Thrifty food plan, redux

The recent discussion of budgeting and how we’re dealing with rising prices inspired me to revisit my experiment of trying to stick to the thrifty food plan for a month.  This gives us a budget of $501 a month.  (Note that this is different from the Food Stamp Challenge which asked politicians to live for a month on the average monthly benefit of about $90 a person a month.  The average benefit is significantly lower than the maximum benefit, because most Food Stamp recipients have earnings, and their benefits are reduced as a result — they’re not really expected to feed themselves with only their Food Stamps.)

As before, I’m only looking at actual expenditures, not trying to allocate a cost to the food that’s in our pantries and fridge as we begin.  That said, we were totally out of milk this morning.

T stopped at Trader Joe’s this afternoon, and our first grocery bill for the month comes in at $21.53, including two gallons of milk at $3.69 each, pizza dough and sausage for pizza later in the week, "Sir Strawberry Juice" and a couple of odds and ends.  By contrast, 3 years ago when we did this before, on the first day we paid $2.45 and $3.05 for two gallons of milk (at Costco, but still…).

update: for another view of inflation, check out this NY Times graphic (via Visualizing Economics).  Shows you both where the average consumer spends the most money, and what’s getting more expensive (and what isn’t).

2 Responses to “Thrifty food plan, redux”

  1. landismom Says:

    Wow, I think landisdad is really frugal when it comes to grocery shopping–he always goes instead of me, because I am the ultimate impulse shopper–but there is no way that we are feeding our family on $501 a month. Even before I factor in $tarbucks.

  2. Laura Says:

    Well, I’ve already blown it. I spent over $200. Of course, I tried to buy food for a week and a half, we have kids’ birthdays (both) this week, and inlaws coming in from out of town. Normally, I try to stick to $100/week. Add in a pizza order and one meal out and we’re up to close to $200 most weeks, I’m guessing, just that we don’t usually do it all at once.

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