Author Topic: Rein in the grocery spend 2017  (Read 47871 times)

Ebrat

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #350 on: April 28, 2017, 07:51:13 AM »
We're on track to be under $400 this month, which will bring our average for the year under $500/mo. I don't know exactly what we spent on groceries last year because we weren't tracking cash purchases or separating out alcohol, but I'd guess it was around $600/mo. For 2 people :/ My new short-term goal is $450/month, and ultimately I'd like to bring it down to $400.

Still working on the small purchases thing. In March, we had 56 grocery transactions in YNAB! This month was 46, so we're doing better but still have a lot of room for improvement. A lot of these are a dollar here or there at the vending machine at work. Thinking I'll get a bag of trail mix next time I'm at Costco to try to avoid some of these purchases.

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #351 on: May 01, 2017, 07:25:46 AM »
Finished April at $256.12 which is just $6.12 above our goal!  This month included my family visiting for almost a week as well as stocking up on fish and pork so I'm very happy with how much we ended up spending. 
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Well Respected Man

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #352 on: May 01, 2017, 08:33:43 AM »
We finished the month at $609, well under the goal of $775. Spending in other categories is out of control, however, so we're doing a clampdown for May and June. New grocery target for May is $500. I really have no idea how we managed to spend so much last year, because this is not difficult.

Heart of Tin

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #353 on: May 01, 2017, 08:55:32 AM »
My goal for the week is to make it to Saturday without any additional groceries. I have a meal's worth of chicken salad as well as five meals' worth of soup in the fridge at home and an additional serving of soup at work with me right now. That leaves about three dinner/lunch meals to put together out of the pantry. Maybe white beans cooked with a hamhock. My rosemary needs a trim, so rosemary potato bread might go well with that.

If I make it to Saturday, then my daily allowed food spend for May goes from $2.90 >>> $3.46.

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #354 on: May 01, 2017, 09:12:05 AM »
We are currently averaging 312 a month so far this year which works out to about 1.73 a meal per person CDN.  This is artificially low because we have been using up pantry and freezer stocks. 

We'll be doing our first US food stock-up this month so I expect to go over our budget of 350. But I have a much clearer idea of what are staples are and with the dollar so crappy right now, you better believe we'll be doing the math on everything.

This thread has been super helpful in keeping me conscious and aware. I appreciate everyone sharing their process and progress :)

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #355 on: May 01, 2017, 11:32:21 AM »
Well, I almost blew my goal this month, because I totally forgot that my "first week in May" grocery shop was going to fall on April 30.  Then I got lazy and blew it off and so came in under budget. :-)  Plus I forgot DH is traveling for the first half of the week, and we have kid games two days, so I'm just going to be doing quick throw-together stuff that I can do out of the pantry anyway.  So, yay.
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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #356 on: May 01, 2017, 12:58:27 PM »
Blew through my grocery spend this month by about.... $30.  Buying steaks on sale.  Well, try try again for May.  To make up for the sins of last month, I'm going to try to keep my grocery spending AND eating out spending beneath about $120 each, for a total of $240 for the month.

DTaggart

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #357 on: May 03, 2017, 01:29:48 PM »
Well I've gotten busy and have been remiss in reporting on my progress, so this post is intended to catch up and help me recommit.

March: Total was $256.88 (goal of $250). I would have been right at $250, but at the very end of the month I treated myself to a solo one-night camping trip and had to grab a couple of last minute things for that. I brought a hamburger patty, bun, condiments, eggs, bread and some fruit that I already had on hand, but indulged and bought myself a bag of chips, some trail mix, and a gallon of water (and probably something else, I forget). Close enough, I'm calling it a win.

April: This was a tougher month for me, I think it was largely because there were 5 shopping weekends in the month. I stocked up on meat too, which made the monthly total higher. I found bags of frozen salmon on sale for $7.99 so I bought two, then later found the same size bags at another store for $5 each, and bought two more. We got 3 whole chickens on sale, plus a large quantity of chicken breast, which we were pretty much out of.

The rub though is we were out of town for several days to visit hubby's family in Ohio. I got us a hotel room with a kitchenette (and free breakfast buffet) figuring we could save money on food, but it really didn't seem to work out that way. We still spent a ton eating out between trying to be sociable with family and having looooong layovers and flights at strange times. (Did you know there's a Mexican place at LAX that charges SIXTEEN DOLLARS for a fucking burrito??) And when we did go to the grocery store we went to the stupid expensive store instead of the reasonable good store. I think we were just like "Oh, we're just buying sandwich stuff, how much more expensive can it be?" Well, I assure you, it is much more expensive. We just did a bad job of shopping there, I'm totally off my game when I don't do the whole stockpiling when food is deeply discounted method. I have no idea what a "reasonable" normal price for food is, and the whole vacation mindset doesn't help. I really prefer our camping trips where I can buy and plan all of our food in advance.

