(Closed) Making Cuts to the Grocery Cart :(

posted 7 years ago in Money
Post # 62
385 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

I estimate that we average about $80-90 a week on groceries. Some weeks we spend more than others – sometimes its $60, sometimes only $30, and our bi-monthly Costco bill is between $50-100. Everyone’s suggestions about list making and meal planning are great. We talk during dinner on Fri and write out what we want to eat that week based on what we have already in the house. If we need any special ingredients, we add it to the list. During the week, we write down staples we’ve run out of. We make dinner almost every night & I eat leftovers for lunch (also, if your husband doesn’t eat his lunch, can’t he save it for the next day?)

Shopping in bulk pays off for us big time. Things that are easily stored/frozen: bread, meat, dried beans, pasta, tomato sauce, juice, etc. The only things we buy at the regular grocery store are specialty items & things that would rot before we could eat it all (I.e we can’t get through giant gallons of milk from Costco). 

We have the problem of fresh fruits & veggies getting “old”, so to avoid a mid-week trip we buy whole heads of lettuce (they last much longer than bagged) and small amounts of another veggie, enough for 1-3 dinners. As we run out of those fresh veggies mid-week we switch to frozen veggies. 

Also, I 2nd the recommendation to buy the snacks you like in bulk and portion them out into containers. I think the single packaged stuff is a waste of money.

Post # 63
523 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I’m a huge budgeter and love all the tips that have been given so far! But I do know that with coupons and sales, sometimes it actually CAN be cheaper to buy packaged food (though definitely rarely healthier!). But you can find really good coupons for, say, packaged meals, while the raw ingredients for stir-fries rarely come with coupons.

But I agree: if you don’t really coupon much, the perimiter aisles and fresh foods are a great way to save money (just wish I could get my SO to eat more fruits and vegetables: I tease him because he only eats beige things 😛 Good thing chicken is fairly cheap). 

Post # 64
3356 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

we generally spend between $50 and $60 a week because we plan for about three days of new meals, three days of leftovers and one night to go out.

Post # 65
4109 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

We spend about $100 per week for two people. Base your grocery list off of sale meats & items you already own (google these ingrediants to find recipes). There are also several budget dinner magazines/cook books that can suggest LOTS of $10 meals tasting just as great as thier expensive counterparts.

Post # 66
2031 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I agree with everything that has been posted here, but I have one more solid piece of advice:  Shop ALONE, leave Fiance at home!  It sounds ridiculous, but I spent way more when he comes with me.  It was the same with Darling Husband1 too.  That’s twice the impulse purchases and sudden ‘I need these pickles’ moments in the store and they all add up!!

Post # 67
4335 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

@caits615:  It’s MUCH cheaper to buy a head of lettuce than several bags of pre-cut stuff! Plus, the best part is that since it isn’t pre-cut and bagged, it will stay fresher longer, and you can remove leaves or cut sections out as you need them.

Post # 68
9951 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Lol, agree with @MerryWidow: if you can wing it SHOP ALONE

It is fun to go Grocery Shopping with my guy, but we certainly end up spending more than if it was just me shopping… with him and I inevitably get to the Cash and I find all kinds of things he’s “snuck” into the cart

Lol, and if he ever ends up going out on his own, then the grocery bags come home filled with junk… that I otherwise wouldn’t be buying on a regular basis (candy bars, fancy desserts from the bakery, special ice cream treats etc)

I would say for the most part in my experience, that women shop healthier and are more budget conscious in the grocery store.

Lol, must be our “gathering” gene… we are better shoppers than them, keeping an eye open to prices, comparissons for quality, nutritional info on the labels etc… 

They on the otherhand just want to generally get in and get out, so they tend to toss things into the cart willy-nilly… but their “hunter gene” makes them proud to say “Hey honey, look what special treat I found and brought home for you / us to enjoy”

Lol, Men and Women, the “natural” differences are truly never-ending and evident in all parts of one’s relationship (it is appreciating them that can be challenge)


Post # 69
4109 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

Also, not sure if you like her or not… but Racheal Ray has a show on the cooking network (I think) that shows you how to purchase meat for the entire week & make it into five  meals made quickly for every night of the week. I haven’t tried any recipes but it sounds like a great idea.

