Wednesday, March 30, 2016

2016 Food & Toiletries Spending.....March Update

* I've closed out the March books a couple of days early as I am done shopping.  Anything bought in the next 2 days will come out of April's funds. *

Onward to March's food spending report.......

Here are my FOOD BUDGET spending totals for MARCH 2016.

I have posted March's totals on the Total Grocery Savings for 2016 Page located HERE and have updated the Yearly Totals there.  I am listing subtotals for each store I purchased from in March.  If you aren't interested in that much detail, just skip to the bottom for the Totals Sum.  My spending includes Food, Toiletries/HBA, Cleaning Products, Paper Goods & tax where applicable. We are a family of 3(2-3 at home this month). No kids under 20.


OOP  $6.00
Value  $27.25
Savings 78%

OOP  $0.00
Value  $3.96
Savings  100%

OOP  $34.47
Value  $62.78
Savings  45.09%

OOP  $6.22
Value  $22.77
Savings  72.68%

OOP  $0.00
Qs/Ads/gift card  $484.06
Value  $484.06
Savings 100%

OOP  $43.55
Qs/Ads $29.71
Value  $73.26
Savings  40.55%

OOP  $18.96
Qs/Ads  $65.98
Value  $84.94
Savings  77.68%

OOP  $1.48
Qs/Ads  $2.01
Value  $3.49
Savings  57.59 %

OOP  $121.46
Qs/Ads  $103.35
Value  $224.81
Savings  45.97%

My best 3 Store Savings Totals were Rite-Aid at 100%, CVS at 100% and the Bakery Outlet at 78%.  My WORST savings rate was The local Shursave grocery at 40.55%.
I'll take it. ;-)

I shopped at 9 different stores this past month.

TOTAL Out of Pocket..........$232.14
TOTAL Coupons & Store Sales Savings...$755.18
TOTAL Value of Items Purchased............$987.32
TOTAL Savings of...................................76.48%
TOTAL Savings without Rite-Aid...........53.87%

Value of items excluding Rite-Aid bought ones was $503.26.
Rite-Aid goods brought home totaled $484.06

This closes out the March food/toiletries spending.

THOUGHTS & COMMENTS for this month.....
I went into March wanting to do a $250-$300 food budget for the month.  I ended up staying under the low end of my goal.  This was surprising to come in under $250 as I figured I'd be somewhere between that and $300 spent in March.  But I did manage to eat down what was here a bit and didn't do a lot of stocking up besides.

Of course if you look at our Eating-Out Totals for March they are up while the food shopping totals are down.  The Eating Out is up more than the food shopping is down however since we had an expensive for us Birthday meal out in March and Hubs and I did a fair amount of lunch type eating out around Easter time as well as lunchtime cooking fatigue for myself some days where I got some fast food out(mostly Subway)which is something I usually don't do most months.  Eating Out totals got a bit pricey in March.  It's nothing we can't handle in our budget but might help to explain how I can spend so little on groceries.  Even so we spent way less than most Americans on Eating Out in March and way less than those same Americans for food shopping so I am good with what we spent.

The monthly food spending savings percentage went up by 3.13% in March to 76.48% compared to February's 73.35% savings average.
If you delete the items bought at Rite-Aid in March our savings percentage goes down to 53.87% which is still well above the 40% savings rate threshold I like to stay over.

While saving 3/4 on food every month is unsustainable it's nice to see and better yet is the over 50% percentage saved not including the bulk of the toiletries spending, so we got over 50% savings on food alone.

With 3 months accounted for, I have spent a total of $941.20 on food/toiletries so far in 2016 which averages out to $313.73 per month spent.  The average in February stood at $354.53 per month spent to that point in 2016 so we are down $40.80 spent per month from last month.  I can't believe I am still under $1K spend on food and toiletries with a quarter of the year behind us!  If all things go at this pace for the rest of the year we could end the year spending UNDER $4K for 2016.  We haven't been under $4K for the year in food/toiletries spending since 2011, back when there were lots of rebate offers and better coupons and I heavily into that sort of shopping.

It would be so nice to continue this less spending trend back down below $4K for the year.  Though I am not prepared to buy lesser foods and processed foods just to get my spending to that level but if I can get down there and still maintain the level of quality we enjoy now, all's the better.
It's still very early in the year so I am not getting my hopes up that this trend will continue, especially if certain events materialize later in the year which are planned(more on that later).

LOOKING AHEAD To April 2016.........
No College Boy visits this month and no Holiday spending should make for a low outlay in April for food/toiletries.
I will continue with my usual shopping ways in loss leaders or great deals which we can use.  I will try to empty some more freezer space and eat down from the pantry as well this month.
I am going to try for another $250 food/toiletries spending month in April.

If you have other ideas or guidelines you follow please leave a comment and share yours with us all.

*  How much did you spend on food/toiletries in March?
*  Do you track your yearly food spending?
*  What was your savings percentage buying on sale and/or with coupons vs. buying at regular retail price last month, if you track that sort of thing?
*  What are your methods for keeping your food spending in check?

Is anyone out there up for tracking expenditures and trying to spend less but still eat well?



  1. You did great on your totals. I think I have said that before.
    It seems as if it takes a while to see the fruits of your labors when you change your shopping style. OUr food costs seem to be going down but it is going to take a while to sort it. Going to the bread store is helping too.

  2. Wow you are amazing. I wish I could be you. We had such a busy month I don't want to look at my totals.

  3. WAIT A MINUTE... For all we know, you're going to go on a shopping spree and blame it all on April!

  4. I keep up with my totals, kind of. I keep rough totals but am always in the ball park, usually within 5 bucks if I track it to the penny. This has been a fantastic grocery month even with Son3 coming home for a few days of Spring Break. I had so much in the freezer and pantry that I was able to feed him w/o any additional grocery runs. (Very thankful for the frozen pan of pastichio and the frozen smoked pork butt, two of his favorites.)
    Hoping April will be similar. I still have several frozen meats left to use.

  5. I was below budget by almost $54.00. I transferred that overage to my HSA.

  6. We really blew our grocery budget last month so I'm back to tracking it more closely and we've banned ourselves from the corner shop (which is just at the end of the block) for April, so easy to overspend!


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