; Prepared Foods(salad bar, cooked food bar in grocery); Processed Food, Raw Foods (such as nuts, seeds, nori, bee pollen, etc).  Now that I am tracking it, my processed food numbers are dropping and the produce numbers are rising.
My goals are to shift the way I use meat/fish in meals so as to reduce the amount I spend on meat; to cut out prepared food altogether; and to reduce the spending per month by 30%.

I do not include pet food or dry goods in my grocery numbers, they are in different categories in YNAB.

Herbert Derp

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 547
  • Location: United States
Re: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« Reply #29 on: March 02, 2014, 06:59:48 PM »
I'm in. I'll be collecting all of my receipts for the month and will report how it goes.

NinetyFour

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7067
  • Location: Southwestern US
Re: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« Reply #30 on: March 02, 2014, 08:08:14 PM »
That's great to hear, Herbert Derp!  I have been very curious as to how you keep your grocery bill so low!

MayDay

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4420
Re: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« Reply #31 on: March 03, 2014, 06:13:27 AM »
A suggestion for those of you new to tracking- it is much, much easier if you do it throughout the month, rather than waiting until the end.  If I put in a new receipt within a day or so of shopping, all the odd receipt codes are still somewhat fresh in my mind and I can piece it together.  If I wait until the end, 1.  It is an overwhelmingly large task, and 2.  I can't figure out what the hell KS Org is (that is Kirkland signiture organic butter at Costco, by the way!). 


rocksinmyhead

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1491
  • Location: Oklahoma
Re: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« Reply #32 on: March 03, 2014, 06:57:29 AM »
A suggestion for those of you new to tracking- it is much, much easier if you do it throughout the month, rather than waiting until the end.  If I put in a new receipt within a day or so of shopping, all the odd receipt codes are still somewhat fresh in my mind and I can piece it together.  If I wait until the end, 1.  It is an overwhelmingly large task, and 2.  I can't figure out what the hell KS Org is (that is Kirkland signiture organic butter at Costco, by the way!).

also,  you will still know what size/amount you bought of certain things--if you wait too long you will have already used up some items. this has already happened to me once since I started tracking a couple weeks ago... I find that I have to enter stuff in within about 24 hours to make sure it gets done and is accurate.

Zikoris

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3783
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Vancouver, BC
  • Vancouverstachian
Re: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« Reply #33 on: March 03, 2014, 12:37:59 PM »
I plan on entering data into my spreadsheet weekly - should be about 6 or 7 receipts a week, mostly with one or two items, so hopefully not too confusing to figure out what I bought!

I'm also planning on posting my percentages weekly, as well as what we ate that week. I think it will help me stay on track with the challenge.

NumberCruncher

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 612
Re: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« Reply #34 on: March 03, 2014, 12:59:56 PM »
I just started this last month, and plan on doing it for the foreseeable future. We're doing this at the same time as cutting our food budget down, so it's been helpful in not making impulse purchases for things that are overprice/things we don't need. It's also helpful in seeing what's a good price for something -- functioning as a pseudo pricebook.

Since we usually buy things like oil and rice in bulk, I really want to see the monthly and weekly cost for staples.

Rural

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4932
Re: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« Reply #35 on: March 04, 2014, 05:33:32 AM »
So far we're at 19.5% dog and cat food.

NinetyFour

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7067
  • Location: Southwestern US
Re: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« Reply #36 on: March 04, 2014, 06:28:09 AM »
So far:  37% nuts, 45% produce, 18% soy milk.

N

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1375
  • Location: Chicago
  • You must change your life. -Rainer Maria Rilke
Re: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« Reply #37 on: March 05, 2014, 10:59:58 AM »
I am lost when making a spreadsheet that can do functions (add columns, etc) but Im tracking.

So far Ive shopped twice this month (!) and spent 121$

Dairy: 12  10%
Produce: 24  20%
Meat: 22  19%
Canned: 19  16%
Pasta/dry/bread: 17  14%
Prepared food: 22  19%

The prepared food is high, but that was mostly a 1x a month fried cx splurge :) from the deli counter

4alpacas

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1898
Re: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« Reply #38 on: March 05, 2014, 11:08:34 AM »
I am lost when making a spreadsheet that can do functions (add columns, etc) but Im tracking.

