I was planning to mention something about the value brands in Australia, but was beaten to it by a swarm of other people (though nobody seems to have mentioned the Coles Smart Buy and You'll Love Coles brands); though as pbjones said, they've actually fancied up their packaging in recent years.
Karilyn wrote:I'm not going to lie, I'm baffled at how you spend $200 a month on groceries per person. I'm guessing nobody in your family cooks? The suggestion of Eggos as being something you'd buy would seem to indicate that. Home-made whole-wheat waffles with fruit inside and real maple syrup, or go home. I couldn't imagine spending more than $100 a month, and I cook big meals for every meal of the day. Actually, it probably has to do with being a vegetarian. I forget how expensive meat is ($1 for a quarter pound of minced beef? That's highway robbery @_@).
That, and having kids. I have three kids, and we go through a two-litre bottle of milk every two or three days. Faster if I do much cooking with it. Some of them are also fussy eaters*, so it's not unusual for me to cook something for them, then have to make something else for one or two (though that's usually something pretty simple). Obviously that leads to increased waste and cost. But yes, things like meat and cheese ramp it up pretty quickly. Also, with kids around you tend to have a lot less time for cooking (and everything else) and use more pre-made or partially pre-made stuff. (I get home from work about an hour before the kids are supposed to go to bed. I can't spend two hours cooking a meal.) Add in takeway once or twice a week, maybe some frozen meals from time to time, and it does get expensive.
It also depends on how you define "groceries". We probably spend about $200/person/month as well, but that includes things like toiletries, laundry, and cleaning supplies, not just food.
[*] The eldest is usually pretty good at eating what we put in front of her. The middle one doesn't like rice, or any pasta except spaghetti, or potatoes. Or any meat except mince (sometimes and in some meals) and sausages. The youngest is not quite so bad but still rejects a lot of meals. The older two each will only eat one type of pizza (and no, not the same type). Even though I try to make meals they will eat, most of the time at least one won't. The only thing I've found that they'll all eat all the time is tacos (or McDonalds). But you can't have tacos every night.