Author Topic: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget  (Read 31829 times)

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #400 on: April 15, 2018, 07:13:12 PM »
I need to share -- I had another sub $650 grocery month.  This time only $580!! and $40 of that was for hazelnuts  and supplies for my mom's special birthday cake and dinner.

Whoo Hoo.   That's roughly equivalent to $225 for two adults, in US dollars.. not even adjusting for the higher per pound meat, dairy and produce pricing here.   I did not think it was possible, and we did it without too much effort.

Thanks, AP for the inspiration.

What was different? 
1)  A lot less food in the fridge..  less to waste, less choice at one time.  Salsa was the only condiment I bought.
2)  Bought a huge ham for Easter, and we ate off of it for two weeks.  (The last of it / bone is in the bean pot now).   It was the pricier ham with the bone, but many many meals.
3)  Cooked a turkey -- and made many meals out of it.
4)  Cooked a large pork loin --  ditto
5)  Cooked  3 roast chickens  (I only get 6 servings per chicken however, so only one meal each and two lunches)
6)  Did not buy a lot of variety for veg / fruit, unless super sale, (Broccoli, carrots, onions, squash, potatoes, froz veg, apple, banana, cabbage, that's about it) did not buy much bread (made half of it) and we ate a lot of rice and pasta and potatoes as sides, etc.
7) Taught  teenage son how to make bean burritos, and we will make it again tonight, for school lunches.   Keeps him off the frozen pizza / frozen prepared foods, or eating a lot of the more expensive foods in the fridge.

Kudos to you, Goldielocks! Fine work keeping waste to a minimum, and capitalizing on the versatility of the ham/turkey/pork loin. And +1 for teaching how to make cheap, healthy, filling lunches!

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #401 on: April 15, 2018, 09:19:24 PM »
Leftovers for dinner tonight. I added a tomato, some lettuce, and a couple slices of bread to round it out, so total cost is probably <$.50. I did sandwiches, mainly, using the leftover chicken breast. Sorry, no pics today.




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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #402 on: April 16, 2018, 09:10:53 AM »
I would like to just take a minute and rave about my Instant Pot. I know that it happens to be the hip and trendy kitchen gadget right now, and I really don't like being on a bandwagon. But it is pretty much amazing. I use it at LEAST 3 times a week, if not daily. It cooks rice perfectly. It cooks beans from dry to tender in 90 minutes. I can cook lentils with it in 30 minutes. I used it to steam/boil potatoes for mashed potatoes-- again, 30 min to done instead of boiling on the stovetop for an hour. I can make perfect hard-boiled eggs in 12 min from "put them in the pot" to "peel and eat". I can also use it as a slow-cooker/crockpot, which is handy for doing large roasts that need a low-and-slow cooking style to come out perfectly tender and juicy. I can use it as a warming pot for serving soup/chili/stew at a party.

I had my doubts, and was hesitant to spend $90 on a kitchen appliance that I had zero experience with, and no real-life observation of its operation. But now that I have it, I use it almost. every. day.
No experience with other brands of automatic pressure cookers, but we've been happy with the Instant Pot I gave DW for Christmas. I got it in a cyber Monday deal for about as much as many of the competitors (I think was notified about the deal on these forums). My sister gave one to Mom the same Christmas and Mom liked it so much she bought a second when she found it on sale later. I like that it can function as a rice cooker or slow cooker if desired - replacing both with one similar sized appliance that also has a pressure cooking feature. The only issue we've had is it doesn't seem to be as good at delayed rice cooking as the dedicated rice cooker. I'm guessing that the dedicated rice cooker makes some cooking adjustments for the soaking time that the instant pot does not make.

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #403 on: April 16, 2018, 07:39:00 PM »
Potatoes, potatoes...what to do with potatoes? Some days I just draw a blank for ideas that aren't exactly the same thing every week. So I cast around in my mind, and did a few google searches for "meat and potatoes flavour profiles" and "mashed potato entree"...and decided to try shepherd's pie.



Ground beef: $1.80
Onion: $.11
Garlic: $.10
Celery: $.20
Peas: $1
Potatoes: $.40

Total dinner cost = $3.61 plus a bit of cornstarch to thicken the gravy. I wasn't sure it'd come out super great, but as it turned out-- it got two thumbs up from the kids, so that's a definite win. Also, it turned out to fill up my 11"x13" pan, so there are tons of leftovers. Mmmm.

