Grocery Geek: What We Spent in May

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.

Want a peek into our grocery cart? Here’s how I’m grocery shopping and feeding eight people on the cheap.

You might be wondering why I’m posting my month’s total now and not at the end of the month. Well, that’s because I’ve done my grocery shopping for the month for meals cooked at home. While you’re reading this, I’m traipsing around London. 😉 I’m still grocery shopping, but it’s of the picnic variety.

My next Grocery Geek post, Lord willing, will be What We Spent for a Month in the UK. I’m hoping that my technology and receipt saving capabilities will provide you with a peek into what it takes to feed a family of 8 on the road in a foreign country.

May was extremely busy for me as I scrambled to meet deadlines, get us all ready to travel, and use up what was in the deep freezer so that we could thaw and unplug it while we were gone. We had a birthday party for one of the boys so we loaded up on junk food and we still bought milk and produce, but I steered away from stocking up on sales, as good as they might have been.

We didn’t do too badly, but I wasn’t incredibly organized.

The Grocery Geek report

For those of you new here, Grocery Geek is my regular report of how I shopped for groceries, what deals I found, and my running total of how we’re sticking to a budget for groceries.

Here’s the rundown on my shopping this week. As you read, keep in mind who and how I’m shopping:

My grocery shopping profile

To update you on my grocery geekiness:Grocery Geek: What We Spent in January

  • I’m feeding eight people, ages 53, 44, 19, 16, 14, 12, 10, and 8. Five of those people are males. They eat A LOT!
  • I’m shooting for a budget of $1200, per the USDA food cost reports the last time I added up for people of our demographics. I live in Southern California where produce is cheap, but meat and dairy are not.
  • I’m trying to feed us mostly unprocessed foods, with a few “healthier” convenience items thrown in and a junk food splurge* here and there.
  • I work at home and teach five of our kids, so I don’t have as much time for fiddling in the kitchen as I would like.
  • I no longer use coupons on a regular basis, though I do love the coupons that Ralphs offers.
  • I have at least ten grocery stores within 5.5 miles of my house. It is easy (for better or for worse) to stop at several stores to get the best deals.
  • We mostly eat at home. My husband and college age son often pack lunch and breakfast to work, but sometime have lunch out. My husband and I enjoy a date once a week. FishPapa takes one child out to “dinner with dad” once a week. We eat out as a family on average once a week.
  • BEFORE YOU JUDGE ME FOR EXTRAVAGANCE, please read this post.

What we spent in May

Trader Joe’s

  • milk $2.99
  • yogurt $2.99
  • string cheese $2.99
  • whole milk $1.99
  • sunbutter $4.99
  • pickles $2.99

Total spent $27


  • Tillamook Cheddar $8.99
  • uncured bacon $15.49
  • sliced sourdough $3.69
  • eggs $6.49
  • tortillas $3.69
  • frozen French fries $6.59

Total spent $45


  • strawberries $1.25
  • russet potatoes 5# $2.49
  • cilantro $0.50
  • grape tomatoes $0.98
  • organic apples $0.98/lb
  • limes 6/$1
  • roma tomatoes $0.98/lb
  • raspberry fruit spread $3

Total spent $17


  • tortilla chips $1.27 to $1.77 with sales and coupons
  • pasta $1.99
  • buttermilk $2.99
  • butter $2.99/lb
  • rice cereal $2.49
  • macaroni $1.29
  • Cheerios FREE after coupon
  • parsley $0.79
  • sweet potatoes $1.88
  • red bell pepper $1.49
  • baby carrots $1.19 after coupon
  • bananas $0.69/lb
  • avocado $2.99
  • baguette $1.49

Total spent $32


  • sourdough bread $3.69
  • deli roast beef $8.81
  • rye bread $4.79
  • eggs $6.49
  • butter $9.99
  • maple syrup $10.99

Total spent $54


  • milk $2.49
  • chocolate milk $1.50
  • yogurt $3.19
  • ginger $4.99
  • lettuce $0.49 (on clearance with coupons)

Total spent $25


  • potatoes $3.99/10#
  • organic broccoli $1.29 on clearance

Total spent $7


(This was the bday shopping trip.)

  • junk cereal $1.49 to $3.49
  • chips $1.09 to $1.49
  • deli turkey $3.29
  • lemonade $2.59
  • mixed greens $2.29
  • sparkling water in cans $3.09
  • gatorade $1.09
  • grapefruit soda $0.85
  • coke $1.66
  • hummus $2.19
  • bananas $0.39/lb
  • lemons $2.89
  • take and bake pizzas $5.99 to $6.49

Total spent $49


  • bagels $5.49
  • organic ground beef $4.99/lb
  • kale salad $4.79
  • burger buns $2.19
  • tortillas $2.99
  • tri-tip roast $6.99 (Mother’s Day)
  • cheesecake $12.99 (Mother’s Day)
  • organic strawberries $2.00/lb
  • organic pasta $8.49
  • mini naan $4.99
  • mashed potatoes $6.49 (Mother’s Day)
  • Tillamook cheddar $8.99
  • hot dogs $8.99
  • organic eggs $6.49
  • rotisserie chicken $4.99

Total spent $134

Total spent in May – $390

  • January $356
  • February $1015
  • March $1336
  • April $1347
  • May $390

Total spent in 2017 – $4444

Monthly average in 2017 – $888.80

Obviously, this month’s spending was out of the norm. Don’t worry. I’m sure we’ll be spending that $800 pretty easily in England.

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

Subscribe to Good Cheap Eats
Read Newer Post
Read Older Post


  1. Suze Clark says

    Oh Jessica, can’t wait to hear about your family trip. Hope you will post about y’all trip. Sending travel Blessings.

  2. Sandi says

    Hope you are having a fantastic time in the UK and that the current terrorist nonsense does not impact you.

  3. Pat says

    Hurray for Grocery Geek and it’s good to finally be back.
    My husband ended up in the hospital and was diagnosed with diabetes and my frugal ways have gone right out the window since May 11th. The closest I’ve come to a casserole has been egg bakes for breakfast. On the plus side his blood sugars have been between 80 and 130. until tonight when he ate a muffin I made from a mix in the cupboard and it was 186. I’ll be using the rest of the mixes for the grand kids!
    I loved the video from Kennsington Gardens. I hope you have a wonderful trip. I’ve never had the desire to travel outside the US but love reading about other peoples travels.

  4. Roberta says

    I can’t wait to hear about your trip. It sounds lovely.

    I think our grocery spending for May will come in right around $300 ($302.32 to date). That may change, though, if I need to pick up something more (ice cream???) for Hubby’s birthday this weekend.

    Have a wonderful, safe trip!

  5. Lynn from NC Outer Banks says

    Safe travels, Jessica. Have a wonderful trip. Can’t wait to hear all about it!

  6. HEIDI says

    I am trying to cut back, my work cut our ours. do you know of any meal plans to feed a single female, no children on $40 a week?

Share Your Thoughts