2 people + Groceries = $30/Week

In an attempt to save some cash and cook even more at home, I thought it would be a good idea to limit grocery shopping with P to $30 a week.  While a possibly better and more money-saving idea would be to limit $30 a week for everything, we’re going to start off slow.

So far, the total for groceries has been: $26.66 (note the last three numbers are 666).

The first bill of the week is posted uptop as the image-header of this blog, so you can really scrutinize it if you want.  The lowdown of stuff:

  1. vegetable spiral pasta (bulk bin)
  2. dried black beans (bulk bin)
  3. skim milk (not from Coop)
  4. Soymilk
  5. A cookie (a treat was needed Monday evening)
  6. Head of cauliflower
  7. Plain yogurt (small container to start homemade yogurt)
  8. 2 big yellow tomatoes
  9. Green grapes
  10. Tofu
  11. A HUGE cucumber
  12. Red Pepper
  13. Mix of salad greens (from bulk)
  14. Plums (4)
  15. Active Dry Yeast (3 packets)

So far, the meals/things made:

  • Homemade yogurt (with Stonyfield starter and skim milk) that was strained to make greek-style yogurt.  Total cost: $2.02.  Now that the yogurt is made, I don’t need to buy yogurt as a starter.  Still not sure how economical this is, but working on it!
  • Cornbread muffins w/fresh corn for breakfast (freeze a bunch for later too)
  • Homemade bread (YUM!): possible recipe for this coming soon.  Broken down, the yeast for 1 loaf is .48.  Haven’t figured out the flour costs, but I’m pretty sure this is cheaper than buying a loaf.
  • Slow roasted veggies (onion, tomato, red pepper and a squash we had in the fridge)

The idea is for me to document this in order to see what is being used, what’s not working, what can I make that is new and/or useful, etc.  While I do like going out to eat, the idea is to eat in and bring in our own breakfast and lunch for the work week.  Hopefully, I will also get back into food photography and recipes.  I also want to start using up a lot of stuff that has been hiding in the pantry or in the bulk jars (amaranth, I am looking at you).

I’m lucky in that I belong to the Park Slope Food Coop, an amazing place to get produce (lots of local and organic stuff, as well as non and minimally treated things), bulk items and pretty much whatever you need from a grocery store at very low prices.  The Coop is able to offer low prices because of low overhead – almost all of their workers are also members.  Therefore, they don’t have to pay for a ton of employees.  The catch is that you have to work at the Coop once a month for 2.45 hours.  Honestly, for the quality food you get and the low prices, I am more than happy to work for my food.  Sometimes the shopping has to be done at a regular grocery store or bodega and the price increase is intense.  While spending $30 for two people may not seem like too much of a hardship, I think it cuts our grocery bill in half.  We’ll see.

7 Comments on “2 people + Groceries = $30/Week”

  1. Lisa says:

    how do you make strained yogurt? i think i read about it before, but i never ended up trying.

    • George says:

      Get a large bowl and a piece of clean cotton cloth and a rubber band. stretch the cotton loosely over the large bowl and put the rubber band around the cotton so it stays in place (may need more than one band) Pour the yogurt on top of the cotton so it is suspended by the cotton. Cover with cling wrap to keep away nasties. Put in the fridge over night. The next day the liquid should have strained through the cotton into the bowl. What is left on top is strained greek style yogurt. I love this stuff.


  2. Janice Cook says:

    I don’t know how much bulk shopping you do as part of your project but the packets of yeast can be quite pricey if you make a lot of bread. We bought a brick of yeast at BJs and saved a lot that way.

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