Grocery Shopping on a Budget

I promised you the results of my $200/month grocery shopping challenge. I received a gift of a $100 Fred Meyer gift card, which upped our budget to $300 (which we totally spent), so I thought I’d do this month, instead.

Yesterday was my first bi-monthly stop at the market & I picked up enough food to last for the next two weeks – all for $97.24. I am a grocery shopping genius!

  • I got all organic and/or local produce:
    • bananas (6)
    • broccoli (6 crowns)
    • bell peppers (2)
    • yellow onions (12)
    • roma tomatoes (8)
    • garlic (3)
    • salad mix
  • A whole organic chicken
  • Canned organic tomatoes (3 large)
  • Enchilada sauce
  • Black olives
  • Peanut butter (2, store brand, with added sugar; honestly I love sugary peanut butter, and although I used to buy the natural organic kinds, I still love Skippy best!)
  • Cheese (2 lbs)
  • Yogurt (10)
  • Wine (just one, unfortunately)
  • Soy milk (2)
  • Soy creamer
  • Organic eggs (1 dozen)
  • Special K cereal (it was on sale, so I got 2 boxes)
  • Lara bars (I got 3 to try out – I keep hearing people talk about them, so they will be a pre-gym snack this week…I’ll let you know what I think)
  • Yeast (we make our own bread)
  • Brown rice (2 bags – I usually get bulk, but this was on sale); and
  • Kitty Litter (20 lb box)

(not pictured – the kitty litter & the yeast; both of which I forgot. Also there was more broccoli before dinner last night.)

In the next two weeks, we’ll have a roast chicken (last time I was at the store, I got 10 lbs of potatoes for $2, so that will accompany the chicken), we’ll have chili (I have dry beans from last time, too), we’ll have enchilada casserole, we’ll have lots of sandwiches & salads (using leftover chicken, and the sandwich meat that I bought last time it was on sale & froze.

So – what’s my methodology? I grocery shop on Sundays (usually) because that’s the day that the new sales flier comes out – and the day that they’re actually likely to have the stuff on the sale flier in stock.

I make a list of the staples that we need (this week it was onions, garlic, peanut butter, eggs, soy milk, cereal & rice) and then go through the flier, looking for things that are on sale. At that point, I start to plan a menu.

I go online to coupons.com and to my local store & look for relevant coupons. If there’s a food I get a LOT (like Silk soymilk), I go to the website and sign up for special offers – and then sometimes they email me coupons. At least that’s what I’m hoping.

I’m not the best coupon user. I mostly just use my Fred Meyer coupons that I get quarterly.

I feel confident that I will be able to feed our family (of 2 humans, 3 cats) on $200 a month. Of course, we also have a $180/month eating out budget – so we spend roughly $180-400 on food total. If we had to, though, we could definitely spend WAAY less on eating out & probably survive on less than $300/month for food. I’m just hoping it doesn’t come to that.

I’ll keep you updated – let you know if we have to buy anything between now & the next planned trip in 2 weeks (we may need flour & catfood) – and how happy we are with the food we do have at the end of this 2-week period.