Author Topic: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018  (Read 59661 times)

4alpacas

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #450 on: April 12, 2018, 09:32:44 AM »
I am in for this as well. I never seem to leave the grocery store for less that $125 and that's weekly.
The sad part: My husband only eats home 4 days a week. How do I spend this much on mostly me?

The plan: Take stock of what I bought, what I ate and what got tossed.
When I was trying to tune our food waste, I kept the grocery receipts on the fridge and crossed stuff off when I finished them.  It was insane how much food waste decreased (we were super wasteful) when their was a visual in front of me.

I haven't been tracking this month.  I'm going to take a break from cutting our grocery bill and focus on cutting back on take-out.  My husband has been ordering take-out or delivery pizzas about twice/week the last two months (we used to get these things 2-3 times/year).  I would estimate the take-out is costing about $300/month, so I'm happy to increase my grocery budget by $100/month to cut out the delivery.  I'm also concerned about the health consequence/over eating of this food, but my DH responds better to time savings.  So...I need to make it easier to eat at home with a ton of variety. 

fuzzy math

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #451 on: April 12, 2018, 11:58:44 AM »

When I was trying to tune our food waste, I kept the grocery receipts on the fridge and crossed stuff off when I finished them.  It was insane how much food waste decreased (we were super wasteful) when their was a visual in front of me.


I haven't been tracking this month.  I'm going to take a break from cutting our grocery bill and focus on cutting back on take-out.  My husband has been ordering take-out or delivery pizzas about twice/week the last two months (we used to get these things 2-3 times/year).  I would estimate the take-out is costing about $300/month, so I'm happy to increase my grocery budget by $100/month to cut out the delivery.  I'm also concerned about the health consequence/over eating of this food, but my DH responds better to time savings.  So...I need to make it easier to eat at home with a ton of variety.

Very cool idea!! When I am ready to level up I am going to try this

jim555

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #452 on: April 12, 2018, 12:15:21 PM »
Jan $192.62
Feb $186.73
Mar $217.83
Apr $67.96 so far

CrustyBadger

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #453 on: April 12, 2018, 06:28:36 PM »
MY biggest recommendation re: TP is to get a $50 bidet from Home Depot or Amazon... Will help stretch those $$s much further.

But... your water bill probably increases, right?

Only if you make bidet using an Olympic endurance event. I believe my water is billed in increments of 748 gallons, so my goal is obviously to use less than that.

(-: OK then!  I thought I remembered reading a cost analysis about bidets (thinking of getting one for my disabled husband and was hoping it would somehow save me money) and the result was that it somehow cost a little more than the cost of TP saved.   But maybe it was the cost of the electricity (for those who need warm water on their tush...?) Anyhow, not really a topic for this grocery shopping thread.

CrustyBadger

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #454 on: April 12, 2018, 06:36:56 PM »
When I was trying to tune our food waste, I kept the grocery receipts on the fridge and crossed stuff off when I finished them.  It was insane how much food waste decreased (we were super wasteful) when their was a visual in front of me.

That's a neat idea!  I think I will try that soon.

fuzzy math

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #455 on: April 15, 2018, 01:13:17 AM »
April running total:

21 previously posted about
79 - roughly a  weeks worth of basics - packaged goods, produce, lunch fixings from Aldi last Thurs
--------
100 so far

Anticipating another smaller trip in the next 3 days or so

+ 70 at Aldi today

ALso shamefully forgot  60 in vitamins and probiotics earlier in the month and DH spent $21 today.

------------------
Total $251

Laura33

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #456 on: April 16, 2018, 09:02:37 AM »
Update:  decent, not great -- DD did the groceries again, so Wegman's, not ALDI, but kept it under $100 ($80), although that didn't exactly provide a huge amount of food.*  With our dairy delivery, I am at $182 MTD for groceries.

Household $$$ continues to suck, especially with two teens/preteens who are always running out of shampoo and deodorant and laundry detergent -- but given that that is so much better than the alternative, I will continue to purchase vast quantities of de-stinkifying agents.  MTD HH is $70. 

Takeout was a little better at $50 for only one cave so far this month.

*I blame Basenji, because the absolutely delicious vindaloo recipe required like $25 of lamb and other ingredients.  ;-)  Still cheaper -- and better! -- than Indian takeout, though.

Bicycle_B

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #457 on: April 23, 2018, 02:24:18 PM »
Hi, everyone.  I'm in!

