I bet you’re not surprised by me being transparent about yet another thing that is usually kept private. I feel like it’s important for me to share these numbers with the people that want to see them because I am noticing a major inconsistency with health and how much we spend on our food as a culture.
It wasn’t that long ago that humans spent over 80% of their income on food. It was the way things were back then and it made total sense. It takes a LOT of time and effort to raise an animal, slaughter it and package it up for the masses. It’s no wonder bone broth was a thing before it was a thing! Plants are also in the category of food that takes time to produce. Think about all the weather conditions and rodents destroying things that it takes a long time to make!
The industrialization of edible food-like substances made it easier for everyone to afford calories. But that’s just it, they were CALORIES and not necessarily nutrients. Obviously a lot of good came out of this, but it really left a lot of us confused about what we should eat and even worse, the price of meat and vegetables had to go DOWN to keep up with demand which caused a whole other problem that I cant even tap the surface of at this time.
Anyway, long story short … my life is food. I eat it every day, it’s my passion, it’s my lively hood and it has changed me over and over.
I spend a lot of money on food.
I used to be ashamed of this for 2 reasons. One being that I feel like sometimes I am looked at under the “must be nice” lens of society when I throw around expensive products I’m trying and getting grass-fed meat delivery services and pasture raised eggs etc. At one point, I actually blunted what I was sharing with the world so I could feel like I was fitting in better with those who couldn’t afford it and/or chose not to make it a priority.
I will say I can completely sympathize with those who want to buy better quality food and can’t afford it. It took me years of hard work to get to this point that nobody ever saw and I am grateful for it. To everyone else? It IS nice. I prioritize taking care of me and my husband through food and we budget accordingly and I am no longer ashamed to continue the process.
The other reason I was ashamed was because I read a LOT of grocery budget reports from bloggers and talked to friends about it and they were somehow able to spend A LOT less than I was feeding MORE than 2 people. Hearing what they spent made me feel like I was just blowing money and not being a responsible adult.
When I dug deeper into what they spend the money on, it made more sense. For instance, $350 for a family of 4 a month was mostly spent on many boxes of pasta, cheese, flour, sugar, pretzels, rice, beans and higher carb and sugar dense foods with no concern on better quality meat. Honestly, I am really happy that this works for them and my friends that can get away with it!
We’re all different and should be celebrated as such!
So here I am celebrating what I choose to be important to me which may be shocking to a lot of people. Keep in mind we do not have any kids and both work full time jobs plus some. Even though I spend a lot, it doesn’t mean I SHOULD be spending a lot. For instance, my husband is a gas station and subway snack junkie. I’ve tried to control it for 5 years and I really just cant. I needed to accept it and find other ways to move forward. I also think we can do a little better about not eating out so much. Once a week is what I’d like to strive for but a lot of little un-needed fast casual restaurant trips sneak through. I also found an app that helps me feel a little better about my grocery shopping, the app is Beyobee, it reminds you to bring your own shopping bags when you go shopping, not only am I helping to save the environment a little by reusing carrier bags but I’m also saving money by not paying for new carrier bags each time I buy something from the store, I know it’s only a little but it all helps.
Grocery Budget Report | January-March 2018
Prior to deciding to post in this series, I went back and calculated what we spent on food and dining out for the first 3 months of 2018. I will do more detailed reports starting in April of 2018.
- In January, Mike and I did a Whole30 Reset together which kept us from going out to eat a lot even though we did visit a few places. Most of our money was spent on actual good quality groceries.
- In February we went on vacation for a week visiting family. We split up our trip between NYC and Denver which made for PLENTY of dining out experiences. Sometimes that is the only option and we had to roll with it! You can see that our spending flip flopped in January and February. February was also a short month.
- In March I signed up for butcher box bi-monthly which set our grocery spending over the edge a bit. As of writing this post, I have paused it until July as I am anticipating a cheaper source of meat to last us the next month or 2.
January Grocery Budget Report
- Grocery Spending: $760.35
- Dining Out Spending: $117.54
- Total Spent on Food: $877.89
Feburary Grocery Budget Report
- Grocery Spending: $355.35
- Dining Out Spending: $391.37
- Total Spent on Food: $746.72
March Grocery Budget Report
- Grocery Spending: $713.22
- Dining Out Spending: $261.20
- Total Spent on Food: $974.42
Total spent on food for 3 months: $2599.03 or $867/mo
These grocery budget report totals contain most supplements and most household goods such as toilet paper, paper towels, soap, shampoo, cleaning supplies etc. It’s honesty just easier to count them in as grocery spending so I will continue to!
I’d love to hear your thoughts, tips, and anything else you can contribute to the grocery spending conversation in the comments!
Thyme and JOY is a parnter with the Whole30 Approved program. For more information about the Whole30 reset and Personal chef services in charleston check out these links: