Author Topic: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018  (Read 9875 times)

HappierAtHome

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #150 on: February 02, 2018, 09:09:48 PM »
I've spent $204 so far in Feb. I think I want to keep my overall Feb spend to $700. This may be harder than I expected!

Clara Smith

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #151 on: February 03, 2018, 12:48:09 AM »
In the first month of 2018, January. I reduced the intake of-of fast food, snacks, and instant noodles and I noticed that my grocery spending is reduced. 

MEJG

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #152 on: February 03, 2018, 05:25:38 AM »
Based on your location: what's the weather, and do you have a garage or other indoor, unheated space that's getting refrigerator-cold right now? My bf's family puts holiday leftovers and big pots of soup in their covered porch or garage in the winter (in Iowa). Sorry to hear about the chicken :/

Yep it's cold here so all the perishables went into coolers and out in the cold. 
DH couldn't find a fridge handy man in our area yesterday, spent some more time trying to research on the internet.  We unplugged it and he took off part of the back- our coils were frozen solid.  Our toddler has recently learned to open the fridge and freezer so it may be that it was left open for too long making it into a solid block of ice.
We will see if it works after defrosting it and plugging it back in.
I really don't want to have to look for a new one right now.

zeli2033

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #153 on: February 03, 2018, 06:40:19 AM »
First grocery shopping trip of February in. Restocked on some non-perishables at Costco and got enough of the perishables to stay out of there for two weeks. So larger trip than normal.

Total so far: $238/$850

Linda_Norway

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #154 on: February 03, 2018, 07:37:43 AM »
Grocery shopping is going a bit scheisse this year. First January, which was far more expensive than any month in 2017. Today we went CC skiing and combined the trip with visiting a shopping center to buy wine and groceries. The grocery store beside the wine shop is the well assorted and therefore not cheap store. But the cheaper store is in the other end of the very long stretched and busy shopping center. We had actually manager to get a parking place close to the one entrance. DH was in the mood for buying some nice luxury croissant-like buns, to atop his hunger after skiing. We ended up doing all of the shopping in the expensive shop. Only positive thing is that we bought a few things on sale, including the buns, that I found a butternut squash that the cheap store doesn't sell, and that I earned some bonus point that can be cashed out later.

CrustyBadger

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #155 on: February 03, 2018, 12:45:09 PM »
Oh, Linda! So dangerous, to go shopping in the expensive grocery store when hungry from invigorating exercise! If it had been me, I would have bought up all the fancy cheeses! Good that you got away with croissants and produce!

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #156 on: February 03, 2018, 01:55:49 PM »
I've finished our grocery shopping for the week. I spent $144.59, although $132.80 of that was on a gift card, so technically "free". I like to keep our shopping around $125/week, so a smidge higher than normal. I bought a fancy spicy hummus for Super Bowl Sunday, and a few of our freezer staples were also on sale at Costco. We were also out of ground beef. Cucumbers were $2 more expensive than usual, although the melon was $1 off. So, net/net, pretty close in prices to normal. This will be 28 dinners (7x4 people), 15 lunches (DH & I get free lunches at work), & 22 breakfasts (I eat breakfast for free at work). So, about $2.22/meal/person.

CrustyBadger

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #157 on: February 03, 2018, 02:08:21 PM »
It's the third day of February and already I've been to THREE grocery stores.   If I can make it now to the end of the week, at least I won't have to hang my head in shame.   I did try to plan out meals for the week. 

A friend gave me 10 pounds of chicken wings so I have to do something with them today or tomorrow.   Obviously -- Buffalo wings for tomorrow; plus chicken stock with the rest.

Serendip

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #158 on: February 03, 2018, 03:45:10 PM »
 


We tracked our groceries/ eating out /alcohol last month and found out we collectively spent around $1100 (2 people only--and this is eating out less than normal) Oh boy.

My SO is not concerned about this since we live in a town with increased food prices (destination town/no discount shopping anywhere) and we do eat very healthfully and enjoy cooking for friends but I would love to bring it down.

