Author Topic: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget  (Read 81501 times)

OtherJen

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #700 on: September 28, 2018, 08:43:25 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!!

Flipp.com (or the Flipp app) should have most of your flyers. You can search by zip code.

mm1970

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #701 on: September 28, 2018, 09:23:47 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.
Hm.  I was just at Costco yesterday and didn't see these.  I hate that we don't have the same things!  We had cauli crust pizzas, $13 for 2.  Which...meh.  I'd prefer GF to cauli crust.

OtherJen

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #702 on: September 28, 2018, 09:28:27 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.
Hm.  I was just at Costco yesterday and didn't see these.  I hate that we don't have the same things!  We had cauli crust pizzas, $13 for 2.  Which...meh.  I'd prefer GF to cauli crust.

That sucks! It's the Sabatasso brand. I wonder if you can request your store to stock them.

Now I'm worried that they're going to stop selling these. I'm okay with cauli crust, but it definitely isn't the same.

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #703 on: September 28, 2018, 10:19:20 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!!

Yes, I'm aware of the slippery slope here, lol! But considering that $15 is about 30 minutes of work (out of the ~10 *extra* hours I worked just this week), I think I'm okay with this. The kids were also _especially_ good about keeping themselves occupied while I'm working, and I kind of want it to have been worth their while as well-- given that they ended up missing out on what would normally be chill/videogame time, and were stuck with a "hurry and eat your dinner before it's bedtime!!!" evening routine. I'm not planning on making this a super-regular thing, but I thought it was justified at this point. I MAY plan on making "go to get ice cream" (i.e., 20 Frosties) a much more regular thing. The kids get SO much happiness from it, and it's REALLY nice to take an hour and do "nothing" but sit and talk with them while being not-home.

I'm also purposefully backing off of the long hours. Told my boss a couple weeks ago that this week would be my last week of working late, because my home life/work was just ending up neglected and I was not okay with that. So from here on, I'm leaving work at 2:30-3 to pick the kids up from school and then going straight home instead of back to work. I managed to do that schedule most of last year's school year, and it was pretty wonderful.

I DO need to get better about planning meals out so that I have ready dinners for when I'm just exhausted at the end of long days.

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #704 on: September 28, 2018, 10:11:26 PM »
Errands today:

Sprouts:


Pork shoulder: $9.63
Pineapple: $1.76

Total receipt = $11.39. Couldn't resist another 99/lb pork roast!

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

King Soopers:


Milk: $1.99
Yoghurt: $0 (freebie)
TV dinner: $0 (freebie)

Total receipt = $1.99

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

Safeway:


Oreos: $2.73
Smoothie: $0 (freebie)

Total receipt = $2.73. And SO doesn't even know yet that she has Oreos waiting in the pantry. I was going to tell her, but the chance just didn't come up. Oh well. She'll find them soon enough. ;)

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

Also, our last Airbnb guests stayed for a whole week and left us some goodies:



2lb chicken nuggets
1 dozen eggs
French Toast bites? Not sure about these, but they look dessert-y...

Monkey Uncle

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #705 on: September 29, 2018, 04:45:35 AM »
APowers - as much pork shoulder as you eat, you should get a smoker or a kettle grill.  Pulled pork is soooooo much better when it's cooked by hardwood coals instead of electricity.

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #706 on: September 29, 2018, 08:55:36 AM »
APowers - as much pork shoulder as you eat, you should get a smoker or a kettle grill.  Pulled pork is soooooo much better when it's cooked by hardwood coals instead of electricity.

I may get one eventually, but I only end up buying pork shoulder when it's $1/lb, which seems to happen about every 1.5 years. I just don't see the payback period as worth it to go out and buy one. I'll keep my eyes open for a free one, though.

ACyclist

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #707 on: September 29, 2018, 04:31:51 PM »
We still can't get ours below 500 a month.  We have gotten better. No cheesy bagels.  :(  No top shelf coffee. No top shelf cheeses.

However, I can not bring myself to not buy organic milk, certain organic produce items, and massive amounts of nuts, veg and fruit.  We eat super healthy.  The packaged stuff is toxic and not my cup of tea. 

We drink no alcohol or soda.  Our grocery bill still pales in comparison to many people I talk to around my region.  We use moderately priced tasty coffee.


APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #708 on: September 30, 2018, 10:45:17 PM »
Did a Costco grocery errand today:



Chips: $3.89
Pepper: $4.69
Flour (25lb): $5.99

Total receipt = 14.57
« Last Edit: October 01, 2018, 05:15:35 PM by APowers »

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #709 on: October 01, 2018, 07:36:26 PM »
Day one being back on a "work ends when the kids get out of school" schedule. This is amazing. Got home, had ample time to put dinner together, kids could have some free time to chill, had a chance to clean the kitchen (not thoroughly, but enough that if I keep this up, it'll be fully cleaned over the course of the week), and kids went to bed without much fuss at 7:15. Wow!

AND I have time to post here about what we had for dinner! Anyway, I took the last of the leftover mashed potatoes and made potato pancakes with sausage and cantaloupe and salad:


FamilyGuy

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #710 on: October 02, 2018, 01:59:01 PM »
Right now I'm the only one in the home. I shop at Aldi for my groceries. Spend $10 to $15 every week max. So around $60 is my budget. I don't eat outside very much...may be once in few months.

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #711 on: October 02, 2018, 11:19:17 PM »
Heeeeere's September...I felt all month like I was going to see another month over $300, but instead I was pleasantly surprised at only $224. My freezers are literally jam-packed, so I'm pretty certain that October is going to be an "eat from the freezer" month, so I'm expecting to basically only buy fruits and veggies.

Also, in case anyone's watching, my monthly average juuuuust barely cracked $200. *panic in the streets*


$62.36 --- Safeway [5 visits]
$55.13 --- King Soopers [4 visits]
$81.29 --- Sprouts [5 visits]
$8.25 --- Discount Store [3 visits]
$17.35 --- Costco [2 visits]

$22.96 --- Costco Food Court [2 visit]
$23.45 --- Noodles & Co [1 visit]
$3.16 --- Wendy's [2 visits]
______

$273.95 --- Total Food Spending for September.


$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)
$273.95 = September (224.38 if you don't count eating out)

YTD Averages:

$239.33 = Monthly average (including eating out)
$201.52 =  Monthly average (not counting eating out)

Trifele

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #712 on: October 03, 2018, 02:38:47 AM »
Right now I'm the only one in the home. I shop at Aldi for my groceries. Spend $10 to $15 every week max. So around $60 is my budget. I don't eat outside very much...may be once in few months.

Wow.  This is the lowest budget I've heard of -- good for you.  (I've done thought experiments where I think I could get it to $20 just for myself, but $10 to $15 would be a stretch for me.)  Do you mind me asking what you typically eat to keep costs so low?  Not buying much meat I am guessing . . . Are you raising your own food?
Thanks.

CrustyBadger

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #713 on: October 03, 2018, 05:07:53 AM »
Also, in case anyone's watching, my monthly average juuuuust barely cracked $200. *panic in the streets*

You *do* have growing children!  Presumably their caloric and nutritional needs are increasing each year!

OtherJen

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #714 on: October 03, 2018, 05:14:32 AM »
Right now I'm the only one in the home. I shop at Aldi for my groceries. Spend $10 to $15 every week max. So around $60 is my budget. I don't eat outside very much...may be once in few months.

Wow.  This is the lowest budget I've heard of -- good for you.  (I've done thought experiments where I think I could get it to $20 just for myself, but $10 to $15 would be a stretch for me.)  Do you mind me asking what you typically eat to keep costs so low?  Not buying much meat I am guessing . . . Are you raising your own food?
Thanks.

I'm also very interested. From experience, eggs, beans, and rice are very inexpensive at Aldi. Still, I'm not sure I could regularly do $30 per week for husband and me. That's impressive!

FamilyGuy

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #715 on: October 03, 2018, 11:09:11 AM »
Right now I'm the only one in the home. I shop at Aldi for my groceries. Spend $10 to $15 every week max. So around $60 is my budget. I don't eat outside very much...may be once in few months.

Wow.  This is the lowest budget I've heard of -- good for you.  (I've done thought experiments where I think I could get it to $20 just for myself, but $10 to $15 would be a stretch for me.)  Do you mind me asking what you typically eat to keep costs so low?  Not buying much meat I am guessing . . . Are you raising your own food?
Thanks.

Mornings are Bread or Banana with coffee.
Lunch & Dinner is usually the same- Rice with Veggies like cabbage/cauliflower/carrots or proteins like eggs/chicken/tilapia.

