Author Topic: Grocery expenses for the month!!  (Read 8376 times)

Sebastian

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Grocery expenses for the month!!
« on: February 26, 2014, 02:49:52 PM »
I probably should have started a thread at the beginning of this month in throw down the gauntlet, but I forgot...

My fiance and I decided we spend way too much money on food. Being that we are both vegetarian we thought we could really get this expense down a LOT!!

We set a budget for Feb. of $300 for all of our food. Well... with 2.5 days left in the month, and after the fiance picking up a couple things for us for these next days, we still have...drum roll... $41 bucks and some change!!!

We did it! Wooohooo! I'm so pumped about this. I literally can't lower my expenses anymore these days except in this area, and we just cut that down by a ton!

Cheers :)

soccerluvof4

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Re: Grocery expenses for the month!!
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2014, 02:56:15 PM »
Congrats!!

windawake

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Re: Grocery expenses for the month!!
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2014, 03:05:45 PM »
Congrats! I've been keeping my receipts for this month to see why I end up spending a lot more than I intend. It's been helpful to see what the bigger ticket items on my grocery bill usually are. Last time I went, I only spent $30 and got ingredients for three different meals.

Bostongirl

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Re: Grocery expenses for the month!!
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2014, 03:14:35 PM »
Awesome job!  What types of stuff did you rely on primarily for meals?

Sebastian

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Re: Grocery expenses for the month!!
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2014, 03:51:21 PM »
Congrats! I've been keeping my receipts for this month to see why I end up spending a lot more than I intend. It's been helpful to see what the bigger ticket items on my grocery bill usually are. Last time I went, I only spent $30 and got ingredients for three different meals.

Yea we also have kept our receipts. I'm super curious to see what we spent most of our money on. :)

Awesome job!  What types of stuff did you rely on primarily for meals?

Check out the website budgetbytes.com. We did several of the recipes on there, the italian wonderpot is awesome. I added chick peas in it as well for some extra protein.

My bulks meals are mainly red lentil curry.  Type that in google and it'll be the first link. I'll make a lot of rice and rely on that for several days. I also make a lentil soup that I can make last for my lunches through out the week. Pro tip - buy dried beans! You save so much this way. Put them in crock pot for 5-6 hours on low and they come out perfect.

Also, I will change up my red lentil curry meal by buying tortilla shells .43 cents a pack. Then I just use the lentil curry as the "meat" part, throw cheese and cilantro on top. Bam! Awesome veggie tacos.

Indio

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Re: Grocery expenses for the month!!
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2014, 06:30:57 PM »
I've been montoring our grocery expenses to in order to reduce them.
My problem is that I buy things that are on sale but aren't on my list. It totally blows out my budget when I stock up on $20 worth of an item because they are $1.50 off. The food doesn't get wasted but the budget doesn't like it when there are specials that I stumble across.

spoonman

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Re: Grocery expenses for the month!!
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2014, 08:17:24 PM »
Congrats!  This is truly an inspiration.

My wife and I hope to spend less than $400/mo after we quit our jobs, so it's encouraging to see someone getting a good handle on this part of the budget.  My plan was to implement some of the advice given at budgetbytes.com, so it's great to see that you are successfully applying the recipes.

Looking forward to additional food budget badassity!

Exflyboy

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Re: Grocery expenses for the month!!
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2014, 12:48:11 PM »
Awesome

This is the first month my Wife and I have ever done a monthly budget sice I retired on Jan 10th.. I have been doing most of the shopping and cooking and scanned my account for groceries and was at roughly $200 for the month as of yesterday.

This weekend we are actually looking forward to how we did.

Oh and I got our auto insurance down to $70 a month for 3 vehicles with $500k combined single limit .. It was at $98!!!.. AARP is a good thing..:)

Frank

lexie2000

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Re: Grocery expenses for the month!!
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2014, 01:04:55 PM »
I've been montoring our grocery expenses to in order to reduce them.
My problem is that I buy things that are on sale but aren't on my list. It totally blows out my budget when I stock up on $20 worth of an item because they are $1.50 off. The food doesn't get wasted but the budget doesn't like it when there are specials that I stumble across.

