Author Topic: Rein in the grocery spend 2017  (Read 40381 times)

Laura33

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #400 on: June 03, 2017, 08:37:00 AM »
Well, May crashed and burned.  Work got ridiculous, we had a bunch of family events that took up my Sunday shopping and cooking time, plus baseball and end-of year school events and wah wah wah whatever whiny excuse.  Oh, and the ice cream store is now open again.  :-)  My "groceries" were reasonable -- about $200 at Wegman's and $100 at Aldi's for the last few weeks, even including a ton of meat and deli stock-up -- but I completely lost track of the takeout, which DH buys.  I have to guess we probably jacked up closer to $1k total for the month, which sucks and reminds me why it was so easy to let things get out of control in the first place.

So, back at it again.  Increasing target to $650 to cover mandatory family ice cream trips, which DH will divorce me (and kids will choose to stay with him) if I try to cut.
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DTaggart

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #401 on: June 04, 2017, 08:33:47 AM »
First shop of the month was good at $70.50. Now I have a fridge full of food requiring prep... can't talk, blanching broccoli :)

DayLight

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #402 on: June 05, 2017, 08:15:02 AM »
I'd like to join in!

I'm feeling good that we beat our budgeted 1300 (for groceries, fast food, restaurant and alcohol) in May, and we came in at 998. It is amazing to have that 300 to go toward debt payoff instead.

The budget was based on average spending for the past year,  so it really is an improvement. (A few years ago, it was higher!)

I lowered the budget to 1000 for June.  We do have a birthday coming up, but I think if I keep tracking it we can make it work.

So far: 196



FireHiker

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #403 on: June 05, 2017, 10:01:33 AM »
Welcome Daylight! Finally, someone with a higher target so I don't feel outrageous. :) For my family of five I shoot for $1200 as my monthly max. It does include all groceries, eating out, and a moderate amount of food/drink that goes into neighborhood socializing/ feeding other kids when they're hanging out at our house. Last year's monthly average was $1774, without any attempts to curtail spending at all. It's incredible to me that we're easily saving $500 a month compared to last year just by being more aware. I would still like to reduce mine further, eventually under $1000/mo, but if I keep our monthly average under $1200 this entire year I'll be pretty happy.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #404 on: June 05, 2017, 11:17:51 PM »
Things are not looking so good at my grocery shopping. I spent 4000 NOK last month. That is the same as last year's monthly average. The previous months were around 3000 NOK a month.
And this month I know my DH paid for a large portion of groceries twice, so the total is above 5000 NOK, I'm sure.

Only positive is that last year's average included my DH doing a much bigger part of the shopping than he is doing this year. And I have been stocking up on some staples and meat.

Laura33

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #405 on: June 07, 2017, 06:33:57 AM »
Week 1:  ok, with an asterisk.  Did the periodic Wegman's run for $150 total, which got us a lot of food that will last past this week, so on budget and by and large avoided the "look at all the cool stuff!" Wegman's temptation, even with DD with me. 

The asterisk is that we also began fostering kittens, so spent another $66 on supplies.  But I think that is more appropriately categorized as a "kid" expense than groceries.  ;-)
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DTaggart

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #406 on: June 11, 2017, 10:55:08 AM »
Week 2 total is $88.11, for a monthly total of $158.11. So I'm a bit on the high side, with $91 to go for the rest of the month, but I've stocked up pretty heavily on meat and other staples. I should have plenty for produce and dairy for the rest of the month, I'll just have to be vigilant and exercise some self control on the sales :)

Alf91

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #407 on: June 11, 2017, 12:56:04 PM »
Did groceries yesterday, spent $21 for the week (still need milk at $4).

I buy in-season / on sale produce (ie lettuce was 99 cents, cucs 75 cents, peppers 50 cents).
I don't buy meat.
Cheap protein: tofu (1.49), dried beans (2.49), 100% peanuts peanut butter (2.99), plain yogurt (1.69)
Cheap grains: brown rice (2.49), whole wheat noodles (1.00), oats (1.99).
I shop the discount racks - can usually get fruit for half price, bread for half price, etc.
I make homemade baked goods - flour, baking powder, salt, eggs, etc is all cheap - I make pancakes, muffins, loaves (get the discounted bananas when they're starting to brown and throw 'em in the freezer).
« Last Edit: June 11, 2017, 01:01:28 PM by Alf91 »

Laura33

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #408 on: June 12, 2017, 09:43:25 AM »
So mediocre again.  This week was $172 for groceries, which included $33 biweekly dairy delivery and $36 on beer.  Could have been better, but I'm soloing with the kids all week, which resulted in both the beer stockup and ending up at Safeway because of location (and BOY their prices have gotten ridiculous since I was there last).  Plus DD agreed to cook all week, which required actual menus and recipes vs. my initial plan to eat out of the freezer.  But, hey, you want to cook for me, I'll buy you the salmon you need for your recipe, ya know?

