Author Topic: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget  (Read 98293 times)

APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 919
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #450 on: April 29, 2018, 11:15:06 PM »
Got my second batch of strawberries into the freezer tonight.



~6lbs of strawberries. I did 5lbs the other day, and I plan to do one more batch before they go off sale.

jim555

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1861
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #451 on: April 30, 2018, 07:27:13 AM »
I do separate out "household" costs (printer ink, foil, batteries, ziplocs), from "toiletries" (soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toilet paper), from "food" (actual food only). So the costs here are only food-- things that we actually eat.
I do the same thing.  Different category for toiletries and household.

the_fixer

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 409
  • Location: Colorado
  • mind on my money money on my mind
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #452 on: April 30, 2018, 08:09:07 PM »
Your post inspired me to look at the sale ads this week and use the king Soopers digital coupons.

~95% of what I would have normally purchased had a coupon and many of the items were already on sale so with just a little effort I saved a bunch of money.

The digital coupons are so easy to use not like the old days where my mom would spend hours clipping them out of the paper and then hold up the line sorting the at the checkout.

THANKS!


Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk


APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 919
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #453 on: April 30, 2018, 09:41:11 PM »
Stopped at Safeway after picking the kids up from school:



Frozen brussels sprouts: $4.25
Frozen broccoli: $4.17 $2.55
Cookies: $0 (freebie coupon)
Dairy-free ice cream: $1.00

Total receipt = $9.42. I got three broccoli and five brussels sprouts-- all of them were listed as eligible for my e-coupon. But did the register catch that? No. Did *I* catch it, as I was scanning the screen to make sure the coupons applied? No. This sort of thing is frustrating. The system applied my $.85/lb coupon to the brussels sprouts, but not the broccoli. AND there was a huge long line, so I felt pressured to make my transaction as quick as possible, and didn't notice that the total was off. So now, I have to remember to take my receipt with me next time I go in, plus talk to the customer service person and get my $.54/bag back. Gah. On the bright side, though, I got some free cookies, and had a coupon for the dairy-free ice cream, which is a very rare treat for Kiddo, so I was very happy to be able to pick it up for a reasonable price.

ETA [5/22]: I finally remembered to bring my receipt in and get a credit for the over-priced broccoli. $1.62 back into the food budget. Yay!
« Last Edit: May 22, 2018, 08:03:23 PM by APowers »

APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 919
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #454 on: April 30, 2018, 10:07:15 PM »
Meals today:

I remembered to snap a couple pictures of my breakfast this morning, for those who may have missed my more in-depth breakfast breakdown towards the beginning of the thread.




I snapped two shots, so you could see the cereal that I buried under the oatmeal; it looks like more than it is, because it's sitting on top of some oats in the bottom of the bowl. A bit of oats, a handful of shredded wheat*, more oats, a bit of brown sugar, and then milk. I usually prefer whole milk over skim, but I think I'm currently using 2%. I don't normally put fruit on top, but I had just finished prepping strawberries for the freezer last night, they were already washed and de-stemmed, and, well, they were delicious.

*I've noticed that I actually don't care if shredded wheat is frosted or not, but SO prefers the frosting, so....I just add a bit less sugar on top.

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

Dinner was....I don't even know, really. Meat and potatoes, I guess.



Potatoes: ~$.35
Ground beef: $1.50
Red pepper: $.50
Orange: $.45
Onion: $.11
Garlic: $.10
Lettuce: $.20
Sour cream: $.10

Total dinner cost = $3.31. Potatoes are potatoes, but I decided to do something different with my meat stir-fry. Instead of garlic/salt/pepper, I did garlic/cumin/turmeric/coriander and then some chili powder in my portion (so as not to scorch the kids). I added in a bit of sour cream to mellow out the heat a bit, and the oranges for some sweet/tartness (probably plain yoghurt would have been more "right"...but I don't think ANY of my cooking is proper cuisine, lol). It was...not bad, actually. It would have been better if I could have simmered the meat in the creaminess, but then Kiddo wouldn't have been able to have any.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2018, 09:20:38 AM by APowers »

APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 919
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #455 on: May 01, 2018, 08:22:56 PM »
End of the month tally for April. Came in well under $200, and I feel pretty good about how much food I have in my freezer-- all those strawberries and pineapple, plus about a week and a half worth of freezer meals ready to pop out and re-heat.


