Author Topic: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget  (Read 98433 times)

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #600 on: July 21, 2018, 07:06:02 AM »
I live on the east coast and can't seem to find any deals on butter for a while. Every once in a while they have butter on sale for $1.99 a lb. but when it is not on sale it is creeping towards $5.00 a lb.! Anyone on the east coast finding butter anywhere on sale? How about Aldi's?

That sounds pretty similar to how it is here in CO. $1.99 isn't too bad. I think the lowest I've seen was $1.49, and that was on a weekend-only Kroger coupon with a limit of 5. You just gotta stock up when you find it on sale-- butter freezes really well, and lasts forever in the freezer.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #601 on: July 21, 2018, 07:12:46 AM »
Yeah, I buy it when it is on sale but dang, it almost is never on sale! What is up with butter being so high priced theses days?

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #602 on: July 21, 2018, 07:37:43 AM »
Yeah, I buy it when it is on sale but dang, it almost is never on sale! What is up with butter being so high priced theses days?

I dunno. It does seem like it's on sale waaaay less often than it used to be 4 years ago.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #603 on: July 21, 2018, 08:18:59 AM »
Yeah, I buy it when it is on sale but dang, it almost is never on sale! What is up with butter being so high priced theses days?

I dunno. It does seem like it's on sale waaaay less often than it used to be 4 years ago.

I used to pick it up every three weeks or so on sale. Now, probably every 5 weeks it might go on sale. Next sale I am hoarding up big time!

galliver

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #604 on: July 21, 2018, 10:02:26 AM »
I live on the east coast and can't seem to find any deals on butter for a while. Every once in a while they have butter on sale for $1.99 a lb. but when it is not on sale it is creeping towards $5.00 a lb.! Anyone on the east coast finding butter anywhere on sale? How about Aldi's?
I think it's $2.99/lb at Trader Joe's (normal price, since they don't really do sales). And it's tasty. I don't remember seeing butter around the $2 mark in a while...but maybe I gave up tracking it and just settled on TJs.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #605 on: July 21, 2018, 10:34:35 AM »
The last time I bought it I got it at Costco and it was 4 for $10. Costco is 20 miles away so I don't stop in there very often. Do I drive 40 miles round trip to save $4 on butter? LOL!

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #606 on: July 21, 2018, 03:06:02 PM »
Just did a bunch of grocery errands. Some good sales this week!

King Soopers:



Cheese (4lb): $8.01
Ground beef (3lb): $7.21
Candy: $0 (freebie)
Corn (12ears): $1.50
Popsicles: $2.57

Total receipt = $19.29. I almost didn't walk through the dairy markdown cooler; I'm glad I did! $2/lb for cheese is a definite buy-it price. I'm planning on slicing the log of ground beef into burger patties for a future hamburger dinner. And corn was 8/$1!

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

Sprouts:



Blueberries (4.5lb): $7.92
Pineapple: $.98
Lettuce: $.50
Cherries (2.9lb): $2.84
Mangoes: $1.00
Tomatoes (1.2lb): $1.21
Oatmeal (50lb): $34.49

Total receipt = $48.94. Got my oatmeal stocked back up! Also picked up rainchecks for cantaloupe (75Ę/each!) and peaches (88Ę/lb!). Blueberries are the best price I've seen in a couple years; I'm hoping they'll go on an even better sale once blueberry season is in full swing, and then I'll pick some more up. This batch, I put about 4lbs in the freezer for smoothies or pancakes or whatever.

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #607 on: July 21, 2018, 03:20:19 PM »
I also thought you all might like to see what I do with the 50lb bag of oatmeal, so I snapped a pic of my buckets before I put them away.



50lbs of quick oats fits *exactly* in my two 5-gallon food buckets, plus a gallon container that lives on my countertop. Yes, that's a repurposed Costco popcorn jug; it works really great for oatmeal. It's not so big that it's unwieldy, it has a nice handle, a wide mouth (that's not so wide I can't pour out of it into whatever bowl I'm using), and a rectangular footprint (easy to tuck space-efficiently into a corner of the counter). I think I probably refill the counter oatmeal jug about once a week. And yes, that's a repurposed milk jug that I use as an oat funnel; once my counter jug is ready for a refill, it will live inside the oatmeal bucket.

