Food Talk And Fabulous Finds - Seriously! What do you spend on Groceries per week?

11-09-2010, 09:56 AM
I am spending way too much on groceries. I want to know, honestly, how much you spend on groceries each week, what plan you are on and what do you normally buy and for how many people? I am buying for just my husband and myself and I am spending over $100 per week on groceries and it has to stop. We are both on plan, I am CC and doing moderate carbs and he just eats whatever I tell him to. LOL!

11-09-2010, 10:10 AM
Forgot to mention that hubby is on low potassium diet related to kidney disease, so beans are out.

11-09-2010, 10:11 AM
This is not helpful to you at all, but I only buy groceries for myself (and supplies for my cat, if that counts) and I spend at least $100 per week. Granted, I live in a pretty expensive town, but I don't buy too extravagantly (e.g. rarely get organic, don't buy out of season fruit, etc.). It's certainly easy for the bills to rack up when one chicken breast is $7.

I calorie count, and most of my groceries end up being lean meats (3-4 chicken breasts, a couple of fish fillets), veggies (red potatoes, a bunch of asparagus, mushrooms), low-fat dairy (cottage cheese, yogurt, half and half for coffee), and fruits for snacking (bananas, apples, occasionally some berries). The cat supplies add close to $15 per week between food and litter.

A friend of mine has a strict budget of $120 per week for her and her boyfriend, and in order to stay below that she spends a LOT of time searching for sales and driving to different grocery stores to get the items she needs. From what I can tell, getting your grocery bill down requires meal planning and a willingness to drive all over town to get sale items, but it can be done!

11-09-2010, 10:18 AM
I shop for my husband, son and myself and spend at least $100 per week. I plan menus ahead and shop sales. There are certain products I buy organic, others I don't. My son eats the same thing most every day and so do I except for dinner and so does my husband. I'm scrupulous about not wasting food and it's still hard to stick to my budget. I live in NYC, which means some things are more expensive, others less expensive. I find I have to shop several different stores to stay in my budget. One thing I will say is that we eat a lot of meat because my husband has a very physical job and feels he needs to eat a lot of meat (can't convince him otherwise). I shop sales and freeze a lot. This does also include his and my lunches which we bring to work, son eats school lunch.

I do SBD, which means lots of veggies, but these really aren't the most expensive portion of our bill.

11-09-2010, 10:26 AM
We just bought basics for the week at our local grocery store, i.e. fresh veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, onions and bell peppers, along with some milk and deli ham - $65. The majority of our shopping comes once a month at a big store in a neighboring town, and we spend about $225 there for the majority of 3 weeks worth of groceries.

11-09-2010, 10:28 AM
it is stupid how much money goes out, in this house, for groceries. i try not to think about it. it would make me crazy lol :crazy:

11-09-2010, 10:43 AM
It's just hubs and I and we spend an average of about $50 - $65 a week on groceries. I try to shop sales and according to a list but it's extremely difficult to come in at any kind of a decent budget, especially now that I'm really trying to be healthier in my food choices. :dizzy:

11-09-2010, 10:57 AM
Shopping for two I usually spend around 120-140 for 2 weeks so about 60 to 70 a week. I tend to buy a lot of fresh veggies/fruits and different meats. I cook 5-6 days a week and husband takes leftovers to work so we dont spend extra money on his lunches.

11-09-2010, 11:20 AM
If I wanted to live cheaply my grocery list is about 50 bucks for the week, assuming you have things in your kitchen already, like flour and salt and pepper...

2lbs of Oatmeal with the proper serving is less than $3.00. You can get about 30 servings so that is breakfast for a month.

5 Bananas at <50 cents a pound, breakfast for the week
Other items you can get to add: Almonds, Maple Syrup, Brown Sugar, Dried Fruit
Otherwise, this provides a really well rounded breakfast meal with fiber to keep you full till lunch, complex carbs for long term energy, and the banana gives you instant energy as well as some great nutrients. Sometimes I sub half and apple for a banana.

