Wednesday, February 15, 2012

USDA Food Budget

Every once in a while, I like to wander over to the USDA website and see what they think the cost of groceries is running for a family of 6, with children the same ages as ours. In December of 2010, their thriftiest plan cost an average of $875 per month. One year later, that same plan costs $924 per month. This is about a 6% increase from a year before, which agrees with what the Consumer Price Index says. Not as bad as I felt like it has been. I would have offhand guessed it was closer to 10%, but groceries in my local area may have been different. Groceries are relatively expensive here.

So then I went to a couple of different cost-of-living calculators to see what the grocery costs were in Portland, OR compare to Savannah, GA. I was very surprised to discover that grocery costs in Savannah are supposedly 13% less here! I would have definitely not been surprised if it had said 13% more, but 13% less???!?!?!!

Produce is so obviously more here. Packaged goods to me seem about the same. Perhaps it's just that Winco in the Portland area had particularly good pricing? Here I mostly shop at the local grocery store. Walmart is a less expensive alternative, but usually their produce is nowhere as good as Kroger. Their packaged goods are definitely a little cheaper, but I am buying fewer and fewer packaged items.

Anyway... I just find it all a bit perplexing, and I long for a Winco...

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