Do you go to the store for one item and end up with a whole cart? That’s how I used to shop until I started this healthy budget grocery list.
What is worse is…. I used to grocery shop multiple times PER WEEK, so imagine how many extra things I was picking up!
My husband and I created a budget that had a $300 monthly grocery budget for two, but we would wind up going over that frequently with the extra items we picked up. And to top it all off, the food we didn’t eat would end up spoiling.
We changed two major things to get our budget under control:
- We do the bulk of our shopping once per month. Then, we’ll go back mid-month to get the fruits and vegetables that don’t last long.
- Meal planning! We have a weekly meal plan and use that to build the shopping list. This way, we aren’t buying things that go unused.
I think we are doing pretty well now with our budget.
$200 A Month Grocery List
Though we can spend up to $300 per month, our basic, cheap, monthly grocery list for 2 is closer to $200 per month. That brings the average weekly food budget for two to $50. WOW!
The USDA food budget for 2 people our age is $93.50 to $185.90 weekly. Or, $405.30 to $805.70 monthly based on a nutritious diet at 4 different cost levels. View the current USDA grocery budget here.
With this healthy grocery list for two, we’ve also been able to lose a lot of weight. We’ve been counting calories and sticking to serving sizes.
Related: Cheap Foods To Lose Weight Fast
Though we may not get the recommended amount of each food group, I am happy with the health-conscious changes we’ve made.
What’s not included?
I did not include the bulk items we buy every few months (or yearly) such as:
- 7lb Organic Steel Cut Oatmeal (88 Servings): $8.99 and 0.10/serving
- 13lb Brown Rice (120 Servings): $13.89 and 0.12/serving
- 4.5lb Organic Quinoa (46 Servings): $10.49 and 0.23/serving
- Spices (I buy in bulk about once per year or more)
- Pasta noodles (A large pack we’ve had for over a year)
- Seasonal fruits
- Organic Green Tea (176 Count): $8.98
- Our sins aka snacks: Low-calorie popcorn, mini chip bags, etc. Shhh!
These are the basic things we buy each month:
- (4) 1lb 98% Ground Beef: $5.47 each
- 60 Eggs: $4.75
- (4) Turkey Bacon: $2.94 each
- (2) Turkey Pepperoni: $2.26 each
- (2) Almond Milk: $3.82
- Shredded Cheese: $1.98
- Singles Cheese: $1.48
- Coffee Creamer: $3.48
- Sour Cream: $1.77
- (2) Organic Spring Mix: $3.66
- Olive Garden Dressing: $6.78
- (2) Organic Bell Pepper: $2.96
- (2) Organic Grape Tomatoes: $1.96
- 4lb Onions: $3.92
- Organic Celery: $2.96
- Organic Baby Carrots $1.46
- 3lb Organic Potatoes $3.96
- (2) Crushed Pineapples: $0.98
- (2) Organic Tomato Paste: $0.72
- (2) Vegetarian Baked Beans: $1.58
- Taco Shells – 12 count: $1.74
- Cereal: $3.64
- Waffles: $2.38
- 10lb Chicken Breast: $18.29
- Crumbled Feta Cheese: $7.49
- Coffee: $10.99
- (2) 647 Bread – 2 Pack: $5.99
- Organic Pizza Kit – 4 Crusts: $8.59
Costco (About every other month)
- Turkey Slices – 3 Pack: $9.89
- 5lb Green beans: $6.79
- 4lb Broccoli Florets: $6.99
- 5lb Organic Mixed Veggies: $7.89
- Guacamole Cups: $10.49 (When on sale)
- 10lb Organic Cane Sugar: $7.99
Total: $50.04/2 = $25.02
I also buy $30 worth of ingredients to make burritos that I freeze every other month.
That brings the grand total to: $207.18
TIP: The bread, bacon, guacamole cups, and turkey slices all keep well in the freezer for us.
TIP#2: Use your shopping list and go through the fridge/cabinets to see what you need before going to the grocery store. Or else, you might end up buying something you already have. We don’t use every item, so we sometimes spend less if it’s not needed that month.
How Can You Spend Less Money On Food?
Of course, it’s possible to save more money and cut the grocery bill by buying non-organic and meat that isn’t as lean.
If you noticed, we don’t typically buy juice. I like to make a probiotic drink, called water kefir, which requires sugar and can be flavored in any way. And we get all the water we need from our Berkey water filter.
We also save a lot by not buying many pre-packaged and processed foods.
Other ways to save money on groceries:
- Shop for items on sale
- Use cash-back apps like Ibotta and Checkout 51
- Buy generic brands
- Don’t shop while hungry. I’m always tempted to pick up extra this way.
- Meat is expensive! Try eating meals without it sometimes
- Don’t stick to one store, shop around for better prices.
$50 Weekly Meal Plan
Now that we’re done buying groceries on a budget, what are we going to eat?
I try to create a cheap, healthy meal plan by looking at the serving sizes and counting calories.
- Eggs, bacon, toast/waffles
- Turkey sandwich
- Guacamole on toast
- Veggies and dip
- Chicken, rice, and veggies
- Burger: We shape our own 4oz patties and use the 40 calorie bread.
- Chicken and baked beans
- Chicken and potatoes
- Pineapple chicken
- Salad: Spring mix, onions, Olive Garden dressing, grape tomatoes, feta cheese
- Pizza: Once every week? Yes please! Toppings: Turkey pepperoni, onion, bell peppers, optional: cheese
- Sloppy Joe
Yummy! I’m not a food photographer, but these meals sure look (and tasted) DELICIOUS! Sometimes we switch it up a bit and swap out grocery items for the month. But we mainly stick to the same cheap grocery list and meal plan.
For more cheap dinner ideas, check out my other post: Cheap Meals Under $10 for 6 People
What does your healthy budget grocery list look like? Can you do a $200 a month grocery list? Budgeting food for a month instead of shopping more frequently was the key that made a difference for us.