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Friday, January 18, 2008

Food Budget

I just completed entering in the final information for last year's expenses. We have kept detailed records of our cash flow for a couple of years, but last year was the first year where we kept records from January through December. It's interesting that when you start keeping track of what you spend, your spending goes down!

Looking over the year's summary of where our money went to, I was pretty surprised to see our spending for food. The total amount we spent at the grocery store for the year was $1845. That is $153.75 a month. This amount fed my husband, myself, our 3 1/2 year old son who can eat more pizza than I can, and and our 2 year old daughter who has a decent appetite as well. I also checked on our eating out expenses since eating out effects how many groceries we buy. The total amount we spent on food originating from a restaurant came to $442 dollars for the year, or about $37 a month. That number was a little bit higher than I would have liked to see, but my husband reminded me that with his job as an associate pastor there are going to be dining expenses. A number of his meetings are held at restaurants. Also, since the amount for dining accounted for over 80% of our total entertainment and vacation spending, it is really not that bad.

So I was overall happy with the numbers for our food expenses. I feel that part of my responsibilities of home management include cooking healthy, tasty, and well bananced meals for our family, and I try to do that as economically as possible to help our family achieve our financial goals. I try to buy as little prepackaged food as possible and cook a lot from scratch.

I am hoping that as we continue to expand our garden, raise some of our own meat, and as I build up my canning skills, our grocery bills will reflect our efforts.

If you visit back next week, I will try to have a link where you can download my recipes. (I will also probably post a recipe wish list!)


sugarcreekfarm said...

Wow, I'm impressed! I'd like to see a typical weekly menu, if you don't mind sharing it.

The Beginning Farmer's Wife said...

I would be happy to share a weekly menu. I'll include that in my next post with the menu link. I'll warn you though, left overs are included. :)

Walter Jeffries said...

*grin* You sound like me. I keep track of everything. It really helps with planning from a business to a food budget to animal husbandry and genetics. Last year I did two posts about food for a week and kitchenwares for a week. Part of it was homeschooling, part was thinking about things as we move into our tiny cottage.


Sugar Mtn Farm
in Vermont

The Beginning Farmer's Wife said...

Walter -
I agree, keeping records really helps. We started keeping track just out of curiosity, but the information we have gotten is so valuable now that we are trying to get into farming and are looking at moving to the country. It really helps us with knowing what we can afford and what we can cut to help meet our goals. Thanks also for the links to your food posts. The photo project sounds like it was really interesting.

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