Author Topic: How can I spend less on groceries  (Read 28498 times)

Maxman

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How can I spend less on groceries
« on: March 11, 2015, 07:25:26 PM »
My wife and I have special dietary needs. I am a diabetic and my wife has Rheumatoid arthritis. We eat a low carb Paleo diet. My wife also avoids all nightshades. Most nights we eat rotisserie chicken, ribeye steak, fish, or pork with salad and vegetables. Our current grocery budget is around $700 per month and we don't eat out much maybe once a week. How can we lower our grocery costs?

Bracken_Joy

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Re: How can I spend less on groceries
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2015, 08:18:44 PM »
Cook the chicken yourself. Save the bones for broth- it's super healthy anyway (and save veggie scraps to go into this). Don't just eat steak- buy whatever cuts of meat are on sale.

Budget Bytes is your friend.

Cabbage is cheap and incredibly helpful. It can be noodles, stir fry, broiled to be crispy and crunchy, etc.

Eat whatever veggies are in season.

ETA: If you don't already use websites like the PaleoMom and NomNomPaleo, and cookbooks like the AIP protocol, I definitely recommend. Really helped me to establish our "new normals" for meals. I'm at 5 years paleo now, although less restrictive than you have to be. Best of luck! It can be done.

Other thought I had: people hate hearing it, but organ meat! It is incredibly healthy, often incredibly cheap, and is a good "use the whole animal" option. If you can't stand organ meats- I couldn't at first- see if your meat counter will grind the liver/heart/etc in with some ground beef for you.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2015, 06:26:57 AM by Bracken_Joy »

ender

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Re: How can I spend less on groceries
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2015, 08:26:28 PM »
Where do you live?

Worst case scenario, eating decent fish/steak each night, where I live I can get steak for two people for about $10 easily, that's $300 per month. Figure 1lb of fresh vegetables at $2/pound is another $60, so $360/month on dinners.

What do you do for lunches/breakfasts?

If you really want to reduce cost keep all your receipts for a while then itemize them (after a few months). This will be really revealing.

Life in Balance

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Re: How can I spend less on groceries
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2015, 08:42:19 PM »
I understand your pain as I eat a strict paleo diet and have food intolerances.  Buy quality meat in bulk straight from the source/farmer.  I buy a quarter cow twice a year and it's helped me cut costs considerably.  Also investigate "bulk" buying on Amazon for core ingredients (I buy coconut milk there, alternative flours).  Lastly, does your town/city have a food buying club?  I belong to one that allows me to source expensive ingredients (e.g types of berries) in bulk for much cheaper (and still good quality). 

Bracken_Joy

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Re: How can I spend less on groceries
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2015, 06:28:48 AM »
I understand your pain as I eat a strict paleo diet and have food intolerances.  Buy quality meat in bulk straight from the source/farmer.  I buy a quarter cow twice a year and it's helped me cut costs considerably.  Also investigate "bulk" buying on Amazon for core ingredients (I buy coconut milk there, alternative flours).  Lastly, does your town/city have a food buying club?  I belong to one that allows me to source expensive ingredients (e.g types of berries) in bulk for much cheaper (and still good quality).

Second to amazon. Their "subscribe and save" has been a major resource for things like coconut oil, seaweed snacks and larabars for traveling, chia seeds, etc. I get 15% off these things, and then the 3% reward from the amazon visa. Woo!

LiveLean

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Re: How can I spend less on groceries
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2015, 06:34:59 AM »
Normally the folks who overspend on groceries buy too many different things, especially processed junk, that sits in pantries and freezers forever.

That's not your issue as you seem to be eating clean and healthy. I live on what I call "The Costco Diet" both for financial and health reasons. Ninety percent of what I buy/eat -- and I'm guessing there's a lot of overlap between us -- comes from Costco: Rotisserie chicken, fish, veggies (both fresh and frozen), protein powder, ready-to-drink protein shakes, etc.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: How can I spend less on groceries
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2015, 06:38:42 AM »
I didn't see eggs on your no-go list. If they're available as a food option, this opens up a ton of choices. Frittatta, crustless quiches, omlettes, scrambles, hard boiled, soft boiled, etc etc. And a fairly cheap option too!

