Friday, January 29, 2010

2009 Food Expense

How much do you actually eat? We spent $6,253 on food and dining in 2009. This averages to about $520 per month. Not too bad but it could be better.

The following breakdown is how we spent it:

$4,400 on Groceries (Grand Mart, Costco, Giant, Shoppers were the main places we shop)

Almost $1,100 on Restaurants (IHOP, Glory Days, XO Taste, Sichuan Village, Tian China... this is mostly with friends and family. We probably can do better by cooking at home and inviting people over. We actually didn't eat out that much in big restaurants. There were about 25 transactions averaging about $40 per meal).

$760 on Fast Food including coffee shop (Biggest culprits: McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy's, Pizza Hut, Arby's, Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, Subway. We had over 100 transactions in this category which means every time we spent 5-7 bucks here and there... and going out almost twice a week.)

If we can control our french fry habit we can save about $65 a month.

If we can control our Sichuan Village, XO habit, IHOP, Tian Chinese habit, we can save about $90/month

That brings our food budget to around $400-450, we can save: almost $155/month.

This savings ($155/month), using our previous calculator for FUTURE VALUE over 30 years at 10% would be: almost $340,000.

I know, $155 a month doesn't sound like a lot, but in 30 years that's enough to buy a house. That's not chump change.

So, What can a budget do for you?


  1. This is a big area for me to work on too. I spend a lot more in restaurants than I really need to... if only I didn't crave restaurant food. ;)

    Came across this article and thought it was an interesting way to look at expenses/budgeting.

  2. Thanks for the link, enjanerd. I've actually done similar things when calculating purchases... using my after tax dollars/hour to decide how many hours it would take me to pay for something.

    As for the food budget, I think many people have this same area of weakness. It comes with how much extra time you have to cook, how healthy you want to eat, how much you want to spend, etc. etc.

    Glad you are enjoying the blog!