Gourmet Grocery Shopping?

December 9, 2008 at 7:17 am (spending habits) (, , , )

I have a $300 grocery budget per month. I have started paying very close attention to where the best deals are on my regular grocery items. I typically shop at Costco, Metropolitan Markets, the local co-op (Puget Consumers Co-op), Whole Foods, and whatever good-quality grocery store I find myself at (this does not include Safeway or budget stores). I buy bulk frequently, and have no problem with generic brands (the few times I eat that type of food), but I like to get the organic, natural variety, which usually means certain brands. I try and get things when they are really inexpensive and find a use for it, or avoid something I had wanted to get because it’s too expensive. My impuse buying is pretty limited (I do occasionally splurge, but again, this is a long-term change, not massive budget surgery).

I like to buy organic when I can, especially on produce and dairy. I like to buy free-range meats (organic is a bit too much of a price luxury for me). I don’t like to buy overpackaged, brand-name products. My dilemna is that coupons are pretty much useless for my shopping style.

Does this budget seem like a lot? Is it reasonable? I remember when I first started reading various PF blogs and in debthater’s blog and she mentioned having a $40/week grocery budget without eating out much. I still can’t conceive of this. Maybe it’s living in an expensive place like Seattle.

I did make a conscious decision this summer to stop buying at farmer’s markets – talk about highway robbery! Sure it’s nice to support local and sustainable, but you can often get similar items for far less at the local co-op or Whole Foods. I always felt like farmers markets (of which there are ones in every neighborhood in Seattle) were at a premium.

How much do you spend on groceries?



  1. Mode Girl said,

    My grocery bill is about $100-$120 a week for two. It would be lower if my husband wouldn’t eat so much. LOL. On organic produce, you can look up online a list of the “dirty dozen” when it comes to produce. These items you should buy organic if possible. The others are lower in pesticides. Organic dairy is a good choice but it can be expensive. I subsitute soy milk for milk and Kraft came out with 2% selection that does not have hormones or antibiotics in it. Not organic but you can get some deals sometimes.

  2. debtmaven said,

    Good ideas, Mode Girl. Either way, I’ve always known and feel resolute about keeping good quality, less cheap food as part of my lifestyle and budget. I have made sacrifices in other areas to compensate. Your mileage may vary. Maybe if I lived in a cheaper place!

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