I still am saving around 50% of each paycheque but would love to get the food under control.
This month I am aiming to bring my portion to $400 (last month it was $550) and do a lot of batch cooking/soups to encourage my SO to eat things from the fridge/cupboard (he likes to cook and shops continuously for selective meals)

He will be gone on a work-related trip for the next 5 days so I will try to eat exclusively from what we already have :)


RayO

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #159 on: February 03, 2018, 03:54:34 PM »
Iím joining starting this month. My goal is $250 for all food and household items for two people. I havenít purchased meat for about six months, but I will still purchase milk and eggs occasionally. We do have a soft spot for eating out, Iím hoping to fit it all into the $250. So far this week:

Berkeley                          Aldi                                         Walmart                            Target
5lb red pot $1.98          Seedless cucumber $1.39x2         750 ct qtips $3.17    Ripple pea milk $4.29
Roma toms $0.60          Carrots $1.09                             Floss $0.87                = $4.31
JalapeŮo $0.09              Corn tortillas $1.09                     Fire rstd diced tom $0.94
3 pk romaine $1.48        Bag limes $1.69                         Body wash $3.47
= $4.22                        3lb red onion $0.79                     Mouthwash $3.37
                                    Avocados $0.49x5                       Coconut oil $9.98
                                    3pk multi bell pprs $1.69x3          = $22.86
                                    Cilantro $0.69
                                    Gal freezer bags $1.99
                                    Oatmeal $2.39
                                    = $20.50

Total spend was $51.89. Some of these items such as the huge tub of coconut oil and freezer bags I only purchase every few months. Iím going to Jewel-Osco tomorrow for 3/$0.99 mangos and $12 tp. All of these stores are very close to home with four of the stores including Jewel-Osco on the same street.

Meals/food for the week (I batch cook so pulling things out of the freezer I previously made is normal for us)(Also, when I make beans in the instant pot, I try to make as many things as I can, hence all of the black bean foods below):

Sat. Chickpea loaf w/roasted red potatoes and carrots (Will have leftovers)
       Make black beans & rice in instant pot and freeze for later in the week
       Black bean brownies
       (Thaw lentil taco ďmeatĒ)

Sun. Lentil fajitas w/spanish rice and refried beans (all 3 packages of peppers, planned leftovers)
        Black bean lime dip (for dipping veggies, part of lunch)
        Corn bread (goes with freezer chili Iíll thaw for lunches)

Mon. Leftovers

Tues. Leftovers

Weds. Leftovers
          Make mango salsa
          (Thaw black beans and rice)

Thurs. Black beans and rice with mango salsa (either bowl form or in tortilla)

Fri. Leftovers

If we are running low on a ďleftoversĒ night Iíll pull a soup out of the freezer in the morning and we have that usually with a salad. I have a 2.5 hour commute 5 days a week, so planning ahead has helped save us from grabbing takeout. In emergencies Aldi is on the way home, and I grab one of the refrigerated pizzas for about $5.



                 
« Last Edit: February 03, 2018, 05:39:50 PM by RayO »

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #160 on: February 03, 2018, 07:05:34 PM »



We tracked our groceries/ eating out /alcohol last month and found out we collectively spent around $1100 (2 people only--and this is eating out less than normal) Oh boy.

My SO is not concerned about this since we live in a town with increased food prices (destination town/no discount shopping anywhere) and we do eat very healthfully and enjoy cooking for friends but I would love to bring it down.

I still am saving around 50% of each paycheque but would love to get the food under control.
This month I am aiming to bring my portion to $400 (last month it was $550) and do a lot of batch cooking/soups to encourage my SO to eat things from the fridge/cupboard (he likes to cook and shops continuously for selective meals)

He will be gone on a work-related trip for the next 5 days so I will try to eat exclusively from what we already have :)

Given the expense of local groceries, does it make sense to plan a monthly big shop somewhere cheaper?

Serendip

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #161 on: February 03, 2018, 08:08:42 PM »



We tracked our groceries/ eating out /alcohol last month and found out we collectively spent around $1100 (2 people only--and this is eating out less than normal) Oh boy.

My SO is not concerned about this since we live in a town with increased food prices (destination town/no discount shopping anywhere) and we do eat very healthfully and enjoy cooking for friends but I would love to bring it down.

I still am saving around 50% of each paycheque but would love to get the food under control.
This month I am aiming to bring my portion to $400 (last month it was $550) and do a lot of batch cooking/soups to encourage my SO to eat things from the fridge/cupboard (he likes to cook and shops continuously for selective meals)

He will be gone on a work-related trip for the next 5 days so I will try to eat exclusively from what we already have :)

Given the expense of local groceries, does it make sense to plan a monthly big shop somewhere cheaper?

Indeed...you are right, it would make sense! We have talked about it, but my SO is quite insistent to keep as much of our shopping as possible to our local store and community (small, family run). The bigger stores are about 45-90 min away. I can respect that. At first I resisted  but now feel that we can still reduce our expenses with creativity and better planning.