So $322 total so far for groceries + $68 household (where Safeway + 2 kids really killed me) + $18 takeout (lunch out with kiddos).  Next week should be cheaper -- kids will be at camp, so lunches are mostly covered, and I won't have DD wanting to make chicken cordon bleu. :-)
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FireHiker

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #409 on: June 12, 2017, 09:48:41 AM »
We are a little high so far this month. We had some extra spending this past weekend because we were camping to support my brother on an insane 100 mile trail race. Hopefully we can rein it in the rest of the month though; we aren't TOO far up. A few good, inexpensive days will help.

Our big food-related challenge this month is that the 16 year old has decided to be a vegetarian as of yesterday...I'm sure it has the potential to save money, but I think there will be some trial and error while we adapt. He is going to have to take a LOT of initiative to help meal plan if he thinks this is going to work. I am skeptical that he will stick with it, but we'll try to support his attempt. This is the same 16 year old who requested Fogo de Chao for his 16th birthday meal...

boarder42

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #410 on: June 12, 2017, 10:42:51 AM »
we're averaging 314 a month plus 60 for the cow we bought.  spending has increased due to alcohol increasing.
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.

fruitfly

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #411 on: June 12, 2017, 01:24:48 PM »
I need to be here desperately. My budgeting software tells me I spend an average of $1,512 per month on groceries. For two adults and two small children. Ugh.

FireHiker

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #412 on: June 13, 2017, 04:13:03 PM »
I need to be here desperately. My budgeting software tells me I spend an average of $1,512 per month on groceries. For two adults and two small children. Ugh.

Welcome!

I tracked for two years before finally (this year) trying to do something about it. I've seen wonderful success so far, although I'm nowhere near as frugal as many of the posters here. I figure any progress is worth celebrating though!

Anatidae V

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #413 on: June 14, 2017, 03:45:28 AM »
My local butcher does packs of meat. I'm going to get one and meal plan around it, see how long we can make it last.

Other than that, I have everything I need to buy groceries locally on foot. Since I will be walking and carrying a baby, that should help limit me to only what we need, no snacks, and not spending too long making decisions.

afuera

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #414 on: June 14, 2017, 08:39:45 AM »
How much chicken is too much chicken?  The Foodarama Fiesta on my street has chicken breast on sale for $0.97/lb and our Aldi has chicken thighs for $0.69/lb.  Do I buy as much as I can fit in the freezer?

Are these prices for boneless or bone-in meat? In my area, those would be amazing prices for boneless, but for bone-in those are pretty common sale prices which repeat every 6 - 8 weeks or so. So, if bone-in I'd buy myself enough to last a month or two knowing I'd see that price again before long. If boneless I'd buy as much as physically possible. This is where making a grocery price book can be very useful.

Boneless :)  Funny thing is I wouldn't have even recognized it as a good price a few weeks ago...

$33 later we now have 33lbs of chicken.  2 lbs in the slow cooker for some shredded chicken we can keep in the fridge and quickly add to salads and other dishes, 2 lbs in the fridge for a few chicken meals we will make this week, and the rest in the freezer.  We most likely won't need to buy chicken again until April or May!

We are down to our last chicken breast!!  33 lbs lasted us from almost exactly 4 months.
I am sad that I'm going to have to buy regular priced chicken breasts again...
"The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it" - Henry David Thoreau

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DayLight

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #415 on: June 14, 2017, 11:16:12 AM »
Afuera- your original post about the chicken inspired me to stock up on meat when it's on sale. Go you!  (I haven't seen boneless chicken breast for less than 1.99 here.)

We are at 348 which is good (for us) for half the month.  We will see. Our five-kid weekends tend to cost about 1/8th of the food budget, and we only have one of those this month.


Linda_Norway

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #416 on: June 14, 2017, 12:46:37 PM »
We just had half a cod for dinner that my DH caught in the sea some time ago and was kept in the freezer.

