What do you spend on groceries?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by bonneb, Sep 26, 2011.

  1. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Messages:
    2,518
    Likes Received:
    9

    Sep 26, 2011

    What area of the country do you live in and what do you spend on groceries?

    We recently had to start watching every penny and I suddenly realized how spoiled we were with my grocery shopping. I just figured, "We need that, there is no place else to buy it, just get it!" Now I am noticing that even a quick store run is costing me about $100. So I spend at least that per week and that is for 2 people, and our freezer is full of fish and venison, so I rarely buy meat!

    Here are some prices from my store run yesterday. I went to pick up an avocado for lunch!

    2.75 organic avocado
    6.19 string cheese
    6.09 16 oz cottage chz
    8.59! 1 pound of bacon!! told DH "Enjoy! It's the last!"
    2.49 head of iceberg lettuce
    3.99 bag of mixed lettuce
    13.99 Starbucks coffee beans - splurge!
    3.00 quart of half and half
    4.50 half pint of cherry tomatoes - another splurge
    2.50/lb. apples
    2.50 per pound - pears
    3.50 8 oz. mushrooms
    5.00 one lb. hamburger

    How do your prices compare?
     
  2.  
  3. Chrissteeena

    Chrissteeena Companion

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 26, 2011

    It's just my BF and I and we spend between $80-$120 every week depending on what we get. We're in Iowa. We tend to buy store brand items and try and plan meals around as many sale items as possible.

    1lb. chop meat is about 3.50
    1 package turkey bacon I believe is about 2.50 (we don't eat regular bacon anymore)
    5lb bag of apples & oranges was 6.99
    1lb of grapes I think was about 3.00 or 3.50 I can't remember

    I honestly can't remember what else we bought this past week. We had a lot of things in the freezer so we bought a few sides and called it a day.

    I know we bought individual chicken cordon blu when they were on sale for 1.00/each (we got 6 so we will have 3 meals)

    I think our 3 or 4lb bag of jasmine rice was 5.00 and that will last us about a month to a month and a half.

    We even got the dog a gigantic bag of dog food. It went on sale at HyVee for 11.99 for a 20lb bag. She's set! HA
     
  4. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,815
    Likes Received:
    53

    Sep 26, 2011

    2.75 organic avocado
    6.19 string cheese $3.09
    6.09 16 oz cottage chz 2.09
    8.59! 1 pound of bacon!! told DH "Enjoy! It's the last!" Wright Brothers Thick Cut 6.99
    2.49 head of iceberg lettuce 1.19
    3.99 bag of mixed lettuce 2.29
    13.99 Starbucks coffee beans - splurge! ??? I bought Folgers special blend last week for $4.99 and Donut Delight yesterday for 4.86
    3.00 quart of half and half ??? not sure..
    4.50 half pint of cherry tomatoes - another splurge $2.00
    2.50/lb. apples bought Red Delicious for 1.42 lb yesterday
    2.50 per pound - pears
    3.50 8 oz. mushrooms 1.99
    5.00 one lb. hamburger We butcher and so I am not sure what the cost is...
     
  5. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2006
    Messages:
    6,181
    Likes Received:
    1

    Sep 26, 2011

    It's just my husband and me. We shop at Trader Joes and a Whole Foods type store. We usually drop anywhere between $60 and $100+ on food each week.
     
  6. Ranchwife

    Ranchwife Companion

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Messages:
    225
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 26, 2011

    I live in extreme NE California (population of entire county, which is 4th largest county for area in CA, is about 6000 people) so shopping locations and chain stores are mostly non-existant. To feed a family of 4 three meals a day, I spend on average $130 a week. We have lots of venison in the freezer and I stock up on chicken, pork, and beef when they go on sale in the family packs. I do not use any pre-packaged foods for dinners (except pastas), but do use lunch meats for lunches. If I go out of town, I try to make it to a WinCo or WalMart for canned veggies and fruits.

    We have a large cattle ranch, but don't butcher our own animals. They are worth more alive on the cattle truck then dead in our freezers. I also think my husband and father-in-law don't like butchering the animals that they work so hard to birth and keep alive.
     
  7. midwestteacher

    midwestteacher Cohort

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 26, 2011

    I live in a tiny town - we don't have a grocery store but there is one in the next town over - about 10 miles away. Milk - $5.13/gallon. Cauliflower head - $2.09, two broccoli crowns - $2.00, Tub of Country Crock spread - $7.19.
    We don't buy meat from the grocery store except for chicken. We butcher a pig or two every year and a steer. It costs about $180 to have a pig processed, including smoking the bacon and hams. Our guy does a great job. We took in a 290 pound hog in July. Hog + feed + processing was about $300 and it beats anything you can get in the grocery store - hands down.
     
