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How much do you guys spend per week on groceries?


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I'm with you, I spend SO much!!! (Admittedly I stress eat a lot too). I do buy a lot of stuff I can freeze/put in the pantry I've realized though, so I'm not sure how much I actually eat a week worth, but definitely spend a good $60 a week I'd say. But still, I'm an obsessive grocery shopper...grocery stores are my happy place :)

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I'm an international student, and I'll be moving to Santa Cruz, CA this Fall. Do you believe I could spend about $30-$40 per week? I'm single, and don't eat too much. Although I usually eat about 3 fruits per day. I'll be cooking at home.

 

Thanks!

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I'm an international student, and I'll be moving to Santa Cruz, CA this Fall. Do you believe I could spend about $30-$40 per week? I'm single, and don't eat too much. Although I usually eat about 3 fruits per day. I'll be cooking at home.

 

Thanks!

 

Going out to eat can be expensive in that neck of the woods, but when I lived in San Francisco, I was pleasantly surprised by how affordable groceries were, especially produce! Farmers markets are especially awesome if you eat a lot of produce. I don't know if they've got one in SC, but the Safeway I went to in SF was big enough that using my membership card (free) & shopping for sale foods was always good. I miss my enormous, perfectly ripe $1 avocados.. all I have now are small, overripe avocados at $3.50 a pop. :(

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  • 2 weeks later...

Try to shop at farmer's market for produce. I also find that Asian grocery stores tend to sell many items for cheaper than you would find at other common grocery stores.

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For two adults, one with food restrictions, we pay about 110-130/week. This includes: little to no meat,organic produce if we eat the outside, no snacks other than fruit, way too much iced tea for DH (I want to make our own but I got him addicted to Turkey Hill when visiting my family), and occasionally some special ingredients like more expensive spices. With my food restrictions we eat mostly vegan so that does have an effect on the cost.

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I am vegetarian and eat almost no processed foods or sweet stuff (so my grocery list mostly consists of fresh produce, whole grains, and a few dairy products), but I still pay about $50 per week on groceries (including a couple of luxury snacks, like dried fruit and good cheese), because I pretty much only buy organic items. Believe it or not, where I live the organic produce at the farmers' market is even more expensive than the organics at the grocery store (most of it's imported from other countries, since this is Germany and you can't grow anything above the ground most of the year), so I usually don't head down there.

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Yikes, I probably spend close to $60/week on food. I probably spend ~$25-30 on groceries, and the remaining is when I eat out. I probably eat out 3 times a week (two days for lunch and once on the weekend).

 

I'm worried about the price going up once I start school. I will be spending lots of time on campus, probably without access to a refrigerator. I will be tempted to eat on campus.

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We spend about 70 bucks, US, a week, but we cut down on meat to actual serving sizes and replacing parts of serving sizes with canned beans where appropriate. Taco meat, for example, can be doubled or more with a can or two of black beans. It actually tastes better because of the texture. Some weeks are more because we like expensive cheese and yogurt. And ice cream We do a lot of stir fry. Whatever veggies, meats, beans, and starches we have on hand with a dollop of whatever marinade, sauce, salad dressing we have on hand, topped with a sprinkle of cheese and whatnot. We get the bulk style bags of cheap-ish rice rather than minute or seasoned rice. It takes about 30 to 45 minutes to make a pot of rice, so we tend to keep a bunch in the fridge for later.

We don't buy in bulk because it gets pitched out. It didn't when I was hosting Plagues of Locusts (aka teenagers), but now that we're older, we don't eat as much. I don't buy something just because it's got a coupon. I don't buy something that's cheaper just because it's cheaper. If we won't eat it, we don't buy it. Best Choice canned veggies go bad in our house, so that 50 cents to a dollar we save on the can is just wasted money.

One thing I learned: when it comes to bringing food to school to share? Don't make it a habit. Don't bring treats just because. Don't bring treats for students (if you TA) because it doesn't make them like you more (you can accomplish the same amount of goodwill be letting them leave two or three minutes early once in a while).

Many restaurants around campuses will have specials throughout the week, lunch specials and dinner specials for off days. I often take one of my poorer fellow grad students to the lunch special. I buy the entree, my friend grabs a side/dinner salad, and we split the thing.

