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Grocery Bill, YIKES!

CalebCaleb Raw Newbie

I just calculated my monthly grocery bill and it was over $500 and I am only feeding one person. Does anybody else spend this much or am I not shopping right? I think this my balance out though with what I used to spend on eating out and how little I used to spend on groceries, but don’t know for sure. This just sounds like A LOT to be spending for one person to eat. Granted some of the money was buying more expensive products like olive oil and shoyu that will last me a while. Do you guys think I am overspending here?



  • troublesjustabubbletroublesjustabubble Raw Newbie

    hmmm, where do you live? I’m in the midwest and so getting all the cool raw stuff is rough so I eat really simply. My husband is not raw so I buy mine and his and our budget is around $350 to $400 a month. I mostly get veggies and fruit though. Maybe once a month or less do I get seeds and oils. So yours may be a bit high but you probably eat twice as much as me. ha. Literally, this is what I buy for myself for two weeks…....two bags of carrots, two heads of cabbage, tomatoes, apples, frozen berries, lettuce, collard greens, TONS of bananas and coconut oil. that’s it really so I”m assuming that’s low. When I buy sunflower seed(the only seed or nut I buy) I get them a pound at a time and that’s only about two dollars.

    I think maybe you’re a little high depending on the area. I’d cater my groceries around sales if I were you. That’s what I do. If some is on sale that isn’t on my list I replace the item on my list with the sale item.

  • springleafspringleaf Raw Newbie

    I work that out to be Uk pound 2.94 or US 5.55 per meal. (three meals per day) to me that sounds a little expensive but not to bad. The main thing is, if you can afford it then thats fine! ;-)

  • CalebCaleb Raw Newbie

    My meals are really expensive then. I eat out about four times a week (due to busy schedule). I do make a lot of snacks out of that too though and I no longer buy cokes or candy from vending machines, so maybe this is all evening out just fine :) Seems to have taken a bit hit to my account this month though. Maybe I should buy less nuts :)

    I live in the Dallas area, so prices are probably slightly bellow the national average. I know our gas always is so I assume food reflects the same.

  • I am only feeding myself and my grocery bill is at least $600 a month.

  • troublesjustabubbletroublesjustabubble Raw Newbie

    hmm, well I bet your prices are about the same as here then because I know during the worst gas price time this summer Missouri was at the lowest price.

    Yeah, I’d recommend less nuts. They’re expensive and often not raw apparently.

    I think the longer you eat raw maybe the less you’ll have to eat of the more fatty things. Not sure but that’s how I was.

  • I’m in line with the high end, too. We go $1000 to $1200 per month for a family of 3. I buy a fair amount of “exotics”, plus it takes a few years, IMHO, to fully stock a raw gourmet kitchen properly. At first I bought all of the nuts and seeds. Then I moved on to superfood powders. Then I got in to things like cocoa butter and powdered vanilla and lucuma. Now I just buy fruits and veges, nuts and seeds, but my bill is padded with things like culture starter and more glass jars.

    Still, though, I don’t think I’m spending more than I did when we ate SAD. We ate out a LOT then, and we threw away TONS of food. I’d always buy lots of produce (not lots by raw standards, but lots by SAD standards), and then we’d let it rot in the fridge. Now we eat our produce. Plus, food prices have soared and our food budget has been flat.

    Any time I get concerned about it, I remind myself that we eat a tremendously healthy diet and it is an investment in the future, and we eat gourmet food frequently. We ate gourmet food as SAD eaters, too, and it was expensive.

    So to make yourself feel a little better, try sprouting! Or just enjoy what you’re doing.

    We also quit drinking completely, and that saved a huge pile of money! Just a few drinks out per week for 2, plus a bottle or so of wine, plus maybe a bottle of liquor now and then – that adds up to a couple hundred bucks per month, you know??? OK, we didn’t drink cheap wine, either!

    I eat my values. I support local farmers. I sustain sustainable agriculture. Cultivating a better future for everyone has to be financed by someone. Why not me???

  • springleafspringleaf Raw Newbie

    Good points jenoz It is important to “eat your values” and also think of the small additional costs now as an insurance policy against future ill health.

  • troublesjustabubbletroublesjustabubble Raw Newbie

    yeah! Think about how much we save on medical bills!

    Now that I think about it I went to the doctor at least four or five times a year previous to raw for the health issues. That adds up even if you have insurance. Also I used to take four advil and two benedryl a day along with my prescriptions. I’d say I’m doing far better now since I don’t take either anymore.

