Author Topic: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget  (Read 82063 times)

APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 854
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #650 on: September 01, 2018, 10:38:33 PM »
Here's the end-of-month tally for August. I feel like we overspent, but I think it's just the $100 Costco total throwing me off. Beans and rice, though, plus a bunch of meat and cheese.


$46.14 --- Safeway [5 visits]
$18.50 --- King Soopers [5 visits]
$52.47 --- Sprouts [5 visits]
$21.66 --- Discount Store [5 visits]
$103.47 --- Costco [2 visits]
$3.29 --- Save-a-lot [1 visit]
$10.40 --- Walmart [1 visit]

$8.65 --- Costco Food Court [1 visit]
______

$264.58 --- Total Food Spending for August.


$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)
$264.58 = August (255.93 if you don't count eating out)

YTD Averages:

$235 = Monthly average (including eating out)
$198.66 =  Monthly average (not counting eating out)
« Last Edit: September 03, 2018, 08:58:29 PM by APowers »

APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 854
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #651 on: September 01, 2018, 10:47:15 PM »
Stopped at King Soopers on my way home today:



Chocolate milk: $.10
Hot dogs: $4.95

Total receipt = $5.05. The kids were ECSTATIC about having chocolate milk. And it was only 10 cents!

Trifele

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1541
  • Location: US
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #652 on: September 02, 2018, 05:12:15 AM »
@APowers, how do these freebies work that you frequently get?  Is it only King Sooper that does those?  Thanks

OtherJen

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 589
  • Location: Metro Detroit
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #653 on: September 02, 2018, 07:20:13 AM »
@APowers, how do these freebies work that you frequently get?  Is it only King Sooper that does those?  Thanks

Obviously I’m not APowers, but Kroger does them too. You have to be signed up for the online rewards program, and you get a free item offer on Friday.

APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 854
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #654 on: September 02, 2018, 07:27:29 AM »
@APowers, how do these freebies work that you frequently get?  Is it only King Sooper that does those?  Thanks

I have my King Soopers card connected to the website/app-- every week they have a digital coupon for a free item. Usually it's a new product they're trying to feature, and it's often small/single serving size.

Safeway does the same kind of thing, but not on a regular schedule.

I think they track my purchase history, and then sometimes will send me a coupon for something similar to what I've bought in the past "You're a great customer! Here's a coupon for cheese [or peanut butter, or milk, etc] we know you like!"

I don't go searching these out-- I just make sure to take advantage of them when they come up. I also have my account settings set so that I get an email when there are new coupons available to download. I end up checking through the coupons about once a week for each store. I also have the app on my phone, which makes it easy to download a coupon at the store, if there's one that I forgot when browsing through. Having the coupon app also makes it easy to doublecheck that I have the right item for the coupon without having crumpled up little papers in my pocket.

Trifele

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1541
  • Location: US
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #655 on: September 02, 2018, 09:17:44 AM »
Ah!  Thank you both!

bearandmoose

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 15
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #656 on: September 03, 2018, 04:32:39 AM »
Shaws/Star Market do something similar.  Maybe Stop and Shop too.

APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 854
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #657 on: September 06, 2018, 10:26:18 PM »
Costco report from tuesday:



Bananas: $2.78

Also, SO used all the dinner ingredients that I had planned in my head to make-ahead lunches for her to take to school, so there were no dinner fixings ready. Kiddo and I didn't get home until 6pm, so we also ate out in the food court:

$8.65.

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

Wednesday, I made pasta. Tonight was baked beans and rice with brussels sprouts on the side. Kiddo ate at least half of the 1lb bag; my kids are weird and like veggies. I guess I shouldn't complain.

APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 854
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #658 on: September 06, 2018, 10:38:06 PM »
OH! And the ads for this week! I looked at them when they came out yesterday, and Oh. My.

Pork shoulder for $.99/lb
Tomato sauce for $.25/can
Brown rice for $.50/lb
Grape jam for $.99/jar
Canned beans/tomatoes for $.33/can
Ground beef for $1.99/lb
Grapes for $.77/lb
Oatmeal for $.69/lb


I'm gonna have to figure out a way to make space in my freezer and pantry, because these are some stock-up prices.

APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 854
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #659 on: September 09, 2018, 11:32:01 PM »
Grocery updates! Also, so much for the food budget this month, lol! But the stock-up is good, so I'm not really sad.

Safeway:



Tomato sauce (48cans): $11.94
Brown rice (20lb): $10.00
Canned beans/tomatoes (12 cans): $3.91
Ground beef (10lbs, in second picture as I packed it for the freezer): 19.30
Tea: $4.00

Total receipt = 49.15. Such a great sale this week. I packaged the ground beef up into hamburger patties, and popped them into the freezer.

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

King Soopers:



Sausage: $11.61
Pork shoulder: $22.98
Gluten-free buns: $2.49
Sour cream: $2.00
Bacon: $2.19
Hot dog buns: $.98

Total receipt = $42.25. Pulled pork for dinner tomorrow! I've had it marinating all day today, and then it's going in the slow-cooker tomorrow morning. Also, Kiddo was super-excited about being able to have real hot dog buns.

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

Discount store:



Bread: $.99

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

Sprouts:

[I thought for sure I snapped a shot of this haul, but I can't find it on my phone anywhere]

Apples (6lb): $5.24
Lettuce: $.99
Grapes: $3.41
Tomatoes (1.7lb): $1.52
Onions (8.2lb): $4.08
Oatmeal (50lb): $34.49

Total receipt = $49.73. I don't quite actually need oatmeal yet, but I remember what happened last time I thought I could make it to the next sale cycle, lol!

OtherJen

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 589
  • Location: Metro Detroit
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #660 on: September 10, 2018, 06:33:40 AM »
I just saw that pork shoulder sale in our Kroger flyer! I might need to make a special trip this evening.

OtherJen

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 589
  • Location: Metro Detroit
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #661 on: September 11, 2018, 03:34:34 PM »
19 lbs of pork shoulder for $19! I just managed to catch the Kroger sale on the last day.

JoJo

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1182
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #662 on: September 11, 2018, 04:17:20 PM »
I'm finishing the end of my eat everything in my house.  I'm down to 1 chicken breast, a can of beans, and half a box of cheerios.  I move on Wednesday.  Only spent $7 in the last 6 weeks.

Ate a lot of frozen veg and chicken.  Fair amount of canned goods - moved some of the canned goods to my new place (temp living with friend).

APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 854
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #663 on: September 12, 2018, 06:25:35 AM »
19 lbs of pork shoulder for $19! I just managed to catch the Kroger sale on the last day.

Yay! I've found it's easier to cook it first, and then freeze it in manageable portions. That way you don't have a ginormous defrost/multi-day preparation waiting for you in the freezer for "someday".

OtherJen

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 589
  • Location: Metro Detroit
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #664 on: September 12, 2018, 06:34:45 AM »
19 lbs of pork shoulder for $19! I just managed to catch the Kroger sale on the last day.

Yay! I've found it's easier to cook it first, and then freeze it in manageable portions. That way you don't have a ginormous defrost/multi-day preparation waiting for you in the freezer for "someday".

For sure. I’m planning to cook up half now, using my favorite oven recipe; we’ll have tacos for a couple of days, and the rest will be frozen down for later meals or to add flavor to bean pots. I’ll save the other half for a future defrost week and cook it up later in the fall for tamales and/or pozole (need to plan for those). Yum.

APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 854
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #665 on: September 12, 2018, 10:07:45 PM »
Safeway trip:



Milk: $3.54

Goldielocks

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5612
  • Location: BC
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #666 on: September 12, 2018, 11:45:56 PM »
ARGHGH!   You tease.  :-)

 I just paid $11 for 2 gallons of milk....   It was $1 more there than the cheaper place, but then I have points worth $3 for future purchases, so net only $8.  Double yours.   Canada has a milk supply control board so the gov't does not subsidize dairy farmers, it comes from the sale prices.