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starofdawn, there are lots of lunch options that don't require refrigeration. One of my former standbys was a pasta/quinoa salad with frozen veggies, canned beans, and some sort of dressing. The frozen veggies slowly thaw and keep the whole thing cold even if you don't have a fridge to stick it in. Plus, since it's vegan, you don't have as many worries about food poisoning due to temperature changes. Another option would be to purchase a mini fridge for your office or to invest in those insulated lunch bags and some ice packs that you can use to help keep things cool. One of my main cost savings methods as a grad student was simply to not eat lunch out.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I usually spend about $100 per month, but I have a roommate who is a serious gardener; he encourages me to help eat the various veggies from the backyard. I also visit a few food pantries regularly (you have to shop around to find the best ones in your area, but if you find them, you'll get a lot of basics for free.) One has a really good selection of canned veggies, beans, cereal, and basic pasta, and another has just-about-to-expire bread (which is good if you have fridge/freezer space). 

 

My actual grocery trips usually consist of seasonings (onion, garlic, herbs, etc), tea, specific ingredients I like that pantries don't have very often (mushrooms, olives, artichokes, couscous, Nutella, beers), and the occasional potluck/party contribution. Roommate buys enormous amounts of eggs, and has no problem with me eating them as well (it's better than eggs going bad), as well as milk, butter, and similar ingredients I don't use often enough to justify buying for myself. 

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Man. You guys eat a lot (or food is just really expensive where you are). I used to spend in a month what some of you guys go through in a week. It's gonna be weird having enough money to live on for once.  

That said, I got by on between $60-100 a month, depending on how many free dinners I could snag from the local churches and such. Lots of potatoes, lots of rice, lots of noodles, Beans instead of meat, and frozen fish in bulk. Peanut butter sandwich for lunch every damn day, and whatever fruit/vegetable was cheapest that week is what I bought. I once bought a TV dinner when I was really tired one night. That thing was much tastier than it probably should have been. I think at some point I began to seriously misjudge what a reasonable serving size for an adult human is though, because despite all the carbs, I had trouble keeping weight on. I also got pregnant woman style cravings for things like salt and butter. 

 

Don't live like me or you'll starve to death.  

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Wow. I'm seriously impressed by all of you, I'm currently spending around $100/week! I blame my food allergies (gluten, dairy, egg, soy, corn, sesame, shellfish, nuts) because now nearly every product I buy is organic or hugely expensive (gluten free bread, dairy free cheese, I'm looking at you) -- and if I don't get those expensive products I'm basically restricted to fruits, veggies, potatoes, meat, and grains like rice and quinoa. Which is great! And I mostly only eat those things, but I also need my breakfast toast. And forget about it if you want to be fancy and make any fruit/veggie protein smoothies/shakes or things like pancakes ($5 for a gluten free mix). 

 

This has turned into a rant. Food costs are also pretty high where I am, but I'll obviously need to work on cutting this down or finding a cure for allergies. Or getting conventional food manufacturers to get the corn out of their products.

 

Edit: this cost includes all my household products and personal care items as well -- which, you guessed it, are more expensive because I'm allergic to -- guess what -- fragrance! yay. Oh, and throw the cost of benadryl and zyrtec in there too. /rant. 

 

Further edit: I almost never buy anything on campus or pay for food when I go out to eat. At least.  :mellow:

Edited by astroyogi
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In undergrad I somehow mananged to survive with between $20-$40 a week in groceries when I was living in an apartment and cooking for myself, but I'm pretty sure that number is going to go up in grad school since NYC is more expensive than Binghamton in every way (except rent, I lucked out on that one).

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In undergrad I somehow mananged to survive with between $20-$40 a week in groceries when I was living in an apartment and cooking for myself, but I'm pretty sure that number is going to go up in grad school since NYC is more expensive than Binghamton in every way (except rent, I lucked out on that one).

Wait, $20??? What do you eat??? Crackers and peanuts? Are you sure you are eating enough?

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Wait, $20??? What do you eat??? Crackers and peanuts? Are you sure you are eating enough?

Yes. I lived in an area that was economically depressed, so food was MUCH cheaper. I'm also not counting eating out in that (which I did about 1-5 times a week depending on my stress level). I made sandwiches for lunch, had cereal and yogurt or scrambled eggs for breakfast, occassionally got fruit when it was on sale, and I would make large pasta dishes or other foods that would last me about a week for dinner. I would also buy a lot of things in bulk, such as cereal and yogurt, and my roommates and I would often share things like eggs. Keep in mind that I am a tiny person (5' tall and about 100 lbs) so I eat less than most people do.

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I usually spend about $100 per month, but I have a roommate who is a serious gardener; he encourages me to help eat the various veggies from the backyard. I also visit a few food pantries regularly (you have to shop around to find the best ones in your area, but if you find them, you'll get a lot of basics for free.) One has a really good selection of canned veggies, beans, cereal, and basic pasta, and another has just-about-to-expire bread (which is good if you have fridge/freezer space). 

