The Money Mustache Community

General Discussion => Share Your Badassity => Topic started by: APowers on December 03, 2017, 11:05:48 PM

Title: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on December 03, 2017, 11:05:48 PM
What I buy for groceries, and what meals I make for my family of 4 (two adults, two kids under 10). A documentary of sorts, if you will, on how to spend (on average) less than $200/month for food. Kind of like a SNAP challenge, except... the SNAP challenge isn't a very hard challenge, and this thread is about how we ace it every month by miles.

Note: When I say "groceries", I mean food only. This is not about paper towels, hand soap, or anything inedible.

Not really a how-to, but kind of. More like a single place I can link to when someone inevitably exclaims over "Wow, how can you possibly manage such a low food budget!?!???!?" Right now, I have a couple posts/threads, but no really complete single place. I'd post it in the Journals section, but I want it to be accessible to non-forum members too, that way I can link to it from facebook/etc.

The general plan is to report back here after every grocery errand with a list of what I got and what I paid, starting january of 2018.
Also, will be reporting on what I've been fixing for meals, so there may be a recipe or two tossed in.

Please chime in, if there're specific questions that you always wonder about other people's grocery shopping.


We live in Colorado. Groceries are about the same here as they were when we lived in rural Washington state. I've stalked online grocery flyers in So. California, Montana, and Minnesota, and they're all very closely comparable. My currently supported hypothesis is that is doesn't matter much where in the lower 48 you live-- you can do this too, or be really close. Location does affect what sorts of staple fresh foods you may find on sale regularly; for instance, in WA it was apples (we could get them for $.50-.70/lb), while here in CO it seems to be peaches ($.77/lb when they're in season). Simply adjust to what your area is efficient at producing.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Update:

Jan 1st, 2018 through Dec 31st, 2018 (https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/have-a-sub-$200month-grocery-budget/msg2245500/#msg2245500)

Actual grocery food spending: $186.17 per month
Actual eating out: $31.59 per month

It's all right here. Thank you all for reading along!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on December 03, 2017, 11:06:23 PM
I don't really have a menu exactly, because it varies with what's in season and what's on sale. But. We do have some staples and regular features...


Breakfast: (quick-cut or whole rolled) oats, brown sugar, milk-- as if it's cold cereal (or, when milk isn't less than $2/gal, cooked w/hot water). Whole grain, relatively high protein, and generally keeps me full until well past lunchtime.

Oats we buy in bulk when they go on sale for $0.70/lb or less. I buy a 50lb bag, and that usually lasts us 2-3 months. It fits nicely in three 5-gal buckets.

I try to allow a whole fruit per person per day. Bananas and apples tend to be the price leaders, but depending on the season, we'll also have grapes, peaches, or nectarines. I look for prices under $1/lb. Usually there's at least one variety of fruit that meets that price point-- I generally go with whichever one is the best price, and let the grocery ad rotation provide us with the variety.

Lunch is almost always leftovers from the previous dinner, or PBJ sandwiches.

Dinner is generally pretty basic, but nutritious. I tend to follow the formula of "carb"+"protein"+"veg"=whole meal. I've found it easiest to start with the carb ingredient, and then plan a way to use it with the meat/veg. My carbs are: brown rice, potatoes, pasta, beans, lentils, bread/flour. I've assigned each of them a day of the week (sunday is leftovers day), and that helps keep the I-have-no-idea-what-to-make-for-dinner at bay. Often, there are leftovers for a couple days afterward, and then I just pick up with whichever ingredient base is on the next day. I try to use equal amounts of carbs and vegetables, and use about 2oz of meat per person, give or take-- I'm more generous with chicken and pork (as they're cheaper) than I am with beef (which is more expensive).

So with rice, I might do a stir-fry/fried rice with a small amount of meat and lots of veggies; or I might do a savory rice soup (rich chicken broth, rice, carrots, onions/garlic); or I might make it with some ground beef and taco seasonings/vegetables.

With potatoes, I might make hashbrowns (serve with some sausage and veggies); or I might do baked potatoes, or I might make oven fries and then top them with taco filling as if they're deluxe nachos (serve with green salad).

With pasta, I might do something like: ground beef sauteed with onions/garlic, add in a bag of frozen green beans, salt and pepper and more garlic to taste, serve over the pasta. Not a standard combination, but it sure tasted good. One box of pasta makes just enough to feed the four of us; in this recipe, I used ~1/3lb of ground beef, 1/3 of a large onion, a handful of garlic, and 1lb of frozen green beans. Other nights, I'll do spaghetti, or a loaded pasta salad, or some variation of pasta stir-fry.

With beans, I tend to do a lot of burritos/tacos; sometimes I'll do baked beans with sausage; sometimes I'll make them into some kind of dip we'll eat with corn chips.

With lentils, I might season them as if they're beans and use them in burritos, or I might do a lentil stew with all manner of veggies hidden in it. I kind of count lentils as green veggies, and they go well with onions and carrots, so I'll often slack on including an actual green vegetable with lentil meals. It is EASY to make a week's worth of lentil stew! More than once we have had lentil-leftover based meals for three or four days in a week, because I made too much. Oh well.

With bread, we'll do sandwiches of some sort; or I'll bake a loaf of homemade and we'll eat it with our lentil stew; or I'll do pancakes for dinner (because that's fun!), or we'll make pizza.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on December 03, 2017, 11:06:42 PM
Resource list.

I'm in Colorado along the I-25 corridor. Here are the grocery stores that we have access to, and what I generally tend to buy at each.

I most often go to Safeway and Sprouts-- probably on a weekly basis, or if I need to make an emergency grocery run. King Soopers is on the way to the thrift stores, so I'll generally try to combine it with a Goodwill trip. Costco, even though it's close, is probably once-a-month. The close discount store I probably go to every couple weeks, the far one I rarely go to unless I'm going past it for some other reason. Walmart has a grocery store directly adjacent to Goodwill, so if we need something food-wise, I will usually combine it with a thrift store run; the full Walmart store we probably go once per month on average.

Safeway (2.5 miles away)
Generally loss leaders. They often have the best sale price on beef (under $3/lb for fresh-ground), sometimes they run a good sale on pork sausage ($2/lb), I can often get chicken (usually leg-quarters, but sometimes split breasts) for under $1/lb, and the best deals are often on their 3-day weekend sale. Also, I linked my safeway card (free) to their website (free) and they send me coupons based on what I buy. These coupons generally make pasta easy to get for under $0.80/box, and often there is a "save $2 off $20" or a "save $4 off $30", so when there's a good sale, I'll often try to bulk buy just enough to hit the mark for that discount.

King Soopers (Kroger) (3.1 miles away)
Generally a bit more expensive than Safeway, but sometimes has a good loss-leader. Sour cream goes on sale reasonably often for $1/16oz, and they often run a "buy 6, save $3" or a "buy 4, save $4" sale, and sometimes something good will be part of that sale. Meat markdowns (close-dated/expiring soon) are generally better than Safeway, but not always a good price even after the markdown. Also, I get a free thing once a week by downloading the "Free Friday" coupon; these aren't usually anything substantive, but it's often a soda or other snack food that makes a good treat.

Sprouts Farmer's Market (4.1 miles away)
Generally an emphasis on "natural"/Organic/"crunchy", so most of the dry goods and dairy and meat is way expensive. But produce is almost always the best price that I can find, and the loss leaders are usually even better. Also they have bulk bins of grains/beans/etc. This is where I buy oatmeal in bulk and almost all our fruits & vegetables. I'm probably here weekly for fresh produce.

Costco (1.9 miles away)
It's easy to overspend at Costco, no joke. But regardless, I find tortillas, garlic, bananas, pinto beans, spices/seasonings, and gasoline (though gas isn't part of the food budget) to be consistently better priced than most anywhere else. I find some other things here on occasion; the rotisserie chicken is reasonably priced, as are the big blocks of cheese, and sugar. Canned goods are usually more expensive than grocery store sales, and produce usually follows the same routine.

"The Discount Store" (2.7 miles, 6.6 miles)
There are actually two of these-- one nearby, and one on the other end of town. I usually buy close-dated loaves of bread for $1, and always check around for gluten-free bread or other steals. Once, I found CASES of shelf-stable packaged gluten free bread for $0.99/loaf. Another time, I found a 50lb bag of whole wheat flour for $8. Wheat bread is almost always in stock for $1/loaf, everything else is pretty hit or miss. Often I find the prices are the same or higher than Safeway or Sprouts, which just amazes me-- seriously, I'm not buying stale marshmallows for $1.59 when I can get fresh ones for $1.25 at Safeway.

Wal Mart (3.6 miles to "Neighbourhood Market", 5.8 miles to Supercenter)
I don't buy much in the way of groceries here, but there are a few things. Lime juice, peanut butter (when I can't find it on a loss-leader sale), big jars of pickles, and an odd item here and there. Walmart produce is surprisingly expensive, and I don't really trust their meat to be good quality (and it's not actually cheaper than Safeway or King Soopers), so I generally stick to pre-packaged/shelf-stable items and dry goods.

Trader Joe's
I've never actually been here, even though it's right next to Costco. I get their ad flyer in the mail, and they never seem to have anything I need for a good price, so I haven't bothered to go in.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Prices: Generally, I shop for

Meat: under $1/lb. This usually means chicken, sometimes pork. Chicken usually rotates on sale at Safeway for $0.88/lb. We splurge on ground beef when it's under $3/lb, and I'll stock up when I can get it for $2.50/lb or less.

Veggies: under $1/lb. Onions and carrots I can usually find for $.50-.60/lb, most everything else varies just barely under $1-- tomatoes, celery, lettuce, etc. I generally buy cucumbers, avocados, and bell peppers if I can find them 2/$1.

Fruit: under $1/lb. Bananas usually come in around $0.50/lb, while most other fruit tends toward $.80-.90/lb. Again, I buy what's in season based on what the loss-leaders are. Here in CO, it's often apples, grapes, or peaches. Sometimes we'll get strawberries or pineapple, but not as often. I'll buy avocados when they are on sale for 2/$1, otherwise, they're just too expensive.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on December 03, 2017, 11:11:18 PM
I present to you: The Pantry. All my secrets are now revealed. LOL. Here's what I'm starting out the year with. Obviously, I have a supply of staples (bought on sale, of course), plus a bunch of other odds and ends that I've picked up here and there. There is no other food in the house.

I don't have a chest freezer (I wish I did). I don't have a giant pantry room; it's 2'x2' next to the fridge, plus the stack of buckets along the wall.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/r8er0OtDqTetO1PeQjOdGUgByAH-7HywTdZ_NbK45oHNdNQo2XPV11D_MyEca-SKgwG4kvrKHsqsc82V4dm_RJ3ZuFsH9nVteBaIQJWL4bx3F8ODyX5iDD97E1NTnrytfYxQ1hIn1_RIMEHgV2fXRoNs5yK7bR4elZVmrLkQqRDfDES9c6av9J2LY26BJF53yr8KGrihOkcCf8QaxnbXki8ca7ZSe9U5GzbJ3qCUYFuEStKYTQOnIMfJy9mn3jH00kiKpI-y2pBZVgSdu4-p2QlQfpRmTEXd3tuXJVELJ1we09crdQsexhHrR-Tsy9C8O4ge9wP5A_XZCtz7CzA3L1LVSOORhK2BIcjZ9I0O8xrd9nXx_0skxjstxzV63pr6--aWWoe54g6C1CWW2_4ewp42772uloF7e-jHhVYYTFtCIdpkCMTn_ruw9W5BBr2Z_zz_ku1ovUIKIFA8tHINJuf77jOZsnRziKeNCYFXV2lsYTdGZre7xIB93ek1AHSpUHf4Rm7ur765mFP59YUJEQ9li71vJCN0s2t6fZm8OjEHyGTkd_c_C6nOPF8G2uHZ0a6VT7HetE__O-S6iCe69VGlE082DEgBlTaiIHTo6aNCU3fqrlRCqOE7yDa8i0esibAZyS6hoavoBRN6gio4qBLL9uv3U9yw=w1419-h798-no)
2 boxes cake mix
1lb. raw almonds
3 packages of gluten-free "Oreos"
1.5 bags of marshmallows
3/4 box of lasagna noodles
1 box rice crispies
1 bag potato chips
13oz bag of flavoured rice
6 shakers of sanding/decorating sugar (2oz each)
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/y3PrL1HvmCMqpP5vRCJ0yV8qlmGjlgjDfivQGeVKfjXec_GVVdQOXxdS81bjY_Beik8dbyxYVLo7RYD7wLxnIdB7uTxV7AZomlA3GWSdDEeFSyYtmrkJk4jsNquP6N_nlFLQDhcRv_vIoOLNpTEXzcNdD4OM3BjETZHnVZji_QfaJ2q7aJZQwJW5n5eCefb8euI4pFY95ZmbsDN5AyO9N2IOPkcGB_vh-17VP_x_3S2xlnwkz6K314xL2kz9F_w_Tuh5qGO2ljj83dtn9V0oQUBkr0vQg_wlr_VbLPa0NLRbfENGdP6g9HZwzzfXy7ghdV2GcW4uBZztnn-gNElIcVqJKg-BR2xLHa7GsfHQiIhgI7kOFZErxrBw8hOWRmrZHJDUO7O7Ss8eP9xCUUySHv7uAqk-KuocxaEOYz3kr3BqAvKhpPWIDsZywrUdD0AHl5_xf0ESEqaIDSxUE9o734IDkd5KudLh1If5xV32XhFLZSpayZ5Xv0eNA92uASXK1AK7n5Wv5s6nU4YJKFWniyqisq8WKcZ43Um0XIyWPUUQ2mj0PqE3Nl9LxHP-luSJk17xaKrGfMAL4e0E_YWcuiW4iSeG3z9HBrc2vxHqkdscFb-bfUwBp4VeecmDVYoFwhDCymu0f9Rhy3P0EtSRXyGgbIerQVVv=w1419-h798-no)
14.5lb dry pasta
8oz pack of rice noodles
2lb gluten free dry pasta
1/2lb dry chickpeas
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/0Lef7CcaVELiqDN-7CAiv48hCFO9u_dGT7zNTKOnfBmkNtWyobfeAIxaliBUz87-yEH9fEXbpt3O4nUVOG7OXqGDldScHVQAI7dD1B1ei3KttjMYxcoNgJxtZ6j-ES2vISM7xupdm-vhYS5HlTrXQ3v2iK3i1WFPcm6YSAEtgm39NmJxdqdmjNsbdI_-TjFUD2YZU9WdyW-ML7254FEqfLS4jqstC5d6lhq5tBvd1jtvo_JiN9UhyeByukrxZhe7ApS8LjcANOtV-dc5xuSH8xPsxXePADZXSrCmTuVm6cRcMl2pKpJwllwYZsCh6-SkKBae4UMWHoIHciYsEE5lDCbVMnzKm77HTnT39KdoZTq7OmsQ4E1aO_Z86T_vhiadF0jKYCKT8YN7SGj_QIgqXf4vNNIRRKVuq37qsXTro4ayVC7wQgWELsOUBKT_w87UiBm1pxsJxzvIC8XLICJxrbP7tiGLDTduE4BIUFP8cA7hN-eMGEkSVBDjeDs32jxDFLLDpLOJv27BwJdjcb6-MXw8q24hiPSIQvMCgZPSvPDBFahjpb1xmNH7mEOHZKDIDXXpFjjjbbqFTDWJky5wyubhXNyrpORu-hB63JCEkhNjOhd9PnLjLoWp4h4nsvzinzPcDxIEpqVxQNbToyEWR88xzhHvb-q7=w1419-h798-no)
3lb popcorn
~8lb baking soda
4 cans garbanzo beans
2 cans kidney beans
2 cans black beans
14 cans corn
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/TJZa2KFnO_1qknMdIzeJCkfP12ZdfZVhBBein5HFgtz5ZpsQfMuSc1Sv8R22CL7848JVUize6QCuziKafiZt7CqgbMr-khxEtAFuJaDYnbUsM6qJzaLpk2CHUM5ST2vi1D80Tv36aqAlQM8tRPIuhK9-Y2WhKl6oq7HW-wu4Wmhj_US9dGqrbfeEPe1EWogDStqakuGDZ2kMg0_5uHwlPzy-6vHwpL5rA5sQdkt9HMesPuuEMOcYGAh5tOo5oq9pVs3tx33eNpFQv5PwuAp8BoLRJBJg6SIYwKFG3hTNauBqGdx3L2mhO98ig7dVaJKd_KeRVQubGaJnddRJFYTYiragDSIjmIlCn647GusSWk1pu1ZnTdrRbtsYe7fjSMCv64NTYq_vDp8nAKMFSEqprmmejJKRU7I8MocGmJQqCNG7azUEpXwgNIseYznLcf2rOXkP-MfhInMwsNFBRd4ezQhHocW3L5B__J9lFQlQE2nT5jQXKwvMrpnC_NrT7KqhRUv5bWEOGPq6mnvy7Nxb3-vnK0GsQvAjlaXCfqt6uys4DH0fkSh5bLVAsBS0THU0ThYJYBXf6bjllIkxl2wk5lWs3x9-A4CBuRlPNobhu5guwBkHOmA-rRKEH9jyynscsPEup_9hrbmMCtTVP0FkQYgdO98CF4s_=w1419-h798-no)
~17lbs peanut butter
3lb strawberry jam
4 cans olives
2 cans tuna
20 cans tomato sauce (8oz cans)
16oz jar peperoncini
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/YOF3S8pxnJE3BJfaiIfkY8bDgWJycPYwdhIHRqeP0Jde7zr8TAIhcVsYLYvv2bKJ1zGTlH3y8k5rCiH26LwWCoCEBzP_kgXH9nMdsG4dk2QOcRWu4xv_0lPAH6027hrOqe8P4WFI9JPYE2WHqzCAigzLa61EvO2rzJ0yQp9QsQ5rVAOW0hHmg8N0vw9qFrYh_RMijQzybZc5SCHO5yMMqkDrQos1cBHn5gY1AIunwlF2Cci6gzaolQnZLY1-tNJlvkfIkAOs8ksfDLDLcBxeea-VuxxkHL593vXjSYpm5g6YY0iNh6iwOQGy5gPGIA7WjrmGsTBaX861qfZ605FmMuk-lkXx2zYTekO78zbmDt_kVZ-rkDgRUemCMSOmm_VXiBzp3x4EVACa2jldtf0h3ILej9jIetEPYj0g-3VEVh97AyRAMXVN_yKVJ8mYQuoGwcfvywotzmXKgDNh0QWPgBwY1WK9iav3crJbdZWsvXSSFgooU0LukgN9s-c9sq8wUIxiWk6FKtTEgH6YjcWZPI6dEyquzTA4v4RTIKEVV5jN2c9ltr5TbV6jty8jLkn6ReDPs4TXZfwumDaCRHRZGOoSaFqYQ1LovHltNLv6BYsHwDg_XU560jb37t2wrvv3QgGfoH8tiUFiinYzJMWBfBGgZN7q_w9A=w1419-h798-no)
5lb honey
2 tubs frosting
~4lb chocolate chips
54oz salsa
~1/2 cup coconut oil
2 big squeeze bottles mustard (60oz total)
16oz plain gelatin
20lb potatoes
2lb pistachios
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/3nKAUgHkKC5p_0L72xJgnkJCzcOq-oMWgh-q0Ry7_SpwkSEabBeu3LrjetAo8eaIDq6PE7UUC0acT2QLvdDw1kTBFMXKm63VbdsBhNtKVpUe80xr4a50q8JWPxcfgeFumuNaVnve_3WEaSag9zIjGhEkMAffL-xDqYaFfKWOiv9MvhymoorSMGkkR_rhq0-_Gqd0JXIks1dNrZ8KzQsD2vbjg_LhmVosQ9gHIPnpwWeyI2Rj02BsW2QcyQHkDzMVrfOY7N9tqQnvHMTp5keB3FDi6ToR05HglYyWwugzPYwfMnl9FvdVN1lI62UbMQwa43Iy55VZIzUp_IiYEazrjiSF8wToKrgKrGS_gvg2uv4YoauTUBFDlVnp_74-GSHaPZJt37PGf2SA4K0dOY3hK6UETC0pqXJAy9e0QTdywN2X3kX65aVmWcG2kn7CSt0SZaQiBSGDnvwz4scqVXqJgG6pp_G9FOT3nImEbAZchU0WjTHAJiG7ztSuEfjhpeBhDgZy7C8uyf3YXknHitAXikMJMsKZw2_Ei86FRMrWqxpmBcmolx0-cp_RdNddCbXPQq6c5Q-ICXb74jr3VKUDzoQ3KUVrmvB2X9gYuJYKhIEv-EMOwMfyqDrp0qEA9GRtTL0uvRpWjjubQ3GnfrG6FXYWWxTtpQzF=w1419-h798-no)
8oz jellybeans
2oz Sour Patch Kids (candy)
~5oz Smarties (candy)
96oz canola oil
2.5 bags white chocolate chips
~8oz peanut butter chips
16oz xanthan gum
4oz pretzel salt
1oz alfalfa seeds
2oz dried dandelion root
12oz psyllium seed husk powder
12oz macadamia nuts
10 individual packets of salad croutons
Assorted parmesan/red pepper/sugar packets
1 single box of raisins
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/qpLlmaiBHfwlcpG_69Xuh_mgg420BcpnJfXP9X0nt46W1CADiRnZUO0qtsXTBnaT3lYX6-Z5dJxzINdVvsZh4r22cL42_vASuFOtFa6aaqGrVs4Rfhle5aXCW7np8xl5N548bvmc5-7LWP9t4XD3TJ_aiO-P3VjTaPc2RsA64Lh5H0lNJkrTG2Yj_EiFz3soDgi6FQ1ysY1GBQ1jCPmbqQZ0RzF7SvHfDnQv5mghu_559Uo1OEhGlYMiPIPH77ii0Bxv13bzx1NBrItNIRvRrR-68iuQGXdsPirAbnTrYNdOefjycTUT2DxmtdSl4G3f79CPKORkxN66KK59R4F7iu0nh5R-gczzWeKnrgb_K-aiSE8tLTTn-o6UfvkOwQtqEiJyooPYP7HdJ2_lS9abqEdoE664MosAetC8GnX_6wY2p9VzIlyukRpgyeS1GkVMGGYZ96NK4EpIMZRXeweGSXJqxQjmszsTkVuOI6CT1CV2cJ-mPJhFEM_OfnFwY3fwPUaZpLqGryf7Dw5UgxC1VqMBu1q-AFjxD0TPJEkSiZqqOuF4Be4t6EE5Ih9a8-Jp4HvO7DBr4g3IEgyVQWtLbqaWAbQvazHpgkP4AKQDW9jvEGKQinepRMkmhsovqRZILHT-N-vwUyYpNcLFw5fXXH7WcSTdyIQ8=w1419-h798-no)
4oz cornstarch
4oz vanilla extract
~6oz cream of tartar
8oz xanthan gum
12oz baking soda
1tbsp nutmeg
~6oz liquid lecithin
1/4 cup baking cocoa
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/oaY6tjuMkXh4y2LiQ0iJ5SY_1Ka0sOgmA1BWdTr_3b5JUMnvt0sqDpcajdo45ANtTMMvXTVw-ovCULMJCVsZn-A7NPV7b1gqe6J-BQWWWPV6DK0-Vctx635hRgrJ1ees0YEaFpwb4pZX7S6ruol_aeeVTfiidzqPcXHDY8olUBUh2aWrY5vddZQuknxiIol6T0BBDf9_jwMDLFJ57_5aQmRkPrf1UZQr8vyd-g5-JZpKadWnv_u8OlR9MYlHjNJ38GGfdezJ2GFBgv4suFeVcTnWy5-KAfJZJgpV6sUkpgG6-J222GQ24nsRK9Hf5u4xfKUV7yjIZdsjWUbD2OM3lYqhfYT4hFmLOk-9ZNLCayF89GfE86IFVuMHqaDspVVMs8bpzIQA3Mm0fsrLnMB6eaML9cysG2jf-R3mIjNjYtDSX60QtpVt55G8XM5DroGuNZl5CmsL8ogGsbC6Cn6vbeItfB8mpMzCKK59YyX94S6hznjNzxzeMIydGKdQSJFFeRgc4Hi1jd-tseJgvqmBA4WJ2mQ4knTGlg7iFDLzmQfwUm35qshB1X-QhF8UwoQpF4Bv7DYNIY7AsYqg2Gad3V66_gizuLf2fROyrOl2iYHl4IGbZpXH0Wc7O6EVFP1ZulHqOnCDwjk_5M34RqWfOKrpzRREVHxj=w1419-h798-no)
8oz smoked paprika
4oz black pepper
24oz sea salt
~9oz garlic granules
11oz cinnamon
14oz cumin
2oz ginger
16oz turmeric
2.5oz italian seasoning
15oz coriander
14oz allspice
17oz cayenne
8oz chili powder
11oz mustard
4oz dill
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/c16awzP7QHasZHDUHOIDNXteXq6d1qOnCpV0ODBcczuzIbma1xSeY8KgGTXfOSgTglD5E5o-YeWagfWAkgEL7SIdeP_skeM2GV3yknheCTI-XWvlH49kWuaO45KaLSJGqGHb6zIRR4KC-J9SdzIgMLd3AJeyMlSk0CjidpGPLkePyBHzJL7dWSaqZ5fWsOXwL1a2MbXjojk4O0XAExHcNIJJu-W9SLRJoV-VNAk2xupLcCFYjxkPIPQPwa9IamfxiZbp0Hy6hssVV90i7_IZY70AR5KB4jvfK5VhelQcxN-Pek_qkdl_6XkEO2J742duiswu9JjolKeQa_43M9TtNi_80aV_qrCue2s48jMtLAbkfSfd3koavxA1P8d8cw6GtqImLv53pd1yl_GvSjAmQ5x2-FTZoofFQfAYe4Dq8CP_Y3mTz93f8ayEogX-H0cqvFvVBz3OEPL-6TwQJ8WMsoT_nBoDFyLe4Zt6DNbf5rJ40SPOPoK32mL_ep73rvwBBQSfojwPKDM3nXC5PYyJtT6OxYyjTNnQFWs6OSPVkuL7v75Gqw95tsqkx3pKNKH1Fert8ZxUpf86soxzdKD6h2o4GnTWPRByr1FtDAqCM3XK4C9LcswyOVKlVT3H1WD5sxA44y5yl4LNLi9hFWsJ3Amj_Ha2b0WR=w1419-h798-no)
5.75lb white all-purpose flour
10.5lb brown rice
~9lb white sugar
~16oz canola oil
~1.5lb dried lentils
~10.5lb gluten-free flour mix (giant christmas tin is GF flour)
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/HmjpibE1J2A6DyCvwRkgv4J3AeBPar6Du2rAzeWjTwypPen-a-Gf9i6sq0Ni0oQUyi_VcW4ylK25WQZtPalJ_IAHBesanU0Sbx0bXXw7Abnx87fo7Mz5lyXhliUC4SgLDLPaNiqtC52rSkSEoJ63eFZFSrKR0kQmK9vxegkGsRGv5vSB5JwDseA4x7kx2yFCXjqJQ3RerSpToUZV_bcsXyZ6BrqqZiS7jA9niXvMAAFsRu3-yxr763ceGGUu0CpAEYKQ0O_R-E6qrMib5kruvpQl0JysAS3gM5d1sX6UItl2fVQXQmscpOyaTisJMQ3WjuBiMJpQCypVDiPygMGGk-fnQ0Ysju9UQrvTYGA4xVDpaX700JH4X93-wItTGBgBa0gLIRYI8i5orr0eatuJamaMMOvRbcR1oJgmuh4cB8gab44iIOg7Hzo1mFDLRpLNVXYWIz0N8Q1GCpanYQ1wIEfgIhIO8m-C3c9GlCGXV5RTky_eVyepexXWkHoElsPlHMrXg0J4hjihJCk9J5zV0ZJC3LRDpOHe79CWR-z1Ao1PCJADiuSBvyXDTK4ZfYPPBIYAAQpg0fQIZj7lIyKYd89z40TuYTY5Jw5-B1BykLk2mrF0E2gWii8EINh_K7iOuCVkaiWDg6TvPCcrDedXDu2Kq8eh2G5E=w1419-h798-no)
1 pint raspberry sorbet
19 gluten-free chocolate chip cookies
5lb ground beef
2.5lb breakfast sausage links
4lb bratwurst links
3.5lb pulled pork
2.5lb batch of lentil stew
1lb pecans
8oz cheese tortellini
3lb frozen peas
10oz pepperoni
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/i-Yd1ItUJS-c_G9jiMYjiIwcwMMar1TccYtJhlm5ZDFr1ZOUeK65gMDJ4zSt0dsnlrbhItk1rDJzPDTMK8tPXI_QRnAyV82QOwywb4bEK05SaNUFwOG_m7Ur0VzIY3oqHY84GzAoNJcXuXCwlElHUILb1CQmFKDdDTe111iduo0myd_NMvjzX3GSFgEKGHOphKIeKvA0CiDCEAdbOHt9oiAjON8calM8aygaUoEtqzRgWj_tMVoTuaTJst-0xz3kMgXPFZTw7bh3yQq4m4110IG865eAM1jexBL_er3iD6BfpV8UzIfhlYtwnP2nARQPq8GqZ3zqqWtLWAo_sO2zLTSAE5OG-QYa19V8IoDvYQRcraJqExL3_9WN7ZmguosScOJ_ntxmeGl9W3nC3AYKaPi1U0mPf3ZN-JUAra2a6lLw-IKrb1YZSHdLA-rXkEILwljgbCPSifIzRqo59HUZWVgMTmzXW8_NFK-BdvvwPNzsg1lYQEzRfxXPrshmVKgv7G4swiv50xaLnBv0WWO5hSEcFBICF_qmftr6emGHu7fYxqw8_ZgqsJXj-BSwu3gLqdRYfEG-EGzZnOJbVvkU0Y4xVOpFlOox79MHh3nDOjb7-dA0Mymtue1zeZqkrVH0z9uc5LD0lIp1Zh7JqzUMeoBi-eX45m5x=w1419-h798-no)
1 pack giant tortillas
2lb butter
3 packages of sliced cheese (6oz each)
1.25lb dried mission figs
14oz dried pears
1lb sliced ham
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/HUgEKb2kavKX3jUZDoABVYnJjrsxwGmKIX22VzC3-bjtv0AGFR3fTEDOXNlcG1dyOtE8tieLxnFakOkqAefuC_8wQ4V5W-i1FAHsJueVQw4uJqGs_Q5AjKwmOG7Os-LVxhNpLnwX3HLzdUlzBtNHk1eYyJ0rNhbv6EwHLVuYTjW8KkO_H1nZrr0sFCrcu1hpFQf8km5s8MH6wNLZQX2dDDHTEhi4QF2IBFWPpG1KApnXvHBz8b6FSKR1w0aUXXC336qXW2yHZ9Ck05ATpCMaue9KLCgSxjzi6uurO5AwfMsDV61D2x4TeFvwbzHeQbfqS2lZ0UPA55uq8jPayFNH5izFhs1wjK_sNkUObxSvCl2ZWU7KdI0i1XqP0DCCXtphrbHVG-gXE-SzfyDHVww4EQ98ji7Hs_OJc6I0Kwa5HidVRGxEwI2Ioc4fw9InCcTVu9pDrY_fXbC2Oe-RK-Su7JRiEdUqT-BAzG3Sic0Rzd9DNxr8Gr8yWtGL7K9xaQ6f2kgxA3qurytOlsYuOqaMIRxfW9qkk78AstUJ6BCaNSCQSGuRYoZdslidUnFwpnOB_tdBvjUiAJNfLsTZbFqAK1fJBjfkRbgFbduuiIpW2B1YhOWnrPpmU7yTXFa2pbvpbxu1ytm4oNN2ym9Q8qsx4K_5dTYTiTZ0=w1419-h798-no)
4lb mozzarella
1lb cheddar
1lb sliced roast beef
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/TAcoslz_a2D6dWLkKkdMHTaQGdRXg8EgiWA3nmcGY18EcEue6ErIU15qHEMwg44eNSj8_JrZRY4vARXF_x1QvwlfHDNiZw_GnyHrH5WMruLULyMcd5sbF0RHxQ5-LDIIe4s-42dzvEfRF2UK8I3DvNeZQEItsxD3F1_t512-_RUMwujXinm8V3alaAnW8hdrS7tiDW2E4aZ_x9QNakE6uzxz-D95Uj4i119wTP4jneTVr_ek1W99S1yHT9-ykvn69yLtWDShqL26rAI70W-JYrszV3Ka4PMCqikk9eJaLDqKLKJlOCcalY7dCNxYWywoZ-hOAh1-AzCRY20ZkJQctYHYXwAdaC2D8F4wpDtE9I4T_fkfcnT8nC83vh6HVY8I7Wys5rRBesoL81zXg-F1sWT18IrG-N4Cq_j9icKDdxW1C0Fvf523Om8U1Nk4cVmEcVt40bLfshm-huKe1UV4oBv_YZSHuROe0iMNs42CkEHHCAQxoYDkQ5_9Fq7s1YoExgRKys4gApvSMmaOgndU0bboqfh07H3qYH2CND07xNZ1tY2bhkZXTL_FCoeK-qajjqcg4uwI9oie31ERwbxb0namRPZs4kSeCjFqPLJXA7unpX6-DDHEwQ35YErECOv50MHtBRI1YgVt4pzpTBVSefmFxGTnwjSm=w449-h798-no)
3 sticks butter
1 knob of ginger root
20oz parmesan cheese
~32oz mayonnaise
~16oz mustard
20oz ranch
~20oz homemade (dairy-free) ranch
4oz lemon juice
8oz nutritional yeast flakes
14 string cheese sticks
20oz chocolate syrup
~36oz salsa
~2oz BBQ sauce
~20oz ketchup
~22oz sriracha
6oz beef bouillon base
~3lb minced garlic
10oz worcestershire sauce
10oz tahini
~24oz balsamic vinegar
10oz soy sauce
Ziploc of assorted condiment packets
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/43rcSDSQ29xJyASqLrBGeHsGmAfKf-SSa2laO5lO0l-ZM0lWCp-tMmOVyRSrygCegSWtXvcsJncZZ5rPt8_maNCHcIaXIsDlkYef9u8hkK1XJjnTzML3oF0DGdJZQpgd2Z7BtRnFbJ8gbG9gMMWUTEdO3dRt9is7owDvUpnLzsoiXn6Y5d6p4vPLGW4foXqHrL6Ui4igmhDXLv-En-wRxmZMY0ED72_ySXhL-nrr5ogh_RRUrG40SBkx-f4bWEErtwr9i1_kGSuzGNLUFp6sy_GothHQMOxLXe6pZLC1W_c4XElsVZldUU7H0ziAMv7OnfZrN8i8kld3WGRcRG0d587ojB7LUXaI7-faX76pKyrOrS88AWlZA-ZbvytD-JLxbQIi4JTrglSVXLZrzCkw4RfEyH6WGKhz2gSykIqA4GBrMv6C5X7LFqEYm73xK9PCP85C3j2aWWy5HdSMIl-ml7Vt5Z8KTEm4HzoAQGIJhMLM6cpMZZDU0qY_kCucLdWNTBWxbGbcfgxdTGoeva64Uvu5_-nvwbN4fKQjZEYxefZutN7n2FfQh6lQTqTJOyqFdS4UTEsodaEK1nns1SmyCQJK2ZNZZCe0kYwoma2prdsFxhzW8O2gHzVVp3cEKXvo5rbb_kgjQS3AbATmFySpSTe7-Fw2m0e1=w1419-h798-no)
1lb walnuts
8 eggs
5 bottles Powerade
~28oz yeast
4oz strawberry jam
8 corn tortillas
1 batch of sugar cookie dough
A couple fridge experiments...lol
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/RZiM3YhxoaY6rV8LuQnVld2tb_RxOCrpKybV6ZJqaQG8DC0LEwO4cVR2frpnYdnjP8uzIgF-MbcbLFStXhUFw0P737B7pHjQJIrDeMp8HzOYWic0babnK98WPB-cchEMsHiQJ-bNNzq3w-kgLCtSxrLqaMyWNWwapbO4KKfW7es4MO6UUCsTyCqMbR--NzIVE360WkMOOXKAc0lzB81atRODY3NWwuLim4Jmk4R4JjXQsUIF21PsInZ_cNnRsv1OEp9HKYBFCbpT0eVV8O6FnNUtzomHl0_N9fOxFqceXrKbXU7jL36Vo3bW5T9acE-90z1mM1Hbg3tSLmPfyRN6-yYisKL3kSe75BA0ZAzwjVT40BfoQK4q4jkHPh70EuvzWXSBgAMHjR-lsSaOXc-JvWx7sqq9ML0KtauywJOdOSUmWlumndaqVzbLMyPeNuE-U9vRSdFpfk_frbkZ0lA7zBcLeTblMwdUwcJ9pJj9aZ3ld4Zua6DMwveGlzBbPmmVsJ7-dYZteVnMaxlxs9gcjQ30efE8BnA-ACIaRwZFJdh32rdMhqXoggnBKEADelw421nQtxcudueskdf1wMPdPFyI2fssi0UZMHDm_sEb1SGzi6CYMFVbVcpsvzn9CQw0LdXCIL2ix7-XvdeUDfpoab2C_jvJC6GL=w1419-h798-no)
1/2 gallon whole milk
12oz almond milk
1 bottle water
~24oz molasses
1 pint rendered pork fat (in two separate jars)
~1 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 loaf bread
~20oz apple cider vinegar
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/TIwb59aqxHu7zQrfu7z_IgHxe702Np3VqpRSUDioXoTh_zR858DK45z4zRsvVvd3lkBEx2tINf1ZvsaX4V2WD19n7XJzQGWtSkqqLrkaiXeojfesztSjDo1jxUoeEiyiF8jTrLpPZZQ67k3h_K9uVoeOBr2VnxH9ffjnYvs95Z8NwcWi6wYDSSX6XLmEVUJu_csz_b18KnZSx64rN9h7KSLkUm4TaN3yEH_4yaIJk2c5VMnDlahWHgsCb5nYy8Qoc2p4pmIzBcUAzpL39iGqDZeB1eD_ZOo37DUjrWKb41ltr6VhAQ0A5ObANwE-g73vEbXcdn_U2o2065E5zAKi6oer4_0DoU8HhOPd9TYXouaXQ0u6UfXPY9V9Kmp3-QJngCJ1sWsvYQbpYAEUX6MGNV53hVxbq4yxr4ygfIHc4bfjjXFCC9hmWM9a0ve8O0viqNo-wi1QN5719GbdSNZJtxmFCfWENi26KKfFy8DyJZWMLR5bA5GHC-rfoK5ZwVtdOhiLkcLxaS8jnJ9diQF1_Elh7EAfRcIxrcv2VFdYxPjuqxbjt-X_Xcpm49_6Nwi52IsbIwCnkBmFH97jurFUWdtjzP4WiXiVT5aiiG5OgBwd-vF1Ah-pB9sla-DvXZbSOLGVCaAO7IQ_kDAUKb-ZrHH5y1y7TQCy=w449-h798-no)
2 cucumbers
3 beets
1/4 bunch of celery
7 roma tomatoes
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/YASDaYvI36Bf-NcwBZXUq8yOG74OPnNnecmYQlhICY9bT21y__K0GKTx-BcH-4eGdy3ye_PSB8XJyG1BEN_xCaWUP6D-85ZP81r-mNuuiYtJ6YNlgSe56fnjolhyo-etOjiTfmKVzQsXd5OD1UL17U-oD0ErYXs3xwI3XjE2X7_o3SfyrTMUYQLw2NafQ3qkXpl7JSjh9rIA5cYmw3RcnVYTbuOpBRScomn0EaU780bu52oBuxKoQtyPg6i80NTznROzu6YsijSEaXbGbJmueDs6E_zNQJIDisz8p2Il4smsC9QWcrj1UD07kQF9_8keUGl_T-3ZHN7y5rfEtdBOubGz7r5LKGcXyTSNTfhJxenrNObY_vUJMd5RZHUV07F7bxsketZEOAh2MM6lC2qf6BllCKd4fuvIJR_s008IF7ZPmBoex3N2D2u7oUZzFbD80GUulLpmrFMfJMd-CKjUCYre6YjerEJpcb9Ram_fIcByv6jhOI29lHVhcRcmWxb_-jkru2wCR5fb7MNY4ZgPLNvmt4gIcJy4A58tcQgJFr52GOkDmcguHBc2LCIO8ODyAvbSfr_vRcWdsgvcwo2Vh5P-HHbBbzwQfEArTAaZHRKAuQqNQzMlGZi7V9Z-wSzXLgXME-P_gYG136wAn_fic7nk7lGBO4yg=w1419-h798-no)
16oz breakfast sausage links
2 heads broccoli
~40oz pancake syrup
1 pack flour tortillas
3oz cheddar cheese
~4 whole dill pickles
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/M2gA_ZWE19if7nY50cUolzis6jejvLhlD3muWGZrNxPVcbA_87AjhOs_rpaAFMcI4kupn_QV1rCKzkISe00tASXjzgGy4ILsX7ivNnRgV3uw-EfmlqzlNWV4IdGxX2HXw3IvcKb6hNLIHbGtGnD9zjrQ2LIoKPLUE7kA1XOJJq0sA-Jb-99z93_bmO-NYCGxpSnkJlnDWh_nxDs6yzQZGjIaDWPrQ3qojQ6UDqcxVBuLIlbf9ZJmY-DpLl6c2vQnZDK3slZrb90kVRpnKW3JMX6N8ES5IC70BVmSNZovkItwn3oRoSv8Ro_8e-bN9CHvc2OTr-LNz90KiQZSOIK0OuDYliaQB0NOAR2TlKmTB2fuPhLpCIM0E4fCz43e914W5WrevLv0Eid-Vt5NO5GHXK14G1FILkvgc8feI1vHNq2xc51Hk2xVCvuVn7xPdhEPpJBsgvUGp7Qd1kaqo7wnSm3IJYAM8vzhML4zYuIr9gF7v2NE9aXE1odUW4YZQerrcMwuuNwTMaF1fZqf6B5FMQn_55OtxZWTyUvuxK00PhZP-qjoaFWCODk9CGA0IEnjdPcft6dAYjZjDNFT8aUZBqJVIQbTfQKrMgndIYmrDVb8hEhT_MoQvtXCOdmRz4fwLOUy-wnnmED6qhs2uWDntvoZ7ZUVoWyw=w1419-h798-no)
11 onions (~8oz each, on average)
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/nAaIV72V7i-y21GET10jCHXYr3y40bRn1wlizP4a8bY8ngJqpXBWtQCHZLr3wfzGuQhSBzQwyN1aiObISdNCOavPiF-_0T5g7drk_SY1EFDrW210EupQSZ5wGu1mOClEGi8UH2r4y_YtVoOyD2CcxmB0GdtalC_WmkE5VbO-ctc6FCENNNunP-5ZE_e4kLb41ByMkH7J551idHxavz1H1I9njtA1MyRvWM3vjBeXRnya09L5tN2uK1qtwmUOJDIvUF9giRQgr57aGmxgl8nQcxzPVkKmic2Wxwqzy7g6SrnIGlykV86NOfH9ZhPGDm_gtpyEfiHp_bF6J_1i_7thtp3-DJ3OJz0pSKQykghOVKyx_55wnKBrnweJFwuUTfgA1BFd0DoAeDX9zEBNd9PPpUBRTt1ONY3S8YNwhFyDkdyTH97-TyX-ewjZMX7HfcBYAmbO7YtRM6v1LA0dFC7YHc8sLYrNLvvA48zy7KANz-so9ZvgXk4nf7GJwFZzI2jKK4JxRfkI9kER0zlE8CXmr_ygQNC4ES8cqxmDrz_WTHQXc1ugzBrCRL5r9Rw5oDreM1jgv0eEAYb6imn_-A5Itxvvs1LHb3G7wmTtzQ6QJCcAmK7afUtpp-THdYU9B4Fsj6oW2GSYVjW_ENny7iIW-Um5xfX2Y4M4=w1419-h798-no)
2.75lb carrots
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/2FqcMz_gdfqyQJ1reZsGmJ6T9MOexuYJymIzcoEFNEEk4nx0Ji2_UHPr-O-BPaiBUju3y7AgKL-ukm9Om9O0ZVGARvAbp7gKINrizsDYV74KafgUBJTlPpRw-wPuDitd4jMhcdFUAHEtP-YlsQgBeiVYfDWCn858BzXWj_ol01e_V8P41S9TXl_3YyxYvFo9aOxtxU1aVhqM2XX1PIIgwhTInKhAhYh1aplxQMoj_zWxT5MrOXwoyAQ59Tei6TxjmUfufwkemhobin-VQbW_lwFDOQxRtWIQA6ts5PFkfl9ZFI-wnB86uPUcSrxxFaOhEQKBCnuVLUV80SU5Qx9tlmVisjsE99F_6xeq25wl281hMDSvRo7zfw3vSneHExYq1NsQkk2lB3xT_vRf9pWl-skVktQyu65nNKQnH9bs4eZMFKnkWMmpUWH_Q8YqZkL2xhZwbOVHa6XfwqxR2d0LOuzFZ6wRUQdun7z2ITZqzWnEHaPSfES3DYKrX1028wbxSqwR1ysRqF4hltAdGNKE3pPr1f_0KzDl1Zw2OArTwBuNYIYLcfWd5GXH2gJyigIh2cyc8TLzhJF0EbUFB1_x1Hd_L31cpPWosle_szA=w449-h798-no)
4 avocados
~2lb honey
[not pictured: 9lb navel oranges]
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/NSI9UEFyWzI-mdH8DsLQqB8UOBm2egKjgu91M9rkKNPqR1nI_Bgl1sU2890twFQzXA-hlBYOkmo0c2XSiB5c78Of52O8ZUbieDBpu0GPEkEbmmPtMoq5yB6WjG5VH_xAcR-iMDfpiqwxrr4sq56RXribniRHujAiqRpENP3sPSOaKNdmrGPgUWv21AzBUBvLbyqf2FB1eOKMp3WGUpzrCJ2rs9sqbl83baELfCO-IZoPJwIKZzSgYWzS5Ozi4DgIUOJlSB-Myv07jMvT_2-rwe2R231jRul2pGQ1DbBTZ834agW-W_GTnnvXccm-e4eaF19WOJXYefe1MiZOcZpoIAm_1H-zmXNkHgfrsmk1qxy4YTDiir-dT8uMgnndx8h9ZXceQ6aDde5YnEeNO3wLrNyOUCM7mAzv9KJKaVI9frGSM16BmxUOgqTew2-XlDCGAa8COVDY0CAenb_rFAa84OUGtAlro5vrsSQ01fdrL1cg6KrTAyA__plvZ7EFvAqTNCg0GJAfdrBZ1tfwIpJv2fAH4mZTTUnyLJR1VgAr-Dqu1NkQ_6XmpCKXCfTspSe_XyA3fQfxAp9TWySULnpGS1CfDvy1HqnlxWZFUR8=w449-h798-no)
~50lb whole wheat flour (2 buckets)
~50lb of quick rolled oats (3 buckets)
~10lb brown sugar (1/3 bucket)
~25lb dried pinto beans (1 bucket)
11lbs dried lentils (1/3 bucket)
~2.5lbs popcorn (1/10 bucket...now in a jar, lol)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This is what I have on hand, as of December 29. There will be a few things that get used from the fridge before Jan 1, and I think I'm going to make one last errand to King Soopers tomorrow. [I'll edit later to include the few items-- planning to get pineapple, some chips that are a saturday-only sale, collect all my free-friday items, see if they have anything good in markdown.]

||[EDIT to add purchases made 12/30]||
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/cJ-xl4Dn90YIpPFkCKPv7ZZgT_auepNdD1qOVo_MdIex4pI_1J9WEKiNrJDi_ULeuA5x9_Ly34GhIxtkLbFbXyou6WD6QPebrqP50HA-5vH4KGkxxRf1n6p0NMwIOIKtCAPIEPrwU45UtcxS6_KrxWFQL5xCT-oMAQibBrDtk9-c-5THbPe3HvVBtCWPj5TKPfu4yNvpkFp9CnKSyPr_0czmEvadgpbevaNWY_iWTavYR53RbVRvG5kLX7t5OHzggYnj7HzInzWFFhRhETQ7UPEY-55WR69-YRhqOB_VzrjM4xjBU4jFLOjyD-i49QgfgdXU8FkGFA59Kbt7Cb9fuqGn9w9y6glSPQmiEHjW0BXQ0CUcbNZxUJJqE4lKg1ew68dIiQbUHaQoZ8VpP_pZC4WCOh2CuFNvLtD9vnjVj4HMFx_yMDRaphjaR3MFSwin2DQXq61uutDs3uZWzII50kfuIpEBO30SXZiSek7F8IzjL0ArMRWuFoIOHSHU4Nhiv3g-D6RSMxMyow02Qc7P-512GM20Mpivhb7LwT5BGFgeQc5NKdhInUOunY7o3Aj2bvKAFncCXbxqi7-UwdP6dZf14-9rkUYqGo9oMuY=w786-h443-no)
1 head iceberg lettuce
2 whole pineapples
16oz lime juice
2 fruit cups (freebie)
1 package flavoured rice (freebie)
1 package instant pasta (freebie)
4 bags potato chips
4 dozen eggs ($.88/dozen! How could I resist?)
[not pictured, because derp: 1 gallon Mazola canola oil]

As a note: this is not I'm-gonna-write-a-series-on-how-to-eat-cheap-so-stock-up-extra-beforehand-so-I-can-make-it-through. This is all stuff I buy along the way, as we need it, and ~99% of it was purchased in 2017, in which I averaged ~$180/month on food.

The most important of all these, I'd say, are the staples-- oatmeal, pasta, potatoes, rice, beans, lentils, gluten-free flour, and meat. Those are hard to do without, and expensive to pick up when they're not on sale.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: ACyclist on December 04, 2017, 09:21:52 AM
Shopping local for us would be difficult.  It is a frozen tundra here.  If I want any variety at all, I have to eat some imported goods.  Potatoes and root veg would become rather boring after a while.

 :)

I am rather proud of the shopping this week.  We only spent $77 this weekend on food. 
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: soccerluvof4 on December 04, 2017, 09:43:25 AM
This will be interesting, informative. I was proud to get down to 750$ a month for a family of 6. 3 Teenagers one a year shy. And that includes all paper products , cleaners etc..BUT most importantly a Healthy diet not just beans and potatoes.  Sounds fun./Good thread
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: acroy on December 04, 2017, 10:37:33 AM
Interesting -
We're at 600-700 for 'groceries': food + household consumables, fam of 9. Sub 200 for food only for fam of 4 sounds doable - look forward to the breakdown.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: oldtoyota on December 04, 2017, 06:28:23 PM
I gave up on having a low grocery bill. That was my solution. LOL.

We could lower everything else--but that is hard since we have allergies and special diets.

Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on December 04, 2017, 06:57:15 PM
I gave up on having a low grocery bill. That was my solution. LOL.

We could lower everything else--but that is hard since we have allergies and special diets.

We don't have much in the way of allergies, but we do have one kiddo who is sensitive to both milk/derivatives and gluten, so that does add a couple wrinkles into the spending and menu equations.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: headwinds on December 04, 2017, 08:07:19 PM
PTF.

This is a tough challenge. I struggle with food budgeting. It is so hard to tell how to balance health and frugality in this area. Obviously things which are expensive and unhealthy should be avoided. But I am of the opinion that unhealthy and cheap should also be avoided. But how best to eat healthy and cheap and still get all the protein, good fats, vitamins and nutrients that you need?
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Sunnysof on December 05, 2017, 12:00:10 AM
I will follow with interest. My efforts at cutting the food budget are just beginning, but I am worried about cooking/meal planning burnout. Right now I am dutifully making my own bread, but I can see this wearing me down. We spend a lot on tasty bread, and it's a main staple for lunches for the kids.
Right now, I spend most of my time after returning home from work either cooking, cleaning up after cooking, or menu planning. Or looking at this forum for ideas.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Goldielocks on December 05, 2017, 12:31:39 AM
ptf
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: soccerluvof4 on December 05, 2017, 03:26:20 PM
One thing that has helped me was breaking my budget down by the days in the month. So if my budget is $750 is 25$ a day. So since I can walk to local store or when I go to Gym there is an Aldis I can go everyday or buy 3-4 or days. I always try to start out the month ahead in the game in case something comes up and usually each trip buy a big item like Salt for the water softener or Pack of paper towel etc... I prefer to buy 3 days at a time and I do what I call backward spend.  I shop around for meats and produce first that are on sale and plan my meals around that since thats the biggest expense. I hardly ever buy something unless its on sale but then again I am at 750$ a month for 6 so looks like I have some work to do BUT my kids are almost all teenagers and big eaters. We do have a home made fruit Salad every night and usually a veggie loaded Salad and or Pasta Salad plus we make all there own lunches. I also only make things that I know the leftovers will be eaten. We were probably spending at least double if not 1.5 x's more but now I feel even more challenged! love it. And one thing I dont do is coupons. I dont find the deal in them and there are plenty of deals going on every week if you work it. Found getting to know your butcher is smart too. I see him all the time at the store I can walk to and say the same thing " He boss what you price cutting for me today".
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: lizzzi on December 05, 2017, 03:49:21 PM
PTF. I shop and cook for one person and one small dog, and am amazed sometimes at how much I spend. (Holy facepunch, Batman). Batch cook, cook from scratch, don't eat out, shop at Aldi--still seems expensive. Looking forward to following this thread.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: 2Birds1Stone on December 05, 2017, 03:59:07 PM
Very interested in this recently. We are aiming to reduce costs as we get closer to FI.