I'm from India. So I cook an Indian style gravy (veggie or meat or fish) and keep it for 2 days (4 meals)....sometimes 3 days (6 meals).  But I cook rice in a pressure cooker every day (keep it for 2 meals). To keep it interesting or manageable, I change the sides every day making egg omelet (a lot of varieties), potato fry etc.

Except for Rice, I buy most of them from Aldi. I get rice from Indian stores. $13.99 for 20 lbs which usually comes for 60 days for me.





Trifele

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #716 on: October 03, 2018, 11:31:34 AM »
Right now I'm the only one in the home. I shop at Aldi for my groceries. Spend $10 to $15 every week max. So around $60 is my budget. I don't eat outside very much...may be once in few months.

Wow.  This is the lowest budget I've heard of -- good for you.  (I've done thought experiments where I think I could get it to $20 just for myself, but $10 to $15 would be a stretch for me.)  Do you mind me asking what you typically eat to keep costs so low?  Not buying much meat I am guessing . . . Are you raising your own food?
Thanks.


Mornings are Bread or Banana with coffee.
Lunch & Dinner is usually the same- Rice with Veggies like cabbage/cauliflower/carrots or proteins like eggs/chicken/tilapia.

I'm from India. So I cook an Indian style gravy (veggie or meat or fish) and keep it for 2 days (4 meals)....sometimes 3 days (6 meals).  But I cook rice in a pressure cooker every day (keep it for 2 meals). To keep it interesting or manageable, I change the sides every day making egg omelet (a lot of varieties), potato fry etc.

Except for Rice, I buy most of them from Aldi. I get rice from Indian stores. $13.99 for 20 lbs which usually comes for 60 days for me.

Nicely done!  Thanks for sharing.

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #717 on: October 03, 2018, 03:58:26 PM »
Also, in case anyone's watching, my monthly average juuuuust barely cracked $200. *panic in the streets*

You *do* have growing children!  Presumably their caloric and nutritional needs are increasing each year!

Eh....more likely the reason is that we've been eating a feast-like variety of foods instead of keeping things on the cheapest possible options. But still, the year's not over yet, and I have a pantry and freezer that are pretty loaded.

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #718 on: October 03, 2018, 04:00:42 PM »
Stopped by Wendy's after school with the kids-- I had two coupons from my Free Frosty coupon booklet, so the kids each had ice cream, and I bought another book of 5 coupons. Total cost $1.00 for two future visits.

Dabnasty

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #719 on: October 04, 2018, 08:01:10 AM »
Right now I'm the only one in the home. I shop at Aldi for my groceries. Spend $10 to $15 every week max. So around $60 is my budget. I don't eat outside very much...may be once in few months.

Wow.  This is the lowest budget I've heard of -- good for you.  (I've done thought experiments where I think I could get it to $20 just for myself, but $10 to $15 would be a stretch for me.)  Do you mind me asking what you typically eat to keep costs so low?  Not buying much meat I am guessing . . . Are you raising your own food?
Thanks.

Mornings are Bread or Banana with coffee.
Lunch & Dinner is usually the same- Rice with Veggies like cabbage/cauliflower/carrots or proteins like eggs/chicken/tilapia.

I'm from India. So I cook an Indian style gravy (veggie or meat or fish) and keep it for 2 days (4 meals)....sometimes 3 days (6 meals).  But I cook rice in a pressure cooker every day (keep it for 2 meals). To keep it interesting or manageable, I change the sides every day making egg omelet (a lot of varieties), potato fry etc.

Except for Rice, I buy most of them from Aldi. I get rice from Indian stores. $13.99 for 20 lbs which usually comes for 60 days for me.

Ah, Indian recipes may have the best price to deliciousness ratio.

Most recently I've been making a tomato/coconut milk/butter sauce but the coconut milk isn't cheap. Any suggestions on the cheapest of cheap sauces? Or just anything good for that matter.

FamilyGuy

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #720 on: October 04, 2018, 11:40:30 AM »
Right now I'm the only one in the home. I shop at Aldi for my groceries. Spend $10 to $15 every week max. So around $60 is my budget. I don't eat outside very much...may be once in few months.

Wow.  This is the lowest budget I've heard of -- good for you.  (I've done thought experiments where I think I could get it to $20 just for myself, but $10 to $15 would be a stretch for me.)  Do you mind me asking what you typically eat to keep costs so low?  Not buying much meat I am guessing . . . Are you raising your own food?
Thanks.

