Meats – Miguel and I buy our meats at Sam’s Club. We pay $30 a year for a membership there, and it saves us a ton of money. When we get our meats home, we divide them into portion sizes that we’ll use to make dinner with and put them into freezer bags. Then, we can freeze the meats until they are needed, and it greatly reduces the cost of meats. The following meats will last a long time.
6 lb boneless/skinless chicken breast – around $10. (approximately 15 chicken breasts)
6 lbs ground beef – around $8
Tuna, Chunk light, 10 6 oz cans -- $5
To eat like a king:
Round steak, 6 pack – $12 – They are really thick, so I only eat half for a meal, then use the other half for lunch the next day.
3 lbs frozen salmon fillets – around $13 – I consider salmon to be the filet mignon of fish. Each bag yields about 12 filets, and they keep for a long time.
Starches – Again with the Sam’s Club. I love Sam’s Club. I hate their ethics, but their prices are hard to beat when you are in college (or just got out of college as Miguel and I did) and are sticking to a budget.
Must haves from Sam’s:
8 lb bag of spaghetti -- $4
6 lb bag of penne rigate -- $3
Buy it, but not at Sam’s:
1 lb bag of brown rice -- $5 (lasts a long time)
1 lb bag of wild rice -- $5
Whole Wheat Tortillas -- $2
Canola Oil, 16 oz -- $4
Olive oil, 16 oz -- $5
Heart healthy butter substitute (I like Fleishmens) -- $3.
Fruits and Veggies – We don’t buy these at Sam’s Club, unless we buy canned or frozen. I typically buy whatever I’m in the mood for. Here’s this weeks veggies:
1 red onion
1 lb white onions
3 lbs potatoes
3 yellow squash
2 red peppers
8 oz mushrooms
1 package of spinach
1 lb snow peas
1 lb green beans
1 lb asparagus
All said, I spend around $20 on veggies at a local supermarket. I can get this much for about $5 less at our local farmer’s market.
2 gal milk -- $3
Yogurt – 40 Cents a container
Parmesan Cheese -- $5 (We buy the huge container from Sam’s and it lasts forever)
We don’t eat a lot of other cheese, but you can usually cheeses on sale for around $3-4/pound)
Eggs, 1 doz -- $1
Spice Rack -- $20 (Look at Big Lots, Family Dollar, Sam’s Club. We found a $20 one with all the containers filled)
Salt/Pepper – $8 (Again, at Sam’s Club they sell huge things of pepper and sea salt in their own grinders for $4. They last forever)
Canned crushed tomatoes -- $1.50/can
Bars -- $5-$8 (At Sam’s they had a 15 pack of Luna bars for $5, or you can get about 30 South Beach Diet High Protein Bars for $8)
Broth -- $2/big can or box
Flour, sweeteners as needed
Vinegar, big bottle -- $2
Dijon mustard -- $2
Salsa -- $2
Okay, so all told, I’ve got around $150 bucks of groceries listed here. But the thing is that most of this food is going to last about a month, sometimes more, then you’re just paying around $20-30 a week on milk, eggs, and fruits/veggies. You can basically make whatever you want with this stuff.
Check back later for my next installment, cooking made easy.
Reason: UNstickied post. Thanks for letting me sticky it :)
EDIT: I use the following website as a guideline when making out my grocery list. It's a website that provides a list of what is considered the world's most healthiest foods and then it has a link on each food item with information on all the nutritional properties and benefits:
List of The World's Healthiest Foods
Well, it's what works for me. I forgot fruits, which we buy frozen, mostly, because I'm not too much of a sweets person, and typically don't eat a lot of fruits. Sorry for leaving that out!
Sit down and look at your favorite recipes. What do you LIKE to eat? Make sure you have the most used ingreients at all times. :) If you don't eat beef, don't buy it. If you eat Boca Burgers often, stock them up :)
I don't know if one list works for everyone, but you can make your own, based on what YOU like to eat :)
Howard, as the original poster, I take no offense to what you posted. I've posted what works for me, in response to people who think eating healthy is expensive. I like simple foods, some don't.
You're a leader in this online community, and I look up to you, Howard! You're an inspiration and a role model, but you're not rude!
We buy, at most, 1 1/2 lbs. of meat a week :)
Also, my suggestion on meat is canned tuna in water or olive oil. Those are very affordable when on sale. They go on sale for 3 for $1 sometimes here. Oh I see you have it on there already. Hehe
Your list is almost like mine. I buy less meat and fish and more dry beans and whole grains, so my expense is a little lower. A pound of pinto beans, bought in a local supermarket, is .49 for Goya Brand. I get brown basmati rice from Whole Foods Market for about $1.10 a pound - more than white rice or regular brown rice, but so good. I also buy the more expensive brand of frozen vegetables because I like them (Hanover Petite are my favorites).
We can all benefit by making a careful list of staples and shopping from that list. It helps avoid impulse shopping and over spending, and saves time because we don't have to shop as often.
edited 7/10/2009 - wow, have prices gone up! That .49 pound of beans now costs $1.79. No wonder I always feel poverty stricken.
New favorite frozen vegetables - steamer bags. Not too expensive if you wait for a sale.
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