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By the numbers – Past and Present

PAST

A few thoughts about last year’s numbers surrounding The Great Purge.

My first thought is – how in the world does our household of five compare to the ‘average’ household?             Do others keep track of expenses like this?  Is our spending reasonable?

I compared our spending to a chart published by the USDA that shows prices by person, by age based on a low-budget to liberal spending allowance.  According to this chart, we are living a moderate spending allowance on food.

Considering that we eat out less than once a week for dinner and my husband works from home so we eat out for lunch one or two days a week only – and my kids pack their lunches to school — I’m going to call this chart unrealistic.  (but interested in your opinions!)

Based on last year’s numbers: we spend about $1225 a month of all food (groceries and eating out).  

By week, we spend about $280 per week.

I’m interested if there are other ‘numbers’ people out there who track their expenses to this detail.  Real peers who can share with me if what I’m spending is reasonable.

PRESENT

Since the start of the year, we have spent $143.82 on groceries and $131.55 eating out.

That’s from January 1st through January 9th.

But, during those 10 days, we have eaten the equivalent of 150 meals = 5 people x 3 meals per day x 10 days.

So $275.37 / 150 meals = $1.84 per person / per meal

NOT BAD!

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Posted by on January 14, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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By The Numbers

Running through my head, clouding my brain, the numbers…..

It’s part of what I do.  I guess it’s why I majored in accounting.

I just can’t get away from the numbers.  But, I know that not everyone gets them and/or cares about them.

But, for those of use who NEED them – I will be simultaneously sharing the numbers story behind The Great Purge.

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Starting with the big picture, I track expenses on a software program.  All debit and credit card purchases are categorized into spending areas.  So, if I bought a coffee or a beer with cash – there is no record.  But, I hardly carry cash because I like to know where my money goes.

I divide food expenses into two categories in our household:  Dining Out and Groceries.  Groceries includes all alcohol purchases from a store or growler fills (more on that in a later post).  It doesn’t include household items like cleaning supplies, personal hygiene and toilet paper.  Dining out is purely what it says.

Here are the numbers from the highest level over the past two years:

2011 – Total Food $14,579.13 for the year; $4,110.28 in dining out and $10,468.85 in groceries

2012 – Total Food $14,660.23 for the year; $4,457.07 in dining out and $10,203.16 in groceries

We’ll break those numbers down further in future posts.

Right now, two questions: 1) do you know what you spend and 2) should you care.

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Support Our Troops

I was sharing with my husband my frustration of the constant trips to the grocery store.  As school has resumed, I find myself returning to a grocery store every four days.  Honestly, four days is the LONGEST that I can go without a trip for groceries.

We are constantly out of something.  Right now it is milk.

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Yesterday it was bread.

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And we are running low on fresh fruits and vegetables — it was slim pickings for packed lunches this morning.

But, really, how could that be.  I was just there.  Went in for bread and spent $40 and I’m still out of food.

It is a constant battle.

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My husband is retired Army.  He spent 20 years as a supply officer in the Army National Guard.  He has shared with me that he always enjoyed his position because is was never just an exercise.  Infantry – they are exercising or practicing what they would do in combat.  But supply – Food, Fuel and Ammunition – his responsibilities were never practice.  The soldiers weren’t pretending to eat or drive vehicles.  And they might be using blanks, but they still needed rounds of ammunition for their exercises.

So today, when I was venting my frustration, he shared a more detailed story.  When he was deployed to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, they were on a 3-day ration cycle.  Every three days, he sent soldiers to the main supply warehouse to get 3 days worth of rations.  He recalled losing track of what day or date it was during his deployment.  Time was measured by ‘day of rations’ — today is Day 3 of rations.

And I guess that is how I feel.  You may remember my post from summer when I only knew what day it was because we were eating waffles – and we eat waffles on Wednesdays.  So, it must be Wednesday. I guess yesterday at our household was Day 4 of Rations.  Today I return to the grocery to gather rations for the next four days for my troops.

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What Have I Learned: I’m a supply officer – I feed the troops!

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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