We have started ordering bulk amounts of grains/beans/nuts from another new local company (that brings in refundable glass jars so cuts out plastic waste while increasing the amount of rice, quinoa, etc that we have available) and I might try to do some advance meal-planning (which would be very new to us). Ha. Baby steps! Will see how well we can do for Feb :)

Malkynn

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #162 on: February 04, 2018, 05:40:07 AM »
Tried a new grocery store and it seems to be cheaper overall.
The price of milk and eggs there is more than my usual store (by a tiny amount), so I never bothered shopping there, but I tried it yesterday and produce is definitely cheaper. Some of the produce all looks like itís on itís last legs, but I always batch cook everything the same day, so thatís fine.

There are 7 major grocery stores within walking distance and more than a dozen smaller specialty or ethnic grocers as well. Itís taken awhile to figure out the combo that works best for our needs.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #163 on: February 04, 2018, 06:56:13 AM »

Given the expense of local groceries, does it make sense to plan a monthly big shop somewhere cheaper?

Indeed...you are right, it would make sense! We have talked about it, but my SO is quite insistent to keep as much of our shopping as possible to our local store and community (small, family run). The bigger stores are about 45-90 min away. I can respect that. At first I resisted  but now feel that we can still reduce our expenses with creativity and better planning.


Yes, please support your local shop. If they don't make enough income, they might close down and then you will always have to get your groceries from afar.

We have this issue with our mountain cabin where the first shopowner stopped working and it took a year before there was a new shopowner. Then, a year later the shop burned down and shop owner didn't want to restart. We have been without a shop for several years now and it very inconvenient. We also have a broken freezer there.

mountain mustache

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #164 on: February 04, 2018, 09:11:33 AM »
I have a new goal this year of keeping my "regular" groceries under $200.00 a month. I have some newly emerging medical bills that are threatening to force me to stop saving any money at all...so I figured I would cut grocery costs first. I live in a small mountain town, so $200.00 would be impossible without supplemental bulk stock ups, as food just doesn't go on sale, and is typically marked up almost 50% higher than in the city. I also want to continue to support the small businesses around me, so I buy produce and a few specialty items at these stores, and then spend about $300 every 3-4 months at Costco to stock up. I also just ordered a large quantity of beef and pork from a local farmer, which will cost $400.00 but likely last me a year in the chest freezer.
So my goal is to spend about $1200-$1500 this year on "bulk" purchases...supplementing with a monthly grocery bill from local places of $200.00

Roadrunner53

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #165 on: February 04, 2018, 09:45:12 AM »
Mountain Moustache, consider buying thru Costco on line canned Sockeye Salmon, one case is $139, canned roast beef...it is delicious and canned chicken meat. All very nice products and no refrigeration needed till you open them up. I order this stuff all the time on the Costco website. You might find some other stuff you like that is canned too. The trick is to meet the minimum purchase requirement to avoid shipping fees.

Laura33

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #166 on: February 04, 2018, 01:30:09 PM »
Well, this week I may be turning laziness into an a grocery advantage -- it is sleeting, and I really really have zero desire to leave the house, so I think this will be an "eat out of the freezer" week.  :-)  I will probably have to make a quick trip for produce, and the Amazon monthly delivery is on its way ($40), plus dairy delivery Thursday -- so it won't be a zero-spend week.  But what the hell, let's see how little else I can buy.

Totally cheating, though:  my mom is bringing a giant tray of BBQ tonight for the Superbowl, so not only am I avoiding my typical giant Superbowl shopping trip, I am getting probably multiple meals for free to boot.  :-) :-) :-)
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Novik

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #167 on: February 04, 2018, 03:20:18 PM »
Joining in! No big reduction goals here, but would like to creep the groceries* number down.

2017 average - 414$/month for two people (in Canadian $).
2018 goal - 390$/month

Meeting that goal would save my partner and I 300$ for the year, and is doable without having to be laser-focused on costs (which would make the cook of the house unhappy, which would be bad for my cooking avoidance strategy).

Things we already do: use Flipp for price matching, stock up on sales, cook with meat substitutes and less meat, cook from scratch (hummus, bread, pies including crusts).

Things we'll try: make more of our own treats (ie. baked pita chips yesterday!), reduce meat usage further, and aim for 80$ weekly grocery shops as a baseline (to leave some room in the budget or extras/last minute grocery runs/the expensive stock-up weeks).

Results:
Jan 2017 - ~425$.    Not great, but we do have a full freezer and reasonably full pantry. Hoping for a big drop in February.

*includes some household goods when we buy them with food, and the occasional wine/beer. If we're stocking up on those things though I try to separate out the purchase.
Ongoing goals journal: Over-thinking my way to FIRE
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CrustyBadger

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #168 on: February 04, 2018, 05:53:08 PM »
I've been cooking a ton since January 1st of this year -- no more convenience foods or takeout dinners for us. (Well almost none, anyhow.)   Mostly to good effect.