JanF

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #417 on: June 15, 2017, 04:06:42 PM »
I'd like to join in! I started my own challenge in April but just saw this post now.
My goal is to spend $250-300 monthly average for 2 adults and spend a little less on snacks and alcohol (I track this separately from groceries in my excel). So far we're doing pretty good so I might push it to $200-250 average.
My main problem is having a tiny freezer...it's one of those bottom drawer ones so it's really difficult to bulk buy meat. How do you guys utilize your freezer space? When I read about all these bulk buying and meal prepping I imagine that maybe you have a freezer box?

Linda_Norway

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #418 on: June 16, 2017, 04:24:04 AM »
I'd like to join in! I started my own challenge in April but just saw this post now.
My goal is to spend $250-300 monthly average for 2 adults and spend a little less on snacks and alcohol (I track this separately from groceries in my excel). So far we're doing pretty good so I might push it to $200-250 average.
My main problem is having a tiny freezer...it's one of those bottom drawer ones so it's really difficult to bulk buy meat. How do you guys utilize your freezer space? When I read about all these bulk buying and meal prepping I imagine that maybe you have a freezer box?

I mostly bulk buy things that don't need cold storage. But our freezer has 3 drawers. Earlier we had 4. And we have a second combi cool-freeze with 3 drawers. We use the fridge part for beer (we have home brewed beer in large casks). When our second combi was broken, I had a real challenge storing all our stuff.

doublethinkmoney

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #419 on: June 16, 2017, 06:06:51 AM »
Im totally in! We just moved in with my in laws and are trying to rework a multigenerational household budget. My goal right now is $800 a month for the 5 of us (including my toddler) (I'm sure we can reduce in the future).

One quick thing I do to reduce spending is look at my local grocery store blog that matches up sales with coupons and the Ibotta app. I see what I can make with that and will buy 2-3 meals for the week and lunches/snacks for my daughter. My FIL makes most the meals in the week so I have to give space for him to shop and make things too.

1) check local grocery store blog for deal match ups

2) print off coupons of brands I use and stock when on sale with coupons.

3) use the Ibotta App (rebate app that I have earned $200 in gift cards @ Amazon, Target, Wholefoods, Starbucks etc) more on this at bottom. Sign up at https://ibotta.com/r/gaipxfa

4) buy grocery store coupons on eBay (only store coupons like $5 off of $40) I buy like 5 for $4 still saves me $21 over 5 weeks!

5) Use the BevRAGE app to get rebates deposited into my PayPal on beer purchases.
Get cash with the bevRAGE app when you buy beer, wine and liquor. Sign up using my referral code: KAELKJYX
https://www.bevrage.com/promo/KAELKJYX


The Ibotta app is great and I'll check it if I can get money back on a different brand item or combine it with a sale. I just started a few months ago and already earned so much on items I'm buying anyways (including The good IPA beer my husband loves!) They have deals on Groupon, Uber and EBay!

Use my referral code, gaipxfa, and you can get a $10 welcome bonus. Sign up at https://ibotta.com/r/gaipxfa




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doublethinkmoney

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #420 on: June 16, 2017, 06:13:19 AM »
I'll add that we buy whatever we can organic in bulk at Costco and fill in at the local grocery store.


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Linda_Norway

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #421 on: June 16, 2017, 06:47:07 AM »
I logged into my internet bank today and the beta version of the software told me how much I had spent on groceries the last 30 days. I clicked on the like version to make sure they keep posting this.

DTaggart

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #422 on: June 16, 2017, 08:10:58 AM »
My main problem is having a tiny freezer...it's one of those bottom drawer ones so it's really difficult to bulk buy meat. How do you guys utilize your freezer space? When I read about all these bulk buying and meal prepping I imagine that maybe you have a freezer box?

Having only a tiny freezer will limit what you can do, but it doesn't completely rule out stocking up. The first trick is to repackage as much as you can. For example, if you get a good deal on chicken breast, don't just throw the full styrofoam tray of meat into the freezer, portion it into meal size servings in freezer bags then freeze those. Or, if you know you will be using some of it for say stir-fry, go ahead and dice it up, then bag it and freeze it. Whole chickens on sale? Don't try to fit them as-is into the freezer, buy a couple and cook them up over a day or two, shred the meat, and then freeze it in meal-size portions. If you buy packaged stuff like hot pockets or ice pops or whatever, take them out of the box and store them loose. Practice your tetris skills :)

