Inside my grocery bag
On my last trip to the grocery store, I spent $45.67, and here’s what I bought:
Produce (Asian grocery store) – $15.81
– 4 bananas
– 2 peppers (red & green)
– 2 onions (red & white)
– 5 oranges
– 1 peach
– 1 mango
– 2 cucumbers
– 2.5 pounds of potatoes
– 1 bunch of carrots
Safeway – $29.86
– 1 loaf of bread
– 1 bag of chips
– 6 spinach wraps
– 1/2 dozen eggs
– 1 jar of pasta sauce
– 2 bags of bagels
– 11 chicken thighs (11 servings = 5+ meals)
For those that are curious, in my quest to spend $100 this month in groceries, I’m up to $89.47 for the month. The food pictured above will last me until the end of the month. With the extra $10 left in my budget, I’ll probably buy more fresh fruits and vegetables sometime next week, but other than that I don’t need anything else. I have enough bread and meat to last me well into August.
The majority of my money has been spent at a local Asian grocery store within walking distance to my townhouse. Anything else was purchased at either Safeway (ugh) or Real Canadian Superstore.
During the past 3 weeks, I have made simple, healthy meals – like steamed vegetables and quinoa, pasta, hummus and pita with cucumber, and spinach salads. Breakfast is also pretty simple: a slice of toast with Nutella, and a piece of fruit. I also make sure to pack my lunch for work each day, which usually includes leftovers from the previous night’s dinner, and raw vegetables or fruit to snack on – usually whatever is on sale.
A really easy, cheap thing to make is homemade pizza. Because I already had the ingredients to make the crust from scratch, I only had to spend $5.88 on deli meat and fresh produce. The pizza was so big that I was able to make full 4 meals out of it. That’s $1.47 per meal!
While this grocery challenge was meant to prove to myself that I could reduce my spending on food for the month, my main goal is always to try to eat healthy meals. I generally only eat meat once or twice a week – not because of this challenge specifically, but because that has always been my lifestyle. This significantly cuts down on the cost of my grocery bill, which leaves me with more room in my budget to buy the fresh fruits and vegetables that I enjoy.
Author: Krystal Yee
I’m a personal finance blogger and marketing professional based in Vancouver. I’m a former Toronto Star (Moneyville) columnist, author of The Beginner’s Guide to Saving and Investing, and co-founder of the Canadian Personal Finance Conference. When I’m not working, you can usually find me running, climbing, playing field hockey, or plotting my next adventure.