Author Topic: How do you people spend so little on groceries??  (Read 22502 times)

Ambergris

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 184
  • Age: 43
Re: How do you people spend so little on groceries??
« Reply #50 on: March 12, 2014, 06:04:11 PM »
If you haven't come across the awesomeness that is Stolen Granola http://www.bojongourmet.com/2010/06/stolen-granola.html, you should check it out! I make it every week and a half or so, amazing how easy it is to customize and it fills you up with good things. I served a vegan version for our granola bar at our wedding, and it actually went first! I just subbed coconut oil for the butter.

Looks yummy, esp, with the coconut.  Here's one that I think is vegan and that I absolutely loved when I made it regularly.
http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/2011/01/21/the-best-granola-ive-ever-had

(I substituted dried cranberries for the raisins; you just need one cup of any old dried fruit you like, total).  I only stopped making it when I figured out the calorie count on just one cup of the stuff (and this recipe isn't too bad compared to some).  Appalling.  Which tells you just how nice it is :)).

Babymoustache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 90
  • Age: 45
  • Location: New Zealand
Re: How do you people spend so little on groceries??
« Reply #51 on: March 13, 2014, 01:59:32 AM »
Really good tips here Elaine.  Thank you.

But I'm sure as hell not buying strawberries or asparagus this time of year.

Good news!  It's asparagus season again!  Just got it for $.88/lb here in California, which means it's plentiful and should be heading your way soon.  It's soooooo good, one of my absolute favorite veggies.

We call asparagus "the lobster of vegetables"!!   Love it when we can get a big bunch for $1.
+1 on apspagus being the lobster of vegetables!!! Looking forward to when it next comes into season here....

Also +1 on the cereals, they are full of sugar and not the best start for the metabolism first thing in the day.  Why not try out a range of different toasted cereals that you can make yourself just for the health benefits (the money saving can come later).

My fav toasted cereal is pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds (or whatever seeds are cheapest where you are) peanuts, oats, dried fruit (again anything on special) in a huge baking pan with honey dribbled over it and mixed in with oil.  Then toasted under the grill and stirring ever few minuets until most of the mixture is toasted. You can make it heavenly and 100x better than the store bought.

Miss Growing Green

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 99
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Tucson, AZ
Re: How do you people spend so little on groceries??
« Reply #52 on: March 14, 2014, 09:12:52 AM »
Thank you *everyone* for all the suggestions!  I definitely see where I can make improvements, namely:

*Start tracking not only what I spend, but *where* I spend (i.e. what categories of food).
*Start calculating cost per serving on some of our staple meals
*Buy more at Costco when the prices make sense
*Buy less boxed cereal - make homemade granola instead (I love granola!)
*Stop buying prepared red sauces (spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce), instead make from tomato past / crushed tomatoes
*look for coupons for our most expensive regular buys, like almond milk

There were a couple suggestions that I don't think will work for us, that a number of people suggested:

*Make your own almond milk.  I've tried this and it just doesn't seem worth it.  One cup of almonds makes about 2-3 cups of milk.  So you would need to use about 3 cups of almonds for the equivalent of one half-gallon store-bought almond milk ($3).  3 cups of almonds is about a pound, and I have *never* found almonds for anywhere close to $3 a pound.
That, coupled with the fact that it's an overnight process and only lasts 2-3 days after you make it, seems like it would not be cost effective to make my own.

*Buy other "types" of milk on sale.  We can do this to an extent... we won't drink soy milk because overdosing on soy can be bad for you- soy products contain plant-estrogens.  We will drink rice milk, though it's not nearly as good for you as almond milk is, so I can look for on sale rice milk / coupons in the future, though it's the same cost as almond milk if it's not on sale.

