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Talking About Groceries – My Two Week List & Cost.

I have talked before on this site about how much I spend on groceries, asked you how much you spent, and even advised you that cooking at home with “real” food you can save money. My monthly grocery bill is between $200-$250 for myself, and that’s buying organic fruit, vegetables, and meat at Whole Foods. I go out to eat about once a week or so, making my monthly total spent on food to be about $350, give or take. Just last Thursday I did my grocery shopping for the next 2 weeks and the total was $107.69, and in the interest of showing you guys what I bought with my $107 I figured I would list it here:

Organic whole wheat cereal
Organic high fiber cereal
Organic milk
Organic low-fat yogurt
Mixed jar of olives
Organic Tumeric spices
2 X Organic dark chocolate bars
Wild honey
Dried cranberries
Organic frozen cherries
1 lb raw almonds
Organic brown rice
3 pounds chicken
1/2 lb turkey breast
12 oz cheddar cheese
Feta cheese
1 loaf whole wheat bread
2 red bell peppers
2 lemons
5 lb bag organic Yukon Gold potatoes
1 package organic Earthbound Farms salad
1 package organic grape tomatoes
2 organic oranges
2 organic pears
1 organic butternut squash
1 organic red onion
2 organic apples
1.5 lbs organic blueberries
1 organic broccoli bunch
1 organic celery bunch
2 organic carrots

That’s it! This will just about feed me for almost 2 weeks (maybe 12 days). Every time I go I try to buy different products so my meal plans don’t get too static, and this trip I didn’t need to buy coffee as I still had enough at home to last me. Occasionally the bills are more because of personal care or vitamin purchases, but this is pretty average for one of my trips. Here is the scan of the bill:

Grocery Bill1

The idea that organic foods cost WAY more than traditional foods isn’t actually true, especially if you can get them somewhere other than Whole Foods. My grocery bill hasn’t really gone up since I switched to mostly organics, and that’s because I stopped buying frozen pre-packaged meals & soda and started buying mainly fresh singular ingredients to cook with instead. Have you gone organic and/or raw & fresh foods in your grocery shopping? Trust me when I say that if you start buying raw/fresh foods and a good cookbook, you can save a ton on your food bill!


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Comments (26)

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  1. Sarah says:

    We eat *mostly* organic foods and raw/natural. There are some things that we get that are prepackaged but even then, those are generally organic.

    I have Celiac so that really limits what prepackaged/pre-prepared foods we can buy, which is not much. The organic foods are not near as expensive as my gluten-free foods (like cereal and pasta).

  2. sam says:

    Wow! Your receipt looks a good deal like mine!
    We switched to whole foods about 4-5 years ago after dabbling in organic for a few years.
    We get our groceries on a monthly basis because the only organic grocery (Whole foods) is 15 miles (and 45 minutes of heavy city traffic) away.
    Our food tastes better & my health problems have gone away since there’s no more additives.
    It’s hard but worth it.

  3. […] reading here: My 2 Week Grocery List & Cost | My Two Dollars Share and […]

  4. I bet if you got your organic veggies from a farmer’s market–you could take a chunk out of that monthly bill.

    That’s what we do, with most of the other stuff coming from Whole Foods or Trader Joes.

  5. sam says:

    David,
    Ya know it’s kinda funny…. there aren’t farmers markets when it’s below 30 degrees outside. And they also seem to only happen during growing season – weird!

    The nearest Trader Joes to my house is 500 miles in Chicago. With the cost of three tanks of gas & taking at least one day off work to make the trip on a weekend, that’s not very economical.
    Just because it’s available in your area doesn’t mean it’s available to everyone.

  6. Evan says:

    I just did a full shopping at Trader Joes for the first time yesterday (even though I worked there as a teenager) and was suprised that the prices weren’t crazy. Eggs I knew were 79 higher for organic cage free…but I have no idea how that compares to chicken and stuff .

    Any insights on the increase in price compared to normal chicken and other meats?

  7. David says:

    Unfortunately there are no Farmers Markets in Feb in Colorado.

    Evan – I dont have TJ’s here so haven’t been in years. But I do only buy organic/free range/no antibiotics meat, and it does cost a little more.

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  10. Tyler says:

    I miss the days where I had a “clean” grocery store near me – that is, a store where I walk in and get a clean feeling. Whole Foods and (some) Hy-Vee’s have that feeling; the Krogers and HEB’s near me do not.

