Author Topic: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018  (Read 54217 times)

Serendip

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #300 on: February 21, 2018, 09:38:47 AM »
My shopping has been very low-key this month but I feel like it's an exaggerated low since my SO is picking up things left, right & center (and is not tracking his side)

However, I have kept mine under $170 this month, which is a great reduction from $550 last month..my 'stocking up' on dry goods/beans, etc will probably be every other month and I might do a big order of produce so I can do a health-food blitz while he is out of town in March (intestinal spring cleaning?) :)

4alpacas

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #301 on: February 21, 2018, 09:49:53 AM »
We're at $147.50* after buying a ton of Clif bars and 2 boxes of Girl Scout cookies.

I made a batch of breakfast burritos this weekend for the freezer, and I'm LOVING them.  They're so easy to take to work (wrapped each one in foil) when I'm running late, which has been every morning this week. 

I was planning to hit the grocery store for produce this weekend, but I still have plenty of citrus and spinach. This weekend, I plan to bake another loaf of bread, make a huge batch of brown rice (to go with the chicken curry in the freezer), and make a spinach salad with goat cheese.

*This includes delivery fees (we get our groceries delivered), a few plastic bag fees, paper products, toiletries, and cleaning products.

Shelley

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #302 on: February 21, 2018, 01:50:10 PM »
What do you put in your breakfast burritos 4alpacas? Iím trying to find something heart healthy for DH who is on the edge of having to get cholesterol lowering medication. He canít have much cheese anymore, which was his favorite part of lunchtime sandwiches. Beans are great for cholesterol lowering though... He has a sandwich press at work so he could warm them up that way.

krmit

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #303 on: February 21, 2018, 11:32:19 PM »
Up to a hair under $80 total for the month. Ran out of coffee and toilet paper, and grabbed some staples for a busy work weekend (got 20 hours of work scheduled for Saturday and Sunday). I can't go into tech weekend without bread and peanut butter on hand. I think that should be the last grocery shop of the month though, and is absolutely the cheapest grocery month I've ever had. I learned a lot about what I need to keep more of around, particularly fast sources of fat/protein/fiber for snacks. Nuts and nut butter, dried fruit, cheese, and yogurt went fast this month.

HappierAtHome

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #304 on: February 22, 2018, 01:40:46 AM »
Up to $669 for February. My overall goal for 2018 is for my average monthly spend to be under $800. I had toyed with a stretch goal of $700 for Feb, but that's clearly not going to happen.

Today's shop at Aldi was interesting. I deliberately paid more for Australian products (e.g. olive oil and honey). I'm noticing that every single month there are things to stock up on - last month we stocked up on dried beans, nuts and seeds, this month we needed olive oil which we buy in bulk both to save money and to reduce packaging (we've also stocked up on wet wipes and a few other irregular purchases). We also spend a LOT on fresh fruit and veg, even with buying in season. It's consistently a high percentage of our spend.

Time to start brainstorming my meal plan for the rest of the month!

CrustyBadger

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #305 on: February 22, 2018, 04:32:15 AM »
Iím trying to find something heart healthy for DH who is on the edge of having to get cholesterol lowering medication. He canít have much cheese anymore, which was his favorite part of lunchtime sandwiches. Beans are great for cholesterol lowering though... He has a sandwich press at work so he could warm them up that way.

To lower cholesterol I have read try whole oats as oatmeal or in oat bread, certain spreads or oils that contain sterols (Benecal), avocados.   Been trying those and beans with my husband -- will get more recent results in another week to see if we made any change!

SachaFiscal

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #306 on: February 22, 2018, 07:49:02 AM »
Iím trying to find something heart healthy for DH who is on the edge of having to get cholesterol lowering medication. He canít have much cheese anymore, which was his favorite part of lunchtime sandwiches. Beans are great for cholesterol lowering though... He has a sandwich press at work so he could warm them up that way.

To lower cholesterol I have read try whole oats as oatmeal or in oat bread, certain spreads or oils that contain sterols (Benecal), avocados.   Been trying those and beans with my husband -- will get more recent results in another week to see if we made any change!

Iím trying to lower my cholesterol as well. I stopped eating foods with cholesterol except once or twice a month and that reduced it quite a bit bit not enough. Now Iím trying to lose weight (excess fat) as that has been proven to reduce cholesterol. My cholesterol is pretty stubborn but Iíll get in control one way or another! Not excited about going on medication either so Iím trying everything I can to reduce it naturally.