Anyway, we dropped a couple hundred bucks on food easily for that stupid trip. I'm just counting it all as "Vacation" expense and moving on with my life.

Even with that cop-out, we were still over for April, I think in total it was about $270. $20 over budget isn't terrible though, and we're well stocked on meat, so I guess I won't lose any sleep over it. But I'm going to buckle down and try to be a little more focused for May. Someone please give me a stern glare if I don't check in weekly :)

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #358 on: May 03, 2017, 05:05:16 PM »
Wow DTaggart, I'm impressed you stayed so close to your budget with a trip through LAX in there. Yes, I believe there is a place there with a $16 burrito. We went with pizza at LAX last month: $53.45 for six of us, including my mother-in-law, no drinks because we brought empty water bottles to fill at the airport.

Our April was way, way over target, at $1756 for our family of 5, with a very indulgent trip to Italy in the mix. To put that in perspective though, we spent an AVERAGE of $1774/month last year (yes, some months higher, ugh). So, we're making definite progress this year. I think if we keep up on our cost-cutting measures we can get down to $1000/mo eventually for the 5 of us. Will depend on growing appetites of the children though.

Back to it for May, target is $1200 for the month. We had an average Jan-March of $1177 per month, even with some travel in there. Oh well; Italy was fantastic and I'm not going to regret any of it. I will just keep working hard to keep our spending down at home so that we have the money available for travel when we get to do it.

DTaggart

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #359 on: May 03, 2017, 06:56:37 PM »
Wow DTaggart, I'm impressed you stayed so close to your budget with a trip through LAX in there. Yes, I believe there is a place there with a $16 burrito. We went with pizza at LAX last month: $53.45 for six of us, including my mother-in-law, no drinks because we brought empty water bottles to fill at the airport.

Oh no, I wish. I was trying to explain that I'm kind of cheating and categorizing all the food from the trip as "Vacation" expense so it doesn't come out of the grocery budget, and that's the only reason I'm anywhere near my goal. But its not really cheating though, because fuck LAX and expensive grocery stores and in-laws who have to eat out all the time :)

The weirdest thing about LAX though was on our outbound trip we were in a different terminal, which had a very reasonably priced Habit Hamburger place... a regular burger was like $4 or $5. But coming back in, whichever terminal we were in, EVERYTHING was in the $15+ price range, and we were hesitant to go exploring too far. Whatever, just something else to add to my very long list of reasons I hate flying.

Anyway, back on topic, it sounds like you're making really good progress Jill :) I think making gradual, steady changes is the best way to make sure your new habits stick!

Travis

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #360 on: May 03, 2017, 09:04:12 PM »
Wow DTaggart, I'm impressed you stayed so close to your budget with a trip through LAX in there. Yes, I believe there is a place there with a $16 burrito. We went with pizza at LAX last month: $53.45 for six of us, including my mother-in-law, no drinks because we brought empty water bottles to fill at the airport.

Oh no, I wish. I was trying to explain that I'm kind of cheating and categorizing all the food from the trip as "Vacation" expense so it doesn't come out of the grocery budget, and that's the only reason I'm anywhere near my goal. But its not really cheating though, because fuck LAX and expensive grocery stores and in-laws who have to eat out all the time :)

The weirdest thing about LAX though was on our outbound trip we were in a different terminal, which had a very reasonably priced Habit Hamburger place... a regular burger was like $4 or $5. But coming back in, whichever terminal we were in, EVERYTHING was in the $15+ price range, and we were hesitant to go exploring too far. Whatever, just something else to add to my very long list of reasons I hate flying.

Anyway, back on topic, it sounds like you're making really good progress Jill :) I think making gradual, steady changes is the best way to make sure your new habits stick!

I've had a tough time gauging how well we've done for the same reasons.  Our goal is to keep groceries under $400/mo (including household items) and restaurants around $100/mo. February, March, and April were $313, $331, and $380; however, mixed into those months I was out on business (and pulling per diem) for most of February and a little over a week each of March and April.  Restaurant spending in those three months were $133, $45, and $188 not including the $500 spent on eating out at Disneyworld for a week in March.  That trip was DW, son, and in laws totaling 7 people. DW paid for much of the food since lodging was covered by others.

