Author Topic: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018  (Read 49766 times)

pancakes

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Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« on: January 19, 2018, 07:54:18 PM »
Last yearís thread seemed to go really well for some people (not so much me).

Letís keep the momentum up in 2018, or perhaps kick it all off again.

Share your goals and tips, get some motivation or ask for help. Whatever stage you are at, if you are looking to reduce your day to day grocery expenses, welcome!

pancakes

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2018, 07:57:46 PM »
My grocery goals for this year are first to get an idea of how much we are actually spending.

I know Mr Pancakes is buying lunch at work often and we are drinking a lot of wine but some detailed itemised tracking is needed to see just how out of control it has become. Then we will set up some goals to work towards.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2018, 08:56:21 PM by pancakes »

HappierAtHome

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2018, 07:58:36 PM »
I'm in! We spent $878/month on average last year (two adults, one baby on formula and occasional disposable nappies).

My basic strategies: avoid food waste. Shop mostly at Aldi. Include plenty of vegan and vegetarian dinners. Plan ahead! Less convenience food.

Laura33

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2018, 07:28:46 AM »
Iím in again.  Goal is $600 for groceries and standard household products, and to minimize weeknight takeout (for health reasons as much as anything else), but without a specific $ limit.  So far this month we are off to a good start - groceries + household together is $262 (I didnít break it out on the receipts).  Part of it is thanks to my giant shop on 12/31, and part of it is because DD got her license and wanted to take over shopping.  Best idea Iíve ever had:  I gave her the list, put $100 on her card, and told her she could use or keep the rest.  She called about 10 times for help figuring out the cheapest options and came home with an $88 bill.  :-)

Takeout is killing me, though, as a new BBQ place opened a block away, and we donít get good BBQ here.  And they are not cheap ($10 sandwiches, $2-3 for each very small side).  Iíve already dropped $100 there for just two meals for the family, ugh.

zeli2033

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2018, 08:16:20 AM »
I'm in for this. I just looked at our average monthly spend on food/dining last year and it is, I shit you not, $1,377. FOR TWO PEOPLE.

I thought it must be some mistake in Mint (ah, rationalization). Alas, no - I went through each line item in that category and can attest that it was due to food/dining. The only caveat is that I don't break out our household goods purchased at grocery stores so some of this can be attributed to that. BUT STILL! Not nearly enough to make that number reasonable by any stretch of the imagination.

After getting a bit more serious about mustachianism in the last few months of 2017, the average dropped to $1,118. With the holidays and travel that's moderately more forgiving but with the introduction of meal planning and using our resources wisely, I think this can be better.

Goal for 2018: Average monthly spend for Food/Dining category to be less than $850. This will continue to include household goods. That's still ridiculous for two people but I think it's a reasonable goal to have based on what all we have coming up this year for trips and it will be the first of many small steps into a future toward more reasonable spending.

So far this month, we've spent $459. Meal planning has been a huge saver and making large batches of freezer meals has also been life changing. I have some travel coming up for work but it will be on the company so we just have to get DH through next week and then finish up the month strong. Shouldn't have any issues staying under budget but I've seen us do all sorts of crazy things when under "stress"*...

*"Stress" is my self-diagnosed complainypants speak for laziness, poor planning & letting convenience reign supreme
« Last Edit: January 20, 2018, 08:18:09 AM by zeli2033 »

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2018, 08:56:17 AM »
My goal for 2018 is to keep our grocery spending at $620. Our dining out budget is a lean $85/month for four people. Two adults, 2 kids (10 & 11). We do get free lunch at work, so that definitely helps.

We do the majority of our shopping at Costco (lots of produce) & a produce stand, but I think I can find a better source of cheaper meat, by tracking the ads a bit more regularly & stocking up when things are a particularly good deal elsewhere.

Here's our standard weekly list:

  • Two bunches of bananas
    One Costco package of apples
    Ditto pears
    Melon
    Pineapple
    Bag of carrots
    2 Costco jugs of milk
    Bread (experimenting with making at home)
    Lettuce
    Tomatoes
    Broccoli
    Cucumbers x2
    Peppers (maybe every other week)

    Plus, whatever we're missing from the less weekly items.