I do the same thing, but sometimes it can be a real killer.  Yesterday I spent over $84 on smoked almonds as a hedge against future  increasing almond prices due to the CA drought.  We eat A LOT of almonds!!

Lorin

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Re: Grocery expenses for the month!!
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2014, 01:40:49 PM »
I've been montoring our grocery expenses to in order to reduce them.
My problem is that I buy things that are on sale but aren't on my list. It totally blows out my budget when I stock up on $20 worth of an item because they are $1.50 off. The food doesn't get wasted but the budget doesn't like it when there are specials that I stumble across.

If you do this regularly, maybe you should add a $25 sale line item to your budget, outside of your normal food budget. And cut elsewhere to reflect that you're prepaying an expense.

MicroRN

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Re: Grocery expenses for the month!!
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2014, 12:56:08 AM »
I've been montoring our grocery expenses to in order to reduce them.
My problem is that I buy things that are on sale but aren't on my list. It totally blows out my budget when I stock up on $20 worth of an item because they are $1.50 off. The food doesn't get wasted but the budget doesn't like it when there are specials that I stumble across.

Nothing wrong with this, you just plan for it.  We buy our meat by the half critter, so we have a huge one-time expense.  I use YNAB and transfer the balance forward for this type of category.  My goal right now is $300/mo in regular groceries, $100 for bulk purchases and loss leaders.  If you don't buy that much in loss leaders and bulk, of course you can do a smaller amount.

1967mama

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Re: Grocery expenses for the month!!
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2014, 01:43:55 AM »
For the first time EVER, I have tracked all our spending for 2 straight months, including groceries.  So embarrassing to admit this.

But it is a start, and hoping by the end of 2014 to have an actual true picture of our annual spending so that we can do the x25 formula and actually have some idea of what we will need to retire.

I am not brave enough to post our numbers -- I'd be face punched into next week!

Sebastian

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Re: Grocery expenses for the month!!
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2014, 07:05:14 AM »
For the first time EVER, I have tracked all our spending for 2 straight months, including groceries.  So embarrassing to admit this.

But it is a start, and hoping by the end of 2014 to have an actual true picture of our annual spending so that we can do the x25 formula and actually have some idea of what we will need to retire.

I am not brave enough to post our numbers -- I'd be face punched into next week!

why would you be scarred this is the best place to do it if anything!

1967mama

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Re: Grocery expenses for the month!!
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2014, 03:04:56 PM »
Well, ok here goes:

For January and February, we averaged $350/week for groceries -- which is $1400 a month for 10 people.
   
My husband has been to the grocery store for me since I'm injured right now and bought us LOTS of easy meals/convenience foods to help us cope while I'm laid up like this. Soooo....this may not be a realistic picture of our actual spending on groceries. We shall see as the months progress.

« Last Edit: April 01, 2014, 12:36:01 AM by 1967mama »

Exflyboy

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Re: Grocery expenses for the month!!
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2014, 03:10:47 PM »
My Wife and I just tracked our first month of expenditures.. we spent $444 on groceries for the two of us.

I think a lot of that was stocking up on stuff that was on sale (28oz canned tomatoes for 78c) and a lot of indian spices which are spendy.

I hope to get that down a bit next month.

Frank

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Re: Grocery expenses for the month!!
« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2014, 02:45:11 PM »
Check out the website budgetbytes.com. We did several of the recipes on there, the italian wonderpot is awesome. I added chick peas in it as well for some extra protein.

That is my new favorite food blog.  Not only do I love how she budgets ingredients and gives you the cost of the meal and individual servings, I really just like her recipes.  I made two of them over the weekend (yakisoba and ricotta gnocci), plus the microwave tortilla chips - brilliant!  We ate the chips with some homemade hummus and it was SO good.

I think my food spending will go down quite a bit now that I am using that site - it makes a lot of cost-saving practices seem more achievable. (I had no idea preparing dried beans could be so easy, for example.)  Great recommendation!



Sebastian

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Re: Grocery expenses for the month!!
« Reply #16 on: March 04, 2014, 03:06:02 PM »
Well, ok here goes:

For January and February, we averaged $350/week for groceries -- which is $1400 a month for 10 people (4 adults, 3 teens, 3 under age 10) 

(MOD EDIT at OP request): Due to being Injured, My husband has been to the grocery store for me and bought us LOTS of easy meals/convenience foods to help us cope while I'm laid up like this. Soooo....this may not be a realistic picture of our actual spending on groceries. We shall see as the months progress.

