Author Topic: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget  (Read 98850 times)

big_slacker

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #50 on: December 20, 2017, 06:46:39 PM »
But you have access to a Winco. I have only dreamt of having a Winco or an Aldi in any kind of reasonable distance.

I guess that depends on how often you'd go to Winco. The closest one to me is in Kent which is 60-90 minutes round trip depending on traffic. Could maybe justify it once every 2 weeks if I stocked up every time. I live biking distance to a well stocked wal-mart which keeps our costs down along with specials at QFC and stocking up on some things at costco. Not near $200, that's a serious accomplishment!

1967mama

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #51 on: December 20, 2017, 08:18:27 PM »
Great thread! Looking forward to gleaning insights from others here.

Our grocery bill for our large family is embarrassingly high ....even on a per person basis. It has gotten worse since I was injured in July but I'm feeling better and really need to get back to black-belt frugality (also a long-time Amy Dacyczyn fan like a previous poster).

Thanks for the motivation!

robartsd

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #52 on: December 21, 2017, 09:01:46 AM »
It got to be too hard to keep it much below that, for the following reasons and choices:
- We eat a LOT of produce
- About half of our produce is local (I live in So Cal, it would be a shame to eat stuff shipped in from elsewhere.  It lasts longer and tastes way better.)
- At my age, I can no longer eat a carb-heavy diet.  I used to eat about 5-6 servings a day.  Now down to 2-3.
- Just this year, I started having a problem with wheat.  I can still eat oatmeal, but I can only eat that so many days per week. 

So no more homemade bread, or regular pasta.  I have been making do with rice, oatmeal, but occasionally I want a damned sandwich and will buy GF bread.  Will also buy GF pasta, but it is 3x the price.
I also realized pretty quickly produce was a big difference in my diet vs OP (I probably eat 3-4 times as much). My long term goal is to produce the difference in my own garden (my house is on a 50' wide, 250' deep lot - I expect to use the back half primarily for food production).

Monkey Uncle

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #53 on: December 24, 2017, 05:10:14 AM »
Following for inspiration.  Our food budget will never be as low as the OP's due to not wanting to eat such a carb-heavy diet, but we do have a lot of room for improvement.

Juslookin

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #54 on: December 25, 2017, 04:36:22 PM »
PTF. Interested to read the progress.

sequoia

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #55 on: December 25, 2017, 10:02:41 PM »
It got to be too hard to keep it much below that, for the following reasons and choices:
- We eat a LOT of produce
- About half of our produce is local (I live in So Cal, it would be a shame to eat stuff shipped in from elsewhere.  It lasts longer and tastes way better.)
- At my age, I can no longer eat a carb-heavy diet.  I used to eat about 5-6 servings a day.  Now down to 2-3.
- Just this year, I started having a problem with wheat.  I can still eat oatmeal, but I can only eat that so many days per week. 

So no more homemade bread, or regular pasta.  I have been making do with rice, oatmeal, but occasionally I want a damned sandwich and will buy GF bread.  Will also buy GF pasta, but it is 3x the price.
I also realized pretty quickly produce was a big difference in my diet vs OP (I probably eat 3-4 times as much). My long term goal is to produce the difference in my own garden (my house is on a 50' wide, 250' deep lot - I expect to use the back half primarily for food production).

We have small plot of land that we used to grow veggie (tomatoes, bell peppers, etc). Beside being a cheap family fun project, it really helps the budget. Organic veggies are not cheap unless you grow them yourself. This past summer we got lucky (or we are getting good at what we do ha!), and we had so much veggie that we were giving them left and right to friends and neighbors.

robartsd

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #56 on: December 26, 2017, 08:39:25 AM »
We have small plot of land that we used to grow veggie (tomatoes, bell peppers, etc). Beside being a cheap family fun project, it really helps the budget. Organic veggies are not cheap unless you grow them yourself. This past summer we got lucky (or we are getting good at what we do ha!), and we had so much veggie that we were giving them left and right to friends and neighbors.
We're already giving some stuff away. The house came with 3 mature fig trees on the lot - when they are in season, we're more than happy to share with anyone who is willing to help pick. There are a couple of small plum trees too - we would probably use most of this fruit ourselves if we were more efficient at preserving them. A small citrus tree bore fruit for the first time this year - blood oranges. Not sure if the small apple tree survived after the sewer line near its roots was replaced. We want to add more varieties of fruit to have some variety of fresh fruit available most of the year and get some vegetable production going, but first we need to finish tackling landscaping and drainage issues right next to the house - meanwhile the weeds are improving the soil for us.

HipGnosis

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #57 on: December 26, 2017, 10:22:26 AM »

I just know I'm naturally thrifty. Or cheap.
Don't you mean: "I just assume I'm naturally thrifty"?

oldladystache

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #58 on: December 27, 2017, 09:29:01 AM »

I just know I'm naturally thrifty. Or cheap.
Don't you mean: "I just assume I'm naturally thrifty"?
No, I know.

powersuitrecall

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #59 on: December 27, 2017, 11:56:11 AM »
Thanks for posting APowers!  Groceries have always been a pain point for us - always looking for tips!

NikiD

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #60 on: December 27, 2017, 10:03:40 PM »
Our grocery budget is a particular challenge for me, following...

netskyblue

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #61 on: December 29, 2017, 10:30:37 AM »
I'm nowhere near this good.  The GOAL is $500/mo for two adults (and three cats), and this does include household supplies and alcohol (most of which is consumed by my partner).  The last few months I've been hitting $700-800/mo.  Shameful.  So I've started tracking what I'm buying, and I've been doing meal planning 2-3 weeks in advance. 

freya

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #62 on: December 29, 2017, 11:19:22 AM »
Dang.  Close to $300 for December again (me + two cats).  I guess it's better than $400, and it did include shopping for a Christmas dinner party.