  8. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Messages:
    4,395
    Likes Received:
    7

    Sep 26, 2011

    I spend no more than $150 every two weeks. I am positively vigilant about my shopping. I watch the ads, and I know exactly how much I am going to spend before I walk into the store. I am no expert, and I'm not big into couponing, but here are my tips:

    1. NEVER go to the store without a list. MAKE yourself stick to the list.

    2. Put your list in order of the aisles of the store. The more you have to circle back, the more likely odd items are going to end up in your cart.

    3. Keep your pantry stocked with items you use all the time. Rachael Ray has a great cookbook called Express Lane Meals, which has a list of items that you should always have on hand, along with quantities. Examples are flour, sugar, olive oil, rice, pasta, beans, tomato sauce, cheese, lemons, etc. Then you eliminate the long shopping runs, and all you need to do is run through the Express Lane for fresh items.

    4. Watch the ads. Grocery stores run their in-store sales in cycles. In my store, pasta will be on sale about every 4-5 weeks, usually 10 for $10. I buy 10 (but be careful--see tip #5). Same with the other staples. If you don't have to buy them all at once, and just keep an eye on your stock, you can get by cheaper.

    5. Just because an item is on sale as 10 for $10, doesn't mean you have to buy all 10 (usually). If you only need 5, only buy 5. Typically on pantry items, I buy the amount, but if it's a splurge item, I might only buy one. Which leads me to...

    6. Coupons. I am no expert, but I have not become convinced on the worthiness of coupons. Maybe I'm not looking in the right places, but most coupons I see from my circulars are usually of the "save $0.75 on 2" variety. If I need 2 of the item, then I'm ok with that. But if I only need 1, then saving $0.75 to spend twice the original amount doesn't add up to a savings. I'm sure there are other coupon experts that can weigh in here. I think it would make a difference if you had double coupons, but my store doesn't, so I don't bother. I usually can't find coupons for the things I need (not WANT, but need) anyway. Segue to...

    7. Be vigilant, and stick to your guns. My kids have come to realize that they don't NEED Pizza Rolls or Cocoa Puffs or Trix yogurt or chips or fancy juice boxes or ice cream bars or whatever else the snack du jour is (and for which many coupons are for). Our cupboards and fridge are always full of healthy and tasty snacks. They aren't going to find a lot of processed snacks that are so expensive when you figure the unit price. They also know that on the rare occasion I take them to the store with me, nothing is going into the cart that isn't on sale (to them, that means an orange tag). My kids have grown up knowing that the best cereal is in a Malt-o-Meal bag, and has an orange tag.

    8. Go to the store alone. You don't want to be distracted, and it is easy to just say sure, throw it in, but all of those throw-ins add up fast. Take a calculator, your list, and get in the zone. Shopping takes me upwards of an hour, but I know what needs to get done. Kids distract. The calculator is for...

    9. Unit prices. A large bag of Pizza Rolls, at Walmart, is around $4.00. With 40 in a bag, that is $0.10 per roll (pricey snack, but I digress). A box, 15 ct., is $2.59. $0.17 per roll (pricier!). Decide what brands you are willing to buy, and shop around. You know how stores operate-the name brands are at eye level, the others on the tops and bottoms. Look around. Take the time to figure it out. It will help. And finally...

    10. Decide what you need, want, and like to have. I've covered needs and wants, but the like-to-haves-I know that for me, there are certain items that the store brand just won't do. Paper towels are one. I just really like Bounty. So I watch for Bounty on sale, and I do coupon that. Trash bags are another. Same store. Others are certain kinds of frozen vegetables (I like Bird's Eye), pasta (Barilla is the only way to go in my book), spaghetti sauce (I have 2 or 3 brands I like), and certain seasonings. Anything else I am find with a store brand-but ONLY if it is the cheaper unit price. That's a personal decision, but seriously think about it.

    Again, I am not an expert, but I take my grocery shopping very seriously. I have put myself in charge, because my husband is very much a grabber-and-tosser, and I see it as my job to get it as cheap as possible. Good luck to you!
     
  9. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Messages:
    3,591
    Likes Received:
    3

    Sep 26, 2011

    kc, I feel the same way about coupons. They do not always represent the cheapest item.
     
  10. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Messages:
    2,403
    Likes Received:
    1

    Sep 26, 2011

    $60-$80/week for two of us at the farmer's market, and another $20-40 at the grocery store. Typically under $100.

    Avocado - 2/$1
    Bacon - $3-5ish/lb. Don't buy it much.
    Lettuce - head or bag, usually about $1 - depends on season and size.
    Apples - $3/peck
    Button Mushrooms - $1.50/lb
    Hamburger - $2-3/lb depending on fat ratio.
    lunch cheese - $3-4/lb
    lunchmeat - $6/lb (depends on what we get but that is for the good quality ham or turkey, not the slimy kind).
     