PKate

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #307 on: February 22, 2018, 09:00:09 AM »
What do you put in your breakfast burritos 4alpacas? Iím trying to find something heart healthy for DH who is on the edge of having to get cholesterol lowering medication. He canít have much cheese anymore, which was his favorite part of lunchtime sandwiches. Beans are great for cholesterol lowering though... He has a sandwich press at work so he could warm them up that way.

I make scrambled eggs with all sorts of stuff added to them.  We add lots of veggies and just enough meat for flavoring.  Sometimes we add cheese and sometimes we don't.  It really depends on what we have on hand and what left overs need to get used up.  I always add salt and pepper.  I am on a high salt diet  (It is strange to have your doctors tell you need more salt.) and the salt helps make up for the lack of cheese.   

Left overs are the best.  We use little bits of steak, ham, pork chops, sausage, and bacon.  A little goes a long way and we mostly eat grass fed/pasture raised meats and eggs due to DH slightly high cholesterol.

Veggies include kale, broccoli, spinach, pac choi, tomatoes, peppers, asparagus, salsa, green onions, basil, baked eggplant, and other greens. 

We have chickens so spring and summer we tend to have excess eggs.    I will frittatas in cupcake tins and freeze them.  I use whatever assorted meat, cheese, and veggies on hand and then we have easy heat and eat breakfasts. I am sure you could adapt this for burritos.

 

4alpacas

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #308 on: February 22, 2018, 11:48:06 AM »
We're at $188* after buying another large amount of Clif bars for my DH to take on a work trip.

I have a lot of curry in the freezer that I'll defrost for dinners this weekend.  I also have a lot of cauliflower salad to eat in the next few days. I also need to make a new loaf of bread for avocado toast (my favorite!). 

*This includes delivery fees (we get our groceries delivered), a few plastic bag fees, paper products, toiletries, and cleaning products.

What do you put in your breakfast burritos 4alpacas? Iím trying to find something heart healthy for DH who is on the edge of having to get cholesterol lowering medication. He canít have much cheese anymore, which was his favorite part of lunchtime sandwiches. Beans are great for cholesterol lowering though... He has a sandwich press at work so he could warm them up that way.
@Shelley I use whole wheat tortillas, eggs, a LOT of spinach, black beans, and a little cheese.  I make 6 burritos at a time (10 eggs total), wrap them in aluminum foil, place them in a freezer ziploc, and freeze them.  The burritos keep for a few months.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #309 on: February 22, 2018, 03:42:29 PM »
4alpacas, I assume you are scrambling the eggs and adding spinach to the eggs? Do you use baby spinach or regular fresh spinach? Do you put any kind of hot sauce or spices on them or into the eggs like Cholula or when you go to eat them do you dip them in a sauce/salsa? I am a Johnny come lately to Mexican food. I like it but don't know how to make it! Thanks!

cheddarpie

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #310 on: February 22, 2018, 03:51:35 PM »
belatedly PTF. I've been too scared to look at my numbers for the last six months because I know they were face-punch worthy. I have some homework to do and will be back with a goal...in the meantime thinking $400/ mo. groceries and $100/mo eating out.

4alpacas

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #311 on: February 22, 2018, 10:24:26 PM »
4alpacas, I assume you are scrambling the eggs and adding spinach to the eggs? Do you use baby spinach or regular fresh spinach? Do you put any kind of hot sauce or spices on them or into the eggs like Cholula or when you go to eat them do you dip them in a sauce/salsa? I am a Johnny come lately to Mexican food. I like it but don't know how to make it! Thanks!
@Roadrunner53 I add spices to the black beans. Salsa would be tasty, but I worry it might make the tortilla soggy. Maybe an after heating addition.

I start by mixing 10 eggs in a bowl with a little salt and pepper.  I add the eggs to a large pan with a little bit of avocado oil in it on medium low.  When the eggs are about half-way done, I start by adding several handfuls of fresh spinach.  I continue adding as much spinach as possible and let it wilt a little.

We've started getting all of the Clif bars...We received 46 tonight.  Another 30 will arrive tomorrow. We really overdid it, but I guess I have afternoon snacks for a few months.

zeli2033

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #312 on: February 25, 2018, 09:46:46 AM »
End of month update after all shopping (fingers crossed): $768 / $850.

We did a big shopping trip yesterday at Costco that we didn't necessarily need to do but I justified it by saying we won't need to make the trek all the way out there for a couple weeks.

So bottom line, we could have spent less this month but we're still coming in under budget. And only $22.25 of it was on eating food out so that's a win. Our average spent on eating out at the end of last year was $225 per month on top of everything we were spending on groceries.

