Grocery & household item budget

posted 3 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 3
Member
8592 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

How much are you spending?

I just make a grocery list for the week before I go and follow that. With the two of us I usually just cook 3-4 times a week and the other days we have leftovers.  I buy enough for breakfast, snacks, and drinks too.

I spend about $500 per month on food and other household items (shampoo, toothpaste, tp, paper towels, cleaners, vitamins, candles, cat food, cat litter etc). That is about $120 a week.

I do look through the weekly sale ads for any deals on things I normally buy at a few different stores I’m close to. Like there was butter at $1.60 a lb this week (normally priced between $2.50-$3.50) so I bought 10 lbs.  Won’t need to buy any for awhile now.

Post # 4
Member
2878 posts
Sugar bee

Each week I go through all the circulars from my mailbox and I write down where the good deals are. I plan my meals for the week accordingly. I also have another freezer so whenever the deals are good we buy more and freeze in portions. Then I plan where I need to go (I live in the country and the city is 20 minutes away, I prefer to get everything within one trip). If there are coupons that interest me, I collect them, but I don’t use them right away, I wait until the item is on sale, then I add the coupon. I also pay attention, when doing my groceries, to tearpads that are ”hidden” here and there. If it’s a product I use often, I take 3-4 coupons and store them until I need something.

I also shop with my circulars as there is one grocery that does the same price as their competitors if you bring proof their competitor offers the same item cheaper. I can save 10$ on a 100$ grocery just by doing this. 

I also look on the product’s official website for printable coupons ! Ex.: 2 weeks ago I printed a coupon from Dove, it was 2$ off any deodorant and this is the brand I use. I needed to buy another one and it was in sale at 2,99 at Walmart instead of regular 3,49. It ended up costing me 0,99$. 

I also purchase home brands instead of ”real” brands for many items, especially veggies in cans and tomato soup, and household items.

 

Post # 5
Member
330 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I second making a list!  I plan what I’m making and write what I need for it and don’t go off the list.  I also do my shopping at a discount supermarket.  If I absolutely need something that is name brand (mostly condiments), I will go to Walmart.  Also for my toilet paper and other household things I shop at Dollar General.   The DG usually has sales every week for toilet paper, paper towels and such and I definetely use coupons for dog food.  We probably spend $100 a week on food and household items and we are a family of 3.

Post # 6
Member
1883 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@Allyg:  We spend about $500 per month and could probably cut down quite a bit if we had to. I cook at least 4 times per week, and I never go shopping without a list; prior to making the list, I make a tentative plan of the meals I’m going to make.  A typical weekday dinner is baked marinated chicken breasts or wild salmon with couscous or quinoa and steamed or sauteed broccoli or spinach on the side. Easy, relatively healthy and inexpensive. On the weekend I might roast a chicken (or make what my fiance calls “crispy chicken,” marinated quarters brushed with olive oil and baked till skin is crispy) and make mashed potatoes from scratch.

 

We share a Costco membership with my parents. I go there once a month to buy fish/meat (tilapia, salmon, chicken), veggies (potatoes, broccoli florets, brussels sprouts, asparagus, lettuce, tomatoes etc.), as well as household goods such as detergent, paper towels, toilet paper etc there in bulk. I get eggs, bread, grains, and a few other things like olive oil from our local Whole Foods (their 365 store brand is great! high quality, reasonable price)

 

 

 

Post # 7
Member
11772 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

I always make a list of exactly what we need! If it’s not on the list, it doesn’t go in the cart.

For the two of us, we spend $50-60/week on groceries! I cook 3 meals a day, 7 days a week. And all of our dinners include a portein/carb/veggie, and LOTS of fruit!

Post # 8
Member
545 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@Allyg:  We spend $500/month on groceries, beer/wine, household products. We are comfortable with that and prefer to save money in other areas like dining out, transportation, and bills. We don’t have cable and we have invested in things that make our home more energy efficient. Our groceries are mostly non-processed stuff, we try to make as much as we can from scratch (sauces/dressings, breads), and eat leftovers. I’d much rather spend more on groceries than restaurants!

Post # 9
Member
5697 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Our budget for anything from the grocery store is 500.00 per month. 

Post # 11
Member
1952 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Jeeez, that’s a lot! My husband and I get little bits and pieces everyday because we live so close to the supermarket. It ends up costing us about $300 a month – give or take – and it’s good. We use coupons whenever we need to.

Post # 12
Member
10219 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

The cost of Groceries depends a lot on WHERE you live.

I am in Canada, we pay a lot more here for Groceries than in the USA… and some parts of the USA pay more than others (trucking costs, climate, growing season, etc)

Mr TTR and I are older, and semi-retired, we don’t have a lot of other costs any longer (such as a Mortgage) so we spend a good portion of our monthly household budget on food, and we eat well.

As a general rule of thumb we spend aprox $ 200 every 10 Days… so about $ 600+ a month and that is strictly for food items.  And for items that we eat at home… we also have a good sized Eat Out / Entertainment Budget as well.