Thanks again for all the ideas!  I definitely have some things to work on- I'll report back when I have some real data!

kolorado

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 368
Re: How do you people spend so little on groceries??
« Reply #53 on: March 14, 2014, 10:55:32 AM »
 I average $325 a month for our family of five, just food, no home, personal or pet supplies in that number. We eat Flexitarian. My kids eat as much as I do. Only one child eats as much F&V as I do, the rest of the family lean more heavily on carbs and proteins.
 
My biggest tips:

-Shop the loss-leaders and have a food storage system for bulk buying(freezing, canning, dehydrating)
-Make a menu for a few weeks at a time, from what's already stocked in your pantry and freezer(I limit meat centric meals to Wednesdays and Sundays)
-Use recipes with less ingredients/ make cheaper in-season substitutions/ embrace simplicity(pbj and an apple every day has literally raised millions of children into healthy adults-kids do fine with a different balance of nutrients than adults...carbs and fats are good for them)
-limit shopping(I shop every three weeks and have hubby pick up perishables after work as needed)and don't waste food(I even save the outer peels of onions and carrots to make veggie broth)
-Stop being so darn picky. Don't feel like eating spinach pasta bake and wheat bread tonight? Want a roast with all the trimmings instead? Tough. Remember when you were a kid and you had no choice about what mom made? Might not be something you loved but you could usually eat a side or two and some bread. Or you ate some of what you didn't like very much because you were hungry and it was there. A lot of people go crazy when they get out of mom's house and can now choose eat whatever they want. It then becomes all about that, their favorites all the time, to the detriment of their wallet and waistline. Start cooking like a mom. Don't make what you hate, but make the frugal, "It's Ok" stuff too.
-Soup and bread. Make your own broth from veggies scraps and carcasses. Make your own dumplings and noodles. Throw in lots of those loss-leader veggies you bought cheap and threw in the freezer. Make a loaf of homemade bread with bulk-purchased flour and yeast.
-Learn to cook. A lot of people think they know how to cook because they learned 30 recipes and make them well. That's a good start but won't generally help to save any money on food. A good cook can look at a bag of 10 ingredients and think of at least 10 different meals to make out of them. My mother and both my grandmothers cooked like this and I learned from them. I'll gave you an example why limited cooking skills can cost you money. My MIL didn't like to cook and she had super picky kids. She would make a rotation of about 20 meals, exactly the same way every time. They were good and nutritious meals. But here's the problem, she had the same shopping list at all times and paid full price for her ingredient list every time. Once when I came over for a visit, she was out of pineapple juice for her sweet and sour sauce. When I suggested she use the orange juice in her fridge as a substitution, she looked at me like I'd asked her to swap in pickle juice. She decided to drive 25 minutes to town and back for a can of pineapple juice. Yes, their food spending was astronomical. Learning to really cook will give you plenty of ideas what do do with that half eggplant, chicken scraps, rice flour and slice of American cheese that are leftover from other recipes.
-Be willing to spend the time. I cook like a 1950's housewife. I'm in the kitchen a good 10 hours a week. I enjoy cooking and baking so it's no hardship to me. Glad I don't have to do it in high heels and a frilly apron though. ;)

athomeintheworld

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 299
Re: How do you people spend so little on groceries??
« Reply #54 on: March 14, 2014, 11:46:21 AM »
Since you love granola - here's my favorite recipe.  I use it "loosely", sometimes I have different nuts/seeds etc on hand.  It's pretty forgiving. I don't need as much sweet so I cut back on the honey a bit. And since you are vegan, I've made this with coconut oil instead of butter and turned out great!

I also make this in the fall with some pureed pumpkin and extra spices...yum:)

http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2010/04/04/recipe-granola-bars-cereal/

Miss Growing Green

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 99
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Tucson, AZ
Re: How do you people spend so little on groceries??
« Reply #55 on: March 14, 2014, 11:58:39 AM »
Since you love granola - here's my favorite recipe.  I use it "loosely", sometimes I have different nuts/seeds etc on hand.  It's pretty forgiving. I don't need as much sweet so I cut back on the honey a bit. And since you are vegan, I've made this with coconut oil instead of butter and turned out great!

