Monthly Money Reports, Saving Money

What If I Fudge The Numbers A Little? May 2018 Grocery Spending

In one of my previous posts, I received a few comments about the categories I included in my monthly grocery spending report. It got me thinking (it happens!). I do include pet food, household products and personal care items in my budget, not just food. We host a fairly large family dinner every Sunday! So what if, after reporting my May 2018 grocery spending, I fudge the numbers a little this month and see how much our food spending truly is?

Money Scrap Grocery Spending Challenge:

My 2018 grocery spending challenge is to reduce our spending by 30% to $200 per week. You can see where it all started here  Monthly Grocery Spending Report – The Beginning.

Or check out all my previous reports here.

Why $200? Because it seems like a reasonable number to reach, taking into consideration there are five adults in the house and I seem to be the only one in the family working on this challenge!

You can see how I planned to tackle my grocery challenge in this post How I Plan to Save $60 a Week on Groceries.

May 2018 Grocery Spending

A new chart to keep things more entertaining!

Our spending was good in May (better than April).

Our average per week this month was $217 for ALL grocery spending and $194 for food only, equivalent to $840 for a month!  It is a slow process and we may be stuck around the $220 mark. It’s hard when my partner and kids are not always on board with this challenge.

We definitely won’t win an award for Extreme Frugality!

I was gone for half the month but it offset the higher spending for my “not so frugal” family to take care of groceries!

Here is our detailed “May 2018 grocery spending” (5 weeks – April 28 to June 1):

Some Highlights:

  • Meat/Fish: My partner did some shopping ALONE! No further comments.
  • Dairy & Cheese: Bought more cheese this month, in addition to our regular purchases. With the nicer weather, we eat more salads and it’s nice to add feta cheese or bocconcini to change things up.
Check out May 2018 grocery spending vs. September 2017 or “How to squeeze in another chart”:

Not all that impressed?

What If I Fudge The Numbers A Little!

Let’s adjust the numbers to reflect the true cost of food for our family. I will remove the following categories: pets, household products and personal care items. Seems right, it’s not food and not always considered groceries (I did say fudging).

Now another big one, the weekly Sunday family dinners we host (up to 14 of us). I got sucked into it! No comment.  Obviously it’s hard to determine how much Sunday dinners add to our grocery spending. We usually have left overs (not always) and the five of us would still have to eat regardless.

My partner prefers (translation: not the day he wants to hear about my grocery spending challenge!) if we prepare an expensive nice dinner because we are hosting his family (mine is a little too far to come over for dinner!) so it may cost us an average of $35 (the meat alone is expensive). I will make the assumption we would spend $15 if it was just the five of us (because it is Sunday and I would have more time to prepare a gourmet meal. Haha, just kidding! I would enjoy reading a good book instead). So $20 each week is my estimate for the additional mouths to feed.

What is our Fudged True Grocery Spending:

My calculation is as follows:

$1,084 – $18 (pets) – $28 (personal care) -$69 (Household) – $100 ($20 x 5 weeks for May) =  $869 for May (5 weeks) or

$173.84 per week on Food!  

Thank you! Thank you!

Final Thoughts

Did I fudge the numbers? What is the correct number?  Does it really matter? NO, it doesn’t. Why? Because my goal is to reduce MY own grocery spending by 30%. So as long as I report my numbers consistently, who cares what’s included in them or not! Did I reach MY goal?? NO, not  yet! But getting closer.

How about you, how well did you do with your grocery spending this month? What would/do you include in your report?

Also trying another plugin this week:) If you could be kind enough to test it for me by simply voting below:

Do you keep track of your grocery spending each month?

Check out a few other monthly expense reports:

Or ALL my previous ones here.

20 thoughts on “What If I Fudge The Numbers A Little? May 2018 Grocery Spending

  1. Tell you what. I’ll send you our grocery receipts and you can help me figure out how to reduce our insane food expenses! Sheet, we even have a vegetarian household here! Thanks for this post. It reminds me I need to be more diligent on the food front. It’s a killer.

    1. Challenge accepted! Send it away:)
      Being a vegetarian household should make it easier???
      Even if you just keep track of your spending for one full month, it’s crazy how it changes your purchasing habits once you know the numbers!

  2. I think it’s amazing that your food spending is so low despite hosting a huge family dinner and eating meat!! I stopped keeping track because it was kind of depressing. Haha when my husband goes grocery shopping the prices and spending goes up too but then it means that I don’t have to go grocery shopping hahaha.

    1. Haha, that’s true:)
      I stopped keeping track for a few weeks but then got curious again on why our bill had gone up, so back to my spreadsheet! Another addiction:(

  3. Wow, you certainly break it down into many categories – I’m far too lazy to do that, anything from the grocery store is labelled as food here!

    1. Hi Ms Zi You, I know what you mean:) But it was driving me crazy to see how much we spent on groceries and not know where it was all going! If I lived alone, it would be much simpler.

  4. Hi Caroline, it looks the trend of your grocery bill goes down. That’s great. I don’t track the details, only keep eye on the total spending of each month. Have a great weekend.

    1. Hi Helen, as soon as I reach my goal, I don’t plan to keep track of it in detail. But it was enlightening to see where all the money was going and helped with reducing the cost.

  5. Caroline, I don’t consider that fudging the numbers at all. You’re just trying to find the right number to track to show your true grocery spending. The important thing to me was how you decreased the numbers from September to May. That’s a great trend and hopefully you can see the results of your spending challenge paying off!


  6. I love your breakdown of your grocery categories. I will try to do one myself and hopefully have a posting on it soon. Luckily I save most of my grocery receipts so I can check the breakdown of it.

    1. Thanks Kris! I can’t wait to see what you think. It made a big difference for me to find out where we spent most of our grocery money (but there are five of us too!) I try to enter the receipts each Monday otherwise the receipts pile up and it becomes a job!

  7. The amount of money that we spend on groceries each month blows my mind. I see bloggers who (claim to) spend $100 a month per person, and I can’t wrap my mind around how they make that happen. Your goal seems more realistic to me, so thank you for that! I’d like to, realistically, cut about $150 a month from my grocery spending.

    We went to cash only spending for our eating out and personal spending money, and that’s helped us SO much. I think I’m going to do the same for groceries the month of July and see how it goes. Here’s hoping that we both meet our goals! 🙂

    1. You’re welcome!:) There is no point in setting unrealistic goals. $150 dollars a month seems like a realistic goal to me depending how much you currently spend.
      Cash only is a great way to do it if it works for you. I do try to use my credit card as much as possible to earn points so I pay for groceries with it and then transfer the money right away. It’s whatever works for you:)
      Looking forward to see your progress!

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