Basenji

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #404 on: April 16, 2018, 07:47:00 PM »
Ooh, looks like I have some reading to do here. I may not get down to $200 but I sure like having some good ideas. Thanks for this thread!

Goldielocks

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #405 on: April 16, 2018, 07:55:31 PM »
Potatoes, potatoes...what to do with potatoes? Some days I just draw a blank for ideas that aren't exactly the same thing every week. So I cast around in my mind, and did a few google searches for "meat and potatoes flavour profiles" and "mashed potato entree"...and decided to try shepherd's pie.



Ground beef: $1.80
Onion: $.11
Garlic: $.10
Celery: $.20
Peas: $1
Potatoes: $.40

Total dinner cost = $3.61 plus a bit of cornstarch to thicken the gravy. I wasn't sure it'd come out super great, but as it turned out-- it got two thumbs up from the kids, so that's a definite win. Also, it turned out to fill up my 11"x13" pan, so there are tons of leftovers. Mmmm.

AHA!  I know potatoes... and cheap recipes using them..

Potato Pie -- like a meat pie using potatoes (and maybe eggs) instead of meat.
Pirogies
Mashed potato patties fried in a cast iron pan.  (my favorite, usually using leftovers).  I may add peas or veg, too, or have them on the side.
Boiled potatoes topped with sour cream
Shepard's pie
Scalloped potatoes with ham (and corn)

Fries, baked potatoe, twice baked with cheese, etc.

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #406 on: April 16, 2018, 11:02:14 PM »
Potatoes, potatoes...what to do with potatoes? Some days I just draw a blank for ideas that aren't exactly the same thing every week. So I cast around in my mind, and did a few google searches for "meat and potatoes flavour profiles" and "mashed potato entree"...and decided to try shepherd's pie.

**

Ground beef: $1.80
Onion: $.11
Garlic: $.10
Celery: $.20
Peas: $1
Potatoes: $.40

Total dinner cost = $3.61 plus a bit of cornstarch to thicken the gravy. I wasn't sure it'd come out super great, but as it turned out-- it got two thumbs up from the kids, so that's a definite win. Also, it turned out to fill up my 11"x13" pan, so there are tons of leftovers. Mmmm.

AHA!  I know potatoes... and cheap recipes using them..

Potato Pie -- like a meat pie using potatoes (and maybe eggs) instead of meat.
Pirogies
Mashed potato patties fried in a cast iron pan.  (my favorite, usually using leftovers).  I may add peas or veg, too, or have them on the side.
Boiled potatoes topped with sour cream
Shepard's pie
Scalloped potatoes with ham (and corn)

Fries, baked potatoe, twice baked with cheese, etc.

Yay! The tricky thing for me in trying to come up with potato recipes (that actually taste good) is that Kiddo is dairy-free. Which means that cheese is out, *creamy* mashed potatoes are out, scalloped potatoes are out....it's kiiiind of depressing, and I'm sort of glad for him that he has no idea what he's missing out on. :(

I've never tried potato pie (or meat pie, for that matter, unless you count chicken pot pie). I've also never tried pirogies. I would be happy to look at your recipes if you have any. I've actually done mashed potato pancakes with leftovers before, and the kids rate those pretty highly! I think shepherd's pie will make a more regular appearance in the menu rotation; with a bit more prep, it shouldn't take quite so long to get it on the table as it did tonight.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2018, 06:10:21 AM by APowers »

savedough

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #407 on: April 16, 2018, 11:14:08 PM »
The dairy free recipe void for potatoes!   I, too, have a dairy free child and he loves make your own baked potato with dairy free butter, bacon, broccoli and black olives.  Weird but it works for him.   I also fry them, make potato bread rolls, breakfast burritos or shepherds pie.   

Roadrunner53

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #408 on: April 17, 2018, 04:45:45 AM »

CrustyBadger

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #409 on: April 17, 2018, 05:46:46 AM »
Yay! The tricky thing for me in trying to come up with potato recipes (that actually taste good) is that Kiddo is dairy-free. Which means that cheese is out, *creamy* mashed potatoes are out, scalloped potatoes are out....it's kiiiind of depressing, and I'm sort of glad for him that he has no idea what he's missing out on. :(

I've never tried potatoe pie (or meat pie, for that matter, unless you count chicken pot pie). I've also never tried pirogies. I would be happy to look at your recipes if you have any. I've actually done mashed potato pancakes with leftovers before, and the kids rate those pretty highly!