Eggs are also cheap and the great thing is... Leftovers + Eggs = Omelet

I buy bulk Spring Green mix. Because the greens are already small, you do not need to chop them up. I have 5 Tupperware containers that I throw this salad mix into and it stays fresh for the entire work week. This mix is 4.99 a pound and you can get a weeks worth for far less than that.

I get cherry tomatoes which is about 3.49 because they can go right into the container and will stay fresh for the week.

Cucumbers which are .89 each and will stay fresh cut for the week

Cut carrots <3.00

That is the basis of my salad. I usually mix up the rest of my ingredients every week so it's never like "Oh... Another salad." Low fat feta cheese, sundried tomatoes, peppers, lunch meat... You can usually throw something from dinner in too. To supplement this I usually have soup, for convenience I get Campbells Select Harvest but they are about 2 bucks each. Still... it's cheaper than buying lunch everyday.


Lean cut meats on sale. I have a deep freezer that I just chuck meat into any time there is a sale (wrap up servings separately and label them with the date of purchase and what it is. Sometimes you grab chicken only to find out it's pork...)

Canned veggies aren't that tasty or appealing but for a cheap dinner, they work.

Rice is also a good poor food because you can get a giant bag for cheap.

If all else fails... Ask a college student. They are masters of eating for dirt cheap. XD

11-09-2010, 11:35 AM
I am buying for 6 people, and spend about 150-200 a week. Depending on what I need to get. But...we go to farmers markets for produce and stuff like that, and we have a fantastic Trader Joe's, Henrys Market and a WinCo all really close, so we get lots of bulk stuff, I make my own broths and soups etc.

11-09-2010, 11:43 AM
I spend about $50-60/week for myself, my college-aged son, and my cat. My son and I are both substantial people (I'm tall and fat, he's very tall and athletic). I jump around between a food co-op, Aldi, and Cub and tend to buy stuff on sale, but I don't cut coupons or go crazy finding the best deals. I use the farmers market when it's in season, and I have a small garden.

I eat meat about three times a week, and do a lot with lentils and fresh vegetables. I waste nothing - I make stock out of leftover vegetable bits and meat bones, I make breadcrumbs and croutons out of stale bread. I freeze leftovers.

I use for those days when I can't find anything to eat and don't want to go to the store yet. This, actually, saves me a lot of money.

11-09-2010, 11:49 AM
I grocery shop for my brother, mom, and me and we spend 150-200 every 2 weeks. We just go to your typical grocery store.

11-09-2010, 11:54 AM
Wow. I'm a little embarrassed now. For three of us, I usually spend about $250 a week, including toiletries, cleaning and paper products. Granted, I tend to buy a lot of organic things--and my son alone can easily drink over 2 gallons of milk a week. I'm calorie counting and doing low carb. For dinner we usually have beef once, fish once or twice, tofu once, pork once, and chicken and/or turkey the rest of the days. I buy a lot of fresh produce, and very little prepared foods. My husband and son often take sandwiches for lunch, so we do spend a fair amount on cold cuts.

11-09-2010, 12:05 PM
For two adults, we spend about $400 a month, excluding paper products, toiletries, etc. We try to use our local Aldi and super Wal Mart when we can, to save some money. I have a bad habit of stocking up on multiples of things in the mistaken belief that it will keep me from having to go back to the grocery store every week. Never works that way, lol!

11-09-2010, 12:09 PM
Is there a reason you can't eat beans? (edited to add: I understand why your husband can't eat beans, just was wondering why you wouldn't)

We spend about $300/month eating mostly organic based foods. We eat lots of beans though, lots.

11-09-2010, 12:21 PM
Is there a reason you can't eat beans?

We spend about $300/month eating mostly organic based foods. We eat lots of beans though, lots.

Beans are high-potassium, and people with advanced kidney disease lose the ability to remove/regulate potassium, leading to dangerously high levels if not monitored.