    In regards to your shopping list though, I’m concerned – I don’t see any beef, pork or fish. Is this an unusual week in that you didn’t purchase any of those (only chicken and turkey) or do you rarely eat non-poultry?

  11. David says:

    I dont eat beef or pork, no. And fish is a rarity due to mercury levels. Why is that a concern?

  12. Tyler says:

    @David:

    I grew up on a cattle farm, so a life without beef is something hard for me to envision.

    But as a direct relation to the article, I’m curious what the inclusion of two or four pounds of hamburger per trip would do on the total cost (i.e. how would the quantities of veggies/fruits drop bsaed on your new meal selection).

    My grocery runs also include a steak or some pork chops, as meals are hardly easier or tastier than putting a steak and baked potato on the grill (in warm weather, of course.)

  13. David says:

    I don’t know what hamburger costs since I don’t buy it, but I would hope that fruits/veggie purchases wouldn’t be dropped because of it. They are too important 🙂

  14. sam says:

    Tyler –
    While yes nothing is easier then throwing a chunk of herd beast or swine on the grill it is not that healthy for you.
    Pork is one of the absolute unhealthiest meat that can be consumed – loaded with toxins & fat. Once in a while never hurts anyone but regular consumption can cause issues for some.

    Consumption of beef has been directly related to various coronary & blood pressure issues.

    Both meats are extremely hard on the human body to process & per pound they are significantly more expensive then fruits & veggies. On the grocery trips where we do buy hamburger it’s about $20 -$50 more. It much cheaper to eat poultry & veggies/fruit and healthier. Due to kidney problems I cannot eat steak or any kind of pork product.

    BTW – I grew up on a hog farm in Iowa.

  15. sam says:

    PS – I find meat to be hardier to make not easier since you have to be careful of cross contamination.
    I personally don’t find all the extra precautions, mess & work to be easier especially with all the time it takes to get the grill/oven hot enough, etc.
    Our vegetarian meals I can have on the table in 10 minutes.

  16. My simple solution to a CHEAP, HEALTHY lunch everyday: Costco.

    You can buy a pack of SIX canned white chicken for $7.00.

    You can buy 6 heads of Romaine lettuce for $6.00.

    For lunch: 1 Head of romaine lettuce, 1 can of white chicken, oil, vinegar, salt, pepper… And you have yourself a HEALTHY, CHEAP lunch!

    I eat this almost every day, its delicious and inexpensive! Then again, I am not a picky eater:)

    You can also buy some Miracle Whip, relish, Dill, and some bread, and suddenly you have some good cheap Chicken Salad!

  17. David says:

    MyFinancialObjectives – That may be cheap, but it definitely is not healthy.

  18. How is that not healthy?

    Sorry I also usually bring either a yogurt or some crackers… but sometimes just that…

  19. David says:

    A few things, since you asked:

    Canned chicken is usually a combo of chicken and chicken parts, and loaded with unhealthy amounts of sodium.

    Lettuce, unless organic, has a very high pesticide level.

    I would also skip the Miracle Whip, sticking with oil/vinegar, and go with 100% whole wheat bread.

    🙂

  20. Sam says:

    Chemical issues aside, I question the cost per pound on the chicken once you deduct the weight of the water.

  21. Wow I had no idea about the chicken. Though I’m not worried about chicken and chicken parts-compared to what is in other things we eat, that’s the least of my worries. Same with lettuce, I’m not about to worry about pesticide levels in my lettuce..maybe if I made 20% higher income i could..

    Sodium is actually pretty low, here is nutrition label:

    Fat: 2g 3%
    Sat. Fat 1g 5%
    Tans Fat 0g
    Cholest 40mg 13%
    Soduium 180mg 8%
    Carb 0
    Fiber 0
    Sugar 0
    Protein 12g

    Ingredients: White Chicken, Water, Sea Salt. Gluten Free. 100% Natural.

    I always use whole wheat bread when making chicken salad. And miracle whip is much better for you than mayo.

    I’d still say its a pretty healthy lunch. Also that’s what, less than $2.00 for a good sized lunch? Mucho money saver.

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  24. Ali says:

    You can cut cost even more and still eat organic. I go to trader joe’s and all their are organic and free of artificial preservatives. The thing is they don’t sell name brands in order to cut the middle man. And their food is unique and delicious!

  25. shaun says:

    I recently discovered oatmeal is about the cheapest most filling food on earth and as far as I know only fringe people would say it’s bad for you. I’m not saying only eat oatmeal but sub it in for a couple meals a week especially if you eat breakfast.

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