Author Topic: Rein in the grocery spend 2017  (Read 40080 times)

kaypinkHH

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #500 on: August 17, 2017, 12:38:24 PM »
Hello all, (I'm guessing at these numbers, i'll do the final tally at the end).
We are trending right now at ~$440 which will get us through until the 19th (at least). At that point we are on a 2 week vacation and probably won't be spending that much on food (staying with family), I think we will make our $650 budget!

Groceries so far (for 3 weeks):
~$270
Under ~$100 a week! I'm really excited about that because I feel like we have been eating really well/delicious food, and it haven't felt too constricted. It works out to be ~$2.35/person/meal

Restaurants:
~$170- on our weekend road trip we did 1 fancyish meal (which included paying for a friend), and 1 more "casual" meal (which was $30 for 4 servings of amazing food- no regrets). (Interestingly, restaurant costs works out to be ~$25 per serving...more than 10x the cost of home cooking O_O)

Where we saved on restaurants: Driving to our location we packed food, saved us ~$30 of gross fast food at a highway stop. We were the ONLY ones eating our own food, and we felt super smug about it :D.  First night, we stayed with friend one night who loves to cook, and made us an amazing breakfast and lunch (in exchange for a bottle of cheap wine..not included in our food budget). Next day we used gift cards for coffee/breakfasts (but used all the gift cards..starbucks is stupid expensive). On our return leg, we stopped on our way back at a grocery store for ~$10 worth of snacks, which did more than get us home (was part of our lunch the next day). 

I think we have broken the habit of going out for dinner if it is just DH and I. We have gotten so much better at meal planning/cooking. Doing groceries on Monday/Tuesday vs the weekend has helped with that because it means we get to Friday PM with food in our fridge to eat. I also like that we have shifted our mind set to travel foods. Eating our home cooked food on our road trip had 0 negative impact on our lives, but if we continue those habits there will be many positive impacts to our savings!

One thing to improve: Keeping mustachian habits when other friends are involved. We could have easily gone out and bought some breakfast supplies instead of getting Starbucks, but the friend suggested Starbucks, and it was easier to say yes than suggest an alternative plan. We could have even been more proactive and packed some breakfast food with us, but we aren't quite at that point (yet)...but considering that this trip could have costed us easily double what it did (just on food)...not to bad!

 

Linda_Norway

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #501 on: August 23, 2017, 01:52:44 AM »
I am doing reasonably well this week. I bought some basic food, like cheap bread and not too much veggies and some milk. For the rest we are eating meat from the freezer, that was bought some time ago cheaply across the border.

Anatidae V

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #502 on: August 23, 2017, 02:32:36 AM »
I mastered poached eggs. Goodbye, expensive brunch, hello as many poached eggs as I can eat! Next up is perfecting oven baked bacon and hollandaise, then we can host my favourite meal of the day XD

DarkandStormy

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #503 on: August 23, 2017, 08:05:03 AM »
Will need to make one, maybe two more stops this month totaling less than $100.

We've spent $192 on groceries so far this month.
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JanF

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #504 on: August 23, 2017, 10:51:54 AM »
I mastered poached eggs. Goodbye, expensive brunch, hello as many poached eggs as I can eat! Next up is perfecting oven baked bacon and hollandaise, then we can host my favourite meal of the day XD

I used to work at a restaurant and they use a hollandiase mix and jazz it up with a little lemon juice. It's a lot less effort and cheaper than "real" hollandaise but I think it taste just as good and that how I make my eggs benedict at home too.

Anatidae V

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #505 on: August 23, 2017, 05:04:55 PM »
I mastered poached eggs. Goodbye, expensive brunch, hello as many poached eggs as I can eat! Next up is perfecting oven baked bacon and hollandaise, then we can host my favourite meal of the day XD

I used to work at a restaurant and they use a hollandiase mix and jazz it up with a little lemon juice. It's a lot less effort and cheaper than "real" hollandaise but I think it taste just as good and that how I make my eggs benedict at home too.
ooh, well in that case my quest is over! **Watches monthly spending drop another chunk* thanks for the tip!

Kansaslover5

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #506 on: August 23, 2017, 06:11:47 PM »
I've been making egg salad sandwiches and eating tuna. I also eat oatmeal and lots of veggies. I like to dip celery and jalepenos in fresh hummus. My one guilty pleasure is protein bars but I do get them very cheap. I ate out ONCE in the past month for a grand total of $4. It was a chicken sandwhich. ;)

In the mornings I usually eat some raw almonds and walnuts and maybe have a slice of watermelon. Very refreshing. Sometimes I do oatmeal, the no-sugar added kind. I sprinkle cinammon on it. Tastes great. I've been bringing my lunch to work every single day. Feels good.

