Author Topic: Rein in the grocery spend 2017  (Read 12213 times)

pancakes

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Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« on: December 31, 2016, 09:55:00 PM »
I found the 2016 thread brilliant. Anyone looking to stick to a grocery budget, reduce spending or perhaps maintain their current frugal grocery habits in 2017 is most welcome.

My goal for January is to come in under $1000 (Australia) for everything including dining out with the plan to lower the goal each month as we progress through the year. A big component for me will be reinstating meal planning and ensuring we have a balanced/healthy and interesting diet.

Please share your goals, tips, recipes and advice and let's see if we can keep the momentum up for all of 2017.


Poundwise

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2017, 06:41:59 AM »
It may seem nuts to join in so many gauntlets (catalog, no clothes, writing) but I'm in for this too!  This will actually be one of the bigger challenges for me but it was an ongoing struggle last year so maybe joining a group will help.

We seldom go out to eat, but have a big issue with produce and leftovers going bad... probably at least 20% waste that way.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2017, 12:21:15 PM by Poundwise »

frugalfelicia

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2017, 06:49:04 AM »
I'm in! I love finding deals on groceries and planning around what I already have at home.

My budget for 2017 is $50/week (one adult, one child). This has been my budget for a while so I am comfortable with it. Some weeks I'm over if I stock up on sale items or splurge on meat, some I'm under, it all averages out in the end. I do a lot of price matching, buying loss leaders, etc.

Good luck all!

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2017, 07:51:24 AM »
We categorize it as Groceries and Household Items on mint ( so includes beyond groceries like everything from TP to toothpaste) and in 2016 was 1k a month for a family of 6(12k) with 3 of the kids being teenagers. We came in for the year 121$ under budget which was way down from 2015 like 40%. So my goal this year is to get it down to 900 a month or 10,800 vs 12k for the year. Then after 2017 the next two years I will be having 1 back to back years heading off to college so that will drop at least in house spending :-).
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rachellynn99

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2017, 11:50:41 AM »
We spend too much on groceries! I won't put a monthly budget for the year, because it will ebb and flow based on the season. My goal for January though for 5 people is $390. I want to eat down the pantry and freezer quite a bit. We have a lot of deer meat as well as canned and frozen fruits and vegetables from the garden. January and February is a great time to use that up because we don't have anything growing fresh here.

pancakes

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2017, 01:00:29 AM »
First grocery shop is done!

$70 all up which includes some food for lunches but we will probably end up buying a few lunches this week as well.

Any ideas on what to do with a slightly overripe mango? If I had milk I'd make a smoothie but I don't keep milk in the house any more as a staple.

frugalfelicia

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2017, 07:33:34 AM »
First grocery shop is done!

$70 all up which includes some food for lunches but we will probably end up buying a few lunches this week as well.

Any ideas on what to do with a slightly overripe mango? If I had milk I'd make a smoothie but I don't keep milk in the house any more as a staple.

Make a smoothie without milk - can just use ice, or yogurt, or chia seeds to thicken.

Guava

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2017, 09:25:11 AM »
I am in! I had a long debate about this because I don't feel like I spend a lot on groceries (usually less than $250 a month) for two adults and one cat but this is one of the few areas left where I can make changes. My goal for this year is $200 a month including household items. I managed to stock up on quite a few household items last year so there is a lot I am not expecting to have to buy at all this year.

scissorbill

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2017, 09:30:28 AM »
I'm at $96.04 for the first week of 2017! We are a family of five with three sons ranging from 8-15.  It's really more like three adults and two kids.  I've discovered three keys to keeping myself on track: 1)buy as much as I can at Aldi 2)only shop once per week and 3)be flexible like when I found bone in ham for $.89/lb k

Metta

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2017, 09:35:05 AM »
I'm in as well. My grocery spending is so out of control it is absurd. So my goal is a very modest $500 a month on average. This stretches me since we have never been this low but at the same time I think it is just do-able without discouraging me from the beginning.

An added issue is that we also need to improve our diet this year to lose weight and lower cholesterol.

My goal for January is to come in under $1000 (Australia) for everything including dining out with the plan to lower the goal each month as we progress through the year. A big component for me will be reinstating meal planning and ensuring we have a balanced/healthy and interesting diet.