Mornings are Bread or Banana with coffee.
Lunch & Dinner is usually the same- Rice with Veggies like cabbage/cauliflower/carrots or proteins like eggs/chicken/tilapia.

I'm from India. So I cook an Indian style gravy (veggie or meat or fish) and keep it for 2 days (4 meals)....sometimes 3 days (6 meals).  But I cook rice in a pressure cooker every day (keep it for 2 meals). To keep it interesting or manageable, I change the sides every day making egg omelet (a lot of varieties), potato fry etc.

Except for Rice, I buy most of them from Aldi. I get rice from Indian stores. $13.99 for 20 lbs which usually comes for 60 days for me.

Ah, Indian recipes may have the best price to deliciousness ratio.

Most recently I've been making a tomato/coconut milk/butter sauce but the coconut milk isn't cheap. Any suggestions on the cheapest of cheap sauces? Or just anything good for that matter.

I don't use coconut milk very much at all. My base for the gravies is mostly red onions & tomatoes. It goes like this.

Oil -> when heated up add sliced onions -> when golden, add tomatoes -> when mushy, add vegetables or meat or fish -> add turmeric, chili powders -> add curry powder based on what kind of gravy is that * -> then salt and when it boils, it is done.

* Indian stores will have different curry powders for veg, fish, chicken etc. One packet will come for many days.

Most of the gravies/sauces are done in this manner. But you can always add a few things to enhance it. Example, adding garlic/ginger paste along with onions will be great for chicken or shrimp masala. Adding a bit of tamarind paste will be great for fish masala.

This along with a good amount of rice and egg omelet is heaven for me :) :)

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #721 on: October 04, 2018, 09:02:48 PM »
Picked up a loaf of bread at the discount store: $.99



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

Dinner tonight was beans:


APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #722 on: October 05, 2018, 10:17:21 PM »
Did leftovers for dinner today, mostly pasta (which we had on wednesday).

Also, I did a thing on sunday that seemed to work out really well all week. I *gasp* batch-prepped! Look at me go, lol! Anyway, I took the veggies that I figured I would use, based on my loose meal plan, and spent about an hour chopping them up the way I would most likely want them. I'm pretty sure it's saved me both time AND dishes, since I didn't have to get the cutting board and knife out every single day. I give this approach a thumbs-up. Definitely going to try to make this a thing.

FamilyGuy

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #723 on: October 06, 2018, 09:43:10 AM »
Attached is my Aldi bill for the week. I have leftover uncooked vegetables from last week - small/medium quantities of carrots/cabbage/Brinjal/Potatoes. I also have frozen salmon, tilapia, shrimp from last few weeks. So my grocery purchase for this week is $8.65 only. I got a roommate last week and he will be sharing tomatoes, onions, spinach in this bill. The 12 eggs (I already have 5 in the home), some tomatoes and onions will be spreading for 2 weeks.

That means my actual bill is going to be less than $8.65 which makes me happy :)
Aldi is awesome. Got 7 items for $8.65 after tax...

CrustyBadger

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #724 on: October 06, 2018, 12:23:18 PM »
Most recently I've been making a tomato/coconut milk/butter sauce but the coconut milk isn't cheap. Any suggestions on the cheapest of cheap sauces? Or just anything good for that matter.

Supposedly you can make your own coconut milk quite cheaply from shredded unsweetened coconut.

https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-your-own-coconut-milk-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-201774



FamilyGuy

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #725 on: October 06, 2018, 12:40:08 PM »
@Dabnasty - Where do you buy coconut milk and how much does it costs for a tin?
@APowers - Agreed. It's quite easy to prepare coconut milk if shredded coconut is available cheap somewhere. I usually buy a tin of coconut milk, dilute with water when I'm using it for dishes. That way it comes for months for me.

LadyMuMu

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #726 on: October 07, 2018, 11:44:08 AM »
Just posting for updates. Trying to get our grocery budget back on track.

OtherJen

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #727 on: October 07, 2018, 06:04:49 PM »
Yesterday, I spent $20.97 on 3.75 lbs of wild-caught salmon at Kroger (Plus card deal for 1.25-lb filets at $6.99). If I had more room in my freezer, Id go back and buy more. We really need a chest freezer.

