How Much Did We Spend On Food in September?

by Katy on October 3, 2023 · 56 comments

September was the month for my husband and I to recalibrate our food spending. It’s not that we were out of control, but it doesn’t take much to spiral out of control. Food prices are all over the place and not in a good way and I wanted to see if it’s still possible to beat the system.

If I were completely in control of all food purchases I could’ve made this an insanely cheap month, but I’m just half of the adults in my household and I’m not interested in prioritizing a blog stunt over the wellness of my home life.

The main deterrent to keeping our food spending down is that my husband eats the same work lunches every day. Without an iota of variation. Ever. He doesn’t have access to a microwave to reheat leftovers and carries everything Tetris style in a small cooler. His shifts are 12-14 hours long, so it’s lunch, dinner and snacks. These lunches are non negotiable and they’re not based in frugality.

• A deli meat sandwich (roast beef or turkey) with avocado and havarti cheese on Dave’s Killer Bread.
• Fage Greek yogurt topped with frozen mixed berries and granola.
• One banana.

This. Always this. Exactly this. This.

Despite the lunches, I’m really proud of how we kept our food budget in check for the thirty days hath September. We spent:


Here are some stats:

I treated my neighbor to a thank you lunch for looking after our cat while we were in New York last month. I counted my $15 lunch, but not hers.
• My husband and I ate lunch at the IKEA cafeteria. He had the $8.49 meatball plate and I had the $1.15 veggie hotdog. Coffees were free.
• I made three apple crisps using windfall apples from my neighbor’s tree. This satisfied our sweet tooth.
• My daughter brought us the occasional random item from her schwanky grocery store. My favorite item was a fruit tart and my least favorite item was some stale sushi.
• My father brought me a loaf of his whole grain sourdough bread.
• I drove through McDonald’s for a 50¢ double cheeseburger on National Cheeseburger Day.
• I didn’t include household supply items like shampoo, toilet paper, etc. Last time I checked, this is not food.

We made 22 shopping trips which sounds insane and I suppose it is. Keep in mind that I live in a grocery oasis, so with the exception of Costco, these stores are all within a mile of the house.

We shopped at:

Safeway — Mostly for digital coupon loss leaders.
Fred Meyer — My husband buys his lunch meat and avocados here. I pick up occasional last minute items from here as they’re just a couple blocks from the house. I always hit up their produce clearance shelf!
Dollar Tree — For condiments and pickles.
Trader Joes — 19¢ bananas, bay-bee!
Winco — I shopped there for staples such as produce, dairy, chicken, bulk goods, cheese, tea, peanut butter, frozen veggies. This is where I do my big picture grocery shopping.
H Mart — I ran out of gluten-free soy sauce and they carry the inexpensive brand I like. I picked up two bottles as I like to have a backup.
Costco — My husband buys his frozen mixed berries, havarti cheese, plus our beloved Better Than Bullion concentrate there. He always gets a hotdog.

I could’ve kept the total number down had I only shopped for the precise month of September. This would be short sighted though as I stock up on sale items to keep spending down, which can inflate a single trip but is actually cheaper in the long run. In other words, I bought food that’ll transfer into the month of October and beyond.

It was hard to resist the siren song of Portland’s amazing restaurant culture. I began craving birria tacos (and bahn mi sandwiches) a couple weeks ago and know I’ll hit up a food cart before the week is over! Not too pricey, but they didn’t fit in September’s budget.

This spending challenge definitely effected my food choices as I didn’t have the luxury to be tempted by impulse items. We have a few recipes that include pricier ingredients and we simply didn’t prepare those meals. So when my husband offered to pick up salmon at Costco or make his signature spaghetti and meatballs, I asked him to put it off a month as the ground beef, bulk sausage and red peppers make it a expensive meal. Especially since he buys the ingredients at the aforementioned schwanky grocery store!

