It has been nearly a year and a half since I wrote about how much we spend on the groceries.
A lot has changed since then.
We now have an extra mouth to feed and an extra bum to keep clean. So I thought it was time for an update.
Before I talk about how much we spend on the groceries, I want to clarify what ‘groceries’ means in our budget (and by budget I mean a detailed, to-the-cent record of our expenditure which allows me to see very specifically where we can make improvements and what items are costing us the most money).
Our grocery category includes:
- all food and beverages
- baby formula and the occasional tinned baby food
- health foods, specialty foods and market stall finds
- alcohol (to take home)
- takeaway / junk food
- cat food and kitty litter
- toiletries including nappy liners, baby shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, cosmetics, first aide stuff etc
- cleaning supplies including any brushes, gloves, essential oils, as well as vinegar and bicarb
- laundry needs including nappy soaker
2009 grocery expenditure
Way back in 2009, there were just the two of us and the cat. I bought quality ingredients on a regular basis like organic milk, pomegranate juice and organic dark chocolate. I don’t do that as much anymore, although looking at our 2011 expenditure so far, there’s probably a little room for a few more splurges.
To recap the original article, our average grocery spend was $115 per week in 2009 (that includes takeaway meals).
2010 grocery expenditure
The little fella was born in early 2010 and long time readers will know that despite being very pro breast feeding, I had no milk. Drier than the Sahara. Therefore we had to formula feed the little fella, ironic considering my firm stance on the issue and our frugal ways. C’est la vie.
As far as our grocery budget is concerned, formula is very expensive. We spent over $1,200 in one year. Add to that the cost of maintaining the other end (even though we used cloth nappies), plus extra laundry costs, and extra food once the little fella turned six months, and obviously our grocery expense went up. Not that I’m complaining, just stating the facts concerning our budget. On the other hand, we made savings elsewhere, by eating less takeaway for instance.
So in 2010 our grocery expenditure was an average of $148 per week.
2011 grocery expenditure to date
We’re now finished with the formula and that has made a big difference to our grocery budget.
On the other hand, we have been quite sick this year and I’ve felt really run down, so I admit to relying on the occasional tin of baby food for the little fella. We haven’t bought much (I’m talking one or two dinners a week), but it’s pretty expensive and adds up quickly. On top of that, the little fella eats a surprising amount of food. In fact, some days he eats more than us.
Also, due to all the bad weather in Australia and the world, the price of fresh foods has really gone up (although I noticed last week a big drop in our fruit and veg bill, even though I filled the box). I still buy bananas, despite the fact they are $14 a kilo. Someone once said to me that most people don’t think twice about splurging a couple of dollars on a Mars Bar, so why not splurge on a banana instead. I think that’s a good point.
To balance things out, DH and I have really reduced our takeaway habit (once a fortnight on average and we’ve been using coupons) so our grocery spending has really improved.
In 2011, our grocery expenditure so far is an average of $110 per week.
Less than 2009, so maybe there is room in the budget to bring back that organic dark chocolate. Our budget would be under $100 if we didn’t buy any takeaway.
How much do you spend on the groceries? How have this year’s price rises affected your grocery budget?
PS. For all of next week, the articles on the blog will be content from the upcoming eBook: PLAN COOK SAVE. I’m very excited to be sharing it with you and I hope you find the articles useful.
Melissa Goodwin is a writer and the creator of Frugal and Thriving who has a passion for living frugally and encouraging people to thrive on any budget. The blog is nine years old and is almost like her eldest baby. Prior to being a blogger and mum (but not a mummy blogger), she worked as an accountant doing other people’s budgets, books and tax.