How are you doing your meal planning? Are you using software or PlantoEat or just pen and pencil?

Mezzie

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2017, 10:18:05 AM »
I think I have a good chance of this since an ALDI was just opened on the route between my home and work. That plus some rebate apps my sister clued me into for when I go to Winco, and better-prepared farmer's market excursions should help quite a bit.

I have a $10 off ALDI coupon for my first visit at that location later this week.

My ultimate goal: $40 in groceries/week on average. That would cut my grocery spending in half compared to last year.

The benefits: 50% of grocery savings to theater excursions; 50% to investments. It's not a ton for either, but it sure beats throwing out food I didn't get to due to poor planning.
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Dusty Dog Ranch

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2017, 11:30:35 AM »
Me too! Got a few to-do items in this category...

First we are itemizing our grocery store receipts so we can split out the food from the booze and the toiletries/cleaning supplies. Up until now they've been lumped into the "groceries" category, which is easy to enter in the spreadsheet but obscuring some trends for sure. We been averaging around $1000/mo for two people. I'm sure booze is the biggest hidden expense; time to see what it's been costing us.

Also trying to bring down what we spend on "food at work", which is my category for anything we buy during the work day- coffee/drinks, lunch, snacks. Plan is to make more of this at home; even though we make our own lattes and usually have leftovers for lunches, we are still spending $100 a month at least. Need more go-to meals/hearty snacks when we make a dinner that doesn't have leftovers, or one of us is out in the field. Also going to try a monthly cash allowance for this category: I think seeing the cash dwindle will be helpful for me.

Finally, I am simplifying our menu and ingredients list (thanks for the idea, Frugalwoods); I don't know how much this will help, but I'm going to try to price check our local stores so I can at least recognize a good deal in the weekly circular and potentially fill the freezer.

pancakes

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2017, 10:48:14 PM »

How are you doing your meal planning? Are you using software or PlantoEat or just pen and pencil?

Pen and paper. I have a cute weekly planner pad that I write it out on and then stick it up on the fridge.

The best thing is coming home from work and not having to think about what to cook or when to start.

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2017, 01:23:44 AM »

How are you doing your meal planning? Are you using software or PlantoEat or just pen and pencil?

Pen and paper. I have a cute weekly planner pad that I write it out on and then stick it up on the fridge.

The best thing is coming home from work and not having to think about what to cook or when to start.

That does seem easier.

boarder42

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2017, 06:48:00 AM »
the biggest thing i've found that saves money is just to only buy whats on sale and plan your meals around that.  just about any meal can be cooked out of the sale items at a grocery store.  that and when its an aldi sale its even better.
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rachellynn99

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2017, 08:00:41 PM »
Tonight was spaghetti using deer meat and homemade pasta sauce I canned this summer. Home made bread from the breadmaker and steamed broccoli. There is plenty left for lunch tomorrow for all of us, maybe even for a few days.

pancakes

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2017, 01:50:32 AM »
Checking in on day 15 having just done the groceries for next week.

We are at a total of $550 for the month so far with lots to work on. $130 of that has been on buying lunches at work and $100 on dining out and take away for dinner. Still I think there is a reasonable chance we will come in around on target at $1000. Will certainly need to set a much more challenging target for Feb.

Some time in Feb we are also going to do a big cook up of freezer meals as we are expecting baby #1 either late feb or early march and want to have ready cooked meals available. My plan so far is a huge pot of bolognese sauce.

Any suggestions for bulk meals that freeze well? I'm in the southern hemisphere so it is summer at the moment if that helps. 

Mezzie

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2017, 10:27:26 AM »
The bad: I ate out a few times this week.
The good: I froze stuff because of that, and now I don't have to spend anything on groceries this week. I spent $42 eating out but don't have to spend $40 on groceries (we got some leftovers out of the restaurant meals, too), so I'm only out $2. I'll recoup that by only spending $38 on groceries next week.
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tortoiseshell

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2017, 01:23:18 PM »
I'm in! As I mentioned in the Peach Fuzz goals thread, I'd like to keep our total food spending under $350 each month (with a stretch goal of $300).
« Last Edit: January 16, 2017, 04:13:15 AM by Tortoiseshell »

Guava

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2017, 04:04:02 PM »
Any suggestions for bulk meals that freeze well? I'm in the southern hemisphere so it is summer at the moment if that helps.