Honestly for that many people that doesn't seem crazy high. Now that have actually seen how much you spent that month. I think it'll be easier to get it lower and lower. I think the biggest thing that helped me and my fiance was going vegetarian. I used to be big into lifting and dieting like crazy. I'd spend 400/month on meat just for myself!! I have a crazy high metabolism so since I stopped lifting and went veggie I've lost like 25lbs but I don't really care about looking like a meat head anymore.

I care about beefing up my pocket book more :)

Track your groceries this month and give us an update at the end of the month! You'll make it :)
« Last Edit: April 01, 2014, 07:32:39 AM by swick »

wild wendella

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Re: Grocery expenses for the month!!
« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2014, 03:43:44 PM »
Wow.  $300. good for you!  I have also tracked all food items I purchased in February, and I got our grocery budget (for two adults and one 18 month old) down to (drum roll.....) $260 a week, from about $360 a week.  Not remotely bad-ass, but I'm not sure that I want to compromise much further.  I'm committed to 100% organic, grass-fed, hormone-free, yadda-yadda.  While I did buy dried black beans and lentils this past week, I also bought lamb, brisket, pork, salmon, and lots of chicken.  I've started doing half of the shopping at normal grocery store (rather than 100% at 'Whole Paycheck'), and only shopping every other week to save gas and time. 

I do realize that organic blueberries are expensive and out of season, but I buy a small amount because I want the variety in my baby's diet.  Same thing with organic asparagus and many other non frugal purchases.   

OK, this whole post is just sounding complainy-pants.  Maybe you'll inspire me to chip away at the grocery bill a little further.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2014, 06:58:31 PM by wild wendella »

Miamoo

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Re: Grocery expenses for the month!!
« Reply #18 on: March 05, 2014, 10:22:00 AM »
I've been montoring our grocery expenses to in order to reduce them.
My problem is that I buy things that are on sale but aren't on my list. It totally blows out my budget when I stock up on $20 worth of an item because they are $1.50 off. The food doesn't get wasted but the budget doesn't like it when there are specials that I stumble across.

Same here so this year, since I'm so stocked up . . . I'm trying to cut way back on sale/stock up items and have a white board up on the basement door where I record every purchase.  For 2013 I spent $6,141.00 or $118/week for 2 scrawny old adults that eat like hogs.  $2,300.00 of that was for organic meat from a local farmer & Wild Caught Alaskan Salmon (pm me for the source if you're interested, I'm all for promoting this small business).  $1,500 - $2,000 or so of the $6,100 is shared with family & neighbors.  I'll keep sharing but seriously have to STOP freezer & pantry hoarding.

So far for 2014 . . .

January $412.00 (but $290 of that was 25#'s organic raisins, 25#'s walnuts. 10#'s organic honey, 4.5#'s organic oat bran, a 32 oz jug of molasses)
February $264.00 (but local grocery store had fresh asparagus & broccoli for .99/#, Chicken of the Sea Tuna for .49/can, 1-1/2 dozen eggs at $1.19/carton)
March (so far) $10.  For milk, bananas & some kale.  I know, we're only one week into March.  With all we have stashed in the pantry & freezer I want to keep March at that $10/week for just milk & bananas tho.  Same for April and possibly May.  Just milk and produce.

DH eats so many bananas . . . wish we could grow a banana tree.

Can you set aside in your budget for unforseen stock up items?  Since ya just never know . . .

$1.50 off of $20.00 = about 8%.  So 8 cents/dollar.  Adds up.

My goal for 2014 is $75.00/week.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2014, 11:00:02 AM by Miamoo »

Ftao93

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Re: Grocery expenses for the month!!
« Reply #19 on: March 05, 2014, 03:25:18 PM »
with some fairly significant nonsense, over the past 3 months we've averaged $210/mo for the past 90 days.

