How much do you spend on groceries?


#1

I’ve been trying to find ways to trim down our grocery bill—it basically runs over $400 each month and that just seems an awful lot for 2 people. :eek: DH and I both bring our lunches to work—I use the little frozen Michelina lunches that are $1 each and we buy big boxes/bags of snack foods and redistribute them into little snack bags which I found helps a lot. :thumbsup: One thing I’ve been needing to cut off the list is the bottled water—we could both just use water bottles at work. Oh and we have two dogs who are picky eaters and prefer canned food. :shrug: I’ve gotten to where we only spend about $8 a week on that, though.

However there are some things that I just find it hard to save on. Laundry detergent is one…I’ve started using less on loads, so that has helped a little. Meat is another hard one. Oh, and contact lenses solution (not that I buy it a lot) are kinda pricey if you use the Alcon brand. Actually there are a decent amount of stuff that falls into the hard to save money on designation. Milk, cheese, butter…:confused:

So how much do you spend each month on groceries? What are some of the changes that really helped your grocery budget? :slight_smile:


#2

I spend way too much for one person, so am trying to do similar things. I bought a small freezer last summer and that has been helpful. I buy hamburger or chicken when it is on sale. I’ve been trying to make more from scratch meals and bring to work (easier said than done for me, though.)

I buy cheese and butter on sale and freeze them (I did that even before I bought a freezer.) Milk is a tough one - only tip I know is to check into dry milk (not everyone likes the taste, though.)

I spend between $15-$40 a week on groceries depending on what is on sale, but I’d like to get that down.


#3

Are you a member at a wholesale club? (Costco, Sams, BJ’s, etc)…
Dog food, bottled water, frozen foods, Laundry detergent… time to start buying in BULK!

We love Costco… actually consumer reports ranks a lot of their Kirkland brand products as very good buys (like the laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent, etc)…
Milk is usually around $1 cheaper at Costco too!

Maybe worth looking into?!


#4

I looked into joining Sam’s, but it’s something around $50/year to join. Did you find that your savings far exceeded that? I do most of our grocery shopping at Walmart, so I didn’t find the prices were that much better.


#5

Yup! Well worth the cost of joining!
Just think about the milk alone… if you’re saving ~$1 a week on that… it’s paid for! :thumbsup:


#6

Hi. Right now, I am shopping for myself, hubby, German Shepherd puppy and two kitty cats. We budget ourselves to $80/week max for shopping, and sometimes are able to only spend between $50 and $60/week. We have to buy our puppy can food too, but only a little amount is mixed into his dry cereal, so that does not cost too much, especially when we buy the cheapest cans since he only likes it for “flavoring.”

Basically, what I do is sit down on Monday mornings and browse the sales papers. From that, I try to think of meals I can make with those sale items and then consult my cookbooks. Then, I make a list of the meals for the week and the ingredients needed for that. I also use coupons! Trust me, coupons can save you lots of money!

So the only advice I can really offer is to try to plan meals based on the sale items at your local grocery stores and use coupons whenever possible.

Eggs, milk, butter, fruits, vegetables, etc. are becoming more and more pricey, aren’t they??? After my husband’s time in the Air Force, we hope to settle down on a “farmette” and raise chickens for eggs, and grow a nice vegetable/herb garden and some fruit trees so we can cut back on having to buy those items in the store! On top of that, my husband plans to take up hunting and we both like to fish, so hopefully I will only have to buy a few items at the store each week! But until that time arrives, I will just have to keep up with the sales papers and coupons. Oh and if you see an item on a super sale that you could keep for a long time, stock up for say a week’s supply…now I am talking about a really super sale like the one I came across this week at Jewel for some Italian tomato jars (spaghetti sauce). Regular price: practically $4. On sale for one day: 97 cents/jar! What a deal and the sauces are delicious on their own, even though I add my own spices to it.

Well, good luck on the meal planning!


#7

We have five in our family (including the baby who finally went off formula and onto soy milk, saving us nearly 100 dollars a month! :eek: ) This past month we spent about 600 dollars at the grocery store (this includes diapers and cleaning supplies).

This was a good month for us, as I finally got a hold on my spending. We get most of our groceries at Kroger (we have a Kroger plus card as well as a kroger credit card and get money back for groceries); there are a few items we get at Trader Joe’s.

