Monday, November 7, 2016
Reviewing and Budgeting for 2017: Grocery Shopping
Even though it is November, Hubby and I are reviewing our budget for 2017. In 2016, we didn't really budget so much as we spent as little as possible so that we could reach our goal of saving and investing $50,000. this year. We are still working towards that goal.
We have figures for 10 months of spending so far this year and we do have a year's worth of spending figures from November 2015 through October 2016. So they are enough for us to start working on a plan.
Today, I will talk about only the groceries that we cook in our kitchen and stockpile in our pantries. They are for food only and include no cleaning products, health and beauty aids, toilet paper, soaps, etc. Those have their own category of Household Goods. I rarely buy any of those things at the grocery store.
There are just two of us so it is our food and food for any company we have during the year. Most of our company is family and some dinners we cook for friends. Our party days are over because they are too much for me these days. The budget also includes food that we give for gifts to neighbors or dishes that we take to parties. Our food budget does not include alcohol. We have a separate budget for beer, liquor and wine.
Let's take a quick peak at the numbers. For the first ten months of 2016, we spent an average of $ 438.72 a month on food. From November of 2015 through October of 2016, we spent an average of $407.48 a month on food.
The USDA as of 2016 says that the two of us should be averaging $ 363.80 on a thrifty plan, $ 469.40 on a low cost plan, $ 584.80 on a moderate cost plan and $ 706.60 on a liberal plan. We don't spend quite as much as a low cost plan. Looking at these numbers doesn't really tell you much. I think their numbers are pretty high but maybe not if they just go into the store and pick up whatever they want without thinking how to save on those items.
We buy good meats like filet mignon, NY strip steak, corned beef and beef roast, pork loins, leg of lamb, ham, chicken, turkey. We also have shrimp and fish during the year. So we don't feel like we eat on a low cost plan even though they say we do.
We try to eat the proper portions for our ages and nutritional requirements. Sometimes we even have seconds. We do eat some snacks but try to keep them as healthy as we can.
Hubby and I have decided that we are going to try to lower the amount we spend on food in 2017. We are going to set actual budget figures for 2017. We believe that we can lower our food budget to $75. per week or $300 per month and still eat as well as we have been. That would be lowering our food bill by $ 107. to $ 138. a month.
With careful planning of menus, almost always buying at rock bottom or sale prices, eating our leftovers, and never wasting food, I believe that we can do it. So $300. per month will be our target for 2017. That will give us a savings of $ 1284. to $1656. over 2016. That is a significant savings that we can invest or spend on something else.
I will show you what we eat and how we keep the costs low all during 2017. We will try to do most of our shopping at Aldi, Save-A- Lot, Walmart, Top's, Wegmans, and Niagara Produce in 2017. But I will always be looking for great deals on food at other places too.
Have you thought about what you will spend on food in 2017? Will you lower or raise your budget? I know that I am always curious as to what different families spend on food and I am sure others who read here are also. So please share with us by commenting the size of your family and what you spend a month for food.