One thing I'm doing this weekend:  making meals that freeze well, like beef stew, and packing up meals in ziploc containers for the freezer. This should cut down on restaurant or ready-made meals for when there's no time to cook.  It's also why I bought a lot extra this past week.

Lauran75

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #63 on: December 29, 2017, 01:14:56 PM »
Our average for 1 adult full time eating at home food + 1 adult eating 80% of meals at work is about $300/month. I am plant based whole foods (along the lines of vegan) and my DH is an omni.  I batch cook, buy in bulk, etc., etc. But lots of fruits and veggies comprise the bulk of the grocery bill. (Or like the past two months when DH wanted a turkey for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner - $11 and $14 respectively .. ouch!) Part of the grocery bill also includes the not cheap veganized versions of things like Worcestershire sauce and various flours/starches for making things. (I recently scored a 16oz bag of Arrowroot powder for $1! Normally priced around $9.)

I'd really like to cut back to $50/mo for staples, and $25/week for produce. 

I use oatmeal in my daily smoothie and also in my cooking - would love to know what time of year to look for it to go on sale. I generally get the generic Old fashioned oats at Aldi's for $2.49 and it lasts 4 - 6 weeks depending on my baking. We don't have Sprouts, but we do have Fresh Thyme which is somewhat similar (I miss Sprouts! used to live near one.)

TexasRunner

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #64 on: December 29, 2017, 01:29:56 PM »
Our food is too high and the first posts on this are extremely helpful.  Thanks!

Following for more ideas / recipes.  Mainly just need to start using staples, regularly.  I think that is the main factor in driving up the grocery bill...

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #65 on: December 29, 2017, 11:57:08 PM »
Popping in to let y'all know I did a total inventory of the pantry. I updated the reserved post at the beginning of the thread.

Goldielocks

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #66 on: December 30, 2017, 02:49:57 AM »
Thanks for taking the time to include all of those pictures!  It really helps me to gauge the differences.   And there are not too many.  I think a key difference is that your family just eats less, or has similar recipes, but I use a lot more of tthe meat  / cheese / double the expensive "add" ingredients in mine (plus the waste of snack foods at our place...).  Between DH who prefers veg / meat heavy meals,  and a teenage boy...  They could eat 2+ lbs of meat a day, each.    My teen nephews drink a lot of milk, rather than eating meat like my DH, but sis goes through 2 Gallons of milk a day, or $300 per month, just for milk, because of teenagers...


Fun fact -- I just checked my peanut butter stash, and I , too, have over 10lbs of peanut butter and 50 lbs of flour and 25lb of rice... and 24L of cooking oil! (and we don't deep fry)

meall earraich

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #67 on: December 30, 2017, 05:22:55 AM »
Following

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #68 on: December 30, 2017, 09:36:51 AM »
Thanks for taking the time to include all of those pictures!  It really helps me to gauge the differences.   And there are not too many.  I think a key difference is that your family just eats less, or has similar recipes, but I use a lot more of the meat  / cheese / double the expensive "add" ingredients in mine (plus the waste of snack foods at our place...).  Between DH who prefers veg / meat heavy meals,  and a teenage boy...  They could eat 2+ lbs of meat a day, each.    My teen nephews drink a lot of milk, rather than eating meat like my DH, but sis goes through 2 Gallons of milk a day, or $300 per month, just for milk, because of teenagers...


Fun fact -- I just checked my peanut butter stash, and I , too, have over 10lbs of peanut butter and 50 lbs of flour and 25lb of rice... and 24L of cooking oil! (and we don't deep fry)

Snack foods will definitely rip a giant hole in the food budget. We almost exclusively eat food at mealtimes, and the kids get some food at school (although they always seem to come home starving, so I'm not sure it counts for much, lol).

If I were to move toward more meat-heavy meals, I would definitely put more effort into finding meat for less than $1/lb-- probably eat more chicken and pork. And would be more invested in finding a second freezer so I could stock up when it's on sale.

I...can't even imagine going through 2 gallons of milk PER DAY. I think I would just put my foot down and say no more drinking milk.

zeli2033

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #69 on: December 30, 2017, 11:47:57 PM »
PTF. Looking forward to some much needed tips!

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #70 on: December 31, 2017, 12:56:31 AM »
Did my last grocery errand of the year today. King Soopers gave me a few freebie items that are handy for snacks or easy non-pbj lunches, plus chips for $.99/bag, pineapple for $.99/each, and a head of lettuce to use with sandwiches for dinner tonight. We also stopped by the Walmart grocery which is one block over and picked up lime juice. I also noticed that eggs were $.88/dozen, which is cheaper than I've seen them anywhere else lately, and we're running a bit low, so I stocked up there; hopefully that'll last us until eggs go on sale again for under $1/dozen. I'm planning on hard-boiling a dozen tomorrow in the Instant Pot, as the kids love them and they are great nutrition add-ons for lunch, and easy to pack for a snack if we decide to go on a hike or something.

channtheman

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #71 on: December 31, 2017, 03:23:58 AM »
Not an option for everyone, but search around your area and see if you have a Farmers Market type grocery store for your fresh produce. 

We have a great place that consistently has apples, grapes, strawberries, pineapple, etc. for 50 cents a pound (not always at the same time).  I just buy whatever is currently on sale and you learn pretty quickly what a good price is for what. 

Then for bulk meat and other items, about once a month or so my wife and I stock up at American Discount Foods.  Again, not an option everywhere, but perhaps there is a similar style store available.  This place sells dinged up cans, boxes that are not in pristine condition, products that didn't do so great, etc.  Some of the food is past the "good by" date but is still perfectly fine for consumption.  It's sort of like a Goodwill for food, but I've yet to buy something from them that I was unhappy with. 