Also, make it a point to meal plan around what is on sale that week. Chicken breast is super cheap? Then that's what you're eating this week. You can have ground beef/steak/fish or whatever next week when its on sale. You might need to vary which store(s) you shop at from week to week to make this work, and eat more vegetarian on the weeks when there aren't good sales anywhere. And as Linda_Norway pointed out, you can always stock up on other items that don't require freezing (canned tuna for example).

afuera

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #423 on: June 16, 2017, 08:35:26 AM »
My main problem is having a tiny freezer...it's one of those bottom drawer ones so it's really difficult to bulk buy meat. How do you guys utilize your freezer space? When I read about all these bulk buying and meal prepping I imagine that maybe you have a freezer box?

Having only a tiny freezer will limit what you can do, but it doesn't completely rule out stocking up. The first trick is to repackage as much as you can. For example, if you get a good deal on chicken breast, don't just throw the full styrofoam tray of meat into the freezer, portion it into meal size servings in freezer bags then freeze those. Or, if you know you will be using some of it for say stir-fry, go ahead and dice it up, then bag it and freeze it. Whole chickens on sale? Don't try to fit them as-is into the freezer, buy a couple and cook them up over a day or two, shred the meat, and then freeze it in meal-size portions. If you buy packaged stuff like hot pockets or ice pops or whatever, take them out of the box and store them loose. Practice your tetris skills :)

+1!  We bought 4-5 7lb styrofoam trays of chicken, cooked 2lbs , kept 2lbs in the fridge, and repackaged the rest in Ziploc bags to freeze in the freezer.  We have a bottom drawer freezer like you and were able to fit close to 30lbs of chicken in it (picture is in this thread a few pages back) so its definitely possible!
"The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it" - Henry David Thoreau

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JanF

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #424 on: June 16, 2017, 08:58:20 AM »
Thanks! We have frozen fruit and veggies as well and I like having different kind of meats/fish so I think that's where I'm having the most trouble with keeping things in my freezer....I bulk buy ground beef, chicken, and fish and they all go in the freezer unless I'm using them in a couple of days.

Also, it drives me nuts every time my husband pull out stuff from the freezer to make smoothies and he doesn't squeeze air out from the bag before putting it back in. YOU'RE TAKING UP MY PRECIOUS STORAGE SPACE!! Hahahaha

DTaggart

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #425 on: June 16, 2017, 09:08:40 AM »
Also, it drives me nuts every time my husband pull out stuff from the freezer to make smoothies and he doesn't squeeze air out from the bag before putting it back in. YOU'RE TAKING UP MY PRECIOUS STORAGE SPACE!! Hahahaha

Ooooh mine does this too, and of course half the time he doesn't even zip the bag back up properly. I'm like WHY IS THIS SO HARD?? :)

Anatidae V

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #426 on: June 17, 2017, 07:07:08 AM »
This week I'm going to buy a "weekly family pack" from my butcher and see how many weeks I can make it last! I've also successfully gone shopping on foot, so I'll be getting our fresh fruit & veg that way, and get heavy packaged food (eg frozen and pantry items) delivered infrequently. That will keep me out of the snack aisles :)

Alf91

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #427 on: June 18, 2017, 05:13:44 PM »
$24.57 for the week!

frozen blueberries 3.99
cauliflower 1.76
grapes 2.10
raspberries 1.76
cucumber 0.75
bananas 0.80
green beans 0.83
tomato 0.33
kale 1.50
ricotta cheese 1.50
yogurt 1.50
rice 1.99
bagels 1.50
cereal 1.50
crackers 1.66
english muffins 0.99

doublethinkmoney

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #428 on: June 19, 2017, 10:18:58 AM »
$24.57 for the week!

frozen blueberries 3.99
cauliflower 1.76
grapes 2.10
raspberries 1.76
cucumber 0.75
bananas 0.80
green beans 0.83
tomato 0.33
kale 1.50
ricotta cheese 1.50
yogurt 1.50
rice 1.99
bagels 1.50
cereal 1.50
crackers 1.66
english muffins 0.99
What do you meals look like through the day and week?


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DTaggart

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #429 on: June 19, 2017, 01:43:16 PM »
Did a pretty small shop this week and came in under budget at $35.26. I got a bunch of produce, milk, yogurt, lunch meat, and cheese for the week, plus stocked up on a couple boxes of pasta, a jar of applesauce, brown sugar, 6 lbs of brown rice (on sale for .74/lb!), and splurged on a pint of gelato.