Trader Joe’s is dangerous for me–I see so many tasty and wonderful things that at one point I was spending 100 bucks a visit there–and that wasn’t regular groceries, like eggs and bread! :eek: My husband had to sit me down and have a serious talk, and now we only get frozen pizzas (for a treat) and fish there that we like.

We buy brand name items ONLY when they are on sale and cheaper than the store brand, or there is no other alternative (like Silk soy milk). Sometimes the store brand is not less expensive, you have to check the by unit/ounce price. Since we avoid high fructose corn syrup, sometimes we pay a bit more for a food item, but we know it’s healthier. I won’t compromise our health for money if i can help it.


#8

We spend about $75 per week, but my wife just cooks a bit extra for dinner and we eat that for lunch the next day. We don’t like cereal for breakfast so we eat a full meal in the mornings though.

Blessed_wife is my wife, she’s amazing. Definitely wife material!


#9

Oh yes, I forgot to mention, we save by only using breakfast cereal when we’re in a rush. Since we homeschool, we’re never usually in a rush to get out the door, so we have pancakes (i make them egg free sometimes to save on eggs), french toast or muffins for breakfast. I notice the kids are very satisfied with these and I think they stick longer than cereal.

Cereal is a ripoff–the ingredients cost the manufacturers next to nothing, and if you’re not careful they’re full of junk as well. We keep Cheerios on hand, like i said, for those mornings when I just may not feel up to cooking breakfast or we’re in a rush. My husband was the worst cereal offender–he’d buy the store brand cocoa puffs and other sugary cereals, and eat two bowls for breakfast, and let the kids have it too. :mad: :stuck_out_tongue:


#10

If you pay attention to the sale fliers, most stores rotate sales on certain items and they are usualy on sale pretty regularly.
(milk/bread the exception)

We’ll buy more of a certain item that we use often and not buy it when its regular price.

We are also members of a wholesale club. I’ll buy the big packs of meat (mush cheaper) and seperate it at home to meal-sized portions and freeze it… Then its always on hand.

We also have an option at one store to buy online and have it delievered. $7-10 per delievery but just ask yourself- “What is my time worth?” Do I really want to drag the kids out in bad weather and deal with lines and such? We don’t do it every week but it helps when there is a lot going on.

It also cuts down on impulse buys and the kids asking for stuff.
Its surprising the extra stuff you end up buying when you go to the store.


#11

Compare little things - I have found that frozen berries/fruit/veg can be less expensive than fresh (crazy, but for example bell peppers - it is less expensive for me to buy frozen than fresh).

Skip the frozen lunches. From my experience, those $1 frozen meals are NOT filling and are not that nutritiuos. Make extra at supper, and use the leftovers for lunch. If you want to make more variety, freeze individual portions of your leftovers and take them for lunch later on. You will eat better food, be more satisfied.

For meat, learn to love your crock pot/slow cooker and learn to braise. These methods allow you to use less expensive cuts of meat and achieve tender and flavorful results.

Remember, the more of the item you prepare yourself, the greater the cost savings. You can make your own pasta skillet meal for about half the cost of a boxed “hamburger helper”.


#12

Haha…:smiley: I can be bad with the impulse buys sometimes. :rolleyes: One shopping trip I was determine to come in under budget, so I only let myself buy what was exactly on the list–and it worked beautifully. The key is not buying on impulse, but stocking up at sales…:wink:

Ya’ll are all giving great advice…I’m gonna have to look into the Sam membership, I guess. DH and I don’t have any kiddos and we both work so I didn’t budget this too tightly before because it just didn’t seem necessary. However if we are blessed with a baby (hopefully sooner than later) and I become a SAHM this is something I should have down. :thumbsup:


#13

I am trying to freeze more stuff - I found that the less I go to the store the less I spend. I am bad with the impulse buying. If you are interested - there are several good books on once a month cooking (and lots of variations on that theme.) I cook more than once a month, but when I make a casserole or a meal I have enough for leftovers for a week. I use my crockpot a lot to make meals also… .

I really like sams club as well, but watch the name brands at the warehouse clubs.


#14

I spend about $60 a week to feed a family of 3 plus a cat. About once a month or so this will go to about $80+ depending on whether we need paper towels, toliet paper, laundry detergent etc.

We eat meat with most meals. The grocery stores around here mark all the meat that is set to expire in 2 days half off, including the free range stuff. So I can get some great deals.

