My total grocery cost is not far off my target of $100, but the extras threw me right out to almost double my target. Had we needed to, we could have made the $100 work. In my calculations I included all food used, not what was purchased. I think I ended up spending about $54 at the grocery stores during this week because I try to go to the shops as least as possible (thereby avoiding the impulse buys). I estimate I will need to grocery shop by about Wednesday this week with a major shop, and I had bought most of my supplies the Wednesday before the challenge (spending about $130).
There were items in my total that were given to us (i.e. the bananas) or that I would not have bought if I were planning on a budgeting challenge (i.e. the avocado or the ice cream) but some items in these categories needed to be used, so it was better to eat and include the items than waste and exclude them for the sake of this challenge. As a household we have very little food wastage (normally only if the leftovers get forgotten).
Also a lot of the items are part of a larger quantity - spices, flours, oil, spreads, etc so these do not get purchased regularly and the full expense of the item is very infrequent, so $3 here or $2 there is less noticeable - and most of these expenses were estimates based on the cost and how often I buy them. For most spices the ones I have are up to 3 years old (and probably less pungent) so I would not normally factor the cost of these into a dish.
The 8 pizzas we made on Sunday night would normally feed the 4 of us for 4 meals, so if you count that instead of the takeaway Thursday and Saturday and still a leftover for Monday (which we have) the actual grocery cost could be accurate for us as a family.
I have learned a lot from this little experiment. How about you?