I have frozen pulled pork after it has been cooked and had good luck with it. Also meatballs and homemade pasta sauce. I really just like to freeze meat into specific portions and add pasta or rice with some vegetables. You could probably do casseroles too.

Edited to add breakfast burritos freeze very well. They make a great quick breakfast when you are tired.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2017, 04:09:22 PM by Guava »

Travis

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #20 on: January 15, 2017, 04:34:11 PM »
I'm in.  We spent a total of $4950 at the grocery store last year. This includes household items purchased at grocery stores, but also includes 4 weeks of vacation where other people were feeding us.  My goal is $400/month on groceries.  The dietician on my unit's staff gave us a tour of the commissary a couple days ago pointing out what foods to aim for/avoid and we're trying to incorporate that into our meal planning.  I'm trying to cut out sugar fillers in my lunches (granola bars, fruity yogurt) and make sure I have a bigger breakfast as well (pop tarts and nutrigrain bars).  When I can sit down for a few minutes to eat, my breakfasts consist of either oatmeal w/raisins or eggs and sausage.  I'm going to try a prep/freeze recipe for breakfast burritos of eggs, ground turkey, and bell peppers.  I'm aiming for large batch foods that I can portion out like beans and rice and my wife is looking at some different vegetables to mix in to our meals.  The hardest part will be the child.  He's six and throws a fit any time veggies go near his plate and his snacks consist of meal bars.

Poundwise

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #21 on: January 15, 2017, 09:59:57 PM »
Some time in Feb we are also going to do a big cook up of freezer meals as we are expecting baby #1 either late feb or early march and want to have ready cooked meals available. My plan so far is a huge pot of bolognese sauce.

Any suggestions for bulk meals that freeze well? I'm in the southern hemisphere so it is summer at the moment if that helps.

Google  "Once A Month Cooking" for lots of recipes. Some years ago I used to mass-cook pasta dishes, i.e. macaroni and cheese/lasagna/stuffed shells, then do lentil soup/lentil loaf, then a whole stack of quiches, and a chicken pot pie/chicken casseroles. I also did a meatballs, a meatloaf, shepherd's pie, and stuffed peppers all in one day.  I stopped because husband and child got bored of the food, but it's still a good idea even if you don't eat from the freezer every day. This is all hearty stuff, maybe you want to do something like pre-marinate things to grill, then freeze.

Anyway, I still find it convenient to do things like cook a lot of ground meat or beans and freeze it in bags, and freeze spice mixes such as sofritos ahead of time.

pancakes

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #22 on: January 16, 2017, 03:20:30 AM »
Wonderful thank you for all the freezer suggestions so far.

We have the added challenge of no microwave for reheating but it seems between the oven and stove we might be ok with most suggestions. Will definitely do a big batch of pulled pork.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #23 on: January 16, 2017, 04:50:51 AM »
I should join this as well to become more aware. I checked on my bank how much I spent on groceries last year and I got scared of how much that was. The even more scary thing is that I can't see how much my husband has spent, I only know that I shop groceries much more often than he does, as I pass the shop on my way home from work.

I don't include eating out in this thread, as we seldom eat out. It also doesn't include booze, because in Norway you can't buy that in the grocery store, except for low % beer, which we brew ourselves.

Things done so far in 2017:
- Made a cheaper store my main grocery store, even though the parking there is slightly more inconvenient than the more expensive store.
- Bought some products in the expensive shop when they had a 10 NOK = approx 1,5 dollar action on a choice of products. I bought some of the products that we would need some day anyway, like deodorants and bread toppings.
- Got a credit card that pays back 2% of the amount spent on groceries and I started paying with it in the shops. I also put some money on that CC account, so I don't risk not paying the bill on time.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2017, 05:03:14 AM by Linda_Norway »

Linda_Norway

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #24 on: January 16, 2017, 04:57:57 AM »

Any ideas on what to do with a slightly overripe mango? If I had milk I'd make a smoothie but I don't keep milk in the house any more as a staple.