Tonight's frugal meal though, was such a bust.  I even prepared it ahead of time, knowing I'd be out till 5 PM with kid activities.   I made some kind of vegetarian pasta lentil cheese bake, with a side of homemade meatballs, hoping to have a lot left over for lunches or even another dinner this week.

Well the meal stunk out loud.   So disappointed.  Meatballs might be salvaged into another meal but really not sure about the pasta bake.   

Serendip

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #169 on: February 04, 2018, 11:42:48 PM »
I've been cooking a ton since January 1st of this year -- no more convenience foods or takeout dinners for us. (Well almost none, anyhow.)   Mostly to good effect.

Tonight's frugal meal though, was such a bust.  I even prepared it ahead of time, knowing I'd be out till 5 PM with kid activities.   I made some kind of vegetarian pasta lentil cheese bake, with a side of homemade meatballs, hoping to have a lot left over for lunches or even another dinner this week.

Well the meal stunk out loud.   So disappointed.  Meatballs might be salvaged into another meal but really not sure about the pasta bake.

Sorry to hear CrustyBadger--What a disappointment!

I am resisting shopping for the next few days while my SO is out of town..we have lots of bits & ends that could use eating up and he prefers more variety than I do.
So far haven't spend anything on groceries but bought a beer & pizza one night out with friends $23

(leftovers :  curried kidney beans with quinoa, and blended lime & cilantro..yum!)

Made vegan banana bread from old frozen bananas and have been chopping up slices of it to eat with seeds & hemp milk in the mornings, actually really good and the bananas are being used up.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #170 on: February 05, 2018, 01:16:48 AM »
Challenge for the grocery budget today. DH has a meeting in town, taking the car and passes the grocery shop that sells the cheap cheese we like to eat. I asked him to buy a bunch of cheese. If I would have bought it, I would have gotten 10% with a customer program. DH doesn't want to join these programs. Still, it is more convenient if he buys it, as he will drive buy anyway. It would cost me extra time and fuel if I had to visit that shop.

CrustyBadger

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #171 on: February 05, 2018, 04:50:54 AM »
Linda, the customer program benefit doesn't transfer to your husband as well?

Linda_Norway

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #172 on: February 05, 2018, 05:39:21 AM »
Linda, the customer program benefit doesn't transfer to your husband as well?

Only if I would register his card to my account. He doesn't want to be traced, so I haven't registered his card. Can't force him, as I used to think the same way earlier. I need to respect that.

kaypinkHH

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #173 on: February 05, 2018, 05:50:50 AM »
@RayO that weekly meal plan looks delicious. May be stealing your meals :).

Still not really tracking yet for 2018. Jan was last month living with my in-laws, and feb is going to be a gong show as we restock our kitchen. We moved more non-preshiables than I thought, so we aren't as bad as off as I planned.

Went and did first groceries for Feb, basically only enough food to get us a few meals this week (maybe 2 lunches and 1 dinner), plus work snacks, breakfasts.

Grand total was $78!!!!! This was mostly because I bought some premade salads, and a veggie tray instead of the raw ingredients. This will end this week. We are giving ourselves a 1 week buffer to get our house unpacked, then it is back to frugal meals. (Premade food from the grocery store at least still cheaper than restaurant food though...even though we went out twice this weekend...ack!)

TIME TO COOK SOME BEANS! 

Malkynn

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #174 on: February 05, 2018, 07:51:27 AM »
So my powdered milk yogurt experiment was a total fail.
Who knew that powdered milk was actually twice the cost of regular milk?? I always assumed it was less expensive. Also, my instant thermometer decided to give completely inaccurate read outs, so the whole experience was tedious and disastrous.

Also, Iíve decided that I just plain hate making yogurt, so I donít think Iíll continue. Maybe itís easier with a fancy yogurt maker, but it just doesnít seem like enough savings to be worth investing in a piece of equipment that will take up precious space in a small kitchen.

Maybe Iíll get back to it when Iím no longer working, but for now, Iím over it. Iíll just stick to $2/tub.