Are eggs OK?   This is a KILLER potato pancake recipe. It mixes mashed and shredded potatoes for an awesome texture my picky eaters really love: 

http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/killer-potato-latkes


couponvan

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #410 on: April 17, 2018, 05:55:12 AM »
If this wasn't the sub $200 grocery thread I would recommend vegan cheese for the potatoes.

What about latkes with pork and applesauce?  I'm sure there are some dairy free alternatives for those. Like this one:

https://www.jesselanewellness.com/recipes/gluten-free-latkes/

Or getting a spiralizer and doing shoestring potatoes.

Or making potato gnocchi dairy free (probably too pricey for the $200 thread to get the ingredients).
http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/dairy-free-homemade-gnocchi-499352
Why the hell are we going shopping? Buy sh*t, return other sh*t, go through sh*t and donate sh*t. Complain about having too much sh*t. Repeat. (Bracken Joy 2/17)




APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #411 on: April 17, 2018, 06:52:33 AM »
Can you use almond milk or cashew milk?

https://www.thespruce.com/best-non-dairy-milk-alternatives-1000954

I can use non-dairy milk. I don't always have it on hand, though, since it tends to be expensive unless it's on a really good sale. And it's not really creamy the way real milk/cream/sour cream is, so I'd almost rather suffer through less-than potatoes, and save the almond milk for Kiddo to eat with cereal.

Yay! The tricky thing for me in trying to come up with potato recipes (that actually taste good) is that Kiddo is dairy-free. Which means that cheese is out, *creamy* mashed potatoes are out, scalloped potatoes are out....it's kiiiind of depressing, and I'm sort of glad for him that he has no idea what he's missing out on. :(

I've never tried potatoe pie (or meat pie, for that matter, unless you count chicken pot pie). I've also never tried pirogies. I would be happy to look at your recipes if you have any. I've actually done mashed potato pancakes with leftovers before, and the kids rate those pretty highly!

Are eggs OK?   This is a KILLER potato pancake recipe. It mixes mashed and shredded potatoes for an awesome texture my picky eaters really love: 

http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/killer-potato-latkes

Eggs are fine. Kiddo is just no milk products and no gluten. That latke recipe looks like it uses breadcrumbs (gluten); but even if I substituted something, it still seems like a really labour-intensive process with boiling and grating and food-processing all just for some pancakes. To be honest, I'm pretty lazy, and it just sounds like too much work for me, lol!

If this wasn't the sub $200 grocery thread I would recommend vegan cheese for the potatoes.

What about latkes with pork and applesauce?  I'm sure there are some dairy free alternatives for those. Like this one:

https://www.jesselanewellness.com/recipes/gluten-free-latkes/

Or getting a spiralizer and doing shoestring potatoes.

Or making potato gnocchi dairy free (probably too pricey for the $200 thread to get the ingredients).
http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/dairy-free-homemade-gnocchi-499352

Yes, vegan cheese. I keep thinking I might try it, but it's just so expensive. We do have a container of nutritional yeast which we call "cheesy flakes", but we bought that ages ago (before we moved to CO), and I have absolutely no idea where I'd get more, so I don't really want to use large quantities of it to make some kind of "cheesy sauce".

I've done hashbrowns before, which are just latkes with fewer steps....but it's the "wring the water out of the grated potatoes" step that I get hung up on. I mean, it's no big deal if you're only making 4 potatoes worth, but it's a bit more hassle when you're trying to wring out 3-4lbs of grated potatoes. I just haven't figured out a good way or a tool I can improvise to make quick and easy work of it.

I like the idea of shoestring potatoes, but deep frying uses SO much oil.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2018, 06:55:46 AM by APowers »

mountain mustache

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #412 on: April 17, 2018, 07:03:21 AM »
Can you use almond milk or cashew milk?

https://www.thespruce.com/best-non-dairy-milk-alternatives-1000954

I can use non-dairy milk. I don't always have it on hand, though, since it tends to be expensive unless it's on a really good sale. And it's not really creamy the way real milk/cream/sour cream is, so I'd almost rather suffer through less-than potatoes, and save the almond milk for Kiddo to eat with cereal.

