Grocery Shopping Habits: How Often and How Much Do You Spend?

Julie Ryan Evans

Boy in grocery store
Photo by LelandsMommy
I don't know if it's my poor planning, my indecisiveness about what I want to eat, or my ravenous family of four, but somehow I end up at the grocery store about five days a week on average. Some weeks it's more; it's almost never less.

I wish I was one of those people who planned out a list on Sunday, went shopping once, and had everything she needed for the week's meals. I'm so far from being one of them though, I have a hard time believing they exist.

Most trips result because of my bad memory, and I've forgotten a vital ingredient even though it was right there on my list.

The other trips stem from a multitude of reasons. First, I hate wasting food. So buying for an entire week with so many unknowns -- like my husband having an unexpected business dinner come up (my children and I just eat noodles or something when this happens); or all of a sudden the weather warms up, and I don't want to eat the soup I intended to make, I want salad -- seems impossible. And sometimes, though my intentions were good and ambitious, I'm just too tired to cook at the end of the day, so we get takeout or eat cereal. The next day I discover the expired chicken in the refrigerator that I had intended to cook.

Buying day-to-day seems like right thing to do.

Then there's the fact that I have to hit multiple stores to get everything we want/need: Costco for organic milk, bread, soda, paper supplies; Super Target for toiletries and cleaning products and great sales on groceries; Whole Foods for produce and some things I can find only there; and Publix for the rest. I will never say it's a good thing there's no Trader Joe's in Orlando, but if there was, I'd have to (get to!) go there as well. 

Of course, all the trips add up, and I know I spend more than if I would just go once. I don't know exactly how much I spend each week, since the amount varies greatly depending on my husband's travel schedule, if we have company in town, and other factors, but if I had to guess, I'd put it at somewhere around WAY TOO MUCH.

Looking back quickly through our account, I'm embarrassed to admit that we may spend as much as $300 per week. That seems crazy to me, especially considering the fact that I buy very little meat.

I'm determined to stop wasting time and money on groceries. I wonder if I cut my visits in half if I could also cut my bill in half. Hmm, I sense an experiment coming on ...

Tell me, how often do you shop for groceries and how much do you spend?


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