Author Topic: Rein in the grocery spend 2017  (Read 47850 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.

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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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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!

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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.

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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.

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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. 
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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).

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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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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!

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #522 on: September 22, 2017, 09:40:29 AM »
Gah! New member, trying to get on the MMM horse/lifestyle. Just checked my grocery/restaurant spend for 8/16 - 9/14. The horror, the horror:

Groceries: $806.93
Restaurants: $506.22

To be fair, the groceries include household items, including essential baby items (diapers, wipes, formula, food), but still. Gah!

Gonna try to take baby steps and cut this total bill to $1000, and then proceed further. Love the forum and the support here!

Linda_Norway

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #523 on: September 29, 2017, 03:02:01 AM »
I find it challenging to get the grocery bill low. My grocery bill includes toothpaste and such things as well. I live in one of the most expensive countries in the world. My household is two adult people. NOK below means Norwegian crowns.

Usually my bill is between 4200-5500 NOK (= 530 - 695 USD). This month, for the first time this year, my bill is at approx 3300 NOK (416 USD), but this has a very good reason. We went on vacation to Crete for a week in September and ate out in restaurants, which were mostly paid for by my DH, whose expenses I don't check.

I made the following changes earlier this year:
- shop at cheaper stores
- buy cheaper bread
- buy bigger quantities on sale
- compare prices between brands and unit prices
- bought a good amount of meat in Sweden when we visited there (is a lot cheaper)
- I have become a member of a grocery bonus program and receive regular money from them
- I use a cashback credit card with 3% on groceries

Now is the season for cabbage being extremely cheap. So we ate cabbage last week and will eat it again this week. One cabbage is enough for 2 meals and that is quite enough for 1 week in my opinion. I keep trying to make it cheaper, but I also want to eat well and healthy.

Current situation is a full fridge (lots of veggies that can tolerate to last some days). The freezer still has a lot of Swedish meat and some self-caught fish that we just need to eat. Also a lot of frozen or dried self picked mushrooms in the house, but this is not substantial food. I saw that I have way too much toothpaste, so I can stop buying that for the next half year.

I did buy my new washing detergent at a cheaper shop that sells much bigger quantities. I suppose that helps as well.
We'll see at the end of the year whether I've done better than last year.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2017, 03:39:44 AM by Linda_Norway »

DarkandStormy

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #524 on: September 29, 2017, 07:00:31 AM »
Via rebates that came in this month, we knocked our grocery spend down (two of us) to $246 in September.  Would have been $296 without the rebates (which were bought in July-August this summer).
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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #525 on: September 29, 2017, 09:32:02 PM »
Even with a little splurging on salmon this week we came in at $391!  This month I need to pay a little more attention to the receipts and properly separate food from hygiene or cleaning supplies.  The numbers I report every month are what is bought at the grocery store in total.  Also, we only spent $40 at restaurants.
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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #526 on: October 01, 2017, 07:43:52 AM »
Well, we recovered from the giant shopping trip, but the damage was already done.  Since 9/17, we spent $71 on groceries (dairy, produce, more cheese for more homemade pizza), and $19 on household stuff (kiddos), with no weeknight takeout.  I tried very hard to plan meals out of the freezer and pantry and just supplement with perishables as necessary.  We also had very little food waste, so I feel good about that.  The bad news is the monthly total is still $575 for groceries, $205 for household, and $91 takeout thanks to me losing my mind two weeks ago.

ETA:  Well, good habits and recent learnings will be tested today:  both DD and DH want to come with me to the store, and we need a fair amout of staples.  Fingers crossed.

Edit #2:  Survived!  Even with DD and significant meat/cheese purchases, managed Aldi's with $112 groceries, $9 household.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2017, 09:03:23 AM by Laura33 »
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kaypinkHH

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #527 on: October 01, 2017, 12:26:18 PM »
Averages before challenge
Total: $1355
Groceries: $588
Restaurants: $423
Fastfood/coffee shops: $273
Alcohol: $71

August/September totals: $775/ $800
Groceries: $285/ $480
Restaurants: $422/ $139
Fastfood/coffee shops: $7/$141
Alcohol: $61/$38

Oddly enough I thought this month was going to be worse! We were actually below August, but then we did groceries yesterday that pushed us above the august average.

I felt like we ate out a lot, but we did it at lower cost restaurants than in August. We are currently packing/moving so food prep motivation has been low. I think we have had some food waste issues this month as the grocery bill seems high (we did get a lot more meat this month), and there is no way we ate everything we bought.

