Grocery Budget Motivation #3

Ever since the broken fridge incident, Brian and I have been attempting to rebuild our fridge and freezer supplies. But at the same time, we haven’t increased our grocery budget, so it’s been hard stocking up on things.  The freezer is still so sad looking!  But we are making progress slowly and still making sure to eat a well-balanced diet.

Photo Credit: psd via Flickr

Photo Credit: psd via Flickr

For new readers, Brian and I spend spend $200 a month on groceries for the two of us, usually split up into $100 for the first half of the month and $100 for the second half.  This pays for all of our breakfasts, lunches and dinners, fruit and snacks, but does not include any restaurant or fast food meals (which come out of our personal spending allocation).  Here’s how a recent $100 broke down:

At No Frills (Superstore), we spent $29.92:

  • 1L milk – $1.72
  • 3 cans of frozen juice from concentrate – $3.02
  • canned corn – $0.77
  • 500g dry pasta – $1
  • 12 English muffins – $2
  • 4 chicken legs and 4 thighs – $5.13
  • 2 stuffed chicken breasts – $2.47
  • 3.35lb pork shoulder – $8.33
  • 2 pints of blueberries – $3
  • 2lb of carrots – $1.48

At Shoppers Drug Mart, we spent $12.26:

  • eggs – $2.29
  • cereal – $2.49
  • peanut butter – $3.49
  • 450g cheddar cheese – $3.99

At IGA, we spent $6.99:

  • 12 pack yogurt – $6.99
At Cobs Bread, we spent $3:
  • multigrain loaf

At the local market, we spent $3.85:

  • mini watermelon – $1.12
  • yellow bell pepper – $0.23
  • cucumber – $1
  • 3 nectarines – $1.50

At the local deli, we spent $1.35:

  • salami – $1.35

We also have some garden beans and tomatoes in the fridge, a bit of lettuce, and odds and ends in the freezer from previous shops, such as a bit of chicken, some ground pork, some shrimp and a few pints of berries that we’ve frozen.

Meal-wise, we’re planning on making some sandwiches for lunch this week using the bread, salami, tomatoes (from the garden!) and leftover lettuce.  We’ll also take dinner leftovers for lunch.  The yogurt and fruits will be for lunch/work snacks.  For breakfasts, we’ll have some English muffins with eggs, cheese and tomatoes and fruit.  Brian will probably have cereal at some point, and I might make myself some egg and rice.  And for dinners, we’ll have a few stir fry’s using the pork slices that I cut from the pork shoulder and whatever veggies we have on hand. I am also planning on making some braised meats with carrots and pasta using our garden tomatoes.

How’s everyone’s meal planning going?  Found any good deals or recipes lately?

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  1. You folks spend so, so, so much less on food than we do! Well done. That sucks that you lost a bunch of stuff with your freezer failure 🙁 that would cost us a lot of money!

  2. Great Post! You are doing a great job of stretching your grocery budget. Thanks for the motivation. I have always loved freezer cooking. I didn’t take a day and cook for a whole month, but when there was a great sale, I would make a meal, double the ingredients and freeze half for the following week. This was also good in preventing me from buying convenience foods when my children were young and we were busy. Thanks again!!

    Karla Twomey
    Karla’s latest blog post – Superhero get out of debt guide:

    • CF says:

      I haven’t made a lot of freezer meals actually, most of the stuff we make gets eaten within the week. I do freeze cooked (blanched) veggies though, for easy cooking.

  3. Hey CF! Great job on the grocery budget! I noticed that you two shop at a bunch of different stores. Do you do that all in one day or is it over the course of a couple weeks?

    We have three grocery stores within a 5 min bike ride of our house. We typically cherry pick the good deals out of the flyer and hit up each store on different days coming home from work. It ends up saving us ~$5 per trip depending on what we cherry pick!

    • CF says:

      We usually do most of them in one round trip (all the stores are within 8 blocks or so of our house) and for fruits and veggies, we’ll make trips as needed on the way home from work. It’s super efficient when you can bundle a to-do into something like coming home from work. 🙂

  4. When the power went out during Hurricane Sandy last fall we lost everything in our fridge and freezer. Restocking everything at once would have been pretty expensive, so we started out just buying staples and eventually replaced everything. It looks like you guys are doing great (and eating really healthy which is awesome).

  5. I’ve been spending a lot more on food lately than I have in the past because I’m trying a new “diet” if you want to call it that. It’s expensive but it’s made me feel great so far.

  6. Pauline says:

    I just landed in Paris so am spending a ton on food I don’t get to eat in Guatemala, not good for the budget or the waistline!

  7. Wow you guys spend about half as much on groceries as us! I’m happy you posted what you actually bought, since it’s hard to fathom how you spend so little. We spend about $400/mo for two people plus a dog and a cat. I’m ok with our grocery budget though, it’s healthy and devoid of meat but still includes a lot of little luxuries that keep me from wanting to get take out.

    • CF says:

      We’re lucky to live in an area with lots of inexpensive little markets with good local foods. If we lived somewhere else, I can imagine that we’d spend a lot more.

  8. Wow! Saving up and eating healthy! That’s a great combo. Good job. I’m just curious about the fact that you guys buy your stuff from different stores. Do you add the cost of gas on this or are those places near you so you don’t have to worry about that?

    • CF says:

      All those stores are within 8 blocks of our house. We have a set transportation budget each month ($200) to use on car sharing cars, and we haven’t yet exceeded that amount, so we’re on track! A lot of the shops are made on foot too. Brian often grabs fruits and veggies at the local market on the way home from work for example.

  9. Great job on the grocery budget! Our great “find” this month was the 8 jars of salsa and 16 jars of pickles we preserved – woohoo!

  10. That’s incredible you get buy with spending so little one groceries. I’m over 300, and that’s just for ME!!!

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