Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Food & Toiletries Spending.....December Update & YEARLY Grand Totals

Onward to December's food spending report & closing out the 2013 Totals.....

Here are my FOOD BUDGET spending totals for DECEMBER 2013.

I have posted December's totals on the Total Grocery Savings for 2013 Page located HERE and have updated the Yearly Totals there.
I am listing subtotals for each store I purchased from in December.  If you aren't interested in that much detail, just skip to the bottom for the Totals Summary.

My spending includes Food, Toiletries/HBA, Pet Supplies, Cleaning Products, Paper Goods & tax where applicable. We are a family of 5(3 at home this month)& 1 dog. No kids under 17.

MAINE SOURCE(restaurant supply store)
OOP  $21.69
Value  $30.87
Savings  39.74%

OOP  $4.19
Qs/Ads/+Ups  $360.58
Value  $364.77
Savings  98.85%
SHURSAVE STORES(small local independent affiliated stores)
OOP  $68.08
Qs/Ads  $54.17
Value  $122.25
Savings  44.31%

OOP  $39.92
Qs/Ads  $8.00
Value  $67.08
Savings  40.50%

OOP  $151.23
Qs/Ads  $130.57
Value  $281.80
Savings  46.33%

I am no longer adding my rebates received into my food budget directly. I will use them on food on occasion and will note that when used.  I will keep track of rebates/gift cards/certs received here as before however.

TOTAL Value of Cash/Store Checks/Gift Card Rebates Received...$0.00

1 x Free Coke 12 pack Q from MyCokeRewards

My best 3 Store Savings Totals were Rite-Aid at 98.85%, Weis at 46.33% and the Shursave Market at 44.31%.  My WORST savings rate was 39.74% so I think I did exceptionally well in December on the value of what I got!
I shopped at 5 different stores this past month.

TOTAL Out of Pocket........$285.11
TOTAL Coupons & Store Sales Savings...$581.66
TOTAL Value of Items Purchased............$866.77
TOTAL Savings of...................................67.10%

This closes out the December food/toiletries spending.

THOUGHTS & COMMENTS for this month.....

I went into December wanting to cut my food/toiletries budget by $100, to $300 budgeted for ALL purchases, to make up for overspending in November by about $120.
I met that challenge.
Go me! 8-))

In December, total savings percentage for the year has gone UP 6.32% over November's year-to-date total of 60.78%, to 67.10%. 

If you add my November and December food spending together it comes to $867.89, which makes my monthly average $433.95 for those 2 months.  I am still over my $400 goal per month for Nov./Dec. but I got close.

As you can see my Savings Rate in December remained high, partly because of my Rite-Aid shopping.
Without the Rite-Aid totals added in, my December Savings Rate is 44.04%.  Achieving a savings rate in the 40's is what I strive for.  Add in Rite-Aid totals and my overall Savings Rate hits  67.10%.
We kept the food spending under $300 this month but still splurged on Prime Rib Roast for Christmas dinner(plus fresh seafood on Dec. 23rd) and ate very well otherwise all of December. 

So what is my secret to spending so little on groceries and toiletries?

I chalk this up to.....

* I buy loss leaders.

* I use a smallish assortment of coupons(to buy things I would have bought anyway).

* I use a price book, tracking to stock up when groceries where at their rock bottom price in the sales cycle.  I never pay full price for anything that will eventually go on sale....ok, maybe not never but very infrequently.

* I buy items on instant markdown and substitute them for other ingredients that are more expensive that week(or keeping those marked down goods for later in the freezer).

* I cook from scratch a good deal of the time, because it makes sense and I have to watch what I eat and have to keep my sodium intake low.

* I buy in season whenever possible.

* I have started to cook/serve/eat less food at meals so we have little to no food waste.  Sometimes I purposely cook more than we are going to eat for planned leftovers.

This is NOT to say that I don't follow/do all this all the time.  I do splurge and pay more for some things occasionally or just don't bother due to boredom or lack of energy, etc. or make mistakes.  But more often than not, these are my guidelines and how I keep more money in our pocket.

