Since some visitors have been dropping in via J.D. Roth's excellent Get Rich Slowly blog, I thought I would post my grocery spending over the past month. (This is shopping for one person who eats out about once per week.) Recording spending like this is a great way to get it under control, with a bonus of information about your eating habits. For example, I thought I spent 75% of my food money on fruits and vegetables, but it ends up being much closer to 50%. A lot of my diet does not appear on the month's snapshot - oats, soybeans, bulgur, flour and rice showed up a month or more ago.
My shopping trips are frequent, and rather than use a list I look for good values, often spending only a few dollars per visit. I try not to buy more than I can use up over the next few days, no matter how good some things look (this is tough). Also, even though my local big grocery store flyers are linked on my blog so I can study them weekly, I often end up going to smaller, more specialized places like the Italian Centre and H&W Produce. Someone who can grocery shop only once a week and needs to buy everything in one place will have a lot different shopping pattern than mine - you need to find what works for you.