Even when the government is paying for my meals, I hate buying food in airports. I shouldn't have any travel this month so it'll be a fair comparison.
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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #361 on: May 04, 2017, 01:59:21 AM »
We spent a ridiculous amount of money while I was finishing up at work and finishing up being pregnant! This month we really only need to buy vegetables, though, since we stocked the freezer just before I gave birth... So as long as we don't get too bored, I think we'll come in under budget or at least on budget this month.

Heart of Tin

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #362 on: May 04, 2017, 08:38:05 AM »
Ugh. I'm exhausted just reading your travel experiences, Travis and DTaggart. Vacation for me means either camping or "staycationing" in my own house while catching up on household tasks.

I forgot that we were having a nurse's appreciation day at work yesterday which involved a potluck. I'm still the new girl at work, and I've had some difficulty fitting in to the office culture. I therefore needed to impress with what I brought, cinnamon rolls and savory bread with meat and cheese baked into it, both made from scratch. I bought brown sugar and some meat at Aldi, $3.94 total. I'll compensate by extending my first May grocery day to Sunday after church. I can then use the last $10 on my Sprouts gift card.

Two other work food expenses: the social committee has decided that we're going out for Cinco de Mayo on Friday after work, and we will be having a professional development day off-site on Monday without lunch provided. My boss's boss has already suggested a nearby restaurant for lunch. I feel obligated to attend these social events since my boss commented at our last one-on-one that I need to make more of an effort to fit in to the office culture. However, I come to work to make money, not spend it. An on-site potluck is one thing, but two restaurant trips within four days is entirely another.

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #363 on: May 05, 2017, 05:12:05 AM »
Two other work food expenses: the social committee has decided that we're going out for Cinco de Mayo on Friday after work, and we will be having a professional development day off-site on Monday without lunch provided. My boss's boss has already suggested a nearby restaurant for lunch. I feel obligated to attend these social events since my boss commented at our last one-on-one that I need to make more of an effort to fit in to the office culture. However, I come to work to make money, not spend it. An on-site potluck is one thing, but two restaurant trips within four days is entirely another.

This would be perfectly fine if your boss sponsored the lunch. Otherwise it is a mean thing your boss did to force a new employee to spend money in a restaurant for lunch.
If you feel you have to go, you could save some money by ordering a small starter dish and water and keep your bill small. If your boss doesn't expect to divide the bill equally... And bring some sandwiches from home to eat at some other time on that day.
Make sure you are an active part of the other cultural things if your company has any free things.

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #364 on: May 05, 2017, 07:32:27 AM »
Two other work food expenses: the social committee has decided that we're going out for Cinco de Mayo on Friday after work, and we will be having a professional development day off-site on Monday without lunch provided. My boss's boss has already suggested a nearby restaurant for lunch. I feel obligated to attend these social events since my boss commented at our last one-on-one that I need to make more of an effort to fit in to the office culture. However, I come to work to make money, not spend it. An on-site potluck is one thing, but two restaurant trips within four days is entirely another.

This would be perfectly fine if your boss sponsored the lunch. Otherwise it is a mean thing your boss did to force a new employee to spend money in a restaurant for lunch.
If you feel you have to go, you could save some money by ordering a small starter dish and water and keep your bill small. If your boss doesn't expect to divide the bill equally... And bring some sandwiches from home to eat at some other time on that day.
Make sure you are an active part of the other cultural things if your company has any free things.

mexican is easy.  free chips and salsa.  order the least expensive thing here i can get out for 5 bucks with tip when we go to the mexican place that has soup for 4 bucks.
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FireHiker

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #365 on: May 05, 2017, 10:30:04 AM »
Wow DTaggart, I'm impressed you stayed so close to your budget with a trip through LAX in there. Yes, I believe there is a place there with a $16 burrito. We went with pizza at LAX last month: $53.45 for six of us, including my mother-in-law, no drinks because we brought empty water bottles to fill at the airport.

Oh no, I wish. I was trying to explain that I'm kind of cheating and categorizing all the food from the trip as "Vacation" expense so it doesn't come out of the grocery budget, and that's the only reason I'm anywhere near my goal. But its not really cheating though, because fuck LAX and expensive grocery stores and in-laws who have to eat out all the time :)

The weirdest thing about LAX though was on our outbound trip we were in a different terminal, which had a very reasonably priced Habit Hamburger place... a regular burger was like $4 or $5. But coming back in, whichever terminal we were in, EVERYTHING was in the $15+ price range, and we were hesitant to go exploring too far. Whatever, just something else to add to my very long list of reasons I hate flying.