In order to get the oatmeal to fit, I have to make sure to shake/tap the buckets so that the oatmeal isn't fluffed up so much. I fill them about 3/4 of the way, then shake them (little quick motions, not big shakes) while allowing the bottom to tap on the floor-- it helps the oats settle and be more compact.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #608 on: July 21, 2018, 04:26:10 PM »
Do you eat oatmeal every day? I started using steel cut oats but get tired of it in just days. I can't do oatmeal every day...I wish I could. Do you make anything with it except oatmeal? Also, people say oatmeal fills them up and it doesn't fill me up at all.

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #609 on: July 21, 2018, 04:58:05 PM »
Do you eat oatmeal every day? I started using steel cut oats but get tired of it in just days. I can't do oatmeal every day...I wish I could. Do you make anything with it except oatmeal? Also, people say oatmeal fills them up and it doesn't fill me up at all.

I do eat oatmeal every day. Sometimes I'll eat it cooked; in the summer, it's nice to eat it with milk. I'm also the kind of person who would be happy to eat the same thing every day and change it up once a month or so. The rest of the family requires variety, lol! I really like that oatmeal is quick and brainless to make, and it does fill me up (though apparently my "serving" size is about 3 times what normal people eat as a "serving" of oatmeal).

As far as using it in other arenas than breakfast-- I'll use it in oatmeal cookies, or to make granola (either for breakfast/snack eating or as granola bars)...not too much other than that, maybe a fruit cobbler/crisp topping.

Monkey Uncle

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #610 on: July 21, 2018, 06:38:31 PM »
Do you eat oatmeal every day? I started using steel cut oats but get tired of it in just days. I can't do oatmeal every day...I wish I could. Do you make anything with it except oatmeal? Also, people say oatmeal fills them up and it doesn't fill me up at all.

I make oatmeal pancakes in big batches and freeze them.  They're my go-to quick breakfast for most mornings.  Thaw a couple in the microwave, heat them in a frying pan for a few minutes, then top them with peanut butter to give them a little more ballast.  They hold me until my mid-morning snack. ;)

Roadrunner53

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #611 on: July 21, 2018, 08:30:23 PM »
Do you eat oatmeal every day? I started using steel cut oats but get tired of it in just days. I can't do oatmeal every day...I wish I could. Do you make anything with it except oatmeal? Also, people say oatmeal fills them up and it doesn't fill me up at all.

I make oatmeal pancakes in big batches and freeze them.  They're my go-to quick breakfast for most mornings.  Thaw a couple in the microwave, heat them in a frying pan for a few minutes, then top them with peanut butter to give them a little more ballast.  They hold me until my mid-morning snack. ;)

Recipe please!

Monkey Uncle

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #612 on: July 22, 2018, 08:33:32 AM »
Do you eat oatmeal every day? I started using steel cut oats but get tired of it in just days. I can't do oatmeal every day...I wish I could. Do you make anything with it except oatmeal? Also, people say oatmeal fills them up and it doesn't fill me up at all.

I make oatmeal pancakes in big batches and freeze them.  They're my go-to quick breakfast for most mornings.  Thaw a couple in the microwave, heat them in a frying pan for a few minutes, then top them with peanut butter to give them a little more ballast.  They hold me until my mid-morning snack. ;)

Recipe please!

(I usually double this recipe, which will make enough to last me a couple of weeks.)

3/4 cup of oat flower (make this by whirring up rolled oats in a food processor until the particles are about the size of coffee grounds)
1 cup of all-purpose flower (I use 1/2 all purpose and 1/2 white whole wheat flour to cut down on the refined carbs)
2 Tablespoons of sugar
2 teaspoons of baking powder
3/4 teaspoon of salt

2 eggs
1 1/4 cup of whole milk (can use buttermilk if you like)
1 cup of cooked oatmeal (1/2 cup rolled oats, 1 cup water, dash of salt; bring to a boil and then simmer for 5 minutes)
1 Tablespoon of molasses
3 Tablespoons of melted butter

Optional: 1/3 cup of chopped nuts (I like walnuts.  This raises the cost, so you could leave them out if you're really trying to pinch pennies.)

