Grocery Budget Wars

We’re still searching for the perfect grocery store (who isn’t, really?); Sprouts is great for produce & random things like “all natural chocolate syrup” (with an almost fudge-like consistency. Wow), but not ideal for pantry stocking.

Attempt #1: Safeway. I’m hoping it was just this particular store, but I’ve never been so disappointed. Safeway, what happened? The produce was expensive, product options were limited, and we couldn’t find half of what we were looking for.
Moving on!

Attempt #2: King Soopers. Honestly, from the outside this place looks a little off. Lesson: Don’t judge a grocery store by its retro logo! Colorado-grown produce, Stoneyfield yogurt products (I have  HLS coupons to use up!), cute kitchen items, and a oatmeal in bulk (I bought 3 lbs…). Hello, satisfaction!

The only thing that did not jive with this store? Our Grocery Budget. In fact, it declared WAR. We lost badly.

There was no front-of-the-store warning! Nobody told me I’d have local produce filling my cart, or Natural Maple Syrups to choose from, or rows of Nutella, or 505 sauce in HUGE jars, or Vail Mountain Coffee on sale. I didn’t know who I was with.

Back to the Nutella – this is MIA at Sprouts, and a certain someone was very excited to see his cycling-mode staple back in stock:

Sure, I love cocoa and hazelnut mixtures as much as the next shopper.
But THIS? This caught my eye:


You would basically spit flames for the next month after consuming such a large amount of "All Natural Green Chile Sauce”, but that’s a risk I’m willing to take.

I didn’t, I’m just saying I would.

After an hour of browsing I began to worry for our Oikos Greek Yogurt and Vanilla Frozen Yogurt and Light Soy milk. We finally checked out, and the debit card shed a small tear. As a Dietitian and food budgeter, I know the tips for saving money and eating healthy! This was a “Do as I say, not as I do” moment.

Next week, the budget is back!

How do you decide your grocery store budget/purchases?



Filed under Exploring Colorado, food, groceries, pictures

15 responses to “Grocery Budget Wars

  1. you know, king soopers (despite the HORRIBLE name) is actually one of the best places to shop. that and costco! i can only imagine the HUGE amounts of nutella they would have there!

  2. I try and keep our weekly grocery expenses under 100$. Keep in mind this is in Canadian money and food in Canada is quite simply more expensive than in the states. No way around it, it is a fact of life. That being said, I buy for me and my boyfriend, so I think 50$ per person isn’t bad.

    The exception to this is when we need to restock something like olive oil, or flours etc. Pantry staples that area bit more expensive. We have a separate budget for that that we dig into when we need to.

    I try and spend as little as possible while still buying all organic produce and animal products, and buying local whenever possible. I save by trying not to buy anything I could make at home – hummus, spreads, etc. The only exception to this is nut butters as my food processor would be incapable of handling the motor-strain.

    • Heather C

      $50 per person (considering the cost of organic sometimes) is great! We try to refrain from things we could make, too. Nut butters are a staple grocery buy, but pre-made mixes are never in my cart (i.e. pancake or waffle). They’re too fun/easy to make on your own! 🙂

  3. It’s definitely fun to *splurge* at some of the higher end grocers now and then… definitely not on a regular bases though.

    Woohoo nutella! I’d definitely pass on the green chile sauce. I can’t handle the heat!!

  4. I guess we’re lucky where we live – there’s not a whole lot of “fun” store options. 😦 My husband and I try to keep it to less than $100 a week, and I do my best to make it work — and sometimes it doesn’t. I do use coupons a lot for things like almond and soy milks, yogurt and frozen foods. I also plan meals based on what’s on sale.

  5. ooooh the green chilies! my fave part of my ABQ visits. they put it on PIZZA (you probably knew). & that nutella pic is hilarious. 🙂 I think we’re probably roughly in the $50/week category…we go to costco every once in a while for things we go through quickly (ahem, peanut butter), but otherwise it’s our ghetto-but-fabulous shopper’s!

  6. I am currently using a CSA which is great & a lot cheaper than buying produce at the store. Then I make a trip every two weeks to buy flour/grain/beans/etc.

    But I am still making random during the week trips, which definitely start to add up.

  7. I try to get the best deals which usually means going a couple of places – thankfully, there’s a Whole Foods right next to a Tom Thumb so I can get everything rather easily. I definitely have splurges at Whole Foods but try to make up for it with other stuff.

  8. Pants are wet, hilarious photo. I wish my man got that jazzed about Nutella, dayum!

  9. I am the WORST when it comes to budgeting for groceries each week. I used to do several shops throughout the week because spending smaller amounts felt less painful. It took me a few years to realize that this method was NOT working. I was spending double what I would if I just did one big shop!

    I’m moving back to DC next week and am going to be on an extremely tight budget. My goal is to spend $50/week. We’ll see how it goes!

  10. I’m a huge fan of King Soopers!! Produce is usually pretty good and there are many organic products (their brand). Weird name though

  11. i just tried nutella recently… its like liquid heaven!

  12. Oh lord, sometimes you just have to declare defeat at the grocery store! Seriously. Sometimes, I try to stay cheap, but often I’m willing to spend extra dough for locally made, organic products. Especially fruits and veggies and yogurt.

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