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Grocery Shop Recap

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Brent and I have a pretty strict budget for our groceries, especially since I quit my job and started school, and I know everyone else is really trying to watch their spending as well, so I thought a recap of our weekly grocery shop might be kind of interesting, or maybe not. But here goes:

hpim2563And the contents of a bag I forgot about until 5 minutes later:


Our purchases included:


  • 3lbs. carrots
  • 1 bunch celery
  • 2 Spanish onions
  • 1 head garlic
  • 2 red potatoes
  • 3 lemons
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 mango
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 2 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 bunch basil
  • 2 bunches bananas
  • 3 Jonagold apples

Pantry Items:

  • 1 block Extra-Firm tofu
  • 28oz can whole peeled tomatoes
  • bottle of Sriracha (this is all Brent)
  • bottle of soy sauce
  • dried black beans
  • 14oz can Cannellini beans (couldn’t find dried)
  • 1 tube tomato paste (I used to buy the cans, but I’m trying to not waste and even though this cost more, I thought it might be more useful)
  • Flat Earth Tomato Ranch chips
  • Erin Bakes Double Chocolate Granola (on clearance for $2.50!)
  • 6 pack beer

Cold Case Items:

  • 1 gallon skim milk
  • 2 dozen eggs
  • 1 pint 2% milk
  • 8oz mozzarella
  • frozen peas

And a bottle of hair conditioner on clearance. All for a grand total of: $58.51!!

When I grocery shop I go in with a list that has the meals I’m planning on making for the week, with three columns for produce, pantry and cold under that. While I’m shopping, I write the (approximate) cost of each item next to it so that I can keep track of how I’m doing on the budget, which allows me to make any changes if necessary, or get fun things like chocolate granola (and beer for Brent) if I know I have more wiggle room. My mom thinks it’s weird I plan this much, but I think it’s crazy she doesn’t. I plan even more than I used to, now that we have specific monetary goals to reach. I don’t do a lot of the typical grocery savings things, like scan the sales paper or use coupons. I tried for a while, but frankly I didn’t really come across any coupons for things we buy, and I don’t really like planning my meals around what the grocery store is trying to get rid of that week. I much prefer to just plan what I want around staples I know are cheap, like pasta, eggs, and beans.

I have definitely improved though. I would say last year (before October) I was spending an average of $120-$150 a week on food between going out to eat and groceries, and now all food and beverage spending is under $350 a month, including any eating out (which definitely doesn’t happen often). I might be able to make it cheaper, but it would completely take the joy out of it if we couldn’t do things like the Friday night cocktails or drink beer or wine, or get a bag of chips or whatever.

I wanted to get a few Z-Bars because I have class from 6-10pm 3 nights a week!! and I thought having a little snack would be nice, but I saw the granola and thought I would try that instead, so I’m planning on bringing a little cup of it with me on those nights. I’ll let you know how it is.

We’re still getting hit hard with the snow. Have a nice Sunday!!


4 responses »

  1. I love seeing what other people buy at the grocery store

    Kelly Turner

  2. Wow! Now that I am budgeting myself I know that you did a great job.

    A hint on Z-bars. They are cheapest at Trader Joe’s, but Whole Foods has 50 cent off coupions sometimes, so they are like 25 cents in the end!

  3. Thanks Heather! Unfortunately the closest Trader Joes and Whole Foods are both like 2 hours away. I’m planning on stocking up at TJ’s next time I’m visiting the fam in Chicago.


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