For those of you who are trying to get your grocery budget under control (aren’t we all?) or looking for some ideas on how others do their shopping, I thought I would share what my weekly trips look like.
I try to do my meal planning on Saturday or Sunday for the coming week. I first take a quick look at what is still in the fridge from the previous week and what we have in the pantry. This way I’m not buying duplicates or too much fresh food that we won’t be able to go through. I’ve been really trying to eat through the protein we have in the freezer (elk meat, roaster chickens, pork steaks) to keep our monthly budget low(er). Or low-ish. Or semi-low. Or lower than a family of 10. I’ll go with that.
Once I have written out our tentative meal plans, I do one decent-sized shopping trip to flesh out our meals. Every few weeks, I supplement with a trip to Costco or Fred Meyer. Or both, like this week. I try really hard to stay out of the stores as much as possible, all that happens is I spend more money than I intended. I’m not enticed by the impulse items at the checkout, but by pretty red bell peppers or a great price on cucumbers. Not that these are bad purchases, but they can still be budget busters if you don’t watch it.
Trip #1 – Fred Meyer
Last week, Fred Meyer had cauliflower for an amazing price of $.88/lb. I used it to make Cauliflower Rice, Roasted Curry Cauliflower and cauliflower puree to throw in our scrambled eggs in the morning. I’m not a huge “Vegetables for Breakfast” type person, so this is a great way to get my nutrients in.
I also picked up cashews to make Paleo Caramel Cheesecake Bars. Grapes were at a decently low price and I found a huge display of bananas that had been marked down to $.44/lb, which is right around Costco’s price. We eat the heck out of these things for snacks, throw them in French Toast Scramble and use them in smoothies. I spent about $28 on this trip.
Trip #2 – Costco
We probably average two trips to Costco per month, three on occasion. Thank goodness their hours don’t totally jive with my kids’ preschool hours and our gym trips, otherwise I would be there every day.
On this trip, I picked up tons of fresh produce to use for snacks and side dishes for the week. I love having the frozen green beans handy, as they only take about 15 minutes start to finish if I need something quick. We throw the kale in everything, in omelettes, in smoothies for the kids, in salads. The bag of organic baby kale in the picture above is only about $5 or $6, fantastic price and LOADED with nutrients.
The cottage cheese is an inexpensive protein and we use it to jazz up salads, the half and half is for my Chocolate Almond Creamer for my coffee and their organic eggs are a decent price at $3.50 per dozen. I spent about $40 on this whole trip.
Trip #3 – Winco
Winco is where I have been doing the bulk of my weekly shopping, now that I have cut way back on my coupon shopping. Their prices are generally lower on an everyday basis and they have a fantastic bulk section!
I spent about $34 on TONS of produce, lunch meat from the deli, pitted dates and raisins from the bulk section and a huge tub of yogurt. I had a few specific produce items on my list, but also checked out prices as I walked the aisles. The red bell peppers were less than $.70 each and the avocados were a steal at $.48!
Total spent: About $102
My goal per week is between $100 and $120, which has been a bit of a stretch for us. You’ll notice that I didn’t buy any meat or milk this week, which would have made it well over $120. I’m working hard this year to find a good balance from month to month.
Here’s what on the menu for the week:
Share with us! How are you doing with your grocery budget this year? Have you made any changes?
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