Mango lassi (yummie):
http://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/mango-lassi-recipe/

minimalistgamer

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #25 on: January 16, 2017, 05:15:27 AM »
I should join this as well to become more aware. I checked on my bank how much I spent on groceries last year and I got scared of how much that was. The even more scary thing is that I can't see how much my husband has spent, I only know that I shop groceries much more often than he does, as I pass the shop on my way home from work.

I don't include eating out in this thread, as we seldom eat out. It also doesn't include booze, because in Norway you can't buy that in the grocery store, except for low % beer, which we brew ourselves.

Things done so far in 2017:
- Made a cheaper store my main grocery store, even though the parking there is slightly more inconvenient than the more expensive store.
- Bought some products in the expensive shop when they had a 10 NOK = approx 1,5 dollar action on a choice of products. I bought some of the products that we would need some day anyway, like deodorants and bread toppings.
- Got a credit card that pays back 2% of the amount spent on groceries and I started paying with it in the shops. I also put some money on that CC account, so I don't risk not paying the bill on time.

My wife (is from Norway), and we are thinking about moving to Norway in 2020. I've got some questions about financial life in Norway, and I do not want to hijack this thread. Would it be OK if I were to send you a message? My wife moved here after school, and she is kind of clueless about taxes, average income etc.

Thanks.
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Linda_Norway

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #26 on: January 16, 2017, 05:57:25 AM »
My wife (is from Norway), and we are thinking about moving to Norway in 2020. I've got some questions about financial life in Norway, and I do not want to hijack this thread. Would it be OK if I were to send you a message? My wife moved here after school, and she is kind of clueless about taxes, average income etc.

Thanks.

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Kaybee

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #27 on: January 16, 2017, 08:53:42 AM »
I'd like to join this challenge!  I'm not actually 100% sure of what my grocery amounts were (I used to be obsessive with tracking and then my work situation changed slightly and it became a bit trickier...I got lazy...you know how this ends.)  When I started tracking again late last year my grocery budget was $250/month but that seems high and was probably affected by all the potlucks/holiday dinners that were going on.  I've got it set to $220 now but that's mostly a figure I pulled out of the air, I'm positive I can get it lower (I'm single and, when at home, a strict vegetarian). 

I also have $150 in another "food fund" for food purchased when I'm on the road for work (almost half the month).  THAT amount might need to be raised because although I try to pack food for my trips, I don't want to be forced to resort to cheap fast food when I DO have to eat out.

This is where my numbers are so far for this month:
Groceries 61.80/220 (I did a pretty big shop right before the month began, and this also includes $15 of wine - not a regular purchase for me so this number is a bit skewed)
Layover Food 89.80/150 (this concerns me as one of my trips was actually cancelled so this number would be much higher at this  point if nothing had changed)

Once we get further into the year I will have a better idea of where my numbers should be so as to provide enough money for healthy food but not be too "spendy".
I'm late to the game but I'm trying to be quick to pick up how to play!!

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Poundwise

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #28 on: January 16, 2017, 09:03:36 AM »
I'm not doing so well (let some meat and leftovers spoil in the fridge) but better than usual. Our monthly spend for a family of 5 ranges between $800-1200, depending on whether I make a Costco run or not.  This month we've been eating out of our pantry more. I'm also teaching myself to cook Indian food, which is popular with the family and will get us to eat more vegetarian.

Guava

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #29 on: January 16, 2017, 11:24:35 AM »
I was doing really good until hubby just went shopping with me. We have $40 to last the rest of the month so it looks like we will be eating down the pantry and buying fresh fruit and vegetables only.

rachellynn99

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #30 on: January 16, 2017, 01:16:52 PM »
Tonight is crock pot chicken and dumplins. It's so easy. 3 big fat chicken breasts ( we raise and butcher our chickens) then 2 big jars of cream of chicken soup, then a few cups of chicken broth. Cook on high in crock pot for about 6 hours. Then about 30 minutes before you eat, tear apart a can of biscuits and put in the crockpot. Season with salt and pepper as desired. This makes a nice dinner for the 5 of us on this rainy day with leftovers for me and hubs for tomorrow at lunch.
You could of course make your own biscuits very easily, but I had these in the fridge so used them.