I also make this in the fall with some pureed pumpkin and extra spices...yum:)

http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2010/04/04/recipe-granola-bars-cereal/

Awesome! Thanks- I'll definitely have to try this out!

NumberCruncher

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 612
Re: How do you people spend so little on groceries??
« Reply #56 on: March 14, 2014, 12:17:39 PM »
Tracking the expenses is so important. Oh! and minimizing food waste.

Before we really tried to set a weekly limit (around $60 for two), we were spending $350/mo on average. Since really tracking, we've seemingly effortlessly gone down to less than $250/mo. We eat mostly fresh produce (lots of leafy greens like broccoli and kale), rice, beans, eggs, tofu, some fish (less than once a week), fruit (apples, bananas, pears), and some frozen veggies (convenience cooking). We go shopping once a week.

All numbers above just based on food, no toiletries or the like included

wealthviahealth

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 193
Re: How do you people spend so little on groceries??
« Reply #57 on: March 14, 2014, 12:45:12 PM »
Back in my ultra strict "health food" days, I was going to the grocery store 3-4 times a week and buying in smaller quantities. I eventually realized I had gotten into the habit of spending around $30 each trip almost out of routine even if I didnt really need the extra items I was accumulating.
I now find that going only about once every two weeks greatly cuts down on my bill as there is less temptation to add something else that catches your eye or is " such a great deal".

AJ

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 906
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Oregon
Re: How do you people spend so little on groceries??
« Reply #58 on: March 14, 2014, 01:11:01 PM »
*Make your own almond milk.  I've tried this and it just doesn't seem worth it.  One cup of almonds makes about 2-3 cups of milk.  So you would need to use about 3 cups of almonds for the equivalent of one half-gallon store-bought almond milk ($3).  3 cups of almonds is about a pound, and I have *never* found almonds for anywhere close to $3 a pound.
That, coupled with the fact that it's an overnight process and only lasts 2-3 days after you make it, seems like it would not be cost effective to make my own.

Hmm...we make our own almond milk, and I only sort of agree with you. For us, it costs almost exactly the same to make it as buy it, but we get to use the pulp in other recipes and the homemade version doesn't have the additives that store-bought does. If you don't need/want those benefits, then there is no reason to make your own. It is quite possibly the only product I've run into that isn't cheaper to make from scratch.

I'm curious how you're making yours, though. We get a quart of milk from a cup of nuts and it takes less than 5 minutes start to finish. What are you doing that takes overnight?

swick

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2884
Re: How do you people spend so little on groceries??
« Reply #59 on: March 14, 2014, 01:23:44 PM »
*Make your own almond milk.  I've tried this and it just doesn't seem worth it.  One cup of almonds makes about 2-3 cups of milk.  So you would need to use about 3 cups of almonds for the equivalent of one half-gallon store-bought almond milk ($3).  3 cups of almonds is about a pound, and I have *never* found almonds for anywhere close to $3 a pound.
That, coupled with the fact that it's an overnight process and only lasts 2-3 days after you make it, seems like it would not be cost effective to make my own.

Hmm...we make our own almond milk, and I only sort of agree with you. For us, it costs almost exactly the same to make it as buy it, but we get to use the pulp in other recipes and the homemade version doesn't have the additives that store-bought does. If you don't need/want those benefits, then there is no reason to make your own. It is quite possibly the only product I've run into that isn't cheaper to make from scratch.

I'm curious how you're making yours, though. We get a quart of milk from a cup of nuts and it takes less than 5 minutes start to finish. What are you doing that takes overnight?

The pulp can be mixed with a little honey and vanilla and dehydrated and makes AWESOME "clusters" to put in your granola or to top your cereal or yogurt.