Ok, so not trying that hard to reduce.  More just - actually tracking all grocery spend in a spreadsheet, and looking to build more frugal habits by noticing the detailed data.  In prior years, had spent $300-$450/mo for one person buying lots of organic stuff, fresh deli meat, some packaged products, expensive junk food, packaged cereals. In recent years, paid more attention to price, was down around $220/mo.  Last year (or so), replaced packaged cereal with beans & rice, paid more attention to sale items, ended up around $170/mo.  Data are from year-end card summaries.

This year, am tracking grocery costs purchase by purchase.  Planned to cook more; mostly just added a new cheap meal to the rotation - bean tacos, yum!  Also bought cheaper meat using sales (not a big meat eater anyway); replaced some grocery junk food with home cooked pancakes; researched a little, started buying my broccoli and frozen vegetables non-organic; ate a few pizza leftovers due to voluntary donation by roommate; hosted a number of guest meals (new girlfriend!) blissfully unworried about cost...I'm cooking in batches, sharing is cheap; received some gifts of food via girlfriend, roughly a wash with the guest meals. 

Results year to date:  about $140/mo groceries.
Jan $179.79
Feb $149.68
Mar $125.47
Apr  $ 88.57 month date, about $120 projected
 
« Last Edit: April 23, 2018, 02:29:39 PM by Bicycle_B »

Roadrunner53

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #458 on: April 23, 2018, 03:07:52 PM »
Update:  decent, not great -- DD did the groceries again, so Wegman's, not ALDI, but kept it under $100 ($80), although that didn't exactly provide a huge amount of food.*  With our dairy delivery, I am at $182 MTD for groceries.

Household $$$ continues to suck, especially with two teens/preteens who are always running out of shampoo and deodorant and laundry detergent -- but given that that is so much better than the alternative, I will continue to purchase vast quantities of de-stinkifying agents.  MTD HH is $70. 

Takeout was a little better at $50 for only one cave so far this month.

*I blame Basenji, because the absolutely delicious vindaloo recipe required like $25 of lamb and other ingredients.  ;-)  Still cheaper -- and better! -- than Indian takeout, though.

Laura33 Can you give your kids a reasonable allowance each month and tell them they can spend it as they want on products but that is it till the next month. Maybe they will understand when the jar or envelope runs out of money that is it till next month. It might wake them up. They might not use half a cup of shampoo each time they shampoo.

4alpacas

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #459 on: April 24, 2018, 10:00:38 AM »
I've taken a break from tracking my grocery spending because I'm trying to dial back our delivery/eating out mindlessly.  So far, prepackaged meals have kept DH from ordering food.  However, he ordered delivery (2 meals) while I had to go pick up a friend who was in the hospital (gone about 4 hours).  Our grocery order on Sunday filled the freezer with every ethnicity and type of frozen meal, so I hope this will keep his ordering out in check. 

I also have a lot of work travel coming up, so I hope to get my DH used to reaching in the freezer rather than ordering in.  Any advice? 

I should mention that I'm not a great cook.  I'm working on improving, but I work a lot and prefer to be outside rather than cooking.  The thought of taking an entire day to cook on the weekend isn't going to fly (I won't be able to hike that day!), so I'm working on bulk cooking hands-off recipes during the week.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #460 on: April 24, 2018, 10:23:33 AM »
What kind of food does your Hub tend to order for take out?

One thing we do is cook up 8 hamburgers at a time. The hub adds cheese and melts it. We let them cool and I put them in individual baggies then freeze. We have an air fryer and cook up French fries and rewarm the burgers in the microwave. Only takes a minute or so. I have frozen hamburger buns wrapped individually too.

You could buy some chicken breasts, cook them up and put some chicken gravy in a ziplock with the chicken and freeze. When ready to eat, just pull them out and put them in a skillet to warm up. Microwave some frozen veggies. You can also make instant mashed potatoes and freeze them too. Rice freezes good and so does spaghetti. Another thing you could do is cook up a huge meatloaf. Once it is cooked and refrigerated, cut it into serving slices. Freeze each slice in a zip lock baggie. Pull out of freezer and warm in gravy or without. You can also use these slices and crumble them into spaghetti sauce. Makes a great meat sauce!

 Look up 10 easy recipes and master them. I recently made a chicken teriyaki which cooked in the crockpot. It was easy and we had many meals out of it. First over rice, then on buns and little more for snacking.

Another easy thing to make is inside out stuffed peppers. Cooked rice, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, onion, cooked hamburger and green and red pepper slices. Mix it all together and put in crock pot. You can make a boat load and freeze the extras.

