Author Topic: Rein in the grocery spend 2017  (Read 20917 times)

Linda_Norway

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 925
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #50 on: January 20, 2017, 12:58:25 AM »
Yesterday after swimming my husband and I shopped groceries for the weekend. We choose the cheaper store, unlike the better sorted store that we visited last week. We found cheap and healthy bread. My husband thinks we can save a lot of money by buying cheaper bread, as we eat so much of it. This shop definitively had cheaper bread than the shop I used to buy bread at.

I also found good quality sausages (93% meat) among a cheap brand. This thing is new to Norway. Just a few years ago, sausages didn't contain more than 40-50% meat. A few years ago an expensive brand was introduced that sold sausages with 95% meat. And now the affordable brands are following. That's a good thing.

For the rest we bought nothing else but some vegetables and milk.

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5114
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #51 on: January 20, 2017, 05:08:21 AM »
One thing to watch here that i think is often overlooked as people focus on cutting.  Dont try to meet a monthly goal and pass up super sales on things that can be frozen or keep for a long time like canned goods. 

bulk buying super sales and knowing them when you see them is a cornerstone IMO of keeping costs under control in the grocery dept.
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.

jillinsandiego

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 215
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #52 on: January 20, 2017, 11:09:08 AM »
My husband went to the store last night with a very short and particular list, and he bought the most ridiculously expensive white bread for our uber-picky 7 year old (which was not on the list). I do splurge sometimes on Dave's killer 21 grain at Costco (2 loaves for $7), but he bought their white bread for $6.49 for one loaf. We have occasionally bought it in the past, but at another store when it was on sale (still outrageous at $4.99 or whatever their "sale" price was). It is only because of the Beatles thread with the grocery discussion that I even looked at the price of bread on the receipt last night. So, thank you, MMM community. It is never, ever happening again...I guess if it's the impetus that I needed to finally make my own damned bread then it will end up being worth it in the end. It is supposed to rain the entire weekend so it sounds like a good time to spend in the kitchen anyway.

I wonder how many more outrageous, easy to fix items I'll come across now that I'm checking every grocery price.

At least everything else on the receipt was reasonable, and he even got tomatillos to make green salsa instead of tomatoes to make red salsa since they were cheaper last night. Homemade salsa is a staple in our house; it is easily 1/4 the cost of the good store-bought fresh, local salsa we used to buy. Maybe even cheaper.

And, on the upside, even with the outrageous bread purchase, we are now on track to spend $1260 this month, not $1266, since we don't need to buy anything at all today. With the massive rain all weekend we'll probably try to avoid going to the store, or only grab a couple things (fresh fruit/veggies) if we really need them. We are focusing this weekend on eating leftovers and cooking things from what we have.

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5114
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #53 on: January 20, 2017, 11:25:06 AM »
My husband went to the store last night with a very short and particular list, and he bought the most ridiculously expensive white bread for our uber-picky 7 year old (which was not on the list). I do splurge sometimes on Dave's killer 21 grain at Costco (2 loaves for $7), but he bought their white bread for $6.49 for one loaf. We have occasionally bought it in the past, but at another store when it was on sale (still outrageous at $4.99 or whatever their "sale" price was). It is only because of the Beatles thread with the grocery discussion that I even looked at the price of bread on the receipt last night. So, thank you, MMM community. It is never, ever happening again...I guess if it's the impetus that I needed to finally make my own damned bread then it will end up being worth it in the end. It is supposed to rain the entire weekend so it sounds like a good time to spend in the kitchen anyway.

I wonder how many more outrageous, easy to fix items I'll come across now that I'm checking every grocery price.

At least everything else on the receipt was reasonable, and he even got tomatillos to make green salsa instead of tomatoes to make red salsa since they were cheaper last night. Homemade salsa is a staple in our house; it is easily 1/4 the cost of the good store-bought fresh, local salsa we used to buy. Maybe even cheaper.

And, on the upside, even with the outrageous bread purchase, we are now on track to spend $1260 this month, not $1266, since we don't need to buy anything at all today. With the massive rain all weekend we'll probably try to avoid going to the store, or only grab a couple things (fresh fruit/veggies) if we really need them. We are focusing this weekend on eating leftovers and cooking things from what we have.

homemade salsa is so easy and awesome i make a batch every couple weeks.  Roast 3(or more for spicier) jalepenos and 1lb of romas.  blend with red onion garlic lime cumin salt apple cider vinegar and cilantro. 

Yogurt has been my new big one i'm making its 1/4 (or less with sale milk) the price when compared to aldi and with an instant pot super easy. 

3.49 a quart or
75c for 2 quarts home made with milk on sale. 
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.

DTaggart

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 183
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #54 on: January 23, 2017, 01:14:39 PM »
Another weekly grocery shopping and I am well on track to meet my January budget goal ($150). This week I spent $24.67, bringing my month-to-date total to $111.22, and I have only one more shopping trip planned before the end of the month. This week I bought mostly fresh produce, as I'm still working on my pantry challenge to clear out old stuff from the cupboards and freezer before buying more, but I also got some cleaning stuff at Big Lots since it was 20% off day, and a gallon of milk. Oh, and a free can of refried beans (had a free e-coupon loaded to my shopper card). Free food is awesome. I brought hubby to the store with me, and when I told him to go grab some lettuce, he came back and told me that Romaine was on sale for .99, whereas the Green Leaf Lettuce we normally get was $1.29. You know which one we got :) Sure, it was only .30, but if you figure we can make a similar choice on many of the items we want to buy, it can really add up.