Goldielocks

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #728 on: October 07, 2018, 06:35:45 PM »
@Dabnasty - Where do you buy coconut milk and how much does it costs for a tin?
@APowers - Agreed. It's quite easy to prepare coconut milk if shredded coconut is available cheap somewhere. I usually buy a tin of coconut milk, dilute with water when I'm using it for dishes. That way it comes for months for me.
Powdered or "cream of coconut" paste is much cheaper than a tin of coconut milk, here.

mountain mustache

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #729 on: October 07, 2018, 06:37:59 PM »
I buy a 6 pack of canned coconut milk at Costco. It's $8.00 for 6, which is cheaper than any grocery store in my area, and it's organic which is nice.

Goldielocks

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #730 on: October 07, 2018, 10:12:04 PM »
I buy a 6 pack of canned coconut milk at Costco. It's $8.00 for 6, which is cheaper than any grocery store in my area, and it's organic which is nice.

ooo.. finally something that is cheaper in my area (BC, Canada).   I think Coconut milk I buy is CDN$1.25/can... but that is not even trying to find a better price or a sale, because I don't buy much...If you are paying US $1.50/can... isn't that pretty expensive?

mountain mustache

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #731 on: October 07, 2018, 10:17:44 PM »
I buy a 6 pack of canned coconut milk at Costco. It's $8.00 for 6, which is cheaper than any grocery store in my area, and it's organic which is nice.

ooo.. finally something that is cheaper in my area (BC, Canada).   I think Coconut milk I buy is CDN$1.25/can... but that is not even trying to find a better price or a sale, because I don't buy much...If you are paying US $1.50/can... isn't that pretty expensive?

It comes to about $1.35 a can. Grocery stores in my area have it for $1.99 to $2.25 a can...even in the "big city" where Costco is, the cheapest place is Trader Joes, and it's $1.50 there for non-organic.

Goldielocks

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #732 on: October 07, 2018, 10:34:14 PM »
We must have a larger Filipino, Chinese populations here.  Rooster and Grace brand are definitely the cheapest.  What I can't get are low cost tortillas (and fresh salsa) like I was able to buy in California.

mountain mustache

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #733 on: October 07, 2018, 10:42:34 PM »
We must have a larger Filipino, Chinese populations here.  Rooster and Grace brand are definitely the cheapest.  What I can't get are low cost tortillas (and fresh salsa) like I was able to buy in California.

Yeah I don't live in an area with any diversity to speak of. Small mountain town in the high rockies of Colorado. I think the worst part about living here is the food, and cost of groceries! I wish we had cheaper tortillas and fresh salsa too...for being so close to New Mexico, you'd think we have more, but it's sorely lacking. I travel to Arizona pretty frequently, and stuff myself full of delicious and cheap fresh tortillas, salsa, and goodies from the Mexican bakeries

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #734 on: October 08, 2018, 06:06:19 AM »
Sunday was errands day. I'm hoping I can keep it to a once-a-week round of grocery errands. Also, did up a bunch of prep again for dinners this week, so I'm hoping it works as well as last week.

King Soopers:


Peppers: $.99
Bananas: $.57
Tuna: $0 (freebie)

Total receipt = $1.56

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

Safeway:


Cereal: $3
Milk: $1.88

Total receipt = $4.88

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

Sprouts:


Lettuce: $2.28
Avocado: $1.50
Tomatoes (3.4lb): $3.37
Celery: $.99

Total receipt = $8.14

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #735 on: October 08, 2018, 06:24:43 AM »
I buy a 6 pack of canned coconut milk at Costco. It's $8.00 for 6, which is cheaper than any grocery store in my area, and it's organic which is nice.

ooo.. finally something that is cheaper in my area (BC, Canada).   I think Coconut milk I buy is CDN$1.25/can... but that is not even trying to find a better price or a sale, because I don't buy much...If you are paying US $1.50/can... isn't that pretty expensive?

It comes to about $1.35 a can. Grocery stores in my area have it for $1.99 to $2.25 a can...even in the "big city" where Costco is, the cheapest place is Trader Joes, and it's $1.50 there for non-organic.

Is the coconut milk you're talking about somehow different than what you can get in the non-dairy milk section of the grocery store? I can usually find almond milk for $2.50 per half-gallon, and coconut milk was always on the same sale. Silk, SO Delicious, and/or Blue Diamond brands are what my local grocery stores usually have. $1.50/can just seems outrageous.

mountain mustache

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #736 on: October 08, 2018, 06:39:12 AM »
I buy a 6 pack of canned coconut milk at Costco. It's $8.00 for 6, which is cheaper than any grocery store in my area, and it's organic which is nice.

ooo.. finally something that is cheaper in my area (BC, Canada).   I think Coconut milk I buy is CDN$1.25/can... but that is not even trying to find a better price or a sale, because I don't buy much...If you are paying US $1.50/can... isn't that pretty expensive?