You don't have to be a great cook, just a smart cook!

4alpacas

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #461 on: April 24, 2018, 11:22:42 AM »
@Roadrunner53 - Papa John's pizza, Indian (usually biryani and chicken tikka masala), chicken and rice (it's not even good) from a Mediterranean-ish restaurant.

The major issue is that my DH will not defrost anything that I've cooked.  If I'm home and do it, then he'll eat it.  However, he has never pulled anything from the freezer.  We are ordering microwave safe bento boxes to try to freeze meals, so we will see how that goes.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #462 on: April 24, 2018, 11:37:57 AM »
Well, as far as Indian food, that would be off my radar screen. No idea how to cook any of that or Chinese food.

I have heard of Bento boxes for lunch boxes but what is freezing meals about? Never heard of it.

So your hub is not in tune with cooking from a frozen status. Now that is a problem. Is it from boxed foods or from stuff you have put in the freezer like leftovers?

Roadrunner53

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #463 on: April 24, 2018, 11:41:37 AM »

4alpacas

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #464 on: April 24, 2018, 02:32:25 PM »
4alpacas is this the Bento boxes you are talking about: https://www.amazon.com/Compartment-Containers-Portion-Control-Bento/dp/B01D0JDZFO/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1524591516&sr=8-3&keywords=frozen+bento+box

They look like a great idea!
Yeah, that's the idea.  Maybe a little protein, rice, and something else...make a bunch and freeze (or refrigerate). 

Roadrunner53

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #465 on: April 24, 2018, 02:55:52 PM »
I like them a LOT! I wonder if ice build up will occur in them? I have a vac sealer. I might consider putting the Bento boxes inside a vac pouch and seal lightly as to not squish the Bento box. Please let us know how you like the boxes after you use them!

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #466 on: April 25, 2018, 01:48:41 PM »

April running total:

21 previously posted about
72 - roughly a  weeks worth of basics - packaged goods, produce, lunch fixings from Aldi last Thurs

+ 70 at Aldi

+ Also shamefully forgot  60 in vitamins and probiotics earlier in the month and DH spent $21 today.

------------------
Total $251

+ 4 at hippie store
+ 14 at overpriced grocery
+ 30 DH spent at walmart
+ 21 at Aldi
+ 102 at Aldi (pre emptive large stock up since I will be out of town for the week and I don't want my family to resort to cannibalism)

----------------------
$422 for April 

Would like to have a much better May!

HappierAtHome

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #467 on: April 25, 2018, 06:49:51 PM »
We've had to ignore grocery costs while I've been sick for the last ~six weeks. Now that I appear to be getting better, it's time to focus on this again. Setting a goal of $900 for May - which is high, but I know we need a bulk stock up and we're feeding 20 - 30 people for a birthday party.

mattjv89

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #468 on: April 25, 2018, 08:17:47 PM »
Groceries bought for the final week so it looks like I'm closing out April at $232 for one.  Ran a little over the $50 a week goal, here's to a better May!  Most of my shopping is at Aldi and making making lists, buying a week at a time and zero eating out by myself have all been helpful. 

savedough

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #469 on: April 27, 2018, 02:11:02 PM »
We've been trying to eat up all the food in the freezer and my spending was still above $500 for food this month for a family of 5 (3 growing eating machines boys).

I won't probably really hunker down until after we move, but lots of great ideas in this thread.

Laura33

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #470 on: April 28, 2018, 08:00:54 PM »
Been offline with a funky last @2 weeks - planned travel, followed by unplanned trip to take care of my grandmother who broke a bone and needed help.  So DH and the kids were home, and I have zero clue what they spent, but judging by the fridge, not much of it was on groceries.  OTOH, I spent $137 stocking up my grandmaís fridge and freezer and foil and Saran Wrap and such, but then I didnít really benefit from that.  So I think in the interest of fairness, I am going to count the groceries part of that trip toward the monthly grocery budget, because otherwise that would give me @10 days of $0 grocery spend, which is clearly inaccurate.  So that and the dairy delivery bring me up to about $360 for the month, with probably one more big shop tomorrow given the state of the fridge.

