Or a secondary title I considered was…Reasons To Stop Cooking with Cheese
Feeling great about your finances? Feeling like you are finally getting things under control?
If the answer is yes, then it is time to calculate your monthly expenditure on groceries.
Not feeling so good anymore, are you.
The Shocking Truth of What We Spend on Groceries
There are two lines items we have failed to put into our spending plan:
This way I could live in the delusional world that we really didn’t spend that much…probably about $1000 a month for groceries for a family of five was my estimation. Gas was variable so we just approximate a week by week amount (more on that in another post).
Groceries has always been a bit of a sore subject with me. I think because I know some super frugal people who can stretch a dollar like no one’s business. They make things from scratch, cook simple meals that their family likes and know how to work the grocery stores. I admire them immensely and wish I had that skill because saving money is a skill. It is also a religion that your entire family needs to buy into. If they don’t, you can preach your faith as much as you want, they’ll just be sabotaging you with the sin of deceit (sneaking things into the cart).
Finally getting fed up of seeing money disappearing faster than it should be and watching our emergency fund go up painfully slowly, I decided it was time to get a better handle on our expenses of gas and groceries.
So, what do we spend on groceries?
$1500 a month.
I preferred avoidance.
A Short Sulk
Whenever I get bad money news, I immediately go into the money sulk. Granted working on healing my relationship with money, these episodes are getting shorter. This was no exception. Once my sulk was done, I decided that it was time to figure out how we compared to our fellow Canadians.
The Average Canadian
For a deep question, who is the average Canadian? I imagine it is a middle-aged woman with a family of five and two dogs with existential questions and a yearning to write a thought-provoking blog post (the woman, not the two dogs).
From my extensive Google research, the average Canadian spends between $200 to $350 per month on groceries not including eating out, cleaning supplies, toiletries, toilet paper, etc. We spend $1500 on everything including cleaning supplies, toiletries and toilet paper…everything you can buy at Costco and your average grocery store was included. Our last bill from Costco had potting soil on it. Yum! This does not include eating out as we really don’t eat out very often.
I started to feel better.
Forces That Work Against Me
I feel especially better since I have a few complications that challenge our grocery bill:
- I have a family with a vast difference in eating tastes. On one side, I have the vegan, and on the other, I have a self-identified carnivore. No matter how you slice it when you have different food requirements, it gets more expensive…especially when we’re talking cashew nuts and any kind of meat.
- I am feeding 5 adults essentially. No small children half portions here. Think of vacuuming the food from your fridge down into a black hole.
- Inability for me to cook from scratch for everything and a lack of desire. I know I could save myself a lot of money making vegan cheese from scratch, but do I want to?
- No Trader Joe’s in Canada for those $1 can refried beans. Nope, luxury beans here in Canada costing $3 to $4…have you ever heard those two words together…luxury beans?
- A family-wide peanut butter addiction….not natural healthy peanut butter…full on Squirrel…both crunchy and creamy. We don’t hoard TP. We hoard PB.
The biggest problem in my view is eating. If we could just stop that we’d save some money. Intermittent fasting is started to look more attractive.
Failing that, it helps to know that we’re on the lower end of “normal” and not wasteful. What a relief. I will have to come to terms with our expenditure on groceries and am potentially considering a challenge for my family….whatever we save on groceries every month can go towards a new dishwasher. I think I’ll get some serious consideration, but not enough to let the PB go…,,maybe a downgrade from cashews to almonds.
Whew! This financial independence thing is a real challenge. Constant examining. Enough personal growth already. Changing my blog to be all about watching paint dry. I could call it…Accepting Pain.
Look for next week’s post on a few grocery-shopping strategies I employ. Not that I am one to talk after the above, but I shudder in horror at what we could spend if I didn’t employ little strategy.
This Week’s Financial Plan
|Emergency Fund (Up $174.03)||$2523.48||$6000|
* Monthly car insurance/property tax
|||Current Debt||Total Paid|
|Debt (Starting $21,803.49)|
* Minimum payment of $95. Interest rate dropped!
|Savings Rate (April 2020)||7%||58.8 years|
|Groceries For May||– Next Week||$1500|