Author Topic: Rein in the grocery spend 2017  (Read 35114 times)

Laura33

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #200 on: March 05, 2017, 12:47:03 PM »
Well, two steps forward, one step back, as usual.  The win is that this discussion has inspired me to go through the freezer and pull out miscellaneous stuff to put together into meals.  So my Aldi's shop was all of $40 (and $12 of that was stocking up on bangers I found last week that were freaking delicious).  The bad part is that between my traveling and hurting my back, we probably dropped $70-75 on takeout this past week (I don't know actual figures because DH did 2 of 3).  I am hoping my back will let me get back up and cook this week so we can do better.  But overall the total was still in line with the budget, and we are wasting less food, so that is trending in the right direction, at least.
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PJ

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #201 on: March 05, 2017, 02:57:45 PM »
Third time's a charm! I finally successfully made this bread: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/tuscan-style-bread-with-herbs-recipe

So yummy! And half the price of the half-priced clearance loaves I usually buy at the grocery store :) Next step is to start buying the big bags of flour from Costco instead of the little bags that cost over twice as much per pound. I wanted to make sure I got the hang of it and would do it enough to not end up wasting a bunch of a big bag.

How do people store large amounts of flour? Should I get a bucket with a lid or something? I was thinking about rolling the bag up tightly and putting it in a plastic storage bin in the basement. Would that work?

I may not be good with storing my yeast away (sorry - is that discussion from the other thread, Eat All the Food?) but I do have opinions about flour.  White flour isn't a big deal, to keep around for a while, but I have had whole wheat flour go a bit off.  I try to be careful how much of that I buy at once, and I keep it in my fridge.  If the basement is cool enough, that may work too.
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tyrannostache

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #202 on: March 05, 2017, 03:42:01 PM »
Our first shopping trip of the month was a little above target at $130 or so between 3 stores. We did spend $30 stocking up on meat that should last all month at the very least, so I'm hopeful that we can keep it simple for the rest of March.

For me, one of the most satisfying parts about changing our habits is reducing waste. We made a failed (dry, tasteless) pork roast a few days ago (unusual! DH is usually an amazing cook). In the past, that probably would have ended up as dog treats. Today, it's going into soup. Baby steps...

Hotstreak

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #203 on: March 05, 2017, 11:06:03 PM »
First grocery trip of the month today, $28.  I bought enough meat and vegetables for lunch and dinner all week, excluding two or three protein shakes and some leftover soup.  Including the cost of those I think I'll be in around $35 consumed for the week, assuming no more shopping.  On track for $300 for this month.

swick

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #204 on: March 06, 2017, 08:38:07 AM »
82.25 CDN so far. We were able to get ground beef for 3.67 a lb, which is the cheapest you can get around here, so I got a couple of big packs and divided for the freezer. Otherwise, mostly fruit and veggies. I'm going to be concentrating on using things up that Hubby doesn't like as he is out of town for work all week. Not planning on any more shopping trips until probably the 15th or so.

boarder42

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #205 on: March 06, 2017, 08:45:53 AM »
dang thats expensive GB.  ours is 1.69US right now. 
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swick

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #206 on: March 06, 2017, 08:55:13 AM »
dang thats expensive GB.  ours is 1.69US right now.

Yeah, whenever I think about the food prices I just tell myself we don't have the medical costs. It helps.

boarder42

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #207 on: March 06, 2017, 08:58:21 AM »
dang thats expensive GB.  ours is 1.69US right now.

Yeah, whenever I think about the food prices I just tell myself we don't have the medical costs. It helps.

what percent of your income do you pay in taxes? arent you paying for your medical costs that way?
PM me about how to save 6% on your annual grocery Bill!

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swick

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #208 on: March 06, 2017, 09:12:13 AM »
dang thats expensive GB.  ours is 1.69US right now.

Yeah, whenever I think about the food prices I just tell myself we don't have the medical costs. It helps.

what percent of your income do you pay in taxes? arent you paying for your medical costs that way?

Oh probably, but I don't like to frame things in my head that way, I'd just be depressed.

Provincial: 5.06% on the first $38,898 of taxable income, +
7.7% on the next $38,899, +
10.5% on the next $11,523, +
12.29% on the next $19,140, +
14.7% on the amount over $108,460

Federal:
15% on the first $45,916 of taxable income, +
20.5% on the next $45,915 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income over $45,916 up to $91,831), +
26% on the next $50,522 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income over $91,831 up to $142,353), +
29% on the next $60,447 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income over $142,353 up to $202,800), +
33% of taxable income over $202,800.

I don;t know how that compares to the US, I haven't looked.

Eporedia

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #209 on: March 06, 2017, 10:35:58 AM »
Oh wow! I'm super happy to have all of you trying to help - this really feel like a community!

PJ, This weekend I picked a book from the library about bread machine making and it had some recipes, including pizza dough and some whole grains etc. I was going to give it a try yesterday but found that my yeast was over a yr old - and I did not want to drive 25 min to the next store just for that. The book mentions that I should use fast-rising/quick rise yeast, so I'll get that and look for Fleischmann's brand as you suggested. (after a few tries I'll try to look to buy in bulk.)