I'm moving semi across country in October, and Mr.HH will follow in a few weeks. Our grocery bill is going to go way way down over the next few months as we will be living with in-laws, it will be interesting to see how everything gets settled down after we finally move into our own place. Still loving the drastic difference to the pre-challenge numbers!!

Linda_Norway

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #528 on: October 02, 2017, 12:37:19 AM »
Grrmpff!
My internet bank has technical trouble today and cannot show me my spending level. I'll check again later.

I have noticed that I sometimes buy extra unnecessary stuff when shopping groceries or other shopping. So I should try to reduce the number of shopping trips. Or just stick strictly to my shopping list. I need a few staples that are not for sale in the cheapest store, so I'll need to visit one of the more expensive shops. I think I'll survive when I also buy some veggies there, but I shouldn't buy a lot of staples.

Yesterday my DH cooked vegetarian food, so we saved some money there. We had cashew nuts instead of meat.

Laura33

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #529 on: October 08, 2017, 07:35:14 PM »
So ok for the first two shopping trips of the month + monthly Subscribe & Save, for a total of $238 groceries, $53 household.  Had one takeout last week, for a DS school fundraiser at the pizza parlor ($30).

But I am going to have to release myself from my vow to avoid weeknight takeout for the next few weeks or months.  I am apparently in the midst of a pretty significant depression, to where even getting a couple of hours of work done leaves me too wiped out to cook.  So I have decided that for my mental health, while I am getting this under control, I am not going to put pressure on myself to get dinner done if I just can't hack it.  I hope DH and the kids will step up, and I have things like hot dogs and sausages to make it easy for them to do so.  But I need to relieve myself from the weight of that responsibility if they choose to do things differently than I do -- if they get takeout, I can't see that as a failure, because then I will just jump back in and take over meals again, and then I'm back in the cycle of pushing myself too hard and failing and crashing and cycling down instead of getting better.

It sucks.  I hate admitting weakness.
Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

Linda_Norway

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #530 on: October 09, 2017, 01:21:35 AM »
So ok for the first two shopping trips of the month + monthly Subscribe & Save, for a total of $238 groceries, $53 household.  Had one takeout last week, for a DS school fundraiser at the pizza parlor ($30).

But I am going to have to release myself from my vow to avoid weeknight takeout for the next few weeks or months.  I am apparently in the midst of a pretty significant depression, to where even getting a couple of hours of work done leaves me too wiped out to cook.  So I have decided that for my mental health, while I am getting this under control, I am not going to put pressure on myself to get dinner done if I just can't hack it.  I hope DH and the kids will step up, and I have things like hot dogs and sausages to make it easy for them to do so.  But I need to relieve myself from the weight of that responsibility if they choose to do things differently than I do -- if they get takeout, I can't see that as a failure, because then I will just jump back in and take over meals again, and then I'm back in the cycle of pushing myself too hard and failing and crashing and cycling down instead of getting better.

It sucks.  I hate admitting weakness.

Dear Laura, you deserve an arm around your shoulder.

You are not personally responsible for the behaviour of your spouse and older children. You can only kindly try to influence them to behave in a certain way. But they are responsible for their own deeds. You are a very busy woman and should not be forced to also cook for them every single day. They should contribute as well and unfortunately you cannot control how they do this, only encourage them.

I only control my own expenses strictly. DH does not want to share his transactions with me, or monitor his own. Fine, then I'll just monitor mine plus our general expenses. That is what I can influence.

Laura33

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #531 on: October 09, 2017, 06:05:30 AM »
Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

Hula Hoop

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #532 on: October 09, 2017, 06:13:08 AM »
So ok for the first two shopping trips of the month + monthly Subscribe & Save, for a total of $238 groceries, $53 household.  Had one takeout last week, for a DS school fundraiser at the pizza parlor ($30).

But I am going to have to release myself from my vow to avoid weeknight takeout for the next few weeks or months.  I am apparently in the midst of a pretty significant depression, to where even getting a couple of hours of work done leaves me too wiped out to cook.  So I have decided that for my mental health, while I am getting this under control, I am not going to put pressure on myself to get dinner done if I just can't hack it.  I hope DH and the kids will step up, and I have things like hot dogs and sausages to make it easy for them to do so.  But I need to relieve myself from the weight of that responsibility if they choose to do things differently than I do -- if they get takeout, I can't see that as a failure, because then I will just jump back in and take over meals again, and then I'm back in the cycle of pushing myself too hard and failing and crashing and cycling down instead of getting better.