It comes to about $1.35 a can. Grocery stores in my area have it for $1.99 to $2.25 a can...even in the "big city" where Costco is, the cheapest place is Trader Joes, and it's $1.50 there for non-organic.

Is the coconut milk you're talking about somehow different than what you can get in the non-dairy milk section of the grocery store? I can usually find almond milk for $2.50 per half-gallon, and coconut milk was always on the same sale. Silk, SO Delicious, and/or Blue Diamond brands are what my local grocery stores usually have. $1.50/can just seems outrageous.

 Yes, it's a little different. The coconut milk in cartons in the refrigerator is diluted to be more like regular "milk". The coconut milk in the can is creamy, and more concentrated, and the only ingredients should be coconut. If you look at the nutrition labels, the carton of coconut milk is usually 30-60 calories a cup, and the can is usually 140 calories for 1/4 cup. One can will stretch a long way, but I usually use it to make curry extra delicious, or I'll add it to sauces that I accidentally make too spicy. I use it for baking too, almost like condensed milk. I also use it in any recipe that calls for heavy cream. I don't do dairy at all, so it is a nice item to have on hand. A dollop in coffee is super yummy, too.

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #737 on: October 08, 2018, 06:49:48 AM »
I buy a 6 pack of canned coconut milk at Costco. It's $8.00 for 6, which is cheaper than any grocery store in my area, and it's organic which is nice.

ooo.. finally something that is cheaper in my area (BC, Canada).   I think Coconut milk I buy is CDN$1.25/can... but that is not even trying to find a better price or a sale, because I don't buy much...If you are paying US $1.50/can... isn't that pretty expensive?

It comes to about $1.35 a can. Grocery stores in my area have it for $1.99 to $2.25 a can...even in the "big city" where Costco is, the cheapest place is Trader Joes, and it's $1.50 there for non-organic.

Is the coconut milk you're talking about somehow different than what you can get in the non-dairy milk section of the grocery store? I can usually find almond milk for $2.50 per half-gallon, and coconut milk was always on the same sale. Silk, SO Delicious, and/or Blue Diamond brands are what my local grocery stores usually have. $1.50/can just seems outrageous.

 Yes, it's a little different. The coconut milk in cartons in the refrigerator is diluted to be more like regular "milk". The coconut milk in the can is creamy, and more concentrated, and the only ingredients should be coconut. If you look at the nutrition labels, the carton of coconut milk is usually 30-60 calories a cup, and the can is usually 140 calories for 1/4 cup. One can will stretch a long way, but I usually use it to make curry extra delicious, or I'll add it to sauces that I accidentally make too spicy. I use it for baking too, almost like condensed milk. I also use it in any recipe that calls for heavy cream. I don't do dairy at all, so it is a nice item to have on hand. A dollop in coffee is super yummy, too.

Ah. So more like coconut cream, then?

mountain mustache

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #738 on: October 08, 2018, 07:02:55 AM »
I buy a 6 pack of canned coconut milk at Costco. It's $8.00 for 6, which is cheaper than any grocery store in my area, and it's organic which is nice.

ooo.. finally something that is cheaper in my area (BC, Canada).   I think Coconut milk I buy is CDN$1.25/can... but that is not even trying to find a better price or a sale, because I don't buy much...If you are paying US $1.50/can... isn't that pretty expensive?

It comes to about $1.35 a can. Grocery stores in my area have it for $1.99 to $2.25 a can...even in the "big city" where Costco is, the cheapest place is Trader Joes, and it's $1.50 there for non-organic.

Is the coconut milk you're talking about somehow different than what you can get in the non-dairy milk section of the grocery store? I can usually find almond milk for $2.50 per half-gallon, and coconut milk was always on the same sale. Silk, SO Delicious, and/or Blue Diamond brands are what my local grocery stores usually have. $1.50/can just seems outrageous.

 Yes, it's a little different. The coconut milk in cartons in the refrigerator is diluted to be more like regular "milk". The coconut milk in the can is creamy, and more concentrated, and the only ingredients should be coconut. If you look at the nutrition labels, the carton of coconut milk is usually 30-60 calories a cup, and the can is usually 140 calories for 1/4 cup. One can will stretch a long way, but I usually use it to make curry extra delicious, or I'll add it to sauces that I accidentally make too spicy. I use it for baking too, almost like condensed milk. I also use it in any recipe that calls for heavy cream. I don't do dairy at all, so it is a nice item to have on hand. A dollop in coffee is super yummy, too.

