35 Responses to “My second week of conscious market shopping.”


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  1. How can those things add up to that amount? Are the grocery stores where you live flat-out robbing you? I will never complain about RI prices again!

  2. I think we should just blame is on PB’s impulse buys ;). I enjoy WFs but it is SO expensive. I try to only go their once a month (or less) if I can. This seems to help me a bit? Hope you’re doing well 😉

  3. I am so glad I’m not alone. I spent about $150 yesterday and then forgot stuff, so spent $25 more this afternoon. Heeeelllllppppp me!

  4. Emily S

    Do you have a BJ’s or Sam’s club nearby? You can buy bulk beans, pasta, olives, etc. there and save a lot.

    Whole Foods is awesome, but it’s impossible to shop there without spending loads of $$$.

  5. Unless I have some serious coupons I always feel like I got absolutely nothing, especially because I don’t really buy meat or big ticket things like that.

    If it makes you feel better I spent $80 just on baking supplies last week.

  6. I always buy more than we need at the grocery store(s). I’m a compulsive shopper, but I’m trying to cut down. It’s hard because grocery bills are going to go up dramatically due to printing $600 billion, which directly affects gas prices, and gas prices are affected directly by the USD. Just when I want to be more thrifty at the store, prices will simultaneously explode. Sigh.

  7. We shop at Costco and Wholefoods. I buy as much bulk as I can from Wholefoods and everything in Costco is huge 🙂 Surprisingly, we still run out every two weeks! Costco is really really great – you should consider joining the club! But have to agree about the struggle to keep the cost down – it’s hard for us too!

  8. I fail at this every week. I blame the rising food prices. It’s not my fault. EVER.

  9. I spent so much money on groceries this week, it makes your number look good:-) On the upside, if you weren’t being careful about your groceries you probably would have spent much more!

  10. I am still really enjoying this segment on your blog! I am trying to work on this as well…too bad you werent up here in Mass because San Marzano tomatoes, whole chickens, AND pineapple were all on sale at WF’s! THe tomatoes were 2/$4 so I stocked up 🙂

    To me it looks like you got a lot of produce items, so for me I usually dont feel guilty on what I spend as long as I use all of it! So if you eat all of that this week (well the fresh stuff anyways) then its hard to beat yourself up about it. I find it funny that PB’s “impulse” buys are things like eggplant and fennel haha. I’m thinking some of those produce items could be purchased cheaper elsewhere.

    I usually start at the cheapest grocery store around here and see waht I can get there (its hit or miss with produce but sometimes its great), then I’ll finish up at WF’s for things I couldnt get elsewhere…but it helps I have lots of options right near my house.

  11. Expensive grocery shoppers unite. I seriously don’t know how people can spend under $100 for two people a week…I mean, I’m amazed!! I try not to get too hard on myself about my grocery purchases though, because I know I cut corners in other places to pay for them. Some girls are addicted to Sephora. I’m addicted to organic produce.

  12. RhodeyGirlTests

    I already tossed this week’s receipts so I will remember to do this for next week!

  13. Even if it’s not perfect, I think it’s worth sharing as it’s always a work in progress. I think it’s okay if you have certain brands you love – but I agree that you may want to see if there is a place you can find them in bulk to save costs, if not BJ’s or Costco, I know that Amazon carries a lot of great brands in bulk. Maybe a way to trim a little $$$. Or, just make a more conscious effort to bulk up when they do go on sale. (i.e. at my WF the San Marzano tomatoes do go on great sale every once and awhile so when I do I buy a ton.)

    See how it goes next week, but if you find that you tend to be an impulsive shopper (or your husband is) why not just adjust your list so that it leaves wiggle room for some impulse buys? It sounds like the impulse buys were probably enough for a whole meal or two so why not leave one or two meals a week up to whim based on what you see at the store? One thing I’ve found helpful is having a recipe app on my phone so that I can better plan on the fly.

  14. You are not alone! This happens to me all the time. I think part of my problem is I like to have options, rather than stick to a strict plan, and our fridge is never empty. Always packed full.

  15. Amanda

    I think you just have a taste for really great foods and are willing to pay for them…. for me I just NEVER buy grapes unless they are $0.99/lb it’s in my head that I don’t even think about buying them. But if when you look at them you think about how great and fresh they taste and how good they make you feel you don’t think about the cost in essence it’s worth it to you.

    Lately I have been giving myself a dollar limit on “splurge items” so I can still pick up a special item I don’t normally buy, don’t deprive myself, and still stick to my budget. So if you and PB wanted to keep your bill at $100 then give each of you $15 for splurge items and that’s it, then be a stickler with prices on everything else you buy for the house and keep that at $70.

