Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Pointless Analysis

First of all - Hello and welcome to the new year at TS! We hope you had a great 2009 and are looking forward to all the neat stuff that is sure to happen in 2010; two trips to Denver in February, a trip to Portugal, continuing to learn fun languages like French, Hungarian, Portuguese, and English, and hopefully a new job on a new continent (or at least a new state, with mountains, and skiing, and a bunch of friends that are already there...) Anyway, on with the show!

As promised, be prepared for the most in-depth look at my grocery spending that you never wanted.

A couple notes:
1.) This is my grocery spending only. It does not include restaurants, convenience stores, bars, or the ten bucks the mall charged to let me sit on Santa's lap. Basically this is all the money I spent at Safeway and AJ's in 2009 (Safeway ~95%, AJ's <5%). Yes, I still have all the receipts. No, I'm not going to scan each of the in individually. You are welcome by anytime to peruse them.

2.) Some people have expressed surprise that I spend <$200 a month. Partially, I imagine, due to my reputation to spend that much a week on beer. That might have been true of 2007 or 2008 me, but 2009 me bought beer from the store on perhaps 4 occasions. '09 Me opted for the $7 bottle of Vitali vodka and whatever chaser/mixer might be lying around the apartment (mustard, relish, and mayo qualify as chasers; soy sauce, cottage cheese, and Girl Scout cookies-Thin Mints count as mixers). What can I say, it was a fun year? I finished grad school?

So, onto the numbers and summaries! (raw data here)

On the year I spent $1,902.73 and saved $919.22. May and December were the only months I spent more than $200 (see graph below). Sunday was far and away the busiest day with 20 visits and $530 spent followed by Friday at 11/$331 and Saturday 10/$280. Woah, cue suspenseful music - I do my shopping on the weekend. Something interesting though, the most expensive average trip was Thursday when I spent an average of $32 compared to the cheapest average trip day, Tuesday, which usually cost $18. On the year I made 4 trips on Tuesday and 7 on Thursday. On average I save 33% of the total bill, but on Wednesdays that number jumps to 40% and on Thursdays it falls to 21%. Why? I have NO IDEA. The weekly sales at Safeway roll over on Wednesday, so it would make sense that I would save MORE on Wednesday and Thursday because I'm going for some sweet deals. The only reason I can think of the disparity is that when I shop on Wednesday it's to take advantage of some great deals the first day being offered (and likely stocking up again on Sunday), but shopping on Thursday is necessity shopping, getting items I HAVE to have (milk, flour, crackers, fruits, and veggies) whether they're on sale or not, so the savings takes a hit.

How about a sweet table and sweetier graphs? (*edit - is there a giant gap here? I can't seem to get rid of it...)

# of Shopping TripsAvg Monthly SpendingAvg Monthly SavingAvg Spent/tripAvg Saved/trip