Author Topic: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018  (Read 38881 times)

4alpacas

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #350 on: March 01, 2018, 09:11:14 AM »
$210 for February*
*This includes delivery fees, a few plastic bag fees, paper products, toiletries, and cleaning products.
My goal for March is to be under $200.  This should be achievable because we spent ~$100 in February on Clif bar, Shot Bloks, and powdered Gatorade; which are not common purchases for us. Our dogs have a stockpile of treats, and one of my friends gave me a lot of things that her dog can't have anymore.  We might have to buy a bag of dog food (~$40).
I ate my last frozen, homemade breakfast burrito yesterday.  Without any eggs or bread, I decided to make two mason jars of chocolate peanut butter overnight oats.*

Tonight, I'm hosting my book club.  I plan to make roasted chickpeas, make a batch of hummus, toast a few whole wheat tortillas for dipping, and put out a few small dessert type things.  We have a lot of wine, so I think I only need to buy a bag of baby carrots.

I will also make a loaf of bread tonight because I finished off the loaf on Tuesday night. 

*I used this recipe with a teaspoon of honey drizzled in this morning. The recipe provides two servings for me.

krmit

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #351 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 #352 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.

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #353 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.

4alpacas

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #354 on: March 02, 2018, 09:51:49 AM »
$94.55 for the month.
Way to go!

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #355 on: March 03, 2018, 02:57:07 PM »
$210 for February*
*This includes delivery fees, a few plastic bag fees, paper products, toiletries, and cleaning products.
My goal for March is to be under $200.  This should be achievable because we spent ~$100 in February on Clif bar, Shot Bloks, and powdered Gatorade; which are not common purchases for us. Our dogs have a stockpile of treats, and one of my friends gave me a lot of things that her dog can't have anymore.  We might have to buy a bag of dog food (~$40).
I ate my last frozen, homemade breakfast burrito yesterday.  Without any eggs or bread, I decided to make two mason jars of chocolate peanut butter overnight oats.*

Tonight, I'm hosting my book club.  I plan to make roasted chickpeas, make a batch of hummus, toast a few whole wheat tortillas for dipping, and put out a few small dessert type things.  We have a lot of wine, so I think I only need to buy a bag of baby carrots.

I will also make a loaf of bread tonight because I finished off the loaf on Tuesday night. 

*I used this recipe with a teaspoon of honey drizzled in this morning. The recipe provides two servings for me.

Just let me know what time I should be over for book club. ;-) Sounds great!

My grocery goal for March is $625. We're one weekend in (only shop on Saturdays) & so far we've spent $150. I think we can still achieve this, as we had to stock up on meat today, but should be good for the rest of the month on that.

krmit

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #356 on: March 04, 2018, 12:19:47 AM »
Already spent $280 after a giant restock of the pantry. Most of that was a Costco trip, so large amounts of staples that will last us well into the year. It's nice to have full cupboards again!

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #357 on: March 04, 2018, 05:44:34 AM »
My monthly bloated budget is 800$ for 4 and sometimes more when the other two come home but this includes everything from paper towels to batteries , cleaning items etc.. That was cut over the years from probably double that. Anyhow my challenge now is 600$ a month without giving up quality of eating. First two months my total is $953 so about $475 a month. So far so good.
" In life you don't get what you deserve you get what you negotiate"

Novik

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #358 on: March 04, 2018, 10:56:51 AM »
New policy is in place at my house of using grocery store points to pay for pharmacy/cleaning/alcohol at the store only, to keep the budgeted cost more stable to actual food.

With that in mind, this weekend's spending at the grocery store was 24$! We have leftovers and some meat to defrost and will likely be shopping Thursday for next weekend at the cottage. (I also bought 2 bottle of a seasonal cider that I love and used 20$ in points to pay for that).