  • CalebCaleb Raw Newbie

    jenoz good point. I definitely see the health benefits already. I don’t plan on quitting, that is for sure. I have already stopped buying beer and such for the house, not sure if I can give that up completely, but am trying raw Kombucha as a substitute, but that is expensive. I may have to look into brewing my own. Oh, and the values are a big thing too. I have always been a little bit “green” but have recently been becoming very green :) Good to know though that my bill doesn’t seem to high in comparison thus far.

  • angie207angie207 Raw Master

    tjab – the amount of food you buy for two weeks would last me 3 days or less! haha :D

    Caleb – Nah, not high. Although I do spend less now that I order lots of things in bulk – www.azurestandard.com is a great resource for me now that I know the things I use regularly – I buy coconut oil, seeds, grains, spices, etc. from them and save a lot of money. I also just ordered a five-gallon bucket of raw olive oil! – www.barianioliveoil.com (FYI It didn’t work to order online, so I had to email the ordering person to order) – I figure it will save me around $125 or so, over buying that much oil in the one liter bottles. Also, it’s true that it seems more expensive at first because of buying things that will last for a long time.

  • Branwyn32Branwyn32 Raw Newbie

    I would look into learning about foraging, and local pick your own farms. www.pickyourown.org has a national database of farms all over the US and some in Canada that let you come and pick you own stuff and pay the farmer directly. So it’s local, you’re eliminating the cost of alot of middlemen, and most are small family-owned organic farms. I went blueberry picking a few weeks ago, and walked away with almost 10 lbs of blueberries for $20…and that was one of the more expensive farms.

    That being said, I just started out, I think the whole building a raw pantry thing is really expensive to start out. I went to the organic co-op for my first big raw shopping trip and spent $115 in one go! That’s ALOT for me. But it also included bulk nuts, grains, seeds, oils, Braggs, that sort of stuff that lasts a bit. The produce was the cheap part.

    www.azurestandard.com has the cheapest nuts, grains, and seeds I’ve ever seen though. At least 50% cheaper, if not even more on some items, than the organic co-op market here (which is the cheapest stuff I’ve seen in a store).

  • WinonaWinona Raw Newbie

    Hi Caleb, I calculated my spending this past week. It was $185 for organic produce & some nuts – for one person. I spend around $800 per month. Some things to consider… are you buying organic? Organic is much more pricey. Every piece of produce I buy is organic – including pomegranates, melons, pineapple, etc. I buy oils, cacao, sometimes raw chocolates online, dates, plenty of nuts, coconuts. Specialty items like this can cost more. Also, how many calories you eat is a consideration… I eat 2,500 calories per day, mostly in produce and nuts. Seeds are less expensive.

    Since you eat out, there’s a great place to cut costs – and tack that money onto your grocery bill instead. you’d be surprised how $10 here, $2 there can add up to an extra $300 per month – which means you can afford to eat as much gourmet as you like and spend $800/mo on all organic food, if you choose to. There are plenty of ways to REDUCE the budget like eating conventional produce and more cheap produce, but I choose not to – because I love variety and eclectic tastes.

    Also, to cut costs – go to your local farmers, offer to pick veggies all day once a week, and in return they’ll give you produce. EVEN if they’re not a pick your own farm, MOST farms would LOVE to have more volunteers!!

    And to echo what jenoz said.. I also support my values. I pay local, low spray/organic, farmers directly for a huge portion of my food from May through December. This is more important to me than saving $100 per month.

  • troublesjustabubbletroublesjustabubble Raw Newbie

    Angie- haha, well I’m working on getting more calories in. I do buy olive oil but I get a pretty big thing of it and it lasts many months as well as grains but they’re so ridiculously cheap and I use them so rarely I don’t really count them in.

    I eat mostly fruit.

  • Branwyn32Branwyn32 Raw Newbie

    Oh, on the organic note, as Winona mentioned…you may want to look around to find out if there are food co-ops in your area. The price of organic produce at mine is comparable to conventional produce at the big box supermarkets.

  • iknikn

    wow, you guys spend a lot of money on food! I go to the local farmer’s market every weekend and buy produce for about $50. the rest of the family is not raw, or vegan, so we spend about another $20-30 in the grocery store for all the “other” stuff. I also go to the health food store once a month. They have 20% off every first Tuesday of the month, so I just wait to buy the oils, tahini, carob powder, spices, seeds, grains or whatever I need. I spend about $100 per month on these. So if I add this up, it is about $110-120 max. for a family of 5. We rarely go out to eat so I guess that helps too. Oh, yeah and most of the produce is not certified organic.

  • WinonaWinona Raw Newbie

    ikn – really? you spend $110-120 for a family of five? May I ask, how much produce do you get for $50? What do you eat in a typical day? How many calories do you eat?

