The experience I had budgeting for my family for a week of groceries was pretty fun, but also very exhausting. There was a lot of running around, especially since Tops is a huge store and we had a time limit. But, like I said, for the most part it was fun.
We did this exercise to challenge My Plate on a food stamps budget. I had a family of six, with three adults and three kids. My money came from food stamps and I got a total allowance of $156. Per meal I could spent $1.41. The portion size I used were the number of servings - compared to ounces or cups it was the easiest one! I was not very difficult for me to figure out what I needed because I had a calculator for my calculations.
Shopping at Tops was fun and exciting, but tiring. It was easy for me to determine how many cartons of each item I needed because I already had my calculations before hand, and all my little self had to so was look on the back for the serving size. The food was hard to find for me. The thing that helped is that Tops has isle labels on top. But sometimes they don't tell you everything that's in the isle so you still have to do some hunting.
The items I needed were not located in one specific area, but all over the place so I can't really tell you where they were located. The display was pretty fair to look at. There were many different brands and varieties to choose from for just one item. I feel as those the store was so-so to navigate on a budget. Some isles had many great deals like, 2 for $4, but obviously there were expensive items too.
This experience is very different from how me and my own family shop. In this exercise we did lots of calculations, but for my family we just get up and pick up the things we need.