So far Ive shopped twice this month (!) and spent 121$

Dairy: 12  10%
Produce: 24  20%
Meat: 22  19%
Canned: 19  16%
Pasta/dry/bread: 17  14%
Prepared food: 22  19%

The prepared food is high, but that was mostly a 1x a month fried cx splurge :) from the deli counter
To add a column, you can do =SUM(A1:A13) or you could add each individually (=A1+A2+.....+A13).

frugalamber

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 45
  • Location: GTA
Re: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« Reply #39 on: March 05, 2014, 02:25:28 PM »
I am also for this challenge; actually never thought to scrutinize our grocery bill even though it is high; will follow for 6 months to make sure it is understood carefully as well as can see if there is any addition due to hosting family/friends.

kkbmustang

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1286
Re: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« Reply #40 on: March 05, 2014, 07:59:00 PM »
I like this challenge a lot. I need to do this because I about fell over at last weekend's whole foods run. Reminded me why we originally decided to go to the farmers market. With two kids who are in a growth spurt and eat more than the adults do AND having to eat gluten free, if you get lazy just for a second! BAM! $280 grocery bill.

NinetyFour

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7067
  • Location: Southwestern US
Re: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« Reply #41 on: March 06, 2014, 10:04:01 AM »
So far, I have spent $49.90 on groceries.

8% Soy milk
24% Produce
33% Nuts
7% Tofu
18% Grains
11% Beans

I was tempted to get some kind of chips, but then I thought--no, I'd have to post that on the grocery thread--better not!  And I kept walking!

horsepoor

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3385
  • Location: At the Barn
  • Horses: for sanity & poverty!
Re: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« Reply #42 on: March 06, 2014, 08:11:07 PM »
OK, I did my subtotals, and meat seemed kind of scary until I remembered that I bought 3 free range chickens, and have two in the freezer for later this month.

Beverages:  15% (facepunch!)
Dairy:  6%
Fruit: 3%
Meat: 39%
Misc.: 7% (this was mostly energy chews for distance running)
Seasonings:  8%
Staples: 2%
Vegetables: 24%


Zikoris

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3783
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Vancouver, BC
  • Vancouverstachian
Re: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« Reply #43 on: March 06, 2014, 08:14:19 PM »
We've spent $41.46 on groceries so far. There are two of us. "Meat" is the vegan equivalent of meat. The breakdown:

30% Produce
22% "Meat"/Tofu
10% Condiments
4% Grains
31% Nuts
3% Canned

We bought a can of tomato puree, a big bag of hazelnuts, whole wheat pita bread, jam, a huge thing of vegetarian ground beef, bananas, carrots, onions, broccoli, zucchini, green onions, lettuce, radishes, and a grapefruit.

Our meals have been: tofu puff stir fry, one-pot pasta meal (sort of the same idea as hamburger helper, but homemade, whole grain pasta, and lots of vegetables), skillet pasta, deep dish pizza, calzones, curried chickpeas, and pita wraps. The leftovers from those covered our lunches. Snacks and breakfasts were fruit, hazelnuts, bread with peanut butter and jam, carrot muffins, chocolate chunk cookies, and brownies. We drank water, apple juice, grapefruit juice, and soy milk.

MinimalistMoustache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 83
Re: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« Reply #44 on: March 06, 2014, 10:48:40 PM »
I am thoroughly enjoying this tracking and what it has already brought forth:

1) Provides a snapshot of just how much I had been over-purchasing food. Even if organic and natural whole foods, I used to pick up way too much "prepared" versions of meals I could make at home.

2) Feels like I have more food choices though I'm spending so much less! Sort of like cleaning out a closet, keeping only what you truly love and suddenly finding it easier to put together a variety of outfits :-)

3) I'm savoring my meals. No matter how simple, everything is fresh, delicious and tasty!

So far, the categories are apportioned as:

39%  Produce
11%  Grains/Beans
25%  Protein (Tofu)/Dairy
1%    Coffee/Tea/Seltzer
6%    Dessert/Snacks
10%  Pet foods/Litter
8%    Health /Grooming/Household Products

This week, I've been dining on quiche, salads, roasted potatoes and green vegetables, homemade vegetable soup, peanut butter and jelly sandwich, tuna salad sandwich, whole grain pasta with tomato sauce, more salads, saffron rice with peppers, fresh fruit, freshly popped corn (with way too much "budda") red wine and chocolate. I've been enjoying kitchen time and really savoring my meals. For me, this is BIG.

It will be interesting for me to see how (if) the percentages shift - and if the categories increase - as the month continues.

Bon Appetit!


rocksinmyhead

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1491
  • Location: Oklahoma
Re: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« Reply #45 on: March 07, 2014, 02:20:54 PM »
Okay, this is super interesting so far!

one caveat: according to my spreadsheet, this is since Feb 8th, but we NEVER spend this little in a month (I wish we did!) so I'm thinking I must be missing at least one receipt somewhere. shoot. probably between the 8th and the 16th because we also NEVER go 8 days without going to the grocery store!

