Grocery Diaries

I’m a Dietitian Living in India — My Family and I Spent $32 on a Week’s Worth of Groceries

published Mar 14, 2024
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Family with D-Mart receipt behind them
Credit: Courtesy of Anshuli

Name: Anshuli
Location: Nagpur, Maharashtra (India)
Number of people in household: We are a family of four: me, my 50-year-old father (Harish), my 47-year-old mother (Minal), and my 14-year-old brother (Sankalp)
Age: 26
Occupation: I am a clinical dietitian and my father owns a furniture business; my mother is a housewife. 
Salary: 3,50,000₹ (in Indian rupees, which is the equivalent to $4,229.75)
Where you shopped: D-Mart, local fresh vegetable shops, and dairy farms
Weekly food budget: 2900₹ ($35.00)
Amount spent: 2634.43₹ ($31.81) 

Credit: Anshuli

Where did you shop?

We usually shop at D-Mart, a popular grocery store in Nagpur. It’s convenient and offers discounts on groceries. I often go shopping there with my mother. For dairy products like milk, eggs, and meat, we prefer to buy them from a local dairy farm for freshness. We mostly buy produce from local vegetable markets for the same reason. 

As a daughter, it’s important for me to provide a balanced diet for my family, prioritizing their health above everything else. Additionally, I use my reusable grocery bag to avoid paying extra fees.

Credit: Anshuli

What’s your grocery strategy?

Our grocery shopping strategy involves planning meals in advance and making a list of needed items. As I easily get distracted by discounts, I make a conscious effort to control impulse purchases and stick to our budget.

Credit: Anshuli

After finalizing a list, I head to the grocery store, which is conveniently only five or six minutes by car. Once I finish grocery shopping there, I make a quick stop at the local vegetable market to pick up fresh veggies and fruits. Additionally, I ensure we have a regular supply of spices, tea, sugar, oils, rice, and wheat flour in my pantry, which didn’t need replenishing this week. 

My boyfriend, Karunesh, also gifted some specially processed figs from another city. 

Credit: Anshuli

How do you meal plan? 

We prioritize meal planning by considering everyone’s preferences and dietary needs in our family and discuss meal ideas for the week, focusing on homemade dishes that we can enjoy together. We also factor in any special occasions, like the wedding ceremony we’ve been invited to this week.

As a dietitian, it’s crucial to ensure everyone receives adequate nutrition — especially considering my father’s sedentary work, my brother’s ongoing exams, and our own spice startup. Our meal planning process helps us stay organized, save time, and enjoy wholesome homemade meals together as a family. 

What did you buy?

D-Mart

  • Kabuli chana/white chickpeas, ₹52.97
  • Dal chana/Bengalgram dal, ₹24.82
  • Guj. Tur dal/red gram dal, ₹61.71
  • Biryani rice, ₹52.80
  • Mother garlic, ₹37.50
  • Kishmis black (raisins), ₹47.50
  • Kishmish Indian (golden raisins), ₹115
  • Elaichi green (cardamon), ₹28
  • Dhaniya dal, ₹33.50
  • Jeera (cumin seeds), ₹53
  • Ajma, (carom seeds), ₹42
  • Makai popcorns, ₹29.50
  • Groundnuts, ₹47.24
  • Fryums, ₹27.49
  • Yellow chana/peas, ₹32
  • Badam (almonds), ₹92
  • Kharik (dry dates), ₹124
  • Jelly mazza fruity, ₹9
  • Jelly mazza fruity, ₹9
  • Maccain variety, ₹130
  • Parle piri piri, ₹20
  • Haldiram halka phulka, ₹22
  • Dukes cream waff, ₹25
  • Dukes cream waff, ₹25
  • Cadbury Perk GL, ₹9.40
  • Parle krackjack, ₹59
  • Parley 20-20, ₹80

Total: ₹1289.43 ($15.58) 

Local Vegetable Market

  • Onion, ₹20
  • Potatoes, ₹20 
  • Tomatoes, ₹30
  • Fenugreek leaves, ₹10
  • Green amaranth, ₹10
  • Spinach, ₹10
  • Ladyfinger, ₹15
  • Coriander, ₹10
  • Spring onions, ₹10
  • Cauliflower, ₹15
  • Drumsticks, ₹20
  • Ginger, ₹10
  • Garlic, ₹80
  • Cluster beans, ₹20
  • Carrots, ₹20
  • Beetroots, ₹10
  • Green chillies, ₹20
  • Thick chillies, ₹10
  • Green capsicum, ₹20 
  • Brinjal/eggplant (small), ₹20
  • Big eggplant, ₹20
  • Bitter gourd, ₹10
  • Radish, ₹10
  • Radish leaves, FREE
  • Green peas, ₹20
  • Broad beans, ₹10
  • French beans seeds, ₹10
  • Pineapple, ₹50
  • Apple, FREE (sample)
  • Muskmelon, ₹50
  • Green grapes, ₹50
  • Black grapes, FREE (sample)

