House Grocery Spending

July 18th, 2023
food, house
I was curious what our food spending looked like, so I tried to get a picture of what this has looked like over the past year. We have a good idea of our total spending: we buy most groceries on a house credit card so we can split it fairly, and if someone accidentally buys groceries on a personal card (or vice versa) we are pretty good about fixing it in the spreadsheet. This comes to $15,875 for 99 person months, or $160/person/month. On the other hand, three of the people are children, currently 9y, 7y, and 2y, so it's probably more useful to count them as two people, which means 87 person months, and $182/person/month.

Of the 87 person months, 12 were vegan, 15 were vegetarian, and 18 were vegetarian-leaning. Since it's easier to cook a meal with fewer dishes, however, vegan and vegetarian food was more common than you would get by dividing person months.

These spending totals don't include any spending on restaurants, but with the exception of Jeff's work providing lunch, and the older kids getting school lunch, this isn't something anyone in the house does much of.

The bulk of this, $140 of $182 (79%) is via grocery delivery, which means it ought to be possible to see exactly how we spent the money. Unfortunately, Instacart does not seem to have a nice export feature, but I wrote some code to parse manual copies from the order history. Here's our monthly per-person grocery delivery spending by area with an attempt at a taxonomy:

  • Protein $51.39
    • Dairy $29.39
      • Cheese $10.63
        • Cheddar $3.96
        • Mozzarella $2.21
        • Parmesan $1.84
        • Fresh Mozzarella $1.32
        • Cream Cheese $0.57
        • Mexican Cheese $0.37
        • Feta $0.20
        • Ricotta $0.16
      • Milk $7.01
      • Butter $3.67
      • Fake Dairy $2.91
        • Soy Milk $2.04
        • Fake Cheese $0.59
          • Fake Mozzarella $0.42
          • Fake Mexican Cheese $0.09
          • Fake Cheddar $0.09
        • Fake Butter $0.19
        • Fake Sour Cream $0.09
      • Heavy Cream $2.49
      • Sour Cream $1.51
      • Greek Yoghurt $1.17
    • Meat $14.01
      • Fake Meat $8.53
        • Fake Sausages $5.07
        • Tofu $2.24
        • Fake Meatballs $0.57
        • Fake Burgers $0.26
        • Fake Chicken Nuggets $0.13
        • Fake Crab Cakes $0.10
        • Fake Chicken $0.09
        • Fake Pork $0.07
      • Salmon $2.99
      • Chicken $1.11
        • Chicken Legs $0.49
        • Chicken Nuggets $0.27
        • Chicken Thighs $0.25
        • Chicken Breast $0.10
      • Pork $0.79
        • Italian Sausage $0.34
        • Pepperoni $0.31
        • Pork Ribs $0.14
      • Beef $0.42
        • Ground Beef $0.28
        • Meatballs $0.07
        • Hot Dogs $0.06
      • Sausages $0.17
    • Eggs $4.28
    • Beans $3.71
      • Black Beans $2.06
      • Refried Beans $0.47
      • Cannellini Beans $0.46
      • Chickpeas $0.38
      • Kidney Beans $0.26
      • Great Northern Beans $0.09
  • Produce $24.40
    • Fruit $13.88
      • Berries $5.26
        • Raspberries $3.04
        • Blueberries $0.98
        • Cranberries $0.21
        • Strawberries $0.15
      • Citrus $2.32
        • Clementines $1.06
        • Oranges $0.60
        • Limes $0.32
        • Grapefruit $0.17
        • Lemons $0.16
      • Apples $1.90
      • Stone Fruit $1.67
        • Plums $0.91
        • Peaches $0.49
        • Nectarines $0.15
        • Prunes $0.12
      • Tropical Fruit $1.37
        • Bananas $0.68
        • Mangoes $0.52
        • Pineapple $0.18
      • Grapes $0.75
      • Raisins $0.42
      • Watermelon $0.09
      • Bananass $0.08
    • Vegetables $10.52
      • Nightshades $3.53
        • Tomatoes $2.23
        • Peppers $1.21
        • Eggplant $0.07
        • Hot Peppers $0.03
      • Leaves $2.38
        • Baby Spinach $1.10
        • Spinach $0.67
        • Parsley $0.20
        • Swiss Chard $0.10
        • Spring Mix $0.10
        • Salad $0.09
        • Kale $0.06
        • Spinach and Kale $0.06
      • Broccoli $0.73
      • Olives $0.61
      • Sweet Peas $0.48
      • Basil $0.45
      • Corn $0.33
      • Green Beans $0.23
      • Peas $0.23
      • Avocados $0.20
      • Cauliflower $0.15
      • Cabbage $0.15
      • Scallions $0.12
      • Carrots $0.09
      • Artichokes $0.09
      • Edamame $0.09
      • Avocado $0.07
      • Baby Carrots $0.07
      • Sweet Potato $0.06
      • Shallots $0.05
      • Chinese Eggplant $0.05
      • Cilantro $0.04
      • Celery $0.03
      • Cucumbers $0.02
  • Starch $22.04
    • Pasta $6.19
      • Short Pasta $3.72
        • Farfalle $0.90