Pre-heat your favorite griddle or skillet to a medium heat, adding just enough oil to keep things from sticking.  Use a neutral-tasting oil (i.e., not olive oil).

In a large mixing bowl, sift the dry ingredients together until thoroughly mixed.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs lightly just until the yolks and whites are mixed.  Add the milk.  Add the cooked oatmeal, making sure it has cooled enough that it doesn't cook the eggs.  Break up the large lumps of oatmeal into smaller lumps.  Add the molasses, distributing them evenly throughout the bowl.  Stir in the melted butter and give the whole bowl a stir so that everything is mixed.

Immediately dump the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and mix just until no visible dry material remains.  The batter will be lumpy - this is o.k.  If you are using nuts, use a plastic spatula to fold them in gently after the batter has been mixed (don't destroy the lift that the baking powder is generating).

Spoon or dip 1/4 cup blobs of batter into the griddle and fry as you would ordinary pancakes.  The batter is much denser than regular pancake batter, so you may need to cook them longer at slightly lower heat to ensure that they get done all the way through.

I put a wire rack on a large cookie sheet and put the pancakes on in a single layer to cool.  Once cool, the whole sheet goes in the freezer so that the pancakes will freeze individually.  Once they are frozen, I can put them in a Ziploc bag.

These pancakes are also great substitutes for regular pancakes.  On the day that I make them, my wife and I will usually have some of them for breakfast with a home-made fruit topping of some sort.  Much healthier than regular white-flower-and-sugar-bomb pancakes (and much more filling, too).  You can also do any kind of addition that you would do with normal pancakes (blueberries, cranberries, apples and cinnamon, citrus zest, whatever).

Enjoy!

Roadrunner53

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #613 on: July 22, 2018, 08:41:13 AM »
Thank you!

Trifele

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #614 on: July 22, 2018, 08:47:05 AM »
Thanks for this @Monkey Uncle!  These sound really good.  I can't do oats (allergic), but you have inspired me to think about replicating this with buckwheat, which is my usual go-to for hot cereal, and buckwheat flour is widely available.  Love the idea of freezing them.  Never thought of doing that.   

Monkey Uncle

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #615 on: July 22, 2018, 03:38:59 PM »
You're welcome, both of you.

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #616 on: July 22, 2018, 11:14:58 PM »
Did sandwiches for dinner on saturday. Nothing too special.

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

Had our neighbours over for dinner tonight-- baked some rolls, cooked up some bean stew/soup, made a fancy salad!

Bean stew was beans (4cups dry), celery (5stalks), onion (1 med), garlic (2tbsp), green pepper (1/2), ground beef (3/4lb). Fried up everything but the beans in some bacon drippings until browned a bit, then pressure-cooked in my instant pot in chicken broth. I wasn't sure exactly how it would turn out-- I basically made my lentil soup, but with pinto beans instead of lentils (though this time I added some paprika).

Salad was lettuce and tomatoes, of course; but I also added in a bit of red onion, a green pepper, and I shaved the kernels off of one of the ears of fresh corn. I'm not a huge salad guy, but I thought it came out rather nice.

Also, pics of yummy bread:

« Last Edit: July 22, 2018, 11:17:04 PM by APowers »

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #617 on: July 24, 2018, 10:07:20 PM »
Did another batch of curry potatoes something something for dinner on monday, along with the leftover bean stew.

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

Tonight was rice night; I did a stir-fry. Kiddo thought it was great. Girlie hated it and barely even touched it. I thought it came out pretty good-- the sauce was a bit thicker than I wanted, but that's what I get for eyeballing the cornstarch, I guess. This dinner literally only took me an hour from "Welp, better get off the couch and make dinner..." to "Guys, it's dinnertime!". I feel like that's pretty good, considering I had nothing prepared or pre-cut ahead of time. I think my ultimate goal is 30 min from couch to table (for a regular, non-special meal).


APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #618 on: July 26, 2018, 09:48:33 PM »
Grocery errands to report (late, I know!)

Safeway for milk:


$1.99

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

Walmart for lime juice:

$1.00

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And the discount store for a bunch of stuff, mostly gluten free bread! Aww Yeah!