It sucks.  I hate admitting weakness.

Dear Laura, you deserve an arm around your shoulder.

You are not personally responsible for the behaviour of your spouse and older children. You can only kindly try to influence them to behave in a certain way. But they are responsible for their own deeds. You are a very busy woman and should not be forced to also cook for them every single day. They should contribute as well and unfortunately you cannot control how they do this, only encourage them.

I only control my own expenses strictly. DH does not want to share his transactions with me, or monitor his own. Fine, then I'll just monitor mine plus our general expenses. That is what I can influence.

I agree with Linda.  You're not responsible for your husband and older kids' behavior.  All you can do is state your case and then let them do things their way.  And while you're not feeling well, the last thing you need is more pressure and stress.  ((Laura)) I hope you feel better soon.  I've only been here a short time but have really enjoyed your comments.

I have a similar issue in that my husband, while generally frugal, buys his lunch every day.  It's usually the Euro 3 rice special at the local Indian takeout so nothing fancy but kind of annoying when we have a fridge full of food at home.  But it's totally not worth starting WW3 over and also not worth me having to get up even earlier to pack him lunch every day (because God knows, there is no way he'd remember).  I have enough on my plate as a full time working mother - at a certain point you just have to 'let it goooo' (sorry - the 5 year old is really into that movie and has the sound track on continuously all weekend).
« Last Edit: October 09, 2017, 06:16:13 AM by Hula Hoop »

Laura33

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #533 on: October 15, 2017, 06:32:25 PM »
Decent news this week - groceries for $95, including a twice-monthly dairy delivery, household $7, and despite the depression, I still managed to cook or we had easy alternatives like brats, so the only takeout was me for two "I caved" breakfasts ($4 total).  So month to date is $335 groceries,* $35 takeout, $60 household.

I know it's just "okay"; I mean, as long as I'm not willing to give up luxuries like the dairy delivery, I'm never going to be badass.  But honestly, as totally crappy as I have felt, the numbers feel like a total win -- even when I gave myself and the family permission to cave and order takeout whenever they wanted, we still managed not to.  They took a lot of pressure off me by being happy enough with basic stuff.

*In the interest of full disclosure, I did spend more than that (ALDI had a massive display of Halloween stuff, so we are now fully stocked up for way less $$ than in previous years, and I picked up a bunch of Gold Bond and similar stuff to send in a care package to a friend's son who is off to train to try to be a Green Beret), but those don't count towards my grocery/household budget.
Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

Linda_Norway

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #534 on: October 16, 2017, 01:02:15 AM »
I know it's just "okay"; I mean, as long as I'm not willing to give up luxuries like the dairy delivery, I'm never going to be badass.  But honestly, as totally crappy as I have felt, the numbers feel like a total win -- even when I gave myself and the family permission to cave and order takeout whenever they wanted, we still managed not to.  They took a lot of pressure off me by being happy enough with basic stuff.


And who says we need to be badass all the time. That's a good thing to do when paying off a consumer debt. But we shouldn't need to go suffering through life before FIRE. As long as the numbers make you happy, your doing good enough.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2017, 01:35:13 PM by Linda_Norway »

Drole

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #535 on: October 16, 2017, 12:46:43 PM »

I know it's just "okay"; I mean, as long as I'm not willing to give up luxuries like the dairy delivery, I'm never going to be badass. 


Have I ever mentioned my fresh, raw cream?  $12 or $13 a quart.  I gave it up when I gave up dairy....otherwise I'd still be ordering it.  And yes, that's about $600 a year in cream. Indulge where you need to indulge. 

Laura33

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #536 on: October 31, 2017, 09:12:46 AM »
End of October update:  well, managing the depression + multiple back-to-school fundraisers + apparently running out of everything our house uses for no apparent reason has combined to mess with my best-laid plans.  I did ok with groceries for the last two weeks at $175 -- I tried the new Weis, which wasn't really that great, but I didn't have time to do two runs (out of town) so spent probably $20 more than necessary there.  The big blip was deciding to treat the family, which has been really good about not complaining about everything I'm not buying -- I picked up a bunch of ice cream at Weis since our local parlor is closed for the season, and I made a trip to the Italian deli to get DH a bunch of fancy stuff that he really likes (plus fresh ricotta for me!), so that's probably $60-70 total that was completely and intentionally frivolous.  I remind myself (like someone reminded me) that it's about finding something that works for all of us, not meeting an arbitrary target; they are not going to be happy if they don't have their stuff, so if I can knock those treats down to once every month or six weeks, we're still better than when I was buying stuff like that every week or two.  So MTD for groceries was $508.  Household for this last couple of weeks was $63 (I thought we were in good shape until I saw a receipt from a Safeway trip I didn't know DH made Sunday), for $123 total. 

