Food costs: fun with numbers

Hardly fun, truth be told.  Over the last 6 months we appear to be averaging about $450/month on groceries.  My jaw dropped when I saw this in my Yodlee spending reports.  At first I thought it couldn’t possibly be right.

Alas, it is.  And what I realized is that when I review my grocery expenses at the end of each month there’s a tendency to celebrate the months where you do real well, but explain away the bad months as aberrations.  Only when you look at it as a monthly average do you realize that the aberrations still count.

We’re a family of 3, and the third’s food costs are certainly increasing as the months go by.  And I know there’s big ticket items in here that aren’t a part of our true food bill — cat food, dog food, beer/wine, that sort of thing.  It still seems high.  What I’d like to see are some comparables for similar-sized families.  We do all the right things, most of the time.  Coupons?  Yup.  Menu planning and grocery lists?  Check.  Mostly buying sale items and avoiding impulse purchases?  Sure thing.  My god, I eat soup for lunch everyday and get at least some of my food from my garden.

I’d love to hear any stories about others’ average monthly grocery bills.  Maybe we’re not as bad as I seem to be thinking.

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