Maxman

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Re: How can I spend less on groceries
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2015, 02:58:52 PM »


we eat eggs often. I make lots of tuna salad for lunch.

Financial.Velociraptor

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Re: How can I spend less on groceries
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2015, 05:14:58 PM »
Bracken_Joy suggested organs/sweetbreads.  I find I can't tolerate liver but that heart is rather tasty and very lean.

It was also suggested keeping chicken scraps to make stock.  The same trick works for fish scraps.  The heads are where the most flavorful stock comes from (ordinarily completely inedible.)

Do you have room to grow your own tomatoes?  I bought 6 plants from Wal-mart for $2.88.  They will produce roughly a 100 pounds of fruit.  You can probably grow most of your own spices as well.

And...get a DBA number (doing business as), then use it to shop at 'restaurant supply' stores.  They are pretty slack about caring whether you actually have a restaurant so long as you buy in bulk and don't ask to break packaging into smaller lots.  You might need to make room in a closet somewhere to store stuff at that point but you'll save a ton.

Retired To Win

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Re: How can I spend less on groceries
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2015, 09:50:29 PM »
Switch from rib-eye steak to chuck steak.  Still very tasty but much less expensive.

Buy the beef (hell, actually buy all the meats) in quantity when they are on sale and avoid the meat case when they are not.  Use your freezer space.  Get a chest freezer (we did) to really do this right.

It's already been mentioned, but bears repeating.  Do your own broiling, roasting, etc.  Stay away from the deli counter.

Ditto on the cabbage.  Super cheap.  Super filling.  Super versatile.  Mix it up with carrots, cauliflower or broccoli.  Or all.

When it comes to dairy, canned stuff, and so on... BUY THE STORE'S GENERIC BRAND.  If you check the labels, you'll find that the ingredients listed on the generic items are the same as those listed on brand name items.  AND they are listed in the same order, which indicates the relative percentage of the ingredients is also the same.  So, buy generic whenever this applies.

For what it's worth, our dietary parameters are almost exactly the same as yours (meat/veg/salad dinners... egg/tuna/lunch meat lunches... etc).  But our grocery bill is less than half of yours.

So...

kathrynd

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Re: How can I spend less on groceries
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2015, 10:30:34 PM »
Portion size hasn't been mentioned.
So many people think they are eating a normal sized meal, when in reality it is a supersized meal.

Start using smaller plates and bowls.
If overeating is a problem, do not make leftovers.
Meat portion should be no larger than their palm.



Bracken_Joy

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Re: How can I spend less on groceries
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2015, 07:32:17 AM »

When it comes to dairy, canned stuff, and so on... BUY THE STORE'S GENERIC BRAND.  If you check the labels, you'll find that the ingredients listed on the generic items are the same as those listed on brand name items.  AND they are listed in the same order, which indicates the relative percentage of the ingredients is also the same.  So, buy generic whenever this applies.

...

I worked in food production for a while. Spoiler alert: a lot of the generic brands are almost identical. Made in the same plants, from the same ingredients, with maybe a little tweak here or there to make them cheaper (ie, the stabilizer we used in the generic brand was cheaper than in our brand, but a consumer wouldn't be able to tell any difference. It had more to do with how the product handles shipping and how far you can ship it). It's called co-packing, and is a very common practice.

So if that cottage cheese tastes the same as the name brand? It very well might be the same.

Jack

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Re: How can I spend less on groceries
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2015, 08:41:30 AM »
My wife also avoids all nightshades.

Do you have room to grow your own tomatoes?  I bought 6 plants from Wal-mart for $2.88.  They will produce roughly a 100 pounds of fruit.  You can probably grow most of your own spices as well.

