WRAL SmartShopper

WRAL SmartShopper

January 2010 grocery budget totals

Posted February 3, 2010 12:38 a.m. EST

I am often asked how much I spend per week or per month on groceries and non-food essentials (like bath and beauty, paper products, etc). Each month I will be sharing how much I spent, how much I saved and how much I would have spent if I paid full retail for the items (gasp!).  This budget is for our family of 4 (2 adults and 2 children ages 8 and 10).

My budget for food, bath and beauty items, paper products, cleaning supplies and dog food is $315 per month ($72 per week).

Our budget is lower in the summer months because we grow our own garden so we are not buying as much produce at the grocery store.

January 2010 Totals

  • Total regular retail cost of all grocery and drug store items purchased in January 2010: $1390.53
  • Total saved: $1081.64
  • Percent saved: 78%!
  • Total spent in January: $309.01

This month I came in $5.99 under budget. Not being able to shop the last few days of the month because of the snow storm definitely kept me from going over!

Keep in mind that Harris Teeter offered Super Doubles the first week of January and there were some great stock up sales on items we buy at many stores during the month.  In January I shopped at Lowe's Foods, Harris Teeter, Food Lion, Kroger, Trader Joe's (for tofu), Whole Foods (for tofu), Walmart, Walgreen's, CVS and Kerr Drug.  I didn't shop every store every week, of course, but my willingness to shop loss leaders at different stores during the week allowed me to stock up on items we buy at substantial savings. Basically, if you are only willing/able to shop at one store per week - you will pay more money. No one store has all the best deals all of the time. Even just getting the loss leaders at one extra store during the week (in a quick 15 minute shop) can save you an extra $25 or more - every week!

I also ordered coupons online and bought one copy of the Sunday paper each week so I had multiples of coupons for the items we like to use. I have a budget of $15 per month for procurement of coupons for our family.

Even with the $15 added in to the monthly total I still saved 77% overall.  A good month for savings, indeed.

Anyone else want to share their weekly or month grocery budgets?