Alf91

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #430 on: June 19, 2017, 07:01:00 PM »
$24.57 for the week!

frozen blueberries 3.99
cauliflower 1.76
grapes 2.10
raspberries 1.76
cucumber 0.75
bananas 0.80
green beans 0.83
tomato 0.33
kale 1.50
ricotta cheese 1.50
yogurt 1.50
rice 1.99
bagels 1.50
cereal 1.50
crackers 1.66
english muffins 0.99
What do you meals look like through the day and week?


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Breakfast is usually oatmeal. On weekends I sometimes make pancakes from scratch. Or scrambled eggs and toast.

Lunch is a big salad: some kind of leafy green (kale, spinach, romaine), chopped raw veggies, chickpeas or black beans, maybe some cheese. And a piece of fruit.

Dinner is usually a grain (rice, pasta, barley), a protein (tofu, beans, eggs, occasionally meat), and a pile of stir-fried or steamed veggies.

Snacks - toast w/ peanut butter, fruit, yogurt.

RayO

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #431 on: June 21, 2017, 09:10:08 AM »
I'm joining in too.

My goal is to spend $200 per month on all grocery and household items for two adults.

 Some weeks I'm able to spend about $25-$30, but when there is a good sale on meat I stock up and end up spending around $60-$80. We've really cut back and have completely eliminated many items already to get to this level of spending.

I plan to achieve the $200 goal by:
Eating less meat (I already use less than what a recipe calls for, but I think I can stretch this even further)
Buying a little less fruit (Usually some fruit ends up in the garbage from spoilage)
Make my own yogurt and granola (I already purchase the large tubs of yogurt, but it still adds up and we eat quite a bit of it)
If the budget is very tight towards the end of the month just buy necessities and make meals from food in the freezer/pantry
« Last Edit: June 21, 2017, 09:11:51 AM by RayO »

Feeling Blessed

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #432 on: June 24, 2017, 11:52:23 AM »
Hi All- I'm a late start but would like to join as well.  I've been working on this this year.  Wins so far... I planted a (small) veggie garden.  I'm being super committed to using stuff before it goes bad... come hell or high water if something is getting close to its expiration I find a way to make something out of it.  I'm shopping less and using our local discount stores more... Pricerite really seems like a find to me.  I cut back on booze.  😰  I'm trying to cut off eating out suggestions from the family at the pass... getting myself in the habit of stalling for 10 minutes while I think of something to eat at home that seems to be in the ballpark of what they are craving.  Moderate success so far.  Also, i'm finally keeping track of prices on our most used items.  I am shocked at the variations.  I have a free app on my phone called intellilist.  it is awesome.  Keeps track of best prices so I can use it for easy reference anytime.  Family of 4 plus 2 dogs... all in food spending has been $1.5k/mo for years.... I know... i know.... aiming for $600-800 this year.  So far on higher side of that range but doing fairlt well.

Alf91

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #433 on: June 24, 2017, 01:25:24 PM »
$30.89 this week:

grapes 0.99 (reg 3.36)
bananas 0.37
cantaloupe 1.50 (reg 2.99)

broccoli 1.66 (reg 2.99)
green onions 0.69
avocado 1.50 (reg 1.99)
sweet potatoes 1.55
tomato 0.29
lettuce 0.75 (reg 1.49)

whole grain noodles 1.48 (reg 2.49)

whole wheat bagels 1.50 (reg 2.00)
kaiser buns 2.69

eggs 1.97

edamame 1.99

pastrami 0.75 (reg 1.25)
smoked turkey 0.75 (reg 1.25)
burger patties 3.00 (reg 9.98)
chicken thighs 3.61 (reg 8.30)

FireHiker

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #434 on: June 26, 2017, 09:42:31 AM »
Well, we ended up stocking up at Costco AND doing a Trader Joes run in the past week (stocked up on things that are cheaper there; it isn't convenient so we don't go often, and were in the area). Our food spending is $1199 right now for the month. Unfortunately I KNOW I'll need to get lettuce and milk before the week is over, so it will go over our target of $1200. Our eating out is WAY down though; we are at $283 for the month, compared to $584 last month. We are also adjusting to making lunches and snack for the youngest now that she goes to the summer program at the elementary school instead of the much more expensive preschool that included food.