        • Rotini $0.71
        • Shells $0.56
        • Elbows $0.56
        • Gemelli $0.49
        • Radiatore $0.28
        • Campanelle $0.12
        • Rigatoni $0.11
      • Noncentral Pasta $1.80
        • Rice Noodles $1.11
        • Gnocchi $0.26
        • Lasagna Noodles $0.15
        • Egg Noodles $0.12
        • Ramen Noodles $0.09
        • Cauliflower Gnocchi $0.09
      • Long Pasta $0.40
        • Linguine $0.12
        • Thin Spaghetti $0.11
        • Spaghetti $0.11
        • Angel Hair $0.07
      • Cheese Ravioli $0.26
    • Cereal $5.42
      • Bran Flakes $2.35
      • Cheerios $1.60
      • Wheat Chex $0.91
      • Steel Cut Oats $0.46
      • Corn Chex $0.10
    • Baking $4.38
      • Flour $1.35
      • Sweeteners $1.13
        • Sugar $0.68
        • Molasses $0.14
        • Brown Sugar $0.11
        • Powdered Sugar $0.09
        • Light Corn Syrup $0.06
        • Stevia $0.05
      • Vanilla $1.12
      • Cocoa Powder $0.28
      • Baking Powder $0.15
      • Cream of Tartar $0.09
      • Corn Starch $0.07
      • Corn Meal $0.07
      • Food Coloring $0.06
      • Parchment Paper $0.06
    • Bread $2.79
      • Whole Wheat Bread $1.24
      • Pita Bread $0.48
      • Bagels $0.40
      • Sourdough $0.36
      • Bagles $0.14
      • Baguette $0.13
      • Hot Dog Rolls $0.03
      • Hamburger Rolls $0.02
    • Tortillas $1.98
      • Flour Tortillas $0.59
      • Corn Tortillas $0.23
    • Rice $0.60
    • Spring Roll Wrappers $0.36
    • Potatoes $0.22
    • Quinoa $0.09
  • Cooking $18.08
    • Condiments $6.58
      • Nut Butters $3.21
        • Peanut Butter $1.58
        • Nutella $0.57
        • Hummus $0.55
        • Almond Butter $0.52
      • Spicy $1.28
        • Salsa $0.73
        • Chili Oil $0.11
        • Salsa Verde $0.10
        • Enchilada Sauce $0.08
        • Curry Paste $0.07
        • Chili Crisp $0.07
        • Hot Sauce $0.06
        • Chili Sauce $0.05
      • Tomato Sauce $0.53
      • Honey $0.52
      • Guacamole $0.31
      • Kimchi $0.31
      • Pesto $0.16
      • Mayonnaise $0.09
      • BBQ Sauce $0.09
      • Jam $0.06
      • Ketchup $0.03
    • Onions $2.07
    • Prepared $1.23
      • Samasas $0.64
      • Vegetable Dumplings $0.39
      • Chicken Dumplings $0.20
    • Soymilk $1.23
    • Coconut Cream $1.07
    • Garlic $0.84
    • Spices $0.78
      • Salt $0.21
      • Garlic Powder $0.13
      • Old Bay $0.09
      • Dried Basil $0.08
      • Cumin $0.07
      • Ground Mustard $0.05
      • Chil Powder $0.05
      • Red Pepper $0.05
      • Oregano $0.02
      • Bay $0.02
    • Coconut Milk $0.67
    • Canola $0.57
    • Olive Oil $0.49
    • Soy Sauce $0.45
    • Lemon Juice $0.45
    • Lime Juice $0.36
    • Peanut Oil $0.24
    • Falafel Mix $0.24
    • Cooking Wine $0.20
    • Rice Vinegar $0.18
    • Ginger Paste $0.13
    • Mint $0.12
    • Vegetable Broth $0.10
    • Capers $0.08
  • Other $11.23
    • Cleaning $6.86
      • Toilet Paper $2.25
      • Dishwasher Detergent $2.06
      • Tissues $1.19
      • Paper Towels $0.68
      • Trash Bags $0.46
      • Laundry Detergent $0.10
      • Rinse Aid $0.07
      • Bleach $0.05
    • Alcohol $1.68
      • Hard Cider $1.16
      • Ale $0.27
      • Beer $0.26
    • Cups $0.73
    • Beverages $0.57
      • Fizzy Water $0.25
      • Apple Cider $0.10
      • Coffee $0.10
      • Eggnog $0.07
      • Black Tea $0.04
    • Medical $0.53
      • Covid Test $0.41
      • Cough Drops $0.07
      • Isopropyl Alcohol $0.06
    • Quart Bags $0.22
    • Disposable Plates $0.19
    • Gallon Bags $0.18
    • Freezer Bags $0.12
    • Ice $0.10
    • Snack Bags $0.06
  • Dessert $8.66
    • Chocolate $3.78
    • Ice Cream $2.06
    • Chocolate Croissants $0.69
    • Popsicles $0.58
    • Cookie Dough $0.51
    • Ice Cream Cones $0.32
    • Oreos $0.20
    • Peanut Butter Cups $0.17
    • Pastry Shells $0.15
    • Pie Crusts $0.09
    • Sobetto $0.07
    • Marshmallows $0.05
  • Snacks $4.08
    • Peanut Butter Pretzels $1.03
    • Crackers $0.99
      • Triscuits $0.38
      • Cheezits $0.25
      • Graham Crackers $0.17
      • Water Crackers $0.10
      • Ritz Crackers $0.08
    • Chips $0.61
      • Tortilla Chips $0.56
      • Pita Chips $0.05
    • Peanuts $0.40
    • Pickles $0.36
    • Jackfruit $0.23
    • Pretzel Sticks $0.18
    • Almond Butter Pretzels $0.12
    • Seaweed $0.07
    • Waffle Pretzels $0.05
    • Popcorn $0.04

I've allocated the taxes, delivery fees, and tip (28% total) across items in proportion to their cost, which isn't quite right since taxes aren't constant, but it's pretty close.

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