Author Topic: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018  (Read 53787 times)

haypug16

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #550 on: August 31, 2018, 08:18:17 AM »
My goal for August was $200 or less and I'm finishing up the month at $208.89. Pretty close! Monthly average for the year is $249.12. Same goal for September $200 or less.

jim555

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #551 on: August 31, 2018, 09:07:50 AM »
August coming in at $210.32, average for the year $196.73.

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #552 on: September 04, 2018, 07:06:21 PM »
We came in under our goal of $600 (for 2 adults, & two almost teen boys). We were at $540/month, which included $25 of food for my relay. I travel via plane, so have to buy when we arrive. We did go over our $120/month dining out budget, as I took my mom out to lunch as a thank you for deep cleaning our house for 2 days while she was here.

4alpacas

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #553 on: September 17, 2018, 10:10:02 AM »
We went into a Costco this weekend.*  It was bad.  Costco is set up to separate impulse shoppers** from our money.  We spent $400 on stuff with a list that was about $150.  I'm not even upset about it.  My DH has fallen back into the habit of ordering delivery ($35-$50/order), so I let him go crazy in the Costco.  I have a lot of work travel coming up.  If he's happy eating the prepared frozen meals that we bought, then we will come out ahead. 

An approximate breakdown in our spending:
$100 on dog stuff (food/treats) - Planned
$70 on alcohol (not planned)
$15 on prepared food - Not planned, but we both ate at home for the entire weekend with no takeout. 
$15 on pillows - Not planned, but needed.  We were planning to buy a $50 pillow, but we got 2 for $15. 
$20 on sparkling water - Planned
$50 on sweets - Not planned
$75 on snacks - Not planned
$15 on cheese - Not planned, but a better deal than the grocery store
$40 on frozen prepared food - Not planned

I don't think we will go back to Costco soon, but we had fun.  We will go back if this keeps my DH from ordering food.

*We've had a Costco membership for several years, but we get the stuff delivered for free with Google Express.  The math works for dog food and dog treats.
**Both DH & I are awful grocery shoppers.  We cut our grocery budget to the bones by paying extra for grocery delivery.  We cannot be trusted inside stores.

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #554 on: September 17, 2018, 12:47:35 PM »
@4alpacas - we shop at Costco weekly (buy majority of our produce, dairy & meat there), but I have the same approach to the frozen/prepared foods. I'm traveling this week, and if a frozen pizza or meatballs keeps the kids/husband away from eating out, it's way cheaper.

Laura33

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #555 on: September 17, 2018, 12:49:34 PM »
Yeah, so I have been hiding in shame, but time to 'fess up.  I totally lost track of July/August with all the travel; since DH refuses to be bothered to track what he gets when I'm away, it seemed futile.  Meanwhile, for September, I have changed priorities and emphasizing planning and cooking over cutting the grocery budget per se.  The reason for this is laziness masquerading as "good parenting":  I have decided to put DD completely in charge of the grocery shopping, as well as cooking some of our dinners, as this is her last year before going off to college.  But she loves Wegmans and detests Aldi.  So we are doing better on planning and staying on the list (since I only put enough money on her card to cover what is listed), but the overall cost is just a lot higher.  I figure I will do this in baby steps -- get her used to the shopping where she feels comfortable for a couple of months, then give her some training at Aldi and figure out some incentives to lower the grocery bill (e.g., "here's the list, if you can get all this for less, I will let you keep half the savings" or something).

But even that's half bullshit, too -- I mean, yes, that is the plan, but I am sucking on my own as well.  A week ago I went to what historically has been a cheaper store, only to discover that they have really jacked up their prices on everything that wasn't on sale.  I knew I should have bought the cheaper stuff and finished the rest elsewhere, but I was trying to get stuff done and get home, so I just grabbed it all -- to the tune of $220 (first big restock after travels).  And then there's the damn farmer's market -- boy, I cannot wait until it's closed for the year!  The pierogies are killing me -- kids love them and beg me to get them, and I love them so give in.  But Sunday I dropped $50+ on almost no real food (some pierogies, some rugelach, some cornbread, some bruschetta sauce, and a small loaf of bread). 

