Clearly_Irrational wrote:By the way, we had already cut our grocery bill nearly 30% by shopping smarter, but then food costs rose again.
Disclaimer: Just in case this is an informal survery for a shopping chain, prices are what I expect, not what may actually be.
Food is up, it isn't up that much! My entertaining yet informative response on a month in the life of food shopping here in the Northeast right now. This ought to keep you busy.
Buy on sale: Cherries when in season can be anywhere between $2 and $3 on sale. Who's paying $8 a pound for Washington State cherries?
Peaches - 99 cents to $1.79 a pound
Apples - 99 cents to $1.99 a pound
Meat - 85% lean chop meat - $3.49 a pound
Steak from the loin, boneless - on average $5.99 a pound, on sale
Ribeye steak - $4.99/lb on sale
Turkey, whole - $1.29/lb - 11 pound average
Sausage, pork/sweet or hot - $2.99 lb
Prime rib roast - $7.99 lb on sale
Bananas - $.49 cents a pound to $0.79 cents a pound
Mango - 99 cents each.
Strawberries - $1.99 a box
Blueberries - 2 pints for $4
Case of 24 bottled spring water - pick your name brand - $3.33
Multi-grain individually sliced bread -$4.29
Asparagus - $1.99 - $3.99 a bunch
Broccoli - 99 cents a pound
Romaine Lettuce - $1.49 pound
Box of mixed greens $4.99, lasts a week
What kind of coffee do you brew at home? Tea?
$25 a month bought outside is the equivalent of cart-bought coffee, can't get much cheaper than that.
Big drivers of grocery bills:
Clothing detergent - get off of Tide, go with All Free and Clear ($12.49 vs. $5.99 32 or 48oz size)
Lysol - buy on sale in bulk
Tissues - buy on sale - Kleenex or Scotties 99c a box
Paper towels - an 8 or 12 pak of Sparkle - $6 on sale
Tissue Paper - get the cheaper brand, not advocating use of "scratch paper"
Shampoo/Conditioner - are you using salon label/high end fru-fru stuff?
Toothpaste - come on, even the pricey stuff is like $6 for 4oz, unless you are brushing 6x a day (not good for your enamel), should last you a month.
Toothbrush - buy on sale for 99c to $2 (full, soft, save your enamel), if not on sale $3.50 a brush.
Softsoap - $2.50 a refill bottle on sale, $5 if not on sale - should last you a month, if not more, unless you are OCD with cleanliness.
Dish soap - 99 cents on sale, 12 oz.
Dishwasher detergent - $4.99 a bottle on sale, lasts a month, if not more, run it 2-3x a week.
Milk - $3.69 a gallon, non-fat
Orange Juice - $1.99 to $2.50 a half gallon on sale, Floridas nature or Tropicana
Meat - buy tenderloin in bulk. How handy are you with a knife? Must be pretty good if you're buying half the cow.
Make your own steaks.
Chicken - buy the breasts whole. Use shears to trim and a knife to slice horizontally in half. Pound, wala - chicken breast.
Vegetables - own a home with a 10 x 10 plot of land - next spring, break ground, start planting your chard, spinach, tomatoes, zucchini. Check out the vegetable garden thread on the forum.
Vegetables - buy fresh corn when cheap - like 19 cents each or buy frozen corn by the pound $1.50
Canned beans - 3 16oz cans for 75 cents, how many beans can you eat in a month? Beano?
Fish - what are you buying? Salmon should be inexpensive in the Pacific Northwest, heck it's pretty cheap on sale here in the northeast - anywhere from $4.99/lb to $7.99 a pound. Tuna - can be pricey, same with swordfish and shark.
Shrimp - buy frozen, deveined and peeled - anywhere from $14.99 to $19.99 for two pounds.
Lobster - $5.99 to $9.99 lb, pick the one you want live in the tank - watch the pincers!
Cheese - buy what ever is on sale, you can get some for 99 cents per 12 oz of block cheese, cheddar, monterey jack.
Tortillas - 10 for $1.99 - ChiChi's brand
Salsa - Newmans own $2.49 a jar (we prefer Mango)
Taco spice - $2 for $2 - Ortega or whatever the brand is on sale
Pasta - 99 cents a pound on sale - stock up when on sale - 10 pounds ought to last you 2 months or more
Tomato sauce in a can (large) - $1 a can on sale, lightly seasoned - pureed tomato, basil, salt.
Baking aisle - 5 lbs unbleached flour - pick your brand, $2.50
Spices - this can be pricey, especially if you are a frequent user of saffron/vanilla bean. Fresh herbs should not cost more than $3 a bunch. I doubt you will be using this every day during the month.
All others are reasonable from $1.99 to $5, and each should last you at least several months.
Cooking oil - again, buy on sale $6.99 a gallon for Wesson Corn/Vegetable/Canola, otherwise will run closer to $11 a gallon
Olive oil - regular virgin will run around $10 - $12 bucks a gallon on sale.
Cereal - oatmeal - $4.39 for 48oz of Quaker Oats whole rolled oats
All other boxed cereal on sale, generally from $1.99 to $2.99 a 12oz to 16oz box of whole grain, low sugar cereal
Nuts - 3 lbs of almonds, whole - $10.50 a bag - will last for 4 months if not longer.
Discretionary and/or not:
Disposable batteries - 6 AA alkaline batteries (energizer or duracell) $6.99 maybe $5.99 if on sale
Womens, ah hem, toiletries - ask your significant other or wife, not going there!
Razors - disposable Mach 3 Turbo blades - 8 for $17, never on sale
Shaving cream - gel $1.99 a can, if you use the fru-fy stuff like Jack Black tube - $15 a tube for 6oz.
Vitamins - $17 for 250 tablets of Womens or Mens One a Day
Advil - $14 for 200 gel capsules
Discretionary fun junk stuff:
Candy, chocolate (american or more expensive Swiss/Belgian?)
Ice cream - generic or Haagan Daaz. On sale or not?
Toss in like $4 for toddler nutritional, fun treats (doctor approved
Restaurant - hardly with a young toddler in tow. Eventually.
Dog(s) - sorry, wife says she has enough animals in the home.
Now, go through your list, see how you compare for the major items. I shop for 4 plus a toddler, bills are running around $350 - $400 a month, all inclusive, maybe a bit cheaper some months during summer months - who eats when its hot?