Thursday, January 19, 2012

whats your grocery budget?

So Kevin and I have had this debate on how much we should spend on groceries every month. I always do the shopping because clearly he has no spare time! I try to make meal plans and then go buy the things for those meals, but then we never have anything to snack on and being pregnant has made cooking a DREADFUL chore for me. (Because of smells and no energy). 

When you don't cook a lot, you spend more on groceries because you are buying quick and easy things. That being said though, I almost NEVER spend more than $100.00 on groceries every 3 1/2 to 4 weeks. I think that's pretty good. We do go to the store here and there to get milk and eggs and cheese and bread in between because those are things we run out of like crazy. Also, every few months, we spend about $100 at Sams club getting cereal, crackers, frozen chicken, you know- the bulk essentials. But that is only every couple of months and we try to keep it between 50-75$ although sometimes we do buy more depending on what looks good when we are there :)

Before you go all coupon crazy on me- I have tried it. It's not for me. It takes too much time out of my day, way too much time at the store, and usually only buys junk food. It's good for stuff like cleaning supplies or soap or toothbrushes, but honestly, sometimes time is worth more than money to me in that situation. So before you try to convert me to coupons and telling me how great it is and how much you save- in the nicest way possible, I kinda don't want to hear about it. Haha. I watch extreme couponing and although its a great method for some familes, it's not for us. But I am glad there are people out there doing it I guess. :) 

So what I am asking is- what do you spend on average on groceries monthly? Do you think I spend too much, too little, average? Kevin always thinks $100 is a lot but I always try to buy the off brand to save money and look for sales and I am usually pretty good at getting our food to last for the month. 

That being said, I went grocery shopping tonight, which is why all this is being brought up. I spent over an hour in the store comparing prices and trying to carefully plan some meals as well as get a few things I can snack on since I have to eat every two hours. I spent $120 on our groceries at Maceys. (my favorite place to shop... I refuse to shop at fresh market. I have been followed by way too many creepers and had to return bad food and HATE their service.. so maceys or walmart it is). I can't remember the last time I spent more than $100 in a grocery trip! AH! It kinda gave me anxiety. However, I did buy a lot of things we normally dont buy every time, like spinich (and other things for green smoothies I am going to try) and lots of meat- (two pot roasts, hamburger, and pork chops) The doctor has put me on a low sugar diet so that I dont get diabetes even though I passed my tests so I have been instructed to eat lots more wheat and meat and protein.. 

So, what do you think. Do I spend too much? Are you in the same boat? Do you spend the same amount? 

After grocery shopping, I love organizing my cupboards and fridge to make it look nice. And I LOVE having full cupboards! I took some pictures to show you the types of things we eat. (keep in mind I am super SUPER picky but trying to be better. Dont judge. haha)

Shelf #1. I like my wheat bread. Kevin likes white. We keep the white in the fridge, and mine out because I don't like cold bread. We always have some sort of suckers because they have helped me out when I get nauseated. We always have crackers, and granola bars as well. 

Shelf #2. We ALWAYS have refried beans, olives, and pinto beans. I like to make chili or tacos or burritos (I love mexican food) so we always have that. I try to always have a few things of pasta, one white and a few red. We always have Peanut Butter (hidden behind something there) and honey. This time I got some croutons and Ritz crackers and cashews so I can snack on those. I love croutons in my salads. We also like tomato soup and grilled cheese, so we try to always have some soup on hand incase we feel lazy and dont want to cook. 

Shelf #3. This is our pasta noodles shelf. We usually have lots of pasta because its fast and easy. 

Shelf#4- baking shelf. We love our pancakes.. and I ALWAYS have frosting or cake on hand incase I have to take something to a last minute dinner we are invited to or something. 

Our bottom shelf has the press and seal and ziplock and cups, as well as sugar and rice. We keep potatoes in another shelf across the kitchen, but we ALWAYS have potatoes on hand. 

Here is my organized pantry!

K our fridge is not very organized right now. I dont like touching raw meat, so I always leave them in the bag for Kevin to put away and separate into smaller bags because it makes me gag. Right now our fridge has banana nut muffins from sams, eggs, yogurt, milk, smart water (my favorite), homemade syrup (Kevin makes it from scratch and puts it in our old syrup container), we always have two gallons of milk, the white bread, usually one in fridge and one in freezer, we have turkey, cheese, tortillas, sour cream, jam... right now the veggies we have are carrots, lettuce, celery, spinach, potatoes.. the fruit we have is bananas, clementines, and strawberries. We never buy orange juice but the doc told me it helps digest iron supplements well so we bought some. And yes, we love eggs. We eat them alot- especially me. 

