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  • 4 Moms Reveal Grocery Budget and Favorite Supermarket Brands

    Find out what moms like you are buying from their favorite supermarkets.
    by Lei Dimarucut-Sison .
To read this story in Tagalog, click here.

  • Stephanie de Castro, 32
    Freelance writer
    Wife to Yayay, mom to 6-month old Daniela

    How much she spends in one grocery trip: P4,000 to P5,000
    Percentage of grocery budget in overall spending: About 25-30%
    Number of household members: 4 (Steph and her family plus one yaya)
    Grocery: South Supermarket in Sta. Rosa Laguna
    Shopping frequency: Once a week

    “We used to live in a condo in the city, but now we’ve moved to a house in Laguna. The cost of living is cheaper. And also there’s more space for a pantry.

    “In order to save, we buy a lot of ground meat, which is cheaper. ‘Yun yung pang-ulam namin pag weekdays. Halimbawa, ‘pag Lunes yung giniling pwedeng gawing lumpiang shanghai. ‘Pag Martes, arroz ala cubana naman with egg. Pag weekends, dun kami nagsi-sinigang, o adobo, so ‘yun ‘yung medyo mas special. 

    “Mahilig din kaming mag-snacks, and that's why we have biscuits. Kailangan merong matamis because I have a sweet tooth. That's my happy food. My favorites are yung Chewy Chips Ahoy or Nutella. Sometimes 'pag hindi pa ako makakain kasi I'm attending to Dani, I eat kahit isang cookie lang, and then pag nakatulog na sya that's when I have my meal. 


    “Since 6 months old na si Dani, nagso-solid food na din sya. So far we've tried squash, potato, banana, apple, lugaw, minced meat. From the food of the grown-ups, nagse-set aside lang kami ng para sa kanya. 

    “Some of the meat and fish, pinapasabay kong ipabili sa mother-in-law ko. We have a small freezer where I also store the milk I pump, so that's also why we can't buy a lot of frozen goods. And also, doon din naman kami madalas mag-dinner sa in-laws ko (they live nearby)." 

    Favorite brands
    Pampers diapers - hiyang si Dani, and it’s not too expensive, not too cheap.
    Tiny Buds laundry detergent - sobrang mild ang scent
    Pigeon baby wipes - a bit pricey but it works for us. Dati we used a brand na masyadong basa, but eto sakto lang sya. 
    Femme Decor tissue - it's affordable
    Lactacyd baby wash - yun na ang ginamit ng nurse kay Dani sa hospital when she was born, so tinuloy na namin since mukhang hiyang sya. 

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    Mommy Steph's grocery shopping tips 
    1. Check your pantry or ref before going out to get groceries. Sometimes bibili ako ng isang item, yun pala meron pa sa ref. 
    2. Consider the size of your ref. Minsan yung pinamili ko hindi pala kasya, so we end up bringing the excess to my in-laws or to my parents' house. 


    Rossel Velasco-Taberna, 31
    Events manager, Outbox Media
    Wife to Anthony, mom to Zoey and Helga

    How much she spends in one grocery trip: P6,000
    Percentage of grocery budget in overall spending: Approximately 40%
    Number of household members: 10 (aside from Rossel and her family, two sisters-in-law, one nephew, one aunt, a cousin of Anthony, a driver)
    Grocery: S&R Congressional, Landmark in Trinoma, or Rustans in Timog
    Shopping frequency: Every two weeks

    “My husband is diabetic, so that’s a consideration. ‘Yung mga vegetables namin organic, and sini-shift na rin namin yung mga kids to organic. We get our organic produce sa Landmark, pati vegetables, milk, and eggs. Yung iba we get from Healthy Options -- dun kami nakakahanap ng Himalayan salt, for example. 

    “For myself, since I’m trying to eat healthier, laging may oatmeal sa bibilhin ko. O kaya flaxseed or chia seeds to aid in digestion, ibubudbod lang sa food o kaya ihahalo sa kape sa umaga. Wala syang lasa. It helps you eat less kasi it gives you the feeling that you're full. 