I feel so discouraged that I haven't been doing a better job with this, but I have to remind myself that we spent $1774 average monthly on food last year, so it's still an improvement even if it isn't where I really want it to be.

Laura33

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #435 on: June 26, 2017, 11:34:01 AM »
OK, so good and bad.  The flier this week was DS and I took a five-state road trip, so there was much junk food for meals on the road ($60), plus we treated my Granny to dinner out and ice cream ($45).  Oh, and I found a fancy tea shop and stocked up on teas ($34), and did a big CVS run ($60).

Total for the week = $154 groceries + $105 takeout + $67 household, bringing the MTD to $474 groceries, $123 takeout, and $135 household.  So I am just over my $600 target for food + household, although Unfortunately, while DH did an $80 grocery run while I was gone, I still needed to pick up a few lot of things DH forgot while I was out of town, like, oh, stuff for the kids' lunches at camp, food for the week, and food for the rescue kitties.  So total for the week is $246 groceries, $105 takeout, and $79 household; month to date is $566 groceries, $123 takeout, and $147 household.  And I still don't know how much DH spent at the deli for my mom's birthday dinner.

And the takeout, while bad this week, is at At least the takeout is significantly down from prior years.

Crap -- I also just realized that DH did a deli run while I was gone to pick up stuff for my mom's birthday dinner last night, and I have no clue how much that was.  Will have to include that in follow-up reports, assuming I can find it.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2017, 09:02:44 AM by Laura33 »
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JanetJackson

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #436 on: June 27, 2017, 12:00:34 PM »
Got my Grocery Spending down from the $300 ish mark to $175 this month!  Yay!  I think I can chop it back even more next month.
This thread is great!  Keep the ideas and suggestions coming!

pancakes

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #437 on: June 28, 2017, 02:22:06 AM »
I'm so happy to see everyone keeping this thread alive! I fell off the wagon big time with our baby. We have good weeks and bad weeks but I'm learning that we need to be much more organised in general in order to make cooking inexpensive meals at home convenient.

The War on Waste TV show that was on recently has made me notice how much rubbish the more expensive convenient options were creating so now I have motivation from an environmental and financial perspective to get more organised.

But we were all sick over the weekend so the groceries were neglected and takeout ensued. This weekend I have plans for freezer meals - pulled pork and a huge batch of bolognese sauce.

July we are going to track our expenses closely which is always motivating too.

afuera

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #438 on: June 28, 2017, 08:22:43 AM »
What are some of y'alls tips for fast food CRAVINGS.  I never have them but Hubs gets them about once a week and so far I have been unsuccessful with finding proper substitutes. 

Example: Hubs wants Taco Bell or Whataburger or Burger King or some other gross fast food thing.  I say "Hey, you want tacos? Lets go to the grocery store and get some taco fixins (or burger fixins or whatever)."  He replies that it would end up costing more to buy all the separate ingredients from the store, we would make more than he really wants (and some things don't keep well for leftovers), it would take a lot more time, and it wouldn't really be the same.  He is sort of right when I think about it so usually he just ends up running through a drive through and getting whatever he wants that evening.  This is definitely not because we don't have food in the house or quick meal options, this is solely because he doesn't want the food we have.

Help?
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TartanTallulah

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #439 on: June 28, 2017, 08:26:57 AM »
I'm going to be working on this as a one-month challenge in July.

Our household is diminishing. One daughter, who is vegan and therefore gave me an excuse for buying lots of fancy vegan food-substitutes and exotic fruit and vegetables, has just moved out. Another daughter will be moving out in September, and she works long hours in a restaurant where she gets fed on her shift and can order a freshly-cooked pizza or pasta dish to take home when she finishes so she's quite well sorted. My son eats a lot (skinny young man, runs and lifts weights) but he's competent in the kitchen and will eat whatever is available or go out and buy what he wants. And my husband and I are away from home and managing on very simple meals and, y'know, it's been OK. It is only for one week, but one week is a pilot study.

I have a kitchen that's not as overstuffed as it was, but there's enough to last us for most of the remainder of the year if we were prepared to eat only from tins and packets and from the freezer. We won't be doing that, but I'll look at grocery purchases through a filter of, "Do we need that and do I already have something at home that I could use in its place?"

It will meld neatly with Plastic-Free July, because if I'm buying fewer groceries I'll be buying less plastic wrapping.

The one uncontrollable factor will be my husband's expenditure on working day lunches, chocolate and potato chips. I don't intend to address that at the moment. There are plenty of lower-hanging fruit to be picked off first.