Last night I mentioned to my husband how little we'd spent on groceries this month and he was pretty amazed. He's always been a "buy what you want whenever you feel like it" type, so converting him to Mustachianism has been a long process. But he has come quite a way and being able to show him how much we are saving (and still eating quite well) really helps in reinforcing these ideas.

From February forward the goal will be $250/month. I'm just about out of meat so will resume stocking up on that when the sales are good. Before that happens though, I really need to do an inventory of the chest freezer.

I'm intrigued by the discussions of making your own yogurt, and may have to give that a go. I normally get it on sale for 1.67-2.00 per quart, but its not always on sale when I need it, and it sounds like it would still be way cheaper to make it. For those that make it, how long does it keep? Can I make a few weeks worth at a time?

Kaybee

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 146
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Calgary
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #55 on: January 23, 2017, 01:23:42 PM »
For those that make it, how long does it keep? Can I make a few weeks worth at a time?

Yep!!  I used to use 4 litres of milk at a time to make yogurt and that would last me almost a month.  I'm not sure what the food safety guidelines are for homemade yogurt but I did this for years without running into any issues.  Just make sure everything you use to make the yogurt and the jars you store it in are SUPER clean. :)
I'm late to the game but I'm trying to be quick to pick up how to play!!

Journal -> http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/kaybee's-chronicle-(kronicle-if-you-prefer-alliteration)/

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5114
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #56 on: January 23, 2017, 01:37:33 PM »
super easy to make with the instant pot.  you can set a deal alert on SD for an instant pot just make sure it has the yogurt setting. 
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.

jillinsandiego

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 215
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #57 on: January 23, 2017, 05:07:44 PM »
This weekend we did not eat out at all (weekends are often a weakness if we're out running errands, but we planned ahead and ate at home). We also made homemade hummus for the first time, and it was fantastic, as well as being a fraction the price of what we would normally spend. Definitely a new staple! I also made my first homemade bread attempt, but even though the flavor was good and it looked done, the inside was not done. Oh well, I will try again! We may end up over my $1200 target for the month (right now we're on pace for $1270), but considering the same month last year was $1522 with $629 of that being eating out, and we have cut eating out to $238 so far this month, I feel like it's a pretty good improvement. Eating out together at lunch, since we work together, has long been a big weakness of ours. We are really trying to go home for leftovers more often since home is 2 miles away.

pancakes

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 530
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #58 on: January 23, 2017, 05:13:43 PM »
We are $850 into the grocery spend now for the month.

I don't think we will have trouble coming in under our $1000 goal but I'm not sure there is too much to celebrate. Our actual grocery store spend has been $280, the rest of the $850 is made up of take away, cafes, dining out and alcohol (I'm not drinking at the moment so I don't even get to participate in that category).

rpr

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 488
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #59 on: January 23, 2017, 06:42:50 PM »
Joining in. Don't have any targets so far. Just want to try and be mindful of the spend. Usually groceries + other household items (cleaners/soaps etc) run about $600 per month. Eating out is another $200 monthly.

The spend for this week so far has been $115. This is just two of us (vegetarian) but we live in an expensive area for groceries. As a point of reference, 1 gallon of milk is $5.50 or thereabouts in the local supermarket. Everything has to be shipped in a long ways to get here. But the local farmers market is nice. Spent $30 for colored bell peppers, papayas, bananas, tomatoes, cucumbers, cilantro, pesto sauce. The readymade thing from the market was a tub of pesto sauce -- this should last us two weeks. Use it both as a sandwich spread and also with pasta.  I suppose that could be made at home but too lazy :(

Mostly we cook at home. But  regularly get some items that get expensive fairly quickly. Two of our favorite veggies are cauliflower and colored bell peppers. They each ran about $4 per pound this week. I got 2 pounds of cauliflower and 3 pounds of bell peppers. We go through a lots of these every week.

Poundwise

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 653
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #60 on: January 25, 2017, 07:31:00 AM »
I also made my first homemade bread attempt, but even though the flavor was good and it looked done, the inside was not done.

Congratulations on your first homemade bread! Here's a couple of tips: If you have an instant-read thermometer, you can use it to check the internal temp of the bread, details here: http://www.thekitchn.com/perfect-bread-use-your-thermom-40644

If not, you can do what I do, which is thump the bread lightly. Then, turn it out of its pan (if you're using one) and thump the bottom too. If it sounds hollow on both sides, it's done. If not, put it on the rack (no pan needed) and bake for a few more minutes before checking again.

jillinsandiego

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 215
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #61 on: January 25, 2017, 10:18:30 AM »
Thanks for the bread tips, Poundwise! I don't have a thermometer like that, but I'll keep trying and will thump it. I also found a recipe for homemade pita bread last night (on the King Arthur website) so I think we're going to try that this weekend. The bread tasted perfectly good, but was a tad doughy in the middle, so at least I feel I have a good recipe and just need to dial in the baking part of it.