    “Para sa mga bata, hindi nawawala ang Yakult and cheese. Pero may rule kami for them na sa isang araw, kailangan nilang kumain ng at least isang meal na merong fruits and vegetables. Ang paborito nila ‘yung ginataang kalabasa na may sitaw. 

    “Kahit sa baon hindi sila picky, so minsan nagbabaon sila ng tuyo with rice. Mahilig sila sa dried food, very Filipino [na ulam]. Pinagbibigyan naman namin sila na mag-junk food, pero konti lang talaga. But definitely walang softdrinks.


    “As far as budget is concerned, we're not that strict kahit sumobra yung budget for food nang kaunti, ang ayaw lang ni Anthony, yung nae-expire yung food, nasasayang.”

    Mommy Sel's grocery shopping tips 
    1. Transfer chips to a resealable pack so that you can portion the servings. Para hindi kakainin yung buong bag of chips in one sitting.
    2. Don't be afraid to try other brands. It's also good to see what is out there. 



    Em Matias-Sulit, 40
    Wife to TJ, Mom to Izzy and Max

    How much she spends in one grocery trip: P12,000 to P16,000 (if Em does the groceries) or P8,000 to P10,000 (if TJ does the groceries)
    Percentage of grocery budget in overall spending: About 30%
    Number of household members: 6 (Em and her family plus 2 yayas)
    Grocery: Down to Earth, Holy Carabao, Healthy Options, Santis or Terry's for olive oil, S&R for nitrate-free bacon and some meats. Rustans for most other items. Better Life for household cleaners. Apotheca for the kids' snacks (dried kale chips and Super Scoops vegan brand of ice cream).
    Shopping frequency: Twice a week for fresh produce, meat, veggies, fruits, eggs.

    “We call our lifestyle the ‘healthy, wealthy, and wise’ living. Everything we eat, we get straight from the source as much as possible. It’s pricier, pero okay na sa amin na mas magastos kami sa food as long as hindi kami nao-ospital. Ang mahal na ma-ospital ngayon! We'd rather spend on the food, on our health. Bad nutrition is bad everything in your body. 

    “For breakfast, we usually have organic eggs and organic bacon, or if wala, nitrate-free bacon for breakfast (from S&R). The kids eat it with rice and whatever fruit is available. Kami ni TJ we replace rice with broccoli or cauliflower. We order our organic produce from small farms who deliver, and luckily sa Makati marami. 

    “If not bacon, I go for sardines in olive oil. We get ours from Down to Earth, or I buy the Zaragoza brand from the supermarket. Down to Earth grows vegetables, fish and livestock in their farm. You can find them in the Salcedo market or Legazpi market on weekends, and they've also started selling their vegetables in Rustans. They also have their own store now in Makati. We also go to Real Food in Alabang and Apotheca.


    “We don’t allow softdrinks and candies in the house. If we want chocolate, we buy local brands like Risa kasi it's 70% cocoa and has no sugar added, so it’s healthy. 

    “We don't buy a lot of toiletries kasi I make our own shampoo, our own soap -- even TJ's hair wax I make it. Otherwise, he'll get his hair wax from Human Nature. 

    “We limit our dairy intake. Dairy kasi could trigger allergies. Only Izzy drinks milk, and we give her goat's milk (flavored with cacao) because, according to research, it has the least number of allergens. We don't give her soy milk because most of the brands available are GMO, and we don't give almond milk either because I'm allergic to it, so she might be also. 

    “We're very particular with the oil we use, kasi that's a base for most food. We also don't buy tea na naka-sachet. We get raw tea [leaves], and then we age them. 

    “Even our butter, we go for the brand that comes from grass-fed [cows]. Sa cheese, goat cheese dapat. If we see any extenders in the ingredients, we don't buy. 


