Sunday, May 8, 2011

Annual Grocery Expenditures

Somewhere on this blog, I posted an annual summary of my grocery expenditures from 2000 to 2008.  Darned if I could find it.  But luckily, the combination of my spouse's and my organizational habits mean I found the original file.

So I've updated it.  What have I learned?  Well, in 2009 I made an effort to have alternating months of $160 and $320 a month (not including the CSA).  I lasted through September, but that had an amazing effect on my bill.  My typical annual bill was $4800/ year, that year was $4200.

In 2010, I made no such attempt, and it showed.  We were back to normal, plus a few hundred - likely due to increasing costs.

Also in 2010, we ate out more.  Our eating out costs were normal, not small (I cannot seem to try and limit both at the same time).  So our total bill was $1200 more than the previous year.  However, 30% of our eating out bill (a whopping $800) came from a single month - our two-week vacation visiting family.  We must have treated a bunch of people, but I don't really remember.

Still, if you look at the USDA website:  USDA 2010 cost of eating at home, we are doing pretty well.  For our family size, the typical family spends:
$4968/year if "thrifty"
$6321/year if "low cost"
$7854/year if "moderate"
$9762/year if "liberal"

Also, consider that the typical American spends 40% of their total food budget eating out.  So, assuming that the totals above are 60% of the total, then they are spending $8280, $10536, $13090, $16270 per year total, respectively.

Looking at our bills over the last 11 years, our eating-out percentage has ranged from 28% to 47%, with last year being a reasonable 35%.  Our budget is still considered pretty close to thrifty. This is good considering the amount we spend on local produce, eggs, and meat.

1 comment:

TJ said...

Very interesting. Didn't even know there were guidelines for food spending! It's kind of funny how mine is slightly lower than the suggested (and I include eating out on the budget!), and I kept feeling bad because I thought I was still spending too much. Good info. :)