Currently SO and I spend ~$200-250/month on groceries for a household of two.

We do eat some pre made/packaged stuff. Steamfresh veggies, microwavable entrees from Trader Joe's, Reese's PB cups, etc etc. But I've found the key is cooking truly from scratch.

Would love to see a weekly sample menu.

FWIW we are in HCOL Long Island NY, so price even at Aldi = $1.50/dozen eggs today!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: jc4 on December 07, 2017, 06:16:53 PM
Excited to see this. MY spend was 50/mo in college. I'm now (married) and at 175 for all groceries, cleaning products, etc included for 2. We also host a group of 20 for dinner once a month and share about 10 dinners with people a month And I feel like I eat excessively well now. I eat meat and veggies/ fruits everyday. Not much processed either.

I was blown away to see all the spendypants food budgets on this forum. Glad to see someone else who thinks it's doable!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: remizidae on December 07, 2017, 06:48:05 PM
Good post! I'm always amazed by the variation in what people spend on food. You list 7 different grocery stores. Do you actually go to all 7 regularly? If so, isn't that a big cost in time and effort? Plus the effort of monitoring coupons.

I've tried Aldi several times, but I think they are overrated for frugal shoppers. Lots of their cheap stuff is processed food, chips and candy and so forth. Produce is just as expensive as at other stores. Meat can be cheaper or can be more expensive. And then, you're always going to be stuck going somewhere else to get all the stuff they don't sell at Aldi--basic stuff like tea and tofu is just not there in my area. Ultimately only worth it if you are willing to spend a lot of time going to multiple grocery stores or if you are very un-picky about what you eat.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: freya on December 07, 2017, 07:29:59 PM
I've been struggling with getting my food budget under control too, so I'm adding this thread to my list!  I'm ashamed to say what my grocery bill had been, but...well ok, here it is:
Average monthly for 2017 to date (THE BAD):  $399
First 3 months of 2017 (THE UGLY):  $420
Last 3 months (BETTER):  $340

In my defense, I'm in NYC, don't own a car, and like to support neighborhood shops which have eye-popping prices compared to what is being reported in this thread.  Like, it's $5-7/dozen for eggs.  I had tried to make Costco runs but found that this only made things worse, because I felt like I had to buy lots of maybe-I'll-use-this stuff given the effort & time involved.  Here's my list of cost-cutting measures:

- Alternate meat meals with vegetarian dishes like kale and pinto beans, chana masala, bruschetta or other things on toast

- Order non-perishables from Costco without a membership via Google Express.  Online shopping and limited inventory limits the risk of overbuying.

- Since I'm in an apartment with no outdoor access, I got an Aerogarden (secondhand off Craigslist) and have it growing lettuces and other greens.  I get a big salad bowl out of it once or twice a week.  No more buying greens and throwing half of them away.

- Shop one meal at a time.   Nothing gets bought unless it's a general-purpose staple (like olive oil) or I know exactly what I'm going to use it for and when.  Right now I'm still using up Thanksgiving leftovers (turkey soup, extra potatoes that didn't get used) so I only spent about $30 this past week.

- Bake my own bread.  This is super easy using my Kitchen Aid mixer, and takes ~3 hours start to finish if I use my oven's warming drawer, so I can do this on a weeknight.

Things I could do better:  Meat prices at local shops are crazy.  Buying in bulk from Fresh Direct or Fairway (via Instacart) might help a lot.  I like getting grass-fed ground beef for chili, but not paying $15/lb for it.

Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Lkxe on December 07, 2017, 08:38:05 PM
PTF as well. Sounded like you lived across the street till you commented on discount stores. I haven’t found a good one yet. The ethnic stores can be good for somethings though.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Gin1984 on December 07, 2017, 09:04:03 PM
PTF, we just moved from the east coast to the Midwest and have found it more expensive so we are looking to cut down.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: drudgep on December 07, 2017, 09:51:43 PM
ptf as well, $400 for a family of 4... we have some work to do.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Maya on December 07, 2017, 10:29:55 PM
Definitely curious. We're a family of four eaters and  baby and sit around $650 in Canada.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: N on December 07, 2017, 10:55:30 PM
Im trying to imagine my family of 4 eating for less than 200$ a month. we almost spend that much per person per month.
Im definitely interested in how you do it!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on December 08, 2017, 08:18:38 AM
Good post! I'm always amazed by the variation in what people spend on food. You list 7 different grocery stores. Do you actually go to all 7 regularly? If so, isn't that a big cost in time and effort? Plus the effort of monitoring coupons.

I updated my store list with a rough idea of how frequently I visit them.

I don't find it a huge time/effort cost. I look at the weekly ad flyers when they come out on Wednesdays, and I don't really clip coupons. I've found that coupons usually aren't for things that we buy-- they're mostly pre-packaged not-so-healthy foods. Almost all the coupons I do use are in the weekly ad, and I usually just download them to my Safeway/Soopers card, because that's easy and I don't have to worry about forgetting them. I also have my email linked to my store cards, and get emails a couple times a week with a link to the latest store coupons-- I just click through and add the ones I might use to my card-- this way, I don't have any mental effort in trying to remember to check for coupons online.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Goldielocks on December 09, 2017, 09:32:29 PM
Ah!  Thanks for posting a general menu plan.

If I read it right. Per person per day:

Starches and bean/lentils (bread / rice / pasta  / oatmeal/ lentils /potatoes) forms the bulk.  Lots of variety in the week.
2oz of meat per day per person (more or less).
1/2 lb of green vegetable (e.g., green beans), plus other vegetables (onions, carrots, etc) plus 1 fruit per person per day.
Oil, spices, modest amount of fluid dairy, sugar as needed, peanut butter and jam for sandwiches if no leftovers from dinner.

Can you estimate how many lbs/person of vegetables (not potatoes) per day you eat, milk, eggs, cheese, dried fruits and any other food staple not listed?
Thanks!


Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on December 09, 2017, 11:17:50 PM
Ah!  Thanks for posting a general menu plan.

If I read it right. Per person per day:

Starches and bean/lentils (bread / rice / pasta  / oatmeal/ lentils /potatoes) forms the bulk.  Lots of variety in the week.
2oz of meat per day per person (more or less).
1/2 lb of green vegetable (e.g., green beans), plus other vegetables (onions, carrots, etc) plus 1 fruit per person per day.
Oil, spices, modest amount of fluid dairy, sugar as needed, peanut butter and jam for sandwiches if no leftovers from dinner.

Can you estimate how many lbs/person of vegetables (not potatoes) per day you eat, milk, eggs, cheese, dried fruits and any other food staple not listed?
Thanks!

Uhhhh.... maybe? It's not like I measure out my portions. One head of broccoli/cauliflower is a dinner's portion; I'll often add three celery stalks to my onion/garlic/meat frying mixture; we'll sometimes have a cucumber as a veggie (1/4 cucumber/person); half of a head of lettuce is a dinner's portion; do tomatoes count as veggies? I'll often serve one or two roma-sized with dinner. That's about as detailed as I can be at the moment. I'll try to keep these questions in mind as I post in 2018.

Based on my spreadsheet, I probably buy a gallon of milk and a dozen eggs every 2-3 weeks (on average). I don't usually buy dried fruit; craisins occasionally go on super sale at Costco, and then I'll mix a few in my breakfast oatmeal-- but even that happens maybe once or twice a year, and it's like $4 for a giant bag of them. We do use cheese regularly (though one kiddo can't have it), but I have no good estimate for how much per day is eaten; certainly we don't have it on a daily basis-- maybe two or three times a week, and then more as a condiment/ingredient than as a material element of a main dish.

I'm sure there are other staples I haven't listed. I plan on doing a complete inventory of the pantry as of the end of the year, so that it's clear what I have to work with. As I post here, you'll also get to see what actual meals I'm making, and what I'm buying as I buy it.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Goldielocks on December 09, 2017, 11:58:41 PM
Thanks... I hope to calculate costs for similar shopping list  / menu locally.   I look forward to more of your posts as we move into 2018.  This is quite interesting.   
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: MaybeBabyMustache on December 10, 2017, 09:34:32 AM
Wow - super impressed, & personally nowhere near that number. Looking forward to learning more about how you do it! In 2016, I tracked every grocery purchase by category, and it was quite eye opening. Based on those learnings, I was able to cut 10% off of our spend in 2017 (tracking to this, with a few weeks left). We have greatly reduced waste, but there's always room for improvement. We buy our meat at Costco due to the simplicity of not going to another store, but clearly there are better prices to be had for the time investment. We also go through significantly more milk/eggs than you do, both of which are pricey.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: sequoia on December 10, 2017, 08:26:58 PM
When one say $xxx/month grocery, I think it helps to mentioned for whom exactly to give a bit more apple to apple comparison. 4 people = 1 adult and 3 hungry teenagers is a lot different than 1 adult and 3 little kids :)

I am following and interested in learning. We (2 adults and 1 kid) spent ~$300/month - this includes paper towels, tissues, shampoo, etc so not just food. Our strategy been we buy a lot of things when it is on sale. We have good size freezer to take advantage when meats, fish, etc are on sale. We also go thru milk and eggs more than OP. 
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on December 10, 2017, 09:02:10 PM
When one say $xxx/month grocery, I think it helps to mentioned for whom exactly to give a bit more apple to apple comparison. 4 people = 1 adult and 3 hungry teenagers is a lot different than 1 adult and 3 little kids :)

I am following and interested in learning. We (2 adults and 1 kid) spent ~$300/month - this includes paper towels, tissues, shampoo, etc so not just food. Our strategy been we buy a lot of things when it is on sale. We have good size freezer to take advantage when meats, fish, etc are on sale. We also go thru milk and eggs more than OP.
Our four is two adults and two elementary schoolers. Your $300/mo seems pretty reasonable, if that includes household supplies too. Good work! I wish I had a bigger freezer. I'm currently working with just a standard fridge/freezer. Buying when things are on sale is definitely key.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: ohsnap on December 11, 2017, 02:48:52 PM
I'm not sure if I understand this - is $200 your spend for 2017?  And you'll be doing the same in 2018 but documenting it?
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on December 11, 2017, 08:26:51 PM
I'm not sure if I understand this - is $200 your spend for 2017?  And you'll be doing the same in 2018 but documenting it?
I think you've got it. I haven't tallied up December yet, obviously, but my monthly average spend in 2017 is $178.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: ohsnap on December 12, 2017, 10:13:29 AM
I'm not sure if I understand this - is $200 your spend for 2017?  And you'll be doing the same in 2018 but documenting it?
I think you've got it. I haven't tallied up December yet, obviously, but my monthly average spend in 2017 is $178.

Wow, I'll be following with interest. I consider myself a good grocery shopper (I've been an Amy Dacyczyn devotee for over 20 years) but we are at about the SNAP level - $400 for 3 adults.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on December 12, 2017, 10:24:44 AM
I'm not sure if I understand this - is $200 your spend for 2017?  And you'll be doing the same in 2018 but documenting it?
I think you've got it. I haven't tallied up December yet, obviously, but my monthly average spend in 2017 is $178.

Wow, I'll be following with interest. I consider myself a good grocery shopper (I've been an Amy Dacyczyn devotee for over 20 years) but we are at about the SNAP level - $400 for 3 adults.
Don't forget that this is food only. I.e., if you were on SNAP, you could still do this. Basically, what you could purchase with the EBT card they give you-- no paper towels, no dog food, and no shampoo, dish soap, or plastic knives. (I don't spend a lot on those either, but they are a separate budget category, and I mention it because some folks lump that stuff in with "groceries", and I want to be clear what I'm doing here.)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Taco7 on December 12, 2017, 05:53:52 PM
Great thread. Following along.  Thanks!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: PMG on December 13, 2017, 07:06:26 AM
Posting to follow.  I like food.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Walsh1122 on December 13, 2017, 07:44:02 AM
PTF
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Livingthedream55 on December 13, 2017, 08:11:36 AM
I've been struggling with getting my food budget under control too, so I'm adding this thread to my list!  I'm ashamed to say what my grocery bill had been, but...well ok, here it is:
Average monthly for 2017 to date (THE BAD):  $399
First 3 months of 2017 (THE UGLY):  $420
Last 3 months (BETTER):  $340

In my defense, I'm in NYC, don't own a car, and like to support neighborhood shops which have eye-popping prices compared to what is being reported in this thread.  Like, it's $5-7/dozen for eggs.  I had tried to make Costco runs but found that this only made things worse, because I felt like I had to buy lots of maybe-I'll-use-this stuff given the effort & time involved.  Here's my list of cost-cutting measures:

- Alternate meat meals with vegetarian dishes like kale and pinto beans, chana masala, bruschetta or other things on toast

- Order non-perishables from Costco without a membership via Google Express.  Online shopping and limited inventory limits the risk of overbuying.

- Since I'm in an apartment with no outdoor access, I got an Aerogarden (secondhand off Craigslist) and have it growing lettuces and other greens.  I get a big salad bowl out of it once or twice a week.  No more buying greens and throwing half of them away.

- Shop one meal at a time.   Nothing gets bought unless it's a general-purpose staple (like olive oil) or I know exactly what I'm going to use it for and when.  Right now I'm still using up Thanksgiving leftovers (turkey soup, extra potatoes that didn't get used) so I only spent about $30 this past week.

- Bake my own bread.  This is super easy using my Kitchen Aid mixer, and takes ~3 hours start to finish if I use my oven's warming drawer, so I can do this on a weeknight.

Things I could do better:  Meat prices at local shops are crazy.  Buying in bulk from Fresh Direct or Fairway (via Instacart) might help a lot.  I like getting grass-fed ground beef for chili, but not paying $15/lb for it.

Freya - my daughter just moved to NYC and she plans on using Peapod (Stop and Shop) - you just enter your zip code and the website will confirm if they will deliver to you. Maybe another option?
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: freya on December 14, 2017, 09:36:35 PM
LTD55, thank you!  I just checked their prices.  Some things are half the cost of city shops...wow.  I completely forgot about them.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Mrs.MLM on December 15, 2017, 03:42:53 PM
Thank you for starting this thread! I'm excited to follow.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: big_slacker on December 16, 2017, 06:43:24 AM
This is an awesome post. I live in WA state though and I'm wondering where you got those ultra cheap apples??? The best I do here is there are several folks who buy the less than perfect apples from growers and sell by the side of the road regularly. We also have a permanent farmer's stand that sells direct from farm. Neither of them get close to .50c-.70c a lb though. Were the red delicious or something that is kinda out of vogue?
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on December 16, 2017, 08:49:00 AM
This is an awesome post. I live in WA state though and I'm wondering where you got those ultra cheap apples??? The best I do here is there are several folks who buy the less than perfect apples from growers and sell by the side of the road regularly. We also have a permanent farmer's stand that sells direct from farm. Neither of them get close to .50c-.70c a lb though. Were the red delicious or something that is kinda out of vogue?
We usually got them at the farm/natural food store. They generally had the cheapest nonorganic produce. When apples were in season, i.e., winter, they would sell a 20# half-case for 0.80/lb or less. Apples keep really well, so we would just buy the big box (like 40-60 apples), and with us eating 3-4 apples/day, it'd last us a good couple weeks. Then I'd look to see what was on sale next. Looking at their ad right now, they have Fuji apples for 98/lb, and likely they have the cases in the store for 10/lb less.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: MBot on December 16, 2017, 09:20:23 AM
FWIW, I find it's easier to have a limit for my weekly shop instead of a monthly limit. Monthly we've cut down to $240 (Canadian) recently because it was possible with a little discipline for 2 adults and a toddler. We were at $300 before and I wasn't really sweating it. But that extra $15 a week adds up.

I personally find it's MUCH easier to make the 2-3 "put it back or get it next week" decisions to keep it to $60 a week, instead of tracking a total $240 number for the month.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: big_slacker on December 16, 2017, 02:46:32 PM
This is an awesome post. I live in WA state though and I'm wondering where you got those ultra cheap apples??? The best I do here is there are several folks who buy the less than perfect apples from growers and sell by the side of the road regularly. We also have a permanent farmer's stand that sells direct from farm. Neither of them get close to .50c-.70c a lb though. Were the red delicious or something that is kinda out of vogue?
We usually got them at the farm/natural food store. They generally had the cheapest nonorganic produce. When apples were in season, i.e., winter, they would sell a 20# half-case for 0.80/lb or less. Apples keep really well, so we would just buy the big box (like 40-60 apples), and with us eating 3-4 apples/day, it'd last us a good couple weeks. Then I'd look to see what was on sale next. Looking at their ad right now, they have Fuji apples for 98/lb, and likely they have the cases in the store for 10/lb less.

Which store specifically are you looking at?
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on December 16, 2017, 04:23:27 PM
This is an awesome post. I live in WA state though and I'm wondering where you got those ultra cheap apples??? The best I do here is there are several folks who buy the less than perfect apples from growers and sell by the side of the road regularly. We also have a permanent farmer's stand that sells direct from farm. Neither of them get close to .50c-.70c a lb though. Were the red delicious or something that is kinda out of vogue?
We usually got them at the farm/natural food store. They generally had the cheapest nonorganic produce. When apples were in season, i.e., winter, they would sell a 20# half-case for 0.80/lb or less. Apples keep really well, so we would just buy the big box (like 40-60 apples), and with us eating 3-4 apples/day, it'd last us a good couple weeks. Then I'd look to see what was on sale next. Looking at their ad right now, they have Fuji apples for 98/lb, and likely they have the cases in the store for 10/lb less.

Which store specifically are you looking at?
It's called Sunny Farms (http://sunnyfarms.com/). Pretty rural WA, and not even actually located in Eastern WA where all the apple orchards are.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Bicycle_B on December 16, 2017, 04:29:39 PM
The specifics here are inspiring to mediocre shoppers such as myself, as is the intent to summarize actuals next year.  Posting to follow and encourage. 
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: big_slacker on December 19, 2017, 07:00:26 PM
This is an awesome post. I live in WA state though and I'm wondering where you got those ultra cheap apples??? The best I do here is there are several folks who buy the less than perfect apples from growers and sell by the side of the road regularly. We also have a permanent farmer's stand that sells direct from farm. Neither of them get close to .50c-.70c a lb though. Were the red delicious or something that is kinda out of vogue?
We usually got them at the farm/natural food store. They generally had the cheapest nonorganic produce. When apples were in season, i.e., winter, they would sell a 20# half-case for 0.80/lb or less. Apples keep really well, so we would just buy the big box (like 40-60 apples), and with us eating 3-4 apples/day, it'd last us a good couple weeks. Then I'd look to see what was on sale next. Looking at their ad right now, they have Fuji apples for 98/lb, and likely they have the cases in the store for 10/lb less.

Which store specifically are you looking at?
It's called Sunny Farms (http://sunnyfarms.com/). Pretty rural WA, and not even actually located in Eastern WA where all the apple orchards are.

Thanks for posting. A bit out of my way for sure, haha! Although I love Bellevue's location and proximity to work and the mountains, there is a premium for living here no doubt. :D
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on December 19, 2017, 07:33:50 PM
This is an awesome post. I live in WA state though and I'm wondering where you got those ultra cheap apples??? The best I do here is there are several folks who buy the less than perfect apples from growers and sell by the side of the road regularly. We also have a permanent farmer's stand that sells direct from farm. Neither of them get close to .50c-.70c a lb though. Were the red delicious or something that is kinda out of vogue?
We usually got them at the farm/natural food store. They generally had the cheapest nonorganic produce. When apples were in season, i.e., winter, they would sell a 20# half-case for 0.80/lb or less. Apples keep really well, so we would just buy the big box (like 40-60 apples), and with us eating 3-4 apples/day, it'd last us a good couple weeks. Then I'd look to see what was on sale next. Looking at their ad right now, they have Fuji apples for 98/lb, and likely they have the cases in the store for 10/lb less.

Which store specifically are you looking at?
It's called Sunny Farms (http://sunnyfarms.com/). Pretty rural WA, and not even actually located in Eastern WA where all the apple orchards are.

Thanks for posting. A bit out of my way for sure, haha! Although I love Bellevue's location and proximity to work and the mountains, there is a premium for living here no doubt. :D
But you have access to a Winco. I have only dreamt of having a Winco or an Aldi in any kind of reasonable distance.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: oldladystache on December 19, 2017, 07:39:18 PM
Following. This looks good.

I haven't figured out lately what I'm spending on food. I just know I'm naturally thrifty. Or cheap.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: mm1970 on December 20, 2017, 04:00:18 PM
Quote
Sprouts Farmer's Market (4.1 miles away)
Generally an emphasis on "natural"/Organic/"crunchy", so most of the dry goods and dairy and meat is way expensive. But produce is almost always the best price that I can find, and the loss leaders are usually even better. Also they have bulk bins of grains/beans/etc. This is where I buy oatmeal in bulk and almost all our fruits & vegetables. I'm probably here weekly for fresh produce.

Costco (1.9 miles away)
It's easy to overspend at Costco, no joke. But regardless, I find tortillas, garlic, bananas, pinto beans, spices/seasonings, and gasoline (though gas isn't part of the food budget) to be consistently better priced than most anywhere else. I find some other things here on occasion; the rotisserie chicken is reasonably priced, as are the big blocks of cheese, and sugar. Canned goods are usually more expensive than grocery store sales, and produce usually follows the same routine.

"The Discount Store" (2.7 miles, 6.6 miles)
There are actually two of these-- one nearby, and one on the other end of town. I usually buy close-dated loaves of bread for $1, and always check around for gluten-free bread or other steals. Once, I found CASES of shelf-stable packaged gluten free bread for $0.99/loaf. Another time, I found a 50lb bag of whole wheat flour for $8. Wheat bread is almost always in stock for $1/loaf, everything else is pretty hit or miss. Often I find the prices are the same or higher than Safeway or Sprouts, which just amazes me-- seriously, I'm not buying stale marshmallows for $1.59 when I can get fresh ones for $1.25 at Safeway.

Wal Mart (3.6 miles to "Neighbourhood Market", 5.8 miles to Supercenter)
I don't buy much in the way of groceries here, but there are a few things. Lime juice, peanut butter (when I can't find it on a loss-leader sale), big jars of pickles, and an odd item here and there. Walmart produce is surprisingly expensive, and I don't really trust their meat to be good quality (and it's not actually cheaper than Safeway or King Soopers), so I generally stick to pre-packaged/shelf-stable items and dry goods.

Trader Joe's
I've never actually been here, even though it's right next to Costco. I get their ad flyer in the mail, and they never seem to have anything I need for a good price, so I haven't bothered to go in.

This is interesting, because it goes to show that where you live makes a huge difference, as well as what you eat.

I shop regularly at Trader Joe's and Costco because much of what we eat is cheapest there.  We have Vons/ Albertsons (same as Safeway), and their loss leaders aren't that great here.

I do love Sprouts, and in fact their bulk grains and beans, when on sale, are the best prices I can find per pound.

Finally the "what you eat" makes a big difference.  I once was able to keep our annual grocery bill at about $3500, for a family of 3.  Now we are a family of 4, ad coming in a $7000.

It got to be too hard to keep it much below that, for the following reasons and choices:
- We eat a LOT of produce
- About half of our produce is local (I live in So Cal, it would be a shame to eat stuff shipped in from elsewhere.  It lasts longer and tastes way better.)
- At my age, I can no longer eat a carb-heavy diet.  I used to eat about 5-6 servings a day.  Now down to 2-3.
- Just this year, I started having a problem with wheat.  I can still eat oatmeal, but I can only eat that so many days per week. 

So no more homemade bread, or regular pasta.  I have been making do with rice, oatmeal, but occasionally I want a damned sandwich and will buy GF bread.  Will also buy GF pasta, but it is 3x the price.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: big_slacker on December 20, 2017, 06:46:39 PM
But you have access to a Winco. I have only dreamt of having a Winco or an Aldi in any kind of reasonable distance.

I guess that depends on how often you'd go to Winco. The closest one to me is in Kent which is 60-90 minutes round trip depending on traffic. Could maybe justify it once every 2 weeks if I stocked up every time. I live biking distance to a well stocked wal-mart which keeps our costs down along with specials at QFC and stocking up on some things at costco. Not near $200, that's a serious accomplishment!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: 1967mama on December 20, 2017, 08:18:27 PM
Great thread! Looking forward to gleaning insights from others here.

Our grocery bill for our large family is embarrassingly high ....even on a per person basis. It has gotten worse since I was injured in July but I'm feeling better and really need to get back to black-belt frugality (also a long-time Amy Dacyczyn fan like a previous poster).

Thanks for the motivation!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: robartsd on December 21, 2017, 09:01:46 AM
It got to be too hard to keep it much below that, for the following reasons and choices:
- We eat a LOT of produce
- About half of our produce is local (I live in So Cal, it would be a shame to eat stuff shipped in from elsewhere.  It lasts longer and tastes way better.)
- At my age, I can no longer eat a carb-heavy diet.  I used to eat about 5-6 servings a day.  Now down to 2-3.
- Just this year, I started having a problem with wheat.  I can still eat oatmeal, but I can only eat that so many days per week. 

So no more homemade bread, or regular pasta.  I have been making do with rice, oatmeal, but occasionally I want a damned sandwich and will buy GF bread.  Will also buy GF pasta, but it is 3x the price.
I also realized pretty quickly produce was a big difference in my diet vs OP (I probably eat 3-4 times as much). My long term goal is to produce the difference in my own garden (my house is on a 50' wide, 250' deep lot - I expect to use the back half primarily for food production).
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Monkey Uncle on December 24, 2017, 05:10:14 AM
Following for inspiration.  Our food budget will never be as low as the OP's due to not wanting to eat such a carb-heavy diet, but we do have a lot of room for improvement.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Juslookin on December 25, 2017, 04:36:22 PM
PTF. Interested to read the progress.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: sequoia on December 25, 2017, 10:02:41 PM
It got to be too hard to keep it much below that, for the following reasons and choices:
- We eat a LOT of produce
- About half of our produce is local (I live in So Cal, it would be a shame to eat stuff shipped in from elsewhere.  It lasts longer and tastes way better.)
- At my age, I can no longer eat a carb-heavy diet.  I used to eat about 5-6 servings a day.  Now down to 2-3.
- Just this year, I started having a problem with wheat.  I can still eat oatmeal, but I can only eat that so many days per week. 

So no more homemade bread, or regular pasta.  I have been making do with rice, oatmeal, but occasionally I want a damned sandwich and will buy GF bread.  Will also buy GF pasta, but it is 3x the price.
I also realized pretty quickly produce was a big difference in my diet vs OP (I probably eat 3-4 times as much). My long term goal is to produce the difference in my own garden (my house is on a 50' wide, 250' deep lot - I expect to use the back half primarily for food production).

We have small plot of land that we used to grow veggie (tomatoes, bell peppers, etc). Beside being a cheap family fun project, it really helps the budget. Organic veggies are not cheap unless you grow them yourself. This past summer we got lucky (or we are getting good at what we do ha!), and we had so much veggie that we were giving them left and right to friends and neighbors.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: robartsd on December 26, 2017, 08:39:25 AM
We have small plot of land that we used to grow veggie (tomatoes, bell peppers, etc). Beside being a cheap family fun project, it really helps the budget. Organic veggies are not cheap unless you grow them yourself. This past summer we got lucky (or we are getting good at what we do ha!), and we had so much veggie that we were giving them left and right to friends and neighbors.
We're already giving some stuff away. The house came with 3 mature fig trees on the lot - when they are in season, we're more than happy to share with anyone who is willing to help pick. There are a couple of small plum trees too - we would probably use most of this fruit ourselves if we were more efficient at preserving them. A small citrus tree bore fruit for the first time this year - blood oranges. Not sure if the small apple tree survived after the sewer line near its roots was replaced. We want to add more varieties of fruit to have some variety of fresh fruit available most of the year and get some vegetable production going, but first we need to finish tackling landscaping and drainage issues right next to the house - meanwhile the weeds are improving the soil for us.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: HipGnosis on December 26, 2017, 10:22:26 AM

I just know I'm naturally thrifty. Or cheap.
Don't you mean: "I just assume I'm naturally thrifty"?
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: oldladystache on December 27, 2017, 09:29:01 AM

I just know I'm naturally thrifty. Or cheap.
Don't you mean: "I just assume I'm naturally thrifty"?
No, I know.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: powersuitrecall on December 27, 2017, 11:56:11 AM
Thanks for posting APowers!  Groceries have always been a pain point for us - always looking for tips!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: NikiD on December 27, 2017, 10:03:40 PM
Our grocery budget is a particular challenge for me, following...
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: netskyblue on December 29, 2017, 10:30:37 AM
I'm nowhere near this good.  The GOAL is $500/mo for two adults (and three cats), and this does include household supplies and alcohol (most of which is consumed by my partner).  The last few months I've been hitting $700-800/mo.  Shameful.  So I've started tracking what I'm buying, and I've been doing meal planning 2-3 weeks in advance. 
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: freya on December 29, 2017, 11:19:22 AM
Dang.  Close to $300 for December again (me + two cats).  I guess it's better than $400, and it did include shopping for a Christmas dinner party.

One thing I'm doing this weekend:  making meals that freeze well, like beef stew, and packing up meals in ziploc containers for the freezer. This should cut down on restaurant or ready-made meals for when there's no time to cook.  It's also why I bought a lot extra this past week.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Lauran75 on December 29, 2017, 01:14:56 PM
Our average for 1 adult full time eating at home food + 1 adult eating 80% of meals at work is about $300/month. I am plant based whole foods (along the lines of vegan) and my DH is an omni.  I batch cook, buy in bulk, etc., etc. But lots of fruits and veggies comprise the bulk of the grocery bill. (Or like the past two months when DH wanted a turkey for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner - $11 and $14 respectively .. ouch!) Part of the grocery bill also includes the not cheap veganized versions of things like Worcestershire sauce and various flours/starches for making things. (I recently scored a 16oz bag of Arrowroot powder for $1! Normally priced around $9.)

I'd really like to cut back to $50/mo for staples, and $25/week for produce. 

I use oatmeal in my daily smoothie and also in my cooking - would love to know what time of year to look for it to go on sale. I generally get the generic Old fashioned oats at Aldi's for $2.49 and it lasts 4 - 6 weeks depending on my baking. We don't have Sprouts, but we do have Fresh Thyme which is somewhat similar (I miss Sprouts! used to live near one.)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: TexasRunner on December 29, 2017, 01:29:56 PM
Our food is too high and the first posts on this are extremely helpful.  Thanks!

Following for more ideas / recipes.  Mainly just need to start using staples, regularly.  I think that is the main factor in driving up the grocery bill...
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on December 29, 2017, 11:57:08 PM
Popping in to let y'all know I did a total inventory of the pantry. I updated the reserved post at the beginning of the thread.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Goldielocks on December 30, 2017, 02:49:57 AM
Thanks for taking the time to include all of those pictures!  It really helps me to gauge the differences.   And there are not too many.  I think a key difference is that your family just eats less, or has similar recipes, but I use a lot more of tthe meat  / cheese / double the expensive "add" ingredients in mine (plus the waste of snack foods at our place...).  Between DH who prefers veg / meat heavy meals,  and a teenage boy...  They could eat 2+ lbs of meat a day, each.    My teen nephews drink a lot of milk, rather than eating meat like my DH, but sis goes through 2 Gallons of milk a day, or $300 per month, just for milk, because of teenagers...


Fun fact -- I just checked my peanut butter stash, and I , too, have over 10lbs of peanut butter and 50 lbs of flour and 25lb of rice... and 24L of cooking oil! (and we don't deep fry)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: meall earraich on December 30, 2017, 05:22:55 AM
Following
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on December 30, 2017, 09:36:51 AM
Thanks for taking the time to include all of those pictures!  It really helps me to gauge the differences.   And there are not too many.  I think a key difference is that your family just eats less, or has similar recipes, but I use a lot more of the meat  / cheese / double the expensive "add" ingredients in mine (plus the waste of snack foods at our place...).  Between DH who prefers veg / meat heavy meals,  and a teenage boy...  They could eat 2+ lbs of meat a day, each.    My teen nephews drink a lot of milk, rather than eating meat like my DH, but sis goes through 2 Gallons of milk a day, or $300 per month, just for milk, because of teenagers...


Fun fact -- I just checked my peanut butter stash, and I , too, have over 10lbs of peanut butter and 50 lbs of flour and 25lb of rice... and 24L of cooking oil! (and we don't deep fry)

Snack foods will definitely rip a giant hole in the food budget. We almost exclusively eat food at mealtimes, and the kids get some food at school (although they always seem to come home starving, so I'm not sure it counts for much, lol).

If I were to move toward more meat-heavy meals, I would definitely put more effort into finding meat for less than $1/lb-- probably eat more chicken and pork. And would be more invested in finding a second freezer so I could stock up when it's on sale.

I...can't even imagine going through 2 gallons of milk PER DAY. I think I would just put my foot down and say no more drinking milk.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: zeli2033 on December 30, 2017, 11:47:57 PM
PTF. Looking forward to some much needed tips!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on December 31, 2017, 12:56:31 AM
Did my last grocery errand of the year today. King Soopers gave me a few freebie items that are handy for snacks or easy non-pbj lunches, plus chips for $.99/bag, pineapple for $.99/each, and a head of lettuce to use with sandwiches for dinner tonight. We also stopped by the Walmart grocery which is one block over and picked up lime juice. I also noticed that eggs were $.88/dozen, which is cheaper than I've seen them anywhere else lately, and we're running a bit low, so I stocked up there; hopefully that'll last us until eggs go on sale again for under $1/dozen. I'm planning on hard-boiling a dozen tomorrow in the Instant Pot, as the kids love them and they are great nutrition add-ons for lunch, and easy to pack for a snack if we decide to go on a hike or something.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: channtheman on December 31, 2017, 03:23:58 AM
Not an option for everyone, but search around your area and see if you have a Farmers Market type grocery store for your fresh produce. 

We have a great place that consistently has apples, grapes, strawberries, pineapple, etc. for 50 cents a pound (not always at the same time).  I just buy whatever is currently on sale and you learn pretty quickly what a good price is for what. 

Then for bulk meat and other items, about once a month or so my wife and I stock up at American Discount Foods.  Again, not an option everywhere, but perhaps there is a similar style store available.  This place sells dinged up cans, boxes that are not in pristine condition, products that didn't do so great, etc.  Some of the food is past the "good by" date but is still perfectly fine for consumption.  It's sort of like a Goodwill for food, but I've yet to buy something from them that I was unhappy with. 

We also have a Costco membership for a few staples, but probably could cut them out of the equation if we wanted to without hurting too much.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on December 31, 2017, 11:38:27 AM
Not an option for everyone, but search around your area and see if you have a Farmers Market type grocery store for your fresh produce. 

We have a great place that consistently has apples, grapes, strawberries, pineapple, etc. for 50 cents a pound (not always at the same time).  I just buy whatever is currently on sale and you learn pretty quickly what a good price is for what. 

Then for bulk meat and other items, about once a month or so my wife and I stock up at American Discount Foods.  Again, not an option everywhere, but perhaps there is a similar style store available.  This place sells dinged up cans, boxes that are not in pristine condition, products that didn't do so great, etc.  Some of the food is past the "good by" date but is still perfectly fine for consumption.  It's sort of like a Goodwill for food, but I've yet to buy something from them that I was unhappy with. 

We also have a Costco membership for a few staples, but probably could cut them out of the equation if we wanted to without hurting too much.

We have a Sprouts Market, as I listed early in the thread. They're generally my go-to for produce. We bought navel oranges there last week for $0.50/lb.

We also have a discount store, though pricing is pretty hit-or-miss. Sometimes they have a fantastic discount, other times I can buy the same thing in the grocery store for the same or cheaper.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 01, 2018, 05:51:33 PM
Day 1 in the books. Nothing to see here, lol.

Pretty standard breakfast of oatmeal w/milk. I think once the milk runs out, I'm going to start making hot oatmeal, as the temperatures stay consistently colder.

Leftovers for lunch-- the kiddos had hashbrowns and broccoli, with some turkey on the side. I had a turkey sandwich.

Leftovers for dinner-- Yesterday, I made a big pot of beans in the broth from the half-turkey I cooked a few days ago. I packed a couple ziplocs of beans for the freezer, and today we mostly had bean/cheese burritos for dinner. One kiddo still hadn't finished his lunch, so it got re-vamped into tacos. Pretty hodge-podge, but not bad.

No grocery errands, but I did add tortillas to the Costco list.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 02, 2018, 09:51:17 AM
Here's a post about breakfast.

I call it "cold oatmeal". Basically, it's rolled oats eaten as breakfast cereal:

8oz [a little over 2 cups] rolled oats-- I prefer quick (not instant), but whole rolled would work too.
.75oz [2 Tbsp] brown sugar-- because yum.
12oz [1.5 cups] milk-- I like whole milk, but skim or 2% is usually the same price.
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/wYLgne4slBXHz-xPpteHsqHyt0l0O--XVMOLIw5eb_535-pqvQ-EX6Ck_Qr8ts7vC-V1gRSGTXttB17WD_QjEauHc-E2tB3dDD0UHgx6DuFD_xLCySW8E0_g7Q4a5G_QkwkYCSrRT4Qk-_XcwhaI_QXDksN8kDKtMGrpkqk97_dUB_6JoyaeYvyTDkdo-EiR9WRptYsNxBHRKGI95YEhhiChIZH_nhDvia3Z9mnL6goDOlhKstEgRj36xKgvhldhKQBO7UewpW7C0-Qdx95jhzf16DDR5e7yQL47VK0s2NWq-sQ5PpvA5zzkI2UaYfKN2XemaTRCTczTL18C3MMWSOm3C6Z7UP9YPMUTADmQMyvg_PfqrCieuTfURZ6rODBRFJ7TKoIxLp4IlmnqPvTxRgSZQhgjEri8BSzZZhCDlhVStFCHO9Vg9XeYzkrFKDg7cHw4cgtyr2KzS1z1xn6Fgm5_XGLbeyMC5BJQ1GVEQmnDSBd85t8oSZYoutQLlVTBgeywOZu_2k07QpIhlTkFbUtNghE-je5RVKkAX9UC_9iDX2eRwRClCF6Zavg4G4bGK35KWHHUOwrGypzBrQbT66xiq5Agu4w3CurMcpIh5kFQhMxWjHIZpBrzKjKzBo-JoPx3zCDiFAph27KA7I0kamwnNONUVEV_=w1419-h798-no)

This is my breakfast. The kids eat a smaller portion of essentially the same-- though they likely add a higher proportion of sugar, lol, since I generally let them make their own. One kiddo can't have milk, so he'll make his with water instead (or, sometimes I'll buy some almond milk and he'll use that). The Significant Other, she often skips breakfast, and doesn't care for oatmeal; when she does do breakfast, it will often be toast or some new creation from leftovers.

I also give the kids a whole fruit after their oatmeal. More like, they'll beg me to give it to them, haha. Anyway, right now that's oranges, and they both wanted theirs sliced.
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/9auijtlefE8IFtnNKKFWxRcAqMASV0MMbZYkmchcumO_ws03DvxO_Zf5Q30bPsgLdMh1N3J0bjnm7ebS46NXT6lPfqUHqzJMkg6cd7TORXDdg8cj3KNrWDsJslHZYNkf0Ko3qdN3L-upVrIe0IdOKwDNjiOoSOnvcWI24On1PFBBb8afU7d_Yew3RFd1hxV8BiO1GPqtEY4tHJ5kvy5nP6hy-nSdXdOwkPywA4pHW5hJf1tEUpHFmUozPgwpkWox2O7ENHYiAyNFWoUK_7Ke7tuuvTeklK6SxFVJZ9Ox4QR0j8kMoEI3zBc-1DAlekN8oxiodoQo9Ar777NYcdtVlD0IE48Ue2Inu9CyX6tah6tJ0uYvKmHw0Ph3qvwYEV_rGdMP5c0W75HLqBRN2UE899EsmMHlTxOHXfz4xpGSpd5cahwcZGTp12erBgUUreEocLd5lXeS_syteuJWWSwnRt0lbCCNpijp6Wb4NvnD64EDT33WcQTcU7EIOSfaGAoYrHyGw27g8_zYcUyVHbrFcVSyyeingL4_1OnqvYS6iZMPqkdDa441y2SEm5BuBwrRbqgkySzP1N83SdCsH_nG1d86KTiEMSQqn49UNMd0l6i-k7u-p_eJBiRj1f4UnmI2fFXXOD0UwKZkRxVTlVuSJvWTB6a3MzGb=w1419-h798-no)[Pictured is the younger kiddo's portion.]

I, admittedly, don't always eat as healthfully as them, so I don't always eat my fruit. When I do, I'll often eat it for a lunch-snack, since I'm not usually very hungry at noon.

--------------------------------------------------------------
Cost breakdown:

Oats: 16oz @ $.50/lb = $0.50
Sugar 2.25oz @ $.62/lb = $0.09
Milk 1.5cups @ $2/gal = $0.19
Oranges 1.5lb @ $.50/lb = $0.75

Leftovers I have no idea how to calculate, and SO hasn't eaten breakfast yet, so...let's assume She has toast with avocados (something she's done before):

Bread 2slice @ $1/loaf = $0.13
Avocado 1/2 @ $.50/each = $0.25

Grand total cost for breakfast: $1.91
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 02, 2018, 12:37:45 PM
Here's today's lunch. Eggs and homemade bread. Hard-boiled for the kiddo, and fried for the girlie. An orange and the heel of the loaf for me.
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/mrLYDm6KcPmZfVs-CNc8GN3TNKpYjkhkkQOwq7MDpaRnkxRup41iPGYhOxh4Yn-Han8MTIgQERDmn0BYno9vEANl6BXvNdr7e5HQQmDA0ajn2RthCWTM3lxKHEFtAfvA7tigx_sGXpFjyWL7iQ8qpZpNVLmpci8EcDaR9DZh1hcheNwN3QsczXYOW2A5UOnk6JKk9f-TlyMNN73Qi8rOaK8vUSIrX9rWMiJKoLlIrD9iWzU0o3er0mPnlbV5EsMZqdZBfMHAiIVdXbX17A1u9FeHJu20ux_FaWCH4cFT6BZPYLU-5RdneKD-5LzapEKPMEy-Kg0SMhBjlAPfsG7rrmCvV8NJIoZ131wfxOrH9hbIRkRTRilWLU8TneT8zqF7sPpOElreocStFxrv_cC2oZt8Ln9h1AG4QRcQDHPM8utswJcP1ZDBWLRyYtzTIYuuM1XLWjbVANwPPKK2wct0_qmXYexnhAt90aVAeHIicOUw0CQIi9zgyKFNvSijJaj1Ob2Z_xglhUojCQFLuA_h9ql_ztEDPt9RSQUQUCEIxQGNqjZI95E_cGMcEePO9mhwJ2HNiQau0-iq-K8BCCApqbqZMxPrAydizG-sLAg=w1419-h798-no)
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/rwTiVIz_9Ol9XLFfefI00sfceQZhUZN0t8O93wuolwIC_u2T54IV-1maI88vUmN5EQ4BAyAp1y2_LS-zMacV7wZYHPD4Nkv9t-VlBfZNYAzRHQLYefIFTHVWcsIp0VfRrgTuHJ5BDW9h3DNOCYXex_UDFWFqTYBcWoQ6KLikSo-__us9EQbADicIFKAsO34B7qERTPbP9FEW31PjLS7QlmyRri9nl4HH_slHcnTvstf9FC2jFPdLpNBnAHZCJMVoTkFt11Cr78It7tXvYjhvbA5OKHNstPiIGCwrZVArFy8XQIe3P1vZjURor3dqZaasrPJMX4ZYSxZUargIzTnNJTdQR_qsUIUqkBjpgiJpg5E7lG9w5deiHHDAX1IB-2c_Mb6AuwZKeoJGmfdASg7ElGziiAPfMY6lRhRJEOofpsDN4rbr0CCPx-c8QsledLN1wyP2Rae6S7b8As6ryDan3xTty6CHUo5TtKhjMK-3TaS0i71e9BTVNMfOMDbgVPUqyLRyYYljipJq58UMkUIydkNZxNcORaJ1ih6jlGYEA_TulZCkmhYS1TJnsW2LV9n-bCZSVE8X3Rra6RUp1X63y5gZjIELoLRMXo2NW2w=w1419-h798-no)

Orange 1 @ $.50/lb = $0.38
Eggs 2 @ $.88/dozen = $0.14
Homemade bread 3 slices =~ $0.08

Total cost for lunch: $0.60

+cookies = ~$0.30

New total: $0.90

ETA: The kids wanted to have cookies too, so the girlie had some homemade sugar cookies and I gave the kiddo some gluten-free "oreos". I'm not sure how to cost the homemade cookies, but the gluten free ones were $0.05/each. We don't always have dessert, so lunch wouldn't normally include cookies.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: 1967mama on January 02, 2018, 03:00:19 PM
Had hubby do a produce run for us today - better to go to a market for us than the big grocery store. Prices are the same or better than grocery store and aren't tempted by all the the pretty boxes of prepared foods.

Made a curry from leftover veggies and lentils today.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 02, 2018, 06:08:33 PM
Had hubby do a produce run for us today - better to go to a market for us than the big grocery store. Prices are the same or better than grocery store and aren't tempted by all the the pretty boxes of prepared foods.

Made a curry from leftover veggies and lentils today.

+1 for lentil curry.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 02, 2018, 07:33:35 PM
Dinner tonight: "Taco Rice"

2 cups (14oz) brown rice [$0.60]
1Tbsp beef bouillon paste [$0-- was free, normally, I'd make my own broth or just cook in water with salt]

11oz ground beef [$1.90]
1 large onion (15oz) [$0.47]
1Tbsp rendered turkey fat (I save the rendered fat from any large roasts that I do, it's great for frying stuff in the cast iron skillet) ["free"]
1oz (heaping tablespoon measure) minced garlic [$0.10]
4oz celery [~$.12-- I'm not sure how to estimate this one...celery is usually $.99/bunch, but I've never weighed a whole bunch, so I'm guesstimating 2lbs here]

1/3 head of lettuce [$0.33]
1 avocado [$0.50]

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/nNdchwJk7ZDsXZtRw_GDIv8gliFaDStmBNP8JvyOaACEfDS51HSrAAXCgSdDyIl-1iXXX1pMys9xCBSCIIoFGYp5aO6SdqGeldkNZznOTQaXk5jJMxLiTqY1uS20w-Pga_R81H-fmpmZoGw-aHMDBbCQJJYiSjOPnxm5y-B8xsE-ZpH3OdpC_WMM9rnPVOAUXlnSd-xdmRnhy1p7rzjTZr9hHhK9sF0mZOhKLn9IB8lHikDmBoghrX3ILpTXnDv9Kh6VsTFRLXs3zaI2tF-EFp8NfqSjFeJsvoD10pfDADKZc588andpD8U9FBhAAu0g5gpmHt6lvwGymYwmZui4lVeR0iAfCZyEAPLo9yKRKQCkM3JGKJ4HdEbcEWf82IwIbhW7kXwdUwCPxe-qDRsXYi9wUD6Ns3VGQLt021BAtHPrlnb8x76tCoGs4Bf9nkoUKvvnuJNFDgR8dxoDEjkVlohgR28d8ZVbjDgBpr2H6KCah-Szkz8HcnyNGM-bAwDFsB8RUs6E7TVTimY9c2y-t3Q-0OU8rIEc67TzDi2O3nd0cinqeYbsT7klnGAGogrAnbivBTZ0tfDW6xFmJ5C-nZvmQAq3aZKMVApf0aS5qyNP6G7vUIhUVftJs1vpDbYKngWYkBl0dqaZcxB1ec5MTilqf3txyR_s=w1419-h798-no)

Total cost: $4.02 + some salsa/ranch

It would have been nice to have a dollop of sour cream, but I'm currently out and it's not on sale anywhere. There are just enough leftovers to be a nice lunch for tomorrow, so tomorrow's lunch will count as "free" (plus whatever we decide to add...likely the last few cookies).

Breakfast = $1.91
Lunch = $0.90
Dinner = $4.02
--------------------
Food for the day + leftovers = $6.83
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 02, 2018, 09:14:16 PM
Just finished doing the monthly tally of receipts for December. Actual average food spending per month in 2017 ==> $189.58
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Goldielocks on January 03, 2018, 01:12:51 AM
Here's a post about breakfast.
Yum for Breakfast!!

A big difference for lunch that I noted was that you don't have any condiments on the sandwich - butter or margarine, mayo, ketchup, pesto, other homemade salsa, etc.  "naked" bread.   Is this typical or just for egg sandwiches?


And I can't help myself,...   I have put our local pricing in below, and I know I shouldn't because we are in different regions, utterly different regions, and all...  Other than the avocado, which may be a regional thing where you are, all of these are also basic, lowest cost items for our region, too (oats, milk, oranges right now, etc.)
 
Quote
--------------------------------------------------------------
Cost breakdown:

Oats: 16oz @ $.50$1.00/lb = $0.50
Sugar 2.25oz @ $.62 0.85/lb = $0.09
Milk 1.5cups @ $2 $5/gal = $0.19
Oranges 1.5lb @ $.50$1/lb = $0.75


Leftovers I have no idea how to calculate, and SO hasn't eaten breakfast yet, so...let's assume She has toast with avocados (something she's done before):

Bread 2slice @ $1/ $1.67loaf = $0.13
Avocado 1/2 @ $.50/ $1.50 each = $0.25

Grand total cost for breakfast: $1.91
New total:  $4.06  sigh...
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 03, 2018, 09:16:35 AM
Here's a post about breakfast.
Yum for Breakfast!!

A big difference for lunch that I noted was that you don't have any condiments on the sandwich - butter or margarine, mayo, ketchup, pesto, other homemade salsa, etc.  "naked" bread.   Is this typical or just for egg sandwiches?


And I can't help myself,...   I have put our local pricing in below, and I know I shouldn't because we are in different regions, utterly different regions, and all...  Other than the avocado, which may be a regional thing where you are, all of these are also basic, lowest cost items for our region, too (oats, milk, oranges right now, etc.)
 
Quote
--------------------------------------------------------------
Cost breakdown:

Oats: 16oz @ $.50$1.00/lb = $0.50
Sugar 2.25oz @ $.62 0.85/lb = $0.09
Milk 1.5cups @ $2 $5/gal = $0.19
Oranges 1.5lb @ $.50$1/lb = $0.75


Leftovers I have no idea how to calculate, and SO hasn't eaten breakfast yet, so...let's assume She has toast with avocados (something she's done before):

Bread 2slice @ $1/ $1.67loaf = $0.13
Avocado 1/2 @ $.50/ $1.50 each = $0.25

Grand total cost for breakfast: $1.91
New total:  $4.06  sigh...

They weren't meant to be "sandwiches"....normally we'll put condiments on sandwiches. I did toast the bread in the skillet with some of my leftover turkey fat for deliciousness, if you want to count that in place of butter.

Thanks for the cost comparison. I feel that I should mention that the prices I quote are the sale prices that I bought the ingredients at, NOT the current price if I were to buy them today. For instance, oats-- they are regularly $1.50/lb, which is why I buy them in a 50lb bag when they go on sale for $.50-.69/lb. Or oranges, for example-- they were $.50/lb last week, but this week, if I were to buy fruit it could be grapefruit ($.50/each) or apples ($.88/lb) or canteloupe ($.49/lb).

I'm not trying to expect that anyone eat exactly what I do. But rather, find what the best prices are in your area, and build around that. Shop the sales. Using avocados as an example: when they cost $1.50 each, which they normally do, I simply don't buy any. None. They are a special treat when they go on sale. Or looking at milk: if milk cost $5/gallon, I wouldn't buy it. Breakfast would be "cooked oatmeal", (which it will be tomorrow, lol, 'cause it's COLD outside).

Also, you're in Canada. I have no idea what the grocery sale cycle is like across the border, let alone for how remote/rural you may be. I bet grocery shopping is way different in Prince George or Fort Nelson than it is in Vancouver.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: TexasRunner on January 03, 2018, 09:23:53 AM
Just out of curiosity...  How many is this feeding? (Trying to compare/track the meal cost numbers with my own).

I'm sure you posted that before but I can't find it.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 03, 2018, 09:37:36 AM
Just out of curiosity...  How many is this feeding? (Trying to compare/track the meal cost numbers with my own).