On a non-food note, I needed to buy my teenage son razor blades today.  He has only been shaving a bit for maybe a year, so not high intensity.  Drives me nuts when he forgets to do it but obviously needs to.  Anyway, I could not decide between the ones that looked brand name "4 for $8" or the ones that are obviously no-name "10 for $8".  Both pivot, have comfort strips, one had 3 blades, one had only two.  I told myself that I should get him thinking that the cheaper ones are "normal" right off the bat... but I wanted him happy (with me, with shaving, etc), so I bought the more expensive ones.   My inner MMM tells me I am a fool.

Am I crazy? Do razors matter to guys?   I use the bulk pack cheap ones myself and I am quite happy. 

Lews Therin

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2005
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Ottawa
  • Used to be Canadian Ben
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #667 on: September 13, 2018, 05:46:14 AM »
I pass over my beard with an electric razor, then finish with blades. Then it doesn`t matter that my blades have been in use for 6+months and aren`t very sharp.

APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 854
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #668 on: September 13, 2018, 06:34:21 AM »
ARGHGH!   You tease.  :-)

 I just paid $11 for 2 gallons of milk....   It was $1 more there than the cheaper place, but then I have points worth $3 for future purchases, so net only $8.  Double yours.   Canada has a milk supply control board so the gov't does not subsidize dairy farmers, it comes from the sale prices.

On a non-food note, I needed to buy my teenage son razor blades today.  He has only been shaving a bit for maybe a year, so not high intensity.  Drives me nuts when he forgets to do it but obviously needs to.  Anyway, I could not decide between the ones that looked brand name "4 for $8" or the ones that are obviously no-name "10 for $8".  Both pivot, have comfort strips, one had 3 blades, one had only two.  I told myself that I should get him thinking that the cheaper ones are "normal" right off the bat... but I wanted him happy (with me, with shaving, etc), so I bought the more expensive ones.   My inner MMM tells me I am a fool.

Am I crazy? Do razors matter to guys?   I use the bulk pack cheap ones myself and I am quite happy.

IMO, no, razors don't matter. As long as they do their job, which they likely will regardless of price, they're fine. I usually use an electric shaver, mostly because I'm lazy.

Goldielocks

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5612
  • Location: BC
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #669 on: September 13, 2018, 07:42:47 PM »
APowers -- Any guess on how much your "smart shopping / price book" awareness of local prices saves versus the average person buying the identical basket of goods at only one or two of their favorite local stores?

I am curious, because your base area price for some of my staples is a lot cheaper, but that is only 1/3 of the monthly cost differences (the rest is choice of food and eating less, sandwich dinners, keeping control of your splurges to lower cost Costco pizza, etc).

AND,  thanks so much for the daily / monthly post. It helps so much to see the on-going food / choices that lead to a very low food budget.. lets me not "hide" behind excuses on my end, but understand.

APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 854
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #670 on: September 13, 2018, 10:28:50 PM »
APowers -- Any guess on how much your "smart shopping / price book" awareness of local prices saves versus the average person buying the identical basket of goods at only one or two of their favorite local stores?

I am curious, because your base area price for some of my staples is a lot cheaper, but that is only 1/3 of the monthly cost differences (the rest is choice of food and eating less, sandwich dinners, keeping control of your splurges to lower cost Costco pizza, etc).

AND,  thanks so much for the daily / monthly post. It helps so much to see the on-going food / choices that lead to a very low food budget.. lets me not "hide" behind excuses on my end, but understand.

Errrrr......ummmmm.... I'm not sure how much exactly shopping around for my price-points actually saves me. If I had to hazard a guess, it's probably on the order of 30-50%. Ish? Like, if I only shopped at Costco and one other grocery store (say, Sprouts), I'd probably end up spending about double what I do now. I'd miss the 10/$10 sales that King Soopers runs, I'd miss the 88¢/lb chicken and $1.99/lb hamburger sales that Safeway runs, I'd miss out on the 99¢/loaf bread at the discount store, etc.

Don't forget that Canada prices are another cost factor for you that I don't have.

I'm glad my thread here has been helpful! It's almost hard to believe that it's September already. I feel like I should probably do a "eat the food in my freezer" stint at some point here.

APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 854
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #671 on: September 13, 2018, 10:36:52 PM »
Went to Sprouts today:



Avocados: $2.50
Lettuce: $.99
Tomatoes (1lb): $1.03

Total receipt = $4.52

nkt0

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 178
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #672 on: September 14, 2018, 08:41:26 AM »
This thread is amazing!