I'm at work today and will pick that up on my lunch break. I'll get the bread going before I leave tomorrow, and I'll check when I get home. I'm just happy I know someone that used the machine successfully. :). I would love to partner up. My main goals for the break maker are (besides healthy and cheaper bread):
  1. Basic: Everyday good bread.
  2. Intermediate: Make calzones for quick lunch/dinner for kids and hubby
  3. Master: Try some bakery hard crust bread with rosemary, olives etc (those that cost over 5 dollars a pop)
  4. Legendary: SOURDOUGH bread. (My absolute favorite bread)

I'll keep you updated.

Guava and shelleyvdp - thanks for the dough link! I want to try and make some calzones with it and freeze for a quick meal for the kids that is not full of preservatives. Husband will appreciate that as well, I'm sure.

Drole - I like the idea of freezing meal size portions - especially when I get home from work and do not want to cook for everybody. I'll try that for sure.

Poundwise - I do not own a Dutch oven, do you use yours a lot?

DTaggart - You made dough! I copied the recipe and will try this weekend, I'll compare the recipe with the ones Guava and shelleyvdp linked. I bet they are mostly similar.

Ebrat - That is exactly the type of bread I want to master! Very tasty perfect to eat with soup or stew. Thank you for the link!

Again, thank you everybody - you sure made me feel welcome.

boarder42

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #210 on: March 06, 2017, 10:41:07 AM »
dang thats expensive GB.  ours is 1.69US right now.

Yeah, whenever I think about the food prices I just tell myself we don't have the medical costs. It helps.

what percent of your income do you pay in taxes? arent you paying for your medical costs that way?

Oh probably, but I don't like to frame things in my head that way, I'd just be depressed.

Provincial: 5.06% on the first $38,898 of taxable income, +
7.7% on the next $38,899, +
10.5% on the next $11,523, +
12.29% on the next $19,140, +
14.7% on the amount over $108,460

Federal:
15% on the first $45,916 of taxable income, +
20.5% on the next $45,915 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income over $45,916 up to $91,831), +
26% on the next $50,522 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income over $91,831 up to $142,353), +
29% on the next $60,447 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income over $142,353 up to $202,800), +
33% of taxable income over $202,800.

I don;t know how that compares to the US, I haven't looked.

yeah those are both higher ... your province being extremely higher my state is basically 6% on everything over 6k ...  but thats how you get public services.
PM me about how to save 6% on your annual grocery Bill!

There is a 35k starwood bonus right now as well. PM me for the info.

FireHiker

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #211 on: March 06, 2017, 12:03:04 PM »
Well, we are quite a bit over so far this month because of my son's rugby tournament in Vegas, but we did a pretty good job of minimizing our food spending and it should even out later this month. I didn't have a single alcoholic drink (or anything but water and a cheap, plain coffee each morning, with a discount for bringing my own cup), and we didn't get any food on the way home in the car at ALL. We did get snacks at the grocery store while we were in Vegas, but didn't have a fridge in our room so it was mostly non-perishable or food we could eat right away. We aren't going anywhere else this month so I'm looking forward to eating at home and from scratch the rest of the month.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #212 on: March 06, 2017, 12:59:09 PM »
I think I've managed to cut the grocery shopping almost in half by being conscience about it. But it difficult to compare, because we have been eating some from the freezer and I've bought a big amount of vaccuum packed cheese.
Changes done: shopping at cheaper shop, using a customer program that gives discount, using a cash back credit card, buying bulk on sale and consequently comparing kilo prices. Also choosing other alternatives when a certain vegetable is too expensive. Sometimes I buy fish (cod) because it is cheaper per kilo than meat. And probably healthier as well.

PJ

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #213 on: March 06, 2017, 02:04:07 PM »
I think I've managed to cut the grocery shopping almost in half by being conscience about it. But it difficult to compare, because we have been eating some from the freezer and I've bought a big amount of vaccuum packed cheese.
Changes done: shopping at cheaper shop, using a customer program that gives discount, using a cash back credit card, buying bulk on sale and consequently comparing kilo prices. Also choosing other alternatives when a certain vegetable is too expensive. Sometimes I buy fish (cod) because it is cheaper per kilo than meat. And probably healthier as well. 

I saw someone put a great post once, in an Ask a Mustachian or Case Study type thread that was asking for grocery bill help.  I wish I had made a note of it somewhere, because it was so simple and succinct, but covered all the bases.  I've tried to re-create the post for other similar threads, but I don't remember it exactly.  Anyway, I do remember they said that cutting your grocery bill boils down to 4 things, and I hope I've got them right:

1.  Changing where you shop - finding cheaper stores, basically.
2.  Changing the way you shop - strategically buying in bulk, price matching, shopping sales, using coupons, etc
3.  Changing what you buy - eating less meat, substituting cheaper ingredients for more expensive ones, etc.
4.  Reducing waste - keeping your stock in rotation and using everything before it expires, using the parts many people throw away - like carrot tops, or bones, or broccoli stems, etc.

