Periodically, I go OCD on my groceries. Totally true. I haven’t done it for a few years, but it seems like now is a great time to get a better handle on what we’re eating and buying. Some of us (ahem) could stand to lose a few pounds, and we all need to eat a bit healthier.
I can post the template if anyone is interested, but I set up a simple workbook in Excel- the first tab has 6 columns:
- Amount of item purchased
- Purchase Price
The second tab has a quick pivot table that sums up my items- a row for each month, a column for each category, with a running total for each month at the end of the rows. The intersecting cells tell me how much I spent on any one category in any given month.
One, this helps me see trends (oops, we spent how much on cookies?)
Two, this helps me do a cost analysis- we recently quit ordering from the local produce co-op. I can see how much more I spend shopping at the store than ordering baskets from them.
Three, this will help me in garden planning- If I see that we ate 10 pounds of carrots in January, I know it’s worth my time to fill empty garden boxes with carrot seeds in the Fall, to use them in the Winter.
Four, this becomes my go-to price book for cost comparision between stores- if Fred Meyer has a sale on oranges, and I’ve purchased them at Costco in the past, I can see how the sale price stacks up against the bulk wholesaler’s regular price and decide if it’s worth my kitchen space to stock up now during the sale.
At the end of each month I’ll be posting my totals here. We eat well, and plentifully, but the food is rather plain and homespun. I cook most of our food myself. I’m not all that concerned with buying organic produce, but I do try and purchase in season and local. We eat very little meat.