Now your turn. How are you dealing with food inflation, have you changed how you shop or what you eat? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 55 comments… read them below or add one }

Gina October 3, 2023 at 5:57 am

I was doing pretty much the same challenge as you, but I do include my toiletries in my grocery budget. I got my budget down by $200 from the month prior, plus it was the lowest it’s been in over a year, so I count that as a huge win. I’m doing the same challenge monthly from here forward. We have 2 less people to feed now that my daughter and her boyfriend rent their own place.


mary in maryland October 3, 2023 at 6:10 am

We spent $183.89 on groceries in September. $11.62– bulk thyme. $36.69 –6 pounds of bulk soy curls. $30– 30 pounds of unadvertised sale brown rice I noticed at HMart. $105.88– mostly produce. And we got four weeks’ worth of our CSA, which is mostly peppers, tomatoes, and greens. We are two but had company for dinner three times.


Mary Ann October 3, 2023 at 6:43 am

Totally real here:

I have tracked my spending for nearly 2 years using EveryDollar: The average I spend on grocery budget in the last year (which included all toiletries and restaurants) in $1,000 a month for 3 of us. (Hubby and son are the ones that love restaurants.)

A low of August was $560 and that was because I thought I was getting a paycheck in August and didn’t. It was a food challenge month. I also got COVID.

If I subtract restaurants it is $500 a month which is really good. This holds well for the future because now I am on a clean food challenge and have literally stopped going out to restaurants.

I have taken to shopping at Grocery Outlet. I plan all my meals around what they have. I have to go to the shwanky store for my creamer and Fairlife milk for hubby. I go to Sam’s a couple of times of month to buy prizes for my students, pick up fruit and a rotisserie chicken. Since I am retiring next June, I am sure my food will drop.

I don’t know how other people are doing it. My nieces think it is “beneath them” to shop at an outlet. That is just not how I was raised.


JC October 3, 2023 at 6:53 am

I have no clue how much I spent on me as a single because I shop for 3 families for the bargains, yes they pay me back but we also eat communally many times a month. Hope that makes sense.
I do know that I spent way less last month only using coupons and buying mark downs. We call it playing the grocery game.
Because we stay stocked up we mostly have to buy stuff for salads and work lunches. Most of the combined family can take leftovers and snacks,
In our world leftovers are a bonus! And thank goodness we garden and process the goods.
Katy, I do envy you the diverse restaurant culture you have access to, so much mediocre fast food around here.


Katy October 4, 2023 at 3:13 pm

I take our restaurants for granted but then travel to other cities and realize not everyone has it so lucky.


LDA October 3, 2023 at 7:06 am

I try to track grocery spending but often forget to write down the amounts. I need to be more diligent about that. I clip digital coupons for loss leaders & regularly frequent 3 different grocery chain stores. We don’t do Costco or Sam’s Club anymore as there is just the 2 of us now. Our Medicare advantage plan gives each of us a Healthy Options card worth $50 per month per person. It can be used to pay for OTC items, cleaning products or food. So we are saving $100 per month with that. I have heard that we are going to have a new grocery chain open a store in the next year or so. I’m anticipating some grocery price wars & hopefully better deals.


kathy October 3, 2023 at 7:12 am

It’s a moving target $$ wise for groceries.
1. We only have a super Walmart in our hamlet of 6500 people
So real food meaning meats, salmon, etc require driving 20 miles to Norman. So I shop when I’m up there working my part time job
2. We do utilize leftovers typically I’ll make double of bell peppers or something along that line
3. Last week I made a quiche using a pre made pie crust from the freezer along with the eggs, milk, cheese that are always on hand. I used up 1/2 onion plus some artichoke hearts
4. If I work over 4 hours I get a free meal (usually lunch) however my shifts have been cut to 4 hrs. So no free lunch which has increased our food expenses
5. There’s only 2 of us so I have to make sure produce doesn’t go bad
Expensive lesson


Katy October 4, 2023 at 3:09 pm

I’m vicariously annoyed at your employer for not providing a lunch.


K D October 3, 2023 at 8:28 am

How are you dealing with food inflation, have you changed how you shop or what you eat?

I have enjoyed your posts about your September “reining it in” food spending.

