Grocery Shopping On A Budget – I Can Show You Better Than I Can Tell You

I keep writing these posts about saving money at the grocery store and people keep asking, “HOW do you do that? HOW do you spend so little money?”

First of all, I had to revamp my thinking. Because I love food, I could easily spend $500 in the grocery store each month. Do we have the budget for that? Sure, if we got rid of a car or took our son out of preschool and got rid of cable. In other words, no, we can’t afford that. So I try to stretch our money as much as possible.

This is my receipt  from my grocery shopping last week. $40 on 25 items (including some $.99 wipes). That and the strawberry-banana smoothie ($3, at the top) were impulse purchases. Everything else was on the list.

First, let me say that there are two approaches I use – buy in bulk or buy at the discount stores. Do both and I average about $40 a week. Other people swear by couponing, but I swear I just don’t have the time to match coupons to sales and get items for next to nothing. If I’m buying black beans for $.59 a can, I figure that’s as low as it’s gonna get for me. LOL

If you look at the list, you’ll see that I did not buy a lot of meat. I could have, but as I explained earlier in my post about spending $50 a week on groceries, we go to Sam’s Club to buy our meat in bulk. I’d like to be able to one day go to a farm and buy “half a cow” but I’m not quite there yet.

So when we go to Sam’s Club, we spend $22 on a 10-lb bag of frozen chicken breasts that will last us about six weeks or so. Makes financial sense, right? We spend about $15 on 2.5 pounds of fresh ground turkey, which I then go home and portion into about 2/3 pounds per bag, giving us about seven meals worth of meat. Again, for $15.

So when I go to the store like Aldi, which is ridiculously cheap, I’m looking for basic items – bell peppers, small container of cream cheese, bacon, etc.

And then I’m done.

But you honestly want to know the biggest thing I’ve done to save money? Freeze stuff. My husband bought a big 10-pound bag of onions for me and I wouldn’t get through them in time before they went bad. So I chopped them all up, put them in freezer bags, and stuffed them in the freezer. I haven’t needed to buy onions in months.

If I make a recipe and it calls for half a can of black beans, I just freeze the rest and add it to some chili or sloppy joes later on down the line. By freezing everything, it gives me a chance to extend the life of items that spoil very quickly. (Like bacon! I’m on a quest to freeze my bacon so I don’t have to throw it out because I don’t use it often enough).

You save money by shopping less often and eating ALL the food you purchase. That’s it. No magic solutions over in the Jefferson household.



  1. Great job! As an official Extreme Couponer, I love looking for deals and savings. While I know couponing may not be for most, it really isn’t hard and does not take a lot of time. Keep up the good work and give couponing a try.

  2. I am also not an extreme coupon person. I will use them for some stuff, but not all that matching stuff, lol. I am like you and also do Sam’s club for meat. I buy all of our meat in bulk and only have to buy it like 5-6 weeks. I go around the house and look at ingredients and plan my meals. I love meal planning b/c I am super Type A and love having a plan. Oh, I made the chicken enchilada pasta (with a few tweeks) and it was a hit in my house. :-) Thanks for sharing the recipes. I love them!

  3. My grocery bill is going up. I am now spending almost $150 a week on food! There is an Aldi down the street from me and I have only been once. This post just motivated me! I need to invest in a Sam’s or Costco membership.

  4. “…but I swear I just don’t have the time to match coupons to sales and get items for next to nothing.” EXACTLY. I’ve tried. But it just seems like so much work and energy :/ I think it’s awesome that people can actually stick to that couponing lifestyle, but then again I don’t know if having 23 shampoos and 57 boxes of tissues and 34 lotions in my house is something I need, either lol.

    Girl your groceries are super cheap. IDK if it’s because I live in a urban area or what, but I spend $40-50 on like 6-8 things at the super market smh.

  5. Excellent tips. I love BJs, but you’re right to look for things in your local area for the small things that you needed. Also, my freezer is my best friend, I’m seriously thinking about investing in an additional freezer.