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2018, 02:03:28 PM »
Yes! Got all of my grocery shopping done for the week, and came in at $99.89. I like to be between $115-$120, but any time I'm under $100, it's a huge win. Caveat, did use $9 on a grocery store gift card. Even got the ingredients to make a new chicken curry recipe.

haypug16

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2018, 03:58:50 PM »
I'm in. joining the 2017 thread was a huge help. My grocery spend in 2017 was an average of $250 (beginning of 2017 was closer to $300 and end of 2017 was closer to $200) My monthly stretch goal is $200 but anything under $250 I will call a win. I am trying to also reduce my dining out spend for the year so we'll see how it goes. Good luck to you all.

Off the Wheel

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2018, 04:02:02 PM »
I'm in!

I'd like to keep my groceries under $250. Same with dining out. Last year my Mint "dining/entertainment" was $750/month... I was carrying a lot more of the load since my husband was in school, but that still seems crazy. $250 feels realistic if I'm mostly just covering myself.

Abe

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2018, 04:26:21 PM »
We're in! Goal is $600 from average of $1060 for 2 adults and a toddler (self-facepunch). 60% of that was eating out.
Changes we're making: bought an insta-pot, I no longer work 14 hours a day, and our kid eats normal food now.

Bill so far this month: $250!

DTaggart

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2018, 04:47:24 PM »
I'm in! My goal is to stick to a $250/month budget. This includes food and household/personal care crap for my husband and I. It does not include anything for the dog or eating out. I pretty much never eat out myself, and if my husband chooses to eat out it comes from his personal spending money.

My only trouble is sometimes I buy discount grocery store gift cards and then I don't end up tracking that spending well in the month I actually use it. Like yesterday I did my shopping and spent ~$12 at Sprouts using a gift card I got for 10% off last fall, I'm too lazy to add that $12 back in to my grocery spending since Quicken adds all my regular card-based spending up for me. I need to work on that.

...and part of it is because DD got her license and wanted to take over shopping.  Best idea Iíve ever had:  I gave her the list, put $100 on her card, and told her she could use or keep the rest.  She called about 10 times for help figuring out the cheapest options and came home with an $88 bill.  :-)

I just want to say GOOD FOR YOU for doing this! When I got my DL, my mom would often put me in charge of the grocery shopping when she was working. I'm not going to say we ate very well on the weeks I shopped, but it taught me a ton about how to shop and just being responsible for a major household task. I'm really glad I had that opportunity.

MEJG

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2018, 06:42:12 PM »
I'm in.

Family of 5, about to be 6. 
Goal                <$600/month Groceries     and     <$150/month in eating out
Stretch goal     <$500/month Groceries     and      <$75/month eating out

Off the Wheel

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2018, 07:15:07 PM »
I'm in!

I'd like to keep my groceries under $250. Same with dining out. Last year my Mint "dining/entertainment" was $750/month... I was carrying a lot more of the load since my husband was in school, but that still seems crazy. $250 feels realistic if I'm mostly just covering myself.

Well, today was a big fail. $290 at Costco. However, that's about an every-6-week purchase, and rotated between DH and I. All the pantry basics, plus a new stock pot and some things for the dog.

Lkxe

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2018, 07:27:55 PM »
[quote author=DTaggart link=topic=86492.msg1863923#msg1863923 date=
My only trouble is sometimes I buy discount grocery store gift cards and then I don't end up tracking that spending well in the month I actually use it. Like yesterday I did my shopping and spent ~$12 at Sprouts using a gift card I got for 10% off last fall, I'm too lazy to add that $12 back in to my grocery spending since Quicken adds all my regular card-based spending up for me. I need to work on that.


^  We buy the Sprouts cards at a discount every November. I know we spend about 25 dollars a week in produce so we get nine or ten. My grocery year starts when I do so, and I lower the budget by the same amount. That purchase gets marked as grocery so the “account” is high one month but evens out across the year.


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DirtDiva

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2018, 07:48:24 AM »
Hello, fellow mustachians/mustachiennes.  We are in for the year.  We agreed on Jan 1 that we would reduce our food and beverage spending to 1k/month (two adults).  Our 2017 average was 1,666/mo.  That included alcohol, household cleaning items, miscellaneous Walmart purchases like towels, dog food, and personal care stuff, but mostly, it was food, wine, and bourbon. 

