Author Topic: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget  (Read 80738 times)

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #500 on: May 19, 2018, 08:56:28 PM »
Friday was the last of the leftovers for dinner.

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Also went to Safeway for some last minute items to prep for tonight (saturday):



Cauliflower (4lb): $3.40
Pasta: $.01
Pepperoni: $1.99

Total = $5.40. Somehow my e-coupons were messed up again, but fortunately there wasn't a huge line, and I was watching carefully, so the cashier was able to catch it. Also, you can see a bottle of aspirin in the picture, which I got as a freebie from a monopoly ticket coupon.

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

I also went to Costco and picked up a can of tomato sauce:



Tomato sauce: $2.99. I did actually buy other things this time, but they weren't food items.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2018, 09:55:01 PM by APowers »

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #501 on: May 21, 2018, 04:49:26 AM »
Saturday was my "Yay, the basement remodeling is finished!" party-- I did pizza from scratch with some salad. I <3 pizza, and good pizza from scratch is amazing!






I'm not sure how to cost it out exactly, but

~$5 for dough (have two regular loaves worth still in the freezer
~$8 for toppings (pepperoni, ham, pineapple, onion, tomato, jalapeno
$3 for sauce
~$9 for cheese
~$2 for salad
~$3 for soda

~$28 to feed us (4) and nine guests. Plus of course we had pizza leftovers for dinner on Sunday. One of the things I tend to struggle with is being social, as it's easy for me to just be by myself and mind my own business and end up having no friends; that's no good when we live somewhere that we don't even have family. So to do stuff like this and actually have people come is pretty huge for me. I'm going to try to do this sort of thing more often.

I do need to figure out how to play host and make pizza at the same time....

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #502 on: May 21, 2018, 05:07:41 AM »
Also, totally scored from the tenant move-out fridges/dumpsters yesterday. As you know, I work in property maintenance, and we had two houses do a move-out yesterday. They were throwing away perfectly good food!

I dragged home a giant (30"x30"x30") cardboard box full of random stuff, and picked through it to find the non-sketchy stuff (I'll eat food off the floor, but I'm not going to eat the been-in-a-stranger's-fridge-for-who-knows-how-long chip dip). I also scored a basketball and a soccer ball for the kids, and a window fan for the house.

Giant box full of food:


Salvageable items:


8 packets of fancy instant oatmeal
2 packs of english muffins
1lb frozen veggies
1 bottle of mustard
A whole chicken (~4lbs)
1lb bacon
1 bottle of soda
4lb bag of sugar
~8oz EZ-cook rice
3-4 frozen fish fillets (mahi mahi, and a mystery meat)
3 8oz packs of cold cuts
~12oz frozen fried rice
Individual applesauce cups
2 sweet potatoes
8oz fancy ravioli
~2.5lb hamburger patties
2.5 dozen eggs
~20 corn tortillas
Jelly/ranch/mayo/soy sauce
1lb fancy ramen noodles
"asian style pasta" kit
2 big cans green beans
2 cans spinach
1 can refried beans
1 head of garlic

Wow! I also picked up a half-empty box of ziploc bags, three nice tupperware containers (complete with fridge experiments, which we'll throw out), and a pack and a half of coffee filters. Probably $150 worth of food, if I were to go to the store and just buy it at non-sale prices. We only threw out about ¼ of the box, but it had all just been designated as trash. Such waste!

I won't complain about free fancy food, though. Nom.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2018, 05:37:50 AM by APowers »

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #503 on: May 22, 2018, 06:44:05 AM »
Dinner last night was ham and sweet potatoes (yay for free food!) with some leftover salad from saturday.



Sweet potatoes: ~$1 (freebie potatoes, plus marshmallows/molasses)
Ham: $1.50
Salad: $0 (leftovers)

Total dinner cost = ~$2.50

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #504 on: May 22, 2018, 07:59:47 PM »
Dinner tonight was the last of the leftovers from yesterday and saturday. Sweet potatoes, salad, pizza, and a couple eggs. Cost = ~.50

OH! And I forgot to mention that I managed to get a refund from the broccoli e-coupon mis-pricing Safeway experience. I just had to remember to bring my receipt and show the manager at the customer service desk the coupon on my phone. He even acknowledged that the e-coupons don't work properly half the time. So yay! $1.62 back into the food budget (I'll go back and update the former post with the now-corrected price).

