My shopping bill varies between $25 and $50 a week for two adults (in NYC). I supplement my weekly shopping with food from my pantry and freezer, which I stock during sales and bulk shopping trips. When you add up all of our food expenses (including the bulk trips) and divide by 12 our family of two spends just under $200 a month for groceries.
If you break down our grocery spending by breakfast, lunch, and dinner we average about $1.11 per meal/per person.
This week was a pretty big trip for me since we really cleaned out our fridge following Thanksgiving. I spent a total of $45.86 on food with a little over half that amount being fresh produce.
You can get a lot of food for under $50 if you don’t buy a bunch of processed and convenience foods. If you don’t live in an ultra expensive city like we do I’m sure you could get all of this for even less.
One of my major goals with this blog is to show people that living on less is easy and enjoyable. People often remark to me that they can’t cut their grocery budget because they like to eat healthily. I hope this series helps show how silly that concern actually is!
Here’s what I bought:
1 block fresh feta cheese, 1 jar peppers, 1 bag shredded cheddar, 1 bag tortillas, 1 box rotini, 1 dozen eggs, 1 half & half, 1 bunch cilantro, 1 bunch mint, 1 green bell pepper, 1 green sweet pepper, 2 red sweet peppers, 8 large sweet potatoes, 1 bunch celery, 4 russet potatoes, 8 large carrots, 3 pounds of brussels sprouts, 1 yellow cauliflower, 1 bunch kale
Breakfast is usually just eggs (and often fruit) and I pack lunch for the fella when he goes to work. I work from home so I usually just eat random leftovers for lunch.
Here’s what we ate for dinner every night:
I love soup and there are endless combinations to try! In chilly weather I make a big batch of soup about once a week. The day I make it we eat it for dinner and the rest of the week we grab it for lunches or anytime we’re hungry. I pack my homemade soup in individual mason jars because it makes it easy to just grab one and heat it up (at work, for a quick meal at home, for a late night snack, etc.).
When I make too much soup to eat in a week I just pop the excess in the freezer and save it for a lazy dinner night. This kind of overflow cooking is how I’m able to hit such a low grocery spending rate week after week despite living in New York City. As I keep doing this shopping series you’ll see that kind of “food rollover” play out many times.
Flank steak is a wildly underrated (and budget friendly) cut of meat. The fella and I usually split a single steak and it’s more than enough. I like to rub it with sea salt and pepper and then marinate it in a combination of fish sauce and worcestershire sauce; it endows the humble flank steak a richer more full bodied flavor that’s not at all fishy but definitely melt in your mouth meaty.
Casseroles are a great way to use up odds and ends. You can combine almost any meat, grain, veggie mix, and cheese to make a yummy quick casserole!
Not a bad week for under $50, and if I can do this in New York City I promise you can do it where you live. Check back for another Weekly Grocery Update next Thursday!