Is it just me, or have groceries seemed to have increased in price over the past six months or so? For a very, very long time, I managed to keep our weekly grocery budget to an average of $150 a week. Sometimes it was more, sometimes it was less, but this was the number it hovered around. For the past couple of months, my average seems to have increased to $200 a week. This does not make me happy, and I can't quite figure out why. Is it grocery prices? Am I buying more food? Am I buying more expensive food?
I don't think I'm buying significantly more food than in the past, and I know in general I'm not buying more expensive food. When I do, and the grocery bill is higher, then it makes sense. For instance, if we splurge and have some salmon one night for dinner, then it makes sense when that week's bill is higher. But we don't have salmon every week; once every couple of months would be far more accurate. This is also with having at least one, if not two, meatless meals each week.
Could it really be that I am feeding two new people regularly? I'm not sure I buy this because my older people are in and out and feeding 11 people regularly is not a new phenomenon. Whatever it is, it is not making me happy. It also made me wonder how much it actually costs to feed each person per meal, so I did some math. Using this past week's grocery trip as an example here are my numbers.
A. Number of meals for this shopping trip: 25
B. Snacks times/tea times: 6
Total meals provided: 31
C. Number of people for each meal: 11
D. Number of people for each snack/tea time: 10
So multiply out, the total number of individual meals/snack times/tea times = (AxC) + (BxD)=335
The average amount spent per person, per meal (dividing the total number of meals by my week's grocery total of $200) = $1.66 *** see below
This still seems high to me. I have some dinners that when I do the math, cost a mere $0.54 per person. Granted this is one of my most inexpensive meals to make, so it is on the extreme end. Food would be fairly dull and monotonous if I keep it this low for every meal. Maybe I just haven't been good about making sure at least one or two of our weekly are of the more budget variety. I think I will experiment next week when I make the new menu.
I'm curious. Do your own math. How do my numbers compare to yours? Am I being completely unrealistic? Do I have to give up the days when I spent $200 less per month as I used to?
***Edited to add... OK, this whole post has now turned into one of the math exercises of spotting the mistake. As a kind reader pointed out, my math is wrong. (Imagine that. Sarcasm emoticon) I should have divided the meals by the money, not the money by the meals. This gives me a much more respectable $0.60 per person, per meal.