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Grocery Budget Reality

Since I have been using Spending Diary  to keep track of my expenses, It has been a real eyeopener for me. I now document everything I spend with Spending diary, where as before I would kinda keep track, only now and again would I enter my purchases into the diary.  Why did I do this?  Because I did not want to face the real truth about my spending habits.  I only wanted to know the good parts of my spending habits, (which were few).

For instance, the grocery category.  In my mind, I would always be close to my budgeted amount, not ever really going over that much.  Hello reality.  My budgeting and spending  are definite areas for me to work on.  Seriously. 

Since my layoff, I readjusted my budget for grocery spending.  In my mind, I thought I could keep it around $400.  Easy enough, right?  Two adults in the house, I would be able to cook more,(almost all meals) it should be a piece of cake.

Wrong.  Here we are at mid September and  I have already realized that I am going to have to readjust my grocery budget.  As of today, I have already spent $237.00 dollars.  No way I am going to meet my $400.00 goal.  So, I am now adjusting my grocery budget to $500.00.  What I did not take into account is that I am also packing my husband's lunch everyday.  This does save us money, but I do have to have a few more things on hand that he likes. 

2011-09-04 7-11 coke and candy $8.78
2011-09-04 fruit (roadside vendor $15.00
2011-09-05 Publix $8.82
2011-09-05 Wal Mart $28.41
2011-09-06 Aldi $45.35
2011-09-07 Winn Dixie $4.58
2011-09-08 kmart $6.50
2011-09-11 CVS coke aspirin $4.91
2011-09-11 Wal Mart $63.00
2011-09-12 Winn Dixie $16.71
2011-09-13 Aldi $35.75

Now, I am pretty darn proud of my eating out budget this month.  As of today, it is under $25.00.  Remarkable.  Absolutely remarkable.  

2011-09-02 mcdonalds lisa $7.00
2011-09-04 Chick Fil A caleb $7.19
2011-09-04 Kmar Pizza $4.27
2011-09-09 eating out TIP $6.00

Using Spending Diary (and using it all the time, not just when I want to) has really kept me aware (sometimes painfully) of where my money is going.  This is one of the pluses of my layoff.  I am really becoming aware of my spending and saving habits.


Sharon said...

Darn that spending diary...makes you honest....

I guess I better go update my numbers....

Niki said...

Congrats on your dining out expenses. That is always our budget buster.

Carla said...

Keeping a spending diary is definitely a good way to keep you honest & curb unnecessary spending! You're doing great with your eating out budget! :)

Sandy16502 said...

I have kept track of our food expenses for almost 10 years. This year we are averaging less than $9 a day to feed the two of us and that includes lunches. We rarely eat out and I go online and buy discounted gift cards and look for specials to save money when we do, but that doesn't seem to be a problem for you. Have you been able to locate a salvage store near you. They are always to be found in Amish communities. I save a fortune there. Also, I buy the reduced for quick sale fruits and veggies as well as meats. It does take time and effort and a lot of practice. Keep up the good work.

Onecentatatime said...

My wife has an account there but after initial couple of months we really didn't use. We use Yodlee extensive and without manual work it tells us where we spent how much, give it a try, a lot of manual work will be eliminated

ND Chic said...

We're in the same boat that you're in. Food is just really expensive. Would making less trips to the grocery store help? Menu plan for 2 weeks and then get everything you will need and plan for one trip in the middle to pick up fresh produce and milk. Just a thought. Don't beat yourself up over it. You have to eat and there's no point in eating junk.

Jane said...

I'm so ashamed...I was such an advocate of Spend Diary and I haven't used it since June. I keep track on paper but I love the reports I get with spend diary - it really helps to see the totals.

CentsToSave said...

Yes, that darn spending diary does keep you honest :) Good luck with your numbers!

CentsToSave said...

For us too. Trying to keep a grip on it.

CentsToSave said...

Thanks Carla!

CentsToSave said...

Wow Sandy, thanks for the great money saving ideas. I am going to investigate online discount gift cards. I do buy the reduced meat when I can find it. Usually at Target.

CentsToSave said...

I will look into Yodlee. Thanks for the suggestion.

CentsToSave said...

I agree food is just darn expensive! Menu planning for two weeks...... I don't know if I can be that organized. But it is a good idea. I think I am more shocked at how much it does ACTUALLY cost to buy groceries. I never really kept accurate numbers.... they were all in my head.

CentsToSave said...

Jane, don't beat yourself up! It is okay! You and spend diary will be friends again :)

mbhunter said...

You've already gotten twice as far as I did when I started writing stuff down. Good job! :)

Untemplater said...

It's crazy how much we can spend on food each month. Great job with your spending diary and finding ways to keep costs down! -Sydney

Evan@MyJourneytoMillions said...

Not to be the only guy that doesn't say good job but...

I don't think the grocery category is as important as knowing what you are spending within each store. I don't do the food shopping, but when I do go I am shocked how much meat, pasta and rice I can buy for 30 bucks.

So the question really is what are you spending it on? Are you purchasing 12 dollars worth of cookies? cause you can easy shave that off.