  • troublesjustabubbletroublesjustabubble Raw Newbie

    I am sooo jealous ikn. We spend nearly that in one week! That’s only for two!

  • WinonaWinona Raw Newbie

    I’m posting my menu to better understand what you’re spending. Please give me feedback if you’re spending less than $800 per month for one person – how is your menu different from mine? How do you eat variety? Are you eating all organic? Do you have a garden?

    ALL PRODUCE IS ORGANIC, nuts are not ‘purely raw’ they’re from a regular grocery

    BREAKFAST: $7.50 total

    4 bananas ($1.50)

    4 apples ($3)

    1 melon ($3)

    LUNCH: $4.25

    1 cup cashews ($2)

    3 carrots ($1)

    herbs ($.50)

    raw pickles ($.75)

    SNACKS: $6 total

    1 pomegranate ($3)

    4 pears ($3)

    DINNER: $15.25 total

    1 head lettuce ($3)

    tahini dressing ($.75)

    avocado ($2)


    pie: pint of berries ($5)

    1 cup cashews ($2)

    2 dates ($1)

    .4 ounces raw chocolate ($1)


    During summer/fall, I buy most of my produce from local organic or low spray farmers in upstate new york. The rest of my food is from the local organic coop, which provides produce as local as possible (surrounding states).

  • troublesjustabubbletroublesjustabubble Raw Newbie

    Holy Moly! That’s very different from mine.


    Green Smoothie(Under $3) Ingredients 1 banana 2 apples handful of greens few berries 1 tblsp coconut oil

    SNACK banana

    LUNCH 2 apples

    DINNER cabbage salad with dressing carrots with spring onion seed cheese

    SNACK another smoothie

    I switch this up alot depending on the fruit in season and I’m currently trying to up my caloric intake but this is today’s menu and was yesterdays and it hit a maximum of $11.00 for the entire day.

  • wow, I spend about $280/month on produce. I supplement with Trader Joe’s shopping for my daughter’s processed stuff she can’t live without (roll eyes) about $45/month and my own specialty items probably about $20/month. So I’m at about $345 for 1 adult and 1 six year old.

    I used to spend WAY more on before I cut out nuts from my diet! Now that I eat very simply, fruits and vegetables, a little bit of cacao and coconut butter, and a little bit of seeds… it is much cheaper.

  • iknikn

    Well, last week I got 8 ears of corn, 2 heads of cauliflower, 2 heads of broccoli, 4 avocados, 4 red peppers, 5 cucumbers, about 8 large tomatoes, 2 purple onions, 2 bunch of green onions, red radishes, about 8-10 bananas, 5-6 mangoes, 3-4 zuccinis. yellow sqush, Let’s see, what else? oh yeah, peaches. I can’t recall if there were anything else.

    I have a lot of sunflower seeds at home. They are $3/lb at the healthfood store, so I use them a lot. I don’t do nuts, except pinenuts for special occasions. I also use buckwheat. They are 1.69 / lb. and a pound goes a long way.

    My kids are not raw. hate to admit but not even vegetarian. I do not force anything on them. They like to eat potatoes, rice, beans. They love cauliflowers, broccoli, spinach and all types of fruit. I make mango smoothies with bananas and they love them. For the meat part, they go out fising (we live in Florida) and if they catch anything, that’s what they’ll have. Whenever there is “fish night”, I leave the house . I am phisically sick to see those poor fish. Not to mention the smell! I hate it.

    My problem is that I don’t eat enough calories. probably about 800-1000 calories a day.

    A typical day looks like this: breakfast: a piece a fruit. When watermelon was in season I ate them every morning. I moved on to the peaches now. Mid am, another piece of fruit lunch: a tomato salad with cucumbers dinner: if I have some sunflower “cheese”, then I spread that on cucumber slices, or make a broccoli caserole. whatever I have on hand. something fast and simple snack – fruit, or 1-2 dates, chia seeds, or I make buckwheat crackers.

