Saturday, January 1, 2011
A Year of Receipts
At the beginning of January 2010 I was reading a lot of blogs about saving money on groceries.
To be honest, I really didn't know how much we were spending on our "budget" of food - we bought, we ate, we bought some more.
I'm not the best shopper - I don't have menus planned for the week. It's a work in progress - and so a year ago I decided at the very least, I needed to know how much we were spending.
And so - I fanatically began collecting receipts. I was very diligent (read as neurotic) and I think at times I may have been mistaken as a crazy paper hoarder if you saw in my purse...but would say that 98% of the shopping trips were collected.
With a years worth of data in front of me...I began the analysis...and this is what I've learned.
1. Unless I immediately attack my husband upon his return from the store, the receipt will forever be lost.
2. The numbers are not fully accurate - it doesn't include eating out, it doesn't include the 25% of a cow that we bought, it does include random household items (air filters, dog food, toilet paper, medications) and it does not include school lunches.
3. I made an average of 5.25 trips to the store per month. (There must have been killer stock-up sales in March - I had 11 receipts!)
4. I spent an average of $279 per month.
5. Now I can really compare prices especially for bulk items.
And the final lesson....Surely, I can do better.
Add that to my resolution list!