 

My actual grocery trips usually consist of seasonings (onion, garlic, herbs, etc), tea, specific ingredients I like that pantries don't have very often (mushrooms, olives, artichokes, couscous, Nutella, beers), and the occasional potluck/party contribution. Roommate buys enormous amounts of eggs, and has no problem with me eating them as well (it's better than eggs going bad), as well as milk, butter, and similar ingredients I don't use often enough to justify buying for myself. 

I plan to visit a few food pantries as well. I already located four in the area I will be living in. The only drawback is that they have a limit, 3 times per month. I figure, if I visit a different one every week, I should be fine. Sometimes, you can get lucky and find fruits and vegetables. I budget spending $100 per month on food that I can't find in the food pantry. 

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I plan to visit a few food pantries as well. I already located four in the area I will be living in. The only drawback is that they have a limit, 3 times per month. I figure, if I visit a different one every week, I should be fine. Sometimes, you can get lucky and find fruits and vegetables. I budget spending $100 per month on food that I can't find in the food pantry. 

 

Check your university's student resources, too. Mine has a pantry on campus, and since it has fewer visitors, they can allow weekly visits. 

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Wow. I'm seriously impressed by all of you, I'm currently spending around $100/week! I blame my food allergies (gluten, dairy, egg, soy, corn, sesame, shellfish, nuts) because now nearly every product I buy is organic or hugely expensive (gluten free bread, dairy free cheese, I'm looking at you) -- and if I don't get those expensive products I'm basically restricted to fruits, veggies, potatoes, meat, and grains like rice and quinoa. Which is great! And I mostly only eat those things, but I also need my breakfast toast. And forget about it if you want to be fancy and make any fruit/veggie protein smoothies/shakes or things like pancakes ($5 for a gluten free mix). 

 

This has turned into a rant. Food costs are also pretty high where I am, but I'll obviously need to work on cutting this down or finding a cure for allergies. Or getting conventional food manufacturers to get the corn out of their products.

 

Edit: this cost includes all my household products and personal care items as well -- which, you guessed it, are more expensive because I'm allergic to -- guess what -- fragrance! yay. Oh, and throw the cost of benadryl and zyrtec in there too. /rant. 

 

Further edit: I almost never buy anything on campus or pay for food when I go out to eat. At least.  :mellow:

Try finding a bulk/hippie store- not a super fancy health food store, but an excellently grungey food politics place with earth mothers and a 'bring-your-own-resuable-bag-even-for-the-bulk-food' policy. They also tend to segregate the glutenous stuff to one end to help prevent contamination. Failing that, restaurant supply stores (some of which are open to the public!) will give you a great deal on bulk good and produce. Making big grocery runs can help you save. 

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This is so, so helpful! I budgeted $200 a month for groceries (including toiletries), so it looks like that's a safe amount. I'm used to cooking for 4, so I really hope I can adjust and learn to cook for myself as to not waste any food.

 

I'm a vegetarian, so beans, lentils, and rice can go a long way. Other vegetarian products can be a bit expensive, so I'll probably cut down on those. I really hope I can get good produce at a good price. My university has this cash card that gives you a 10% discount at whole foods, so I'll take advantage of that when I can.

Also, I don't and can't drive, so I don't know if I'll be able to go to Costco (unless someone will be nice enough to give me a ride), and will get food that is easy to carry.

 

Share any good budget-friendly recipes if you have them!

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Try finding a bulk/hippie store- not a super fancy health food store, but an excellently grungey food politics place with earth mothers and a 'bring-your-own-resuable-bag-even-for-the-bulk-food' policy. They also tend to segregate the glutenous stuff to one end to help prevent contamination. Failing that, restaurant supply stores (some of which are open to the public!) will give you a great deal on bulk good and produce. Making big grocery runs can help you save. 

Thanks biisis, thankfully I'm in a tried and true hippie town and so I do all of that! Toting labeled reusable mason jars around for grains and all of that, I'm lucky to have a great coop near me. Alas, this doesn't help too drastically because I eat more veggies than grains and don't have time to bake my own bread each week. But it saves on rice and quinoa and flours for pan breads, etc. 

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I knew someone in my MA program that used food stamps while in grad school. Anyone thought about trying that? I mean, a lot of stipends are below the poverty line so it's not a bad idea....

I'm looking into that currently. It looks like I might qualify in the California county where I'll be going to school but I need to be living there at least a month before I can provide proof of expenses and such like CalFresh requires. Has anyone on here in California had success doing this?

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I head to the grocery store once every week and average about $30 / week. Things that help: I'm a vegetarian. I buy bulk grains (rice, quinoa, lentils, and couscous) that serve as a foundation for a lot of meals. I try to maximize on weekly sales in the produce aisles. Some weeks I will end up spending more like $40.

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