All in all I'm happy with the progress!

Roadrunner53

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #313 on: February 25, 2018, 10:29:09 AM »
4alpacas, where are you buying your Clif bars? I saw them on Boxed 24 for $21.99.

Laura33

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #314 on: February 25, 2018, 02:31:55 PM »
So the good news is that groceries and dairy delivery combined were under $70.  Bad news is that I sent DD and DH out to do the shopping, and of the $42 total, $12 was candy!  Because we need more crap in the house. . . .   

In any event, looks like the monthly total is going to be $436 groceries, $48 household, as I am traveling this week and so wonít be here to spend more money.  😄  So definitely well under my generous $600-ish budget.  But Iím sure there will be weeknight takeout in my absence, which will add to the not-impressive $100-ish total so far.

frooglepoodle

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #315 on: February 25, 2018, 03:45:32 PM »
I'm at $415 for the month, and new some more fruit and veggies to get us through the last few days. My goal was $300, which was maybe overly aggressive without serious rethinking of how I approach shopping and meal planning. On the bright side, the freezer and pantry are well stocked going into March.

Areas to improve for March: DO NOT set foot inside a grocery store while hungry, and definitely not with a hungry toddler in tow.

4alpacas

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #316 on: February 25, 2018, 09:10:54 PM »
$188 for the month*

I'm surprised at how easy it was to get our grocery spend back down again.  When we first started on the MMM journey, our grocery bill was over $800/month.  We cut it down to ~$250/month after several solid months of effort.  This month highlights that I need to make more of an effort to cook on Sunday afternoons.

4alpacas, where are you buying your Clif bars? I saw them on Boxed 24 for $21.99.
No face punches for buying 72 Clif bars? ;) @Roadrunner53 We bought them from Target via Google Express.

For this week, I made another batch of the chickpea shawarma that I made two weeks ago. It's SO good.  We still have wheat tortillas, so I'll pack it for lunch. I defrosted the last of the chicken curry I made last weekend.  I made 4 cups of brown rice, so dinner should be set for the next few days. I also put together a few sweet items for the week--frozen fruit + yogurt, frozen fruit blended with milk.

I'm hosting book club on Thursday. I have two boxes of Girl Scout cookies.  I will also make some hummus and crisp up a few whole wheat tortillas. I will probably stop at the grocery store for a bag of baby carrots and a few small pieces of cheese (have crackers).

*This includes delivery fees, a few plastic bag fees, paper products, toiletries, and cleaning products.

Novik

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #317 on: February 26, 2018, 07:03:23 AM »
For this week, I made another batch of the chickpea shawarma that I made two weeks ago. It's SO good.  We still have wheat tortillas, so I'll pack it for lunch.

Chickpea shwarma? That sounds pretty good and cheap - do you have a recipe at hand to share by any chance? :)

Roadrunner53

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #318 on: February 26, 2018, 07:07:16 AM »
4alpacas, Hahaha, no face punches on your 72 Clif bars. I order from a food service company and buy 10 lb boxes of food for the freezer! I have so much food at my house I could feed the neighborhood for a week.

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #319 on: February 26, 2018, 08:29:25 AM »
Our grocery/household items/dog food budget (for 5 people) is now $125/week.  For February, that would mean $500, and we came in just over that, at $510.   

Our eating out went way up last month, though - we spent $260.  20% of that was poor planning (we forgot to start the crock pot one day when we had company for dinner, so I ordered pizza, and husband didn't let me know in advance that his study group was coming over for dinner, so he ordered pizza).


4alpacas

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #320 on: February 26, 2018, 09:35:17 AM »
For this week, I made another batch of the chickpea shawarma that I made two weeks ago. It's SO good.  We still have wheat tortillas, so I'll pack it for lunch.
Chickpea shwarma? That sounds pretty good and cheap - do you have a recipe at hand to share by any chance? :)
@Novik I posted the recipe up thread, but here it is again.  I make the garlic dill sauce with tahini, so it's very rich and decadent.  Usually, one batch goes on two batches of the chickpeas, or 4 total. 

4alpacas, Hahaha, no face punches on your 72 Clif bars. I order from a food service company and buy 10 lb boxes of food for the freezer! I have so much food at my house I could feed the neighborhood for a week.
@Roadrunner53 In full disclosure, I also ordered a few RX bars to get to the free shipping limit on Google Express. 

Our eating out went way up last month, though - we spent $260.  20% of that was poor planning (we forgot to start the crock pot one day when we had company for dinner, so I ordered pizza, and husband didn't let me know in advance that his study group was coming over for dinner, so he ordered pizza).
Would it save money to have a few prepared frozen items in your freezer? We used frozen pizzas as a quick dinner for several years.  Now, we splurge and keep eVol mac & cheese in the freezer (SO good).

