Author Topic: Our grocery spending has been reduced  (Read 1673 times)

ACyclist

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Our grocery spending has been reduced
« on: November 24, 2017, 02:35:16 PM »
After I posted in the anti-mustachian comedy section of this forum, and really put some of your suggestions to work, we are possibly set to spend $100 less this month.  We do need a fee things to get us through to next week, but we are looking pretty good.  I am going to put this here today.

Last month, we spent $640 (with very minimal eating out, possibly less than $50)  This was our first month living on any sort of budget.
This month, we have spent $444 (with even less eating out.  I did buy $8 of coffee and pastry, and we ate out taqueria only once.  I was bonking so there was no reasoning my way out of buying me burrito dinner.  HAHA)

The things we adopted to change the spending:

I am not allowed to do the shopping.
Less cheese purchases in the cart.
Less dining out, not even coffee. 
Really going through my pantry to eat up stuff that is languishing in there.  We all probably have that tiny bag of orzo that we need to make into something. 

I am sure that many of you, are going to say "$550 is too much to spend on two people for food."  Maybe so, but considering that we got it down at all means that we are trying. 

Brother Esau

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Re: Our grocery spending has been reduced
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2017, 05:31:12 PM »
Before MMM, my DW and I were well over $200/week on groceries. We now average $80/week and are constantly improving.

Malkynn

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Re: Our grocery spending has been reduced
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2017, 06:35:08 AM »
Before MMM we were close to $1000 per month for the two of us just in groceries and that didnít even include going out for meals, which was far more frequent than it is now.
We were eating a lot of premium foods and shopping at very expensive stores and not meal planning very well so there was a lot of waste of expensive foods.
However, I was on a learning curve of figuring out how to eat healthy and lose the 65lbs I gained during my doctorate eating cheap crap. I was cool with spending whatever it took to get healthy eating under control and lost 70lbs.

It was a huge transition going from student to professional. I am naturally frugal but had been downright poor for so long. I wasnít spending much on anything else, so didnít really see just how huge an impact groceries was having on my finances. Plus, I was so much more focused on the health and weight loss aspect that I didnít really care. It wasnít until I read MMMís post that correlated frugality with health that I started looking more critically at my food spending.
Up until that point, healthy eating just got a free pass because it was ďworth itĒ.

Since then, Iíve whittled our groceries down to less than $300-400/mo, with extremely little waste. We still eat premium food, but are mostly vegetarian, which really helps keep costs down even when buying nice ingredients, but itís a hell of a lot cheaper than eating fish 8 times a week.

I donít regret the early approach I took of ďspend whatever it takes to develop healthy eating patterns that you can truly enjoyĒ because it was a learning process. It was worth it because it got me where I needed to be health wise first and I just keep refining from there finance wise.

anadyne

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Re: Our grocery spending has been reduced
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2017, 07:56:04 AM »
Quote
It was a huge transition going from student to professional. I am naturally frugal but had been downright poor for so long. I wasnít spending much on anything else, so didnít really see just how huge an impact groceries was having on my finances. Plus, I was so much more focused on the health and weight loss aspect that I didnít really care.

This was my exact transition, too. In grad school I was barely scraping by, and when my paycheck supported what I envisioned 'healthy eating' to be, I went for it. The rest of my budget was incredibly frugal - lifestyle creep only seemed to impact my food budget. I kept telling myself I couldn't economize there or it would risk my health. The transition to less costly but still healthy food took a while to sort out.

I think we should all be excited about reductions in our budget even if we don't snap into absolute frugality within our first month or three of budgeting. Sometimes the process of layering is really important - like an excavation, the first pass reduces dining out, but you could never do away with organic meat. Then you realize you can probably cut down on organic meat and sub in some eggs or legumes. Then after a while you can probably do without the meat, and you've found a nearby neighbor who sells you eggs for cheaper, etc etc etc. Over time you keep exposing new nails to be hammered down, but it does take time.

Hirondelle

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Re: Our grocery spending has been reduced
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2017, 09:32:46 AM »
Great job ACyclist! Sure, it's still not the lowest grocery budget ever, but that's already a major improvement!

zinnie

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Re: Our grocery spending has been reduced
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2017, 11:40:49 AM »
Great job Acyclist! Any improvement should be celebrated. I've noticed with myself that congratulating myself on smaller wins helps motivate me to go even farther. No, you're not perfect yet, but gradual change makes it easier to sustain long-term anyway.