Also did a Safeway errand tonight:



Cereal: $2.97

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #505 on: May 25, 2018, 07:13:25 AM »
I am way behind on my posting!

We've been on a stir-fry kick the last couple nights:

Wednesday:


Ground beef, red pepper, broccoli, carrots, onion, garlic, seasoning; served over the fancy fresh noodles I snagged the other day. Came out super delish! Probably didn't cost more than $4.50.

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

Thursday:


Ground beef, broccoli, pineapple, red pepper, onion, garlic, seasonings; served over rice with a sweet/sour sauce that SO made from scratch. Again, super delish!


APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #506 on: May 25, 2018, 07:30:19 AM »
Aaaand I need to catch you up on my grocery errands:

Walmart (wednesday):


Gluten-free pasta: $1.98

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Sprouts (thursday):


Onions (5.5lb): $2.78
Corn (6 ears): $1
Apples (2, not pictured): $.69

Total receipt = $4.47

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King Soopers (today):


Watermelon: $1.99
Milk: $2.09
Larabar: $0 (free friday)
Vitamin Water: $0 (free friday)
Cheese: $0 (freebie)

Total receipt = $4.08. I was hoping for a better markdown price on the milk....and I could have gotten fat-free milk for $1.69, but fat-free is just *eugh*. King Soopers seems to have a better selection of markdown dairy than Safeway does. It'd be nice if the store was closer-- then I'd be able to swing through more often and check the prices.

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #507 on: May 31, 2018, 05:45:35 AM »
I feel like I've kinda dropped of the edge of the map for the last few days. It's been crazy. I'm sorry. I've been trying to get the new basement remodel furnished, plus working pretty much every day (and later than usual, too, since the kids are out of school and don't have to be picked up at the bus stop).

Fortunately, I haven't been doing much grocery shopping either, so there are only a couple errands to bring you up to speed on. But first, meals:

Friday: Beans-- did beans with tortilla chips, some lettuce/salad on the side.

Saturday: Sandwich night


Sunday: Leftovers

Monday: SO pulled the whole chicken out of the freezer and roasted that, along with some corn-on-the-cob.

Tuesday: Leftovers

Wednesday: Spaghetti

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #508 on: May 31, 2018, 06:04:25 AM »
Okay, groceries:

We went to Walmart for supplies for the basement, but also pick up these:


Lime juice: $2.48
Popsicles: $2.48
Gluten-free pasta (not pictured): $1.98

Total receipt = $6.94. Summer is starting to get into the swing of things, so the kids will enjoy those popsicles on hot afternoons.

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

Also, I got to snag a last few things that had been missed in the tenants' freezer. Plus, I was the recipient of 3/4 of a leftover pizza and half a sandwich. I work with the people, so not worried about weird germ diseases.


Pizza (wrapped in foil)
Roast beef sandwich
Boneless/skinless chicken breast (frozen)-- probably 4lbs
Ground beef-- ~1lb
Frozen chicken strips-- ~2lbs
A few deli-cut slices of salami
« Last Edit: June 24, 2018, 10:24:48 PM by APowers »

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #509 on: May 31, 2018, 08:56:12 PM »
Dinner tonight was beans. SO and the kids did theirs with tortilla chips, I did mine in tortillas:


Beans, tortillas/chips, onions, tomatoes, salsa, sour cream, a bit of lettuce and a bit of cheese. ~$4 or less.

Also, I feel like our chest freezer is somehow suddenly full...maybe I should have gotten a bigger one, lol! Between finding fruit on sale and freezing it, having some make-ahead meals put up, and all the random food I saved from becoming trash, I should only have to buy fruit/veggies for the next while.

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #510 on: June 01, 2018, 05:57:25 AM »
I know I've been a bit terse these last few weeks. All of life just happening at once (basement remodel, work winding up into full swing for the summer, kids getting out of school, etc) squeezes things like this series for the precious amount of free time in my day. I'll try to keep up a bit better-- one of the things that I need to do is take some time and actually plan out my weeks/months so that I have time to accomplish all the things that I want.

Another plot twist for this series will be that we're taking some (much-needed) vacation time. I will be saving all my food receipts for this too, and I'll try my best to continue to post as we're doing a bit of travel. Forum posts are a bit tougher to put together using only my phone. I do plan to keep y'all updated. And finally, I do think we'll still hit our overall average goal of <$200/mo on food, even though we'll be living pretty extravagantly (for us, anyway) while away from home, even though June may be a little higher.