Novik

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #321 on: February 26, 2018, 09:56:47 AM »
Sorry, and thank you @4alpacas - looks delicious.

4alpacas

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #322 on: February 26, 2018, 10:39:07 AM »
Sorry, and thank you @4alpacas - looks delicious.
@Novik No need to apologize.  I just don't want to spam the thread with the same recipe a zillion times unless someone wants it.  The recipe is delicious...and so easy!  I also make the chickpea portion just to snack on.

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #323 on: February 26, 2018, 10:46:40 AM »
Our eating out went way up last month, though - we spent $260.  20% of that was poor planning (we forgot to start the crock pot one day when we had company for dinner, so I ordered pizza, and husband didn't let me know in advance that his study group was coming over for dinner, so he ordered pizza).
Would it save money to have a few prepared frozen items in your freezer? We used frozen pizzas as a quick dinner for several years.  Now, we splurge and keep eVol mac & cheese in the freezer (SO good).

Frozen pizzas last on average about 3 days in our house.  We can hear them calling us and, well, none of us have a ton of willpower.  I think husband deliberately didn't let me know about the study group because a) he wanted pizza and b) I have a lovely new cast on my foot and he didn't want me in the kitchen.

At one point I had a nice stock of casseroles in the freezer ready to pop in the oven, but we ate all those up.   I think I'll plan to restock those in April, when I can stand for longer periods of time.

imadandylion

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #324 on: February 26, 2018, 07:44:35 PM »
My partner and I have to get back on this. Our 'not paying attention' spending comes out to around $300-$400 per month. If we can reduce that to $200 and keep that level consistent until retirement, it will shave a month or two off of our retirement timeline, perhaps more if we can keep that level of spending low into retirement.

Our strategies:
-Go cash-based for grocery shopping. We've done budgets before for groceries, but it's so much harder to keep receipts and keep a running total than to stop when the $50 for the week or $200 for the month is gone. We will probably switch back to credit cards afterward for the rewards, once we're a little more calibrated for this level of grocery spending.

This is pretty similar to my household of 2... We're aiming for 200, but when we let loose (*ahem* booze) it's about the same range as your spending.  Using cash definitely helps. We like to go to the Farmer's market and although most vendors have a square reader, we just use cash and carry home... well... what we can carry. So that both helps limit spending.

-Vegetarian days for me. I don't know that I'll ever convince the SO to go vegetarian or vegan. I can't get him to go without meat for a day. But I can take days where my protein is all plant-based, especially with meals that we've prepared ahead of time and frozen so we don't have to eat the same thing.

As I vegan, I approve! :)  I never thought I (or my partner) would go vegan, but I think if you made something realllly delicious and don't mention there's no meat, your partner might not miss it.  Some things, you can't really fake, but some things are pretty close - like the Beyond Meat burger (this brand has many burgers, but the one marketed as the 'Impossible' burger is the most meat-like). Definitely give that a try on one of those days.

galliver

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #325 on: February 26, 2018, 10:09:54 PM »
My partner and I have to get back on this. Our 'not paying attention' spending comes out to around $300-$400 per month. If we can reduce that to $200 and keep that level consistent until retirement, it will shave a month or two off of our retirement timeline, perhaps more if we can keep that level of spending low into retirement.

Our strategies:
-Go cash-based for grocery shopping. We've done budgets before for groceries, but it's so much harder to keep receipts and keep a running total than to stop when the $50 for the week or $200 for the month is gone. We will probably switch back to credit cards afterward for the rewards, once we're a little more calibrated for this level of grocery spending.

This is pretty similar to my household of 2... We're aiming for 200, but when we let loose (*ahem* booze) it's about the same range as your spending.  Using cash definitely helps. We like to go to the Farmer's market and although most vendors have a square reader, we just use cash and carry home... well... what we can carry. So that both helps limit spending.

-Vegetarian days for me. I don't know that I'll ever convince the SO to go vegetarian or vegan. I can't get him to go without meat for a day. But I can take days where my protein is all plant-based, especially with meals that we've prepared ahead of time and frozen so we don't have to eat the same thing.

As I vegan, I approve! :)  I never thought I (or my partner) would go vegan, but I think if you made something realllly delicious and don't mention there's no meat, your partner might not miss it.  Some things, you can't really fake, but some things are pretty close - like the Beyond Meat burger (this brand has many burgers, but the one marketed as the 'Impossible' burger is the most meat-like). Definitely give that a try on one of those days.