Bread (3 small loaves): $1.25
Gluten-free bread (14 packs): $6.89
Mayo: $.99

Total receipt = $9.10. Yay for the discount store! Gluten-free sandwich bread is crazy expensive, so I hardly ever get any (and that makes Kiddo sad, since he sometimes feels a bit left out on sandwich nights, although he's usually a pretty good sport about it). He was SO EXCITED, lol! We actually decided to do a picnic dinner tonight-- we went for an adventure out to the Paint Mines park (Calhan, CO). I had planned to eat dinner at the park, but it started raining right when we started hiking; very lightly at first, but after we had rock-hopped a bit, it really started coming down! I was glad I'd brought my umbrella! It was really cool to see the pigments flowing out with the water rivulets. Dinner was sandwiches, of course, but we actually ended up coming home to eat it, since it was raining. On the way home, stopped to get an Icee (well, not a brand name Icee, but frozen soda nonetheless) for the kids to share. That was $1.03.

One of the Paint Mines formations, with "Girl of the World" poised on top:

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #619 on: July 29, 2018, 09:18:53 PM »
Did a Safeway errand on saturday, on the way home from another outing with the kids:



Lettuce: $1.00

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

Then used that lettuce on hamburgers for dinner:


APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #620 on: July 29, 2018, 09:23:22 PM »
Also did a Wal-mart errand today. Mostly for back-to-school supplies, but picked up a couple grocery items too:



Strawberry jam: $4.28
Grape jelly: $1.96

Total receipt = $6.24.

Goldielocks

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #621 on: July 31, 2018, 02:29:24 PM »
I also thought you all might like to see what I do with the 50lb bag of oatmeal, so I snapped a pic of my buckets before I put them away.



50lbs of quick oats fits *exactly* in my two 5-gallon food buckets, plus a gallon container that lives on my countertop. Yes, that's a repurposed Costco popcorn jug; it works really great for oatmeal. It's not so big that it's unwieldy, it has a nice handle, a wide mouth (that's not so wide I can't pour out of it into whatever bowl I'm using), and a rectangular footprint (easy to tuck space-efficiently into a corner of the counter). I think I probably refill the counter oatmeal jug about once a week. And yes, that's a repurposed milk jug that I use as an oat funnel; once my counter jug is ready for a refill, it will live inside the oatmeal bucket.

In order to get the oatmeal to fit, I have to make sure to shake/tap the buckets so that the oatmeal isn't fluffed up so much. I fill them about 3/4 of the way, then shake them (little quick motions, not big shakes) while allowing the bottom to tap on the floor-- it helps the oats settle and be more compact.
D'oh!  I am not picking my costco sized empty container out of this week's recycling.


On another note, I mentioned to DH when we were talking about finances that our grocery budget has consistently been below $600 (CDN) since January.

 After pointing out that he (and I ) are eating less due to diets (note it is a low carb diet, intermittent fasting with lots and lots of meat and veggies..less food but more expensive.).. well, he did not believe it and started to say how there is so little food in the house we must be forced to eat out (um, not!  I am dieting!  and I still toss leftovers that they won't eat when I away from home).   Frankly, he just does not believe that 4 adults can eat on the equivalent of $500 USD month in and month out.

What is the difference for us?  Less variety, less waste, more focus on eating the foods with lower price point (pork loin roasts instead of steaks, avocados bought one at a time instead of a bag, cabbage and onions instead of broccoli when prices are high, etc), big drop in packaged frozen anything,  almost eliminated any baked goods ( I make them now) except sliced bread for DS's lunches...big drop in variety of produce in winter / spring--   My food costs are now rising in summer because we are buying the super fresh local fruits and veggies, even with their prices lower than ever.

We still buy a lot of frozen pizza, chips and soda.  I still buy lots of cheese, lunch meats, bacon, roasts.  I just only buy on "super" sales now.   We have almost stopped eating pasta, potatoes, rice, beans while this was going on, too.   