  • WinonaWinona Raw Newbie

    The nuts cost VERY little.. i spend only $50 per month on not really raw nuts and seeds.

    littlegems is your produce organic? what is a typical day of food for you?

    ikn you said you spend $50 on the following produce? 8 ears of corn, 2 heads of cauliflower, 2 heads of broccoli, 4 avocados, 4 red peppers, 5 cucumbers, about 8 large tomatoes, 2 purple onions, 2 bunch of green onions, red radishes, about 8-10 bananas, 5-6 mangoes, 3-4 zuccinis. yellow sqush, Let’s see, what else? oh yeah, peaches

    I added up how much it would cost me to buy organic produce of the exact quantities you listed, assuming 3 peaches – it was $97.50

  • yes, all organic! I joined a CSA with an organic farm recently, and get most of my vegetables there, that costs $17/week. I go weekly to my local farmer’s market, and worked out a deal with my favorite fruit vendor (organic, but not certified). I buy a case of 25lbs. for $1/lb! I used to buy about 10lbs of fruit from them each week for $20 ($2/lb is their regular price) but we ran out in the week. They have peaches, nectarines, grapes, and pluots, which my daughter and I devour quickly! So a couple of weeks ago I asked if they do bulk discounts, and they told me yes, for 25lb boxes I’d get $1/lb! Last week was our first week of this, and we finished our 25lb box exactly on the morning of the Farmer’s market! so it is perfect for our household.

    I also asked the organic apple seller if he’ll check with his boss to find out what kind of bulk deal I can work out with them… since the summer fruit is almost over!


  • WinonaWinona Raw Newbie

    Well, that explains it – I’m paying $2 PER PIECE OF FRUIT or $4 per pound and some folks are paying $1 per pound. Plus your CSA provides you with enough produce – i’m part of one, but we don’t get NEARLY enough for the week.

  • green girlgreen girl Raw Newbie

    This has been a struggle for me as well. I am aiming to spend $1200 a month for a family of four. I am 100% raw and my kids and husband are about 50% raw. I think that the combination of raw and SAD makes it more expensive than if we were all raw, but that won’t happen any time soon, so I just have to figure out how to cut costs. The farmer’s market does cut some costs, but is very inconvenient when you have two small kids crying and holding on to your legs while you wait in line ups to buy produce!

    I have decided to cut out the nuts and raw bars and just stick to green smoothies and simple salads for myself. Hopefully this will help. I also am trying to only shop twice a week at one store, so I can better keep track of the money leaving my wallet.

  • I guess living in California helps with having access to a huge variety of lower priced organic produce. But before you get too jealous, we could do a “how do you pay for housing” thread and I’m guessing those of you not living in either coast would be winning hands down for cheapest rent/mortgages!

  • troublesjustabubbletroublesjustabubble Raw Newbie

    yes I learned that going to the store only twice a month has helped a great deal not only to keep track of the cost but also to buy the exact amounts I need. I plan on going to the health store once a month now.

    I’m keeping a tally on this months food costs on my new plan so we’ll see.

  • angie207angie207 Raw Master

    ikn – That much produce would be gone in 3 days for me, even though I eat a lot of nuts, oils & seeds. My son isn’t raw, but I spend prabably the same for him ($25 or more per week) as you do for the rest of your family, and he’s only six! I can’t imagine what it will cost us once he’s six feet tall instead of only six years old! :D

    winona – I spend probably at least $450 per month just for me, and that’s not buying organic, and the nuts I buy are also the not really raw ones, and they’re not organic. It would be a lot more if it weren’t for Costco (1 pound Spring Mix $4, avocados 5 for $7, a box of mangoes ends up costing about $1 each, dates 2 pounds for about $10, etc.) and ordering nuts/seeds/spices/etc. in bulk.

  • CalebCaleb Raw Newbie

    Yeah, everything I buy is organic. I don’t want to touch conventional anymore, simply because they are destroying the land using that method and of course the crap they spray on it, plus organic tastes much better. I had to settle for some conventional oranges the other day because it was all they had, and they were gross, and totally seedless, what the heck?

    The eating out think only happens on social occasions and when I am pressed for time. I don’t like doing it, but I have to. I like the idea or the local growers, I know there are a few around here, but there is the whole time problem again. I may need to check out our farmers market on Sat. morning though. It’s really small but maybe they offer some deals.

    No food co-ops here though. I really wish there was though. I need to plan better though and shop around. I like supporting the local guys as much as possible but with the economy going to the pooper and don’t know how much longer I can afford paying .50 extra for organic when I can get it at Kroger cheaper. Granted there selection is smaller. I would still go to the local guys for a lot of things.

    Oh, I also do some sprouting as well and make my own cereal! :) I of course sprout other seeds to for salads and such, but don’t snack on sees much.

  • troublesjustabubbletroublesjustabubble Raw Newbie

    Caleb, there’s your cost….organic.

    I buy organic when I can which isn’t often but all summer and so far this fall my fruit is pretty much straight from the tree or bush, or vine. Worms and everything! No chemicals. When I do have to go back to store bought fruit I’ll make the decision whether or not to do organic. It’s outrageous here though.

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