We too live in a food oasis as we have Aldi, Lidl, The Grocery Outlet, and Giant within a mile of our house. I can hit Sam’s Club and Safeway if I venture out two miles from home. We also shop Costco about once a month for frozen berries, GF bread, yogurt, and items they have on sale though it is more than ten miles away.

We didn’t do much different in September except the Grocery Outlet opened and I went there a few times and snatched up some bargains. We still sorta use the Pantry Principle of meal planning but not too tightly. With only two of us in the house, and the desire to eat healthy most of the time, we don’t go crazy at the grocery store but we also keep an eye out for sale and clearance prices and especially try to avoid food waste (which is a big environmental drag as well as not great for the budget).

I am not a big fan of eating out/takeout. I feel healthier when I do not. For me it is something I do as a social obligation or while traveling.

This is a great topic and I hope we’ll see more on it.


Jennifer October 3, 2023 at 9:11 am

I’m doing more Walmart pickup orders so I’m not going into the store. I add to my cart all week as I think of something. I go through at the end and cut what we really don’t need and pick it up the next morning.


Katy October 4, 2023 at 2:01 pm

That’s a smart method!


Ashley Bananas October 3, 2023 at 10:42 am

Great job!! I am embarrassed to say what I spent on only 2 of us this past month. Good reason to stop and refocus.


Katy October 4, 2023 at 1:59 pm

No reason to be embarrassed.


Blue Gate Farmgirl October 3, 2023 at 11:41 am

$28.00 Winco, bulk foods, black tea, frozen veggies and GF cereal.
$36.00 at Scratch and Dent, 40 lbs dried beans, cheese and GF pasta
$109.00 Costco – dairy, pet food and coffee beans
$54.00 Grocery Outlet – pet food, mayonnaise, snack items for lunches, avocados.
$16.00 Bread outlet store
$74.00 Restaurant supply – pizza cheese on sale, pepperoni and 50 lbs ea flour and sugar
Most of what I bought, filled the pantry for most likely 6-7 months.
I canned and preserved apples, beets, cucumbers/pickles, zucchini/freezer, tomato sauce, salsa, pesto, cowboy crack/peppers, hot honey and winter squashes.


Katy October 4, 2023 at 1:58 pm

I like how you shop with the big picture in mind.


Denise October 3, 2023 at 11:58 am

I started eating more healthily in mid-June. My food bill plummeted – no sugary snacks/cakes/biscuits, no ultra-processed foods. I was stunned by the drop in my bill I’m retired so I’m eating three meals and two snacks a day at home.

Big shifts as a result:

1. Smaller portion sizes;
2. Half of each plate is now vegetables , so it drops the cost as well as ratcheting up the health value of each meal.
3. Eating a lot more beans, lentils and quinoa as source of protein, so much lower spend on meat and fish.

And I’ve lost 22lbs, dropped my blood pressure significantly and brought my unhealthy liver enzyme levels into the healthy band. Yippee!


Kathy October 3, 2023 at 2:51 pm

Bravo on the positive changes


Susan Herper October 4, 2023 at 6:31 am

Well done!


Katy October 4, 2023 at 1:55 pm

Frankly, that sounds delicious!


Lindsey Goodwin October 3, 2023 at 12:20 pm

Impressive! I was so inspired by your posts that I too worked to keep the spending at bay.

Our total for the month was $985, which does NOT include restaurants. This is for a family of 5 with 3 teenage sons, all of whom are currently doing fall sports so they are always always always hungry. In previous years we could keep the total closer to $600/mo for groceries, but inflation and my kids’ never ending appetites ended that.

That said, we have 4 apple trees and I’m making use of them regularly by making sauce, crisps, and even an apple cake the other day. For October, my father-in-law randomly surprised us with gift cards for Grocery Outlet and Costco! That will go a long way, as I love it when I can maximize a giftcard by shopping at an already discounted store (Grocery Outlet).


Katy October 4, 2023 at 1:54 pm

What an excellent father-in-law!

