A 2016 Grocery Audit

I ended December by going way over my monthly $240 grocery budget again. My December came in quite high at $325.52. Honestly? I didn’t shop the sales as much as I usually do. We were traveling and entertaining so I had certain things I needed to buy for all the baking I was doing. And then, I just didn’t want to worry about the budget anymore since I knew I was already over. Oh well. It’s a new month and a new year so it’s time to get back to my frugal grocery shopping!

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Last year, I wrote about the importance of doing a grocery audit and the new year is a perfect time to do so. Go here to read all about grocery audits and how to conduct one of your own. I find grocery audits very eye-opening and helpful.

Here’s how the year of 2016 looks in review. Keep in mind my grocery budget was $240 a month for the 4 of us. That budget includes food, toiletries, paper products and diapers.

  • January – $241.17
  • February – $224.87
  • March – $156.27
  • April – $209.89
  • May – $250.80 (Over)
  • June – $240.58
  • July – $238.31
  • August – $260.70 (used $20 of Ibotta earnings)
  • September – $358.01 (Over)
  • October – $219.62
  • November – $290.47 (of $300 budget from sponsored posts)
  • December – $325.52 (Over)

In 2016, I spent $3016.21 on groceries, which averages out to $251.35 a month. I had some higher months but in reflection, I did better than I thought I did with our grocery budget. Does your budget vary from month to month like mine seems to?

That said, I am going to raise our grocery budget this year, now that I have 2 little ones who love to eat. And I currently still have two in diapers. I’m going to raise my budget from $240 to $260 a month. This will still cover our food, diapers, toiletries and paper products. I could raise it a little more but I like a good challenge to save! Besides, we have a roof that we need to replace in just a matter of months. Since we are determined to pay cash for our roof, every little bit we can save goes towards that big housing purchase.

Meijer -$58.42 - 12/1/16

To give me a bit more wiggle room, I will do a couple more things. I’ll keep using Ibotta because anything I earn with Ibotta goes right back to my grocery budget. Now’s a great time to start using Ibotta if you aren’t already! Here’s more about how Ibotta works and why I love it. The same is true of anything I earn through any other coupon apps.

I’m also going to work at maximizing my Meijer Mperks and any rewards I earn go back towards my grocery budget too. (I need to write a blog post about Meijer soon since I already wrote one about how to save at Kroger!) I also use my Swagbucks earnings to get Amazon gift cards that I use for toiletry bargains on occasion from Amazon. All those earnings help give me a bit of wiggle room with my grocery budget. 

Are you raising your grocery budget this year? Or will you keep it the same? Do you have any grocery audit revelations of your own? Because these are my grocery audit thoughts. 🙂

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  1. Yes! Continue! I love seeing that and the deals you find. It inspires me in my own shopping, even if I can’t actually use it right now (I’m not the main grocery shopper currently, as I live with my parents).

    1. Thanks, Caitlyn! I’m so glad you enjoy reading the posts as much as I enjoy sharing them! 🙂 Look for the deals to continue this Friday!

  2. I love reading your grocery posts! So please keep doing them. It helps us to see that it’s ok when we struggle because we are not alone.

    1. Thanks, Rebecca, for the feedback. You are definitely not alone in the grocery budget struggles! 🙂 The feedback is all in favor of the posts continue so I look forward to sharing more grocery posts with you in the year to come!

  3. Yes please keep posting your grocery posts. I’ve had to lower my budget due to taking a different job. I really love Aldis when I get there. I include my kids vitamins/supplements in our budget. I think that eats up a large chunk. Kids Allegra/probiotics are spendy. I’m going to really try to keep it at what it’s at. We will see.

    1. Thanks, Jackie, for the comment. Aldi’s is a great store and I feel the same when I make it there. Vitamins are expensive! Hang in there and keep working on saving every where you can. You can do it! 🙂 The feedback is all in favor of the posts continue so I look forward to sharing more grocery posts with you in the year to come!

    1. Thanks, Amanda, for the comment! The feedback is all in favor of the posts continue so I look forward to sharing more grocery posts with you in the year to come!

  4. I really enjoy the grocery posts. I like seeing grocery shopping with a budget. Also, since you said you are hoping to eat more produce, I am even more interested in seeing what you purchase on a budget. I also eat on a budget, but our family eats way more fresh produce than a lot of budget blogs I look at (and I also spend more money as a result!) Anyway, eating really well on a budget is really interesting to me.

    1. Thanks, Sara, for the comment. I find eating on a budget fascinating as well, so I’m glad I’m not alone in that regard! 🙂 Produce is pricey, so here’s to saving in as many ways as we can to afford that produce. The feedback is all in favor of the posts continue so I look forward to sharing more grocery posts with you in the year to come!

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