According to a report by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the average family of two on what they call a "thrifty" food plan spent $375.40 on groceries during November 2012.
My husband and I were once spending as much as $400 a month on groceries even though we were only budgeting $250 a month for food. That all changed when we decided to make some huge lifestyle changes. These were changes I had put off for a lot of reasons including because I thought we couldn't afford to "diet." However, after doing the math I learned we could save around $60 a month by simply reducing the number of sodas we drink each week, and cooking smaller food portions each meal.
Despite all the savings, there are still some foods that I think are worth splurging on. Here are three food products I splurge on, and what they cost me.
I know what you are thinking; cheese isn't a diet friendly food. While that is true, but I refuse to deny myself something I like to eat, so cheese remains on my menu. I have made some changes to the type of cheese I will eat, and that is why I splurge when I buy it. Before we started our diet, I would purchase any cheese that was on sale at our local grocery store. Now, we only buy all natural cheeses. Right now we are paying around $7 for a pack of cheese, which is around $4 more than we were paying for the same amount of the other brand cheese. I estimate we are spending a total of $168 a year on cheese alone.
Everyone knows that bread is usually a big no-no for someone who is dieting; however, my husband found a brand of potato bread that only has 35 calories per slice. The new brand costs $3 a loaf, which is $1.50 more than our old brand. We buy bread once a week, so we are spending around $156 a year on this splurge.
I've always been a huge fan of milk, but whole milk is extremely high in calories, so I switched to almond milk. Almond milk has around 50 fewer calories per cup than whole milk, but it also costs more. We used to buy a gallon of whole milk for $4 at our local big-box store, and now we pay $4 for a half-gallon of almond milk. We're spending around $192 a year on milk now, which is double the amount we used to spend for whole milk.
All told, we are spending $516 on these food splurges. That is around $43 a month, which is nearly a fifth of our total grocery budget.
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