We also have a Costco membership for a few staples, but probably could cut them out of the equation if we wanted to without hurting too much.

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #72 on: December 31, 2017, 11:38:27 AM »
Not an option for everyone, but search around your area and see if you have a Farmers Market type grocery store for your fresh produce. 

We have a great place that consistently has apples, grapes, strawberries, pineapple, etc. for 50 cents a pound (not always at the same time).  I just buy whatever is currently on sale and you learn pretty quickly what a good price is for what. 

Then for bulk meat and other items, about once a month or so my wife and I stock up at American Discount Foods.  Again, not an option everywhere, but perhaps there is a similar style store available.  This place sells dinged up cans, boxes that are not in pristine condition, products that didn't do so great, etc.  Some of the food is past the "good by" date but is still perfectly fine for consumption.  It's sort of like a Goodwill for food, but I've yet to buy something from them that I was unhappy with. 

We also have a Costco membership for a few staples, but probably could cut them out of the equation if we wanted to without hurting too much.

We have a Sprouts Market, as I listed early in the thread. They're generally my go-to for produce. We bought navel oranges there last week for $0.50/lb.

We also have a discount store, though pricing is pretty hit-or-miss. Sometimes they have a fantastic discount, other times I can buy the same thing in the grocery store for the same or cheaper.

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #73 on: January 01, 2018, 05:51:33 PM »
Day 1 in the books. Nothing to see here, lol.

Pretty standard breakfast of oatmeal w/milk. I think once the milk runs out, I'm going to start making hot oatmeal, as the temperatures stay consistently colder.

Leftovers for lunch-- the kiddos had hashbrowns and broccoli, with some turkey on the side. I had a turkey sandwich.

Leftovers for dinner-- Yesterday, I made a big pot of beans in the broth from the half-turkey I cooked a few days ago. I packed a couple ziplocs of beans for the freezer, and today we mostly had bean/cheese burritos for dinner. One kiddo still hadn't finished his lunch, so it got re-vamped into tacos. Pretty hodge-podge, but not bad.

No grocery errands, but I did add tortillas to the Costco list.

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #74 on: January 02, 2018, 09:51:17 AM »
Here's a post about breakfast.

I call it "cold oatmeal". Basically, it's rolled oats eaten as breakfast cereal:

8oz [a little over 2 cups] rolled oats-- I prefer quick (not instant), but whole rolled would work too.
.75oz [2 Tbsp] brown sugar-- because yum.
12oz [1.5 cups] milk-- I like whole milk, but skim or 2% is usually the same price.


This is my breakfast. The kids eat a smaller portion of essentially the same-- though they likely add a higher proportion of sugar, lol, since I generally let them make their own. One kiddo can't have milk, so he'll make his with water instead (or, sometimes I'll buy some almond milk and he'll use that). The Significant Other, she often skips breakfast, and doesn't care for oatmeal; when she does do breakfast, it will often be toast or some new creation from leftovers.

I also give the kids a whole fruit after their oatmeal. More like, they'll beg me to give it to them, haha. Anyway, right now that's oranges, and they both wanted theirs sliced.
[Pictured is the younger kiddo's portion.]

I, admittedly, don't always eat as healthfully as them, so I don't always eat my fruit. When I do, I'll often eat it for a lunch-snack, since I'm not usually very hungry at noon.

--------------------------------------------------------------
Cost breakdown:

Oats: 16oz @ $.50/lb = $0.50
Sugar 2.25oz @ $.62/lb = $0.09
Milk 1.5cups @ $2/gal = $0.19
Oranges 1.5lb @ $.50/lb = $0.75

Leftovers I have no idea how to calculate, and SO hasn't eaten breakfast yet, so...let's assume She has toast with avocados (something she's done before):

Bread 2slice @ $1/loaf = $0.13
Avocado 1/2 @ $.50/each = $0.25

Grand total cost for breakfast: $1.91
« Last Edit: January 31, 2018, 08:53:21 PM by APowers »

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #75 on: January 02, 2018, 12:37:45 PM »
Here's today's lunch. Eggs and homemade bread. Hard-boiled for the kiddo, and fried for the girlie. An orange and the heel of the loaf for me.



Orange 1 @ $.50/lb = $0.38
Eggs 2 @ $.88/dozen = $0.14
Homemade bread 3 slices =~ $0.08

Total cost for lunch: $0.60

+cookies = ~$0.30

New total: $0.90

ETA: The kids wanted to have cookies too, so the girlie had some homemade sugar cookies and I gave the kiddo some gluten-free "oreos". I'm not sure how to cost the homemade cookies, but the gluten free ones were $0.05/each. We don't always have dessert, so lunch wouldn't normally include cookies.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2018, 08:53:49 PM by APowers »

1967mama

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #76 on: January 02, 2018, 03:00:19 PM »
Had hubby do a produce run for us today - better to go to a market for us than the big grocery store. Prices are the same or better than grocery store and aren't tempted by all the the pretty boxes of prepared foods.

Made a curry from leftover veggies and lentils today.

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #77 on: January 02, 2018, 06:08:33 PM »
Had hubby do a produce run for us today - better to go to a market for us than the big grocery store. Prices are the same or better than grocery store and aren't tempted by all the the pretty boxes of prepared foods.

Made a curry from leftover veggies and lentils today.

+1 for lentil curry.

