Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February Challenge: Tracking Food Costs

I like 30 day challenges for many things: writing, exercising, eating. So here's a 30 day financial challenge (or less as February is a short month) I'm going to give a shot.

The idea here is that as I talked a little about before I'm expecting to drop down to a single income here in 2012. In preparation for that I've been doing a whole lot of things. But one of those is refining my budget, and especially as it pertains to one particular cost: food. Right now I eat out. A lot. Maybe not a lot for the typical American, but a lot for someone who's trying to pay off debt and save money.

So for January I had two food budget items: out to eat and groceries. Come single income days, my out to eat will be drastically reduced. And the grocery bill will have to take a bit of a hit too. But it will be all the harder since I won't have the out to eat money I'm spending now helping me stretch my grocery dollars. My future grocery spending needs to be about $400 to feed two people for all but one meal a week. So that's about $13 per day, or $6.50 per person per day.

This is not wholly unreasonable. Many folks don't spend anywhere near this. I do live in a higher cost of living area where (inexplicably) groceries seem to cost a little more, as does everything else. For January I just kept a grocery budget and we stuck with it just fine. But for February I'm challenging myself to break out my daily food costs. I'm going to look my grocery and figure out how much each item I ate that day cost me. Should help me to eliminate the unnecessarily expensive foods in favor of tasty but affordable options. Here's to cheaper eating!

(Photo from Shorts and Longs)

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