2006 Grocery spending up 13%
I actually started to actively reduce my grocery spending in August of 2003, and it still cost us more than $7000 for groceries and personal care items for a family of four that year! After I refined my shopping strategy through increased use of coupons, sale prices, and stockpiling, I was able to reduce our 2004 grocery spending by about $2000 followed by an additional reduction of about $300 in 2005.
Our 2006 grocery spending bucked the downward trend of the previous two years as it increased by roughly 13% (~$650). While I have attributed some of this increase to grocery price inflation, we also have increased grocery spending by choosing to purchase more organic and "natural" grains, produce, meats, and dairy items. I believe that such a dramatic increase in spending will not continue to be the trend moving forward though, as I don't expect to make any major changes in spending habits in 2007.