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #622 on: August 01, 2018, 08:21:27 PM »
What is the difference for us?  Less variety, less waste, more focus on eating the foods with lower price point (pork loin roasts instead of steaks, avocados bought one at a time instead of a bag, cabbage and onions instead of broccoli when prices are high, etc), big drop in packaged frozen anything,  almost eliminated any baked goods ( I make them now) except sliced bread for DS's lunches...big drop in variety of produce in winter / spring--   My food costs are now rising in summer because we are buying the super fresh local fruits and veggies, even with their prices lower than ever.

We still buy a lot of frozen pizza, chips and soda.  I still buy lots of cheese, lunch meats, bacon, roasts.  I just only buy on "super" sales now.   We have almost stopped eating pasta, potatoes, rice, beans while this was going on, too.   

Less waste, and more paying attention to buying things when they're on sale; just doing those two things will easily be the 20% that accomplishes 80% of the savings in your budget. Way to go, Goldielocks!

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #623 on: August 01, 2018, 08:36:22 PM »
Dinner the last few nights has been pretty boring and plain-jane. Stir-fry with salad, lentils from the freezer, just basics.

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #624 on: August 01, 2018, 09:58:28 PM »
Here's the end-of-month tally for July. This month has felt a bit out of whack because my work schedule has been packed, plus this month marks the start of renting our basement on airbnb...it's just felt crazy and slightly out of control. But my chest freezer is full, and I can live with that, I think.


$32.78 --- Safeway [5 visits]
$36.62 --- King Soopers [3 visits]
$89.16 --- Sprouts [4 visits]
$39.40 --- Discount Store [4 visits]
$31.30 --- Costco [2 visits]
$24.48 --- Save-a-lot [1 visit]

$12.39 --- Costco Food Court [1 visit]
______

$266.13 --- Total Food Spending for July.


$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)
$303.50 = June ($194.48 if you don't count eating out)
$266.13 = July ($253.74 if you don't count eating out)

YTD Averages:

$230.77 = Monthly average (including eating out)
$190.45 =  Monthly average (not counting eating out)
[/quote]
« Last Edit: August 03, 2018, 08:57:22 PM by APowers »

StarBright

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #625 on: August 02, 2018, 08:22:25 AM »
that is amazing!!

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #626 on: August 03, 2018, 09:45:10 PM »
Did a Costco errand on Wednesday:



Beans: $12.69
Brown Sugar: $15.99
Rice: $9.49
Bananas: $2.78
Salt: $6.69

Total receipt = $47.64. We also bought some other stuff-- vinegar (for cleaning) and toilet paper, but those aren't food items.

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

Also ate dinner while at Costco.

$9.18 for three hot dogs and two slices of pizza.

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #627 on: August 04, 2018, 09:25:13 PM »
Some more grocery errands:

Save-a-Lot Foods



Onions: $3.29

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

The Discount Store:



Caramel chips: $3.06
Mayo: $1.98
Bread: $.25

Total receipt = 5.29

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

Sprouts:



Carrots: $2.99
Cilantro: $1.00
Apples (4lb): $3.53
Lettuce: $.99
Tomatoes (1lb): $1.07

Total receipt = $9.58

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

King Soopers:



Cheerios: $.98
Sour cream: $1.98
Grapes: $1.90
Granola bar: $0 (freebie)

Total receipt = $4.86

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

Safeway:



Milk: $3.49
Eggs: $2.74
Yoghurt: $2.89
Peaches: $.94

Total receipt = $10.06. I bought an extra gallon of milk and the plain yoghurt because SO wants to make some homemade yoghurt. The instant pot has a yoghurt making setting, so we'll see how that turns out.