I remember those days. However, I rarely buy premade snack food, so it wasn’t too bad when I house ravenous teenagers. They’d just eat the leftovers from dinner again before bedtime. My oldest would get mad if I hadn’t made enough food to have those leftovers!


Alexia October 3, 2023 at 12:34 pm

I’m kind of amazed that your husband can eat the exact same lunch day in and day out. I’m not talking about the formula of sandwich/yogurt/fruit, but the fact that it’s SAME sandwiches, yogurt, fruit. There’s no way I could do that voluntarily. I suppose it has the advantage of allowing you to pretty reliably plan what you’ll need to spend on the food he brings to work, though.


Marie October 3, 2023 at 1:54 pm

Oh I can! My husband does the same thing.


Ecoteri October 4, 2023 at 12:08 am

@Alexia, I was kind of thinking the same thing, except I very very very happily ate the same lunch every day when I was a kid. always peanut butter and homemade jam, plus two homemade cookies and a square of iced cake (the cake cut in half and the icing put in the middle, mom was smart. As I got older I got two sandwiches. Usually an apple (from our tree for months until they got too soft…) I can’t remember what we drank… But I loved those sandwiches. the bakery that made the bread has been long closed, and although I have found some nice kind of similar breads, they never are quite the same. Ah, that was decades ago, can’t remember when I last ate a peanut butter and jam sandwich….


Katy October 4, 2023 at 1:52 pm

Yeah, that would drive me crazy as well. I brought nice leftovers for my work lunches that I could heat up when I worked at the hospital and it was rarely on repeat.


Juhli October 3, 2023 at 1:31 pm

We haven’t been doing a good job at adjusting our spending as prices have increased. This year I’ve been combining food, toiletries, cleaning and paper goods, and alcohol all as “food” . Next year I will separate all those at least for the first quarter.

This month I am working on cutting back purchases without negatively impacting our emergency supplies as we live in earthquake and wildfire country which could mean many days of eating out of our pantry if services were disrupted.

Will see how we do this last quarter of the year.


Katy October 4, 2023 at 1:51 pm

Our toiletry spending is very low as I’m a very low key female. I buy shampoo, conditioner and soap at Dollar Tree and my husband uses a shaving soap and soap to shave his beard. So it wouldn’t actually add that much to include it in our grocery budget.


Valee October 4, 2023 at 3:31 pm

I’m a low maintenance person too, at least cosmetics/toiletries wise. It really does make life simpler and less expensive too.


Marie-Josée October 3, 2023 at 3:56 pm

I’m really impressed by your dedication to your challenge, Katy, and your husband’s support. September was a very spendy month for us. We enjoyed a staycation and splurged on restaurant meals. We are having a hard time getting back with the program. I am gearing up to do a one-year Low Spend Challenge commencing next January. My husband’s retirement is now 30 months away (the count-down has begun!) and we want to renew some home stuff and our car before he retires and we need to dial things down, save up for those purchases, and get used to a more moderate budget.


Katy October 4, 2023 at 1:44 pm

That’s great that retirement is being counted in months instead of years!


Coral Clarke October 3, 2023 at 8:14 pm

Katy, I think it would be appropriate to list half your husbands lunch costs as” Marriage Insurance”! He works long days, maybe it should go under the “fuel” heading! We are frugal for many reasons,for any of us, things that go into the maintenance of family well being factor highly! Maximum value for dollars spent doesn’t always equal fewer dollars spent, but it does reflect dollars WELL spent!


Katy October 4, 2023 at 1:43 pm

I am just half of this household.


Jen in Santa Cruz October 3, 2023 at 8:24 pm

Very interesting experiment, Katie! $400+ does sound like a lot of money but for 30 days, it really isn’t much. I really loved hearing about your process. I have been trying to eat down the freezer and frig and leftover tofu and odds and ends left by my 2 big kids who left for college and post-college adventures. Gotta use it all up! My house has been like a Chopped episode every night. Husband has COVID but is on the mend so I haven’t been venturing out to stores so that has helped with the Use It Up. I love a challenge and think we could eat for a month with our stock, well, at least 2 more weeks comfortably. 🙂


Katy October 4, 2023 at 1:43 pm

Sorry to hear that your husband has Cpvid. I could have cooked a variety of odd meals from our pantry and freezer, but I wanted to see if we could eat normally while on a budget.