Miss Growing Green

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 99
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Tucson, AZ
Re: How do you people spend so little on groceries??
« Reply #60 on: March 14, 2014, 02:33:07 PM »
*Make your own almond milk.  I've tried this and it just doesn't seem worth it.  One cup of almonds makes about 2-3 cups of milk.  So you would need to use about 3 cups of almonds for the equivalent of one half-gallon store-bought almond milk ($3).  3 cups of almonds is about a pound, and I have *never* found almonds for anywhere close to $3 a pound.
That, coupled with the fact that it's an overnight process and only lasts 2-3 days after you make it, seems like it would not be cost effective to make my own.

Hmm...we make our own almond milk, and I only sort of agree with you. For us, it costs almost exactly the same to make it as buy it, but we get to use the pulp in other recipes and the homemade version doesn't have the additives that store-bought does. If you don't need/want those benefits, then there is no reason to make your own. It is quite possibly the only product I've run into that isn't cheaper to make from scratch.

I'm curious how you're making yours, though. We get a quart of milk from a cup of nuts and it takes less than 5 minutes start to finish. What are you doing that takes overnight?

I've only made it a few times, but the way I've done it involves soaking the almonds overnight and then blending them in our vitamix, then straining out the pulp.  Maybe I'm just not practiced enough but it was a big mess trying to get it all strained and into mason jars.  The way it came out, it didn't seem as thick/creamy as the store bought kind, which we dilute about 25% with water to make it last longer.  The homemade kind was more watery than the undiluted store bought kind (this is just based on the few times I made it).

AJ

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 906
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Oregon
Re: How do you people spend so little on groceries??
« Reply #61 on: March 14, 2014, 02:49:55 PM »
I've only made it a few times, but the way I've done it involves soaking the almonds overnight and then blending them in our vitamix, then straining out the pulp.  Maybe I'm just not practiced enough but it was a big mess trying to get it all strained and into mason jars.  The way it came out, it didn't seem as thick/creamy as the store bought kind, which we dilute about 25% with water to make it last longer.  The homemade kind was more watery than the undiluted store bought kind (this is just based on the few times I made it).

We just put a cup of almonds and three cups water in the vitamix and blend on high for a min. I don't think you have to soak if you have a high-speed blender. Then we pour the mixture into a nut milk bag over a mixing bowl and squeeze. From the bowl back to the blender jar (because it has a pour spout), then into the mason jar. The reason it is thinner is that commercial nut milks have thickening agents added (carrageenan usually) to make them seem more the texture of cow's milk. If you like it and don't mind the additives, there's really no reason to keep making your own. Some people make a big stink about carrageenan, but I doubt anyone is drinking enough almond milk for it to do any harm. We do both - I prefer making it myself, but if it's 3am and I'm craving cookies and milk and I'm out of homemade, we keep a couple shelf-stable boxes on hand :)

HAULIN3

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 75
  • Location: ILLINOIS
  • Plant Strong!
Re: How do you people spend so little on groceries??
« Reply #62 on: March 14, 2014, 03:01:11 PM »
How often can you get your staple items on sale? I am not a vegan, but at face value things like nut milk, tofu, seitan, etc. seem more expensive than the omnivore corollary. They also don't go on sale or have as many coupons (as far as I can tell) at general grocery stores.
You may get better deals (sales, coupons) at a local food cooperative, or online (Amazon?).

Prepared veggie/vegan items have an even bigger price then general processed foods - but you are avoiding those, so likely not your problem.

Any idea what your biggest expense is?  Once you know that, you can plan/decide accordingly.

Yep, like I said, our almond milk is probably the biggest expense at $6/week (2 cartons a week).  After that, just a wild guess here, but boxed cereal might be a big one for us? Most of our protein comes from rice, beans (I do buy canned), and seitan that I make from scratch for way cheap.  When I do buy tofu it's $1.98/pound, which is less than a lot of meat (I think?).

I'm definitely going to start tracking so I can nail this down.  I'm just not seeing a glaring issue that explains our outlandish spending.