Kansaslover5

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #507 on: August 23, 2017, 06:13:55 PM »
Oops, I forgot the best part! I've lost nearly 80 pounds since March and I exercise everyday. I quit drinking alcohol. I quit soda and I quit fast food and chips/fries/candy. I walk everywhere and I bike commute to and from work! It's been revolutionary.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #508 on: August 24, 2017, 01:32:58 AM »
Oops, I forgot the best part! I've lost nearly 80 pounds since March and I exercise everyday. I quit drinking alcohol. I quit soda and I quit fast food and chips/fries/candy. I walk everywhere and I bike commute to and from work! It's been revolutionary.

Congrats.

Since I have brought my own sandwiches to work and started walking to work a few times a week, my weight has gone down a few kilos, while not dieting. Although we usually eat healthy, I just ate way too much in a cafeteria with fixed price.

FireHiker

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #509 on: August 24, 2017, 09:42:34 AM »
Oops, I forgot the best part! I've lost nearly 80 pounds since March and I exercise everyday. I quit drinking alcohol. I quit soda and I quit fast food and chips/fries/candy. I walk everywhere and I bike commute to and from work! It's been revolutionary.

Fabulous, congrats on your life-changing progress!

We are actually under our target for the month, although I do need to go grocery shopping. Our eating out was really slashed this month since I was so sick and couldn't taste anything for 11 days.

DarkandStormy

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #510 on: August 24, 2017, 10:04:48 AM »
Oops, I forgot the best part! I've lost nearly 80 pounds since March and I exercise everyday. I quit drinking alcohol. I quit soda and I quit fast food and chips/fries/candy. I walk everywhere and I bike commute to and from work! It's been revolutionary.

WOW.  Awesome job!  Most people pick one or two of these things to implement and see positive change.  You went all-in and the results you have experienced have to feel great!  80 pounds in 5-6 months is no joke.
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Laura33

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #511 on: August 31, 2017, 10:11:47 AM »
So a "meh" month for us.  Grand total was $543 groceries (technically within the $600 budget), $76 household.  Takeout was also down (@$130 total) -- we were in great shape, but then we ate down our fridge so well before vacation that we ended up ordering Chinese, and then when we returned late Sunday we ordered pizza.

The caveat is that we were on vacation for a week in there, and that goes to the vacation budget, so our figures don't fairly represent a full month's groceries.  I don't have totals yet (DH did most of the shopping and we were with 5 other people and so took turns buying some things), but I think we did much better than usual on the overall vacation spend (only 2 dinners out the entire time, only one of which we paid for).  Although the freaking awesome bakery we discovered for breakfast did serious damage to both my pocketbook and waistline the last 4 days.

On the more positive side, $200 of that $543 was from restocking on food and milk this week -- I caved and did Safeway delivery instead of Aldi's since we got back late Sunday, and then we got the first milk delivery in three weeks today -- and very little of that will be eaten this month.  So I am going to challenge myself to really re-focus for September and keep the groceries below $450.  So far, I have had a lot of excuses why one month was high, and then I think that is going to go away and the next month will be low, but then something else happens.  So if I'm going to make the excuse now that I bought a lot of stuff on the 29th-31st that will be eaten next month, then I'm damn well going to hold myself to that.
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FireHiker

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #512 on: August 31, 2017, 02:20:23 PM »
After being well under this month until two days ago, we are ending the month over $41, with $1241 spent. But, we did stock up yesterday and today at Costco and Trader Joe's, as opposed to pushing it off to the weekend. The good news is that eating out was down to $258, over $100 less than the month before. We've eaten out too much in the past week though; the kids are back in school so my husband and I have gone out to lunch more than usual. At least it's cheaper when it's just two of us and not 5, but we need to get back to going home for lunch.

We still have a long way to go. I ultimately want to get our food budget consistently under $1000 for the 5 of us, and we aren't there yet. Having a goal has really helped me though, and I know that it will continue to improve. For comparison, I tracked our spending in 2015 and 2016 but didn't try to curtail it at all. August of 2016 was $1855 on food with $680 of that being eating out, and 2015 was even worse.

So, on to September, setting my target for $1200 again.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #513 on: September 02, 2017, 09:28:51 AM »
I saw Dutch cheese at a grocery store for a cheap price per kg. Usually we need to pay 40-50% more per kg. It was sliced. I bought 4 packs at will get new packs in that store when we are running out. Store is not too far from home and I drive in that direction from time to time.