So halfway through the month, I'm at $572 food and $113 household.  I clearly belong on the Antimustachian Wall of Shame right now.  The only good news is that we have so much food our takeout is down -- even DH agreed to leftover chili for lunch this weekend, and he usually likes to eat out both days.  ;-)

4alpacas

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #556 on: September 17, 2018, 03:36:48 PM »
@MaybeBabyMustache I can't imagine shopping at Costco weekly.  I think we will stick to every once in a while and continue getting dog food delivered.

@Laura33 Welcome back!  I took a break too. Your method of having your kid cook keeps your DH from getting take-out, so you're decreasing one budget category. I'm having a problem finding the perfect intersection of low grocery bill and DH not ordering delivery.  Right now, I'm defaulting to an insane grocery bill to attempt to get restaurant spending under control.  The other issue with the food delivery is that my DH does it while I'm away on travel and when I get back as something nice to do since I just got home. 

Laura33

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #557 on: September 18, 2018, 07:09:09 AM »
@MaybeBabyMustache I can't imagine shopping at Costco weekly.  I think we will stick to every once in a while and continue getting dog food delivered.

@Laura33 Welcome back!  I took a break too. Your method of having your kid cook keeps your DH from getting take-out, so you're decreasing one budget category. I'm having a problem finding the perfect intersection of low grocery bill and DH not ordering delivery.  Right now, I'm defaulting to an insane grocery bill to attempt to get restaurant spending under control.  The other issue with the food delivery is that my DH does it while I'm away on travel and when I get back as something nice to do since I just got home.

Yeah, perfect description!  Like you, I think we are better off on many levels if we focus on the habit of meal planning and cooking more, so I am actually pretty good with the extra grocery money, even if by any normal standard it is ridiculously high.  But, damn, it's like whack-a-mole, isn't it?  You focus on improving one area, and then another pops up!  I need to get to a place where all of the money-blowing options are under control at the same time, and some days it sure feels like a Sisyphean task.

4alpacas

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #558 on: September 18, 2018, 03:02:45 PM »
@MaybeBabyMustache I can't imagine shopping at Costco weekly.  I think we will stick to every once in a while and continue getting dog food delivered.

@Laura33 Welcome back!  I took a break too. Your method of having your kid cook keeps your DH from getting take-out, so you're decreasing one budget category. I'm having a problem finding the perfect intersection of low grocery bill and DH not ordering delivery.  Right now, I'm defaulting to an insane grocery bill to attempt to get restaurant spending under control.  The other issue with the food delivery is that my DH does it while I'm away on travel and when I get back as something nice to do since I just got home.

Yeah, perfect description!  Like you, I think we are better off on many levels if we focus on the habit of meal planning and cooking more, so I am actually pretty good with the extra grocery money, even if by any normal standard it is ridiculously high.  But, damn, it's like whack-a-mole, isn't it?  You focus on improving one area, and then another pops up!  I need to get to a place where all of the money-blowing options are under control at the same time, and some days it sure feels like a Sisyphean task.
The hardest part about my quest is that I don't have buy-in from my DH.  I've cut a huge amount off our spending while making his life easier.  However, his is not on board for any true cost cutting that would "cramp" his lifestyle.  A happy relationship versus an extra percent of savings is an easy decision.

Rosy

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #559 on: September 29, 2018, 02:14:26 PM »
OK people - I need help. I'm a good cook, but I just don't know how to fix "real" steel cut oats (preferably with apples and a pinch of sugar and cinnamon) without cooking it all to mush, sticking to the pan or worse having a really good flavor.

Can someone please tell me how - so I can stop buying the low sugar ready-made oatmeal pouches - save some money and live healthier?

Roadrunner53

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #560 on: September 29, 2018, 03:49:25 PM »
I have cooked mine in a crockpot with a crockpot liner by Reynolds. No sticking problem. Not sure on the mush issue. I would cook it in the CP and occasionally taste it for texture. Maybe after a few hours on low start tasting it. Upon the first taste, check every 15-20 minutes after than and go from there.

Rosy

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #561 on: September 30, 2018, 08:12:39 AM »
@Roadrunner53 thanks:)

I didn't know crock pot liners even existed. I even considered buying an Insta Pot only because I really want to make steel cut oats:) We'll see how it goes.