Still nice to have such a small expenditure. We're likely dropping to a one income household in the next couple months, so dragging the food budget down has become a more time sensitive endeavour.
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Greyweld

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #359 on: March 04, 2018, 12:47:30 PM »
Argh, I've already blown my grocery budget for the month. Of course, most of that spending was on Staples meant to last months (bulk flour, rice, canned goods), toilet paper, and containers that will allow us to do food prep. So most isn't frequently recurring, it's just annoying to go over even if it will average out.
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Laura33

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #360 on: March 04, 2018, 02:44:06 PM »
Well, this is apparently Backwards Week, as groceries were only about $20, but we decided to run out of just about every expensive household thing at once (e.g., razor blades) and dropped about $124 on that between Safeway and Amazon.

The bad news is that our low groceries figure masks some higher takeout spending by DH.  I was out of town 4 days last week and came home to find pretty much everything in the fridge just as I had left it (thus explaining this weekís low food spend) - and I know DD cooked only one meal while I was out, so I am sure they blew lots of extra cash somewhere.  And this week wonít be much better, as I am again leaving Wednesday morning. 

But, you know, not my circus, not my monkeys; all I can do is leave the food in the fridge for them.*  And hey, at least my numbers look good.  😉

*I do find it interesting how different our various ďtreatsĒ are.  When DH is out of town, it is a great excuse for me to both avoid cooking and revisit cheap childhood favorites, like Spaghetti-Os or chicken and dumpling soup.  But when I go out of town, DH and the kids canít wait to run out for bagels every morning and sushi at night!
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4alpacas

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #361 on: March 04, 2018, 05:01:24 PM »
I was planning to do a light grocery shop for produce, but..one friend gave me ALL of her produce because she has a last minute, work trip...and another friend gave me a ziploc filled with sliced fruit leftover from a party fruit tray.  So, $0 spent, but I have a ton of fruit and vegetables for the week. 

I made breakfast for the week (4 chocolate peanut butter overnight oats in separate mason jar) and packed my lunch for tomorrow (huge salad).

I will make pasta with broccoli for dinner tonight.

So far, $0/$200 for March
« Last Edit: March 04, 2018, 06:20:24 PM by 4alpacas »

Roadrunner53

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #362 on: March 05, 2018, 04:19:40 AM »
Laura33, well that would make me MAD as HELL if I went to the effort to prepare food and Hub and DD ate out! Kids are one thing and don't 'get it' when it comes to time and effort put into food prep. BUT the Hub knows better. Time to sit him down and have a talk! Maybe make a compromise of ONE dinner out and the rest at home if you went to the effort of preparing it. Won't they eat bagels at home if you buy them?

GRRRRRR, to that!

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #363 on: March 05, 2018, 09:23:50 AM »
I have to learn to resist the urge to stock up on meat.  We didn't need much meat this week because there is so much in the freezer, but I bought more because chili meat was on sale. 

Even so (and despite, we were $5 under my weekly budget!  My tween daughter was in awe that our bill was $75 lower than our old normal.  I explained about the costs of convenience and junk foods vs healthy foods and pointed out that even eating healthy, I bought a cake and pretzel chips...and still came under budget.

Hopefully I can correct the prior bad example we had set.
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MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #364 on: March 05, 2018, 10:09:02 AM »
Laura33, well that would make me MAD as HELL if I went to the effort to prepare food and Hub and DD ate out! Kids are one thing and don't 'get it' when it comes to time and effort put into food prep. BUT the Hub knows better. Time to sit him down and have a talk! Maybe make a compromise of ONE dinner out and the rest at home if you went to the effort of preparing it. Won't they eat bagels at home if you buy them?

GRRRRRR, to that!

I travel a lot for work, and it's taken some time (& trial & error) to get the right balance for my husband & the kids on food prep options. He's a great cook, but is only comfortable making a few things. He's not a fan of casseroles or soups, so will studiously ignore those in the fridge, should they be there. So, I make sure he has all of the standard things (breakfast & lunch are pretty routine), salad ingredients for every night, and then a few easy meal options. In our world, that's spaghetti & meatballs, Costco pizza (frozen), lasagna (frozen), & then also give him a gift card to an easy dining option that I bought on sale. Between those few options, they survive for the week. I used to try & make food for every day, and it was a disaster, and I come home to a full fridge of spoiled food & be super p*ssed.