11-09-2010, 12:29 PM
Wow! I have been spending probably $200-$250 a week. Thats for five of us; 3 adults and 2 children. I am VERY lucky in that the kids are not picky at all, and love vegetables, but are not overly fond of carbs. (how lucky? Last night they ate, happily, a fresh kale and cannelini bean soup!) They are 5 and 8.
Sorry, back on track. I read recently about people spending 100 dollars a week to feed a family of 4, but that included LOTS of beans, and lots of repetition... not very conducive to those of us trying to get healthy.

I am still learning about how to cook, and shop, but I learned a couple of things quickly. Most times we spend money to save time, so its a decision you gotta make.
For instance: do you buy onions that are already minced to make them easier to measure, or do you buy whole onions and cut them up yourself.
The same goes for carrots. Lot's of people love buying baby carrots for convenient, but if you buy just the loose carrots in the store they aren't more than $1.00 a lb, and that can get you about 5 full size carrots. I cut those into sticks (which I like better anyway) and then I am not wasting $3 on the whole pack. But in order to save, you gotta do the cutting and stuff yourself.

I am really trying to get my spending down to about 130-140 a week. It is going to involve really setting up a menu plan for the week, and then utilizing themes, so that when I spend the money on the fresh basil, I find different ways of incorporating that throughout the week.
Please let us know how it goes. I would love to hear any ideas also.

PS/ Sorry for my ignorance... Is it ALL beans, or can lentils or some other grain help to fill in?

11-09-2010, 12:34 PM
Beans are high-potassium, and people with advanced kidney disease lose the ability to remove/regulate potassium, leading to dangerously high levels if not monitored.

I understand that. I'm assuming her husband has kidney disease and she doesn't. There are a lot of things I eat that my husband doesn't and vice versa. I love beans and if my husband couldn't eat them, I still would unless there was a reason I couldn't.

11-09-2010, 02:22 PM
I shop only for myself and am following a low carb diet. I'm sure my grocery bill is a bit high because meat is more expensive than pasta.

I spend about $35 a week for the basics - fresh fruits and veggies, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, milk, eggs, deli meat, and ground turkey (that I use to make homemade breakfast sausage). I also order a "meat bundle" from the local butcher that has 14 pounds of various cuts of chicken, beef, pork, and fish. It costs $60 and lasts me about 6 weeks. And I buy things like condiments, nuts, granola bars, steel cut oats, etc. as needed, and that averages out to about $5 a week. So, that's a grand total, on average, of about $50 per week.

11-09-2010, 07:34 PM
$100/person/month including food & cleaning supplies. I usually have $$ left over. I eat low carb, low cal, have an active family of teenage boys, one son with Crohn's, feeding anywhere from 5-9 people at a time. So I budget $700/month. I eat Fage FF yogurt, shop at Central Market for some things, etc... A healthy lifestyle is affordable. In fact, I spend less on food than back in the day. Carbs are expensive.

I do not have a credit card and use a cash envelope. That is why it works.

11-09-2010, 09:46 PM
I'm not sure if I'd say carbs are expensive. My husband and I eat mostly organic, high carb and spend about the same as you, maybe a little more. Legumes and grains are carbs but are pretty cheap. I can get a lb of organic dried beans/grains for about $1.50/lb. Some things might be a little more, some are a little less (millet is usually the cheapest grain).

11-09-2010, 10:03 PM
I don't eat beans out of common courtesy. He loves them, so I don't want to torture him.

11-09-2010, 10:13 PM
I'm sorry HadEnough, that sounds extremely tough.