Sounds like you've got all those things covered, Linda_Norway!
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Eporedia

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #214 on: March 07, 2017, 07:18:32 AM »
Hey, Eporedia,

I posted this in another thread, but I'll say it again here for your sake.  I am totally stripping my grocery budget to the bone this month, to hit a certain milestone on paying down my CC debt.  So I will be making some bread machine bread, for sure.  We can be partners in it! 

Again, do let me know if you want any tried and true recipes, and if so, what kind of stuff you have on hand and what kind of stuff your family likes.  I've got several bread machine cookbooks and have tried a bunch of recipes in them, and have often even made notes so I will remember which Oatmeal Bread is the best, or which Molasses Bread I like.  Mmm.  Molasses Bread!  :-)



Hello PJ, I made my first loaf with the new machine yesterday after work. Used 4 cups of sprouted flour, quick rise yeast and put on whole-wheat setting. After the first kneeling i checked the dough ball and looked dry, so i added another tablespoon of water.

Results: The bread did not rise as much as I was hoping, but was still soft and delicious! I had a warm piece last night with butter and I liked it. I had another this morning with spinach and egg for breakfast - oh so yummy. I still have like 10 lbs of sprouted bread flour, so I have to use all that up. This weekend I'll make the pizza dough, I'll keep you posted.





tyrannostache

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #215 on: March 07, 2017, 08:23:23 AM »
Maybe this speaks to overspending last year, but I just discovered that we'll cover more than 1/2 of our grocery costs this month with rebates from our Costco Chase card.

PJ

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #216 on: March 07, 2017, 11:26:19 AM »
Hey, Eporedia,

I posted this in another thread, but I'll say it again here for your sake.  I am totally stripping my grocery budget to the bone this month, to hit a certain milestone on paying down my CC debt.  So I will be making some bread machine bread, for sure.  We can be partners in it! 

Again, do let me know if you want any tried and true recipes, and if so, what kind of stuff you have on hand and what kind of stuff your family likes.  I've got several bread machine cookbooks and have tried a bunch of recipes in them, and have often even made notes so I will remember which Oatmeal Bread is the best, or which Molasses Bread I like.  Mmm.  Molasses Bread!  :-)



Hello PJ, I made my first loaf with the new machine yesterday after work. Used 4 cups of sprouted flour, quick rise yeast and put on whole-wheat setting. After the first kneeling i checked the dough ball and looked dry, so i added another tablespoon of water.

Results: The bread did not rise as much as I was hoping, but was still soft and delicious! I had a warm piece last night with butter and I liked it. I had another this morning with spinach and egg for breakfast - oh so yummy. I still have like 10 lbs of sprouted bread flour, so I have to use all that up. This weekend I'll make the pizza dough, I'll keep you posted. 

There are lots of things that can affect the rising (including needing a bit more water, but I would also keep some notes about stuff like that.  Some recipes just seem to make higher-rising loaves than others, which is something I want to remember when deciding which loaf to make next time.  No point in making a small loaf, no matter how delicious, when I am completely out of bread and really need that loaf to last a long time.  On that occasion, I'll choose to make a higher rising loaf. 

So yes, my recipe books are littered with little comments like "didn't rise much" or "rose so high it smooshed on the lid!"
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AustinHorn

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #217 on: March 08, 2017, 07:21:00 AM »
Alright - I'm posting to follow this thread as this is an area where I know I  need to cut down and can with more effort and planning.  I'm about to update my Quickbooks for the year, so when I do, I'll post my grocery spend for February so you all can laugh at me and give me the proper motivation to do better for the rest of the year - ha!

EDIT:  My goal right now is $90/week ($390 per average month) but I've probably been much closer to $115/week ($500 per average month).  I'm a single dad shopping for myself and my two young children who are at my house 50% of the time.  So however you want to look at it, we have 1 full time adult/2 half-time children, or the equivalent of 1 full time child or 1 half-time adult?  I'll just go ahead and stop right there.  Regardless, I'm looking forward to getting this more under control and learning alot of tips from you guys to help in the process!
« Last Edit: March 08, 2017, 08:11:19 AM by AustinHorn »

Ebrat

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #218 on: March 08, 2017, 09:02:56 AM »
Ebrat - That is exactly the type of bread I want to master! Very tasty perfect to eat with soup or stew. Thank you for the link!

Glad it was useful! I found I had to add a little extra flour and knead it longer (my initial kneading attempts were kind of lame) to get it to keep its shape. It makes a huge loaf! I'm going to make it again tomorrow and try splitting it into 2 loaves.