@RoadRunner:  I need to do the ďtoiletries budgetĒ with DD.  With DS, I am working on getting him to remember even to use soap and shampoo.  😉

jim555

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #471 on: April 29, 2018, 08:16:18 AM »
April is closing at $174.24.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #472 on: April 29, 2018, 08:41:13 AM »
I don't know how you all spend so little on food. It is just my hub and I and we spend a lot but spend pretty wisely. We went to Stew Leonards and bought a NY strip section and got 14 nice steaks out of it. It cost $107.82 and the butcher cut it up. Somehow we picked up another $50. Then we went to Costco and stocked up and spent another $175. Some items like batteries were not food items. We bought bulk porkchops, two rotisserie chickens, beef hotdogs, stuffed salmon, bulk butter and a 3+ boneless turkey breast. Various cheeses and other things I can't recall. We vac packed most of the meats and froze them.

So can't say we were frugal but we shopped the bargains and stocked up.

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #473 on: April 29, 2018, 09:00:56 AM »
I don't know how you all spend so little on food. It is just my hub and I and we spend a lot but spend pretty wisely. We went to Stew Leonards and bought a NY strip section and got 14 nice steaks out of it. It cost $107.82 and the butcher cut it up. Somehow we picked up another $50. Then we went to Costco and stocked up and spent another $175. Some items like batteries were not food items. We bought bulk porkchops, two rotisserie chickens, beef hotdogs, stuffed salmon, bulk butter and a 3+ boneless turkey breast. Various cheeses and other things I can't recall. We vac packed most of the meats and froze them.

So can't say we were frugal but we shopped the bargains and stocked up.

Do you have a process for eating down all of your stock ups? I do sometimes stock up, but then have months where we rotate through & buy much less.

As for us, my parents were in town for a week, so we were feeding 6 instead of 4, so we're $70 over our budget for April. :-( Also, don't ask how far over our alcohol budget we are. We bought extra wine, my husband bought a whiskey for my dad to sample, etc.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #474 on: April 29, 2018, 09:11:16 AM »
No real process. Just the usual question, "what are we having for dinner tonight'. We have lots of choices and we usually cook more than we need for dinner and eat the leftovers for lunch.

I have to say it is the one luxury we have. We don't eat out hardly ever because we cook fairly gourmet foods at home. We are pretty much stay at home people.

Bicycle_B

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #475 on: April 29, 2018, 09:57:40 AM »
I don't know how you all spend so little on food. It is just my hub and I and we spend a lot but spend pretty wisely. We went to Stew Leonards and bought a NY strip section and got 14 nice steaks out of it. It cost $107.82 and the butcher cut it up. Somehow we picked up another $50. Then we went to Costco and stocked up and spent another $175. Some items like batteries were not food items. We bought bulk porkchops, two rotisserie chickens, beef hotdogs, stuffed salmon, bulk butter and a 3+ boneless turkey breast. Various cheeses and other things I can't recall. We vac packed most of the meats and froze them.

So can't say we were frugal but we shopped the bargains and stocked up.

Beans+grain instead of meat...a few eggs instead of meat... some fish, but canned bought on sale...

You were probably venting, sorry if i'm intruding.  Was just struck that your bargain list consists primarily of an expensive food category (meat).  If you're going to buy in that category, bargains by stocking up on sales and low-cost suppliers are excellent ideas, but a bigger cost advantage would come from mixing in lower-cost protein categories.  I mean - emotionally it's hard if the meaning of "dinner" is "our family eats meat and some stuff", but maybe a couple of stews instead of all-meat portions would be a gentle transition at first.  Then you could add in a couple of bean stews, or have bean tacos once a week at dinner.  Just that modest mixture would probably cut your cost by half in the protein category.

Again, please accept my apology if I'm out of line.  This has been more of a sharing/support thread, not a face punch thread.  I don't mean to disturb the vibe.

ETA:  Never mind about canned fish, unless someone can handle it as a lunch.  My list at the top was "stuff I do, maybe you could sometimes" but if you want gourmet, I guess canned fish isn't it.  You can get a lot of protein for 66 cents that way, but not a feeling of gourmet.  :)
« Last Edit: April 29, 2018, 10:04:00 AM by Bicycle_B »

Roadrunner53

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #476 on: April 29, 2018, 10:36:31 AM »
Face punch me if you wish! Not venting at all, just amazed how some are so frugal. In certain ways I think I am frugal by stocking up when sales occur. But I spend a lot when I stock up!

We actually do mix it up with beans at times. Made a lentil soup recently and plan to make a pea soup soon too.

I just made a big pot of home made beef broth from beef bones.

I also have canned salmon, canned mackerel, canned tuna, canned chicken, canned sardines, canned trout, canned anchovies. Canned kidney beans, black beans, white beans, garbanzo beans.