Anyway, back on topic, it sounds like you're making really good progress Jill :) I think making gradual, steady changes is the best way to make sure your new habits stick!

I tried to actually categorize all of my vacation food as food for the Italy trip; in the past I have lumped it in with vacation! And I was definitely in a "$16 burrito terminal" on our outbound flight to Europe. I wish there had been a cheap Habit burger instead!

This has been a GOOD week for our food budget. We are on target to be under $1200 this month, although it is very early. My husband is entirely on board now with our FIRE plans, so it helps to have his buy in and effort on the food budget since it's our biggest area for improvement. I anticipate that we'll be hard pressed to meet the goal over the summer because we have people over a LOT (social neighborhood and we're the ones with the pool, though neighbors are good about bringing food too, but there's always extra teenagers around).

We had homemade Mexican food this week, so no idea what we're doing for Cinco de Mayo, other than NOT eating out at a Mexican restaurant. I just don't care for people in large quantities!

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #366 on: May 05, 2017, 11:47:18 AM »
April was a total loss - with vacationing and having company from Germany we did a lot of eating out. We were either traveling along the coast or constantly on tour locally.

Anyway - had to grin at the $16.00 burrito at LAX. I made the mistake of ordering a Margarita at a local beach bar without inquiring about the price first.
You guessed it - $16. I about fell off my Barstool... shucks.

Took up the challenge for May - it will be the cheapest month ever, I'm sooo ready to become Mustachian again after binging for a couple of months, I'm ready to go cheap, cheaper, cheapest in every way possible and of course find a way to make a couple of extra bucks along the way.

I'm impressed with a $256. food budget, but I know that is not something that will ever happen for us. I can do $400 and below-incl going out once or twice to eat. So this month I'll see how far below $400 I can get - yup, I'll cheat a little, since I intend to eat up everything in the freezer and a good portion of the pantry.
I think I'll schedule a trip to base to keep the meat budget under control for June as well. Hanging out on MMM will go a long way towards inspiring me, you guys are amazing.

DTaggart

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #367 on: May 07, 2017, 12:21:34 PM »
OK, weekly check-in time. As usual, our first shop of the month was a bigger one, so we spent $97. We stocked up on $.99 bottles of fancy salad dressing, a ginormous jar of black pepper (7.99), peanuts (4 lbs for 6.99), and granola bars among other stuff  at Grocery Outlet, then hit Food 4 Less for the regular weekly stuff (produce, milk, eggs, bread, yogurt, etc). Oh, and my birthday's next weekend - hubby offered to cook lasagna for my bday dinner and we have everything necessary on hand already except for ricotta cheese, which we also found reasonably priced at Grocery Outlet, yay!

I'll probably hit Smart & Final sometime this week to stock up on cheeses, and I need to find some reasonably priced whole wheat flour somewhere, but otherwise we are pretty well set for the month. So the next few weeks we'll mainly need fresh produce and dairy. Of course we'll still grab any cheap meat or staples we see on sale.

Hooray for not traveling! :)

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #368 on: May 07, 2017, 08:49:05 PM »
So glad to have seen this thread because I need it badly! I started out the year realizing we were spending more than $1000 a month on groceries and alcohol combined for 2 adults and 1 toddler- no alcohol for him though ;), and wanting to get that number down.  But it's hovered around that amount these past few months- I blame a continued failure to meal plan, expensive Costco runs, and too much shopping at Whole Foods.  Gotta up my game!

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #369 on: May 08, 2017, 06:23:20 AM »
Well, time to 'fess up to my Week 1 crash and burn.  Groceries were ok -- $121 total, including Aldi's, H-Mart, and the dairy delivery that covers 2 weeks.  But then we had the monthly Amazon delivery of TP and OTC meds and some other household stuff ($74), and then just a bunch of extras that I characterize as takeout ($180). 

The biggest hit was DD's birthday party -- the one thing she wanted was Chinese takeout with her friends, so fine, there's $60 right there, but whatever, it's once a year.  But then I stupidly scheduled a medical procedure with anesthesia for that same morning, meaning I was out of it and couldn't bake her a cake, so DH went to the delicious local bakery to buy her one and (of course) saw a pie that he just had to have as well, and then (of course) after the anesthesia I was starving for a bagel, which led to another trip, and so all in all that one day probably cost us $150.