Post # 70
548 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

@caits615:  Our Grocery Budget is $100 per week.  We ALWAYS come in under… averaging around $85 per week.  But just like you, when we started out, we were spending WAY too much on groceries.  Here’s what we did:

I made a (geeky) excel spreadsheet that’s broken out by food category and totals up our bill for us before we go to the Supermarket. Each week, before we go shopping, we spend about 15 minutes plugging items and their prices in and how many of each item we need. We shop out of the circular every week, this way, no prices are a surprise for us. We fill it up (and remove items) until out total (including tax, which is 8.75% here) hits $100.

We print it out and bring it with us and make sure we don’t stray from the list. 

If you would like to try it, I can send you my excel sheet and you can try it out to see if it works for you!


Post # 71
71 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

We usually spend $60-75 per week for two people (add in $30 if we go out for dinner, but we almost always use Scoutmob or coupons). If we are not buying “special” things it can be as low as $45-50. I really like eatingwell.com, they have have sections for $3 dinners including diet, vegetarian, chicken, Mexican, etc. I don’t like to cook the same food over and over again, so it has some fresh ideas. We are also lucky enough to have an amazing farmer’s market with super-cheap produce and high quality meat/seafood nearby. We also just got a spot in the urban garden where we live, so hopefully we’ll have some great produce from there too! Growing your own herbs such as basil, rosemary, etc. can save a lot of money and adds great flavor over the dried versions!

Post # 72
19 posts
  • Wedding: August 2012

I spend about $50 /week for Fiance and I which includes breakfast, lunch and dinner and snacks. As others have mentioned eating produces and non-processed foods is how we do it. I bake cookies, breads even pizza dough from scratch. We buy blocks of cheese and shred it ourseleves, make our own pesto, etc. And even here in LA we have a (small) vegetable garden, so we get peppers, beans and herbs from that.

Another way we save a lot of money is planning meals in advance, and selecting meals that have several overlapping ingredients. This week we’re having a vegetable stirfry, salad wraps and stuffed peppers – they use a lot of the same ingredients, but are totally different meals. I buy meat when it’s on sale and freeze left overs to use another week.

Post # 73
1075 posts
Bumble bee

@caits615:  In my experience buying loose is cheaper. Not just from a price point, but because I can pick and choose what I purchase so I get mostly greens that aren’t in any danger of going bad soon. Most grocery stores have a per weight listing under the main price too, so you can compare at your local store. I also think that bagged salads seem to wilt faster because they don’t breath as well, but that could totally be selection bias. 🙂

Post # 74
1128 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

My advice would be to make a LIST! This has helped us a ton, it takes the “what do you want”, “idk what do you want”…”do we have X at home?” etc, as well as not forgetting an item for a meal and having to go back, or buying something we already have at home. We spend about $340 a month for the 2 of us. I try and meal plan around whats on sale, that also helps. We also do not go out to dinner very often, if ever…that saves us a boatload of money!

Post # 75
112 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

Cut out things in things in boxes or bags. The healthiest things –  fruit, veggies, whole grains, legumes, etc – are also the cheapest. For example, you can get a HUGGGGGEEEEEEE (like think a few months worth of a giant bowl a day) of popcorn for under $5 – even under $3 depending if  you just buy bulk. Fiance and I live in NYC and rarely spthat more than $100 a week on food and that includes eating out 2 – 3 times a week. Groceries rarely top $50. 

Post # 76
2447 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

@crayfish:  Whoever told you food in Atlanta was cheap was very much mistaken. I moved from LA to Atlanta and find my grocery bill has not changed and sometimes is bigger. Fish is more expensive here and so are organic/local foods. Your growing season in California is much longer so the same organic strawberries that you’re buying for $3.99 in San Fran, I just dished out $5.99 for.

With that said, my Fiance and I spend about $250 per week on groceries. We eat very healthy, lots of fish, fresh veggies, etc. If we’re trying to cut some stuff out, the first thing to go is snacks. 🙁

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