Just made a awesome meat free roasted tomato, basil, garlic, mozzarella, spaghetti dinner that was huge and lasted days. I love tuna sandwiches and egg salad sandwiches. Or eggs and/or tuna over a salad.

Most of the meats we picked up will last months.

I also buy giant bags of broccoli and other veggies. It is cheaper and they are so good! I think the bags are at least 4 lbs.

I have a miniture warehouse of foods of all types!

kaypinkHH

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #477 on: April 30, 2018, 09:14:05 AM »
April results:

Groceries- $407
Restaurant- $254
Coffee Shops/Fast Food- $28
Alcohol and Bars- $69

Considering we had company/events...every. single. weekend, this was actually not too bad of a month.

Groceries were very reasonable, and we have been eating some of the mega cooking from March, and still have a ton of food leftover. This leads me to believe that the next few months will be reasonable as we get into less mega cooking and more bbq and seasonal fruits and veggies. Big splurge this month was fancy costco snacks to use for post natal snacks for this month. We hosted people at our house for a few meals, but other meals were provided for free so a pretty typical month. One thing we did buy that I "regret" was a rotisserie chicken with sides. I was craving take out and with using some coupons/deals we would have been better off just getting take out. Lesson learned.

Restaurants/Bars were way higher than last month, but every restaurant/bar bill was with other people and logistically did not make sense for us to host them at our place. (One bday dinner, and we had lot of out of town visitors who wanted to see the sites, not our kitchen haha.) MrHH finally had to restock his beer supply, but now has enough to probably get through May as well.

Fast food/Coffee: After over 2 months of no fast food, we caved and got Wendy's the other week (it was delicious, no regrets)...but now we will try to do 3 months without fast food. I would love to get to a point of fast food every 6 months. That seems doable. Other fast food costs was a singular fancy latte for Mr.HH and a ikea hot dog and icecream dinner (3rd trimester pregnancy cravings are real yo!!)

So the long TL;DR: We still spend a sh!t ton on food compared to some people on here, but I feel like we are more mindful with our spending. This was the first month that I was able to look back and only have one "regret" (the rotisserie chicken). It is also interesting to see our consistency. Looking like $750 a month is a reasonable baseline now. Next month- new baby gets added to the mix (restaurant spend should go down, hopefully people will bring us food haha).
« Last Edit: April 30, 2018, 09:15:38 AM by kaypinkHH »

Laura33

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #478 on: April 30, 2018, 01:14:23 PM »
Final April grocery shop was as bad as anticipated -- hit Wegman's, and left DH unsupervised in the deli/cheese aisle.  ;-)  But I kinda did it on purpose, since I was gone for the previous 1.5 weeks and am gone for the first half of this week and I at least wanted him to have something to look forward to while I wasn't there.  So final totals for the month were $560 groceries and $70 HH.  The good news is only @$50 in weeknight takeout while I was in town (although that is not representative given my absence for so long this month).  So ok, not great, coulda been worse.

CrustyBadger

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #479 on: May 01, 2018, 05:28:29 AM »
Next month- new baby gets added to the mix (restaurant spend should go down, hopefully people will bring us food haha).

Is this your first baby?   Convenience food spending (prechopped produce, premade meals and takeout) sometimes has a tendency to go up when there is an infant in the house, especially if you are dealing with colic or reflux and a miserably crying baby who only wants to be held.  Just a heads up. 

kaypinkHH

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #480 on: May 01, 2018, 05:48:41 AM »
Yep first baby, currently freezer is full of prepped meals to avoid premade and take out meals as much as possible, and we are OK with spending a bit more on pre-chopped veggies if need be. Spending a bit more on convenience based groceries should be negated by the lack of restaurant events. 

It also helps that MrHH is a decent cook himself (especially going into BBQ season), so between the two of us (plus lots of family support), hopefully we can manage!

frooglepoodle

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #481 on: May 01, 2018, 06:48:41 AM »
April was higher than Iíd have liked at $734 plus higher than normal restaurant spending. Itís a combination of the farmerís market opening again, too many snacks, and pregnancy fatigue leading to lack of organization and planning.

My goal for May is to figure out a system that keeps food on the table without making too much work, and make some progress towards getting meals prepped for later in pregnancy. The actual budget will depend on how many freezer meals I manage to get stocked.

4alpacas

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #482 on: May 01, 2018, 11:39:54 AM »
I have no idea how much we spent in April, but my DH ordered delivery only twice!  The packaged freezer meals are paying off.  I'll be on a ton of work travel in June, so I won't try to load up our freezer with homecooked meals until we get back from vacation in July. 