AmandaPanda

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #365 on: March 05, 2018, 02:33:24 PM »
4alpacas just wanted you to know I am saving receipts for this month.  I wanted to do a $15 shop this week, but of course I forgot the kids were out of yogurt, they like to eat dried beans during the week, etc.  The receipts will help me have a more realistic picture of what I need to purchase when, and if we think those purchase are worth it (some definitely are not).

4alpacas

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #366 on: March 05, 2018, 04:01:40 PM »
4alpacas just wanted you to know I am saving receipts for this month.  I wanted to do a $15 shop this week, but of course I forgot the kids were out of yogurt, they like to eat dried beans during the week, etc.  The receipts will help me have a more realistic picture of what I need to purchase when, and if we think those purchase are worth it (some definitely are not).
Good luck!  It's tedious, but it really helped me with food waste and my stockpiling problem.

I've spent $30/$200. 
$11 - on sparkling water (an impulse purchase)
$19 - trash bags (bought in bulk - Costco)

Laura33

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #367 on: March 05, 2018, 05:44:23 PM »
Laura33, well that would make me MAD as HELL if I went to the effort to prepare food and Hub and DD ate out! Kids are one thing and don't 'get it' when it comes to time and effort put into food prep. BUT the Hub knows better. Time to sit him down and have a talk! Maybe make a compromise of ONE dinner out and the rest at home if you went to the effort of preparing it. Won't they eat bagels at home if you buy them?

GRRRRRR, to that!

I travel a lot for work, and it's taken some time (& trial & error) to get the right balance for my husband & the kids on food prep options. He's a great cook, but is only comfortable making a few things. He's not a fan of casseroles or soups, so will studiously ignore those in the fridge, should they be there. So, I make sure he has all of the standard things (breakfast & lunch are pretty routine), salad ingredients for every night, and then a few easy meal options. In our world, that's spaghetti & meatballs, Costco pizza (frozen), lasagna (frozen), & then also give him a gift card to an easy dining option that I bought on sale. Between those few options, they survive for the week. I used to try & make food for every day, and it was a disaster, and I come home to a full fridge of spoiled food & be super p*ssed.

Yep! After almost 22 years, I have basically given up.  Generally I keep hot dogs/brats on hand and some deli, but otherwise I donít bother.  Itís just not worth getting all worked up over.  This time I tried to bribe perpetually-broke DD by offering to pay her to make dinner, but that maxed out at only one night.  Oh well.

Really, itís not a big deal - we are FI and both still working, we can afford it, and he loves eating out as entertainment.  It just bugs me because itís wasteful and unhealthy.  But serenity prayer and all that.
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4alpacas

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #368 on: March 08, 2018, 12:59:32 PM »
I'm still at $30/$200. 

Both DH and I are at home...and sick. 

I threw two frozen chicken breasts, a few spices, and a can of diced tomatoes and green chilies in the Instant Pot.  We have some brown rice already made. I rinsed a can of black beans.  Lunch with about 5 minutes of time out of my bed.  I don't feel like eating, but I also want to avoid DH ordering pizza. 

After napping, I going to make a version of this recipe with whole wheat pasta.  It's filling, simple, and comforting.

I need to get my grocery order in for delivery this weekend.  Anyone have any easy recipes to recommend? I have time to dedicate to food prep on Sunday afternoon, but I really don't want to spend more than 2 hours in the kitchen (less than an hour is preferable).

Novik

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #369 on: March 08, 2018, 01:06:09 PM »
Anyone have any easy recipes to recommend? I have time to dedicate to food prep on Sunday afternoon, but I really don't want to spend more than 2 hours in the kitchen (less than an hour is preferable).