Booze is a killer, isn't it?

I'll definitely try more of the meatless stuff. I got meatless crumbles the other day for my burritos, and just because I normally spice the filling so heavily, I legit couldn't tell the difference between that and ground beef. It's a but more pricy though than the homemade black bean burgers or tofu filling I usually whip up as a substitute.

Bf and I aren't going vegan but we've gone "vegan curious" in an effort to reduce meat consumption. You can use green jackfruit to make a filling that is texturally very similar to pulled pork (or chicken) an excellent vehicle for flavors and sauces. I think bf uses this recipe or something like it: https://itdoesnttastelikechicken.com/easy-vegan-jackfruit-tacos/. (For anyone who is intrigued: make sure to get the green jackfruit; it's fruity and tropical when ripe, which doesn't work for tacos!). We like to have it with http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/red-cabbage-slaw (I add carrots and red onion). :)

pancakes

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #326 on: February 26, 2018, 10:30:08 PM »
We have stopped buying alcohol except for a bottle of wine on the weekend in an attempt to save money and just drink less. We are motivated by increasing our savings as we prepare to purchase an extraordinarily expensive house.

Today I made delicious savoury pancakes (heh) for lunch using the never ending supply of cabbage in our fridge. The baby continued her theme of rejecting anything that tastes remotely of egg and decided they were the worst. Hmmm

I also caved and purchased a loaf pan to make apple tea cake as we are accumulating apples from the CSA box. I couldnít find a pan in the second hand stores so went all out and purchased a really good quality one (using gift cards). Buy it for life (hopefully).

galliver

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #327 on: February 26, 2018, 10:47:15 PM »
We were at about $350 but bf stopped by two grocery stores after the gym today, to the tune of $100 :/ (includes $20 of personal care products for him, and $30 of wine and $$$ coffee we didn't really need...in fairness I did say "next time you go to the gym pick up butter" so I kind of asked for it). Hopefully no more trips before the end of the month, lol! $450 is still less than our non-mindful total, though, and I've definitely used up some odds and ends that were bumming around the fridge and freezer, which makes it feel more...streamlined and organized? We'll see what we can do next month!

The chicken/broccoli/brown rice actually sounds like it could be really good though - sorry to hear it didn't turn out!

Well, the fact that I don't really like broccoli and just kinda tolerate brown rice didn't help.  :-)  The pain of trying to be healthy . . . . 

You could try red rice if you have an ethnic grocery that stocks it. I find it a lot less...cardboardy, and maybe sweeter? We got a 3?lb bag from 99 Ranch fairly inexpensively, but I don't know what's available on your coast. Keep an eye out?

I also find that heartier grains (brown/red/black/wild rice, barley, farro, etc) work better with richer, heartier, saucier additions/toppings...like chicken marsala, mushrooms, sweet potatoes/root veg, etc. I would never substitute them in something like sushi. Kind of like how I wouldn't bake delicate pastries with whole wheat flour, but oatmeal cookies or bran muffins would work fine. Enjoyed a variation on this dish with red+brown+wild rice: https://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/wild-rice-pilaf-with-dried-cranberries-and-pecans.html

Made brown rice for dinner tonight and realized two things. One is that I often like the more robust rices cooked in broth rather than water; usually I throw enough better than bouillon in for half the water or a bit more. The second, more specifically, is that I really can't tell it's brown rice in a taco bowl because there's a lot going on! (I had ground beef, peppers, onions, jackfruit, spices, lime juice, a little cheddar, a little sour cream, cilantro, some beans...) Maybe it'll help with coming up with delicious ways to use brown rice!

Roadrunner53

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #328 on: February 27, 2018, 03:28:52 AM »
Did you know Better than Bouillon has other flavors like lobster and clams? I just bought the lobster one from Walmart on line.

SachaFiscal

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #329 on: February 27, 2018, 09:06:02 AM »
I'm starting to focus on reducing my grocery spending this month.  I've been tracking our spending on groceries for the past 8 months and our average is about $750 per month with the highest month being $940 and the lowest month $615.  I don't have a particular goal in mind but I'd like to see how much I can reduce it by just being mindful of what I'm buying and not wasting any food.  We are mostly vegan so our staples (e.g. rice and beans) are fairly cheap but we like to eat organic when possible so that increases our spending on produce a bit.