I'm sure you posted that before but I can't find it.

Thanks!

This is two adults and two kidlets (ages 5.5 and 6.5). I tried to put all the relevant stats in the first few posts, just for this reason.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 03, 2018, 09:52:19 AM
Here's a post about breakfast.
And I can't help myself,...   I have put our local pricing in below, and I know I shouldn't because we are in different regions, utterly different regions, and all...  Other than the avocado, which may be a regional thing where you are, all of these are also basic, lowest cost items for our region, too (oats, milk, oranges right now, etc.)
 
Quote
--------------------------------------------------------------
Cost breakdown:

Oats: 16oz @ $.50$1.00/lb = $0.50
Sugar 2.25oz @ $.62 0.85/lb = $0.09
Milk 1.5cups @ $2 $5/gal = $0.19
Oranges 1.5lb @ $.50$1/lb = $0.75


Leftovers I have no idea how to calculate, and SO hasn't eaten breakfast yet, so...let's assume She has toast with avocados (something she's done before):

Bread 2slice @ $1/ $1.67loaf = $0.13
Avocado 1/2 @ $.50/ $1.50 each = $0.25

Grand total cost for breakfast: $1.91
New total:  $4.06  sigh...
Thanks for the cost comparison. I feel that I should mention that the prices I quote are the sale prices that I bought the ingredients at, NOT the current price if I were to buy them today. For instance, oats-- they are regularly $1.50/lb, which is why I buy them in a 50lb bag when they go on sale for $.50-.69/lb. Or oranges, for example-- they were $.50/lb last week, but this week, if I were to buy fruit it could be grapefruit ($.50/each) or apples ($.88/lb) or canteloupe ($.49/lb).

I'm not trying to expect that anyone eat exactly what I do. But rather, find what the best prices are in your area, and build around that. Shop the sales. Using avocados as an example: when they cost $1.50 each, which they normally do, I simply don't buy any. None. They are a special treat when they go on sale. Or looking at milk: if milk cost $5/gallon, I wouldn't buy it. Breakfast would be "cooked oatmeal", (which it will be tomorrow, lol, 'cause it's COLD outside).

Also, you're in Canada. I have no idea what the grocery sale cycle is like across the border, let alone for how remote/rural you may be. I bet grocery shopping is way different in Prince George or Fort Nelson than it is in Vancouver.

Okay. I took a few minutes and browsed some online grocery ads in Vancouver....Yikes. Food isn't that expensive even directly across the border in Washington state. For instance, check out the Safeway ad (https://www.safeway.ca/flyer) in Aldergrove (BC) compared to the Safeway ad (http://plan.safeway.com/Circular/Lynden-8071-Guide-Meridian-Rd-101/CE6974856/Weekly/4) in Lynden (WA). I feel like I'm missing some farmer's markets or something, or else I have access to WAY cheaper fresh produce options. You'd likely be doing EXTREMELY well to be 1.5 times my $200/month.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: honeybbq on January 03, 2018, 12:39:22 PM
Wow. I love fruit too much. But I am following with interest.

I think I'll have 3-4 fruits today. I try to stick to seasonal fruit but I'm a banana fiend and usually have one every day. Costco usually has really good prices (big bunches for less than 1.50). I also have some clementines and apples.

I'd like to get ours down some. We generally eat pretty healthy without much meat, so it shouldn't be too hard.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: robartsd on January 03, 2018, 01:19:35 PM
Okay. I took a few minutes and browsed some online grocery ads in Vancouver....Yikes. Food isn't that expensive even directly across the border in Washington state. For instance, check out the Safeway ad (https://www.safeway.ca/flyer) in Aldergrove (BC) compared to the Safeway ad (http://plan.safeway.com/Circular/Lynden-8071-Guide-Meridian-Rd-101/CE6974856/Weekly/4) in Lynden (WA). I feel like I'm missing some farmer's markets or something, or else I have access to WAY cheaper fresh produce options. You'd likely be doing EXTREMELY well to be 1.5 times my $200/month.
Note, you probably need to enter a postal code to see the Canadian flyer. The Aldergrove (BC) store is in V4W3N5.

I find the difference between the flyers interesting, not just in pricing, but in what is featured and how they are orgianized. The only produce that comes close to meeting APowers' price points in the Canada flyer I see are the bags of Gala Apples and Naval Oranges that come to 1.00CAD/lb (about 0.80USD/lb).

Wow. I love fruit too much. But I am following with interest.

I think I'll have 3-4 fruits today. I try to stick to seasonal fruit but I'm a banana fiend and usually have one every day. Costco usually has really good prices (big bunches for less than 1.50). I also have some clementines and apples.

I'd like to get ours down some. We generally eat pretty healthy without much meat, so it shouldn't be too hard.
I eat a lot of fruit too. My green smoothie today included bannana, frozen mango, frozen blueberry, frozen strawberry, and power greens from Costco (my portion probably include 6-8 oz of frozen fruit plus 4 oz of fresh banana). I've already snacked on a small Fuji Apple purchased at the farm for $0.79/lb. I also plan to eat an orange (grown at home) with lunch. I don't know yet if DW will include any fruit with dinner (usually not).
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: StarBright on January 03, 2018, 01:22:43 PM
I'm very intrigued!

We are a family of 4 and keep our budget to between six and seven hundred every month (including pet food, toiletries, and paper goods) and I felt like I was doing pretty well.

I'm definitely excited to get ideas from these menus. My kidlets won't eat carbs or beans and I'm usually fine with that since they eat a lot of lean meats and produce but  this thread sort of really hits home how it is also affecting our budget.

Thanks for starting such a cool thread!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 03, 2018, 01:53:03 PM
I'm very intrigued!

We are a family of 4 and keep our budget to between six and seven hundred every month (including pet food, toiletries, and paper goods) and I felt like I was doing pretty well.

I'm definitely excited to get ideas from these menus. My kidlets won't eat carbs or beans and I'm usually fine with that since they eat a lot of lean meats and produce but  this thread sort of really hits home how it is also affecting our budget.

Thanks for starting such a cool thread!

They've got to eat SOME carbs, don't they? Homemade bread is pretty cheap, and you can make it with whole grains.

If you shop carefully, you can often get chicken or turkey for under $1/lb, which is pretty cheap for a lean meat...about as cheap as fruits and veggies. Right now, Safeway has bone-in chicken breast on sale for $.99/lb. I'll go shopping on friday or saturday and probably buy a bunch for the freezer.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: StarBright on January 03, 2018, 02:53:56 PM
I'm very intrigued!

We are a family of 4 and keep our budget to between six and seven hundred every month (including pet food, toiletries, and paper goods) and I felt like I was doing pretty well.

I'm definitely excited to get ideas from these menus. My kidlets won't eat carbs or beans and I'm usually fine with that since they eat a lot of lean meats and produce but  this thread sort of really hits home how it is also affecting our budget.

Thanks for starting such a cool thread!

They've got to eat SOME carbs, don't they? Homemade bread is pretty cheap, and you can make it with whole grains.

If you shop carefully, you can often get chicken or turkey for under $1/lb, which is pretty cheap for a lean meat...about as cheap as fruits and veggies. Right now, Safeway has bone-in chicken breast on sale for $.99/lb. I'll go shopping on friday or saturday and probably buy a bunch for the freezer.

They will eat my homemade pizza dough, and occasionally homemade egg noodles and oatmeal (with Peanut Butter mixed in) but that is about it. They are not bread, pasta or rice eaters in general. They do such a great job eating their fruits and veggies that I feel bad complaining though :)

I have to admit that I never see chicken or turkey that cheap but I also try to buy hormone/antibiotic free. I usually pay about $3 per pound.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 03, 2018, 05:34:00 PM
Breakfast was pretty much the same today.
Lunch was leftovers, plus a couple hard-boiled eggs for the kids and the random home-dried papaya pieces from the pantry (I'm actually glad they're gone now and I don't have to think about them in there anymore, lol!). Leftovers [$0] + 2 eggs [$0.15] + papaya [negligible] + the last 3 cookies [$0.15] = Total: $0.30.

Dinner: "Pasta something something"

8oz sausage [$1.00]
3/4 onion (~10oz) [$.38]
1oz minced garlic [$.10]
1 roma tomato (~4oz) [$.22]

3oz (dry) gluten-free pasta [$.30]
16oz (dry) elbow macaroni pasta [~$.80]

1/3 head iceberg lettuce [$.33]
3 carrots (9oz) [$.34]

Salt, pepper, garlic powder, coriander, and dry mustard. [likely negligible, and I'm not going to try to figure the cost-per-meal of spices, just to find out that it's $0.005.] We buy our spices in bulk (i.e., 16oz packages)-- sometimes at walmart, sometimes Costco, sometimes the discount store-- and then store in quart mason jars. It's SO much cheaper to buy a big bag than to buy a tiny shaker of brand-name spice at the grocery store.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/o2xdnMel5ZevZEyyg1DF7nQPfc_SFD8ZB9ZG2jCVt08gyTQN3p1mZJ09bQ-TCrHnsiV6VG62XvbjzSxopCQjz0cOro-GZmT_IiU3_NXATkZOSgBSilIXlDsG2QjuY7NhCYvuwAHv_9V0BALiMRVMrOq6kf8bjq0xtkkK1CAUCi3JqiBbfyDAEzhsu27Vfv1qnUvo43BJvcbhBEKCGAVPwllucuFmpkury52nGIRJutAQ1MN1wyJPVHCQFKfuQbptzZwOb0pQURyAiHTr-nfQXqJDV5SYcKhpm-4_Iku4Gtzzf7D3-v3hFYcn5ERCxAzth6eCQWzclv-v8ZJi5RR_nNk8onRNTIWfkYoPtLpwg2ouxkygBOJbJ7mqEzqIsPyXycmRNCXlzkPcFKb0RvjMRSTMvpyfhpvp1tBqi38uKHZ8NQRvN88Ri9tgQqwoaqKq-iw3Hnrtt_ENT3eN6zRjV0C1Bd_Y7UtrG1he9Q1y2VOydwNQxn1E6D6vBmPEAeWtRfrG-mqIuMVz8izq86Z3vaS-YbIV6wuUrTpL8g_J1HF1wRFtQzBrJj2gMyylG5E-c6zthVpajdpr49G3BCR-wqq6YgYlcPCEJ69TAQpOQWANuKUU6cefrWp4mtGKqLYo2MrXkGVqcgDwyvaYIeTIUcC6n0PtPP_H=w449-h798-no)
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/l3R--pWEZJKEsnMzTwT_OalFdBAWB_YJSHJtRnuj3Teci23lMxJYmJBJPthy59C41Z318JIzd9MKmrxMJaSzmZhzjyTd6pKnN2jS0LJsHGydi2XiemnzfYN-715mSrFWmWjZ3aBVCbzglollWYsiWh_R_qC006J3pDZMYjfHXHn1gpak1fZOqruPY_Cm32FlzEMjfzxK72Dou1NKEiPWi1B2XdLhQYUsoSpjxuslwI5bpHkh61XIq0cNOwyKkDg68TzjBGtZB_NThfIf5vqelxvcyzAfo1j7C2MPjCLhvN99O0MxKM52zCCKI1y6snWRZ2zENgjHHMQRAiS0e3nRrtZf58CWO-L-O3I26WJZ2XD9GdvIEDavrRvAgN-Ni_jdDwEx78VewiS4UnN8QMOO6yfpGnzlYMtPq3ix0cgvU0Jy0MEf4lHgFkA-FnmgOdSTydGjI3Ko-F1XjcBjZcqR2WMvaqBLDke01Yynr6IW0QXFIqU_dQSdBKcDIxqGqT4y_5iSBaqFyvN3lhkEblqMKu1n-GQAPx-HnL2xcSB-kDmYqCGNo-ckE5IWD8Ew4NoNxY8HXtvw_pDZFAbRgaXSEj3xeHo-F3HMBQU1BFHBYbqAxlWPaYfmQRw6sKdhJGsznxnBshGo1lp5hAl1LYtMHiO7z8bODG3J=w1419-h798-no)

Enough food for dinner tonight, and another portion of lunch-leftovers. Also, the kids didn't eat all the leftovers from yesterday, so tomorrow, they'll have a choice of either Taco Rice or Pasta for lunch.

Total cost of dinner = $3.47 + some ranch

Breakfast: $1.91
Lunch: $0.30
Dinner: $3.47

Food for the day + leftovers = $5.68
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: eliza on January 03, 2018, 08:04:48 PM
PTF.  Always eager to learn how others keep their grocery costs down.

I still have a lot to learn, but tonight for dinner I made a salad ($.26: lettuce ($.07), cucumber ($.10), carrot ($.04), olive oil/salt/pepper ($.05)).  Plus I made bean burritos - ate one for dinner ($.52) and have two more for leftovers (Recipe - $1.56 made three servings: can black beans ($.40), onion ($.20), tortillas ($.30), cream cheese ($.56), olive oil/salt/pepper ($.10)).
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 04, 2018, 08:12:48 AM
The milk is gone, and it's freezing out, so hot breakfast is in:

6oz oats
20oz boiling water
3/4oz (2 Tbsp) brown sugar
3 shakes of salt

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/bv64NgpuoSSUIJTnRozJ1tweolJMOK9wb5eTPwpGqJ9wrBggeskSGYFnM_JFTmJA9RmRI_FJHEGVnEj1FBof-XXW9J7-DhE8sNxKqoU6MwfFRsnfRrD0sxdYDAvtbRZJtnsCxmKBN0EwXFQSXD1r1IM5cGsqGsPFCRU1jiugWF_eFQGUHtThC30n6HgDhjdZFDnXBDJRI_aui-HnV6DqYcHMuwhaMR7BWAxYu2FeQuQCeSCqWzlS7XOvwXhyBVOYbvIIFJwdJV9v23PtXjrx_1lOkOGNeNOwzZn-ADWzf9uZ4_FeLWT1_oqtuLBWbBc_HOJaZN9jjV_VE7HjrkLabd4VAQzpCznKqbwGJdLAh_l0sM-t_VgtlwrjneVY4F0EDupJI4xkHo7xB9xrBLp_kD_lOjUbZXBO_B2Hwuerhqnw1hTLN7wYriCL6a3-JPUQY6Qaq8jjwe-7q7W6JgjlzsJ3NlhiM3pKAineoi0T-jZpcZgOxkMb6ywqpL_KAOTS5Pt5ZFm8Ipc1bcmrQODCba0eAapcemPM15dPoR3ho5WWUZdPz8V7ix7fBOmvqv-avpnejko6Z-Cf4LUIPaXKGnbqkingMQkPzeY3F5zxxSGbT6wkEj5iilcU5yKH4SAuggiZc9SmK2Tz4L-GpawNRKFsbMq6iozQ=w1419-h798-no)

The kidlets are back to school as of today, and the school provides a snacky-breakfast before class, so they don't eat as much here. They'll eat their oranges as an after-school snack.

Oats: 12oz @ $.50/lb = $0.38
Sugar 2.25oz @ $.62/lb = $0.09
Oranges 1.5lb @ $.50/lb = $0.75
Leftovers for SO = $0

Total cost for breakfast: $1.22
--------------------------------------------------------
We pack a lunch for the gluten/dairy free Kiddo, and the Girlie eats the school lunch (we're apparently in a low-income school district, so school lunch is free). If school lunch wasn't free, we'd pack lunches for both kids.

Kiddo's lunch: two pieces of bread + two boiled eggs + whatever fruit/veg is at school. Cost: $0.27

Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 04, 2018, 08:23:48 PM
No pics of dinner today, sorry. Tonight is Lentils Night. I made some bread (rolls) to go with it, and we had lentil stew that I had packaged up in the freezer from last month.

Lentil stew is onions, garlic, celery, carrots, ground beef, and lentils. The Instant Pot works great to make this a one-pot meal in about 45 min. Of course, tonight was even easier, as all it involved was dumping it in a pot and reheating.
I'm not sure how to track the cost for this...I'm sure I'll make it again, and fill in the cost then.

I did keep track of bread ingredients, though.

1.5 cups of hot water (from the faucet, not boiling)
3oz (~1/3 cup) brown sugar = $0.12
1/3oz (~1Tbsp) active dry yeast = negligible

~2 cups white flour (11oz) = $0.14
~2 cups whole wheat flour (11oz) = $0.14
~1Tbsp salt = negligible
~1/3cup (2oz) canola oil = $0.15

Total cost for 1 loaf (or 16 rolls) = $0.55 + salt/yeast

I mix the water, sugar, and yeast until the yeast is mostly dissolved, then let it sit for a minute while I mix half the flour with the salt and oil (sometimes I add some garlic powder and italian seasoning). The yeast/water mixture should have a nice thick froth at the top-- mix it in with the flour/oil/salt. Stir that around (should be pancake batter consistency); then mix in the last of the flour. I use my Kitchenaid mixer and add flour until the dough ball stops sticking to the sides of the bowl.

Let rise for an hour-ish, then knead down and divide into rolls or put in the loaf pan. I let it rise for another 30 minutes-ish, then bake at 325F for ~45minutes (loaf) or ~22 minutes (rolls).
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Goldielocks on January 04, 2018, 11:23:34 PM
Here's a post about breakfast.
Yum for Breakfast!!

A big difference for lunch that I noted was that you don't have any condiments on the sandwich - butter or margarine, mayo, ketchup, pesto, other homemade salsa, etc.  "naked" bread.   Is this typical or just for egg sandwiches?


And I can't help myself,...   I have put our local pricing in below, and I know I shouldn't because we are in different regions, utterly different regions, and all...  Other than the avocado, which may be a regional thing where you are, all of these are also basic, lowest cost items for our region, too (oats, milk, oranges right now, etc.)
 
Quote
--------------------------------------------------------------
Cost breakdown:

Oats: 16oz @ $.50$1.00/lb = $0.50
Sugar 2.25oz @ $.62 0.85/lb = $0.09
Milk 1.5cups @ $2 $5/gal = $0.19
Oranges 1.5lb @ $.50$1/lb = $0.75


Leftovers I have no idea how to calculate, and SO hasn't eaten breakfast yet, so...let's assume She has toast with avocados (something she's done before):

Bread 2slice @ $1/ $1.67loaf = $0.13
Avocado 1/2 @ $.50/ $1.50 each = $0.25

Grand total cost for breakfast: $1.91
New total:  $4.06  sigh...

They weren't meant to be "sandwiches"....normally we'll put condiments on sandwiches. I did toast the bread in the skillet with some of my leftover turkey fat for deliciousness, if you want to count that in place of butter.

Thanks for the cost comparison. I feel that I should mention that the prices I quote are the sale prices that I bought the ingredients at, NOT the current price if I were to buy them today. For instance, oats-- they are regularly $1.50/lb, which is why I buy them in a 50lb bag when they go on sale for $.50-.69/lb. Or oranges, for example-- they were $.50/lb last week, but this week, if I were to buy fruit it could be grapefruit ($.50/each) or apples ($.88/lb) or canteloupe ($.49/lb).

I'm not trying to expect that anyone eat exactly what I do. But rather, find what the best prices are in your area, and build around that. Shop the sales. Using avocados as an example: when they cost $1.50 each, which they normally do, I simply don't buy any. None. They are a special treat when they go on sale. Or looking at milk: if milk cost $5/gallon, I wouldn't buy it. Breakfast would be "cooked oatmeal", (which it will be tomorrow, lol, 'cause it's COLD outside).

Also, you're in Canada. I have no idea what the grocery sale cycle is like across the border, let alone for how remote/rural you may be. I bet grocery shopping is way different in Prince George or Fort Nelson than it is in Vancouver.
Hah!  those are the sale prices!  Non-sale are at least 30 percent more.   Walmart was 30 cents/100 g for the oats, and the sale price was $2.28/100g at the discount store.
Fruit at $1 or less is a BUY NOW!

I did use the large sale avocado price... they have been $2 each recently, but you can get the little ones for about $1 or $1.25 each.

Obviously I did not translate for the dollar exchange, and I should, but because the dollar was close to par for so long, I got out of the habit.

Grocery prices are usually set for the big chains by the  whole province, one price, due to the way the pricing back office teams work, and the higher cost of distribution is spread across all.  This is one reason that EXTRA foods, is seen more in small areas, not SUPERSTORE, yet they are the same chain with the same warehouses.  EXTRA Foods stores can have different pricing.   BUT, the big difference is in the fact that the little super discount / ethinic stores are not common rurally.    I will note that SK, MB and east coast (NFLD) have higher prices than where I am at. 

So, Prince George and Fort Nelson are the same prices, for the same chains, as long as they are in the same province.


Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Goldielocks on January 04, 2018, 11:28:51 PM
Here's a post about breakfast.
And I can't help myself,...   I have put our local pricing in below, and I know I shouldn't because we are in different regions, utterly different regions, and all...  Other than the avocado, which may be a regional thing where you are, all of these are also basic, lowest cost items for our region, too (oats, milk, oranges right now, etc.)
 
Quote
--------------------------------------------------------------
Cost breakdown:

Oats: 16oz @ $.50$1.00/lb = $0.50
Sugar 2.25oz @ $.62 0.85/lb = $0.09
Milk 1.5cups @ $2 $5/gal = $0.19
Oranges 1.5lb @ $.50$1/lb = $0.75


Leftovers I have no idea how to calculate, and SO hasn't eaten breakfast yet, so...let's assume She has toast with avocados (something she's done before):

Bread 2slice @ $1/ $1.67loaf = $0.13
Avocado 1/2 @ $.50/ $1.50 each = $0.25

Grand total cost for breakfast: $1.91
New total:  $4.06  sigh...
Thanks for the cost comparison. I feel that I should mention that the prices I quote are the sale prices that I bought the ingredients at, NOT the current price if I were to buy them today. For instance, oats-- they are regularly $1.50/lb, which is why I buy them in a 50lb bag when they go on sale for $.50-.69/lb. Or oranges, for example-- they were $.50/lb last week, but this week, if I were to buy fruit it could be grapefruit ($.50/each) or apples ($.88/lb) or canteloupe ($.49/lb).

I'm not trying to expect that anyone eat exactly what I do. But rather, find what the best prices are in your area, and build around that. Shop the sales. Using avocados as an example: when they cost $1.50 each, which they normally do, I simply don't buy any. None. They are a special treat when they go on sale. Or looking at milk: if milk cost $5/gallon, I wouldn't buy it. Breakfast would be "cooked oatmeal", (which it will be tomorrow, lol, 'cause it's COLD outside).

Also, you're in Canada. I have no idea what the grocery sale cycle is like across the border, let alone for how remote/rural you may be. I bet grocery shopping is way different in Prince George or Fort Nelson than it is in Vancouver.

Okay. I took a few minutes and browsed some online grocery ads in Vancouver....Yikes. Food isn't that expensive even directly across the border in Washington state. For instance, check out the Safeway ad (https://www.safeway.ca/flyer) in Aldergrove (BC) compared to the Safeway ad (http://plan.safeway.com/Circular/Lynden-8071-Guide-Meridian-Rd-101/CE6974856/Weekly/4) in Lynden (WA). I feel like I'm missing some farmer's markets or something, or else I have access to WAY cheaper fresh produce options. You'd likely be doing EXTREMELY well to be 1.5 times my $200/month.
I used to work at Safeway, (back when dollar was at par)....  and I got to travel for work to all the different regions in the US they operated in.
Safeway at the time, had an excellent hi/lo program (the lowest low sales points you could find anywhere)
Imagine my shock when I realized that the Alaska stores had lower prices than the Canadian stores.     I mean, they had to put all the food on a SHIP to get it there.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: MBot on January 05, 2018, 01:21:13 PM
Going off on maternity in a week or two and made good grocery prep/stockups this week!

Ground beef was shockingly under $2/lb this week! In Canada its rarely under $3 in my area. I bought all they had (about 20 lb) and am freezing some raw and some already made into sauce or taco meat.

And I also found packages of fast fry steak (which make a nice 3 portions for our house for sandwiches or stir fry) for under $3 each and then 30% off of that. Normally I wouldn't quite pay that much, but there were 9 packages and they could all be frozen without repackaging or rewrapping. That's very easy to defrost and make a meal of after the baby comes.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 05, 2018, 09:55:54 PM
Tonight was Beans Night. I sauteed an onion with some garlic in the Instant Pot, then added 2 cups of beans and enough water to cook them. Plus some salt/pepper/paprika/moregarlic/bouillon paste.

We did bean burritos--
The rice you see is leftover Taco Rice (yes, there's still some...). I like rice on my burritos-- I like beans and rice together in general, but I find that rice in a burrito helps absorb the salsa/bean juices and makes it not so drippy and messy. Nobody else here cares for rice, so all the more for me, haha. These were mine:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/WQUqVadf8WjPWfOy7A7U8GOcoFTXPsATQ2ZxYXrWTUXEQfcFV_TT4gxyfa-4JFchdftaLhjolb_VFocRQdgxqfOHP6U43ngFShKyLp-lzSK6hWhTC_exbabuSFlnC230xufnA6kGK_PsMXkyPeEJdqnABynjCJaGntWhcFlIm98k6XCdG5lSm0vUyDtF2Nm1Nne03uOyHHayFIU6fYG6F04qnXpb2mYKSgYtU4HAWrg2y0VQHeYoAgm-NL1SjnGvoQK4wCtElR37q_g9lYH89fss8Q2I-QB_tIORffKlHRenP_Lynf5Q0a2Yfg_WmduJmp3qvveQVTO7u44Y2tE_cUaGO1Qn2LDA351VXruV5pHaEak7Tv_7Q8qH3tUTC7qpv99XqYnVtHpHXba3v8TDLXejIL5HHsRzJ3aF_DMDBExbSZIxnulUxH7HFGrbDo1Yo2H-DbxwzhwvvjDBeqfbm-YKX4ORmRkyRGlzqkkdTkLEcUse-fBAAu5vX1yXBb22Kj3CgOe4acp99GUOeBg5dp8fhqjYJ5kYHRvKupTwK5V-ZMLn_AEEfBKkNUMzXrrwY5A8iSmEpQndit7HU5rxeoCI4vBFNKAwVaSBBkhLQY160tosSkOyYB4xksuHTPZF8HGTKNvuRnS2q6uRYhAYCUT8VdNOceij=w1419-h798-no)
Girlie's:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/VfpmV479lU0pOx-BeO-CVMp5QP_ZDUoE0e6VieL9kxe5n0xwGBYnTp4FsYPDzEzHastVXpi-ce3AfkCjGsFHElyRN5kp8k3BjBVQIBPvpxYuXi9DC8vF4WdQ9ln2BYJx6Jfah2ZSJDNdfMdm6IAbHK73QlJ5ChqJ82JwLSWwHPrfdjf1-clSl9dESo4Zvu8r7UjjJt5s2j9FVOn-VguJqTRmVxMb4bxksYb9kXqVdvd1EkMjOElbTU6AvLfs6Y1LJ9gJtjAPtp6LtWrA0N0HkZ5lzvdcNeysJQsWor2nFHKzr0MXL2DEY3E6mXhak00V-BtndyYQ8htJT42sfVSA2jx-Cy_CaeOB6N8owJf3OxI6QJpmLHoA_NzFLuvjHj8eq7t6xLwu2kxk5-LqMvlqAr5LHNmiClaBxoVATuYEM8_sJVSRiADYKbOEDoBeQchJYqFt03q0RjnDRRoqhrmv0C62xDazEeXoPVmcHa3PtT_HS1hw55QRKx4KIspsq_zL1cuSsTUyITF2uzv-ZcLdKpSwzPGdKn59ZVxHiDzJEZ9dNaw8TrYGf_vTdyLNsdojtLtofBFL7Q42s066r7n8acDOMcrXktVCqt68D-wZ9m2VwClcqQkEvVM2w70LV8KT6B2ojFaU6ml_NbAAMnA4fZ-25D9UJb-L=w449-h798-no)

Kiddo had his in a bowl with gluten free bread on the side. Sometimes he'll have his in corn tortillas.

Leftover Taco Rice: "free"
Beans: $0.42
Onion: ~$0.45
Garlic: $0.10
Corn: $0.25
Cheese: ~$.20
Avocado: $0.50
Tomato: $.22
Cucumber: $0.50
Tortillas: $0.70
Gluten free muffins for Kiddo: $.20

Total: $3.54 + salsa

I would have liked cheese on mine, but cheese has not been on sale for a while, so I let the SO have the last bit of shredded cheddar from the fridge on hers, as she enjoys it even more than I do. It also would have been normal to have sour cream, but alas, it also hasn't hit the sale cycle yet, and we used the last of ours up a couple weeks ago. :(

I meant to serve lettuce with dinner tonight, but totally spaced on buying a head while I was at Safeway earlier. I KNEW I was forgetting something. It doesn't help to remember after I get home, lol.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 05, 2018, 10:08:51 PM
Also: First Grocery Shopping Errand!

Went to Safeway today. They had chicken breast for $.99/lb, and tuna for $.33/can.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/cZtaruHoEUOpTjGe0owcpEhaBbS4t5LzvKxwujM9es4AlezsLVhtmVW7ZQBRjDgAUOna8ELWvQD-EEy_ozt0oYmnIKv5muk__s1QZ-xZvpM5lIJv3grvSjYq4O6lS6FhAzuLqaXFaLQzSZBxAGmVGUZwpxo_sfntIn3dGznH51e8MONUvwEHHl3GQ5RS6Cikwqqij7YKoyzCPmXExtn_2wnbrnEVJQgrZtifl24QQhhdWF4bK87oDGi-kn9KcULhaQ_044TYUbkw1kdj3do5M4ELmz593OHJEWazJjnPukibf-_-N0jHmlyroGRDu3jSz1FRmHrcKZtsUAIrRHJv4f93NARDYg2sXlqnXTfL9AiUHSCT-GgzNibttOZHPHssAN83s2_aY7V9Xs61oQZz9SI5PQcR6BwMrYf3gEyPsoUpton7HCzfzexyMji99SQADoDRltBvloCED48mJmaxS_wNIAs5TQeQ3sgfoY8j_-k29yurtuRrhHP4NCesAvlTAk58KC06kJvBsMwsXyVm1kxYD-jdFZQvkTQ0sngJoh7ysmzpBJqZa5pZnemK9bztqfBTCg9hkL0T5W-bpb6Kp6KCIbAeR7fwC6Wwdsko7CsQMx316oAohNkkwF5dVce94OAqQG9HAAVaFOBOOWQdgi9b9ElH70Cb=w1419-h798-no)

Tuna: 6cans @ $.33/each = $1.98
Chicken: 19.8lbs @ $.99/lb = $19.60
$2 off $20 purchase coupon = -$2.00

Total receipt came to $19.58.

I have my Safeway card connected to the website, and they send me coupons related to what I buy. They send me probably three emails a week with the latest coupons, so it's only a couple minutes to glance at the emails in my inbox and click through to load the coupons to my card. No clipping paper coupons necessary. They send me a $x off $xx purchase coupon probably once a month; when I have one, I try to use it to stock up on something that's already a good price, or to bring ground beef from "acceptable price" (<$3/lb) to "good price" (<$2.50/lb). Ground beef is $2.77/lb this week, so I was going to buy some today, but the meat counter was out, so it'll have to wait for the next go-round.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 06, 2018, 01:08:30 PM
More groceries!

Among other errands, we went to King Soopers:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/DbQwjbpL9BbHzHCdDosyNPMCxLfORINvB6NpMOePARxkiRcPY82RhjoFEPzChwEksBgAd5lSkbQmUCogMi1cUkjIIiGRplh0d0VLj-0jtXyLEZezhYdHZALUD-8Qut1dwtobrKY9wwYev5jtfYAqSKDRU6lWvOK5Nd0IdLH3xkJVJaB0UEL45nq3TUeqb5CWhnlWGdM7AcpUQOhPhOS265X_JsD2CzM5HPPoQ8ESdMuCZ4gj8jEPOvl2796k0JwHLwQiuyPhFxZ3Le-7PyEG9MscUfPw-r277W5ILy1cZrZO9Gy9CsgNRR3pY0JM74kbeg1I0Vz_bi5cDHiglEUt69xxx1LLsNye0Kv-NLmjJ2qzPyrY5s2v8XDX2AKn0l1syByLu2SvufcLi9nkqhngDNoAbA7iADTBi7XjlMkxEXpczy1cOfpxRoXDEpiSPU26o3IcmbSqRGLsN62WszM-qAffFIjUWSXup8dFQ1aoKt4RA_vre_bMagj86Cu_Ip12DrQ_qQ9vcVgj0BLKRta5o4MfAHPYLNQcF8jcmDo2KBGuOuGgL1Tq9IlUjZdaWnVPYNO3x4_EMerAtNR141LeA_gISt721RPSJvdmg4_wEVqzAk94sWADw5hB61jZHqVvsWJN1aogo8eWRxNm97vjuFc3rLCgJF0M=w1419-h798-no)

Special Saturday-only coupon for cheese, so they were $0.99 each. The bag of peppers was on the reduced-for-quick-sale rack, so $0.99 for three peppers. The Larabar was my free-Friday item; it'll likely end up packed as a snack for a day-trip or for SO to take to school.

Total receipt = $5.94
-----------------------------------------------

Also went to Sprouts
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/s1DRJKnsvvm4EqzlrqFfwmpPNFrON2_IKJOeb_DpFSosn6L4wCqTjUe5e-qNDM7U9rd9djHHBIfai9HF62GVtVrzSgjAaNDl3ZPYlyAFdEH7N7DfCjZAMN9ffEDWpSFJassWi931LKPKq_o4pe8x06tzpHpDJveBdwvW562HcUzbJhVTQcQlhR2RGOVa02fx6WAklCyV39AqC9FDXhjKNNVrONKel06eJsNA2XBrug4ufFrjiYLLX3Ag_iZDNtdPB6cZBDYgRuVxwXnkotNoFDB1M_QeeBzQktBQsgSZWIvs7hmoSLa2B9gydsVilgZYPtlh17xlKk0caRS3I_nJqFagmaHYaivAVKnGDUb5btIIU74x7cQf_dh_FfbzsPC87_pKW20EV_4Ra_nlGAivevCrHyQQ0ps834lOJwlDe43T548NLzW6t_RmtRhJgoHRWWR1gHoV_3uPr15QS6cYUhkMEZdp-Yf3BjunWpl1yHAzjxI5ypjZSC-3daQheVP44O5spUuxRX_QHU4PI16yPQeZUYYp7vjomUxELMLdIi0icje7pDLlxsu8ZScucnSVNrwk1wkrQwbEJ2Gfo8dBL_k_SLnp42uyZWKM9JPb7TFd7cRTrijVd8BxJ1tpoNHtaC3QoKw2nF2ns5nXHGGw0aWaYU80hNXt=w1419-h798-no)

Peppers were $.50 each, which doesn't usually happen for red peppers. Cilantro was $.50-- I'm making fajitas for dinner, so it'll add an extra yumm factor. Tomatoes were $.88/lb; they were kinda underripe, but even the expensive tomatoes looked that way-- I guess that's what I get for tomatoes in the winter.

Total receipt = $5.49
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 06, 2018, 10:00:23 PM
Fajitas for dinner. They're kiiinda like sandwiches, right?

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/kg_oLqxdPAWp_6svXzOPVJ-F7t6QW5rZnCYVxibq0aX2Z4SaUTjBeKTmt2YjAxb5GphB8WHLphdk-rqas96pdOWPiBDOpSRzP_lB5FGFfa2Wa_bqLU06wEQuOavMKoPv7x9hgrMWZzmUp5clt3gF7F7EOaPiXcItfAFKLbY389HlptUhKJ9rEgLjkJ_oX3OaJRn4E9IP2T2OXE4lc0WwOXYAlDJ0aswiIDlCkqV2nPViDbn02-CjK1uVuyzfpnGFIyZMm3k0_3U0hC4dFvPJZtBQelOWGOnXhqc9wf7atjDF3dVJ_k08-IYotxztsc-X-K5qD8w9wv_FF47DydpmmXOIJQm3Aolk22X6IKK6A0M1VXWBTkYijz9RQmUgs_vtKh1uR0Eon9Y1zXGWpXejMaQ_WZEFcaszxoS6W_0POpiEGaW9XpwbWAJtVOWBt-l0ewTvVS7zpGKwqfs-EKIFagrN2OotVh0vkvFtLf1QCgk5HlPxIFgtdDiV-UTBZx1deE3CfEonVGeIb4XZTA_Is6_9JmBTXcOVZhgXZrj3CpGyeTlUGI4fD4B82BSCxdjWDJ-zTSpsLY6hSSzOc4vBduM8HwOEoFIWHGUoCMYHAl9Cu2DOrY3uLtgPx-GhguwBUQ0Rnxu9PdotRI2LEVZdash-z2t6UWMA=w1419-h798-no)

Chicken: ~$1
Peppers: $1
Onion: ~$.33
Cheese: ~$.25
Tomatoes: $.44
Cilantro: $.25

Tortillas:
-flour: $.20
-oil: $.15

Total meal cost = $3.62 + salsa

The kids also ate some pineapple with lunch today...not sure how much, but likely price-equivalent to the oranges.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Monkey Uncle on January 07, 2018, 05:00:50 AM
I've been wincing at all your photos of cheap starch and iceberg lettuce, but you really scored with those fajitas.  Those look amazing, and for less than four bucks!  Very badass; my hat's off to you.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 07, 2018, 08:55:56 AM
I've been wincing at all your photos of cheap starch and iceberg lettuce, but you really scored with those fajitas.  Those look amazing, and for less than four bucks!  Very badass; my hat's off to you.

I feel bad about the iceberg lettuce, too, but SO pretty much despises vegetables, and it's one of the few that she'll eat reliably. Also, it's so much easier to prepare, because no major washing procedures are required.

I'm confused about "cheap starch" though. So far, I've done

Taco Rice: brown rice
Pasta Something Something: I can see how this is "cheap starch"
Bean Burritos: beans and tortillas (I guess the tortillas are "white bread", so there's that)
Lentil Stew: with homemade rolls (half whole wheat flour) on the side
Fajitas

Or are you referring to the oatmeal I eat for breakfast? I thought whole-grains were supposed to be healthy?
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Monkey Uncle on January 07, 2018, 07:32:21 PM
I've been wincing at all your photos of cheap starch and iceberg lettuce, but you really scored with those fajitas.  Those look amazing, and for less than four bucks!  Very badass; my hat's off to you.

I feel bad about the iceberg lettuce, too, but SO pretty much despises vegetables, and it's one of the few that she'll eat reliably. Also, it's so much easier to prepare, because no major washing procedures are required.

I'm confused about "cheap starch" though. So far, I've done

Taco Rice: brown rice
Pasta Something Something: I can see how this is "cheap starch"
Bean Burritos: beans and tortillas (I guess the tortillas are "white bread", so there's that)
Lentil Stew: with homemade rolls (half whole wheat flour) on the side
Fajitas

Or are you referring to the oatmeal I eat for breakfast? I thought whole-grains were supposed to be healthy?

Sorry, didn't mean to come across as so critical.  Rice, pasta, legumes, bread, oatmeal - all are cheap starches.  None of which are a bad thing in moderation (except maybe the pasta, as you noted).  And I eat oatmeal for breakfast most days, too.  In my opinion, they only become a health issue when they dominate the plate at every meal with little color from vegetables and lean protein (although I know the paleo folks might take a stricter view).
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 07, 2018, 07:41:51 PM
We (Kiddo and I) made some granola "bars" today-- oats, sugar, pancake syrup, oil, vanilla, cinnamon... probably ~$.75 in ingredients for 12 two-inch rounds (we just baked them in muffin tins). We snacked on most of them, and saved three to be packed in Kiddo's school lunches.

Today was leftovers day, so leftovers for lunch and dinner. I made another batch of tortillas, as we had mostly leftover beans and taco rice. Added in a red pepper and some cucumber, and that was dinner
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/ytrGY_ZA4dMfiYHNsdqQ4yixEDD5C_F8LlPxpJzvXGtEcbhGRyffWKgsSs9M2JrNBkBfZiHVQzS8DcjlEVVWPXY-Rw2hFLrTKXi8kSRREy_sTKePqg6oDGIoQLYWVSV8Hs0Xb6rnq1vVCMhY4j3TysUr2GdUksj6vlmGgq_a5vsmyGO_caGXRAJ4BGDKgd3rXzN3Xg2kuA3DiqaY3D05ltfBXkcDY27PO0qVCofbItkmATrNkDFmE-ehLkHCIgxYcvwHfxIv0SuCi0kXGH3WFQqi9v6n08-SqRMCtBkzclXrSJuOLLc6gW553ZKFCOQEATGxZr_s5Mh4xVltBNBZBuo6DHqylWwz4C8UAjMCxjLeOrwXP1hdRWrRe6ewOn_KcfvC9mHl0DZtnMxtU5RreUAzyRSheuu7-7k09zEwa2RlOgES9_jkvaL0IDjfyI637mp3PGI9relbWM2x6J-YyALvpGrOeiaw6LraHQfEqF_sNne60q6_sH5P6CHS7hMHm_BSliTURQKtaVfz1kiZdpaJ7hiuQe_hCy0RbQ0vrEEUhhc4FLRBZrx39MxiFG3FkCRJ8Jlu9jbyaQx8twQoC-kFy-GusWZr5c341emSRlLzNDqMTq9e7y8JMXzMpiVqQ4r0D8Iiv4hZGOFR_7HLh_A6yxHMACgq=w1419-h798-no)
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/Kg9yQsTSSNFOG2PKgSKHVeECoEyVFVM2HDlhGQpga088dIhsZ3hJygfymLUAfc8fwwPiyWf1xmzp5T0PBSFlqTsQl613v-X9ClUugfsZ4ywso-2VCRcfUOXuJCviz_ghpsFS-lA4LWBftcj8jSu-Z8xw3W7rsiT1YBtWe5_W8Ufas1eWlWjhBGFUbVQiwHNh2DxMSG149jdZX3a1S_xgZH8FtSJKk5rX174cPOF5nhwahLEVunlaqQeBBkn5lzH1CSWjM0T8PPV4LjLQjg6LpSlB74bfMEFhByD52cGtVVVGbLl7S0g2nTUyHVsWDwb2tGr80ySuOGXegVobsUfvS_z_CiENwB-qOoNSNuW27tE12-f-pz6N15tzWX6HCzPNWR8QNGR8PYXeVhNEgruOzbPsPGX7RlLcV3yrEEuPXXAqjxJBzWTJ1kBsgvqOx1YeTHu9ZgTP_6cl7B3VsFcUidq0dI5BhKH3uUKOLwhr1NQo62psCZ-Pxk1yYxJdbTZdkqGO6uVXIK25LwW7irWjtrCOF2b2knZIFKVqCtJKnJQzPNuC_X5NDsXjijzMwOnfmO2mSLzRWjRjA6H5YeQ_FGLvcs1qJnMtiu1keyIlxLganveteNczcTdif-k_oY7LOU1TTikf-tM9KOQZgyix_iUWRH7kMyRL=w1419-h798-no)

Cucumber: $.50
Red Pepper: $.50
Tortillas: $.35
Cilantro: $.10
Leftovers: $0

Total dinner cost = $1.45
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 07, 2018, 08:04:27 PM
I've been wincing at all your photos of cheap starch and iceberg lettuce, but you really scored with those fajitas.  Those look amazing, and for less than four bucks!  Very badass; my hat's off to you.

I feel bad about the iceberg lettuce, too, but SO pretty much despises vegetables, and it's one of the few that she'll eat reliably. Also, it's so much easier to prepare, because no major washing procedures are required.

I'm confused about "cheap starch" though. So far, I've done

Taco Rice: brown rice
Pasta Something Something: I can see how this is "cheap starch"
Bean Burritos: beans and tortillas (I guess the tortillas are "white bread", so there's that)
Lentil Stew: with homemade rolls (half whole wheat flour) on the side
Fajitas

Or are you referring to the oatmeal I eat for breakfast? I thought whole-grains were supposed to be healthy?

Sorry, didn't mean to come across as so critical.  Rice, pasta, legumes, bread, oatmeal - all are cheap starches.  None of which are a bad thing in moderation (except maybe the pasta, as you noted).  And I eat oatmeal for breakfast most days, too.  In my opinion, they only become a health issue when they dominate the plate at every meal with little color from vegetables and lean protein (although I know the paleo folks might take a stricter view).

I see what you're saying. On our budget, all our food is cheap, lol. I do try to do whole grains when possible, as they are so much more nutritious. We don't tend to be meat-heavy, so I rely a lot on the non-meat proteins, which happen to be starchy. Legumes are an incomplete protein without grains, and vice versa. I do think we could do to eat more veggies, but sometimes I feel like it's an uphill battle just to eat as much as we do -- and it's not because they're expensive (they're not).
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: robartsd on January 08, 2018, 04:31:03 PM
I do think we could do to eat more veggies, but sometimes I feel like it's an uphill battle just to eat as much as we do -- and it's not because they're expensive (they're not).
61% of the cost of the dinners you've presented so far is in the vegetable category. 32% is meat. 28% is grain (including corn served as vegetable). Legume is 3% (but you lentil night isn't included here). 4% is dairy.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 08, 2018, 08:43:24 PM
I do think we could do to eat more veggies, but sometimes I feel like it's an uphill battle just to eat as much as we do -- and it's not because they're expensive (they're not).
61% of the cost of the dinners you've presented so far is in the vegetable category. 32% is meat. 28% is grain (including corn served as vegetable). Legume is 3% (but you lentil night isn't included here). 4% is dairy.

Hm. That's actually really interesting. I would never have estimated that veggies comprised such a large proportion of dinner costs.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 08, 2018, 09:12:12 PM
Tonight was potatoes night, so I did Chicken and Mashed Potatoes.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/nZQnm5JC84EqKJqbf7vmHd9ZMx3XhKZjcubdP8kTELqexdL_NO_jN_uaQ-qqM8VMyWlOxfebBDxRJhB4Zv6-np1bJ3rS6E48qbwqlUzHB5AFWAXtGZoIOLBgoRsgGtrzU1lHwy-7tNLwCtRsHoS0StSS8le9j4sU0rnoCOw6_TSvkWE9OAqpJ7X0U6MI1JzCS5WcGAb5lCVwwkMaINSszOldRnJugUeq4K4mvt8ziFpECpWfV0H9EnmvawFWYCFVMNxicygVhQSb2QhmnPdyc3hwr7SSODerYTnmAd3_pgjfLL3GqHOBqvgueur8t4zXuajRarn3wm4R5wqNS8kShQpiJgEe819lM3tg50xJTh2kEAeKB-WJXIchZTei8hlBYDAyld9-dufmqB6Z2Zmhe41vvqE61kHiOnNMaAaK6GVEe-TVPgeCIvY4jF9kEehFvmXJI_EFcfgE5hX-KIrDc1PlXDD5r99Pn_NdoXOzrCk7n9FA9PQDJcBWk09kfq5i6gvxJ5QTjgCA_U8zLpMz6NabIJiaqZy764UXSxM5h4LEKnmwkppDPTjUiYFRI2S6sf0Qb294guZX2oIchufsYHsFLbCElmAEBpOen7Lbo3PqQD29YaWojkxuwu77ftJBi0AUjOnW9-LTB2CfE2sJTsVqYD6bmhae=w1419-h798-no)

I roasted three split breasts, plus the trimmings from the chicken breast I used for fajitas on Saturday-- all in all, about 4lbs of chicken (4 breasts per 5lb package). Added some carrots to the roasting pan for me, gave the kids theirs raw. We each had about 1/2 breast, leaving about 1.5 breasts, which will become dinner tomorrow, if all goes according to plan. I'm accounting for the cost of all the chicken today, though. Kiddos didn't get a granola bar in their backpacks, so they had theirs for dessert.

Chicken: 3+ breasts = $4.00
Potatoes: ~8 medium russets (~3.5lbs) = ~$0.50
Carrots: 6 medium = $0.60
Bell pepper: 1 = $0.50
Butter: ~1oz = $0.13

Dinner + leftovers = $5.73
------------------------------------

I ate some dessert after everyone else was in bed...sorry, no pics. :(

I took a couple leftover tortillas and about 1.5oz of chocolate chips and made a chocolate quesadilla. Used a dollop of peanut butter as a dip/spread. Was delicious. Nom.

Tortillas: $0
Chocolate: $.13
Peanut butter: ~$.22

Total = $0.35
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Chippewa on January 08, 2018, 09:17:45 PM
chocolate quesadilla with peanut butter?!? Yum! Why have I never thought of that. Sounds delicious. It would be something I would add sliced strawberries to.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 08, 2018, 09:43:16 PM
chocolate quesadilla with peanut butter?!? Yum! Why have I never thought of that. Sounds delicious. It would be something I would add sliced strawberries to.
Mmmmm. Strawberries would be delish. Too bad strawberries aren't as cheap out here in CO.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 09, 2018, 11:13:55 PM
Went to Safeway to pick up some more chicken for $.99/lb. They were out. So I got a raincheck instead. I did also pick up some corn tortillas, as we're just about out.
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_LrCwMzRJSEDstmfVKDq2aZLrPoPPGmhNiexudbGpNiX0SRIWm6N6DFtv20yY0NheaVxRzBco-xcTBRrnQxeIcRMQOYaEDoNyLmWEyUghn1jV2U6O5OXdpVWm_UsxlsocsLuH1bm3Nb1N4MS_WAro6X_kBXzcNtxI2zItPTlZrsDEwZsx3LFXeDhsGuSdbc2PFNnKAv2d6RwApbVbc4u_1Zrhtb6UDLZOjyRmN9068rIfpVazLUv0Jq_tmg2mKpB8vB3I-muJq7uh_cMdW9m04kdT47L8Cgq5x7aAkNiHuVoEUiExjhVqqYSNdw8Dty5SKa28DeX1M4SQxzVh2nj2n-fN3HqSp-POW0Zv-ZmcmUa6wZAQXHu-B_2sXRFDaKUOq2ay6e58nE1YRFZ0F0nFqonzoziKv4vkuYwvZwrAy6SIQAO-iH-I0VeDo4vHT87aYEhSQyBrqPZxCh7TBYmrtajCqC4210fCijACYWpaJUzo-JC9FusCHVV1jNY9r0XW3aB8aHt-RMcgDA6zNNN6g1YQRbM-k8moxJ2peBfh84xeqBjf5duK53FsBxuq-I_0rZTcMPd1d8THy2p7OWoiFRxXSA9sHtx0VcQX0qBgQDLDp6dqk7CuTQdlCtYrPYRic3pYSCdrp658YadRxn-RrCiJdWzPMGH=w449-h798-no)

Total receipt: $3.29
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 09, 2018, 11:49:49 PM
Tonight was rice night. SO used the leftover chicken and put it in a tomato-based curry(ish) sauce.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/xj3HnbPNUtJk7-w3K9W_Nh1rY1S4F2ng1KVj6SoGnVix-Sxhmzum4mkDVSyadi3OR7zd70FgegQNvejwifQWEGUz5kxTdJXwexi1Eb3M-0YAHl6Cp6hnelfQID7tmXKzRQlZoVubchmON9L9p4HNslygpzUCXtXxsaqQxYzAUKPWvAF9R2v24Snucy2pCqpkcIvHm5N_CKV__H-gRXa6luhOeYA7z1DBtZinaz5X3SY2SlJUKeYR7OUQKPuOQzVP9cls54IjatuT1tkVsOQEhIDLRZjbjSAo84jYvAtKdQqV56-e30N_X3xWXNqsHCwWY--FqWJKB5bFUYI_H1Uhgva6mT6mFE3P6sjKXLJ1LYSmGROA5-sQcot-YOvRv-fm0zGoS5qeWXUwpQrNNGDdgxVYf6-7PjJpUQhjULcY0ablhMRtgZPeLjQP9bPvQGdJRb514lV5uTa3MzAYIkUeQx7kb8IBaM1rLFGI8i1mwV1g6d-LmmKJhwbaVHxEaHiuI9DFrKcP1_2S7EJeel6duNUS1Guo8bwU4dRGa2nt4qniV5qyeu_6Uw1WqRA4doqSdoDvT1AlFAEBwtZKzWKwL-5DInd5MLxUZS1WTTXp7mQ8W8mOGZnPfBaPHGYHWoPDlPKA6GC8zldsy3IDLMiLvLEK-zUbxxxT=w449-h798-no)
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/90vdZg8k5hYY0oofTu28LzUKLX8tKKi7mHXswtoUrhA26geYUvisy11jdL7Zu-ohCGQe5E6ym0wodnZgPZCiDtEyaaH-ljsev_TAzNAAQJRdfrp8FxYAomsb2NIHf-qDD-uTNvtW7ltRg8olPJT6wbQANohu74Ay2pm1pUZhbK82ns4cNg_n39lArWpp7u_-WS3e2M3f5sWPpFTkakP5r5uwd0nCTgEwXdc4Pz6H0OHMddG9Xj3Kj81L-V0J4uiOHF5gOdZJrpWAJq89Mlj0tuyZF1_xZGzlrfRw_GNABmNSgEblSuuze7G81KsdxpRewqehlI_2c0PLBEXAtBgoBjjRN9j_cFjqstylwQNZ3pBE7FXgblD_qxrsEMf0L5NHSoal9lB8QjBYbSII1c3vOeaXnftqQWTiET_Q1-JMSLl9m1ezB6VWopAQrsjkYGYCLkLJG4glJtJFH3r91OsbL2Hu-elsk2xVzMO_rhT6xjFmQPli4ePZVpm31ewrUrAWU9Hsi5odwcte7oIpXnFxLGLg-rsR6c9z9Ra-6Zk1OUlYQ0LJ5tyOIK73QDg0OxEqvmbNI1FzTn-eLBPrD9veI2e9cHZNkbP63I2vzUGJ-D3iDiY8-SCtV7DEtsuaZ8WZCNHY1d17lq1Xs-x8krrTT5MUC3mcfAKK=w1419-h798-no)

Chicken: $0
Tomato sauce: $.75
Onion: $.40
Potatoes: $0 (leftover)
Rice: $1.35
Garlic: $.10
Gluten free breadmuffin: $.05

Total meal cost = $2.65

I cooked the rice in homemade chicken broth from all the breast/rib bones I saved from the chicken. The rice by itself was delicious and chicken-y. I do feel a little bad that I didn't serve any green veggies tonight, but oh well.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 10, 2018, 05:15:28 PM
Wednesday is pasta night....