StarBright

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #511 on: June 01, 2018, 08:32:17 AM »
Thanks so much for keeping this up!

I haven't commented a ton but do check back regularly. Enjoy your vacation!

LittleWanderer

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #512 on: June 04, 2018, 08:18:47 AM »
This is a great thread.  Your updates are awesome, APowers!  Enjoy your vacation!

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #513 on: June 04, 2018, 08:22:14 AM »
I love those ice popsf.  Yum.  Reminds me to pretend my kids like them so I can buy them and eat them myself. You're grocery bill amazes/inspires me!

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #514 on: June 06, 2018, 07:30:48 PM »
Went to King Soopers:



Sour cream: $.99
Chicken: $15.05
Sausage: $4.47
Peanut butter: $0 (freebie)
Milk: $1.99

Total receipt = $22.50. I was happy to find sausage on markdown, since my freezer stash was getting a bit low.

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

Also stopped at the discount store and got gluten-free blueberry bagels-- I needed a gluten-free bread option for packing road trip lunches, and that's what they had.

$1.99
« Last Edit: July 10, 2018, 07:03:29 AM by APowers »

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #515 on: June 06, 2018, 07:45:48 PM »
Day 1 of road tripping

Lunch was packed from home

Dinner at Costco: $8.48 (3 hotdog combos, 2 slices of pizza)

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #516 on: June 07, 2018, 07:18:26 AM »
Breakfast is provided by the hotel here, so no cost to the food budget.

Kids really enjoyed playing in the hotel pool last night, as high pool admission prices make swimming a rare treat for all of us. I got up early and had a chance to practice some real swimming in the pool by myself. After reading some technique articles and practicing... I'm better than I thought I was, more out of shape than I want to be, and while not great, I can clearly do better than "not drown", which makes me happy.

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #517 on: June 07, 2018, 01:26:06 PM »
I can't seem to get pictures from my phone to upload. I think the image size is too big. Oh well.

We stopped for lunch at Wendy's for $12. Burger with no bun for Kiddo, chicken sandwich for me, burgers for Girlie and SO, plus fries for all. I'm kinda bummed that Kiddo can't do dairy, or we may have splurged even more and done the 50¢ frosty special. Oh well, it's not like merely eating out isn't luxurious enough, lol.

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #518 on: June 08, 2018, 01:21:22 PM »
Breakfast is provided by the hotel here, so no cost to the food budget.

Kids really enjoyed playing in the hotel pool last night, as high pool admission prices make swimming a rare treat for all of us. I got up early and had a chance to practice some real swimming in the pool by myself. After reading some technique articles and practicing... I'm better than I thought I was, more out of shape than I want to be, and while not great, I can clearly do better than "not drown", which makes me happy.
It's funny - for me that makes a vacation also.

1.  Free hotel breakfast - because I go down before everyone else is awake.  I eat and drink my coffee in peace.  And I don't have to do dishes!
2.  Hotel pool.  The YMCA is just not the same. 

rdaneel0

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #519 on: June 08, 2018, 03:42:35 PM »
I love following this thread! I'm not usually one to pop in with unsolicited advice but baba ghannouj/baba ghanoush is the food of my people! I have noticed a lot of really silly recipes lately and you mentioned all the steps and the poor result so I thought I'd share how I make it.

First I roast the eggplants whole over an open flame on the stove, I do it until the skin is quite black and puckered/peeling. I also choose eggplants that are on the smaller side as the really large ones are often less flavorful in my opinion. After the eggplants cool I peel them with my hands, the skin comes right off for the most part. I don't bother removing seeds or anything! Sometimes they are cooked enough (if eggplants are really small) at this point to mash with a spoon, but if not I roughly chop them after peeling and toss in olive oil and bake in the oven for maybe 20 minutes, then mash. I add in zaatar, garlic, tahini, fresh lemon juice, and a little olive oil. I often do this at the same time as hummus (which doesn't require the oven but does need food processor). I also love to make falafel from scratch, so cheap and delicious. Usually I'll also make lemon potatoes and tabouli for a full meal!


OtherJen

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #520 on: June 08, 2018, 08:55:34 PM »
I love following this thread! I'm not usually one to pop in with unsolicited advice but baba ghannouj/baba ghanoush is the food of my people! I have noticed a lot of really silly recipes lately and you mentioned all the steps and the poor result so I thought I'd share how I make it.