We have a Sprouts opening in Philly, but it's not within walking distance of our place. :(

Given that we don't drive, we spend more on groceries than i'd like…Whole Foods is the closest grocery store. :(

lollipop_hurricane

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 9
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #673 on: September 14, 2018, 08:41:47 AM »
Replying to follow this thread.  :)

robartsd

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1752
  • Location: Northern California
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #674 on: September 14, 2018, 09:41:39 AM »
This thread is amazing!

We have a Sprouts opening in Philly, but it's not within walking distance of our place. :(

Given that we don't drive, we spend more on groceries than i'd like…Whole Foods is the closest grocery store. :(
Certainly avoiding car ownership is worth the extra grocery cost; however, just about any bike can be set up to carry more groceries than you can easily carry walking (rack with townie baskets/bags on rear plus basket on handlebars). A bike could easily triple the distance you could travel for groceries vs. walking distance. All 3 Whole Foods locations I see on Google Maps for the Philly area have a Save-A-Lot and ALDI within what I would consider biking distance. I'm guessing you're near the one at 2101 Pennsylvania Ave. which is about a mile to ALDI and 2-2.5 miles to Sprouts or Save-a-Lot.

nkt0

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 178
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #675 on: September 14, 2018, 02:00:43 PM »
just about any bike can be set up to carry more groceries than you can easily carry walking (rack with townie baskets/bags on rear plus basket on handlebars). A bike could easily triple the distance you could travel for groceries vs. walking distance.

SO uses the public bikes to go to Trader Joe's. Aldi is disappointing because every time i shop there, they only have 1/2 of what i need, so i end up having to take another trip. Gonna give bike-to-Sprouts a try and see if it works out well. I've never been to a Sprouts!

APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 854
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #676 on: September 14, 2018, 11:01:44 PM »
More grocery errands!

Sprouts:



Strawberries: $.99
Green peppers: $1.50
Anaheim pepper: $.26
Cantaloupe: $.98
Nectarines: $.91

Total receipt = $4.63

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

King Soopers:



Brownie mix: $2.00
Apples: $1.98
Grapes: $1.86
Protein bar: $0 (freebie)

Total receipt = $5.84

APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 854
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #677 on: September 14, 2018, 11:25:13 PM »
This week has been sunny and 90°F, and the kids have been great sports about coming to work with me after school, annnnnd Wendy's has been running their 50¢ Frosty special. So after school, the kids and I went and had Frosties.

Total cost: $1.62

Trifele

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1541
  • Location: US
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #678 on: September 15, 2018, 02:03:08 AM »
SO uses the public bikes to go to Trader Joe's. Aldi is disappointing because every time i shop there, they only have 1/2 of what i need, so i end up having to take another trip. Gonna give bike-to-Sprouts a try and see if it works out well. I've never been to a Sprouts!

We've gotten into a routine where we get about half our groceries from Aldi, and about half from Trader Joes. Neither store has it all, but this way we leverage the strengths of each to save the most money.  We also buy a few things (that neither Aldi nor TJs carry) from Ingles. 

We did a rough calculation that we save several thousand dollars a year by shopping three stores rather than just one.  More than makes up for the additional time and effort.  The way I look at it, we are super lucky to have both an Aldi and a TJ.  Those two stores get us 95% of the way there.

fuzzy math

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 588
  • Location: PNW ---> Midwest (for now)
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #679 on: September 16, 2018, 07:33:35 AM »
SO uses the public bikes to go to Trader Joe's. Aldi is disappointing because every time i shop there, they only have 1/2 of what i need, so i end up having to take another trip. Gonna give bike-to-Sprouts a try and see if it works out well. I've never been to a Sprouts!

We've gotten into a routine where we get about half our groceries from Aldi, and about half from Trader Joes. Neither store has it all, but this way we leverage the strengths of each to save the most money.  We also buy a few things (that neither Aldi nor TJs carry) from Ingles. 

