My wife and I spend $480.40 per month on groceries and cook 95% of our meals — here’s exactly what we buy

The author, right, and his wife. Christopher Curley
  • My wife and I love to eat out a few times a month but still do the majority of our cooking at home.
  • That includes breakfast and lunch for us each day.
  • Here’s what we usually buy each week from two Louisiana grocery stores, Rouses and Canseco’s, and the national chain Winn-Dixie.

I love cooking. My wife loves cooking.

More than almost anything else, our mutual love of food and our camaraderie in the kitchen are what brought us together. It’s still our favourite space in the house.

We have a line item in our budget for groceries set at $US450. We’ve rarely managed to stay within that budget, and when we do it’s because the “restaurants” line item has ballooned in an unseemly fashion.

Still, we try to cook 95% of our meals at home, including the prepared lunches my wife takes to work, and we largely succeed. But we still average $US480.40 per month!

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There isn’t a lot of meat on our grocery list, not because we’re vegetarian but because we tend to focus on fish or high-quality meat from the local butcher – which we therefore eat more infrequently because of the expense.

Here’s what we buy on a regular basis from the grocery stores nearest to us in New Orleans.

Canseco’s – weekly: $US37


Canseco’s is a grocery store with multiple locations in New Orleans. The one we frequent isn’t the largest, but the smaller market has the benefit of being a quarter mile from our house. Even if it doesn’t always have the best prices, distance wins out.

Here’s what we buy each week:

  • Whole milk – $US1.79
  • Unsalted butter – $US2.79
  • Salmon fillets – $US13.81
  • Yellow onions (3-pound bag) – $US1.79 (these are the cheapest onions in town by a wide margin, and, yes, I know I’m weird for keeping track)
  • Baby spinach – $US2.99
  • Farm House cage-free large brown eggs – $US3.49
  • Kraft cheddar cheese 8-ounce block – $US3.59
  • Bell peppers – $US0.99 each.

Rouses Markets – weekly: $US71


Rouses is a local Louisiana chain that we’ve frequented for years. We like that it stocks a lot of very local items in addition to the usual grocery fare:

  • Kellogg’s Special K cereal – $US3.99
  • La Bonne Vie plain brie – $US4.34
  • Lemons (two) – $US1.59
  • Red mangoes (four) – $US6.00
  • Turnip greens – $US2.00
  • Collard greens – $US2.00
  • Green cabbage – $US2.21
  • Bananas – $US1.89
  • Yukon gold potatoes – $US0.71
  • Garlic bulb – $US0.69
  • Mustard greens – $US2.00
  • Red beets – $US3.99
  • Frozen gulf shrimp 21/35 – $US8.99
  • Cajun fresh sausage – $US5.35
  • Smoked sausage – $US5.99.

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Winn-Dixie – 2 to 4 times monthly: $US22


What Winn-Dixie lacks in local offerings, it makes up for in deals and prices. It’s a great store for buy-one-get-one deals and others, so we increasingly go here for our staple nonperishables when our schedules allow:

  • Breyer’s chocolate ice cream – $US5.49
  • Whole frozen strawberries – $US3.50
  • Frozen pineapple chunks – $US3.99
  • Mahatma white rice – $US3.99
  • Garden rotini – $US1.49
  • Bush’s reduced-sodium black beans – $US0.99
  • Avocados (two) – $US2.00
  • Flour tortillas, medium – $US2.49
  • Honeycrisp apples – $US2.49/lb.