budget, grocery shopping

GROCERY BUDGET FOR 3 – What we buy and what we spend

grocery budget for 3

Have you had a hard time setting up your grocery budget for 3? Here is everything we eat, spend, and do for our grocery budget for 3.

Ever since we got serious about buckling down with a budget, it has been apparent that our grocery budget is by far the most likely category in our budget that we will overspend on. Sticking to our grocery budget has taken commitment. We both work full time and that makes the drive thru for fast food tempting just about every day. Especially knowing these days that I can get healthy options just as easily as I can get unhealthy ones—either way it completely blows up the budget.
We have a small category in our budget for eating out so that we can treat ourselves every now and then but eating out too often can definitely spiral into one out of control budget.

Here is an idea of what we buy each week during the month, to keep our grocery budget for 3 under $400 per month. While our goal is to stay under $400, we’ve found that with the right planning and in summer when our garden is producing well, we can spend about $200—half of our goal! We leave our grocery budget set at $400 and throw the extra money towards our financial goals (which right now, is aggressively paying off our massive debt).

Some tips for sticking to your grocery budget:

  1. Create a meal plan for each day of the week.
  2. Create a shopping list that coordinates with your meal plan.
  3. Base your meal plan and shopping list off of items that are on sale. Check your local grocer’s ads each week and note items that your family likes to eat that are on sale. Plan your meals around those on sale items.
  4. Never ever vary from your grocery list. If it is not on the list, you don’t buy it.
  5. Avoid convenient snacks. Convenient, pre-made snacks are expensive and can quickly blow up your budget.
  6. Use cash back rebates and coupons to score more savings.

Here is a rough example of what a month of grocery shopping looks like for us. We try to eat healthy, but we splurge every week for a treat of some kind—usually one or two bags of candy, ingredients for cookies, or ice cream. This helps us feel more balanced and makes us less likely to binge eat/spend money. By all means if you can skip the treats, save yourself some money and calories.

We do a lot of our grocery shopping at Aldi, Sprouts, and we take advantage of deals and coupons on Amazon.

Week 1:
Milk ~$4
Eggs ~$1
Brown rice ~$1
Ground Turkey ~$3
Sweet potatoes ~$3
Fruit (whatever is in season and on sale) $6
Vegetables (whatever is in season and on sale) $5
Treat $5
Whole wheat thin bagels $2
Cheese $2.50
Noodles $1
Greek yogurt x2 $6
= $37.50 (plus tax)

Dinners: eggs + bagels, chorizo bowls, sweet potato nachos, chicken and cheese bagel sandwiches, spaghetti,
Lunches: dinner left overs
Breakfasts: eggs, oatmeal, smoothies
Snacks: fresh fruit, greek yogurt, fresh vegetables

Week 2:
Milk $4
Eggs $1
Peanut butter $4
Honey $4
Oats (whole rolled oats in large container, $1.99, Aldi)
Fruit $6
Italian Salad Dressing $3
Vegetables $5
Cheese $3
Chicken $10 (on sale $1.89/lb, Aldi)
Treat $5
Noodles $1

Total =~$44 (plus tax)

Dinners: Italian chicken and rice, Thai noodles, left overs, eat out,
Lunches: left over dinners
Breakfasts: oatmeal, eggs, smoothies, overnight oats
Snacks: fresh fruit, cheese, vegetables, peanut butter oat bites

Week 3:
Milk $4
Eggs $1
Diapers (Target) $15
Toilet Paper $6
Wipes $6
Cleaning Spray ~$4
Treat $5
Frozen pizza $3.50
Pasta sauce $2
Fruits $6
Vegetables $5
Soup $3
= $60.50 (plus tax)

Dinners: frozen pizza, broccoli spaghetti, banana pancakes, sushi bowls, chicken and rice, left overs, soup
Lunches: left overs, sandwiches
Snacks: Fruits, vegetables, cheese, boiled eggs

Week 4:
Milk $4
Eggs $1
Tilapia (on sale Aldi) $5
Deli meat $4
Unsweetened Coconut flakes $2
Sweet potatoes $3
Cheese $3
Bagels $2
Fruit $6 (on sale seasonal items at either Sprouts or Aldi)
Vegetables $5 (on sale seasonal items at either Sprouts or Aldi)
Brown rice: $1
Treat: $5
=$41 (plus tax)

Dinners: Coconut tilapia with sweet potatoes and broccoli, chicken with rice, omelets, left overs, banana pancakes, chicken sandwiches
Lunches: sandwiches, left overs
Breakfasts: smoothies, overnight oats, eggs
Snacks: toasted bagels, fruit, vegetables, Greek yogurt

P.S. If you want to learn more about how to save more on groceries, sign up for this grocery budget makeover workshop:

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