Baked tofu/rice/veggies.

Preheat oven to 350įF.
While oven is heating, combine all ingredients in a medium-sized casserole dish. Stir thoroughly to combine.
Place on middle rack in oven, and cook uncovered for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until rice is cooked and all water is absorbed.
Ideally stir once or twice during cooking.

Ingredients:
2 cups rice (not instant!)
3 1⁄3 cups water
1.25 package onion soup mix or similar spices (watch the salt!)
3 1⁄2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons oil

firm tofu (1/2 to 1 package)
1 head of brocoli, chopped
~2 carrots, chopped
frozen corn and peas (total < 1 cup)
3-4 small mushrooms, chopped

Adjust ingredients as desired, to taste or to minimize prep. We tend to double the recipe and cook two batches, but if you had two casserole dishes that could make a lot of easy, warm, comforting food at once.
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LMBB

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #370 on: March 08, 2018, 07:08:34 PM »
Joining this challenge a little late, but grocery spending can get to be a big problem for us if I don't keep an eye on it. We're a family of 5 (3 adults, 2 kids aged 6 and 9) and at the highest my grocery spend would approach (or exceed... ugh) $1,000/month. This figure doesn't include eating out, which we rarely do anymore.

Now I'm aiming for $300-$400/month. Full disclosure, this low target is meant to encourage me to take advantage of my already bursting pantry and freezer stocks.

I just recently started keeping a price book for groceries so I can tell the per unit cost of things I buy most frequently and compare from store to store. I'm also not going to the store when I'm missing one or two ingredients from a recipe because I'll come out with $100 worth of groceries instead of just the one or two things I needed. Instead, I omit, substitute, make my own (if possible - like self-rising flour, mayonnaise, etc), or find another recipe with the items I do have.

I do meal planning and prep, but have to force myself each week. It's not my favorite way to spend the weekend but it really pays off financially. I just ordered an instant pot which should arrive today and I'm sure will magically solve all of my cooking woes (ha). I've also been cooking extensively from the Budgetbytes website and Leanne Brown's book "Good and Cheap". Here's to a frugal 2018!

So far this month I'm at $73.21, mostly for produce.

4alpacas

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #371 on: March 08, 2018, 10:05:52 PM »
Thanks, @Novik

Lots of food prepped in our fridge, so we should be set for a few days.

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #372 on: March 09, 2018, 11:33:22 PM »
Did my weekly shopping today at Winco.

Spent $34.76 which brings me to a total of $110.17 of $300.00 for this month. So far so good.

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #373 on: March 10, 2018, 07:17:00 PM »
Pretty much blew the $100/per month goal already!  Spent about 70-80 bucks in the first week of March and today, I spent $188.  I was looking for some special ingredients for certain dishes that are a little hard to find and trying to stick to nearby grocery stores. Ended up stocking up on a lot of pantry-type items like a 50-lb bag of rice ($40!), a ton of sweet potatoes, noodles of various types, pasta, my favorite san marzano whole canned tomatoes, barista-style almond milk (refrigerate after opening!), etc. so they'll be useful for many weeks to come.

...and I still want to hit up the farmer's market tomorrow and get some more goodies that are generally really inexpensive, like oranges, because they're still technically in-season.  Sticking to a smaller weekly budget is much more do-able with a well-stocked pantry, but when it comes to seeing a bill that high for one month makes me feel like I can't budget properly or something, but I also don't like to only eat rice and beans... and have a hopeless addiction to mushrooms (the legal, produce kind!).

4alpacas

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #374 on: March 12, 2018, 09:13:37 AM »
$175/$200

I doubt we will be able to stay below our goal, but I'll give it my best shot! We bought a lot of frozen, packaged food ($35), which I hope will save us from ordering delivery. 

