Thursday, July 18, 2013

Grocery Grumbling: How We Only Spend $60 a Week on Groceries

After my How to Buy a House in Your 20s series, I had several readers email and message me on Facebook asking the same thing: "How do you only spend $60 a week on groceries?!"

Well, what do you know?! That question has sparked this mini series I'm going to dub "Grocery Grumbling." What is in store for this mini series? I'll let you know how we grocery shop, we will meet a couponer via guest post to learn her method for beating the grocery grumbles and finally explore the wholesale world.

Let's get to it shall we?

Rethink where you shop.

When we first got married, I shopped at Publix or Kroger where I would spend $90-$100 per week. When we started really saving for the house, we switched to Walmart where I would spend $70-90 per week. Today, I shop at Food Depot. While this is not a nation-wide chain, it offers something that most grocery stores do not - dirt cheap meat.

By dirt cheap meat, I don't mean bad meat. One perk to having a husband who is constantly working in and out of grocery stores is he learns a thing or two about how it works behind the scenes. While grocery stores like Publix or Kroger have a meat prep team, they do not cut their own meat. They only package it - charging you a higher price. Food Depot has a team of butchers who both cut and package the meat - allowing for a cheaper price.

We fed nine adults hamburgers on July 4th with six pounds of ground beef that we paid a whopping $10 for. We had about six patties leftover too which I ate for lunch over the next week.

Buy store brand. 

I think this one is pretty common knowledge, but sometimes we need to be reminded that brand naming isn't everything unless you've got a coupon for it!

Freeze. Can. Freeze. 

My husband's boss was nice enough to pass down a chest freezer from her restaurant to us. We definitely put it to good use!

Right now, our parents and grandparents are sharing their garden surplus with us. I'm up to my ears in squash, zucchini, cucumbers and tomatoes. I've been sticking it in the freezer. Actually, just last night I tried my hand at canning stewed tomatoes and I'd like to think it was an epic success. Hehe!

Here's some instruction on freezing squash and zucchini. Here is the tutorial I used for canning the stewed tomatoes.

Photo courtesy of Sherelle Christensen Designs
Consider freezer meals. 

Lastly, when I get in a cooking mood and have enough room, I cook freezer meals. These last us forever! Usually, we can eat on these two days in a row. (Remember, there is only two of us!) You can click here and here for my favorite freezer meal recipes. 



  1. Hi Miranda,

    Thanks for sharing our instructions for how to freeze squash and zucchini. Not only does it save money, but it's also great to be able to throw fresh veggies into a soup or stir-fry in the winter when they aren't readily available. Love all of your tips for saving money on groceries!

    Jessy Y.
    editor, Farm Flavor

    1. So glad you stopped by! Your instructions on how to freeze squash and zucchini can in handy so much this summer. Thanks!

  2. I'm just curious about how you spend $60 per week on groceries but then end up at $130 per month for them? 60 x 4.3 is more like $240...

    1. The $130 figure you are referring to is how much it cost the blogger the picture is linked to to make a month's worth of freezer meals. I just used her image there as a break down to show the economic break down of freezer meals. Sorry for the confusion!

  3. Found you on Pinterest! Loved the blog about buying house and how you managed to do so. I'm curious as to how long your freezer meals tend to keep?

    1. Hi Lindsay!

      I'm so glad you dropped by! The longest I've kept a freezer meal before using it was right at six months. It was still perfectly delicious. Over that, I can't really say!

  4. Thanks for this! I've been looking for a sort of a low budget meal plan for just me and my husband for awhile, we just got married in May so we are still trying to figure out a budget that will work for us. It seems like most things i find are for families with kids so i was very happy to find this! Could you possibly do another installment of maybe a regular list of foods you buy or something of that sort? Anyway thanks a ton!

  5. Hi there,
    I found your blog via Pinterest. I just wanted to say that I'm a 21-year-old college student who spends $60/month on groceries. Yes, per month! I shop only at Trader Joe's (I'm on the West Coast) and although they don't offer coupons, that enables them to offer the lowest prices possible. It's definitely doable, and I get a kick out of telling my friends how little I spend. It's only $30 per paycheck! I am getting married next August, so I know my budget will have to change, but I'm hoping I can simply double it to $120/month. We'll see how it goes!

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  7. Do you have an example of a typical grocery list that you use to spend $60/week? I'm curious to see if we can model our list off yours!


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