Grocery spending summary – April and the last 5 months

This might not be as in depth (as I’d like) but it’s a start to documenting my grocery shopping behaviour for one (and sometimes +1).  My categories have evolved since I started in December 2012, but basically they are moving along nicely now.

My average monthly spend on groceries is about 4% of my monthly take home pay.  The graphics below are in %, but I give each category a $ range, so those who want to work out what I earn won’t find it hard.  Interestingly, as a public servant, it’s also PUBLIC knowledge, or at least accessible by the public, so I’m not as worried as I might/could/should be.

Average monthly grocery spend by category

Average monthly grocery spend by category

Fruit: monthly spend around $15-$20 (I don’t include tinned pineapple or frozen raspberries here).

Vegies: monthly I spend between $20-$50 here, this month it was around $30

Dairy (milk, cheese, eggs, butter): Every time I input cheese prices I’m shocked at the cost.  Monthly spending is usually between $25-$40, with this month at the higher end

Pantry staples (spices, tinned goods, baking supplies, tea): A wide range in monthly spends here – between $10-$40, seen about a $10 drop in the last month.

Breakfast (cereal, frozen raspberries): This category exists cause I think breakfast is the cheapest meal of the day? I’m not really sure why it gets it’s own category, but it does! $15-$25 per month spent here.  While oats are cheaper, I always add berries, so going to corn flakes saves some money, but I eat through more cornflakes

Convenience (ready made foods): This is one area I’d like to see drop!  December was at $54, then $17, then $24 in Feb (who knows what happened then, maybe I was sick).  This month was less than $10, so I’m PLEASED with that.

Snacks (ready made foods, but not meals): monthly spend between $5-$25, this month I’m at about $10.50.  If I baked more of my own, they’d slot in under the ‘pantry’ category

Meat (both butcher meat and heavy packaging sliced meats): I didn’t start to track this til January and it’s a little hazy – I don’t get butcher reciepts.  I spend between $25-$55 here a month, with this month coming in at about $31

House stuff (everything else – cotton buds, light globes etc):  Usually between $10-$20, but in Dec 12 it was at $53!!

Over time, I’d like to see a drop in snacks and convenience food, and a growth in fruit and vegies!  If you’d like to see what I eat, see my monthly wrap up posts where I list every dinner I have in a month, see this page for a link to them all.

April 2013 grocery spend by category

April 2013 grocery spend by category

I’ve also attempted to track my fruit and vegetable consumption, but it’s an VERY inexact science, as many things from the green grocer are just entered a price mark ‘fruit and vegies’.  But nonetheless, in five months, I’ve tracked:

5.11kg of onions

2.49kg of carrots

1.3kg of tomatos (tinnned or otherwise)

3.26kg of pumpkin in the LAST month alone!

3.5kg of cheese

23L of milk

9kg of museli

48 eggs (and I’ve probably missed counting some!)

Interestingly when I was looking for graphics I came across one from a blog I read (but not back when they published the graphics), so I’ve included it for you.  Inspired me to make my own – though I had some trouble in Google Drive.

15 thoughts on “Grocery spending summary – April and the last 5 months

    • Yeah I’m shocked that feeding myself home cooked food (something I’ve recently focused on increasing) takes so little money. The mortgage repayments more than make up for it though!

  1. You are doing fantastically well on the food budget (especially when you’re including “house stuff” in those figures!)

    (it goes without saying that I am swooning over those graphs!)

  2. Sarah, this is cool! You are doing great on your spending. It is easy for the grocery budget to just keep expanding and to rationalize it by saying, “I have to eat!” Do you buy much bakery stuff (bread, rolls, bagels, muffins)? At our place, we’ve got packaged foods down to cereal, crackers, crumpets and ice cream, but we do spend more on snacks – it is always my goal to bake more!

    • I do try to eat gluten free, so no on bread/crumpets/bagels. I’ll indulge in these when eating out though. Crackers or biscuits slot in under snacks but I try to diy (but I largely don’t!)

      Cereal is definately in that spending and ice cream for the bf – but I don’t mind it cause I get a good sized reusable container from it!

  3. I’m in England,and have a grocery budget of around £100 per month ( around $150 AUS) to feed 3.5 adults( my daughter’s boyfriend eats almost half his meals each month with us) and pay for household items ( toiletries etc). Groceries are cheaper over here, but our budget is still very small compared to most people’s , but then so is our income ( 13k per annum). Me and my husband stopped eating meat, fish and dairy last Summer for health reasons, and our daughter has eaten a predominantly vegetarian diet with the very occasional piece of fish for almost 3 years , but now we couldn’t afford to eat those things on our budget, even if we wanted to. We have an allotment, so have the space to grow fruit and veg when we actually get decent growing weather – the last 2 summers have been a complete washout and most crops except the potatoes and onions were very poor.

    • Welcome Scarlet, thanks for sharing. That’s quite a small budget and such a shame your garden plot suffered in poor weather. Do you find it challenging to eat healthily or do you try to keep that as a priority? Certainly inspirational that you manage up to 4 people on that!

  4. Nice graphs 🙂 That’s really interesting to split up food spending into different categories and track each one separately – I currently just track everything as groceries. And it’s cool to track individual food items – I eat less cheese and muesli than you, but way more carrots (I eat about a kilo a week!) and eggs.

    • I’ll have to start tracking lemons, you’ll eclipse me in their use too! It’s a good way to see how lazy I’ve been – pre packaged meals are something I’d love to do away with both from a health and wealth perspective but also from a waste point of view

  5. This is so interesting! I’d love to track my food spending in a more detailed way. This month we’re working on not going over our set budget (we fell off the wagon the last 2 months). Maybe once I have that down I can start track more specifically.

    • The categories started when I noticed my grocery store grouped things on the receipt like that. Of course they changed systems recently so I’m on my own! I just input all the data once a month so it’s not too much of a chore. I hope you get your grocery budget back on track, or is Penny eating you out of house and home?

    • Thanks for dropping by! I think now I need to look into what I spend eating out as it’s likely to be very out of proportion to this spending!

  6. Pingback: Food memories from boarding school (& eating out summary) | livetolist

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