Grocery Geek: February’s End

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We have a target number of $800 per month to feed our family of 8. Sometimes we’re under. Sometimes we’re over. It usually evens out over the course of the year.

grocerygeek-gce When the month started, I never intended to give my diet a complete overhaul. In fact, I shopped for the freezer and thought I’d take the next few weeks off. That didn’t happen.

I was inspired to try the Whole 30, I found a mess of friends who were willing to try it with me, and really, I just thought: Strike while the iron’s hot.

I knew that if I didn’t just go for it, that I’d eventually just chicken out. Now, I’m two weeks in and I’m committed. I’ve got a great support system of friends who are doing it with me. I feel good. I wake up easily. I’m eating well. And the muffin top is even thinning out some, so I’ve got motivation to keep going another couple weeks.

The flip side of that is I spent more on groceries this month than I originally intended. Here’s how the month ended:

sprouts feb


I found myself running to Sprouts for veg on more than one occasion. When the bulk of your meal is vegetable, it’s nice to have variety. So, I went twice. Each time looked a little bit like this.

I spent $66 at Sprouts this week.

Trader Joe's feb

Trader Joe’s

As I read more and more labels, I realize that Trader Joe’s is where it’s at for foods that aren’t bursting with additives.

I spent $80 at Trader Joe’s.

abundant harvest feb

Abundant Harvest Organics

It’s been a good 18 months since we first started getting our weekly delivery from Abundant Harvest Organics. I am very, very pleased.

I spent $36 on this. (I pay extra for home delivery, but that comes out of a different budget item.)

Crunching Numbers

I spent more than I anticipated this month. But, we also ate out very little. Typically we spend about $200 to $250 eating out for various reasons. We didn’t do that this month. So that coupled with the savings from the pantry challenge are why I don’t feel bad about going over our target spending.

Part of the reason I do a pantry challenge every once in awhile is to allow myself these little eccentricities.

Here’s the spending year-to-date:

January $451

February $1028

Average for the year: $740


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  1. I just love the grocery geek series … wondering how the Whole30 is going so I am off to read that LONG post 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  2. Over the last 6 months, we’ve been following a very clean diet, eating organic produce and buying grass fed meat. It’s much more expensive, but I feel that I’m investing in my family’s health.

    Last night hubby and I watched Food, Inc. which made me even more committed to eating this way. Have you seen it? It was eye opening AND disturbing.

    Even if you’re spending more, I think you’re on the right path.

    • @Melissa, I am avoiding that film because I feel like I’m not in a good place to do something about it. Until I get our diet cleaned up some more and I have a handle on how to afford better quality meats, etc, I don’t want to know. I already feel like I know more than I know what to do with.

  3. I have been watching one friend do the Whole 30 on Instagram. Her pictures make me hungry. It looks amazing.

  4. $487.46 for grocery store purchases… plus 36.42 fast food for a total of $523.88 which is probably more than I’ve spent since just before the holidays. I went to Costco & spent $238ish stocking up on olive oil, veggies, organic ground beef, paper goods, and various this & that.. You know how Costco is..

    Just before I went there, I’d been to Trader Joes and Whole Foods.. I took my girlfriend who’d never been.. it was fun & we ate a fantastic salad at Whole Foods.

    I was in serious need of fresh veggies in February.. and my body was screaming for them too.. I stopped at BJ’s, another warehouse store, for a rotisserie chicken, and then checked out GSF Market for wholesale Snickers candy bars for M’honey’s Valentines.. Killin him with love, I guess.. yeah..

    My frig is still pretty full of veggies.. and I still have quite a bit of fruit thanks to stopping in at Aldi or BJs. I made many smoothies last week, took this week off, and I’ll start up again tomorrow or Monday..

    I really need to make myself a spreadsheet so I can see exactly what I spent & where.. Its not necessary but it would be nice to see where I went, what I got & the prices I paid. One of these days. 😉

  5. Heather says:

    I spent $300 this month on food. And I was gf and sf this month, I tried to get the others here to join but they only did if they HAD too.

  6. After trying to be strict about eating only from pantry/freezer last month, I really had to get some fresh veggies this month. We also really wanted some seafood, which is good for us but pricey. Between that and a few bulk purchases from Costco that will last me quite a while, I ended up $20 over the admittedly tight budget amount. I’m still 30% under budget for the year so far, so I am still hopeful of keeping to the desired goal expenditures. Back to eating from the pantry/freezer again this month, but at least I have some fresh fruits and veggies in the fridge to help.

  7. We spent $754.95 on food in Feb. I am in awe of your ability to feed a family of 8 for $800 per month. We are spending that to feed a family of 5 and we do not have any teenagers yet. I know I could reduce that amount if we ate fewer fresh fruits and vegetables and did not pay the higher price for extra lean, hormone free beef and dairy. When we reviewed our budget at the first of the year we decided to cut our dining out budget so we could continue to buy these higher priced food items.

  8. Heather M says:

    Love reading how you (and everyone who comments) spend your grocery dollars. I spent about $550, which is still well under my usual. I’m really being way more conscious of how I spend my $$ and in using up our food/not throwing anything away. We are still eating out less, but have eaten out or done takeout. Just not more than once a week. It had been, prior to the pantry challenge, twice a week on average. And we are eating really well. Friday we had blackened Mahi Mahi with rice and salad, Thursday was Thai spicy rice noodles with chicken cilantro meatballs and arugula, with a side salad. Wednesday I made the most delicious Portuguese chicken sausage potato stew. New recipe and definitely a keeper (with tweaks I made). Those are just a few of the delicious things we ate, with planning, and without overspending.

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