Ugh.  Going to have to really focus in the rest of the month, given that I'm already almost 2/3 of the way through the monthly target -- and next week needs to be a Wegman's run for the stuff Aldi's doesn't have.  But Sunday I was back on the horse with cooking and weekly prep.  So at least I can try to minimize the damage from here on out.
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Ebrat

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #370 on: May 08, 2017, 03:23:47 PM »
We're on track so far, at just over $100 for the month. I'm aiming for about $100/week.

Our biggest conundrum right now is snack foods. Buying in bulk is cheaper, but then we eat more of it (the bag of trail mix I bought at Costco is in big trouble...). We buy packs of peanut butter crackers, but those aren't very healthy. I also eat a lot of popcorn, but that's not good for when we want something portable. Any ideas for cheap, portable, healthy, and moderately tasty snacks?

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #371 on: May 09, 2017, 07:08:11 AM »
We're on track so far, at just over $100 for the month. I'm aiming for about $100/week.

Our biggest conundrum right now is snack foods. Buying in bulk is cheaper, but then we eat more of it (the bag of trail mix I bought at Costco is in big trouble...). We buy packs of peanut butter crackers, but those aren't very healthy. I also eat a lot of popcorn, but that's not good for when we want something portable. Any ideas for cheap, portable, healthy, and moderately tasty snacks?

Why is popcorn not portable? A 1-gallon food storage bag should fit in a backpack. For the trail mix, buy the 3-lb bags of almonds and walnuts, and throw in some raisins, a bunch of peanuts, and a few M&Ms. It should be cheaper than the premium Costco mix. Portion it out into small bags to reduce consumption, if necessary. Add oats and maple syrup to make your own granola bars. Bananas are a very cheap portable snack, as are peanut butter sandwiches. Peanut butter and banana on a bagel is about 500 cals for about $1. For chips and pretzels, I look for anything that is around $2-2.50/lb.

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #372 on: May 09, 2017, 09:01:36 AM »
We're on track so far, at just over $100 for the month. I'm aiming for about $100/week.

Our biggest conundrum right now is snack foods. Buying in bulk is cheaper, but then we eat more of it (the bag of trail mix I bought at Costco is in big trouble...). We buy packs of peanut butter crackers, but those aren't very healthy. I also eat a lot of popcorn, but that's not good for when we want something portable. Any ideas for cheap, portable, healthy, and moderately tasty snacks?

On the go my family eats a lot of almonds.  I'm always pleasantly surprised how quickly they can fill you up.
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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #373 on: May 10, 2017, 10:46:02 AM »
With the month 1/3rd over I'm on track to hit my $300 goal for May. Total spent so far is $106.38

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #374 on: May 10, 2017, 08:08:14 PM »
Today I went to Aldi for groceries then hit Stop & Shop's reduced produce section.  When I got home, I made fruit salad with last week's fruit, a cantaloupe, orange and pear that were ripe and since its all cut up and in a salad I bet it will be gone by this time tomorrow. I packed lunches .  I made myself a latte and worked on the budget and paid bills.  Then I made homemade gnocchi with leftover instantpot "baked" potatoes.  I made a fantastic sauce with sausage, peppers, onions, mushrooms and crushed tomatoes.  I also wilted arugula with olive oil and butter and layered it between the gnocchi and sauce and topped it with pecorino romano and fresh basil.  It came out amazing!!!  I am so happy that even though we are spending about a third of what we used to spend on groceries, we are eating better than anyone I know.  We are not getting take out and very rarely going out to eat.  It's easy to stay out of restaurants with home cooking like this.  Oh and my freezer is full of meat with all the great deals that I have been finding in the last couple months.     
   

Ebrat

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #375 on: May 11, 2017, 03:56:04 AM »
Thanks for the ideas. I tried portioning the trail mix into smaller bags, but what can I say, I have no willpower :)  Might try making granola bars again (the last recipe I used was heavy on the almond butter, so kind of spendy), or maybe some Lara bar-type concoctions. Not sure what the cost on those would be though.

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #376 on: May 11, 2017, 07:33:20 AM »
sitting at 65 bucks so far this month.  no stock up sales just depleting reserves.
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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #377 on: May 11, 2017, 08:19:35 AM »
I stopped snacking when I started tracking my food spending on the last food spending thread. Three square meals just costs less. I treat snacks like treats, and therefore I try to minimize outright spending instead of  per unit spending. I term this sort of purchase as "bonus food" in my head. I'm still going to buy/consume my three square meals like normal, so any further spending/consuming is "bonus" and should be minimized. So, if I decide that I want a snack food I compare the total cost of the packet which usually leads me to the single serving snacks. While they are much more expensive than the large packets per unit, they actually cause me to spend/consume less. I treat dairy and alcohol (to an extent) the same way. They're all bonus foods.