Travis

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #514 on: September 02, 2017, 01:38:36 PM »
Our first full month at our new location came in at $404.  Our target amount has always been $400 which includes household items (about $40 worth this month).  Since we moved from a military commissary to a civilian grocery market I'm happy that this expense didn't change since a commissary tends to be lower than a normal grocery store. 

kaypinkHH

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #515 on: September 03, 2017, 05:26:12 PM »
Monthly averages pre challenge:
Total: $1355
Groceries: $588
Restaurants: $423
Fastfood/coffee shops: $273
Alcohol: $71

August totals: $775
Groceries: $285 (on vacation for 2 weeks)
Restaurants: $422 (all trips/vacation spending)
Fastfood/coffee shops: $7 (packed our own snacks/coffee for trips!)
Alcohol: $61

Yay! We saved $580! Even though we went on vacation and another weekend trip and spent the same on restaurants comparative to past averagea we actually paid for 3 meals for others...and the restaurants were all delicious! I'm so happy we got our fast food spend down!

Still have some improvements to make, but liking the extra $580 in my pocket!

Linda_Norway

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #516 on: September 04, 2017, 04:42:53 AM »
My grocery spend is still > 4000 NOK (norwegian crowns) each month, for 2 persons. I want it to be lower. But my freezer is full of meat, which is pretty expensive. It was almost empty somewhere before the summer when we had eaten most of the contents.
I just need to stop buying meat all the time and don't overfill the freezer unless we buy meat on sale or catch our own fish. It is just such a habit of mine to buy meat when I shop groceries. Last week however, I bought some cheap cabbage and cheap schnitzel.

I think we have about 20 portions of meat or fish in the freezer. Mini-challenge: I should not buy more meat or fish for the rest of September (we will be away on vacation during 8 of these days).

Laura33

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #517 on: September 04, 2017, 11:36:39 AM »
The good:  most of this week is leftover from last week, and the Aldi's missing ingredients + restocking came in at $57.  Huzzah, some traction.  Amazing how much easier it is without kids in tow.  ;-)

The bad:  Amazon messed up my Subscribe and Save and sent me three things I swear I canceled (but I am stuck with because I didn't print out the page showing the cancellation).  Not a big deal overall, because it's all stuff I will use, but it means my household spend so far this month is $68 instead of $24.
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DarkandStormy

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #518 on: September 05, 2017, 07:41:11 AM »
Our August total: $330 (with a couple "household" items included)
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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #519 on: September 08, 2017, 11:02:29 AM »
I decided I would start visiting the grocery store after the gym as it is only a few blocks away and they have started doing more "close to expiration date" markdowns.  While this will put me in the store more frequently, I'm hoping to limit it to a "perimeter of the store" sweep.  I had been wanting to buy a spiral sliced ham for kid school lunches (deli meats are just too $$) and today I found sliced hams that had been reduced to $1.50 per pound and had an extra $5 off coupon so I got one for $1 per pound.  Also found some chopped greens for half off (making them less than the plain ol' unpackaged greens). 

Laura33

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #520 on: September 17, 2017, 08:59:35 AM »
Two weeks later, and we're back on the downside swing.  Last week, we didn't need much, so DH popped out to grab "one or two things" at Safeway, and came back having dropped $100.  But really, this one is on me:  I dropped $170 at Aldi's and another $217 at Wegman's.  Biggest contributor was the last-minute decision to save money by throwing a homemade pizza party (see Antimustachian Hall of Shame/Frugal Intentions, Horribly Executed for more detail).  But Aldi's had Oktoberfest stuff, so I stocked up on a ton of sausages (which DH adores) and spaetzle, plus enough yogurt for the kids' lunches to last through the apocalypse.  And then we had moths in the back pantry a few weeks ago, and so I have been replacing a bunch of stuff that got infested.  And then to top it all off, I had run out of some staples and bought giant quantities from Amazon for the volume discount (e.g., soy sauce, sesame oil, bleach, dishwasher detergent).  So, basically, a few periodic stock-up needs/wants coincided with a giant crash and burn.  MTD: $504 groceries, $186 household, $91 takeout.
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kaypinkHH

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #521 on: September 18, 2017, 12:22:56 PM »
Since end of August have found out I'm pregnant, and also that I'm moving for a new job semi across the country in a few weeks. Grocery/eating out spend has been all out of wack (kind of for the above reasons, other for just being lazy). No idea how we are doing so far. Afraid to check!! Good news is the past two times we have gone out for dinner, someone else has paid!! Huzzah! 


Ok, I went to check. Total So far: $483
Groceries: $313  - We bought a lot more meat than normal. Thought we were hosting friends, turns out we went to dinner instead.
Restaurants: $118 - Ok not too bad, could be better.
Fastfood/coffee shops: $45 -1 Tim Horton's Breakfast (not needed), and 1 DELICIOUS Wendy's Meal on vacation road trip (needed)*
Vending Machines: $3 - Mr. HH needs to learn to pack more snacks.
Alcohol and bars: $0- That was an easy 0 for me :D



* The Wendy's in Cornwall Ontario is the best Wendy's/Fast food I have ever tasted. We stop there on our yearly road trip from Toronto the east coast. Yes it it isn't very mustachian, but for the quality you get here it is pretty good bang for your buck! We plan our whole drive back to arrive there around dinner time haha!