Novik

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #375 on: March 12, 2018, 09:55:37 AM »
Spent 143$ on Friday night in advance of a ski trip, but ate way less of that food than expected over the weekend, so it should cover this week's meals and through next weekend. That's good since the bill was much higher than the ~75$/week goal, although averaging with last week is only 85$/week. Still disappointing, but I impressed my partner by predicting within 5$ our bill when looking at the full cart.
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Linda_Norway

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #376 on: March 12, 2018, 01:16:12 PM »
I found out that the double so big packs of milk have a 0,5 USD lower unit price than the normal size milk packs. So I bought the big pack. I guess I haven't paid enough attention to the big packs, as we are only 2 people at home and DH does not drink much milk.
Nice to know that there is a new thing I can save on.

Laura33

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #377 on: March 14, 2018, 06:15:56 AM »
Total splurge week here -- we were in NYC for a long weekend and came home with tons of fresh pasta, homemade sausage, cheeses, and jars of luxury stuff.  Oh, and a truffle.  Yeah.  Our "real" groceries were $35, but the NY groceries were almost $200, so we are currently at $247 groceries for the month + $134 household. 

The even worse news is that the pasta is being devoured and not leaving me with leftovers, and I didn't prep/cook anything else Sunday because we were out of town, so I am now out of lunch foods -- and I forgot to bring in my new jar of peanut butter and so am going to have to buy my lunch today.

On the plus side, it was worth every damn penny.  :-)
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Roadrunner53

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #378 on: March 14, 2018, 06:48:09 AM »
Laura33, you CRACK ME UP! Glad you enjoyed your weekend and lived it up! Life is too short to dwell on every single dollar! Hahaha, hoard those leftovers and put them in a container marked pickled pigs feet!

4alpacas

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #379 on: March 14, 2018, 09:15:56 AM »
@Laura33 That sounds pretty darn amazing!  Plus, it's probably only a few takeout meals. 

Even though we spent a bunch of money on prepared food (and had cooked food in the fridge), we ordered Indian last night.  $35.  It will be dinner tonight too.  We did make rice in the Instant Pot, which saved about $5.  So...not great, but it could be worse. 

In better news, I've been eating down a lot of produce that a friend gave me.  I haven't let anything go bad, and I have been truly enjoying all of the fresh vegetables.  I made hummus last night, which I will eat with the remaining carrots and sliced cucumber.  Still working on what to do with the mushrooms...

I also used up the 3 half-used bags of frozen fruit.  I made 4 smoothies, and I packed one for an afternoon snack today. 

Novik

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #380 on: March 14, 2018, 10:38:42 AM »
Speaking of leftovers, we were treated for a birthday dinner last night, and my sister wasn't going to box up the rest of her meal as she didn't enjoy it much. We swooped in to ask for it to please be boxed up, and that's an extra delicious lunch for my partner today. Win all around!
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zeli2033

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #381 on: March 15, 2018, 08:06:35 AM »
Food spending is at $445 this month so far. It's been a disaster as compared to recent months. Eating out has been $150 so far, a far cry from $30 I was able to hit over the last couple of months. Oh well, we're hoping to shore some things up for the rest of the month and hopefully keep things within the monthly budget of $800. Shameful but still much better than last year.

LMBB

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #382 on: March 15, 2018, 10:32:07 PM »
Midway through the month and spending is at $127/$300.

We did eat out tonight because I was feeling lazy.

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #383 on: March 15, 2018, 11:06:07 PM »
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.

AMEX blue cash preferred gives 6 percent on groceries.

imadandylion

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #384 on: March 18, 2018, 04:24:27 PM »
Just totaled my grocery bill for the month so far and it's $439.73. :/  This total doesn't even include what my partner spent.

Does anyone else have a hard time getting a plan to stick with their partner?  Not trying to blame my partner but he can definitely be resistant to the idea of meal planning for some reason.  I wonder if this is a problem with "Mustachian" people in general with partners not agreeing on finances.