Total: ₹610.00 ($7.37)

Local Dairy Farm

  • Chicken eggs (6), ₹35 
  • Egg curry masala, FREE (with eggs)
  • Mutton/goat meat, ₹300
  • Cow milk packet weekly, ₹300
  • Rusk, ₹100
  • Sugar, FREE (from kit provided by government)
  • Maida/all-purpose flour, FREE (from kit provided by government)

Total: ₹735.00 ($8.82)

Grand total: ₹2634.43 ($31.77)

Credit: Anshuli

Monday: Dried Fruit, Milk with Rusk and Biscuits, Aloo Paratha with Green Chutney, Roasted Green Chickpeas, Egg Curry with Rice, Tortillas, and Salad

On Monday, we kick off our day enjoying a variety of dry fruits along with a comforting cup of milk flavoured with cardamom powder, accompanied by rusk and biscuits. 

Credit: Anshuli

For lunch, I whip up some delicious aloo paratha served with homemade green chutney, made from Bengal gram dal, coriander, mint leaves, garlic cloves, and curd. 

Our afternoon snack consists of dry-roasted green chickpeas generously shared by our thoughtful neighbours. Later, we savour a refreshing snack of fresh pineapple sprinkled with a pinch of salt, sourced from the local fruit market. 

Credit: Anshuli

Finally, for dinner, I prepare a flavourful egg curry served with rice and a colourful assortment of carrot, beetroot, onions, and radish slices. My mother lends a helping hand with the curry, and we complement our meal with crispy fried papad.

Credit: Anshuli

Tuesday: Dried Fruit, Milk and Rusk, Tortillas, Broad Beans and Rice, Jalebi, Muskmelon, Green Amaranth Leaves with Tortillas and Rice

On Tuesday, we start our day with a nourishing breakfast, indulging in a handful of dry fruits followed by wheat flour parathas prepared by my mom. These are accompanied by cardamom-infused milk and rusk. 

Credit: Anshuli

Moving on to lunch, I whip up a broad beans sabji with added potatoes for myself, as I’m not particularly fond of these beans. Alongside, we enjoy tortillas, rice, and Jalebi generously gifted by our neighbours. To add freshness to our meal, we relish a spring onion salad. 

As the afternoon rolls in, we treat ourselves to muskmelon sprinkled with sugar, providing a delightful sweet touch to our snack time. 

Credit: Anshuli

For dinner, I prepare green amaranth leaves cooked with red gram dal, served with wheat flour tortillas and crispy fryums.

Credit: Anshuli

Wednesday: Dried Fruit, Milk with Rusk and Biscuits, Cluster Beans with Tortillas and Cumin Rice, Flattened Rice Mix, Grapes, Fryums,  Drumstick Curry with Rice and Potatoes, and More Grapes

On Wednesday, we begin our day with a handful of dry fruits, followed by a comforting cup of milk served with rusk and biscuits. 

Credit: Anshuli

For lunch, I prepare a flavourful dish of cluster beans with tomatoes, accompanied by leftover sabji of amaranth leaves from the previous night’s dinner. We complement our meal with cumin rice, tortillas, and flattened rice mix sent by my grandmother, adding variety and texture to our lunch spread. 

In the afternoon, we enjoy a refreshing snack of grapes sourced from the fresh fruits market, while my mom fries some crispy fryums to munch on. 

Credit: Anshuli

Moving on to dinner, I cook up a tantalizing drumstick curry paired with dal fry, served alongside wheat flour tortillas, plain rice, and fried McCain variety potato chunks. 

I have a night shift ahead, so I indulge in some more McCain potatoes and leftover black grapes for a satisfying late-night snack.

Credit: Anshuli

Thursday: Dried Fruit, Milk with Rusk and Biscuits, Beans with Rice and Tortillas, Radish Salad, Pineapple Wafers, Mutton Curry, Cumin Rice, Tortillas and Fried Papad

On Thursday, we kick off our day with a handful of dry fruits, accompanied by a comforting cup of milk served with rusk and biscuits. 

