Sunday, January 1, 2017

2016 Food & Toiletries Spending.....December Update & FINAL Tally

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

Here are my FOOD BUDGET spending totals for DECEMBER 2016.

I have posted December'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 November.  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 5(5 at home this month). No kids under 20.

* I actually bought a pie at Walmart but didn't want to do a whole category for 1 item so I tucked the cost of the pie under Weis spending.*


OOP  $35.62
Value  $70.07
Savings  49.00 %

OOP  $13.75
Value  $47.77
Savings  71.22%

OOP  $2.00
Value  $4.98
Savings  59.84%

OOP  $0.00
Qs/Ads/PPs  $433.33
Value  $433.33
Savings  100%

OOP  $33.88
Qs/Ads $35.59
Value  $69.47
Savings  51.23%

OOP  $324.99
Qs/Ads  $350.27
Value  $675.26
Savings  51.87%

My best 3 Store Savings Totals were Rite-Aid at 100%, the Bread Outlet at 71.22% and Dollar Tree at 59.84%.  My WORST savings rate was Boyer's Market at 49%.  If 49% savings is my worst rate then things went really well in December.  ;-)
I shopped at 6 different stores this past month. *And the pie at Walmart would make it 7 stores.*

TOTAL Out of Pocket..........$410.24
TOTAL Coupons & Store Sales Savings...$890.64
TOTAL Value of Items Purchased............$1300.88
TOTAL Savings of ..................................68.46%
TOTAL Savings w/o Rite-Aid of ..............52.71%

This closes out the December food/toiletries spending.

THOUGHTS & COMMENTS for this month.....
I went into December wanting to spend no income on the food budget.
Here is the break down of my food budget for December utilizing cash/rebates and gift cards I had--

Gift Cards.....$64.36
Cash Rebates--
Rolled Coins...$103.00
Other Cash(post coupons)...$42.00

Total.....$444.39 for food in December.

I actually spent $410.24.
Here is what I have left of cash and chits....

A Giant market $25 gift card and $9.15 in cash from various rebates. With Hubs' accident I just didn't get a chance to get to a Giant store(it's half an hour away)in December.
I'm going to tuck that $9 into my wallet for emergency cash and throw the .15¢ into the change jar to start the ball rolling with rolled coins. 8-)

The monthly food spending savings percentage went UP by .44% in December to 68.46% compared to November's 68.02% savings average.

I think I did an ok job sticking to this grocery challenge, considering the events of December. ;-)

With 12 months accounted for, I have spent a Grand Total of $4,696.81 on food/toiletries in 2016 which averages out to $391.40 per month spent in 2016.

If you count the $410.21 I spent in gift cards and cash rebates/rolled coins/post coupon cash into my total for the year the actual spending comes to $5,107.05 for 2016, or $425.59 per month.
Still mighty good for a total feeding between 2-5 people(most of the year it was 4-5 people).
That's $425.59 per month for all food, toiletries, paper goods and HBA for the year for the entire household.  The only category not counted in this category is Eating out/Take-out.

LOOKING AHEAD To 2017........

I sat down and did a breakdown of food spending-before the kids moved in/after the kids moved in.
The 5 months of Jan-May vs. the 7 months of June-Dec.
The average per month food spending Jan-May was $298.91, feeding 2-3 adults.
The average per month food spending June-Dec was $516.07, feeding 4-5 adults.

While in my head, before figuring the math out on this issue, I thought the June-Dec spending was way out of control.  But looking at the actual numbers for it all, even with the higher spending June-Dec we were averaging around $100 per person per month, just like the numbers tell us we were doing Jan-May.

So things were not as dire the last half of 2016 as I had talked myself into believing they were.

So where do we go from here into the Great Unknown of 2017--
Nobody is moving out or taking on more of the food spending costs in 2017.  Hubs and I will still be feeding everyone under our roof(with a few exceptions that are already in place).  Therefore I don't foresee our food expenditures going down substantially and I certainly don't want them going up!
Our food spending will be higher in 2017 than in 2016 as we weren't feeding 4-5 adults for the whole year then.  I am not going to kid myself into thinking I'll be able to lower this spending category under $500 per month, which is $6,000 for the whole year.

I may be able to do a bit better on the spending by addressing the food waste area.  We had increased food waste once the kids moved in, as they don't eat many leftovers, leading to more food spending.  I will need to tighten up amounts that are cooked to reduce leftovers.  This is a double edged sword though because Hubs and I like having leftovers and a night off from cooking now and again lightens the workload on me.
What to do, what to do?
Having someone else cook 1 night a week hasn't worked out very satisfactorily for me in 2016.
And if everyone else here had their druthers we'd be ordering in and eating a heck of a lot more processed foods, which would blow our budget out of the water as well as our waistlines(for those of us who HAVE waistlines).
I am thinking of instituting a simpler meal plan for 2017.  Easier meals, basic meals with only involved dishes every now and again.  Part of that will be to rely on my crock pots a bit more than I do now.

All that being said, I am setting a $6K food budget for 2017.
I will continue to shop how I do now-buying loss leaders, at rock bottom price at whatever food purveyor I can scope out, utilizing coupons when applicable and perhaps growing a bit more of our own food this Summer.


TOTAL Out of Pocket..........$5,107.05
TOTAL Coupons & Store Sales Savings...$8,937.28
TOTAL Value of Items Purchased............$13,634.09
TOTAL Savings of ..................................62.54%

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 December?
*  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 have inspired me to track my food purchases for the year. the only wild card is TheHub and his recreational stop at Publix on his way home from work. Maybe if I nag him enough for his receipts it will become less fun.

    1. I hear ya on getting the DH to hand over receipts. Hubs gets $400 a month for WAM(walking around money). I tried and tried to get him to get receipts and account for what was spent/where. It just resulted in cross words. I don't even try anymore. 8-(

  2. I am going to post about this very subject shortly and boy do I need help! :-(

  3. $100/person per month=$300/month food budget. Restaurant meals are tallied separately. Grocry spending doesn't include pet costs or vitamins but includes food, h & BA, paper goods, cleaning products.

  4. In our quest to eat well, I have found that simpler always wins. So my menu plans are boring but simple and nutritious. Good luck with your goals this year.


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