MrsPB

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #628 on: August 06, 2018, 06:17:20 AM »
Loving this thread and getting updates when thereís a new post! Thank you APowers for taking the time to do this.
We are a family of 4 in Canada, with two young children and currently at about $700/month for just groceries. Iím working to get it down but we have some restrictions since I canít eat wheat, corn, eggs and have trouble with beans/lentils/cruciferous veg even if I take Beano (which is not cheap). I do serve these foods to the rest of the family but itís limited since Iím not going to cook two meals a night when I work full time.
Our prices are much higher than what I see posted here and we donít have Aldi or Lidl. Milk is fixed at around $5.20/gallon and the lowest eggs (rest of family eats them)  I can find are $2/dozen. We mostly shop Costco and Superstore and we eat a lot of produce like berries, bananas, apples, cucumber, peppers, carrots. We are two working parents too so we do have a few convenience foods like jar sauces and cheese strings but itís not too bad overall. I think the things that I can work on are:
Not immediately replacing foods when they run out;
Imposing price limits on the higher priced items like meats and be more strict following them. Iím pretty good with knowing a good deal but also tend to fall back to the staples list at times;
Limit consumption of higher priced items like berries and meats. Iín working on serving smaller meat portions and padding out meals with more Ďfillerí.

Our bill will go up in Sept when my oldest starts school and I will be proving her snacks and lunch which previously were included in daycare fees, but thatís offset with daycare fees dropping to just before and after care fees.

Does anyone else have issues digesting beans and cruciferous vegetables? What are your tips? I love these foods but Iím put off by the after effects!

OtherJen

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #629 on: August 06, 2018, 11:39:25 AM »
Does anyone else have issues digesting beans and cruciferous vegetables? What are your tips? I love these foods but Iím put off by the after effects!

Honestly, I did for a few years during adulthood (despite eating these foods as a kid) until I was diagnosed with celiac disease and for about 6 months afterward until my small intestine healed. If you have food allergies/intolerances and young children who are still eating those foods, it is highly likely that your food is being cross contaminated. I know I have to watch my food like a hawk when we stay with my husband's family because my young niece and nephew scatter pretzels and goldfish crackers everywhere, and I usually end up with symptoms of gluten intake no matter how careful I am.

Unlike me, my husband didn't grow up eating beans and he has problems unless they're cooked a certain way. He has no problems if I soak dry beans in boiling water for at least an hour, drain and rinse them, and then cook them in a pressure cooker on high for 25 minutes.

rdaneel0

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #630 on: August 08, 2018, 08:46:21 PM »
Your stir fry looked fabulous. I have also been guilty of eyeballing corn starch and ending up with ultra-thick sauces! I am very envious of your grocery prices!!!

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #631 on: August 08, 2018, 10:56:32 PM »
I've been working later hours this last week or two, and SO has been stepping up to make dinner. Tonight was taco rice.

She also made yoghurt in the instant pot. She said it was way easier than trying to do it with a pot on the stove and a warm water bath in a cooler.

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #632 on: August 09, 2018, 01:23:40 PM »
I'm selling my condo and need to be out in a little over a month, so I've been trying to use everything up in my freezer and cabinets and probably spending less than $10/week.   One month to go!

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #633 on: August 14, 2018, 11:06:12 PM »
Some grocery errands I have been way overdue to post:

Costco:



Chips: $3.89
Salsa: $9.90
Peanuts: $5.99
Pecans: $14.99
Almonds: $11.49
Bananas: $4.17
Rotisserie chicken: $5.40

Total receipt = $55.83. The kids are going back to school this week, so I picked up the peanuts as a snack that I can give them after they get off the bus-- I figure I can give them a handful and send them outside while I'm putting dinner together.

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Sprouts:



Grapes: $.39
Celery: $.99
Apples: $.78 (not pictured-- eaten before the kids got home)
Green onions: $.50
Lettuce: $.99
Radishes: $.50
Tomatoes (1.5lb): $1.46

Total receipt = $5.61

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King Soopers:



Protein shake: $0 (freebie)
Mac n cheese: $0 (freebie)
Hot dogs: $4.95

Total receipt = $4.95

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Safeway:



Cheerios: $3.00
Butter: $3.00
Milk: $1.95

Total receipt = $7.95. Maybe, one day, the e-coupon system will just...work. Trying to make the coupons work for those cheerios was a bit bizarre-- if I had only had the weekly ad sale on my card, the total should have been $9.95, but with the coupons, the register rang it up as $10.95. The clerk didn't even understand how that happened. Bleah.

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #634 on: August 15, 2018, 06:34:29 AM »
Nice! Those rotisserie chickens are such a great deal. Iím still kicking myself for forgetting to grab one yesterday (was at an unfamiliar Costco).