Tomatoes are nightshades (as are potatoes, peppers, eggplants, tomatillos, ground cherries and tobacco).

Bracken_Joy

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Re: How can I spend less on groceries
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2015, 08:56:23 AM »
My wife also avoids all nightshades.

Do you have room to grow your own tomatoes?  I bought 6 plants from Wal-mart for $2.88.  They will produce roughly a 100 pounds of fruit.  You can probably grow most of your own spices as well.

Tomatoes are nightshades (as are potatoes, peppers, eggplants, tomatillos, ground cherries and tobacco).

Definitely grow your own fresh herbs though. If you're avoiding nightshades, that limits your spice options, so fresh herbs are a great choice, and can be very cost effective if grown at home. (Healthy, too!)

Retired To Win

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Re: How can I spend less on groceries
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2015, 07:44:21 PM »
... How can we lower our grocery costs?

It is so obvious, I hesitate to mention it.  But...

(1) Make sure you have an affinity card for your grocery store(s) so you can get the lower price that is customarily offered to card holders.

(2) Pay for your groceries with a cash back credit card.  Amex has a default 2% or 3% cash back rate for grocery stores.  Other cards run seasonal 5% grocery cash back promotions.

(3) Check the store's weekly flyer for specials BEFORE you go into the store.

(4) Make and shop from a list!

Bracken_Joy

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Re: How can I spend less on groceries
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2015, 06:15:27 AM »
... How can we lower our grocery costs?

It is so obvious, I hesitate to mention it.  But...

(1) Make sure you have an affinity card for your grocery store(s) so you can get the lower price that is customarily offered to card holders.

(2) Pay for your groceries with a cash back credit card.  Amex has a default 2% or 3% cash back rate for grocery stores.  Other cards run seasonal 5% grocery cash back promotions.

(3) Check the store's weekly flyer for specials BEFORE you go into the store.

(4) Make and shop from a list!

This is actually great to check out.

Another thing: while the Trader Joe's is cheaper for a lot of foods for us, our fancy-pants co-op actually ends up being way cheap sometimes. We have an ownership share, and every quarter, we get a sliding scale discount... so we stock up ($200+ trip) and get 15% off. We also recently got a rewards CC and use it for the % back. Being aware of the sales and rewards around you is a huge boon.

daverobev

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Re: How can I spend less on groceries
« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2015, 12:16:46 PM »
and we don't eat out much maybe once a week.

IMHO, once a week is actually pretty frequently.

mrsoski

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Re: How can I spend less on groceries
« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2015, 03:39:52 PM »
I disagree with whoever said cook your own whole chickens instead of buying rotisseries.  I can get a 5 lb. Bird already cooked from Costco and make stock from the bones.  The cheapest raw whole chickens I can find are .99/lb.  I save time and hassle.  Winning!

If you do not have a Costco or SAMs club membership you should run, not walk, to get one. 

Agree with buying cheaper cuts of beef.  We make beef tips in the crockpot that are melt in your mouth good for 4.49/lb.  pork is also 2.00/lb or less. 

daverobev

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Re: How can I spend less on groceries
« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2015, 05:11:34 PM »
How about buying half a cow from a farmer? Or a whole pig? Good prices if you do it that way, and it should be better meat, I think.

kathrynd

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Re: How can I spend less on groceries
« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2015, 07:29:28 PM »
Post your receipts for the past month.
That will tell us volumes, and we can give specific advice.


How much food  are you tossing out each month?

Maxman

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Re: How can I spend less on groceries
« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2015, 09:15:46 PM »
Thanks for all the replies and guidance.

We do shop at Sam's Club. I buy their rotisserie chicken. I use the bones to make bone broth adding 5lbs of chicken wings, carrots, onion, and celery. We drink this daily. So I make this about once a week.

We don't like the meat at Sam's though, but I buy bulk nuts, coffee, heavy cream, kerrygold butter, and beef jerky there. Oh I also buy box wine at Sam's. Wish we had a Trader Joes or Costco here, but the nearest ones are 50 miles away.

