Documenting My Grocery Spend
One of my favorite personal finance throw downs is the great food debate. You've got clean eating, paleo zealouts who stop at no financial figure to eat for peak performance. You've got coupon clipping, bulk buyers who manage to pay about $.17 per week in groceries. And of course there are the vegans who claim absolute authority in frugality, sustainability, and health.
If you take the time to read through the comments on BudgetsAreSexy Food Debate Part 1 and Part 2, you might notice that the normally chipper personal finance community can get downright nasty when it comes to evaluating food spending and food choices.
I love cooking, and if I could spend every penny I wanted, and every moment cooking, the food exiting my kitchen would look shockingly close to The Smitten Kitchen or Foxes Love Lemons, and our house would daily be bursting at the seams with many guests. As it is, I have to save the Phyllo dough, mixed nuts, artisan cheeses, and gobs of difficult to obtain produce to special occasions. For now, we choose to have more reasonably sized groups over for dinner, and my real kitchen is more like that of Jessica Fisher from Good Cheap Eats, or the $5 Dollar Dinner Mom. Which is to say, that I am trying to eat healthy foods, at a low cost.
My plan is to document the groceries I buy, and the amount we pay each week. Hopefully, this will help inspire you to believe that delicious, lowish cost meals are achievable for you and your family.
My family includes me, my husband, and our two year old son. I also cook dinner for our roommate most nights (he puts $75 towards groceries each month, and also frequently buys beer to share). We typically host a group (8-10 people plus my family) from our church for a potluck style meal one time per week, and we like to have friends over (usually one couple or one family at a time) about once or twice a week. Thankfully, my family does not have any food allergies or sensitivities, so we don't have to stick to a medically prescribed diet.
I won't be posting any recipes unless I've tested them and taken the time to properly photograph them. That takes a long time, so don't get your hopes up.
June Week 1: Total Spend $72.86
Last week I spent $72.86 on groceries. $65.25 was spent at Aldi, and you can see what I bought below.
Unfortunately, that watermelon was bad (Aldi has a great return policy, but I already threw out my receipt, so I can't make good on it), and I forgot to buy tomatoes (necessary for a pasta salad that I had planned), so I made a quick run to our neighborhood grocery store Save-A-Lot foods. Save A Lot foods is hit and miss on the produce, but they (thankfully) had some delicious watermelon, ripe tomatoes (found after much picking), and as an added bonus they had boneless skinless chicken breast on sale for $1.19 per pound.
My total spend at Save-A-Lot foods was $7.61.
Our Meal Plan for the Week
This week we will be eating the following for dinner:
Pepperoni Pizza with Salad
Grilled Burgers with Mushrooms and Onions (salad and strawberries, too)
Brats, Pasta Salad, Watermelon, Asian Coleslaw (sooo good!)
Coconut Chicken Curry with Rice Noodles
Beer Marinated Chicken with Stir Fried Vegetables
Chow Mein with Pineapple, Celery, and Carrots
Chicken Enchiladas (Using Leftover Beer Chicken)
Lunch will be leftovers (Thanks Hubby, I personally hate leftovers) or sandwiches, with fruit and veggies.
Breakfast is usually eggs and toast for me, and eggs and oatmeal with dried fruit for my husband and son.
I'm a wife, a mom, an employee, and a personal finance nerd who is devoted to spreadsheeting my way through life.