I use almond milk but only as a condiment!! I'm vegan too.  When are you drinking it? for what purpose?

I get the hugest offbrand old fashioned oats, and use 1 cup of that (dry and uncooked) with just a very small handful of wheaties, chex, mini wheat, raisins, walnuts and a sliced banana.. You can get a TON of ziplock baggies ful for not too much money, this lasts a long time because I only have this cold cereal about 10 times a month...  otherwise I only use almond mik as a splash in cooked oatmeal.. 

Just a tidbit about expensive almond milk...


Rural

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4852
Re: How do you people spend so little on groceries??
« Reply #63 on: March 14, 2014, 05:45:35 PM »
Since you're considering adding rice milk to the rotation, it's dead easy and dirt cheap to make:
http://moneysavingmom.com/2011/09/do-it-yourself-homemade-rice-milk.html

kkbmustang

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1286
Re: How do you people spend so little on groceries??
« Reply #64 on: March 14, 2014, 10:31:22 PM »
Since you're considering adding rice milk to the rotation, it's dead easy and dirt cheap to make:
http://moneysavingmom.com/2011/09/do-it-yourself-homemade-rice-milk.html

I'll be trying this and the almond milk recipe and Swick's suggestion for the almond pulp. We go through a lot of almond/soy milk.

greaper007

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1129
Re: How do you people spend so little on groceries??
« Reply #65 on: March 14, 2014, 11:06:19 PM »
$75 a week doesn't seem that bad at all.   I spend more than double that for a family of four, but we're hardcore omnivores that do a lot free range/organic.    I've found that to get under that number I'd have to buy food from sources I didn't trust.    Things like large cans of tomatoes at costco are cheap, but they're also chocked full of BPA.   I'll spend extra for Muir Glenn.   

I get really trying to chop the food budget for people that eat out or buy lots of pre-prepared food, but when you'll already planning out your meals and shopping there's a diminishing return to really trying to cut the budget.   At some point you're sacrificing your health and the environment to spend a few dollars less.   That doesn't seem very frugal to me.

rocksinmyhead

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1491
  • Location: Oklahoma
Re: How do you people spend so little on groceries??
« Reply #66 on: March 17, 2014, 01:00:42 PM »
I get really trying to chop the food budget for people that eat out or buy lots of pre-prepared food, but when you'll already planning out your meals and shopping there's a diminishing return to really trying to cut the budget.   At some point you're sacrificing your health and the environment to spend a few dollars less.   That doesn't seem very frugal to me.

you know... this is a really good point. I don't know why this resonated with me in a way that others' comments haven't, but maybe I SHOULDN'T be so hard on myself for not matching other people's grocery spending numbers. as long as I am planning meals, cooking from scratch, and having a few vegetarian dinners a week, I think I can just be okay with that. :)

oldtoyota

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3161
Re: How do you people spend so little on groceries??
« Reply #67 on: March 17, 2014, 05:41:02 PM »
Since you're considering adding rice milk to the rotation, it's dead easy and dirt cheap to make:
http://moneysavingmom.com/2011/09/do-it-yourself-homemade-rice-milk.html

Wow. We probably spend $9-12 per month on this alone. I will be trying this recipe.


oldtoyota

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3161
Re: How do you people spend so little on groceries??
« Reply #68 on: March 17, 2014, 05:43:05 PM »
I get really trying to chop the food budget for people that eat out or buy lots of pre-prepared food, but when you'll already planning out your meals and shopping there's a diminishing return to really trying to cut the budget.   At some point you're sacrificing your health and the environment to spend a few dollars less.   That doesn't seem very frugal to me.

you know... this is a really good point. I don't know why this resonated with me in a way that others' comments haven't, but maybe I SHOULDN'T be so hard on myself for not matching other people's grocery spending numbers. as long as I am planning meals, cooking from scratch, and having a few vegetarian dinners a week, I think I can just be okay with that. :)

I agree with not being hard on yourself. At the same time, I think it's fantastic to analyze where you spend the money and see if it makes sense to cut down. I'm gluten free and could easily spend $20/month just on GF bread. However, I choose to make my own part of the time, buy part of the time, and go without part of the time. That ends up in some decent savings over time. If you take similar actions with a number of items, you can end up saving a lot.