We live in a retirement community in Florida called The Villages. This place is huge with over 100k inhabitants.

I do grow my own herbs (basil, parsley, rosemary, sage). We are thinking of purchasing a freezer for the garage to store bulk meat. I don't buy grass fed beef anymore because of the cost, so we supplement with omega 3 fish oil to counter the omega 6. We don't use canola oil or buy any dressings that contain it. We only use olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, or pastured butter. I do eat potatoes, cheese, and heavy cream that are not paleo.

I really think that the advice to eat more eggs to save money is valid. I love eggs and don't mind eating them several times a week. In fact for dinner tonight I had three over easy eggs, bacon, and homemade hash browned potatoes. I let the runny yolk mix in with the potatoes. It tasted great and satisfied me.

Jack

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Re: How can I spend less on groceries
« Reply #21 on: March 20, 2015, 08:38:13 AM »
We do shop at Sam's Club. I buy their rotisserie chicken. I use the bones to make bone broth adding 5lbs of chicken wings, carrots, onion, and celery.

I hope when you say you use "chicken wings" for your broth you're only talking about the tips. Chicken wings are the most expensive part of a chicken, and should be turned into hot wings, not wasted!

Personally, I get excited when I've saved up enough for a meal of hot wings (which, for two people, only happens once every 5 chickens).

mrsoski

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Re: How can I spend less on groceries
« Reply #22 on: March 20, 2015, 10:08:47 AM »
Agreed that you should check out nomnompaleo. She has great AIP compliant recipes.

Also agreed that a freezer and bulk buying cheaper cuts of meat will help.  Also frozen fruits and veg are often cheaper and retain more nutrients than fresh. 

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Re: How can I spend less on groceries
« Reply #23 on: March 22, 2015, 08:13:46 AM »
A few more thoughts - for cooking, lard is great.  Saturated fat 32%, Polyunsaturated fat 11%, Monounsaturated fat 41%.  High smoke point.  Perfect for sauté.

Beef - get a tough cut and toss it in a slow cooker - with red wine (super cheap is fine for this), beef bouillon, onions, carrots, turnip, (and later in the cooking add snow or snap peas), spices - allspice and cloves (I use ground for both, but whole is fine too, just don't bite them), and a bay leaf.  Delicious, no night shades.  When everything is eaten but the stock, use it for French onion soup.

Pork - same but use chicken bouillon, black currant syrup (I use Ribena) or the juice from canned sour cherries (and add the cherries near the end), and choice of vegetables.

Re your wife's arthritis - a friend of mine has permanent damage/inflammation from a car accident 30 years ago - she recently gave up black tea (it is apparently inflammatory, who knew?) and her inflammation is way down.

Maxman

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Re: How can I spend less on groceries
« Reply #24 on: March 23, 2015, 05:29:50 PM »
Thanks for the tips on saving on groceries and help with my wife's inflammation. We bought a rotisserie chicken from Sam's club today. It looks like it will be good for a couple of meals.

Lily

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Re: How can I spend less on groceries
« Reply #25 on: March 23, 2015, 06:32:19 PM »
They're not for everyone, but my household eats a lot of sardines. They're healthier and more sustainable than canned tuna- lots of good fats, minerals, no mercury concern because they're low on the food chain. They do taste a little "fishier" than tuna, but not by much. I ate them on toast or pasta in my carb-loving days, and now enjoy them straight from the tin with mustard, hot sauce, or lemon juice.


kathrynd

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Re: How can I spend less on groceries
« Reply #26 on: March 23, 2015, 11:54:32 PM »
Thanks for the tips on saving on groceries and help with my wife's inflammation. We bought a rotisserie chicken from Sam's club today. It looks like it will be good for a couple of meals.