Thankfully, switching to dried beans over canned has worked out perfectly.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #175 on: February 05, 2018, 08:11:09 AM »
If you have an Instant Pot you might try this method of yogurt making. I watched the entire video and wrote down the steps. I am going to try this as soon as I buy some yogurt that is needed to use as a starter. It is a great video and the yogurt doesn't need straining either. If you watch the video I highly suggest you get a note pad and write down each instruction.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=22&v=EtXnaP17D4Q


Malkynn

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #176 on: February 05, 2018, 08:21:28 AM »
If you have an Instant Pot you might try this method of yogurt making. I watched the entire video and wrote down the steps. I am going to try this as soon as I buy some yogurt that is needed to use as a starter. It is a great video and the yogurt doesn't need straining either. If you watch the video I highly suggest you get a note pad and write down each instruction.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=22&v=EtXnaP17D4Q

I donít have an instant pot, I have the Costco version, which canít make yogurt.
I gave it a solid try, succeeded a few times, but I find it tedious.

CrustyBadger

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #177 on: February 05, 2018, 09:50:07 AM »
Linda, the customer program benefit doesn't transfer to your husband as well?

Only if I would register his card to my account. He doesn't want to be traced, so I haven't registered his card. Can't force him, as I used to think the same way earlier. I need to respect that.

Ah yes, the super secret cheese purchases! I get it.


CrustyBadger

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #178 on: February 05, 2018, 09:53:32 AM »
So some people in my town are organizing a freezer meal swap. We each make 8 of one kind of meal, buying in bulk to save costs of course, then swap.

Anyone have any great ideas for a crock pot type freezer meal with meat, that I should make? I want to stay frugal but not be cheap. Because Iím making 8 of something itís a good time to buy something fancier than usual from Costco in a large quantity.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #179 on: February 05, 2018, 10:12:52 AM »
Here are some ideas: https://newleafwellness.biz/2015/08/06/31-crockpot-freezer-meals-for-back-to-school/

Looks as if some you can assemble and freeze right away or cook first. The assemble method would be nice and the recipient could place ingredients in their crock pot to cook it. The stuffed peppers look nice!

Linda_Norway

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #180 on: February 05, 2018, 10:54:07 AM »
So some people in my town are organizing a freezer meal swap. We each make 8 of one kind of meal, buying in bulk to save costs of course, then swap.

Anyone have any great ideas for a crock pot type freezer meal with meat, that I should make? I want to stay frugal but not be cheap. Because Iím making 8 of something itís a good time to buy something fancier than usual from Costco in a large quantity.

Sometimes I buy a cheap type of beef that needs to be cooked for a looong time to become tender. Then I cook it for hours with some spices and tomatoe. It gets very tasty and the meat almost falls apart. It can be served with potatoes or rice.

galliver

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #181 on: February 05, 2018, 05:35:18 PM »
First grocery trip of Feb: $80, two stores. The sad part is it was supposed to be a small-haul, supplementary trip...but at this point we probably won't need to go next week, especially since we're headed out of town Weds (I forgot about this until yesterday night, derp, and bf didn't remind me while we were shopping). It'll be ok though; we had some root vegetable+grain meals planned, which will keep just fine until we get back, as well as some of the produce we just got. I made a bunch of salads for this week, we'll just have to go through them faster than anticipated!

Expensive things...coffee ($14/2lb), deli (~$17), $3 ea for coffee creamer* and raddichio and 3 lb of pasta (semi-stocking up). Pretty sure the rest was produce at reasonable prices, and milk.
*Sometimes I get cream or half and half, sometimes I get Natural Bliss which is dairy with a fun flavor; they seem to cost about the same and since they're ultra-pasteurized, usually last me 2 weeks. Bf takes his coffee black. But insists on the "good stuff". (Granted, on this BOGO sale, it came close to what coffees that I like cost, e.g. Trader Joes...)

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #182 on: February 05, 2018, 08:08:46 PM »
First grocery trip of Feb: $80, two stores. The sad part is it was supposed to be a small-haul, supplementary trip...but at this point we probably won't need to go next week, especially since we're headed out of town Weds (I forgot about this until yesterday night, derp, and bf didn't remind me while we were shopping). It'll be ok though; we had some root vegetable+grain meals planned, which will keep just fine until we get back, as well as some of the produce we just got. I made a bunch of salads for this week, we'll just have to go through them faster than anticipated!

Expensive things...coffee ($14/2lb), deli (~$17), $3 ea for coffee creamer* and raddichio and 3 lb of pasta (semi-stocking up). Pretty sure the rest was produce at reasonable prices, and milk.
*Sometimes I get cream or half and half, sometimes I get Natural Bliss which is dairy with a fun flavor; they seem to cost about the same and since they're ultra-pasteurized, usually last me 2 weeks. Bf takes his coffee black. But insists on the "good stuff". (Granted, on this BOGO sale, it came close to what coffees that I like cost, e.g. Trader Joes...)

