I’m still trucking along with my grocery budget experiment! I am learning a lot about my shopping habits and what works best for us. Even though I still haven’t nailed down the best shopping option yet, I’m enjoying the opportunity to experiment and try new methods in order to buy quality foods and cook delicious meals at home while saving money at the same time.
If you remember back to my big shopping at Trader Joe’s, I wanted to make those groceries last for two weeks. We were sort of successful, but I still ended up taking two small, mid-week shopping trips.
Whole Foods: $30.93
Not too shabby. If I combine the totals from the past two weeks, we’re averaging a little less than $100 per week, which I think is reasonable, especially since a bunch of the food I purchased at Trader Joe’s was stock-up and freezer items that still haven’t been eaten.
Ok, onto week 4!
Stop & Shop was the next location on my list, so, on Saturday morning, I sat down with the weekly specials flyer and got to work planning our meals based on what was on sale.
I received a bunch of coupons in the mail from Stop & Shop the week before, so I considered them too when planning our meals.
Here’s how I plan my shopping list and meal plan for the week—see, you don’t need a fancy pad of paper:
- In the right hand column, I list Sunday – Friday (Saturday is always a wing-it day) and then I start writing down the meals that I want to make for the week. In the left hand column, I list the ingredients needed to make each of those meals as well as items that we’re out of and need replenishing (i.e. eggs, bread).
- I also note which items are on sale—this time I used an exclamation point—as well as which items I have a coupon for. This makes shopping so much easier, so I don’t miss the sales or forget to use my coupons.
- And, finally, I make a list of foods/recipes that I want to prep on Sunday for the upcoming week and list them below my meal plan. The ingredients for those are also added to the left hand column.
This week’s meal plan:
- Sunday: Spaghetti squash with marinara and sausage
- Monday: Leftovers
- Tuesday: Garlic Mustard Drumsticks with roasted asparagus and brown rice
- Wednesday: Cheesy Sweet Potato & Chickpea Salad
- Thursday: Cobb salads
- Friday: BLTs with Trader Joe’s French fries
- Saturday: Out to dinner
- Green Goddess Cauli Rice
- Maple Bacon Pecan Roasted Butternut Squash
- Sweet potato wedges + sweet potatoes for Wednesday’s dinner
- Roasted spaghetti squash
- Hardboiled eggs
As you can see, my meal plan changed a little bit from planning at home to actually blogging about it. I didn’t have a great experience at Stop & Shop with regard to the quality and selection of their products, so I swapped things around and actually ended up at Whole Foods yesterday afternoon for a couple of more items.
Stop & Shop: $84.25
Even though I bought a lot of food at Stop & Shop, I’m surprised it wasn’t that much cheaper than Whole Foods. And if I didn’t have the Stop & Shop coupons that were mailed to me, it would have cost $11 more. Next week, I’m going to try meal planning and shopping sales at Whole Foods and see how I do. Maybe that is the winning combo?
Question of the Day
If you’re a Whole Foods shopper, what are you best tips and tricks for saving money there?
Previous posts in this series:
- Week 1: Shopping at Whole Foods ($81.54)
- Week 2: Two weeks worth of groceries at Trader Joe’s ($145.93)
- Week 3: Two small, mid-week grocery shopping trips ($50.38)
- Week 4: Shopping sales and coupons at Stop & Shop ($84.25)