4alpacas

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #385 on: March 18, 2018, 05:41:32 PM »
Does anyone else have a hard time getting a plan to stick with their partner?  Not trying to blame my partner but he can definitely be resistant to the idea of meal planning for some reason.  I wonder if this is a problem with "Mustachian" people in general with partners not agreeing on finances.
My spouse is not up for meal planning, but he will usually eat food if it's prepared.  So I meal prep, so there is food around.  Slowly he's stopped ordering pizza and getting take-out. However, I have to do the work because saving the money matters to me (and the health benefits are only my concern too).

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #386 on: March 18, 2018, 08:57:47 PM »
We're getting close to our March limit, but I'm feeling good about hitting both groceries & eating out. (We'll be $5 over our eating out, but let it slide ;-)). My husband normally does the shopping, and is out of town for two weekends, so I feel good that we can stay on track.

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #387 on: March 19, 2018, 08:09:00 AM »
Does anyone else have a hard time getting a plan to stick with their partner?  Not trying to blame my partner but he can definitely be resistant to the idea of meal planning for some reason.  I wonder if this is a problem with "Mustachian" people in general with partners not agreeing on finances.
My spouse is not up for meal planning, but he will usually eat food if it's prepared.  So I meal prep, so there is food around.  Slowly he's stopped ordering pizza and getting take-out. However, I have to do the work because saving the money matters to me (and the health benefits are only my concern too).

I also have this issue.  My husband buys junk whenever he goes to the store.  Grocery shopping and cooking are my chores for this semester (we renegotiate chores every 4-6 months).

I'm trying to a) not forget anything so I don't have to ask him to pick up one or two items for me - he comes home with those plus a cartful of junk and b) keep consistently under my weekly budget so that when he does splurge on junk food there's room, plus c) post a list of the week's planned meals on the fridge.  If he gets home early and is hungry, he can get started on the meal I've already planned and prepped.
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4alpacas

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #388 on: March 19, 2018, 09:59:00 AM »
Does anyone else have a hard time getting a plan to stick with their partner?  Not trying to blame my partner but he can definitely be resistant to the idea of meal planning for some reason.  I wonder if this is a problem with "Mustachian" people in general with partners not agreeing on finances.
My spouse is not up for meal planning, but he will usually eat food if it's prepared.  So I meal prep, so there is food around.  Slowly he's stopped ordering pizza and getting take-out. However, I have to do the work because saving the money matters to me (and the health benefits are only my concern too).

I also have this issue.  My husband buys junk whenever he goes to the store.  Grocery shopping and cooking are my chores for this semester (we renegotiate chores every 4-6 months).
We both have this issue, so we started getting our groceries delivered.  The fee is $7-$10, but we cut our grocery bill in half with that simple change. 

Also, it saves time...we never stop by the grocery store to pick something up.  We just do without it because we both hate going to the store so much. 

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #389 on: March 19, 2018, 10:18:01 AM »
March has been abysmal for grocery spending for us. I started getting up to run before work a month ago and it is a hugely different habit for me which is sucking all of my mental capacity out of me. It's getting better, and I'll get back on track with grocery spending soon. I AM still tracking every penny in and out, but I haven't recorded everything yet for March. I know we are well over where I wanted to be; I'll get my spreadsheet updated in the next couple days to see just how bad it is. But, I ran 4 miles this morning for the first time ever. Trying to balance financial and non-financial goals...it will get better.

Laura33

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #390 on: March 19, 2018, 11:14:55 AM »
Well, not surprisingly, the lingering impacts of my NYC free-for-all have left me over budget.  Ended up doing takeout and work lunches a couple of times because of the lack of leftovers + a school fundraiser at the pizza place for the club my daughter founded ($66), and then of course I had no actual food in the house and did a big shop this week to stock back up (how I topped $150 at ALDI I don't know!  Although they did have the maple sausage my family loves on sale, so that's $20 right there, plus $10 in ribs for DD's braces-off celebration).  Put that together with bi-weekly dairy and a short Wegmans stop, and our monthly totals are now $493 food + $160 HH + $123 takeout. 