Pasta Something Something Else
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/9pptW2SE7E7Tgqw6EhUv4m4a7aUOSOJ8f9OEffZvr1eV-JjtqI3M2D7UqcPLovNH9VJY0uCBJj8_xS1KvxrYZXbEsgCgpfguAHF6Z-J6906W5Wvr6bATgiaX3ZvEfQk11A--7adYw9953kNwtHu62nip0Zb7sNQvUxRn9THdFRurqf6eSuUu5BSH4fa8V4OJeEjU1YkYAYTu1rgFHZaZlbgpFFqN1UUcBBluv4jMIm_bYxLWi_c906kWfixzCWu6wZwTxiyY0pivDtjYjmYnM6zKk_BpNdkyb5K6KKOwv4nJPr6wdOsnegXaGnNVWRKCJ79BE4Ke7HTthoi5nvOK6bvYNLz7ZZ05hI8qONgqWRnpC4qrPP1Hbr6QFtFchJgIzQVC6hCYPsY3bpyjF34fUHLNnTCIsq18BsYA_8e2SWV1SdkILjLknOUfrBBbxyqTeNYO3fDV3iDX_8TbwINZWFsaJIUs4bm0ACLwsQT_DsD1r7xwQQEoFkAAdYV4bkN0Z1szZg9eJ2VmvDbXrdqt0waQVLfaOJxkC_FAS9xRSxguiE1juJNzRNKiKBeY9ZtF5GWFqnndC0QdVAUNGko6fe5VXlWcBuHMjSsxhoURvGYIMpFId4W-PxPVZ0NdeOGpAVcLPHXHWhjOTEsS6ZfaetAf0uM1hZph=w1419-h798-no)

It was delicious. AND the kids liked it so much they had second helpings! A definite win. Which was good, because the gluten-free pasta doesn't become leftovers nearly as well as regular pasta-- it gets weird and dried out, and then Kiddo ends up hating it. The regular pasta leftovers will be perfect to add some mayo and more seasoning, and have pasta salad. Yum!

Pasta (regular + gluten-free): $1.10

1lb pork (from the freezer): $.99
3/4 onion: $.35
1oz garlic: $.10
2 roma tomatoes: $.44
1lb frozen peas: $1
1 red bell pepper: $.50

Total cost for dinner + leftovers = $4.48
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 10, 2018, 06:54:24 PM
Wheee! Wednesday is new grocery ads! I haven't looked at them yet, so we'll see if anything good is on sale.

*Looks up ads online*

Looks like it's

Cantaloupe, cucumbers, and romaine lettuce at Sprouts. Oooh, green onions are 3/$1, as are grapefruit; I should probably get some of those. Also, oats are $.69/lb; I have about 1.5 buckets-- I'm not sure if I should buy them this week, or wait to see if they'll go on sale for $.50...I'm tempted to wait, because with the kids in school (so not eating as much breakfast at home), and with hot oatmeal using slightly less oats/serving as cold oatmeal, the bucket and a half should last another month-ish.

King Soopers has ground beef for $2.77/lb-- which is pretty good, but Safeway regularly runs it at that price, so I won't go out of my way just for that.

Aww, yeah! Safeway has sour cream for $.99/lb! Which will be great, since I'm doing tacos for this weekend's dinner and board game night, and I don't currently have any. I'll have to pick some up when I go in to use my raincheck for the chicken breast.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 10, 2018, 07:18:01 PM
SO decided she wanted dessert. She made a maple-y sticky cake. I don't think it turned out quite as sticky as she intended, but no matter, still tasted good. Cost to make from scratch: ~$0.55.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/BPhu7h2Of_SGXgChMZmxN-Sh2umN8KHY1A3MDmEoowRIesYT4htE2WsmjJeHpnK-kK-K0TlOWI55MG8dMiD9eSJlvNbK-6yU16HR97rrg_LI4MF48vA9mo_AORkbbMh_-BhzQC0LII9V4VVoUagTUcOf13EX3ohZtMRqlfyoZg_HT0HkncFJjjSI95z0jtwzWZRWF3OljEaWN5cEPBVFl0bDiQnVKnG4K0qz8gB7PbsdDAclAh9bpH-UJ5be5SXjs1Chb1oxmQbBuuqxvMGK2cqPg3yC8zUcrTeC47KUsGVPrXA5AcZOuyHcGIUh51X4P65am2FrtiOXvSMUPR-S-_lHUh5fXkdRpKGKlUeIHx9bUryKd1GAeFdl4fiFSjUkdd0PFJLqKx4yQDFvP0R1DbH28aqI72rTQ1Qu0De-5rZEP9A9sShrhazC_nMIJMc6TpOu9p88dslA2SuYpavUgSUUtZpG3WiJWRozb9Dq51FzH9Jm5suPbsXlW1laJ5jhfXdWODYBU3yG9oxfELLzNE3dvegHFCuw9T1DqqUHK8qvhpVf3QIVQwYKEpDXAHVDoN4BfpUpEQxSo4tsgW-JA-Bgdlf_S3RjXe4WouRvtiWrON2L9lVHzhgW_aBrnG7-kzv2txQKEqQBuPV3ryIRFFxH2fV6bRj9=w1419-h798-no)

Yes, she and I already ate half of it, lol. Told you it was good.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Bicycle_B on January 10, 2018, 08:20:53 PM

61% of the cost of the dinners you've presented so far is in the vegetable category. 32% is meat. 28% is grain (including corn served as vegetable). Legume is 3% (but you lentil night isn't included here). 4% is dairy.

Their food cost is 128%?

APowers, enjoying your adventure so far.  Was the sticky cake mostly sugar and butter?

Thanks for explaining your bread recipe.  Some of us Real Basic Readers get benefit from these things.

PS.  In the spirit of at least trying things, I made chicken stew for the first time last week.  It turned out fantastically delicious.  In the past, I've gotten by without cooking much, so half the battle is just cooking more.  But your shopping details are opening my eyes too.  My groceries are nowhere near as cheap...yet.  :)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Chippewa on January 10, 2018, 08:26:50 PM
I love getting corn tortillas. use them for breakfast tacos or chiliquiles, dinner tacos, to make chips when I want a snack. There is always a pack on my counter. Okay, off to check my grocery ad...
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 10, 2018, 08:47:21 PM

61% of the cost of the dinners you've presented so far is in the vegetable category. 32% is meat. 28% is grain (including corn served as vegetable). Legume is 3% (but you lentil night isn't included here). 4% is dairy.

Their food cost is 128%?

APowers, enjoying your adventure so far.  Was the sticky cake mostly sugar and butter?

Thanks for explaining your bread recipe.  Some of us Real Basic Readers get benefit from these things.

PS.  In the spirit of at least trying things, I made chicken stew for the first time last week.  It turned out fantastically delicious.  In the past, I've gotten by without cooking much, so half the battle is just cooking more.  But your shopping details are opening my eyes too.  My groceries are nowhere near as cheap...yet.  :)

128% lol! I totally didn't even catch that! I think the 28% grains is part of the 61% vegetable category. That means 61% vegetable [28% grain, 33% other veg], 32% meat, 3% legume, 4% dairy.

I didn't make the cake, but SO said she followed the pineapple upside down cake recipe from our 1980s BHG red and white cookbook, and just used maple-flavoured syrup on the bottom instead of pineapples. So, pretty standard vanilla cake recipe.

Most of my recipes are pretty much just winging it. One of the things that this series is making me do is take a minute to measure my ingredients as I use them. I am SO happy that digital kitchen scales are so mainstream now. Also, shout-out to my older brother who gave me my scale as an early birthday present.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: eliza on January 10, 2018, 08:48:00 PM
I'm really, really enjoying this.

Learning to plan my shopping around the sales and stock up the pantry when things are at their lowest was game-changing for me.

But, I still have much to learn.  (And I need to expand my cooking repertoire beyond the same four meals I always make.)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: DaMa on January 10, 2018, 10:26:01 PM
I'm really enjoying reading this.  I'm trying to eat a lot less meat, but also looking for simple easy recipes.  I'm going to pick up some lentils this week and give them a try.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: galliver on January 11, 2018, 12:27:08 AM
Very interesting to follow along :)

Question: how often do you usually end up grocery shopping?
Also question: I feel like if I was very strict with myself about sticking to sales, I might be tempted to stock up on perishables and then they'd go to waste. E.g. I'd be afraid to run out of sour cream for tacos before it went on sale again, and overestimate how long it keeps, so I'd get more than I could finish. Also, while I realize that something is always on sale and so forth...do you ever run out of a staple outside the cycle and everything that is on sale is stuff your family doesn't really eat?

Comment/suggestion: If you are interested in having the family eat more vegetables (possibly including yourself?) do you ever hide them? For example, I find meatballs can camouflage probably a third of their weight in "evil" I mean vegetable matter ;)  I've used whatever I had on hand...wilting arugula, dregs of baby lettuces (yeah I wouldn't normally cook these, but it was fine), spinach, kale, and I think minced broccoli and cauliflower, perhaps shredded zucchini? Each in addition to onions and garlic of course :)  I've also had totally unnoticeable cauliflower in mashed potatoes, and some people find it blends well into rice (I think it's fine but not unnoticeable). I've also recently read it's high in pectin and thus blends into a silky/creamy mass so I'm excited to try cauliflower alfredo and creamy cauliflower roasted garlic soup sometime. It's possible adding it to potatoes involves blending the cauliflower first then adding to potato mash (otherwise it could be chunky? Just a guess.)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Monkey Uncle on January 11, 2018, 05:07:36 AM
I've also had totally unnoticeable cauliflower in mashed potatoes, and some people find it blends well into rice (I think it's fine but not unnoticeable). I've also recently read it's high in pectin and thus blends into a silky/creamy mass so I'm excited to try cauliflower alfredo and creamy cauliflower roasted garlic soup sometime. It's possible adding it to potatoes involves blending the cauliflower first then adding to potato mash (otherwise it could be chunky? Just a guess.)

We skip the potatoes altogether and just make mashed cauliflower.  Of course, we're not feeding any picky kids.  Cook the cauliflower until soft, season to taste, and whir in the food processor with a little milk until it is smooth.  It comes out a little more granular than mashed potatoes, but not by much.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 11, 2018, 07:02:17 AM
I'm really enjoying reading this.  I'm trying to eat a lot less meat, but also looking for simple easy recipes.  I'm going to pick up some lentils this week and give them a try.

I've found that it's really easy to undersalt when cooking legumes. I haven't nailed down what the "right" amount of salt is, because I always just eyeball it-- but I feel like I always put in a bit more than I think I really should, and I put it in before they're cooked, so they draw the saltiness in as they expand.

My basic method for eyeballing salt/seasonings: I imagine that I've been served this whole pot, but it hasn't been salted. Take the salt shaker and shake until I think I'd be happy to eat the top 1-1.5 inches, then stir around. Repeat the procedure for however deep the pot is. Then do it one more time for good measure. When I'm salting a pot of beans or lentils, I'll do another round of salt shaking for good measure again.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 11, 2018, 07:41:04 AM
Very interesting to follow along :)

Question: how often do you usually end up grocery shopping?
Also question: I feel like if I was very strict with myself about sticking to sales, I might be tempted to stock up on perishables and then they'd go to waste. E.g. I'd be afraid to run out of sour cream for tacos before it went on sale again, and overestimate how long it keeps, so I'd get more than I could finish. Also, while I realize that something is always on sale and so forth...do you ever run out of a staple outside the cycle and everything that is on sale is stuff your family doesn't really eat?

Comment/suggestion: If you are interested in having the family eat more vegetables (possibly including yourself?) do you ever hide them? For example, I find meatballs can camouflage probably a third of their weight in "evil" I mean vegetable matter ;)  I've used whatever I had on hand...wilting arugula, dregs of baby lettuces (yeah I wouldn't normally cook these, but it was fine), spinach, kale, and I think minced broccoli and cauliflower, perhaps shredded zucchini? Each in addition to onions and garlic of course :)  I've also had totally unnoticeable cauliflower in mashed potatoes, and some people find it blends well into rice (I think it's fine but not unnoticeable). I've also recently read it's high in pectin and thus blends into a silky/creamy mass so I'm excited to try cauliflower alfredo and creamy cauliflower roasted garlic soup sometime. It's possible adding it to potatoes involves blending the cauliflower first then adding to potato mash (otherwise it could be chunky? Just a guess.)

I'd guess I probably go grocery shopping once or twice a week. I guess I'll find out for sure doing this series, won't I?

I almost always have enough stuff in the pantry to ride out a week or two of bad ad cycles, except fresh veggies, which is why I try to keep some frozen, just for that purpose. Sometimes we do run out of something we'd normally use, and then it's improv time-- like last week when we didn't have tortillas, I ended up making some from scratch (which I'd never done before). If we absolutely need something that's not on sale, I buy only just barely enough to get us by, and then make sure to re-stock when it does go on sale.

Sour cream keeps really well (like seriously a month or three, if unopened), and we use it regularly (if only a little at a time). So for us, I'll buy three or four containers and keep them shoved in the back of the fridge where it's coldest.

Sometimes I'll hide vegetables in things, but my problem is that I'm lazy, and hiding veggies requires a little cunning, and a few extra steps...and that's where it breaks down.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: kaypinkHH on January 11, 2018, 08:50:44 AM
PTF :)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: robartsd on January 11, 2018, 01:14:21 PM
61% of the cost of the dinners you've presented so far is in the vegetable category. 32% is meat. 28% is grain (including corn served as vegetable). Legume is 3% (but you lentil night isn't included here). 4% is dairy.

Their food cost is 128%?
Sorry, I didn't realize I had a typo. 36% was vegatables when I did that calculation - that still comes to 103%, but I was rounding to whole percentages. The point is that eating more vegetables regularly would probably break the $200/month budget (a little). Maybe I'll do another breakdown after there is more data.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 11, 2018, 07:49:02 PM
Groceries!

Needed some more green things. Went to Sprouts.
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/q7I3dsOjjw8-GJIBQDvT4iuxiphhcQUTavhtcf62T2RidsAWlcp3sz2XYjSYxsUmozZMW7crLtYiLE0MWOMRmiCWZWMvYeRk0uGFLQpjyCGHbpdYahR2CsaLOupx6QLPmnsoBiPOT1cHpREWYeuve97Z2DEPMqirQ0TOColh2Las_Xjy4AXPq33lbRDUGoFpgOY0vsTRheceS-FVAH90V47bHAXla776zAiGnx23Wr2ZtzWznXjL_UEUT75S1tlqEMSsYkdQ2K9hbN-PuHiIS_wIxTLtwi1f1Wiv26N7gSB6S-d-F7vyERMrtOJkeaXE8HXCQNINVwqMLPlZiTw9ji6dm4ZzRcH5wUwQ_GA2Sm-WJ3bkDY_fdWEKdKeH62IFPatC03cHA0LE1T7RU-cp5RpTVSecaSf5BMSkvFAViQXEIYHVcu4eop5cY7B_HReKjYTcd2jxJCOM2G0ciVmLWqCngmUGifEkM3_ofNlYC-5bKZbNy5UEYR3Ch95xzBWKAWoFNUBu2g9JDvp4-CcEA6HqYX34jdv4_lPwCT0m5063VRnznMQRTCiOI8AF7Vhqz-7az4WLg5p-liFNVR5ej34ErNe3droigGpvOAaxVhkQQAHUuo607paNRJnZKai5V7TKNzyW6oT4twdYXARvQ4fx3qgDAZF_=w1419-h798-no)

Celery: 2@$.88/each = $1.76
Green onion: 2@$.333/each = $0.67
Cucumber: 3@$.50/each = $1.50
Romaine: 1@$.88/each = $0.88
Carrots: 5lbs = $2.99
Cantaloupe 1@$1.98/each = $1.98

Total receipt = $9.78
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 11, 2018, 08:51:44 PM
Tonight was Beans night.

Not sure exactly what to call it, but something like seven-layer dip or bean salad...or this and that...

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/d4ib-5oWLTcrTYLFHcjbWOrFKFLQRhsIXeRAAEs6rZvARrlveH5gORNVYjY_-jDPiKSIfNAieVw1agbRvNsTF6XRKeuESaP1mySbn9ea3kHaSq27pkIhCf81WBjG-9yZ0pxzuW-bKjJfDAi3OUMQwOxrk3tjGgyAnm3cwmgNrAqWkzZnYw4w1EeQpNTdNfVUJhQf9gsXfIGNSyhPAsHo5Bh45czjvnKY6L4220QQO-nDCEIZKDnOHGt9-bzfSLM4zctjjH0BslLcyTfB4G1ttQW8DXSLCr4A6S_7h3EZkfIVyYOfoZztW3Or-zZSjAdu_LMTcARIbsk-9dCV-EyjXKefzjB8Y83AdRFFWUGVbiTTgpfQ3NWgDiLAuiQa-w2I0TNUkCPi74m4E84Y8UZxeaTg7dzwVvm-ZlYs2u5sq9dP09sn3v_FZWCJ3WGJuEqtDYZUwKiuM_ftPuLBEePm95UWSi6PlAXbfUfDSvliT8G55MlpS-h4oFD69l7CMjN_SGG6YbTN1QXzYOtF3o-BhIiUbRPjB_T62qzN-L3kn8uChXjAm7y3Dzvmwf6DhAvkhso57Q86YomSvONa0cKF3hRKnVQezHdmT4ibcwukIdEGC4LmL4Kx8vPt7jfSarcG4RaKC2ge3ASJ6UlVj8QGPNuKRVut2zC5=w1419-h798-no)
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/YA2NJRk9UVDK-LHTqlUT_8ID8sENAtxgZeyW5XPfvE_ZQA5424Uq731BD7tA5RzxELyocECwEzmaSE52fM78WKzBHAeim-_xhygX61VgLZdtOlNJWxWN083U1aLgR8_rpV6b8rrlCzRARdNH3b9atefMcm3l9bkvNIlEQoXbFXdW0rxOvkK_VY0qglW8e0mGaXw_jzerNIO-zrnMxZmPg1fjKmCJlfRz9_8UU6dwQ0dtJrXNjwqgAifa_ApISKhZ6VIN3Z2JU4ix7EUNNwsi2ZB6pb7k_87XkU-lf5xYEPJbzQVMQ5N8PWukv1OIj6u27ZEMOrXCEi4uh0Pqy0BvwdJj-l089CtIIkWgOPu30dOUKVEI3_u2upmODq8dhTfag3Ay2nhXmVkEB470l4FZrvUP0lqku_AmhXdwVcDVd8PAaPeGVVB4JB0U9MfLNNsDGY8W7f-eRCCUv8Vt-v9sP5PWzaQ9g9rPACMmKGrPTWoY4aVduxsW8bgUkZx5JXmNBT0I2sYCUpuNW6Z62xY2aF72fP7fNVDZHwdO4TU2oAEP6TcU8RLQm26fQFqDuiwvTeUYoVKoynyltdNNQ8mWw9T4cSYi-7gbI2vifFSLB1ICf_Mm6hyGBalg_wsNxoVa_dHlvDACmf23v3RVLsWrWCeLBa3lmk4H=w449-h798-no)
I still haven't gotten to Safeway yet, but managed to pick up a single serving of sour cream at work today, so that was very lucky.

1/4 head of romaine: $.22
1 cucumber: $.50
1 bag potato chips: $.99
4 cups beans: $.84
1/8 onion: $.06
Cilantro: ~$.10
1 can corn: $.25
1/2 avocado: $.25

Total meal cost = $3.21 + salsa

I cooked extra beans because I'm doing a dinner/game night on sunday, and the menu is a taco bar, so I figured I'd kill 2 birds with one stone.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 13, 2018, 12:51:22 PM
Groceries! I had to go to the library to pick up some items on hold, and Safeway is exactly on the way, so I stopped on my way home.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/WpoMqOsk3DVcTTsl53wUb4Bgbzb_qG_yYZFlND8cThmiceBU2wPuSjabvVgsn-wXf5Xko6AgjFaqxYQRsP_BGEi7hBjEkfU2XPAwxaD1uUTnYeLrMTCluavWygxLalpPjnhUxpCasR_odtGz7cxXOvSMXX2GNvIyxEuuxzDwqTXAl89JsE5I7RiDk-kZo4aH9Cowce1Dn4fjsv5P9fLxe0_4oxp8H2kC1NMbBeOPzXPuVS9dxxZgej6hbOirPkKkxPZlE2wRDOO2DyX3gsw_rde_P1yMLh4BJrRcU9Mv3uAIyRwiaxsjJbh6iskNz-9FaA2O4jddBHUmApcm4aHZBVndrVjfCNMpP1yXP4v6AnUYNjnJl0wmoTMMQOurdwZEUrDVUBm7-y4ISFyt8sJ2mWUvFDKqK4h3i33keBNylWmkho-_4ELOk0QhkTMe8yxgMjTtabjQoVjF9smbtxJm1-zWIbWf_HpC_S4dAhvCbDoBWSrqmZMg8T6lsyW2bidENaU_oVahIMFjdSczjWTjRygkyrY0KLq51eU_v1AsC8EEnVbgdbOt7B5XovcUfj0J045dKWpvnVXSljgx0QZEJAB9MSeu3e2mcc_3HiUzFWhXFTfVVnixnlwm8L1GjFVk9iAiZInprU9OIw7_QbH0c5nCg_5oDigE=w1419-h798-no)

Sour cream 4 @ $.99/each: $3.96
Chicken breast ~5lb @ .99/lb: $5.08
Tortilla chips: $1.17
Potato chips: $.95

Total receipt = $11.16

I would normally wait for a sale to buy tortilla chips for under $1, but want to make sure I have a dairy-free (i.e., not cheesy-flavoured) chip option for Kiddo at board game party tomorrow.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 13, 2018, 12:58:30 PM
Sorry, I'm playing catch-up from yesterday, but we just did leftovers. Normally, friday would be Lentils Night, but sunday will be friends coming over and I'm doing tacos, so we're doing leftovers friday and saturday, to make sure we don't end up leaving something in the fridge too long. And to make space in the fridge, lol!

I had leftover Pasta Something Something Else, and the kids had leftover potatoes and beans and rice. I gave them each a big leaf of romaine and some celery w/peanut butter. Sorry, no pic this time.

Probably total cost for dinner was $0.85.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 13, 2018, 01:13:18 PM
So....it turns out that game night will likely be more people than I was expecting. Which is great! Unfortunately, it means I should have bought ground beef at Safeway last week. So I made a King Soopers errand; fortunately, I was already planning on going that way to run some other errands, so I just added a stop instead of needing to make a whole separate trip.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/IIP51y-Le5Y6M3C8EoeOfs_BFZiHa1rLMt_jN7v1XuTwAA_EJVOG0WfIBiTBy0h7sLtaD_mndNV6cwlix6BrzgYM9RdW1RichRqelTa4qzVb1XrXqLU-8h3e6cryrrBrXamxi3gxgMbOQcA-uN3iUQk07bTusSkjYS_elfbVM629Kzdyw8PbvnRY0c_wSYSLx9z6ZCN5jRfr38vxOZPKQKFFk9KCeNiSFvDxO6lzrWgBay4-zRgOhN_6egWjr0kAPJzCr1sQYwKJ2jfQwjjYgiL7x3qPzCaxui0ZEVvIwvvMoTvmqDL-po8jt9BoFgKkpOqzZbFoSozV-najc57IZBjv2LxWUjDnd9HUy-AERi2sK_QTaU9gS1qmiiCDaYK2Sq1mSqPVhtsuCPSv1pIR1XszTO_uGQgjm3wbvCx0Tjp_u7gw8nEqDQ6QR2XkuEX_PvkzG_qdiFa1o5S6QlQiV-xifs4Ek6YDcOCQ9XLcVH1N_ct09rDK6vnKVuHASJZCVv3bHSNPXmE7yZ4bc_LqBtIdm0ZChr2wcN3hnmTas1JZpRn8oFBDImyiO4IX9KCsQnfbMDV9HaFWEzothpMvh_RXv8qycmgkIMefugDNPx8QeWR2DJgtrjHNiRVG2PCxosZjHA9NfHYWDicPgnIVKZFvPG7p2vGb=w449-h798-no)

Lettuce: $.99
Ground Beef 3lb @ $2.77/lb: $8.31
Popcorn: $0 (free friday item)
Almond milk: $1.49
Tortillas: $8.15

Total receipt = $18.94

Lettuce, ground beef, and tortillas are mainly for taco night tomorrow, but there'll probably be leftovers from that.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Mikila on January 13, 2018, 01:45:00 PM
Reading this thread is inspirational.  Thank you, A Powers!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 13, 2018, 11:06:04 PM
Mostly leftovers for dinner tonight again.

SO had a salad with a bit of cheese and walnuts, plus a handful of pasta with a dollop of sour cream. I'd guesstimate ~$.85 max. She didn't weigh anything out, so it's hard to know for certain.

I added some mayo and crushed red pepper to the last of the leftover pasta and had a delicious pasta salad. The kids had the last of the the head of romaine, a couple slices of bread, some pineapple, and a two-egg omelet for protein (I chopped up about an ounce or less of pepperoni to give the omelets that "yum" factor)  each. Probably <$1.00 altogether. I tried to convince them to eat some of the leftover rice, but that was a non-starter.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 14, 2018, 10:14:53 PM
Had 7 people over for dinner and Scattergories. Was a lot of fun. I made soft tacos. Sorry, no pictures, but it was delicious. Omnomnomnom.

Tortillas: $2.78
Beef (3lbs): $8.31
Beans: $0 (leftovers)
Rice: $.69
Cheese: $.99
Lettuce: $.99
Onion: $.38
Celery: $.11
Olives: $2.00
Green onions: $.67
Cilantro: $.10
Sour cream: ~$.30


Total food cost = $17.32. There is SO much food leftover. We're actually having the neighbours come over for dinner tomorrow, and we'll just have more tacos, and it'll be all leftovers.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 16, 2018, 09:31:25 PM
Three nights in a row of tacos. Most of the fillings are finally gone...so now we can move on to other things. We had the neighbour over with her three kids yesterday, and still had enough for dinner tonight.

AND I actually remembered to snap a couple pics. Of the kids' plates, at least.
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/LDkUKzO_gHvBinb7YODhJX70zI5ak1KYOzdvb_fnytE5gYfmZq9jfAJ0cRVKrAYt3WofBSZQ90HD3ewB92AouiW8JWOvRiStWp9e83odoCvonQChG_oIUPUH8cDT-H4_netvBTuezfg7kwypKaQXOEUysBHL9RfM4R7ScuxdMe_pP7XzYCFIenn9TnM5o337u9UkpjAYWLSbQUdo-uEBYDHRjkZJpx0vRsTKMVsDaKxoHFFqJaXg1ZXM7lq8g8z-UVR7uzQEGn13_tW-T8CNGYO53sYttPFXMk9kWl9uPKjl9D-dXsG7kFFtAqhMpF9yDc8WXX9xOUZSs6C9UNRMzl3RFfwUrHzXlpFDB227LybvQp_jM8wSEUvO4cNQx2RScGp7oOQ2HKDQyLlF7FT3ki8Bwj-epax5Jak0CNRhPEjIiSw97vpD1M07C4-hLborjXBQLDGheDUqR1BZfP4IADsgNymHry3TtTUufMhdohEu4-CMMbQozuXNYEU_EuSiwQwT2Y-BfHgL1nteQ4JBuwxZE5MBDrYXDO6cHDCLyJtxYPmVVNTA0jEafKPrWCLAM7ycMnFBk4Uzq5GRxQc99IDz41Isls5BCSw7Cxd2qrLONXSHXyKh6ou6Pr7cOorS7Y3gYCuvk8uBFT5NYw-RdVxCj68AKVXN=w449-h798-no)
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/8hz13LDDN4lIQpt2wW--ipTnKlmveBKRm4c4PiX8ODIalxqCj-udqK7yGY1IIOpN3NKsgSfB7gBHVxPGwYfYvRYWNNxbL-tpuqm28705Sm1HlxmIM2kKgeF6qJKIK51s8lQcTCZEDymM47FkawrXO1mI4ArVE5_Wztn9cnKL550szf2ZLMDYv_3r1_rqnHsiskzjBDB5Z1d5Kn-fwb5tzeHvSa5BgAhu8jUz0eBwhdfeJypyY0thXBTk7LWCtfsgK9aznbCAP8OCSQ-VoEUVn8zv3fcNMhwX0fWdZBIZeymldwyxb1JKvfod9w04R2vMkAwENL95edsaXddt0hKm4NCXoAmNgJElNRlrMvFbHg0QtiaNxEmYvuoDq6CMj6YRbhARGkdiZ3b3SCM9mtXfFnZmXA-5Tpw8r7sIb95g_decYiAGyex-ukjaVFkviP7gclOjRWZisvA5b8uklHmlpsR4MWjkB_8eyS1EOwJsQncO8EQ1dq_KBkMNehC027pV7HIEgnLZo_1E-6JUstE0DhDUqhY6dFmfanbzoYa8jIXl7orTKvr4NK-1N7TNFbN4wiqqtHnCzIglik8b9HXHKXVt4UGTK3L5vcrbPmzrsUAdlK5hZz2JVIXcBT1d1dTr5LGCu2GA9Dy9DWRzSXOXSkuQFeUU5kJB=w449-h798-no)

I also baked up four chicken breasts, which will become dinner for the next couple/three days. SO took about 4oz for her tacos, as she much prefers lean meat, so that adds about $.25

All in all, not too bad-- ~$18 over three nights = ~$6/dinner. And we got to have a party/game night out of the deal. Considering how many people we fed, maybe we should do tacos more often, lol. It'd be less "taco night" and more like "taco week". I'd be ok with that. I don't know if everyone wouldn't get bored of tacos after a while, haha.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Nurse_Nash on January 17, 2018, 07:32:24 AM
My Spending is $25/week despite the month. It can be $100 or $125/month for one person. Depends on if there is 4 weeks or 5 weeks in the month. My budget is higher for my solo self as I eat 4+ Meals/Day

Please note: I powerlift and compete. So, I eat more or less depending on if I am trying to cut weight or gain weight.

This Week: Jan 14, 2018
1 lbs Ground Turkey  (93% Lean / 7% Fat) - $3.99
Chicken Thighs 3 lbs usually- $4.38
2.5 Dozen Eggs- $3.99
16 oz Bag Spinach- $2.99
Milk (Gallon)- $3.99
2 Green Sweet Peppers-  ~$1
3 Bananas- ~ 0.48
Arnolds Double Protein Bread Loaf: $2.99 on sale
Avocados (2) - $1.49

   ---- TOTAL $25.30

What I have on stock that lasts several weeks at a time:
Whey Isolate Protein Powder
5lbs lb Long Grain Brown Rice
24 oz lbs Whole Wheat Pasta
3 lbs Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Mayo
Mustard
Saracha Sauce
Various Spices

Weekly Menu Consist of almost the same things daily. Keeps me on track for my competition goals. What I eat and how much I eat depends on my workout of that day or no workout at all.

6 AM Egg muffin with cheese and peppers.
10 AM 2 hard boiled eggs
2 PM 4 Oz Chicken Thighs + Spinach salad and cup COOKED brown rice.
6PM 4 oz Turkey Patty Sandwich with 2 slices of bread with mayo, mustard and sprinkle of spinach.
10PM Protein Shake with 1 Cup Whole Milk
Note: Im not always on this exact schedule. It will vary with class schedule or work but I try to stick to this as much as possible. Each week I may change up my purchases. Maybe get yogurt instead of milk. Maybe purchase bacon instead of turkey.

-Nash
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: PMG on January 17, 2018, 08:21:53 AM
Hey OP,

Tacos are a favorite of mine as well, especially for guests.  Its easy to have nutritious options for vegetarians, meat eaters and vegans at the same time.  I make lentil tacos for myself most but have found that people who dont usually eat lentils dont notice or mind when I use some lentils to stretch ground beef.  They blend in with the meat and hold the taco flavor.  Might be a way to reduce cost but add more legume and fiber to the meal. 

Im enjoying reading along but eat more fresh foods and less processed carbs than yall.

Also, gotta agree with other posters, Im jealous of those low prices! 

Nice work.  Best of luck.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 17, 2018, 09:09:50 PM
Now that we're done with tacos, it's Pasta Night! Yay!

Featuring: This-Pasta-Dish-That-I-Just-Made-Up.
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/6ehgH_t0TJwX8Jdq2J8cA0VTgK4yl9eOJUdSnSydYdnPzlbY7AjP-bVS-mHP7Wb3eYSQrDVY71Hd3m7AtY9DCutXIyw6Bl94qQZflQAjmOiNbjGnUmlDWDp18jGQFNYk9JI5hU6zEaGZXYYc69xB3U3-Rff3UQbZztkGJeO6rdqEV1VgnS48r0BTZ04O2ZRpAyhRgSWn8L9NQBPVHc8mE2JV9wa19z-E5GAD6LpaadsLZNWkKuC-YVzgtVL-jv5rK_embqG8vcw4VUnzJCXNh7LffSAGsJdfxupn4gngCMn-KGcHlykaRF0qgEC60zIZD0DMMK1O7LMyATkHcBjg1YIuAe8-mGLwRMmDS1gFrBGxv5T2IMJOTmd5_weG2Mm2qqGvFx1w1V49FGU3PhLi_cwfhZMTrMI2Tbl1LQYlvyekZz51QNCy28RTEyKL-yk71advIomo_1zPf2B__uUct4Awi0obqSSJCQzHfF9MI70ZN9iZIFJjBeo5nMnuTQR88fB_C0ZZbCrNuPYH4E99f2N2NofT_TK_0FbZfwRnA1c6fu1BDJYGpEXh7f2Yc87OJZhJpzuVuYQXm3LYWpf2M6jxqIX59tJ0_RDzP4sC9wwLQh_-NmgQAwXDXyhw1zXlFT9oTspJzPwNzQ8OQvYdnVt7adCvSlaZ=w1419-h798-no)

I know the kids like their veggies raw, so I served them their ingredients all separate-- sliced red+green peppers, cucumber, and celery; a serving of plain (but salted/buttered) pasta and some chicken on the side.

Pasta: ~$1
Garlic: $.10
Chicken: ~$5
Onion: $0 (leftover from taco toppings)
Red + green bell pepper: $1
Cucumber: $.50
Celery: ~$.20
Butter: $.05

Total cost of dinner + probably two more meals' worth of chicken = $7.85

The pasta in the picture: I put some onion, celery, and garlic in my skillet-- once they started browning a bit, I added some peppers. It smelled vaguely asian, so I decided to swing in that direction: I sprinkled in a bit of salt, ginger, and a bit of coriander. I put some chili powder on a big handful of chicken pieces, then some soy sauce, so they'd be like nuggets of salty/spicy throughout the pasta. I added the (still cold) chicken and ~3/4 of the batch of (salted) pasta and stirred it all around.

It wasn't blow-my-socks-off amazing, but I'd eat it again, so I consider that a success.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Chippewa on January 17, 2018, 09:20:33 PM
Those are fun noodles! Sounds good to me. I think improvising is the best most times. It doesn't always wow every time for me either, but lots of times it does work.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 17, 2018, 09:24:23 PM
My Spending is $25/week despite the month. It can be $100 or $125/month for one person. Depends on if there is 4 weeks or 5 weeks in the month. My budget is higher for my solo self as I eat 4+ Meals/Day

Please note: I powerlift and compete. So, I eat more or less depending on if I am trying to cut weight or gain weight.

This Week: Jan 14, 2018
1 lbs Ground Turkey  (93% Lean / 7% Fat) - $3.99
Chicken Thighs 3 lbs usually- $4.38
2.5 Dozen Eggs- $3.99
16 oz Bag Spinach- $2.99
Milk (Gallon)- $3.99
2 Green Sweet Peppers-  ~$1
3 Bananas- ~ 0.48
Arnolds Double Protein Bread Loaf: $2.99 on sale
Avocados (2) - $1.49

   ---- TOTAL $25.30

What I have on stock that lasts several weeks at a time:
Whey Isolate Protein Powder
5lbs lb Long Grain Brown Rice
24 oz lbs Whole Wheat Pasta
3 lbs Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Mayo
Mustard
Saracha Sauce
Various Spices

Weekly Menu Consist of almost the same things daily. Keeps me on track for my competition goals. What I eat and how much I eat depends on my workout of that day or no workout at all.

6 AM Egg muffin with cheese and peppers.
10 AM 2 hard boiled eggs
2 PM 4 Oz Chicken Thighs + Spinach salad and cup COOKED brown rice.
6PM 4 oz Turkey Patty Sandwich with 2 slices of bread with mayo, mustard and sprinkle of spinach.
10PM Protein Shake with 1 Cup Whole Milk
Note: Im not always on this exact schedule. It will vary with class schedule or work but I try to stick to this as much as possible. Each week I may change up my purchases. Maybe get yogurt instead of milk. Maybe purchase bacon instead of turkey.

-Nash
I'm no competitive power lifter, so I don't strive for extra protein in the menu-- that can make a big difference in spending. Chicken thighs cook pretty well from frozen, so if you have the freezer space, you can often save a bit by stocking up when there's a sale that's less than you normally pay. Also, Eggs keep really really well-- for a lot longer than you might expect-- so you could likely save a bit by buying an extra 3 dozen when they dip under $1/dozen. I always watch out for things that I use regularly to dip in price, so that I can stock up; it also makes it me less stressed about running out of a staple item.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 17, 2018, 09:27:22 PM
Hey OP,

Tacos are a favorite of mine as well, especially for guests.  Its easy to have nutritious options for vegetarians, meat eaters and vegans at the same time.  I make lentil tacos for myself most but have found that people who dont usually eat lentils dont notice or mind when I use some lentils to stretch ground beef.  They blend in with the meat and hold the taco flavor.  Might be a way to reduce cost but add more legume and fiber to the meal. 

Im enjoying reading along but eat more fresh foods and less processed carbs than yall.

Also, gotta agree with other posters, Im jealous of those low prices! 

Nice work.  Best of luck.

If it were up to me, I'd likely be happy eating some variation of burritos every day. But I have three other people who get bored of eating the same thing all the time. A lot of times, I like to make my lentil soup thick enough and wrap it in a tortilla with a bit of sour cream and salsa.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 17, 2018, 10:03:34 PM
Those are fun noodles! Sounds good to me. I think improvising is the best most times. It doesn't always wow every time for me either, but lots of times it does work.

My older brother explained that he finally figured out cooking: "Everything is just hash. You have a protein and a carb and a vegetable, and you pretty much just mix and match, and make sure to season so it tastes good." I was like, yeah, that's pretty much how it works.

A while back, I did some research on how to get complete proteins without meat. I knew that beans have some proteins, but not all; I knew that (brown) rice has some proteins, but not all; etc.... As it turns out, the complete set of proteins are essentially grains + legumes. Legumes (beans, lentils, peanuts, soy, peas, etc) have one set of proteins, while grains (wheat, corn, rice, barley, oats, etc) have the other set. All of a sudden, literally ALL the traditional "peasant" food dishes made so much sense. Think about it: beans-on-toast (beans/wheat), rice-and-beans, pea soup w/bread, soybeans in stir-fry over rice, PBJ sandwiches, bean burritos, falafel in a pita, pasta fagioli...the list goes on.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: eliza on January 18, 2018, 04:52:31 AM
I'm no competitive power lifter, so I don't strive for extra protein in the menu-- that can make a big difference in spending. Chicken thighs cook pretty well from frozen, so if you have the freezer space, you can often save a bit by stocking up when there's a sale that's less than you normally pay. Also, Eggs keep really really well-- for a lot longer than you might expect-- so you could likely save a bit by buying an extra 3 dozen when they dip under $1/dozen. I always watch out for things that I use regularly to dip in price, so that I can stock up; it also makes it me less stressed about running out of a staple item.

+1 for stocking up on sale items (to the extent you can use up before they go bad). My local  store has eggs on sale for $.47/dozen (limit 4).  Guess who is buying 4 dozen eggs this week?
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Nurse_Nash on January 18, 2018, 08:26:22 AM

I'm no competitive power lifter, so I don't strive for extra protein in the menu-- that can make a big difference in spending. Chicken thighs cook pretty well from frozen, so if you have the freezer space, you can often save a bit by stocking up when there's a sale that's less than you normally pay. Also, Eggs keep really really well-- for a lot longer than you might expect-- so you could likely save a bit by buying an extra 3 dozen when they dip under $1/dozen. I always watch out for things that I use regularly to dip in price, so that I can stock up; it also makes it me less stressed about running out of a staple item.

APower,
I absolutely get where you're coming from. I do purchase more when sales hit and put things in the freezer.  I often purchase off-brand and price/pound method instead of seeing a low price tag initially. It's whatever has a better bargain for myself. It's exciting to get eggs for free or extra fruit and veggies. The protein does pull more weight in my budget. 

-Nash
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 18, 2018, 09:58:28 PM
Beans Night tonight. No pics, sorry.

I did a baked beans flavoured bean dish with beans and sausage. Cooked the beans in the broth I made from the rib bones of the chicken breasts. I ate mine over the last leftovers of rice from tacos. Yum! The kids don't always appreciate rice, so I had it all to myself. We also had carrot sticks and a green pepper on the side.

Beans (~13oz dry): $.42
Onion: $0 (leftover chopped onion from tacos)
Sausage (8oz): $1.00
Carrots: ~$.30
Green pepper: $.50
Cheese: ~$.13


Total cost for dinner = $2.35
----------------------------------------------------
Girlie and I also made some granola bars, so that's ~$0.75. We ate four of them tonight, and the rest will probably end up as school lunch/snacks.
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/SKq6S8i4e9BCqBCcIiDNvPDZhuihL7f-5ysSYHqp3IUP6YbmhlX9H3QarghRO70SlWpkoujehK5pdzhUjsXky5ysGVAlxt6JZXZigO2hKVQveVJBykOU3HMsb4wXVGL_y4Wb0vjkRAWecpceDKbokWE0L1Y2oz1_-fTv1bttlxI5bL6ySUyXjerG2vVadDThx94v4K0fdDWa4W90Ui3wmVvLfMYTIbLLSfAKbdTeNO7O5L9-hz9gOt9b52wgoagjpCMy3A2dTKeognvJJ4kaYGwpMuBejF5MH0ztTze0QwRnjUS7QLIFKlc1sL5UFi30NJ7ycJLlpnmB_AEi8QY-fVDulLBEty_LKWCLV8Fp7h9eVDhaUvT0ZsgjNfwtbYxoYc9yqvTNEtJs4j1G9LiCM1Or8BcRXGqSYKWHXrIIaIYJvFsOSEC6g_kZ5lwBJASMf_mbBmzzFc_BDzrsKUrHXVN9eK96AovXG77b25THF1BveFFLVXqfRSazy6KSEdk2itdV355P3EzxRJxw6LPdahO-eQ9z_9H_NS_E9G2XprBKdwqcdLQz5VVCqFv2gJ5DJt-uLNFGuZESZ2v-y-f80tzgzs64olb2cGr5-XpXglCdDfN-C5ZIZf76vpqwDOc_HDcvHjjXiVv5-aQD9nWOexO3vyrbJE86=w1419-h798-no)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 20, 2018, 12:39:53 AM
Lentils tonight, and I actually remembered to take pictures as I put it together, so y'all can have my secret recipe, lol.

Lentil soup = $4.51
Bread-rolls = $0.55
Gluten-free muffins = ~$0.75
Cucumber on the side = $0.50

Total cost of dinner + leftovers = $6.31. There is literally enough leftover lentil soup for lunch AND a whole 'nother dinner, at least. Sometimes I'll fill up a quart ziploc bag and freeze part of a batch-- a quart ziploc happens to be exactly enough lentil soup for one dinner for us.


16oz dry lentils: $.99
2/3 lb ground beef: $2.08
1 medium-large onion: $.45
1 Tbsp minced garlic: $.10
6 medium carrots (~12oz): $.45
~1/3-1/2 head of celery: $.44
~2 Tbsp sausage grease

Broth/water
Salt
Garlic powder
Pepper
Italian seasoning

Grease in first. I used the leftover sausage grease from the sausage I put in the baked beans yesterday, but it'd work just as well to use butter or oil
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/__zbdqCjZvwM4G92OMV5MET4ZClWn1UNtY11slZ0kVGrYtMf8923OmE3Ej2Se75gdOTd0GZ-cRE5UH0SE8O7VI9_GlNErroyPLtFahc7UG2WRjshWZyurrFzLWK7OthdozKwscNfN9-2XMphniCVjNl42cYrJ3VSj51v7He0CpEi_1PWWunk_oVZ2W0kJKuY89PGrsowETzq0J3SjKZ33CSTQJNnGBTiG924hsP-XHqvSKfihfehZYIXV8bMVNyPoJ8vMIVPtUoJ1fKj4KXfOzMj9NQoAnV14KTgagE_FNnI-COcMKxZ32z_6DN2Ay5W0LoFP4TtznisT5lxYmluc1TNFJLjP_--99t3h4AWGm2oID1xTxDVNnHi-3JStUQzV5U1G5xSMrXC579yvQafXj3kcQsJvH5N9A5KUjAG2hDS5nZ_gAFGWPaBdqztwATyN7psmYYzpYdsLy8irGGnDXLbh-dcegyB_Ff4A-PXiK9IUq7tiAso7RKMATpfTDwxbFZKLAwRgJ1x4-wcIa1Nwwrl-dOJzxYVY1Ixejc44ZfaGeFkwlhjPe3Cx6HF19VJpguoyumn-09JfrDVm07lL3vWDSpd8oIkiv2LCpKbbMkvudtDQspN3JSLY7YcYoJxu3q7oV0un_XcU0flqmxwsW3FkOat56o9=w786-h443-no)

Then onions, garlic, and celery. I'm cooking in my Instant Pot, but a regular big pot would work too.
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/2Cy7f7dki_JFOHNgrIwmkjqCzCyGfHBEO9Uuhg_5c8Leq8MvThMMt2IYczQ7uyjAGvhwn8jEoHTWjNQB3KHU0dp3rqMvVModanG3MdUqXifuUXqKXKrr4wxChyg1kNvLivzru5wUG9g7N8tCvYyPgM9VnRsNNT3-ianqA2BoLqSEWzoPhvsTjiK7zBcS-5ySORvohejyWH1J6W2XFI4FZO0jL1b4CHh0VQpiOrwxLv_CF1Xp0-LeoINqRduH6EPzzJZrQfOsrKzz0GEvWMWgUtTnZ3PFUk6hzl1bT3Ml3UO_xKNEF-4WfgtZttYosJ6hvve49w5dQmGoNYX7TjxQTkyCNltjWu_k3i99eG2KHKvCzlgAcf9WVBEAceNbKBXDMJHlbV6WWHsEKOSmsn13CDi1DbtmfD-tSuwtnWMnpkkE03fjHoXxUt4Kt--ffSKeIl1dzY7cwuTBJ_j8YyTdYFUsRpNb6rEeGT00JOaWq5FlDfxup0HPBpkdNRj-w9LmU1dLTJYWZdAKnBd-vmgsrX8d_Mq7CopTZgdYrpypR7SPO209UVZR4ijVTkdELdxrHDjqfYLnh0HUOacL5UwUm40S-c6b73azoLM0Qd1m18QDQrOz6lc3n4wl38Vly-Ekb4aUOM6aWdakrDmF4b5mdYrgbegolNsT=w445-h791-no)

Then carrots as soon as I could peel and chop them.
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/rm-4YToLWIEZvNtpm-5mI8WRzX6kkbW6FeEbXESdixYSFcbOfcEIWiD3ofcP39CiK2ZwcRs8kMN6O8J1btBkxLLFGPwm7x2fNIWOkkSnbUQopPqSrg5brNctUH--hPSFJKh3gRYY_F2qg0_AT6LnYrnoCzNwHj91acom48QZyPvhY9ZkPdvbNb9nmAogPNvNHtb_eA5LCUnAyTA0K_ncqdZb9q7DE6bK6ZSfU9N2ZK1fyQsvYSqRCWxiQ92v3GVJJt9trWQ9vDM9ohZy6alwDLFe5uV-P4EWTog_565D-U1GrvMUmxQ-lwkhDeHuKG9J4H62iwqlwy9f7SM1tajmXxi0sYRHJhMcKEN8gSILmWM0Qyd1wXqxZKU7BhNZvlUx6GXlUTOjsXhip1HsN3CUdHwuxKBD98CmAWofQWZuQWAEhoskgJ1hoW6OWGYJtiAXi5Z1BXv5QxkXbhBDkEpXxjTDKse2d-js2SpnL2ez3SGRxZPnHqo0QN07Iz9ZiZ0cIQzCgdb1Eq7DSBiPJGYqvuFmqd644j6VPUvnbd7jMMb_CitRwSykayFijMSwli3MnGlraVH27xHyx8PjNIh6JjaTQIjA5jcb3uLVSX0YuD_rEgkcN1GKEzcE2vU1DGbRnXenECG3bJrVDJ4JnjlDqrbbceiYOFOr=w786-h443-no)

I could have added the carrots first; I don't know that it matters that much. I generally start with onions and garlic, then add my other veggies as soon as I can get them chopped up. I just stir them until the bottom of the pot starts getting browned-- like, almost burned, but not quite, just very dark brown. This is not rocket surgery. As long as there isn't charred ashes in your pot, you're pretty golden. If you are afraid that it's starting to go a bit too far, you can add a glug of water/liquid and stir it around a bit; that will pretty much stop the browning process immediately (at least until that bit of water evaporates).