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #78 on: January 02, 2018, 07:33:35 PM »
Dinner tonight: "Taco Rice"

2 cups (14oz) brown rice [$0.60]
1Tbsp beef bouillon paste [$0-- was free, normally, I'd make my own broth or just cook in water with salt]

11oz ground beef [$1.90]
1 large onion (15oz) [$0.47]
1Tbsp rendered turkey fat (I save the rendered fat from any large roasts that I do, it's great for frying stuff in the cast iron skillet) ["free"]
1oz (heaping tablespoon measure) minced garlic [$0.10]
4oz celery [~$.12-- I'm not sure how to estimate this one...celery is usually $.99/bunch, but I've never weighed a whole bunch, so I'm guesstimating 2lbs here]

1/3 head of lettuce [$0.33]
1 avocado [$0.50]



Total cost: $4.02 + some salsa/ranch

It would have been nice to have a dollop of sour cream, but I'm currently out and it's not on sale anywhere. There are just enough leftovers to be a nice lunch for tomorrow, so tomorrow's lunch will count as "free" (plus whatever we decide to add...likely the last few cookies).

Breakfast = $1.91
Lunch = $0.90
Dinner = $4.02
--------------------
Food for the day + leftovers = $6.83
« Last Edit: January 31, 2018, 08:54:06 PM by APowers »

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #79 on: January 02, 2018, 09:14:16 PM »
Just finished doing the monthly tally of receipts for December. Actual average food spending per month in 2017 ==> $189.58

Goldielocks

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #80 on: January 03, 2018, 01:12:51 AM »
Here's a post about breakfast.
Yum for Breakfast!!

A big difference for lunch that I noted was that you don't have any condiments on the sandwich - butter or margarine, mayo, ketchup, pesto, other homemade salsa, etc.  "naked" bread.   Is this typical or just for egg sandwiches?


And I can't help myself,...   I have put our local pricing in below, and I know I shouldn't because we are in different regions, utterly different regions, and all...  Other than the avocado, which may be a regional thing where you are, all of these are also basic, lowest cost items for our region, too (oats, milk, oranges right now, etc.)
 
Quote
--------------------------------------------------------------
Cost breakdown:

Oats: 16oz @ $.50$1.00/lb = $0.50
Sugar 2.25oz @ $.62 0.85/lb = $0.09
Milk 1.5cups @ $2 $5/gal = $0.19
Oranges 1.5lb @ $.50$1/lb = $0.75


Leftovers I have no idea how to calculate, and SO hasn't eaten breakfast yet, so...let's assume She has toast with avocados (something she's done before):

Bread 2slice @ $1/ $1.67loaf = $0.13
Avocado 1/2 @ $.50/ $1.50 each = $0.25

Grand total cost for breakfast: $1.91
New total:  $4.06  sigh...

« Last Edit: January 03, 2018, 01:18:30 AM by Goldielocks »

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #81 on: January 03, 2018, 09:16:35 AM »
Here's a post about breakfast.
Yum for Breakfast!!

A big difference for lunch that I noted was that you don't have any condiments on the sandwich - butter or margarine, mayo, ketchup, pesto, other homemade salsa, etc.  "naked" bread.   Is this typical or just for egg sandwiches?


And I can't help myself,...   I have put our local pricing in below, and I know I shouldn't because we are in different regions, utterly different regions, and all...  Other than the avocado, which may be a regional thing where you are, all of these are also basic, lowest cost items for our region, too (oats, milk, oranges right now, etc.)
 
Quote
--------------------------------------------------------------
Cost breakdown:

Oats: 16oz @ $.50$1.00/lb = $0.50
Sugar 2.25oz @ $.62 0.85/lb = $0.09
Milk 1.5cups @ $2 $5/gal = $0.19
Oranges 1.5lb @ $.50$1/lb = $0.75


Leftovers I have no idea how to calculate, and SO hasn't eaten breakfast yet, so...let's assume She has toast with avocados (something she's done before):

Bread 2slice @ $1/ $1.67loaf = $0.13
Avocado 1/2 @ $.50/ $1.50 each = $0.25

Grand total cost for breakfast: $1.91
New total:  $4.06  sigh...


They weren't meant to be "sandwiches"....normally we'll put condiments on sandwiches. I did toast the bread in the skillet with some of my leftover turkey fat for deliciousness, if you want to count that in place of butter.

Thanks for the cost comparison. I feel that I should mention that the prices I quote are the sale prices that I bought the ingredients at, NOT the current price if I were to buy them today. For instance, oats-- they are regularly $1.50/lb, which is why I buy them in a 50lb bag when they go on sale for $.50-.69/lb. Or oranges, for example-- they were $.50/lb last week, but this week, if I were to buy fruit it could be grapefruit ($.50/each) or apples ($.88/lb) or canteloupe ($.49/lb).

I'm not trying to expect that anyone eat exactly what I do. But rather, find what the best prices are in your area, and build around that. Shop the sales. Using avocados as an example: when they cost $1.50 each, which they normally do, I simply don't buy any. None. They are a special treat when they go on sale. Or looking at milk: if milk cost $5/gallon, I wouldn't buy it. Breakfast would be "cooked oatmeal", (which it will be tomorrow, lol, 'cause it's COLD outside).

Also, you're in Canada. I have no idea what the grocery sale cycle is like across the border, let alone for how remote/rural you may be. I bet grocery shopping is way different in Prince George or Fort Nelson than it is in Vancouver.

TexasRunner

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #82 on: January 03, 2018, 09:23:53 AM »
Just out of curiosity...  How many is this feeding? (Trying to compare/track the meal cost numbers with my own).

I'm sure you posted that before but I can't find it.

Thanks!

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #83 on: January 03, 2018, 09:37:36 AM »
Just out of curiosity...  How many is this feeding? (Trying to compare/track the meal cost numbers with my own).

I'm sure you posted that before but I can't find it.

Thanks!