Yeah, I suck.  I do at least have meals planned and prepped for this whole week, so back on the horse.
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4alpacas

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #391 on: March 19, 2018, 01:06:21 PM »
I'm in a rut.  We've been bulk prepping shredded chicken (different flavorings), rice (brown and white), and black beans for about a month now.  The food is good, but we are tired of it.  We got take-out food last week even though our fridge was stocked. 

Anyone have anything easy* that we can cook that reheats well.  Bonus points for stuff from the pantry that can be tossed in a slow cooker or Instant Pot.

Yeah, I suck.  I do at least have meals planned and prepped for this whole week, so back on the horse.
This is the last thing I would use to describe you, @Laura33

You're working on reducing your food spending!  That doesn't happen overnight.  You're so wise and generous with people on the forum, and I can't let you make those comments about yourself.

*My DH is a picky eater, and I have a ton of food allergies.  :(

Novik

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #392 on: March 19, 2018, 01:18:17 PM »
@4alpacas

Riffing off the chicken/carb theme, we made this pretty easy one dish meal last week - roasted chicken with potatoes and asparagus. Not sure if it works for you, but we did it with a couple chicken breasts and no lemon and it turned out fine and reheated well. I'd probably recommend covering it for the last cooking to help keep the asparagus moist though.

In terms of pantry to slow cooker, maybe a chili? Cans of tomatoes, black and/or kidney beans, with some fresh veg like peppers and yam. Could also get some naan or other bread to eat it with. I have a recipe that also involves ground meat but that makes it less easy.

(Please let me know if this is too much... I just strive to find easy meals for my family and hope they can be helpful to others.)
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4alpacas

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #394 on: March 19, 2018, 02:01:34 PM »
Thank you, @Novik
We don't have any asparagus in the house, but we do have everything else.  I could probably do something with frozen broccoli.  Thanks!

For the chicken breasts, how long did you have to bake them?

@Roadrunner53 I don't have any pop-fresh bread things, but I could make some pizza dough tonight for dinner tomorrow.  Thanks!

Thank you for the input.  I'm NOT creative in the kitchen, and I'm also not a very good cook.  I'm working on improving my skills, but weeknight cooking is a struggle for me.

Novik

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #395 on: March 19, 2018, 02:04:36 PM »
For the chicken breasts, how long did you have to bake them?

Since the recipe calls for a chicken cut into pieces, we didn't find the baking time much different with chicken breasts only. Maybe only 15 min vs. 20? I don't entirely recall.
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4alpacas

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #396 on: March 19, 2018, 02:13:05 PM »
For the chicken breasts, how long did you have to bake them?

Since the recipe calls for a chicken cut into pieces, we didn't find the baking time much different with chicken breasts only. Maybe only 15 min vs. 20? I don't entirely recall.
Awesome!  I'll move the chicken breasts from the freezer to fridge tonight, and I think that will be dinner tomorrow. 

Roadrunner53

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #397 on: March 19, 2018, 02:38:55 PM »
4alpacas, look into freezer cooking. I bought some books and I think they are called Dinner is ready. It shows you have to prepare up to 30 meals in one day and get them ready for the freezer. I haven't done it in a while but as I recall you choose so many chicken recipes, beef recipes and then you are guided on how to prep/freeze. I believe there are shopping lists too. I think mine came with a CD so you could print out the grocery lists. They show you how to prepare the meals in various ways, using the oven, crockpot and stove top meals.

https://www.amazon.com/product-reviews/097877650X

You need to make time to do this on a weekend. You need to shop for all the ingredients, then prep some of the stuff the day before so the big day of assembly will be smooth. It just takes organization and the book will tell you how to set up stuff.

Laura33

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #398 on: March 19, 2018, 06:29:59 PM »
@4alpacas - <mwah>
Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

Roadrunner53

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #399 on: March 20, 2018, 05:01:34 AM »