Breaking my DH of his restaurant delivery food habit is much harder than I thought (this is a relapse after a few years of little to no delivery). 

OtherJen

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #483 on: May 06, 2018, 05:20:26 PM »
Face punch me if you wish! Not venting at all, just amazed how some are so frugal. In certain ways I think I am frugal by stocking up when sales occur. But I spend a lot when I stock up!

Iím also amazed at how frugal others are. Husband and I probably spend $500/month on groceries (although this includes paper products, detergent/soap, etc.). Food/cooking is one of our shared hobbies, and we eat out maybe once per month (I have celiac disease so most restaurants are a minefield). Iím all about stocking up on sale items that weíll use before they spoil.

Following this thread to get tips. We arenít willing to sacrifice quality for price, but weíre always on the lookout for good ideas. The nearest Costco sells 2 dozen organic, cage-free eggs for $6, 3 lbs. of good coffee beans for just under $16, 4 lbs. of grass-fed organic ground beef for $20, 6 avocados for $6, and a huge box of our favorite gluten-free crackers for $9, so those are regular purchases.

fuzzy math

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #484 on: May 06, 2018, 07:12:34 PM »

April running total:

21 previously posted about
72 - roughly a  weeks worth of basics - packaged goods, produce, lunch fixings from Aldi last Thurs

+ 70 at Aldi

+ Also shamefully forgot  60 in vitamins and probiotics earlier in the month and DH spent $21 today.

------------------
Total $251

+ 4 at hippie store
+ 14 at overpriced grocery
+ 30 DH spent at walmart
+ 21 at Aldi
+ 102 at Aldi (pre emptive large stock up since I will be out of town for the week and I don't want my family to resort to cannibalism)

----------------------
$422 for April 

Would like to have a much better May!

Crap. Found another $13 from DH while I was gone.

$435 for April


May so far:

111 at Aldi
13 from DH again at expensive grocery
34 from Amazon subscribe and save
------------
158 so far

HappierAtHome

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #485 on: May 06, 2018, 07:19:43 PM »
For the first few months of 2017, before we had a baby, we spent under $600/month on groceries. Since he arrived the average is $900. UGH. The baby himself is definitely not consuming $300 of groceries per month; this is on us.

Anyway. I keep committing to this challenge but apparently making no changes to my spending habits. Mr Happier bought the wrong brand of decaf coffee on the weekend (one I do not like nearly so much as the correct one) and I was planning to give it away on Buy Nothing, but instead I will drink all the damn coffee and not buy my preferred brand until it's gone.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #486 on: May 07, 2018, 05:46:22 AM »
Make Mr. Happier drink the damn coffee and get the one you like and drink it. He will learn to buy the right one in the future! LOL!

OR, my hub makes a fantastic coffee rub. If you use ground coffee this is a perfect solution to use up the coffee you don't like. He mixes the dry unused grounds with spices and we put it on steaks. Excellent!

OtherJen

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #487 on: May 07, 2018, 06:44:30 AM »
I just did a tally of grocery spending since May 1st. We're at $256.78 for food, $34.06 for household.

To be fair, the food number includes several bulk items at Costco and Gordon Food Service to restock the pantry and freezer. I don't expect to buy much beyond fresh produce for the next couple of weeks at least. Full disclosure: the food total also includes $10 of fancy cheeses and $17 of steak from the downtown market district (we got two meals out of the steaks and enjoyed every bit so it was worth it to us).

The household stuff includes a huge jug of laundry detergent from Costco that will last several months. We're well stocked on paper products and cleaning supplies, so that shouldn't go up much.

I expect to spend roughly $50 on pet food/supplies in the next week, and then we should be set for several weeks.

Novik

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #488 on: May 07, 2018, 08:33:51 AM »
I don't have a monthly total to back this up yet, but I think in April we've been pretty close to our new lower 80$/week budget (aka 350$/month) based on the big shops being <70$ and at least a week apart, and minimal other trips.

That's easily 50$ a month shaved off the budget, almost effortlessly (on my part) thanks to my partner quitting his FT job in early April. I think the biggest change is not feeling like we "must" buy everything for the next 7-10 days means we don't over-shop as much and can be way more flexible. I know it's the opposite of conventional frugal wisdom, but it seems to be working for us!

Bicycle_B

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #489 on: May 07, 2018, 10:29:39 AM »
I don't have a monthly total to back this up yet, but I think in April we've been pretty close to our new lower 80$/week budget (aka 350$/month) based on the big shops being <70$ and at least a week apart, and minimal other trips.