Guava

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #31 on: January 16, 2017, 01:54:21 PM »
Tonight is crock pot chicken and dumplins. It's so easy. 3 big fat chicken breasts ( we raise and butcher our chickens) then 2 big jars of cream of chicken soup, then a few cups of chicken broth. Cook on high in crock pot for about 6 hours. Then about 30 minutes before you eat, tear apart a can of biscuits and put in the crockpot. Season with salt and pepper as desired. This makes a nice dinner for the 5 of us on this rainy day with leftovers for me and hubs for tomorrow at lunch.
You could of course make your own biscuits very easily, but I had these in the fridge so used them.

I think I will make this next weekend! Thanks for the recipe, it sounds delicious!

Travis

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #32 on: January 16, 2017, 11:46:39 PM »
Tonight was our first big attempt at meal prepping. We made breakfast burritos and a few servings of beans and rice.

Breakfast burritos: (prep time 45 mins)
12 eggs @ $.89/doz
1 pound ground turkey @ $1.49/pound
half bag frozen bell peppers @ $1.70/bag
1 cup shredded cheese
Large whole wheat tortillas @ $3.98/20ct
Makes 12 burritos @ $.47ea
Breakfast will also include an orange @ $.30ea

Lunch: (prep time 15 minutes)
$.73 serving of black beans and rice (5oz beans, 4oz brown rice)
$.25 banana
$.69 5oz cup of greek yogurt
$.30 ham and cheese sandwich
$.25 almonds
Lunch total: $2.22

This month I've doubled the amount of running I usually do and hopefully this keeps me fueled and full throughout the day.  If these meals work out I'm going to experiment with other vegetables and spices.  As we went shopping and rebuilding our price book I couldn't help but stare at yogurt prices.  If you want nutritious yogurt, you have to pay for it.  The sugar-filled Yoplaits I've been eating cost $.40ea while the protein filled greek yogurts cost $.70 to $.80ea.  I could shave a few cents off by buying in a large container, but I'm not sure how I'd serve myself. 

Linda_Norway

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #33 on: January 17, 2017, 12:32:20 AM »
I made a mistake yesterday. I had to go to the shopping center to ask whether they could repair my watch. I also needed milk and some black currant syrup. I chose to buy that in the nearest shop that was in the same center (the expensive supermarket). I grabs the products without looking at the price, as I didn't expect them to be expensive. But I got a shock when paying. One milk and 1 bottle of syrup cost me 64 NOK. That seemed very expensive. I checked this morning on the internet what such a bottle of syrup costs in an online supermarket and the price was 31 NOK. Milk is typically 13 NOK. So I have been paying way too much for these products. This shop must really be ridiculously expensive. Let's not shop there ever again!

As this used to be my preferred shop last year, because it is most conveniently situated, I must have spent too much on many things. It's not that I never compare prices. On the contrary, if I can choose between 2 products, I will always consider buying the cheapest one. I also always check priced on meat and on bread and don't buy the expensive ones. But obviously this shop prices very unusual products very highly.

westtoeast

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #34 on: January 17, 2017, 04:36:27 AM »
I'd like to jump in! I've been doing Uber Frugal January and realized pretty quickly that one of the only places to "trim the fat" is my grocery budget. For just myself I used to spend $330 (I do have dietary restrictions that complicate). My goal is to spend $50 a week, or $225 a month without giving up organic/grass fed/hormone free.

My plan is to do lots of batch cooking of things like soups, and to limit my meat consumption to one meat item per week (for example, 1 lb of ground turkey that might be stretched through 4 or 5 lunches). I've also downloaded the apps to the stores I shop at and I'm trying to look ahead at the discounts to plan my meals. I also need to figure out how to bake my own gluten free bread. Finally, I will eat lots of potatoes, rice, and beans!

Food goals this week: Already made a sausage, potato and cabbage scramble for lunches. Tonight I will make a lentil shepherd's pie that will hopefully last two nights (feeding myself and SO). I will be filling in the gaps this week with beans/tortilla and tuna. I spent $41 this week. 