  11. MATgrad

    MATgrad Groupie

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2007
    Messages:
    1,437
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 26, 2011

    I have food allergies so my situation is a little different but feeding the two of us is around $100/week. That's everything from breakfast through dinner. Every Sunday I meal plan. I use coupons whenever I can which you have allergies is rather challenging. I think the key for us has been having a meal plan. When we know what's for dinner, it's so much easier.
     
  12. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Messages:
    6,156
    Likes Received:
    993

    Sep 26, 2011

    This is something I really need to work on. I'm looking at tightening my budget so I don't have to have a 2nd job during the school year, and I realize I spend a lot more at the store than is probably needed. I feel like I just run in for a few things and end up spending 50 bucks! I'm just buying for myself, so I'm trying to start out with a budget of $250 a month for groceries and I'll see how it goes. I think that's going to be hard for me- I certainly don't usually just spend willy-nilly on whatever catches my eye on the store (I do go in with a list and stick to it) but I've never really tried to stick to a certain budget before. I find that what really runs up the bill is non-food items like cleaning products and toiletries.
     
  13. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    Messages:
    761
    Likes Received:
    5

    Sep 26, 2011

    I am also big on lists. I decide on the weekend all of the meals we'll be having throughout the week. Then, I make a list of all of the ingredients necessary for those meals, cross check the list with what I already have, and off I go!

    We scored big this weekend. It was dollar days at our local grocery store and many good, pantry staples were on for a dollar. Clover Leaf tuna, Kraft salad dressing and Kraft peanut butter to name just a few. So, we went off the list and stocked up on those things. They were sooo much cheaper than normal, won't go bad sitting in my pantry for a few months and I KNOW we'll use them.

    We'll spend between $100-$150 per trip to the grocery store and one trip usually lasts us (there are two of us) a week and a half.
     
  14. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Messages:
    2,771
    Likes Received:
    53

    Sep 26, 2011

    We're a family of 4 and I spend about $130 a week including household goods (paper towels, detergent, cleaning supplies). We're vegetarians so we save a good amount by not buying meat.

    I will say your prices are definitely higher than ours. Also I always go to Wegmans which has lower prices than either PathMark or Acme which are also around us. At Wegmans I can get a jar of pasta sauce for $1.50, a box of pasta for $1.09, a container of soy ground "meat" for $4, a bell pepper for $1.50, and garlic and onions for less than a dollar per serving, so for less than $9 I can feed a family of 4 and have leftovers for lunch for both dh and I for the following day.
     
  15. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    4

    Sep 26, 2011

    We don't buy anything (ever) on your list, so it's hard to compare. We spend around $250 when we make a full trip to Walmart (by far the cheapest here) and includes other items such as socks. :) We make these full runs every two or three weeks and go to the little grocery in-county probably once a week. I then go to another store for some specialty items I need and spend another $75 when I do that. And because I can't get all I need even there, I order food online as well, but I stock up and that's only every few months. So...basically I don't really know what we spend total...it's not really regular.

    It's the two of us.

    ETA: I don't plan meals, but I keep a nicely stocked pantry (not much variety because we're picky, but lots of what we do eat).
     
  16. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Messages:
    2,518
    Likes Received:
    9

    Sep 26, 2011

    Wow. Very enlightening. Some of you have it worse than I do, some better! I would give a lot for a farmer's market - it would be worth any price to me to have good, fresh produce!
     
  17. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Messages:
    2,518
    Likes Received:
    9

    Sep 26, 2011

    Christeena - Jasmine rice is over $6.00/lb. here! Enjoy it!
     
  18. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    6,208
    Likes Received:
    1,595

    Sep 26, 2011

    What area of the country do you live in and what do you spend on groceries?
    I'm in a rural area of Kentucky. When we shop locally, we have one store option, which is a Save-a-Lot. To get any specialty items, we have to drive to the next town, 20 miles away. Usually we make one big trip to Wal-Mart a month, which ends up being about $100. That's for things other than groceries, too. We spend about $25 to $40 a week on fresh meat, fruit/veggies, and some things that seem to "disappear" fast, like milk. One good thing about not having a store close is that we don't run out for one thing. We make do without it until time for the next grocery run.