Do you have a Costco? I find their coffee to be very good & reasonably priced (as far as nice coffee goes). I can't drink it black, but have slowly weaned myself off of creamer. First I went with milk & agave, and that took a month or so. Now just coffee & milk, and I don't like the coffee sweetened at all now.

AmandaPanda

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #183 on: February 06, 2018, 08:22:54 AM »
On Feb 6 I've already spent $70 this month. I doubt I can keep it to $120 this month.  Something I've noticed is that my stockpile isn't really economical.  I have a beef roast, several pork roasts, etc.  We could just as easily eat bean dishes for much cheaper.  Especially if I just throw the meat in the freezer for later.  I'm starting to re-evaluate what types of foods I'm stocking up on.  Is anyone else doing anything similar?

Crustybadger, sorry about your lentil pasta.  That totally sucks.

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #184 on: February 06, 2018, 09:08:20 AM »
On Feb 6 I've already spent $70 this month. I doubt I can keep it to $120 this month.  Something I've noticed is that my stockpile isn't really economical.  I have a beef roast, several pork roasts, etc.  We could just as easily eat bean dishes for much cheaper.  Especially if I just throw the meat in the freezer for later.  I'm starting to re-evaluate what types of foods I'm stocking up on.  Is anyone else doing anything similar?

Crustybadger, sorry about your lentil pasta.  That totally sucks.

We don't typically stock up on meat. To be honest, we buy it always at the same place, at the same price (Costco). They sell in bulk, so for convenience, we typically have it in the freezer. I also pre-prep much of it. My husband grills all of the chicken, & then we package it in the freezer for quick dinner options. I turn ground beef into taco meat & kebabs, burgers, etc. For me, meat is more about getting a quick dinner on the table vs stockpiling savings. But, my family doesn't do much veggie eating (i.e. no meat in a dinner - they eat a ton of produce).

4alpacas

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #185 on: February 06, 2018, 09:12:52 AM »
On Feb 6 I've already spent $70 this month. I doubt I can keep it to $120 this month.  Something I've noticed is that my stockpile isn't really economical.  I have a beef roast, several pork roasts, etc.  We could just as easily eat bean dishes for much cheaper.  Especially if I just throw the meat in the freezer for later.  I'm starting to re-evaluate what types of foods I'm stocking up on.  Is anyone else doing anything similar?
Meat is expensive.  We don't really eat that much meat even though we have a little bit at almost every meal.  When I taught myself to cook, I used Budget Bytes (even if it's awful, I wasted a few dollars of ingredients).  Now, most of my go-to recipes are variations on Budget Bytes.  I also don't like to eat a large slab of meat at dinner.  Most of my favorites use meat as an ingredient, not the main course. 

Good luck!

So far, we've been trying to eat down our freezer and fridge (getting a new one on Friday), so I've spent $1.99 on groceries this month.  I bought a large baguette for our Superbowl party--served with cheese (leftover from gift baskets), fancy olive oils, and balsamic vinegar. 

My lunch is a lot of random stuff, but I don't want to go grocery shopping until we get the new fridge.  We have a huge stockpile of food, so this really isn't a problem.  I have plain yogurt with frozen blueberries topped with homemade granola; two chicken sausages; pistachios; half a banana; and two pieces of Ezekiel bread. 

Tonight, I will make hummus and crisp a tortilla under the broiler.  I think we still have a bag of baby carrots and a few pine nuts. 

Last night, we finished the Superbowl baguette with a variety of cheese (SO much cheese).

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #186 on: February 06, 2018, 09:18:44 AM »
Here are some ideas: https://newleafwellness.biz/2015/08/06/31-crockpot-freezer-meals-for-back-to-school/

Looks as if some you can assemble and freeze right away or cook first. The assemble method would be nice and the recipient could place ingredients in their crock pot to cook it. The stuffed peppers look nice!

Thank you!  I hadn't seen this blog before, but I now have crockpot meals planned for the next three weeks.  This will be so easy, and probably cheaper than some of the other things I make.
Boldly leading a blended family into (future) financial independence

Novik

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #187 on: February 06, 2018, 09:19:23 AM »
We don't typically stock up on meat. To be honest, we buy it always at the same place, at the same price (Costco). They sell in bulk, so for convenience, we typically have it in the freezer. I also pre-prep much of it. My husband grills all of the chicken, & then we package it in the freezer for quick dinner options. I turn ground beef into taco meat & kebabs, burgers, etc. For me, meat is more about getting a quick dinner on the table vs stockpiling savings.

