Show Us Your Grocery Receipts, Part Three: International Edition
I put out the request for international receipts, and you delivered. (Billfolders are the best. Have I mentioned that recently?)
Receipt #1: Tesco in Prague
From an American Billfolder in Prague:
I’m an American who moved to Prague three weeks ago. This a receipt from a Tesco, which has better cheese than the Czech store Albert. I bought three cheeses on this because before Prague I lived in Russia and the cheese was no good. The most expensive thing I got was a tie between the halloumi, the smelly French cheese, and the rainbow Tupperware set. They were all about 99 czk, which is about $4. Broccoli was less than $1 for a head. Bananas were 32.9 czk or $1.37 for a kilo. I did buy real milk, but later when I was close to home because everything was already too heavy. I also bought pancake mix and chocolate chips, because I have maple syrup at home and like chocolate chip pancakes.
My total was the equivalent of $35, which doesn’t sound like a lot but it is the most I’ve spent on groceries so far here.
Receipt #2: Coles in Australia
An Australian Billfolder writes:
I really liked your article about grocery receipts, so thought I’d send you mine from Australia. Coles is one of the big two grocery stores in Australia.
This was the first shop I did after splitting with my live-in partner. I can see that I was feeling very motivated to pre-prepare food and snacks for the week so I would eat healthily and not buy lunches. This motivation comes and goes for me. I picked two recipes to make ahead and freeze for lunches and dinner (beef cheeks and Mexican chicken). I got sick of both before finishing them.
I also stocked up on snacks that were easy to take to work (I’m a public servant) — hummus, rice crackers, Babybel cheese, and the sardines are for my dog. I was also experiencing a mouse-plague in my very old house, hence the traps.
I remember feeling proud that I got a week’s worth of food for my exact grocery budget, which had gone from $150/week for two people to $75/week for just me.
$150 AUD comes out to $107 USD, and $75 AUD equals about $53.
Receipt #3: Save-On-Foods in Canada
Billfolder LFar writes:
Here’s my most recent grocery bill. I usually spend $250–300/month for two people and we eat out a lot. All prices are Canadian.
My shopping habits are:
Buy the things from a list of things we’re running out of: tea, toilet paper, olive oil, peanut butter, cheese.
Buy the things from a list of ingredients for two dinners. I find if I plan further ahead than that, that I usually end up letting things go bad, since plans change and sometimes we go out for dinner or just make toast and eggs or a frozen pizza since we’ve got no time to cook properly.
From memory, buy basics that we always go through (milk, bread, eggs, bananas) I also usually buy lactose-free milk for the longer shelf life, but didn’t need any this time.
Check what’s on sale and stock up on things that I always end up using, like crackers, pasta sauce, coconut milk, etc. just generally pantry items that are nice to have on-hand. Sometimes this means I suddenly have 8 cans of diced tomatoes because they kept happening to be on sale, but eventually I’ll use it all.
Sometimes sale prices encourage me to impulse buy chips or cookies, so I try not to even check out those aisles.
I used to be a lot more frugal in my shopping (growing up with a mom who would make us guess the per-person cost at dinner most nights, and then triumphantly compare it to what “other” people would have spent, full price) but since moving in with my partner, he has helped me discover that sometimes the more expensive groceries are worth it. The first time we went shopping together we had a pretty big fight about fancy granola. I simply couldn’t justify it. We left sans granola that day, but agreed to try it another day (I’m the primary granola eater. He bought it for me and we considered it a gift, not a grocery item). Anyway, it’s amazing. It is worth being double the price. It makes mornings better. This trip, my favourite granola was on sale and so I bought two. Getting good granola and sale prices: true joy.
LFar’s $105.41 CAD grocery receipt converts to $76.56 USD. This receipt covers shopping for two people, which is why it’s significantly higher than the two previous receipts.
If you want to do some comparisons: the Tesco in Prague sold broccoli for $1 a head, and the Coles in Australia also sold broccoli for $1 a head. The Tesco sold a kilogram’s worth of bananas for $1.37, and the Save-On-Foods in Canada sold a kilogram of bananas for $1.26. If you see other comparisons worth noting, let us know!