It is Wednesday and we haven't eaten out since Wednesday of last week, when we went to lunch and redeemed a free slice of pizza at our favorite restaurant (of course we also bought a slice and two small salads, but drank tap water). We have food at home for lunch today. I probably need to run by the store today to get a couple perishable items today (milk, bananas), but we are doing really well with the groceries this month. At least, well for us. I feel optimistic we can finally get our food spending to a more reasonable level this year.

westtoeast

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 172
  • Location: East Coast City
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #62 on: January 25, 2017, 03:02:06 PM »
I am doing well so far! This week I spent $33. I am eating chicken/cabbage/mashed potatoes, beans/rice/greens, quinoa/turkey meatballs, lentil soup (from freezer) and white bean soup (also from freezer). I am snacking on air popped popcorn when I feel the need. Next week will be a little more spendy because I will not have anything in the fridge. My best strategies at this point have been: meal planning, limiting myself to one meat item per week, and batch cooking with leftovers for the freezer. I am going to keep posting once a week to stay accountable!

Kaybee

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 146
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Calgary
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #63 on: January 26, 2017, 02:36:31 PM »
One thing to watch here that i think is often overlooked as people focus on cutting.  Dont try to meet a monthly goal and pass up super sales on things that can be frozen or keep for a long time like canned goods. 

bulk buying super sales and knowing them when you see them is a cornerstone IMO of keeping costs under control in the grocery dept.

I was beating myself up for "overspending" today because I stopped in to pick up some milk and saw that a few shelf-stable things I was going to run out of in a week or two were on sale.  I know that, in the long run, I've saved money but it still kinda irks me when I see that I went over the lower monthly goal I had set myself.  It's funny but this is one thing my brain doesn't seem to want to use logic on, it just likes seeing that my number is lower than it was last month. :S
I'm late to the game but I'm trying to be quick to pick up how to play!!

Journal -> http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/kaybee's-chronicle-(kronicle-if-you-prefer-alliteration)/

Travis

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1370
  • Location: Fort Carson, CO
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #64 on: January 26, 2017, 06:57:26 PM »
Assuming today was our last grocery day of the month, we spent $456, but $68 was for non-food items. Most of those non-food items won't be purchased again for a couple months at least.  $56 of the food was for "splurges" such as ice cream, cookies, sushi, and a salmon.  We also spent $58 on restaurants this month which is pretty good for us.

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5114
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #65 on: January 27, 2017, 01:10:21 PM »
have some bigger buys coming up next week for a couple coming over for dinner.  but looking like we will be really cheap this month with no booze.  currently at 175 plus half a cow at 64 a month.  239 on grocery and 69 at restaurants.

probably going to spend another 30 or so for the dinner.
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.

jillinsandiego

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 215
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #66 on: January 30, 2017, 02:04:45 PM »
I think we are going to do it!! I think this accountability thing really works for me. My goal was to get my month's spending down to $1200, for all food (groceries and eating out combined). Yes this is still a lot, but compared to an average of $1774/month last year and $2126/month the year before, it's a good goal for my family of 5. With just today and tomorrow left, and groceries on-hand for both days, we have spend $1083. We've been MUCH more strategic about our purchases, flexibly changing meal plans if something else is on a good sale, not wasting as much. AND I made another attempt at homemade bread this past weekend and it went much better, so no more outrageously expensive fancy store-bought bread for us! The kids are gobbling it up and they love it. :)

The best part about this is that my husband is completely on board. He has always been of the "go out to lunch every day" variety, so it has taken some convincing. We still did eat out 1-2 times a week this month, which I would like to cut to a max of 1, but as long as we can come in at $1200 or lower for a few months, I'm happy with the progress. Although, now I see where we are today and want to try to get it down to $1000 eventually.

Shor

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 481
  • Location: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #67 on: January 30, 2017, 03:26:08 PM »
Stocking up the fridge (for one) today!
Will have a list for you all soon! I love shopping day!
Note: this will go under the month of February's since there are some promotions that end on the 31st....
Also I'm hungry right now, when is work over? *sigh*

jesse_runs_far

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 54
  • Age: 38
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #68 on: January 30, 2017, 04:18:15 PM »
I'd like to join too!

I track groceries from the 24th to the 23rd - I use my CC for everything, and that's our billing cycle. So for Dec 24-Jan 23, our bill was just under $900. For three people :(

I can do better!

I'm intrigued by the idea of making yogurt! I eat greek yogurt EVERY day for breakfast (with added frozen berries). I buy it at Costco, at about $10 for three tubs (650g). I think I will try the crock-pot method next weekend.



tortoiseshell

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 66
  • Age: 30
  • Location: Philadelphia
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #69 on: January 31, 2017, 07:05:02 AM »
January total food spending: $259.40

This is WELL under my goal of $350 (which I had never achieved before, somehow?) and under my stretch goal of $300 as well. The most amazing thing is that this includes a $61.00 anniversary dinner, so I'm going to try to aim for $200 every month going forward!