Yay! The tricky thing for me in trying to come up with potato recipes (that actually taste good) is that Kiddo is dairy-free. Which means that cheese is out, *creamy* mashed potatoes are out, scalloped potatoes are out....it's kiiiind of depressing, and I'm sort of glad for him that he has no idea what he's missing out on. :(

I've never tried potatoe pie (or meat pie, for that matter, unless you count chicken pot pie). I've also never tried pirogies. I would be happy to look at your recipes if you have any. I've actually done mashed potato pancakes with leftovers before, and the kids rate those pretty highly!

Are eggs OK?   This is a KILLER potato pancake recipe. It mixes mashed and shredded potatoes for an awesome texture my picky eaters really love: 

http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/killer-potato-latkes

Eggs are fine. Kiddo is just no milk products and no gluten. That latke recipe looks like it uses breadcrumbs (gluten); but even if I substituted something, it still seems like a really labour-intensive process with boiling and grating and food-processing all just for some pancakes. To be honest, I'm pretty lazy, and it just sounds like too much work for me, lol!

If this wasn't the sub $200 grocery thread I would recommend vegan cheese for the potatoes.

What about latkes with pork and applesauce?  I'm sure there are some dairy free alternatives for those. Like this one:

https://www.jesselanewellness.com/recipes/gluten-free-latkes/

Or getting a spiralizer and doing shoestring potatoes.

Or making potato gnocchi dairy free (probably too pricey for the $200 thread to get the ingredients).
http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/dairy-free-homemade-gnocchi-499352

Yes, vegan cheese. I keep thinking I might try it, but it's just so expensive. We do have a container of nutritional yeast which we call "cheesy flakes", but we bought that ages ago (before we moved to CO), and I have absolutely no idea where I'd get more, so I don't really want to use large quantities of it to make some kind of "cheesy sauce".

I've done hashbrowns before, which are just latkes with fewer steps....but it's the "wring the water out of the grated potatoes" step that I get hung up on. I mean, it's no big deal if you're only making 4 potatoes worth, but it's a bit more hassle when you're trying to wring out 3-4lbs of grated potatoes. I just haven't figured out a good way or a tool I can improvise to make quick and easy work of it.

I like the idea of shoestring potatoes, but deep frying uses SO much oil.

For mashed potatoes, you could do some full fat coconut milk (in the can), which is usually much less expensive than non-dairy milks, and a little goes a long way to making things creamy.  Nutritional yeast is my favorite thing, as a dairy free person, to put on almost anything. Baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, any place where I would normally put shredded cheese, or parmesan. You can get it at Sprouts, it's not extremely cheap, but a little goes a long way and it lasts forever. It's also super nutritious!!

Most dairy free cheeses I find pretty meh. I like Daiya shredded cheese if I'm going to have a pizza night with friends. It melts the best, and tastes closest to real cheese. But it has literally 0 nutritional value. I buy a few bags when it is on sale at Sprouts, and stash them in the freezer, only to be taken out at special occasions. There's also an almond cheese at Sprouts that is pretty good, it actually has about 7 grams of protein per serving, so closer to "real" cheese. I eat that by the slice, I think it's tasty and has a good cheese texture. But, again I only buy it on sale, and stash it away for every once in a while. I don't really find it can be a "staple" in keeping a low cost food budget.

the_fixer

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #413 on: April 17, 2018, 07:08:40 AM »
I believe you posted some Curry stuff in the past I recently made this out of leftover cocunut curry and potatoes, added some broccoli.

Honestly I figured it would be horrible but it was amazing all of the flavors work so well and the broccoli gave it a hearty meat quality.

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couponvan

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #414 on: April 17, 2018, 07:58:25 AM »
For latkes, if you have a salad spinner that works and doesn't throw out too many potato skins.  It's not as perfect as using clean dish towels, but it is fast.  I think latkes are 100% worth the effort - yum with applesauce for kids....
Why the hell are we going shopping? Buy sh*t, return other sh*t, go through sh*t and donate sh*t. Complain about having too much sh*t. Repeat. (Bracken Joy 2/17)




APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #415 on: April 17, 2018, 08:04:16 AM »
For latkes, if you have a salad spinner that works and doesn't throw out too many potato skins.  It's not as perfect as using clean dish towels, but it is fast.  I think latkes are 100% worth the effort - yum with applesauce for kids....