$43.56 --- Safeway [6 visits]
$20.00 --- King Soopers [4 visits]
$36.85 --- Sprouts [3 visits]
$15.64 --- Discount Store [3 visits]
$42.43 --- Costco [2 visits]
$9.48 --- Wal-Mart [1 visits]

$12.96 --- Wendy's (restaurant)
______

$185.53 --- Total Food Spending for April.


$124.70 = January
$210.46 = February ($201.28 if you don't count eating out)
$286.43 = March ($277.78 if you don't count eating out)
$185.53 = April ($172.57 if you don't count eating out)


Also, now that we're four months into the year, I'm going to start including a year-to-date average. I'm hovering closer to my $200 line than I'd like to be, but on the other hand, I've also been filling up the pantry and freezer. I'm certain I have more food on hand now than when I started the year. So I think this average will drop a good bit in the next couple months.

$201.78 = Monthly average (including eating out)
$194.08 =  Monthly average (not counting eating out)
« Last Edit: June 24, 2018, 10:16:15 PM by APowers »

APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 919
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #456 on: May 01, 2018, 09:22:30 PM »
Rice night tonight. Decided to use some of those frozen veggies and do an actual stir-fry.



Rice: $.30
Ground beef: $1.50
Onion: $.20
Garlic: $.10
Carrots: $.30
Broccoli: $1.39
Red/Green pepper: $0 (leftover)
Pineapple: $.10

Total dinner cost = $3.89 plus a small knob of ginger (1"x1"x1"). It turned out pretty good, actually. I would have liked to add some red pepper flakes for a little heat, but Girlie was icking out over the broccoli as it was, so "it's too spicy" might have put it over the top.

APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 919
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #457 on: May 01, 2018, 09:36:40 PM »
Today is the last day of the strawberry sale, so I made another trip to Sprouts for a final batch for the freezer.



Strawberries: $6.16
Tomatoes: $1.08
Fancy tomatoes (1lb): $.98
Celery: $1.29
Lettuce: $.99
Red pepper: $1.00

Total receipt = $11.50. I feel a little bad for buying tomatoes, because when I got home and checked the mail I saw the next Safeway flyer leading with 77/lb for tomatoes. Oh well. I did need some, and I'll probably end up buying some of the cheaper ones too.

Goldielocks

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5805
  • Location: BC
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #458 on: May 02, 2018, 12:09:22 AM »
RE: toiletries question.

I don't have a tiny grocery budget, but I now buy shampoo and toiletries at a different store, so only toilet paper and paper towels and stretch wrap / sandwich bags are in my grocery budget.

But -- since starting with MMM, these are now very low cost expenditures here:
TP and paper towels, hygiene - maybe $4.50 per month?  less?   (paper towels are used for greasy messes, but not much else)
Stretch wrap / parchment / sandwich bags:  $1.50?   (reuse other containers)

Shampoo, toothpaste, soap:  cut back on showering at home, so $8 per month.
Laundry, dishwasher:  Buy lower cost brands, wear clothing more than one day, don't wash towels daily, etc.   $6 per month.

Total: $12 per month.  Family of 4 (adult sized)

APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 919
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #459 on: May 02, 2018, 06:30:30 AM »
RE: toiletries question.

I don't have a tiny grocery budget, but I now buy shampoo and toiletries at a different store, so only toilet paper and paper towels and stretch wrap / sandwich bags are in my grocery budget.

But -- since starting with MMM, these are now very low cost expenditures here:
TP and paper towels, hygiene - maybe $4.50 per month?  less?   (paper towels are used for greasy messes, but not much else)
Stretch wrap / parchment / sandwich bags:  $1.50?   (reuse other containers)

Shampoo, toothpaste, soap:  cut back on showering at home, so $8 per month.
Laundry, dishwasher:  Buy lower cost brands, wear clothing more than one day, don't wash towels daily, etc.   $6 per month.

Total: $12 per month.  Family of 4 (adult sized)

That sounds about right-- I buy a giant bazillion-roll pack of TP at Costco about once a year for $25, we've been using the same roll of plastic wrap for probably years, shampoo is cheap, I haven't bought toothpaste in ages (and when I did I got it as a freebie)...

APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 919
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #460 on: May 02, 2018, 08:40:17 AM »
Made granola bars this morning, and remembered to take pictures and write down the recipe and everything!

6 cups of oats: $.90
2/3 cup of oil: $.37
1/3 cup brown sugar: $.09
2/3 cup water: $0
1 cup peanuts: $.49
1/2 cup craisins: $.26
2 eggs: $.17
(~2 Tbsp?) Cinnamon
(~1 tsp?) Allspice

I think ideally I'd put vanilla extract in as well, but at $35/pint....I'm trying to stretch what I have until the price comes back down from the stratosphere.

The recipe is pretty brainless-- mix everything together and then spread in a greased 9x13 pan and bake at 350F for 35-40 minutes total. I usually pull them out 10 min early to cut them into bars while still warm, then transfer to a larger cookie sheet for the last 10-15 minutes so they can crisp up on the sides as well. Once they're done, put them on a cooling rack so they don't get soggy bottoms from steaming themselves against the pan.

Makes 24 ~1.5oz bars. Total cost = $2.28, which works out to be 9.5/bar (6.3/oz).

Everything in the bowl:


Spread/smooth into pan:


Bake at 350 for 25 minutes, then cut and transfer to cookie sheet:


Bake for 10-15 more minutes, then done:


Transfer to cooling rack, and stylishly arrange a few on a plate so they look fancy:
« Last Edit: May 11, 2018, 08:23:13 PM by APowers »

APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 919
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #461 on: May 02, 2018, 07:53:36 PM »
Dinner tonight was lentil soup from the freezer, plus some fresh baked rolls. Cost = ~$1.00

I also prepped my last batch of strawberries for the freezer, and decided I wanted strawberry something for dessert; so I made some strawberry pie/crisp. Probably another ~$1.

I should have snapped a nice picture, but all I actually got was this (Girlie's crisp topped with lentil-stuffed dinner roll, lol!):

Goldielocks

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5805
  • Location: BC
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #462 on: May 06, 2018, 12:01:59 AM »
I had a "twilight zone" conversation with a woman (single, 50) who had asked me to help her project retirement costs.

She did not know what she currently spent on groceries a month, and when I suggested that we use the default Cdn average of $350 per adult, she did not think that low of an amount was possible because her last grocery bill was $117.  (I mentioned that some are high and others low -- and I know that she cooks her meals and does not buy premade / frozen things.)

I felt like the twilight zone where I realize I am suddenly in another world of perception.


PMG

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1002
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #463 on: May 06, 2018, 12:22:42 AM »
Regarding expensive vanilla, have you tried making your own? It's simple, just just few vanilla beans sliced open and soaking in a bottle of vodka.

Goldielocks

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5805
  • Location: BC
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #464 on: May 06, 2018, 01:44:04 AM »
250 ml  of vodka = $8.64 to $8, 3 vanilla beans $21  ($34 for 5 beans on amazon right now).

250 ml vanilla -- $30 (approx)   That's assuming that 3 beans will do the trick for a cup of extract.

PMG

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1002
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #465 on: May 06, 2018, 01:48:05 AM »
250 ml  of vodka = $8.64 to $8, 3 vanilla beans $21  ($34 for 5 beans on amazon right now).

250 ml vanilla -- $30 (approx)   That's assuming that 3 beans will do the trick for a cup of extract.

Wow.  Its been about three years since I bought beans and I paid around a dollar a bean!

APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 919
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #466 on: May 07, 2018, 07:23:37 AM »
All right. Time to play some catch-up! Sorry for the posting delay-- this last 4 days have been pretty non-stop. No grocery shopping, though, so it's just a dinner report.