Here are the things I have done so far to reduce my spending:
1. Track grocery spending.
2. Eat pretty much the same things every week. So I can buy some stuff in bulk.
3. Don't waste any food. Everything I buy we eat.
3. Don't overeat (also helps with achieving and maintaining a healthy weight). I portion out the food so that we eat a sufficient amount without going overboard.
4. Switching from canned beans to dry beans.  I've started using my instant pot to cook dry beans which saves quite a bit and may be more nutritious and less caloric.
5. Cook from scratch as much as possible.
6. Stop/reduce drinking alcohol. We don't buy alcohol to drink at home anymore. I only drink about once or twice a month if I go out with friends or on special occasions.

My plan next week is to start looking at where I can buy things the cheapest. Going to a few different stores and checking out their prices on the things I normally buy.

So far this month I've already spent $125 but I had to buy some bulk items.  I expect future weeks to be much less.

Doing good so far!  I've only spent $288 and I have enough food to last until Saturday at least.  I'll probably do one more shopping run on Sunday which will probably be less than $100 putting me below the USDA thrifty food plan amount for two adults ($385). Not bad!  I think this is as low as I can go and still eat mostly organic produce.

All done with my grocery shopping for the week so February total is $350!  Last month was about $780 so that is quite a reduction. Just being aware of what I already had in my pantry and only buying what I really needed helped.  Also I'm the only one who grocery shops so I have complete control over the budget.  I'm gonna try to match or beat $350 for March :)

4alpacas

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #330 on: February 27, 2018, 09:35:31 AM »
$210 for the month*
I bought a bunch of Clif Shot Bloks and powdered Gatorade Endurance.  Half of our grocery spend went to the Clif company this month. 

I think this will be it for the month.  I don't have time to go to the grocery store, and I still have plenty of fruit and spinach. 

If anyone has any advice on easy Whole 30 snacks, let me know.  I have a friend coming over on Thursday who is on week 2.



*This includes delivery fees, a few plastic bag fees, paper products, toiletries, and cleaning products.


galliver

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #331 on: February 27, 2018, 09:40:37 AM »
Did you know Better than Bouillon has other flavors like lobster and clams? I just bought the lobster one from Walmart on line.
I know they have a lot! We keep chicken, beef, and veggie around (usually BIG jars). The roasted garlic one was awesome . I may have almost used it up last night... I like to mix and match: chicken and veggie, beef and garlic, etc. Just found out they have a mushroom one, yum! Wish there was an Asian style chicken (it uses different spices/aromatics)...

Novik

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #332 on: February 27, 2018, 09:42:16 AM »
I'm starting to focus on reducing my grocery spending this month.  I've been tracking our spending on groceries for the past 8 months and our average is about $750 per month with the highest month being $940 and the lowest month $615.  I don't have a particular goal in mind but I'd like to see how much I can reduce it by just being mindful of what I'm buying and not wasting any food.

All done with my grocery shopping for the week so February total is $350!  Last month was about $780 so that is quite a reduction. Just being aware of what I already had in my pantry and only buying what I really needed helped.  Also I'm the only one who grocery shops so I have complete control over the budget.  I'm gonna try to match or beat $350 for March :)

Wow - congratulations are certainly in order! Way to go on dropping the food spending by more than half your average. I'm impressed and I hope your family is too!

SachaFiscal

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #333 on: February 27, 2018, 10:23:42 AM »
Wow - congratulations are certainly in order! Way to go on dropping the food spending by more than half your average. I'm impressed and I hope your family is too!

Thanks!  Yeah my husband was really impressed.  He already is thinking how he wants to spend the money we saved LOL.  I want to put it into VTSAX...
This thread is really helping me, it is very motivating to read everyone's posts.

4alpacas

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #334 on: February 27, 2018, 10:48:46 AM »
Wow - congratulations are certainly in order! Way to go on dropping the food spending by more than half your average. I'm impressed and I hope your family is too!

Thanks!  Yeah my husband was really impressed.  He already is thinking how he wants to spend the money we saved LOL.  I want to put it into VTSAX...
This thread is really helping me, it is very motivating to read everyone's posts.
That's an awesome first cut!  When I started, we were around $800/month (for 2!!!).  It took me months to get under $400!

WAY TO GO!

AmandaPanda

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #335 on: February 27, 2018, 11:02:05 AM »
I'm so disappointed.  I added up our Feb numbers, which, admittedly I haven't been tracking, and we are at $477.  Above even the $400 threshold.  I don't even know what it was spent on.  I felt we were very conscientious all month and only bought what we needed for recipes and lunches, not even any meat.  Certainly some alcohol, but that only adds up to about $50 :(

I still have some stockpile, but it's not a crazy amount, and it's just some meat, not really veggies or starches even.  I'll have to really focus to get it under $400 for March.