Ecoteri October 4, 2023 at 12:15 am

I have not paid specific attention to my food costs, although I have been reducing my buys as the pantry and freezers need to be emptied a bit. Also, it is harvest season so I have many tomatoes and apples and broccoli and chard, kale, carrots, potatoes, etc etc that need to be processed and turned into meals. More potato meals than I usually plan, but I sure do enjoy them! they were remarkably productive and now I have paper bags of potatoes all over the place! Tomato sauce being made and canned – although I am remembering to actually make meals, too, with the sauces. it can be eaten now as well as preserved for later.
once I finish the banking transfer to the credit union, I will be using only one credit card on a regular basis and will pay attention to using it at the grocery store so I can track. Currently it has been a. bit tight as I am helping my daughter buy a condo so am pinching my own pennies hard to ensure she has a leg up in the early years of a mortgage. I also have a few things I want to do around my place, so am cutting back on the extraneous spending, and mostly noticing where I am tempted. but when the heels wear out on a whole set of my socks (gumboots and hiking boots are hard on sox!), well, time to find a sale and stock up again!


Katy October 4, 2023 at 1:40 pm

I bought a ten pound bag of potatoes for $3.99 at Winco a couple weeks and have been slowly working my way though them. Such a frugal food! I remember learning in nursing school that potatoes have more vitamin C than oranges.


Ruby October 4, 2023 at 5:15 am

You did really well considering Portland costs, the required lunch and the gluten-free items you provide.

I aim for $400 a month for just food for two adults and a few side items for our adult son, whose job does not pay well enough to stretch to some healthy items. I went about 8% over that in September due to restocking the freezer and pantry at Aldi, with loss leaders and coupons.

Unusual for us, we have gone out to eat inexpensively several times this month. I am the executor of a relative’s will and spend a couple of days a week working on that. There’s a desperate need for a beer and tacos after a day of legalese and phone trees!


Katy October 4, 2023 at 1:38 pm

Sounds like a sound choice!


Marybeth from NY October 4, 2023 at 6:28 am

I spent $490.37 in August. There is only 2 of us but our youngest 2 live close by and eat over often. I also send them home with extra. This also incudes all toiletries and cleaning supplies. If I see good specials or marked down meats I do grab them for the kids and my in-laws. We budget $600 for eating out and groceries. We went to Disney in September so the numbers are crazy. We haven’t done a big family vacation in 10 years(before the kids started college).


Katy October 4, 2023 at 1:36 pm

Our son comes over almost every night for dinner.


MB in MN October 4, 2023 at 7:01 am

We haven’t changed what we eat, but we have changed where we shop. Until last December, we lived in a community with a wonderful food co-op and knew many of the people that worked there, so we supported it heavily. The bulk section was terrific for our budget, but the other items were priced much higher than your average grocery store; we bought them anyway. Now that we’ve moved to a different community, we have found a nearby grocery store with a pretty good bulk section and competitive prices. We do most of our shopping there along with Aldi, Trader Joe’s and Target.


Katy October 4, 2023 at 1:35 pm

I sure wish they had Aldi in Portland!


Amy October 4, 2023 at 8:38 am

I have an old school journaling habit for grocery spending. We shop twice a month usually the Thursday or Friday after we get paid. We cover breakfast (eggs and toast or breakfast meat,) for DH, lunch for 4 adults, and dinner for 4 adults. I garden and can. We buy half a beef and half a pig. Total for the year is usually about 4200-5000 a year, this includes the pig and beef. We do very little fast food and only eat out roughly once a month. This month for 4 adults I paid 326.49. Next month I need to stock up on spices and some pantry needs so I am budgeting $500.


