Friday, March 23, 2007

USDA food expenditures

The USDA posts every month, January 2007, the average cost of food that should be spent per family or single based on 4 different spending levels. The levels are thrifty, low-cost, moderate, and liberal spending plans. The USDA assumes all food is purchased at the store and prepared at home.

A couple between 20-50 for the 4 different levels should be spending $318, $401, $495, $620. I'm glad to say that we are easily a the low-cost level. We probably this month will hit the thrifty level because we're eating out a bit and we're also eating a lot out of the pantry.

I've noticed that we probably spend between $300-$400/month on food at home, however this does not include eating out. I've also noticed like this month, we're currently at $120 thus far for groceries, $212 for eating out. Which is double what we spent last month and the month's not over. So I'm guessing that's part of the reason.

I am going to try tracking our eating habits and see if I can't consistently keep it under $400, which is hard because we include things like toiletries, cleaning supplies, pet supplies, in that number. Mainly because we shop at costco so segregating out the items is tough. Because of that I feel that we're doing a pretty good job.

I'm also trying to use coupons so we'll see how that works out.

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