The real killer was takeout -- we've had two school fundraisers this month at the local pizza place, and I've been up and down in my ability to cook, so all told we were at $92 for the last two weeks and $127 for the month.  But that comes with an asterisk, as I worked late last night and DH ordered Chinese and I have no clue how much that was, probably another $40-50.

So in the end, I did manage to keep the groceries and household close to my $600 combined target, and most of what pushed us over was intentional choices on my part, but I'm still disappointed, because I hate not meeting targets, even when I've told myself I don't need to.  We did noticeably better than last month, but "yay, I didn't suck as much" isn't exactly compelling. :-) 
Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

Linda_Norway

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #537 on: October 31, 2017, 10:17:52 AM »
Our town has two grocery stores. The most expensive one had discount week. I bougt four loafs of  bread for a good price and some nice croissant-like buns for very low price. All put in the freezer. The luxury buns are saved for the weekend. I put them in bags two by two in the store, so that the store pays for all the bags. I should do that more often.
I didn't find much else I needed and didn't end up buying a lot of cheap stuff I don't need.

kaypinkHH

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #538 on: October 31, 2017, 01:15:28 PM »
Formatting of my challenge posts was bothering me so I've included a table at the bottom.

This month was a transition month, a lot of our restaurant and bar tabs are from moving/going away dinners with friends. Takeout and coffee shops* were definitely higher due to packing/moving/travelling. Groceries are lower as we are now living with inlaws who refuse to let us pay for groceries. Goal for November is to CHOP those coffeeshops and fast food categories.

*Most of our coffee shop bill is for food (Sandwiches, breakfasts) not coffee.  We actually rarely buy just drinks at a coffee shop.


FireHiker

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #539 on: October 31, 2017, 04:32:01 PM »
I sucked dreadfully at grocery and eating out spending in October. We were just so busy, every week and every weekend (and work...it was a hard month at work), and ate out WAY too much. Spending was nearly $300 over my target. Ugh. I'm going to try and get a handle on it again in November. Soccer season is almost over and then our schedule will be so much easier. Full disclosure: spent $1492.72 on food this month, for my family of 5 (plus whichever kids' friends happened to be over...teenagers eat a lot, especially when there's more than one present). It does include alcohol, candy (too much candy corn, and too many treats from Trader Joes), and other food purchased for tonight's Halloween party at our neighbor's house, but still, that wasn't $300 worth. MUST get the food spending back to where it was earlier this year. :(

Laura, you are doing MUCH, MUCH better than I am, if it's any consolation. And, just some general hugs your way for the depression and all.

Laura33

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #540 on: October 31, 2017, 07:34:46 PM »
Formatting of my challenge posts was bothering me so I've included a table at the bottom.

This month was a transition month, a lot of our restaurant and bar tabs are from moving/going away dinners with friends. Takeout and coffee shops* were definitely higher due to packing/moving/travelling. Groceries are lower as we are now living with inlaws who refuse to let us pay for groceries. Goal for November is to CHOP those coffeeshops and fast food categories.

*Most of our coffee shop bill is for food (Sandwiches, breakfasts) not coffee.  We actually rarely buy just drinks at a coffee shop.

Hey, you moved AND still spent over $100 less than in any other month since you've been tracking.  Take your win.  ;-)
Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

boarder42

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #541 on: November 01, 2017, 08:47:48 AM »
we're on track to spend about 400 on avg for the year not too bad.
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kaypinkHH

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #542 on: November 01, 2017, 09:27:51 AM »
Thanks Laura, a lot of that is due to free groceries...but the trend is positive :D

haypug16

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #543 on: November 06, 2017, 09:57:22 AM »
So after tracking my spending and separating Groceries from meals out I have determined that I am spending on average $236 a month on food. Since this is only food for myself I know I can do better. New goal is to get under $200 for November. Should be pretty easy then we'll see about lower the goal for December.

