Tracking household grocery expenses - what do you spend?

I was down to my last pack of ground beef. I told Sunshine we needed to keep an eye out for any sales or clearance packages of hamburger or ground beef. While at the store, the meat dept. guy marked down two 5 pound chubs of ground beef to $7.60 each. We got 10 pounds of ground beef for $15.20, so that is $1.52 per pound. YEA!! I’ll break it down into 1 pound packages and freeze it.


This is a really interesting thread. I wish I had the energy to track my weekly or monthly spend, but I don’t.

I really enjoy food shopping, especially at farmers’ markets and farmstands. In the summer and into early fall, when I’m here in PA, my weekly stops include:

Fridays: main shopping day of the week. A major farmers market trip in the morning before work (local and highly seasonal veg and fruit, local cheese, raw milk, farm eggs, many many lemons, fresh fish, certain meats only available at this market.) This market is all the way across town. During peach season (which is just ending) I also visit a second farmer’s market every Friday for peaches from a specific grower.

Saturday: 2 or 3 farmstands (more farm-grown fresh fruit and veg, fresh flowers) and my regular “country butcher” for all the meat for the coming week (I buy zero meat at the grocery store) and a special treat of red-beet eggs. If it’s berry season, I go picking on Saturdays. I often visit a specific local dairy on the weekends if I need cream or half+half for ice cream.

Once/week: grocery store (staples like yogurt, olive oil and cottage cheese.)

Twice/month: wholesale club (I get my soda there, as well as large packages of baking items like flour, butter and sugar. Mom gets some household items plus processed foods she enjoys.)

Once/month: natural foods store (coconut water, bulk raisins and nuts, herbs and spices, vanilla beans, specialty ingredients.)

When I’m in NYC, my meat comes from a single upstate farmer who runs a grassfed/pastured meat CSA that delivers frozen meat monthly to Brooklyn. A single farmer’s market trip on Saturdays (but this is not a bargain experience like it is in PA.) Grocery shops multiple times per week (because no car, woo hoo) at my local food co-op, and overall more regular eating out/purchased food into the rotation.


You might be able to broadly track the spending if you use a “food/cash” envelope that you refill and write on the outside the refill date and amount. And if you use a credit card, it’s even easier to simply go thru the monthly bill and checkmark the vendor names / dates for the transactions that likely were food; I keep printed receipts to match up against the card statement so something like a Costco run can be split food /non-food.

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