Our grocery budget is currently under the microscope. We are moving into yet another season of budget tightening due to several factors – the largest being that my income from this blog has rapidly decreased over the the last 12 months. This isn’t a bad thing necessarily – I felt myself getting too lax in the budgeting/spending department as my income rose – so now it’s time to get serious and start being a better steward of our finances. I have done it before and I know I can do it again.
As my kids grow, so does their appetite, and as I mentioned in my “how I’m saving money on snacks” post, I am having to buy a lot more food. And while we fly through both fruit and snacks at an alarming rate, we fly through milk at an even MORE alarming rate. Case in point: I purchased 3 gallons of milk on Saturday night and just over 3 days later we have already consumed 2 of them!! (We are a family of 4.) And while we definitely have room to improve in the milk-wasting department, I’m not sure that I’m to the point where I want to limit the amount of milk that my kids are drinking. That’s not saying that I won’t get to that point eventually…
I share all of this not only to lament our rapid milk consumption but to share how much I am spending on milk each week/month. You see – ever since my girls were old enough to drink milk I have been purchasing organic milk for them. They occasionally drink “regular” milk, but for the most part they only drink organic at home. I have shopped around and finally determined that the best price for a gallon of organic milk (near me) can be had at Whole Foods or Giant Eagle. And since Giant Eagle is not out of my way I usually end up there.
So how much am I spending on milk? Every week I have been purchasing 3 gallons of organic milk at $5.89 per gallon. That is $17.67 per week, for a monthly average of $76.57. That’s over $900 per year! (How much does a cow cost??) To someone who used to spend only $100/week on both groceries and household items, this seems insane to me!
Where do I go from here? I’m not really sure yet. Today I purchased 3 regular gallons at $2.50/ea. If I were to switch over to regular milk entirely I would lower my monthly average to $32.50 – a pretty big savings ($44.07/mo saved). Another option would be to purchase 1 gallon of organic and 2 of regular. That would lower my monthly average to $47.19 – still a pretty big savings ($29.38/mo saved).
What are your thoughts? How much milk do you purchase and do you have any strategies for saving? Or are you willing to spend more to buy organic? Have you found organic milk for less? Or is buying regular (non-organic) milk good enough for you?