Credit: Anshuli

For lunch, my mom and I collaborate to prepare a wholesome meal of beans with rice and tortillas, along with a fresh radish salad on the side. 

Despite still feeling full, my brother and I can’t resist indulging in a packet of pineapple wafers in the early evening.

Credit: Anshuli

As dinnertime approaches, my mom and I join forces once again. I take charge of preparing a flavourful grated salad using radishes, onions, beetroot, carrots, and slices of lemon sourced from our backyard lemon tree. Meanwhile, my mom showcases her culinary skills by preparing a delectable mutton curry made with goat meat. We savour the curry alongside crispy fried papad, wheat tortillas, and aromatic cumin rice. The abundance of meat almost overwhelms us, making it a truly satisfying dinner that leaves us feeling content and full.

Credit: Anshuli

Friday: Dried Fruit, Milk with Rusk and Biscuits, Eggplant with Potatoes Curry, Leftover Mutton Curry with Tortillas and Rice, a Meal Out with Colleagues, Okra, Scrambled Eggs with More Tortillas and Rice, Dal, and Fryums

On Friday, we begin our day with a nutritious breakfast consisting of dry fruits, followed by a comforting cup of milk served with rusk and biscuits. 

Credit: Anshuli

Due to appointments at my clinic, I have to quickly prepare lunch. I cook eggplant with potatoes curry and enjoy some leftover mutton curry from the previous night, adding a slice of lemon for extra flavour. We relish our meal with rice and tortillas. 

After wrapping up my appointments, I treat myself and my colleagues to a delicious meal at Haldiram, conveniently located beside my clinic. We indulge in veg gravy Manchurian, mysore masala rice, and crispy rolls with spicy chili sauce (which costs $6.24), accompanied by a refreshing glass of buttermilk courtesy of my colleague. 

Credit: Anshuli

For dinner, my mom takes charge as I am low on energy. She prepares okra sabji (ladyfinger) and scrambled eggs with spring onions using the remaining eggs. We savour the dishes with rice, tortillas, and a comforting cup of dal. 

As I have a night shift ahead, I fry some fryums for a satisfying late-night snack.

Credit: Anshuli

Saturday: Dried Fruit, Milk and Rusk, Roasted Eggplant, Dal, Rice and Tortillas, Lemon Water, Cottage Cheese Curry with Tortilla, Potato Masala Fry, Gulab Jamuns & Moong Dal Halwa & Fritters Soaked in Yogurt with Tangy Tamarind Sauce.

On Saturday, we kick off our day with a satisfying breakfast consisting of dry fruits and milk served with rusk. 

Credit: Anshuli

For lunch, my mom prepares a delectable dish of roasted eggplant, scrambled with spring onions, and pairs it with red gram dal. We relished this flavourful meal with rice, tortillas, and some spicy fried chilies. 

Unexpected guests arrive in the evening, craving lemon water. I promptly pluck fresh lemons from our lemon tree and prepare refreshing lemon water for them. 

Credit: Anshuli

Later in the evening, we attended a wedding reception, sparing us from cooking dinner. At the reception, we delight in cottage cheese/paneer curry served with tortillas. For dessert, we indulge in Gulab jamuns and moong dal halwa. Additionally, there are crunchy papads and potato masala fries for texture, and I can’t resist my favourite Dahi vada — fritters soaked in yogurt with tangy tamarind sauce. 

As night approaches and my night shift begins, my brother and I enjoy a packet of potato wafers as a comforting midnight snack. It’s a memorable day for us.

Credit: Anshuli

Sunday: Dried Fruit, Milk and Rusk, Chickpea Curry with Fried Flatbread, Vegetable Fried Rice, Yogurt Soup, Tomato-Flavoured Potato Chips, Eggplant Curry with Tortillas and Leftover Fried Rice

On Sunday, we start our day with a nutritious breakfast consisting of dry fruits and a cup of milk with rusk. 

Credit: Anshuli

For lunch, I prepare a hearty meal of chole bhature, featuring chickpea curry served with fried flatbread and vegetable rice made with potatoes, cauliflower, tomatoes, and peas. To complement the meal, we enjoy yogurt soup/kadhi made from fresh homemade curd, along with chopped onions and fresh lemon. 

In the evening, we indulge in a packet of tomato-flavoured potato chips for a satisfying snack. 

Credit: Anshuli

For dinner, I whip up a delicious eggplant curry served with tortillas and leftover vegetable fried rice. 

I round off the day with a packet of chocolate wafers as a midnight snack, shared with my brother. It’s a satisfying end to the week.

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