So far, for January, we are at $713, which sadly, is a victory in comparison to $1,666.  I'm looking forward to sharing this journey with all of you and to learning some ninja food skillz.

Laura33, brilliant strategy with your daughter.  HAH!!

DTaggart

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2018, 10:33:26 AM »
Quote from: DTaggart link=topic=86492.msg1863923#msg1863923
My only trouble is sometimes I buy discount grocery store gift cards and then I don't end up tracking that spending well in the month I actually use it. Like yesterday I did my shopping and spent ~$12 at Sprouts using a gift card I got for 10% off last fall, I'm too lazy to add that $12 back in to my grocery spending since Quicken adds all my regular card-based spending up for me. I need to work on that.

^  We buy the Sprouts cards at a discount every November. I know we spend about 25 dollars a week in produce so we get nine or ten. My grocery year starts when I do so, and I lower the budget by the same amount. That purchase gets marked as grocery so the ďaccountĒ is high one month but evens out across the year.

Yeah I think I'm just going approximate this as well. I've probably put about $25 on it this month so I'll lower my regular budget for this month to $225. There's about $75 left on the card, so I'll assume $25 for the next 3 months there (I don't go there every week), so we'll call my budget through April $225/month.

It's cool to get 10% off those gift cards but it makes it SO easy to just spend more!

Anyway, this leaves me with $25.98 for the rest of the month, which should be ok. I've already done most of my shopping for this week, just want to run to Big Lots for some dish soap and maybe canned tomatoes since its 20% off today*, and then produce, bread and milk next weekend.

My chest freezer is packed but I have no idea what's in there, so it's definitely time for an inventory.

*Meh, screw it. I have an extra bottle of soap and if I go there I'm just going to over-spend stockpiling. 20% off days come often enough.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2018, 10:37:34 AM by DTaggart »

Laura33

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2018, 01:26:16 PM »
Not quite so great this week ó needed to do the periodic Wegmanís run, so itís a ďbiggerĒ week, plus ALDI had a huge selection of massively cheap produce (e.g. pineapples for $1.49), so I went off-script a little.  That I donít feel bad about, because I am making a serious effort to eat healthier this year, so anything that gets me to eat more produce is a good thing in my book.  And still under $200 total (DD again came in under budget, huzzah, even with a visit to the Wegmanís deli), for a month-to-date of
total for groceries + household of about $450.  Weíre pretty well stocked now, so I should be able to hit the $600 figure, if I pay attention.  And no additional takeout, at least. 

Serendip

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2018, 06:32:04 PM »
This is the first time we are tracking food spending (I was surprised my SO agreed--he doesn't think we should budget food since it's one of our 'joys of life'--ha)

We both installed the Monny app and are just using it for groceries/eating out/coffee/booze. I set a general guess of $400 each but have blown through that (and not eating out much by our standards). We could improve in this area a lot. Our home region is very pricey for food, and we have no storage/pantry so buying big bulk isn't an option.

 I've been cooking a lot more at home but still it is interesting how much we spend.
Will love see what you guys do to keep it frugal!

mountain mustache

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2018, 07:16:00 PM »
My usual goal is $400.00 a month, for one person. I live in a very small town, so groceries are $$$ and also not very high quality. Buying fresh vegetables and good meat is a challenge. Besides our one chain grocery store, we have a few tiny health food stores that make me want to cry they are so expensive.
My goal for the next 3 months (Feb, March and April) is $300.00 a month because it's a pretty tight time of year for me, my paychecks are a little smaller, and I have some medical bills coming up that are disrupting my budget.
I supplement my normal groceries with a trip to Costco every 2-3 months, and I usually spend about $2-300.00 to stock the freezer and pantry. I haven't always included this in my normal monthly budget because it's often staples that last forever, like 4 pounds of walnuts, and a gallon of olive oil. But, I wanted to add that in on this post because it is a significant way that I reduce my spending at my normal grocery store (yeah, we have only one)
I just did a trip to Costco last weekend for the first time in months and spent $400.00, which made me cringe. But, I was out of everything including all my pantry staples (coconut oil, olive oil, etc)

Abe

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2018, 09:52:22 PM »
Our grocery list for other's reference:

1 pound kidney beans: $3
1 pound lentils: $3
5 pounds rice: $5
Bell peppers: $2.50/lb = $5
Yams: $2/lb = $6
Zucchini: $2/lb = $6
Onions: $1.50/lb = $3
Garlic: $1.50/lb = $1.50
Butternut squash: $2.50/lb = $5
Milk: 2 gallons for $8
Banana: $1.50/lb = $4.50
Apples: $2.50/lb = $7.50
Oranges: $2/lb = $6
Eggs (18): $5
Salmon: $15
Bread: $3

Total: $90 for 6 days of food for 2 adults, 1 kid (we eat out one lunch and dinner).
- Salmon is by far the most expensive per portion. The rest is bought at a store that buys secondary market produce that ninnies at the regular stores think looks too weird to sell.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #20 on: January 22, 2018, 12:08:17 AM »
I will join again. My goal: keeping the same average spend this year as last year. I really hope that my credit card will give 3% cash back on grocery again from next month. Otherwise I'll have to earn in those 3% in some other way.

kaypinkHH

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #21 on: January 22, 2018, 08:07:25 AM »
I'm in!

Goal is $700 for grocery (including household purchases), food out of the house, and alcohol. Pretty much all consumables!

Still transitioning from moving, so hopefully February/March/April I'll start seeing some realistic numbers!

haypug16

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #22 on: January 22, 2018, 09:54:08 AM »
At $193.27 month to date. It's pretty safe to say I wont hit my stretch goal of $200 for the month with 10 days left but I have hope I will keep it under $250 easily. I only need to pick up a couple things for lunch at work I went grocery shopping with DH yesterday so we have enough produce, pasta, oatmeal, and coffee for the month. I also made a loaf of bread and some lemon "larabars" yesterday. There is actually some hope that I could get very close to $200 with some good planning.

FireHiker

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #23 on: January 22, 2018, 10:18:39 AM »
I am in! I found the challenge enormously helpful last year. We are a family of five. Kids are 6, 8, 17. We often feed other kids a meal as well if friends are over. My goal is $1100 per month total, groceries and eating out, including all treats and alcohol. I know it is a higher goal than average here. For comparison, last year's goal was $1200/month and we came in at $1264. In 2016 it was $1774/mo, and 2015 was $2126. I was tracking but not trying to cut down at all in 2015. In 2016 I  tried a little bit but not much. Last year is the first year I really put effort into it and was astonished to realize an average savings of $510/month. This included a decadent trip to Italy where we ate we reckless abandon.

So far this month we are at $858.79, on track for last year's $1200/month but not for this year's $1100. We did go to Disneyland earlier this month and I included the food there in "eating out" as opposed to "entertainment" adding $123 to the monthly total (ugh, I know. It was our last trip two days before our annual passes expired and we are not renewing this year). If I take out the Disney day we are ahead of our target, but I'm hoping we can be frugal the rest of the month to make up for it and still be on track.

It's amazing how much of a difference a little bit of awareness makes. I know we have a long way to improve compared to many of you here, but we're going to keep working on it! Thanks for all the help last year.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #24 on: January 22, 2018, 01:28:26 PM »
I started the challenge by buying the cheapest type of salad and by not buying anything I didn't need. Just a few veggies, milk, the cheapest healthy bread and a chunk of Greek feta cheese. The latter is luxury, but I hate the alternative Danish feta without taste.

pancakes

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #25 on: January 23, 2018, 05:54:31 AM »
Well since I started this thread I have cooked every night and cooked pretty thrifty meals.

All our fancy kitchen equipment collected over the years is in storage pending us buying a house and weíve been struggling to cook because we donít have the equipment for our old favourites. Buy nothing group to the rescue delivering on my request for a pasta maker. It turns out the baby loves fresh egg pasta too.

Mr Pancakes is still buying his lunches at work. We also donít have any containers to take lunches. Iím trying hard not to repurchase too many things that we have already in storage but containers will pay for themselves in a week.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #26 on: January 23, 2018, 06:07:53 AM »
Can anyone tell me if they buy canned fat free refried beans? They are low cost, full of fiber, low in calories and very filling. I just can't find ideas on how to use them. The other day I made warmed up refried beans and put in a bowl then added Cholula, then added a sunny side up egg. It was delicious! I was filled up till lunch. I love the refried beans but my creative juices are just not kicking in on how to use them for every day stuff. Anyone make sandwiches out of it and if so what did you add to it. This morning I am thinking of having a peanut butter sammie and adding refried beans to it to kick up the fiber in the sammie. I am pretty creative with recipes and I have searched for refried bean recipes and all I keep coming up with is giant bowls of dip with cheese. I am considering fat free refried beans to be somewhat healthy but adding tons of cheese and sour cream just doesn't fit the healthy picture.

kaypinkHH

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #27 on: January 23, 2018, 07:17:04 AM »
Mmm refried beans!!