Thursday:



It was a kid birthday, and they wanted pizza and ice cream, so we went to Costco for a birthday dinner. Cost = $13.03

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

Friday:

We did dinner at a fancy restaurant. Above my pay grade, but this dinner was actually not for us, per se. I've known and worked for an older couple (i.e., a bit older than my parents) for the last two years, and they've been inordinately helpful and have become friends and mentors. They've pushed me to expand my perspectives and raise my goals higher than I would have ever thought to. So now that my basement remodel is pretty much finished, I invited them over to see what I did with the skills they taught me, and then I took them out to a nice dinner as a way to say "thank you". Cost = $130

I don't count this as part of "food expenses" in my budget-- for two reasons. First, it's a thank you gift, rather than a grocery/cooking substitute (e.g., I could have bought them a restaurant gift card, or a quality household item/tool, and it'd have been the same-- a way to say thank you, and not a way to get out of buying groceries); and second, "eating out" counts as Entertainment. But I list it here, because it is in fact food, and it's what we did. I'm not trying to hide anything here-- you all get to see everything relevant to how my food situation works.

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

Saturday:

Sandwiches for dinner. I worked late, and SO put dinner together. I know she pulled some leftover cold cuts from the freezer for it, so based on past sandwich nights, I'd put the cost at ~$5.

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

Sunday:

Leftovers! We have SO. MANY. LEFTOVERS. in the fridge right now. Lentil soup (I ate the last of this), stir-fry, mashed potatoes, rice....

« Last Edit: May 07, 2018, 07:50:13 AM by APowers »

APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 919
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #467 on: May 07, 2018, 07:49:24 AM »
I had a "twilight zone" conversation with a woman (single, 50) who had asked me to help her project retirement costs.

She did not know what she currently spent on groceries a month, and when I suggested that we use the default Cdn average of $350 per adult, she did not think that low of an amount was possible because her last grocery bill was $117.  (I mentioned that some are high and others low -- and I know that she cooks her meals and does not buy premade / frozen things.)

I felt like the twilight zone where I realize I am suddenly in another world of perception.

It is so weird talking to people who have no idea how much they spend, especially about a category like food/groceries that's pretty clearly definable.

APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 919
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #468 on: May 07, 2018, 07:54:15 AM »
250 ml  of vodka = $8.64 to $8, 3 vanilla beans $21  ($34 for 5 beans on amazon right now).

250 ml vanilla -- $30 (approx)   That's assuming that 3 beans will do the trick for a cup of extract.

Wow.  Its been about three years since I bought beans and I paid around a dollar a bean!

My understanding is that there was a GIANT crop failure in Madagascar a couple years ago, so vanilla supply/demand is all whacked out, and that's why prices are through the roof.


I haven't tried making my own-- I probably should, at some point. Maybe once the prices come back down to normal levels. It'll be a first for me: first time buying vanilla beans, first time making extract, first time buying vodka...

BrightFIRE

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 129
  • Location: Philadelphia
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #469 on: May 07, 2018, 02:00:42 PM »
I had a "twilight zone" conversation with a woman (single, 50) who had asked me to help her project retirement costs.

She did not know what she currently spent on groceries a month, and when I suggested that we use the default Cdn average of $350 per adult, she did not think that low of an amount was possible because her last grocery bill was $117.  (I mentioned that some are high and others low -- and I know that she cooks her meals and does not buy premade / frozen things.)

I felt like the twilight zone where I realize I am suddenly in another world of perception.

It is so weird talking to people who have no idea how much they spend, especially about a category like food/groceries that's pretty clearly definable.

People who don't examine their spending/purchases at all are weird to me. I was at Aldi yesterday sorting through the bags of lemons to make sure I didn't get any bad ones, and a woman walked over, grabbed a bag without even looking at it and walked away. I literally couldn't process it and stood there in shock, going, "But, but, some of them are rotten!" My SO said, "Just think, she saved 20 seconds!"... and wasted several dollars on bad produce.

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5976
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #470 on: May 07, 2018, 03:53:16 PM »
I had a "twilight zone" conversation with a woman (single, 50) who had asked me to help her project retirement costs.

She did not know what she currently spent on groceries a month, and when I suggested that we use the default Cdn average of $350 per adult, she did not think that low of an amount was possible because her last grocery bill was $117.  (I mentioned that some are high and others low -- and I know that she cooks her meals and does not buy premade / frozen things.)

I felt like the twilight zone where I realize I am suddenly in another world of perception.

It is so weird talking to people who have no idea how much they spend, especially about a category like food/groceries that's pretty clearly definable.