Guava

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 181
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #70 on: January 31, 2017, 08:46:14 AM »
Grocery spending came in at $214. I was shooting for $200 but we bought some nice steaks and saved ourselves $40 at a restaurant and still have steak left over in the freezer. I would call that a win. But we still did go out to eat too much.

jillinsandiego

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 215
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #71 on: January 31, 2017, 09:52:32 AM »
Our total for the month, including groceries and eating out, looks like it will remain $1083. We have leftovers for lunch today and for dinner tonight, so I think we can avoid any additional food buying for the day. I am actually in shock. The same month last year was $1774 so I set this first month's goal at $1200. I can't believe we are going to do better than my first goal. I think we'll keep it at $1200 as the goal for February (we have a ski trip and need a Costco run) and then I'll see about reducing it in March. I am feeling very optimistic! It really hasn't been THAT hard, just a few changes that really added up. This place rocks.

recklesslysober

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 353
  • Age: 29
  • Location: BC, Canada
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #72 on: January 31, 2017, 12:53:40 PM »
Total this month was $173.46 which included a few treats but not as many as usual. Very happy with that! My average last year was almost $350/month!
« Last Edit: January 31, 2017, 02:11:34 PM by recklesslysober »

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5114
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #73 on: February 01, 2017, 05:54:25 AM »
came in around 270 for the month including half a cow divided over 12 months.   and i think we did pretty bad.  My wife just got pregnant so her diet has changed so its been a learning curve for me buying things we hadnt bought in the past like milk and calcium rich OJ... plus some extra buys.  i think we will be under 220 in feb.
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.

DTaggart

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 183
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #74 on: February 01, 2017, 12:31:18 PM »
It's so awesome to see everyone's success!

My total for January was $150.32! Right on target :) At the end of my pantry challenge month I still have some oddball things in the cupboards that I want to use up, but overall I feel like my stockpile has achieved reasonable levels and I am no longer at risk of Hoarders showing up on my doorstep (is that even still a show?)

There are a handful of things I'm out of or nearly out of that need to get replenished over the next few shopping trips - cornstarch (only a few Tbsps left), baking powder and baking soda (about half a container left of each), balsamic vinegar (all gone!). And I will pick up some lunch meat for hubby, who has been a very good sport but is likely quite sick of tuna at this point. I will of course find these items on sale or (more likely) wait until I make a trip to Grocery Outlet - a discount store that I don't shop at regularly, but consistently has these items for lower than average price. I've found that shopping around at different stores for different items or sticking to loss leaders has been one of the most effective methods of keeping my grocery costs down. I'm also ready to start re-stocking on meat again, and chicken breast is on sale for $1.49/lb! I am unreasonably excited about this :)

jillinsandiego

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 215
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #75 on: February 01, 2017, 02:44:16 PM »
It's so awesome to see everyone's success!

My total for January was $150.32! Right on target :) At the end of my pantry challenge month I still have some oddball things in the cupboards that I want to use up, but overall I feel like my stockpile has achieved reasonable levels and I am no longer at risk of Hoarders showing up on my doorstep (is that even still a show?)

There are a handful of things I'm out of or nearly out of that need to get replenished over the next few shopping trips - cornstarch (only a few Tbsps left), baking powder and baking soda (about half a container left of each), balsamic vinegar (all gone!). And I will pick up some lunch meat for hubby, who has been a very good sport but is likely quite sick of tuna at this point. I will of course find these items on sale or (more likely) wait until I make a trip to Grocery Outlet - a discount store that I don't shop at regularly, but consistently has these items for lower than average price. I've found that shopping around at different stores for different items or sticking to loss leaders has been one of the most effective methods of keeping my grocery costs down. I'm also ready to start re-stocking on meat again, and chicken breast is on sale for $1.49/lb! I am unreasonably excited about this :)

Wow, that is extraordinary! I doubt we'll ever get down to a level of $75/mo per person! I'm really impressed. :)

We went to Costco at lunch today (splurged $4.29 to each have a slice of pizza before shopping...better than after shopping and we ate all our leftovers for dinner at home last night). I was excited to find the super cheap yeast for homemade bread. I will never buy individual packets again! Thank you so much to whoever suggested it here. It seems like we still spend a lot of money there (always), but we stocked up on a lot of things that were gone or almost gone at home, and there were a lot of things that we used to buy but didn't this time because we make them from scratch now (bread, salsa, hummus). The only splurge was the cold brew coffee concentrate. Yes, it is still $0.50 a serving, so not frugal. Definitely cheaper than being tempted to get an occasional iced coffee out. I will try to limit this particular purchase, but I'm feeling pretty good about it being my only impulse buy. It was the first time they've stocked it since before Christmas and I couldn't resist. I will try harder to resist next time.

Poundwise

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 653
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #76 on: February 02, 2017, 12:24:00 PM »
My total for January was a disappointing $1266 for five people, but my excuses were:
- Dec 2016 expenses were only $521, as we ate down a lot of our pantry and freezer and restocked in Jan
- refrigerator broke down twice, causing some spoilage
- Jan included a massive Costco run of $300, including things like laundry detergent, etc.
- I precooked 13 dinners (91 servings) and froze them down

The only thing I could possibly regret was a trip to H-Mart, where we spent $225, a lot of this on desserts and prepared foods.  We need to be careful when we go there, though we are suckers for the steamed BBQ pork buns!