And we have another seperate budget for “other” household items like Paper Products (TP, PT, Kleenex), Cleaning Supplies (Dishwashing Liquid, etc), Beauty & Drugstore Spending (Soap, Shampoo etc). We make seperate trips to other stores for those kinds of things, because the Grocery Store charges too much for them IMO*

* In Canada a lot of these items I buy at Chain stores like Shoppers Drug Mart and Canadian Tire.  Because not only are they generally cheaper than Grocery Stores for these items, but ALL of these stores (notice I didn’t mention WalMart)… have Customer Loyalty Programs (which are a big thing in Canada with Canadian Retaillers) … so I get points / cash back on my purchases… and that can really add up over time, to the point that often I get these items completely for FREE !!

Overall, items are more expensive in Canada to begin with… including Groceries.

This comes down to a variety of things such as a shorter growing season, more items being imported, and the fact that we have a system in place (Price Control Boards) so that prices stay within reason for all Canadians across our vast … and sometimes remote parts… of our Country (so the guy in Canada’s North can afford to buy groceries too)

So for example, we all as individuals pay fractionally more for milk here than you all do in the USA.

If you want to eat well and spend less, then the trade off is usually one has to put more time and effort into the process… be that thru Menu Planning, Shoppping the Specials, Coupon Clipping, Visiting Various Stores, etc.

Loblaws my favourite Grocery Store in Ontario, has recently introduced their own Loyalty Program… and I now earn points on my purchases.  We’ve been a member since mid May and we’ve already earned more than $ 200 in FREE Groceries.  That is awesome, means I will earn back aproximately $ 400 to $ 600 annually on stuff I would buy any how.

Hope this helps,


Post # 13
Member
5207 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2013

We buy a lot of store brand items and also don’t get large containers of things that the two of us alone won’t finish (ex: we don’t need a pound of ketchup, even if it is on sale). To be honest, if I  left it up to him to do the grocery shopping we’d be dead broke. Staple items come out of our joint account but if he wants 4 different kinds of cookies and soda he has to buy it himself. I take pride in my shopping skills (not just grocery, but shopping in general) and I can recognize what is a true sale and what is a scam to suck you into buying more than you need. 

Post # 14
Member
9137 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

We budget $60 per week on groceries for two adults.  I would estimate that we spend another $20-30 per week on household items like paper towels, toilet paper, soap, cleaning supplies, etc…  With $60 per week we eat quite well with fresh cuts of meat, fresh and frozen veggetables, whole grain bread, milk, cheese, and eggs.

The two biggest keys to staying on budget for us is to plan out a basic meal plan for the week (5-10 meals we know we want to cook during the week), then making up a list of items we need, and only buying items on the list.  No impulse purchases for BOGO deals on things we don’t eat and on junk food.  We also shop for most of our groceries from the local Walmart and Walmart Neighborhood Market.  I will buy the occasional fresh fish or meat from the local Publix or a quick shopping trip for milk or bread, but their prices are significantly higher than Walmart on staple foods and household supplies like paper towels, trash bags and toilet paper.

Since you have young children, stop buying items marketed specifically for kids.  They tend to be more expensive than the adult versions and they are also often smaller portions/containers than the equivalent adult product.  Toss the Gerber graduates in favor of portions of adult snacks and dinners.  You should be able to easily chop your list from $1000 a month to $200 a week or less.

Post # 15
Member
2831 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

when we were in our last apartment (we’re currently living with my parents), we spent $100 a week on groceries and household things. i made a menu/meal plan every week, then made a specific list. i stuck to that list. i cooked every night, we ate out once every other week (FI was paid bi-weekly). i packed him lunch every day, as well. it worked pretty well.

i did the bulk of our shopping at walmart, because it was the least expensive. i supplemented with shopping at aldi (super cheap for pasta and sauce, along with other basic staple items), and bought our meat & poultry at wegmans (the walmart i shopped at had a terrible meat selection, and it went bad too quickly). 

now that we’re home, my mother spends $150 a week on groceries. however, there are 6 adults living in this house. she also cooks every night, makes a menu and specific grocery list, and makes lunch every day. food is much less expensive here, and we don’t pay sales tax on food. it makes a difference.

OP, you can make a lot of the “toddler food” you buy. look on pinterest, there’s tons of ideas there.

Post # 16
Member
8419 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

@Allyg:  We spend about $300 a month on groceries and household items.  We purchase our cleaning supplies in bulk (Costco) and do not clip coupons.  I think the key thing to bringing down your grocery bill is to stop buying pre-made, pre-packaged, pre-cut, etc, items.  We make everything from scratch and we run our kitchen like a restaurant, everything gets used (i.e. save bones from roasted chickens, onion ends, carrot tops, etc for stock).  A bag of flour will only cost you about $2-$3, but can make several loafs of bread, rolls, etc.  Feel free to PM me if you need recipes.

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