People who don't examine their spending/purchases at all are weird to me. I was at Aldi yesterday sorting through the bags of lemons to make sure I didn't get any bad ones, and a woman walked over, grabbed a bag without even looking at it and walked away. I literally couldn't process it and stood there in shock, going, "But, but, some of them are rotten!" My SO said, "Just think, she saved 20 seconds!"... and wasted several dollars on bad produce.
Eh, I'm unable to use all of a bag of lemons before some go bad anyway...

APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 919
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #471 on: May 07, 2018, 04:30:25 PM »
I had a "twilight zone" conversation with a woman (single, 50) who had asked me to help her project retirement costs.

She did not know what she currently spent on groceries a month, and when I suggested that we use the default Cdn average of $350 per adult, she did not think that low of an amount was possible because her last grocery bill was $117.  (I mentioned that some are high and others low -- and I know that she cooks her meals and does not buy premade / frozen things.)

I felt like the twilight zone where I realize I am suddenly in another world of perception.

It is so weird talking to people who have no idea how much they spend, especially about a category like food/groceries that's pretty clearly definable.

People who don't examine their spending/purchases at all are weird to me. I was at Aldi yesterday sorting through the bags of lemons to make sure I didn't get any bad ones, and a woman walked over, grabbed a bag without even looking at it and walked away. I literally couldn't process it and stood there in shock, going, "But, but, some of them are rotten!" My SO said, "Just think, she saved 20 seconds!"... and wasted several dollars on bad produce.
Eh, I'm unable to use all of a bag of lemons before some go bad anyway...
I don't even know what I would use a whole bag of lemons for, unless I was making something special like lemon bars or meringue pie, or some super fancy lemonade.

APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 919
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #472 on: May 07, 2018, 07:11:31 PM »
Went to Safeway this morning:



Milk: $1.99

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

Also, a friend who was leaving town for a week gave me some free food:



5 oreos (the package was almost empty, but still...
1/2 loaf of bread
3/4 of a key lime pie

APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 919
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #473 on: May 07, 2018, 07:29:36 PM »
Dinner tonight was chicken and leftover potatoes.



Chicken: $4.82
Potatoes: $0 (leftovers)
Carrots: ~$.50

Total dinner cost = $5.32 plus a bit of ranch.

Cali

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 159
  • Location: SoCal
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #474 on: May 08, 2018, 05:12:55 AM »
Swung by Big Lots because I was trying to kill time before an appointment.

Bought Lemon Nilla Wafers on clearance for $0.25 a box.
1) Didn't know there was such a thing as LEMON Nilla Wafers.
2) They're not even expiring this year so I don't know why they were on super clearance but I bought them out (4 boxes).
3) They're darn good!

I can't even make the equivalent of one box worth at that price so I'm quite excited about enjoying them for the next couple months.

abhe8

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 483
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #475 on: May 08, 2018, 09:03:50 AM »
I love you posts! Our budget is a little different with a family of seven and I don't have the time for quite as many grocery runs, but I have found ways to optimize. You thread is definitely encouraging me to push myself. Thank you.

APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 919
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #476 on: May 09, 2018, 06:29:23 AM »
Tuesday is rice night, and I still have leftover stir-fry, so did leftovers again. Total cost = ~$.25 for some fresh rice.

Stachetastic

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 681
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #477 on: May 09, 2018, 06:45:56 AM »
Our Big Lots is right next to Goodwill, so I try to hit them up at the same time. Big Lots clearance food is hit and miss, but I've found some amazing deals there, especially on fancy granola bars.

BrightFIRE

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 129
  • Location: Philadelphia
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #478 on: May 10, 2018, 10:55:15 AM »
It is so weird talking to people who have no idea how much they spend, especially about a category like food/groceries that's pretty clearly definable.

People who don't examine their spending/purchases at all are weird to me. I was at Aldi yesterday sorting through the bags of lemons to make sure I didn't get any bad ones, and a woman walked over, grabbed a bag without even looking at it and walked away. I literally couldn't process it and stood there in shock, going, "But, but, some of them are rotten!" My SO said, "Just think, she saved 20 seconds!"... and wasted several dollars on bad produce.
Eh, I'm unable to use all of a bag of lemons before some go bad anyway...
I don't even know what I would use a whole bag of lemons for, unless I was making something special like lemon bars or meringue pie, or some super fancy lemonade.