I like making burrito wraps (either with tortillas, or with leafy greens)...refried beans, rice, black beans, veggies, salsa an cheese. Burrito bowls also work. Trying to think what else we use them for!

frooglepoodle

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #28 on: January 23, 2018, 07:43:16 AM »
Iím in! We spent an average of $625/mo last year for two adults and a very hungry toddler, but Iím shooting for a modest reduction to $600/mo. Alcohol spending will be lower since Iím pregnant, but Iím anticipating an increase in more convenience-type groceries late in pregnancy and during the first few months with baby #2.

Laura33

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #29 on: January 23, 2018, 09:03:23 AM »
Can anyone tell me if they buy canned fat free refried beans? They are low cost, full of fiber, low in calories and very filling. I just can't find ideas on how to use them. The other day I made warmed up refried beans and put in a bowl then added Cholula, then added a sunny side up egg. It was delicious! I was filled up till lunch. I love the refried beans but my creative juices are just not kicking in on how to use them for every day stuff. Anyone make sandwiches out of it and if so what did you add to it. This morning I am thinking of having a peanut butter sammie and adding refried beans to it to kick up the fiber in the sammie. I am pretty creative with recipes and I have searched for refried bean recipes and all I keep coming up with is giant bowls of dip with cheese. I am considering fat free refried beans to be somewhat healthy but adding tons of cheese and sour cream just doesn't fit the healthy picture.

I do breakfast tacos or scrambles a lot, or a bowl like you did (the runny yolk is just yum).  Or fajitas or regular tacos.  Basically, that same general flavor profile (which I tend to crave), but you can use the beans with or instead of any kind of protein (e.g., beans and grilled veg if you want a vegetarian fajita).

One thing I do to spike up the flavor quotient without a lot of cheese/sour cream is to add in chipotle powder or some other version of smoked chile powder (I have about 3 at home), plus cumin, and/or a little smoked salt; counterbalance that with some mixture of avocado/lime/cilantro, and it's delicious.  If you do want to do a dip-type thing, you can also use plain yogurt in place of sour cream (especially strained or Greek yogurt).  I once did a combo of Greek yogurt with lime and cilantro, plus home-fried tortilla strips dusted with smoked salt, and the combination was like crack -- you could put that on cardboard and I'd eat it.

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #30 on: January 23, 2018, 09:27:00 AM »
Super jazzed. Just got a $700 Costco card (from a rebate). Costco is where we do 90% of our grocery shopping. To ensure it doesn't allow us to wildly get off track with our budget (e.g. spend mindlessly due to "free money"), I'm going to set allow $200 as extra grocery money for a few splurges (nice meat or fish) + stock up items & then use the remaining $500 towards the kids college accounts. I'm trying to fund as much of the yearly limit as possible out of "found money" this year.

HappierAtHome

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #31 on: January 23, 2018, 05:01:33 PM »
I use refried beans in vegan chilli, chilli con carne, burrito bowls... Really anything Mexican.

They're even cheaper and tastier if you make your own, too.

Suzanne

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #32 on: January 23, 2018, 08:37:45 PM »
Last yearís thread seemed to go really well for some people (not so much me).

Letís keep the momentum up in 2018, or perhaps kick it all off again.

Share your goals and tips, get some motivation or ask for help. Whatever stage you are at, if you are looking to reduce your day to day grocery expenses, welcome!

Let's get started pancakes and improve our net gains this year.

haypug16

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #33 on: January 24, 2018, 09:48:16 AM »
at $197.27/$200 - $2.73 left over 7 days to reach my stretch goal. Thankfully my work now has oatmeal and snacks (as well as coffee) so I'm set in that department.