I've been saying for a couple of years that I should empty and sell our 300L chest freezer because we don't need that much freezer capacity now and we have a decent sized fridge-freezer. If the month experiment works, I'll set a target date. It'll be one less appliance draining electricity and taking up space.

Numbers will follow in due course.



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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #440 on: June 28, 2017, 08:54:43 AM »
Darn. I am still waiting for the local grocery store to have a new sale for deodorant. Now there is a sale, but they don't have it this time, and not the last time either. The previous time they sold it, I bought only 2 and not 10, slik I should have done. I regret. Normally they are 350% more expensive.

Tomorrow I plan a trip to another store which is not really on my route home from work, but also not terribly far away. There they sell some deodorants that cost 50% of the ones that I usually use. And they should also function well. I'll store up on those. They also sell cheap washing detergent. I check their website yesterday and made a list of what to buy. I usually don't read grocery store magazines, but spent an hour on it yesterday, checking most shops in the vicinity.

FireHiker

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #441 on: June 28, 2017, 09:37:18 AM »
I am irrationally happy about this and have to share! I was feeling pretty disappointed yesterday because we needed milk and a handful of other groceries to get through the rest of the week, and we were already at $1199. When we went to the store yesterday, I realized that I had $20 on ibotta that I could redeem. We only spent $17.94, so now my food spending for June is back under $1200 at $1197. We have enough food at home to get through the rest of the week with eating lunches at home. Thank you DTaggart for hooking me up with ibotta!

Laura33

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #442 on: June 28, 2017, 09:44:09 AM »
What are some of y'alls tips for fast food CRAVINGS.  I never have them but Hubs gets them about once a week and so far I have been unsuccessful with finding proper substitutes. 

Example: Hubs wants Taco Bell or Whataburger or Burger King or some other gross fast food thing.  I say "Hey, you want tacos? Lets go to the grocery store and get some taco fixins (or burger fixins or whatever)."  He replies that it would end up costing more to buy all the separate ingredients from the store, we would make more than he really wants (and some things don't keep well for leftovers), it would take a lot more time, and it wouldn't really be the same.  He is sort of right when I think about it so usually he just ends up running through a drive through and getting whatever he wants that evening.  This is definitely not because we don't have food in the house or quick meal options, this is solely because he doesn't want the food we have.

Help?

My solution is to budget for my DH's desire to go out. 

Seriously.  This is our recurring issue, because DH wants to go out partly for the different flavors and partly as entertainment value [Note:  "it would cost more to make at home" and the like are really just cover for "I just want to go out, dammit."].  If my DH's version of "going out" were $5 at Taco Bell instead of $50 at the restaurant down the street, I'd be doing backflips with joy.  :-) 
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DTaggart

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #443 on: June 28, 2017, 12:30:24 PM »
What are some of y'alls tips for fast food CRAVINGS.  I never have them but Hubs gets them about once a week and so far I have been unsuccessful with finding proper substitutes. 

Example: Hubs wants Taco Bell or Whataburger or Burger King or some other gross fast food thing.  I say "Hey, you want tacos? Lets go to the grocery store and get some taco fixins (or burger fixins or whatever)."  He replies that it would end up costing more to buy all the separate ingredients from the store, we would make more than he really wants (and some things don't keep well for leftovers), it would take a lot more time, and it wouldn't really be the same.  He is sort of right when I think about it so usually he just ends up running through a drive through and getting whatever he wants that evening.  This is definitely not because we don't have food in the house or quick meal options, this is solely because he doesn't want the food we have.

Help?

My hubby is terrible about this sort of thing. We manage it by having the agreement that any impulse fast food spending comes out of his personal spending money, not the grocery budget. He can do whatever he wants with his spending money, not my problem!

TartanTallulah

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #444 on: June 29, 2017, 03:28:27 AM »
What are some of y'alls tips for fast food CRAVINGS.  I never have them but Hubs gets them about once a week and so far I have been unsuccessful with finding proper substitutes. 

Example: Hubs wants Taco Bell or Whataburger or Burger King or some other gross fast food thing.  I say "Hey, you want tacos? Lets go to the grocery store and get some taco fixins (or burger fixins or whatever)."  He replies that it would end up costing more to buy all the separate ingredients from the store, we would make more than he really wants (and some things don't keep well for leftovers), it would take a lot more time, and it wouldn't really be the same.  He is sort of right when I think about it so usually he just ends up running through a drive through and getting whatever he wants that evening.  This is definitely not because we don't have food in the house or quick meal options, this is solely because he doesn't want the food we have.

