As you might guess there are a few things that might not be included in our grocery budget. And in the interest of full disclosure in case anyone is comparing or competing (which you SHOULD NOT be doing) I thought I'd list those items out. And really because I am keeping records and want to have a good comparison from year to year this will help me in future years.
What is NOT in the grocery budget 2010
*toiletries or paper goods
*seeds or tomato plants
*Cola soda used for late night trips home from gigs (but any other soda, including root beer is)
*Chocolate stash (but baking chocolate, chips, etc are)
*Gift baskets of food for Great-Grandparents
To explain a few of these...
We visited my grandparents over Christmas this year. I'm so fortunate that I still have all four grandparents and they are all pretty healthy, still living in their own homes! My oldest grandfather just turned 90 and my youngest grandmother is 83. They are hard to buy for as they have what they want and do not like a lot of clutter. I decided to fill a big grocery bag of baking items for them for Christmas. I bought things like chocolate chips, flour, sugar, and spent about $30 total on both families by watching sales and getting good deals. I included that in our gift giving budget, not in our grocery budget. Other food gifts like the truffles I made the neighbors and granola I gave to friends were made with food from our regular groceries.
We have a serious chocolate problem in this house. We love it to much. So after Christmas I stock up big time on 50% or 75% off name brand candy that I won't buy otherwise. I think I spent about $50 or so last year...yikes. But it lasted all yearn, made my husband happy and is not included in our grocery budget.
Once a month Mike plays a gig that lasts late into the night and then he has to drive over an hour to get home. He does this on Friday and then Saturday night on the weekend he plays. In order to stay awake he drinks 1-3 cans of cola on the way home each of the two nights. As we never drink this otherwise I consider it a business cost, not a grocery budget cost. We rarely drink soda other than an occasional root beer but any other soda bought is put into the grocery budget.
And as for the rest...our budget is just for food. If I buy something else at the grocery store it gets subtracted out and put into a different category. Canning supplies and plants/seeds maybe should be counted, but I never have before so for now I'm going to keep going how I've done it. If we get to a point where we are raising a very large percentage of our own food then I'll probably start including them, but not for now!