Last month I spent almost $2000 on groceries (?!?!)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

In my last post I told you about how my spending habits have gotten out of control.  Well, I knew that I was spending too much money, but I wasn't sure exactly how bad it was.  Well, my friends, it is downright frightening.  It is also eye opening.

The other night I downloaded an app to my iPad called "Mint" (by Intuit) and in less than 24 hours, this app changed my life.  Here is how it works, if you aren't familiar... You give it access to pull data from your bank account, mortgage account, student loan account, car loan account, etc and it categorizes all of your transactions in an easy to read format so that you can tell how much money you spend and where you spend it.  You can set financial goals for saving or paying off debt.  It also creates a monthly budget for you based on your usual spending habits, which you can update as you like.

After categorizing a few transactions that the app couldn't automatically figure out, I was able to view a pie chart of my expenses from last month and my jaw just about hit the floor when I saw how much I spent on food (groceries, coffee, restaurants) last month.  Oh and the kicker is that this is just my spending and does not include my husband's because we have separate bank accounts.  He checked and spent another $400 plus on food.  What the hell???  Neither of us are overweight so who is eating all of this food we are buying?  I guess the biggest drawback to Paleo is the cost.  No matter what people might try to say to you about being able to be on a budget friendly Paleo diet, it really just isn't possible I guess.

"Houston, we have a problem."

Obviously, the "Food & Dining" is something that we can probably cut back on if we actually plan out our meals for the week and follow a budget.  The "Home" costs will be cut $200 shorter this next month because I cancelled the cleaning lady.  I dropped the data plan on my phone down from 5 GB to 2 GB because I have only once in 2 years gone over 2 GB, so there is $20 a month.  I just need to be cognizant of my internet surfing habits.  We also decided that we are going to refinance our house and consolidate our two mortgages into one and so I have gotten the ball rolling on that process.  So in the past 2 days I have saved us $220 a month, plus the potential of another $100 with the refinance (and a ton more of general savings on mortgage interest).  Fun times in our household.

So back to the "Food & Dining" expenses, which is mostly groceries... I need to find some sort of meal planning or grocery budgeting tool to help me in this space.  Coupons would not help me much because most of the stuff that we buy is fresh.  We eat hardly any processed foods, which is what the bulk of the coupons that I see are for.  Most of the health/beauty/cleaning products that we use are also organic so there really aren't deals on those things either.  I could follow grocery circulars more closely and go to multiple stores every week, but that would take time away from doing other things (like maybe having a little fun with my family every now and then).  I guess I need to do some more research in this space and come up with an action plan in my spare time (hahahahahahaha).  Until then I am just happy I now know how much I am actually spending.

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2 Responses to “Last month I spent almost $2000 on groceries (?!?!)”

  1. Grocery shopping is a budget killer for us as well. It seems like I can't go to the store and spend less than $200 and feel like I hardly got anything! I couldn't imagine if I had to buy meat on top of that! I've been trying to cook a lot in the crock pot and have meals made a head in the freezer that I can just dump in the crock pot. Pinterest has some great ideas. You and I are in the same mindset of getting our spending on track.

  2. Because you have twenty transactions, I imagine many of them, and a large portion of expense may be eating out. If you can cut a few of those, I bet you'd see a rapid improvement in this area.