We did a rough calculation that we save several thousand dollars a year by shopping three stores rather than just one.  More than makes up for the additional time and effort.  The way I look at it, we are super lucky to have both an Aldi and a TJ.  Those two stores get us 95% of the way there.

I'm trying to figure out what nkt0 regularly needs but isn't available at Aldi - sure they don't have a huge variety of spices etc, some specialized baking items (no avocado oil), but 95% of what I need I get at Aldi. Almost all of their generic stuff tastes good except generic Doritos, so obviously gotta go to a real store for that haha. Are you looking for prepared goods that they don't carry or you prefer a brand name of, or are you shopping for super specialized staples that they don't carry? I started saving a lot by simply "lowering my standards" enough to try stuff and then actually enjoying it.

OtherJen

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 589
  • Location: Metro Detroit
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #680 on: September 16, 2018, 07:58:32 AM »
SO uses the public bikes to go to Trader Joe's. Aldi is disappointing because every time i shop there, they only have 1/2 of what i need, so i end up having to take another trip. Gonna give bike-to-Sprouts a try and see if it works out well. I've never been to a Sprouts!

We've gotten into a routine where we get about half our groceries from Aldi, and about half from Trader Joes. Neither store has it all, but this way we leverage the strengths of each to save the most money.  We also buy a few things (that neither Aldi nor TJs carry) from Ingles. 

We did a rough calculation that we save several thousand dollars a year by shopping three stores rather than just one.  More than makes up for the additional time and effort.  The way I look at it, we are super lucky to have both an Aldi and a TJ.  Those two stores get us 95% of the way there.

I'm trying to figure out what nkt0 regularly needs but isn't available at Aldi - sure they don't have a huge variety of spices etc, some specialized baking items (no avocado oil), but 95% of what I need I get at Aldi. Almost all of their generic stuff tastes good except generic Doritos, so obviously gotta go to a real store for that haha. Are you looking for prepared goods that they don't carry or you prefer a brand name of, or are you shopping for super specialized staples that they don't carry? I started saving a lot by simply "lowering my standards" enough to try stuff and then actually enjoying it.

I love Aldi and agree that I can get a large proportion of my groceries there. I can’t speak for nkt0, but the Aldi near my house doesn’t carry gluten-free flour or gluten-free oats, and sometimes the nut supplier changes and the packages state that the nuts were processed on the same lines as wheat-containing foods. Produce selection is hit or miss, and as of yesterday, several vegetables were more expensive than at the local produce market. They do usually carry masa harina, but I don’t make tortillas in summer (too hot in our no-central-AC house) and the corn tortillas at Aldi smell terrible. The store also only carries dry black and pinto beans (whereas we often also eat lentils, split peas, and white beans) and often doesn’t have a good selection of frozen vegetables.

I like my sister-in-law’s advice: start your grocery run at Aldi, then figure out the cheapest place to buy the rest.

Trifele

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1541
  • Location: US
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #681 on: September 16, 2018, 08:45:08 AM »
We do the same -- start at Aldi, then head to the other two stores.  In our town, the Trader Joe's actually has better prices on a few things than Aldi does, so we buy those there.  Also, we strongly prefer the bread at Trader Joes (they carry a couple types with no preservatives).  And TJs carries plain popcorn kernels (which we eat daily), and Aldi doesn't.

We're very lucky to have both stores.   

Edited to add:  We also get a couple items from the local food coop, where if we buy in bulk it is cheaper than Aldi.  We buy lentils this way -- 25# bags.  I should probably check into buying popcorn this way too. 
« Last Edit: September 16, 2018, 08:55:53 AM by Trifele »

APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 854
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #682 on: September 16, 2018, 10:21:17 PM »
Did some grocery errands yesterday:

Safeway:



Cheese: $3.96. I feel like cheese has been on sale a lot more lately than it has been all year so far. Is cheese a seasonal thing? I didn't think so, but I could be wrong....