We do the buy in bulk + freeze thing as well  (although not at Costco so we do watch for sales), but haven't been doing pre-prep of it. I used to when I lived solo and "bulk" was much less, but not anymore. Would be nice to get back on that wagon and have a little bit of pre-cooked meat in the freeze set aside for "emergency dinners."
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galliver

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #188 on: February 06, 2018, 11:04:41 AM »
First grocery trip of Feb: $80, two stores. The sad part is it was supposed to be a small-haul, supplementary trip...but at this point we probably won't need to go next week, especially since we're headed out of town Weds (I forgot about this until yesterday night, derp, and bf didn't remind me while we were shopping). It'll be ok though; we had some root vegetable+grain meals planned, which will keep just fine until we get back, as well as some of the produce we just got. I made a bunch of salads for this week, we'll just have to go through them faster than anticipated!

Expensive things...coffee ($14/2lb), deli (~$17), $3 ea for coffee creamer* and raddichio and 3 lb of pasta (semi-stocking up). Pretty sure the rest was produce at reasonable prices, and milk.
*Sometimes I get cream or half and half, sometimes I get Natural Bliss which is dairy with a fun flavor; they seem to cost about the same and since they're ultra-pasteurized, usually last me 2 weeks. Bf takes his coffee black. But insists on the "good stuff". (Granted, on this BOGO sale, it came close to what coffees that I like cost, e.g. Trader Joes...)

Do you have a Costco? I find their coffee to be very good & reasonably priced (as far as nice coffee goes). I can't drink it black, but have slowly weaned myself off of creamer. First I went with milk & agave, and that took a month or so. Now just coffee & milk, and I don't like the coffee sweetened at all now.

I appreciate your suggestion; I think things like the coffee are probably inflating the food spending. I'll have to see how much any specific thing (like coffee) contributes to decide whether it's worth pushing on bf to change our collective habits. We are not coffee fiends and our consumption is like a mug a day (each), and not every day (we probably drink more tea, but nothing like a coffee jolt in the AM!) He rather tends toward connoisseurism in that area, has since college, but generally he funds it himself since we have different tastes. Mine are strictly middle-of-the-road; I typically get it from Trader Joe's (because I got to try those to find ones I like) or on sale from Sprouts (comes in bulk so I can try before I buy a whole pound). And that'll last me a good 2 months for $5-7.

I've no desire to change my dairy-in-coffee preferences. :) I tried to switch to black coffee once and found it gave me jitters. I do milk sometimes in a pinch, but I find it ends up watery...tbh usually I get the dairy (cream or half & half) separately and add sugar if I want it...but in Dec I went on a hazelnut kick and have really been enjoying it in my coffee since...might be drawing to an end though.

AmandaPanda

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #189 on: February 06, 2018, 11:18:50 AM »
I don't really serve slabs of meat, either, so I think that's why having so much in the freezer is getting me down. I am putting pressure on myself to serve more meat, when usually I am very Budget Bytes style.  Right now I have a craving for her Roasted Red Pepper Pasta, but I feel like I shouldn't buy the peppers, because I have so much other less appealing food I could be eating right now.  This exercise will hopefully help me change how I shop in the future and what I stock up on.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #190 on: February 06, 2018, 11:48:40 AM »
AmandaPanda, allow yourself a few treats otherwise it will be a grind! Any chance you can make another family member a casserole, thus getting rid of some of your less appealing food, then allow yourself a treat? If you have parents and aunt, uncle or even a young couple that have kids, they may appreciate a night off from cooking. You could feel like you did a good deed, got rid of some excess food and allowed yourself a treat! Life it too short, make yourself happy!

By the way, how do you make that roasted red pepper pasta? Sounds yummy! I love roasted red peppers on hamburgers and roast beef grinders...drool!

krmit

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #191 on: February 06, 2018, 01:06:41 PM »
AmandaPanda - I always like to stretch my cooked meatsin casseroles/lasagnas, soups, tacos (my personal favorite) in the week after cooking it up. That said, I tend to treat meat more like a condiment than THE THING for dinner.

I'm challenging myself to only buying milk and eggs for the month of February, and it'll be interesting to see how my grocery list changes after this month. Super excited to be going through the freezer in a more intentional way - there's lots of frozen vegetables and random leftovers to use up. I'll have a lot of staples (grains and flour mostly) to stock up on in March, but probably not significantly more than usual.

That said, Mr. krmit and my cheese consumption is much more intentional! We don't have much left and still have 22 days to go!

AmandaPanda

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #192 on: February 06, 2018, 01:11:32 PM »
The pasta recipe:

https://www.budgetbytes.com/2015/06/one-pot-roasted-red-pepper-pasta/

It is delicious!