The cinco de mayo get-together ended up being cancelled, because everyone was tired an no longer wanted to go, which was fine by me. For my Monday work lunch outing, I ordered a baked potato which was considered a side item. Menu price was $2.50, but I was charged $3.00. Since I was planning to give the waitress a $5 bill anyway I decided not to quibble. The extra came out of her tip.

Total spending for the month: $11.50 Aldi run + $5.50 farmers market + $5.00 work outing = $22 over 10 days. Running under budget so far. I might stop by Hyvee today for $.99/lb strawberries and Aldi for $.49/dozen eggs plus a couple of items to round out two or three dishes for the coming week.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2017, 08:25:01 AM by Heart of Tin »

Anatidae V

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #378 on: May 11, 2017, 06:25:14 PM »
OK, after 2 months of shockingly high food spending and 3 weeks into being parents, we've finally come out of newborn fog enough to start cooking again. I've got a bunch of root veg + pumpkins to turn into soup, and enough pantry staples that it might be time for a couple of months of eating down the pantry.

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #379 on: May 15, 2017, 07:55:23 AM »
Sigh.  Downward spiral this month -- last week's birthday party topped off by this week's dinner party and Wegman's run.  And after working until midnight Thursday and until 9 Friday on a huge project that will continue through most of this week, I made the conscious decision that this week is going to be largely deli and no-cook options, so that jacked up the groceries by another $50 or so.  Weekly $201 groceries, $44 household, and $10 takeout (school "spirit night" at McD's), for a monthly total so far of $321 groceries, $118 household, and $190 takeout.  Ugh, read it and weep.
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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #380 on: May 15, 2017, 01:02:20 PM »
I spent $54 this week, bringing the monthly total to $151 so I'm well on target. I got a couple large packages of chicken breast on sale, from which I made a bunch of individual-size servings of diced chicken I can use on top of salads for lunch, as well as a large batch of chicken fried rice for hubby. I also got a box of green tea, yogurt and several bags of cheese, which brought my total over $25 so I could use my $5 off $25 purchase coupon.

At another store I stocked up on pancake syrup which was on sale (5 bottles at $2.50 each). Yes that's a ridiculous amount of syrup, but it was one of those "Buy 5 get $5 off" deals, and its not going to go bad so why not.

Rite-Aid had a "Buy 1 Get 1 50% Off" deal on sunscreen, and I also had a $5 off 2 coupon, so I got 2 bottles. This is one of those things I need to stock up on every year at the start of summer (we hike a lot so we always need to have lots of sunscreen handy), so I am glad to have that purchase taken care of for the year at a reasonable price.

The rest was a small amount of produce, we had lots of everything else on hand already. I was happy to get some stockpiling done and still stay within budget.

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #381 on: May 16, 2017, 01:54:05 AM »
We have been spending $80-120 a week in groceries but doing much much better on take away and eating out. Even Mr Pancakes has been taking lunch a few times each week.

Are any other Australians planning to watch "War on Waste" on ABC tonight? I'm hoping it will shame us into being less wasteful. We are not too bad but we do throw a bit of fresh stuff out when cooking gets too hard. I also need to get a reusable coffee cup because I need to accept that I'm not going to give up fancy take away coffee and the number of cups I throw away is ridiculous.

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #382 on: May 16, 2017, 07:43:41 AM »
I spent $54 this week, bringing the monthly total to $151 so I'm well on target. I got a couple large packages of chicken breast on sale, from which I made a bunch of individual-size servings of diced chicken I can use on top of salads for lunch, as well as a large batch of chicken fried rice for hubby. I also got a box of green tea, yogurt and several bags of cheese, which brought my total over $25 so I could use my $5 off $25 purchase coupon.

At another store I stocked up on pancake syrup which was on sale (5 bottles at $2.50 each). Yes that's a ridiculous amount of syrup, but it was one of those "Buy 5 get $5 off" deals, and its not going to go bad so why not.

Rite-Aid had a "Buy 1 Get 1 50% Off" deal on sunscreen, and I also had a $5 off 2 coupon, so I got 2 bottles. This is one of those things I need to stock up on every year at the start of summer (we hike a lot so we always need to have lots of sunscreen handy), so I am glad to have that purchase taken care of for the year at a reasonable price.

The rest was a small amount of produce, we had lots of everything else on hand already. I was happy to get some stockpiling done and still stay within budget.

Woops, I forgot I spent $~8 at Target on whole wheat flour... so my weekly total is $62.