4alpacas

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #336 on: February 27, 2018, 11:27:39 AM »
I'm so disappointed.  I added up our Feb numbers, which, admittedly I haven't been tracking, and we are at $477.  Above even the $400 threshold.  I don't even know what it was spent on.  I felt we were very conscientious all month and only bought what we needed for recipes and lunches, not even any meat.  Certainly some alcohol, but that only adds up to about $50 :(

I still have some stockpile, but it's not a crazy amount, and it's just some meat, not really veggies or starches even.  I'll have to really focus to get it under $400 for March.
@AmandaPanda When I was first trying to get my grocery bill down, I taped the receipts to our fridge.  When we finished an item, I would cross it out.  It gave me an idea of the items that were usually regularly and helped cut down on my food waste.  I also circled junk food and items that weren't on our list.

Don't beat yourself up!  We took months to get our grocery bill below $400/month...and even longer to get it below $300. 

AmandaPanda

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #337 on: February 27, 2018, 01:23:15 PM »
Taping them up is a really good idea!  Although I don't think we have a lot left lurking based on what I've bought this month.  I think what I need to do is really look at what types of food I'm purchasing and decide if those foods are worth it.  I buy a lot of fruit for the kids.  It's all from Aldi, but it's still a decent volume.  Same thing with the veggies, when the main dish should be beans, potatoes, rice, etc. to keep cost down.

4alpacas

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #338 on: February 27, 2018, 02:22:21 PM »
Taping them up is a really good idea!  Although I don't think we have a lot left lurking based on what I've bought this month.  I think what I need to do is really look at what types of food I'm purchasing and decide if those foods are worth it.  I buy a lot of fruit for the kids.  It's all from Aldi, but it's still a decent volume.  Same thing with the veggies, when the main dish should be beans, potatoes, rice, etc. to keep cost down.
For vegetables, try frozen.  I have a love affair with frozen broccoli and riced cauliflower.  I steam them in the microwave for dinner every night and have leftovers for lunch. 

I also buy large containers of mixed greens or spinach.  As long as you eat it all, it's actually a pretty good deal.  I eat a large salad most days for lunch.  Since I make my own dressing and use up whatever else I have in the fridge, it's an inexpensive, nutritious meal.

pancakes

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #339 on: February 28, 2018, 02:53:04 AM »
Help! I have an abundance of okra but Iíve never cooked with it before. What are your favorite (easy) recipes? Bonus points if a baby can eat it.


TikiTime

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #341 on: February 28, 2018, 11:04:28 AM »
Smothered okra!  Deslime it in the oven first.  Add chicken and serve over rice for a meal. 

AmandaPanda

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #342 on: February 28, 2018, 11:18:47 AM »
Okra is just as easy as other veggies! A little oil and seasonings of your choosing, and pop in the oven to roast or on the grill.

What do you make your own salad dressings with?  I've never tried that.

kaypinkHH

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #343 on: February 28, 2018, 11:24:45 AM »
This could be on the anti-mustachian wall of self shame. Our grocery spend was $720 this month. o_O. For 2 people.

Some caveats:
1. We just moved into a new house and had to restock 
2. I have been doing mega cooking to prep our freezer, so I expect the numbers to level out eventually.
3. We won't be buying a ton of food between now and March 9th, so March numbers should be way lower.
4. We bought fancy things for a party this past weekend, and didn't end up using it, will eat this weekend instead.
5. Some of this "grocery" bill is house stuff too, but I know some other places I buy groceries and classify as a house purchase, it all comes out the wash.

Overall on food/booze, our spend was high this month: $1266 (Vs 2017 average challenge of $773).

Positives: Restaurants/fastfood/coffeeshops were the 2nd lowest they have ever been (if you don't count moving day coffee and snacks). I felt like we did a lot better this month on mitigating extra spending.
- Hosted games night instead of going out to a restaurant
- Ate at home before going out for a friends birthday
- Only 1 restaurant meal that was just Mr.HH and I (cheap chinese food tradition for Vday), rest was social events. (1 or 2 which would have been mitigated if we had fully been moved into the house..they happened early in the month)
- Only 2 purchased lunches (1 was just after the move, 1 was Mr.HH's work event). Every other lunch was brought from home.
- Only 3 purchased coffees, all on a road trip. Coffee is made at home or for free at work!