You should try for 3 meals...then take the carcass and make a soup..for another 2 meals
..usually you can buy a raw chicken for a cheaper price, or at least a larger chicken for the same price  (but we buy them too, on occassion)

Bracken_Joy

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Re: How can I spend less on groceries
« Reply #27 on: March 24, 2015, 09:57:14 AM »
They're not for everyone, but my household eats a lot of sardines. They're healthier and more sustainable than canned tuna- lots of good fats, minerals, no mercury concern because they're low on the food chain. They do taste a little "fishier" than tuna, but not by much. I ate them on toast or pasta in my carb-loving days, and now enjoy them straight from the tin with mustard, hot sauce, or lemon juice.

This is what my fiance does. He found the ones packed in water to be much less fishy than those packed in oil. I'm still working on liking them =) Thank you for the reminder.

daverobev

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Re: How can I spend less on groceries
« Reply #28 on: March 24, 2015, 12:53:31 PM »
They're not for everyone, but my household eats a lot of sardines. They're healthier and more sustainable than canned tuna- lots of good fats, minerals, no mercury concern because they're low on the food chain. They do taste a little "fishier" than tuna, but not by much. I ate them on toast or pasta in my carb-loving days, and now enjoy them straight from the tin with mustard, hot sauce, or lemon juice.

+1 on sardines/pilchards.

We should not be eating tuna at all - they are under serious threat.

Jack

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Re: How can I spend less on groceries
« Reply #29 on: March 24, 2015, 03:26:47 PM »
We should not be eating tuna at all - they are under serious threat.

There's tuna and then there's tuna. Perhaps not coincidentally, ranking tuna species from most to least desirable also ranks them from most to least threatened: Bluefin (which is what really expensive sushi is made from) is worst, followed by Yellowfin, Bigeye, Albacore, and finally Skipjack (which is what you get in 'chunk light' canned tuna). The last one, Skipjack, is actually so common that (according to Wikipedia) it's not yet overfished and thus OK to eat.

Maxman

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Re: How can I spend less on groceries
« Reply #30 on: March 24, 2015, 07:43:56 PM »
I only like the sardines packed in tomato sauce. My wife stays clear of tomato sauce and won't eat most weird stuff. I on the other hand love raw oysters, the green gook in the head of a maine lobster, sea urchin, and liver.

benjenn

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Re: How can I spend less on groceries
« Reply #31 on: April 28, 2015, 07:45:26 AM »
Our grocery budget last year was $800 a month.  We don't eat paleo but eat a vegan diet instead.  This year, I've managed to cut our grocery bill in half - seriously -- only one month so far this year has our total grocery expenses been over $400.

The first thing I did was make an inventory of everything we had on hand already.  Everything.  Then I figured what meals I could make using the stuff I had on hand and only bought whatever ingredients I needed to complete just those meals.  I started doing this each week and eventually, our pantry has become much less packed.

Each week I make a list of 8-9 meals to make (to have options).  Then I make a list of the ingredients I need to buy only for those meals and add whatever other items I need to buy like coffee, shampoo, toilet paper, etc. We have green smoothies every morning for breakfast so I'll buy those ingredients.  We both take leftovers for lunch so that's covered, too.    Then I only buy what's on the list.

Wow!  I'm amazed at how much less I'm spending when I do this instead of just going to the store and buying whatever I think I need or whatever looks appealing.  Even if it was stuff I used.  And I was amazed, too, at how much food we had on hand when I would think "there's nothing to eat, I have to go to the store."

Plus, it makes dinners so much easier... I have my list of meals for the week on the side of the fridge.  As I make something, I cross it out.   I always know what other meal options we have for the remaining days of the week and I always know I have everything on hand to make those meals.  It's been wonderful.

plainjane

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Re: How can I spend less on groceries
« Reply #32 on: April 28, 2015, 12:15:34 PM »
Rather than steaks, how about the cheaper stewing meats?  (Shoulders, shanks, leg)  They should be less than half the price of steak and you can cook them with a slow cooker or over the weekend if you don't have time during the week. 

