What does your grocery budget look like? What are your priorities when developing your budget? That’s the topic of this week’s
Do you have an actual grocery budget? How do you decide what you will buy each week? As I’ve talked before, I’m trying to feed my family a Green Diet for $15/day. That actually comes out to about $115/week. That seems like a lot compared to what some of the “Extreme” grocery shoppers are spending per week. But let’s compare.
How much can $20 buy you?
First, I went to Albertsons. This week they have a Quaker coupon in their flier for $3/5 qualifying Quaker purchases. That made the instant oatmeal only $1/box. With just a little over $20 I bought 15 boxes of Instant Oatmeal and 5 large containers of Rolled Oats (which were more expensive at $1.40).
This morning my daughter said to me that she would be happy if she could only eat oatmeal every day! Be careful what you wish for, right?
I went to Sunflower Farmer’s Market to buy my produce. I purposefully went there because they tend to advertise some of the lowest prices on produce. When I shop, I strive to get anything organic that is at a good price. This is what I bought:
5 lbs of Organic Apples
2 lbs Pears
1/2 lb Sugar Peas
Bag of Organic Carrots
2 lbs Grapes
1 Head Organic Lettuce
1 Red Pepper
1 Organic Spring Salad Mix
2 lbs Bananas
The difference? The sugar peas are already gone. I will probably need to get more apples and bananas by Sunday, and I will be completely out of produce by Monday (as long as the pears ripen).
As for the instant oatmeal? It will last us the winter. I bought this for comparison purposes – although we will happily eat it.
I think the difference in $20 is apparent. $20 in produce doesn’t buy you as much and is gone in a week. $20 in instant oatmeal is food that you can feed you for a season!
It’s a matter of looking at your regular spending habits, figuring out where your priorities are, and being smart about combining sales with coupons to get the most for your dollar on the foods that you can, so you can still afford to buy the foods that are a priority for you.
Are you buying food just because you can get it for super cheap? Are you addicted to doing the deals? (I’ll admit I get absolutely giddy when I get a really good deal!) Do you buy conventional food? Or do you only buy organics?
As I prepare my family’s budget, I try to buy as much fresh produce weekly as possible. At a minimum, I set aside $20. I’m hoping that as my stockpile grows, I can increase that even more.
Our current budget looks a lot like this:
$20/week organic dairy
$20/week meats and organic eggs (buying what’s on special)
$7/week bread buying only 100% whole grains
The rest goes to stockpiling what is on special and other home good expenses such as laundry detergent and the like. Most weeks I come in at $115 or less.
How about you? What are your priorities? What drives your family’s spending?