Then add the ground beef. Mine is frozen. I just cook it long enough to break it up into relatively bite-sized bits: think "marble-sized". Again, there's no precision here-- you're not worried about actually cooking it through (that will happen regardless by the time you pressure cook)... you're just defrosting and maybe browning some bits.
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/7QqcB8GQHH109UgoKZ83T_Jh1mTtbGs9EDIwEfEDcNb8Ja_yrjupqSk2jWUfUctNtjFTyoUVhnwyYP1kmvL7QlsYhnpcDblh2rHEVGL50Yep6R6y6R5UWq4iWuaZSJTkXK_a5KfuC4ATYV93cD9lR-twezIOymm1zRS2gOqizjsaQ3_x_9rRjpX28TaLxw0clRPWEsF7i-8hKmgxNurC5Me2lYXAhzUapEEadDW6yGJJX4oOfjVMFpt-IeEge5BWXvUuhwZsiZVga-EZZJopYPM__irImMAGdQ366t4MlDXMiBLgeJS14_rOqbEHfuXzR68NmULZIrqZ8iM1Vz2GLpQl35oiOyzCFzRuI2J5kT3IyJigEkuHqxUvLBzF_l3y42uiypVUmKwSQRPefA00PV2_QQ_m3RJ7aI638CF3dR9AVaKAkXoFBaU6GF8G_P4zz0rbC1YIqDjcWZKEi8EBonfca22eSUxc3kAmK66f9RGqPptmoNOk8Wxb-XRGimixK5MyU9hnim2VGKbvhSnegxeXLFHusOK2PiS7tPfGB8vRS6FYycX-RJimqAVR2czBMrvpWShXeVHcg94xxSjaffBmWjHSedcoAAKPzGyghfWkU3QS7EGrUGrUKfzG3MmOWszss0Fstzu35Q9Ynqt2YOhr4E8mwCbv=w786-h443-no)

Then I add the lentils and broth-- I used about 50/50 broth and water, so as to use up the last of the chicken broth. I use 4:1 ratio of liquid to lentils.
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/gaMFD8yOyX26NRR48t8SsIaH9e7uJlBcvQJkIY0LpROcQ72S9wRduQlbIy3cjFHjO3qnwmB1I7pBJk6O3cWUBlGtJ82oXRGSWZdRhrydJVBup0Vrx3gI3DpX7c4xUh4c9KlxQcuVzttHVxVjGXFCqzrHSXJMd4LnfQcfRMQoIlL-ZDdixSjHkOqfGREW6hwSAe8J-dT9QIBdF0iFuj4PYsZqvrlSiEY3AdmPmRRzfEnwuG1XUX1ziHmawPqsgdJI0x9xzHF0_vSC6t8A3psv8udtrXs9-BtRs1Oz-E6onQEMe7bYf9YcJfc6-86U00mCA_ucyJ_AlDL43VJ2Dls_Jl-2Wd0jxUpmCQmkLA2WVe9LHpyBjzA_55aIP4FlteFjVhOFeSrghBV0iG96F1H3r22Tz5pbAKpPPCACdkWU1vU9T4ZUr-rUr8ZG-33LyyWwKMNyTW05vyUBoC0GArwNO-x27by12GwFs2sKQBrQbmOj4cd6WhywD-87UItPM8X0S_o2vbc3lz7bqRq4MoqY4wR2FwAuXJae2aH5exr45m6rL6fCmGqlBapihgV9EeLoQ6LAaQytxsqEko5l_HarZJsKcl_-zF7S8OJQ0VrLiev7M9LYxZdDHIYZAMrU6IxF0YADQH5AUM8I-qQM1Ne5EdIWVQ78KcaS=w786-h443-no)

I add an appropriate amount of salt (probably a bit more than you think you need), yay-much garlic powder, and about a "cover-the-surface-of-the-liquid-in-the-pot" amount of italian seasonings. Then pressure-cook for 20 minutes. If you use a regular pot, you'll want to simmer it on the stove for ~2-3 hrs.
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/D2-R3X01Me-_FZ8jp4XwtNSng4i6gYuUjtH34LhXqU9InJKt_IoBZKXQfjG0dbRd21FjwgqJURr7_iVGbSkj6YgSJETO3MW7EE4e5AHlZsQhLP7QkblCaPYAH3Uz1DdpJRz3Q0kuaE1Boz0eMiDFJk0fV8wYBnXdewVEyvREysz1--M3zgU76nlCWV88_OvZ4Y9FNNGm0M-lNG9RO-3i2lCCR61uZKRkXcNeNx9Tl-OhDg4NI4SDJ6VFZmseSI60N1T6I9t6UfXgCRVoeUU0LspcO4z4D4HAO4lj6Qwjxcix5cJLMxS-OoiY-tfrzSGSI2zyyQwUFa-UCb_GUgYtoB3B0e3BBsM6tqy6dC8mtDSvL6hfwqaR7FAfvfp4fM2yyyH24lJYZUNDwl7CG7oIDy0Pj_kqa-qlkR5BKp05lDSFjkR4I_wdUoE4G2Ru4tQxUZ839tsYjxzR_fpqrb6nXxOvHVtnsG13wTkXmIsLDsx6Z49Yshs_m40xeGdbNlWVG_xnCFKYSGzwrq5be6jeJ94tN6FblOhBWGOi7YQCnvB_SveuxYBCapU2Y4MIPp0AregF4KfjswXwT8K0Xd_HYJLSfccoMy5ImAbPz0ljW8beGR0Ay9UL2_iZIQc5XJuh1P_pNcms4ihoK9eVBfKjq4CS1J4jz5kU=w786-h443-no)

Meanwhile, I made a rushed version of bread-rolls. It turns out that even if you only let your bread dough rise for like 5 minutes, and just chop it up into roll-sized pieces.... it still bakes up pretty decent and still tastes like fresh-baked bread. YUM.
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/WtNwP6Atpqbnb27eXAiZ7dXcDR6FjWWohoC-KEKdxG4fKUz9RwAW50GJVC8w1Y8wCX18FFo1wftSOfSDmdU3gHFrVBEp259JFp6ELCGNF1Vt-F8WFKpNstBrzl59VxOJQ-hFpMklAXA0LrIygailGkfp6jnuyhuUp5IccbP5OaZvCMjZPGbyceRmU6tC_u6F5-Aq8_-eMa0Lo3mB2eC9j7QCQb3vRaAwmBd7H2zAHMmlDgFKEx2vM1E5xFsjeIHn5iXCagA3dBEJjX4mFlYKMXxX0R_kzwl0IMc_nfXZrlt03QD1F5YmHuF8--gIvbrOZZ5z1ZuwlA2qsuDbHGdplhrVkxJbMiYJFCiPDoLvHsf3DucAR7X-ORafe03xFNzzPiLtXD2IZAA2H1uplVSKjCr2H3F9OxmDtq4ncri9cpUU-hSCHHFCEgZvrSoUIYZZG6H_yrsTbKHohH4gbKCHjCFSRBBE_lpBducG9WZ2qY96TGrcprK0JaSy8v4Uc1Zc_qnI9AyD0A67iHjBv6wu7fWivHzZc0Jijsi45zq1Js-jZsr2jUIfWjBTBOiaSbcl__c744zSiDVc9hpHb7loWwYWhAo1OYGvjLjxOYcye-81jmTidXBRfGcLI-msnxE_xrmu2ae_VWinSgqtb3OeKs7EqBf2_qbz=w786-h443-no)
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/iIFVfJWFPC7uRgU5ABhij3BvOmykZIgFqcJidO03VcvGQGZwJW-kzD62ER_XZT7jJ7yqnvnmt6wzzfOaXlWW6t3B6QXUyYtRFqot74RFSVNbw6UMtRGKca1qx8E23WmXFuptTKuZrseTn4KtsXjvEZBr0QSFTxdGY_wO9rTGpl_b-LMp7gMflu5tKTHllJ3YnEeKi24-s_9X_Lp47cXWcQ9JmBrZ5u5BHgvUVn_7cz5Y_luMRyZSpl9ellJY9OsxnKl2AuTECWE6y9_bgiOwImoHp6dIOOAKn7GFk9I_7IRFKD-Xl2S7MVCk7ZI9WY03xZLhEso8p8ZdJiMnPwGSmThpsnVrzpQJhNTk1WqVbruhbGAEH36uTA9wZw2c0xHHp76GDBCKdClcxNS4HVeaIFxIF-tDCgg_jgWCWpuQizYmbxpq1V88Pkz6UvCGWnWxHn7T--4XwLBIR8MgS2u8JlbyGmH8ZBH03_KPrdGZXgLwBJSfI2Kc_RWpXEAnHdj4il6bknJMnIIFeTnGMdJ_i9nIbIa07TI7ncfJYr2uen6AuTIXgob8FQ2F4VSNSvEaDZsEOm8_pz87P0swQDawEljH1DjxfHECgyIuqjYjkG54AVcetinBfiHxdxJt1rAAjPHJf9Eruy0-MUNKhZzDP9R3siLBmC2Z=w445-h791-no)

I also made some gluten-free rolls for Kiddo. I've been trying to get the bake time right, as it's my own improvised recipe...I think I overbaked this batch by about 3 minutes.
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/cp438nPzCbg3look4CLeyaUgL87dyqHlMFPah5eeImxBOQ3iV2FWaDZosVbBjAnJP2pD-xOFgL1_oeKJyignjP9l1DlJ1UFhkqPF97cpK68ap43tYccNzadODdF-4rrdw3lif9zVAeqpyfSUUisW9Xo2nPw0LCA6S3IgNxNJ-N6RICzgO6E9EWn5kd6hChQx6vcCP194KxyQI4rUbJga9VdvalrYfkcqp-NxspMzsZPy2vbboyuSmn_nvHQL6L4xyxFW5kK-NEtcjA7hybg5NDSVhLrfUAPMkA7MjnXem2fValfzh_yQwiwhEd2xi9m3fbLTRSbK2ft5zfEkRJ-2yPNX1KXEw4b6D35mGXGTJ-KgkRCX-EBWWAiErOPPX9w0ERhz43vZWe4v1oOEZuUglP5Y_3Dokp-ZBSIcgfT9gj_pf1myRswt35ZcJIesUXFIVoWg3RTXpspijhm67ozpIYMeKfvsiESSrgqhO6qzDgbRys85TUMJY5ZaslHkb1u8Nfk_4LbOFLwkUavXta3VQtlS89nBOw9iaOaZ2qjM_gJYjlW5mVWBNgPPZSeYq6QOT8B2FArHSbnmCsXOMNZoTplKZqbYsNQ8Zm3IYLHHXD9nCGJUFY1AFCV3_zVPGQiun_l1M2zG1_cWiXi9T4sPBk6jp95ZKlN-=w786-h443-no)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 20, 2018, 09:05:19 PM
Saturday night sandwiches!

Leftover chicken breast: $0
Pepperjack cheese: $.99
Onion: $.40
Tomato: $.25
Bread: $.60
Red pepper: $.50
Lettuce: ~$.50
Cantaloupe: ~$.60

Mayo, mustard, sriracha, and a bit of ranch.

Total = $3.84 plus condiments.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/S4g2NAFomY1XBTIiU427M2u7M0SrjduffynsYztLPOMfXXm3jVgbLB7A1fcCqeur5Vql3Wszy-g7DO31ib4AmA8XlqjgAiJo8w-3BatfjFo2tpi0hInFLrEO7A66IgjXfD1zqc9R8wa3NiE9msufQ0OM2jllLAvqgsWSvMcAlFJKz6wH5LmusmeMcYgb4Wv3fRg6hxScAeF5CBvf6eBYRzQAKUHpIfUmHjFYgmSg-YGBLG2Dmzz2WJDAjauJiDkEQBBsSuLCLotMO0NMb2aGUH0qatUgR00kLQjuy2XQWkzvMO1R_k5hyDGU17McCeDkwLLu_wAClS7eggEkkjJ0UaqVJxZO2tdkWOMHQnuXciCuwSYhhUtEz6540qkf8e3r3EhMgyN--sZPQ6zzMl9att7VkcvMwR5aq4Jw9l7p0e9EXbAlyO2rMgw70K7t8u3Iugt6ij7_kA2zd3odtuh2wW-MRjoQVyMR4jDp9IBVApjzDiVBzho6WufDvqUrl5lOYE2eUcZu3N25j91hWr0E0Q-ygHDZgqIxYNsfDQ-6mz0a3cku9lBcd9F_kC0_MHja7Mg1igbePk4bcPaTCo7gK18sfn2ny22rAjudyJ3yKNuSZYYzxAO6pKy4nI6X_u8To0yTap8CdSBpLS2yZJSaXCWldHh1NDSD=w786-h443-no)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 20, 2018, 09:43:01 PM
Groceries!

Safeway for ham and pasta sauce + the Discount Store for bread. Ham is $.87/lb at Safeway, so I decided to get one and slice it up for sandwiches, then eat the parts that don't slice so well for a dinner, then use the bone to make broth for beans/rice/lentils.
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/6X9fq-JdqNl7-KheXrZ5BJXiSQ5R9e4smTo6x7E58m6T17p6U6-JIiXKn1f1BiOeYzE5waYQFdqxUnkizHRNCRwa5G35FtqwjDLiyW2bTzP6JDzoUJ4SWWKyEyixymVC35sODsdmuqACDMZERUT8WQYY1FQJkIeCdMhXDL2zpNubKfmGNe2XLxCckR-jQNHAz_gG-z4EKetCYInxFXs8jYgL6xgQQI0gtb1mO0YOhZQcIRMtjUmJuBqYSkxE4N_FgoXEMqvrovBzb5wj-stS59ZWhcogGrThwqgxM2SNTCiKAOf346X7UJv-UHR4V0yHThIA0hLJm8A-fPmwJh0oSqIbEEagm2jSBhYrgGcuutu59wFeQ15J76v8nWlE_0vX5nG1DACREwXhIBsTnkdyqvAO7Zl_d5k0J6LTqy-VoymR-UeA1tULvbJAwGXkdeVGbYdRyYkZ5Uvi2AQKd2pWta4noKh9w6OhSzHxBpLgzKkl1eJFXFPVxgCVS_88W__R5lSbyydNO7oNGC2bLZ_N464vFPaxQ-T5JS9c1GXypOwzUAqTUk5vXIsyKw_ANGwr44eTo1oBYo6HjkRhNQ-MAAi9osDsna75m41aDpBz2ACK7eUOpWxMTrphTcJK28WDEWSt5DQgG-91liOTM52GIE9m-tV7d8LV=w786-h443-no)
Ham: $10.38
Spaghetti sauce: $0 (ad coupon for free on saturday)
Bread: $0.99

Sprouts. Needed to get onions, and they were $.50/lb. Also was running low on greens, and wanted some lettuce and tomato for sandwiches tonight. Tomatoes were $.50/lb! They aren't usually that cheap...they were pretty pale and mediocre looking, but I think that's just what I get for tomatoes in the winter.
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/oH8-R1x1gM_29X5QiJYBXBs5wkditLy-7_ScM6C36y6c9M3dA9hRyf4TfFRYF3pgG4ncy_TJnfCEUfmUiIY0GRih3h1v4_GnJSIEZHgygKYsKsOHRaXbsm2xAmRcOe4BoPkfu1ass2yJihsMerhuaBxcmqTvu3BNSiBTK1-FFzg3fGjHcmLs5PQP_NK3EIfL6cJ4uRbbiR9B6rituXNm4K0nr9r0rUfJQAE2QIKoQ4BN9c9DcCevoXRblqKEi7xJe5-toznX53eFizG4gloEUZY-FzkmPUdWVYwlZ6HHfrVVVcOUopewSghGBJk_rlfpes9iA7jgKDzvgHiY9ZAliGulFaKr1S3Oi3cPZOd9EmEXtxATmNlRYEVpw8NNDhyosd0TNg3L3DNw85F-YrywyhH765bCPa8hIoQl00FIceSw4C5K1Xw_jVrfO6phvKt4REGTvL3CRRE22OGXp5VAyPBIbalXPt-JNYMKgsN9sShXlDCIPGUeUdXx78r9YaLRuYGMs7j8WjkbbsLxsLj2-5bxMs2BYIYH79VrCC55698OtRKQDmSMK3tm8xAYBDSpTaSFsi47BmsDe1mDBSTl2u7IWLJhczEJ973ggmrvXr6xn39FTytYXCL6kis-ttwMYqB9uA9DmXc0bzFnDl6jf4WgaqYeRv3o=w786-h443-no)

Cantaloupe: $1.98
Celery: $1.96
Cucumbers: $1
Green peppers: $1.5
Avocados: $2
Lettuce: $0.99
Tomatoes: $1.33
Onions: $4.41

-----------------------------------------------------------

Total Groceries = $26.54
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 21, 2018, 06:01:37 PM
Leftovers for dinner. I baked a fresh batch of rolls to go with it, as it was mainly lentils.

Bread: ~$.55
Leftovers: $0

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/dGoIybb7SKl25OFbjxAcnQEZlVaCdrcjpgCKyaPxY633uzC4P_XYJUiY5b8skpPIBiSZd-7lCi5Zb5yVntNRBstjCtIT1IugI5F6km_BMKlWhZL9kvIRMD6khOa__dWHdtUITtpYKsLYQiR4C9qvclB-aHF8Nm147BWo36AMYIgHTpiaUUCmAprElyHOzt019wnsVgtzDwhEoPyIJvffnZ7GdMstZ6h08Vv6s_wMfoeVolChBC5DTSXM5_WLBY5_CEfyWYvPyukog99nkQb3_Q6a7IBzLDFU3OOe-4vlmbNCZbjwf-XxhQaoi9cVCnkSN9xCXtW25LRf9nf3kbfp4eQgAON2yUxOVZmBduu06ysEmVdO1WT5i2QCDJw8O9DeG0r-AS8c8U-lLn2g80usGRpIEn6k_sUBtd13skYUdmTK6qs43_lcIUxxpMXpamrpJIuSpiyffRfPBrY0bwA8pVfIBLVT2vfpH-70rMBk11ot--EFC3npBlKQY5nFSqp9L5x2erxVRXFwuoJCpXPwYBS_9AciPLLT7iM3sU_3P_UVlOIPSYQgbgSZjxa-j5iEODZYlsQEcmTh2UiBvM5ygyBuI0XByr-6D_Rs28Zc7gtRtg93V1rvp8TYfZ758UkqS6U20r_Sj5lkzN9T5DL2zTcIwxw5TsUg=w1419-h798-no)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 21, 2018, 06:27:58 PM
I also prepped the ham for future dinners. From a 12lb ham, I got 7lbs of trimmed slices, plus the bone with all the fat and meat bits, which I'm going to cook tomorrow-- we'll eat the meat parts, and then I'll render the rest for broth and lard. I'll use the broth for beans or rice, and the rendered fat I'll put in my grease jar for frying stuff in the skillet.

7lbs of trimmed meat from a 12lb ham at $0.87/lb makes the cleaned meat about $1.50/lb, assuming I don't use the non-sliceable meat pieces or the bone or the fat.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/DXv2BKv0l1K0PovuvMqT5xDZRl2p77QgS3GWbhP_MErme2zH0XU4K4LaX8ljjNI2Q43Ad-L99SPUTI2CnU_v8boT--Nii217Zu-FjAvUQLbP8q88SRNkjSRuiHTrZt4-YPx4U8amgiNWXgjxYTPGGApKNCAFxxzRnm2KrV7y7Zb7MOx7923PIjzVCrm9prH2Pt2t22yO1QRekwy9Q3IPFlV9UoyLd6lmThpD9oGrmN1hBAzQimBdvNRTOSzi-aR9UPYz2NXQsEBabSJM1k8RNKtRKrhLPsKfWSDjj2UoIVZCutppkfkA3jr2RFOwkWCXCHdSYlCfGYR0r8Rp_3obcgi2H4f4THB9ffKpnLsNJx-HxcJYS84e4q8thQo3H5ZyKQRZDR9gAobjRfynMruMIHn4gsthI-PxZ8CW6dwoRRHxNHTEbbfEioi1DKiKZGYPZMJW4EgEFTCbxlRX7US7Omnp9srnsLYjqjy3AHPZ6CIb_MSb0pPtBgByGyg7YGfdY3CkvFd0W7Dsa_EpN__pzZGh2gLb0jbSP6_2ANvxrj_-DikRz6ayyCrrKC2SMqjJapzi_7gf_lFNTNQyTLZxJNiQb_NYZ0z1j0BjwoUuHabFgCP8cwkwQcIOEZotKgCLaZaVRSO9jnDaI9Olk1Dmfigulf5YBEu-=w786-h443-no)
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/1DTUf6hSm4crY47m2QC2tJy98JOIBNVC75ObIbm7HNYeT9BXrenDGlwBPFI9ViNuOtguYgmkuwAmNz4VQ2Kgp21g_YUixO5qyhpMRCr8l78uXt7hX7z4zg9I-VDeIP3oS2pfCqt2OJlWjr_cjX5KVLZ0FMH2iWE6qA7SVrmkfhjDxlJgGCnc-UYorZcXIeNJ6ka-bUMsTXxSIUVJcCQ2PIxS-lmwJWfHw0XfPbnGcqlDdKKLAsWzXfLuJnfEf9kyOWfFD8svr2cSBvGQnpLnrOmAy_b8VoaybaOwPjd8xZwKfKk475GR5zK5J7EIyPCDHYKejVgAGnkToMWJDefk0pTmU_fGLUMrBks1wvKvbYCYS5_b0Mwz87mBLL1vfZ3YKDI49DDo9Lq3WHdwpZyjnvF7Fb6L4sJrEEM7Yv7-7aoiVo3goAqNy7IwVfVLZ_nl_AKBbhRRgNow9x0rjDTUx0i4bFbR14xfsmkkjcSF9U4PBp3eygzcn6h3oWVL6kvl8BE2eOBfZ6ONov9RePbM0dcY2PvYH2yhsdYiEVE1Qg5-c89y6lP2qqoHRzf1BeTtYbH7AF8pII6jXgwG2RVK0ydHxgv-ZDWBzrE5UY5_-ASxthL6vdiNf1QuNhi5prB-lKDE29hkE211Zo6hgy82C4Y7SpcL5Ib7=w786-h443-no)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 21, 2018, 06:58:18 PM
Costco! What we really needed was toilet paper-- one giant case lasts us almost a year (yes, we buy the cheapest toilet paper). But we also bought some food things:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/a8QoxzkhTq68Z8WVXKXN-N7-5FE3iri3YDClM-mLumlSJqUtZurzIzLeTRXqjxNn546NoT1cLQLnBsEDwR1vbElxY7y8pk1AwH5dmmY_fQx5jD4UggoYFtinXv__MFQBGEhKh70uGIZyZl7VqRDQwftzz0_JMGvDKUz6JYe_ztANnpwIav5rP8e91AVudPpx4ZBMxk1lLWa1euHoB9Tdar7m5Af3Q9eaBRAj730ItWYnkp7WIiL2ep5VYLTfzinbq01ubvzys8GazLEQ_xSOS3IpirQ99oW3iRzT9dQIwCtzlepygEMI7mShZNaPm4vKa_czlB7GNKzQXM0lc-cgkuEQZTdE_Ub2qOlW-L-nPMHcNZ7n7F_tSdNVNjsYrD04jdfxE21DEUgfkmtN6xyuL5-N_I5ZTBVw1sFwJ4QTMgYFTVGPmUx4Y2wslIMACrn7xgAlIoyspUyiMSVe4gv4qQUefmInDR9NhrM_6JpR2S-ZrEH3YI24ZyTJT9z9Ruvixl7XHd1ShGroVXYe3Blx01Jgk7cnXUAN7rjUT_hn9ex6RWl6PNy8tpIZQwfIrTNkh37eokqaBNQcbCiPpMTKV-PBo7ySyl5jAjLAXO9WJ2kOJjd3nxIu7ZT8_onzlcxwZIqjlRj9yToirdBMLsME7lg6d7D0vnuX=w786-h443-no)

Bananas: 2 bunches @ 1.39/each = $2.78
Ground ginger: 6.5oz = $4.69
Salsa: 76oz = $4.95

Total food receipt = $12.42
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 21, 2018, 07:36:34 PM
SO also did some make-ahead lunches to take to school with her.

Chicken in a tomato-curry sauce. She used the last of the leftover chicken breast, plus the leftover onion from sandwich night, plus two 8oz cans of tomato sauce [$.50], plus some curry spices. This got portioned out into individual serving containers

Homemade Naan. Flour [$.20], yeast, water, salt.

Hummus. She used this recipe (https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/hummus-237832) and it was amazing. Garbanzo beans [$.50], tahini [~$1.43], garlic [$.15], oil [$.11], and lime juice [$.31].

Total pre-prep lunch = $3.20
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Monkey Uncle on January 22, 2018, 04:15:37 AM
I also prepped the ham for future dinners. From a 12lb ham, I got 7lbs of trimmed slices, plus the bone with all the fat and meat bits, which I'm going to cook tomorrow-- we'll eat the meat parts, and then I'll render the rest for broth and lard. I'll use the broth for beans or rice, and the rendered fat I'll put in my grease jar for frying stuff in the skillet.

7lbs of trimmed meat from a 12lb ham at $0.87/lb makes the cleaned meat about $1.50/lb, assuming I don't use the non-sliceable meat pieces or the bone or the fat.


Keep in mind that fat rendered from a cured ham will add saltiness to whatever is fried in it.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 22, 2018, 06:42:58 AM
I also prepped the ham for future dinners. From a 12lb ham, I got 7lbs of trimmed slices, plus the bone with all the fat and meat bits, which I'm going to cook tomorrow-- we'll eat the meat parts, and then I'll render the rest for broth and lard. I'll use the broth for beans or rice, and the rendered fat I'll put in my grease jar for frying stuff in the skillet.

7lbs of trimmed meat from a 12lb ham at $0.87/lb makes the cleaned meat about $1.50/lb, assuming I don't use the non-sliceable meat pieces or the bone or the fat.


Keep in mind that fat rendered from a cured ham will add saltiness to whatever is fried in it.


Yeah. I expect it to be like bacon grease, basically. Most things I cook in the skillet won't be hurt by some salt, since I usually add some to my dishes anyway.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Hirondelle on January 22, 2018, 11:09:12 AM
SO also did some make-ahead lunches to take to school with her.

Chicken in a tomato-curry sauce. She used the last of the leftover chicken breast, plus the leftover onion from sandwich night, plus two 8oz cans of tomato sauce [$.50], plus some curry spices. This got portioned out into individual serving containers

Homemade Naan. Flour [$.20], yeast, water, salt.

Hummus. She used this recipe (https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/hummus-237832) and it was amazing. Garbanzo beans [$.50], tahini [~$1.43], garlic [$.15], oil [$.11], and lime juice [$.31].

Total pre-prep lunch = $3.20

Just made this recipe (my first time ever making my own hummus) and it's awesome. Thanks for sharing!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 22, 2018, 04:29:21 PM
SO also did some make-ahead lunches to take to school with her.

Chicken in a tomato-curry sauce. She used the last of the leftover chicken breast, plus the leftover onion from sandwich night, plus two 8oz cans of tomato sauce [$.50], plus some curry spices. This got portioned out into individual serving containers

Homemade Naan. Flour [$.20], yeast, water, salt.

Hummus. She used this recipe (https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/hummus-237832) and it was amazing. Garbanzo beans [$.50], tahini [~$1.43], garlic [$.15], oil [$.11], and lime juice [$.31].

Total pre-prep lunch = $3.20

Just made this recipe (my first time ever making my own hummus) and it's awesome. Thanks for sharing!

Yay! Now, if I can find a good substitute for the tahini...we can make this WAY more often.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 22, 2018, 08:39:34 PM
Potato night

I boiled the ham bone and we ate the last meat bits, had mashed potatoes on the side, with some lettuce/ranch. The kids also had a couple leftover celery sticks. It was a pretty boring meal, tbh. But now I have a ton of pork broth to make yummy rice and beans and lentils with. Mmmm.

Ham: $1
4.5lb potatoes: $.68
1/3 head lettuce: $.33

Total = $2.00 + ranch. I counted the ham bone and meat pieces as $1, just for the sake of simplicity-- that leaves the rest of the ham (which is now in the freezer) as $1.34/lb.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Hirondelle on January 22, 2018, 11:48:43 PM
SO also did some make-ahead lunches to take to school with her.

Chicken in a tomato-curry sauce. She used the last of the leftover chicken breast, plus the leftover onion from sandwich night, plus two 8oz cans of tomato sauce [$.50], plus some curry spices. This got portioned out into individual serving containers

Homemade Naan. Flour [$.20], yeast, water, salt.

Hummus. She used this recipe (https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/hummus-237832) and it was amazing. Garbanzo beans [$.50], tahini [~$1.43], garlic [$.15], oil [$.11], and lime juice [$.31].

Total pre-prep lunch = $3.20

Just made this recipe (my first time ever making my own hummus) and it's awesome. Thanks for sharing!

Yay! Now, if I can find a good substitute for the tahini...we can make this WAY more often.

Why do you want to substitute the tahini? Because of the price? The recipe calls it optional anyways, though I prefer the flavor with tahini. You could possibly just reduce the amount by half?
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: eliza on January 23, 2018, 05:49:06 AM
SO also did some make-ahead lunches to take to school with her.

Chicken in a tomato-curry sauce. She used the last of the leftover chicken breast, plus the leftover onion from sandwich night, plus two 8oz cans of tomato sauce [$.50], plus some curry spices. This got portioned out into individual serving containers

Homemade Naan. Flour [$.20], yeast, water, salt.

Hummus. She used this recipe (https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/hummus-237832) and it was amazing. Garbanzo beans [$.50], tahini [~$1.43], garlic [$.15], oil [$.11], and lime juice [$.31].

Total pre-prep lunch = $3.20

Just made this recipe (my first time ever making my own hummus) and it's awesome. Thanks for sharing!

Yay! Now, if I can find a good substitute for the tahini...we can make this WAY more often.

I'm not much of a hummus fan myself, but I've heard you can sub peanut butter for tahini in the recipe and it comes out quite well.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: PMG on January 23, 2018, 05:53:22 AM
SO also did some make-ahead lunches to take to school with her.

Chicken in a tomato-curry sauce. She used the last of the leftover chicken breast, plus the leftover onion from sandwich night, plus two 8oz cans of tomato sauce [$.50], plus some curry spices. This got portioned out into individual serving containers

Homemade Naan. Flour [$.20], yeast, water, salt.

Hummus. She used this recipe (https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/hummus-237832) and it was amazing. Garbanzo beans [$.50], tahini [~$1.43], garlic [$.15], oil [$.11], and lime juice [$.31].

Total pre-prep lunch = $3.20

Just made this recipe (my first time ever making my own hummus) and it's awesome. Thanks for sharing!

Yay! Now, if I can find a good substitute for the tahini...we can make this WAY more often.

I'm not much of a hummus fan myself, but I've heard you can sub peanut butter for tahini in the recipe and it comes out quite well.

Oh.. I could see the texture working well with peanut butter but not the flavor!

I think its common to sub cheaper oils and use a more of the liquid from the garbanzos. 
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 23, 2018, 06:35:46 AM
SO also did some make-ahead lunches to take to school with her.

Chicken in a tomato-curry sauce. She used the last of the leftover chicken breast, plus the leftover onion from sandwich night, plus two 8oz cans of tomato sauce [$.50], plus some curry spices. This got portioned out into individual serving containers

Homemade Naan. Flour [$.20], yeast, water, salt.

Hummus. She used this recipe (https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/hummus-237832) and it was amazing. Garbanzo beans [$.50], tahini [~$1.43], garlic [$.15], oil [$.11], and lime juice [$.31].

Total pre-prep lunch = $3.20

Just made this recipe (my first time ever making my own hummus) and it's awesome. Thanks for sharing!

Yay! Now, if I can find a good substitute for the tahini...we can make this WAY more often.

Why do you want to substitute the tahini? Because of the price? The recipe calls it optional anyways, though I prefer the flavor with tahini. You could possibly just reduce the amount by half?

Yes, just the price. It was $5.74 for a 16oz jar, which was the cheapest I could find. I may be able to find sesame seeds and do a homemade tahini, which would be just as good. I'm going to be keeping my eyes open. Maybe Sprouts will have sesame in their bulk bins...
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Mtngrl on January 23, 2018, 01:45:36 PM
I use peanut butter instead of tahini and we actually like the flavor better.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 23, 2018, 09:46:19 PM
Rice Night:

I was grasping for ideas, and then.....JAMBALAYA! Well, it wasn't exactly, but it was pretty delish. It turned out a bit too spicy for the kids, but I thought it was perfect.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/7hoEp6A3zoOCcqiandbSWjdl_k4aiqANXkUt9O4OloB3v1qyg_mJ2YJJYGJp-HYQhLTtVuGEq5TR-dW92zUSRwkk2GivNhPqTrfBY5QwCwrLGxgbzKt5MqV9gU_KpGVOD6Ho7ACIqS1gNEElO1wV1X3wk6qbms8JEKbnQAigZa5G93MZc0YLDEO-DRZ5dS_MOwiCGF-39na_GajgjIDpxR9F8iGs9SRogs_Cbv8JNaSfZ59dmwPoeA8XRSPJ1n355dxCj4ttJTf0Qzjwptv_AqVKgxvfzTjk888MOG7paAxky95QbdGZ-cNxyroIJiuQ1yW-hAveu_wIhRNlZk_GHQJ3ox6axlBBa8k-851--HmMApDjhA_e6tsMfS3_TPhkSWHr2tyHzV94r8pd3P4jXe9y-3KobjniaUdojkendfHDz00hYmq8HOk7gLkXy-TEkDrr8PvSloAFLCKFHnazzqEHDMHq3LjIjKPbSaz0yCHhUzv32lkhJf08PY92vsHOZcTKWJ_ff3p-6sbmvErtt8NYo9e6VKhxm5Z-N2FgBy0b7JYEIf3yEVpwjEjTA8NdtGpXrc91ozli4LIuhahDKXv-BzcdzEWnkvEC4ZkTok2WLrCWHyMHIz5sx9aD61Auk-22u48meTg3IhMeNL2-wn7Aje7bSlhr=w786-h443-no)

This is not authentic jambalaya. More like "Hm. I have spicy italian sausage, and rice cooked in ham broth...what spices do I need to make it taste like jambalaya?" It turns out creole seasonings are basically onion/garlic/italian seasoning/paprika. Combine that with the holy trinity of Cajun cooking, and call it good.

Rice: $.69
Onion: $.40
Celery: $.15
Green pepper: $.50
Garlic: $.10
Sausage: $1.79
Tomato: $.13
Tomato sauce: $.25

Rice in the rice cooker with ham broth for liquid. That'll take about 30 min. About 10 minutes before the rice is done, start frying stuff in the skillet.

Sausage, holy trinity, and garlic in the skillet on medium-high, till they were starting to brown up, then added in my spices and stirred them around, then after another minute or so, I added equal amounts of tomato sauce and ham broth. Then mix meat broth/sauce with rice, and boom.

Total cost of dinner = $4.01 I could have made this stretch about twice as far if I had made a double batch of rice and added another can of tomato sauce and some more broth.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: PMG on January 24, 2018, 02:16:07 AM
I use peanut butter instead of tahini and we actually like the flavor better.

Oooh. Do you add other flavors?  Garlic? Herbs?  This is blowing my mind a little.

(Sorry of the hijack OP)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 24, 2018, 07:36:25 PM
Pasta night! Orrrr....not. I asked the kids what kind of pasta I should make for dinner, and they clamoured very insistently for pasta AND pancakes. Or at least pancakes. So...change of plans. Pancakes!

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/s3ImFJiOYMd4ystoHGXg_1rZdr8n5QgeSfxcfxdmIjObgnUgS1tc_MJENXPSDQ8AkQUl9f2dQa-pfTACWJ7j8F118b7g2i5JXze9CtopiII-hB2u-WheyzYzWzzdEthrY1dqJyP3HXXY6tn4Bc9fGjXcY8IbcURO8n0bHqPUjLsf9PXMj4PxWsLKaGY8Cqy7pEwRM25OB6bz_lJDV4CYdzVaYwDMphlA_Xx2NhAHHmL9_QSJ08aF2tqt1wPF13u86Q7tJNEVxJ3vWAFCNrCIgCyuHOwzm13gshu5z7N_8Sop0gSsfYsfSY1Stt5GZvHBd27H5KZsWn40SvXwjBxyhGMP8FAqS-n2dqgqBgBX5Oo4w0c6O-92yeVBKkOYXmI2fMzn1hQ9qP9kwkBpCO0fMiNvDdL8ND17BLM2hFB7XO5Hh0815JgM68Hs7_Dm2Tn73SFSSL-VgVhYxA_TPLy5mmGxjy2TrdYf56xl43XEJQ4PYqcy5hT20kKUddeBs2Gmy0XEWXYjkyAsHKHIMSzJpJZCp14KKjx-mucMDwYhegk8YhIemDQOv4fiF7V1dyxa9RgyaAcBNI84nWDAWzYMXyWLYaWD7X0IMKDykxQQzWsFBMCUlwQQkGdVIjoth-FUmvvGQ7ayybhX8DZomyY9LptUVjPJrVe0=w1419-h798-no)

I didn't weigh out all the ingredients, but probably about $1.50 for pancake ingredients, a couple bananas ~$.35, some peanut butter/jam/syrup for ~$.25, and veggies for ~$1.00.

Total = ~$3.15

ETA: Forgot to add $1 for some sausage to go with the pancakes. So total of $4.15
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: freya on January 25, 2018, 07:27:54 AM
And, thanks for the reminder!  I started this year's grocery budget at a number lower than my average for last year (sorry it's not going to be $200) and I WILL stick to it.  However, I did a big Costco Google Express order this month, and now have just $10 left in the budget.  I've set myself a challenge to get through the rest of the month on that by making use of what I already have, and spending the $10 on eggs & vegetables only.  This just reminded me that I've got chicken meatballs in my freezer - yay!  I mix that up with rice, onion, and whatever other vegetables I have (including dehydrated zucchini and tomatoes from last summer), and cook everything in the rice cooker.  Yummy.  It may not be jambalaya exactly but it's always good.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 25, 2018, 07:30:25 PM
Beans night.

I cooked a double batch of beans in the remaining ham broth. Did bean burritos for dinner, with some cantaloupe for a side/dessert. Sorry, no pics tonight.

Beans: $.84
Tortillas: ~$.70
Tomatoes: $.25
Green pepper: $.50
Lettuce: ~$.20
Cheese: ~$.25
Sour cream: ~$.10
Cantaloupe: ~$.40

Total cost for dinner = ~$3.24
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Bird In Hand on January 26, 2018, 10:05:16 AM
Our grocery preferences are extravagant; optimizing for health, sustainability, local meat and produce, deliciousness, etc. -- and not for cost -- means that we pay a premium on just about all the food we buy.  We spend $15k+/yr for a family of 5 and have no desire to change that.

But I still think it's totally badass what you're doing, and I find it fascinating/enjoyable to read this thread.  If nothing else, it provides a data point for a possible lower bound we could aspire to if we desired or if a financial emergency forced our hand.  Keep it up!  :)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 26, 2018, 09:40:45 PM
It was supposed to be lentils night tonight, but since we skipped pasta night....I gave Kiddo the option to choose between pasta and lentils. Pasta it was.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/U_RQnvWAGQRGdUgz8uuv8g0zoR7o7ouWdrf6j3D_i0Wi2o1dp18iHgDbt2V77dfrr56Hpn_KaHHLuGb1bZHnhBRscdUYNbwxg1OYooiZFZboc-qE4xNKF5rNX32GVqACbjKo1xYHpsXTAgGYnDIm2EbJW5_cGpuZWI2CfnUrXs3R45yVOqu1samukUMwZ5ktSTMARposspQIY3nuQZrPd33dnKuve-_6Y4OXfL8eD9PTtzawqd22dgeUPSad5vLqlanoQqH87dQuzqK1KlOzyQFXTl2atmfa3NzlQV8DZz7Cu63sWnVXZXQlATRRyF1dmQ8dvvq6GKIuEs3TU2ryQTfvhQ0Bbx3L_mT6i0fw5JVD4YPJArZVDH8vLcTOpgQ1dkQbtesaOpE4fExxKagy_ZALdO8ew_9lSoCjBmjFUTAAVSxI2rylNreUVCq0OpLuFaKVZyf4Q32NiNmeC7dcGeL-sb4Rf5aMXBfqIwokpw2D_TXYJ_7lS2v64V_LNBJe-LcLhlvlL5ocAWKBVk3B_rPTjlnxa82v-YRdDVckpbr-jJ7N_77kYjESsDpMVpxV7gz957U5-MhWVwhWc6aFb1pDHDmSLX-Yi4m0pyQRxZaMV0LrioVoSTnhjeOtuIg0bh5J6lWplgA0ktdqYSOl6U83w092x1lG=w786-h443-no)

Pasta: ~$.80
Onion: $.40
Garlic: $.10
Celery: $.20
Peas: $1.00
Ham: $1.34
BBQ sauce: ~$.05

Fried the onions, garlic, and celery together, then added the ham (actually only used about 2/3lb, so I even have some leftover ham). Spiced it with a little extra garlic and paprika, and then served the meat/veg mix with the pasta, with a little BBQ sauce over the top.

Total cost: $3.89
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 27, 2018, 05:20:41 PM
Groceries!

Went to Sprouts, as I was pretty low on green veggies. They had red peppers on sale 3/$1, so I was pretty excited about that. Unnnnfortunately, they were totally sold out, so I had to get a raincheck.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/NIid4DpUcNIPm0LDXWWQTJRlkrPTdppdDMHiIwiP0uaUhKP0BCsqlgAJQ5ZOT67brkdz-jGFfaE2NyP5Xoyj0-5ahSdBb5jXRZyemwbvJJmKU6Y_tHjit2kH3pTWclSzEKvIQqMlW7I8XycbR1XrvoqVPXOfV85k1yhbsoUIlvC25XLOUmMdPT6hnr8snZr0P4_BWzz3UDsI1T0FsYxukDMEVc90dmuRSyrKTbBR2XKX12I7BoJYNxya6U7_1U3RLxpA01e9j_JyAKQnd9-feWCbT9Uv_M0FqIylLOSdDtpIKsY9349bro45VIOn29Ailq7bXagakoQJFMKUHd4QYgUalWIp4Q2Azeb92g-5gC-ivEQDbAJhQlF9oRelzLPm5UGgHD67c2tYeWFhGoyHBHEHou0nG8oxF3-s1_51lYg2ytnMSGQL9vA9zzdZSlC0wWKfg9dg4JS9b6w6OejPE-PTSS70N2gTQzV3mUd0EsrwdGkzt07aBLkezBRbPdQAMSFizTrYts0hHeDkC_3-MxSnbA2yYqrwl5vwvbpYp_zeII6nPO8uMr8pTbr_Waq4YwACSpartxAOAjLo6dAaI3CutsWFOO5guOw2f9xHOz9HCHuyMBsICOhwEfclcKmM0_zpUBy0ENW1ItNXJ9JxXnsbncy5TUXs=w1419-h798-no)

Tangelos (organic, even!) @ $.88/lb = $5.27
Green peppers @ 2/$1 = $1.00
Cilantro @ 3/$1 = $.67
Roma tomatoes @ $.88/lb = $1.25
Lettuce @ 1.29/ea = $2.58


Total receipt: $10.77
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 27, 2018, 05:42:51 PM
Tonight was sandwich night. OMNOMNOMNOM. I love sandwiches. They are one of my top three foods of all time. Tonight was roast beef with provolone....and lots of veggies. Sometimes I feel like I just like sandwiches as a vehicle for condiments, lol.

Mine:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/KGnZ6jX1a08OMUa65-4h9kDpiSZOlRRY6sc8yHxA8louLwldy73uVtQRViRzPsAlTPvW50i-pxf24zWzjEbIvqV-AEHhBeqzrK47BGQnQ26NKFnT7BqoDrlJRrTB5rr6yImDh9Bs0D-4rWcBNVyJQBgiIWKutYzq-lmMPU6LFLfG1145bV2j_h-4LNoCZSX3-Fv5F3gBwd2TniBRnMX9ZhZh6saDj0Tn-dUXfUoo-jYgSLUzmOGYw1V3Z02sUgm1aBd5hJwb1vnqlATpjKebAvRjtL-YsnmGPGzJ0FSvzVd_DgT6XYss5h7p1Kb_-BpZqEINvX2dNov1jxwDBPXc-MdqNUthyaviCHDf_7BDl2Cblj7xnFh2OxXREoX1xvo0MdhoSrh5ginZAUqPkHxdwrlPiVZfZAbJFPM5oVse9LjfkZOtmYLmJ-ySZnsUxXD3qzC2d7JZtF1oWKAPiwk51q57bHBq6C1N4JcHH0YiCnU9SVmWf1CDzAXUfGZcCeE52LtvkJtfQap5RtBf_6HCVrzbb3F1CkyOaae2YG7hY-YKCvNXM3cyqTH7C1iu5PnU7Hrk-BOXIQRHmQ0EJSkXrH1uO2kSimeBul9Q0g4KaQ7Vuqhc7I5ojTlmstSH-gmpRALsIg7cJhbEeLVte63aGP0gjjvm3kWf=w1419-h798-no)

Kiddo's:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/OMTl1bmJQTof1bnaBehwYy9vUe4GnyJTGA6S6aeYINUV-069IXFLahuAncDAD0KpUPkZHsbx4IEAUerq4lB3PcNL0VbwOM5QfBuT4xaNp9qS3tJrHeh3M5l-s4lyV2g6f4HkkzdVbJlpS_sCxxLCvU1-_GAa1y87wa5z_v_VkkL2vuHQUTAbCYbjpSligFD7gW4_SsjMIBTYISe-UsXGlBL_4T0Mv1Sb0Lf-6hvDzMadQi15Lk94spN7m9COsNxt43X2ZhmAKGjmawHPk0CEjnyM6YfnsZ1oDp9oZZEu2smNGLzV75GojwrN4500ySW0e8Ei_3Lkzxl4jVHE4HFxD6gqFWYScaQwtyPNqX4U5aNetyz3pjizm6L-20kEPKGVyUstwZyAttW2mhPSZfX17M8AJhC4ValWOwSn_erBYrifI6NhAigDWWGWXxE5XGzN_6EsSPYQbmLkAVHgVyD5f8Xwxjg4kwKbe0Meo7tCr_aMc07F5UpOWY3U663S-VHwwokMt8oOn3q5x8rMJF99BgBFJTcVNHFO9j-wAXHJJSN3UZo3hdfcoUEdKlnCuqzJcO3jJCffx6NlD9cnE39DrDio8qSfGIXZGojs2l_lvvWSxEJ96x7QpDeJeYlXyOvkVTGyhF6wOJu3jWE_bv-oW-4bzGQDtaBf=w1419-h798-no)

Girlie's
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/dKAa-v8_1V3UZvi-UpWnR1ZuACCGkkySz8eaEiDym94LtOIXKnZVmROOD7e3NG2Wmxiim1aMA7BKWN22q7GVkr32xMkd6z_If45Re6zYblFoD_6MIc3aWJ7BeryYrLORG37nYQbzcv-WamViWl5GhhESZdlQfaxiGzsgWqg7QKQTC1dmNzC42cYBp9X5GF24UyH1c3OvuJFbuH7RMWtMzPCBiHHXRa5kyzjTI2NHcmsS8V4t8toUEZLvLmoHXB0yFR7r3bd4HMe2k-K0OjRpdnmGS3z9jsUwvEkwV0cNuy5ce63ccRG3_--rIxtWclxm2EzVIp03nj9RIFQzuKd0BuXwGF4lHh9Aq3Cshq-xgxNxBT0mAHxgSBleBgf0bDv_CH-LrFX3mXZ1_bEKRIQa0jrMIy5yoKX-lupnyCYXiAN6zsXTe6MS5dsFvmaW0UDQjNP9L_Ne3C0zErAZRp2vARGr1wgoRc-NymSKQFaVIdSIh27i7cBYBh2T-WxAH-C606rNG18cylssQjdxLmIXgYKE4E_2Cl45gHiScm2DD9PCINSlC59UrNrKiZBDi08PAAW8nFOlzqg2qjsY6B6ka4165wjHvvZLD3kJzGvpYeIwuIGSIoQGT1BWz1-fPoD7bnBnOxKAij3ESd0PWObBPM6fwtrJzYOB=w1419-h798-no)

I was just going to post a photo of mine, but the kids begged me to do pictures of theirs, too. Kiddo had his sandwich in a leftover gluten-free pancake.

Bread: $.99
Meat (roast beef): $2.77
Cheese: $.99
Lettuce: $.52
Tomatoes: $.25
Avocado: $1.00
Green pepper: $.50
Onion: $.40
Pepperoncini: $.10

Total dinner cost: $7.52 plus mayo/mustard/sriracha. I accounted for the whole loaf of bread (we only used 2/3 of it), and the whole pound of beef (we only used half). Kiddo had leftover ham on his sandwich.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 28, 2018, 09:00:13 PM
Groceries!

Safeway had a special on Doritos, and they hardly ever go on sale, so they'll make for a extra special dinner component. Also got some cottage cheese, as SO really enjoys it. I was going to pick up some sour cream, but they were out, so I got a raincheck on that.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/7koKxhcQm40vUIqcgVfZ3UwGhSnf5Ir0ka99AxjL92PNe-297jYcxiEXGqv6qBHiTnfHL_BsAMq8PKHjFrcpNwXkKudjtFdQUMyyNwqCdVbjUyCAMeVJbS5ly58lZSwpAt3jvfBnMKrqlqbTw3M0qpBp0_x6s9NQX4M1Sw2s3Fh_JkFhy3k9VW16xFtQ925DIp7fKOhX-nagxJ78vYgZl_0V_-4QlBxvtQDG4C-FEMbP8nf6j19YRcBKR3j2eljfGt8QeCw7u8F2sdM-TooUKoMHVTxickGQsNFOWkED8NfhULklNXfLf9l7HBiFM2WxT-ZVjdNf3PpYmzDPgEkL7KKkQxUxDFExg1e-AxNJCVlKjoAr5JZpRQ307zSW7HdAakV97WkMRiz3vKaByTRs7mc6paRyvM3soWKpZ3rotWrMRmo5ScC-0vNcYz2oV2JMQoIsjx9gzMYwBBOcfeRJpYAl_0aQ7_kXEu7qTH7lyH_SJMvhAbAZ4ZCeo4d7sodW6xGHFtUlZOQb4-gZpIz8jNPzgkvmXRgt7zu_iMXGl8pFYBZ460A-EJkrPCGNQLagmOfCsDbwEDiHt3jKdNFNTHrq-Wj2Tj1CCbhFoAAq24iZPixgTliOTK0PRbYZOXL7Zza4-ydLHI8Iy4URUS4H5UHOlD52W9uz=w794-h447-no)

Chips: 2 bags = $1.98
Cottage cheese (24oz) = $1.50

Total receipt: $3.48
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 28, 2018, 09:22:41 PM
Leftovers night for dinner. I fried some mashed potatoes into potato pancakes, and served with some lettuce and leftover green pepper and some leftover ham/roast beef.

Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: freya on January 29, 2018, 07:09:39 AM
I also prepped the ham for future dinners. From a 12lb ham, I got 7lbs of trimmed slices, plus the bone with all the fat and meat bits, which I'm going to cook tomorrow-- we'll eat the meat parts, and then I'll render the rest for broth and lard. I'll use the broth for beans or rice, and the rendered fat I'll put in my grease jar for frying stuff in the skillet.

Love it!  This is how I cook, too.  I always save rendered fats to reuse, and never allow a bone to go to waste.  After you enjoy the ham bone's meat parts, you can give it a final use in split pea or lentil soup.

I made Pasta e Fagioli last night - sounds fancy but it's simply a soup with onion & celery base, canned diced tomatoes, white beans, small pasta, and - most importantly - good homemade chicken stock.  I bet it would taste even better with broth made from a ham bone.  Filling and delicious, and stand on its own for dinner plus I packed up leftovers for lunch.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 29, 2018, 10:53:27 PM
Potatoes night. I didn't get a picture of anyone's plate, but I did take a before/after snapshot of my oven fries. It took me a while to figure them out, but now they come out pretty amazing every time. We had some pulled pork and salad as our meat and veggies.

Before they go in the oven:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/1T07zd0JUdTeDNFGcDYM9I-MwFqxb2Xt4i8HeEs6yiuRGy4Yrn9QsnkAUQqiThnvgQ24Moj1DzqyVxiNKm2fsBflsnK_d9j1qNZPhyMVE_nzwLcdwmxgy3Bvc7ZjFVsVI78u_hngF2SFtLyKSx_Xltn89TLVOvouaOdjTFUo1wEMZevNglhs3ZxrPIZgL2roYQ1p-IpiNqxaLlXYqM2zGTvn3oZWheeeQC_jqMuZYQjTNyXd0VO2bO55HZkTQE_vSNdpoeDU4jah0jfKkLtVKd05mvR0fDgqYjm17h71WQO0Tenq8aPUJHaZFLB_y-x2HW_REPardvQrSpx4LNAyd768JkbN5PYx_XcD0__zvQEBT6PwesxMe8A8dnU361vEl_1fWnRRwYrXxpcH2obZqzXSuISN3KRu4bhfrPQds9Jlmgz5e-IN0Am2jOZXZDfz-kPrK_dECppBhghTMXjNYQ8RRL0unhPsKUciYALYO5oSScbBWdjlbGU-mi11LJ2rMDX0F9HUDkEGy6XNFbm8XEsu3Wfb4klSZu29r3q0OCaqK9AGRP9bwzGyFgo08nWYCWORk4bEn_eQbbFCd1TW6SsUE2MPxnymXYE6QtQG1j-6aWHwDfdY7lZf6oU-eVDVJpwTcNLdOGg4zoLiGNe5t-tL4X20BjLL=w1416-h796-no)

After they come out:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/s4IDuBjF3zykYVNBXuah6URWGJVz04e3IBf_MKbsQ_7iBbYj4FihoPnK_-12oXr_d5w-d6KmesKRR_m1i4Tdb70K-qPqYocQrAp-xXslwoEymrAcoEVom4lokk7ujoen68RrZjUfKa_-4uAlbTvGoC4ApD-5uTwHAQIdsfJbEI30uL1FdXjiSJ6DkVf9k1QPBotExUjHbXUQ98a0JAO5A7aEVYRIu9FIKw0BQ-yMdMVG1rzFUJGlgt86TF5fFoYdPfZcw4QZvxvxiSAEKrC1i-o6eX54XbnnkgMNEMqJngU4ntL-HTXK8qqmsZiFYR9Te4X3rOsdpQ0Pnj00Smi8AYj8VfyU4OcFIfUwUQfOiWm6nOQRwPFyfvg7w1ueHCiHfwGRn7k8UQDKOp44q4y93-hrFEXSkFnNfsr8OoiI9Vm4ZHWxjdX1lzpDWWUTUAwWzFQH_g55Xp42v2g63lA4QsTRVAtWUqugQlX6nFml3RB26VEDCHdCcukeDNjUlH5aZ-1RseFKt0S228mnEz5uRGJpY0TjGdnUYFZb3Pk96qqE43hd9YAzjDJGc0Md4_W6GLQnwpWZLE3VmRPX7LArrA_AzDgBxLwxYKvjSzE6TeNhye0h53ggj6dSBgN2bcEKWoi0_C94LlHtbG-f_cjHRv6TAncD4DUk=w1416-h796-no)

OmNomNom.