I do need to focus more on the leftovers. So make the roast, then immediately freeze for recipes, or use up in a different recipe the next day.  I think that will make it more appealing than just, oh, leftover roast beef (which does not sound appetizing!)

Roadrunner53

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #193 on: February 06, 2018, 02:22:20 PM »
Thanks for the recipe! Printed it and maybe tomorrow night! Have all the ingredients but might use spaghetti instead of fettucine.

CrustyBadger

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #194 on: February 06, 2018, 05:14:55 PM »
The pasta recipe:

https://www.budgetbytes.com/2015/06/one-pot-roasted-red-pepper-pasta/

It is delicious!

I do need to focus more on the leftovers. So make the roast, then immediately freeze for recipes, or use up in a different recipe the next day.  I think that will make it more appealing than just, oh, leftover roast beef (which does not sound appetizing!)

Some food just are better as leftovers than others.  Foods with yummy marinating type sauces... Yum the second day.   Even pasta dishes .. flavors meld etc.

Roast beef ... needs doctoring up into something else, I feel.   My family does NOT enjoy leftovers.   As a frugal strategy (still beginning this) I feel I basically have to do two "fresh" meals, followed by a "leftovers only" day.  Otherwise people will rebel....

And I try not to have any leftovers.  It just doesn't go over well with my family.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #195 on: February 06, 2018, 05:32:53 PM »
Wow, some leftovers taste better the next day like lasagna and chili! I  made big bucket of chili for the two of us. We ate it for dinner, hub ate it for breakfast then we ate it again for dinner. We still have a lot left over and will freeze it. It will be good on Baked taters with sour cream, Mexican cheese and sour cream. I am always surprised when people say they don't like leftovers! I love leftovers. Oh well, to each his own!

CrustyBadger

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #196 on: February 06, 2018, 05:45:20 PM »
Wow, some leftovers taste better the next day like lasagna and chili! I  made big bucket of chili for the two of us. We ate it for dinner, hub ate it for breakfast then we ate it again for dinner. We still have a lot left over and will freeze it. It will be good on Baked taters with sour cream, Mexican cheese and sour cream. I am always surprised when people say they don't like leftovers! I love leftovers. Oh well, to each his own!

I think chili and lasagna are good examples of food that can taste better the second day.   I think the flavors meld better over a 24 hour period.

Other foods like dry cooked meats (steaks, chops, roasts etc) personally I don't think taste so great the next day and certainly not by day 3.   Usually I have to dice them and cook them in a different manner. 

But I'm not any great "use up the leftovers" person by any means.  Just my opinion!  Interesting write up about it here:

https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/food-better-leftovers-next-day

mountain mustache

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #197 on: February 06, 2018, 07:52:50 PM »
The pasta recipe:

https://www.budgetbytes.com/2015/06/one-pot-roasted-red-pepper-pasta/

It is delicious!

I do need to focus more on the leftovers. So make the roast, then immediately freeze for recipes, or use up in a different recipe the next day.  I think that will make it more appealing than just, oh, leftover roast beef (which does not sound appetizing!)

You mentioned you have some beef and pork roasts. I'm just one person, but I like to make a big roast in the crockpot, with pretty basic flavor (salt, pepper, garlic) and then shred it and freeze it in maybe 1/2 pound to 1 pound portions. It's great in so many things that way because it's still a simple ingredient...with pork roast I like to make carnitas tacos, and sometimes I'll fry it up in the morning with some eggs. It's great cold and shredded on salad like a taco salad...etc. But simple shredded beef and pork can make tons of good meals!

Roadrunner53

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #198 on: February 07, 2018, 03:38:45 AM »
Mountain Moustache, Costco has roast beef in a can. It is a great tasty product and can be used in a variety of ways. I add a jar of beef gravy to a pot then once it is hot, add the beef till warm. Then pour over rice or mashed taters. The beef is very tender. I imagine you could also shred it up for taco's or other applications. I only discovered this about a year ago and it is a go to meal when we don't know what to have. I mentioned it to my fuss pot girlfriend and she retched at the thought of canned roast beef. Oh, well, she lives in a small world of food and isn't open to trying much. If you like pot roast, you should like this.

Malkynn

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #199 on: February 07, 2018, 05:53:28 AM »
We stopped buying meat last year.

Itís great because so many vegetarian dishes make great leftovers. They tend to be stews, casseroles, rice dishes, etc. Bean dishes almost always taste better after theyíve had at least 24 hours to absorb flavour.

Since switching to all vegetarian dishes, I can cook in one day for the entire week, pre portion it out into single serving containers and we can just grab and go as needed.
Itís also extremely low waste as a result, and an extremely effective diet on top of that.