Roadrunner53

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #562 on: September 30, 2018, 08:35:14 AM »
Rosey, yes, the liners are fantastic. The material is like the Reynolds turkey cooking bags. Just be careful if you buy them. They come in different sizes. My CP is a very large one and oval. The largest Crockpot cooking liner just fits it and is tight. I also have a small CP and use the large liners for it too. I am cooking a pot roast today in the CP with the liner. Makes clean up so easy! Love them!

What I do sometimes is to just remove the liner from the CP and put the whole liner and food in it into a storage container for the refrigerator. I am always a bit nervous the bag/liner might burst on the bottom but so far that has not happened!

jim555

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #563 on: September 30, 2018, 12:00:44 PM »
September $199.18 total.

4alpacas

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #564 on: September 30, 2018, 01:59:20 PM »
Spending $400 at Costco paid off! I was out of town on a work trip, and my DH ordered no delivery/takeout.  We've also avoided restaurants for an entire weekend.  We had a decadent grocery spending month, but our freezer is still full of packaged food.  I hope my DH continues to opt for frozen food when I'm out of town.

Our grocery bill (including dog stuff, cleaning supplies, paper products, etc.) was $600 for September.  However, the restaurant spending went way down the second half of the month. 

I'm going to try to continue to work on bringing down our restaurant spending in October.

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #565 on: September 30, 2018, 02:40:01 PM »
@4alpacas - that is great progress! I stopped trying to change my husband's behavior while I was gone (traveling for work), & instead figured out cheaper workaround to what he was trying to do (quickly throw together dinner for the kids). I stocked up on Costco pizzas, bought discounted gift cards for the quick & easy salad bar they like, etc. It's not perfect, but it definitely saves over the previous way he handled it.


Laura33

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #566 on: October 04, 2018, 12:45:01 PM »
@4alpacas -- sure we didn't marry the same guy?  ;-)

DH went shopping when I was out of town last weekend, so that brings our monthly spend to, oh, about double the target -- $861 food, $137 HH.  It is clear that I need to stay away from the farmers' market (which accounts for over $150 of that, for very little food value).

One slight bit of good news:  I got PO'd that I was dropping so much on pierogies at the farmers' market and tried to make them myself.  Took all day, but I did it, and they are delicious, and now I have a freezer full of two different kinds.  And the dough was really easy to work, too, so now that I know how to do it, I can experiment with the different flavors the kids like. 

4alpacas

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #567 on: October 04, 2018, 02:01:29 PM »
@MaybeBabyMustache My approach to spending less is to make the cheaper way the easiest way.  So far, I've been happy with the progress.  However, it does take a lot of work on my end.  If I'm lazy, then our spending balloons. I'm the only one who cares, so I don't mind putting in the time.

@Laura33 A workaholic, spendypants?  If yes, then probably!

I've kept track of the items that we finished quickly from Costco.  We will probably go back this month, but WITH A LIST! The only restaurant spending since our Costco trip is my DH's lunch habit,* which I haven't been able to break. 

I will have to have groceries delivered this weekend because I'm desperate for fruit.

*Technically, both of us have been to restaurants while on work travel.  The decrease in restaurant spending might also be a move from our budget to reimbursable spending.

rachellynn99

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #568 on: October 06, 2018, 08:38:32 AM »
My spending so far for October is $243.xx.

I actually have about $30 of that left though in cash as I got out $100 last week and only spent $70. So I have really I guess spent $213 for the month.

This is for 2 adults, 3 kids ( ages 12, 11,7), we eat all breakfast, lunches and dinners from home or at home. I pack the kids lunches each day for school along with mine and my husband's.

I've finally gotten to a really nice spot in our pantry.  I am just using our grocery budget to stock up each week. I'll go and buy what is on sale and then meal plan when I get home. There are certain things we like to do like Taco Tuesday, so when they have black beans or refried beans on sale I'll stock up. I now have about 10-15 of each kind of can along with several dried bags of each. Same with tortillas- they had them on sale for 89 cents a few months back and I bought 10 packs and then froze them. Each week when I go to the store I just buy what is on sale and even "managers" special.

I'll buy whatever fruit is in season and super cheap. I find that we are staying in our "around" $300 budget each month for groceries and still eating very good and fairly healthy. We could not go to the store for a while and have plenty of food, but I find this process works very well for our family.