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #383 on: May 17, 2017, 04:18:58 AM »
We have been spending $80-120 a week in groceries but doing much much better on take away and eating out. Even Mr Pancakes has been taking lunch a few times each week.

Are any other Australians planning to watch "War on Waste" on ABC tonight? I'm hoping it will shame us into being less wasteful. We are not too bad but we do throw a bit of fresh stuff out when cooking gets too hard. I also need to get a reusable coffee cup because I need to accept that I'm not going to give up fancy take away coffee and the number of cups I throw away is ridiculous.
I watched it! Definitely a kick up the butt for my wasteful habits. I'll be spending a little money to save some plastic waste soon (reusable produce bags!)

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #384 on: May 17, 2017, 11:58:01 AM »
I'm pretty new to the forum, BUT I need to get my grocery spending down!
I spend almost 300/mo right now and my current goal is to get to $200 without eating saltines.  I eat paleo/whole foods ISH but I add in rice and beans since my gut tolerates them.  Occasionally, I can handle goat cheese too.

I'm in!!!!

I haven't gotten groceries yet this month, but have spend stupid money on gas station things, which chips into my grocery budget.  I'm going to start upon my next grocery trip and see how long I can make each trip last, then average out the thirty day cost.  Thanks for letting me jump in!

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #385 on: May 17, 2017, 02:05:23 PM »
We spent $1,129 at the grocery store last month.  Another $137 eating out -- though about $90 of that was while on vacation.  Likely another ~$50 in groceries from Amazon.

This is for a family of five -- two adults and three children under the age of 10. 

Last year we spent $15,600+ on groceries, plus another $2,500 eating out.  Plus more groceries on Amazon...I'll guess $2,000.

I guess the good news is we have ample room for improvement?  :o
« Last Edit: May 18, 2017, 08:08:40 PM by A_Bird_In_Hand »
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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #386 on: May 18, 2017, 07:23:46 PM »
OK, after 2 months of shockingly high food spending and 3 weeks into being parents, we've finally come out of newborn fog enough to start cooking again. I've got a bunch of root veg + pumpkins to turn into soup, and enough pantry staples that it might be time for a couple of months of eating down the pantry.
Yup, this month we've come in under our grocery and eating out categories. Fingers crossed we get organised enough for DH to take lunch when he's back at work next week.

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #387 on: May 19, 2017, 02:34:57 PM »
We're at $422/$500 for the month. For various reasons, I am getting pushback, and so we have been grilling a lot of food this week, which turns out to be pretty expensive compared to lentils and rice. We have two more shopping trips scheduled,  and a holiday weekend coming up, so we won't make $500. But we're still running at about 55% of last year's spend.

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #388 on: May 19, 2017, 08:36:57 PM »
We're on track to spend around $250 this month on groceries, but thanks to a weekend getaway with family we're up to $240 on eating out (which included buying dinner for 6).  Now that we're just 4 weeks from moving, we're keeping an eye on everything in the pantry and shaping our meals and purchases so that we're as near to zero food in the house as possible by moving day.
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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #389 on: May 20, 2017, 01:16:30 AM »
It is just not easy buying cheap bead in the grocery store. The cheapest is often sold out. I should try more often to bake bread myself, even though it is a bit time consuming. Or start buying bread early in the morning on my way to work. Maybe the grocery store than actually has the cheap type of bread in stock. For the moment I buy bulk whenever I see cheap or medium cheap bread and freeze it.

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #390 on: May 21, 2017, 11:03:56 AM »
Despite having a nasty sinus headache all day yesterday, I made it out for grocery shopping and managed to stay on track. I spent $43.43, for a MTD total of $201.52. I have one more shop for the month next weekend so I should be right on target for $250.

I had another $5/$25 coupon for one store yesterday, so I scoured the ads and coupons and carefully planned a stock-up trip which put me just over $25 before the coupon. I got a giant pack of string cheese, 3 large tubs of yogurt, 7 bags of frozen vegetables, 2 bottles of cooking oil, and some bananas for a total of $20.97.

Went to another store where I had ecoupons for free crackers and a free candy bar, plus stocked up on cheap eggs (.77/dozen) and strawberries (.88/lb). I didn't have anything planned for dinner yet (due to aforementioned headache), but I found a marked down stir fry kit that contained fresh chopped vegetables and sauce, and also found a marked down steak, so a cheap, easy dinner was taken care of.

Then I hit one last store for salad stuff, bread, and milk.

Work is going to be extra stupid next week and I'll likely be home late every day, so I'm doing my best to get some meal prep done today and plan some easy meals for the week.