I admit to being surprised at the casual attitude towards food waste in a sub $200/mo grocery thread. Lemons are expensive! I make salad dressings, marinades, popsicles, etc., and the juice can be frozen. But my point wasn't about lemons, it was about thoughtless wasteful purchasing - I guess I failed to get that across.

Anyway, I've been thinking about the dairy-free mashed potato issue. Some things you could try if you haven't already: use some of the starchy cooking water; use olive oil like the Italians do; use silken tofu. If you save bacon fat, a little bit of that swirled in will keep you from missing butter! (This is  also a great add-in to beans.)

2Birds1Stone

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4689
  • Age: 31
  • Location: Earth
  • K Thnx Bye
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #479 on: May 10, 2018, 11:21:14 AM »
Mmmm pie.

Mtngrl

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 294
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #480 on: May 11, 2018, 08:01:04 AM »
I love that your friend gave you leftovers so they wouldn't go to waste! My neighbor and I used to do that kind of thing all the time. (She has moved away and the place is now a vacation home, empty most of the year.)
An ER friend has a side hustle minding many of the vacation homes in our area. Folks pay him a flat fee to go by and check on the house once a week or so to make sure there are no plumbing leaks, etc. When he takes on a new customer he always tells them that when they get ready to go home, feel free to leave their leftovers and he will put them to good use. (He regularly shares excess with the local food pantry.)

Alf91

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 138
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #481 on: May 11, 2018, 02:48:14 PM »
Do you remember what temperature you baked the granola bars at? I am going to try them.

APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 919
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #482 on: May 11, 2018, 08:15:10 PM »
Dinner updates. I'm falling so far behind here. I really ought to dial back the crazy in my life, but....make hay while the sun shines, I guess. Also the kids have been sick and I've been sick and tired. Stupid throat colds.

Anyway.

Wednesday, more leftovers. Finally finished off the last of the stir-fry (whew!). We had planned to eat ice cream for birthday dessert at Costco last week, but the kids were both pretty sick and tired, so we called it a night after pizza, and went home with a promise of future ice cream. Today was that day.

$6.16 for frozen yoghurt and smoothie as a belated birthday outing.

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

Thursday was beans. SO did some baked beans-ish something. We had them with tortilla chips. Beans, corn, salsa, peppers/onion/garlic. Probably ~$2 at most.

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

Tonight was lentils. SO wanted to try using that coconut cream to do a creamy lentil stew. It was ok. Not bad, but not amazing enough to have in the regular rotation. Lentils, onions, celery, tomatoes, tuna, coconut cream, plus chips on the side. Not more than ~$5.


APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 919
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #483 on: May 11, 2018, 08:20:17 PM »
Went to Costco this afternoon.



Tortilla chips: $3.89.

APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 919
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #484 on: May 11, 2018, 08:21:32 PM »
Do you remember what temperature you baked the granola bars at? I am going to try them.

I baked them at 350F. Did I forget to include that bit of important info in my recipe post? Whoops!

APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 919
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #485 on: May 11, 2018, 08:28:13 PM »
It is so weird talking to people who have no idea how much they spend, especially about a category like food/groceries that's pretty clearly definable.

People who don't examine their spending/purchases at all are weird to me. I was at Aldi yesterday sorting through the bags of lemons to make sure I didn't get any bad ones, and a woman walked over, grabbed a bag without even looking at it and walked away. I literally couldn't process it and stood there in shock, going, "But, but, some of them are rotten!" My SO said, "Just think, she saved 20 seconds!"... and wasted several dollars on bad produce.
Eh, I'm unable to use all of a bag of lemons before some go bad anyway...
I don't even know what I would use a whole bag of lemons for, unless I was making something special like lemon bars or meringue pie, or some super fancy lemonade.

I admit to being surprised at the casual attitude towards food waste in a sub $200/mo grocery thread. Lemons are expensive! I make salad dressings, marinades, popsicles, etc., and the juice can be frozen. But my point wasn't about lemons, it was about thoughtless wasteful purchasing - I guess I failed to get that across.

