My Grocery Price-Point List

I’ve had a lot of people ask me what my personal grocery price points are and how I’m able to feed my family as cheaply as I do (averages out to somewhere between $250 – 300 a month for 6 people). I’ve been thinking about this post for a long time and this weekend, I did a little sleuthing and fact gathering so I could finally write it.

Here are staples I almost always have on hand and the prices I pay for them.

Sam’s ClubI’ve blogged before about whether Aldi or Sam’s is cheaper. While I think a lot of items can be found cheaper than Sam’s Club using coupons and loss leaders, I do get a lot of staples at Sam’s Club. I buy:

  • Jasmine Rice – $16.93 / 25 lbs = .68 / lb
  • Pinto Beans – $17.76 / 25 lbs = .71 / lb
  • Popcorn = $23.92 / 50 lbs = .48 / lb
  • Taco Seasoning (MSG Free) – $3.98 / 23 oz
  • Vanilla – $6.88 / 16 oz
  • Baking Powder (Aluminum Free) – $5.78 / 60 oz
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese – $6.74 / 2 lb ($1.68 per 8 oz block – common size seen at grocery store)
  • Vinegar – $3.58 / 2 gallons = $1.79 / gallon
  • Ghirardelli Chocolate Chips – $9.48 / 3 lbs
  • Fair Trade Coffee – $14.88 / 40 oz = $5.95 / lb
  • When I have a little extra money, I also LOVE the assortment of cheeses at Sam’s Club. I don’t have prices, though.

Things I don’t buy at Sam’s Club because I can usually find them cheaper elsewhere: fruit and most veggies (except their organic spring salad mix – love that!), diapers, wipes, OTC medicine, toiletries, butter, yogurt, cereal, snacks, liquor, meat.

Bulk Amish Store

  • Prairie Gold Hard White Wheat – $20 / 50 lb = .40 / lb
  • Raw Sugar – $35 / 50 lb = .70 / lb
  • Rolled Oats = $20 / 50 lb = .40 lb
  • Whole Flax Seed = .99 / lb
  • Sea Salt = .55 / lb
  • Real Salt = $3.49 / lb
  • Raw Honey – $3.50 / lb

Misc. Grocery Stores

      • Fruit – anything under $1 / lb
      • Chicken & Pork – under $2 / lb (try for < $1.85 / lb)
      • Pasta – stock up around .50 / lb (loss leaders with coupons)
      • Veggies – whatever’s cheapest any given week  (cabbage and carrots are two of the cheaper veggies)
      • Skim Milk – < $3 / gallon (use coupons) rGBH free
      • Cottage Cheese – .99 / 24 oz
      • Butter – $1.99 / lb (stock up on loss leaders)
      • Cereal – prefer free after coupons/rebates/RR/ECBs, but under $1 is acceptable depending on the cereal (I’m pretty picky about cereal and I won’t buy anything just because it’s free. I do have my limits!) :-)

Aldi

      • Powdered Milk – $5.95 / 26 oz (I use this in a lot of my baked goodies)
      • Sour Cream – .99 / 16 oz
      • 1/2 & 1/2 – $1.65 / 32 fl oz
      • Tortilla Chips – $1.19 / 13 oz

Beef – buy from a local farmer 200 lbs / year for around $500 = $2.50 / lb

I don’t buy a lot of organic fruits and veggies because it’s simply cost prohibitive. I do, however, have a large organic garden in the summer and I preserve as much as I can for us to eat in the winter. When I do buy fruits and veggies, I try to buy as much as possible from the Environmental Working Group’s Clean 15 list and minimize produce on their Dirty 12 List to minimize our exposure to pesticides.

Oil isn’t currently on my list. I’ve had an enormous stockpile the last couple of years from awesome deals I used to find at Jewel-Osco. Unfortunately, it looks like those deals have ended and I’m down to my last two bottles of Canola Oil. I also use Olive, Sunflower, Peanut,  and Sesame oil. I’ll be on the lookout for good oil prices. I use a lot of oil because I bake almost all of our bread, muffins, cakes, granola, and other snacks. Plus, I make almost all of our salad dressings and meat marinades. Oil is something I’ve got to have on hand.

I also recently found out that the nuts I thought were raw are actually pasteurized. So, I’m on the lookout for real RAW nuts now. I’ll probably stock up at Trader Joe’s a few times a year. I’m also eying all of my walnut trees with a new interest right now. They’ve started dropping their nuts and we’re collecting. We’ll see how black walnuts treat us!

One other area I really want to improve quality on is chicken and pork. I have a great source for healthier beef, but I still get commercially produced poultry and pork. I buy the best quality I can afford. I make sure to avoid gas packed meats and meat with added solutions, but I would prefer to buy free-range poultry and pork. It’s on the list. One of these days, my budget will increase!

I’m linking up to Frugal Tuesday and The Thrifty Peach. Is there anything you stock up on that I don’t have listed?

I’m linking this post with Frugal Friday. Check out more great ideas there.

Comments

  1. says

    I love how much research you have put into this. These types of posts are great for people who are just starting to live with a food budget or coupons… if they don’t know what a good price is for something, how can they save any money? This post helps solve that problem!

  2. Cara Ivey says

    Gosh thanks!! I just found Pinto Beans for $.50 per pound and wasn’t sure if that was a “stock up” price. I just started skipping the canned beans and cooking my own so I wasn’t sure about prices on dried beans… Well… Market Basket LOOK OUT!!! I’m coming to buy your beans!! :)

  3. says

    I buy about the same things you do at Sams Club. I also buy a ton from Aldi and heavily shop sales. I don’t save as much as you. I usually spend $400 a month.

    • says

      Kay, I save a lot by gardening and preserving food and then by baking my own bread from flour I grind myself. I think those two things make a pretty big difference. Thanks for stopping by!

    • says

      Most of the prices I list here are based on an Amish store I visit in Missouri. But the prices are pretty close to what I saw in Kalona. I did not see the 50 lb bags of sugar or oats at Kalona, though.

  4. Lori Pottorff says

    Have you thought about talking to your local High School FFA chapter? Most of those kids raise animals for their projects. That and 4-H would be a great place to ask also. We usually buy a hog right after the state fair. The kids need to get rid of them and you would be doing a wonderful service in your community. If you have any land you can purchase mail order chickens. They don’t take up much room and you can feed them relatively cheap. Not much chores involved in chickens either. You mentioned Amish bulk food store so I just wonder if your local Amish community offers slaughtering services. We take our chickens to the Amish here and they had 150 done in less than 2 days. Talk about fresh!!! Good luck with your meat search!! :)
    God Bless.
    Lori in Missouri

  5. Lindsey says

    Having a list like this to compare would be very helpful! I realize it was a lot of work to compile, but if you ever update it, I would love to see the new list. Thanks

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