I don't think I've ever owned a salad spinner in my whole life. I don't even think my Mom ever had one when I was a kid, lol. I might try one if I find one for cheap in the thrift store.

robartsd

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #416 on: April 17, 2018, 08:48:33 AM »
I've done hashbrowns before, which are just latkes with fewer steps....but it's the "wring the water out of the grated potatoes" step that I get hung up on. I mean, it's no big deal if you're only making 4 potatoes worth, but it's a bit more hassle when you're trying to wring out 3-4lbs of grated potatoes. I just haven't figured out a good way or a tool I can improvise to make quick and easy work of it.
I didn't know there was a "wring the water out of the grated potatoes" step. I grew up in a large family (8 kids). Potatoes were grated and placed in a large colander to await being fried up on the stovetop 2-3 skillets at once. Cooked potato patties were placed in the oven to keep warm while the next batch cooked. Our hash browns were usually a bit soggy and grey, but we still liked them.

savedough

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #417 on: April 17, 2018, 10:54:25 AM »
Nutritional yeast is pretty cheap in bulk at any granola type health food store.  Dairy-free cheese is just NO!   I don't like to use coconut milk peronsally because then my mashed potatoes taste like coconut, but cashew milk and pea plant milk are very good in them.

I don't think I'm in the right place because with three strapping boys and a 6'4" husband (plus a full-time job), I don't know that I could do a sub-$200 month.    Maybe if I psych myself up...

Goldielocks

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #418 on: April 17, 2018, 01:01:56 PM »
I have a couple of scalloped potato recipes that primarily use flavoured chicken stock, then just end with a splash of cream and a sprinkle of cheese.  I bet they would be good without the dairy.

The key for eliminating the nice fatty dairy may be to use homemade chicken stock, that you don't skim all the fat off of..   You make your own, so you know what I am talking about here..!

Alternate Sliced potatoes and sliced onions, in a large, foil lined, greased, rectanglar (like a jelly roll) pan, top with chicken stock to almost cover (seasons stock with thyme, savory, salt, pepper). Dot with butter / other fat.  Top with diced ham (optional).  Bake on low oven for a long time until the potatoes are soft and most of the stock has been absorbed / evaporated, and the top edges start to brown and crisp up a bit.   Eat.

CrustyBadger

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #419 on: April 17, 2018, 02:44:43 PM »
Eggs are fine. Kiddo is just no milk products and no gluten. That latke recipe looks like it uses breadcrumbs (gluten); but even if I substituted something, it still seems like a really labour-intensive process with boiling and grating and food-processing all just for some pancakes. To be honest, I'm pretty lazy, and it just sounds like too much work for me, lol!

Yeah, it is a potato pancake recipe for a special occasion, not for everyday.  But, it is REALLY yummy!   You can use cracker crumbs from any gluten free cracker for the breadcrumbs as a binder.   I do have a potato ricer, so the mashed potatoes are easy for me; I don't have a food processor though so I just use a blender.  But I also have two teens to do all the grating for me!

couponvan

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #420 on: April 17, 2018, 05:32:33 PM »
I like using my salad spinner as the salad bowl, and it really does make a difference in crisping up the lettuce to wash it and chill it more. I didn’t buy my spinner-it was a gift from my MIL.

What about potato chowder? Or potato shepherds/cottage pie?  Probably higher effort than you want, but they do freeze well if you batch them. For chowder I leave out the dairy until I thaw it.
Why the hell are we going shopping? Buy sh*t, return other sh*t, go through sh*t and donate sh*t. Complain about having too much sh*t. Repeat. (Bracken Joy 2/17)




APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #421 on: April 17, 2018, 08:18:42 PM »
Just did leftovers for dinner, so dinner cost = $0 plus a bit of sriracha and sour cream.

Mtngrl

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #422 on: April 18, 2018, 06:06:25 PM »

[Or making potato gnocchi dairy free (probably too pricey for the $200 thread to get the ingredients).
http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/dairy-free-homemade-gnocchi-499352[/quote]

Yes, vegan cheese. I keep thinking I might try it, but it's just so expensive. We do have a container of nutritional yeast which we call "cheesy flakes", but we bought that ages ago (before we moved to CO), and I have absolutely no idea where I'd get more, so I don't really want to use large quantities of it to make some kind of "cheesy sauce".


[/quote]

It's been a few years since I've lived on the front range, but I'm pretty sure you can get nutritional yeast at Sprouts in the bulk bin section. Might be worth price checking.