First I roast the eggplants whole over an open flame on the stove, I do it until the skin is quite black and puckered/peeling. I also choose eggplants that are on the smaller side as the really large ones are often less flavorful in my opinion. After the eggplants cool I peel them with my hands, the skin comes right off for the most part. I don't bother removing seeds or anything! Sometimes they are cooked enough (if eggplants are really small) at this point to mash with a spoon, but if not I roughly chop them after peeling and toss in olive oil and bake in the oven for maybe 20 minutes, then mash. I add in zaatar, garlic, tahini, fresh lemon juice, and a little olive oil. I often do this at the same time as hummus (which doesn't require the oven but does need food processor). I also love to make falafel from scratch, so cheap and delicious. Usually I'll also make lemon potatoes and tabouli for a full meal!

I want to eat at your house! I love Middle Eastern food. I make a lot of baba ghannouj in summer but haven't tried blackening the eggplant directly on the stove burner. Yum.

rdaneel0

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #521 on: June 08, 2018, 10:47:52 PM »
I love following this thread! I'm not usually one to pop in with unsolicited advice but baba ghannouj/baba ghanoush is the food of my people! I have noticed a lot of really silly recipes lately and you mentioned all the steps and the poor result so I thought I'd share how I make it.

First I roast the eggplants whole over an open flame on the stove, I do it until the skin is quite black and puckered/peeling. I also choose eggplants that are on the smaller side as the really large ones are often less flavorful in my opinion. After the eggplants cool I peel them with my hands, the skin comes right off for the most part. I don't bother removing seeds or anything! Sometimes they are cooked enough (if eggplants are really small) at this point to mash with a spoon, but if not I roughly chop them after peeling and toss in olive oil and bake in the oven for maybe 20 minutes, then mash. I add in zaatar, garlic, tahini, fresh lemon juice, and a little olive oil. I often do this at the same time as hummus (which doesn't require the oven but does need food processor). I also love to make falafel from scratch, so cheap and delicious. Usually I'll also make lemon potatoes and tabouli for a full meal!

I want to eat at your house! I love Middle Eastern food. I make a lot of baba ghannouj in summer but haven't tried blackening the eggplant directly on the stove burner. Yum.

Haha, I would love to host you! Definitely try blackening the eggplant first! When you just peel and roast the eggplant it can get a kind of slimy consistency and it doesn't have much depth, when you blacken it there's added sweetness but also the flavor and texture is much better! To be honest, the same is true of okra. I know many westerners find okra to be slimy and kind of gross, and I've had gross slimy okra too, but if you prepare it properly it's crunchy and juicy and delicious!

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #522 on: June 09, 2018, 10:07:34 AM »
Gah. Somehow the post I had written yesterday got eaten. :(

I don't want to try to recreate the whole thing again on my phone, so I'll recap:

Thursday dinner was at my sister's house, so no cost to the food budget (also no lodging cost!). We did baked chicken witb roasted carrots and mashed potatoes with salad on the side.

Yesterday we got to the Airbnb house we're staying at with a bunch of my siblings (little sister's getting married, yay!). Did grocery shopping for four days worth of food with my brother... $315 for four dinners/lunches/breakfasts for 13 people. And these are nice meals: bacon/eggs/pancakes/waffles/etc for breakfast, sandwiches/leftovers/snacks for lunch, gourmet pizza/pasta/salad/Mexican/etc from scratch (we like cooking, so this is fun for us).

That works out to be $6 per person per day. For ALL meals + snacks. So. Much. Cheaper than doing restaurants. And more fun social interaction. None of us drink much alcohol, so that's a lot of money unspent; though even if we did, we'd still be making our own drinks instead of going out for them, which would still save us money.

Last night we cooked tex-mex style-- tacos, burritos, etc. with all the fixings.

Lunch yesterday was fresh French bread with meat and cheese and a couple apples on the side-- $10.27 at WinCo, and we had ½lb of cheese ¼lb of ham, and a whole loaf of French bread leftover. WinCo is the best!

Mezzie

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #523 on: June 10, 2018, 10:10:40 AM »
May groceries came in at $101.74, but that's largely because I was cleaning out my pantry, my roommates cooked a LOT and shared, and I ate out more than usual to the tune of $146.42 (!). Total spent on food: $248.19.

For June, I'm already in $81.89, so this is more normal. I do have a one week training the last week of June that includes catered breakfasts and lunches. Their breakfasts tend to be too sweet for me, so I'll probably eat at home in the morning, but the lunches are usually great, so I should save a bunch then. I think $200 is realistic this month.