Areas to improve:
- Ended up caving and getting gross late night McDonalds last weekend. It was disgusting and has completely turned us off fast food. That is a silver lining I guess, but a complete waste of $18.
- Got take out pizza one night after a road trip, we had a freezer full of food. We should have not bought it. Now we have a frozen pizza in our freezer for situations like this.

Alcohol and bars was high, but we bought beer for our moving help at the beginning of the month, and wine for the games night that was not consumed.

Overall since we got settled in the house, our food spending outside of the house has been much more controlled, and even though our grocery bill is high, we are cooking a sh!t ton of food. Most of the meals I'm cooking have been around $3/serving (or less!)

imadandylion

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #344 on: February 28, 2018, 08:55:48 PM »
Bf and I aren't going vegan but we've gone "vegan curious" in an effort to reduce meat consumption. You can use green jackfruit to make a filling that is texturally very similar to pulled pork (or chicken) an excellent vehicle for flavors and sauces. I think bf uses this recipe or something like it: https://itdoesnttastelikechicken.com/easy-vegan-jackfruit-tacos/. (For anyone who is intrigued: make sure to get the green jackfruit; it's fruity and tropical when ripe, which doesn't work for tacos!). We like to have it with http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/red-cabbage-slaw (I add carrots and red onion). :)

Awesome :) I love jackfruit! I have not really had it as the mock pulled pork, but in desserts or fresh.  If you like jackfruit, you might enjoy making steamed bao with BBQ "pulled pork" jackfruit. Bao (buns/dumplings) is so easy is delicious, if you haven't had that. There are several videos of this on youtube. I recommend the one by the Kale Sandwich Show channel!

galliver

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #345 on: March 01, 2018, 12:06:58 AM »
Bf and I aren't going vegan but we've gone "vegan curious" in an effort to reduce meat consumption. You can use green jackfruit to make a filling that is texturally very similar to pulled pork (or chicken) an excellent vehicle for flavors and sauces. I think bf uses this recipe or something like it: https://itdoesnttastelikechicken.com/easy-vegan-jackfruit-tacos/. (For anyone who is intrigued: make sure to get the green jackfruit; it's fruity and tropical when ripe, which doesn't work for tacos!). We like to have it with http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/red-cabbage-slaw (I add carrots and red onion). :)

Awesome :) I love jackfruit! I have not really had it as the mock pulled pork, but in desserts or fresh.  If you like jackfruit, you might enjoy making steamed bao with BBQ "pulled pork" jackfruit. Bao (buns/dumplings) is so easy is delicious, if you haven't had that. There are several videos of this on youtube. I recommend the one by the Kale Sandwich Show channel!

Oooh! We love bao (especially the bbq pork ones!) but have never made it! Jackfruit bao sounds like an excellent veggie alternative for that. I actually picked some up for a quick lunch while we were out of town a few weeks back, and lamented the absence of any veggie ones...I contemplated trying our own sometimes but couldn't think of good fillings. Awesome! Now I have a new cooking project for sometime, haha.

pancakes

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #346 on: March 01, 2018, 02:37:16 AM »
Okra update: I made this which was delicious but if I make it again Iíd sub for something other than okra. It wasnít super slimy but the slight sliminess got to me in the end. My baby on the other hand loved it, especially the okra and shoveled it in her mouth. If we end up with a bunch again at least I can count on the baby to eat it.

krmit

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #347 on: March 01, 2018, 10:22:23 AM »
$94.55 for the month.
Thoughts on my low-spend challenge:
Financially, absolutely successful. In January I paid $375 for this summer's CSA on top of close-to-regular grocery spending. Averaging out January and February put me right on budget at $318/month.

Food-wise, we cleared out a lot of random food from our freezer and pantry. I've got a better inventory of what we have, what we need to stock up on, and most importantly, what foods we need to keep around. I plan to do this again next year, with or without a CSA purchase!

Goal for March: restocking without going completely overboard.

AmandaPanda

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #348 on: March 01, 2018, 10:45:20 AM »
I'm taking it week by week in March.  I've made my menu for next week, based on what we already have, and we should spend less than $15 at Aldi to fill in with milk and produce.  Hopefully posting the weekly progress here will keep costs down.  I talked to the husband after I added up Feb's expenses, and he thinks we should not buy any food that won't be used within a week.  I think two weeks, with a few exceptions, but for March, we are doing it his way.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #349 on: March 02, 2018, 01:55:37 AM »
I have been restocking a bit mindlessly with meat, although only with reasonably priced meat. But the freezer drawer is getting quite stuffed. Time to start eating it.

I also need to buy new frozen spinach. Much cheaper than fresh and good to have in the freezer as a backup vegetable.