I went grocery shopping today, and so I thought I'd give y'all a peek inside my bag:
Blueberry Lemonade Smirnoffs, Martinelli's Apple Juice, Double Box Frosted Mini Wheats, Stovetop Stuffing for Chicken, brown rice, 2 boxes of Wheat Thins, Whole Wheat Ritz crackers, 2 cans of diced tomatoes, 1 large can of pineapple chunks, 1 can whole black beans, 1 can whole pinto beans, 1 can peas, raisins, hot cocoa mix, olive oil, fajita seasoning mix, grape tomatoes, 3 large yams, bacon, baby carrots, sugar snap peas, pepperoni, Skim Milk, Kraft shredded Mozzarella cheese, String Cheese, 7 navel oranges, 4 bananas, 6 peppers (2 green, 2 yellow, 2 red).
Grand total: $62.83
The items that I bolded are atypical expenses-- things I only buy on a special occasion or if they're really on sale. We haven't had cereal in the house for months, because it's usually really expensive, and we both have other less expensive things we like just as well for breakfast (I do toast with PB, Justin likes 3 raw eggs in a glass of milk...say it with me...ew!). However, today, the double box of cereal was on sale for $2, so I went for it. We rarely have apple juice, but Lizzy's pediatrician recommended warm apple juice to help with her cough.
The items in italics are the "perimeter of the store" items. Today, it was about 50/50 in terms of perimeter of the store versus interior of the store due to some sales and other planned purchases. Usually it's more like 80/20 with 80% of things coming from the perimeter of the store. We do most of our shopping there, except for the occasional venture in for pasta, rice, or beans. We also do try to have crackers and raisins on hand as easy grab and go snacks for Lizzy. For me, the trick to the perimeter versus interior thing is to try not to buy anything from the interior of the store that isn't on my list. I broke this rule today for cereal, but rarely do in other cases. The reality of it is that we're going to have to buy some things from the interior of the store. Not everything there is bad. Not everything on the perimeter is good. But as a general rule, most of the junk is on the interior rather than the perimeter. Following the "list rule" gives me some flexibility in regards to meat, cheese, and produce, but limits my impulse buying of crap processed foods.
And here's my menu plan for the next week:
Thursday: Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Friday: Brown Rice, Black Beans, and Yumm Sauce
Saturday: Big concert for J, playing it by ear
Sunday: Superbowl, no normal meal
Monday: Bruschetta Chicken Bake, Green Salad
Tuesday: Pizza/Pizza Pockets/Pizza Bread
Wednesday: Chicken Fajitas
Friday: Soup (Potato, or maybe Stew)
So, the food that I purchased today will get us through until the 11th or 12th at least. I may do one more similar shopping trip this month (which would bring us to about $120) or maybe two (which would bring us to about $180). On the next shopping trip, you probably wouldn't see any of the bolded items again, but you would see things like cheddar cheese, yogurt, hummus, spinach, and eggs ( all of which we already had in the house this time). In addition, we may spend another $20 picking up extra milk for J and Lizzy at Costco and other last minute items, for a total of about $200 spent on food this month.
You'll notice that I didn't really purchase any meat. We typically buy meat in bulk and freeze it. We buy meat every 2-3 months or so, and spend closer to $250 on the months that we buy meat.You'll also notice that there isn't a ton of junk food--we occasionally buy ice cream, but I try to keep a lot of the junk food out of the house since I'm here all day.
How much do you guys spend on groceries each month? Any tips?