What $30 a Week of Groceries Looks Like

What $30 a Week of Groceries Looks Like

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The largest part of my Variable spending is on food. Both groceries and eating out cost a lot, even just for me!

I have a hard time knowing how much money I should be spending on food sometimes. So, to get a reality check, I went to Twitter. After posting that I spend $30 a week on groceries, which I felt was too much for one person, I learned that I was definitely on the low end for food spending. For me, depending on what I buy, $30 worth of groceries is about all I can eat in a week without throwing food out and is about all I can carry the mile home from the store. That really limits you.

I usually lament that prices are expensive in Brooklyn and I can’t buy in bulk to save money. However, after sharing my local market’s circular with some folks, I learned that Brooklyn prices in my neighborhood are pretty on par with the rest of the country! So much for my urban woes.


A Week of Groceries List

So what does $30 a week of groceries get me? Here’s my most recent shopping trip to Foodtown. This is pretty representative to what I buy once a week.

  • Kale – $1.01 – 1.03 lb @ 1 lb/$0.98
  • Tomatoes on the Vine – $3.26 – 1.09 lb @ 1 lb/$2.99
  • Cucumber – $1.34 – 2 @ 3/$2
  • Carrots 2lb/bag – $1.69
  • Braeburn Apples – $2.99 – 1.5 lb @ 1 lb/$1.99
  • Foodtown Yogurt – 5 @ $0.69
  • Barilla Pasta Shells – $0.99 (regularly $1.79)
  • Pepperidge Farm Goldfish – 2 @ $2 (sale price)
  • Arnold Oat Bread – $2.50 (sale price)
  • Foodtown Cheddar – 2 @ $2.50 (regularly $3/each)
  • Foodtown Sugar 4lb bag – $2.89

Total: $29.12

Exceptions: I rarely buy cookies/chips/snacks. The Goldfish were on sale and make good beach snacks. I also don’t buy white sugar every week but I bake a lot and recently ran out.

Eating Habits: I do regularly buy all that produce to make big salads for/with dinner. I eat a yogurt cup for breakfast every morning. And a peanut butter sandwich for lunch during the week. Most meals consist of pasta or rice. I buy meat when there is a good deal on it. I usually eat home 5 days a week.

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14 Replies to “What $30 a Week of Groceries Looks Like”

  1. Ah, I assumed there would be a picture…

    Mine is fairly similar in terms of produce, but I don’t do dairy, so mine is different in that way. Also, I have chickpeas, tofu, and almonds. Is the yogurt your only protein?

    1. Yogurt, peanut butter, and eggs make up most of my non-meat protein. I do buy meat throughout the month but not every week.

  2. I think that’s about par for the course for me, too, for the veggie/grain part of my purchasing. I buy a lot more meat than you do (I live with an avowed carnivore who doesn’t believe it’s a meal if there isn’t meat involved), so my weekly totals are probably $20 higher due to the cost of meat/fish.

    I also buy in bulk (the benefit of having a chest freezer and a car) and so I tend to have one really BIG outlay of cash once every 2 months where I go to Costco and stock up on chicken, beef, a whole pork loin, 4 big salmon filets, etc. But then I won’t buy that again for another couple of months, so I have to look at the big picture and then average it out over time.

    1. That’s true that meat would increase this by about $10 most likely for myself. I don’t have much room in the fridge or freezer so I try to eat everything up the same week I buy it. I do miss stockpiling ingredients from costco like 7lb bags of brown sugar and a giant bottle of vanilla. I had forgotten how quickly the “normal” sized ones run out!

    1. Thanks, it was an adjustment to change from monthly grocery trips to weekly ones. I think I’m finally getting a handle on a normal food budget.

  3. Wow that’s impressive! I don’t know if I could do this! I get bored of food very easily sothis would be difficult for me! Good for you though!

    1. I try to change up the produce each week. Kale or lettuce, carrots or celery, green peppers or cucumbers, whole tomatoes or grape tomatoes, grapes or apples, etc. That’s usually enough variety to keep from eating “sad salads.”

  4. Thats a budget I could only dream of. The boys eat like baby dinosaurs and they want meat. So my bill with going to Sam’s for bulk meat pricing is easily over $300 for the month. Everything from beef, chops, pastas, bread, cereal…you name it, its probably on the list. We started cooking things that could be cooked in volume like pastas but they wont get half full off of salads and beans.

    1. Well my food budget still comes in close to $150/mo for one person so yours for multiple-eaters doesn’t seem too bad!

  5. That would be a challenging number for me! It’s funny how many “extra” things I buy because I like, say for instance orange juice, or if the budget permits I buy oranges and use my juicer. Also my favorite hummus from Trader Joe’s. It’s hard for me to say what I think about your food budget because it depends on you “feel,” Do you feel like this is adequate? Do you feel healthy? If so I think it’s great!

    1. It helps that I never buy drinks at the grocery store. Part of that is because I mainly drink water but also drinks are heavy! I’m sure I would spend more if I had a car but with a mile walk from the store, I really take weight into consideration. Sometimes I do buy treats like hummus and guacamole but I just bought a new food chopper and am excited to make both of these things at home now.

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