On my usual weekly grocery trips I spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $40. Always a few fresh veggies, usually lettuce and tomatoes, something green. Whatever is fresh and possibly local, like green beans, brussel sprouts, asparagus, etc.. 2 green peppers, a few very small onions or challots, and maybe a sweet potato or two. And I'll get enough fruit to have one or two pieces a day for the week. Usually just banana's and a few apples, or whatever is fresh and local that week. And I always get 3 avacados. And usually some type of tortilla chips for snacking. That's generally less than $20 And provides all the veggies I need for the week.
I usually buy bread, eggs, and cheese. But, often a dozen eggs lasts me more than 1 week. Lately I get the deli's wheat french bread for $1.79 And I'll often get a few 2 liters of generic soda.
Then I buy whatever is needed for my non-weekly stuff. Things like paper towels, soaps, Coffee (my local store has a great deal on 2lbs fair trade
coffee from south america
for $10). 2lbs of coffee beans usually lasts me more than 2 months just drinking 16oz every morning. Sugar lasts several weeks/months and I usually stock up on it, I get the raw or organic cane sugars...oatmeal, flour, jams, some kind of hot peppers, peanuts, spices, soy sauce, etc... I'm usually well stocked up on this stuff so I'm never buying
it all at one time.
Then If I haven't gone over the budget
yet, I'll get a few canned goods mainly to keep stocked up things. I try to keep a 1-3 months worth of canned/dry goods on board and rotate them out as I use them.
To stock up on things I use the 'use one, buy two' method... That way I'm only buying
a few things each week, yet I stay stocked up. Stuff like brown rice and lentils lasts for many months and are only a few dollars. I tend to have much more than I'll ever need.
That covers my $200 a month budget, but I'm not a vegetarian, so I do buy meats occasionally. I just don't include them in my weekly shopping
trip. I'll buy whatever I feel like eating that day. (usually only 2 or 3 times a week), I'll stop and spend about $5-7 on meats that will last 1-2 days. Sometimes I'll get a half-gallon of milk.
A typical day of eating for me is pretty simple. A 16oz cup of coffee (or sometimes tea), and small bowl of oatmeal with raisins and sugar, almost every morning... a banana for a mid-morning snack. A few handfulls of peanuts and an apple for lunch. Then a nice dinner of meats and veggies in some fashion. Yesterday I grilled a $5 ribeye and sauteed some fresh green beans, carrots, and challots... Tonight, since I won't stop and buy meat again, I'll probably have something like an egg/cheese sandwich, or maybe some rice and veggies stir-fry. On the days I don't stop to buy meat (like today) dinner is completely random and usually turns out to be some of the best meals
. This is when it's time to get creative and come up with something new, or perfect an old recipe, etc...I'll usually use a combination of canned goods, dried, and fresh produce to come up with something really good. It's usually some type of stew, soup, or stir-fry. Or if I don't feel like cooking
, I'll just make some tuna salad and have a sandwich.
I grow sprouts quite often, but not every week. Have yet to go through the 2lbs of mung beans and 1lb of alfalfa that bought more than 6 months ago..
Thats it'. Less than $300 a month, usually closer to $200... I Stay stocked up, eat very healthy and simple. Not beans and rice everyday, but I do eat them often.
I keep my 'entertainment' budget separate from my food
budget. So alcohol, and the occasional over spending on dinner falls into this category. Why? Because if I need to save a few extra pennies that month, I know where to cut back and I don't have to scrimp at the grocery.