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I Only Spend $1,500 Annually on Groceries

Updated on August 11, 2020
Jeremy Daryl profile image

It's not easy, and often times it's tempting to splurge because I love food, but I can live off spending only $1,500 annually on groceries.

Disclaimer

Disclaimer.

You probably think I'm a crazy person, but I've been able to make this work. I'm not a financial expert. I'm not legally bound to consult you, and you're not legally bound to my consultation. Any advice followed from this article should be carefully and freely considered. The information provided below is simply an overview of what has worked for me. Thank you.

How do you do it?

First of all, I'm single and I rent a basement from a homeowner friend of mine in the city. As a single man living alone, I've been able to make this work. When I was thinking about this article, I was anticipating this part because I love to share my experiences.

The Numbers

I spend $1,500 annually on groceries. That's not a whole lot of money to most people. The people I've shared this information with outside of Hubpages often laugh when they find out how little I spend on groceries annually. I was not a frugal person before I moved out on my own for the 3rd time. They say the 3rd time is the charm! As time has progressed, I've learned how important it is to save money.

The numbers, in fact, work up to these figures: $1,500 annually equals out to just $125 per month. That is $62.50 every two weeks. Since I shop for the week because I have 2 days off a week, I'm only spending $31.25 each week for groceries. That's crazy, right? Maybe.

When it comes down to it, I have less stressors at my job than I did previously, so I'm able to eat sensibly and not overeat. It's a blessing to be able to say that I have less stressors than before, because my job used to be very stressful. I do what I can to find rest and relaxation whenever I can so that I'm prepared to face the day.

Since I only spend $31.25 each week on groceries for the week, I usually go to 2 different places. I go to a growing chain of discount superstores known for their very affordable prices on bread, produce, lunch meats, etc. and I also go to my local dollar store.

Lunch Time

Sometimes, living frugally means that you spend a portion of time on one of your days off making food for the rest of the week. I make sandwiches and I often buy 2 bags of chips or something similar to take as a companion to the main lunch course. What it looks like each day for lunch, is a sandwich, some chips, and something sweet. While I'm doing this, I still feel much healthier than if I was eating mall food or something quick on the way.

Dinner

When I get home after a long day, dinner usually means that I've bought some frozen meals from the dollar store, or a frozen pizza from that discount superstore I mentioned a little bit ago which remains unnamed because I don't know if I can use it here. Sometimes, dinner is nonexistent simply because when I'm tired after work, all I want to do is sleep. That will happen sometimes.

You might think I'm starving myself; this is simply not true. I only eat until I'm full, and I get full quickly sometimes. It's never good to overeat. I've done plenty of overeating in my life, but that is for another article.

At the end of the day, I can finally say that I'm living frugally when it comes to groceries, and I'm still satisfied after eating my meals. Living frugally isn't easy, but everyone can take steps to get to their best version of frugality.

Why Groceries?

I get asked this question a lot. Why do you choose to live frugally when it comes to groceries? I understand the amount of concern that is associated with each occurrence of this question.

The answer is this: I actually never intended to live frugally on groceries. I actually thought the opposite, "If I work as hard as I do on my job, stressors or not, I need to eat a lot to keep up with the physical demands."

I would always find ways to justify spending more on groceries than necessary. In addition to that, before I started living frugally, I was frequently eating out at fast food and sit-down restaurants. What I learned is that it was my habit of restaurant eating that contributed to feeling more tired at work and after work, than I should have.

I knew that living frugally on groceries would be a heavy challenge for me. I love to eat! I also knew that if I can live frugally on groceries, which was my biggest hurdle to overcome, then I can live frugally when it comes to everything else.

The art of it is to challenge yourself in your most difficult areas, and then work your way down from there. What happens is, you're actually working your way up in life while improving your quality of life as a result of challenging yourself in your most difficult areas. The thought of it is, "If I can do this, then I can do that, too." Challenge yourself.

I am able to live frugally on groceries because I challenged myself head on. This might not work for everyone, but it works for me. I am now working on living frugally when it comes to everything else. This might involve avoiding temptation to buy nice watches or rings, or dress shirts.

I challenge you to live frugally against your biggest difficulties. If you struggle with that, then live frugally against your next biggest difficulty, and so on.

It is easy for me when it comes to groceries, because I only have to look out for myself for the time being. I live alone with 2 roommates who happen to be a couple. Living frugally on groceries, though difficult at first, is now something I've mastered. You can master living frugally, too.


Speaking engagements and usage questions:

Booking: jeremywillispro@gmail.com or 'Message Me'

Comments

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    • divacratus profile image

      Kalpana Iyer 

      9 months ago from India

      Well written. I agree with you completely here. People usually tend to overspend on groceries, especially perishable items, and end up wasting more than half of it by the end of the week. If everyone just followed your method, there will be a lot less wastage as well.

    • Jeremy Daryl profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeremy Daryl 

      11 months ago from Iowa

      Thanks so much, Diana. There are days when I'm tempted to splurge but I'm reminded about the end goal of savings. :) I followed you. Have a great day! :)

    • Dianadee profile image

      Diana Carol Abrahamson 

      11 months ago from Somerset West

      Well done on your frugal monthly food budgets. We all need to take a leaf out of your book.

    • Jeremy Daryl profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeremy Daryl 

      11 months ago from Iowa

      Thank you so much, Sp Greaney! Your kind words mean a lot to me. I agree. It's not easy, but it's worth it! :) Have a great day!

    • sangre profile image

      Sp Greaney 

      11 months ago from Ireland

      This is a great achievement. I think your approach is great. We should all adopt this outlook and live more frugally.

    • Jeremy Daryl profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeremy Daryl 

      11 months ago from Iowa

      Hey, Eric! I appreciate your comment. It's so cool to read that you are there. I can totally understand the need to do so being that there are three of you. Happy shopping, Eric! :-)

      In many ways, you guys are doing better than me because you are still able to get close to the number with three people even if you have to go a little bit over. Good on you guys! :-)

      Have a good day!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I like this. We are basically there. But we can cheat because there are three of us.

    • Jeremy Daryl profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeremy Daryl 

      11 months ago from Iowa

      Thanks so much, Abby. I'm excited to read that your brother-in-law teaches flight instruction. Aviation has been a part of my life for quite some time, so I'm always happy to know other Aviation individuals vicariously. At times, sticking with the $1,500 annual grocery budget can be challenging because temptation is literally everywhere these days. I have to power through. Yes, even families can trim their grocery bills. Costco roasted chicken is something I would try. Thanks!

    • Abby Slutsky profile image

      Abby Slutsky 

      11 months ago from America

      Your bio is interesting. My brother-in-law teaches flight instruction. I actually looked at your bio to try to see your age. It is great that you are able to do this, but I think it works because you are alone as you have already acknowledged. However, it did remind me of my son who moved back from San Francisco and is now working virtually. When he was there, he was very frugal with groceries. He basically lived on Costco roasted chicken and work snacks. That being said, even families can trim their grocery bills.

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