Also I work for Whole Foods so I get a discount on my groceries which has saved us tons of money. I can get a gallon of milk for $2.75 with my discount. I love being able to get organics cheap as well.

I usually look through my pantry and see what I have to use to make dinners for the week. I take into account the nites I am off and working late. THen I check the freezer and see what I need to stock up on or use up.

From there I plan my menu.I think if you keep some basics on hand then it makes meal planning much easier. Basics for us are the following

Frozen Veggies (okra, bell peppers, green beans, etc)
Naan
Mirin
Indian Sauces
Hoisin Sauce
asian noodles
rice
beans
pizza crusts
onions
potatos
pasta
diced tomatos
black olives


#15

I usually spend 150-175 per week.

But, I tried an online shopping service that delivers, and I spent $125.00. And I got lots of produce and meats.

Part of the reason I saved, was you could see clearly what was on sale…secondly, no impulse buying. You could take your time before submitting your order, and review your list. I like it a lot.

It’s called , peapod, but I don’t know if it’s available in all areas.

Re impulse buying, don’t shop hungry, when I’m hungry I end up with things I dont need.


#16

When I volunteered for a year, me and my roommates were given $500 per month to spend on groceries. We ended up shopping at Aldi a lot and ended up usually spending no more than $250 per month (for five of us) and usually used the rest of our money to cover other expenses for fixing broken thing in our house or car (that the volunteer program didn’t have the money for). Sometimes we’d use the left over money to go out to eat once a week.

As for now, I shop at a store called Caputos for fresh fruits and veggies (they have great sales and have the best produce in the Chicagoland area) and their meats are top notch (as well as their cheese). I only buy sales items and well, the produce I buy usually lasts three weeks if kept in the fridge. I also agree with other posters about frozen. It is the same nutrient quality as fresh, but a fraction of the price (and it doesn’t go to waste because you use it when you need it). When I move into my new house I intend to buy a small freezer and use that more than the fridge. Cooking in bulk and freezing is great (even breads, cookies, and cakes do well when defrosted )

Also, generic is great and is of the same quality for most products as the name brands (even though I can’t seem to compromise on laundry detergent, I like my Tide).


#17

I will try to buy basics at what we call the “cheapie food store” - also known as Save-a-Lot. :slight_smile: Milk, butter, cheese, pasta, canned goods. Then I will hit the food aisles of Big Lots to get close out items. I recently bought two cases (one each) of diced tomatoes and tomato sauce for 60 cents each carton (I think 12 in a case) - the grocery store price for this brand was $1.85. :thumbsup: I get a ton of stuff for us at these two stores, then use Kroger for stuff the cheapie stores don’t carry, and Target for bathroom and laundry supplies.

I spend about $400 a month for the two of us and two cats.

~Liza


#18

$200-$250 for two adults, one teen, and one preteen…and we buy organic foods, so that could be why it’s higher. I just wish I could get it down to around $150:crying: …I can’t seem to figure out why it’s so high, when my husband grocery shops, the bill seems cheaper, but no one is happy with his purchases.:smiley: So, maybe I’m overspending somewhere along the lines. I think it’s too much, personally. But, then again–we don’t eat out weekly anymore for health reasons–just feel better and eat better avoiding weekly restaurant trips. So, maybe some of the money I was spending on that ($60 savings weekly from abstaining from eating out so often) is going to groceries.:shrug:


#19

We have Peapod as well. I can also edit or add to the order from work. Definite time saver.

Re impulse buying, don’t shop hungry, when I’m hungry I end up with things I dont need.

Don’t I know it. Never go BJ’s hungry. Now that can get expensive! :bigyikes:


#20

We can partially thank the higher cost of food on Ethanol. :mad:

Never ever take the kids shopping with you. They instantly add $$$$ with impulse buys and requests.

Never shop hungry. Use a list and stick to it.
Browse through the coupons, but don’t get sucked into a product that you would not typically use.

Browse your weekly ads at the drug stores and big box stores ( KMART’s). Every week I scan the ads to see what is on sale for the week. Then I plan my weekly errands and fit in the stores running sales.

These stores often have wonderful sales, like General Mills cereal for $2. Then coupled with a coupon - it’s a killer deal.

I have a BJ’s card but do not use it for the bulk of my shopping. In a smaller family, I tend to see more waste with the things like cereal and such that can go stale before eaten. I find better buys when I am scanning for sales.

If you are keen on your pricing, then you will know that BJ’s is not always the best buy around.


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