I'd also check out any ethnic markets, consider freezing good deals.  For the meat, it will take less space if you braise it and then freeze only the meat in meal-sized containers, use the bones for a very condensed stock.  Otherwise you're looking at the cost to maintain a separate freezer.

Financial.Velociraptor

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Re: How can I spend less on groceries
« Reply #33 on: April 28, 2015, 12:24:04 PM »
Rather than steaks, how about the cheaper stewing meats?  (Shoulders, shanks, leg)  They should be less than half the price of steak and you can cook them with a slow cooker or over the weekend if you don't have time during the week. 


This.  My last slow cooker meal featured ham shanks at 1.19/lb.  I made a nice stock out of boxed wine and spices and a couple quartered onions.  Add carrots and potatoes when the entire thing is almost ready so you get slightly cooked veggies with some texture left.  Serve over steamed rice.  Cheap.  Yummy.

ACLR8R

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Re: How can I spend less on groceries
« Reply #34 on: April 30, 2015, 04:05:03 PM »
I am a huge proponent of Walmarts price match policy. Currently for my wife and I our monthly budget is right around $100.

We do buy quite a bit of produce, but by no means organic or vegan.

We have a great website that price matches all the local stores to make sure you are price matching the lowest price. It saves me some time, especially for produce.

http://www.thecentsableshoppin.com/weekly-price-list-february-25th-march-3rd/

Maxman

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Re: How can I spend less on groceries
« Reply #35 on: May 01, 2015, 07:11:10 PM »
Quote
This.  My last slow cooker meal featured ham shanks at 1.19/lb.  I made a nice stock out of boxed wine and spices and a couple quartered onions.  Add carrots and potatoes when the entire thing is almost ready so you get slightly cooked veggies with some texture left.  Serve over steamed rice.  Cheap.  Yummy.

This sounds delicious, I will have to make it soon. Thanks

Retired To Win

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Re: How can I spend less on groceries
« Reply #36 on: June 08, 2015, 03:26:05 PM »
Rather than steaks, how about the cheaper stewing meats?  (Shoulders, shanks, leg)  They should be less than half the price of steak and you can cook them with a slow cooker or over the weekend if you don't have time during the week...

You don't even have to actually give up steaks.  Just switch from rib-eye to chuck.  You'll enjoy a very well-marbled and tasty cut of beef at about half the price of the vaunted rib-eye.  Yum!

SUP

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Re: How can I spend less on groceries
« Reply #37 on: June 09, 2015, 07:37:12 AM »
I understand your pain as I eat a strict paleo diet and have food intolerances.  Buy quality meat in bulk straight from the source/farmer.  I buy a quarter cow twice a year and it's helped me cut costs considerably.  Also investigate "bulk" buying on Amazon for core ingredients (I buy coconut milk there, alternative flours).  Lastly, does your town/city have a food buying club?  I belong to one that allows me to source expensive ingredients (e.g types of berries) in bulk for much cheaper (and still good quality).

Wow, this is really good stuff. Thanks!

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Re: How can I spend less on groceries
« Reply #38 on: June 16, 2015, 11:54:29 AM »
I agree with Retired to Win.  Buy chuck steak instead of ribeyes as they are usually about half the cost.  Stock up when they are on sale and save even more.  Are you overbuying and wasting food?  Throwing out produce?  Not using leftovers? 

Retired To Win

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Re: How can I spend less on groceries
« Reply #39 on: June 17, 2015, 08:37:11 AM »
I agree with Retired to Win.  Buy chuck steak instead of ribeyes as they are usually about half the cost.  Stock up when they are on sale and save even more.  Are you overbuying and wasting food?  Throwing out produce?  Not using leftovers?

Be smart about the use you get out of your refrigerator's freezer.  Filling it with meats is going to give you your biggest bank for the space buck.  And evaluate whether to add a stand-alone freezer. (We did.)