    2.75 organic avocado I won't pay extra for organic.
    6.19 string cheese I paid about half that.
    6.09 16 oz cottage chz Again, less than half.
    8.59! 1 pound of bacon!! I just bought a 3-pound package for $9.87 at Save-a-Lot.
    2.49 head of iceberg lettuce
    3.99 bag of mixed lettuce I buy "spring mix", and I only get it when it's on sale. I also split it with my mom because I prefer to buy in containers, not bags. Too much for me to use before it goes bad, so I share.
    13.99 Starbucks coffee beans Neither one of us drinks coffee.
    4.50 half pint of cherry tomatoes I grow my own. I never buy them.
    2.50/lb. apples Mom has six apple trees. Free apples!
    3.50 8 oz. mushrooms I paid $2.99 for a pound of sliced mushrooms yesterday.
    5.00 one lb. hamburger We don't eat hamburger. I bought some ground round for a recipe, and it was about that much for almost 2 pounds.

    I always use coupons, price match, and stock up on good sales. I am pretty good at knowing when certain things are on sale. I haven't bought deodorant, chapstick, or toothpaste in several years. I'm getting it FREE with rebates and coupons. On our last Kroger run, I bought five big bottles of Tide. I had manufacturer's coupons, a store reward card, and store coupons. It made that bill larger than usual, but we won't have to buy it for several months, if not a year. Mom and both garden and share our stuff. We keep a stocked pantry, and we keep a running list of things we need.
     
  19. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Messages:
    2,518
    Likes Received:
    9

    Sep 27, 2011

    Sheesh Ima! You've got a good thing going. This spurs another thread!
     
  20. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Messages:
    2,403
    Likes Received:
    1

    Sep 27, 2011

    Before I started shopping at the farmer's market, I learned a trick for grocery shopping. On your store list, every time you add $2 to your cart, make a little mark on the paper. When you get to the register, add up the marks, multiply by 2, and that's about how much you will be spending. Sometimes then if we were under budget we would talk about getting the ice cream we were looking at, or going back and getting steaks. Or just save money. If we were over, we might put something back. It's a good strategy.
     
  21. Bioguru

    Bioguru Companion

    Joined:
    May 25, 2011
    Messages:
    149
    Likes Received:
    63

    Sep 27, 2011

    My wife and I have plenty of food, toiletries, etc. on $50 a week. As others have said, the most important thing is having a list. We plan our menu for the next week before going to the store and make a list of what we need. We never get anything extra and are fairly good about coupons and specials. We live in rural NE Texas.
     
  22. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    2,489
    Likes Received:
    2

    Sep 27, 2011

    I'm in South Florida. Groceries (including paper products & cat stuff) usually run about $80 a week for just me. I do make an extra trip once a month to Sam's Club or Albertson's to stock up on fish and chicken.
     
  23. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Messages:
    14,067
    Likes Received:
    1,884

    Sep 27, 2011

    I'm probably around $150/week for the three of us. Close of half of that is for fruit, veggies, milk and juice.
     
  24. mom2ohc

    mom2ohc Habitué

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Messages:
    974
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 27, 2011

    eek!

    I spend over 200 every week on groceries for a family of 5. BUT we also make lunch every day, and eat out only on Friday (pizza or chinese) Then, maybe onece on the weekend we get sandwiches for lunch.

    Then I spend about 200 a month at Target on cereal, cleaners, paper goods etc. and anther 3-400 at Costco for other staples, like lunch snacks, veggies, fruits, water etc..

    I spend a fortune on food, and I do feel like I am pretty careful. We eat a lot of fresh and organic foods, so I think that makes a difference.
     
  25. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Messages:
    5,621
    Likes Received:
    6

    Sep 27, 2011

    I spend about $150-200 per week on vegetables alone. How I wound up with three boys who can't eat enough broccoli, I'll never know. :eek:. In addition to bankrolling my kids' vegetable habit, I spend another 30-50 bucks a week.

    I should have stashed money in some tax-sheltered savings account the second I learned I was having boys, just to be able to afford the grocery bills now that they're getting older!
     
  26. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Messages:
    2,518
    Likes Received:
    9

    Sep 27, 2011

    mmswm, you need to get them gardening next spring! Think of all the money you could save. Tomatoes, zucchini, green beans all produce a ton of food per plant. You could also do pumpkins. How fun! And they would probably do all the work cheerfully because they would be eating the produce!
     
  27. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Messages:
    5,621
    Likes Received:
    6

    Sep 27, 2011

    I live in an apartment. I looked into container gardening, but the initial investment proved to be more than I could manage last spring/summer. Space for a garden is very high on my list of "must haves" for my house-hunting expeditions.
     
  28. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2007
    Messages:
    1,396
    Likes Received:
    4

    Sep 28, 2011

    I spend about 400 a month for 4 of us. (we are all adults). My son and his girlfriend pitch and help pay for food. This is strictly groceries, and an occasional deodorant.
    Usually once a month, we go to Walmart and stock up on the non-groceries. That usually ranges from 75-150 dollars, depending what we need.
    We don't go out to eat often, I love to cook!
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. TeacherNY
Total: 274 (members: 1, guests: 261, robots: 12)
test