    Favorite brands
    Better Life - active ingredients are all plant-based, no synthetic ingredients, no chemicals, no alcohol, no parabens. It has a shorter shelf life therefore, but the quality of ingredients are friendlier to the skin and to the environment
    Holy Carabao and Down to Earth (for vegetables and fruits) - the only two brands that we can trust to be 100% organic
    Perla laundry soap – It’s 50 percent coconut oil. If you look at other brands, no other detergent can claim the same. I like that they don't use perfume, which is one of the most toxic ingredients you could have in your soap. They use only naturally-derived plant scents, nothing synthetic. It's been used by our lolas, so it's a brand we trust.
    Balm Around - handcrafted, all-around natural balm. It takes six months of oil infusions to produce it. 
    Biolane - Max has very dry skin, and this brand for babies and kids helps. It’s also not as expensive as others.
    Olive oil – we’re more particular about the certification than the brand. It has to be cold-pressed because it has the highest nutritional value. If you use heat in extracting the oil, it will diminish the nutritional value. 
    Nature's Gate toothpaste - it's the healthiest option we can find
    Hemp oil - we mix it with olive oil or avocado oil for salads. I also use it for the soap making -- madami syang uses.
    SunBum Sunscreens – No harmful ingredients, plus it goes a long way. Kaunti lang ang ilalagay mo, ok na sya. And when you wash it off, nalulusaw sya, hindi harmful sa environment. Yung ingredient nya is also non-carcinogenic, unlike most sunscreens.


    Mommy Em's grocery shopping tips
    1. Read the label. When a product claims to be organic, don’t be quick to believe it. You can have only 2 percent organic ingredients and 98 percent synthetic, and still be called “organic”.
    2. Don't buy oil in plastic containers because the oil extracts all the harmful ingredients from the plastic. 


    May Morales, 42
    Marketing manager
    Single mom to son Cloud, 3 years old

    How much she spends in one grocery trip: P3,000
    Percentage of grocery budget in overall spending: About 50%
    Number of household members: 7 cats, 1 dog (aside from May and her son)
    Grocery: Shopwise Commonwealth Avenue
    Shopping frequency: every two weeks

    “We live in a compound with my parents, and my father buys from the wet market every day. Hinahatiran na lang nila kami ng pagkain. 

    “Gusto ni Cloud yung mga ulam na may sauce, pero he doesn’t eat them with rice. He eats kangkong, kalabasa, and sayote. He also loves eggs and bread. I seldom buy frozen goods like hotdog because I want to wean Cloud off them. I'm starting to teach my child to eat fruits and vegetables, since he stopped drinking milk when he was 2 1/2 years old. Now he loves to drink juices. 

    “Since he likes spaghetti, and I don't have the time to cook, he sometimes eats the instant kind.”


    Favorite brands 
    Genius diaper – When Cloud was still a baby, I would buy one piece of each diaper brand so I could test them. After I tried this, I stayed with it. It’s locally made pero napakaganda ng quality nya. I've tried all the brands, and I can tell you that this brand can compete with them in terms of quality and your baby's comfort. Very reasonable pa yung price nya. 
    Nestle Chuckie - since Cloud doesn't drink milk anymore, I substitute with chocolate milk drink.
    Yakult - I can't really watch what he eats every time so it's good to know he likes something that’s good for his digestion.
    Great Taste coffee - I drink six to eight cups a day. I love the taste, and since matapang sya, mas matipid syang gamitin.
    Vita Pet - I don't like the more popular pet food brands because mataas ang sodium content that's why kadalasan may sakit sa kidney yung pets who use them. This brand got good reviews also from pet lovers like me. And also, gusto sya ng mga cats.


    Mommy May's grocery shopping tips
    1. To stretch my budget, I take advantage of promos, or items with freebies. I also get the refills instead of the bottled packaging.
    2. Read reviews, get feedback from fellow moms. That's the only way you will find which is best for you.

    Photos by Lai de Guzman ans Vincent Coscolluela. Hair and makeup by Anne Castano (except for Rossel Taberna).

    This article was updated on July 31, 2017.

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