AmandaPanda

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #34 on: January 24, 2018, 10:44:03 AM »
I am very excited about this challenge. I think I might be over-challenging myself this year with everything I've joined.  Although I'm not doing well in the losing weight challenge!  We have 2 adults and 2 elementary age children, so our normal food budget is $400-450 per month.  This does not include eating out, since we haven't been tracking that so far.

My goal for the first three months of the year is $120/month for grocery store items.  This includes some household, but I also buy a very limited amount of random food items at Target, so I'll call that a wash rather than getting particular about it.  For this month, right now I'm at $111, and my weekend shopping list is very small and should be less than $9, so I am pretty sure I made it.

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #35 on: January 24, 2018, 11:53:21 AM »
I am very excited about this challenge. I think I might be over-challenging myself this year with everything I've joined.  Although I'm not doing well in the losing weight challenge!  We have 2 adults and 2 elementary age children, so our normal food budget is $400-450 per month.  This does not include eating out, since we haven't been tracking that so far.

My goal for the first three months of the year is $120/month for grocery store items.  This includes some household, but I also buy a very limited amount of random food items at Target, so I'll call that a wash rather than getting particular about it.  For this month, right now I'm at $111, and my weekend shopping list is very small and should be less than $9, so I am pretty sure I made it.

That is crazy low & super impressive! How are you getting it down to $120/month for grocery items with a family of 4. We're similarly sized (kids are 11 & 12) & would love ideas.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #36 on: January 24, 2018, 12:31:45 PM »
I spend WAY too much for two people and people's heads here would explode. Just yesterday we spent $252 and a few days before that another $100. This is just for two people. I could feed the neighborhood for a weekend if I had to! LOL!

Okay so I had to check out my grocery spending this month and you all will face punch me! I added it all up and this also includes papertowels, TP and a few cleaning products but mostly groceries. I spent a whopping total of $1,250.88 this month...so far!

However, a lot went into the freezer and I bought a case of canned salmon from Costco for $139.00.

My upright freezer is so full.

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #37 on: January 24, 2018, 01:29:17 PM »
I spend WAY too much for two people and people's heads here would explode. Just yesterday we spent $252 and a few days before that another $100. This is just for two people. I could feed the neighborhood for a weekend if I had to! LOL!

Okay so I had to check out my grocery spending this month and you all will face punch me! I added it all up and this also includes papertowels, TP and a few cleaning products but mostly groceries. I spent a whopping total of $1,250.88 this month...so far!

However, a lot went into the freezer and I bought a case of canned salmon from Costco for $139.00.

My upright freezer is so full.

Can you make a menu plan for the next 4-6 weeks that leverages much of your freezer/pantry/fridge, requiring you to spend less in February? That's one way I get myself through weeks/months that have been particularly crazy

Roadrunner53

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #38 on: January 24, 2018, 02:13:07 PM »
Yes, I am a bit of a hoarder and buy stuff on sale and stock up. My cupboards, cabinets, freezer and two refrigerators are FULL!

I should concentrate on using my sale items for the next month and just buy my produce and dairy next month. At Thanksgiving my local grocery store had turkeys on sale for 59 cents a lb and I bought 3 of them.

Butter has been sky high here for probably 6 months and this week it went on sale for $1.99. I went to the store twice and bought 4 total so I hoarded up.

I have a 'thing' about running out of anything! I lose it when I find I am totally out of anything! Hub let some spice jars run down to nothing and when I went to the cabinet to get something there was nothing in the jar I wanted. He knows it makes me nuts but he is laid back about it.

I definitely need to work to use what is in the freezer in February.

AmandaPanda

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #39 on: January 24, 2018, 03:03:29 PM »
MaybeBaby, I am like roadrunner in that my pantry and freezer were bursting, so the reduced budget is working only because I am relying so heavily on my stockpile.  That's why it will eventually go back up to $400 or so.  I have decided that when I run out of what I have, I will rely more on beans and potatoes like I used to so that I can keep it right at or slightly under $400.  We have also made a conscious effort to stop buying things like granola bars for the kids.  Although it's more work, I starting making applesauce muffins as a substitute and I am pretty sure they prefer my muffins.  I might branch out to other flavors if the kids get sick of the applesauce ones.  I also just this week decided to stop buying yogurt because I buy the fancy kind, and it's kind of a waste of money based on how filling I perceive it to be.

redbird

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #40 on: January 24, 2018, 03:48:42 PM »
I use refried beans in vegan chilli, chilli con carne, burrito bowls... Really anything Mexican.

