I’ve been asked quite a few times over the last couple months how much I spend on groceries and what I buy in a normal month. So for the month of February, I wrote down and calculated everything I spent.
Our basic budget for groceries each month is $300.00. I don’t go over this. How do I not go over it? I spend only cash! Never ever do I bring a credit or debit card out when paying. It helps me not only stick to my weekly budget, but my overall budget as well. I normally plan on spending about $200.00 at the supermarket, $50.00 on bulk items, and $50.00 at the farm.
Since the items we buy rarely have sales or coupons, I stock up on most of our staples the first week of the month, spending about $125.00 for that week. The remaining 3 weeks I normally spend $30.00 to $40.00 at the grocery store and the rest at the farm. Of course none of this is “set in stone” and some months I do vary how and where I spend our money.
Another thing you should know is that we get all of our beef from the freezer! Last summer I sold a few items I no longer needed and saved up to buy a quarter of a grassfed cow which came to about 70 pounds of meat. My husband also went hunting so we had 80 pounds of venison in the freezer as well. Before this our grocery bill was still the same, we just ate less meat! But with the Lord’s provision for us this year, we’ve been able to eat like kings! And being pregnant the meat is a wonderful source of protein and iron for me.
Also, the cost of our groceries had come down for a couple of months, but since my husband has been eating a gluten free diet, I’ve had to spend a bit more while trying to stock up on different flours and things that he could eat.
Without further ado, here is what I spent last month and what I spent it on:
At the local supermarket I spent $151.54.
-6 bags tortilla chips (my husband the snacker)
-8 lg apples
-2 jars applesauce
-3 broccoli bunches
-8 lbs banana
-3 lbs sweet potatoes
-gluten free granola bars (I wasn’t feeling well and knew I wouldn’t have time to make my own)
-15 oz tomato sauce
-2 celery bunches
-plain whole fat yogurt
-3 lbs organic onions
-1 lb baby carrots
-10 lbs whole wheat flour
-1 pkg organic romaine lettuce
-2 boxes gluten free peanut butter crunch cereal (1st time I’ve bought cereal in about 6 months. But again, I wasn’t feeling well and this is hubby’s favorite, it was on sale, and he was complaining about the state of his breakfasts)
-mothers milk tea (clearanced at 1/2 off)
-toilet paper (6 roll)
-4 lbs of grapes
-4 cans of soup
-gluten free, organic taco kit (clearanced at 1/2 off!)
-vacuum bags (1/2 off clearance again!)
-head of lettuce
-1 lb green pepper
-can of peanuts
-large container of vinegar
-diced ham for homemade soup
-2 bags of oranges
-5 lbs of potatoes
–I also came home with 2 bags of apples that I never put in my cart and actually didn’t pay for. Why didn’t I return them? Well, because any food item returned just gets thrown away and my sister who works there told me to just keep them.
At the local health food store I spent $59.81. (normally would be much less, but I picked up a few splurges for Todd as he was severely missing some of his normal gluten and dairy-laden foods!)
-2 boxes brown rice pasta
-1 dz eggs
-white rice flour
-baking cocoa (my splurge! for hot cocoa)
-organic chocolate chips (splurge)
-hemp milk (splurge – clearance item)
-rice dream ice cream (major splurge)
-1 qt raw honey
At our local bulk/restaurant supply store I spent $51.33.
-5 lbs frozen peaches (for smoothies)
-5 lbs shredded mozzarella (lasts us about 3 months)
-5 lbs shredded cheddar (lasts about 3 months)
-24 oz sliced white cheddar cheese
-6 lbs 10 oz of tomato sauce
-2 64 oz jars of salsa
At the farm I spent $32.75.
-3 dozen eggs
-1/2 gallon cow milk
-3 gallons goat milk
All together it came to $295.43. I stayed under budget. Some months I spend more at the farm when I have to buy honey and syrup. Other months I spend more on bulk items and stocking our pantry. It all depends on what I currently have in the cupboards and what we need to eat.
I’m also looking into buying in bulk at a local whole foods coop. I just need to get my order ready and for this I plan on using some of our tax refund. Hopefully this will substantially lower our overall food bill (where I can spend less each month and save the rest for a future order) and fully stock our pantry. Especially important with the baby due in about 6-8 weeks time! I’d rather not have to run to the store for awhile if I don’t have to. Todd will be on grocery duty! Which is a bit worrisome. Notice all the chips and salsa? Yup, mostly him. Such a snacker. But after looking at this monthly list, I think I’ll have to be cutting back in the chip department! That’s way to much money on junk snacks!