If you’re looking for a delicious, nutritious, and budget-friendly way to eat, then this post is for you!
In this post I share our confessions of how many weeks we spend $75 or less on our grocery shopping trip.
Did I mention that we eat a gluten free vegetarian diet??
Keep reading to learn how to cook a delicious, nutritious, gluten free vegetarian diet on less than $1.50 per person per meal.Get Gov Worker’s top 4 tips for federal employees!
Table of Contents
- A Couple of Notes About This $75 grocery list
- What is and isn’t included in our $75 grocery lists
- A detailed breakdown of our grocery spending in February 2020
- What we ate in the first week
- Here is our $75 Weekly Grocery List for the week of February 9, 2020
- What we ate last week
Please do not confuse my personal blog for financial advice, tax advice or an official position of the U.S. Government. This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on a link, I get a small percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you.
A Couple of Notes About This $75 grocery list
I’ve written extensively about our grocery spending on our blog. We keep our food budget less than the USDA Thrifty Plan.
If you want a general breakdown of how we keep our weekly budget so low, I’ve shared our basic framework for gluten free meal planning on a tight budget. The keys:
- Eat naturally gluten free foods and avoid products advertised as GF
- Make everything from scratch
- Eat seasonally
- Buy in bulk
In this post, I thought I’d channel some of our family’s favorite mom blogs (like MoneySavingMom, and FishMama that share photographs and receipts of their grocery hauls.
My wife gets all the credit for the creativity of our $75 grocery shopping list
My wife and I both work extremely hard and divide domestic duties in an equitable fashion. (If this is a point of disagreement in your house, I strongly recommend the book “Fair Play” by Eve Rodsky.
While I’m the one writing this post, Mrs. Gov is the one who conceives, plans, and executes our meal strategy.
I’m the first to admit that this is a huge lift. She spends a lot of mental energy “thinking” about groceries and meal prep. I am eternally grateful for that.
Occasionally, I’ll try to meal plan or go grocery shopping and it ends in disaster. I’ll never live down a $200 grocery trip where I forgot key ingredients. In the end, it works best for our family to have Mrs. Gov “own” meal planning and I try to pick up the slack in other areas.
What is and isn’t included in our $75 grocery lists
You won’t find a single chicken breast or any ground beef in our shopping lists. Our diet consists of meatless meals. We’ve been vegetarian since 2019. Occasionally our two youngest kids eat meat, however we never cook it or incorporate in our main meals.
Additionally, I have celiac disease and need to eat an entirely gluten free diet. We make all of our food gluten free. Occasionally, we’ll buy non GF food to send in the kids’ lunches.
Finally, we buy a lot of our household items off of Amazon and they are characterized as “household” instead of groceries.
A detailed breakdown of our grocery spending in February 2020
In the first week of February we went to the grocery store for 2 major shopping trips and spent $239.86 (including an approximately $75 grocery shopping list to Aldi). We stocked up on some
Here’s copies of our receipts for the 2 major shopping trips.
Here’s a list of our most expensive items:
- $20- Maple syrup
- $18.99- 20 lb. bag of rice
- $7.79- cheddar cheese (2 lbs)
- $7.79- mozzarella cheese (2 lbs)
- $6.89- string cheese
- $5.79- almond milk 2 pack
- $5.78- organic cage free eggs (2 pack)
- $5.00- butter (2 lbs)
- $3.99- clementines
- $3.79- gluten free wraps
- $3.69- apples
- $3.49- organic bean pasta (GF)
- $3.49- chocolate chips
- $3.29- non GF frozen pizza (for a day off school)
- $3.29- potatoes (10 lbs)
- $3.00- avocados
- $2.79- pineapple
What we ate in the first week
Here’s a rundown of our dinners and other major meals in the first 1.5 weeks of February. The big highlight was a brunch we hosted to celebrate birthdays which had a French toast bake, an egg bake, and an apple crisp with yogurt.
Did I mention we make almost all of our food from scratch? So the French toast involved baking bread from scratch, then tearing it up, and turning it into something else. The yogurt for the apple crisp? It came from a half-gallon of whole-milk.
- Saturday, Feb 1- lunch, make your own pizza, dinner “bowl” with rice, greens, eggs, potatoes, mushrooms, onions, and tomatoes
- Sunday, Feb 2- lunch, white bean burgers, buns, fries, clementines, cookies (hosted guests), dinner- homemade mac and cheese; muffins
- Monday, Feb 3- make your own sandwich bar: buns, day old gluten bread from a sandwich store, lettuce, avocado, mayo, etc (meat for kids)
- Tuesday, Feb 4- taco Tuesday – bean, tomatoes, lettuce, avocado, cheese, rice / beans and rice
- Wednesday, Feb 5- “chick noodle soup”- Chicken noodle soup with chickpeas and veggie broth instead of chicken/chicken broth
- Thursday, Feb 6- GF spinach stuffed shells
- Friday, Feb 7- pizza
- Saturday, Feb 8- brunch- French toast bake, egg bake, roasted potatoes and sweet potatoes, apple crisp, homemade yogurt. Dinner, leftovers for the kids, paneer masala (made from scratch) for the adults
Here is our $75 Weekly Grocery List for the week of February 9, 2020
Only a few items over $3 this week. Here they are.
- Quart of Greek yogurt $3.45
- 2 lbs of shredded cheese $5.19
- Apples $3.69
- Oranges $3.49
What we ate last week
- Sunday, Feb 9- lunch, black bean pasta salad. Dinner, “chick nuggets” and fries. (“chick nuggets” breaded chickpeas like chicken nuggets)
- Monday, Feb 10- sandwiches and leftovers
- Tuesday, Feb 11- taco Tuesday, cilantro lime rice, golden beans
- Wednesday, Feb 12- tortilla soup
- Thursday, February 13- baked potatoes with chili
- Friday, February 14- chili over noodles
- Saturday, February 15- lunch: homemade pizza, dinner “vegetarian charcuterie board” with fruit, almonds, hummus, and crackers
Hopefully this post helps break down some of the mysteries of our $75 grocery lists. While we can’t feed our family of 5 for $75 every week, there are some weeks we can squeak by with only spending $75 on groceries.
SamSam i.e. "Gov Worker" started working for the government at age 18 and loved it so much that he never left. He started GovernmentWorkerFI in 2019 to help fellow federal employees understand their benefits, take control of their finances, and live their best lives.
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