Our Grocery Spending 2017

I can hardly believe it myself because I'm no good at record keeping, but for the entire year of 2017 I tracked our grocery spending every single month.

We are a family of six, 2 adults and 4 kids ages 2, 4, 6, and 8. We eat almost exclusively at home. These numbers include toiletries and household goods. It also includes going out to eat for convenience, but not for planned, special meals at nice restaurants. It includes alcohol. It does not include dog food, cat food or diapers and wipes.

Here are the results.

January $741.10

February $774.43

March $667.60

April $954.67

May $1,160.83

June $919.83

July $615.00

August $1067.00

September $629.73

October $995.20

November $509.29

December $ 689.24

The average comes to $810.26/month.

It was enlightening to take a year and observe and study our food spending habits and how much we actually spend on groceries.  Mostly, I'm happy with the amount we spent. I worked really hard to watch our spending. My only basis for wanting to cut down on the budget is how much food we wasted and gave to the dogs in 2017.

About half way through the year, I got really interested in the topic of food waste. Have you heard the shocking statistics about how much food Americans waste?! Google it and you will quickly find that the average American family wastes about $2,000 worth of food per year. It totally believe it.

With the realization that our family wastes a little more food than I care to admit, I've tried to focus on many of my habits in the kitchen in order to decrease our food waste. Because food is money!

One thing I implemented was a regular grocery shopping day. I now keep it like I would a dentist appointment, and I buy no more than one week's worth of groceries. This helped me get a better understanding of how much food we actually needed to get through one week.

Another thing I've done, though I've kept it to myself, is declare 2018 "the year of the humble meal."

scrambled eggs + toast
grilled cheese + an apple
a bowl of oatmeal

Simple, humble meals are good and good for you. They require little energy to put together and they are low cost. Also, they are made from grocery staples.

I don't believe in making big announcements about changes in your kitchen like "we are eating less meat" or "I'm going to stop buying chips." Just do it and see how it goes. If you say it out loud you will definitely get push back.

Questions, thoughts? Are you happy with your grocery spending?
Do you feel like you waste food?  If so, why do you think that is?


  1. I'm impressed - both with your spending (or lack thereof) and with your good record keeping. And I love the idea of humble meals. We often grab cheese or scrambled eggs and love them. I think these meals mean we enjoy our nicer meals more.

  2. I think you're right on with the humble meals. I don't implement that nearly as often as I should (and we eat out/pick up wayyyy too much) but last night we had simple scrambled egg sandwiches...and everyone loved it.

  3. I love everything about this post. As someone who cooks/plans and shops for the whole family as well as struggles food on a daily basis it is life giving to think of humble meals and how much energy and money it actually saves plus what a good thing to practice.

    Thank you for always sharing such fun/practical/easy steps in living a more intentional life!

  4. So inspiring! I just started tracking expenses this May (in everything).

    I love the concept of humble meals but I'm afraid I adore eating so much that I don't do them very often - which would be a good discipline for me, to use that time for other things.

    We don't waste a lot of food, but I don't force my kids to finish their plates if they say they're full. It does go in the compost bucket, which benefits our garden and flowers. I'm pretty careful with menu planning, I guess, and that guides what I buy and what we eat. We almost always have leftovers in the fridge and that is lunch. So I don't buy "lunch" foods. We also only eat meat 1-2x a week, which allows me to buy the local grassfed meat, which supports our values.

  5. Love this! I read somewhere the idea of “eat to live, not live to eat.” It’s really changed the way we eat at home. Not every meal needs to be fancy with 25 ingredients.


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