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #524 on: June 12, 2018, 07:02:35 AM »
Saturday night we did chicken Alfredo for dinner.

Sunday was an early afternoon wedding reception (late lunch), so we did leftovers/random stuff for dinner.

Yesterday, we did up some awesome amazing pizza from scratch.

We sent a full paper grocery bag full of extra food home with one sister who lives in the area, and we're taking a few thing with us (leftover gluten free bread, etc); we can't take much because we have limited trunk space and a lot of journey still ahead of us. We're sending the majority of the leftover food home with another sister who only lives a day's drive away. So. Much. Leftover. Food.

We'll do lunch on the road with some of the leftovers that we're taking, and then dinner somewhere...we haven't decided yet.

Antonn Park

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #525 on: June 13, 2018, 02:00:07 PM »
I'm trying to get my grocery bill down to $200, but since I started avoiding gluten, excess sugar, and non-EVOO oil, my bill has increased. Don't forget about the "grass-fed" beef or chicken and organic veggies/fruit. This all came from reading Genius Foods and knowing that because I have an increased risk of Alzheimer's, I should be careful of how I eat. Does anyone have any tips on buying whole foods and saving money?

Mezzie

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #526 on: June 13, 2018, 06:57:49 PM »
I'm trying to get my grocery bill down to $200, but since I started avoiding gluten, excess sugar, and non-EVOO oil, my bill has increased. Don't forget about the "grass-fed" beef or chicken and organic veggies/fruit. This all came from reading Genius Foods and knowing that because I have an increased risk of Alzheimer's, I should be careful of how I eat. Does anyone have any tips on buying whole foods and saving money?
That's pretty much how I eat. I think once you get used to it, it's actually cheaper (mostly because you have to make 99% of your food yourself).

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #527 on: June 14, 2018, 10:04:55 PM »
Dinner on Tuesday turned out to be the Costco right next to the hotel. $9.09

Wednesday breakfast was actually PBJ and apples, since the hotel didn't offer breakfast. :( It was a swankier hotel than the last one, too. Oh well.

Lunch was a stop at Costco for gas and lunch meat, since we had bred and cheese still. $11.99.

Dinner was Costco again, $6.56 Wednesday night (after dinner) we arrived at my grandparents; we'll be here for a couple days (leave on Saturday).

Today's breakfast was fruit/cereal. Lunch was leftovers/sandwiches. Grandma took us out to In-N-Out burger for dinner, so that was a real treat.

Tomorrow, the plan is to be out most of the day, so it will likely be restaurant food for lunch and dinner. We'll see.

Hirondelle

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #528 on: June 15, 2018, 04:38:42 AM »
I'm trying to get my grocery bill down to $200, but since I started avoiding gluten, excess sugar, and non-EVOO oil, my bill has increased. Don't forget about the "grass-fed" beef or chicken and organic veggies/fruit. This all came from reading Genius Foods and knowing that because I have an increased risk of Alzheimer's, I should be careful of how I eat. Does anyone have any tips on buying whole foods and saving money?

Some generic advice on this:
- Cut out as much meat/dairy as you can tolerate. You mostly don't need it for health and this will be one of the more expensive parts of your diet when bought organic.
- Check for what products it makes sense to buy organic and for what products it's just a waste of money.
- Select your supermarket; WholeFoods is totally overprices while Trader's Joe has quite a bunch of affordable organic foods.
- Beans and rice are basically the cheapest thing on earth and do fit all your criteria.

Cool Friend

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #529 on: June 18, 2018, 07:56:42 AM »
Strawberries were on sale: 3 lbs for $5!  I've got all my fresh fruit for the week :)

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #530 on: June 19, 2018, 09:41:10 PM »
Finally home! Yay!

Friday we met up with my uncle's family and cousins. We picked up some sides to go with pizza from a local pizza place. We had a nice dinner and catch-up conversation. $9.32

Saturday was another day of driving. We had to go through Las Vegas, so we decided to cruise down the Strip just to gawk, since we've never been. Seriously, it might be worth going again at some point just for the peoplewatching, lol! Anyway. We did dinner at Wendy's in Utah for $15.97. Then another hotel pool, yay!

Sunday was a shorter drive, and we stopped in Arches National Park, staying in Moab for the night. Arches is _amazing_. We drove around the park in the evening, and then we were able to do a couple short hikes in the morning before we left to make the last leg of the drive home. It is definitely worth a multi-day camping trip at some point.

