Saturday, December 3, 2016

Today's Grocery Shopping Trip

People have asked for more information about my grocery budget so I decided to share this week's purchases with a couple tips. We have a $200 a week grocery budget for the 11 of us ($800/month). Today I went shopping and spent $160, which leaves $40 in the budget. I will use that for more milk and probably some more fresh veggies.

The first tip I have is to buy a few extra non-perishable or freezer items each week. If you do this consistently over time you will build up a pantry of food in the house so you never really run out of food and don't have to totally fill the pantry in a single week. For example, buy an extra peanut butter and an extra jelly this week. Buy an extra case of canned veggies. Buy an extra container of oatmeal. Buy more than one item when you can, and stick to items that you know your family will eat. If canned pineapple is on sale but nobody likes it, don't waste your money.

My second tip is to watch for meat sales and markdowns. I check meat prices every time I'm at the store, even if I'm just swinging in to WalMart to pick up a prescription, and grab something if the price is good. This week I ended up buying a lot of meat. Here are the meat deals I found at WalMart:
  • Ground Beef - 5 lbs on sale at $2/lb.
  • Chicken Breast - 11 lbs marked down to $1.43/lb.
  • Pork butt roast - 14 lbs (2 roasts) marked down to $1.07/lb.
  • Brautwurst - 2.5 lbs marked down to $2.08/lb.
Will we eat 32.5 lbs of meat this week? No way! Some will be eaten, some will be frozen for another week. The important part of this is that we won't need to buy meat again until I find another sale or markdown. I already had 3 lbs ground sausage, 3 lbs ground beef, 2 turkeys, 2 lbs polish sausage, 1.5 lbs hot dogs, and 1.5 lbs steak chunks in my freezer (that adds up to another 45 lbs already in the freezer with the turkeys). It means that I can skip buying meat for a month if I need to. It also means the money I would have spent on meat each week can go toward those extra pantry items I mentioned in tip number 1.

This week's menu is as follows:

Breakfasts will be cereal, oatmeal, cocowheats, or toast.
Lunches will be sandwiches, fruit, veggies, salad, leftovers, pasta, rice, muffins.
Dinners will be:
  •  Hamburgers, hot dogs, fries.
  • BBQ Chicken, broccoli, rice.
  • Meatloaf, baked potatoes, carrots.
  • Tacos, refried beans, salad.
  • Chili and cornbread.
  • Spaghetti and meatballs.
  • Pancakes.
  • Pulled pork, mashed potatoes, broccoli/cauliflower.
Here is exactly what I bought at the grocery store this week for $160. I shopped mainly at Aldi, with meat and a couple other items found at WalMart:
  • fresh pineapple
  • 9 lbs apples
  • 3 lbs mandarins
  • 2.5 lbs bananas
  • 10 lbs potatoes
  • 1 lb carrots
  • dill pickles
  • 2 heads lettuce
  • frozen meatballs
  • hot dogs
  • 12 cans pears
  • 3 cans chipotle peppers
  • 3 bags bagels
  • 6 loaves bread
  • 5 lbs cornmeal
  • breadcrumbs
  • 60 flour tortillas
  • cheeses, 3 lbs
  • 2 gallons milk
  • honey
  • ketchup
  • 2 hazelnut spread
  • 2 boxes round crackers
  • 16 hot dog buns
  • 8 hamburger buns
  • 2 bags tortilla chips
  • 32oz chicken broth
  • 3 cans cinnamon rolls
  • chili powder
  • cumin
  • 2 bags corn chips
  • Brautwurst - 2.5 lbs.
  • Pork butt roast - 14 lbs (2 roasts)
  • Chicken Breast - 11 lbs
  • Ground Beef - 5 lbs
You'll notice that I didn't mention coupons. That's because generally I just don't use them. I don't buy a lot of packaged foods in name brands that have coupons available. Why? Because I can get things cheaper just by making them myself or buying them at Aldi.

That's all I've got for today! If you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments.


  1. For our family of 14 I spent $234 at Aldi this week on food. $8 of that was restocking pantry staples that we'd use right away, and another $35 was for stocking up so the pantry won't ever really be bare. The rest of it is for scheduled meals

    Breakfast--oatmeal with raisins x 6; cold cereal for a Saturday morning splurge
    Lunches--pb&j x 2; bean burritos; noodle soup and veggies; cheese sticks and pretzels ( we have 11 am church); leftovers; tomato soup
    Dinner--bean soup; sausage and beans; butternut squash soup; spaghetti; pancakes; baked potatoes; lasagne

    It appears to me that my family eats as simply as yours does, and that we both employ the same shopping techniques, but I still spend more. I wonder if it is because I have more adult eaters than you do.

    At any rate, I'm impressed with your skills. 😊

    1. I think you are right - more adult eaters matters! My oldest eaters are only 15 (girl), 12 (boy), and 11 (girl). You have several more teens than I do!

      I had to laugh at cheese sticks and pretzels for lunch on Sunday. Our ward boundaries recently changed and our time is now 10am (used to be 1pm one year alternating with 9am the next year). We're gone for snack time and lunch time. It shows. The little ones have to have a snack at church or it's a really bad day, and cheese and pretzels is a familiar option for us too.

  2. Oh, I LOVE Aldi!! It's my favorite grocery store by far :)


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