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

Discount Store:



Bread: $.99

APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 854
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #683 on: September 16, 2018, 10:25:57 PM »
In other news, I've been cooking up those three pork shoulders, so that's pretty much what we've been having for dinner all week. Pork sandwiches, pork with rice, pork tacos, etc. I've got four pounds of ready to heat-and-eat pulled pork in the freezer, plus probably a couple more from tonight's pork roast. Also, I have a bunch of rendered pork fat-- definitely keeping that in the fridge to use in my frying pan for pancakes, eggs, etc. I wasn't sure my last batch was going to last me until pork went on sale again, so I had been kind of stretching it; I don't think I have to do that anymore, lol!

ian055

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 20
  • Age: 39
  • Location: North Carolina
    • Redpoint Life
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #684 on: September 17, 2018, 08:29:21 AM »
I started tracking my spending about 2 years ago and noticed I was spending anywhere from $350-450 in groceries per month. I'm single and live by myself. But I hardly ever eat out, always bring in my lunch, and I cook alot. Once I realized how much I was actually spending, I was able to cut it down to about $200-250 per month. But the last 2 months I've been under $150 and I have still been eating well and as much as I was on a $200 budget. Plus, I'm still not eating out.

My main grocery shopping has been at Harris Teeter and occasionally Sprouts. Harris Teeter has an e-Vic program that gives you special deals each week. Sometimes they even offer a free item (seems like yogurt is one a lot). Another thing I do is check the meat section and look for their orange SPECIAL sticker. This is usually meat that has it's "sell by" date that day. Most of the time the meat is still really good. This usually saves me 50-80%. Sprouts is also a good place to go for fresh produce and bulk items. They always have good weekly sales. Last week they had 3 for $1 avocados!!

I normally cook in big batches. I'm ok with eating the same things a few days in a row.

nkt0

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 178
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #685 on: September 17, 2018, 09:20:43 AM »
I'm trying to figure out what nkt0 regularly needs but isn't available at Aldi

Just as an example, the Aldi near us has no dried beans and no regular long grain brown rice. They have canned beans (which are 2-3x more expensive than dried beans) and quick-cook organic brown rice (which is also 20% more expensive than Whole Foods regular rice and disgusting!). They literally have no other option for brown rice.

Their produce is also usually 20-30% more expensive than produce markets, roughly the same as sale items at Whole Foods. Sometimes more, sometimes a little less. Also much of their produce is pre-rotted.

They do have decent cheese.

If i wanted a lot of pre-packaged foods or junk food (99¢ marshmallows), Aldi would be great. But for basic components, it's not great. YMMV.

robartsd

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1752
  • Location: Northern California
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #686 on: September 17, 2018, 12:12:47 PM »
Is cheese a seasonal thing? I didn't think so, but I could be wrong....
Industrialized dairies have separated us from the seasonality of fresh milk, but perhaps the natural seasonality still has an impact on cheese production. The natural time for abundant milk would probably be late spring when grass is plentiful, days are long, and it's not too hot. Cheeses aged a few months made from milk at peak season would probably be coming to market about now - that would be most of the mild hard cheeses, but sharp cheese usually takes 6+ months of aging.

APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 854
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #687 on: September 17, 2018, 06:24:30 PM »
Is cheese a seasonal thing? I didn't think so, but I could be wrong....
Industrialized dairies have separated us from the seasonality of fresh milk, but perhaps the natural seasonality still has an impact on cheese production. The natural time for abundant milk would probably be late spring when grass is plentiful, days are long, and it's not too hot. Cheeses aged a few months made from milk at peak season would probably be coming to market about now - that would be most of the mild hard cheeses, but sharp cheese usually takes 6+ months of aging.

I usually buy sharp cheddar, as it's almost always on sale with the other regular cheeses. So I dunno. It did seem like it was on sale a lot two years ago around this time as well.

Goldielocks

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5612
  • Location: BC
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #688 on: September 17, 2018, 10:17:43 PM »
If I recall, dairy production is not seasonal, but demand for various products, is.  So Butter and ice cream and even fluid milk have higher demand months, which affects the supply available for other products.

APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 854
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #689 on: September 21, 2018, 11:28:33 PM »
Did a Sprouts errand today:



Cantaloupe: $1.96
Lettuce: $2.58
Grapes (2.5lb): $2.57
Peaches: $3.91

Total receipt = $11.02

Walterbl

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 11
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #690 on: September 23, 2018, 10:02:18 AM »
Very doable. I certaily spend less than 200 month and I could cut it further If I ate no meat (but I love meat)

I eat almost exactly the same every day:

Breakfast: Eggs, some ceral, coffee.

