Since I can't seem to get my food spending under control, or under $800 a month, I thought it was time to look at it in more detail.
From my latest credit card statement, 7/26-8/24:
7 trips to local supermarket. Items bought were almost exclusively limited to raw fruits & vegetables, raw meats & poultry, milk, Cheerios, yogurts, cold cuts, Luna bars, orange juice, olive oil, sardines, mayonnaise, goat cheese, eggs, bread, frozen spinach, a box of Triscuits, canned tuna on sale, and cottage cheese. When I say "almost exclusively" I mean I am not counting a few rolls of toilet paper. I don't buy many processed foods, I eat reasonable portions, and rarely have dessert. I don't buy chips or pretzels or other such snacks. I'm actually very well-behaved in terms of my diet!
The supermarket bills totaled about $165. Is my local supermarket the cheapest place to buy all these things? The steaks and lamb chops, for instance, were around $13-14 a pound because I haven't found cheaper cuts that I like-- yes, I'm a meat snob. Apples were $1.29 a pound. Yogurts $1.19 each. Is this really expensive? Well, I have no idea. I live in New York, where 90% of the time, you go to the supermarket that is the closest to walk to, whether or not it's the cheapest. I have one equidistant supermarket that is probably cheaper for many things, but that is the one where everything comes in family packs, so any savings would be erased by wastage. And who knows, if my apartment started to reek of rotting food, my landlord might evict me and then I would have to pay more rent and what kind of bargain would that be?
Then there are 3 receipts from what I'll term "upscale gourmet grocery retailers" such as Whole Foods, a.k.a. Whole Paycheck. These only totaled about $33, for a couple nights' worth of fish, a roasted chicken, and some more vegetables, salad and plums. (The PLUOT was this summer's new obsession.)
Then I have one $20 Chinese takeout, $40 for food at a basketball game, and 3 restaurant meals (for two) at $68, $46, and $83. Finally, there was about $75 worth of wine, which I think was 6 bottles.
These were all my credit card expenses for food, which already bring me to about $455. All the rest was cash, for breakfast and lunch, mainly. I was actually trying to be better this month about bringing food from home for those meals-- did I succeed? (To be continued...)
Saturday, September 10, 2005
Posted at 8:18 PM