Grocery Diaries

We’re a Family of 4 in Spokane — Here’s How Much We Spent on a Week’s Worth of Groceries During This Terrible Heat Wave

published Jul 19, 2021
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Credit: Courtesy of Lauren

Name: Lauren
Location: Spokane, WA
Number of people in household: 4
Ages: Two grown-ups who are 33 and 34, and two 7-year-old kids
Occupation: I am the business manager for a private school; David is the academic dean
Where did you grocery shop? And for how long? I shopped for one week at Safeway. I also stopped at the Asian market for a few items. 
Amount spent on groceries this week: $92.12
Dietary restrictions: None

What’s your grocery strategy? 

I budget $600 for groceries and eating out a month. I usually make one Costco run a month, where I stock up on snacks for school and bulk basics like flour, sugar, chocolate chips, etc. I shop at Safeway every week and base my shopping on the flyer and rewards program through the Safeway app. I do implement a “buy one for now, two for later” strategy for items that we use often that are on sale, like the peanut butter for this week. 

Credit: Courtesy of Lauren

How do you meal plan? 

I like to have at least one meatless meal or even a protein that can spread between two meals. During the summer, I like to make something cold that can be eaten throughout the week like a pasta salad or coleslaw. And that’s especially true right now. I also know that my work doesn’t end when I get home from the grocery store. When I’m unpacking, I do some prep. For example, I’ll put the cilantro in water. And I cut up the watermelon. If I don’t cut it right away, we simply will not eat it.

What do you plan on making?

This upcoming week is actually pretty unpredictable. We close on our first home on Tuesday and have a house guest arriving. Our current home does not have central air conditioning and I like to account for temperature while meal planning. The average for this week is 95°F (which is an improvement from last week’s 110°F). 

Credit: Courtesy of Lauren

This Week’s Menu

  • Pork with udon noodles and black bean sauce
  • Corn, poblano, cheesy enchiladas
  • Sausages with peppers and onions served with a chopped salad
  • Naan flatbread pizzas
  • Shrimp pasta salad  
Credit: Courtesy of Lauren

What did you buy? 


  • Cheez-Its: $3.98 for two boxes
  • Skippy peanut butter: $4.98 for two jars
  • Pop-Tarts: $7.96 for four boxes
  • Triscuits: $0.34 (deal with hummus)
  • Salsa verde: $2.00
  • Naan: $3.49
  • English muffins: $3.58 for two packs
  • Sausage buns: $2.00 
  • Donuts: $3.04 for four
  • Fresh udon noodles: $6.99
  • Salted black beans: $2.99
  • Gochujang: $2.69


  • Eggs: $1.59 for one dozen
  • Mozzarella cheese: $2.79
  • Milk: $1.79
  • Popsicles: $4.49
  • Hummus: $3.00


  • Pork shoulder steak: $3.91


  • Baby carrots: $1.79
  • Chopped salad mix: $3.34
  • Zucchini: $1.97 for three
  • Green cabbage: $2.29
  • Corn: $1.00 for four ears
  • Red onion: $0.70
  • Yellow onions: $1.20 for three
  • Poblano peppers: $1.70 for two 
  • Cilantro: $0.99
  • Lemon: $0.99
  • Whole watermelon: $5.23
  • Red cherries: $5.56
  • Rainier cherries: $2.81
  • Green pepper: $0.94

Total: $92.12 

Note: My favorite part of grocery shopping is when the total drops by at least $30 once the sales get activated at the register. 

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