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I would like some advice on a grocery budget. I was wondering what a reasonably frugal grocery budget would be. It is just the two of us, we live in the city, have no garden & unfortunately in Alexandria, VA it seems like the farmer's market is super expensive :( so we shop at Safeway & BJ's. I like to watch for sales, I use coupons when they apply to our grocery needs, but I am not an extreme couponer & I have minimal interest in that...I am all about being frugal, I like to buy ingredients that I can use in more than one meal & I enjoy making simple homemade dinner meals for us (macaroni & cheese, goulash, mostacolli, tuna noodle casserole, omeletes, scalloped potatoes, salads for all kinds, fruit salads, yogurt) We take our lunch to work everyday & our only "real" meal of the day is dinner... sooo, what is a good grocery budget for us?!? We do pretty good at $100 a week..is this too high?!? Doesn't seem very frugal to me....any advice?!
 

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Seems a little high to me but having no garden does make a difference. I can usually feed 3 adults, 1 big dog, two cats and it includes all health and beauty aids for about $300-$350 a month. :)
 

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I think a lot has to be taken into consideration. The first thing is there any other grocery stores you could check out? Last summer while I was in IA I went to Safeway and their prices were out of sight. Another thing is do you have room to store, pantry wise and freezer wise? Meat is one of the biggest expenses and if you just buy what you need for the week ahead you miss out on some good deals. Also do you have a meal plan and grocery list? If I go to the store with out a list I will easily spend at least 1/4 more than if I had a list. I live in NC and I feed 4 adults. But because we planned ahead and have beef in the freezer I usually can get by on about $100 a week. Sometimes of late we do not have but $20 for the week but because I have stocked up in the past we really haven't been that bad off. Anyway the whole jest of what I am saying is you can take some steps to try to lower it on your end but then there are many things that you really have no control over, like the price of everything increasing almost daily. Good luck.
 

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I have started my first week of grocery budgeting. I keep close track of my utilities but groceries have always just been something I don't pay close attention to. We're only two at home, plus one medium sized dog and two cats. Since I'm just starting out, I'm giving myself $100 a week (Saturday to Friday) for all meals. We eat out way too much and so giving myself Saturday through Friday forces me to think about my weekend eating and how it'll affect the rest of my weekly meals.

So far I've spent $35 in groceries and we've eaten everyday and I have meat and a meal plan for tomorrow's lunch and dinner. I'm going to try to slowly stockpile some of our staples (brown rice, canned veggies, etc) with the $100 also.

Today we had a doctor's appointment (I'm seven months pregnant with our first) so we ate out and it was $15, so that brings my weekly total spent up to $50 already. Normally, spending those $15.. I wouldn't have given it a second thought, but because I've started keeping track I definitely thought about it today.

I looked through our local grocery flyers before making my trip to the store this weekend and actually wrote down ideas of potential meals that I could make from the ingredients I would buy.
 

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For Alexandria Va, I don't think that's too high for starting out. $$$ area. You may want to try cutting back just $5 a week and see how you do. You can set that money aside for stocking up on sales or for special meals around celebrations and holidays.

I'm in Baltimore and do most of my shopping at Aldi's, BJ's and Safeway and we are a little under $100/week and I tend to keep my pantry well stocked.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you guys soo much! I too am slowly beginning to stock up on really good sale items. So far I have pasta & spaghetti sauce;) But no really.. My goal is to stock up & buy our groceries all within $100, I would like that to include toilet paper & our other toilette,cat & dog food too. I already make my own cleaning products & body wash. I do buy laundry soap to make my hubby happy..I think just changing my mind set has been HUGE & I am super excited about this new way of life. I go to Safeway because it is 4 blocks from my house..there are cheaper stores nearby & I do flirt with the idea of going to those stores instead..but I never do..anyways..thank you so much! I am assuming the secret is in stockpiling, classic old fashion but good hearty basic dinners? Budgeting & double dipping with ingredients?? I hope I am learning correctly..
 

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I agree with the advice of trying to cut down by $5 a week. See how that goes. And watch for sales. I refuse to buy meat that is over $1.99 a pound, so I really have to watch for sales and stock the freezer when I find the sales and mark downs. And the $20 a month that you are knocking off your budget can be used to stock canned goods when you find a sale.
 
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I am assuming the secret is in stockpiling, classic old fashion but good hearty basic dinners? Budgeting & double dipping with ingredients?? I hope I am learning correctly..
Well, it's of course going to be different for everyone, but for me, the "secret" to drastically reducing my grocery spending was twofold: 1) create a pricebook so I know a good price when I see one; and 2) view the sale flyers each week and make sure the bulk of my purchases come from them.

Then I plan my meals around what I can get on sale and on what I already have on hand. I also only shop every two weeks (staying out of the stores means less spending overall, for me), and shop around, but of course not going to all the different stores every time (because that would be a waste of time and gas).

I spend about $150 a month for 2 adults. Planning is key. :) Oh, and baby steps are good. Any reduction (even $5 a month) is great.

Good luck!

Kara
 

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$100 doesn't sound so bad. I would try to go under it if you feel the need to. If its under $100 one week, save the difference for next week .
 

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My sister lives in Alexandria, married, no kids. Only her husband works. I'd say $100/wk for that area is decent. She moved from SE Michigan to Alexandria over a year ago and had sticker shock. The price difference is unreal! Seems like I remember her telling me a box of cereal was like $7 or something insane like that! I'll have to ask her where she shops at. I know she doesn't buy a lot. She makes almost everything home made and rarely buys boxed/processed things.
 

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We live around there too....I feed 6 on $125-$150 a week, so it can be done. Take baby steps your are going in the right direction. Good luck.

PS. I was born in Kalamazoo , MI live here is VA:) Nice to see ya:)
 
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