Here's how I do oven fries: cut up however many potatoes fit on your sheet pan. I leave the skins on and everything-- I just scrub them under running water before slicing them up. (I cut mine into 1/8ths, lengthwise, so they look like jojos.)

Then I take all the slices and put them in a big mixing bowl and add a slosh of oil and stir them around so they're each coated; then I shake generous amounts of salt, some garlic powder, a bit of pepper, and mix them all around. You can use whatever seasonings you want-- some oregano would probably be yummy, or could do a ginger and a bit of soy sauce for an asian-ish flavour. (This batch of fries I did half with just salt and garlic, and the other half with paprika and pepper). Yes, I have a giant sheet pan. I found it in the thrift store-- I think it must be a real commercial baking sheet. It's amazing, even though I can't fit it in my dishwasher.

Then I dump the slices onto the pan and turn them all so they're skin-side down in a single layer (that way they bake evenly and can get crispy on all sides). Then I sprinkle a little more salt over them on the pan, and my smoked paprika (I found it at Costco. It makes things smell like BBQ Lays, lol-yum.)

I bake at 400F for 45-60 min. They should be nicely toasted and a bit lumpy, like they puffed up a little.

I couldn't get my fries to brown up nicely until I tried the coat-them-with-oil bit. The oil also makes the salt and seasonings stick to the fries instead of just bouncing off and being in the pan.

----------------------------------

Potatoes (4.5lb): $.45
Oil: $.15
Pulled Pork (1lb): $.99
Lettuce: $.40
Tomato: $.22
Green pepper: $.50

Total dinner cost = $2.71 plus ketchup and ranch.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 30, 2018, 05:55:54 PM
Chicken and rice for dinner. Carrots and cucumbers on the side.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/4beUwLhO_IpXwJn6vwLqeo3ROMz-B9JOK0c2DtZ3w3cG-W2zWdCZcJaDdrf3aTaZFSsO3XT8hAlR81eOLeB1lTQH4KjI9DUstwxbH9HhWi70DXFs9Y6uvQOznJrfd472Oa2xwVVJ-H5HsN-y94Oj9m5bcHlOnTbqRf_NvPsjwYbFvxjq1mfbcAbgro_VaPDRpBVGn0Suh9RZ6R_F4UmPa0T47iEfiCubDULB8TMX0erXyKFsvdgBLx37nykik1vO_Gz6KktUSw82tPVeAq0io3EBNy1RqKQJvCL4QDX_3dRdBk9Mjb5XwYf7p0JTl1n6XhxJ3YnpW_DlywXc7iNkmWiKUuTMfckj0AgUalPZNxl2ndqM1CmY_IOMnl_olOA5KGcdI1emjIHcvYGpYXjQg1cLX1aF6BdGn9TdI-budnwqFwp2rPDqKmhWc8pZ8YG3QJgr499q7O78z3U_Iz3Uj0Rp0-Ar8Bt4xCCE4S60rGRJoib-1uiedVwVJQXLcU7tPYGzBb1jHNi0tRb9-A-BJjBf0ov78lnzYe7fZBbFUs7at3XzVuO45Nsk4YQqxXc4e4wVN7PhHf8D6hbHwDl9zcO0O9JAeXaHUNew8-jjCgAOrvKzgjJ3tFUn688JN_uN-hXWF8MfEz5Mu_7dJDpiyHDVSwlKkZTm=w1416-h796-no)

Rice: $.60
Chicken: $5.06
Cucumber: $.50
Carrots: $.60

Total cost for dinner = $6.76. I roasted four big chicken breasts, we ate 1.5 of them for dinner tonight; the rest of them will be for lunch and future dinners.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Mikila on January 31, 2018, 03:54:56 PM
I am following this thread with avid interest.  Thank you.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 31, 2018, 05:31:19 PM
Pasta night tonight. I cooked up four sausage links and made a non-dairy gravy/sauce experiment-- which wasn't perfect, but turned out better than I expected. Salad on the side.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/MDOlSeUxaQV7Q_kD5Y_6TGTCQ04gg5XNN4aKQLCdzff4Bx7lDS3zyiOc76O46KRbIu_SoXnEN7WK-IRjp9DPcvF9DdpQDmDJdepMkaDRzG8NFz2zDcuk2uVfZFPrjbZscohtn4uOFLCvy67bNEdN9svDEjT85YCpSy91mbLhDObD91f7lWkOrMf4c17ZDxBrG5_FOk6RNt5JaOc0zFf1u1Cc2bKZmGi6SEdvPBoZI3ReyGW3Ej-LLoDdS2bzbS2yHQ2IYqdB3wfDjKe9W5oHl8CTbVUNIE1OveSS-B_7G9Z03rzxl80mBRMO-Mts3KRdlHOBNTLkYCds2SkbgT0hkjkcdOWEfZvet12D7fVT_O8q0qKdU6PGpulYX5CmSFL12R-l87xKpBDzt2DmRm6cTA5v0rt4dy-_3-rm6W-XkYtBjnhO2ll0aIMxwsw17XM0vP6EuFgXDaHpwaFjMOMy5chW61Ok7IM7X86MRBBYm0YAQifgrW6gpAl9osZSSz8BX4Dtkln10wCvVMWAHP-68apV1LyyL3fAgPOpHT6ZPZJoLcLiRXuHmjilJ2U5vaT_Kgik4wTgmNd9MDOxvU44iEfwGb-dloRDJt8WRGcbQRGsWeFHNhPj_JYYwV2YUphwloCsjHTZ8l8tc2bT0RU2eEuspezJv7DK=w1416-h796-no)

Pasta: $.85
Sausage: $1.02
Lettuce: ~$.32
Tomatoes: $.35

Total cost of dinner = $2.54. I added some leftover green onions as a nice savoury garnish. The gravy/sauce was "throw the leftover mashed potatoes in the blender with some pasta water" and season to taste; I did use some thickener (xanthan gum-- I found an 8oz package at the discount store for $.99), as I added more liquid than I should have. I put in a bit of bouillon and salt, garlic, and pepper. With some tweaking, it might be able to be a passable non-dairy stroganoff sauce...but it was reasonably tasty for an experiment that I expected to be a fail.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: eliza on January 31, 2018, 05:50:29 PM
APowers - I'm really enjoying this thread.  Was this a one month only thing or are you going to be keeping it going?
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 31, 2018, 05:52:09 PM
As it's the end of the month today.....Here is the moment of truth.

All my food spending, tallied up nicely for you. I made 11 separate grocery trips. 2 of those were combined with other non-grocery errands I was already doing anyway, which puts me at 9 dedicated grocery trips. Given that January is a long month...that's about 2 grocery trips per week. I think I can probably do better at organizing my shopping trips efficiently, maybe get it down to 4-6 dedicated grocery errands in a month.

$45.20 --- Safeway [4 visits]
$24.88 --- King Soopers [2 visits]
$41.21 --- Sprouts [4 visits]
$0.99 --- Discount Store [1 visit]
$12.42 --- Costco [1 visit]
______

$124.7 --- Total Food Spending for January.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 31, 2018, 07:48:08 PM
APowers - I'm really enjoying this thread.  Was this a one month only thing or are you going to be keeping it going?

I'm planning to keep it up for a year. A single month, someone might say I faked it. But a whole year? And, as I pointed out in my first posts-- this is not hard. It is just normal grocery spending and cooking for me. All I'm doing different is writing it down and taking a few pictures.

Thanks for coming along for the ride!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Chippewa on January 31, 2018, 08:19:23 PM
some of your pics go beyond the screen size. By adding "width=800" inside the first img tag, your pic will fit the width of the screen (or similar range of number)

Code: [Select]

[img=800]https://YOURURLHERE.com[/img]


(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/MDOlSeUxaQV7Q_kD5Y_6TGTCQ04gg5XNN4aKQLCdzff4Bx7lDS3zyiOc76O46KRbIu_SoXnEN7WK-IRjp9DPcvF9DdpQDmDJdepMkaDRzG8NFz2zDcuk2uVfZFPrjbZscohtn4uOFLCvy67bNEdN9svDEjT85YCpSy91mbLhDObD91f7lWkOrMf4c17ZDxBrG5_FOk6RNt5JaOc0zFf1u1Cc2bKZmGi6SEdvPBoZI3ReyGW3Ej-LLoDdS2bzbS2yHQ2IYqdB3wfDjKe9W5oHl8CTbVUNIE1OveSS-B_7G9Z03rzxl80mBRMO-Mts3KRdlHOBNTLkYCds2SkbgT0hkjkcdOWEfZvet12D7fVT_O8q0qKdU6PGpulYX5CmSFL12R-l87xKpBDzt2DmRm6cTA5v0rt4dy-_3-rm6W-XkYtBjnhO2ll0aIMxwsw17XM0vP6EuFgXDaHpwaFjMOMy5chW61Ok7IM7X86MRBBYm0YAQifgrW6gpAl9osZSSz8BX4Dtkln10wCvVMWAHP-68apV1LyyL3fAgPOpHT6ZPZJoLcLiRXuHmjilJ2U5vaT_Kgik4wTgmNd9MDOxvU44iEfwGb-dloRDJt8WRGcbQRGsWeFHNhPj_JYYwV2YUphwloCsjHTZ8l8tc2bT0RU2eEuspezJv7DK)

====

We like to experiment with our dishes too. And plenty of times they are not winners. Leftover mashed potatoes always make good for potato cakes. throw some cheddar, flour, and egg.. heck, maybe add a little veggie and toss them in panko bread crumbs... nom nom.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: eliza on January 31, 2018, 08:33:20 PM
APowers - I'm really enjoying this thread.  Was this a one month only thing or are you going to be keeping it going?

I'm planning to keep it up for a year. A single month, someone might say I faked it. But a whole year? And, as I pointed out in my first posts-- this is not hard. It is just normal grocery spending and cooking for me. All I'm doing different is writing it down and taking a few pictures.

Thanks for coming along for the ride!

Awesome!  I'm nosy --- so I love seeing how other people shop and eat.  One of the bloggers I follow does a weekly What I Spent, What We Ate post that is fascinating.  Plus I'm trying to pick up some new frugal recipes.  I'm pretty good at keeping my grocery bill low ($48.22 this month!), but I cook the same three or four dishes all the time --- I'm trying to branch out a bit this year.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on January 31, 2018, 08:39:45 PM
some of your pics go beyond the screen size. By adding "width=800" inside the first img tag, your pic will fit the width of the screen (or similar range of number)

Code: [Select]

[img=800]https://YOURURLHERE.com[/img]


(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/MDOlSeUxaQV7Q_kD5Y_6TGTCQ04gg5XNN4aKQLCdzff4Bx7lDS3zyiOc76O46KRbIu_SoXnEN7WK-IRjp9DPcvF9DdpQDmDJdepMkaDRzG8NFz2zDcuk2uVfZFPrjbZscohtn4uOFLCvy67bNEdN9svDEjT85YCpSy91mbLhDObD91f7lWkOrMf4c17ZDxBrG5_FOk6RNt5JaOc0zFf1u1Cc2bKZmGi6SEdvPBoZI3ReyGW3Ej-LLoDdS2bzbS2yHQ2IYqdB3wfDjKe9W5oHl8CTbVUNIE1OveSS-B_7G9Z03rzxl80mBRMO-Mts3KRdlHOBNTLkYCds2SkbgT0hkjkcdOWEfZvet12D7fVT_O8q0qKdU6PGpulYX5CmSFL12R-l87xKpBDzt2DmRm6cTA5v0rt4dy-_3-rm6W-XkYtBjnhO2ll0aIMxwsw17XM0vP6EuFgXDaHpwaFjMOMy5chW61Ok7IM7X86MRBBYm0YAQifgrW6gpAl9osZSSz8BX4Dtkln10wCvVMWAHP-68apV1LyyL3fAgPOpHT6ZPZJoLcLiRXuHmjilJ2U5vaT_Kgik4wTgmNd9MDOxvU44iEfwGb-dloRDJt8WRGcbQRGsWeFHNhPj_JYYwV2YUphwloCsjHTZ8l8tc2bT0RU2eEuspezJv7DK)

====

We like to experiment with our dishes too. And plenty of times they are not winners. Leftover mashed potatoes always make good for potato cakes. throw some cheddar, flour, and egg.. heck, maybe add a little veggie and toss them in panko bread crumbs... nom nom.

*Inhales sharply* I KNEW there must be a way to resize the pictures! Thank you so much! I now feel compelled to go back and fix all my posts. This will make my first page of pantry inventory SO much more readable! Thank you!

I wish I could mix dairy in my potatoes...I wish I wish I wish, lol! Kiddo is sensitive to wheat (gluten) and dairy, so it's been trickier to make things as cheese-a-licious as I want them to be sometimes.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Goldielocks on January 31, 2018, 09:20:02 PM
I enjoy your posts and pictures, for certain!

Our Dinner tonight:  4 adult eater (ok, one is a teenage boy and one is a teenage girl, they balance out):
1 whole roast chicken, with 6 servings, (2 leftover servings for tomorrow, could mix with lentils)
1 lb of roasted carrots (with olive oil and salt)
Brown rice with a can of mushrooms and turkey stock (homemade)

Custard / creme caramel with 3 cups whole milk, vanilla, 5 eggs and sugar (6 large servings. 2 egg whites leftover for breakfast tomorrow)

Dinner cost: $12 for 4 persons (with a bit of leftover chicken eggwhites for tomorrow)
This does not include the fact that pre-dinner/ after school snacks cost about $6.. (mostly the teenage boy feeding)
I will need to bake bread tomorrow...

This puts me at $540/month, just for dinners... with the kids eating cereal for breakfast most days, plus lunch, plus coffee, we are easily at $700/month...before any luxury snack foods (lunches are pretty small, apple plus peanut butter sandwich or ramen noodles and yogurt, applesauce/ bread and butter, etc).
.................................


I am getting tired of the winter veggie routine in my fridge / pantry. Looking for your suggestions for dinner with what I have:

1) Green cabbage
2) Onions
3) Carrots
4) Rutabaga (half of a big one left)
5) Potatoes
6) Celery (DD begged so i splurged on getting one.. $1.97 for a head. ouch)
7) Rice (brown and white)
8) Spaghetti noodles, canned tomatoes, tomatoe sauce, etc.

I also have 1 navel orange and a bag of gala apples, and bananas are always cheap.  (and the home canned peaches, pears, jam, etc).   I occasionally buy a head of lettuce, and an avocado when I can get one for $1 each or less, but none right now.

I have beans/ lentils, and whole frozen chickens, and frozen fish.  Some frozen veggies (spinach and peas, corn), too.  Milk and eggs.   Fancy snack quality cheddar that needs to last through February.  Baking supplies including lard, shortening, margarine, oil and butter (which is $4/lb so used for bread).  I will bake bread tomorrow, maybe start some more yogurt.

Out of Ground beef until it comes on sale. ( I am craving beef).  I think I have used up all the pork roasts (which I bulk bought at $2/lb).. we will be eating beans and pancakes to stretch out the grocery dollar over the next few weeks.. neither of which DH appreciates, you know?.

So suggestions very welcome!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: galliver on January 31, 2018, 11:37:38 PM



I am getting tired of the winter veggie routine in my fridge / pantry. Looking for your suggestions for dinner with what I have:

1) Green cabbage
2) Onions
3) Carrots
4) Rutabaga (half of a big one left)
5) Potatoes
6) Celery (DD begged so i splurged on getting one.. $1.97 for a head. ouch)
7) Rice (brown and white)
8) Spaghetti noodles, canned tomatoes, tomatoe sauce, etc.

I have beans/ lentils, and whole frozen chickens, and frozen fish. 

If you pick up some beets, you can make borscht! Bf loves it (then again he loves beets). Pot of stock (with a couple peppercorns, bay leaf, bunch of dill weed if you have it, optional meat chunks) add chunks of potato. Simmer to cook taters while you sautee julienned or thin sliced beets, cabbage, carrots, onion (add in that order 1-2 min apart), until softened, not quite done. Add sauteed veg to soup, simmer just s few min to finish veg and incorporate flavors.

Kidney beans work great to add protein, adding sour cream (in bowl) is traditional but not my fave, or just serve with some crusty bread!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: galliver on January 31, 2018, 11:54:25 PM


I wish I could mix dairy in my potatoes...I wish I wish I wish, lol! Kiddo is sensitive to wheat (gluten) and dairy, so it's been trickier to make things as cheese-a-licious as I want them to be sometimes.

I hear vegans use nutritional yeast...I think I've had it at restaurants and it was surprisingly good, probably pricy though (but do you need much?)

I experimented with cauliflower Alfredo and cashew cream this week and I'm quite pleased...not cheesy, but if you're ever looking to do a nondairy creamy sauce.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on February 01, 2018, 05:28:55 AM



I am getting tired of the winter veggie routine in my fridge / pantry. Looking for your suggestions for dinner with what I have:

1) Green cabbage
2) Onions
3) Carrots
4) Rutabaga (half of a big one left)
5) Potatoes
6) Celery (DD begged so i splurged on getting one.. $1.97 for a head. ouch)
7) Rice (brown and white)
8) Spaghetti noodles, canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, etc.

I have beans/ lentils, and whole frozen chickens, and frozen fish. 

If you pick up some beets, you can make borscht! Bf loves it (then again he loves beets). Pot of stock (with a couple peppercorns, bay leaf, bunch of dill weed if you have it, optional meat chunks) add chunks of potato. Simmer to cook taters while you sautee julienned or thin sliced beets, cabbage, carrots, onion (add in that order 1-2 min apart), until softened, not quite done. Add sauteed veg to soup, simmer just s few min to finish veg and incorporate flavors.

Kidney beans work great to add protein, adding sour cream (in bowl) is traditional but not my fave, or just serve with some crusty bread!

I've never actually tried borscht, but I like this idea! The other thing I was thinking was that you could take the cabbage/onions/rutabaga/celery and stir-fry them into something asian-ish with soy sauce and ginger and chili powder. Ideally, you'd have a bit of meat to add that extra umami (I'd think sausage/pork would work nicely, but you could also use some leftover roast chicken); or you could stir-fry just the veggies and use as a side for the fish that you have... and serve with rice on the side.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: kaypinkHH on February 01, 2018, 05:38:38 AM


I wish I could mix dairy in my potatoes...I wish I wish I wish, lol! Kiddo is sensitive to wheat (gluten) and dairy, so it's been trickier to make things as cheese-a-licious as I want them to be sometimes.

I hear vegans use nutritional yeast...I think I've had it at restaurants and it was surprisingly good, probably pricy though (but do you need much?)

I experimented with cauliflower Alfredo and cashew cream this week and I'm quite pleased...not cheesy, but if you're ever looking to do a nondairy creamy sauce.

I second nutritional yeast. It can be expensive, but a little goes a LONG way for adding cheesy flavour. I found some at a bulk food store- fancy pre-packaged organic kind was really pricey, but then over in the spice section they had it in the bulk section, and it was WAY cheaper per unit!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Goldielocks on February 01, 2018, 01:34:03 PM
Thank-you for the menu suggestions.    I know I have a lot in the cupboard, but sometimes it is hard to think of cabbage again! for dinner. You have inspired me to keep trying.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: eliza on February 01, 2018, 01:45:12 PM


If you pick up some beets, you can make borscht! Bf loves it (then again he loves beets). Pot of stock (with a couple peppercorns, bay leaf, bunch of dill weed if you have it, optional meat chunks) add chunks of potato. Simmer to cook taters while you sautee julienned or thin sliced beets, cabbage, carrots, onion (add in that order 1-2 min apart), until softened, not quite done. Add sauteed veg to soup, simmer just s few min to finish veg and incorporate flavors.

Kidney beans work great to add protein, adding sour cream (in bowl) is traditional but not my fave, or just serve with some crusty bread!

I've never actually tried borscht, but I like this idea! The other thing I was thinking was that you could take the cabbage/onions/rutabaga/celery and stir-fry them into something asian-ish with soy sauce and ginger and chili powder. Ideally, you'd have a bit of meat to add that extra umami (I'd think sausage/pork would work nicely, but you could also use some leftover roast chicken); or you could stir-fry just the veggies and use as a side for the fish that you have... and serve with rice on the side.

Cabbage is on sale for $.49/lb --- so I was trying to think of something interesting to do with it.  I have carrots, celery (getting wilty), and onion on hand as well as a pound of ground elk (that I scored for $1) in the freezer.  And I just got two free bottles of P.F. Chang's Sesame sauce.   Cabbage stir-fry for the win!

I'll probably cook off all the elk - use half in the stir-fry and freeze the other half for future use.  Any suggestions for it?  I've done stroganoff and tacos before with ground elk and both turned out well.  But I wouldn't mind trying something new.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on February 01, 2018, 08:11:56 PM
Beans night! Sorry, but no pics tonight. I did a chips and dip thing: bean dip with corn and rice and olives and tomatoes and lettuce-- tortilla chips to dip.

Beans: $0 (leftover from freezer)
Olives: $.75
Corn: $.25
Lettuce: ~$.30
Tomato: $0 (leftover)
Tortilla chips: $1.17
Sour cream: $.05

Total cost of dinner = $2.52 plus salsa.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: haypug16 on February 02, 2018, 12:08:52 PM
PTF - I'm lucking to get my Groceries under $200 for just myself! So I look here for inspiration.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on February 02, 2018, 10:50:16 PM
Had friends over tonight. Made a batch of lentil soup, following my recipe on page 3. I didn't include the ground beef, and used oil instead of sausage grease (friends are vegan). Made fresh bread rolls (regular + gluten-free) to go with it. Sorry, no pictures again today-- I was kind of in a rush between getting the kids home from school and cooking, and the requisite frenzied last-minute cleanup before guests coming over.

Lentil soup: $2.43
Bread: $1.30

There are plenty of leftovers, so they'll be dinner another night-- probably tomorrow, actually. Then sunday, we'll try to finish off all the other leftovers and start fresh on monday.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on February 03, 2018, 09:52:59 PM
Sandwiches tonight. Used the half-package of sliced ham from the freezer, plus some leftover roast beef and chicken.

Ham: $2.25
Cheese: $.99
Bread: $.20
Tomatoes: $.25
Green pepper: $.50
Onion: $.40
Pepperoncini: $.15
Lettuce: $.25

Total for dinner = $4.99 plus mayo/mustard/sriracha.

With all the leftovers that we have....we may have to do leftovers for a couple days before picking up the regular routine again. I feel like the fridge is packed full and I have no containers left in the cabinet.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on February 03, 2018, 10:01:20 PM
Groceries today:

Went to the discount store, mainly because I knew I would need bread for dinner tonight. Found some other good things while I was there, though.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/TfezyJF1eJAyI4bTHV0p25PhmIxgMCLiM57EBQ2FuTT5QXTxZIxYk-kP7gyYjtxKhY1h5jVnbkn2cTz7MHeZr6sTxRgNQApsBg0r1LvgdxH-sfW6fyZkaOgKKZ2XjAukp9ZjHO6AttE7IJ-pHqKmm68_ZomENnTnuAF_SoJ9Lz69UOUN9Gtg5SIrNL1ANmSpaCNLavFN_8QXOpYeAx-lTePuZzb8YRq3KfcX313NYkkjiinfawabwZZeKewGoWiIo0eg31NbO4L30AyqhchRgAsvEQ3x1twirG51fPrLA1prKHJs0N9bLe31UMBoWczZcTWKGV8-UZmHYWksPn2mISaOIyvJe_jCYCJzv9PG-4V9Q5oYMEcWD6yoHF0V9b-AvDyh567kXffe829RuOzTaLSiwFu_Wfqi_-V3V0dHAm6OIYyHmyGNR7Zt9Seyl15EMeaydVMZzIWuxn1nzPAklrssG8s3CTnVmrSZFqihjollGklYJSM8NCUVmc-JCzzwS1nniL5ox88Wb6M2ISdbPdKgRrFse6lulM04uDXiejC-ZIEGvqVy8mq_UGfgwJvYRlotpgxjx8_muuMrK0GACbN9EZv3WCXeXmpnPBWCLSRE082aqfFONBwX1K2wATPqNUkEmaqe2OwihAyr57aMI2S1QCqXfYL1=w448-h796-no)

Bread: $.99
Lime juice: $1.29
Avocados: $1.50

Total receipt = $3.78. Lime juice is regularly $2.48, so it was pretty close to half-price. I like a small squirt in my ice water-- it makes it feel even more luxurious than just ice water, which already feels luxurious to me.

-------------------------------------------

SO went to the library, so I asked her to stop at Safeway on the way home and pick up carrots, as we are almost out and there was a good coupon on the Safeway card.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/YwClfhCKQUCR-ketMHRkAkBhxlPNuia5an0z65mEJP46MPqMu23htManvQPt54EFXpicAa4IC2e51knTA4DSzppEAqy49ay8wLeizKwwTzK_IfAbxd5aB9XDchJPf751MkCWgcpD2rpzdyqh4_2Gvir9plt-sHs8mG1mDn7jPw2rLhYuQCEoYhjqvIp9C_AEFdzJDuEPeC8ZBOQtQqpu2mAWgbakhbzQ2eTQ09oKj9j_oILdVvJ2KHN9uY_NqzoQnkG-B8SsMyl6zxv7UxT3rYLYXBp4V7MtGUVNt1hUmu40XL8DVG1N8Oi1cJZqsgFrh9YT79odH2Obvs8OjD2yONGfVPnWcesgQnvMn6n_t-wX35eTTasn9KKxKfIPocvu19OONqMGuj0oBjLeycG5trMq80zxieX0E8UcfmN6gK9k6i3lRY6n-Z2dbRQiQiHx4WiW5ymxviPDApdrEVDiXCHIsrSFJZE2P3CGxCJxj-AsiKFC9pspXDSdR0aquG_QdyEl0HrDwGChr8dXQ9RrRtP34fNtswCxlQxLk5LSiy8BRxYEX88ZxxcNSq7nx54QDkXm5WVwwNiYCGGBrtqpdPHMuLjrInefU1fLhZzaSRAet1OzHxLGQOO60xCn4YN9emkrIIuCTyNJge1ZU7q_Ca8kuyD4QZKJ=w448-h796-no)

Total receipt = $2.94
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Chippewa on February 03, 2018, 10:27:20 PM
Nice score on the avocados!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on February 03, 2018, 10:35:04 PM
Nice score on the avocados!

I know! Usually I jump on them when they're 2/$1--- these were $.30/each! I was like "I should get at least a couple...hmmm...maybe three....mmm...better make it five."
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: mountain mustache on February 04, 2018, 12:34:09 PM
Nice score on the avocados!

I know! Usually I jump on them when they're 2/$1--- these were $.30/each! I was like "I should get at least a couple...hmmm...maybe three....mmm...better make it five."

5 avocados for $1.50!! That's amazing, and makes me want to cry at the same time. Avocados here are 2 for $3.00, going on sale every once in a while for 99 cents each. They are definitely one of my "luxury" foods
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on February 04, 2018, 09:50:24 PM
Leftovers for dinner tonight-- mainly beans and rice in tortillas. Some leftover pasta and chicken for Kiddo. Probably a cost of ~$.50 in this and that.

Also, took the kids out hiking today. It ended up being freezing once we got up the hill, so we hiked back to the car (shivering the whole way) and went to play in the McDonald's playground. I bought a soda for $1.08. You can count this in my food budget if you want, but I count it as entertainment-- part of the fun/hiking experience and not part of what I budget for food. I have a separate budget category for "doing fun things"-- and any eating out comes from that rather than the food budget. I figured I should at least mention it here, though, in case anyone wanted to accuse me of "cheating" (LOL!).
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on February 05, 2018, 08:55:03 PM
Leftovers for dinner again. Kiddo had lentils and some leftover popcorn from yesterday's hiking adventure lunch, I had lentils with salsa and sour cream wrapped in tortillas, Girlie had lentils with leftover rolls, and SO made herself a single portion of pasta. Leftovers are (finally) pretty much mostly used up now. Tomorrow, it will be back to our regularly scheduled programming....

Probably $.50 for three tortillas and sour cream and a bit of pasta.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on February 05, 2018, 09:34:33 PM
Also, I did, like, a b'zillion errands today.

Walmart:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/G66bUxhS18gHZA_vPPvZOS3_R1x1DryWVzKZsrenlqgE1POTrGZ7u6HL3AjmY94T7m4H_JFjL_Gg0DYIwgW1UNG4vi4hSikvuP8fpW0MSAgCgg1YEs7qCRbtcIen-bsIP6XQanZwnuMe8oAx5yF3yCiKqcTpR99EvznViKNIae85xYKIobtiTMcPJYX1cxJHKAjmaEbELxrQO7yhQcS-NmP00U23VXKxBKfs_WsKKJ8BMa8czvm51hjOIGoqcnytHhEM7SjrQmJ7DK42vWf_krfTRxJ7di8QzHXvgghhgcjLwQoPaLD-vdVxhPvEQ0GX0Szx0ES3-orDVNIniLfPGl1sIBskLvxH_ecZ6PRYTacEzl_A_P7jCKA1AhCwM3WcMX1bXfBenQgTBcKeOR63ysJ_7hWkoKOWoPdgR_g2UqZvRDR04sy8q76lw0SPRuELfCOz9H3RFKb3owpLN2mYk6XnqtXrCX6drg1oTdwRe7z5ZTf_7iS03x_I1u0FwPvG2ShA5dfQ2dBu-6p_OYuyUqvdO35qeaz4NDHhLCF8YCkNsILYeS5ADMjS2W5GZL9lbWFj5wp6rCqU85Hl5hvderNYruJVsCrFhgjCTp7D54-eQfsBnUKdBHtzoiQYtNNt_rVr4KCkqkmGlsEJ13KpzP8Js0l3YVTP=w448-h796-no)

1 gallon of pickles: $5.97

--------------------------------

King Soopers:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/FWMdY_xroBmOZUXpi-PuktQFe2y2qZLoCGk726rZnnN58rh9c9ruJU79nxTmrXIYJ_sD4QdftDDwEH4e2vt9_pTm9DZwf4Vez9aRk8l165uRAlpkbtjNKstmdvZGv4jSp01xne8K-J6f14k15Z_Wqr5-H25KB7R3MUj29c2v0FOB7AqmdwDMalRNp6TnM8kcTUHrAJPpRUJ2GMyF1xUEPetjnvfUbfpHhWwV8FX_sD0i4KYkEIMUf_sS_uCqWWBF2NQXwke2SvwIuDwGn3acSKYbyTbg0m_MXKLL3h8jfz8dzFE61oQweUR6to2E1uxG5ogZgKE9KD--XN01BsHRjYEwiYoHRMfzpZTzn2wCCbbXQyhYkQNQUFEs30ZK-ukZB31pYL9FCzcEXbhtPVQGTYLhQGjQFENbfeZOXEpUxRfAr7VxHqnRQgp6QV8uIOVlmb09DJVKClFmLAdSPoO48HrYwSyP3jKuE2Evs-CVRcE7REb_1hE4SeCQzBCiP_6Henp7NsOdYQKrOIvcwdIXJC3AFMNYgENXmJ_pPfu86vrixBaQX3-W7u0VcZwRy79K67kHO_AnE-iKslbvyZBqf5rtBTF-W2gKdv279eClfWViXk68rbDTeFd5hah3F80XNJvUOO4c8-wRZxPIxEqMWhdzh2zWMIZ3=w1416-h796-no)

Italian sausage (four 18oz packages): $7.96
Pasta: $1.96
Protein bar: $0 (free friday item)
Almond milk: $1.89
Tortillas: $.99
Cheerios: $1.58

Total receipt = $14.38. Yes, I managed to get Cheerios for $.79/box. The ad listed General Mills cereal as $1.79 for sizes 11.1oz-24.2oz...I looked and looked, but couldn't find ANY GM cereals that were 24oz with an appropriate sale tag. So I asked at the customer service desk-- told them I had looked and couldn't find anything the advertised size with a sale tag, and asked if perhaps I had missed something-- service desk lady told me to take the big box of cereal and show the ad to the cashier and they'd honour the price. So I did. It also turned out that the General Mills cereal coupon on my card ALSO applied to the sale price, so that was an additional savings of $1/box! The way the coupon was worded, I expected it to only be $1 off two boxes (i.e., $.50/box), and even then, I didn't expect it to show up at all, since e-coupons often don't apply when the cashier manually puts prices in; but they did, somehow. Breakfast cereal is literally one of my favourite foods of all time, so I'm pretty pumped about this, lol!

----------------------------------------

Sprouts:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/yRjwPHj_vcY7sWYZS6E3aCFVB5NJ4s3SrIHnrRw6Ohx-W54Yx0dSpJ9PbADJWii1Q1qc1PjHoNQdjhz2gueAMXyy3gpoNN1Azbx5OxHNOUwA8Hswa0DgIzYacqERsvXgVbmwxBW3iQyRU-X0r0tfOrCqkNXe9fRjK1Fb3FGY73fmPpNX6ET2KXKH8ETSxEPckybcebdEFntx49qB6l6TkcDJcB2eWdUF1jdd16asDN4gqYj-4_tDwrUk7FIHihoU6zpM4fi0tfridioITm9BindBhfcGKJAUX5OmAhWJDrjnXq3mhKI1nGLyoHK8hf8f6bI8ZZFptgwVIw2r7mSf-zdaXIdizj2ZqnjJfoD25sk0TWUbeL73fuYMH_LNv0pjDcLOH8OpvooIdrB7Y9B4Q6XY4s1HWmbE6CIUOlR_Otr3jE5EGzuMWVT4HhsZ6MOmFPdwU0DHmKDhBaBdOK32bUJZGgqu7esRYeBsJ6U2XwcUiA-V9HKeUXViAPKCBP2RP-pA0z2Pud0PV-MczexCFm2PN20tAk-L6m1wd810DLEzgVX_wU06TsFpNmSVURhuYg0fe8ORccjcYcUy6iYusnVSXyAk5Co_BmruI5vRp8oEjWnld6hfYCJSyJGUvd_GhbYdbpKRp80R1F3AWEOga6ljq-eJd6nY=w1416-h796-no)

Celery: $.98
(2) Cucumbers: $1.00
Eggplant: $.50
(.89lbs @ $1.50/lb) Green beans: $1.34
(2) Green peppers: $1.00
(6) Red peppers: $2.00
Leaf lettuce: $1.29
(8lbs @ $.98/lb) Honeycrisp apples: $7.86
(1.64lbs @ $.50/lb) Tomatoes: $.82
(1.16lbs @ $3.99/lb) Sesame seeds: $4.63

Total receipt = $21.42. The eggplant....is an experiment. I've never tried eggplant before, so worst-case scenario is that it's terrible and I'm out $0.50. The red peppers and apples I have had rainchecks in my wallet for weeks now, so I'm glad to clear them out of my wallet. The sesame seeds are hopefully going to end up as tahini for more hummus-- we'll see how they turn out in the food processor.

-------------------------------------------

Total food spending today: $41.77
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: tj on February 05, 2018, 09:49:02 PM
That's some dirt cheap cereal.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: eliza on February 06, 2018, 06:02:20 AM
I love eggplant. 

I usually make it stuffed --- something like this: https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/veggie-stuffed-eggplant

Also very good sliced, breaded in an eggwash then flour/breadcrumbs, and pan fried. 

You can also roast, but I've had some texture issues with roasted eggplant --- I think there is a trick to it.  Maybe salting and rinsing prior to cooking to pull out the moisture, but I haven't quite perfected that yet.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on February 06, 2018, 08:11:53 PM
I made jambalaya again, since it was so good last time. Except this time I added all the leftover chicken, did a bit more celery and peppers, and cooked a double batch of rice. I was pretty *meh* about the chicken, but it was okay-- overall the jambalaya was great, so I'm not complaining. I packed up 1.5 meals worth of leftovers into the freezer, and have a good lunch-sized portion in a container in the fridge.

Sausage: $1.79
Chicken: $0 (leftovers)
Red pepper: $.50
Green pepper: $0 (leftover from sandwich night)
Onion: $0 (leftover)
Celery: $.20
Garlic: $.10
Rice: $1.38
Tomato sauce: $.50

Total cost for dinner + freezer dinner + leftovers = $4.47.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: mountain mustache on February 06, 2018, 08:26:45 PM
I made jambalaya again, since it was so good last time. Except this time I added all the leftover chicken, did a bit more celery and peppers, and cooked a double batch of rice. I was pretty *meh* about the chicken, but it was okay-- overall the jambalaya was great, so I'm not complaining. I packed up 1.5 meals worth of leftovers into the freezer, and have a good lunch-sized portion in a container in the fridge.

Sausage: $1.79
Chicken: $0 (leftovers)
Red pepper: $.50
Green pepper: $0 (leftover from sandwich night)
Onion: $0 (leftover)
Celery: $.20
Garlic: $.10
Rice: $1.38
Tomato sauce: $.50

Total cost for dinner + freezer dinner + leftovers = $4.47.

Your mentioning jambalaya makes me hungry, and homesick! Have you made a jambalaya before, with the rice cooked along with everything else? I grew up eating jambalaya at least once a week (New Orleans born/raised) and my mom always made it in one huge pot, where the rice cooked in the broth from the chicken+veggies+spices. She would bring everything to a boil on the stove, pour the uncooked rice in, pop a lid on and then put the pot in the oven for about an hour. Came out amazing! I make it once in a while out of nostalgia but it never comes out as good as hers. A key ingredient is Tony's Chacheres cajun seasoning, which makes everything amazing!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on February 06, 2018, 09:15:05 PM
I made jambalaya again, since it was so good last time. Except this time I added all the leftover chicken, did a bit more celery and peppers, and cooked a double batch of rice. I was pretty *meh* about the chicken, but it was okay-- overall the jambalaya was great, so I'm not complaining. I packed up 1.5 meals worth of leftovers into the freezer, and have a good lunch-sized portion in a container in the fridge.

Sausage: $1.79
Chicken: $0 (leftovers)
Red pepper: $.50
Green pepper: $0 (leftover from sandwich night)
Onion: $0 (leftover)
Celery: $.20
Garlic: $.10
Rice: $1.38
Tomato sauce: $.50

Total cost for dinner + freezer dinner + leftovers = $4.47.

Your mentioning jambalaya makes me hungry, and homesick! Have you made a jambalaya before, with the rice cooked along with everything else? I grew up eating jambalaya at least once a week (New Orleans born/raised) and my mom always made it in one huge pot, where the rice cooked in the broth from the chicken+veggies+spices. She would bring everything to a boil on the stove, pour the uncooked rice in, pop a lid on and then put the pot in the oven for about an hour. Came out amazing! I make it once in a while out of nostalgia but it never comes out as good as hers. A key ingredient is Tony's Chacheres cajun seasoning, which makes everything amazing!

I actually have made it before the "right" way-- cooking the rice in with everything else, but it took forEVER...and I don't feel like doing that again. So instead, I cook the rice in the pressure cooker, and brown the veggies and sausage separately, then mix them all together. It makes it into a 30 minute process instead of a 3 hour process. Also, I'm using brown rice which take 3 times as long to cook as regular white rice.

I don't have any Tony's, so I just wing it and it comes out a little different each time. Here's my sausage and veggies before I added the tomato sauce + broth + chicken + spices:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/TSSkO16X_Q_q-znEvVVlRy6cdLtnrdXvE0lXEAAJkxMk7noAmFo6vxADGGdxqP-SaLExm_bMjpkNmIdR76ifiLCwoG6EtgDWfw8mVNmr_fEInM9TL1GD0L8MgujanQk0i1dHSsY-yvUTx5RHoJXsSYbBW4arfaJUOzveMqe7bcz6ieg4-vAU82iEUgGxDeruhcAG_eOYCBmquNEk8NrxlW4IpnmdOfkAFVX6L9zn3opfn7eLjbeXRRVCEtWBPH5TuPu8EF9EzUy3j-YiJqjLdI53QysMBg8D3G3Cr9rn36K7p0C8B8IylgJbMTshphECFAx2sqdSANgkfqG0toCidPmejVYyfh2nokodxqNS5dZ4-o3KPX7ePvlsxGgkgCDsbugDLtDfuBOTaSdDruhzFtL2Ig5taGvWvstJCul_3F8YBqvHxj3RuDEtsPO4AwfBGjD5lhExNZF38FQuJAex8W0pzpaVoeiIWxOmb1U2F99RNDPScr_qFxJL88qNlqYGqUq5j4UgnyeSspKsJTLryaeXl0hrzL8Q9PpWQakq41sKnI1dSdAnM0pkEeEQcr_Fhdwchh1OUJ5GEYVTjYFk8gSSVKOV_9u1U8hcnVDCRr9NTRxfS2gOSUtZNjZyuvOTX4-soLPdoHaeDhs2EHXIJpCCAa2OsB3P=w1416-h796-no)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: mountain mustache on February 07, 2018, 07:05:28 AM
That looks delicious!! I might have to try doing it that way, just for time savings sometime. I admittedly get frustrated with how long it takes as well, because I use brown rice, and sometimes I think I've got it in the oven for 2+ hours before it seems cooked! That and living at altitude, it seems like rice just never gets soft.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on February 07, 2018, 08:48:59 PM
Pasta for dinner-- the kids wanted tomato sauce "with NO sticks" (Kiddo doesn't like the rosemary bits). Makes it easy for me, I guess. Lol!

Kiddo's plate
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/6kIdcaXkHNxENzx94POX4rgonaW-XghuGQl10EqDAx5kmWoyd52WsnK1xDzL3FKqsaRYVCc66L9NfZuCllPPw800lWRA5JzfZHvgaj_BJOZ6Urwz3ANdLc1RyhjtRAKukmrWYd1-dZdkN9onlA8lZY2sRve5gKWHkklFgB5HY-aojzbolUqF9lzNgtdMTNJo9vwbhBEAmJ8BCuT1h_ier70Kg7JEyvssq6U-qoAgRqn3QFyc3Oy5ck40xMrXOGYk8FRpkO4BuxsJDrhTqrTXVXj-dBQZFKmSpJuTF_ztr7_7ljk_6wDsidmqLFNqYfr3Xxv8LbSVA5WgsK1xw6YS_j8We0swfpNVxV_-NPnHHXblBs-7oLc-jvVffm-Lx7oJ2He7F1fJWneHHPjldJjEFz3NdZ3nNP5QoVVptW3qxw2Rkake4C37Q3_89pdacbsUJN_QrKD_X2t7B9EP7az-SuXfZLr_JAHj8TLy6khUAnVSIJr-9FPdB7EJUCWKeZe06VgFYMDnAmBZE_tS92pXpANtGGVz2CYQz9SPWqv_lZRY0beu0rGOuCpNdAUNnEk2L4U2QMHrGvEKXnC8DiZPU5dtKViF9nifm2vszCY=w1416-h796-no)

Pasta: $.80
Tomato sauce: $.25
Sausage: $1.00
Lettuce: ~$.45
Red pepper: $.50
Tomatoes: $.25

Total cost of dinner = $3.25 plus some ranch and parmesan. It was a pretty plain-jane meal. I took my sausage portion and mixed it into my pasta with some diced tomato and red pepper, then ate my lettuce afterwards.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on February 08, 2018, 09:56:31 PM
Did chips with bean dip tonight.

Beans: $0 (leftovers from freezer)
Chips: $.99
Green pepper: $.50
Tomatoes: $.25
Cucumber: $.50

Total = $2.24

Also, cooked the eggplant and made baba ghanoush. It was....very mediocre. Most of the flavour profile was due to the tahini, the texture was a bit weird, the kids tasted it and then wouldn't touch it....I didn't feel like it was bad, it just wasn't as great as I hoped it would be; AND it was kind of a pain to make, what with all the peeling and salting and waiting and rinsing and patting dry and roasting-- just too much hands-on time for not enough reward.

Eggplant: $.50
Tahini: ~$.90
Garlic: $.03

I would muchly much rather make hummus. THAT was delicious.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: superhappyfaced on February 09, 2018, 02:26:17 PM

Also, cooked the eggplant and made baba ghanoush. It was....very mediocre. Most of the flavour profile was due to the tahini, the texture was a bit weird, the kids tasted it and then wouldn't touch it....I didn't feel like it was bad, it just wasn't as great as I hoped it would be; AND it was kind of a pain to make, what with all the peeling and salting and waiting and rinsing and patting dry and roasting-- just too much hands-on time for not enough reward.

if you have a grill - you can use that to cook the eggplant - here's what i do: wash the eggplant a poke a hole or twoin it. get your grill going on a medium-high heat. lightly grease the grate. grill the eggplant (still whole) and turn it occasionally until the skin is charred and it's fork tender (maybe 30 minutes?). let it cool for a few minutes, half that eggplant, scoop the flesh out and place the flesh intoa strainer - let it drain for about 20-40 minutes. then blend it up and add in tahini, half a garlic clove, olive oil, and salt!



Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on February 09, 2018, 09:01:19 PM
I did lentil soup for dinner tonight again. I might complain, but it's delicious.

This time, I served it with Doritos instead of rolls. That added a spicy zip to them, which was pretty decent, actually. I also cooked it without meat this time, as I knew my vegetarian friend would be dropping by, and I wanted to be able to offer some to him.

Chips: $.99
Lentil soup: ~$2

Total cost of dinner + leftovers = ~$3.00
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on February 10, 2018, 08:21:15 PM
Sandwiches for dinner. Mostly leftovers and random bits, actually, since we still had some ham left from last sandwich night and the kids haven't been feeling well, so they weren't hungry for hardly anything all day, let alone a full dinner

Ham: $0
Bread: $.50
Tomato: $.13
Red pepper: $.33
Onion: $.15

There were probably a couple other things that I missed, as I was working longer than I expected, and missed what SO made for herself. Total dinner cost = ~$2?
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on February 10, 2018, 10:16:16 PM
Tons of grocery shopping today. There were quite a few things on good sales this week.

King Soopers:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/37NhC4YX8VWjCsq7Mr_4EAJyCaStbDf2FDgR13Okdb9ky53iJ0QM6uC6pAk1Hv_c3-5I1JsEK05oM3k26-7OZzg4UsqpmITSqklr2PWhn8h_40oRPhsGrbUU6GNuqwWpC4x39ZER-H-TXb7EV81Van3hrQY4p-xNwSjv-MY1DjZ-RP14NwfhnRLCEfEYkiIz747yBfkXpMWTJLJCtibvR9r4-xXqVKscdh9imTzc7dAvyhKROntQlfuFC7kdomUoqzF8HCdGOuRgmhha0PP3xiqN4Vw9upwtwEDu11zBFZ5L3HgXPT4NMKM-zGHCiqk100Gry_t2V__aIYnRSaxwXIbndsTbp-6qTMHj69DcRgvTfyfu87ndyFTrHh2l0vmIknc0sd9wQ0eNHRiIGIF6vo34dK02HpkNojDNnAKiRMYCmqFcdHkC0mOTaWBulq2PPzO1IYl-Pi_i52QAsemuqvwX7F_r7OCxJm1LMJ8mP5AD3XHZnw-Qn1jIjQi449UYR7Sal_QoSYNwhQzKMmXWF3SXoAMtTxlDYc6fvvUy1GoQ9Em7prUe8zDoZ9T1veX99Fy0OmyiYrDd-lhM5xSnBjEzG-4sLr_JhcKsKbzssm_MPnI0uK-HbiY3FGpO5TqdIlwthuLJQe0__34ZXLdbZuarJMNgxuXo=w1416-h796-no)

5 cans of tuna: $2.50
5 lbs of butter: $7.45
Sports drink: $0 (free friday coupon)
Sweettarts: $0 (free friday coupon)
Peanut butter: $4.95

Total receipt = $14.90

----------------------------------------

Sprouts:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/B8t0TCvhaHY2lsxl8r5tdvT2VsTBfX5tyvr7cSnygo1jV4-6qFDT8l3-wxDckHckw9MOjXi036bKSKs0PXcScZyf-eHMtF8bbTHts_nuYuzUMLQ07QBgTegwY8g-v_gJ_JjoyXZAEqr8-6d7Da9kh54-Wz-P4sOAxYpWnvUw_k1M3Yz8SKLhfTYSuyr2WWS1FCCurj8YyH6u6_IIQ1Oql9GUbjZUXi9_IUape5xnFpvpyZnIcAdxKU58HNVEgUTXcE50vRqYQ3O39ABFUBuGO1PjH-1SrAQB_BRD-srRtamid5UF4oEKAbiC5tdjYBxOajyujyVw0EfMqLd7MXOQb5l2HLzaI3WUNX3RYdp41B39tJ5i1hvCTCSrYZUROErh5KYXlia-HtgQ1EDur8k7mnA93G38dP0Zm4NcULKXccG2CSTy3XCvcVKDaXdCNDDsIr4WxoFBI2zJvKNrrdU0pbi82WW_8_fVjK80wDN2MFPqlXoK15mQwtMsGEmtWeU4ViqakBb8apAb9RNNUcg936wrcgk8Kli9M3Clw1OJXaJDe-JJExbgJ5AxTtZwQXgAnaW4n7IPPbuE4Dnp_heWVs3fsa4i87mZsco6jZzk8Wn98qYPH6Cpb5vEVxoHTGdko6t_lE-MJMDfXZsRlcvrtE9vghHulu0g=w1416-h796-no)

5lb clementine oranges: $3.98

------------------------------------

Safeway:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/F8DVTND7rqVAAotzETEbtW7Kn3EBo0Mz0mbqkrAkOPZISSnRpN-27MJ_QVgaB8hYwTeFo1WiJvK77KDv19GEH9MLkyQOqZFG1IETiGFSJi4TZv1JkS9AQ7eyLXXNsPqLaMe5sQtuZFXs6QpdqaMSuU-MWJ92q7yKPeRxK_9y3BfYE7YaLryGkLcPIkCCB8nItQKSbNpB1xOUMJpPHeY_vb3NyPU1WN7fkPasDOwBQ06ElVpOepfgIs3RNVWsGwF7ZyjtxjexI4K9ATFAKcKEHQTQiilYQ8HB-DRpWdKl8R60aAdWD7YXq_zeWC2d7i-Zc1RqcCGJX4qOR_dEVnyCeSnTQRD1NaNP-o-Wf1tjqpGHtj29zpKV3CX4In5gg8VB5JpULivlUUrpbQzWsCyCG3szyxxAXbT_Dz17X1NB22e128BF-OVYOJdP6QR622gmIsaf4tMsqL1Pe9auWVcL1os5nBKQ6rTwAcG5bbHwyzW_KUnjCQJhXoENGCr7HKMEi52Pg4r8E_8LFxDnbIATkqQkIXZ56FakSDJ_4xsGYak8p8GpvgnptMh3CsYURy1CDMofYpOR96pMuzz7L1LqQCW2elxotXU7vG5QrALvt8F8i8YCAYLMQjTniE9vO3kYxw-VH_MZSbva4z5gBzwW4TVkWl_jKN3v=w1416-h796-no)

3.3lbs ground beef: $9.17
Milk: $1.77
Water crackers: $0 (Monopoly instant win)
8oz tomato sauce: $0 (Monopoly instant win)

Total receipt = $10.94. I only intended to get milk and beef, but Safeway started doing their Monopoly ticket promotion. I got one ticket and decided I should open it before I left the store...INSTANT WINNER! One free box of crackers! So I went through the checkout line again; this time, I got two tickets...INSTANT WINNER! One free can of tomato sauce! So I went through the checkout line a third time. The cashier, the bagger, and I were all laughing about it. It was a good Safeway trip.