They're even cheaper and tastier if you make your own, too.

Wow. This post made me look into how to do it. I didn't realize making refried beans was that easy.

Since I have an Instant Pot, I just started getting into making beans sometime last year. I make the whole bag of dried beans at once and freeze whatever I don't need immediately. I had a recipe that had me use pinto beans recently and so I have a lot of pinto beans cooked but frozen in my freezer. I am new to pinto beans and wasn't sure what else to use them for. Now I know exactly what I'm doing with them. :)

My parents pretty much never had beans as part of any meals while I was growing up (no, they never even made chili), so I'm very new to them in general. I didn't realize they could be so tasty!

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #41 on: January 24, 2018, 03:59:10 PM »
MaybeBaby, I am like roadrunner in that my pantry and freezer were bursting, so the reduced budget is working only because I am relying so heavily on my stockpile.  That's why it will eventually go back up to $400 or so.  I have decided that when I run out of what I have, I will rely more on beans and potatoes like I used to so that I can keep it right at or slightly under $400.  We have also made a conscious effort to stop buying things like granola bars for the kids.  Although it's more work, I starting making applesauce muffins as a substitute and I am pretty sure they prefer my muffins.  I might branch out to other flavors if the kids get sick of the applesauce ones.  I also just this week decided to stop buying yogurt because I buy the fancy kind, and it's kind of a waste of money based on how filling I perceive it to be.

Got it! Makes sense! We spend the majority of our budget on fruit & vegetables (although, we do have a stockpile of meat in the freezer, etc), so our bills remain pretty consistent month over month, assuming we're not on vacation or feeding extra people. I'm thinking I need to get more creative about where I shop, & decide if chasing deals week over week is worth it. Currently, I do 90% of my shopping at Costco.

HappierAtHome

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #42 on: January 24, 2018, 04:06:54 PM »
I use refried beans in vegan chilli, chilli con carne, burrito bowls... Really anything Mexican.

They're even cheaper and tastier if you make your own, too.

Wow. This post made me look into how to do it. I didn't realize making refried beans was that easy.

Since I have an Instant Pot, I just started getting into making beans sometime last year. I make the whole bag of dried beans at once and freeze whatever I don't need immediately. I had a recipe that had me use pinto beans recently and so I have a lot of pinto beans cooked but frozen in my freezer. I am new to pinto beans and wasn't sure what else to use them for. Now I know exactly what I'm doing with them. :)

My parents pretty much never had beans as part of any meals while I was growing up (no, they never even made chili), so I'm very new to them in general. I didn't realize they could be so tasty!

This post makes me so happy. Beans are the best! Easy to cook with, tasty to eat :D

HappierAtHome

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #43 on: January 25, 2018, 01:03:40 AM »
Spent $66 today (a very cheap weekly shop by our standards). Still on track to juuuust squeeze in under budget this month.

frooglepoodle

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #44 on: January 25, 2018, 04:15:20 AM »
I am out of onions and had planned to make bolognese sauce for dinner tonight. One of my big weaknesses is going in for one or two things, then getting distracted and ending up with a cart full. The other is the trifecta of shopping while pregnant, hungry, and with a toddler. X.x

I'm way over my proposed budget for the month, but under my goal number for the year. I meal planned out to the rest of the month and made my list of what I'll need today in order to hold myself accountable.

My list for today:
Onions
Mushrooms
Apples
Clementines (toddler's favorite snack)
Eggs




Roadrunner53

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #45 on: January 25, 2018, 05:15:55 AM »
frooglepoodle, that is what happens to me every time I go to the grocery store. I go in for a handful of things and come out of the store $200 later! Just the other day, Hub and I went together and he said should I just get a basket since we only have a few things to get. I said no, get a cart and sure enough, $252 later we walked out of the store. UGH! I am a bargain shopper/hoarder and talked to Hub last night and we intend to start shopping our freezers in February. If I send him to the store with a list, he usually gets only what is on it. However, he has come home with some tasty treats too that were not on the list! The other thing that I find that is helpful in my area is Peapod which is a home delivery grocery. You go on line and pick out what you want and pick a delivery day and time. They do charge a delivery fee but it is easier to keep yourself in check. However, sometimes I have gotten fresh produce that I didn't like. I ordered two sweet potatoes expecting them to be like baked potato size and when they came they were the size of eggs. LOL!

