February Food Spending

It’s about time I looked over my finances and checked out my food spending trends.

February was a month I needed to start buckling down on expenditures. I think I did pretty well, but there is always room for improvement. For example, you can probably tell when I got a lil‘ tipsy there – Popeye’s was an allowable purchase, hah ha.

Total expenditures for food/dining for the month were $246.73 This is inclusive of all spending I did on food, and that Albany John spent at the veggie cart.

Dining out:
$56.95, or 23.1% of total spending

$44.75, or 18.1% of total spending

Food for House:
$145.03, or 58.8% of total spending

Other points:
I got a head cold near the end of the month, and for some reason that really triggers the food craver in me (I really wanted fresh fruit & veggies). I don’t think my household really needed some of the purchases from the 20th on. So I could have scaled back there, but instead that was going on in my head was (imagine whiny voice) “But I’m siiiiiiick.”

We scaled way back on drinking. Drinks are like food in my house – if it’s there, I would like to have some. That said, it’s not like I chugged that bottle of cheap gin, so there’s still over half left. Gin’s also one of my least favorite spirits, so it’s worked in the whole theory of “No, you don’t need to buy more booze because you already have some at home”. I also have been lazy in the cocktail making department, so that also helps. I am not a gin on the rocks kind of gal. If I ever become one, maybe you should hand me an AA pamphlet or something.

And while I scaled back one vice, I forgot one of my other vices… when I get antsy I start baking sweets in the middle of the night. I consider it calming, but on the other hand I’ve been eating a few more cookies before bed time than I probably should.

Lord, I love the Capital District Community Garden’s Veggie Mobile! They make fresh veggies affordable. Carrots galore, hooray! Fresh veggies make me smile. I like to eat a lot, so when I’m on a budget I tend to chub up, as more affordable foods like beans, rice & some occasional dairy fats can be calorically high.

I didn’t buy much meat this month. Meat is expensive, so I’ll order it when I dine out, but if I’m at home I’ll get some (primarily canned) fish for a non-veg treat and that’s about it. Other than that, I splurged on 1/2 a pound of deli turkey at Shop Rite.

I also feel like I bought much more dairy than I normally would have this month, and the wrong kinds of dairy. Next month (March) will have yogurt not half-and-half.

However, I guess at the end of the day (err, month), even considering my errors, I didn’t do too poorly. The USDA’s most recent food plan from December 2009’s “Thrifty Plan” lists a budget $345.60 for a family of two. And for actual food spent for the month, we averaged under the “Thrifty Plan” for a single female in my age range.

I’m also really thankful for the other points in the month that my family fed me. Chinese New Year with my Dad’s side of the family & CVS/Manhattan Maka, and dinner at my Mom’s. At some points in the month I felt a little socially deprived – I am used to having people over at my house for dinner, but when I’m not sure I am able to feed them… well, I don’t have people over.

February Food Expenditures:

SCCC Dinner for two people – $44 (I had already made plans and squirreled away the funds to go. I think it would have been improper to cancel going to dinner after having initiated the plans)

2/22 $26.51 Asian Supermarket – 1 jug Kikkoman soy sauce ($5.99), ~ 2 kilo Nishiki Rice ($6.49), Marukan Rice Wine Vinegar (green outline, large bottle $2.99), 2 cans Dongwon Kimchi Tuna ($.179 ea), Hong Lian Dried black rice ($2.99 Add a little to rice and it dyes the rice red. Mis-purchase, I thought it was akin to wild rice), 4 Ya Li pears ($2.49 think asian pear with a hint of starfruit!), Discounted “Vegitable” $0.99 ea – 1 # of white button mushrooms (2-8 oz packages) and 6 lbs 7.25 oz of zucchini!
2/20 $8 Save-A-Lot – 1 red delicious apple, 1 gallon 2% milk, 20 taco sized flour tortillas ($1.99), Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips ($1.99), something else I forgot

2/20 $2.79 Stewart’s – 1 dz medium eggs ($1.19), 1 can Hershey’s syrup ($1.59)

2/20 ~$15 Big Lots – 3 guava juices, 1 mango juice, 4 packet 2-Qt mix of Raspberry Ice Crystal Light, melting white chocolate, Chicken of the Sea canned wild salmon, Chicken of the Sea canned crab meat

2/18 $7 Veggie Cart – garlic, potatoes, cauliflower

2/15 $43.41 ShopRite. ~$7.50 wild salmon, $1.99 horseradish, $1.79 ShopRite beet horseradish, 3-1# mozzarella cheese ($1.99 ea), 12-pack Yuengling Beer ($9.99), Land O Lakes Unsalted Whipped Butter ($2.49), Ba Tampte Pickles ($2.99), 2-1# sweet frozen corn ($0.69 ea), 1# frozen black eyed peas ($0.69), lemon-ginger-honey tea, $3.44 1/2 # honey turkey, 4-5 L seltzer, 2-24 oz Francesco Rinaldi pasta sauces ($1 ea – highly recommend)

2/9 $6.27 Hannaford. Concentrated lemon juice ($1.59), Worcestershire sauce ($1.69), 5# King Arthur Flour ($2.99)

2/8 – $5.02 Deli Warehouse. $4.02 for 2# McAdam Munster cheese ($1.99/lb) & 3 lemons @ 3/$0.99.

2/6 – $16.15 Empire Wine & Spirits. 1.75 L bottle gin.

2/6 – $12.95 Popeye’s. 14 pieces of chicken. Spicy & Original.

2/5/ – $8.64 Save-A-Lot. Tater tots, 1 # frozen corn ($0.99 – very woody), 2 cans of tomato sauce ($0.99 ea), 2 packs of hot dogs (2 / $1), dry popping corn

2/6 – $11 BJ’s. 1 gallon whole milk ($1.89), 1 quart 1/2 & 1/2 ($1.99 – Save-A-Lot has it for same price, Garelick farms brand), 4# butter, $7

2/5/10 – $20 Veggie Cart. 7 macintosh apples, 1 head cauliflower, 1 head of romaine lettuce, 1 bag of spinach leaves, 2 turnips, 5 heads garlic, 10 oz box of mushrooms, 1 lime, 1 lemon, 1 red onion, brussesls sprouts, scallions, collard greens, 5 packs of carrots.

Early Feb/Late Jan – $17 & change, Sobieski 1.75 L vodka.

2/4 $2.99 HannafordBreyer’s fat free vanilla ice cream. $2.99.

4 thoughts on “February Food Spending”

  1. Wow… My wife and I just started keeping track of grocery spending (and budgeting everything out in general). We knew this month was going to be a little more expensive than normal, but were blown away when we added it all up and got $350. Interesting that we're so close to that USDA number you mentioned though. So I guess we're not doing too bad. And we do eat a fair amount of meat… But I'd still like to cut down to a number closer to what you had this month.

  2. interesting analysis! frankly, i'd be afraid to take a closer look at my food spending habits. my booze expenditure would be less, but my junk food rations are through the roof. 🙂

  3. OK that settles it, SB & I are going to the Deli Warehouse, he's addicted to MacAdam cheeses.

    Also, to save money for March you and AlbanyJohn are more than welcome to our house for dinner 😀

  4. Slacker – $350 is good! That's what I normally like to keep it at. This was just to see how little we could get by with spending.

    grace – oh, you teetotal, you. I didn't peg you as a junk food gal – now I'm curious!

    p – YEAH DINNER!!

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