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #423 on: April 19, 2018, 06:52:18 PM »
Wednesday was pasta night





Pasta: $1.00
Ham: $.75
Lettuce: $.20

Total dinner cost = $1.95 plus a bit of mayo. I chopped my lettuce and ham and added a smidge of garlic and paprika for a pasta salad-ish something.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tonight was beans night, and we did burrito/tacos.



Tortillas: $.60
Beans: $.84
Cheese: $.50
Lettuce: $.20
Onion: $.11
Tomato: $.25
Sour cream: $.10

Total dinner cost = $2.60 plus a bit of salsa and cilantro from the freezer.

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #424 on: April 19, 2018, 08:12:20 PM »
Also did a grocery errand to Safeway on Thursday:



Black beans: $.78
Kidney beans: $3.12
Garbanzo beans: $.78
Tomato sauce: $0 (free monopoly ticket coupons)
Milk: $1.99

Total receipt = $6.67. Beans were $.39/can, which is still not a great price for regular (i.e., pinto) beans, but for beans that I don't often find for cheap, it's not terrible. Garbanzos will almost certainly end up as hummus, and the black and kidney beans will probably end up in some kind of curry or bean salad or something where pinto beans would be "boring".
« Last Edit: April 19, 2018, 10:19:25 PM by APowers »

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #425 on: April 20, 2018, 02:46:04 AM »
39 cents a can for black beans sounds awfully good to me. I stock up when they're under a dollar.

Made a cauliflower curry yesterday with chickpeas ($A0.73 a can), frozen peas, coconut milk ($A0.89 a can), some curry paste/garlic/tomato paste and a few onions. Goes really well with rice.

Yes, I cook an awful lot of things in a wok.



APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #426 on: April 20, 2018, 06:03:07 AM »
39 cents a can for black beans sounds awfully good to me. I stock up when they're under a dollar.

Made a cauliflower curry yesterday with chickpeas ($A0.73 a can), frozen peas, coconut milk ($A0.89 a can), some curry paste/garlic/tomato paste and a few onions. Goes really well with rice.

Yes, I cook an awful lot of things in a wok.

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Don't forget that I'm talking US$ and you're talking AU$. Your $1/can is my $.77/can.

Cooked beans are ~3x the size of dry beans; I'm pretty sure that I can buy dry black beans very easily for 99˘/lb, so cans have to be pretty close to 3/$1 to be comparable. But even that is beside the point. The way I look at it from a food budget point of view is this: I can get nutritionally equivalent (but boring) pinto beans for 50˘/lb dry-- which is like 17˘/can; so black beans for 39˘ is like paying a 22˘/can premium for a variety in colour/shape (and a bit of different flavour). Is that variance in colour worth the extra cost? If I were only feeding myself-- the answer would be "no", because I'm okay with my food being the same every day for months on end; but I'm also cooking for SO and the kids, and they are way less motivated by saving 22˘/can vs eating the same kind of beans every week, so I splurge the extra for their sakes.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #427 on: April 20, 2018, 07:23:57 PM »
39 cents a can for black beans sounds awfully good to me. I stock up when they're under a dollar.

Made a cauliflower curry yesterday with chickpeas ($A0.73 a can), frozen peas, coconut milk ($A0.89 a can), some curry paste/garlic/tomato paste and a few onions. Goes really well with rice.

Yes, I cook an awful lot of things in a wok.

[IMG]

Don't forget that I'm talking US$ and you're talking AU$. Your $1/can is my $.77/can.

Cooked beans are ~3x the size of dry beans; I'm pretty sure that I can buy dry black beans very easily for 99˘/lb, so cans have to be pretty close to 3/$1 to be comparable. But even that is beside the point. The way I look at it from a food budget point of view is this: I can get nutritionally equivalent (but boring) pinto beans for 50˘/lb dry-- which is like 17˘/can; so black beans for 39˘ is like paying a 22˘/can premium for a variety in colour/shape (and a bit of different flavour). Is that variance in colour worth the extra cost? If I were only feeding myself-- the answer would be "no", because I'm okay with my food being the same every day for months on end; but I'm also cooking for SO and the kids, and they are way less motivated by saving 22˘/can vs eating the same kind of beans every week, so I splurge the extra for their sakes.