There were months in the not so distant past that I was spending $800 on groceries... Oh my goodness.

So I won't go back to the store until probably the 15th or so and will have the $30 cash I already have as well as about that much more to stock up if anything is on sale.


mountain mustache

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #569 on: October 06, 2018, 08:42:40 AM »
I am having an "eat what you have, spendypants!" budget month. I stocked up a lot this summer on vegetables/fruits from farm stands, etc...as well as a big Costco stock up a month ago, so my freezer and pantry are very full. I gave myself a reach goal of only spending $100 (for fresh fruit/veggies) this month, but if I keep it under $200 I will be super happy. So far I have spent $25. I am working on my impulse of buying food to throw in the freezer because it is on sale. Not that it's a bad thing to do, but I have enough right now! So I am really limiting myself, and trying to stick to only vegetables and fruit, unless I really need meat that I don't have for a recipe.

SproutingStacheHK

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #570 on: October 06, 2018, 10:00:29 AM »
Just found this thread - I'm so in.  Moved to Hong Kong recently, and whew! the groceries can set you back.  It's my single most antimustachian spend each month.  Goal for the month from now on: under HK$5000 (US$638).  Still sounds really high for one person - but a tub of plain yoghurt here is US$10.  No more buying lunches!  (So far this month: US$71.)

Roadrunner53

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #571 on: October 08, 2018, 05:39:18 AM »
Just found this thread - I'm so in.  Moved to Hong Kong recently, and whew! the groceries can set you back.  It's my single most antimustachian spend each month.  Goal for the month from now on: under HK$5000 (US$638).  Still sounds really high for one person - but a tub of plain yoghurt here is US$10.  No more buying lunches!  (So far this month: US$71.)

Buy an Instant Pot and make your own yogurt. Go to youtube and watch some video's on people who are very frugal shoppers and stretch their grocery money in interesting ways! Watch videos on youtube on freezer meals like cook for a day, eat for a month. Good luck to you in HK!

fuzzy math

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #572 on: October 10, 2018, 08:57:01 AM »
Skipped Sept (local grocery store closed and I may well have purchased $700 in discounted food to last many months).

Oct so far:

Sams club $56.87
Hy-vee $4.88
Aldi 87.81

4alpacas

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #573 on: October 11, 2018, 09:00:03 AM »
I was premature in the self-congratulation.  My DH wanted to go to dinner (or order in) last night.  I opted to go out, bring the dogs, walk to the restaurant, and have a nice evening.

$50 later.  I have a fancy lunch for today.  One of our dogs needs to work on socialization, so the dinner was a good training exercise. 

I'm trying to look on the bright side.  But...I'm disappointed that I didn't do more food prep on the weekend. 

SproutingStacheHK

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #574 on: October 12, 2018, 08:26:59 PM »
Buy an Instant Pot and make your own yogurt. Go to youtube and watch some video's on people who are very frugal shoppers and stretch their grocery money in interesting ways! Watch videos on youtube on freezer meals like cook for a day, eat for a month. Good luck to you in HK!

Looking into it, Roadrunner53!  Thanks for the tips - and it turns out I have been overestimating the cost of living re. food.  I'm half-way through the month, just did a grocery shop that I hope will take me all the way through this coming week, and I'm just touching HK$1500 (US$191). And that includes all household items & toiletries, and a US$30 water filter. Ugh - facepunches to self for the wasted months believing the HCOL for food story, and for shopping at Marks & Spencers. No more! 

FamilyGuy

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #575 on: October 13, 2018, 11:01:06 PM »
I am shopping predominantly at Aldi and Walmart to reduce my grocery expenses. Also I am planning to list everything in the pantry and plan and make dishes out of them. That is my next mini project.

mountain mustache

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #576 on: October 14, 2018, 07:14:04 AM »
I am shopping predominantly at Aldi and Walmart to reduce my grocery expenses. Also I am planning to list everything in the pantry and plan and make dishes out of them. That is my next mini project.

This is my project also for next weekend. I have a deep freezer full of food, and a pantry full, but I need to take an inventory of everything so I can purposely meal plan

FamilyGuy

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #577 on: October 14, 2018, 09:18:54 AM »
With you !! Letís make it happen.