This is two adults and two kidlets (ages 5.5 and 6.5). I tried to put all the relevant stats in the first few posts, just for this reason.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2018, 10:05:51 AM by APowers »

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #84 on: January 03, 2018, 09:52:19 AM »
Here's a post about breakfast.
And I can't help myself,...   I have put our local pricing in below, and I know I shouldn't because we are in different regions, utterly different regions, and all...  Other than the avocado, which may be a regional thing where you are, all of these are also basic, lowest cost items for our region, too (oats, milk, oranges right now, etc.)
 
Quote
--------------------------------------------------------------
Cost breakdown:

Oats: 16oz @ $.50$1.00/lb = $0.50
Sugar 2.25oz @ $.62 0.85/lb = $0.09
Milk 1.5cups @ $2 $5/gal = $0.19
Oranges 1.5lb @ $.50$1/lb = $0.75


Leftovers I have no idea how to calculate, and SO hasn't eaten breakfast yet, so...let's assume She has toast with avocados (something she's done before):

Bread 2slice @ $1/ $1.67loaf = $0.13
Avocado 1/2 @ $.50/ $1.50 each = $0.25

Grand total cost for breakfast: $1.91
New total:  $4.06  sigh...

Thanks for the cost comparison. I feel that I should mention that the prices I quote are the sale prices that I bought the ingredients at, NOT the current price if I were to buy them today. For instance, oats-- they are regularly $1.50/lb, which is why I buy them in a 50lb bag when they go on sale for $.50-.69/lb. Or oranges, for example-- they were $.50/lb last week, but this week, if I were to buy fruit it could be grapefruit ($.50/each) or apples ($.88/lb) or canteloupe ($.49/lb).

I'm not trying to expect that anyone eat exactly what I do. But rather, find what the best prices are in your area, and build around that. Shop the sales. Using avocados as an example: when they cost $1.50 each, which they normally do, I simply don't buy any. None. They are a special treat when they go on sale. Or looking at milk: if milk cost $5/gallon, I wouldn't buy it. Breakfast would be "cooked oatmeal", (which it will be tomorrow, lol, 'cause it's COLD outside).

Also, you're in Canada. I have no idea what the grocery sale cycle is like across the border, let alone for how remote/rural you may be. I bet grocery shopping is way different in Prince George or Fort Nelson than it is in Vancouver.

Okay. I took a few minutes and browsed some online grocery ads in Vancouver....Yikes. Food isn't that expensive even directly across the border in Washington state. For instance, check out the Safeway ad in Aldergrove (BC) compared to the Safeway ad in Lynden (WA). I feel like I'm missing some farmer's markets or something, or else I have access to WAY cheaper fresh produce options. You'd likely be doing EXTREMELY well to be 1.5 times my $200/month.

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #85 on: January 03, 2018, 12:39:22 PM »
Wow. I love fruit too much. But I am following with interest.

I think I'll have 3-4 fruits today. I try to stick to seasonal fruit but I'm a banana fiend and usually have one every day. Costco usually has really good prices (big bunches for less than 1.50). I also have some clementines and apples.

I'd like to get ours down some. We generally eat pretty healthy without much meat, so it shouldn't be too hard.

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #86 on: January 03, 2018, 01:19:35 PM »
Okay. I took a few minutes and browsed some online grocery ads in Vancouver....Yikes. Food isn't that expensive even directly across the border in Washington state. For instance, check out the Safeway ad in Aldergrove (BC) compared to the Safeway ad in Lynden (WA). I feel like I'm missing some farmer's markets or something, or else I have access to WAY cheaper fresh produce options. You'd likely be doing EXTREMELY well to be 1.5 times my $200/month.
Note, you probably need to enter a postal code to see the Canadian flyer. The Aldergrove (BC) store is in V4W3N5.

I find the difference between the flyers interesting, not just in pricing, but in what is featured and how they are orgianized. The only produce that comes close to meeting APowers' price points in the Canada flyer I see are the bags of Gala Apples and Naval Oranges that come to 1.00CAD/lb (about 0.80USD/lb).

Wow. I love fruit too much. But I am following with interest.

I think I'll have 3-4 fruits today. I try to stick to seasonal fruit but I'm a banana fiend and usually have one every day. Costco usually has really good prices (big bunches for less than 1.50). I also have some clementines and apples.

I'd like to get ours down some. We generally eat pretty healthy without much meat, so it shouldn't be too hard.
I eat a lot of fruit too. My green smoothie today included bannana, frozen mango, frozen blueberry, frozen strawberry, and power greens from Costco (my portion probably include 6-8 oz of frozen fruit plus 4 oz of fresh banana). I've already snacked on a small Fuji Apple purchased at the farm for $0.79/lb. I also plan to eat an orange (grown at home) with lunch. I don't know yet if DW will include any fruit with dinner (usually not).

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #87 on: January 03, 2018, 01:22:43 PM »
I'm very intrigued!

We are a family of 4 and keep our budget to between six and seven hundred every month (including pet food, toiletries, and paper goods) and I felt like I was doing pretty well.

I'm definitely excited to get ideas from these menus. My kidlets won't eat carbs or beans and I'm usually fine with that since they eat a lot of lean meats and produce but  this thread sort of really hits home how it is also affecting our budget.

Thanks for starting such a cool thread!

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #88 on: January 03, 2018, 01:53:03 PM »
I'm very intrigued!

We are a family of 4 and keep our budget to between six and seven hundred every month (including pet food, toiletries, and paper goods) and I felt like I was doing pretty well.

I'm definitely excited to get ideas from these menus. My kidlets won't eat carbs or beans and I'm usually fine with that since they eat a lot of lean meats and produce but  this thread sort of really hits home how it is also affecting our budget.

Thanks for starting such a cool thread!

They've got to eat SOME carbs, don't they? Homemade bread is pretty cheap, and you can make it with whole grains.