DarkandStormy

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #544 on: November 06, 2017, 12:20:18 PM »
So after tracking my spending and separating Groceries from meals out I have determined that I am spending on average $236 a month on food. Since this is only food for myself I know I can do better. New goal is to get under $200 for November. Should be pretty easy then we'll see about lower the goal for December.

That's really good - I average about $8.50/day for food (includes alcohol out and "household" items on grocery receipts - so actual "food" costs may be more like $7.50/day).  90 meals a month, remember.  I'm not sure $200 is possible unless you eat a bunch of rice and beans or packs of ramen.
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haypug16

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #545 on: November 06, 2017, 01:11:37 PM »
So after tracking my spending and separating Groceries from meals out I have determined that I am spending on average $236 a month on food. Since this is only food for myself I know I can do better. New goal is to get under $200 for November. Should be pretty easy then we'll see about lower the goal for December.

That's really good - I average about $8.50/day for food (includes alcohol out and "household" items on grocery receipts - so actual "food" costs may be more like $7.50/day).  90 meals a month, remember.  I'm not sure $200 is possible unless you eat a bunch of rice and beans or packs of ramen.

Well I don't really eat meat, my coffee at work is free, breakfast is typically oatmeal, and my part-time job often buys me lunch so I'll come in and help them out. So far this month they have bought me lunch twice (and left overs last at least for one more meal). So I think $200 is possible. Its $6.67 per day for the month and so far I'm at $18.98 so that leaves me $7.24 per day for the remaining 25 days.

kaypinkHH

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #546 on: November 06, 2017, 01:19:13 PM »
I have shared this in other places, but I really enjoy this vlog. These guys have done $1/meal for a week series as well as the newest series of "What can you eat for the price of 1 starbucks coffee per day" (So $1.45/meal).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjeY6Bzg6jw


Runrooster

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #547 on: November 08, 2017, 06:54:18 PM »
I watched the vlog on spending less than $1.45/meal.  It seems easy to do for a week or month, but limits variety in the long run. He buys the obvious food: apples, carrots, cabbage, bone in thighs, beans, potatoes.  But if you can bump your food budget from $130 to $200, you get much more choice in ingredients.

I think my family has our budget dialed in, at $400 for 3 adults. We eat mostly vegetarian, beans daily.  We shop at cheaper markets, shop the sales, and eat out less than once a month. We haven't actually tracked receipts, but this is a decent estimate.  But I'm trying to train myself to spend more, both on raw ingredients and convenience foods, because it's a drop in the budget.  For example, last week I didn't buy the $5 cauliflower (usually $3) or the 1.79/lb eggplant (usually $1/lb) and bought lots of the squash .69/lb, usually twice that.  On the one hand, we are fine eating what I bought; on the other hand we can afford to buy 2-3 nonsale items.

Anyone else have a habit of cutting the budget too far? 

I think also because I've been on a diet and avoiding convenience foods, I don't remember how to loosen the reins.
Like, what is a dairy delivery? Is that raw milk or fresh ricotta or specialty cheeses? 

ACyclist

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #548 on: November 08, 2017, 09:34:11 PM »
We've cut back on organics.  The cost of it is astronomically expensive.  We do still get organic dairy and certain fruits and veg that way.  Our spending is about 100 a week for two people.  There are no Costco stores near us.  Mostly what we eat is produce.  I have no idea how some people can spend so little on food.  An apple is almost a buck in itself.  We do about 80-100 a week, and I am happy with that.  We east very healthily.  With two very active athletes in the house, we go through a lot of food.

We don't buy prepared things or junk.  However, a bag of almonds is going to be expensive no matter what you do.  The nearest Costco is about 90 minutes away, so that just isn't feasible.  I spend a bit more on food, but save on other things like transportation and housing costs.

kaypinkHH

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Re: Rein in the grocery spend 2017
« Reply #549 on: November 09, 2017, 05:39:44 AM »
@Runrooster, totally agree about the vlog, but I do enjoy some of his ideas, in a previous series he used raw chickpeas to make a chickpea flour and made panckaes out of them for lunches. This is something I would have never thought of doing!

I also have a habit of pinching pennies in the wrong places...for example, I LOVE pink lady apples, but they are about 2-3x times the cost of cheaper apples....so I haven't bought a pink lady apple in years. Totally reasonable life sacrifice!