Grocery Budget Update

Back at the end of February, I was thinking about how everyone claims that if you spend cash, you spend less. I suspect this is because when your cash is gone, its just gone. Credit cards are dangerous in this way, in that you can spend more than the amount of money you’ve got. But if you pay the credit card off each month, have reward points that you use strategically, and treat even credit purchases like cash, I think you wouldn’t find the cash/credit difference less.

That said, I decided I’d set a limit for my March food budget. I  looked at the last several months and found that my *average* was less than $350 and was less than $300 for the 4 months previously. I though some of this is because I hadn’t needed to buy any of the items that we buy in bulk. Nonetheless, I set my March limit at $300.

Do note, I don’t include any paper goods, baby goods (except food), clothing, etc in my food numbers. Its just food, including actual food, seeds and transplants for garden veggies.

March 2013 — I set the limit at $300. So, I figured I’ve got $75 a week (I needed a weekly guideline). And since I’ve been buying the bulk items previously, I thought they will just work into the budget just fine.

3/4/2013 Aldi 2.53
3/5/2013 HEB 20.25
3/7/2013 aldi 21.23
3/15/2013 Walmart 3.64
3/19/2013 sams 119.76
12-Mar aldis 26.28
12-Mar HEB 4.78
23-Mar Walmart 3.63
21-Mar HEB 27.04
total 229.14

Whew! I did okay. I came in under budget.

April 2013 — I’m sticking to the $300 budget. If I was running cash, I could, if I wanted, transfer the previous month’s balance to this month, but I’m not doing that right now. The budget resets each month. Here’s the run down so far:

9-Apr sams 126.77
4-Apr walmart 14.53
2-Apr HEB 27.15
17-Apr sam’s 26.44
16-Apr HEB 50.63
17-Apr HEB 4.3
6-Apr atwoods 10.72
total 260.54

Oh, dear. I still have a week and a half left in April and only $40 to spend! Ugh. You’ll notice the big Sam’s run, which includes the annual membership dues. And, to be honest, I haven’t been paying as close attention as I did in March.

For the past 12 months, I’m doing pretty good…

Jan-13 267.91
Feb-13 232.5
Mar-13 229.14
Apr-12 772.65
May-12 359.04
Jun-12 250.4
Jul-12 231.47
Aug-12 407.36
Sep-12 297.94
1-Oct-12 307.03
1-Nov-12 289.45
1-Dec-12 282.77
monthly average 327.305

April 2012 was when we got the quarter cow, thus the crazy number. I expect we will get our quarter cow in the next week or two, which will really throw the monthly budget off. I have ideas on how to ease the effect on a monthly basis. I promise to share that when we get the cow and I have actual numbers to share.

How’s your monthly food budget going? Staying on track?




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