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #635 on: August 15, 2018, 10:37:20 PM »
And some more shopping that I did on saturday.

Sprouts, King Soopers, and Safeway:



Anaheim pepper: $.20
Cantaloupe: $.75
Cucumbers: $1.00
Ginger: $2.51
Green/red peppers: $2.16
Grapes: $5.58
Corn: $.17

Total = $12.37. Invited a friend and his wife over for dinner on sunday night, and I wanted to make fajitas, so I picked up the fresh corn (6/$1!) and the spicy pepper.

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Discount Store:



Hot dog buns/rolls: $.99

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #636 on: August 15, 2018, 10:46:33 PM »
Nice! Those rotisserie chickens are such a great deal. Iím still kicking myself for forgetting to grab one yesterday (was at an unfamiliar Costco).

We usually can get two full meals out of one, plus we get to make some pretty great broth with the carcass and inedible bits.

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #637 on: August 19, 2018, 02:55:47 PM »
Grocery errands!

King Soopers:


Cheese: $4.95
Granola bar: $0 (freebie)
Peanut butter: $0 (freebie)

Total receipt = $4.95. Cheese for $2/lb? Yes, please.

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Sprouts:


Corn: $.84
Ginger: $.78
Cabbage (2.2lb): $1.08
Lettuce: $.99
Spicy pepper: $.11
Tomatoes (3lb): $2.92

Total receipt = $6.72. Doing a stir-fry tonight. Hopefully I'll remember to take pictures.

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Safeway:


Milk: $1.98
Chicken: $4.17

Total receipt = $8.15. Chicken was $.69/lb; I generally am willing to spend an extra $.30/lb for pieces, because they are so much more easy to freeze for using later. But I figured I'd use this one right away, so nbd-- it's currently marinating in the fridge (always marinate your meat!) and will be dinner tomorrow.

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Also, managed to pick up a freebie gallon of milk from a customer's rental, so that was a nice bonus!

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #638 on: August 19, 2018, 02:59:31 PM »
SO took that giant hunk of ginger I got last time, and made it into this:



Candied ginger. So delicious.

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #639 on: August 21, 2018, 11:06:16 PM »
Ay yi yi! School has started for both SO and the kids. Yesterday, I picked the kids up from the bus stop, and took them back to work with me-- they had a great time, playing in the giant dirt pile, "helping" me drive the skidsteer-- but by the time we called it quits, it was 6:15pm. Normally, that's when dinnertime is over and I tell them to get ready for bed. So instead of going home and making something (it'd be 7:00 by the time dinner was even on the table), we went to Costco.

$8.65

I got paid an extra 3.5hrs on my timesheet, the kids got to play in the dirt, and no dishes. While not ideal for this thread's budget, it made the most sense; we came out money ahead, the kids had a fun time, and I didn't have to fix dinner after a long day.

Sunday night, I did stir-fry, and of course I didn't remember to take any pictures. Our guests said it was amazing, so that makes me feel like my cooking skills are pretty decent.

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #640 on: August 22, 2018, 09:55:33 AM »
I'm still eating thru everything in my freezer and cupboard.  I've spent about $20 on groceries in the last month - pretty much just vegetables and eggs. I'm also on a diet right now so sticking to 1000 cal a day keeps it cheap.

Only 3 weeks left to eat the stuff in my house.  I think I will have to throw out a little bit of stuff, the dry goods will go in storage for when I return to the US.

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #641 on: August 22, 2018, 06:07:41 PM »
Iím super excited that I remembered to grab a rotisserie chicken from Costco yesterday ($4.99 at the Ann Arbor, MI store). I pulled off all the meat and made 2 quarts of stock, and we shredded up some of the meat into leftover black beans and rice last night, my savory oatmeal this morning, and tonightís Italian white bean, vegetable, and brown rice bowls (made with some of the stock and free tomatoes and herbs from SILís garden). We still have enough leftover meat and stock for chicken noodle soup tomorrow night.

I also bought 25 lbs of Thai jasmine rice for 17.99. Together with the 12 lbs of organic brown rice ($12.59) purchased last month, we wonít need to buy rice for at least a year (2-person household).