If you shop carefully, you can often get chicken or turkey for under $1/lb, which is pretty cheap for a lean meat...about as cheap as fruits and veggies. Right now, Safeway has bone-in chicken breast on sale for $.99/lb. I'll go shopping on friday or saturday and probably buy a bunch for the freezer.

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #89 on: January 03, 2018, 02:53:56 PM »
I'm very intrigued!

We are a family of 4 and keep our budget to between six and seven hundred every month (including pet food, toiletries, and paper goods) and I felt like I was doing pretty well.

I'm definitely excited to get ideas from these menus. My kidlets won't eat carbs or beans and I'm usually fine with that since they eat a lot of lean meats and produce but  this thread sort of really hits home how it is also affecting our budget.

Thanks for starting such a cool thread!

They've got to eat SOME carbs, don't they? Homemade bread is pretty cheap, and you can make it with whole grains.

If you shop carefully, you can often get chicken or turkey for under $1/lb, which is pretty cheap for a lean meat...about as cheap as fruits and veggies. Right now, Safeway has bone-in chicken breast on sale for $.99/lb. I'll go shopping on friday or saturday and probably buy a bunch for the freezer.

They will eat my homemade pizza dough, and occasionally homemade egg noodles and oatmeal (with Peanut Butter mixed in) but that is about it. They are not bread, pasta or rice eaters in general. They do such a great job eating their fruits and veggies that I feel bad complaining though :)

I have to admit that I never see chicken or turkey that cheap but I also try to buy hormone/antibiotic free. I usually pay about $3 per pound.

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #90 on: January 03, 2018, 05:34:00 PM »
Breakfast was pretty much the same today.
Lunch was leftovers, plus a couple hard-boiled eggs for the kids and the random home-dried papaya pieces from the pantry (I'm actually glad they're gone now and I don't have to think about them in there anymore, lol!). Leftovers [$0] + 2 eggs [$0.15] + papaya [negligible] + the last 3 cookies [$0.15] = Total: $0.30.

Dinner: "Pasta something something"

8oz sausage [$1.00]
3/4 onion (~10oz) [$.38]
1oz minced garlic [$.10]
1 roma tomato (~4oz) [$.22]

3oz (dry) gluten-free pasta [$.30]
16oz (dry) elbow macaroni pasta [~$.80]

1/3 head iceberg lettuce [$.33]
3 carrots (9oz) [$.34]

Salt, pepper, garlic powder, coriander, and dry mustard. [likely negligible, and I'm not going to try to figure the cost-per-meal of spices, just to find out that it's $0.005.] We buy our spices in bulk (i.e., 16oz packages)-- sometimes at walmart, sometimes Costco, sometimes the discount store-- and then store in quart mason jars. It's SO much cheaper to buy a big bag than to buy a tiny shaker of brand-name spice at the grocery store.




Enough food for dinner tonight, and another portion of lunch-leftovers. Also, the kids didn't eat all the leftovers from yesterday, so tomorrow, they'll have a choice of either Taco Rice or Pasta for lunch.

Total cost of dinner = $3.47 + some ranch

Breakfast: $1.91
Lunch: $0.30
Dinner: $3.47

Food for the day + leftovers = $5.68
« Last Edit: January 31, 2018, 08:54:35 PM by APowers »

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #91 on: January 03, 2018, 08:04:48 PM »
PTF.  Always eager to learn how others keep their grocery costs down.

I still have a lot to learn, but tonight for dinner I made a salad ($.26: lettuce ($.07), cucumber ($.10), carrot ($.04), olive oil/salt/pepper ($.05)).  Plus I made bean burritos - ate one for dinner ($.52) and have two more for leftovers (Recipe - $1.56 made three servings: can black beans ($.40), onion ($.20), tortillas ($.30), cream cheese ($.56), olive oil/salt/pepper ($.10)).

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #92 on: January 04, 2018, 08:12:48 AM »
The milk is gone, and it's freezing out, so hot breakfast is in:

6oz oats
20oz boiling water
3/4oz (2 Tbsp) brown sugar
3 shakes of salt



The kidlets are back to school as of today, and the school provides a snacky-breakfast before class, so they don't eat as much here. They'll eat their oranges as an after-school snack.

Oats: 12oz @ $.50/lb = $0.38
Sugar 2.25oz @ $.62/lb = $0.09
Oranges 1.5lb @ $.50/lb = $0.75
Leftovers for SO = $0

Total cost for breakfast: $1.22
--------------------------------------------------------
We pack a lunch for the gluten/dairy free Kiddo, and the Girlie eats the school lunch (we're apparently in a low-income school district, so school lunch is free). If school lunch wasn't free, we'd pack lunches for both kids.

Kiddo's lunch: two pieces of bread + two boiled eggs + whatever fruit/veg is at school. Cost: $0.27

« Last Edit: January 31, 2018, 08:54:59 PM by APowers »

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #93 on: January 04, 2018, 08:23:48 PM »
No pics of dinner today, sorry. Tonight is Lentils Night. I made some bread (rolls) to go with it, and we had lentil stew that I had packaged up in the freezer from last month.

Lentil stew is onions, garlic, celery, carrots, ground beef, and lentils. The Instant Pot works great to make this a one-pot meal in about 45 min. Of course, tonight was even easier, as all it involved was dumping it in a pot and reheating.
I'm not sure how to track the cost for this...I'm sure I'll make it again, and fill in the cost then.

I did keep track of bread ingredients, though.

