Monday, January 28, 2008

What does everyone spend--approximately--on groceries each month? (and how many in your family?)

I'm currently trying to get onto some type of budget when it comes to grocery shopping. I feel like Big D and I are not so good in that department and we often times will buy stuff that we don't need/eat on a regular basis OR we'll shop on empty tummies with NO list in hand. Not good.

Now I'm not looking to be super rigid with my grocery shopping but it would be nice to have an approximation of how much we spend monthly. Going along with menu-planning which I Just started last week, this seemed like the next logical step. Especially considering that after the wedding, we want to start working on our savings account. After I have a baby, I don't plan on working full time anymore (but I will still have to work part time) so we really need to reign in the spending where we can.

Last week's shopping (Thursday) totaled about $120. I'm curious to see how long that lasts. Granted I bought a lot of ingredients that I needed to try out some new it was not necessarily all staples. And being that up until 2 weeks ago, we ate out/had take out about 3-4 times a week, I don't have a lot of basics in the house so I'm trying to build up on that (example: boxed rice, frozen veggies etc).

So, now I'm looking for input. How much do you spend monthly for groceries? (and how many people is this feeding) And what are some suggstions you have? Do you find it useful to buy in bulk? Or not? Do you make multiple portions and freeze it? Do you freeze meats? I just want to see how everyone else is doing it these days. D and I are big on freezing meats. We got a vacuum sealer thingy for Christmas so we have been using it everytime we shop. We also have an extra freezer in the basement that we do utilize when we shop at BJ's (warehouse store).

Any input is greatly appreciated!


Chele76 said...

I am by FAR not an expert... but I spend 250-300 a month... and mind you, I use peapod and get my produce at whole foods (also lovingly referred to as whole paycheck).

I know that I spend more then I need to, so I could imagine the two of you getting it done around $200-250 a month.

As you know, those "supples" are a heavy hitter. The days I need to restock my nuts (teeheeehheee) or get some extra spices, seem to hurt more then the other weeks.

Buy the veggies / fruits that are on sale. Use everything you buy... don't let ANYTHING go to waste.

I buy my bread at the pepperidge farm outlet store (usualy $3, I get for $1.50) Buy generic goods. Don't buy prepared stuff - that is the killer. Continue making, cooking. Shredd your own cheese, cut your own veggies. It all adds up.

Melissa said...

We spend about $120 a week for the three of us. No if we would just eat what we buy we'd be all set.

I agree with a few things Chele said buy generic, we use Target brand and you can get shredded cheese there for cheaper than block cheese.

Buy veggies and fruits on sale, if not then buy frozen that's your best bargain right there.

And I so miss Peapod, I always knew just how much I was spending which was WONDERFUL but pricey with the delivery fee and tip. Alas they don't deliver where I am anymore (SOB!).

Poltzie said...

It's so hard for me to answer that question because we eat out a lot, there is just two of us but the biggest reason is that I don't do much cooking anymore now that I am pregnant. I buy my staples (cereal, yogurt and fruit) and that is about it. Once a month I get a cooking surge and actually do something.
Before pregnancy I was spending about $100.00 a week but I cook a lot and I tend to make recipes with odd and expensive ingredients. I also am guilty of not eating what I buy but find that when I meal plan I do much better.

Anonymous said...

I am curious to see what others have to say about this. I don't keep strict track of what we spend a month on groceries, but think that on average it is about $300/month - that feeds a bigger-than-average Dad, an eats-like-a-bird Mom, an average-eatting 2-year-old, and Maren the human garbage disposal (seriously, she is one, and sometimes eats me under the table!)

We have a deep freeze that I take huge advantage of - extra paycheck money goes towards filling it with meat and off-season frozen veggies, as well as pre-packaged meals that I buy on sale (the Stoffer's Family Size Lasagna - bought on sale, with a coupon, feeds us for at least two nights and a lunch for me.)

You have the right idea with making your own and freezing it - that is a huge money and time saver. I am very strict with eatting out - twice a month and special occasions, and it is always done with a coupon.

I don't usually get a chance to read it, but we get the Sunday paper for the coupons alone - the cost I recoup in savings at the market pays for the subscription. There are lots of on-line services for coupons as well.

Steph said...

I spends about $130 a week for 4 of us, my kids are big into fresh fruits and recently the process have gone up. I try when I can to get some things at Costco because on average they are cheaper however there is volume there too and sometimes we have some waste. I have also used a program called Let's Dish it is a very cool idea. You book a session to make 4, 8 or 12, 6 person meals you can also split the meal into servings for 3 ideal for couples, so 4 meals would really be 8. They provide you with a menu to choose from and you personally make those meals while you are there, the cool part is that all the ingredients are at a work station for that menu item, they have done all the chopping and such all you do is put the ingredients in a bag label it and move on to the next item. I love it because I get great recipe ideas I can freeze the meals also I am able to remove items such as onions, spices, etc that I know my family won't like or add more of what they do like. Here is their website for more information

Good Luck with your grocery budget!

Dan Mega said...

About $300 for just me. Keep in mind that I like the better produce and its all for my breakfast/lunch/dinner. Plus I'm one of the unfortunate people that eats like a champion yet doesn't gain anything.

Zoe said...

i am horrible about this. it was one of my real new years resolution but so far with all that has been going on i haven't even attempted. mind you i am shopping for a family of 6. 1 still in diapers, a teen, a huge hubby and the neighborhood hangout. i am also a compulsive shopper. i would say we average 700-800 a month. sometimes more or less. i do use coupons and shop sales. generic where i can.

Cecily R said...

We spend about $100 a week for five. But that doesn't count Jon frequenting the drive through during work. :)

We don't buy in bulk and I'll tell you why. Because when we buy in bulk, we eat in bulk around here. It doesn't save us money, it just makes us chunkier. :)

Keri said...

I use to spend anywhere from 150 to 250 a week for the three of us... i know, huge $... but i would buy a lot of expensive meats, and silly things we really didn't need. We would also eat out sometimes 3 times a week... Half my check weekly would go to groceries and a quarter of em would get wasted.

so i'm sooo excited to dig my teeth into a grocery plan.

Hey so far, so good... lets see how much extra 'unplanned' things will add into my budget.

I was always one of the least planned, organized, scheduled, never watched what i spent type people you would ever meet. I could drop $100 in Walgreens, and not know why... Never saved a dime, and made good cash when i worked... but with babies, you find they like schedules... planning saves you from being pee'd on and pee'd off... and a budget helps when they ask for an apple , you actually have the $ to buy one...

~**Dawn**~ said...

Well for just one person, I spend probably... $150-$180 a month. But I buy a lot of fresh meat & produce which tends to add up. Don't even get me started on the way they make it so freaking expensive to eat healthy. But I also make a point to buy veggies on sale for the week and to buy the meat that's on sale and freeze it. I stock up on pantry staples when they are on sale & I work my butt off looking at the ads & clipping coupons. It does add up. Last week I saved almost $70.

~**Dawn**~ said...

Oh & I almost never eat out. Maybe twice a month. Maybe.