Ah. So more like coconut cream, then?

Yes like slightly waterier coconut cream. Usually the cans I get are separated when I open them, so the cream is at the top, and liquid on the bottom. The chilled cream makes amazing dairy free whipped cream! You can buy cans of all coconut cream, they are a little more expensive.

Dabnasty

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #739 on: October 08, 2018, 09:53:15 AM »
Most recently I've been making a tomato/coconut milk/butter sauce but the coconut milk isn't cheap. Any suggestions on the cheapest of cheap sauces? Or just anything good for that matter.

Supposedly you can make your own coconut milk quite cheaply from shredded unsweetened coconut.

https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-your-own-coconut-milk-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-201774

Funny I hadn't thought of this, I just made a form of almond milk from raw almonds last night. I do use the more condensed version of coconut "milk" that comes in cans but I can probably figure something out that will equate to that.

To make almond milk for cooking I blended 4oz almonds in a nutri-bullet then added 2 cups water and blended 30 seconds at a time and then let it rest for a bit. After running 3 times it tasted like almond milk; a little richer and with the particles of almond settling to the bottom. When it comes to cooking, I'm fine with not straining as I'd rather have the fiber from the almonds left anyway. If you wanted to drink it, you might want to strain them out but I haven't tried yet.

I'm guessing something similar would work for cooking with coconut milk. I'll experiment tonight and see if it works for a creamy tomato sauce.

birdie55

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #740 on: October 08, 2018, 10:56:00 AM »
I make coconut milk using dried unsweetened coconut, same type of dilution as I use in almond milk or oatmeal or rice milk.  1 cup of coconut to 4 cups of water.  You can use less water to make it thicker.  I freeze different milks in pint containers.  Coconut milk is wonderful in pancake batter. 

galliver

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #741 on: October 08, 2018, 11:25:46 AM »
I got a vegan cookbook a week or two ago (<$5 on Kindle, they were having a big sale) from America's Test Kitchen*. They had a great blurb demystifying the term "coconut milk", and this is almost the same: https://www.cooksillustrated.com/how_tos/5487-what-is-coconut-milk However, they don't mention that the one sold next to almond/soy/etc nondairy milks is typically called something like "coconut beverage" and is watered down coconut milk, possibly with additives. @mountain mustache mentioned it upthread though.

*we aren't vegan, but we like to experiment with food. Vegan cooking has some interesting ways to use vegetables :D

mountain mustache, how far are you from bigger cities that might have ethnic markets? Could you go once a month, quarter, etc to stock up on canned goods and tortillas (which I'm guessing freeze well?) I know freezer space in a regular fridge unit is at a premium for most mustachians ;) But maybe it's worth it. With salsa, I suspect the most cost-effective option is making your own in-season, but barring that, any jarred variety should last a good while as well.

mountain mustache

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #742 on: October 08, 2018, 06:42:12 PM »
I got a vegan cookbook a week or two ago (<$5 on Kindle, they were having a big sale) from America's Test Kitchen*. They had a great blurb demystifying the term "coconut milk", and this is almost the same: https://www.cooksillustrated.com/how_tos/5487-what-is-coconut-milk However, they don't mention that the one sold next to almond/soy/etc nondairy milks is typically called something like "coconut beverage" and is watered down coconut milk, possibly with additives. @mountain mustache mentioned it upthread though.

*we aren't vegan, but we like to experiment with food. Vegan cooking has some interesting ways to use vegetables :D

mountain mustache, how far are you from bigger cities that might have ethnic markets? Could you go once a month, quarter, etc to stock up on canned goods and tortillas (which I'm guessing freeze well?) I know freezer space in a regular fridge unit is at a premium for most mustachians ;) But maybe it's worth it. With salsa, I suspect the most cost-effective option is making your own in-season, but barring that, any jarred variety should last a good while as well.

I am about 2 hours away from a few ethnic markets, and 3 hours away from a good variety of places. I go every once in a while, if I'm in the city visiting friends. I mostly just make do with what I've got, and I have learned to make a lot of things homemade! This year I learned to make tortillas, and homemade salsa, and mole sauce. I have a deep freezer, so I froze a bunch of stuff in-season. It is nice to have that convenience factor of getting them from a local ethnic market...and they do such a great job. One of the things I miss from living in the city!

