Grocery Diaries

We’re a Family of 6 in Baltimore, Maryland — Here’s How Much We Spent on a Week’s Worth of Groceries

updated Jun 28, 2021
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Credit: Courtesy of Zora

Name: Zora 
Location: Baltimore, MD
Number of people in household: 6
Age: I’m 40, my husband is 44, and we have four children (ages 21, 16, 14, and 7).  
Occupation: I’m a Health Care Customer Service Representative and my husband is a truck driver. Our children are all students.
Where did you grocery shop? And for how long? I shopped for one week’s worth of groceries at Sam’s Club, Walmart, and Aldi. Next week, I’ll probably only need to get some more fresh produce.
Amount spent on groceries this week: $207.27. My weekly budget is supposed to be $150, but I usually spend closer to $200. I spent $81.60 at Walmart, $79.73 at Aldi, and $45.94 at Sam’s Club.
Dietary restrictions: My husband would prefer no high-fructose corn syrup, but sometimes it happens.

Credit: Courtesy of Zora

Where did you shop?

Here’s my system: I usually spend about two hours grocery shopping on Saturday mornings. I start at Walmart at 7 a.m., then I’m off to Giant Food (but this week I skipped it). I get to Sam’s Club a little after 8 a.m. and am off to my last stop, which is Aldi. I absolutely hate shopping after 9 in the morning and always have.

Credit: Courtesy of Zora

What do you plan on making?  

I start making my meal plan on Wednesday and I usually have a complete list by Friday. This week, I planned to use proteins that I already had in my deep freezer, which included chicken breast, shrimp, and bacon. I also always organize my pantry to make sure I don’t buy any ingredients we already have. If I forget anything once I’m done shopping, I have to improvise because I don’t make extra trips.

I don’t like cooking in the evenings after work, so I cook dinner for the week on the weekend. This usually lasts us until Wednesday or Thursday. I always make at least one meal in the Crock-Pot (this week it was chicken tortilla soup). I also made a loaf of sourdough in my Crock-Pot as well. My Crock-Pot is my favorite kitchen appliance. When we run out of dinners earlier than expected, I always have frozen meals ready to go as lifesavers. This helps to avoid ordering takeout (because takeout for a family of six is expensive!).

Breakfasts

  • Pancakes and bacon
  • Sausages and eggs
  • Toaster strudel
  • Oatmeal 
  • Yogurt parfait
  • French toast
  • Bagel and peanut butter
  • Breakfast sandwiches
  • Smoothies

Lunches

  • Grilled cheese
  • Grilled chicken with a salad
  • Turkey and cheese sandwiches
  • Salad with tuna

Dinners

  • Jerk shrimp pasta
  • Broiled salmon with brown rice and broccoli
  • Chicken tortilla soup
  • Chicken stir-fry 
  • Homemade sourdough bread

Snacks

  • Fruit salad
  • Watermelon 
  • Cashews
  • Cheese sticks
  • Granola bars
  • Homemade Greek yogurt dip with cucumbers
  • Fruit and plain sunflower seeds
  • Popcorn with cayenne pepper
  • Pop-Tarts

What did you buy?

Meat

  • Salmon: $21.19
  • Ham: $4.35
  • Turkey: $2.29
  • Rotisserie chicken: $4.98
  • Breakfast sausages: $7.16

Dairy

  • Milk: $2.89
  • Eggs: $2.26
  • Greek yogurt: $2.39
  • Plain yogurt: $1.75
  • Cream cheese: $1.52
  • Butter spread: $2.29
  • Unsalted butter: $2.18
  • Half & half: $1.55

Frozen

  • Cookies and cream ice cream: $5.98
  • Popsicles: $1.95
  • Toaster strudels: $7.74

Drinks

  • Apple juice: $2.88
  • Lemonade: $3.48
  • Bottled water: $6.72
  • Sparkling water: $11.36 
  • Cranberry juice: $3.17
  • Decaffeinated tea: $3.48  

Produce

  • Strawberries: $3.58
  • Pineapple: $1.59
  • Cherub tomatoes: $2.49
  • Red grapes: $2.74
  • Green grapes: $2.07
  • Watermelon: $3.99
  • Roma tomatoes: $.44
  • Mini cucumbers: $1.99
  • English cucumber: $0.95
  • Yellow and red peppers: $2.59
  • Green peppers: $1.89
  • Garlic: $1.29
  • Jalapeno peppers: $0.75
  • Red onions: $1.79
  • Yellow onions: $1.29
  • Mushrooms: $0.99
  • Bananas: $1.02
  • Cilantro: $0.69
  • Spinach: $1.82

Misc.

  • Jarred marinara sauce: $1.70
  • Tomato sauce: $0.80
  • Balsamic vinegar: $1.95
  • Peanuts: $1.59
  • Crackers: $1.29
  • BBQ sauce: $1.75
  • Pickles: $5.35
  • Granola bars: $12.16
  • Cookies: $2.53
  • Bagels: $5.64
  • Pasta: $0.82
  • Cereal: $4.98
  • Pop-Tarts: $9.98
  • Chips: $0.89
  • Pretzels: $.82
  • Tortilla chips: $1.37
  • Wheat bread: $1.50
  • English muffins: $0.99
  • Strawberry jam: $2.94

Once I get home from grocery shopping, my kids help me unload and put everything away. I then submit my receipts to Ibotta and Receipt Hog for gift cards. Because I don’t buy a lot of brand-name items, it usually takes a while before I can earn a gift card from Ibotta, but it’s always worth it to submit my receipts.

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