CommonCents

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Re: How can I spend less on groceries
« Reply #40 on: June 17, 2015, 11:09:26 AM »
Look at your bills and tally up how much you're spending on various areas (see other threads for categories people have broken it into, e.g. eggs, dairy, baking supplies, meat, beans, vegetables, fruits...).  You mentioned nuts for example, which can be quite expensive so this may show you the areas where you're really spending.

Figure out the costs of your favorite meals.  Then try to rotate in the cheaper ones more frequently. 

Buy bulk, buy on sale (freeze/cook meals around the sales).

meadow lark

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Re: How can I spend less on groceries
« Reply #41 on: June 18, 2015, 10:50:51 AM »
Wow - ACL - your monthly bill is $100 for 2 people?  That is amazing.  I agree, Walmart, as much as I dislike it, has an amazing price match policy.  And purely from a financial perspective, is the cheapest and easiest way to shop.  I go through all the local stores' Wednesday sale flyers, pick out the best deals, take them to Walmart and pick those foods. 

Arktinkerer

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Re: How can I spend less on groceries
« Reply #42 on: June 18, 2015, 11:48:24 AM »
I like to eat and don't mind spending money on good food but your budget is high by our standards and we still have a teenage boy in the house!

We do shop the discount bins at the stores but we get a big "bang for our buck" (pun intended!) by hunting, fishing, and to a very small but growing extent, gardening.

I saw from your other posts you live in The Villages?  I think they have good local fishing don't they?  If you manage to avoid equipment envy, fishing could certainly provide you with both entertainment and protein.  If they will let you use jug fishing, limb lines, yo-yos, or trot lines then it can be very efficient.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: How can I spend less on groceries
« Reply #43 on: June 18, 2015, 02:08:28 PM »
Another key one for me at least- go when stores aren't crowded, and leave plenty of time. I get overwhelmed very easily in a crowd, and so I won't pay attention to pricing changes, what is on sale, etc.

Retired To Win

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Re: How can I spend less on groceries
« Reply #44 on: June 20, 2015, 08:29:54 PM »
Another key one for me at least -- go when stores aren't crowded, and leave plenty of time. I get overwhelmed very easily in a crowd, and so I won't pay attention to pricing changes, what is on sale, etc.

Yes, I do that without even thinking about it -- given that I am already FI/REd and have almost total control of my time.  :)

Erica/NWEdible

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Re: How can I spend less on groceries
« Reply #45 on: June 20, 2015, 08:49:50 PM »
Go buy an 8 pound pork shoulder. Should be less than $15. Hell, go crazy and spend $30 for a pork shoulder from a pig that wasn't tortured it's whole life. Wrap in banana leaf. Shove some fresh pineapple and green chili and your favorite non-nightshade paleo bbq sauce down in there.

Slow cook at 250 or 300 degrees until you can't stand it any more. Hours and hours. Have a mojito or something while you wait. Don't worry, you can afford it with all the coin you're not spending on ribeye. (Are you kidding me with the "how can I cut my ribeye budget?" question?)

Serve with cabbage slaw and roasted sweet potato.

There, you just cooked like 20 generous dinners for $40. Congratulations on your savings.
Done.

jengod

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Re: How can I spend less on groceries
« Reply #46 on: June 20, 2015, 11:34:31 PM »
Go buy an 8 pound pork shoulder. Should be less than $15. Hell, go crazy and spend $30 for a pork shoulder from a pig that wasn't tortured it's whole life. Wrap in banana leaf. Shove some fresh pineapple and green chili and your favorite non-nightshade paleo bbq sauce down in there.

Slow cook at 250 or 300 degrees until you can't stand it any more. Hours and hours. Have a mojito or something while you wait. Don't worry, you can afford it with all the coin you're not spending on ribeye. (Are you kidding me with the "how can I cut my ribeye budget?" question?)

Serve with cabbage slaw and roasted sweet potato.

There, you just cooked like 20 generous dinners for $40. Congratulations on your savings.
Done.