I renewed our lapsed Costco membership last fall and it has been one of the very best things weíve done for our budget and diet. Weíre not to your level yet, @APowers, but you set an excellent example.

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #642 on: August 24, 2018, 07:49:18 PM »
Folks, thanks for a lovely backlog of posts to enjoy!

Posting to follow and hopefully contribute. Some background: I'm reliably able to do groceries for DH & myself on <$350. Between making most stuff from scratch and cheapy Midwest prices (1.50 for two dozen eggs, whoo) it's never too hard.

Our primary pitfall really is fresh fruit, we can easily spend ~10-15 per trip (and I usually make something like 3 trips/month) on peak-season deliciousness. Hoping I can do some gleaning this fall and cut into the spending for a few months.

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #643 on: August 25, 2018, 10:44:36 PM »
Meal updates...mostly normal stuff, but wednesday night my mentor/employer/friend took us out to dinner. It wasn't a fancy restaurant, but still, it's more than what's in the budget, so it was a very nice treat.

Also, I made granola bars so we'd have some to pack in Kiddo's lunch box.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2018, 11:42:21 PM by APowers »

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #644 on: August 25, 2018, 11:39:53 PM »
Grocery errands:

Walmart on friday:


Gluten free pasta: $7.92
Lime juice: $2.48

Total receipt = $10.40. I just wanted to make a note about the lime juice; I can get the walmart brand for $1, or the Realime name-brand for $2. But the difference in quality is pretty stark. Store-brand and name-brand are pretty equivalent, but compared to the key lime juice, they taste "cooked" and I have to use about twice as much to get the same amount of lime-y oomph.

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

King Soopers:



Cheese: $3.74
Gum: $0 (freebie)

Total receipt = $3.74

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Sprouts:


Apples: $12.76
Green peppers: $1.00
Lettuce: $.99
Corn: $.75
Tomatoes: $1.40
Peaches: $1.29

Total receipt = $18.19

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Discount store:


Bread: $1.98
Mini peppers: $2.98
Misc chips: $1.00

Total receipt = $5.96. I wasn't expecting to find mini sweet peppers for a steal, plus they had the individual bags of chips that will be very handy to pack as snacks for the kids' school lunches or for taking with us on a day-trip or hike.

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #645 on: August 26, 2018, 04:14:54 PM »
Grocery outlet had 2 lbs of nectarines for 99 cents.  If I weren't flying out of the country soon I'd be all over that.

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #646 on: August 26, 2018, 05:26:24 PM »
I don't know what happened to potato prices, but it seems like they jumped up about 6 months ago to about double what they used to be. I'm very sad that the cheapest price I can find for a 10lb bag of plain-jane russets is now like $3.49. First world problems, I guess. It just makes me wonder if there was a problem this year with the major potato farms, the way there was with the vanilla crop last year.

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #647 on: August 28, 2018, 08:52:40 PM »
Did stir-fry tonight, except served over pasta instead of rice. It's been tough trying to figure out a good way to get dinner on the table after taking the kids to work with me 'til 5:30 or 6pm. I'm usually mostly exhausted, and the kids are often verging on hangry. Tonight seemed to go pretty well, because I spent about 10 minutes chopping/prepping everything so it was ready to go-- pretty much all I had to do when we got home was boil the pasta and throw ingredients in the frying pan.

Also, did my own homemade teriyaki (ish?) sauce from the pan drippings and the last of my chicken broth. It came out amazing. A ton of umami and I managed to get the right amount of starch to have it be just ever-so-slightly thick, so it wasn't just brothy (though that would have been fantastic too-- could have eaten dinner like ramen instead of like fried rice. hmmmmmm).


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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #648 on: August 30, 2018, 08:06:34 PM »
Stopped at the discount store today:



Tortillas: $1.98
Hot dog buns: $.99
Corn Meal: $.99

Total receipt = $3.96

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #649 on: September 01, 2018, 10:37:52 PM »
Grocery errands! From yesterday:

Safeway:


Chicken: $19.98
Chai drink: $0 (freebie)
Corn: $0 (freebie)

Total receipt = 19.98

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Discount store:



Cereal: $1.50
Caramel chips: $2.97
Mayo: $.99

Total receipt = $5.46.