11-09-2010, 10:22 PM
Shopping for just one person, I spend about $75 to $85 per week. I am frugal in some ways & a spendthrift in others. I visit three grocery stores, at minimum, comparing prices between the three, and I buy produce that's on special, or marked-down produce, and dented cans of beans, tomatoes & broth. I prefer good-quality Greek yogurt. I buy fish at least twice a week. Nearly all my salad greens are washed & bagged. I buy lots of fruit, out of season berries if I want them. I often eat the same entree for three nights in a row. I do massive cook-a-thons on Sunday. On weeknights, I sometimes eat around 8:30 PM, at the end of a very long day, and just want to warm up something that's already prepared & waiting in the fridge, or at most, steam something in the microwave. (On those nights, I'm in bed less than two hours later.) In the cold months, I make soup weekly, and there's always a pot of soup in the fridge, in addition to some entree or another.

11-09-2010, 11:17 PM
We spend about $50/week for two of us, but we almost never buy meat (maybe once every few months) and my boyfriend usually eats out for lunch, so more money is spent elsewhere in that case.

We eat a lot of frozen veggies, eggs, fresh fruit and vegetables (usually in season although anytime berries are on sale I have to get my fix). We almost always prepare separate meals, so for me, I augment the produce with tofu, beans, and lentils, while the boyfriend is more carb heavy with his addiction to pasta and rice. My latest find and new staple in my diet is almond milk...I wish I could buy that stuff by the barrel!

11-10-2010, 12:14 AM
I'm not sure what hubby and I spend anymore. $50 to $100 per week. It's hard to come up with a hard number, because we do some shopping every quarter, some shopping every month, and some shopping every week. So we might spend $200 one week, but then only spend $10 for the next 3 weeks.

I use all sorts of money saving tips, most I learned from books like the Tightwad Gazette books, and frugal websites too (some of the tips are kind of out there, but it really makes you rethink ways to save).

The Budget Meals thread has awesome suggestions.

We bought a small chest freezer (from Christmas gift money) so we can stock up when we see great deals. For example, we don't pay more than $1.00 per pound for bone-in meats, or more than $2 for boneless. We buy cheap (and therefore fattier) ground beef and brown it with tvp (soy protein). The tvp runs $2.50 to 4.00 per pound, but one pound of dry tvp granules is equivlent to about 4 lbs of ground beef (but it's a little bland tasting, by browning it with ground beef and seasoning veggies like onions, peppers, and celery, it takes on the flavor of ground beef). I don't drain the ground beef, unless it's less than 80% lean, because the tvp is fat free (it's probably not low in potassium though).

We shop at Aldi and Super Walmart, because they're the cheapest "overall." If we had to shop only two stores, we'd choose those two. We usually get milk, eggs, butter, orange juice, potatoes, bananas, apples, and oranges from Kwik Trip (a gas station/convenience store) because they're the cheapest in town. This was a surprise, because most similar stores gouge people on the price of staples. We shop the farmers markets when we can, and even though prices are often cheaper than elsewhere, we are also willing to pay a little more at farmers' markets because the produce tastes better and lasts longer, so there's less waste.

We buy cheese from small cheese makers, because the prices tend to run $2 to $5 per pound instead of $4 - $10 you find in stores. I also buy my whey protein from the cheese factories for use in smoothes (drastically cheaper and more versatile than the flavored whey powders).

We buy spices from a baking supply store (about 1/4 the price of grocery store spices, and much fresher). If we can find bulk bin spices, we choose those for spices we don't use very often (because you can buy 1 tablespoon of a spice, if that's all you want).

We use fattier and/or bonier cutsaof meat (because they're cheaper), and then trim them at home, and/or cut back on the serving sizes (for example using them as a soup ingredient rather than as a hunk-o-meat on the plate).

We even shop dollar stores for some foods - like canned beats are usually almost $1 per can in most of the grocery stores, but at dollar stores are 2cans for $1.

We shop dollar stores and overrun stores (like Big Lots). For example one privately owned over-run store routinely gets in organic and health food stores. We shop there at least once a month. For the last year, we've been able to get organic chicken broth for less than 50 cents a can, and since we make a lot of soups, that's worked nicely.