Ebrat

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #35 on: January 17, 2017, 07:32:57 AM »
This month I've doubled the amount of running I usually do and hopefully this keeps me fueled and full throughout the day.  If these meals work out I'm going to experiment with other vegetables and spices.  As we went shopping and rebuilding our price book I couldn't help but stare at yogurt prices.  If you want nutritious yogurt, you have to pay for it.  The sugar-filled Yoplaits I've been eating cost $.40ea while the protein filled greek yogurts cost $.70 to $.80ea.  I could shave a few cents off by buying in a large container, but I'm not sure how I'd serve myself.

You can also make Greek yogurt.  There are good crockpot recipes online. For me, it ends up being 1/2 to 2/3 of the price of the large containers at the store, and that's using organic milk.  A gallon of milk will make about half a gallon of Greek yogurt after the whey is strained out (you can make less than that at once depending on how quickly you go through it).  Then you can stick it in little Tupperwares or Mason jars to take with you to work.

This reminds me, I need to get back to doing this instead of buying yogurt...

Linda_Norway

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #36 on: January 18, 2017, 01:13:31 AM »
You can also make Greek yogurt.  There are good crockpot recipes online. For me, it ends up being 1/2 to 2/3 of the price of the large containers at the store, and that's using organic milk.  A gallon of milk will make about half a gallon of Greek yogurt after the whey is strained out (you can make less than that at once depending on how quickly you go through it).  Then you can stick it in little Tupperwares or Mason jars to take with you to work.

Thanks for telling us. I would like to try this out.

I have been thinking before about adding new milk to yoghurt, to turn it into more yoghurt. But I thought it wasn't possible to do that with the normal pasteurized milk that we buy in a shop and I think it was too much hassle for me to find a farmer to buy milk there. But I'll look into whether your idea is possible with "normal" milk.

boarder42

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #37 on: January 18, 2017, 06:59:05 AM »
gonna shoot for 300 a month including the half a cow extrapolated over 12 months
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Ebrat

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #38 on: January 18, 2017, 07:04:17 AM »
You can also make Greek yogurt.  There are good crockpot recipes online. For me, it ends up being 1/2 to 2/3 of the price of the large containers at the store, and that's using organic milk.  A gallon of milk will make about half a gallon of Greek yogurt after the whey is strained out (you can make less than that at once depending on how quickly you go through it).  Then you can stick it in little Tupperwares or Mason jars to take with you to work.

Thanks for telling us. I would like to try this out.

I have been thinking before about adding new milk to yoghurt, to turn it into more yoghurt. But I thought it wasn't possible to do that with the normal pasteurized milk that we buy in a shop and I think it was too much hassle for me to find a farmer to buy milk there. But I'll look into whether your idea is possible with "normal" milk.

You can use pasteurized milk (which is what I've used), but not "ultra-pasteurized".  Here's one of the sets of instructions I've used: http://www.ayearofslowcooking.com/2008/10/you-can-make-yogurt-in-your-crockpot.html

FernFree

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #39 on: January 18, 2017, 08:06:27 AM »
I really need help in this area.  For my daughter and myself, we're spending about $900/month on groceries and restaurants.  this includes toiletries, alcohol, dog food, etc., but still seems very, very high for two people. 

I think some of my biggest problems are:
1.  Sometimes after a long day at work I feel so tired I just grab fast food instead of cooking.
2.  For years I've been going out for lunch at work and it usually costs $9 - $12.  I need to get organized and bring lunch from home.
3.  My daughter hates leftovers, so often we have good stuff in the fridge and it goes to waste.
4.  I like to cook and try out new recipes, but often they call for fancy, expensive ingredients that then sit in the pantry until they expire.  I need to learn to cook and like more cheap and easy things.

Look forward to seeing tips and tricks from everyone on this thread. :)



boarder42

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #40 on: January 18, 2017, 08:09:27 AM »
I really need help in this area.  For my daughter and myself, we're spending about $900/month on groceries and restaurants.  this includes toiletries, alcohol, dog food, etc., but still seems very, very high for two people. 

I think some of my biggest problems are:
1.  Sometimes after a long day at work I feel so tired I just grab fast food instead of cooking.
2.  For years I've been going out for lunch at work and it usually costs $9 - $12.  I need to get organized and bring lunch from home.
3.  My daughter hates leftovers, so often we have good stuff in the fridge and it goes to waste.
4.  I like to cook and try out new recipes, but often they call for fancy, expensive ingredients that then sit in the pantry until they expire.  I need to learn to cook and like more cheap and easy things.