    You can do it!! Good luck!!

  16. I am the WORST at budgeting at the grocery store. I spend way more than I should, too. Sigh.

  17. Yes, I spent $40.50 this week just on lunchfood alone for ONE person! Eek…NYC shopping is always going to be bad though.

    I think you should leave PB at home 🙂 less impulse buys!!

  18. whole foods is wonderful but its so expensive! and i agree with the other posters, it doesn’t seem like you got enough food for it total over $185!

  19. I think seeing a price break down will help. I also try to do a few cheaper meals and then a more expensive one (that might include meat or some more rare ingredients that Im specifically buying for the dish). Just a thought! And I love that PB grabs delicious whole foods instead of Ramen and frozen pizzas like my boyfriend!

  20. Amy

    Oh friend–you’re doing well! You’re being more conscious about it and that is a great first step.

    Time for some tough love, though: while I definitely agree that it’s great to have brands & stores you love, if you’re really interested in decreasing your bills, you’ve got to CUT IT with the brand names AND the Whole Paycheck. Generic is just fine for most things, and in fact, a lot of the brand name foods also slap a generic product name on themselves as well to make additional revenues–so often, it’s JUST as good as the brand name, and in fact, in my grocery store, there are a few generic foods I like BETTER than the brand name versions.

    Is there another grocery store besides Whole Foods you can frequent that is not as far as Wegman’s? For example, I do a majority of my grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s, but I also utilize an “upscale” Pick N Save near our house. It’s just like a regular grocery store but it’s laid out to feel a little nicer, they have a bigger selection, and I can still use my discount card and coupons there. I love Whole Foods, too, but I only go there as a “treat.” It’s just far too expensive for everyday grocery shopping.

    Keep up the great effort, girl–you’re working on it and that’s AWESOME! 🙂

  21. Tricia K

    I really don’t want to make you feel bad, but $186 for a week?! That’s nuts! My fiance and I spent $40 on food this week. What we do is get all our meats and pantry items one week and then just get produce the next. We also don’t have meat with every meal AND we shop at wholesale stores (BJ’s near us) for things like frozen turkey meatballs, eggs, and some other things like Nature Valley granola bars. I like that you’re doing this challenge though. I look forward to seeing better numbers in the weeks to come!

  22. Jen

    Also when you join a wholesale club you get 2 cards under the account so if you have any friends that want to join you could split the account. Also if you and said friend went shopping there together you could always split items that you both need but don’t need all of the bulk. Also if you have a bj’s near by they take coupons plus you can stack there store coupons with MF ones which has allowed me to get things soo cheap. Sams Club and costco do not take coupons. I don’t have a costco near by but I hear they have alot more organics then bj’s does. But bj’s does carry some great organics and they seem to be adding more of them to there store, at least mine seems too.

  23. I usually only buy the meat that is on sale or from TJ’s where it’s typically cheaper. I like Muir Glen organic tomatoes, which are much cheaper.

  24. I always subtract household items (like toilet paper and aluminum foil) from my food budget. I like to keep track of just what I spend on actual food.

  25. I made two vegetarian dinners this week and it cut down on cost a lot.

  26. Jen

    BF & I try to buy produce and meat at the Italian Market, it’s mostly local but not organic stuff, but SUPER cheap. We then will hit up ShopRite, Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods for the rest of the stuff we need, and we usually clock in spending around an average of $80 a week for 4 dinners with enough leftovers or sandwich items for lunch. Before we did the Italian market, we would easily spend over $120 a week!

  27. I think it’s great that you’re making the effort! The only thing I would suggest is to be cautious of the produce you’re buying. Some of what you bought (i.e. the pineapple, avocado, fennel) is usually pretty pricey! Personally, for produce that is a little pricier, I just wait for it to go on sale/ come in season, or like with blueberries – buy them frozen. Or, I’ll buy a 3 pound bag of organic apples for $4.50 instead of the one pineapple for 1.5 times that.

    Something that I haven’t (yet!) tried, but have heard people have good results with is bringing cash with you and only using that. So if next week you know you only want to spend $100 for your groceries, bring an envelope with your cash and any coupons. Then you’ll have to pick and choose…don’t let yourself go back to the safety net of the debit/ credit card! And also maybe try to make a game of it – see how much you can get for how little. Then you may naturally start gravitating towards more affordable produce, and things like that, but still have room for splurges that are really important to you.

    Hope that helps. 🙂

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