Flamingoes south of Montpellier, France.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Sant Julià de Lòria, Andorra.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Somewhere in Spain.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Food budget

We went and did our weekly grocery shopping yesterday and we posted on facebook that we spent $22.68. It actually turned out to be $23.28 because I forgot about some celery that we bought at a different store! Anyhow, readers Roxanne and Susan seemed like they want a little more detail.

As you know, we don't eat out very often so the expenses you see for a months worth of grocery shopping really are to feed us for the whole month. Obviously the monthly amount fluctuates somewhat due to possibly stocking up on a good deal, or whether or not a weekly purchase might end up being done on the last or first day of any given month.

And obviously groceries are cheaper in Mexico than the U.S., and cheaper in the U.S. than in Canada. To give you an idea, we spent an average of $200 a month on groceries over the last six months in Mexico. However, while in Canada and the U.S. during the April to September period last year we averaged $426 per month!

What do we eat? Well, not much for breakfast...I usually have a big bowl of cornflakes, while Ruth has a bowl of porridge of some kind. Then, later in the morning we have some fresh fruit. Either an apple, or some cantaloupe or pineapple.

For lunch, it's sometimes a sandwich made with whole wheat bread for me, and gluten free bread or a tortilla wrap for Ruth. Or, we have egg wraps made with corn tortillas with lettuce and cheese. We don't eat any processed cheese, just a block of cheddar (while outside Mexico) or Chihuahau cheese (while in Mexico). Or, we have leftovers from dinner the night or two before.

Dinners are pretty varied but we go through a lot of chicken and fish. We usually buy a big bag of frozen tilapia and Ruth has a variety of recipes that she uses to bake it. And chicken is used to make stir fry or grilled chicken breast. Occasionally we buy a whole chicken and roast it and that does three or four meals by the time you use leftovers and make soup. Or she makes a casserole of some kind. Last night we had jambalaya and there is enough left over for two more meals and a lunch.

And when in Canada and the U.S., we make sure we buy a lot of stuff on sale. Rarely do we buy any kind of red meat unless it's on sale, in fact we probably don't buy any kind of meat unless it's on sale!

We hardly ever buy any processed foods or prepared meals. Cooking is done from scratch. We rarely buy sweet stuff although I do like Ruth's chocolate chip cookies that she bakes from scratch. Snack food usually consists of peanuts or mixed nuts or corn tortilla chips and salsa.

And just for fun, what did $23.28 buy us yesterday?
  • 1 kilo (2.2 lbs) of ground beef
  • 1/2 kilo (1.1 lbs) of pork loin
  • 1 whole chicken cut into pieces (didn't weigh it, but I'd say it was small-medium)
  • 280 grams of turkey breast slices
  • celery stalks
  • bag of potatoes
  • bag of onions
  • bag of carrots
  • green pepper
  • bag of tomatoes
  • large cauliflower
  • small broccoli
  • a cantaloupe
  • two mangoes
The meat came to 213 pesos ($17.04) and the fruits and vegetables came to 78 pesos ($6.24)

Any questions or comments, feel free to ask!

And don't forget to vote, it will take you all of 5 seconds!...


  1. We find that when we are at home, we do tend to stock up when things are on sale. But then we forget we stocked up, and then end up stocking up again! LOL

    In the motorhome, almost everything has it's place so I know what is where and how much of it we have on hand.

    We sure do like hitting the veggie stands on crossroads or farmers markets. Are they around in Mexico too? I don't even mind paying more for it when it's right from the farmer out in front of his house.

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

    1. We find that farmers markets and veggie stands in Canada and the U.S. are usually overpriced, when they should in fact be cheaper than the grocery stores. For some reason, a lot of them have become an "artsy fartsy" affair with supposedly organic produce and that sort of thing.

      And if you're buying direct from the farmer, shouldn't you be paying LESS instead of more?

      They don't really have a similar thing in Mexico although every small town does have market day once a week and that is normally where you will get the best prices on fruits and vegetables.

  2. You have a bowl of cereal...I think we both know what a big bowl of cereal is ;)

  3. Lol...yes Alex, you are correct. I have a full bowl of cereal. You have a full big bowl of cereal! It would break our budget if you were still around. :-)

  4. Hi Kevin,

    It's a good idea to have the link to the contest daily. I read your blog daily and today if it was not for the link, I would have forgot :(

  5. Voted for ya.
    Just the meat part of what you bought would easily come the $20US here in NorCal.

  6. Voting is done, again!! Looking forward to seeing you guys, although it will likely be twoards the end of April!

  7. Interesting details. We too have found that you have to be very careful with "farmers markets". Some of them are simply wholesalers selling things at a higher price than the grocery. We prefer organic and our food bill in the US on the road is anywhere from $400 to $500 a month. But my theory is that food is the most important of the things you spend your money on.

    thanks for the vote reminder.

  8. You forgot celery...amazing. We we go to the grocery store for just basic stuff, we walk out with 3 bags and $100 lighter in the pocket. That is an awesome about of groceries for $23.28. Enjoy your week. ~whereweaver

  9. Notice you guys eat well and also look good. Being in shape is due to your diet and all the exercise you get. Those long hikes really burn off calories.

    BTW, Ruth is an excellent cook. We can't wait to eat some of her good cooking again.

    1. C'mon down Chris, we're here until May 7th!

  10. after our first year we averaged about 335.00 per month and for the most part we have a similar strategy to yours... we do buy some bulk at Sams such as tuna and we do frequent farmer's markets (not the yuppy one though)...

  11. I love the food prices in Mexico. I also love your sharing experiences with us!


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