I saw someone put a great post once, in an Ask a Mustachian or Case Study type thread that was asking for grocery bill help.  I wish I had made a note of it somewhere, because it was so simple and succinct, but covered all the bases.  I've tried to re-create the post for other similar threads, but I don't remember it exactly.  Anyway, I do remember they said that cutting your grocery bill boils down to 4 things, and I hope I've got them right:

1.  Changing where you shop - finding cheaper stores, basically.
2.  Changing the way you shop - strategically buying in bulk, price matching, shopping sales, using coupons, etc
3.  Changing what you buy - eating less meat, substituting cheaper ingredients for more expensive ones, etc.
4.  Reducing waste - keeping your stock in rotation and using everything before it expires, using the parts many people throw away - like carrot tops, or bones, or broccoli stems, etc.


This is a great list! Succinct but really covers everything. I think we've made a little progress in each of these areas. Maybe I'll use the rest of the month to really hone in on 1 of them. Not sure which one yet though :)

alleykat

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #219 on: March 08, 2017, 09:21:31 AM »
I think I am finally getting a handle on what I buy and bring home.  It has been great.  I don't keep a total per month but think I will start keeping tabs in April.  I use to be extremely wasteful.  Always too much stuff to get through.  But now, no. I might have a tiny bit of waste here and there but it has been great.  I still have stuff to get through, but I love finishing what I buy and not being overwhelmed by it all.  No more forgotten items in the back of the fridge.

PJ

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #220 on: March 08, 2017, 10:36:18 AM »
I saw someone put a great post once, in an Ask a Mustachian or Case Study type thread that was asking for grocery bill help.  I wish I had made a note of it somewhere, because it was so simple and succinct, but covered all the bases.  I've tried to re-create the post for other similar threads, but I don't remember it exactly.  Anyway, I do remember they said that cutting your grocery bill boils down to 4 things, and I hope I've got them right:

1.  Changing where you shop - finding cheaper stores, basically.
2.  Changing the way you shop - strategically buying in bulk, price matching, shopping sales, using coupons, etc
3.  Changing what you buy - eating less meat, substituting cheaper ingredients for more expensive ones, etc.
4.  Reducing waste - keeping your stock in rotation and using everything before it expires, using the parts many people throw away - like carrot tops, or bones, or broccoli stems, etc.

This is a great list! Succinct but really covers everything. I think we've made a little progress in each of these areas. Maybe I'll use the rest of the month to really hone in on 1 of them. Not sure which one yet though :)

Thanks!  Like I said, I can't really take credit.  But when I read the original post, I thought that it was one of those posts that should be saved as a classic somewhere. 
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AustinHorn

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #221 on: March 08, 2017, 10:54:01 AM »
Does anybody here keep a price book?  And if so, what do you use - spreadsheet, app, something else?

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #222 on: March 08, 2017, 01:46:29 PM »
My price book is not so much to compare prices as I shop but to work out my meal plan pricing. It's in my meal plan spreadsheet, down one side and I have for example Bread, 2 slices, $.20. Beef mince premium, 100 grams, $1.37. Then I can refer to it using formulas in my spreadsheets. I can print it out and write in the new prices when I go shopping, then change anything I need to, or shop elsewhere if it's too expensive.

PJ

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #223 on: March 08, 2017, 03:06:27 PM »
Sorry, my "price book" is all inside my head.  Like, I know that Kraft Peanut Butter cycles on sale for $3.99 pretty regularly at some store or another (and I shop at Walmart and price match, so can get any store's sale prices.)  But I also know that it occasionally goes on for $2.99, so I buy enough then to last.

Same with my 2 preferred brands of bread.  They are almost $3 regular price, but usually one or the other is on sale 2 for $5 somewhere, so I can almost always price match bread at that slightly lower price.  But then occasionally they go down to $1.99 each, or even (rarely) $1.88.

Cream for my coffee is almost $3 for a litre, but sometimes $2.50 or $1.99.  I try to grab it when on sale, especially at the lower price, even if I don't need it *quite* yet.  I also have a vague idea of good prices for less staple items, like canned soup or baked beans and so on.

I know some people get enough value out of calculating exactly which things go on the lowest price at what frequency, and so on, or which stores are best to shop at for this category of food or the other.  But as a single person, with price matching and strong convenience factor (including gas savings since it's on my way home) pointing me to shopping at Walmart, this works as well as it needs to for me.  I don't think, for me, the benefits of optimizing to the smallest degree would be worth the extra time of record keeping.  But of course, YMMV, especially if you have a bigger family.
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boarder42

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #224 on: March 08, 2017, 03:14:41 PM »
i have a brain and i log prices in it.  i know numbers and i know whati buy so when things go on super sale i buy alot of them. if its an avg sale i pass.  its a pretty simple policy if you have a knack for remembering numbers. 
PM me about how to save 6% on your annual grocery Bill!

There is a 35k starwood bonus right now as well. PM me for the info.

Hotstreak

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #225 on: March 08, 2017, 03:30:18 PM »
i have a brain and i log prices in it.  i know numbers and i know whati buy so when things go on super sale i buy alot of them. if its an avg sale i pass.  its a pretty simple policy if you have a knack for remembering numbers.


