Author Topic: Grocery costs in the DMV  (Read 1070 times)

HamsterStache

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Grocery costs in the DMV
« on: October 01, 2018, 07:46:24 AM »
Hi all, looking for some Mustachians in the DC area who might be able to share some insight on low cost grocery costs. As anyone in our area knows, the cost of living here can be pretty crazy. We live a pretty frugal but not quite MMM level of life - there are very few things we feel we can realistically cut costs on right now. The one thing that seems like it should be doable is our grocery costs, but we're finding it difficult to do so. Our average weekly grocery (pretty much just food) cost right now is around $112 for two adults, a three year old and a one year old, both of whom are healthy eaters already.

We try to eat eat clean for the most part - avoiding processed food, sticking with "real food" and buying organic when practical - but we're not "crazy" about it if you know what I mean. We currently do our food shopping at Giant due to convenience (location and selection) and that they tend to have overall pretty decent prices, even if they're not the *best* for everything. We also have a Costco membership.

So my question, for those of you in our area (we're 20906 for reference) - what do you do, where do you shop, to get the good stuff at the good prices? Are we doing the best we can expect for our area without going the beans and rice every day route? We don't need to be fancy, but variety is important. Thanks in advance for any advice you might be able to give!

ixtap

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Re: Grocery costs in the DMV
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2018, 10:59:37 AM »
These comments are not DC specific.

If you are buying supermarket organic, you are not get the best deals. So then it becomes a question of whether you are buying organic for the hype or for verifiable reasons?

Do you ever have beans and rice? Putting super cheap meals into the rotation can make a big difference.

I never know what the cut off is for "processed", but if you are buying anything in cans, bags or boxes, check out the store brand. But also check the prices: Costco Cheerios are cheaper than store brand toasted Os for us.

Don't get caught up in false savings of going from store to store. It takes time and gas (or whatever resource your chosen transportation uses).

When you receive recommendations for a specific store, verify, verify, verify. Aldi's has some things that are cheaper than my regular store, but I price checked the foods we buy and the list comes out cheaper at the regular store.


Ricksun

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Re: Grocery costs in the DMV
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2018, 05:31:12 PM »
Check out your local Aldi.  Some locations are better than others, but if you've got a good one, you can save upwards to 50% on your staple groceries. Plus you'll likely save time even if it is out of the way, since you only need to go through 4 aisles.  You might need a second stop if you need something specialty items though. 

Ricksun

ETBen

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Re: Grocery costs in the DMV
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2018, 06:47:02 PM »
I second Aldi. But your cost sounds about right. I spend 500 per month for me and 2 kids who eat like adults.

fpjeepy

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Re: Grocery costs in the DMV
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2018, 07:06:54 PM »
21403 here (It's an expensive one) I find Safeway cheaper that Giant for me, but I'm a scavenger. I go to the grocery store every other day (it's on my way home.) I only buy the near expiration 75% off items (mostly proteins). I find it keeps things interesting. Plus some zucchini, cauliflower, spinach, quinoa (Amazon), lentils, cottage cheese, peanut butter, and dried mushrooms (Amazon) Just a personal sampling. Although I'm probably around $112 for just myself. But I eat a lot. haha


 
Hi all, looking for some Mustachians in the DC area who might be able to share some insight on low cost grocery costs. As anyone in our area knows, the cost of living here can be pretty crazy. We live a pretty frugal but not quite MMM level of life - there are very few things we feel we can realistically cut costs on right now. The one thing that seems like it should be doable is our grocery costs, but we're finding it difficult to do so. Our average weekly grocery (pretty much just food) cost right now is around $112 for two adults, a three year old and a one year old, both of whom are healthy eaters already.

We try to eat eat clean for the most part - avoiding processed food, sticking with "real food" and buying organic when practical - but we're not "crazy" about it if you know what I mean. We currently do our food shopping at Giant due to convenience (location and selection) and that they tend to have overall pretty decent prices, even if they're not the *best* for everything. We also have a Costco membership.

So my question, for those of you in our area (we're 20906 for reference) - what do you do, where do you shop, to get the good stuff at the good prices? Are we doing the best we can expect for our area without going the beans and rice every day route? We don't need to be fancy, but variety is important. Thanks in advance for any advice you might be able to give!

AMandM

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Re: Grocery costs in the DMV
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2018, 07:36:37 PM »
Is there a Shoppers Food Warehouse near you? I think they are cheaper on average than Giant or Safeway. Aldi is also cheap for basic things (macaroni, dry cereal, bleached flour, conventional eggs, milk) but as noted above may not have what you want (unbleached flour, free range eggs, fresh ginger). I often go to Aldi on alternate weeks and a "regular" grocery store the other weeks. I check the flyers and choose the grocery store that has the best loss leaders that week of things I buy.

HamsterStache

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Re: Grocery costs in the DMV
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2018, 07:38:19 AM »
Thanks for all the feedback - I'm both encouraged and disappointed to see that it sounds like we're doing about as well as can be expected, we really need to cut some costs if we can until daycare is no longer an expense!

I've avoided much shopping at Aldi because it would probably necessitate extra trips to fill in the blanks as mentioned, but I like the suggestion of alternating. We've got an Aldi about as close to us as Giant, but in the opposite direction.

Not a fan of Safeway or Shoppers, at least the ones around us.

The mangers specials are definitely the way to go, fpjeepy - our rule is to never buy meat unless it is a mangers special of at least 50% off, with a few exceptions if we really need something specific that week. I got a ~$75 leg of lamb that way for like fifteen bucks!

fpjeepy

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Re: Grocery costs in the DMV
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2018, 08:42:00 AM »
The mangers specials are definitely the way to go, fpjeepy - our rule is to never buy meat unless it is a mangers special of at least 50% off, with a few exceptions if we really need something specific that week. I got a ~$75 leg of lamb that way for like fifteen bucks!

I got a ham once at 75% off I think it turned out to less than $0.50/ pound. The only problem was it took me over a month to eat it all by myself

lhamo

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Re: Grocery costs in the DMV
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2018, 09:06:59 AM »
Do you have any ethnic markets near you?  They can be much lower priced for certain things, especially green veggies and other Asian-derived foods like tofu products.  I loved it when I lived in Jackson Heights, NY and had Asian, Indian and LAtin American grocery stores all within walking distance of my apartment.  Now I make do with a trip to the Asian market a couple of times a month.