If you have other ideas or guidelines you follow please leave a comment and share yours with us all.
Here is the run down of the Grand Totals for my Food & Toiletries Spending for 2013--
2013 Total Saved $4,008.31

2013 Yearly Total Value of Items  $8,569.13

2013 Yearly Total Spent $4,560.82

2013 Yearly Savings Total of  46.77%

Yes, I saved almost HALF of what I would have spent if I just ran to the store and bought whatever/whenever I felt like buying by thinking ahead and exercising some restraint over my behavior.
The average monthly food/toiletries spending this year was $380.07.  We kept our food/toiletries spending average BELOW $400 per month in 2013.
How much did you spend on food in December?
Do you track your yearly food spending....if so how did you do this year?


  1. Thanks you to your incessant questioning, I am going to keep up with January's food purchases! I either forget or misplace the receipts. From now on, I will keep receipts in a peanut butter jar, one in the car and another in the house. Otherwise, I drop receipts, they fall off a table, get crunched in my purse. I am hopeless at this with house a wreck and trying to sit down as soon as possible, not even wanting to walk the receipts to an easily accessible place. I figure is I take them out of my purse or pocket and put them in one of the jars, I will be more able to find them!

    One person I know said she tapes receipts in a spiral notebook. That is a lot of tape, taping, and untaping!

    I thought about a small pouch with a zipper for my purse.

    Where/how do you keep up with receipts, sluggy? Maybe that is a post unto itself?

    1. Linda,
      I put them in my purse when I get them and usually, as soon as I get into the house, I put them into the cover of my spending notebook(just a spiral bound school notebook picked up after school starts for .10¢ or so on clearance). Once a week I take the notebook out and list each receipt....each one gets a row with columns marked "Store name", "OOP spent", "retail value", "price saved using sales/qs". Then I subtotal the week and if I have multiple weeks I also bring the monthly total forward so I can know each week how much I've spent and how much room I still have in the food budget.
      Jars or any other system will work, you just have to make it a habit....that's the hardest part. ;-)

  2. $4500 for the year in food/toiletries? You are my hero. I'm hoping to stay below $7200 for the year. I just may be able to do it with one more child leaving the nest for college!

  3. I was rather stunned when I tallied up our spending for December. I won't detail it, but it was a lot more than usual. Then I remembered that my baked gift supplies were in the grocery total as well as the increased food needed for the extra man we had at our house for 5 weeks. LOL! I won't complain too much. And our total grocery bill for the year was lower than that for 2012 AND lower than 2011! So, it is all good.

  4. Good Golly Miss Molly! You really rocked it! I went into December with my head down .... and never looked up. We host both Thanksgiving and Christmas and I knew Dec would be hopeless. I will jump back on track tomorrow!

    About half of the year we are a family of 3 adults the other half there are only 2 of us. My problem is going to the store too often. That along with my trying to cover any possibility of someone wanting something and it not being available. I bought a butt load of stuff in anticipation of any whim that anyone might have during Christmas. I have got to stop that!

    I really admire your Rite-Aid shopping. While we don't use many of the things in their ads I know that there are items that I could buy and pass on to people who need them. My weakness is marked down items. I have a horrible time resisting things that are on clearance and because I am not afraid of out of code items I have way too much stuff! The amount of stockpiled stuff around here truly is embarrassing.

    I tried a much simpler tracking system for the few months that I was successful in tracking our spending. I keep a steno pad in my purse and simply wrote down the date, store and amount spent. While this method doesn't take into account the percentage saved it does record frequency and number of visits along with the amount spent.The biggest problem with it is that this method only works if you actually do it! LOL Oh well, December is over .... 2013 was a horrible year in so many ways. Good riddance! Here comes 2014! I feel like it is full of promise. Happy New Year to you!

  5. You inspire me to drink......no to do better with my bills! Love ya.


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