Soup Cost Analysis


ARRRGH! Food shopping is driving me nuts. I have yet to attain my goal of $50 or less a week for groceries. I’m beginning to think that I’ll need to go back to school and get a masters in food shopping so I can wrangle the dang grocery list into submission. Seriously! We went out shopping Tuesday and I about passed out when the final tally rang up and we didn’t get a lot of frivolous things!

Yeah, I’m in a bummer mood because we’re cutting down on the food spendage by not eating out and making our own lunches yet it feels like our food money is being stored in a colander. Grrr. We’ve even started doing the big Friday breakfast at home instead of going to the Bomber so I was feeling kinda money saving righteous and then BAMN! Tuesday hit. So, in order to cheer me up or depress me more, I did a cost analysis of the Minestrone soup I made the night before.

Do you know what? That’s a lot harder than it sounds. In the beginning I thought, “Well, I used a bag of freezer veggies ($1), a can of corn ($0.59), a can of beans ($0.99) and a can of diced tomatoes ($1.50) so add that all up, divide by 11 (My soup goes to 11!) and..oh I forgot the pasta. OK, add another $1.50 except I only used half the noodles so…uhhhh…huh. Do I count just what I added or the price for buying the noodles because Kroger won’t let you waltz in and get half a box o’ noodles. Hmmm.” I thought a bit and decided to go with just the cost of the dish so half a box of noodles it was.

Except…I make my own stock which I also used in the soup so then I had to remember what all went into the stock and price that out and spices? Good golly, do you know how long I’ve had my one pound thing of cayenne pepper? I think it’s moved with me four times so I have NO idea how much I paid for it way back when. And how much is one hoofa of pepper? Should I just estimate $0.50 for all the spices? Krazy! I think finally, after adding and subtracting and dividing and doing a little kitchen math I came out with $0.82 per tupper of soup. That’d less than a dollar for about 12 ounces of soup which is pretty darned good. Can you even get a cup of soup for a dollar anywhere?

I’m a little mollified about the food thing having realized that making your own stuff is really cost awesome but still. That grocery bill has got to be wrangled in. I’m toying with the idea of keeping a record of everything to figure out where the food $$ goes so I can cut it off at the pass. I think this might mean some cracker jack (yum) planning and more math though. Ugh. Math.


2008: Doing chicken math and not updating.

2007: Ummm…yeah. Updating. Didn’t do much of it last week because…ahhh…I can’t even think up a good excuse.

2006: Freezer math today.

2005: Food math is hard.

2004: I don’t think I have to say much more (well, maybe Auto-erotic-asphyxiation because: HEE!).

2003: I discovered a few neat things along the way though, like the singular of Amici is Amicus and it’s always italicized. Except on those occasions when it’s not. I haven’t really figured the hard and fast rule for that yet, but mostly the phrase is in italics.

3 Responses to “Soup Cost Analysis”

  1. Kevin Says:

    …yeah, the food money thing can be tricky. I had to do up lists & scrutinize receipts, and so on. A dozen sandwiches costs me 24 pieces of bread, but the largest loaves I can find are of 20 (etc). Some things turn out cheaper than you expect, and others more expensive.

    It’s an art, not a science. But I expect you’ll find your way there. You’re arty….

  2. Sean K. Says:

    Last year I did an analysis of how much we were spending on groceries, as we went over budget a lot of the time. I basically created a spreadsheet in which the columns were the name of the item, the quantity or number of units bought in a shopping trip, the price per unit, extended price (a calculated field), which store the purchase was made at, and the date of purchase. Then I had a cell off to the side somewhere that kept a running total. A couple times a week I entered whatever new receipts I had, item-by-item, and watched the total. I did a separate sheet for each month (we budget monthly). It was certainly helpful, especially to compare different months.

  3. boo Says:

    Hee. Food arty. I think I am going to see if I can’t make the month of March the wrangle the food month.

    Sean! That’s almost exactly what I’ve been toying with doing; food matrix! I’ll have to take a peek at your food sheet when we zoom in for ConBust, see if it’s like the one I plan to create this weekend when I go shopping.

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