Feb's goal is to spend $150 or less per week. I think this should be entirely doable since we'll be eating down the pantry, so purchases will be limited to fresh fruit and vegetables, with the occasional exception for a great sale.

ringer707

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 190
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #77 on: February 02, 2017, 12:39:17 PM »
Going to join in, but modify mine some to rein in my restaurant eating. We're not the worst about it, but we could do a lot better. We usually order Chinese once a month and maybe grab a pizza too. Our biggest problem though is that we often go out to run errands on Saturdays and pick up Chick Fil A for lunch. We're pretty good about not eating out during the week, but those Friday night take-out dinners and Saturday lunches have to be pared down. I usually do lunch out with coworkers once a month and am going to say no to that this month. Something else I've noticed in keeping track of our budget is that DH is having a tendency to hit up his work cafeteria. It definitely isn't a daily habit, but it does add up. I'm going to see what the total was for last month and see if he can cut back some. I will say that the cafeteria is extremely cheap though. His work subsidizes the cost for them so he can usually get a decently-sized hot meal for about $4, and he rarely even spends that much.

We're pretty good on grocery shopping. I coupon and sale shop at Kroger. I've overwhelmingly found them to be the best on prices, even with Aldi in our area now. Everything I find at Aldi I can buy for the same price or cheaper with coupons at Kroger. Costco remains the best at produce prices though, so we usually get a lot of produce there.


afuera

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 274
  • Age: 25
  • Location: Houston, TX
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #78 on: February 02, 2017, 01:05:34 PM »
Joining in!  We wayyyy overspent in January ($555.94 for only 2 people!) and I can't even figure out how.  I've started a price book and we made our first trip to the new Aldi's near us last week so hopefully this thread will help keep us accountable.
One struggle I foresee us having this year is crawfish season.  My husband just bought a crawfish pot/burner/set-up so that we could have boils at home instead of going out to eat it at restaurants (which will theoretically be much cheaper) but we might buy too much too often so we will have to try and stay on top on it.
"The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it" - Henry David Thoreau

1/2017: INV-2.6x, NW-4.4x
Projected FIRE date: 2025
Journal.

rpr

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 488
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #79 on: February 02, 2017, 03:30:33 PM »
January was a little higher than average. Will try harder in Feb. the extra 3 days should help ;)

Ebrat

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 232
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #80 on: February 02, 2017, 04:22:43 PM »
Oh man, I need this thread. We spent $729 last month! For 2 people! Dec was around $450. We do have a lot of food in the house right now--a Costco pork loin and 2 whole chickens, some canned and dry goods we stocked up on, a bunch of cheese, and stuff like that (we grocery shop on the weekends, so we did a trip right before the end of the month). But still.

I'm honestly not even quite sure where to start. We're going to start splitting alcohol out from groceries so we can track that separately. I was hoping we could spend around $400 on just food if we were a little careful, but apparently even that's optimistic at this point. I'm going to try to work through all the stuff we have on hand and also work on getting into a routine with what we eat and buy so we can start addressing 1 leak at a time.

Tuskalusa

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 61
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #81 on: February 02, 2017, 04:57:05 PM »
I'm in. We attacked food shopping a bit in 2016, and I think we can do better in 2017. January was about $550 in groceries for 3 people. I'd like to consistently get guise down to $500 or less. I think we can do this by shopping once a week and using cheaper stores. We cook a lot of our own food, but I could do a better job optimizing, for sure!

Shor

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 481
  • Location: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #82 on: February 02, 2017, 06:16:04 PM »
Here's my haul, remind me not to shop hungry....
Spinach 3 lbs $4
Broccoli 3 lbs $4
Tortillas $3
Ground Turkey 6 lbs for $12
dozen eggs .89

That will easily last about 2-3 weeks....
actually... I still have 3 lbs of ground turkey in the freezer from 2 weeks ago.. Oh.. >.<

pancakes

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 530
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #83 on: February 02, 2017, 07:52:09 PM »
We failed our goal. We were on track to *just* make it but rescheduled a dinner with friends forward so what would have been in the Feb budget was in the Jan one and we went over.

The break down for Jan:
$350 on groceries (fresh markets & supermarket)
$250 on lunches during the week (buying lunches instead of taking food from home)
$450 dining out (includes food and drinks out and coffee)
$80 alcohol (im not drinking at the moment due to pregnancy)

Total: $1130

It is obvious where improvements can be made. I don't think I need to comment further.

ringer707

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 190
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #84 on: February 03, 2017, 11:29:26 AM »
Said no to going out to lunch with coworkers today and ate my sandwich, chips, and applesauce instead. One of my local grocery stores is closing the store nearest my house tomorrow and it sounds like they have quite a few items on sale to clear the shelves out, so I'm going to stop there on the way home from work. I think they're transferring a lot of the shelf-stable items to other stores, but hopefully I can get some produce and meat if there's anything left.

