Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Grocery Budgeting and Shopping

Daughter has been asking me how much she should budget for groceries when she moves up north.

Right now, my grocery budget for both of us is $150/month (for food items only; pet food, household and cleaning products, toiletries, etc. not included; I budget separately for those items).

Logically, if I am spending $150/month for 2 people, then, it should be half of that, or $75, for one person.  However, I suggested she budgets between $75 to $100/month for herself, especially while she stocks up with basics and builds up a pantry.  Most probably, I'll send her off with items from my own pantry, as well.  I also managed to save $50 from July's grocery budget and gave it to her towards stocking up with basics (rice, sugar, oil, condiments, etc.)

I would like to save another $50 from my August grocery budget to add to what I gave her in July.  Let's see if I am able to do so.

I've been going on-line to check the prices of advertised items at the 2 main grocery stores DD will be shopping at when she's up there.  One is more expensive, but convenient to her (on the direct bus line between campus and apartment); she can stop and shop on her way home from classes.  The other store means 2 bus rides.  The prices at this store are comparable to prices at several of the major chain supermarkets down here.  I will be coaching daughter as to how to make the most of her grocery budget and I'll be happy to share those tips here, too.

I went grocery shopping yesterday at a nearby ethnic store; spent $47.57 and bought:

1 bread = $2.39
2 pkg. cookies, $2.19@ = $4.38
1 doz. eggs = $2.09
4 pork chops, $2.49/lb. = $2.63
3 salmon steaks, $4.99/lb. = $8.18
1 celery = $.34
hothouse cucumbers; $.79/lb = $0.56
1 regular cucumber = $.50
10 lb. bag potatoes = $1.49
bananas, $.49/lb. = $.56
tangerines, $.99/lb. = $2.50
lychees, $1.99/lb. = $1.97
white champagne grapes, $.99/lb. = $2.26
cantaloupe, $.25/lb. = $.65
green beans, $.69/lb. = $0.48
English tea, 100 bags. = $3.79
Assam gold tip tea leaves, 1 lb. = $6.89
1 bottle spicy chili sauce = $3.49
1 container spicy seasonings = $2.39
Total spent: $47.57

Stopped at a regular chain supermarket on my way home from work today and bought:
1 gal. milk = $3.49
1 qt. half & half = $2.29
1 lettuce = $.99
.54 lb. salmon fillet, reg. price $7.99/lb, on sale for $2.58 for the piece
.72 lb. salmon fillet, on sale for $3.44 for the piece
Total spent: $12.79

Total spent to date: $47.57 + $12.79 = $60.36

Balance remaining in August grocery budget = $150 - 60.36 = $89.64

I cooked the pork chops for tonight's dinner, with sauted carrots and celery and fried potatoes.  Leftovers in the fridge for someone's lunch, later in the week.

Anyone else shopping the sales and trying to make the most of the grocery budget?


  1. Probably all tricks you know and are already teaching your daughter but here goes:

    1. Shop with a grocery list and I try to shop when I am not hungry

    2. Try to use coupons

    3. Plan out meals (she might find it easier to cook on weekends or 1 night a week when she is home earlier and eating leftovers for the rest of the week).

    4. Always keep some easy/quick meal ingredients on hand for nights when you don't feel like cooking.

    5. Try new recipes *I tend to look in the grocery flyers and if something is a great price I try to incorporate it even if it means trying a new recipe.

    6. Check the flyers for sales

    7. Check for any reward plans the grocery stores offer

    8. I buy frozen or canned veggies if fresh is too expensive

    9. Try to use ingredients in more than 1 recipe/meal a week

    1. Christina, those are all great tips. Thank you. She is definitely planning to cook once or twice a week and eating leftovers.


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