Look forward to seeing tips and tricks from everyone on this thread. :)

I dont have kids yet but soon will.  and "hating leftover" isnt an option in our house.  you eat them or you dont eat.  I've never understood the "i dont like leftovers" statement from anyone.
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DTaggart

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #41 on: January 18, 2017, 08:36:40 AM »
Count me in for this challenge! Although groceries have always been one area where I feel like I do pretty well, after participating in the Eat All the Food In Your House thread I've realized that I can in fact do better.

Our grocery budget includes food and household/toiletries/cleaning stuff, but does not include dog food or treats. Its just my husband and I. I've had the budget at $300/month and generally stick to that pretty well, but my goal for this year is to get it down to $250/month. I almost never eat out, although hubby does use his personal spending money to go out with friends or to grab fast food now and then - that comes out of his "allowance" and not our grocery budget.

For January, I've implemented a pantry challenge in an effort to eat down much of my stockpiled goods and continue to use up some of the oddball things hiding in the back of the cupboard and depths of the freezer. I'm only buying fresh produce, dairy, and a few essentials at the store each week and aiming to keep this month's total grocery spending at $150, and so far I'm right on track.

One of the habits I need to continue cultivating is to make sure I'm using all of the things I already bought before I got out and buy a bunch more stuff. I'm a big fan of stockpiling stuff when its on sale, but sometimes I don't manage the stockpile as well as I should and stuff goes bad or gets lost. I also need to continue to make stuff from scratch rather than buying convenience items - its healthier and cheaper, and generally tastes better too!

I can't wait to see everyone's progress :)

Poundwise

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #42 on: January 18, 2017, 08:42:17 AM »
Quote
3.  My daughter hates leftovers, so often we have good stuff in the fridge and it goes to waste.
4.  I like to cook and try out new recipes, but often they call for fancy, expensive ingredients that then sit in the pantry until they expire.  I need to learn to cook and like more cheap and easy things.

I totally get you!  I have these same problems. I am thinking that the answer to #3 is to freeze leftovers immediately after meals. Otherwise, we just have to cook less of some foods that don't freeze well.

FWIW, I thought I'd do some Indian cooking 9 years ago, so I bought a lot of spices (Indian stores have spices cheap). My cooking was a flop, so the spices followed me through three moves unused.  I recently tried again with new recipes, and apparently the elderly spices passed muster... everyone yummed up my aloo gobi and saag without complaints.

boarder42

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #43 on: January 18, 2017, 08:50:07 AM »
I started making greek yogurt in our instant pot.  super simple and huge cost savings. 
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tarheeldan

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #44 on: January 18, 2017, 08:56:10 AM »
I'm in! I spent an average of $200/mo on groceries (food only) in 2016 and am looking to slash that to $150/mo :-) (It's just me)

I think I have a good shot at it - someone (In case you find this - thank you!! I tried to find your post to say it there but I failed :/ ) posted these in another thread: http://www.superhealthykids.com/10-quick-healthy-freezer-slow-cooker-meals-no-prep-cooking-needed/

I got all the ingredients for all 10 family size meals (each meal =  ~4-5 actual meals for me)  for about $90 at Market Basket. Woohoo!

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #45 on: January 18, 2017, 05:20:08 PM »
My budget is $50/week or $216/mth. So far I have spent $106 this month, so I am on track, yay!

jillinsandiego

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #46 on: January 19, 2017, 12:12:06 PM »
This is easily my biggest area for improvement...we have a LONG way to go actually on the grocery spending. Here are our stats: family of 5 with 2 adults, 16 year old boy who plays sports (who eats more than the rest of us combined), 7 year old boy, 5 year old girl. I've made strides since beginning tracking in 2015, but we have a long way to go. My target right now, for grocery and eating out combined, is a ghastly $1200 per month. I know this sounds like a lot, and it IS a lot, but we frequently have a hoard of teenage boys in our house eating food with reckless abandon. It's worth it to me to pay for the food and know where the teenagers are and what they're doing!