WGH

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 93
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #85 on: February 03, 2017, 12:48:00 PM »
I'm in! Family of three we were at $800 a month last month. Goal is $500 this month with the main culprits being eating out on the weekends, Subway runs once a week at work and stopping for breakfast burritos twice a week on the way to work. Cutting down to eating out once a week and no more lunches/burritos saves $300 a month!

Kudos to those of you who make so many yummy recipes and cook and freeze in bulk wish I had the motivation but I will strive to get there!

pancakes

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 530
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #86 on: February 05, 2017, 03:47:10 AM »
We are not tracking feb expenses closely because the baby is due this month and between our record keeping going out the window when the baby arrives and wanting to give myself a bit of space while I'm enormous and exhausted, I think it is the best mental health choice.

No goals this month as a result but we did have a great weekend cooking up freezer meals to help us avoid overspending on take away when baby arrives. Made 6L of bolognese sauce today which should keep up in meat meals for a few months. I also have a big piece of pork shoulder that we will slow cook and portion.

LindseyC

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 171
  • Location: Ontario
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #87 on: February 05, 2017, 05:07:12 AM »
I would like to join this one as well (a little late). I track my groceries with my CC cycle which ends on the 23rd. I would like to average $200 a month for groceries, $50 for eating out and $30 for every other consumable (toiletries, kitchen, cleaning, pet supplies) some months I expect to be more because of stocking up/sales, other months a little lower. January for me was ridiculous I ate out too much because of a weekend wedding and my groceries (despite trying to eat down my pantry) were very high.

February so far I am doing better (it starts on the 24th for me) I have not eaten out, not even a tea, since the 22nd of January. I have turned down some social opportunities to avoid eating out but tried to make up for them with some other non food related social gatherings.

Anatidae V

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5935
  • Location: West Aus yo
  • Naps for all!
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #88 on: February 05, 2017, 06:25:32 AM »
I'm a month late, as I started my groceries journey on the Frugal January thread, but I'm posting to follow! My first goal is $200/m eating out and $700/m groceries, but by the end of the year I'd like it to be $600/m groceries and $150/m eating out, including any additional items we add to our grocery list due to our first baby due in April/May.

I'll update with our starting numbers once I have a computer :)

gaja

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 653
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #89 on: February 05, 2017, 07:54:52 AM »
This is easily my biggest area for improvement...we have a LONG way to go actually on the grocery spending. Here are our stats: family of 5 with 2 adults, 16 year old boy who plays sports (who eats more than the rest of us combined), 7 year old boy, 5 year old girl. I've made strides since beginning tracking in 2015, but we have a long way to go. My target right now, for grocery and eating out combined, is a ghastly $1200 per month. I know this sounds like a lot, and it IS a lot, but we frequently have a hoard of teenage boys in our house eating food with reckless abandon. It's worth it to me to pay for the food and know where the teenagers are and what they're doing!

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

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

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

To make you feel less bad, I'll post our numbers:
Two adults, two children aged 9 and 10, one cat. Average spending/month on groceries in 2016, including household staples and alcohol: 20 000 NOK (~2600 USD)! Some eating out, a lot of stockpiling, but the wastage was enormous.

In January, we tried to stay out of the grocery stores as much as possible. Without any noticable effect on our menu, we reduced our spending to $1026. ~$350 of that was at the end of the month, to fill up the fridge for February. So far in February, we've spent $130, mainly on stuff we didn't need. But seeing the results from January has really gotten DH on board. He has vetoed take out twice this month, and appriciates not spending time going to the grocery stores every day.

Our goal now is to stabilize the spending at ~$1000. This covers our ordinary diet. We could probably tweak things and get it lower, but usually when I try too many new things, our spending increases.

Part of the story is of course that food costs in the far north are very high. Meat is rarely less than $25/kg, chicken doesn't go below $10/kg, and a liter of milk is normally $2. Vegetables and fruits are very expensive. Living close to the Swedish border, we can get slightly better prices, but nothing like the examples I've seen from the US. Growing up, my father used to go fishing in the sea, and we usually ate fish and seafood at least 5 times a week. Hunting is also a common way to stretch the budget. Gardening is a challenge, but we do have a few apple trees, and rhubarb and potatoes will grow anywhere.
Travelling southern Norway, Iceland and the Faroes in an electric car: http://travelelectric.blogspot.no/

Anatidae V

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5935
  • Location: West Aus yo
  • Naps for all!
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #90 on: February 05, 2017, 04:46:12 PM »
I'm a month late, as I started my groceries journey on the Frugal January thread, but I'm posting to follow! My first goal is $200/m eating out and $700/m groceries, but by the end of the year I'd like it to be $600/m groceries and $150/m eating out, including any additional items we add to our grocery list due to our first baby due in April/May.

I'll update with our starting numbers once I have a computer :)
OK so our starting numbers are:
January
Eating out: $275
Groceries:  $890 (5 grocery weekends)
Total:       $1165

Goal #1:  $900/m total

The first strategies we're trying are to have almost the same lunch every day plus small variations, and to pick 2 simple-to-cook meals for during the week. I've signed up for PlanToEat, but I haven't made time to really play with what it can do, so we're meal planning with pen and paper for now.