Baking$13.645%
Beans$5.442%
Beverages$25.9710%
Bread$6.062%
Canned vegetables$1.401%
Condiments$5.262%
Cooking oil$13.385%
Dairy$37.9115%
Floral$6.983%
Frozen$6.182%
Meat$26.4111%
Non-Foods$20.738%
Nuts$5.992%
Produce$54.2822%
Rice/pasta$4.882%
Snacks$4.002%
Spices$12.385%
Grand Total$250.89100%



things that are not surprising: high percentage of dairy. god cheese is so expensive!! (and I'm not even talking fancy cheese or pre-shredded cheese, I'm talking store brand blocks of pepper jack)
things that are surprising: produce being the highest category! I mean I'm glad we eat a lot of fresh produce but I guess it's more expensive than I thought? I was worried this would be meat.

I also feel like I have slightly too many categories to be really useful, but some of them I couldn't figure out how to lump together... like, nuts, it's not like we really buy enough nuts for them to be their own category, but what else are they?!

for the record, non-foods were tinfoil, deodorant, and laundry detergent... I bought the fancy detergent which may be why this is so high :)

swick

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2881
Re: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« Reply #46 on: March 07, 2014, 02:56:02 PM »
So far we have spent 69.58 and breakdown as follows:
Eggs - 6%
Non-food - 7% - dishwasher detergent
Condiments - 4%
Veggies - 20%
Fruit - 12%
Convenience - 10% - this was a box of tortilla chips from which we have made about 8 servings of nachos. Which has kept us from going out and also  hitting that comfort food vibe through a higher then usual stressful week.
Grains - 12% - Bag of flour. I actually expect this would be much higher but we are working through some bulk grain purchases.
Dairy - 29% - milk, cheese, yougurt, cream

What we have eaten this week - Nachoes with homemade refried beans, Cabbage stirfried with korean pepper paste over rice, rice pudding made with the leftover rice, Soup made from lentils, barley and homemade chicken stock plus a little meat, stirfired noodles, homemade granola or oatmeal for breakfasts, leftovers + fruit for lunches.

We had two dinner meetings this week, one was a potluck where I made anzac brownies for dessert and the other was at a committee meeting at a local restaurant paid for by our city.

We would really have to do this exercise for a full year to get an accurate idea of what we spent/eat in a month. We live in Northern Canada so stock up on bulk once a year or when we can.

We definitely spent too much on Dairy - we only buy yougurt on sale, and milk we have gotten down to about 4 liters every week and a bit- but it is our biggest single ongoing expense food wise - I usually start the morning with a cup of warm milk and espresso or two, and Hubby likes to have something warm in the evening when he comes home from work. Trying to come up with some alternatives that satisfy the "rich and creamy" aspect of beverages made with milk vs. water but doesn't cost as much. Anyone have any ideas?

Rural

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4932
Re: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« Reply #47 on: March 08, 2014, 06:58:36 AM »
For the hot beverages, have you priced dry (powdered) milk vs fresh? Powdered generally works as well, especially if you're adding something else to the hot drink (chocolate or coffee). Bonus is you can keep it on the shelf as a backup in case you run out of fresh and maybe save a trip.

swick

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2881
Re: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« Reply #48 on: March 08, 2014, 12:20:50 PM »
For the hot beverages, have you priced dry (powdered) milk vs fresh? Powdered generally works as well, especially if you're adding something else to the hot drink (chocolate or coffee). Bonus is you can keep it on the shelf as a backup in case you run out of fresh and maybe save a trip.

I'll take a look at how much dry milk is local and do the calculations. I remember being horrified at the price last time I looked, but that was because I am used to getting it Stateside (we take a trip down when we go home to visit every year) we do use it for the "Instant Oatmeal" packages I make for breakfasts. Not too crazy about the taste for drinking, it reminds me of the super ultra high pasteurized shelf stable milk you get in Turkey. I could get over it though if it made sense economically.

I have been trying to drink more tea that is helping a little bit.

Rural

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4932
Re: Track and categorize grocery spending all March!
« Reply #49 on: March 08, 2014, 01:45:51 PM »
For the hot beverages, have you priced dry (powdered) milk vs fresh? Powdered generally works as well, especially if you're adding something else to the hot drink (chocolate or coffee). Bonus is you can keep it on the shelf as a backup in case you run out of fresh and maybe save a trip.

I'll take a look at how much dry milk is local and do the calculations. I remember being horrified at the price last time I looked, but that was because I am used to getting it Stateside (we take a trip down when we go home to visit every year) we do use it for the "Instant Oatmeal" packages I make for breakfasts. Not too crazy about the taste for drinking, it reminds me of the super ultra high pasteurized shelf stable milk you get in Turkey. I could get over it though if it made sense economically.

I have been trying to drink more tea that is helping a little bit.

Yeah, I can't drink it straight, either, or at least not cold. But it's okay in coffee.