1.5 cups of hot water (from the faucet, not boiling)
3oz (~1/3 cup) brown sugar = $0.12
1/3oz (~1Tbsp) active dry yeast = negligible

~2 cups white flour (11oz) = $0.14
~2 cups whole wheat flour (11oz) = $0.14
~1Tbsp salt = negligible
~1/3cup (2oz) canola oil = $0.15

Total cost for 1 loaf (or 16 rolls) = $0.55 + salt/yeast

I mix the water, sugar, and yeast until the yeast is mostly dissolved, then let it sit for a minute while I mix half the flour with the salt and oil (sometimes I add some garlic powder and italian seasoning). The yeast/water mixture should have a nice thick froth at the top-- mix it in with the flour/oil/salt. Stir that around (should be pancake batter consistency); then mix in the last of the flour. I use my Kitchenaid mixer and add flour until the dough ball stops sticking to the sides of the bowl.

Let rise for an hour-ish, then knead down and divide into rolls or put in the loaf pan. I let it rise for another 30 minutes-ish, then bake at 325F for ~45minutes (loaf) or ~22 minutes (rolls).
« Last Edit: January 05, 2018, 09:38:36 AM by APowers »

Goldielocks

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #94 on: January 04, 2018, 11:23:34 PM »
Here's a post about breakfast.
Yum for Breakfast!!

A big difference for lunch that I noted was that you don't have any condiments on the sandwich - butter or margarine, mayo, ketchup, pesto, other homemade salsa, etc.  "naked" bread.   Is this typical or just for egg sandwiches?


And I can't help myself,...   I have put our local pricing in below, and I know I shouldn't because we are in different regions, utterly different regions, and all...  Other than the avocado, which may be a regional thing where you are, all of these are also basic, lowest cost items for our region, too (oats, milk, oranges right now, etc.)
 
Quote
--------------------------------------------------------------
Cost breakdown:

Oats: 16oz @ $.50$1.00/lb = $0.50
Sugar 2.25oz @ $.62 0.85/lb = $0.09
Milk 1.5cups @ $2 $5/gal = $0.19
Oranges 1.5lb @ $.50$1/lb = $0.75


Leftovers I have no idea how to calculate, and SO hasn't eaten breakfast yet, so...let's assume She has toast with avocados (something she's done before):

Bread 2slice @ $1/ $1.67loaf = $0.13
Avocado 1/2 @ $.50/ $1.50 each = $0.25

Grand total cost for breakfast: $1.91
New total:  $4.06  sigh...


They weren't meant to be "sandwiches"....normally we'll put condiments on sandwiches. I did toast the bread in the skillet with some of my leftover turkey fat for deliciousness, if you want to count that in place of butter.

Thanks for the cost comparison. I feel that I should mention that the prices I quote are the sale prices that I bought the ingredients at, NOT the current price if I were to buy them today. For instance, oats-- they are regularly $1.50/lb, which is why I buy them in a 50lb bag when they go on sale for $.50-.69/lb. Or oranges, for example-- they were $.50/lb last week, but this week, if I were to buy fruit it could be grapefruit ($.50/each) or apples ($.88/lb) or canteloupe ($.49/lb).

I'm not trying to expect that anyone eat exactly what I do. But rather, find what the best prices are in your area, and build around that. Shop the sales. Using avocados as an example: when they cost $1.50 each, which they normally do, I simply don't buy any. None. They are a special treat when they go on sale. Or looking at milk: if milk cost $5/gallon, I wouldn't buy it. Breakfast would be "cooked oatmeal", (which it will be tomorrow, lol, 'cause it's COLD outside).

Also, you're in Canada. I have no idea what the grocery sale cycle is like across the border, let alone for how remote/rural you may be. I bet grocery shopping is way different in Prince George or Fort Nelson than it is in Vancouver.
Hah!  those are the sale prices!  Non-sale are at least 30 percent more.   Walmart was 30 cents/100 g for the oats, and the sale price was $2.28/100g at the discount store.
Fruit at $1 or less is a BUY NOW!

I did use the large sale avocado price... they have been $2 each recently, but you can get the little ones for about $1 or $1.25 each.

Obviously I did not translate for the dollar exchange, and I should, but because the dollar was close to par for so long, I got out of the habit.

Grocery prices are usually set for the big chains by the  whole province, one price, due to the way the pricing back office teams work, and the higher cost of distribution is spread across all.  This is one reason that EXTRA foods, is seen more in small areas, not SUPERSTORE, yet they are the same chain with the same warehouses.  EXTRA Foods stores can have different pricing.   BUT, the big difference is in the fact that the little super discount / ethinic stores are not common rurally.    I will note that SK, MB and east coast (NFLD) have higher prices than where I am at. 

So, Prince George and Fort Nelson are the same prices, for the same chains, as long as they are in the same province.



Goldielocks

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #95 on: January 04, 2018, 11:28:51 PM »
Here's a post about breakfast.
And I can't help myself,...   I have put our local pricing in below, and I know I shouldn't because we are in different regions, utterly different regions, and all...  Other than the avocado, which may be a regional thing where you are, all of these are also basic, lowest cost items for our region, too (oats, milk, oranges right now, etc.)
 
Quote
--------------------------------------------------------------
Cost breakdown:

Oats: 16oz @ $.50$1.00/lb = $0.50
Sugar 2.25oz @ $.62 0.85/lb = $0.09
Milk 1.5cups @ $2 $5/gal = $0.19
Oranges 1.5lb @ $.50$1/lb = $0.75


Leftovers I have no idea how to calculate, and SO hasn't eaten breakfast yet, so...let's assume She has toast with avocados (something she's done before):

Bread 2slice @ $1/ $1.67loaf = $0.13
Avocado 1/2 @ $.50/ $1.50 each = $0.25

Grand total cost for breakfast: $1.91
New total:  $4.06  sigh...