That's easily 50$ a month shaved off the budget, almost effortlessly (on my part) thanks to my partner quitting his FT job in early April. I think the biggest change is not feeling like we "must" buy everything for the next 7-10 days means we don't over-shop as much and can be way more flexible. I know it's the opposite of conventional frugal wisdom, but it seems to be working for us!

@Novik, definitely agree about the feeling of not needing to buy everything.  Very peaceful. 

Year to date, one person:
Jan $179.79
Feb $149.68
Mar $125.47
Apr  $123.25

Laura33

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #490 on: May 07, 2018, 12:05:42 PM »
OK, I have put this off as long as I can, but I have to 'fess up:  total shit show to start the month.  The thing I am really kicking myself about is that my Subscribe & Save "change your subscription by" date came while I was taking care of my Granny, and I was focusing on taking care of her and completely spaced it.  And I have a lot of things that I didn't need and that I had pushed off for a month or so, and then a number of "every six months" items that I also didn't need that were also scheduled.  So I arrived home to almost $200 worth of food/HH/meds I didn't need.  UGH.  I mean, I'll use it, it just kills the month.  And it was completely avoidable.  I was just a doofus.

And then I went ahead and doubled down and let DH do the shopping while he was out, so he went to Wegmans and converted a @$65 list into a $120 bill.  Meanwhile, our farmer's market finally opened for the season, and I splurged on ribs* and chicken pot pie for DD's birthday, along with some herbs and the like, to the tune of almost $70.  And the worst part of it all is that we still have half the stuff I made last week from our giant Wegmans shop the previous week -- this weekend was supposed to be a quick ALDI supplemental run.

Enough whining, time to read 'em and weep:  MTD $203 groceries, $163 HH -- or almost 2/3 of the monthly goal in 6 days.  Sigh. 

I guess the only good news is that in the past, I have dropped more than that at Wegmans without batting an eye.  At least now I'm paying enough attention for it to hurt!

*The real embarrassment is that these packages were all marked between like 0.98 and 1.20.  So I thought it was like $4.  But that was the weight, not the cost (duh!), and when it rang up to $22, I was too embarrassed to do anything but fork over the money!

Roadrunner53

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #491 on: May 07, 2018, 01:54:04 PM »
Laura, you and your family are only human! Life is not perfect! Like when we were kids learning to ride a bike, we got on, fell off, skinned our knees, cried and our Mom's told us everything would be okay, bandaged us up and told us to get back on the bike. We fell off a few more times till we mastered it. Then more challenges came and we had to go thru bumps and scrapes to learn new territory.

Don't beat yourself up! This won't be the last time things fall thru the cracks!

Here is a story you probably have never heard! I used to own several timeshares. One week in June and at the other it was October. Well, we didn't plan to go to the October week and these people wanted to rent it from us. They had actually rented before from us. So, I used to be very organized and checked everything 10 times but I think I was travelling at work a lot and just got so busy I didn't do my usual due diligence. So these people pay us and they go to the timeshare. We get a phone call that evening and find out that the week they should have gone was the week before! There was no openings at the timeshare so they went to another place. The odd part is that the timeshares have calendars for the weeks you purchase. I used the calendar from the other timeshare which was one week off from the other. Let me tell you, I felt like a blooming idiot and on top of that, we had to pay for some of the extra expenses they had for staying at the other place. It was really, horribly embarrassing. Never rented to anyone again and eventually got rid of the timeshares...end of story!

Laura33

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #492 on: May 08, 2018, 06:53:08 AM »
Thanks, Roadrunner -- you're always nice.  I just like to kick myself for the stupid.  It's really the Amazon that is pissing me off, because I have no excuse except sheer distraction and laziness, and my fundamental expectation for myself is "don't be a dumbass."  Plus my dad had just sent me a $200 Amazon gift card for my birthday, and it was immediately depleted by the S&S order, so there goes my present.  :-(  But you're right, no one is perfect, and in the annals of all-time fuckups -- or even in the list of my own personal fuckups -- this is barely a footnote.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #493 on: May 08, 2018, 08:48:02 AM »
Laura33, well there are plenty of us in the I am an Ass Club! I have been perpetual member my whole life! I don't even have to pay membership dues, it is completely free for me! I think I might be the next President of the club soon too! LOL!

Shit happens, thank God the Hub and I can laugh off most of our STUPIDITY! By the way...we laugh a lot!

Take care!