Anyway, I've been thinking about the dairy-free mashed potato issue. Some things you could try if you haven't already: use some of the starchy cooking water; use olive oil like the Italians do; use silken tofu. If you save bacon fat, a little bit of that swirled in will keep you from missing butter! (This is  also a great add-in to beans.)
I didn't mean to imply that I would buy a bag of lemons and be okay with them going bad. I hate waste. I just can't imagine myself buying a whole bag of lemons in the first place, as I don't know what I would use them for.

I don't have olive oil or tofu on hand, so that's not really an option. I do have some saved pork fat-- it's not quite as salty/smoky as bacon fat, but it's not bad as a butter substitute in a savory dish like potatoes. I generally do leave some of the starchy cooking water in the pot as I mash them, but it's just not the same as adding in some milk or cream. :S

APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 919
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #486 on: May 14, 2018, 06:32:03 AM »
Saturday night dinner was "Indian chicken" -- shredded chicken in a curry/tomato sauce. Served with fresh naan. We had a potluck dinner to attend, and all our babysitters fell through, so I had to go alone. :( I made some pasta salad to bring with me.

Indian chicken:



Pasta salad:


Total cost is probably $5 or less for everything. The chicken meat was leftover from earlier this week, and pasta is cheap...

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

Sunday dinner was leftovers: lentils, chicken curry, pasta salad.

APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 919
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #487 on: May 14, 2018, 06:36:40 AM »
Also stopped in at Safeway yesterday:



Tomato sauce: $2.97
Tomato puree: $1.29

Total receipt = 4.26. It's a bit more than I like to pay for tomato sauce, but I'm completely out right now, and I have a pizza party scheduled this weekend (basement remodel is DONE! Yay!). So I have to have it. One of my friends is allergic to garlic/onion, so I bought the puree to make a safe sauce for her.

robartsd

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1873
  • Location: Northern California
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #488 on: May 14, 2018, 09:12:21 AM »
Went to Costco this afternoon.

Tortilla chips: $3.89.
Wow, a single item Cosco trip! (I'm guessing this was in conjunction with the Frozen Yogurt birthday desert outing - perhaps you had some non-food spending in the warehouse as well).

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5976
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #489 on: May 14, 2018, 10:59:42 AM »
It is so weird talking to people who have no idea how much they spend, especially about a category like food/groceries that's pretty clearly definable.

People who don't examine their spending/purchases at all are weird to me. I was at Aldi yesterday sorting through the bags of lemons to make sure I didn't get any bad ones, and a woman walked over, grabbed a bag without even looking at it and walked away. I literally couldn't process it and stood there in shock, going, "But, but, some of them are rotten!" My SO said, "Just think, she saved 20 seconds!"... and wasted several dollars on bad produce.
Eh, I'm unable to use all of a bag of lemons before some go bad anyway...
I don't even know what I would use a whole bag of lemons for, unless I was making something special like lemon bars or meringue pie, or some super fancy lemonade.

I admit to being surprised at the casual attitude towards food waste in a sub $200/mo grocery thread. Lemons are expensive! I make salad dressings, marinades, popsicles, etc., and the juice can be frozen. But my point wasn't about lemons, it was about thoughtless wasteful purchasing - I guess I failed to get that across.

Anyway, I've been thinking about the dairy-free mashed potato issue. Some things you could try if you haven't already: use some of the starchy cooking water; use olive oil like the Italians do; use silken tofu. If you save bacon fat, a little bit of that swirled in will keep you from missing butter! (This is  also a great add-in to beans.)

Eh, I live in So Cal.  Two of my neighbors have lemon trees and give em away for free.  People will sometimes bring bags of lemons to work. 

I rarely pay for lemons, and when I do, I'm happy to pay 0.33-0.50 for a lemon to make my salad dressing.

Anything that starts to go bad in my house goes into the composter!

APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 919
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #490 on: May 14, 2018, 03:08:06 PM »
Went to Costco this afternoon.

Tortilla chips: $3.89.
Wow, a single item Cosco trip! (I'm guessing this was in conjunction with the Frozen Yogurt birthday desert outing - perhaps you had some non-food spending in the warehouse as well).