We do not live without our franks hot sauce, and I love my mustard! So, that's our food in a nut shell, what you will usually see. 

this week, I plan on making a roast and potatoes, taco soup (which I made tonight and froze some), pork chops, chicken pillows, having a salad bar, and hot dogs (yummy on our george foreman grill) Tonight for dinner while the soup was cooking, I made myself a salad with romane lettuce, celery, cheese, and carrots. I put a lowfat ranch with it- and it was super good. 

Here is the taco soup I froze

and the soup in the fridge. My crockpot makes alot!

So, now that you know the inside and out of what we eat... I know, not the healthiest.. but I am trying. I have always had problems with textures and I have been made fun of my WHOLE life by everyone about my picky problem. 

Anyway, let me know what you typically spend on groceries. I am just curious. Obviously it's different for people who have kids, so those of you that have kids try to think back to when you didn't have kids and what you spent. 

Hope you enjoyed my rant about food. hahaha. 

22 comments:

The Almonds said...

I usually spend about 40-50 like two times a month. And I do go to the store to stock up on cheese, bread, milk etc in between shopping trips. I think $100 a month is pretty good...its normal for us.

Triana Ord said...

When we were first married I spent $50 every two weeks on groceries. But that was 7 years ago. We also had a freezer FULL of beef from my parents. $100 a month is pretty good considering the starches you buy. I'm not saying that to be rude, I know what it's like to need snacks (we eat a ton here.) Some things you may want to switch out is less red meat. Go pork, and chicken. Macey's is awesome about their sales on those things. So just watch that and stock up. Same thing with the canned goods. Spending just a little extra on canned goods during their case lot sale will really help the budget.

Buying cheese in the brick form and shredding it yourself also saves money. The pre-shredded stuff is super expensive and doesn't last as long. Anything pre-packaged, pre-portioned "100 calorie pack" is also a no-go. Those are EXPENSIVE. Buy ziploc containers and do it yourself.

That being said. I know you don't want to hear the coupon route, but it has saved me a ton of money and I'm not hardcore. I just print off what's on coupons.com and smartsource.com and only use the ones I really need. They have milk and cheese coupons regularly.

My sister in law was amazed at how much I saved just doing simple things and watching what we ate. We ate more popcorn instead of crackers or chips, I made all my own desserts and frostings, cream of soups and now I save money making my own bread (it's super simple and it took 6 years of fear that kept me from it and it now saves us $10 a month on bread...)

Let me know if you have any other questions. I have a ton of tips (thanks to my mama) so feel free to ask!

Gillian Mohlman said...

I would totally cook more of those things homemade if I had more energy. Infact, after the baby is born my goal is to get back in the kitchen and cook more often. I may be super tired but at least the smell of foods wont make me vomit anymore. haha. I really want to start making homemade breads and soups and freezing them! Such a great idea. We always buy the bulk cheese and we shred it ourselves too. I actually am not a fan of hamburger or red meat, but Kevin is, and it contains a lot of iron which is helping me out right now since my iron level is a 9. I do use coupons occasionally or look at the store ads to shop when things are on sale, but not like the savvy shopper thing where they buy two newspapers a week and cut everything out- oh that would drive me NUTS!

Gillian Mohlman said...

And I should make homemade frostings too. I usually only buy the frosting if it is on sale, but I DO know how to cook so it wouldn't be too hard to make it myself. I have lots of times before, it just seems like being pregnant has turned me into a lazy pants.

Lacey said...

I hear you on the couponing stuff. I've tried it & it didn't turn out so great. One thing that was hard for me was the "confrontation" it caused if something didn't work, or having to challenge a worker for "what this said, or that said". I do use coupons that come out, when applicable, but I don't base my budget around them. It's hard. I try and tell myself that me buying stuff from a store, and maybe not getting the "best deal" is helping to keep people in a job, and therefore they keep me in a job I know, that sounds really lame, but I guess it's what I try to tell myself so I don't feel so guilty when I spend a lot at the grocery store:/. I do wish I could be more coupon savy like others though. :)
I think is great that people are able to save so much money.

I think your budget is very reasonable. To be honest we probably spend closer to $150 a month--and it's just the two of us well. It seems as though you were able to obtain quite a bit of stuff. So I wouldn't stress to much about it. That is about what we spend, when we go to the store. I think part of my problem is too, I feel like we throw out a lot of stuff because we are only cooking/buying for 2 people. Especially fresh produce. Try not to stress too much. :)

Lacey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lacey said...

Sorry if my comment was super redundant. I'm not very good at getting my point across in writing.

PS I hear you about the fresh market. Dewey & I nicknamed it "Peg Legged Fresh Market" because of all the creepy people that went there. lol.

The Thomas Family said...

For some reason men always think women spend too much at the grocery store lol but groceries are expensive!!! I think $100 a month is very reasonable! I think even when it was just T.C. and I we were spending at least $150 including all those extra trips for milk, bread, cheese, etc. Plus all the non food items are what is really pricey...laundry detergent, shampoo, soap etc. And I totally get the textures thing...T.C. is ALWAYS making fun of me about it! Moral of this post...I think $100 is very reasonable for two! :)

Gillian Mohlman said...