We shop asian grocery stores in town too. We can get a quart of a gourmet mushroom soy sauce for the price of a tiny bottle of Kikoman's in the other grocery stores. Their prices on exotic fruits are also lower. Not everything is cheaper, but a lot of the foods are. Also, I love trying new foods, especially fruits and vegetables, and the prices and quality has always been better in the oriental groceries than in other gourmet specialty shops.

We shop small and gourmet meat shops. Most of the prices are higher, but we don't buy those cuts. We buy what is cheaper (and often can't be found in regular grocery stores anymore), the end cuts, the soup bones, organ meats. We can buy irregular cuts of gourmet, bacon (called bacon ends) for less than the price of the cheapest grocery store bacon. Because we use bacon as a seasoning, and not as a side meat, it doesn't matter to us that the bacon pieces aren't perfect strips - we're going to dice them anyway.

Saving dollars really is a matter of saving pennies. We cut costs in so many ways, even those not related to groceries (which allows us to spend a little more on luxuries whether they be at the grocery store or elsewhere).

I love books, but I rarely buy new. I borrow from the library (ordering from interlibrary loan, if necessary). If I borrow a book that I just must have, I'll buy it used from (often even with shipping, I'll spend less than $6).

We don't have cable television. We bought digital converter boxes, and the digital channels that come free are enough variety for us.

We don't have a land line (and until recently didn't have cell phone contracts. We used skype through the computer and a pay-as-you-go Trak Phone).

We watch movies online (but are considering Netflix or a similar program).

We shop thrift stores, pawn shops and second hand shops for a lot of our clothes, craft supplies, books, jewelry, household items, gadgets....

Hubby and I are both on SSDI due to disability, and it's a tight budget. We save on as much as we can, so we can afford our medications and rent (our biggest expenses). We have to spend a lot of money on medications, and we have to spend a lot on rent if we want to live in a relatively handicap-accessible apartment (The only thing our appartment lacks is a zero-lip shower instead of a bath-tub. We're saving to do that eventually, and the landlord has agreed to install it, if we pay for the supplies. That God-willing will be years down the line, but we've started saving now).

I highly recommend the Tightwad Gazette books though, because they really do have so many different tips, it changes the way you think. When you're always looking for a bargain, you find them in the most surprising of places.

I used to love shopping at the mall, now I have so much more fun shopping the second hand shops. I used to love shopping in gourmet shops, now I love shopping in ethnic markets (and find better foods at better prices - or sometimes even the same brands I used to pay three times as much for).

My mom and sisters in IL love viatnamese/thai spring rolls that they tried in our friends thai restaurant. They bought the ingredient in one of the gourmet shops near their home (prices are pretty comparible in our area) and it cost them over $20. I bought the supplies in our local asian grocery and spent less than $10.

11-10-2010, 11:32 AM
I am on Weight Watchers and I shop for me and my boyfriend. I cook dinner probably 5-6 times a week and it is hard to gauge the amount per week I spend, like kaplods it isn't always a weekly trip. I went over the past 3 months and the average was about $70/week. My boyfriend eats out for lunch everyday but I work with my sister and pack lunch for us both. I am lucky that I have a large variety of stores to choose from when doing my grocery shopping -

Kroger- I usually go once every 3 weeks for a bigger shopping trip - baking supplies, canned goods, vegetables, dairy, amish chicken.

Trader Joe's - about once every 5 weeks for olive oil, balsamic vinegar, those little MREs of Indian food, frozen stuff.

Whole Foods - maybe once every 2-3 months for specialty items.

Findlay Market (local market - various stores and farmers) - about once every 2 weeks for vegetables, fresh cheese and olives, meat.

Sams - about every 2 weeks for dog food, frozen fish, lunchmeat.

I buy all my beef online (except for ground beef which I get at Findlay from the local farms) and that is usually about $120 every 3-4 months.

Also, like vdander24 I tend to buy things like a 5 lb bag of organic carrots ($2.99!) which is about 5x the amount of carrots compared to buying baby carrots, lettuce that needs to be washed and cut rather than pre-bagged - it keeps just as long, if not longer. I don't normally buy salad dressing - I use olive oil and vinegar. Also buying whole chickens or bone-in/skin on is alot cheaper, I got 2lbs of amish chicken thighs for less than $3! Or if you are planning on dicing the chicken meat buy the chicken tenders rather than the breasts.

