Grocery Geek: My Name is Old Mother Hubbard

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. We participate in other affiliate programs as well. For more details, please see our disclosure policy.

Healthier eating isn’t free. We’re spending more money, but the investment in better food is worth it!

I think all SIX kids must be going through a growth spurt right now. I can’t seem to keep any food or fruit in the house! The bread is long gone as are most of the items I bought at the beginning of the month, like crackers, frozen fruit, and milk. Oh the milk!

We’re rich in condiments, whipping cream, and cheese as of this writing. And five melons ripening on the counter.

I put the produce box on hold this week; I’m not exactly sure that was a great idea. Hubby and I are seeing the value of low calorie veggies with our new little diet changes. I don’t know that we’ve ever eaten so many veggies. I am ecstatic!

Despite two grocery stops this week, the fridge was pretty bare by Friday night.

Gulp. I guess I’m going to be going over the grocery budget this month. But, the flip side is that we’re not eating out as much, so that money can get diverted to the grocery fund. And I think we’re getting healthier. Hubs has lost at least 12 pounds and I’ve lost 5. We’re looking forward to “maintenance mode”.

We’ve learned so much about which foods satisfy our taste buds and our tummies — and which ones just really aren’t worth the calories.

Again, my learning curve is changing direction!

While the fridge is looking bare today, here’s what trafficked through it this past week:

Trader Joe’s

Pretty much just the basics at Trader Joe’s this week: olive oil, red wine vinegar, mushrooms, cereal, bananas, broccoli, bran cereal, garlic, sunbutter, plantain chips, eggs, milk, children’s vitamins, applesauce, rice cakes, yogurt, feta cheese, spinach, cucumbers, pork tenderloin, fish.

I lost the receipt, so I can’t tell you what the break-down was.

Total spent: $70


Hubby ran by Sprouts for me this week for more veg. We splurged on shrimp, but the deal on melons (3 for $1) helped balance it out. I wouldn’t do that again. The shrimp wasn’t “all that.”

canteloupes 3/$1
organic lettuce $0.99 each
extra jumbo shrimp $6.99/lb
Cascade yogurt $2/large carton
avocados $0.69/each
organic baby carrots
organic pluots $0.99/lb.
mushrooms $1.25
organic broccoli $1.50/lb

Total spent: $32

MTD: $820

The good news is that everyone is eating really healthy stuff. The bad news is that we’ve gone over budget this month. Considering the contents of my fridge at this moment, however, we’ll be going a little farther over this month.

But, as I said, less eating out is making up for that.

It may be that healthier eating — and less time to travel hither and yon for “the deals” — will increase our grocery spending come this fall. I’ve heard that food prices will be going up, so we’ll need to get even more creative to stretch a buck.

Since I’m a numbers geek, I love to have some rational comparison. Considering that the most recent USDA food cost reports that our family should be spending $1157.80 on food on the “thrifty plan”, I guess we’re doing okay so far.

How’s your grocery budget doing?

Subscribe to Good Cheap Eats
Read Newer Post
Read Older Post


  1. Well, we aren’t “eating healthy”, I just don’t buy much packaged food. I shop bulk at Sam’s Club and fill in produce and meat with our wonderful Mexican grocery stores (I live in Phoenix). We are struggling to keep it at $260 every two weeks for 6 people (that does include all paper products and diapers for 1). We are over budget for the second time this week, and, for the second time, I couldn’t afford to buy ground beef. I opted for 25 pounds of pinto beans at 80 cents per pound instead.

    By the way, my husband was listening to the radio and they were talking about how much the price of staples has gone up in the past 20 months. Ground beef has gone up 80%! It’s definitely not the cheap meat anymore!

    • @Jennifer, diapers are hard! I remember when we left that stage, I had a good $20+ every week back in the budget. hang in there. It sounds like you are doing a really good job with what you have! I believe it on the ground beef. I buy it very rarely.

  2. I dont remember the last time I stepped into a regular grocery store, but we’ve been stopping in specialty stores like Cheese Coops, Croatian meat markets, fruit farms & veggie stands all month.
    M’honey’s daughter & her hubby came to visit for 8 days then a week later, my mom & stepdad came to visit for 3 days, and its just been one wild month.
    We’ve had a couple big bbqs to celebrate our family visits and celebrated a birthday too.. so it hasnt been an inexpensive month either way.
    I have gotten some awesome deals, like $4 for a peck of beautiful Italian sweet peppers that we stuffed with bulk sausage & grilled for one of the parties, and the cheese from the coop was fairly inexpensive, but we bought a lot of it. Such is life.. 🙂

  3. I set up a challenge for myself–to feed my family of 5 a healthy diet comprised of mostly organic produce and meats for less than the USDA thrifty plan. The thrifty plan for us is $155 a week, and right now we are at $142 a week, though the amount is reducing each week because we are making meals mainly from the foods in our CSA.

    With rising food prices and an improvement in your diet, I think if you are staying under the thrifty food plan, you are doing great. Still, it is hard to part with that much money every month, but you are investing in your family’s health.

    • @Melissa@Mom’s Plans, yes, I think the thrifty plan shall be our goal. That used to see extravagant, but no longer. But, it’s scary to think how varied prices must be if I can get so many organics on the thrifty plan.

  4. I like how Melissa put it – “investing in your family’s health.” Food can be expensive, but spending a little bit more now for our health will pay off in the long run when we’re not riddled with the crazy diseases that often stem from an unhealthy lifestyle. PLUS, think of the lessons you’re teaching your children. There’s a large chunk of the child population that believe boxed, frozen and microwave is “home cooked.” The habits you’re teaching your children on eating and taking care of themselves (and doing it on a budget) will be ingrained for many years to come. You reap what you sow!

    • @Tiffany @ DontWastetheCrumbs, the funny thing is that I realized that I learned to cook as a kid from a box. I was familiar with the kitchen, the oven, etc. because I was making simple things from a box. I think my kids have a sharper learning curve because I don’t buy boxed food.

  5. You’re doing great. Eating healthy is definitely more expensive than eating junk.

    The rising food prices are scary. We’re in the midwest and have been experiencing a terrible drought all summer, and every time I see the crops withering in the fields, I wonder how much higher food prices are going to go as a result…

  6. Wow, I am amazed at your produce prices once again! I can’t remember ever seeing any organic produce at $.99 a lb! This week Safeway (Vons) is advertising avocados at 10 for $10. And that’s a sale price here in the Dakotas!

    I hear you about the drought Courtney. We are cattle ranchers and we are going to sell more cows than usual this fall because we had such a poor hay harvest and the price of corn is going so high. We’ll get by, but I imagine other ranchers are going to have a hard winter.

  7. Oh the MILK at our house too!!! It’s crazy… I don’t remember my big boys going through this much milk. 😉

  8. Amen on the milk! I have 6 kiddos also, 2 teenage boys in that mix! Yikes…. I’m Always searching for a deal on milk!!!! Not to mention everything else!!! I think you’re doing a great job! And awesome on the healthy eating and losing weight!!! 🙂

  9. Our family size is about the same, and we spend about the same amount – well, probably a little bit more – but we don’t get any organic stuff. Of course, our prices are a little higher since we have to pay sales tax on all food, and we live in Oklahoma. You’re doing a great job, and I’m sure you’ll see the difference in your family’s health as you continue. I know we do.

Share Your Thoughts