Lunch: One meat with rice.

Dinner: Some pasta.

Add the ocasional sandwich if I get hungry. But thats about it.

APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 854
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #691 on: September 23, 2018, 10:15:29 AM »
Did a bread run to the Discount Store yesterday. Ended up finding some other cool stuff too!



Bread: $1.98
Potatoes: $2.29
Chips: $2.00

Total receipt = $6.27. At 15/$1, those individual bags of chips are about 1/2 the price of what I'd be willing to pay for a full-size bag of chips, and they're super easy to pack for snacks or to take with us as part of a picnic lunch.

APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 854
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #692 on: September 23, 2018, 10:17:54 AM »
Very doable. I certaily spend less than 200 month and I could cut it further If I ate no meat (but I love meat)

I eat almost exactly the same every day:

Breakfast: Eggs, some ceral, coffee.

Lunch: One meat with rice.

Dinner: Some pasta.

Add the ocasional sandwich if I get hungry. But thats about it.

Is your spending for yourself only, or multiple people? If we count my two grade-schoolers as one adult combined, then my budget is essentially $67/person/month.

APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 854
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #693 on: September 23, 2018, 01:06:00 PM »
Also took the kids out for ice cream again. Figured I should take advantage of the 50¢ Frosty deal while it lasts. Got there, and saw they were selling fundraiser coupon books for 5 Jr. Frosties for $1-- that's only 20¢/Frosty! Did that instead, so we spent a grand total of...

$1.54. That's a dollar for me and the kids, plus we bought a 50¢ frosty to bring home to SO. Also, I saw the other thread about the sweet deals on the Wendy's app, and got a free hamburger for SO to go with her Frosty. The Jr. Frosty is about half the size of a small (50¢) Frosty, but the kids seemed to get about the same level of Yay-We're-Eating-Restaurant-Ice-Cream giddiness out of them, so I count that as a win.

jim555

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1818
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #694 on: September 23, 2018, 02:13:13 PM »
I'm seeing the first signs of the tarrifs on prices.  I bought Aluminum foil in January and again today.  Up 28.5%.


APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 854
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #695 on: September 23, 2018, 06:21:58 PM »
I'm seeing the first signs of the tarrifs on prices.  I bought Aluminum foil in January and again today.  Up 28.5%.

Good thing I don't eat aluminum foil.

APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 854
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #696 on: September 25, 2018, 10:09:51 PM »
Update on the latest shopping adventures!

Kids had a for-real-deal playdate with a school friend on Sunday, so SO and I had a whole sunday afternoon to ourselves! WOOT! So we went out and did some thrift store shopping, and then had a nice dinner at Noodles and Company.

$23.45

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

Also stopped by Safeway tonight:



Eggs: $2.98
« Last Edit: September 28, 2018, 09:55:00 AM by APowers »

APowers

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 854
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #697 on: September 27, 2018, 10:44:26 PM »
What an exhausting week it's been! 8-10 hour days of running a landscaping crew, plus also making sure the household stays running. Cleaning the house? Yeah, not so much, lol!

The weekend is coming, so I should be able to catch back up a bit.

Anyway, we went to Costco for dinner tonight. $14.31 for pizza and drinks.

couponvan

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4546
  • Location: Illinois
    • My journal
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #698 on: September 28, 2018, 08:04:03 AM »
It's a slippery slope! That extra money from running those crews longer is going right out the dinnertime pocketbook. I love that you are able to do such a good job grocery shopping 99% of the time.  I've been using the prepared meal crutch for so long I need a reboot.  I need to figure out how to get the grocery flyers sent to my mailbox (or maybe subscribe to the local newspaper) where I recently moved.

Really impressive!!

OtherJen

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 589
  • Location: Metro Detroit
Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #699 on: September 28, 2018, 08:42:11 AM »
I can vouch for the gluten-free frozen pizzas at Costco, sold in a
3-pack for about $16. We have a pack in our freezer for crazy evenings.