I think I can beat this! :P

MinimalistMoustache

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Re: Grocery expenses for the month!!
« Reply #20 on: March 05, 2014, 10:41:29 PM »
Well, ok here goes:

For January and February, we averaged $350/week for groceries -- which is $1400 a month for 10 people (4 adults, 3 teens, 3 under age 10) 


(MOD EDIT at OP request): Due to being injured,
My husband has been to the grocery store for me and bought us LOTS of easy meals/convenience foods to help us cope while I'm laid up like this. Soooo....this may not be a realistic picture of our actual spending on groceries. We shall see as the months progress.

That is only $35 per person each week. And sounds like you a few challenges; Nothing like an injury to impact  a routine. I agree with SethBaHookey -- give yourself time to heal and see where the next few months comes in.

Hope you are feeling better soon!
« Last Edit: April 01, 2014, 07:33:48 AM by swick »

Babymoustache

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Re: Grocery expenses for the month!!
« Reply #21 on: March 06, 2014, 12:36:43 AM »
Awesome work dude!

clarkfan1979

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Re: Grocery expenses for the month!!
« Reply #22 on: March 08, 2014, 01:18:01 PM »
My wife and I splurge on groceries at the amount of $425/month. When we eat really good at home, we don't get the itch to go out to dinner. When we go out to dinner we sometimes regret our decision because we could have made something at home that was healthier, better tasting and cheaper. We sometimes make an effort to cook things together so it's shared time with each other and not a chore. We probably spend $50 every other week on a dinner.

Miamoo

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Re: Grocery expenses for the month!!
« Reply #23 on: April 05, 2014, 02:17:25 PM »
I've been montoring our grocery expenses to in order to reduce them.
My problem is that I buy things that are on sale but aren't on my list. It totally blows out my budget when I stock up on $20 worth of an item because they are $1.50 off. The food doesn't get wasted but the budget doesn't like it when there are specials that I stumble across.

Same here so this year, since I'm so stocked up . . . I'm trying to cut way back on sale/stock up items and have a white board up on the basement door where I record every purchase.  For 2013 I spent $6,141.00 or $118/week for 2 scrawny old adults that eat like hogs.  $2,300.00 of that was for organic meat from a local farmer & Wild Caught Alaskan Salmon (pm me for the source if you're interested, I'm all for promoting this small business).  $1,500 - $2,000 or so of the $6,100 is shared with family & neighbors.  I'll keep sharing but seriously have to STOP freezer & pantry hoarding.

So far for 2014 . . .

January $412.00 (but $290 of that was 25#'s organic raisins, 25#'s walnuts. 10#'s organic honey, 4.5#'s organic oat bran, a 32 oz jug of molasses)
February $264.00 (but local grocery store had fresh asparagus & broccoli for .99/#, Chicken of the Sea Tuna for .49/can, 1-1/2 dozen eggs at $1.19/carton)
March (so far) $10.  For milk, bananas & some kale.  I know, we're only one week into March.  With all we have stashed in the pantry & freezer I want to keep March at that $10/week for just milk & bananas tho.  Same for April and possibly May.  Just milk and produce.

DH eats so many bananas . . . wish we could grow a banana tree.

Can you set aside in your budget for unforseen stock up items?  Since ya just never know . . .

$1.50 off of $20.00 = about 8%.  So 8 cents/dollar.  Adds up.

My goal for 2014 is $75.00/week.

Still trying to keep from impulsively buying sale/stock up items.  While March should have been only maybe $100 total, it was $310.00.  April looks worse already as I put in a deposit with the farmer for 1/4 cow & 1/2 hog.  April is going to look really bad as well as July & August when we pick up the butchered meat and pay the balance.

I will keep my white board up and keep tracking each month.  For me, tracking by the month and then totaling up year end is going to work better.

Found notes and in 2011 spent $6,456.00/year.  That was before prices had risen to 2013 numbers so I can see that thru gardening, canning & freezing we have saved some $.

I'm no where near as detailed as other of y'all are in the breakdowns.  (Fascinating)

Does anyone else think like I do?  Track it for the year and then average?

samburger

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Re: Grocery expenses for the month!!
« Reply #24 on: April 09, 2014, 10:26:53 AM »
Does anyone else think like I do?  Track it for the year and then average?

I am not nearly responsible enough to do that. I HAVE to have a weekly or monthly numerical limit to stop myself from rationalizing excessive food purchases. I would literally spend $1,000/mo on food (for two vegetarians!) if the FIRE math would let me.