I would have to say that we are prob closer to 150 a month.. we try to stick to 100 but occasionally we do get closer to 50. but never in one trip. I am glad you all spend about the same- I feel better now! haha. I really wish I ate more healthy. I am so much better than I used to be though! Lacey- we totally throw out SO much food. I feel like we cant keep on top of our produce and it always goes bad too soon! :(

Jess and Jen said...

I don't think you spend too much. It seems pretty reasonable to me. I don't like the coupons either. If I see one online that I know I will use then I print it off, but that's all I do. I am excited for you to try a green smoothie...I'm drinking mine right now! I am not a "green" lover at all, but I like the green smoothies. I have half greens and half fruit. And...that spinach in there has lots of iron and protein...just what you need! -Jen

Kira said...

WOW! I spend a lot. I spend around 150 a week... but we buy a lot healthy foods and sadly.. that gets more expensive! So expensive! keep doin what your doin!

Michelle said...

We have our grocery budget at $200 for a month. some times I spend way less and some times i spend a little more. It all depends on what we need that month. when i'm restocking pantry or the freezer i got a little crazy and spend more. I don't think your budget is to much. I'm not into couponing either, i'd like to be, but i don't have the time right now.

kaites said...

Wow good for you trying to only spend $100! That is how much I had bugeted when I was single, so naturally I doubled that to $200 a month for the both of us, and we on average spend about that much. We go to the store every week and spend about 50 bucks. On Saturday mornings we come up with a menu of what we would like for the week and then plan off of that- which is nice because I can double up on certain ingredients so I don't have to buy as much! I am trying to eat really healthy right now, so I almost always buy a ton of vegetables, which adds up.

I think that you are doing great! Especially for being pregnant and having cravings and such!!!

Good luck shopping and cooking!!!

Kira said...

By the way... I wasn't saying you didn't eat healthy! You are! You listed off a whole bunch of fruits and veggies on your list .. So your doing good! I also wanted to mention that James and I have different diet so we really buy two separate dinners each night for the both of us... and we always buy the name brand. You really opened my eyes. I think at very LEAST Ill start buying off brand and buying in bulk. :)

The Dayleys said...

Mitch quickly realized grocery shopping adds up when we first got married. We used to shop at walmart but found we got better deals at smiths. We rarely shop maceys because we find them on the pricer side. I think $100 budget is amazing. We spend around $200. But we've never been strict on our budgets. I too need to be better about cooking meals from scratch. Quick meals definitely add up.

Bre And Drew said...

holy cow how do you do $100 a month???? That's amazing!! Maybe it's cause we eat 6 meals a day and buy LOTS of produce and chicken but... we spend 50-80 a week! I try to keep it closer to 50, it just depends on what we need around the house as well.

C said...

we spend like $300 a month but is including house stuff too like t.p. And soap, etc. we could probably spend less but Health is important to me so I spend money on good quality stuff and its worth it to me cause I feel better... $100 is nothing. Eric wishes we spent that much but that will never happen :)

Britt Hanson said...

Our budget is $200, but usually we spend a little less. That $200 does include things like shampoo, soap, and all those things as well. Usually we'll go grocery shopping every two weeks and spend about $75 and then on the in between weeks just pick up the things like milk, eggs, etc. It sounds like we stock up on the same sort of items too - like pasta, etc. and I buy snacks, crackers, puddings etc. It's easiest for me to have snacks like that throughout my day since my work is crazy. I think you guys are doing great! Oh.. And I am the same about coupons. Don't like doing it. The coupons we use are fast food coupons that we get in the mail :)

Mrs.Danielle.Warren said...

I know how you feel about spending too much on food. I found this article & thought you might like it! http://blogs.babble.com/the-new-home-ec/2012/01/21/how-to-save-money-on-groceries-without-clipping-coupons/

Mike and Adrianne said...

I don't think you spend too much on food--seems reasonable to me.

Alexis Kaye said...

YOU ARE GOOD!!! I usually spend about $150 a month on food AND I do (some) couponing and price matching! BUT I have expensive taste. The bulk of what I eat is producs. I love my fruits and vegetables. And We never eat out either. I always thought my budget was super low! haha! but then again, sometimes i go below too!

Glenna Bartlett said...

I am amazed you're able to keep it that low! Even when Husband and I say we're going to keep it mellow we walk out having spent over $200. We do live in California where everything is way more expensive...oh how we miss Walmart and Macey's (our favorite places in Utah too)...but I'd say you sound smart and capable of spending wisely. So don't beat yourself up about it!

Glenna May
http://www.finallysomethingtoblogabout.blospot.com

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