There was a Denny's right next to the hotel, so we went there. That was a bad decision. Only 30-50% of the tables were full, but it took at least 10 minutes just to be seated. Should have taken the red flag then, but I was dumb. The food was reasonably okay, the waitress seemed friendly, but the wait seemed interminable-- I was seriously measuring in my head *Hm...x minutes to the store, x minutes to "home", x minutes to cook....I could just about make dinner myself on a hotplate and a microwave....", and the check was messed up too. Ugh. Some days I'm happy to pay $30.06 for dinner. Not this day. Anyway...moving on....

Monday we did Arches 'til lunch-- picnic in the park-- then on the road again. Drove through all the pretty mountains and did dinner at Chipotle. $26.82.

Today was pretty much a "sleep in and do nothing" day. Picked up some bread, lettuce, and tomato and did sandwiches for dinner with the last of the cold cuts and cheese from the cooler.

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #531 on: June 19, 2018, 10:09:27 PM »
Sprouts for some fresh veggies:



Lettuce: $.50
Carrots: $2.99
Tomatoes: $.85

Total receipt = $4.34.

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

Discount store for some bread and peppers:



Bread: $1.98
Peppers: $.90

Total receipt = $2.88. I don't usually expect to find decent produce at the discount store, but the bell peppers were $.45/each, and I figured they'd be good for some extra pizzazz to our sandwiches for dinner.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2018, 07:05:49 AM by APowers »

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #532 on: June 22, 2018, 10:41:13 PM »
Kiddo's birthday was Wednesday, and he wanted pizza for dinner, so we stopped by Safeway while we were out and about, and  picked up some pepperoni.



Total receipt = $3.00. And then of course, we made pizza for dinner:


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

Thursday was beans night--- so we did beans with tortilla chips and the last of the lettuce with some tomatoes.

Tonight was pretty hodgepodge. Everyone's been a bit tired and cranky the last couple days; so Kiddo ate the last of his leftover pizza, Girlie and I had pbj, and SO made herself an individual-sized portion of pasta with some leftover pepperoni bits.

Also, we stopped at Sprouts on our way home from yet more errands:



Strawberries: $1.76
Tomatoes (4lb): $4.09
Cucumbers: $1
Green peppers: $1
Avocados: $1
Lettuce: $.50

Total receipt = 9.35.

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #533 on: June 22, 2018, 10:47:57 PM »
AUGH! The house was so nice and clean when we left...and we've been back four days, and it's just a crashing mess. It didn't help that there were birthday presents to open (from grandparents and aunts/uncles mostly, plus a bunch of hand-me-down toys that my Mom unloaded on us when we visited them on vacation). Some days I just get sensory overload from having so much on my to-do list, plus living in a remodel, plus having two kids leaving toys/messes EVERYWHERE.

Ok, I think I'm done venting. Work tomorrow, then do grocery shopping, then clean another section of the house then put the basement beds together....aaannnd I guess I have to fit dinner in there somewhere.

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #534 on: June 24, 2018, 10:05:37 PM »
Couple of grocery errands from saturday:

King Soopers:



Cereal: $.99
Cheese: $4.95
Peanut butter: (freebie)

Total receipt = 5.94. Cheese for <$2/lb! Unfortunately, they limit you to 5 items on the coupon. I always watch for this sale, because I so rarely find cheese cheaper anywhere else.

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

Safeway:



Cereal: $1.97.
Milk: $1.99

Total receipt = $3.96. They had cereal on sale for $.99/each, plus there was a mfg coupon on the website that I put on my card. 3/$2 is an okay price by me, lol. I love breakfast cereal-- though it's not super filling, so I use it as a topping on my oatmeal for breakfast.

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #535 on: June 24, 2018, 10:09:11 PM »
Dinner on saturday was sandwiches. No pics, but pretty much the usual-- meat, cheese, lettuce/tomato/onion/pepper.

Dinner tonight was chicken & rice with some homemade sweet & sour sauce. SO has figured out how to make it from scratch (well, I think she uses ketchup as a base), and it just makes the whole meal twice as delicious!



Also, nobody else likes chicken skin, so I get all the deliciousness. Mmmm.