Malkynn--great job as well! I totally agree with you that healthy doesn't have to be expensive, and reducing how much meat you consume has a lot of benefits besides just cost.

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Re: Our grocery spending has been reduced
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2017, 03:49:13 AM »
I think over time you will continue to find ways to really cut that bill. It took me probably a year to figure out all the ins and outs but I reduced our grocery bill well over 50% for a family of 6 so were saving thousands and eating better than ever and not using coupons. One thing I do is I buy meats etc... on sale and then meal plan. I also have notice our garbage cans are nowhere as filled as they use to be.
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HenryDavid

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Re: Our grocery spending has been reduced
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2017, 09:49:44 AM »
"Eating healthy" is a great justification for more yuppie consumerism. In my circle anyhow. You can eat well without getting the boutique kale. One great piece of advice I rad in the 70s was "treat meat as a condiment."  Never a main item. That helps.
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ACyclist

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Re: Our grocery spending has been reduced
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2017, 09:54:14 AM »
We ended the month $100 less than last month.  This month the spending was $533.

Winning!

Daisy

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Re: Our grocery spending has been reduced
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2017, 10:53:30 AM »
"Eating healthy" is a great justification for more yuppie consumerism. In my circle anyhow. You can eat well without getting the boutique kale. One great piece of advice I rad in the 70s was "treat meat as a condiment."  Never a main item. That helps.

What is boutique kale?

Even at Whole Foods, it usually costs around $2 for a kale bunch.

ACyclist

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Re: Our grocery spending has been reduced
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2017, 10:58:36 AM »
"Eating healthy" is a great justification for more yuppie consumerism. In my circle anyhow. You can eat well without getting the boutique kale. One great piece of advice I rad in the 70s was "treat meat as a condiment."  Never a main item. That helps.

What is boutique kale?


Kale that comes in a Tiffany's box.  ;)


Malkynn

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Re: Our grocery spending has been reduced
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2017, 05:20:51 AM »
Quote
It was a huge transition going from student to professional. I am naturally frugal but had been downright poor for so long. I wasnít spending much on anything else, so didnít really see just how huge an impact groceries was having on my finances. Plus, I was so much more focused on the health and weight loss aspect that I didnít really care.

This was my exact transition, too. In grad school I was barely scraping by, and when my paycheck supported what I envisioned 'healthy eating' to be, I went for it. The rest of my budget was incredibly frugal - lifestyle creep only seemed to impact my food budget. I kept telling myself I couldn't economize there or it would risk my health. The transition to less costly but still healthy food took a while to sort out.

I think we should all be excited about reductions in our budget even if we don't snap into absolute frugality within our first month or three of budgeting. Sometimes the process of layering is really important - like an excavation, the first pass reduces dining out, but you could never do away with organic meat. Then you realize you can probably cut down on organic meat and sub in some eggs or legumes. Then after a while you can probably do without the meat, and you've found a nearby neighbor who sells you eggs for cheaper, etc etc etc. Over time you keep exposing new nails to be hammered down, but it does take time.

This was how we handled it too.
It was little change by little change until we had stream lined it down to the lean, mean, but delicious food routine that we have now.

That said, it took me cutting down my work hours in order to have the time to dedicate to researching and trying new recipes, refining them to optimize ingredient use, etc. It took time for trial and error. I didnít have that time when I was working break neck, burnout hours.

fuzzy math

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Re: Our grocery spending has been reduced
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2017, 08:59:54 AM »
I just went to my local Food Not Bombs group last week for the first time and got a week's worth of free organic produce, as well as 4 or so meal's worth of leftovers that we've been working on all week. I think this is going to save us about $100 a month in groceries, plus the fact that my kids will now be going out for a meal there weekly instead of begging to go to a restaurant.
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ACyclist

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Re: Our grocery spending has been reduced
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2017, 11:16:18 AM »
My husband did some shopping a couple of days ago.  He got chicken on sale.  He cut up the chicken and reserved all the meat, and then he boiled the bones for soup.  The man is excellent with food frugality.  I end up buying expensive breast meat or something like that.  It is way cheaper to buy whole birds.

...Oh, and last night we got dinner for free. There was a tribal event.  They had free wild salmon dinner, dancing and a drum circle.  It was fantastic.