Saturday, January 7, 2012

Tales from the grocery store

We hit Costco yesterday to do our weekly grocery run. Unfortunately, we were out of quite a bit of meat, which adds up so quickly.

Here's how the spending broke out:

Hot Dogs - $12.95
Meatballs - $15.89
Chicken - $11.99
Fish (tilapia) - $14.99
Total meat/fish spend = $55.82, or 44% of the overall spend.

Dip - $6.99 I'm obsessed with using tzatziki sauce as a dip for my vegetables.
Total snack spend = $6.99, or 5% of the overall spend.

Bananas - $1.39
Cucumber - $4.29
Pineapple - $2.99
Clementines - $5.99
6 peppers - $6.99
Onion - $3.29
Broccoli - $4.29
Grapes - $8.79
Total produce spend = $38.02, or 30% of the overall spend

Tortillas - $4.99
Total bread spend = $4.99, or 4% of the overall spend

Greek yogurt - $6.99
Sliced cheddar cheese - $8.49
Milk - $5.13
Total dairy spend = $20.61, or 16% of the overall spend.

Although we're menu planning, and following our list, minimizing snacks, and trying to focus on whole/healthy foods (for the most part), we're still spending more than our budget. A few suggestions for myself for next time:
  • Buy a brick of cheddar and slice it myself. I don't have a cheese slicer & am notoriously bad with cutting myself, so I'll likely invest in a slicer, but should save over the long run.
  • I've tried making my own tzatziki sauce, but it's just not the same. Sticking with the store bought for now. The dip really gets me to eat additional servings of vegetables, so I'll keep it.
  • I can make my own meatballs. Meatballs are one of the few proteins my four year old will eat, so he frequently eats that while the rest of us eat chicken. I'm going to experiment to see how long it takes me to make/prep a big batch. Meat is expensive, so not entirely sure how much we'll save, but I know it will be healthier.
Other suggestions for cutting back? How do you save money at the store?


  1. I love tzatziki! I haven't made it in a while. Hmmm... time to make same gyros or falafel maybe.

    I think your spending in groceries is good. Even if you think it is high, it is still cheaper than going out. (most of the time)

    We did bring our grocery spending down by going vegetarian a few more nights a week, but everything is starting to get more expensive. What used to cost is about $90-$100 a week costs about $120-$130 now.

  2. I think you're doing ok on your grocery spending, and I agree with Niki, things are getting more expensive.

    If you want a yummy meatball recipe, one that will sneak some veggies in, try this one: our family LOVES them!

  3. This is nothing new, but if you have the room, when meat you buy goes on sale, stock up a bit. Meat is our biggest expense too, so buying on sale helps!

  4. Hi
    We use a cheese slicer for out block cheese and it works really well. It also means you use less that if you were using just a knife to cut the cheese.
    So I would say it is worth buying. Ours we got from the Netherlands as they are everywhere there but here in Australia they are hard to find. The Dutch are a very frugal folk. I don't know how it is in your part of the world.

  5. I find Costco cheaper for some things but more expensive for others... I rarely go there as it's a bit out of the way.

    As for your tzatziki, I say if it makes you eat more veggies, then continue to buy it :-) I made a salad dressing that is full of sugar and oil, but when I have it in the fridge, I always eat salads. i try to put just a bit of dressing and a LOT of lettuce to balance it out!