For me, I think some more thoughtful analysis will help us save money. =-)

thepokercab

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 486
Re: How do you people spend so little on groceries??
« Reply #69 on: March 17, 2014, 05:59:22 PM »
$75 a week doesn't seem that bad at all.   I spend more than double that for a family of four, but we're hardcore omnivores that do a lot free range/organic.    I've found that to get under that number I'd have to buy food from sources I didn't trust.    Things like large cans of tomatoes at costco are cheap, but they're also chocked full of BPA.   I'll spend extra for Muir Glenn.   

I get really trying to chop the food budget for people that eat out or buy lots of pre-prepared food, but when you'll already planning out your meals and shopping there's a diminishing return to really trying to cut the budget.   At some point you're sacrificing your health and the environment to spend a few dollars less.   That doesn't seem very frugal to me.

This sounds like my family! We're also at about $150 a week.  We also eat our fair share of meat, but I simply can't buy anything other than organic and free range meats. We end up buying all of our meats from local producers at our farmer's market. Same thing with our eggs. I know we can save money buy buying the cheap meats on sale at the store, but the chemicals and other substances that go into these animals in the mega-distributors is absolutely awful.  Watch 'Food Inc.' on Netflix and you might never eat big distributor meat again. 

Unfortunately, though this means we have a higher food budget.  We're trying to work on having at least half of our meals per week be veggie only to try to cut costs.  Also more beans.. 

But again, its all about choices.  My food budget is a bit high, but it reflects our values, so i'm ok with that.     

Connemara

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 75
Re: How do you people spend so little on groceries??
« Reply #70 on: March 17, 2014, 06:10:54 PM »
I get a 24% on all food at the local co-op in exchange for working 3 hours a week. Organic everything, so I am able to eat quite well for $225-$250 a month. That said, it's so easy to spend more than that. All it takes is a few impulse buys.

I recommend making a huge batch of soup on the weekends, a rice/quinoa/other grain dish during the week (for me it's always with black beans, tomatoes, onions, garlic), and rotate through oatmeal, eggs, and cereal for breakfast. Also, homemade pizzas are a great deal. I can get fresh whole wheat doughs for $2.29. Add some veggies, sauce, and cheese if you are feeling adventurous! Affordable and worth at least two meals.

wileyish

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 54
Re: How do you people spend so little on groceries??
« Reply #71 on: March 17, 2014, 07:37:06 PM »
MGG, you are doing well on your existing food budget. Donít be too hard on yourself for caring about nutrition. I concur with the advice to make your own granola (I use a modified version of this recipe http://www.thekitchn.com/homemade-gift-recipe-cherry-pistachio-granola-clusters-recipes-from-the-kitchn-197756). My only suggestion would be to consider making your own beans. They are so much better than the canned stuff! You can get oodles of tasty beans from bulk bins at various stores for only a few $$. Iíll set several cups of dried beans out to soak over night on a Friday, then on a Saturday when I plan to be puttering around the house anyway, I rinse the beans, add more water (just enough to cover the beans) then throw in some onion, garlic, and dried chiles (staples I always have around). Donít boil the bejeezus out of themÖjust let them simmer very lightly for a few hours. When they are close to done, add salt and any random veggies from your fridge. From there you can make some burritos to stick in the freezer for emergency lunches, make a soup or enchiladas, or just freeze them for later use. Side bonus: your house will smell delicious for a day or two.