Gosh I wish this forum had a LIKE button.

citykid3785

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Re: How can I spend less on groceries
« Reply #47 on: June 24, 2015, 01:00:57 PM »
I'm not sure I saw it mentioned, but no one here has called out Aldi.  Not only does it save us 50% on groceries, but it's also a much better company/shopping experience than your typical store.  It's cheaper than Costco, without the large buy-in and huge crowds/stores.  Here's why you should shop at one if you have one in your area:

1) All Aldi brand (but manufactured by name brands), so costs are >50% less, and you don't waste time making decisions
2) Stores are small and thus easy to get around.  Weekly shopping will take all of 15 minutes
3) Quality is as good, OR BETTER than name brands.  Aldi makes this claim and I find it to be true.  They even back it with a double money back guarantee
4) Because they put multiple barcodes on each product, and employees are paid well, expect checkout to be < half of the time of anywhere else.  In fact, many times I cannot unload my cart faster than the employee can scan them
5) While no where close to a whole foods, they do a decent job with having lots of organics/gluten free/dairy alternatives, etc. They do well with alternative diets.
6) You are not enticed to spend on things you don't need
7) They pay their employees well.  Min wage of $13/hr, full health care, etc.

I think Aldi got a bad name in the 90's for quality, and I am a stickler for quality.  But they have seriously upped their game.  No cost saving measure in the last 5 years has had a bigger impact on my bottom line than switching from shopping at Super Target  to Aldi.  It's actually gotten to the point that I get depressed when I do have to shop at SuperTarget (huge parking lot, huge store, long checkouts, overpaying, etc.)  It all seems like such a bear.  It even caused me to cancel my Costco membership, because I realized that I never walked away spending less than $150 there, not to mention the food waste and unnecessary purchases.  I struggle to spend over $80 at ALDI.

Philociraptor

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Re: How can I spend less on groceries
« Reply #48 on: June 24, 2015, 01:43:07 PM »
I'm not sure I saw it mentioned, but no one here has called out Aldi.  Not only does it save us 50% on groceries, but it's also a much better company/shopping experience than your typical store.  It's cheaper than Costco, without the large buy-in and huge crowds/stores.  Here's why you should shop at one if you have one in your area:

1) All Aldi brand (but manufactured by name brands), so costs are >50% less, and you don't waste time making decisions
2) Stores are small and thus easy to get around.  Weekly shopping will take all of 15 minutes
3) Quality is as good, OR BETTER than name brands.  Aldi makes this claim and I find it to be true.  They even back it with a double money back guarantee
4) Because they put multiple barcodes on each product, and employees are paid well, expect checkout to be < half of the time of anywhere else.  In fact, many times I cannot unload my cart faster than the employee can scan them
5) While no where close to a whole foods, they do a decent job with having lots of organics/gluten free/dairy alternatives, etc. They do well with alternative diets.
6) You are not enticed to spend on things you don't need
7) They pay their employees well.  Min wage of $13/hr, full health care, etc.

I think Aldi got a bad name in the 90's for quality, and I am a stickler for quality.  But they have seriously upped their game.  No cost saving measure in the last 5 years has had a bigger impact on my bottom line than switching from shopping at Super Target  to Aldi.  It's actually gotten to the point that I get depressed when I do have to shop at SuperTarget (huge parking lot, huge store, long checkouts, overpaying, etc.)  It all seems like such a bear.  It even caused me to cancel my Costco membership, because I realized that I never walked away spending less than $150 there, not to mention the food waste and unnecessary purchases.  I struggle to spend over $80 at ALDI.

In my experience Aldi is pretty useless for those keeping a to a paleo diet. The meats and produce were abysmal when we went, and since that's all we buy...

Mrs.LC

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Re: How can I spend less on groceries
« Reply #49 on: June 24, 2015, 03:22:05 PM »
Not sure about the Aldi store you were at with the poor produce.  Our Aldi has trucks delivering daily that are filled with quality, low price produce.  They have a generous variety and also carry organic items.  It seems like people either love or hate Aldi - no in between.