I am still working on my grocery bill. Every other week I go to the grocery and attempt to do better than the last time I went. So far, this has worked. This is how it has broken down so far:
First trip: Spent $150 for two week period. Went back to store to pick up milk, eggs, bread, cheese and a couple other items the second week. Ended up spending an extra $30. Total $180 for two week period.
Second trip: Spent $140 for two week period. Went back to store for a few other items I had forgotten or ran out of. Spent around $20 restocking. Total $160 for two week period.
Third trip: Spent $95 for two week period. Husband went to the store yesterday to stock up on milk and he bought chips, ice cream, salsa, dry milk and a few other items spending another $35. Total $135 for two week period so far.
My trips are getting better each time. I am still running out of items here and there. I did not include the nights we eat out each week. We have been doing this about once a week. We do this as part of our “fun” budget. This has gone down a LOT too. I will start tracking that better next. However, we are getting much better about eating at home and we are making a grocery list and sticking to it for the most part.
I wanted to compare how we are doing to what the USDA recommends for a weekly grocery allowance for families and individuals on food stamps. I find this interesting. I am not making any political statement about people on food stamps or anything. I am just curious as to how I compare.
Here is what they allow for families and individuals using food stamps per week based on my family of two adults and one six year old. This is based on food prices in May, 2009:
Thrifty Plan - $102
Low-cost Plan - 132.10
Moderate Plan - $158.90
Liberal Plan - $163.90
These costs are per week? Wow. I was hoping to get my food budget down to around $75 per week, but even on their Thrifty Plan they have a $102 budget. I am sure they are accounting for higher food costs in certain areas. Check out their recommendations and see how you are doing in comparison - http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/FoodPlans/2009/CostofFoodMay09.pdf
Anyway, I am going to keep at the grocery bill. I just need to make sure I am also getting plenty of fruits and vegetables in our diet. I am not always doing great in that area, but I am working on it. I will keep you posted.