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #743 on: October 08, 2018, 08:58:17 PM »
I got a vegan cookbook a week or two ago (<$5 on Kindle, they were having a big sale) from America's Test Kitchen*. They had a great blurb demystifying the term "coconut milk", and this is almost the same: https://www.cooksillustrated.com/how_tos/5487-what-is-coconut-milk However, they don't mention that the one sold next to almond/soy/etc nondairy milks is typically called something like "coconut beverage" and is watered down coconut milk, possibly with additives. @mountain mustache mentioned it upthread though.

I think America's Test Kitchen is one of my all-time favourite cooking institutions. I appreciate SO much that they explain *why* the recipes work the way they do, and the science behind the art of cooking. It makes me a better cook, even when reading recipes that I'll never actually make.

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #744 on: October 08, 2018, 09:10:01 PM »
A bit more on-topic: Our last Airbnb guests left us a gift! I've never tried cactus jelly before, and honey is always yummy. Nom



Also, I made taco rice for dinner tonight-- I managed to hide about 1.5 carrots and a couple sticks of celery in the sauce, so I feel like that's an easy vegetable win. Also, the green bit in the center is a chunk of frozen cilantro puree. I love cilantro in my tex-mex, but it's really difficult to keep for any length of time. So I blended a couple bunches in the food processor, with just enough water to make a slurry; then I put it in a ziploc and laid it flat to freeze, and now I and break off a chip anytime I want some, and it will keep basically forever, and doesn't hardly take up any space in the freezer.


Unique User

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #745 on: October 09, 2018, 05:00:45 AM »
@Dabnasty - Where do you buy coconut milk and how much does it costs for a tin?
@APowers - Agreed. It's quite easy to prepare coconut milk if shredded coconut is available cheap somewhere. I usually buy a tin of coconut milk, dilute with water when I'm using it for dishes. That way it comes for months for me.

Dollar Tree has cans of coconut milk for $1.  Love this thread APowers, we have a $300 budget for two adults and a teen, but we could be better. 
« Last Edit: October 09, 2018, 05:05:43 AM by Unique User »

Teachstache

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #746 on: October 09, 2018, 06:12:31 PM »
This is great. We budget $400 per month for 2 adults & 1 3.5 year old. This includes toiletries, like diapers, & the very rare meal out, as well as morning lattes made at home. Spouse is a large eater & he's on keto. We used to do $300 per month pre kid & pre spouse on keto, but spouse is much healthier & happier on keto.

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #747 on: October 10, 2018, 12:22:12 AM »
I buy a 6 pack of canned coconut milk at Costco. It's $8.00 for 6, which is cheaper than any grocery store in my area, and it's organic which is nice.

ooo.. finally something that is cheaper in my area (BC, Canada).   I think Coconut milk I buy is CDN$1.25/can... but that is not even trying to find a better price or a sale, because I don't buy much...If you are paying US $1.50/can... isn't that pretty expensive?

It comes to about $1.35 a can. Grocery stores in my area have it for $1.99 to $2.25 a can...even in the "big city" where Costco is, the cheapest place is Trader Joes, and it's $1.50 there for non-organic.

Is the coconut milk you're talking about somehow different than what you can get in the non-dairy milk section of the grocery store? I can usually find almond milk for $2.50 per half-gallon, and coconut milk was always on the same sale. Silk, SO Delicious, and/or Blue Diamond brands are what my local grocery stores usually have. $1.50/can just seems outrageous.
I was talking about the can that is used for cooking things like coconut rice, curries, soup, etc.   Not usually for drinking, has the fat at the top of the can (if full fat).    I would guess you could dilute it and drink. It does taste quite good.

FamilyGuy

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #748 on: October 10, 2018, 09:21:01 PM »
Yep the coconut milk in van is full thick one usually for cooking. But I guess you can dilute an drink.

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #749 on: October 12, 2018, 10:28:19 PM »
Did a couple errands today. I had a job on the other end of town, so I stopped in the other discount store and Save-a-Lot.

Save-a-Lot:



Apples (6lb): $4.18

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

The discount store:



Gluten-free flour (8lb): $12.00
Bread: $1.98

Total receipt = $13.98. I was really hoping to score on some more gluten-free bread, but no luck; on the other hand, I did find some GF flour for a steal, so I definitely grabbed both bags that they had.