I am the same way.  I feel that keeping an extensive price book would be a poor use of time - but keeping a mental log of prices for my top 10-20 grocery items, and also keeping in mind that certain stores are always cheaper for certain items, I am able to get most of the benefit.  For example Winco has the cheapest canned goods & bulk dried food, so I buy those there.  They have the lowest AVERAGE produce cost (similar to Walmart around here, but higher quality), but I rarely see sales & when I do it's because the produce is inferior and I don't want to buy it anyways.  So I shop for those at Kroger and only buy what's on sale.


If I bought all the same goods for a family of 8, I would probably keep a price book.  It would be the same amount of work to keep one for myself, but the payout would be significantly higher.

DTaggart

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #226 on: March 08, 2017, 08:13:13 PM »
Same, I have "target" prices of the things we use regularly in my head. If I can't get it at my target price, I usually don't get it. If its on sale for way less than my target price, I'll stock up. There are certain items that I know will regularly go on sale at a particular store for a particular price, so I stock up when that happens.

Well Respected Man

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #227 on: March 08, 2017, 08:30:36 PM »
I've started a price book in a spreadsheet, which has mostly staples. I will add items that come through the door having been bought for outrageous prices. For example, a particular brand of skin cleanser for $0.75/oz., which can be had for $0.44/oz. I have the stores across the top row, and the items down the first column. I highlight the best price in each row.

It helps to see that I should never buy pasta or tomatoes at Costco, for example, and always buy that skin cleanser at Costco.

The keeping it in your head tactic only works for me when I am the one always shopping.

Laura33

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #228 on: March 10, 2017, 07:34:17 AM »
Like, I know that Kraft Peanut Butter cycles on sale for $3.99 pretty regularly at some store or another (and I shop at Walmart and price match, so can get any store's sale prices.)  But I also know that it occasionally goes on for $2.99, so I buy enough then to last.

This reminded me of a recent "proud" moment (that caused DH to roll his eyes at me).  I needed PB, and Aldi's had only one brand that was just peanuts/no added sugar.  It was something like $3.99 or $4.99 for a 1-lb jar -- cheaper than regular store prices, but I was annoyed.  Sitting right next to it was a 1-lb jar of peanuts for $1.99.  Guess which I bought?  Stuck them in my food processor on the "grind" setting (blades run backwards), and a few minutes later I had peanut butter at half the price. 

OTOH, this week was my first really happy splurges -- had a business trip to Manhattan, so I went to DH's favorite bagel shop and bought a half-dozen to take home on the train.  This week's spend will be up $7.20, but the joy they provided for the entire family was *totally* worth it!
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AustinHorn

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #229 on: March 10, 2017, 12:40:28 PM »
Thanks for all the feedback on the price books, guys!  I'm actually a numbers guy, but want to get more detailed and don't mind spending the time upfront to get into the weeds of it.

PJ

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #230 on: March 10, 2017, 12:41:26 PM »
Like, I know that Kraft Peanut Butter cycles on sale for $3.99 pretty regularly at some store or another (and I shop at Walmart and price match, so can get any store's sale prices.)  But I also know that it occasionally goes on for $2.99, so I buy enough then to last.

This reminded me of a recent "proud" moment (that caused DH to roll his eyes at me).  I needed PB, and Aldi's had only one brand that was just peanuts/no added sugar.  It was something like $3.99 or $4.99 for a 1-lb jar -- cheaper than regular store prices, but I was annoyed.  Sitting right next to it was a 1-lb jar of peanuts for $1.99.  Guess which I bought?  Stuck them in my food processor on the "grind" setting (blades run backwards), and a few minutes later I had peanut butter at half the price. 

OTOH, this week was my first really happy splurges -- had a business trip to Manhattan, so I went to DH's favorite bagel shop and bought a half-dozen to take home on the train.  This week's spend will be up $7.20, but the joy they provided for the entire family was *totally* worth it! 

See, now, the homemade PB would never happen in my house.  I would think about having to clean out my food processor, and say, "Nope!"  But I commend you for it!  You are badass!

On the other hand, I would totally spend $7.20 for some good quality bagels!  Yum!
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Laura33

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #231 on: March 10, 2017, 07:36:15 PM »
Like, I know that Kraft Peanut Butter cycles on sale for $3.99 pretty regularly at some store or another (and I shop at Walmart and price match, so can get any store's sale prices.)  But I also know that it occasionally goes on for $2.99, so I buy enough then to last.

This reminded me of a recent "proud" moment (that caused DH to roll his eyes at me).  I needed PB, and Aldi's had only one brand that was just peanuts/no added sugar.  It was something like $3.99 or $4.99 for a 1-lb jar -- cheaper than regular store prices, but I was annoyed.  Sitting right next to it was a 1-lb jar of peanuts for $1.99.  Guess which I bought?  Stuck them in my food processor on the "grind" setting (blades run backwards), and a few minutes later I had peanut butter at half the price. 