As it's summer, the menu is salad + a protein for lunch, snacks are chopped fruit and a baked item (muffin, hot cross bun with cream cheese, etc), and a dairy item (yogurt or cream cheese).

Ebrat

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 232
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #91 on: February 05, 2017, 07:58:49 PM »
So far so good. We're spent $53 so far this month, and about $15 of that was me buying stupid snacks and a lunch at work due to poor planning. We have just about everything we need for the week.

Changes we've made include:

Buying popcorn kernels to make popcorn for snacks
Buying/making snacks to take to work, and packing oatmeal so I have backup meals at work
Substituting half of the chicken in tonight's dinner with beans. It was really good! Going to try to do this more often.
Switching from Trader Joe's coffee ($12/lb!!!) to Costco coffee ($5/lb)
Roasting the last half of a bag of potatoes before they turned enough to have to throw them away.

Coming up, I'm going to start making yogurt again, and generally just trying to buy as little as possible and eat what we have on hand. Also planning to get on a meal rotation and start figuring out which meals give us the most bang for our buck. Looking forward to getting our costs under control.

Poundwise

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 653
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #92 on: February 05, 2017, 08:36:58 PM »
Growing up, my father used to go fishing in the sea, and we usually ate fish and seafood at least 5 times a week.

That was a nice thing about our trip to Norway... fish and seafood are much more affordable than they are in the US!  A hamburger in Bergen cost us something horrid (I have blocked the prices we paid for food out of my mind), but seafood was inexpensive, fresh, and delicious.

I just came back from my weekly grocery trip... $132.  That is at least under my target of $150, but I could have done better. Husband begged me to get him Diet Coke, which I disapprove of, but for him I got $4.50 worth (five 2-gallon bottles). I also got about $10 worth of sweets and processed food which I shouldn't have bought. Next week: no sweets, even if they are on sale! And no soda!

Guava

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 181
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #93 on: February 06, 2017, 10:08:35 AM »
Target for this month is still $200 for all groceries and household items. I will need to make a trip to Sam's Club to do some stocking up so I a trying to be very mindful of my other trips.

My big name store is having a 10 for $10 and get the 11th free sale this week so I have been trying to plan things to buy to stock up in at the low prices. So far I am getting: macaroni and cheese, pasta, Cliff bars, and some frozen dinners hubby can eat while I am away.  Also on the list, lotso of produce and vegetables for the week.  Targeting  $50 this trip so I will have $50 to spend at Sam's Club next week.

jillinsandiego

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 215
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #94 on: February 06, 2017, 10:35:05 AM »
Thanks Gaja for joining in! It looks like you've made really great progress this year so far too. Having the accountability in this group has helped me a lot, and having my husband see our results from last month really helped to get in on board.

We did buy some groceries over the weekend and went to Costco last week so our month has started out a little high, but as long as we eat the stuff we bought and manage to keep from going out this week we should stabilize pretty well. We did get take-out for the whole family from our favorite pizza place Thursday, and it actually felt like a "treat" since we've managed to cut back so much on eating out. I don't mind occasional eating out in our routine as long as I stay under our total monthly target.

My husband made homemade salsa and hummus again this weekend and we are never buying ready-made again for either one. It sure didn't take him long to master those recipes!

afuera

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 274
  • Age: 25
  • Location: Houston, TX
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #95 on: February 06, 2017, 12:29:10 PM »
We have made two trips so far this month.  The first was for a backyard crawfish boil + beer which came out to $53.99 (Fiesta).  The second trip was to pick up a few items to make pepperoni twists for a Super Bowl party and some basics for the pantry which was $22.91 (Aldi). 
We are starting to fill in our price book and getting idea about what is a good price for an item and which stores carry certain items cheaper on a regular basis. 
"The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it" - Henry David Thoreau

1/2017: INV-2.6x, NW-4.4x
Projected FIRE date: 2025
Journal.

Linda_Norway

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 925
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #96 on: February 07, 2017, 12:34:21 AM »
Last night, on my credit card bill (that I am paying in time of course), I found the first ever cash back I ever got on buying groceries. This is only from the credit card. I just logged in into the shop's website and I am getting money back there as well! Almost 50% more than from the credit card company. Jay!!!

westtoeast

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 172
  • Location: East Coast City
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #97 on: February 07, 2017, 03:18:50 PM »
I am feeling a little discouraged this week. To cover a full week (7 days, 2 meals a day) I end up spending a bit over $50 every time! I am going to post my meals & costs here in case anyone is feeling willing to school me! (side note: I cannot have gluten or eggs)

Sweet Potato Corn Cakes (2 meals)
Tuna & Baked Potato (1 meal)
Spaghetti, Veggie Sauce (homemade) & Ground Chicken (5 meals)
Spinach Potato Soup (4 meals)
Lentil Veggie Burgers (2 meals X 2 ppl)

Shopping: Cornmeal, $7; Sweet Potatoes, $2; Tuna, $2, Potatoes, $4; Sauce Veggies, $6; Ground Chicken, $4; Lentils, $4; Spinach, $4; Onion, $1; Carrots, $2; Stock, $2; GF Pasta (2 bags), $6; Goat Cheese, $4; GF Bagels, $4 = $52

Most items are from Trader Joe. Cornmeal is GF so it is pricier, but I will not use it all up this week. I know I could do GF bagels a little cheaper, if I learned to bake GF bread (on my to-do list). Is there anything else here that seems crazy? I would really like to be hitting closer to $40 each week. Does this seem like an extravagant meal plan? Maybe this is as good as I can do in a HCOL area.