Q October 4, 2023 at 8:43 am

For health and environmental reasons, I went vegan two years ago, and that has a side effect of greatly reduced grocery bills, as well as the weight loss. I mostly cook dried beans up from scratch for recipes, freezing some of the cooked beans for later recipes (beans are much tastier this way, using recipe “simplest slow cooker black beans” from “Alexandras Kitchen” for most types of beans, and I look for sales and stock up on both canned and dried beans. (eg: Two weeks ago, our Lidl’s had a sale for .99 for 1 lb. of dried black beans, which equals 4 cans of beans. They had an ample supply.) You have to remember to rotate through dried beans so they don’t get too old.
I just discovered the Love n Lemons oatmeal milk recipe, which could not be easier or more delicious. I really liked it because so much less packaging, chemicals, but also so much cheaper than other vegan milk. (My daughters told me that almond milk uses quite a bit of water in its production.) I consciously package up leftovers for either the freezer, or lunch, etc. When I bring vegan chili to a potluck, it is always popular, and I bring my rice cooker and have rice next to it. It is very tasty when freshly made like that. (I buy jasmine rice in bulk from Costco. I know it does not have as much fiber as brown rice, but the chili, etc has so much fiber and vitamins, that I often make it.)
I try to avoid processed foods from a health standpoint and this works out from a cost standpoint as well. It is fun to try new recipes, and that is somewhat of a hobby. We always eat oatmeal with fruit rather than having cheerios, etc.
When I am pressed for time, and veggies need to be used up, I cook them in an air fryer, and they are either eaten, or more easily incorporated into other meals. I have also cut back on trips to costco, as the amounts are often too much for two people at home, and I am better off going to a regular store.
When craving a pizza, if I don’t have time to make a terrific homemade crust, I will use a crust from the Costco 4 pack, which is slightly prebaked, and add vegetables, leftovers, olives, etc to it, and it comes out great tasting as well as nourishing and cheap.
We sometimes use our hot air popcorn popper when we need a crunchy snacky food. I really try to avoid bringing extra packaging into the house.
Next month I think I will set myself a spending challenge. This month, I’m still trying to be careful, shopping the specials, etc, but I have a lot going on. It is inspiring to read what others are doing.


Katy October 4, 2023 at 1:18 pm

Wow, that all sounds so delicious!


Q October 13, 2023 at 5:00 am

Thank you, Katy! It is: I have to keep it tasting good so that my husband will eat it and keep his cholesterol down, as he is allergic to statins. It is working!


Ecoteri October 4, 2023 at 2:47 pm

Hey everyone, I wonder why Walmart is not on the lists of most (if any) of you? I don’t shop Walmart on principle, also they are furthest away and came late to the community so the habit isn’t there, also-also I am dubious about the sources of their fresh goods (meat and veggies) and how they treat their suppliers of same, however I had been under the impression that their prices are pretty low compared to others, but folk here and over at the Frugal Girl don’t seem to mention it as a go-to or even occasional shopping location… Thoughts?
(I am in Canada on an Island on the west coast, and our choices are a bit more limited that even central Canada, and certainly than the USA)


MB in MN October 5, 2023 at 7:14 am

Ecoteri, I’m not sure. At risk of sounding snobbish, I don’t feel safe there. The clientele seems different and the few times I’ve been there have been unpleasant (two dads yelling at their kids using the F word and another guy with an open carry gun). My brother works for Walmart and his stories are similar or worse than mine. Luckily I have other options for grocery shopping.


Lisa October 8, 2023 at 7:10 am

I generally don’t go to WalMart because if their shady business practices. I haven’t been since before COVID started, but I went not long ago. The prices for herbs was really low ($.48 for cilantro) and a few other things as well.
Self-checkout are everywhere, but WalMart then has someone at the door checking receipts? That’s a no for me – I walked right by with some guy hooting at me. I’m not going to stand in line twice because they don’t want to pay cashiers. If they’re worried I’m making a mistake or stealing – they can go ahead and have someone check me out.