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #536 on: June 24, 2018, 10:43:28 PM »
End of the month tally for May. Sorry it's so late in coming! Somehow managed to make this a super-low grocery month. There was a super-fancy dinner out as a thank-you to my mentors, so that will show up here, too-- even though I don't count it in my food budget, because it's designated as a gift rather than as "food". [Now that I've got all the numbers actually crunched, I'm kind of surprised that my monthly average even including that $130 restaurant meal is still toeing my $200 average line. I expected my ytd average to jump way up.]


$19.58 --- Safeway [5 visits]
$11.92 --- King Soopers [2 visits]
$28.67 --- Sprouts [4 visits]
$1.98 --- Discount Store [1 visits]
$18.37 --- Costco [3 visits]
$8.92 --- Wal-Mart [2 visits]

$19.19 --- Costco Food Court
$130.00 --- Fancy Restaurant
______

$238.63 --- Total Food Spending for May.


$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)
$238.63 = May ($108.63 if you don't count eating out)

YTD Averages:

$209.15 = Monthly average (including eating out)
$176.99 =  Monthly average (not counting eating out)
« Last Edit: June 25, 2018, 06:56:47 AM by APowers »

Goldielocks

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #537 on: June 25, 2018, 12:56:24 AM »
Nice!   I am consistently lower the last 4 months, too, although nothing close to you, that first low month proved to not be an aberration, but the trend.

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #538 on: June 25, 2018, 01:02:12 PM »
Apowers - Do you have a blog? If you don't, you should.

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #539 on: June 25, 2018, 09:33:46 PM »
Apowers - Do you have a blog? If you don't, you should.
I had a blog a few years ago, but I just....don't like writing enough to keep it up. I'm actually kind of worried that I'll let this series end up petering out before the end of the year. I think one of the things that helps me keep it going is that it's very concrete and specific-- so I don't feel like I have writer's block because there's no creativity required-- just write down what I did, and try to make sure I take pictures of meals here and there.

Also, I really want a concrete fact-base I can point to when people whine about how "no-one can get by in these terrible times bla bla bla". I couldn't ever find one, so I decided I had to make one. Also, I figure it'll come in handy on the forum here when people in the case studies or ask a mustachian are like "how can I possibly get my food budget under $1,000 a month? It's sooooooo haaaaarddd [/whine]"

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #540 on: June 25, 2018, 09:36:34 PM »
Nice!   I am consistently lower the last 4 months, too, although nothing close to you, that first low month proved to not be an aberration, but the trend.

Good work! I know you've been staying on top of the sales and keeping your menu efficient. Keep it up! :)

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #541 on: June 25, 2018, 09:41:24 PM »
Tonight was potatoes night, so I did oven fries with them. The kids ate theirs with leftover veggies and chicken from yesterday, and I put my chicken in a salad with some tomatoes and ranch and ate that with my helping of fries.

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #542 on: June 27, 2018, 10:49:11 PM »
Dinners:

Tuesday: Chicken alfredo pasta (I'm not 100% sure about the sauce-- SO made dinner tonight).

Tonight: Taco rice

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

Stopped at Sprouts on the way home from work:



Asparagus (1lb): $1.03
Apples (4lb): $3.45
Lettuce: $.50
Cherries (2.25lb): $2.92

Total receipt = $7.88. Cherries were $1.28/lb, which is a bit more than I like to pay for fruit, but cherries are not often this close to my $1/lb rule of thumb, I decided to splurge a bit. The kids were SUPER jazzed about having cherries for a dessert/snack.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #543 on: June 28, 2018, 05:08:53 AM »
Here is a woman who has 10 mouth's to feed plus pregnant with another and she spends $1,200 a month!

If my math is right she is spending $1.29 per person per meal including snacks!

$1,200/31 days per month=$38.71 per day

$38.71 per day/10 people=$3.87 per person per day

$3.87 per person per day / 3 meals a day=$1.29 per meal per person per day

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PhpBk99mds


JanetJackson

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #544 on: June 28, 2018, 06:21:14 AM »
This thread is great, I'm coming in between $300-$350/month for a SINK who weightlifts/does CrossFit 3x a week, yoga once a week and works part-time on a farm and my side hustle is dog walking (thank goodness my day job is mostly office work/body rest) and I want to get this down as much as is reasonable with my activity level and dietary needs.

I definitely EAT, and I'm pescatarian so I sometimes go for the seafood protein options, which are more expensive than the tofu/beans/P. Butter options for protein.  I could make smarter choices here.  I also follow a somewhat specialized nutrition plan which is easy on the high gluten (some is fine), very little cheese (so sad), and a few supplements that I do include in my food budget (a few pre/pro biotics for my awful stomach issues and some marine collagen to blend up with some lemonade powder after a workout). 