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5114
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #98 on: February 07, 2017, 03:25:59 PM »
I am feeling a little discouraged this week. To cover a full week (7 days, 2 meals a day) I end up spending a bit over $50 every time! I am going to post my meals & costs here in case anyone is feeling willing to school me! (side note: I cannot have gluten or eggs)

Sweet Potato Corn Cakes (2 meals)
Tuna & Baked Potato (1 meal)
Spaghetti, Veggie Sauce (homemade) & Ground Chicken (5 meals)
Spinach Potato Soup (4 meals)
Lentil Veggie Burgers (2 meals X 2 ppl)

Shopping: Cornmeal, $7; Sweet Potatoes, $2; Tuna, $2, Potatoes, $4; Sauce Veggies, $6; Ground Chicken, $4; Lentils, $4; Spinach, $4; Onion, $1; Carrots, $2; Stock, $2; GF Pasta (2 bags), $6; Goat Cheese, $4; GF Bagels, $4 = $52

Most items are from Trader Joe. Cornmeal is GF so it is pricier, but I will not use it all up this week. I know I could do GF bagels a little cheaper, if I learned to bake GF bread (on my to-do list). Is there anything else here that seems crazy? I would really like to be hitting closer to $40 each week. Does this seem like an extravagant meal plan? Maybe this is as good as I can do in a HCOL area.

why buy the GF stuff at all why not focus on recipes and ingredients that dont involve any of that at all.  GF is a fad so it is getting cheaper to find stuff like GF pasta but why not skip pasta and bagels all together.  they arent necessary IMO.  you also have no quanities next to anything here. 

make your meal plans around what is on sale not based on what you want to eat. 3 weeks ago 3lbs of sweet potatoes at aldi were 99c ... a month ago 5lbs of red potatoes were 99c.  ground chicken for 4 dollars i'm guess for a lb is crazy high ... buy chicken for 1.49 a lb and dice or grind yourself.  aldi goat cheese is 1.99, i'm hoping that onion isnt one onion.  aldi regularly has 3lbs of onions for 99c. etc. i'm sure you see where all this is going.
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.

PJ

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1489
  • Age: 46
  • Location: Toronto, Canada
Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #99 on: February 07, 2017, 03:38:19 PM »
I am feeling a little discouraged this week. To cover a full week (7 days, 2 meals a day) I end up spending a bit over $50 every time! I am going to post my meals & costs here in case anyone is feeling willing to school me! (side note: I cannot have gluten or eggs)

Sweet Potato Corn Cakes (2 meals)
Tuna & Baked Potato (1 meal)
Spaghetti, Veggie Sauce (homemade) & Ground Chicken (5 meals)
Spinach Potato Soup (4 meals)
Lentil Veggie Burgers (2 meals X 2 ppl)

Shopping: Cornmeal, $7; Sweet Potatoes, $2; Tuna, $2, Potatoes, $4; Sauce Veggies, $6; Ground Chicken, $4; Lentils, $4; Spinach, $4; Onion, $1; Carrots, $2; Stock, $2; GF Pasta (2 bags), $6; Goat Cheese, $4; GF Bagels, $4 = $52

Most items are from Trader Joe. Cornmeal is GF so it is pricier, but I will not use it all up this week. I know I could do GF bagels a little cheaper, if I learned to bake GF bread (on my to-do list). Is there anything else here that seems crazy? I would really like to be hitting closer to $40 each week. Does this seem like an extravagant meal plan? Maybe this is as good as I can do in a HCOL area.

westtoeast, I wouldn't say that the meal plan seems extravagant, but some of the prices seem a bit high. 

I'm in Canada, so things may be different, but I shop at Walmart, buying what's on sale and price match price match price match!  So, for example, couple of weeks ago I got a 10 pound bag of onions for something like $1.28 (Cdn - even less in U.S. dollars!)  Sweet potatoes the same week were on sale somewhere for 38 cents a pound.  And a 900 gram bag of lentils, according to the Walmart Canada website, costs $2.57 or something like that (I closed the browser window already, or I'd double-check). 

Honestly, the price matching, I think, makes more difference than just shopping sales or any couponing I do, because almost everything I would want to buy each week is on sale somewhere.  I can always find one of my two favourite brands of bread on sale, and someone almost always has a bag of 5-6 avocados for a decent price, or one of several kinds of cereal that I like, etc. 

Walmart happens to be the most convenient store for me (it's on my way home from work) but I would probably shop there or another place that price matches, even if I had to go a little out of the way.
'To be human you must bear witness to justice. Justice is what love looks like in public." 
Dr. Cornel West