Marie-Josée October 4, 2023 at 2:54 pm

I would love to follow a vegan diet for the same reasons you listed in your post. My tummy does not tolerate it and I feel really tired on this diet. I have tried easing into it and allowing my body to adjust, but I have not been succesful so far. I have heard wonderful comments about the vegan ”Oh She Glows” cookbook and blog recipes.


Selena October 4, 2023 at 6:47 pm

I am of the opinion that genetics play a big role in diet. I know I could never be vegan or vegetarian. I feel like crap when I don’t get enough red meat, much less meat. Getting regular exercise of some sort is the key IMHO. I never understood women who won’t clean their house/do yard work/garden yet go to the gym. For me, productive exercise is far more fun than rote workouts at the gym (besides I am too cheap to pay for a membership).


Bee October 5, 2023 at 4:41 am

Three things to consider when following a plant based diet which may help.
1) Meat and dairy are sources of vitamin B-12. When you cut these from your diet, a supplement may be necessary.

2) Some vegan foods are highly processed and can be difficult on the tummy. Perhaps choosing whole food alternatives may help.

3) Some people have trouble with all the fiber.


Bee October 5, 2023 at 4:24 am

You have done an amazing job getting costs down. It is interesting to see how others navigate the chore of food shopping.

I usually spend around $400 a month. This includes the occasional meal out or coffee with a friend. This includes my husband’s meals for only 1/2 of the week. He works out of the state and is gone Monday through Thursday. While he is gone, his meals are paid for by his company.

I cook most items from scratch and rarely use seasoning mixes. I am allergic to wheat so I prefer to eat at home. I also avoid a handful of additives that are present in many processed foods. Wheat and wheat products are hidden in so many things, Because if this, I have a tendency to be brand loyal. Otherwise, I would spend hours at the grocery store reading food labels.

I also live in a grocery oasis, but there is not a discount grocer within a 45 minute drive. My nearby choices are pricey. They include Publix, Whole Foods, Fresh Market, a local health food market, a farmer’s co-op and Trader Joe’s. Of these, Trader Joe’s is the least expensive. (I also buy my bananas at Trader Joe’s.)

To keep costs down, I make the 45 minute trip to Costco once a month where I buy basics. These include coffee, organic milk, Kerry Gold Butter, chicken, gf bread, rice, rice noodles, GF oatmeal, 20-pound bags of potatoes, mixed nuts, dried fruit and so forth. Most of the items that I purchase last multiple months. For example, I buy rice once every 6 months. I buy fresh items such as spinach, yogurt, apples at one of the other markets.


Lisa October 8, 2023 at 7:17 am

I am trying to change some of my spending habits to adjust – I go to the local grocery outlet (not a Grocery Outlet) more often. Great prices there although they have also gone up a bit. The local bread outlet isn’t convenient but I stop in when I’m on that side of town and freeze bread. Dave’s Killer used to be 2/$4 but is now $3.49 each – still a deal compared to the grocery store but quite the increase.
I’m also using Target and Kroger shopping service with free pickup – makes it easy to pick up their sale items without the risk of finding other items I “need”. Since I’m shopping the loss leaders, I can be sure they’re not up charging for the service.

We have eliminated restaurant food – substituting Costco’s pre-made meals occasionally. While not cheap, something like. Street tacos for $15 is a heck of a lot less than takeout for 4 would be.


Suzanne October 13, 2023 at 5:09 am

Selena, you are so right about the need to exercise! it is key: and I am with you about productive work around the yard/house/community, except that I do work out with friends in a garage 3x a week, as Pilates/core/weights has tremendous health benefits for my body.

Bee, you are right on the money! Except change “may be” to “is absolutely” necessary. I take B12 vitamins that are sub-lingual (dissolve under the tongue), as that really helps my energy levels. I avoid the processed foods, as they do not have the nutrional bang for the calories, as well as making you feel poorly.

And you are right, the fiber gives some people trouble: they have to ease into it. One recommendation is trying a “meatless Monday” and building from there. But, I don’t mean to be preaching about veganism here, except that it is an economical and healthy way to eat. (And can be delicious, too.)

But, to each their own!


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