Thrifty Thursday Shopping List.

This is Part V of the “31 Days of Healthy Living” series.

Did you know that the average American eats out 4-5 times a week?

Did you know that the average household grocery bill is $70/week per person?

Did you also know that the average American throws away 14% of what they buy, due to spoilage and waste?

In other words, healthy eating can be expensive.  But it doesn’t have to be.  And it certainly doesn’t need to be the first thing taken under fire when food budgets get cut.

(according to these numbers, cutting back on wastage or eating out might be the better targets!)

One of my New Year’s Resolutions has been to reduce that average cost of $70/week per person to $60/week per person.  That comes out to be $180/week for this household, which isn’t easy now that food costs are rising, rising, rising!

I thought it would be fun to take a look at what $180 came out to look like…

Dairy/Other Perishables

  • 2 gallons of 1% milk
  • 2 half gallons of lite vanilla soymilk
  • 2 fat free stoneyfield yogurts
  • 1 half gallon of low-fat vanilla ice cream
  • 1 low-fat sour cream
  • 2 pounds tilapia
  • 8-oz half and half
  • 50% reduced-fat Cabot cheddar cheese
  • 1 low-fat Cabot greek yogurt
  • 8-oz heavy cream


  • 1-1/2 pounds white mushrooms
  • 32-oz. organic mixed greens
  • rutabaga
  • butternut squash
  • 1 bunch organic kale
  • 1 bunch organic swiss chard
  • 1 brussel sprout stalk
  • fresh salsa
  • cucumber
  • 7 roma tomatoes
  • organic mint and chives
  • organic frozen asparagus
  • 5 pounds potatoes
  • 10 parsnips
  • 1 daikon radish
  • celery
  • 2 fennel
  • 1 garlic


  • cantaloupe
  • 9 cortland apples
  • oranges
  • 3 golden delicious apples
  • 2 red grapefruit
  • 16-oz frozen blueberries
  • 3 large bunches of bananas (unpictured)


  • 24-pack of ginger ale (for “feeling sick” emergencies!)…unpictured
  • saltines (same reason as above!)
  • chocolate mint teasemi-sweet chocolate
  • whole wheat tortillas

Question: Have you cut back on groceries over the years?  What do you spend the most on and how do manage to still fit in your favorites?


12 comments on “Thrifty Thursday Shopping List.

  1. Since it’s just John and I, we’re able to keep our budget pretty low. Plus, he’s happy eating the same things over and over again like PB&Js and sunchips. I on the other hand need to branch out a bit and I CAN’T do without spinach for a week.

    To cut back, I meal plan one week in advance. I also utilize every item I buy as best I can, trying to use it in multiple dishes if I can. Plus, we don’t eat meat anymore so that’s another big savings. We’ve cut down considerably in the last year on food spending and it’s amazing how much money you can save if you just set a budget and stick to it!

  2. Katie says:

    Dang! Those stats make me feel REALLY good about my food spending habits!

    We don’t eat out at restaurants and we spend about $75 for our family for the week. Meal planning helps immensely…I can’t imagine how much I’d spend if I just went to the store and bought whatever sounded good.

    • Sarah says:

      Geez! $75? You are the budget queen. 😀

      We have a new supermarket opening up soon near where I live, so I’m hoping this helps to bring in some competition (i.e., lower prices!)

  3. Alexiasana says:

    since i just moved into a new apartment in vienna my boyfriend and i are trying to keep grocery costs and of course eating out costs low. it does not always work since i often crave going into health shops and splurging on a little more expensive things like almond milk, flours, ingredients etc. but i so far its alright so my little treats are ok from time to time. i am addicted to kale chips and kept ordering them from the UK…..

    • Sarah says:

      Oh gosh. Vienna? I am experiencing serious envy right now. 😉

      And I could not agree with you more about making room for the special treats now and then. I love some of the specialty food products, most notably gourmet nut butters, chocolates, breads and specialty cheeses. 😀

  4. Caitlyn says:

    I rarely go out to eat, but I do spend way TOO much on groceries. I usually leave the store with more than I went in to buy. Taking your advice, I set a budget and am sticking to it…no matter what!!! This wil be fun 🙂

    • Sarah says:

      There’s something irresistible about grocery stores. Especially ones like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, which can be very dangerous to my wallet. 😉

  5. BroccoliHut says:

    Love this! I always enjoy seeing what fellow bloggers buy at the grocery store. Food is definitely a priority for me, so I devote much of my budget to it. That being said, I have been much more vigilant about my grocery spending within the past year or so–coupons are wonderful things! During the summer, I also make full use of the farmers’ market to save on produce.
    PS Love that chocolate mint tea 🙂

    • Sarah says:

      Isn’t the tea fabulous? I like adding a splash of soy milk which sweetens it just enough.

      And I need to jump in on the coupon bandwagon! 😀

  6. Tracey says:

    My family eats out once a week or less,brown bag our lunches and 4 of us (2 teen boys) eat for about 100.00 a week, max at 500.00 a month.We do ususally raise a small garden in the summer and can and freeze some our food for the winter.

  7. amcoballes says:

    I think it also helps to have a list before entering the supermarket lol!! I tend to crave and overbuy if I don’t make one especially if I just left the house hungry!! 🙂

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