Friday 27 October 2006

Frugal living: Watch out for shopping trolley junk

While clipping petrol discount coupons off my "weekly" shopping dockets I decided to analyze my spending based on the dockets sitting in my wallet. Generally I just put the total amounts into Quicken, and track the total spent on "groceries" against my budget. But I realised that this doesn't really tell me WHAT I'm spending my grocery shopping budget on. I knew that I buy the odd snack/junk food or drink items, but I was shocked to find out exactly how much money I was wasting on these items:
Analysis of my last 8 shopping dockets:
Total spend $351.86
Avg. spend per trip $ 43.98

Category Amount % of total
Household cleaning/laundry $20.07 5.70 %
Basic foodstuffs $190.06 54.02 %
Snack/Junk foods $50.78 14.43 %
Snack/Junk beverages $48.74 13.85 %
Medicines $10.82 3.08 %
Baby care $29.10 8.27 %
Toys/gifts $2.29 0.65 %
The first thing that jumps out is that I'm shopping way too often (I tend to drop in to the supermarket nearly every second day while I'm collecting my mail from my post office box - this is NOT a good habit. I really should stick to one major shopping trip each week, and only get items that are on my shopping list).

The second thing is that spending 28% of the total on junk foods and drinks is ridiculous! I'm the one in our household that eats and drinks most of this junk, so I've no reason not to just eliminate this completely. This would save me around $2,500 a year AND be much better for my health. I think I'll add a new target to my blog - spend less than 5% of my grocery shopping on snack/junk food and drink.


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