Thanks for the cost comparison. I feel that I should mention that the prices I quote are the sale prices that I bought the ingredients at, NOT the current price if I were to buy them today. For instance, oats-- they are regularly $1.50/lb, which is why I buy them in a 50lb bag when they go on sale for $.50-.69/lb. Or oranges, for example-- they were $.50/lb last week, but this week, if I were to buy fruit it could be grapefruit ($.50/each) or apples ($.88/lb) or canteloupe ($.49/lb).

I'm not trying to expect that anyone eat exactly what I do. But rather, find what the best prices are in your area, and build around that. Shop the sales. Using avocados as an example: when they cost $1.50 each, which they normally do, I simply don't buy any. None. They are a special treat when they go on sale. Or looking at milk: if milk cost $5/gallon, I wouldn't buy it. Breakfast would be "cooked oatmeal", (which it will be tomorrow, lol, 'cause it's COLD outside).

Also, you're in Canada. I have no idea what the grocery sale cycle is like across the border, let alone for how remote/rural you may be. I bet grocery shopping is way different in Prince George or Fort Nelson than it is in Vancouver.

Okay. I took a few minutes and browsed some online grocery ads in Vancouver....Yikes. Food isn't that expensive even directly across the border in Washington state. For instance, check out the Safeway ad in Aldergrove (BC) compared to the Safeway ad in Lynden (WA). I feel like I'm missing some farmer's markets or something, or else I have access to WAY cheaper fresh produce options. You'd likely be doing EXTREMELY well to be 1.5 times my $200/month.
I used to work at Safeway, (back when dollar was at par)....  and I got to travel for work to all the different regions in the US they operated in.
Safeway at the time, had an excellent hi/lo program (the lowest low sales points you could find anywhere)
Imagine my shock when I realized that the Alaska stores had lower prices than the Canadian stores.     I mean, they had to put all the food on a SHIP to get it there.

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #96 on: January 05, 2018, 01:21:13 PM »
Going off on maternity in a week or two and made good grocery prep/stockups this week!

Ground beef was shockingly under $2/lb this week! In Canada its rarely under $3 in my area. I bought all they had (about 20 lb) and am freezing some raw and some already made into sauce or taco meat.

And I also found packages of fast fry steak (which make a nice 3 portions for our house for sandwiches or stir fry) for under $3 each and then 30% off of that. Normally I wouldn't quite pay that much, but there were 9 packages and they could all be frozen without repackaging or rewrapping. That's very easy to defrost and make a meal of after the baby comes.

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #97 on: January 05, 2018, 09:55:54 PM »
Tonight was Beans Night. I sauteed an onion with some garlic in the Instant Pot, then added 2 cups of beans and enough water to cook them. Plus some salt/pepper/paprika/moregarlic/bouillon paste.

We did bean burritos--
The rice you see is leftover Taco Rice (yes, there's still some...). I like rice on my burritos-- I like beans and rice together in general, but I find that rice in a burrito helps absorb the salsa/bean juices and makes it not so drippy and messy. Nobody else here cares for rice, so all the more for me, haha. These were mine:

Girlie's:


Kiddo had his in a bowl with gluten free bread on the side. Sometimes he'll have his in corn tortillas.

Leftover Taco Rice: "free"
Beans: $0.42
Onion: ~$0.45
Garlic: $0.10
Corn: $0.25
Cheese: ~$.20
Avocado: $0.50
Tomato: $.22
Cucumber: $0.50
Tortillas: $0.70
Gluten free muffins for Kiddo: $.20

Total: $3.54 + salsa

I would have liked cheese on mine, but cheese has not been on sale for a while, so I let the SO have the last bit of shredded cheddar from the fridge on hers, as she enjoys it even more than I do. It also would have been normal to have sour cream, but alas, it also hasn't hit the sale cycle yet, and we used the last of ours up a couple weeks ago. :(

I meant to serve lettuce with dinner tonight, but totally spaced on buying a head while I was at Safeway earlier. I KNEW I was forgetting something. It doesn't help to remember after I get home, lol.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2018, 08:55:33 PM by APowers »

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #98 on: January 05, 2018, 10:08:51 PM »
Also: First Grocery Shopping Errand!

Went to Safeway today. They had chicken breast for $.99/lb, and tuna for $.33/can.



Tuna: 6cans @ $.33/each = $1.98
Chicken: 19.8lbs @ $.99/lb = $19.60
$2 off $20 purchase coupon = -$2.00

Total receipt came to $19.58.

I have my Safeway card connected to the website, and they send me coupons related to what I buy. They send me probably three emails a week with the latest coupons, so it's only a couple minutes to glance at the emails in my inbox and click through to load the coupons to my card. No clipping paper coupons necessary. They send me a $x off $xx purchase coupon probably once a month; when I have one, I try to use it to stock up on something that's already a good price, or to bring ground beef from "acceptable price" (<$3/lb) to "good price" (<$2.50/lb). Ground beef is $2.77/lb this week, so I was going to buy some today, but the meat counter was out, so it'll have to wait for the next go-round.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2018, 08:56:01 PM by APowers »

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #99 on: January 06, 2018, 01:08:30 PM »
More groceries!

Among other errands, we went to King Soopers:


Special Saturday-only coupon for cheese, so they were $0.99 each. The bag of peppers was on the reduced-for-quick-sale rack, so $0.99 for three peppers. The Larabar was my free-Friday item; it'll likely end up packed as a snack for a day-trip or for SO to take to school.

Total receipt = $5.94
-----------------------------------------------

Also went to Sprouts


Peppers were $.50 each, which doesn't usually happen for red peppers. Cilantro was $.50-- I'm making fajitas for dinner, so it'll add an extra yumm factor. Tomatoes were $.88/lb; they were kinda underripe, but even the expensive tomatoes looked that way-- I guess that's what I get for tomatoes in the winter.

Total receipt = $5.49
« Last Edit: January 31, 2018, 08:56:36 PM by APowers »