I did actually also buy a car battery, but it's not the first single-item Costco trip I've made. The trick is to not grab a cart. Then almost by default, you can only get the one item you went in for.

robartsd

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1873
  • Location: Northern California
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #491 on: May 14, 2018, 03:15:48 PM »
I did actually also buy a car battery, but it's not the first single-item Costco trip I've made. The trick is to not grab a cart. Then almost by default, you can only get the one item you went in for.
I generally just find Costco checkout lines not worth the time for a single item or two, but there was a time when I was between jobs that I would enter Costco to window shop and try the samples every time I stopped there to get gas.

APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 919
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #492 on: May 14, 2018, 03:27:25 PM »
I did actually also buy a car battery, but it's not the first single-item Costco trip I've made. The trick is to not grab a cart. Then almost by default, you can only get the one item you went in for.
I generally just find Costco checkout lines not worth the time for a single item or two, but there was a time when I was between jobs that I would enter Costco to window shop and try the samples every time I stopped there to get gas.
Of course I stopped by all the sample booths while I was there...that's half the fun! :)

APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 919
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #493 on: May 14, 2018, 04:57:04 PM »
Dinner tonight is leftovers. The last of the pasta salad, the last of the curried chicken, some of the lentils. Maybe $.50 in miscellaneous ingredient bits.

APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 919
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #494 on: May 16, 2018, 06:22:08 AM »
Did a bunch of errands yesterday:

Safeway:



Pasta sauce: $2.97
Milk: $1.99
Water: $0 (freebie coupon)

Total receipt = $4.96. PLUS, I remembered to bring in my receipt from the frozen broccoli coupon mess-up, so I was able to get a refund of $1.62 for the overcharge mistake. Yay!

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

Discount store:



Bread: $1.98

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

Costco:



Mozzarella: $11.49

We did buy dish soap as well this trip, and I SHOULD have bought tomato sauce here instead of in individual cans at Safeway. I still may come back for a giant can, as they're only $2.75 or something like that, which is a much better price/oz; then I'll save the smaller cans for when we just need a single meal portion instead of a pizza party size portion.

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

King Soopers:



Ice cream: $4.49
Soda: $2.38
Pineapple: $.97
Candy: $0 (free friday)

Total receipt = $7.84. Ice cream for the party, of course!

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

Sprouts:



Lettuce: $.99
Cucumbers: $1
Jalapeno: $.10
Bananas (11lb): $3.61
Tomatoes (2.8lb): $2.46

Total receipt = $8.16. I finally got to use my raincheck for $.33/lb bananas.

APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 919
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #495 on: May 16, 2018, 06:24:32 AM »
Dinner last night was sandwiches. No pictures this time, but pretty much the same as most sandwich nights. Bread/meat/cheese/veggies; probably ~$5 or less in ingredients (meat was frozen leftover, so no additional cost there).

APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 919
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #496 on: May 17, 2018, 07:31:47 PM »
Wednesday dinner was the last of the leftover lentils, so ~$.60 for tortillas to go with it.

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

Tonight was jambalaya; rice, sausage, onions/peppers/garlic/celery in a tomato broth. Not more than ~$4 cost-wise


APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 919
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #497 on: May 17, 2018, 07:33:48 PM »
Also stopped in Sprouts on the way home yesterday:



Grapes (6.5lb): $4.54

69/lb for grapes! Going to put some of these babies in the freezer too!

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5976
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #498 on: May 18, 2018, 04:48:13 PM »
Also stopped in Sprouts on the way home yesterday:



Grapes (6.5lb): $4.54

69/lb for grapes! Going to put some of these babies in the freezer too!
I stopped at sprouts on the way into work!

Brussels sprouts: 0.69/lb
cucumber: 0.50
baby peppers: $1.98
5 lb potatoes: 1.50
3 lb org apples: 1.98
Dark almonds: 3.99/lb

APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 919
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #499 on: May 18, 2018, 10:23:09 PM »
Also stopped in Sprouts on the way home yesterday:



Grapes (6.5lb): $4.54

69/lb for grapes! Going to put some of these babies in the freezer too!
I stopped at sprouts on the way into work!

Brussels sprouts: 0.69/lb
cucumber: 0.50
baby peppers: $1.98
5 lb potatoes: 1.50
3 lb org apples: 1.98
Dark almonds: 3.99/lb

That is a fantastic price for brussels sprouts! Spot on!