Laura33

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #494 on: May 14, 2018, 12:28:47 PM »
Ahh, fun times.  I decided that my Mother's Day present was that DD should do the grocery shopping for me.  So of course DH went along, and of course they went to Wegmans, and of course they blew through my already-generous @$150 list to the tune of over $200.  I kid you not, they came home with a second zester, because the little rasp grater I already own wasn't good enough for them.  But what are you going to do?  They bought my food and made me dinner, and it was freaking delicious, and I got to sit and read a book and watch Netflix and golf (and then the Caps won, so all is right with the world).

On the more pragmatic side, DH is back doing Atkins, so that cost included over $65 of meat/eggs/cheese for him.  Will be interested to see over time how that affects the budget.  And now that I have discovered a delicious Indian recipe that I can actually make that DH loves and that is diet-friendly (vindaloo!!), I also added new pantry staples for that and other things (cardamom for proper rice, citric acid and rose water for ras malai, etc.), which was of course a hit all at once.  Which is why the list was $150 to start with.

So in any event, monthly totals (which include a minor correction of last week's numbers) include $392 groceries, $209HH.  And I should be more upset than I am, but whatever -- unlike the last couple of weeks, this one's basically on other people, and I'm really really looking forward to this week's menu (which in addition to the vindaloo also includes super flavorful pork/turkey lettuce wraps; chicken in a delicious mustard/creme fraiche sauce; my favorite salad with spinach, blue cheese, blueberries, pecans, and a blueberry dressing; pears and blue cheese; and cheesesteaks with leftover steak DH brought home from a business dinner, taleggio, and probably truffle paste because deliciousness).  It is a good, good week to be eating at my house.  ;-)

pancakes

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #495 on: May 15, 2018, 05:21:48 AM »
Iíve finally got myself organised enough to track a month.

Half way through May and we are $192 in groceries which I think is pretty good for Australia but it isnít the whole picture. There is another $85 in work lunches, $92 dining out/take away, $41 of coffee and $78 in alcohol bringing us up to $488. Sigh.

Dining out is ok, this is also our entertainment and social budget and we arenít trying to cut that back at the moment. Alcohol weíve been worse for sure and are going to skip it for now. Coffee we can tackle another time too when the work environment isnít so demanding.

The next step is to make a plan to tackle the work lunches because they are purely a convenience spend and we can definitely bring that cost down by packing Mr Pancakesís lunch from home.

4alpacas

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #496 on: May 15, 2018, 09:13:41 AM »
We've been doing really well at avoiding restaurants (going out/take-out/delivery) since my last post.  Our grocery bills will be a bit higher due to buying packaged food items.  However, the cut in restaurant spending dwarfs any increase in our grocery spending. 

This weekend I bulk cooked turkey chili and cornbread for the week.  I portioned it out in single serving containers for the week.  I also made a large batch (10) of breakfast burritos--spinach, egg, cheese, black beans, and whole wheat tortillas--and put them in the freezer. 


MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #497 on: May 19, 2018, 09:32:02 AM »
We grocery shop on Saturday, and our fridge is in really good shape (almost empty of all perishables), which is actually how I like it to be the day of a grocery shop. We've only spent about $200 of a monthly budget, but have way overspent on dining out. Two family members were out of town & the remaining family members really splurged. ;-)

So, given our high dining out budget, i'd like to keep the grocery shopping to $400. This will, in total, bring our food spending for the month back inline with the actual budget.

pancakes

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #498 on: May 29, 2018, 10:56:59 PM »
Almost the the end of May and our tracking has revealed some disappointing numbers. $530 in groceries which is actually awesome for us but also $520 in other food/drink related purchases - mostly eating out and especially Mr Pancakesí lunches.

We had a planned fancy meal in there which is fine because it was planned, considered and very much enjoyed. But then there is all the other incidental stuff.

Disappointing but also gives us something to work on next month.

mountain mustache

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #499 on: May 30, 2018, 07:06:26 AM »
I just did my last grocery run for the month and ended up at $258.00. my goal was $250, so I'm pretty happy about that considering my parents visited and I had to get some extra things for that. $250 is the lowest I've ever spent, and I had to eat a lot of food out of the freezer/just not buy things I like to have to get to that number. I also spent $25 at restaurants, and $40 on alcohol this month (wine for my parents). All in all it was a pretty good month.
In June the farmers market starts, so I'll have a CSA box, and a farm share coming every week that I paid for way back in January. Woohoo! I do need a big Costco stock up though, so it will probably be higher than May overall.