I think with my level of activity, a realistic bottom level would be $250-$275, but I'm curious as to whether I could get to sub $200 without being hungry and mad.   

Looking forward to following this thread! :)

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #545 on: June 28, 2018, 10:22:08 PM »
Did leftovers (taco rice, mostly) for dinner, then took the kids to the park to eat a few cherries for dessert and an hour of playground time.

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #546 on: June 28, 2018, 10:59:45 PM »
This thread is great, I'm coming in between $300-$350/month for a SINK who weightlifts/does CrossFit 3x a week, yoga once a week and works part-time on a farm and my side hustle is dog walking (thank goodness my day job is mostly office work/body rest) and I want to get this down as much as is reasonable with my activity level and dietary needs.

I definitely EAT, and I'm pescatarian so I sometimes go for the seafood protein options, which are more expensive than the tofu/beans/P. Butter options for protein.  I could make smarter choices here.  I also follow a somewhat specialized nutrition plan which is easy on the high gluten (some is fine), very little cheese (so sad), and a few supplements that I do include in my food budget (a few pre/pro biotics for my awful stomach issues and some marine collagen to blend up with some lemonade powder after a workout). 

I think with my level of activity, a realistic bottom level would be $250-$275, but I'm curious as to whether I could get to sub $200 without being hungry and mad.   

Looking forward to following this thread! :)

As you're thinking about vegetable protein, don't forget lentils! Also, remember that a complete veggie protein is legume+grain-- so pair your lentils/beans/peanuts/soy with rice/corn/wheat/oats. So you can do a rice/beans dish, or lentil stew with some hearty homemade bread, or peanuts/butter in your oatmeal, or pbj sandwiches, or tofu in your stir-fry over rice, etc.

And don't forget to follow your weekly grocery ad flyers-- sometimes you'll see a screaming deal on a non-perishable staple that you use all the time. When that happens, jump on it and stock up!

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #547 on: June 29, 2018, 12:10:51 PM »
Apowers - Do you have a blog? If you don't, you should.
I had a blog a few years ago, but I just....don't like writing enough to keep it up. I'm actually kind of worried that I'll let this series end up petering out before the end of the year. I think one of the things that helps me keep it going is that it's very concrete and specific-- so I don't feel like I have writer's block because there's no creativity required-- just write down what I did, and try to make sure I take pictures of meals here and there.

Also, I really want a concrete fact-base I can point to when people whine about how "no-one can get by in these terrible times bla bla bla". I couldn't ever find one, so I decided I had to make one. Also, I figure it'll come in handy on the forum here when people in the case studies or ask a mustachian are like "how can I possibly get my food budget under $1,000 a month? It's sooooooo haaaaarddd [/whine]"

I've actually been referring to this thread in every single case study where people spent extraordinarily much on groceries :)

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #548 on: June 29, 2018, 08:54:17 PM »
Apowers - Do you have a blog? If you don't, you should.
I had a blog a few years ago, but I just....don't like writing enough to keep it up. I'm actually kind of worried that I'll let this series end up petering out before the end of the year. I think one of the things that helps me keep it going is that it's very concrete and specific-- so I don't feel like I have writer's block because there's no creativity required-- just write down what I did, and try to make sure I take pictures of meals here and there.

Also, I really want a concrete fact-base I can point to when people whine about how "no-one can get by in these terrible times bla bla bla". I couldn't ever find one, so I decided I had to make one. Also, I figure it'll come in handy on the forum here when people in the case studies or ask a mustachian are like "how can I possibly get my food budget under $1,000 a month? It's sooooooo haaaaarddd [/whine]"

I've actually been referring to this thread in every single case study where people spent extraordinarily much on groceries :)

Haha! Maybe one day I'll be famous, lol!

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #549 on: June 29, 2018, 10:24:08 PM »
Dinner tonight was lentil soup pulled from the freezer. Served with some tortillas, so maybe $.75.

Also, pro-tip: don't go shopping when the kids are hungry and tired. They literally fell asleep in the 10 minutes to Walmart (not grocery shopping); then on the way home at 5pm, they were pointing out the window at every restaurant they recognize as a restaurant and asking if we can go there. On the bright side, they weren't SO hangry that they wouldn't eat their dinner nicely, so that was a relief.