We have already made some improvements in this arena:
2015 our food spending was $2126.95 per month, yes, this is wretchedly obscene; I seriously considered not even posting this here because it is SO horrendous
2016 our food spending was $1774.69 per month. Still horrendous, but down an average of  $352.26 per month compared to 2015

For 2017, my target is $1200 per month. As of today, the 19th, we are currently sitting at $776.15 spent for the month, which has us on track to spend $1266 this month at our current pace.

Please be kind...I am certainly getting some push back from the husband and teenager on trying to get our food spending under control. We both have 6 figure salaries so it's hard to convince my husband that this is something we need to reign in. It is our easiest place to cut the fat though, so I'm determined to get these numbers down.

recklesslysober

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #47 on: January 19, 2017, 01:23:43 PM »
My average monthly spending on groceries last year was $350 CAD. Definitely need to bring this down.

I've actually been cooking a lot more the past couple of months but the grocery bill has steadily been going down because I don't really buy snacks or pre-made food anymore.

Spending so far for January: $87.45     

Metta

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #48 on: January 19, 2017, 07:56:58 PM »
This is easily my biggest area for improvement...we have a LONG way to go actually on the grocery spending. Here are our stats: family of 5 with 2 adults, 16 year old boy who plays sports (who eats more than the rest of us combined), 7 year old boy, 5 year old girl. I've made strides since beginning tracking in 2015, but we have a long way to go. My target right now, for grocery and eating out combined, is a ghastly $1200 per month. I know this sounds like a lot, and it IS a lot, but we frequently have a hoard of teenage boys in our house eating food with reckless abandon. It's worth it to me to pay for the food and know where the teenagers are and what they're doing!

We have already made some improvements in this arena:
2015 our food spending was $2126.95 per month, yes, this is wretchedly obscene; I seriously considered not even posting this here because it is SO horrendous
2016 our food spending was $1774.69 per month. Still horrendous, but down an average of  $352.26 per month compared to 2015

For 2017, my target is $1200 per month. As of today, the 19th, we are currently sitting at $776.15 spent for the month, which has us on track to spend $1266 this month at our current pace.

Please be kind...I am certainly getting some push back from the husband and teenager on trying to get our food spending under control. We both have 6 figure salaries so it's hard to convince my husband that this is something we need to reign in. It is our easiest place to cut the fat though, so I'm determined to get these numbers down.

It is also our biggest improvement opportunity. In 2015 we averaged $1125 a month for groceries for the two of us. In 2016, groceries averaged $904 per month, which was an improvement. My hope for this year is to bring the amount down to under $600 per month. There are only two of us and I left my job at the beginning of this year, so I have time to do what I need to do. We entertain a lot but if I don't have to work 60-80 hours a week, I have time to make the food for guests instead of buying pre-made items.

I also hope to waste a lot less food.

Kaybee

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #49 on: January 19, 2017, 10:58:44 PM »

I have been thinking before about adding new milk to yoghurt, to turn it into more yoghurt. But I thought it wasn't possible to do that with the normal pasteurized milk that we buy in a shop and I think it was too much hassle for me to find a farmer to buy milk there. But I'll look into whether your idea is possible with "normal" milk.

I used to make homemade yogurt all the time (not even using a crockpot, just a cooler filled with warm water).  My first batch needed a small container of yogurt with active cultures but after I did that once, I just used my own yogurt as a starter with store bought milk.  Easy peasy!!  I developed mild lactose intolerance so I just avoid dairy but I loved my homemade yogurt (and, as the other poster suggested, you can just strain it a bit to make a thicker yogurt or strain it even longer to make a yogurt-cheese-ish spread).

I'm not sure if I can post this but this is the link for the yogurt instructions I use to follow:
http://www.thefrugalgirl.com/2009/10/how-to-make-homemade-yogurt-2/

Edited to add:
I had to hit the grocery store so my monthly total is 96.21 so far BUT, that also includes some HBA stuff (I think about $10 worth?  I already tossed the receipt, oops).  I'm doing REALLY well this month but part of that was because I did a big shop at the end of last month and I've been really focusing on going through my pantry.  We'll see how furture months turn out, lol.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2017, 11:03:03 PM by Kaybee »
I'm late to the game but I'm trying to be quick to pick up how to play!!

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