Monday, May 22, 2006

Grocery shopping

Last night I finally sat down and did a realistic budget (using one of the excel templates) and found as I expected depressing news, with the projected rent (that I'm not yet paying) and other expenses I will be left with about $20 each month to my name. I also did one for Mr T, and he will actually be in debt each month (don't ask).

That got me thinking about grocery shopping. By shopping mostly at the market and trying to cut down on expensive food items but stll enjoying a varied healthy diet I think my weekly shopping will be about $75-$100 (for 2 people) so today I spoke to everyone at work to see how much they spent. It ranged from $35 to $200. How much do you spend? (if you don't mind sharing). The $35 a week is the woman I sit next to, who does actually eat relatively healthy and she eats meat which I would imagine adds another expense. I can't believe how little she spends I really don't how she does it, she did however start to give me a few ideas to cut down:

* Buy dried beans instead of canned (yes I know they taste better but they also take a lot more time and organisation)
* Cut out expensive snacks (no more garlic bagel slices and pretzels)
* Buy in bulk nuts and rice. Any suggestions on where to get cheaper nuts and come to think it i'm not sure that i've ever seen bulk brown rice?
* Shop at an Asian grocer ( I already do this with tofu since its saves over half the price)

Anyone else have any other suggestions?


emma said...

I really need do that too... I spend way too much on food. Right now I am better off financially than ever, but instead of saving and/or paying off my student debt I find myself splurging...

My biggest food expense is probably bread. Since I mostly eat white bread (bad bad me) and have a freezer I should really make my own. When I was really skint I did that, and also ate oatmeal (or some other porridge) every morning, which I hardly ever do now.

Around here asian markets sell rice in bulk. And some horrible k-mart type foreign stores.

claire said...

$35 a week is unbelievable!
I am not sure how much I am spending but like you I have been playing around with excel spreadsheets and I am trying to work it out.

The best place I can recommend is the market. (I usually go to the Vic market). They have heaps of nuts but I am not sure how they compare to the cost of supermarket nuts.
Victoria St in Richmond is great for bulk rice buying.
And if you have a garden, growing your own veggies is probably the most economical way to go.

kristy said...

Thanks for the suggestions.

Emma, i've only ever seen bulk white rice, never brown at asian markets.

Claire, i've always dreamed of my own veg garden, but just need the space and someone to take care of it. Maybe I should suggest Mr T hehe.

Vegan Momma said...

I normally spend $50 – $100 per month.
I buy in bulk. I agree with the beans. It’s cheaper, tastier, and more nutritious. If you don’t have time purchase a slow cooker. You can soak the beans overnight pop them in the cooker and they will be done by the time you get home. I cook my beans in bulk and freeze the remainder. This way I only have to thaw and add to a dish.

I don’t buy any processed foods. It’s all whole foods. Fresh vegetables and fruit grace my table and lunch bag daily. It’s cheaper and so much healthier. It takes extra time but I save a lot of money.

I used to write my budget on paper but now I use Quicken Premium 2006 Home & Business. I really love it. I can view my portfolio (bank and investments) with the software and it auto-updates.

kristy said...

Vegan Momma, I have been thinking of getting a slow cooker. Any suggestions on brands/types?