Cpa Cat

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1625
Re: How do you people spend so little on groceries??
« Reply #72 on: March 17, 2014, 08:33:23 PM »
One key way is to set a budget per meal. At our lowest, my husband I set a max of $5 per dinner for two people. We were often able to get leftovers out of some of those meals. But it's work. It means you don't get to eat whatever you want. I would construct my grocery list by meal so that if one ingredient was too much when I got to the store, I knew exactly what to put back.

Another tip is to look read up the Food Stamp challenge. There a lot of blogs with recipes of people trying to construct meal budgets as though they were relying only on food stamps.

I don't hold myself to as tight a budget these days - it's not overly pleasant and can make cooking/shopping/meal planning a chore. But doing it as an exercise does teach you overall how to keep grocery costs low, even if you ultimately choose not to be bare-bones. You quickly discover what you're wasting food money on and what ingredients are reliably cheap.

Roland of Gilead

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1901
Re: How do you people spend so little on groceries??
« Reply #73 on: March 17, 2014, 08:49:36 PM »
Hmm, and here I thought we were doing pretty well spending around $800 a month for two people on groceries.

dragoncar

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8801
  • Registered member
Re: How do you people spend so little on groceries??
« Reply #74 on: March 17, 2014, 09:03:51 PM »
What do you mean "you people"???


Miss Growing Green

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 99
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Tucson, AZ
Re: How do you people spend so little on groceries??
« Reply #76 on: March 18, 2014, 08:06:34 AM »
What do you mean "you people"???

Just a joke dragoncar :P

I meant "mustachians", but I am one, just not at as high a level as some, when it comes to grocery spending!

Elaine

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 467
  • Age: 32
  • Location: NYC
    • Small Things Good
Re: How do you people spend so little on groceries??
« Reply #77 on: March 18, 2014, 08:14:27 AM »
I get really trying to chop the food budget for people that eat out or buy lots of pre-prepared food, but when you'll already planning out your meals and shopping there's a diminishing return to really trying to cut the budget.   At some point you're sacrificing your health and the environment to spend a few dollars less.   That doesn't seem very frugal to me.

you know... this is a really good point. I don't know why this resonated with me in a way that others' comments haven't, but maybe I SHOULDN'T be so hard on myself for not matching other people's grocery spending numbers. as long as I am planning meals, cooking from scratch, and having a few vegetarian dinners a week, I think I can just be okay with that. :)

I agree with not being hard on yourself. At the same time, I think it's fantastic to analyze where you spend the money and see if it makes sense to cut down. I'm gluten free and could easily spend $20/month just on GF bread. However, I choose to make my own part of the time, buy part of the time, and go without part of the time. That ends up in some decent savings over time. If you take similar actions with a number of items, you can end up saving a lot.

For me, I think some more thoughtful analysis will help us save money. =-)

I definitely hear you all on the moderation aspect. For me keeping grocery costs really really low is important, but I'm also lower on the income level than many of the people here. I think if you can spend $500 a month on groceries and still save 50% of your income, that's great. I personally just can't swing those numbers. I would argue against the idea that we are sacrificing health/the environment by keeping spending so low. I think it's a misnomer that you have to sacrifice health at a low spending level, the cheapest things I buy are vegetables and produce. I also don't think we sacrifice environment, I can't afford grass fed organic beef and chicken- so I just don't eat it. I don't get any packaged stuff either, so I feel like I'm probably producing much less waste than a typical grocery consumer. Just my two cents!

RetiredAt63

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 11678
  • Location: Eastern Ontario, Canada
Re: How do you people spend so little on groceries??
« Reply #78 on: March 18, 2014, 08:23:26 AM »
And a (friendly) angry face at all of you "it's this or that awesome crop season here now!" folks.  We are enjoying our 2nd "official blizzard" of the winter locally.
Exactly, we still have at least 3' of well compacted snow. Right now it is -10C (14F).  Spring seems like a fantasy.

Back on-topic, I have my peppers started, won't start tomatoes for at least another month  :-(