Yeah black beans and red kidney beans are about the same price dried here ($5-6/kg, which is about $US2/lb IIRC). It's just that black beans (and pinto) aren't quite as common here and there's no generic brand black beans (often they're over in the 'Mexican' section of the supermarket instead of with the other beans), so the normal price is about $1.95 a can for the brand name ones, instead of $0.75-0.80 for generic brand red kidney beans. I'll still buy them when they're on special though.

I don't mind spending a bit extra on some ingredients, price isn't everything :)

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #428 on: April 20, 2018, 10:06:01 PM »
Lentils night. I made a double batch, so I can put some more up in the freezer.



Lentil soup (onions, garlic, carrots, celery, lentils, chicken broth, seasonings): $3.50
Tortilla chips: $0 (leftover)
Watermelon for dessert: $1.00

Total dinner cost = $4.50. Made a giant pot full, so there will likely be two dinner-sized batches to go in the freezer, plus some leftovers for Sunday.

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #429 on: April 20, 2018, 10:33:53 PM »
Did a Sprouts errand today, too:



Lettuce: $.99
Green pepper: $1.00
Corn (6 ears): $1.00
Watermelon: $3.96
Canteloupe: $2.00

Total receipt = $8.95. I don't know who's growing watermelons that are ripe in April, but for $1.98? Yes, please. Also, it seems a bit early for corn, but again, the price is right.


dragoncar

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #430 on: April 21, 2018, 03:41:20 AM »
Inspiring

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #431 on: April 21, 2018, 10:22:38 PM »
Sandwiches for dinner tonight:



Bread: $.99
Cold cuts: $3.33
Cheese: $.50
Green pepper: $.50
Tomato: $.25
Onion: $.11
Lettuce: $.25
Watermelon for dessert: $0

Total dinner cost = $5.93.

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #432 on: April 22, 2018, 09:00:07 AM »
Stopped in the discount store yesterday:



Bread: $1.98
Pineapple: $1.98
Coconut cream: $2.19

Total receipt = $6.15. The basement remodel is 98% finished, so I'm planning on a "basement warming" party in a few weeks with a pizza menu-- so I'm planning ahead for toppings, hence the pineapple. Also, coconut cream! This is the first time I've even seen it (even counting regular grocery stores!); it was more expensive than I'm willing to pay on a regular basis, but I thought it'd be worth a try-out, to see if it's really worth keeping on the list of things in my head.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2018, 12:08:48 PM by APowers »

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #433 on: April 22, 2018, 09:33:10 PM »
Normally, it's leftovers night on Sundays; but I've got a busy couple weeks of work coming up, so I've been putting all the leftovers in the freezer for future easy dinners.

So tonight I did corn-on-the-cob with chicken and carrots


Chicken: $4.93
Corn: $1.00
Carrots: ~$.60

Total dinner cost = $6.53. SO doesn't like the crispy delicious fatness of the skin, so I get it all to myself hahaaaa! Omnomnomnom. There were 2+ breasts out of 4 left over, so they'll come in handy for some lunches and probably another dinner.

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #434 on: April 23, 2018, 07:28:55 PM »
It's actually Potato Night on Mondays, but I was all prepared to make a giant batch of jambalaya...so that's what I did.



Rice: $.92
Sausage: $1.99
Tomato sauce: $0 (freebie cans)
Garlic: $.15
Onion: $.60
Celery: $.25
Green pepper: $1.00
Tomatoes: $.40

Total dinner cost = $5.31. I made it a triple batch, because I've been doing a "stock up my new freezer" thing, trying to make sure I'm set up with some easy dinners for when the next few weeks get crazy busy again. This recipe gave me 4 dinners' worth to put up. As a note-- I'm recording the cost of these pre-prepped dinner assemblies as I actually make them (i.e., tonight's "total dinner cost" includes all four of these leftover dinners too). So when I go to pull them out of the freezer, you'll see me list out a $0 cost, since it's already been accounted for here.


APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #435 on: April 24, 2018, 09:26:25 PM »
Since I did rice yesterday, I did potatoes today:

Girlie's plate:


Potatoes: $.45
Carrots: $.65
Lettuce: $.20
Chicken: $0 (leftovers)

Total dinner cost: $1.30 plus a bit of homemade ranch. I make my own ranch, because Kiddo is non-dairy; it's not really hard-- ranch is basically just mayo with seasonings, thinned down to a pourable consistency. I add garlic, a bit of salt, pepper, and dill; ideally, I'd also add some onion powder, but I don't have that in my spice cabinet.