OTOH, this week was my first really happy splurges -- had a business trip to Manhattan, so I went to DH's favorite bagel shop and bought a half-dozen to take home on the train.  This week's spend will be up $7.20, but the joy they provided for the entire family was *totally* worth it! 

See, now, the homemade PB would never happen in my house.  I would think about having to clean out my food processor, and say, "Nope!"  But I commend you for it!  You are badass!

On the other hand, I would totally spend $7.20 for some good quality bagels!  Yum!

Did I mention that DH does the dishes?  ;-)
Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

PJ

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #232 on: March 10, 2017, 11:02:01 PM »
Like, I know that Kraft Peanut Butter cycles on sale for $3.99 pretty regularly at some store or another (and I shop at Walmart and price match, so can get any store's sale prices.)  But I also know that it occasionally goes on for $2.99, so I buy enough then to last.

This reminded me of a recent "proud" moment (that caused DH to roll his eyes at me).  I needed PB, and Aldi's had only one brand that was just peanuts/no added sugar.  It was something like $3.99 or $4.99 for a 1-lb jar -- cheaper than regular store prices, but I was annoyed.  Sitting right next to it was a 1-lb jar of peanuts for $1.99.  Guess which I bought?  Stuck them in my food processor on the "grind" setting (blades run backwards), and a few minutes later I had peanut butter at half the price. 

OTOH, this week was my first really happy splurges -- had a business trip to Manhattan, so I went to DH's favorite bagel shop and bought a half-dozen to take home on the train.  This week's spend will be up $7.20, but the joy they provided for the entire family was *totally* worth it! 

See, now, the homemade PB would never happen in my house.  I would think about having to clean out my food processor, and say, "Nope!"  But I commend you for it!  You are badass!

On the other hand, I would totally spend $7.20 for some good quality bagels!  Yum! 

Did I mention that DH does the dishes?  ;-) 

LOL!

Even with the store bought peanut butter, I hate cleaning out the jar well enough for it to go into recycling.  So after scraping it fairly well with a spatula to get most of the pb out, I give the jar to the dog.  She cleans it really thoroughly, except for a small circle at the bottom that she can't quite reach.  When she starts chewing on the lip of the jar, I know it's time to take it away!
'To be human you must bear witness to justice. Justice is what love looks like in public." 
Dr. Cornel West

Linda_Norway

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #233 on: March 11, 2017, 10:58:01 AM »
Yesterday we had to shop food for a whole weekend. I picked up 2 chunks of Gorgonzola cheese, 40% discount because if soon best before date. I checked the receipe and found out I was charged 100%. Luckilt I noticed and received my discount after complaining. This happens regularly. I wonder whether people at the register are just uncarefull, or whether the shop forgets a discount on purpose or whether the person at the register is dishonest. This time I didn't think she did it on purpose, but it is something I have suspected earlier.

Laura33

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #234 on: March 11, 2017, 11:24:53 AM »
Even with the store bought peanut butter, I hate cleaning out the jar well enough for it to go into recycling.  So after scraping it fairly well with a spatula to get most of the pb out, I give the jar to the dog.  She cleans it really thoroughly, except for a small circle at the bottom that she can't quite reach.  When she starts chewing on the lip of the jar, I know it's time to take it away!

Hah!  No dogs here, so I'm stuck with human power.  But it's not that hard -- I just let it sit in hot soapy water to loosen the remnants, then pour out about half, put the lid on, and shake it up, rinse, toss.  (I get stuck with empty PB jars at work, alas, and this works well enough for recycle).
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Linda_Norway

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #235 on: March 11, 2017, 11:34:01 AM »
My SIL has a friend who wirks in recycling. He says you don't need to deliver perfectly clean bottles to recycling. The temperature that melts glass will also burn peanut butter.
Still, I usually wash those pots in the dishwasher before recycling them.

PJ

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #236 on: March 11, 2017, 03:55:41 PM »
My SIL has a friend who wirks in recycling. He says you don't need to deliver perfectly clean bottles to recycling. The temperature that melts glass will also burn peanut butter.
Still, I usually wash those pots in the dishwasher before recycling them. 

Linda_Norway, are your peanut butter jars glass?  Ours are plastic. 

I've assumed that things don't need to be perfectly clean for the recycling process, but in the meantime first they sit in my house for a little while, in the inside recycling bin, then get dumped into the big recycling bin in my garage.  So I don't want enough food residue to attract bugs or stink up the place.
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Linda_Norway

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #237 on: March 12, 2017, 12:37:07 PM »
My SIL has a friend who wirks in recycling. He says you don't need to deliver perfectly clean bottles to recycling. The temperature that melts glass will also burn peanut butter.
Still, I usually wash those pots in the dishwasher before recycling them. 

Linda_Norway, are your peanut butter jars glass?  Ours are plastic. 

I've assumed that things don't need to be perfectly clean for the recycling process, but in the meantime first they sit in my house for a little while, in the inside recycling bin, then get dumped into the big recycling bin in my garage.  So I don't want enough food residue to attract bugs or stink up the place.

