Grocery Tips

Here’s What TFD Readers Are Spending On Groceries (& Where They Shop To Save)

By | Friday, October 26, 2018

We are a little obsessed with food here at TFD. If you look at the random room on our Slack channel, it’s about 90% just us talking about what we’re making for dinner that evening. (Which, for a personal finance site that heavily features home-cooking content, does feel very on brand.)

For a little something different, we thought it would be interesting to reach out to the greater TFD community (AKA you guys!) on Twitter to get a little more information about your grocery habits. There’s no one right way to grocery budget, but we wanted to get a sense of where we all fall when it comes to food spending. I know that, personally, I think it’s worth it to pay a bit extra for food to make at home that I know I’m going to be crazy about. My best friend comes over about once a week to make dinner and watch television with my fiancee and me, and it’s one of my favorite parts of the week — and, yep, it definitely costs a little extra than the meals I’d just make for myself! We don’t shy away from “special” recipes that might use special ingredients, like these meatless Chick-fil-A sandwiches, but for me, it’s totally worth it.

Below, I’ve compiled our Twitter polls in regards to TFD followers’ grocery shopping and spending habits and a few thoughts on each! It’s not a perfect science, of course — we didn’t control for how many people answered each poll, for example — but I think it gives a good sense of what “average” grocery habits look like, at least among our community. And bonus, keep reading for some reader-suggested places to shop when you want to make your grocery budget go farther!

I’m touched that everyone was so honest with this one. I, too, spend more than I think I’m going to nearly every time I pop into Super Foodtown. I’m glad to be in a position where I don’t feel the need to rein my grocery spending in a ton, but a few years ago when I was on an intern/temp salary, this was a much bigger problem.

I personally think shopping with a list is the cardinal rule of grocery shopping…but what do I know, I also overspend pretty often. I think it’s not surprising that the vast majority of the TFD community use a list, because I think most of us do a fair amount of home-cooking. I’d also bet the people who don’t are the ones not doing much cooking, or not using recipes — if you’re one of the few not using a list, I’d love to hear why!

I’m squarely in the “sometimes” category — I’ll peruse my store’s coupons to make sure I’m not missing a deal on something I need to buy anyway, but I don’t plan my shopping around coupons. (I’d love to hear from people who do!) I do, however, always go with the brands that are on sale in store.

I’m actually on the higher end for this one — Peter and I use Blue Apron and cook at home pretty often, so we spend about $120 a week on groceries. That said, of course, this poll doesn’t account for whether people are single or in a relationship or have families — groceries for just me would be about $60 a week, putting me squarely in line with the average TFD follower per this poll. I’d be interested in hearing about grocery spending solely from single people. Maybe a followup poll is in order!

I don’t have a car, so I find myself at the store about three times a week. Luckily, it’s not a far walk! If I drove, I’d probably be in the once-a-week camp.

Definitely click through the tweet link to see all of the great answers people gave — these are a few of my favorites:

1. “The local ethnic markets usually sell produce cheap especially what’s in season :)” – Jennifer

2. “Aldi, hands down. It saved us big time when during our worst financial times, otherwise we probably wouldn’t have been able to eat most days. I was even able to have fruit because of them.” – Mimchi

3. “I love Aldi, but Kroger is one of my favorites, too. They have some great sales that you can pair with coupons to really lower your out-of-pocket cost. Unfortunately, I don’t live anywhere near a state with a Kroger any longer, but it was fantastic for me as a college student.” – Autumn

4. “Dollar Tree. They actually sell many name brand items for $1.” – Cody

5. “Aldi, and my local farmer’s market which will mark down food ridiculously at the end of the day — bread for a dollar, multiple baskets of fruit or veggies for $2…” – Irene


Do you have any interesting grocery shopping habits that aren’t reflected here? Additionally, I’d love to hear anyone’s biggest tips for saving on groceries!

Image via Unsplash

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