After reading other blogs and seeing the comments left on this post, I realize that my husband and I have a very different food budget than most others in the personal finance world. That spurred me to come clean.
Here’s where our food money has gone in 2010:
1. Kroger’s – We spend about $125 a month for perishables like whole milk, Country Crock margarine spread, real butter, potatoes, tomatoes, bananas, other fruit that is in season and cheap, Digiorno pizzas, hot dogs, Manager Special steaks, frozen Tilapia, and necessary parts of a menu that we don’t buy in bulk.
2. Sam’s Club – We spend about $30 a month on steaks, boneless skinless chicken breasts, pork chops, frozen green beans, frozen corn on the cob, Honey Nut Cheerios, Nature’s Own Honey Wheat bread, and potato chips. I usually make a Sam’s Club run once every 2 -3 months.
3. Angel Food Ministries – Whenever we like the monthly menu for their Signature Box, we buy 1 or 2 boxes at $30 each. Each box gives us enough food for at least 10 meals and sides for a few more.
4. Walmart – We spend about $50 a month on cleaning supplies, hygiene products, hamburger meat, sandwich meat, and miscellaneous food items that are cheaper there than at Kroger with my coupons.
5. Restaurants and Fast Food – We eat out at least 1-2 times a week and it adds up to about $200 a month. It would be more if I wasn’t such a fan of value menus and soups.
Altogether we spend about $400 on food every month, which is actually down from the $600 a month we were spending last year. We’ve started eating at home much more which allows us to buy in bulk and throw less away. One way we’re doing this is by using the best meal delivery service which has all the healthy ingredients we need at a cheap cost.
I do use coupons, but not to the extent of true couponers. I simply spend 20 minutes at work every week cutting out ones that may come in handy and putting them into my wallet. Before checking out, I pull my cart over in a vacant aisle and spend 2 minutes grabbing out the coupons that match cart items. I do not even look at the coupons until I’m done shopping since I don’t want the coupons to entice me to buy something that wasn’t on my list or buy a different brand.
Our dinners usually consist of a grilled protein seasoned by hubby and two sides. Most frequently, these sides are mashed potatoes, green beans, corn on the cob, carrots, or rice. We also make salads, Pizza Hut Sandwiches (the most delicious and fattening toasted sandwich ever), soft tacos, chili, pasta, taco salad, hamburgers, and hot dogs every month or two as well. We try a new recipe every once in a while and add it to the normal rotation if it was good.
As you can see, our diet isn’t the healthiest ever, but it looks way better than last year. We have been using cheap food delivery services too when we’re lazy. Please just take this as the food confession it is and a quick summary of our personal food budget.
Does your food budget include more organic and free range choices? Or does it look similar to ours?