Yes, I am usdd to glass jars.

PJ

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #238 on: March 12, 2017, 01:45:39 PM »
My SIL has a friend who wirks in recycling. He says you don't need to deliver perfectly clean bottles to recycling. The temperature that melts glass will also burn peanut butter.
Still, I usually wash those pots in the dishwasher before recycling them. 

Linda_Norway, are your peanut butter jars glass?  Ours are plastic. 

I've assumed that things don't need to be perfectly clean for the recycling process, but in the meantime first they sit in my house for a little while, in the inside recycling bin, then get dumped into the big recycling bin in my garage.  So I don't want enough food residue to attract bugs or stink up the place. 

Yes, I am usdd to glass jars. 

Some stuff comes in glass jars - I can think of jam, sundried tomatoes/pesto, pickles.  I have a glass jar of maraschino cherries in the fridge.  Some types of tomato sauce (others are in cans).  But I feel like a lot of stuff that used to come in glass comes in plastic now.  I suppose less waste from breakage, and also lighter to save on shipping costs?
'To be human you must bear witness to justice. Justice is what love looks like in public." 
Dr. Cornel West

Laura33

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #239 on: March 12, 2017, 06:37:59 PM »
So, happy dance today.  Even with my $7 bagel run, total groceries/takeout this week was $106, including two weeks worth of dairy delivery (it occurred to me, why am I paying $5/week for delivery, when I can order 2 weeks at once and cut that in half?).  We also had to do goodie bags for Hebrew School today for Purim, and I found several treat-type things in the pantry for a start (DH went ahead and bought a box of stuff anyway, but we kept that total to $9, and my kids were left with 3/4 of it to take in their own lunches). 

Unfortunately, it is becoming clear to me that DH does NOT really like the new plan.  He is fine during the week -- I am actually a good cook, and he is fine just coming home and eating in -- but on weekends, he just likes going out to lunch and dinner (and he does NOT like Aldi's).  And today he rolled his eyes when I asked how much the treats were that he picked up. :-P We ended up going out both F and S night because he was grumpy, and then he grabbed lunch out today as well while getting the kids (I am counting/tracking that separately from the groceries -- it is something else I am trying to work on, but at a slower pace, since other people are involved).  The funny thing is while we were out to dinner Sat, he turned to me and told me my food was better -- yes!  And cheaper, too!!  Grumble grumble.  So anyway, I am going to have to be satisfied with making sure M-F is covered (plus Sunday night), and lighten up some on the weekends so DH doesn't completely revolt.  And probably work some prosciutto back into that grocery budget, too. 

But for this week, at least: $106, including $16 in purely frivolous treats -- and so much good food in the fridge prepped for the week that I almost don't have room for it all.  Laura FTW.  ;-)
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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #240 on: March 13, 2017, 08:14:56 AM »

Congrats to all of you that reached your weekly goals. I failed mine - I wanted groceries to be under 100$, and spent 105$. So close...

I did make pizza dough using the breadmaker an it was so easy. I made some calzones hoping they would last a couple days but they are all gone. I'll make another loaf for the week tonight.




PJ

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #241 on: March 13, 2017, 09:38:41 AM »

Congrats to all of you that reached your weekly goals. I failed mine - I wanted groceries to be under 100$, and spent 105$. So close...

I did make pizza dough using the breadmaker an it was so easy. I made some calzones hoping they would last a couple days but they are all gone. I'll make another loaf for the week tonight. 

So close!

And you've put your finger on the problem with homemade bread and bread products.  They are so good!  When you first start out, that's all anyone wants to eat.  :-)
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DTaggart

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #242 on: March 13, 2017, 12:54:32 PM »
Unfortunately, it is becoming clear to me that DH does NOT really like the new plan.  He is fine during the week -- I am actually a good cook, and he is fine just coming home and eating in -- but on weekends, he just likes going out to lunch and dinner (and he does NOT like Aldi's).  And today he rolled his eyes when I asked how much the treats were that he picked up. :-P We ended up going out both F and S night because he was grumpy, and then he grabbed lunch out today as well while getting the kids (I am counting/tracking that separately from the groceries -- it is something else I am trying to work on, but at a slower pace, since other people are involved).  The funny thing is while we were out to dinner Sat, he turned to me and told me my food was better -- yes!  And cheaper, too!!  Grumble grumble.  So anyway, I am going to have to be satisfied with making sure M-F is covered (plus Sunday night), and lighten up some on the weekends so DH doesn't completely revolt.  And probably work some prosciutto back into that grocery budget, too.

Haha, I can totally relate to the hubby telling you your homemade food is better but still wanting to eat out :) My husband is a complete and utter pizza fiend, and every time he gets pizza out he tells me he is disappointed because my homemade pizza is so much better. I'm like, "You knew that was going to happen, why did you bother going out then?" I mean, duh! But yeah, I think baby steps is the way to handle a reluctant spouse.