------------------------------------------------------------

The Discount Store:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/U4zl9AEQviHFv_RUKjRJO0qKO059hHjtq4FWAYITG0zydK9n6UHnmoqAfA197TgLqwMsorCT37GX0_uDhcmSH2-xiZGSAh8HL_X2w0HyyIn8-Ub2LJuPPsfW8pGxn1CID1A-HPUkfcPXlhlyxTC9D5Suid0CzrbAjMmuObUUGLe793eRk2F_aPED9iKuUypUU10lLBzZHG56Wk0gf7tO7MOWZjwIYTTxlp5krHZlXfS3JHv0yB4eWyQiiINwYe96c4aod0-RdT8ZRQsOPEaW0shccsQdj-T0KZdPAe-59cVKl7dMZt7HJ-kGodzZAfYOrUeeqfthgDD0KJ8CbBRbcT8dI356Wt7YqXInWS6ltkKFUvMKOzTOyhFXxBy2CgEeuAv-8l26hdp0Ok6UH2E5Q4W2Mlea9OPzFxea08IW2_hFD-XAekom7guTjeqqo3jmaXx7I1lKLiBUh9D3OiiDxQz5DlaLSPUkbxk12QKTy-JWOL5XqU-968XsFpwvsIIh4ldSVgiAb5HnegoPFDb6J08BbotglYJoKN7EMIjUjtChwQaRD3N3BU6bSiEgHLm0oIfjRVVUV48OeX42v_dH1qLkw_pWTKbrSUYI3BFULC0lM7YdyjCj5ny3my9yLxojWNlA62PW7rtPgMxvpV_9_xKbVmmQs5Fk=w1416-h796-no)

Bread: $1.98
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: tj on February 11, 2018, 05:28:40 PM
Is there a reason you bought so much butter at once? An extreme sale?
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: CrustyBadger on February 11, 2018, 05:30:54 PM
As if one needs a reason to buy butter!  (-:
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: tj on February 11, 2018, 05:51:53 PM
As if one needs a reason to buy butter!  (-:


Sure...but I guess my butter usage is much lower as I had to throw my last away because it was past expiration date. :D
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on February 11, 2018, 06:59:40 PM
As if one needs a reason to buy butter!  (-:


Sure...but I guess my butter usage is much lower as I had to throw my last away because it was past expiration date. :D

$1.49/lb is the best price I've seen in years. Also, I just put it in the freezer, and it basically keeps forever. I just pull it out as needed. Also, lol at 5lbs of butter being "so much"-- there was one time it was on sale and I bought a case (like 30lbs). Again, it lived in the freezer and got pulled out as needed.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on February 11, 2018, 07:02:03 PM
Leftovers for dinner tonight. Lentils for the kids and SO, and jambalaya for me. Yum!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: mountain mustache on February 12, 2018, 06:27:18 PM
As if one needs a reason to buy butter!  (-:


Sure...but I guess my butter usage is much lower as I had to throw my last away because it was past expiration date. :D

$1.49/lb is the best price I've seen in years. Also, I just put it in the freezer, and it basically keeps forever. I just pull it out as needed. Also, lol at 5lbs of butter being "so much"-- there was one time it was on sale and I bought a case (like 30lbs). Again, it lived in the freezer and got pulled out as needed.

Can there ever be too much butter?? :)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on February 12, 2018, 06:51:15 PM
Technically tonight was potatoes night, but I wasn't thinking about it, and I made rice instead. Oh well. It was pretty meh, overall, but the kids have been sick, so they weren't really hungry anyway; _I_ was hungry, and it was food....so no complaints on my part.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/QV5Q-8I3E0ilGLGQniP87bSCbdD2jqaXOc6z_3GEhrlM-Iy-96bKxQEaqTa8uXlRATeKSZhJfBuBP-wMxt27WO1jQZG1Y3Oc14Eu3dw2stPkm3kj_tzYRdRtC-zDW-oKhluDzjntxJK2B1nRHAukOTCJCPtIXbpJMeVkTCiqFwkvLaswMKtSfEfWQYPHIFsKYpngsKm7k1bNBinS5kWJGRQHNnHVukkE2j6NJuO-f9C9DnRxc-cWnKu4A6o2lnfZ-G0XGWZsMRZp_CSvyzs17Ew7pV03PoawlVyCtCFlLsAKnrVhUEJfRLzfkwpZRBRkAZpIDS8wNJkdSuOE1iMv2hlc7TOHNxXGsG2hW14CuQE67OJLTrHGT0ipi1yRX3AUyIOZsVn6AgCmjggViZwdbhsVXDs6XuMiAe1dXCllT6NoczZCKa4DSaSk1zt7waH9CaL4XJJj9K1CVxtedjLWZrcr1iJDx3Z4RtYAfEGnwEXOHJdXx39mqEJIrA8-DWh5-RLNIqH8aIucRobgoZileQ36tUr4p9IVFB8MKgwr6p2LXrEgJXu9Mx8ZvR8T0eZFvuChtKYF_g9TdgNIZzC5bdsw84synmqi5b9Lv3_1y1ckViAdYDwLfYGIJF5njQuzvrLJ-w5s4UYNJsDUbD45cigkXlGgXgqc=w1416-h796-no)

Rice: $.69
Ham: $1.50
Green beans: $1.34

Total for dinner = $3.53 plus a bit of bbq and sriracha. Yes, we're eating on paper plates, because the sewer pipe is in the middle of a remodel, so the sink is currently draining into a bucket...the fewer dishes to wash, the better.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: galliver on February 12, 2018, 09:59:44 PM
As if one needs a reason to buy butter!  (-:


Sure...but I guess my butter usage is much lower as I had to throw my last away because it was past expiration date. :D

$1.49/lb is the best price I've seen in years. Also, I just put it in the freezer, and it basically keeps forever. I just pull it out as needed. Also, lol at 5lbs of butter being "so much"-- there was one time it was on sale and I bought a case (like 30lbs). Again, it lived in the freezer and got pulled out as needed.

I also freeze stashes of butter... Never did 30 lbs though (also don't have a deep freeze/extra freezer, which many homeowning MMMers do...)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on February 13, 2018, 07:18:45 PM
Kids are still sick today, so they ate their leftovers from yesterday. SO ate leftovers from her lunch, I made myself a sandwich-- also with leftovers.

Total cost of dinner = ~$.25 for some bread, lettuce and a tomato. Pretty boring, really.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on February 14, 2018, 09:50:06 PM
I was going to make pasta tonight, but I was tired, and the kids are still sick, so we ate the last leftovers. So dinner cost nothing. The kids had the last of the lentils, I had the leftover ham and rice and green beans.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on February 16, 2018, 08:29:47 PM
Thursday I decided to splurge and eat out. Which actually comes out of a separate budget category for us, so I don't count it as part of my food/grocery spending. But for those who are keeping score differently...

We went to Costco
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/Pjd5g-xeqp_haAjKsJuKDbExyU5U0jwGboTJ84p0y6FeyexEZYrcdRxEDbKe3c17QL0FxXeUKS7I_XG_cH9SZC7pn_JgFeWx9l9FK5kfMtSMcH1zKxUsKSvAid_Mw2LfSpqYZ-Xtfw_Rt3T_s5PNlHRC5RN66hCb1KtbrtJVzCZt-Mf2yee9-cDQ1Gcok_CymBF-pCU3rck_zDXjWDQ7MILDuXpDq9dJ8gWmovtbWIiCCA9e_4XrNzD-8kwyIyg1SH3LncBe7PJAkNj8NKXPu-nwHEmbTRgD1M-uxNBG33U42QwmKo0mkQEnk7l4UlrnJrTLsKjJTHgmY4JBr4GtZlR-LPbR0jrsWCTb3aHWO0YasILnxv9yz_XFebsV8iab_Hx_cv2F_mcsGc6aU2DssI1Tmf1ZFSBIZ9155rxgMGOSVYWBrItnZFPYD08H9FeI1YEmeJORQCvLVlsjUE6Wn4Fg7kjDk0nwgBsrKesTt4yJzf3b6NlGXWhcM2KxCpwxBrZnw-opAyLE3Wr0xSvPspAJ-TmKvvjD382B1CCWj40IuIkuf5ShhzqEgVvd-F9bvvyRGWJcLBpc9qet041LJdtqanEy76yLwMgUrb3yR-04RbmIwXmvk-NZrwkvjfo-10nwIaUl3lsJEF2NvaQZYZ5h9DNGIylT=w1416-h796-no)

Three hot dogs
Two slices of pizza

Total cost = $9.18

---------------------------------------------------

Tonight I did chips and bean dip

Lettuce: ~$.25
Beans: $0 (leftovers from freezer)
Chips: $1
Avocado: $.33
Carrots: ~$.38
Corn: $.25
Tomatoes: $.25
Sour cream: ~$.10

Total dinner cost = $2.56 plus some salsa.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Chippewa on February 16, 2018, 08:57:15 PM
Costco is a great saver for when one needs a break from cooking.
tonight dinner sounds perfect for the start of a weekend.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on February 16, 2018, 09:01:15 PM
Safeway!

Stopped in because I had some downtime between jobs today, and they had good stuff on sale:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/cC3ip_Q8nb0D6yoHgQCHSeJXU8dXCw63extRXPxv2JmJTBKWUF0vwa0cwsQCHZ83PJf4PBXo7kbLEyG9RsQF2p8B26fMppq-I7vASY32nB21z6EWVhuoV-rB0FqNqIRvfPuv7mZ0jclF5e3_jaMyhHg-QLCUxpFriJEZeuSOoWuUii6f7X8EgVOltxntqzWjTGueykERhOpOqoxqHSQ0w9DO5LQdVV1hd72Un1UkGEgADRIC3CXjwFaJTXtX0nyoyAWyrKc7807HEq9kK1BUx0h5G_hqLd8XjdZn1-IzRUMZWzVW2_49m4kOOsnD7UkWOYyB3HUkaXDoxiIEpmyltCProqeEy4YByKZDxgJlOumIOZB8LgFtsIyGfVycBuaj-mg5QlIcD8gBoeNGXoHvRKXQhb9C_8sYToDufG_du3r-ikfVwVBrrsGaIq7PSUVv1uZcG_N6a-LDDmgye-9ZBq8dbGsprHbJCGy039H6kxUOtthxdx266acZbG6mx1TpuNKEKHIgbCOdIw0WaAtuoUs5IA3O5L555Uqs_rN7QQg49wxH9Lu2QyptlthGoW_zajVWnnz026NUIXGRgFbR4VS4bYndHkfRgstILQ4sMrL5ZZC8uwEFlMiGtSLFrapVAepuWw9eYNcYTBnTE_lxIm-V7t05DHLm=w1416-h796-no)

6 cans of tuna: $2.50
2 containers sour cream (24oz ea): $3
Ground beef (~6lbs): $12.28

Total receipt = $17.78. Tuna was $.50/can, plus I had a $.50-off coupon, so I basically got one can for free. Ground beef was $1.99/lb, and sour cream I used my raincheck for $1/lb. Plus, I got an instant winner monopoly ticket for a free donut or bagel; I'll likely use that to pick up a treat for SO next time I'm in Safeway.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on February 16, 2018, 09:04:25 PM
Costco is a great saver for when one needs a break from cooking.
tonight dinner sounds perfect for the start of a weekend.

I am SO glad the kids are starting to feel better-- Girlie has had an ear infection all weekend, and I finally took her to the doctor...turns out she has strep. Yay. Got her some antibiotics, and she's been feeling MUCH better. Kiddo had strep too (of course) so he's also on antibiotics. Now if I can only manage to not get it or at least only be mildly symptomatic, that would be fantastic. *crosses fingers*
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on February 17, 2018, 08:24:58 PM
Tacos/burritos tonight.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/8VGTPILMe3BF-nhuXof95GdRWZEo_eVJiJ3CwxMwzQslcnJOgLFwcwKnLmJ_958OEQjLnR0n52ICA3h1HS7BNzTxk3XglF93IP6eOBiEUuai7bxHm_aJHMQGO1O_jV5xxBNmYKyY25PnkDn-9yUl7obwThzLP7lbnkkDhK6RQWX-4mhGKMk0uf_-avPVg6SqgA6vpwC2BGIdXQbcZKNcFPPIhmN74z6jVyetkCU5YhjpnKmgdstDJV95C6HXCcxQWRTeWZYa2SO8dAatevQkYGqDNUZ4KI9uqSOgDVHIx2XbYBxJfBZ1u4Zjnlx7QYzbuxLOB-aSJOpu9odWdn63eJGEJ9gPbjuIE2UdB1yUpT2UH8At9a3uyYnkwgMlXfGnAcxxCmDyN9z_fY5aPycKhbAh9cSU93vxyMv9rPoe8cPOP_Kourl1uOy_h6RUBkKQykKTkyAOQ4SNTjaCbr4Ga6m7LvzVU3vPu-8pQ6_NQWGr0Lx6SevHl_TD_MgrWBm_WFQh1b4JonjrA7gmufzbKS97jaiQrekntaiAWnp0lIgckUNr810zmYz5by2HKUAafjNJfBqYjYbJOWRx6HZNFaz0KI2VI_vrTESqFxd99xfA6c3z6vgrC0MKxzpx73ApC4m6vqYiIaReLaZDHoyhhc9L1xpsKggN=w794-h447-no)

Or, in another construction...
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/wwxVifFpiGHG55q35XHw--Pa0LM9U63znhsbFR0tQe8eCCLFURse0M0H3Uay3wpoIgB1SrP_DnMB9ZNXnKRAHJ90PlHsHmQdWe2wMP5NCvIb2EmHZ6-2cj9J1b3Ipaq-gqRxBpkhFlOFDOkqbIePdRwCu14gj9gaMbo73jl7Hd2FFkzYYISAi4Mlb8nBycyPFIP2vQL_hR4_T9RqHlUiScIkNe1XCLwTy8D9OcbGxMXh5nF2P2crJXpYjkeMV1NvLrVEPeSwZbw6RVmV-RThed96HpOOLqgOkcZnuVzdc0AyddvzFlthBL-MXfx-AU1b_za5aX5QKUTucd5s8IgUnE74_KCHTFUZqbX-oek52RNoFgu5xn3wwkB2ir90uLTHmDSQB0fYsox-oH3l16gnZe9Q_NG0twvkuvsIuwgPGFqh3GHD1HR_s5HL3bI1lLhIovL2mWSvTsdi8ApcSk4EaIvmhUrEYO28ahm1mDwpYwQEDT0Qj-lMCrepn9J-kZuK-oIeYoLpO3TgM5mIKEdhMtZrdG2wwpzC4yhrkYY3wvN0bhuEi-u_lWc8HWzLvN3tUC6ssVKRtQYHHpTvPihhhs1gkFxD8icIoXcaT2trz8gAgP6rEW0mMDfN4KQYFgUUNCLiK8TratZr4ekCh8oatP5P837ZtJSy=w444-h788-no)

Onions: $0
Garlic: $.10
Celery: ~$.15
Ground Beef (~12oz): $1.50
Beans: $0 (leftover)
Tortillas: $.75
Cheese: $.99
Tomatoes: $.25
Red pepper: $.50
Lettuce: $.10

Total cost for dinner = $4.34 plus a bit of sour cream and salsa.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: CutTheFat on February 17, 2018, 08:55:53 PM
I just had to re-new my Costco membership.  Do most of you catagorize this under food or membership?  I'm torn!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Goldielocks on February 17, 2018, 10:09:12 PM
I just had to re-new my Costco membership.  Do most of you catagorize this under food or membership?  I'm torn!

Bank fees.   

So I could be severely annoyed every time that I saw it.   (I no longer have a membership BTW)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on February 18, 2018, 06:32:59 AM
I just had to re-new my Costco membership.  Do most of you categorize this under food or membership?  I'm torn!

For me, I'm a guest card on someone else's membership, so I don't have a membership fee to worry about categorizing. If I did have to, I think I'd look at what constitutes the bulk of our Costco spending, and categorize it with that-- so it might be food, it might be gasoline, or it might be household supplies. Back when I was delivering pizza, the savings in gasoline alone would pay for the membership fee, so I might have put it in that category; now, it'd probably go in food or household supplies...or I might decide that it's not worth it to be a member, and ditch Costco altogether.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on February 18, 2018, 08:18:37 PM
This whole week has been insanely busy. So I just pulled a package of leftover jambalaya out of the freezer for dinner.

Dinner cost = $0.

Finally got my sink drain re-plumbed, so the dishwasher isn't clogging up the kitchen anymore. Yay!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: MaybeBabyMustache on February 19, 2018, 08:22:38 AM
I just had to re-new my Costco membership.  Do most of you catagorize this under food or membership?  I'm torn!

I categorize it under groceries. It either saves enough that it offsets our grocery spending in the long run, or we shouldn't have it. We have an executive membership, and get a rebate that's more than the cost of our membership. I use that rebate towards groceries, so offsets what I'm booking for the membership
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on February 19, 2018, 07:52:52 PM
Costco trip today.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/95gUL1lGtE-c6gUMDY_puc3qBK7oZc_qFfelInv3a1oKfShHrPwQrqbMoyCNZx-n_HUu4QWP9Xmkg0N5XutfAzJM1jgFCOPwDFoxv8eXg9Sl9FZiGucmv3j-TZhDUVLYI4O86ysrJqDnmeAF77Y-rViVXtSShjadKM_p845c_BHxuNGm65YxZ7tVijqE1ESytqaeNmuw7R_zVfHag6DxnIR6ucoRgTCUwtM0VDuGzpsRlA70XTRAklnbzwWPyYu7AD0-4GK-DTW-yYZksOymjx47uq2nPH27p0Ph1y8sqisbPqDxSQ068ljbz22nhR83Zunqt_TmoUf3Rxp5uxMANnORI8o00p1MFubwqZEq0iwl_WrSVlMXUn3wm-DB9AIXUODPoKg48dD0EXwuCkuDE8KAcyEyNAIyIkte7c2C3K8n9QAPYcv9HssMhJhf4P1xoJxsj-gXcClrsarTFTmW28ugOV7VxSxqlwBrAq0-lywfXzuvIBk5pCTEAkyTLBLt0lDrOUw-aTOcAF7z0NPR1_2CfYeP1UGqMYaJFD9oBcQEUuIdUNMO8b77-bGHVhQiikF9--3sK-5XQLleZ4lP9SER2XgZHYJeggB6ue3IHxKnKtl8Mih0YMNYEKwxeCY7CnhPp6-uAHXBSSsFuaC20yPzERlKK5Hx=w794-h447-no)

Brown sugar: $15.49
Salt: $5.58
Bananas: $2.78
Rotisserie chicken: $5.40
Dinner rolls: $4.99
Pretzels: $6.55

Total receipt = $40.79. The pretzels are for SO to pack with her to school-- I'm conflicted as to whether I should classify this as a food expense or a school expense, but I'd be lying if I said they weren't food....so...

Also. This week has been insane, what with remodeling and the kitchen being half-torn apart all week, so the chicken and rolls made for an easy dinner:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/YC4WMIuHO6yQV40Z0MwbBQsbo7SV7xkh8cga7wz4Y7hu641S6kiwsIVs6V8cJoBqlJFVAkXYgOsyJBzD5YrKftog6hbmbt7t4ysNnj8MzJqxzR3iBcv5Gl5cH48iJ7CHJ2w1B57SSNsAyNh4ecfAq2CQKTMkw79h6kS2I_WMjfWVUSpRDp2kK7mngF5GVTDiGe6t0OEgruUdhNEu0IvSB6v0rziDCsNYHx2aWXFL1rNJbZoF1PIDsP0vfMaOD5D-Inj8PjzxgBk3Q7OcW9OPeZ1RZ4GA4geTm8nPipu7WxWU05-q4GB8TuwdFU0nJdZk3al1ZC29qz_lanzbBTRRm0L9fKAow-6dV6GlT_5O6ANZ1cp1u8GAxJS6SVE6ti_ZwR0Gv87vEKFKhXYBwW_Jc-oo4uHglYrTcMJZpgZNxiL4SvolsNY1JAAHxQPvbZHf2K1DBYkU6cT6mF1NGRHUFcMMYovCB-QNOWtf4Otmvf8IJrv-lAIk6JICUbPxLmTfFwb0yS0CJBELs1-tXbfuddtfxec90-ezHV-ox4-q3gDOioZRUPv2ul5BWNe4NOJsT3yXidq33QgmVzO03M3_yZpb7cjlS0S8IvWDUSsYSfjQ1EdYuP4UULw7ZmqC7Kn5dOI_ZBzH4Q4HEE3k7bzKSb2hmQv7Uwul=w794-h447-no)

Chicken: $5.40
Rolls: $4.99
Carrots: $.38
Red pepper: $.33
Tomatoes: $.25

Total dinner cost = $11.35 plus a bit of mayo and sriracha. We ate just shy of half of the chicken, and maybe 1/4 of the bag of rolls, so there are plenty of leftovers.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on February 20, 2018, 08:16:39 PM
Rice night. I did Taco Rice for dinner. No pics tonight, sorry.

Ground beef: $1.50
Celery: $.20
Onion: $.25
Garlic: $.10
Red pepper: $0 (leftover)
Lettuce: $.20
Rice: $.69
Tomatoes: $.25

Total dinner cost = $3.19.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on February 20, 2018, 08:58:14 PM
Groceries!

King Soopers:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/cP8dBvikoKNq_auEd91sPZ9W0LrnN1JZ1hTchIw39k4gcFuh-sIoHs2L8iI4OlrJlZ3Sj2Qzy8eF-Y8XQ5VPhK9YcrzLSxAQo3IqhUfkWLcmaArs5twnijJG8tTGyENvpUksYOZ9jid-sjQ6CN8KhYr4FlG1QrufLbmy4tffH72l8j5uHnfQOWs4iroQx7d4J-VBaglJZfCMJXM5dGWrYSjQkeRu4UaEQGnuJvsZNnk6ojS8pMobkB-bxbRWnFnUEafwZ1bFBSa9kU8gfaV1ahU2y4mDxZarbs_ekctYMZ7fW20uBahFaHleT6m2QVQiewKxSGY5xmgvr8VNlA6uyGsD3dCjuznftnAvfVafcKuIjQgeV64x_g9O2ZaZtwWpuNCIJ8aKJ2ZZqwgQm66dTcJW7hcwGRISEAv5hl5ADntDVBRCgMq2bg1MfVkQjRmIWKBAS4QgNM3kWPJbOKIhhERt6Q_iTwg0dcNRnLNOhc5HgIM71JrlsXh8DqfcWV1bE1LNpolJeufuEcnWgM-2YMcUSKN5LFTDZ5fMd1GViHrJ_Bdpdlb77LYOJb2XX0R48Zir4W0rwXFKCUdJ7J602g2LhFQPUGAqRpD6Ddnht5jaNOKS2p3p1SN7qKuzYAQf-HAOBMEvwklNvWcM9lR7lHWvfhDl0DBO=w1416-h796-no)

Apples (~2lb): $.99
Tortillas: $4.99
Peanut butter: $4.95
Tuna: $2.50
Hershey's bar: $0 (free friday)

Total receipt = $13.43. Somehow, I got overcharged for the tortillas, and didn't notice until just now. :( Now I have to make sure to make another stop next time I'm in King Soopers to verify the item price (shelf tag said $1.99-- which is why I bought them) and get a refund from customer service. Bleah.

---------------------------------------------------------

Sprouts:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-jIpxuSG9rdAIgNgHIbh31zM9MsueoGM9qoQPICgaTdUs5zlqICBsruvbcsCxkPmJCbjyjPIHNxDl6l6I00ckmMEux4SdLc8Rtxv0C2QfaJGFLntzUaDqWNrkM5kLP6m3cV6nAqCEH6IZclKyqYHlZB0s2Rk5Afd4F_ShbYcSHGva7yDZA-NQA2xrsy7EWWKg4plwQ4rpBxJ7GI9KJrEE00jtwhSieuf919LgboOQukiuSB_Q9Ev8qd6mPHGusuFSxDEQzwkIxcUDh52602IAZHX4F59HOB42iY5P1B1KqKymBrMErG9Y2SzmdfAd7tNGK0nE63spWLN19Tlo3_QYZfjvAcvHPfRStw2zLSXU_mRcWTwH8EyQGFD-v3MNf7ygQhF0jqG2u-hLshGtYpGW7eAj8J5O6dP1sZJ5zgq6pOjRA8C4XcxGU_TGdET0xiIxiY816_ik5Uclu4J2PVu62d2g-ZYt3jBXn-y5JJgyudUZ0kBYjo5t7fZ19gFJyh8ngCQdfdc_odCy1H32g3000y5B7wVDATMhVzV48sbzQeWomRz7quujYxPRNmV0fITCIfSowa9L7GGyfeqXLKPtw8xpmOWAv6X0pWjRWLmB-0ewO3NR2qCzwVlZ-JGG3f7zetN7OTt4vHuiAdYdADC5CRFoZEmcfrE=w1416-h796-no)

1.9lb Asparagus: $1.86
8.5lb Oranges: $4.23
Celery: $.98
Green peppers: $1.00
Lettuce: $1.29
1.25lb Tomatoes: $1.12
5lb Onions: $2.51

Total receipt = $12.99. I was really happy to find asparagus on sale-- it will be a welcome variety to the normal vegetable routine.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: eliza on February 21, 2018, 02:26:41 PM
Asparagus is the best (roasted in olive oil...mmmmm) --- it's on sale here for $1.99/lb and I thought that was a good deal.  I'm jealous of your produce prices --- wish we had a Sprouts here!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: CutTheFat on February 21, 2018, 06:46:07 PM
I agree, those are some great prices!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on February 21, 2018, 09:23:51 PM
Tonight I served up the last half of the chicken and rolls for dinner. Finally, the children seemed actually hungry. That means they're not sick anymore, I think.

This is Girlie's plate:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/F7RyrUF0a2M2d3MMRf7ch6r9Ka8TyIR-S5v5SRt1FPI-oQut09SeWW0zsJJkbPe6VgdiPDaKWlb-BJdjAQTN0nCiSmkNXqesCIouZT8xR_2tZwSaaF2HDw1xXm5i6V5oshc3RsPXjEkC720vtc38DEyFOKLCE2yHqcLPWgokCJS7BpGl0ZFlUyFEe8AXUa-xUjn60sXdUsyQT2xZjcbWMDJqEpHaHlbAnfHMKK6ME_4ESJhV37QgDB2znfzKZK_N3BunUs84kyHEyuqQ9LhkxwxA4g92hPzCwecOxCSsMqDo5nOISUwK49qiCBndKh33wTSlOg4cyko1wFJrGP-kDemwydcvhb8YPb7HEVt8AeTN-2t7SdjGYeVaSDBhem70_Dv0XFvQSBlelzJaztJD8QsCbWGNv4nrjPfwKJPd8fXZPxa6EUGZXb9FldnoRHomgh6XllCZyaT3JCQ7mn0wB5tHRMJxm1sXo0tdbNNe8iajT5PiBGlBIYxJx4ofb_90PQcpgldkFhdLEhrYz1d9meZ_xt-u0duVlcKdkQ8EHSxM5OrWj4ENa_6qJS2mz5LaLovOjTTB8uyZee-mdwoWddt29StTTQNNxYdt0eQd_xWeaEA4xuLJ_hZv7b9L4dYxfHGKHmBxuUqXiuvxXLl-YaP-nfLFiC6n=w1416-h796-no)

Chicken: $0 (leftover)
Rolls: $0 (leftover)
Lettuce: ~$.20
Tomatoes: $.44
Onion: $.40
Pickles: $.60
Cucumber: $.50

Total dinner cost = $1.14 plus a bit of mayo and mustard.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: couponvan on February 23, 2018, 11:54:36 AM
PTF. I love inspiration for grocery shopping.  Sadly my family would mutiny with the 2 oz. meat per person and my DH is anti carbs as he's losing weight. 
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on February 23, 2018, 09:19:49 PM
Thursday dinner: jambalaya from the freezer, with asparagus on the side

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/xKK4cJcwPE0ZEpvG6ngEQLnKz2acgLP9f2lp7SK9uWp1NdgHRPIufonfZ1XvXlI5-hTQ44vY79bfpQwwyDKdw_XpYEs_TW9zK0LzTjOMl3QrdGoua6n0YKj2_v6YbnEc4vAqa3sAmZze38dInU1R42SfQcqzDc5WPZ693ftoQkJz16rv0FHwghOW26oC6ezKZBvfMEahpE-tKCoOkk9fTpOBwjLrIkMS4RWJXFaTnR0Tl6rraeGuPZ595AZAHhmDovmECuagbgmbqcNdhBI6rOzrUssvPFc3GN0fhLV4jZLb47DRGjDKt7mAFnClX0hA9RWRc5EzoTuyjJsSPtxTQpEaKVhjnsMPJpcAA_XByhn_62X65SC4zcaWijHGEK6geQ34y_04mD8x486lsDOzrU9KOCwzAlr5_2prjMnYcz6h88H-M-ufFbi8vyCXqF3le-InB4VDq3DXRQGrxdB2DKIuATqLxfNdu71FLnuAOsxqZXxY_ubDjibopOXbKjiN0cuXH8q0ysRMhiseKeuwUQQ2Za3ZQI4ZCGIRYXGLKwWkVyTkMuK5n6mDyqnguVbU_LxRrheX1yuhzumzZL2cLWcNF2-NcBq_23ds0bnWv8GogjmG1vpkkKusHHkVMtLxFBFRhFdMoUJ9k0gJop6k3PUTub9dDiUX=w1416-h796-no)

Jambalaya: $0
Asparagus: $.93

Total dinner cost = $0.93

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tonight's dinner: pasta, finally. Lol!
Sausage: $1.00
Garlic: $.10
Tomato sauce: $.75
Asparagus: $.93
Pasta: ~$.90

Total dinner cost = $3.68
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on February 23, 2018, 09:25:08 PM
Stopped at the discount store for bread yesterday, as well:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/Gz9BZIKa04ipbRfkB4iH0MYP7zm_HEW34josPPk_65h8nSHzMl0_fe4JcTaTCl747qiqmXc4PlFTBHgvCbx7Mye18udSKOEm-a4kyBjuO4BEawRPlkepg_sXNNWQRyQCLQVPZygJqcxmJgJVcxkDLrMumHF45x4dDbjam0JNbe-sxAB04171ezZh_wkMm4l9bGRTI9j3iROyh50TsKVXpV6XaQPSzs7s3TtcMCzDGCn-rZyJu2cc7xjYMnBMlchO_YG1ZUpdkw-ujBoRkRVh9hnJw9_ADMqvmzO3EgtWfmHykdxXxdsb2rjPuBia1LiZr0JldcbGWczcD2H2eyWuSjXmb0vyv_MVLV8-kjoz3CfCvqPGhlFE-zBNOKxZdKVFTfyyMWInrgnw2Pql6ZjjrarunK4lcgKRwZsG1qP17sX1brrYudrU6vIg2ASv79Cl-qzXnlOssraI39HRyEdeVGA_PQyscnQlDPh6eI6LX3Zli9N_Xmg_Q2BHc7ctWkplUtxX0WSwev_hXSCImRJb4RR24iz4qP46xMP5BzkEdwdrZNccTni0MG3LoK6X41rYaeAOTDgN6aEIJocSMacuk7tjOC6YE97laqPqYEQE9df3fl1UMkIwuYi8oTDAYT3UsRB8wfFoxaACHvlq2sq4xeiNkc89KQQd=w1416-h796-no)

2 loaves: $1.98
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: mm1970 on February 24, 2018, 02:10:43 PM
I agree, those are some great prices!
This week's deals at sprouts are amazing!!  I went nuts.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on February 24, 2018, 09:06:32 PM
Did a late grocery errand after work today. King Soopers had some great coupons for cereal. Not quite as good as their misprint ad deal, but still pretty good. I <3 breakfast cereal, so...

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/D6OTbfFLAlB7UTDfJO2K6e6ICCbo3J2CDxDr4GEvH_PodYsTBsWe1U0iAlkoWBxM2gDvil_hHxwq69BUiR_apB6WN0FgkqCaBR6s974mKzDYjlEDUAMb5wBcsrmniYb3bjxD5VHBCSPJ9vC3l8SaDH0AGxJHddppe-tyUnQ4RmGaS_oXd08cJrBZlDItDVbKfZtC9oLYyYNdkLJ_kGzVlJtG17hmcf0BWLeEFM5T10QGDCpKNPXy8wjd5iTxVLgV9wiofPrDKu6rWsvU-Gz8tiOtzDJ6wJ7SvwtK7Cwp-2V0s6kp1VMi4Waa2bvGv9qLk5V99Nx1iDnkbOPBrQtNHzLBULte98CRsQ0bsH8QuH1w11THeLwPGLtwFoZMjn-tFUGnP61TgUDqyImh0RGoes8BpDkdUG4LNJ4dEgRZQUlehghSPppEmQ4b4HBWl7lkZSAjiDdCYDe7GpQ5ROvuUiHgLbKx3q5rbrQX-rPFiQ_hnQ1sdI3IqTGa9koKkUwJZe71X4bNZ1PXudBSmCwCkEQjOGoghFxmZz4Nvb9Bek0c4fbl01MPdyb5j1nr_n5sFUXhf9gtZd_KY_KOSCRt0y9GciFTRNZ7kMkrbUlkU_hajkBjXClflDWHES5Gp-y8n1Q4BE6FZHs3FJ7Rckhs9bRwqnUoVzMa=w1416-h796-no)

Milk: $1.99
Cereal: $7.42 ($.99/box for the store brand, and $.89/box for the Kellogg's)

Total receipt = $9.41
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on February 24, 2018, 09:08:13 PM
I agree, those are some great prices!
This week's deals at sprouts are amazing!!  I went nuts.

Sometimes I have to restrain myself from buying ALL the good sales, because I absolutely hate buying beautiful produce and having it wither in the fridge waiting to get used (or having it go bad, that's even worse).
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on February 24, 2018, 09:24:58 PM
Sandwiches for dinner.

Bread: $.80
Pork: $.50
Chicken: $0 (leftover)
Avocado: $.33
Tomato: $.22
Red pepper: $.50
Green pepper: $.50
Onion: $0 (leftover)
Pickles: $.60
Lettuce: ~$.25
Cheese: $.50

Total cost for dinner = $3.70 plus some mayo, mustard, and sriracha. The pork was about 1/2lb shoulder roast that I had in the freezer, and the chicken was the last of the rotisserie chicken from Costco (I think we got 2.5 meals out of it! Plus, I'm going to turn the bones and things into broth, which will add some extra flavour and nutrition to some rice/beans coming up).
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: JLR on February 24, 2018, 11:20:10 PM
Posting to follow. I really need to get our grocery bill down. I budget $AU300 per fortnight (two weeks) on food and those things you buy at the supermarket (eg. soap, etc), but struggle to stay under (two adults, two teens, one tween). I can manage if I'm disciplined, but I seem to lack the discipline to do it week in, week out.

I was reading about your cheap apples on the first page. I was so excited to see apples here for 99c/kg the other day. I haven't seen them that price in about 14 years.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on February 25, 2018, 07:34:10 AM
Posting to follow. I really need to get our grocery bill down. I budget $AU300 per fortnight (two weeks) on food and those things you buy at the supermarket (eg. soap, etc), but struggle to stay under (two adults, two teens, one tween). I can manage if I'm disciplined, but I seem to lack the discipline to do it week in, week out.

I was reading about your cheap apples on the first page. I was so excited to see apples here for 99c/kg the other day. I haven't seen them that price in about 14 years.

99/kg is an amazing price for apples! Usually here in the States they are $2.20/kg (.99/lb) on sale, so when they're on sale like yours I buy enough for a week or two.

Also, $AU600/month is not bad at all for feeding FIVE adult-size appetites, especially since it also includes your household goods. That's equivalent to ~$US470/mo. A bit more spendy than me, but I'm not going to scoff at someone who's feeding 2.5 teenagers on a budget that many here can only dream of achieving. Good job!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on February 25, 2018, 08:46:28 PM
Did some errands today:

Sprouts:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/zs_hX3dw8dhGCWwKCHQm4oHb10wqYLIav8in_rcvBrIQroyRikppMMqBpjmasPqNB35GoaNM79-xWz9pNOk0KXRz5oDowNeafmrx9n5hgWPsWph6FHNvDDi_GojLJDmEsxrR4IKhqJKTCn9LLxnlGFAqNAkCXC2wWeCAin67s-1BQOuUWVPZ9fqHnlwN2PM_1-WlZ8bj3hGxCjs3ZdhqC5XOFFxXf1-eE4R81bEK0w25LhbCqhX-mqL1Kok5-7qUnrg0xujy9YG2Hf4lZf5r6PMyZQRdTGJudt4l9BPFaipDsquv7FvR1HXrAMnitGyggcneknFhd-YKlpawl__IH7TTOKr-CTRMhN26Gm99qunh93mGyklln329DT6NvzpHfhpuXXSfZkgOfmHiZQ8pGutYqEKnsOBcl-Ro324KDNi6dldsVZ26MrymqctBH4ql7n-rT8_NVLU18HPfcMk3pXyNzayw0yNUVv2HyKea8-cNKT7qLYHjruNHmRYA337ZIgyVZAAeiaMYPvajaAzq_fSfvRFY7j8M_Jy3Y5rPDiXYWJ4b904hlgvNch-ckdIrRS-8NI3A3b5lL-bZlQir8qblEJ6vD72G1jBx4sl-wi-_kpd9Znq6AhsmQtzM7eAAS_7-xtkcEeXqxMp1GjbBVPqhpcaRksUg=w1416-h796-no)

Pork shoulder (12.5lb): $12.38
Green pepper: $1.00
Asparagus (~2lb): $2.01
Lettuce: $.50
Red pepper: $2.00
Celery: $.98
Cucumbers: $1.50
Strawberries (2lb): $1.96

Total receipt = $22.33. Strawberries were $.98/lb! And asparagus was on sale again! And pork shoulder was $.99/lb! And lettuce was 2/$1! So many good sales!

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Walmart:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/MEiexB2idszaxstt3D35KxP3Mz09KIYoJnQF6quFPhBJuVt7mHO4B67-mkJfO_wE6BRFxSBzax6foL9laE-sid1FDZCMDawpGk2gd1nt4VvnGKa2E4jjc7YLgiTAS-KgUvdUZdw95LyomH9Ug4Iut1y4skdxkjQ7QcGbIwvHUHL6WxQ63_6-U6NBO3LO6hlgGfI4DTxy5kYYMGGip2gSxNe_1dWgYIFk_dzjGizm1jcdl402rsZ8NO8xQzqyzyiIgWZARflwaoGiv_w0UCtrbLGDyJm5d-FXDK-i5HoPFypJF51ee1rwnnTps8qmwR3px7rjIKGR2zj_qaF0RvXcpvakKhOx5eU6nWW-IhV7ppxv0vMBlPX6UkBFs6hWncZMKpmGtMjiKGbYorlxynm1B89ecf9QdqJfRbSMXiXGfpMuBjBU8BbUdoEp51FpbDXoReMP7aqXV94ffwlR42znBcA3-i2Mz_WJEQnTTLjcmd1fhB2PZF3QO37WoebjubI5AxHDmCfMlU1q0w9RRGiSVL0imc-03pHcYxuIgIGMzgn17ZdUAJ8hSNGPgf4xPunoAGU_tLBKd8m2u3ZVrVBSLL5mlayMCUB83BzniJzatzSwhEurvermp9q2YCGkoYZauO5oiGgGVB8WwCwUMmaVIuxokRUHMBR8=w448-h796-no)

Corn tortillas: $2.28

Total receipt = $2.28.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on February 25, 2018, 09:35:32 PM
We ate all the leftovers during the week, so I had to make something tonight. I made jambalaya again, that way I could put some up in the freezer-- it worked REALLY well to pull out and reheat, so I wanted to make sure I had some more on hand.

Also, I used up the last of my rice! AHH! Panic! But seriously. I'm thinking about taking my 5-gallon bucket to Sprouts next time it's on sale and just having them fill it up with rice. I hate running out of staples.

1 med-large onion: $0 (leftover)
1oz minced garlic: $.10
4 large stalks celery: ~$.20
1 green pepper: $.50
1 red pepper: $.50
1lb Italian sausage: $1.99
8oz tomato sauce: $.25
Chicken broth (~2 cups to go with tomato sauce, plus ~3.25 cups to cook the rice):
~1lb brown rice: $.79

~8oz strawberries for dessert: $.50

Total cost for dinner + a freezer meal's worth of leftovers = $4.83. Also, it was delicious. Omnomnom.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Mtngrl on February 26, 2018, 07:27:06 AM
I hear you on the 5 gallons of rice. I tend to keep big stocks of items I use a lot -- buy when the price is low. We are staying with my in-laws right now (FIL in hospital) and I'm doing most of the cooking. My MIL has always shopped every couple of days, just buying what she needs for meals -- and thus, has very little in her cabinets. It's driving me nuts because I'm used to looking in the pantry and freezer and basing meals on what's available. This seems so much more expensive.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: mm1970 on February 26, 2018, 10:42:14 AM
I agree, those are some great prices!
This week's deals at sprouts are amazing!!  I went nuts.

Sometimes I have to restrain myself from buying ALL the good sales, because I absolutely hate buying beautiful produce and having it wither in the fridge waiting to get used (or having it go bad, that's even worse).
We eat a lot of produce.  I could never hit your $200 budget simply because of that.  But on good Sprouts sales weeks, it just means I eat even MORE produce. 

So, 3 lb instead of 2!

A cup of fruit for breakfast, a cup for a snack, a very large salad for lunch (3-4 cups of veg), some cooked veg as a snack (brussels!!), and then another cup for dinner.  At least.  Dinner tonight is this yummy lentil carrot soup with veggies plus leftover sweet & sour cabbage and kale chips.

I think I have a veg problem.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Goldielocks on February 26, 2018, 12:55:10 PM
Okay,  I am quite happy to have gotten our food budget down to $540/mo last month...  It still sounds quite high.. but..

Qualifiers

    For 4, essentially all adults, two are heavy eaters and third is extremely large eater - active teenage boy, who is hard to cook enough food for, and goes to pre-packaged anything as first choice instead of leftovers.   So, let's just say 2x the people as OP.

      We have been eating through the freezer / canning jars for fruit and vegetables (beets, carrots, squash, roasted peppers, canned fruits), and onions / potatoes, fresh apples and bananas, one head of lettuce. 

    DH and I ate out 4 meals this past month (went away for birthday).  (26 days of food, not 30)

   That's  Cdn (1.25x exchange) and 15% price markup across the border..

So...   $540 x half (number of mouths) / 1.25 (exchange rate) / 1.15 (geographic markup) x 30/26 (days of food) = US$216 for the month.

WOW!   Did i get to the magic number?!



Honestly, we have not eaten as much yogurt and fruits and vegetables as we normally would with our dinners, (It is very $$$$ last month)... There has been ramen for lunch some days for the teenagers, and egg-only dinners, waffles (without any fruit or veg).   We had ground beef only 2x (from freezer supply and waiting for sale to get it at $3/lb)...  It's been a lot of roast chicken or pork with a side of home-canned applesauce and few pieces of beets, maybe with potatoes or rice.  Pasta with tomato sauce and dried beans...   I also did not buy many drink cans for DS to take to school, or luncheon meats so he has been pushing for more than just lunches with water, banana and pb sandwiches.   We maintained our cold cereal habit, though.   

I don't think this is sustainable, for us, but in the mid summer, the fruits and veg come down in price so I could repeat for about 3 months around then... of course, family starts to want hotdogs and hamburgers in the summer, which I do find to be a pricier meal.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on February 26, 2018, 06:38:37 PM
Okay,  I am quite happy to have gotten our food budget down to $540/mo last month...  It still sounds quite high.. but..

Qualifiers

    For 4, essentially all adults, two are heavy eaters and third is extremely large eater - active teenage boy, who is hard to cook enough food for, and goes to pre-packaged anything as first choice instead of leftovers.   So, let's just say 2x the people as OP.

      We have been eating through the freezer / canning jars for fruit and vegetables (beets, carrots, squash, roasted peppers, canned fruits), and onions / potatoes, fresh apples and bananas, one head of lettuce. 

    DH and I ate out 4 meals this past month (went away for birthday).  (26 days of food, not 30)

   That's  Cdn (1.25x exchange) and 15% price markup across the border..

So...   $540 x half (number of mouths) / 1.25 (exchange rate) / 1.15 (geographic markup) x 30/26 (days of food) = US$216 for the month.

WOW!   Did i get to the magic number?!



Honestly, we have not eaten as much yogurt and fruits and vegetables as we normally would with our dinners, (It is very $$$$ last month)... There has been ramen for lunch some days for the teenagers, and egg-only dinners, waffles (without any fruit or veg).   We had ground beef only 2x (from freezer supply and waiting for sale to get it at $3/lb)...  It's been a lot of roast chicken or pork with a side of home-canned applesauce and few pieces of beets, maybe with potatoes or rice.  Pasta with tomato sauce and dried beans...   I also did not buy many drink cans for DS to take to school, or luncheon meats so he has been pushing for more than just lunches with water, banana and pb sandwiches.   We maintained our cold cereal habit, though.   

I don't think this is sustainable, for us, but in the mid summer, the fruits and veg come down in price so I could repeat for about 3 months around then... of course, family starts to want hotdogs and hamburgers in the summer, which I do find to be a pricier meal.

$540 Canadian for four adult heavy eaters is not bad at all. Good work!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: the_fixer on February 26, 2018, 07:15:36 PM
Love this thread and even better since you are in Colorado as it really drives home how bad my wife and I are at spending on food. I am too embarrassed to say what we spent in a month :(

Looks like we have similar cooking styles, simple prep, limit the amount of dirty dishes and ingredients that can be reused for multiple dishes throughout the week.

Tonight's dinner
Chicken fajitas
Brown rice cooked over the weekend

Leftovers going into burritos for lunch.

Looking forward to following your thread, I really need to watch for sales especially for meat and consider buying bulk rice / beans.

Couple of tips that I can share to pay you back for the kick in the butt to look at our food spending.

King Soopers in the meat department has herbs, butter and seasonings they will give you if you are purchasing meat. I get the Fajita seasoning they gave me a big plastic bag and also go for the fresh sage and rosemary.

Give baked potatoes a try as a base for your meal, for example we make Mexican potatoes and similar items once a week. You can bake the potatoes days in advance then throw some taco seasoned ground beef, salsa and whatever other thing you would put on a taco.

Works with all kinds of things like chunks of chicken, some broccoli and cheddar cheese.(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180227/0124e9c12912d9515afd56f6afc04ab6.jpg)(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180227/d4e833098a361ecceb034fd7c9a530c4.jpg)

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on February 26, 2018, 08:13:15 PM
Tonight was Potato Night. The kids wanted fries, but I didn't think I had quite enough in my potato bag to make a whole pan of fries, so I made "smashed" potatoes instead. Topped them with beef and onions/garlic, and asparagus on the side. The ground beef/onion mix, I just seasoned with salt/garlic/paprika. The kids had BBQ sauce on their potatoes (whatever floats their boat, lol. I won't complain-- BBQ sauce is cheap).

[Pictured are Kiddo's and my plates]
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/Of3bNVv7nQAw7XdImxjkAiZJJ6iEbB8jEdNxLI4o3WAWPyDpC7BknZ9sQMxZ0RDQa7ChpeCX0t1y4-kgQI1jiFrhvuTZhuNgduO5hUVe3yXVmAwAtYN0Z3APDiPR4wZiFAz2mk_KginttY7dgUKLyo9-1pvKOI8pLoKs0UeKR77jR-BLQVAf7D9nfjUkuHd72XaRtZT7yAwnD5ugA6slwFysypSh7C-SFpeyZLchXCzVNUi8gDvkrvNZocqwBTR0J78r-f2lzkjcX88oo05OfPQBVUf2fMPRYNJlgT9Nksi9EBb1Qt4HY36ZCT0TKIb5EgK1myujhGtSQRj7B-FfhlTek4eT_s92VtLA847gXMX_c7oW1fAIoqxpH2UUsshxtpTOUzylIzAu0Onjp_1O3RbyzPD1zXzOZM8pti8K5V6t27oXzhNo6C9r1gOqRcZrHjzp1IBfO76sWfC9pwzNXvX4-NN2lVw4LW3R0I_fyjM-xk-EBuj8W7m7anUbQJdbbkwDZJblTaj_991kn58BHB6r8QyKOm7G67-_P5tOQkcfBeuGF4tkFdhDC0wgLpd4bFgbaqiCyeYuNtVUJEnEcnza9mr2d8prO7QDPE_0HCWDrG-zJYtZ4f7UAx_pCC91g5ugJh7eM3EG-poi5ByPxYiRVrVwC1iO=w1416-h796-no)

Ground beef: $1.50
Onion: $.40
Garlic: $.10
Potatoes: ~$.60
Asparagus: ~$1.00
Sour cream: ~$.10

Total cost for dinner = $3.70 plus a bit of BBQ sauce.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on February 27, 2018, 06:57:46 AM
Love this thread and even better since you are in Colorado as it really drives home how bad my wife and I are at spending on food. I am too embarrassed to say what we spent in a month :(

Looks like we have similar cooking styles, simple prep, limit the amount of dirty dishes and ingredients that can be reused for multiple dishes throughout the week.

Tonight's dinner
Chicken fajitas
Brown rice cooked over the weekend

Leftovers going into burritos for lunch.

Looking forward to following your thread, I really need to watch for sales especially for meat and consider buying bulk rice / beans.

Couple of tips that I can share to pay you back for the kick in the butt to look at our food spending.

King Soopers in the meat department has herbs, butter and seasonings they will give you if you are purchasing meat. I get the Fajita seasoning they gave me a big plastic bag and also go for the fresh sage and rosemary.

Give baked potatoes a try as a base for your meal, for example we make Mexican potatoes and similar items once a week. You can bake the potatoes days in advance then throw some taco seasoned ground beef, salsa and whatever other thing you would put on a taco.

Works with all kinds of things like chunks of chicken, some broccoli and cheddar cheese.

[Pretty pictures]

I like the "taco toppings on baked potatoes" idea. I'll have to do that one of these potato nights.
I don't often end up getting meat at King Soopers, but I wouldn't have thought to ask the meat dept. for fajita seasoning. I'll keep that in mind-- sometimes they have chicken on a good sale.

Thanks for the tips!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on February 27, 2018, 07:07:02 AM
A brief moment of terror....I bought a pork shoulder roast the other day. Yesterday, I salted and seasoned it to marinate overnight. This morning, I went to put it in my instant pot to slow cook it for dinner.....I almost couldn't fit it in the pot!

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/ul4O5_lZzuqTTN8tKQuFcutadaOsSALXVtdiRrU7ciYLhDu6JfmfaYvsoTdpREMho64r5Q1R7epm1qyx3H2Q26gvkwVkHr-uwIIchTM7e3Sdygis2Xw-hviwTPhlkUpJIhKzIKO5Nbx-5ns350Ekm01YlLMcN8i0lauKM3MiJMshFiftp5kYOsB3RUfjVuKv3vaaWHlCm5kCXYKmhpWVgCoNeOrUeMwwNOmVuXgy6mdkD_GeMBTL09cAojhT5yPW0x0teXAPbA8uTZVi8QvTSjvIObGJG3krzFAXo0eNxdMpWjamWzYZpSUGXTCyrAihA6X2jeZCSzvHTSZVnrOolO96jVlF0kKpP1HfqU6W3QXo3OEhVk5DUl5-C8Fw82LKSYBmT_NYYa-_cXd9dkceqRBgHqgocHsbB8d7gvVDBEY_qL0UpYzMdF8jpiFNUSAwZbBf8i8bRkXioWsBaHso9jjHfn-fS_OTAQh27gbP8FeGtGkG5hp-uSNV7_y20JPhGIR-gBVNLqVF6clgtlrp1ewQ0iSMwTYvMmzlH5Fk_iNUarI_5Gwf72YwHKyKx5ahiIj7Z4rs6G3qy9uvzZLvORv3FpCAf6X4TsYNxjhJilaExg4h3_7cxYPsFs2x54yQ6NXC9EaQWnSuvIk8aLFzP-Kh6Oyl0yAf=w1416-h796-no)

^This is AFTER I literally wedged it into the pot. Maybe next time I won't buy the largest roast, lol! On the other hand-- we're going to have amazing pulled pork tacos tonight, so...
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: galliver on February 27, 2018, 09:46:04 AM
A brief moment of terror....I bought a pork shoulder roast the other day. Yesterday, I salted and seasoned it to marinate overnight. This morning, I went to put it in my instant pot to slow cook it for dinner.....I almost couldn't fit it in the pot!

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/ul4O5_lZzuqTTN8tKQuFcutadaOsSALXVtdiRrU7ciYLhDu6JfmfaYvsoTdpREMho64r5Q1R7epm1qyx3H2Q26gvkwVkHr-uwIIchTM7e3Sdygis2Xw-hviwTPhlkUpJIhKzIKO5Nbx-5ns350Ekm01YlLMcN8i0lauKM3MiJMshFiftp5kYOsB3RUfjVuKv3vaaWHlCm5kCXYKmhpWVgCoNeOrUeMwwNOmVuXgy6mdkD_GeMBTL09cAojhT5yPW0x0teXAPbA8uTZVi8QvTSjvIObGJG3krzFAXo0eNxdMpWjamWzYZpSUGXTCyrAihA6X2jeZCSzvHTSZVnrOolO96jVlF0kKpP1HfqU6W3QXo3OEhVk5DUl5-C8Fw82LKSYBmT_NYYa-_cXd9dkceqRBgHqgocHsbB8d7gvVDBEY_qL0UpYzMdF8jpiFNUSAwZbBf8i8bRkXioWsBaHso9jjHfn-fS_OTAQh27gbP8FeGtGkG5hp-uSNV7_y20JPhGIR-gBVNLqVF6clgtlrp1ewQ0iSMwTYvMmzlH5Fk_iNUarI_5Gwf72YwHKyKx5ahiIj7Z4rs6G3qy9uvzZLvORv3FpCAf6X4TsYNxjhJilaExg4h3_7cxYPsFs2x54yQ6NXC9EaQWnSuvIk8aLFzP-Kh6Oyl0yAf=w1416-h796-no)

^This is AFTER I literally wedged it into the pot. Maybe next time I won't buy the largest roast, lol! On the other hand-- we're going to have amazing pulled pork tacos tonight, so...
Can you post your cooking method?