jambongris

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #46 on: January 25, 2018, 06:59:35 AM »
Our grocery list for other's reference:

1 pound kidney beans: $3
1 pound lentils: $3
5 pounds rice: $5
Bell peppers: $2.50/lb = $5
Yams: $2/lb = $6
Zucchini: $2/lb = $6
Onions: $1.50/lb = $3
Garlic: $1.50/lb = $1.50
Butternut squash: $2.50/lb = $5
Milk: 2 gallons for $8
Banana: $1.50/lb = $4.50
Apples: $2.50/lb = $7.50
Oranges: $2/lb = $6
Eggs (18): $5
Salmon: $15
Bread: $3

Total: $90 for 6 days of food for 2 adults, 1 kid (we eat out one lunch and dinner).
- Salmon is by far the most expensive per portion. The rest is bought at a store that buys secondary market produce that ninnies at the regular stores think looks too weird to sell.

Where are you located that you’re seeing these prices? Some of them seem really high to me. I’m in Ottawa, Canada for reference which I understood to be about 20% to 30% more expensive than your average American grocery store prices.

These are the best prices I’ve found locally for some of the items on your list:

Bell Peppers $1.25/lb
Yams $1/lb
Onions $1/lb
Butternut Squash $0.67/lb
Bananas $0.57/lb
Apples $0.66/lb
Oranges $1/lb
Eggs (30) $5

jambongris

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #47 on: January 25, 2018, 07:05:50 AM »
frooglepoodle, that is what happens to me every time I go to the grocery store. I go in for a handful of things and come out of the store $200 later! Just the other day, Hub and I went together and he said should I just get a basket since we only have a few things to get. I said no, get a cart and sure enough, $252 later we walked out of the store. UGH! I am a bargain shopper/hoarder and talked to Hub last night and we intend to start shopping our freezers in February. If I send him to the store with a list, he usually gets only what is on it. However, he has come home with some tasty treats too that were not on the list! The other thing that I find that is helpful in my area is Peapod which is a home delivery grocery. You go on line and pick out what you want and pick a delivery day and time. They do charge a delivery fee but it is easier to keep yourself in check. However, sometimes I have gotten fresh produce that I didn't like. I ordered two sweet potatoes expecting them to be like baked potato size and when they came they were the size of eggs. LOL!

We’ve had this problem as well, especially at Costco.

Our closest grocery store just started offering a service where they collect your groceries for you and they bring them out to your car at a predetermined pickup time. This has really cut down on the unexpectedly large grocery runs and it causes us to be much more conscious of what we’re ordering.

The service is $100/yr but it comes with a bunch of other perks that end up saving us more than the annual fee. Their website is fairly intuitive and has nearly everything they carry in store. They’ve also been really good at selecting produce.

The biggest downside is that I can’t check out the clearance racks and the price matching process is a bit of a pain compared to how quickly the cashiers can do it.

MrDelane

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #48 on: January 25, 2018, 07:09:47 AM »
frooglepoodle, that is what happens to me every time I go to the grocery store. I go in for a handful of things and come out of the store $200 later! Just the other day, Hub and I went together and he said should I just get a basket since we only have a few things to get. I said no, get a cart and sure enough, $252 later we walked out of the store.

I've found that if I'm only picking up a few things it is best to grab a basket.  It will immediately limit how much you're willing to get.  Just earlier this week I stopped by to buy milk and purposely did not even get a basket, limiting myself to whatever I could carry.

It still takes having a plan and some willpower - but putting physical limits on yourself in regards to how much you can buy at one time really does help (at least in my experience).

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #49 on: January 25, 2018, 07:17:26 AM »
I'm planning out my shopping for Saturday. I'll be out of town Sunday-Friday (international work travel), so I usually pick up a few easier meal options for my husband.

I know we need:
-Bananas
-Meatballs (I don't make them myself. I know. Insert facepunches here. It's on my list of items to try in 2018)
-Cheese pizza
-Milk
-Eggs
-Apples
-Pears
-Cucumbers X2 packages
-Tomatoes
-Lettuce
-Grapes
-Oranges
-Kiwi
-Spinach