Anyway, as planned I did a super minimal shopping this week, only going to 1 store and spending $21.26. With that, I was able to get produce, milk, a special pack of nitrate-free lunch meat for myself to make a sandwich for our day trip yesterday (already had lunch meat at home for hubby), stocked up on oats (.50/lb!!), and splurged on some cashews. Oh, I also got a box of frozen waffles on sale for $2.50 - I had a .75 off coupon, plus another .75 rebate from the iBotta app, and there was another special iBotta rebate that gave me $5 for redeeming any rebate. So combined, I got paid $4 to take the waffles :)

FireHiker

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #243 on: March 13, 2017, 02:18:51 PM »
I have been SICK the past almost two weeks, so our food spending is all over the place (husband doing the shopping is never as reliable for the budget, but was unavoidable). I need to assess where we are this week. At least we have done pretty well at eating stuff that we have at home.

Heck of a deal on the waffles, DTaggart! What is iBotta?

DTaggart

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #244 on: March 13, 2017, 02:50:01 PM »
Heck of a deal on the waffles, DTaggart! What is iBotta?

It's a phone app where you can take pictures of your grocery receipts and then get rebates on certain items. It's got a lot of brand name convenience items I never buy, but they always some things like .25 back on apples or any brand of yogurt, so there's just about always something I'm going to buy anyway, so might as well get a little back. Once you have $20 or more you can get a PayPal or Venmo payment or a gift card.

If you want to check it out, here is my referral link: https://ibotta.com/r/seqtbve
If you sign up through that link I think we both get a bonus.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #245 on: March 14, 2017, 01:52:45 AM »
Yesterday I only bought veggies (with 15% discount), bread and milk. We will eat proteins from the freezer.

FireHiker

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #246 on: March 14, 2017, 10:35:06 AM »
Heck of a deal on the waffles, DTaggart! What is iBotta?

It's a phone app where you can take pictures of your grocery receipts and then get rebates on certain items. It's got a lot of brand name convenience items I never buy, but they always some things like .25 back on apples or any brand of yogurt, so there's just about always something I'm going to buy anyway, so might as well get a little back. Once you have $20 or more you can get a PayPal or Venmo payment or a gift card.

If you want to check it out, here is my referral link: https://ibotta.com/r/seqtbve
If you sign up through that link I think we both get a bonus.

Thanks! If I sign up I will definitely use your link. With three kids, including the teenage athlete who eats more than the other 4 of us combined, it seems like we should get some benefit from it.

DTaggart

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #247 on: March 14, 2017, 10:44:45 AM »
Heck of a deal on the waffles, DTaggart! What is iBotta?

It's a phone app where you can take pictures of your grocery receipts and then get rebates on certain items. It's got a lot of brand name convenience items I never buy, but they always some things like .25 back on apples or any brand of yogurt, so there's just about always something I'm going to buy anyway, so might as well get a little back. Once you have $20 or more you can get a PayPal or Venmo payment or a gift card.

If you want to check it out, here is my referral link: https://ibotta.com/r/seqtbve
If you sign up through that link I think we both get a bonus.

Thanks! If I sign up I will definitely use your link. With three kids, including the teenage athlete who eats more than the other 4 of us combined, it seems like we should get some benefit from it.

There are some other similar apps - MobiSave, Checkout 51, and Saving Star if you find its the sort of thing that is useful to you. I usually only get like .25 or .50 back per week per app , but every little bit adds up. Sometimes multiple apps will have rebates for the same item, so you can double dip :)

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #248 on: March 15, 2017, 11:58:18 AM »
As of March 15, total monthly grocery spending of $112, which is equal to $7.42 per day or $232 projected for the month.  This is including a currently full fridge, so no reduction in fresh food on hand.  I have eaten meat out of the deep freeze.  If I average $300/mo on regular groceries for the rest of the year, I am on target to meet my goal of $400/mo (including ~$700 I will spend on premium beef in the fall).


Quote
January - Very high at $750 including $300 Costco stocking up on vitamins for the year and some household supplies (closer to $500 without those extra items).
February - Done shopping for the month, $352 spent.
March - My goal is $300.


PJ

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #249 on: March 15, 2017, 12:03:41 PM »
Well, was going to go grocery shopping tonight - last day for this week's flyers.  Took a look through them this afternoon.  I'm undecided whether I'll bother.  I don't know that I really *need* to go just yet. 

I still have a single sleeve bag of milk, a full carton of cream (bought last week, didn't finish my other carton as soon as I'd thought).  I'm going to bake bread sometime this weekend.  And I still have an avocado, some tomatoes, potatoes, a little green onion, half a red pepper.  And 10 kiwi that haven't ripened enough to eat yet (but are starting to show signs of softening).  Oh, and a cabbage I bought last week also, and haven't got to cutting up for coleslaw plus to cook and freeze.  Plus, all my freezer meals and ingredients.  No super fantastic "must buy" sales this week, and I don't really need anything except salt and baking soda and cat litter.  So I'll wait a few more days.
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