Author Topic: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018  (Read 54694 times)

Basenji

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #450 on: April 06, 2018, 07:19:17 AM »
@Laura33 I'm moving the home-cooked Indian experiment over to my new journal. Don't want to derail this thread. Working on some recipes this weekend.

Laura33

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #451 on: April 06, 2018, 08:20:13 AM »
You guys are awesome - thanks!

SachaFiscal

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #452 on: April 06, 2018, 10:39:55 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.


February - $350
March - $430

Total for this month is significantly above last month but it makes sense because I bought some groceries for my mom when I was visiting her (about $80 worth).  I didn't really pay much attention to my grocery spend this month, just bought only what I needed and only bought fresh stuff (veggies and fruits) a few days in advance of using it. I find that we don't end up eating everything right on schedule so the fresh stuff ends up lasting a couple days more than I expect it to.  Also I'm pretty much cooking the same dishes more or less as last month. I'm pretty happy with this spending level for groceries.

never give up

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #453 on: April 06, 2018, 11:24:40 AM »
Hi everyone,

I hadn't seen this thread so haven't posted before but grocery's are my largest monthly spend so I wanted to take on the challenge to reduce them in 2018. I'm single so am in full control of what I eat. I've never had much food wastage and cook every night. I count eating out as entertainment rather than general food/grocery shopping. My numbers include cleaning products and the like, not just edibles. Apologies I'm in the UK so I deal in pounds and pence.

Last year my average monthly spend was £225.69
My target average monthly spend for 2018 is £179.99 (20% reduction)
My current actual average monthly spend for 2018 is £170.00

I am achieving this through a couple of main strategies:

1. Reducing my consumption of pre-prepared food. A good example of this is that instead of buying pre-cooked chicken slices for salads and things I now buy a whole chicken (with legs and everything) and roast it weekly. This gives me two meals and enough for taking salads to work every day. I also buy things like cabbage rather than bags of salad leaves.

2. My second strategy is to give myself time to perform the weekly shop properly. I used to be head down bomb around in as quick a time a possible. Although that was beneficial as it prevented impulse purchases (I only had time to get the items on my list) I wasn't able to spot offers on non-perishable items. So I am able to save money by looking for washing tablets for example, every time I go shopping regardless of whether I need them or not, so I can benefit from any discounts. I do this for all expensive items now and buy in bulk when a sale is on. Another example is that I have also found different flavour yogurts on sale some weeks. Historically I would have just grabbed the brand/flavour I aways get. Now having a bit more time to take a look provides the opportunity to see that often other brands/flavours are discounted e.g. 8 for the price of 4 etc. This approach is great across a wide range of products.

I was never particularly wasteful but have found it remarkable that I could reduce my bill by so much just through applying a bit of common sense really. There is nothing particularly clever in what I am doing. As with many of our expenses its putting some effort in rather than just floating along in life thinking what we are doing is normal and fine. My only regret is the money wasted over the years through not optimising things like this earlier.

CrustyBadger

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #454 on: April 06, 2018, 05:35:15 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?

Laura33

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #455 on: April 09, 2018, 07:41:21 AM »
First week:  groceries $88 (better), HH $23 (monthly Amazon).  Bad news was takeout was around $50 again (damn you, new Krispy Kreme!).

On the plus side, I managed to cook for a party just out of my fridge and pantry without hitting the grocery store*, and even got rid of a bunch of beers that had been hanging around.  And it was all delicious. :-)   

*Ok, I needed one pepper.  But all of the other things I thought of making required a full shop, so I was happy to come up with chili. 

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #456 on: April 09, 2018, 08:19:16 AM »
I blew my April budget over the weekend.  I spent about 90% of the month's grocery budget in three hours (yay, Costco!).

I have several who are facing family crises at the moment, so I spent all day Saturday prepping casseroles to bring to them so they don't have to worry about meals for a while.  Each family got enough to feed them for 1 or 2 weeks.  Plus I now have 10 days' worth of food in my freezer.

The purpose fits my values, so I'm okay with spending the money.

However, because I do want to try to save still, today's lunch is going to be all the leftover veggies in the fridge.

KBurns

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #457 on: April 11, 2018, 05:10:32 PM »
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.

fuzzy math

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #458 on: April 11, 2018, 07:45:16 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.

fuzzy math

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #459 on: April 11, 2018, 07:47:48 PM »
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

mountain mustache

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #460 on: April 11, 2018, 07:52:46 PM »
I'm at $125 for the month so far. That's including a large "stock up" at Natural Grocers at the 1st of the month.

Going to Costco and Sprouts this weekend, so I'm sure that will be another $150.00. I only get to go to "real" stores every couple of months, so I tend to stock up while I'm there since all I have normally is Safeway.

4alpacas

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #461 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 #462 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 #463 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 #464 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 #465 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 #466 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 #467 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 #468 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 #469 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 #470 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 #471 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 #472 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 #473 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 #474 on: April 24, 2018, 11:41:37 AM »

4alpacas

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #475 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 #476 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!

fuzzy math

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #477 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!

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #478 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.

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #479 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. 

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #480 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 #481 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 grandma’s fridge and freezer and foil and Saran Wrap and such, but then I didn’t 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 “toiletries budget” 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 #482 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 #483 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 #484 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 #485 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 #486 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 #487 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 #488 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 #489 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 #490 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 #491 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 #492 on: May 01, 2018, 06:48:41 AM »
April was higher than I’d have liked at $734 plus higher than normal restaurant spending. It’s a combination of the farmer’s 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 #493 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 #494 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!

I’m 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). I’m all about stocking up on sale items that we’ll use before they spoil.

Following this thread to get tips. We aren’t willing to sacrifice quality for price, but we’re 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 #495 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 #496 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 #497 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 #498 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 #499 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!