Help?

Maybe work out how much getting fast food every time your husband craves it is really costing your household in a month/a year, factoring in the cost of buying the ingredients and the fuel for cooking, then decide whether to talk to him about it, with numbers, and come up with an agreed plan to reduce the number of fast food meals he has, or whether to let it go.

When his work day spans lunchtime, my husband gets a sandwich and a non-office coffee from a sandwich bar. I've done the sums, and we'd save around two-thirds of the cost if he took a similar sandwich to work and drank office coffee. But if I wanted this to happen I'd have to be the one to start making his sandwiches rather than saying, "I want you to make yourself sandwiches," which would involve extra shopping for fresh bread rolls and ingredients, some of which we wouldn't use up completely, and having another task to do in the morning when I have a long work day ahead, and you can't put a value on being able to use "getting lunch" as a pretext for leaving the office for twenty minutes and walking to the sandwich bar. The actual saving would amount to less than 1% of our joint income when he's working full days. At the moment, I don't think it's worth it. If I was working shorter hours and put greater value on the absolute amount of money saved, I'd try to initiate a change.

(My own sustenance on long work days is cheap and does not stand up well to nutritional analysis, but that's a separate issue.)



Laura33

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #445 on: July 03, 2017, 11:26:10 AM »
OK, July started off better, but with an asterisk.  Farmer's market + Aldi's = $91 groceries.  Household = $77, including a big Amazon stockup.  The asterisk is that I found an awesome tea and ordered a pound of it off of Amazon as well, so that's another $30 toward my grocery budget, bringing the weekly groceries to $121 and the total "countable"* spend to $198.  No takeout, except for one tea at the farmer's market, which is a big improvement overall -- even DH ate lunch at home Friday when he had off from work. :-)

*Since I count my normal cat expenses toward pet stuff and not groceries, it has occurred to me that I should do the same for the foster kitties.
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Anatidae V

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #446 on: July 16, 2017, 04:10:41 PM »
This week I'm going to buy a "weekly family pack" from my butcher and see how many weeks I can make it last! I've also successfully gone shopping on foot, so I'll be getting our fresh fruit & veg that way, and get heavy packaged food (eg frozen and pantry items) delivered infrequently. That will keep me out of the snack aisles :)
well, we've stopped buying snacks. I still need to get the nice butcher pack. We've written up.a.grocery list that covers our normal food plus 1 meal that can be changed each week. Now all i.have to do is cross off what we already have - much less thinking involved. We spent under $100 this week, which is a big deal. I suspect we'll spend half what we did last month, and be able to keep it up  :)

pancakes

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #447 on: July 16, 2017, 11:11:20 PM »
I had an awesome week where we did the groceries based on a meal plan, came home and washed/prepped everything into containers in the fridge. Nothing was wasted and we came in under $100 for the week including alcohol (not including Mr Pancakes' work lunches when he had lunch out or my coffee).

Then we followed up with a rubbish week where we didn't plan anything, didn't grocery shop properly and ate a heap of takeaway.

Motivation is a struggle at the moment. I'm so tried that I kind of don't care if we spend all the money just getting through the days but I also know that when things go well like the week I described above, that gives me more energy and makes me feel much better in myself.

We are moving in the next couple of months so have some extra incentive to use up what we have. Any ideas for canned corn? I accidentally bought it instead of chickpeas and lost the receipt.

Alf91

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #448 on: July 17, 2017, 06:08:30 AM »
Bought dry beans to see what the cost difference is compared to cans. I figured there wouldn't be *that* much of a difference. I was wrong.

Bag of dry beans $1.99 = 5 cups dry = 12.5 cups cooked = 16 cents/cup cooked!

Can of beans (on sale) 77 cents = 2 cups cooked = 39 cents/cup.

So the dry beans are less than half the price! And that's buying a 'regular' size of dry beans - would be even less if I bought the bigger bag.

No more canned beans for me!

kaypinkHH

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #449 on: July 17, 2017, 07:18:42 AM »
I will be joining this in August! I self shamed myself over on the anti-mustachian board. Realized hubby and I were spending $1250 (CAD) on food per month for the past 6 months. Trying to get down to $650/month for now...then see how we can cut even more!

Dried beans are apparently the key to all life success! :D