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A closer look at your grocery bill

(Flikr/Albright) (Flikr/Albright)
(FOX19) -

How much do you really spend on groceries? A local father decided to get to the bottom of his grocery bill, but it wasn’t easy.  

The dad, Brian James, knew his family of five made about four major trips to the grocery a month, plus several trips in between for things like milk and bread. So he estimated how much that cost him, and then found out he was off by a lot.

"I was off by a full 50 percent for an annual basis," he said.

It was enough to make him wonder exactly what his family was eating that was costing so much.

“That’s when I realized we’ve been using our Kroger Plus card for years and they know exactly everything we buy and when we buy it. I decided to see if they would help me out by sending me the data," James said.

It was as simple as calling the Kroger Plus customer service line and asking for the information. It took about five minutes for the 568-page document to land in his inbox

It took James several hours to compile a comprehensive spreadsheet of everything his family ate that year, which included 151 packages of cheese, a lot of milk, and pre-packaged foods.

Starting with the pre-packages foods like granola bars that James and his wife now stock up on when they see a sale…

Another option, for those items his family needs routinely like toothpaste and paper towels, James said he's exploring Amazon's Subscribe and Save program.

So while he knows he dug a bit deeper into the data than most would, he now has answers that could save his family hundreds, even thousands of dollars in the long run.

"It all had to come down to finding what are the biggest things that we spend money on. Could find lots of little things, but certain things will move the needle and certain things won’t," James said.

He even broke down his family’s grocery spending on a monthly basis, so he could figure out which months his family typically spent the most, and look for ways they could cut back a bit during those times.

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