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #391 on: May 22, 2017, 12:38:54 PM »
We've spent $250 in 3 weeks with a goal of $100/week, so a little under budget. Leaving on vacation in a couple days, so that number probably won't change much between now and the end of the month (though eating out will be another story...). Yay!

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #392 on: May 22, 2017, 02:18:26 PM »
We are going to visit Sweden for a 4 day canoeing trip from thursday to sunday. We will do some big time grocery shopping over there, because it is a lot cheaper there than at home and they generally have more choice. Especially meat and cheese will be bought in bulk. The large grocery stores at the border are opened on sundays there.

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #393 on: May 22, 2017, 03:38:44 PM »
I always feel so awkward posting in this thread when I see how amazing some of you are in your grocery spending compared to me! But, incremental progress, right? And with 3 kids (one being the teenage athlete who eats more than the rest of us combined), I suppose it's not really apples to apples compared to a household of 2.

But, anyway, here's where we are this month: our target is still $1200 total food spending for the month. We spent three full days at Disneyland last week where we ate out all three meals each day (although my in-laws paid for one), and we're sitting at $969.59 for the month. I think we have a chance to make the $1200 goal this month as long as we don't go crazy this week, since that is artificially high with three days at Disney.

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #394 on: May 22, 2017, 06:39:09 PM »
@jillinsandiego - I sympathize, teenage boys do eat as much as two adults:)

Right on target with the food budget, $400 is the goal, but $350 actually looks possible - been using food from the pantry and freezer and harvesting the garden bounty like crazy. We are having a bumper crop of tomatoes and peppers.
So far we only went out once, to Red Robin, which turned out to be downright expensive. GC to the rescue, but still spent way too much.
Mr. R. discovered a new beer he likes called Leinenkugel-Canoe Paddeler - 8.99 a six pack - BOGO - so he picked up four:) Beyond tha,t only our usual purchases at Aldi and some BOGO's at Publix and Winn Dixie.

Best part - this is the first year I am harvesting a ton of different kinds of mint, lemon verbena and other herbs to dry for my own tea. I'm having fun experimenting with different tea mixtures. Right now the dining room and kitchen windows are all hung with bunches of herbs:)

I even have everything needed for a killer Mojito, including the Mojito Mint, so I am considering this month a big success - so far anyway.

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #395 on: May 23, 2017, 05:30:46 AM »
Rosy: those herbal teas sound great. I should work towards that.

One of my crazy splurges is the world's-most-delicious-cream (fresh, raw cream so thick you sometimes have to spoon it out of the container). Anyway, the cream is definitely a luxury but i've been continuing to get it bc it is just amazing. But now that I am also tracking more on my fitness goals, I think I have to eliminate it (and most/all other dairy). So hopefully this will not only improve the grocery spend but also the waistline.

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #396 on: May 28, 2017, 09:00:20 AM »
I did my final shopping for May yesterday and spent < $25. I was hoping there would be some better sales for Memorial Day, but I didn't see much I was interested in so pretty much just got what I needed. Although as I type this I just remembered I'm out of mayonnaise and need some. Anyway, I'm at $226 for the month right now, so I can totally splurge on mayo and reach my monthly goal.

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #397 on: May 29, 2017, 02:59:42 AM »
My grocery spending is off the record now, as I forgot to bring my bank cards to the grocery shop yesterday, where we did some big shopping. My DH has to pay for us and his cards do not track his spending in the way that my cards do. So this is a bit unfortunate.

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #398 on: May 29, 2017, 07:20:49 PM »
I want to say we crushed groceries this month, with food and household items coming in at $300; however, we spent $150 on vacation food which taken together equals our normal grocery spending.  There's also the fact that we're a couple weeks out from moving. Each food purchase now comes with the question "will we consume this before we leave?"  We're going to spend half of June with the in-laws which will result in them feeding us nearly every meal.  I'm sure we'll buy some groceries to offset, but they're very giving hosts and we'll have to be sneaky in order to contribute.
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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #399 on: June 01, 2017, 11:22:25 AM »
Well, we ended up at $1265 for May, which is not bad considering there were three days/two nights at Disneyland in there. Also, compared to May of last year when we spent $1909 on food, I'm happy with the progress. It's amazing how much impact simple awareness really has. I don't feel like we are particularly deprived compared to last year! I know we still have a lot of room for improvement, too.

My goal for June is $1200, or preferably under. I'm hoping over the summer we can start working towards a $1000 goal, but it will depend on how many of my teenager's friends I'm feeding on a regular basis! I'm happy to do it if it means I know where they are spending their time...