A guilty pleasure of mine is looking in people’s grocery carts. We’ve received a lot of great reactions to our budget of $100 per person per month for food. Some people have asked for specifics of what this looks like for our weekly shopping and meal plan. So here it is. This week, we followed the plan laid out in our previous post and only spent $60.43 on our grocery haul! And we had plenty of food left over! Here’s a peek into both my pantry and my grocery cart.
You may recall our strategy for saving on groceries.
In this post, we review our plan using specific examples, then give the per serving cost of each meal, and finish with what we had remaining.
Our food budget includes diapers, wipes, dog food, and anything else you’d get at the store (e.g., detergent, toothpaste). Here is how we put our strategy into action this week.
- Start by looking in the pantry, fridge, and freezer*
- We already had the following
- Spaghetti (stocked up on BOGO): 2 for $1.69
- Rigatoni (stocked up on BOGO): 2 for $1.69
- Elbow pasta (stocked up on BOGO): 2 for $1.69
- Peanut Butter (stocked up on BOGO): 2 jars for $5.39
- Veggie burgers (stocked up on BOGO): 2 boxes for $3.69
- Frozen pizza (stocked up on BOGO): 2 for $6.99
- Cereal (stocked up on BOGO): 2 boxes for $4.99
- Tortillas (stocked up on BOGO): 2 packages for $2.65
- Carrots: 2 lb bag for $1.88
- Apples: 3 lb bag $4.46
- Block of cheddar cheese: 2 lbs for $8.86
- Trail mix: 40 oz bag (39 servings) for $7.98
- Jelly: $2.98
- Potatoes: 5 lbs for $4.40
- Rice: 5 lb bag (50 servings) for $4.48
- Dried Black Beans: 1 lb for $0.98
- 1 package of Ranch dip mix: 4 packets for $5.00
- 1 Clove of Garlic: entire head costs $.75
- Coffee: (lasts 1.5 months) on sale $5.99
- Basil leaves: large plant for $3.00
- Jalapeno: plant for $3.00
- Limes from our lime tree: $0.00
2. Next, look at local grocery store fliers
- On BOGO this week were
- Chicken breast
3. Meal Plan based on what we had and what was on sale
- Cereal and milk
- Hardboiled eggs
- Veggie burgers (family weekend)
- Pizzas (2 pizzas make 1 family meal plus leftovers for kids’ lunch)
- Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (kids weekdays)
- Cheese wraps from leftover tortillas, cheese, and pico de gallo (kids weekdays)
- Spaghetti (Dad weekdays)
- Salad with leftover spinach, tomatoes, onions, cheese (Mom weekdays)
- Carrots and dip
- Apples and peanut butter
- Chicken wraps (makes 2 meals)
- Quesadillas (makes 3 meals)
- Rigatoni (we have enough for 4 meals, but only need 2)
4. Make a list
We divide our list into the BOGO items we’ll get at the grocery store, and everything else. When we’re making our list, we put the price of each item next to it. This helps us know whether we’ll be able to stay on budget or if new need to adjust our meal plan.
- Grocery store BOGO items
- Chicken breast (4 packages for 20.53)
- Peanuts (2 for $4.35)
- Bread (4 for $6.38)
- Total for grocery store= $31.26
- Canned tomatoes (for pasta sauce) $1.24
- Tomato sauce (for pasta sauce) $0.72
- Fresh cilantro (for pico de gallo for quesadillas) $0.98
- Onion (for pasta sauce, quesadillas, and wraps) $1.91
- Tomatoes (for wraps, pico for quesadillas, leftovers for salad) $2.52
- Spinach (for wraps, leftovers for salad) $3.46
- Corn (for quesadillas) $1.00
- Sour cream (for Ranch dip) $1.98
- Milk (half-gallon for cereal) $2.07
- Bananas (for breakfast) $1.35
- Yogurt (for breakfast) $3.68
- Strawberries (for snack) $4.44
- Eggs (18 pack) $4.12
- Total for superstore = 29.47
Total for both stores = $60.73
Per Serving Cost
Since we already had some items at home, it’s helpful to know how much our meals cost per serving. Considering the price of all ingredients, the per serving costs were:
- Cereal with milk $0.38
- Yogurt $0.61
- Banana $0.23
- Hard boiled egg $0.23
- Peanut butter and jelly sandwich $0.29
- Veggie Burgers on toasted bread $0.60
- California Pizza Kitchen pizza $1.17
- Cheese wrap with homemade pico de gallo $0.84
- Apples with peanut butter $0.45
- Trail mix $0.20
- Peanuts $0.14
- Strawberries $0.32
- Carrots and Ranch dip – so low I can’t even calculate it
- Rigatoni or Spaghetti with homemade marinara sauce $0.67
- Chicken wrap $0.98
- Burrito or Quesadilla with homemade pico de gallo $0.99
The Most Expensive Item
Wow! I hypothesized that the most expensive item would be the wrap with chicken breast, spinach, tomato, onion, and shredded carrots. But the data did not support my hypothesis!
I shouldn’t be surprised, but the most expensive item was the prepackaged food: frozen pizza. And that’s the BOGO price! But last Friday I showed that it’s still less expensive than ordering pizza.
Everything else cost less than $1.00 per serving.
Still in our Pantry/Freezer
At the end of the week, will still have plenty of food!
- 3 packages of Chicken breast
- 2 loaves of Bread
- 4 boxes of Veggie Burgers
- 2 boxes of Rigatoni
- 1/2 box of Elbow pasta
- 3 jars of Peanut Butter
- Enough vegetable scraps to make soup stock
*Before any naysayers argue that we started with some food in our house, keep in mind:
1) I’ve posted my food expenses for this entire year, so you know that we did not stock up in preparation for this week’s post.
2) Thanks to taking advantage of BOGOS and buying large quantities of staples that last for months (e.g., rice, trail mix), we also have a good amount of food left over for next week’s meals.
3) Most people have food in their pantry/fridge/freezer at the end of each week, but they let it sit there collecting dust (or freezer burn). Eat it!
How much did you spend on groceries this week?
Check out our other Food Finances Friday Features