Grocery Woes

My level-headed husband, Yasar, is having a hissy fit. Why, you ask? Let's start at the beginning of the story...

Late in February, I got one of my favorite ezines, Counting the Cost (www.countingthecost.com). They were polling their readers about how much they spent on groceries. Now, in my head, I'm thinking "$200, maybe $300 in a bad month". My husband is from the Middle East, and doesn't really enjoy eating out, we tend to eat a more Mediterranean diet here, Andrew still enjoys pizza, and I rarely buy name-brand food, so I'm thinking we tend to be more on the frugal side. But I didn't have that proof-positive in my hands to answer the poll, and it bugged me.

So I set up a spreadsheet, outlining date, place, description, and a few catagories (food, HBA, paper, restaurant, misc, and bonuses - pizza from the shop, and using the butcher gift certificate my mom got us for Christmas). What an eye-opener! The good news is we only ate a total of $35.66 in restaurants, which was 4.2% of our total dollars spent. Now, don't break out the calculator, I'll give you the totals.

Drum roll please.....

We spent $536.40 in edible food

$20.80 in paper products
$249.20 in HBA (including $206 on prescriptions)
$17.78 in miscellaneous catagory (Easter basket for Andrew, ramekins to freeze mac & cheese)
$116.22 in bonuses (pizza, butcher gift certificate)

For a total of $859.84

That means we're paying an average of $286.61 per person ($214.96 if we include the cat, LOL!)

So, Yasar has a legitimate reason to be hollering, doesn't he?

I'd recommend this exercise to everyone. It's hard to see the final numbers in black & white, but knowledge is power. I've promised Yasar we will halve that next month.

So, my question to you is, how much do YOU drop at the grocery store every month? Are you making the payments for Sam Walton's Ferrari? Is Giant saying "Fee, Fi, Foe, Fum, I smell a wallet that's not quite done!"? Does Aldi's see you pull in the parking lot, and start breaking out the $0.10 bags in anticipation?

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