Couple Money

Keeping an Eye on Our Food Budget

food bills and budget

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Yesterday I mentioned in our monthly review that we really went over our food budget for the month. 

We use Mint to track our accounts and for January here was the total for food-related expenses -> $767.17.

As I was writing the review and looking at the numbers, I knew I'd have to cover how this happened.

When I told my husband how much it was, he seemed surprised as well.

I started by looking at all of the transactions with Mint since it pulls the data from all of our accounts. 

I'm happy to say a few of the charges were mislabeled, meaning our expenses were just a tad lower. However, we still had a big food bill balance.

Eating Out – Fast & Furious Edition

We did go out quite a bit with our friends and family last month. The dinners themselves weren't expensive; we just went out frequently and treat some of our loved a few times.

Taking someone out for dinner is fun for us, so we continue doing that, but not so close together. Perhaps we can try and schedule these meals as special events once or twice a month.

Our focus for February will be preparing meals and friends over – we've gotten a few more recipes under our belt that we'd like to try out with a small group.

Groceries- Failing to Plan Meant Planning to Fail (Budget-wise)

We made quite a few trips  (8 total) for groceries this month. The total for grocery shopping last month's grocery run came out to $454.55.

Most of the trips were to the Food Lion right around the corner, where I grabbed items as needed (plus a bit since I already there….). We did picked up some staples that we needed, but more often than not I didn't bring a grocery list.

The Costco trip was during the last weekend when we had a dear friend and several members of our family over to hang with us and see our baby girl. Instead of going out, we decided to eat in and have a family cook out dinner (good idea!). We grabbed food for the dinner plus a bit (bad idea!) That one trip set us back $158.80.

I think the lesson learned for us is to create a shopping list for all of our trips. Spur of the moment shopping lead to bloated buys and it upped our grocery bills quite a bit.

Thoughts on Your Family's Food Budget

I'd like to hear about your family's food budget and how you keep it under control. How did you do with your food spending last month? Did you stay within the budget or did you go over? What's your family's average for groceries each month? How much do you spend on eating out?

Photo Credit: Johnragai

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