11-10-2010, 06:04 PM
I spend close to the same amount for just my husband and I - $75-$100 a week. It seems so ridiculous spending so much for 2 people. But- we haven't been eating out, which saves a TON of cash and the frequent visits to the grocery store keep me stocked on fruits and veggies.

11-10-2010, 09:24 PM
I probably spend around 25-50 bucks a week for myself. I could get the cost down even more too if I planned my meals out better.

11-10-2010, 10:36 PM
my household is just myself and my 9 year old son. We eat out one night a week. I budget 40 dollars a week for food, but since we live so remotely when I fly into the "big city" I stock up on non parishables and ship them out and hand carry out meats that are not locally available like lobster and lamb. I only get out of town 8-10 times a year though so its not consistent. I actually went a whole year once without leaving town.

11-11-2010, 09:55 AM
I should probably sit down and figure out how much I spend on groceries... maybe I could budget better. It is about the only thing we spend money on any more. The problem is - where ever I go, it is usually a $100 tab.

BJ's Wholesale (weekly/biweekly): Diapers, TP, broccoli, eggs, dairy, OJ, carb balance wraps, peppers, bread, fruit cups, frozen spinach, salmon

Big Y (weekly/biweekly): more veggies, frozen meals, other frozen veggies, things I don't want to buy in bulk, fresh fish

Butcher Shop (once a month, if even): meats - turkey, chicken, pork, beef

I stock up on spices, barley, quinoa and other dried goods from a Mennonite store in PA when I am out visiting my parents.

Trader Joes (every 3 - 6 months): wine = 3 cases = $100 (though, I guess THAT doesn't count as "groceries")

11-11-2010, 10:05 AM
We don't have cable television. We bought digital converter boxes, and the digital channels that come free are enough variety for us.


We watch movies online (but are considering Netflix or a similar program).

We don't have cable... the price kept going up and up and we did away with it. (We do have cable internet) We were up to like $129 a mo for cable TV and internet (with NO movie channels). I thought it was outrageous! Now, we have internet for $29.99 and we bought a Roku box to watch the instant watch stuff on Netflix through our TV (you can also use it to rent movies through Amazon, listen to Pandora and a whole bunch of other things). The Roku was $100 (hubby used b-day money) and we dropped our netflix down to the lowest plan - 1 DVD at a time and unlimited instant watch. I think we pay like $8.99 +tax. So... we only pay like $39 a month when we used to pay $129. Cha Ching! Netflix has really expanded their selection, too. Tons of stuff for our toddler. Lots of new movies, old movies, anime for my hubby, TV shows for me. I am addicted. (can you tell?)

So - no cable, no land line (we do have cell phones), we don't go on vacations, we hardly ever go out to eat, etc. We really do ONLY spend our money on food.

12-01-2010, 10:57 PM
We live in the lovely, relatively expensive San Diego area, eat mostly organic and high fiber foods, and are a family of four, though the two little ones are only 4 and 2, and I spend 200-250 every two weeks. I avoid packaged foods as much as possible, buy a lot of things in bulk, such as sushi rice, nuts, and whole grain pastas, and I go online to compare sales between my favorite stores to select who I will shop with this cycle. I usually buy the bulk of my groceries at a regular store and a few specialty items from Trader Joe's or Henry's Farmer's Market. That 200-250 includes diapers and wipes for my littlest.

12-01-2010, 11:46 PM
I'm originally from San Diego and found the produce/food prices much cheaper there than anywhere else I've lived. I was kind of in shock when I moved from So Cal when I realized how much groceries cost more elsewhere. When I go visit my mom, I stock up on some dried beans/grains and also enjoy shopping for cheap fruits/veggies while I'm there :)