I did meat in IP like once and it came out dry and tough. May have just been too lean, but still working up my courage to try meat again...also bf WFH and does amazing pork shoulder in the oven, so we have had alternatives ;) But this seems like less cleanup, and maybe less time?
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on February 27, 2018, 11:26:06 AM
A brief moment of terror....I bought a pork shoulder roast the other day. Yesterday, I salted and seasoned it to marinate overnight. This morning, I went to put it in my instant pot to slow cook it for dinner.....I almost couldn't fit it in the pot!

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/ul4O5_lZzuqTTN8tKQuFcutadaOsSALXVtdiRrU7ciYLhDu6JfmfaYvsoTdpREMho64r5Q1R7epm1qyx3H2Q26gvkwVkHr-uwIIchTM7e3Sdygis2Xw-hviwTPhlkUpJIhKzIKO5Nbx-5ns350Ekm01YlLMcN8i0lauKM3MiJMshFiftp5kYOsB3RUfjVuKv3vaaWHlCm5kCXYKmhpWVgCoNeOrUeMwwNOmVuXgy6mdkD_GeMBTL09cAojhT5yPW0x0teXAPbA8uTZVi8QvTSjvIObGJG3krzFAXo0eNxdMpWjamWzYZpSUGXTCyrAihA6X2jeZCSzvHTSZVnrOolO96jVlF0kKpP1HfqU6W3QXo3OEhVk5DUl5-C8Fw82LKSYBmT_NYYa-_cXd9dkceqRBgHqgocHsbB8d7gvVDBEY_qL0UpYzMdF8jpiFNUSAwZbBf8i8bRkXioWsBaHso9jjHfn-fS_OTAQh27gbP8FeGtGkG5hp-uSNV7_y20JPhGIR-gBVNLqVF6clgtlrp1ewQ0iSMwTYvMmzlH5Fk_iNUarI_5Gwf72YwHKyKx5ahiIj7Z4rs6G3qy9uvzZLvORv3FpCAf6X4TsYNxjhJilaExg4h3_7cxYPsFs2x54yQ6NXC9EaQWnSuvIk8aLFzP-Kh6Oyl0yAf=w1416-h796-no)

^This is AFTER I literally wedged it into the pot. Maybe next time I won't buy the largest roast, lol! On the other hand-- we're going to have amazing pulled pork tacos tonight, so...
Can you post your cooking method?

I did meat in IP like once and it came out dry and tough. May have just been too lean, but still working up my courage to try meat again...also bf WFH and does amazing pork shoulder in the oven, so we have had alternatives ;) But this seems like less cleanup, and maybe less time?

Here's how I do it, I'm no expert, but the rules I generally try to follow for slow-cooking meats:
1) Always marinate. Always. Longer is better.

2) Cook it at the temperature you want it to be when it's done, for as long as it takes to be tender.

I find a dry marinade to be less hassle than a brine, so the night before, I generously salt+season it on all sides. Then I want to cook low and slow for as long as possible in a pot/pan where it can't dry out (i.e., something with a lid, and not uncovered). So I usually start it as early in the morning as I can.

In my instant pot, I start it on high pressure for 30-45 minutes. This brings everything up to food-safe temps (165F is what I'm comfortable with). Then I use the slow-cook function on low or medium for the rest of the time.

I'm not certain that my way is the best way, but it seems to work okay so far. If you have a good process in your oven, I'm not sure it'd be any less work with the instant pot.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: galliver on February 27, 2018, 02:16:03 PM
A brief moment of terror....I bought a pork shoulder roast the other day. Yesterday, I salted and seasoned it to marinate overnight. This morning, I went to put it in my instant pot to slow cook it for dinner.....I almost couldn't fit it in the pot!

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/ul4O5_lZzuqTTN8tKQuFcutadaOsSALXVtdiRrU7ciYLhDu6JfmfaYvsoTdpREMho64r5Q1R7epm1qyx3H2Q26gvkwVkHr-uwIIchTM7e3Sdygis2Xw-hviwTPhlkUpJIhKzIKO5Nbx-5ns350Ekm01YlLMcN8i0lauKM3MiJMshFiftp5kYOsB3RUfjVuKv3vaaWHlCm5kCXYKmhpWVgCoNeOrUeMwwNOmVuXgy6mdkD_GeMBTL09cAojhT5yPW0x0teXAPbA8uTZVi8QvTSjvIObGJG3krzFAXo0eNxdMpWjamWzYZpSUGXTCyrAihA6X2jeZCSzvHTSZVnrOolO96jVlF0kKpP1HfqU6W3QXo3OEhVk5DUl5-C8Fw82LKSYBmT_NYYa-_cXd9dkceqRBgHqgocHsbB8d7gvVDBEY_qL0UpYzMdF8jpiFNUSAwZbBf8i8bRkXioWsBaHso9jjHfn-fS_OTAQh27gbP8FeGtGkG5hp-uSNV7_y20JPhGIR-gBVNLqVF6clgtlrp1ewQ0iSMwTYvMmzlH5Fk_iNUarI_5Gwf72YwHKyKx5ahiIj7Z4rs6G3qy9uvzZLvORv3FpCAf6X4TsYNxjhJilaExg4h3_7cxYPsFs2x54yQ6NXC9EaQWnSuvIk8aLFzP-Kh6Oyl0yAf=w1416-h796-no)

^This is AFTER I literally wedged it into the pot. Maybe next time I won't buy the largest roast, lol! On the other hand-- we're going to have amazing pulled pork tacos tonight, so...
Can you post your cooking method?

I did meat in IP like once and it came out dry and tough. May have just been too lean, but still working up my courage to try meat again...also bf WFH and does amazing pork shoulder in the oven, so we have had alternatives ;) But this seems like less cleanup, and maybe less time?

Here's how I do it, I'm no expert, but the rules I generally try to follow for slow-cooking meats:
1) Always marinate. Always. Longer is better.

2) Cook it at the temperature you want it to be when it's done, for as long as it takes to be tender.

I find a dry marinade to be less hassle than a brine, so the night before, I generously salt+season it on all sides. Then I want to cook low and slow for as long as possible in a pot/pan where it can't dry out (i.e., something with a lid, and not uncovered). So I usually start it as early in the morning as I can.

In my instant pot, I start it on high pressure for 30-45 minutes. This brings everything up to food-safe temps (165F is what I'm comfortable with). Then I use the slow-cook function on low or medium for the rest of the time.

I'm not certain that my way is the best way, but it seems to work okay so far. If you have a good process in your oven, I'm not sure it'd be any less work with the instant pot.

Cool thanks! I think IP might be great for summer (which in SoCal can happen anytime, apparently...we had 80F days in January this year...); and since we have it anyway and I love it for hearty grains and soup, I might as well know what my options are with it :)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on February 27, 2018, 10:05:42 PM
A brief moment of terror....I bought a pork shoulder roast the other day. Yesterday, I salted and seasoned it to marinate overnight. This morning, I went to put it in my instant pot to slow cook it for dinner.....I almost couldn't fit it in the pot!

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/ul4O5_lZzuqTTN8tKQuFcutadaOsSALXVtdiRrU7ciYLhDu6JfmfaYvsoTdpREMho64r5Q1R7epm1qyx3H2Q26gvkwVkHr-uwIIchTM7e3Sdygis2Xw-hviwTPhlkUpJIhKzIKO5Nbx-5ns350Ekm01YlLMcN8i0lauKM3MiJMshFiftp5kYOsB3RUfjVuKv3vaaWHlCm5kCXYKmhpWVgCoNeOrUeMwwNOmVuXgy6mdkD_GeMBTL09cAojhT5yPW0x0teXAPbA8uTZVi8QvTSjvIObGJG3krzFAXo0eNxdMpWjamWzYZpSUGXTCyrAihA6X2jeZCSzvHTSZVnrOolO96jVlF0kKpP1HfqU6W3QXo3OEhVk5DUl5-C8Fw82LKSYBmT_NYYa-_cXd9dkceqRBgHqgocHsbB8d7gvVDBEY_qL0UpYzMdF8jpiFNUSAwZbBf8i8bRkXioWsBaHso9jjHfn-fS_OTAQh27gbP8FeGtGkG5hp-uSNV7_y20JPhGIR-gBVNLqVF6clgtlrp1ewQ0iSMwTYvMmzlH5Fk_iNUarI_5Gwf72YwHKyKx5ahiIj7Z4rs6G3qy9uvzZLvORv3FpCAf6X4TsYNxjhJilaExg4h3_7cxYPsFs2x54yQ6NXC9EaQWnSuvIk8aLFzP-Kh6Oyl0yAf=w1416-h796-no)

^This is AFTER I literally wedged it into the pot. Maybe next time I won't buy the largest roast, lol! On the other hand-- we're going to have amazing pulled pork tacos tonight, so...
Can you post your cooking method?

I did meat in IP like once and it came out dry and tough. May have just been too lean, but still working up my courage to try meat again...also bf WFH and does amazing pork shoulder in the oven, so we have had alternatives ;) But this seems like less cleanup, and maybe less time?

Here's how I do it, I'm no expert, but the rules I generally try to follow for slow-cooking meats:
1) Always marinate. Always. Longer is better.

2) Cook it at the temperature you want it to be when it's done, for as long as it takes to be tender.

I find a dry marinade to be less hassle than a brine, so the night before, I generously salt+season it on all sides. Then I want to cook low and slow for as long as possible in a pot/pan where it can't dry out (i.e., something with a lid, and not uncovered). So I usually start it as early in the morning as I can.

In my instant pot, I start it on high pressure for 30-45 minutes. This brings everything up to food-safe temps (165F is what I'm comfortable with). Then I use the slow-cook function on low or medium for the rest of the time.

I'm not certain that my way is the best way, but it seems to work okay so far. If you have a good process in your oven, I'm not sure it'd be any less work with the instant pot.

Cool thanks! I think IP might be great for summer (which in SoCal can happen anytime, apparently...we had 80F days in January this year...); and since we have it anyway and I love it for hearty grains and soup, I might as well know what my options are with it :)

Update on the pork roast-- I should have started it cooking last night instead of this morning, lol! It was cooking along fine, it just wasn't going to be done quite in time for dinner; so I set it for 30 min at high-pressure to finish it off. I probably could have cooked it on medium all day and it would have been fine.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: MrsTuxedocat on February 28, 2018, 12:39:10 AM
Okay,  I am quite happy to have gotten our food budget down to $540/mo last month...  It still sounds quite high.. but..

Qualifiers

    For 4, essentially all adults, two are heavy eaters and third is extremely large eater - active teenage boy, who is hard to cook enough food for, and goes to pre-packaged anything as first choice instead of leftovers.   So, let's just say 2x the people as OP.

      We have been eating through the freezer / canning jars for fruit and vegetables (beets, carrots, squash, roasted peppers, canned fruits), and onions / potatoes, fresh apples and bananas, one head of lettuce. 

    DH and I ate out 4 meals this past month (went away for birthday).  (26 days of food, not 30)

   That's  Cdn (1.25x exchange) and 15% price markup across the border..

So...   $540 x half (number of mouths) / 1.25 (exchange rate) / 1.15 (geographic markup) x 30/26 (days of food) = US$216 for the month.

WOW!   Did i get to the magic number?!



Honestly, we have not eaten as much yogurt and fruits and vegetables as we normally would with our dinners, (It is very $$$$ last month)... There has been ramen for lunch some days for the teenagers, and egg-only dinners, waffles (without any fruit or veg).   We had ground beef only 2x (from freezer supply and waiting for sale to get it at $3/lb)...  It's been a lot of roast chicken or pork with a side of home-canned applesauce and few pieces of beets, maybe with potatoes or rice.  Pasta with tomato sauce and dried beans...   I also did not buy many drink cans for DS to take to school, or luncheon meats so he has been pushing for more than just lunches with water, banana and pb sandwiches.   We maintained our cold cereal habit, though.   

I don't think this is sustainable, for us, but in the mid summer, the fruits and veg come down in price so I could repeat for about 3 months around then... of course, family starts to want hotdogs and hamburgers in the summer, which I do find to be a pricier meal.

I often ponder about my food spending costs vs American costs. Do you really think the difference is that extreme? My husband and I are both large eaters, he is an extremely big eater (physical job, bikes 36 km round trip to work). Our food budget is between $430-500ish per month. I eat a lot of fresh fruit (even in winter), fresh veggies, sometimes organic, lots of beans/tofu and no meat.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Goldielocks on February 28, 2018, 01:14:46 AM
Well, it depends.   Some sale items are much closer in value, sometimes.   (i found apples for 50 cents a lb one week here, for instance), but I went 7 weeks before getting any produce close to OP's costs... which is why so little was bought.

Milk -- $5 per gallon
Eggs - $2.99 per dozen (large eggs)
Cheese -- $5 per lb of cheap stuff on sale (block cheddar) or $9 per lb for something like Havarti.
Avocado - Usually $1.50 each
Onions $0.50 per lb (bulk)
Potatoes $0.50 to $0.70 per lb, for 10 to 20 lb bags (variety)
Bread:  $1.80 (no name 1lb sliced loaf) per loaf to $2.50 per loaf  (Wonderbread).
Apples on sale $1 per lb
Green leaf lettuce (head) is $1.59 each, a bundle of celery is $2.
Ground beef (lean) $3 per lb.  Cheaper cut of blade steak or chuck roast is $6 per lb, Chicken breasts are $6/lb, etc.
Chicken (whole), Pork Loin roast in bulk bag, extreme special at $2 per lb.
Bacon $5.99 per lb


Most of our foods compete on the same markets, so exchange rate is a given. (Beef, produce, etc)..  Then you add in the geographic costs due to reduced volume or transportation costs..

Note, Ontario is about 7% cheaper than BC prices, sometimes 10% on average.  There is more competition in Ontario.  Sask, MB and Eastern Canada are more than Ontario and BC, both.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Malaysia41 on February 28, 2018, 02:42:11 AM
We don't do great on the monthly food bill. Close to $1000 a month for three of us. I'm looking to you all for wisdom, but I have to admit, I'm having a really hard time getting past all the pictures and discussion of cheap meat.

Can I ask something of you? Please- if you're buying cheap meat - beef and pork and chicken- please look into the state of the industrial factory farming practices. And if you're buying grocery store meat in the US - it's almost guaranteed to be factory farmed (link is to a USDA report on the transformation of livestock over many decades) (https://www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/publications/44292/10992_eib43.pdf?v=41055).

Factory farmed meat is terrible for the environment, and, if you're the sort of person who cares, factory farming is horrific for the animals.  I'm personally not a big animal lover, but after learning about these standard practices, I've decided I'm unwilling to take part in the assembly line of well, torture. Please, look into the practices that are required for producing milk, how they handle the 'waste' products that are male calves, and ask if you want to be a part of it.  I could use all kinds of incendiary language here, but it's probably better you discover for yourself. PM me or reply if you want recommendations on resources regarding the ethics of industrial animal factory farming .

Lastly- regarding the environment, I'd ask you to contemplate this: terrestrial vertebrate biomass was approximately 300M tons 12,000 years ago. It was all wild animals and some humans (you could argue we were wild at that point of course). Many ecologists argue that 300M tons is the natural carrying capacity of earth for terrestrial vertebrates.

Today, terrestrial vertebrate biomass is 6x that. It's 1,800 million tons. 400M is human biomass. Century after century, wild animals have been absolutely decimated, as only 20M tons is wild animals today. A staggering 1400 million tons of terrestrial vertebrate biomass is livestock.  Check out Nate Hagens, Vaclav Smil or Paul Chefurka for these numbers.

(https://i.imgur.com/RUw2fM4m.jpg)

Dr. Nate Hagen's 'Blindspots and Superheroes' talk is an eye opener.

To conclude with this portion of the sermon: Please consider swapping out beef and pork for lentils and roman beans.  You get a ton of protein in beans, and it's way more environmentally sustainable.  There are so many plant based recipes and products out there, it's not too hard - and it can be even cheaper.  Although, clearly I'm no paragon of perfection on the $ side of it.  Too many blueberries and store made hummus, me thinks.

I'd be happy to share these and other resources with you, but I imagine if you do a google search or youtube search, you'll come across Earthling Ed, Erin Janus (prepare for snark), or the documentaries Forks Over Knives, or the Joaquin Phoenix narrated Earthlings.

Back to grocery store stuff:  Ugh - just in February we spent $1022 in grocery stores for THREE OF US! I can subtract only about $20-30 for household stuff like TP, laundry soap and 3 super-discounted glass bowls. So let's call it $1000.

I guess we could cut down on blueberries, and frozen cheeseless pizzas. We could make our homemade hummus more and buy the store-bought less. What I really need to do is find a place to buy the 50lb bags of oats that some of you mentioned in posts on this thread. I make our own oat milk (see reasons spelled out above), but that really rips through the stash of oats.  Oats are about $1.50 a lb here. @APowers says they buy oats for half that. I need in on that action. We also rip through the soy yogurt. $1.40 for a small tub of it.  Oh - but it's just like sour cream and so good over cuban black bean soup.

It's time to roll up my sleeves. Too many freaking excuses over here. You guys are an inspiration, and I need to work on this grocery bill. (note: pre-MMM our grocery bill was probably double this - so we are capable of improving - we just have further to go).  That's it, I'm meeting with my friend who was born here.  I'm going to hit him up for every store he knows of that sells bulk stuff.  We can bake our own high-fiber bread instead of buying it for - yikes - $1.80 a loaf.

Sorry if you didn't want to be punched in the face regarding animal factory farming - but there's just too much cheap grocery store meat going on in this thread and I couldn't not say anything.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Goldielocks on February 28, 2018, 12:10:37 PM
Hi Malaysia41.   I don't think this is the thread to bring up food choices, environment, health claims, etc.

I feel compelled to comment that different regions and countries have different practices.   I came to terms with my meat and food choices after personally visiting the farms, ranches, fish farms, greenhouses and processing facilities to decide for myself.  .  Dairies in particular here are quite bucolic operations. (is that a pun? to use an adjective that is its own definition? IDK)

Pulses (chickpeas / lentils / beans) and greenhouses have environmental impacts, too, that raise concerns with some groups.  These are regional concerns.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Malaysia41 on February 28, 2018, 02:19:21 PM
Hi Malaysia41.   I don't think this is the thread to bring up food choices, environment, health claims, etc.

I feel compelled to comment that different regions and countries have different practices.   I came to terms with my meat and food choices after personally visiting the farms, ranches, fish farms, greenhouses and processing facilities to decide for myself.  .  Dairies in particular here are quite bucolic operations. (is that a pun? to use an adjective that is its own definition? IDK)

Pulses (chickpeas / lentils / beans) and greenhouses have environmental impacts, too, that raise concerns with some groups.  These are regional concerns.
Hey Goldilocks,

If everyone bought their animal products directly from nearby farms like you do - I wouldn't have brought this topic up. You sound like you're showing the way.

Re differences in regions - of course there are.  It's especially pervasive in the US, but large scale animal ag is growing around the world. So it applies elsewhere too.  Thus my plea: learn how your animal food products are raised, slaughtered, processed and delivered before they get in your hands.

To your point about various impacts: sure all agriculture has impacts, I'm not making claims that veggie farming is perfect. To criticize one thing is not to say all other things are perfect. But veggie, grain, pulse farming so far as I understand them, are better vs factory farmed cows or pigs.  Sure, buying out of season fruit from around the world that was flown in last night is a terrible idea, as is apparently eating veggies from a hot house. You could come up with lots of sub-optimal examples.

As you say, this is maybe isn't the right thread, but I was trying really hard to go through the conversation and it was just - too much to bear.

I was trying to stick to just discussing meat, but since you brought up dairy:  it's a tough case to say it's ethical. Even if cows can roam in fields during the day (in bucolic fields), their lives are far from pleasant. To produce milk, they must have babies over and over. That means they're artificially inseminated (it's a gnarly practice), and then if they have a male cow, their baby is either slaughtered immediately, or sent to be raised for veal - one of the most horrific fates an animal can have. And dairy cows are milked their whole lives until their milk is spent - then they're sent to slaughter. If I was reincarnated, I think 'dairy cow' would fall on the very bottom.

Anyway - shouldn't get into a dissertation since you asked me not to bring up food choices, environment or health claims.

All I'm asking is for people who buy cheap meat - esp in US grocery stores - to please learn all they can about the food chain delivering that meat. This is the MMM forum. We're a tough bunch of truth seekers.  We do our homework and make tough decisions based on our own values.  I'm just asking for you to apply that tough-mindedness to US grocery store meat - if you haven't looked into the reality of industrial animal factory farming (esp in the US), or haven't looked enough, please do. Because the cheap meat you're buying might not align with some of your values.

I'll stick to discussing my grocery receipts in future posts.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Goldielocks on February 28, 2018, 08:04:54 PM
Hi Malaysia41...   wrong thread to discuss this, I think. 

I will say that I was talking about my visits to the dreaded "factory farms" and mega processors.   Not "local / natural" farms.  I buy my items from the supermarket, for a low price, and the "Made in Canada" stuff -  I have a very good idea how it was raised, because I have seen a lot of it myself.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on February 28, 2018, 08:45:19 PM
Hi Malaysia41.   I don't think this is the thread to bring up food choices, environment, health claims, etc.

I feel compelled to comment that different regions and countries have different practices.   I came to terms with my meat and food choices after personally visiting the farms, ranches, fish farms, greenhouses and processing facilities to decide for myself.  .  Dairies in particular here are quite bucolic operations. (is that a pun? to use an adjective that is its own definition? IDK)

Pulses (chickpeas / lentils / beans) and greenhouses have environmental impacts, too, that raise concerns with some groups.  These are regional concerns.
Hey Goldilocks,

[edited for clarity]

As you say, this is maybe isn't the right thread, but I was trying really hard to go through the conversation and it was just - too much to bear.

[edited for clarity]

All I'm asking is for people who buy cheap meat - esp in US grocery stores - to please learn all they can about the food chain delivering that meat. This is the MMM forum. We're a tough bunch of truth seekers.  We do our homework and make tough decisions based on our own values.  I'm just asking for you to apply that tough-mindedness to US grocery store meat - if you haven't looked into the reality of industrial animal factory farming (esp in the US), or haven't looked enough, please do. Because the cheap meat you're buying might not align with some of your values.

I'll stick to discussing my grocery receipts in future posts.

OP here. I think this thread is a fine place to bring up these topics. I appreciate that Malaysia took the time to thoughtfully put together some relevant commentary on my menu and grocery shopping. I appreciate that Goldielocks chimed in with her observations and experience.

All I ask is that this thread not become hijacked by a debate that's not in the vein of "Have a <$200/mo Food Budget".

If your grocery budget is higher than mine because you've thoughtfully decided to have a menu that is based on different factors than mine, that's okay. Maybe I can still be an inspiration to improve your cost factor. You may even influence me to shift my menu. I'm not going to argue about it here; I'll just keep cooking and noting what I'm buying (whether that's changed or not).

Thanks for being civil!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on February 28, 2018, 09:05:27 PM
Tuesday's dinner: pork roast...pulled pork tacos

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/oOfLPDWEoEZyq57oAIJ8njsqRlhI8J-5kVvwH1rz0nPWHCzHSRlqQgOHODTdnzcgbuFylZB46QWl-52W6w_tFr1SQ3_WsNbAmiYo9c5yhhKVjwSXYFbx9l827M0JHcnqesm_BQrxkEn7mkbcCEt1Wa4S1k-PoiiycuCKCkaLbBAfWmqO1B3c98-u_B3y4F8q5JGF9cIYdgTD-Ms1ArYZXEGnkhpVHK_9DW5CqTnQrEguN3EzRwFkD3m5j_NdAvqUCPj0XtdszGhKvtnXL16ScOlqW8CN0x_IOg4_hMNgDZqI8fmMbndA-vO3Bze7-lv0eR2lhErNWovtCLnqq4oKqOpCUGyp7QkOSMhF1JOE_4WS1JfIBlx7vWMvyxQbDjkhxUjKP22ySxEcrcXt56oC66BYqfZjWHmnHRa1R6O5CjaHIlh3jcE3DzuG-FShggJTimmNIpCk9H5enV4QZngRdfSA_GZq9wk0jTE9J8aHY3V_q2M5P11wycbSrL_asgAGKNed1wSJWcEcY0bQ7NeX8nIywngw8Agyb-UUZKNQsYhpbsWDJy4NR3L1RN1mV6bi_S31oEvW9s4vx8U0O8O18Bvf4FSSH0nc2fEacKCJ9aSm6B46YvDWjOpeO7QRyjDjVSq1AMEo_p2kbNlMDgQ-nnxxE1Wg3QpE=w1416-h796-no)

Pork shoulder: $12.58
Corn tortillas: $1.00
Red pepper: $.50
Green Pepper: $.50
Onion: $.40
Tomato: $.20
Sour cream: $.15
Lettuce: $.35

Total dinner = $15.68 plus a bit of salsa. After dinner, I ended up with ~5lb of cooked meat, plus a lot of broth and probably 1.5 cups of lard, which will go in my grease jar in the fridge. Also, I figured out the other day that I can toast corn tortillas in the toaster. SO MUCH EASIER than frying them one by one in the skillet. Just put them in, wait two minutes and bam. Ready. Pop two more in while the first two are being made up and eaten...bam. Two more ready. Almost as fast as we could fix them and eat them.

ETA: Also had strawberries for dessert: $.50
---------------------------------------------------------------------

Tonight's dinner: leftovers.

It was a pretty crazy day, so dinner was not according to plan. SO and Girlie had some pasta for their carbs, Kiddo had pork tacos, I had a pork sandwich.

Pasta: ~$.25
Lettuce: ~.10
Bread/tortillas: $.20

Total cost = $.55. ETA Strawberries for dessert: $.48
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Ragdoll on March 01, 2018, 09:24:16 AM
This thread is very inspirational. I too am embarrassed to say what I spent last year on food. Hubby and I had high income (& high stress) jobs. Doing the MMM math, I realized we actually were already FI if we changed our spendy ways. We are taking the leap. I worked my notice and he has about a month to go. I can be a very resourceful cook but we were eating out almost every meal! The trick will be to see if I can do this (or how close I can come) while eating the way we feel is the most healthy for us. I eat a high fat/high protein diet with plenty of veggies and almost no fruit. Hubby can get away with more carbs so I supplement his portions with a roll, rice or tortillas, etc. I am inspired to keep track of meals and cost. I know a few of the keys for me is NO WASTE, limiting portion sizes and eating out. This morning I had an egg with a handful of spinach and onions/peppers thrown in. I had bacon but I bought the "ends and pieces" which are much less expensive. Hubby had a bacon and egg breakfast sandwich (on a bun).

Thanks for the inspiration.I know what I paid for the food I currently have. I will track my "eating out" separately but know full well that it is ALL food and I have to limit eating out. One of the issues is that we travel quite a bit visiting family and taking care of rental property. I am trying to keep ready to heat meals for hubby so he is not tempted to eat out. Today I made five sausage breakfast sandwiches for the freezer. I also have three single serve meals ready (Chicken & Rice, Pork & Veggie Stir Fry, and an awesome "Chicken Guisada" recipe I made up to use some leftovers).

2 eggs: .25
bacon: 1.36
bun: .12
spinach .15
onion .10
peppers .10

Total Meal (2 adults) $2.08
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 01, 2018, 10:56:41 PM
Dinner tonight was beans and leftovers, pretty much.

Beans: $.53
Pork: $0 (leftover)
Asparagus: $1.00
Strawberries: $.98
Tortillas: $.80
Sour cream: $.10

Total dinner cost: $3.41. I packaged up the remaining pork meat for the freezer. I got three .75lb portions put away-- that makes six meals from that pork roast, plus broth, plus grease for the frying pan.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 01, 2018, 11:00:09 PM
As it's the end of the month today.....Here is the moment of truth.

All my food spending, tallied up nicely for you. I made 17 separate grocery trips. Several of those were combined with other non-grocery errands I was already doing anyway, which puts me at maybe 12-13 dedicated grocery trips....that's about 3 grocery trips per week. I knew I felt like I did a lot of grocery shopping this month. I combined a lot of errands into multiple stores per trip, but still. Feels way excessive to me.

$20.72 --- Safeway [2 visits]
$52.12 --- King Soopers [4 visits]
$71.66 --- Sprouts [5 visits]
$7.74 --- Discount Store [3 visit]
$40.79 --- Costco [1 visit]
$8.25 --- Wal-Mart [2 visits]

$9.18 --- Costco Food Court [1 visit]
______

$210.46 --- Total Food Spending for February.

I feel like my freezer is full of meat, and the pantry is full of peanut butter and tuna, so I don't feel like I overspent too badly-- though I did spend more than last month, lol!

$124.70 = January
$210.46 = February ($201.28 if you don't count eating out)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 01, 2018, 11:19:57 PM
Also stopped to pick up bread at the discount store today.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/QHwNrRRhwkTmXp1FSu8RN_v3z8679-Tz8bNIsOwar5ynAIgZ0Nf4Yb5Rzg36NQ3N5cME5hqWAGlhOdtzOmSOrdDCxwK1j_z-n7usjxjvWqgpFxRDH49WTUgf2-y_HVhS_VYXjW70ucNR6yUdGwR_Lbx0RymucYb5F84PabF-r3H3gwkMaJEJmGdUmYa9BGhRQMDl54Bc1LArT94ykeDGPSSIYoTe3ERdnfZBKXZ8Mn0tE2_cvMQRXOd-Rnve56D7_vEFaoV3qwnHYeSBV-MTqno7kO7zZ1Mrefb3QykpiUtfiYTR8Zn84obio301SdK0029bB7mSTfkGY4hOpvTUmwMy9LYMITlshPTmtTOizZtZPjX-7m06B0z9Dv401A2PinTYs6GCs5NtDWFIZ3d-b2xLvhTO7I9ZxMZu9XOAFcGUjqIgLdUqqvfNuhlrnno_JeM9PN9trG7lg3A45EeJ-PiegjuDTQuTGai5qtpu2B6bkEmzeFDr0VFSie5jz8XgmDoNzkhObXJdBHo0Xavt_TrPanVHMc5zDiQJChIfcySHsDMiagJ6-FrOsXiIwQq11bgKyfXZuYPvX8fG37ItW80QKYlXIgHZXRLN6_v-GtdsAtRaQYkSxP9VjnUEIAN-aPD_GGlk0ouLYyOZ9asErPIwGA_NPaQv=w1416-h796-no)

Total receipt = $1.98.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: jim555 on March 02, 2018, 02:07:11 AM
$186.73 - Total food for February 2018.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Feeling Blessed on March 02, 2018, 06:50:33 AM
APowers,
I just had to comment.  I have found your postings to be SO eye opening but I couldn't really figure out why.  You guys eat very differently than my family and I'm not really trying to achieve such a low food spend, so I was asking myself why your posts so impactful?  I'm so impressed that you would open up your families' food habits with so much diligence and transparency for all to see.  Amazing! 

Why else were your posts so thought provoking for me?  My family eats very few starches, they would consider a 2 oz portion of meat to be an appetizer and if I put raw carrot sticks on a dinner plate there would be mutiny.  And, that, I realized is exactly why your posts are so inspiring.  We have set all these crazy expectations for meals that are so unnecessary.  Your focus seems to be on healthy, cheap, limited quantity and the focus is not on the food but on the nourishment & related family time.   It also seems like you guys don't do a lot of between meal snacking.

So, I'll continue to follow your posts with a ton of interest.  In my family, I'll be adding back a bit of limited/high nutrition starches, taking the focus off the meat item and really focusing on per meal costs and trying to get the family to snack less.  I'm sure I'll adopt more useful ideas as you continue to inspire.  Thank you!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: couponvan on March 02, 2018, 07:21:34 AM
APowers,
I just had to comment.  I have found your postings to be SO eye opening but I couldn't really figure out why.  You guys eat very differently than my family and I'm not really trying to achieve such a low food spend, so I was asking myself why your posts so impactful?  I'm so impressed that you would open up your families' food habits with so much diligence and transparency for all to see.  Amazing! 

Why else were your posts so thought provoking for me?  My family eats very few starches, they would consider a 2 oz portion of meat to be an appetizer and if I put raw carrot sticks on a dinner plate there would be mutiny.  And, that, I realized is exactly why your posts are so inspiring.  We have set all these crazy expectations for meals that are so unnecessary.  Your focus seems to be on healthy, cheap, limited quantity and the focus is not on the food but on the nourishment & related family time.   It also seems like you guys don't do a lot of between meal snacking.

So, I'll continue to follow your posts with a ton of interest.  In my family, I'll be adding back a bit of limited/high nutrition starches, taking the focus off the meat item and really focusing on per meal costs and trying to get the family to snack less.  I'm sure I'll adopt more useful ideas as you continue to inspire.  Thank you!
+1 for this.  Thank you APowers! I served a fruit/veggie tray at dinner where I never would have tried that before. There was some mutiny, but I'm trying.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 02, 2018, 08:17:32 AM
APowers,
I just had to comment.  I have found your postings to be SO eye opening but I couldn't really figure out why.  You guys eat very differently than my family and I'm not really trying to achieve such a low food spend, so I was asking myself why your posts so impactful?  I'm so impressed that you would open up your families' food habits with so much diligence and transparency for all to see.  Amazing! 

Why else were your posts so thought provoking for me?  My family eats very few starches, they would consider a 2 oz portion of meat to be an appetizer and if I put raw carrot sticks on a dinner plate there would be mutiny.  And, that, I realized is exactly why your posts are so inspiring.  We have set all these crazy expectations for meals that are so unnecessary.  Your focus seems to be on healthy, cheap, limited quantity and the focus is not on the food but on the nourishment & related family time.   It also seems like you guys don't do a lot of between meal snacking.

So, I'll continue to follow your posts with a ton of interest.  In my family, I'll be adding back a bit of limited/high nutrition starches, taking the focus off the meat item and really focusing on per meal costs and trying to get the family to snack less.  I'm sure I'll adopt more useful ideas as you continue to inspire.  Thank you!
+1 for this.  Thank you APowers! I served a fruit/veggie tray at dinner where I never would have tried that before. There was some mutiny, but I'm trying.

Wow, thank you! I'm glad I can be inspiring.

I do try to ensure a good balance between cheap and healthy-- it does sometimes feel like it would be easier if I would just spend more, but I also feel like I'd end up sacrificing some "healthy" to gain that convenience.

You're right that we don't do between-meal snacks. It helps the kids be actually hungry at mealtimes, so they eat more regular meal and I get less "But Dad, I'm not hungryyyyy....". In my experience, individually packaged snacks will blow a giant hole in your budget-- especially if you're trying to keep it as low as mine. Sometimes, I'll do raw veggies like carrots or celery sticks as a snack, if I know dinner is going to be late, or if we've been out doing something when it would normally be mealtime.

One tip about meat portioning-- meat goes a lot further as a mix-in than it does as an entree. Take a rice dish, for example: if you serve it as rice/veggie/meat, your meat lovers will want their meat serving to be closer to 8-12oz to make it feel like "enough"; BUT, if you serve the same amount of rice+veggies as a stir-fry and use the same amount of meat/person, it will feel inordinately meat-heavy. If you can move towards dishes that don't use meat as an entree, it might make shifting your meat/carb/veggie ratios a bit easier.

Also, I don't focus on per-meal costs as much as I focus on only buying at good prices-- stocking up when beef is $2/lb, or when pork/chicken is $1/lb. If you know you eat a lot of meat, being able to stock up when it's 1/2 or 3/4 the price you normally pay will make a huge difference in your budget, even if you don't change your eating habits at all.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Goldielocks on March 02, 2018, 05:19:58 PM
Good point about the meat mix in's or stir fries.   Along those lines, I have been successful at cutting up chicken breasts into thirds or quarters for self serve.  Even when it is just sauce with chicken (starch and veggie on side), they still serve up less meat... e.g. two portions instead of a full chicken breast each.

I will say some of the meat / rice / veg dishes in your photos would have some in my family still looking around for the meat dish, or even eating this "Appetizer" then going out for take-out burgers because I did not cook anything for dinner. (Rare, but it has happened so I have to plan the meal a bit better, "meat forward").   I definitely need to work on that with them.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 02, 2018, 08:40:43 PM
Lentils for dinner tonight.

12oz Lentils: $.75
Pork: $0 (leftover)
16oz Carrots: $.50
4stalks Celery: ~$.20
1 medium Onion: $0 (leftover)
1oz Garlic: $.10
Sour cream: ~$.10
~14 Corn tortillas: $.45

Total dinner cost: $2.60 plus a bit of parmesan. Nothing fancy, but delicious and easy. Would have been SUPER yummy with cheese, but I'm down to my last 8oz bag of cheddar, so I decided against using it up on this.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: jim555 on March 03, 2018, 03:46:15 PM
Just picked up 30 Dannon yogurts 5.3 oz for $10 on a store special, only .33 each .99 per pound.  The deal was buy $15 get $5 off and they are on sale for .50.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 03, 2018, 10:20:51 PM
Just picked up 30 Dannon yogurts 5.3 oz for $10 on a store special, only .33 each .99 per pound.  The deal was buy $15 get $5 off and they are on sale for .50.

Good job stacking deals!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 03, 2018, 10:29:00 PM
Sorry, no pictures today-- I spent 12 hours prepping for/hanging drywall and installing tilebacker in the basement. Needless to say, I'm exhausted.

So dinner was leftovers/random stuff. The kids had leftover potatoes with taco meat/onions, SO had a portion of pasta with some leftover sauce. I had some leftover beans+lentils in burritos. I wasn't paying strict attention to what was being used/made, but I wouldn't guess over $1.50 in non-leftover ingredients.

Also, SO made another batch of hummus today, so that was $2.50.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: HipGnosis on March 04, 2018, 10:05:06 AM
I thought I did great on last months food budget
Then I realized it's because Feb only has 28 days
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 05, 2018, 10:15:20 PM
Sunday's dinner. Normally, Sunday is leftovers day, but we ate pretty much all the leftovers on Saturday. I made bean soup with some bread to go with it

Beans, carrots, onion, celery, garlic, and some rolls to go with it.

Soup: ~$1.75
Bread: $.65

I also made some cookies, which means I'm out of eggs.

~16 small cookies: ~$.85-.95

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/Fc2m64xJWwT9ZuSEYJuzLVZ3qekUrYYYuC5RTDxJt4sRU1Mt0J6tJuYJeUr7pA9DkneJezqDFiNMF2jnY2_yUsNRKpNaV9X7w14xcrX4tmInDVBOZm4gwjKO2hmG6mhMtBOfTqS4RJchJgZ19FzJwzviL-e4U3TR6Ze5G7qokIleFi3d3dvOYl-BK1pVP1oNecCHmWHl37WI4eNUnBeXeJa3pfC2HFgwK5AO0w4n_wxx8q9iZJREt-Lsxsu88LczIVokbSqR64ju-yygHZze6kibLwHj6WnMTk4bi0bofX6DUdmVPGB_-HYun6aqn_D9QqoKyQOHuyYs0IIrvYcCIPiZb2ilo82A2oDRiRBA6cnLV-W4BY8t01D62Lpzx1XgdqpZk8c2vvqQj1UZo-VZJeXa4W75i5u8Wh6yWWtdMFu51aikTwu_JUhbLEICinibyEG6bDBn-hmZ1wKH7ArjXhVZ_RxTBOc2LTys5C8bIbJh916PpUQTOXcnlXiDWFloaywdlyN6Xwx6TkqmCd14JesNo0CENshfvJadFMRNQsNHT-m6g_yOnUNCZeqfhOjhmnKkBt8eV8gXy4S-K8T7UqQlRsavibFNTxC5jIW2osm2wY38K8iunLgUerkmgKCydWYu68p3-Hmd3l2jW8i3g2SfUrezjBuQ=w794-h447-no)

--------------------------------------

Tonight: chicken and rice

Today was pretty crazy around dinner time. Two trips to Lowe's plus a Costco errand after the kids get out of school is definitely way too many.

Rotisserie chicken: $5.40
Rice: ~.30
Green pepper: $.50
Cucumber: $1.00

Total cost of dinner: $7.20. I was out of garlic powder and rice and just about out of mayo....and the rotisserie chicken made dinner into a 15 minute prep instead of a 45-60 minute prep. I am definitely not going to try to do this again. Trying to pick out paint colours for the basement while the kids are tired and crabby is no fun.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 06, 2018, 06:46:16 AM
Here's what we got at Costco yesterday:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/tC0YY9z_Kv7M_9r2xi7ATvWO8kiOVh2K9zD6X9Gq1C1JkQQIvP7a46tLZu6MH2S8sDew44Rqpat98VvuSvhF2_DG1eH0XLLjp-dnQRBRuYGngkZl6oWuLGe9N1d-pz_otOKRPVzqgLsJdPB_ix0tXK8_gc_KxAu1PAW1Be0buHhrbzwcDhPXlJ1kVSsOiMvBG1OSzmoPoDnBWio7UYYIvIKNDExsWKsITwc3XXU74Gtqp2IdL_qm1I_rfr0U1V5JJcvEfKX1CblLt4VQlMp_L7gRcnlQUoetNXghZkrYH11gRrtP6QGgArNaNWWXny-QHPGXZHHsLOthuXNuY5pJV2pPmBnyegy9XtYW1TGUlh0uGZ4_7bniZ0MascuH-iItQT_j36hI8LAFhlNF6zRFclSat_F6cR5uCmZDGQseXBOYRKlpLDZ6H1DExE9HUgnQ45x6RnoE7qlIUE93rVYhx975pB360SscJSiZbb8FQBfBrrpPC5sh1gOKQ9tANP1F0L5v5DlZ5byd-c2BOUAJ-bl8DrGs6CRK4CpKMgH3w3zXJ6-fBvEe9IoSjsfKWifIBfAQSdb8Mi8wFm-AqlZ9XPPXr2S0qVZBRvcjo6gL-Li81nJe3uMnzVrubWY9uAa5MReyoGfpyJRoikUuweCFD4gbI3NtlkM_=w1416-h796-no)

Rice: $8.79
Coconut oil: $16.99
Mayonnaise: $4.59
Cold cuts (lunch meat): $11.89
Rotisserie chicken: $5.40
Garlic granules: $5.99

Total receipt = $53.65. I haven't seen rice come up on sale at Sprouts yet, and I am OUT. I usually go for brown rice, but I know Costco's brown rice is more expensive than I will find it at Sprouts when it does come on sale, so I really just need something to fill in until then; and $.35/lb is a price that I am okay with. The cold cuts will end up being used for dinners on sandwich nights, and the coconut oil is used for baking "special" cookies and things (i.e., as a butter substitute for Kiddo who is gluten/dairy-free).
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: the_fixer on March 06, 2018, 07:55:59 PM
This week is potato week for us, we have 7 potatoes that needed to be used up so I thought I would share the Mexican potato I made tonight.

1 large baked potato cut in half
1/4 lb taco seasoned ground beef
Sharp cheddar
1 Avocado
1 tomato
Sourcream


We cooked the potatoes this weekend so I put them in the oven and broiled the cheeses on top then added the toppings.

With your shopping skills I imagine you could build this for next to nothing.
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180307/582fefd4a1f03b53f202b16438df4e26.jpg)(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180307/2e73aaa79c51f555ce659f625fdedea1.jpg)(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180307/0a15e5033c46d820ece157ba2a28819f.jpg)(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180307/c58278438733c2bfb0e1411ea96b9179.jpg)(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180307/e8058c74e3231cf295ceb50d4a8fbe80.jpg)

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 06, 2018, 09:08:02 PM
This week is potato week for us, we have 7 potatoes that needed to be used up so I thought I would share the Mexican potato I made tonight.

1 large baked potato cut in half
1/4 lb taco seasoned ground beef
Sharp cheddar
1 Avocado
1 tomato
Sourcream


We cooked the potatoes this weekend so I put them in the oven and broiled the cheeses on top then added the toppings.

With your shopping skills I imagine you could build this for next to nothing.

Mmmm, cheesiness. I am currently out of potatoes, which is kind of a drag. I think cheese is the hardest thing to find for a really good price (I look for $2/lb).
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 06, 2018, 09:20:28 PM
Dinner tonight was chicken and rice again. This time, I actually cooked the chicken that I had intended to cook yesterday. So now we have a giant container full of chicken meat. I think we'll do sandwiches tomorrow with it.

Leftover chicken on my sandwich for lunch today:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/p8SgTrt3KHKUQG7X3Iv873mcE5bqaVVlp_orRfLNJfgl8WBD60sTBpcq9-imc1k1CcMValH04jW33UxivabmlPnbKjM9g2o_mllq_YrksQVt0ZwGK8GGkC-Q6sRTe_mYsIutXKFb1clome8q_7ErRTtKPQVpir7kMpJA6ogXtPzFgwtdzjZiv1sEAHQH4lNvIxoZOJx1G2E8r2ATY1Puoq7dciq3OiZd4JAgHE5iQTtJfKJwcXlqI7Nobi9fTmeCUG7YVMz9BlPaQTUDPBNZ52zHFvnlrJ_Al4kXtTMtldPygAfhETJ-RL4bOz1HyGfHoW0LS2-uASWA0mmKnSv1PtTWo-W0QxLHBjlOla9LIpH5ylLTuKgISk5jTWhZsuDBzUGQrNp1vLSwLgs6IVnEcoH4NwIhXQF-pchIG-EEj0C9-cDID3wCwkVD8ZsZECpBx5mglSHAQ8MgG2fm-V84UUgUrTGsDyfs1NWa3hPYjDbdybIYY-ZvLsy8QOmQ7WEmxxWPn3uOu0R3b_Xz1JVl-B-N2JTwgEmqKjyU8gI0WnluCHEGH2o5cd5iBg89JwCwprhsHrAIUjGrWkm7TTANA3DozulvCd_bDdQduM22Bfrnw8eTqfySCTkBUgHlGJiC9hKJ6LbgD34w4so0aDQ9XPzvEh5Oygvp=w1416-h796-no)

Dinner:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/pkV8mZHiTR8R9rf5PWen0WT2Vzf34rPTFrD5TWRWRZkDnFM1tQTf8i8GwwaZLUqYXIlkcB9PvffWqOmLTWPbJFqJFoh79nFaJDYU6bW_sKHYwW9lCzkhrEJdg_suFb6g38VQ-2CsrrmBm5aboNWasfYN_A6pa6zlcnRQKwYeB96qNE_tzLoOHfHT-5LhkZTIjtX2Tm777Qd_8saaQ_Is5mfaWDaA43WsddU-KpD7k5FV7HsGOFP-tAqBcF-J5q7eafjPSJhZ2X2Nmt3c3psqLSv55dp9NEIltTbi0uOHGaPQTwD3WUJvCm9C_MycsLJEqbeh9eSEhMQIq8DhAhsfBd7_10uqxApNdE7qIw7klPiNfy7uWr66O4lrYGWw3bKxu_lzCjsCwMFY7IZJW6ttCkZrp7Qj2P4gIhDhp6gjtZoGjcJz3CnhNJ7UL7oVD9qkUFsNbyN0zfqlvGRlK_soCgOAY2vGR9IsYNfkIpDTfWqf9n6NQaZ2sATre79133IawzdFLXoBh8eKuG1xWcardMupOCTtVjYmtsINwQfyGD6-_f-kiPqdOoXPPmt571DItYwkDYVWp9BhvEJFYvnzw2zQeK6PUnWk7ckgZYM5xeyn89HofHXsG1Ie-NQNjA56Vi_Ztf0rKHVu99pc-HU8yRbpnIzFekON=w1416-h796-no)

Chicken: $4.97
Rice: $.44
Carrots: ~$.50
Green pepper: $.50
Cheese: $.10
Bread: $.10

Total dinner cost = $6.41. The meals the last week or so include the fact that I'm also feeding the guy who's installing drywall for me, and the other guy who is helping with other remodeling stuff. So meals have been an extra person, if not two, lately. Which has basically meant not as much leftovers. On a side note, I am happy to feed the guy who does drywall for me, as I hate doing drywall. I would SO much rather cook than finish drywall.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 06, 2018, 09:24:45 PM
I also stopped by the discount store and picked up some more bread, as I try to feed my remodeling helper dude lunch (pbj sandwich, at least) while he's here.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/RhgfCRC00hOzhGzH_WLbGeO-jj6WqG2MVPn2QHaOTORrlsw365W18sOJL3avOllc_JRKNqk4n5Wa1t8BXfiU3FOsOBefEl3IaKDNB81YPuOi8XAKykJIcUviJm7tV3v-wlNygjyZ4tQ_Plhqx51Kf0g5Yywa1DmlP2aPkg4SE-o_1GuX0ntDA70Hz4bw7FHxBxp3dZ8gaH1ZdV8diK5WQPKTTwM7QQZFcRDAb_Gh4OLZgl7cgRZSTCRHwu_XSzrc_-OjSuXeu8Vu2TdmoJcQBb47aEG1XOLEXSp1ejfHEWbZ7o42exiRfBmX2UdGxY2huKR8sZHhcamTFDdVhK2U70nvp3bTgQzVrUqXtDKReSV_UZ1mvA4AX1vliDhBHUIFfMOOuyhZ_Ju-5eBIBTV7RBsM_j6Xsh3S-h7JFcKNiSi3dCpKD-2OvzRljDOh8SHDQ43h-YYA3ftww4iodAzf9WYpK1nJQcVVtebUD-1t02ew5zhE4VWiuuwXoV9nKBKC3hSDaP7eEi8ecWjbt0g_wFYAVWe4IyPWe36KfLj9M4vT37NgZQZwunUYQjqvJjE__lT0QW4RIHOW8G9Jc99XjkN1MTP0O8tRdYKbRM-jwbvDTANwZXI16sogGvPFdfqcFaRyD-jn6KWMqqR-b_dqDadYVQ2TNuYY=w1416-h796-no)

Total receipt = $1.98
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: rdaneel0 on March 07, 2018, 07:10:00 PM
This is cool to follow. I also have a $200/month budget, but for a family of 2 (in NYC though, so prices are pretty high).
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 07, 2018, 08:51:20 PM
Since we skipped sandwich night last saturday, and we have chicken leftovers today, I decided to do sandwiches tonight.

Mine:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/rpk_pE003YwivlwEegj5GtouBgOW5non8o2CkQaGxiIYiHpa-QCWy3P4pj7KWn3XsN74A-xGOf5FRPDIHl6nT8A3lvDdM4-1gVT7sVjTFE9SnUICTnnXxeYQM1i9_-VgUVd1SsWTFUeWWgGMEGepHfQILesHRIuvalqlvdF5flh9-tl1gHRqPyv5mx9BQyrHgVTywixj9HqGqvWovkE01R-XePZgAgIjXxlpYYR_SlBdDCFWO8gHw590SZjt3merZBZ35MeDRCccf9x_3MTR1dltLGxBVH9n4dJxaAv11FqJ4O7ZMlBzprs37gynOicjMr6xkRvPnEKawETvMTxrPu8x-7Sv7h_zIn0LbsH2UvEKO0JygZcseODLBZybIMC81kBjWbljn531ZDGCE-FdoHtkKyNPCcLScnqom06PNKKynWo0VrO2jwslaonve4FJSY1aCFfoS13MoJIk69Vwvqz3rlnWqJ2VvgCZe5nL5vRjWXuhxW8rChoEToBgbHFQRsLfy6_p3LxepnSbsGZuNuHUT39VLX8hQgFwAhhbhjxwd9yFwRwE3vNiGkI5oWpg1r1ArOsF38_fjEEibg9QjiJdGttipVdgE10HC4d500wkIqWfhTL5a-foL95xVgHTS8WG4QJVE40IyWzWR9cG9VYr8Kprkl_D=w1416-h796-no)

Girlie was like "Take a picture of mine too!"
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/hqcySYPkwX4PQx_AhahaSUPr_kVplNXf7qjfyhC19SXHhoL7WM4U6LJt-npXLQ7gtkT8hWVYUs7NQY3-7HlQLwo1RsOz_HGsSj8xXsWp8cd07dBrhcEOpzCmXxRkEyWJvO17fRvQs6_kP_Y0ebz1VE4J-XRhkBxuXhzxwleZ5AF61kTLHp0atw3jswMxlOBA-rKGuuPaaRPPXd-oX4pMpesTsbVVmN9VS3RQPvLRxu66PYlF5HIEfekzr2jAHK4H7Dh51yRPJYDYxwpMGq_kvawQfnZsrn46iIO0YRxgzlKRIt1UIQj8VaImv5pEp1Lu4lCYBgdZIZMoU3EDLanUpTA8ur-o9ZXWDCOtK_6ONt-rWFcgY1ObXTM70OdrZOw7gq_a1FGtGPfUznxH_b5HirCcBB1NAO-4X3aVzPHxDfKIwp5HXBDqfGXOxH-e9ELdR5gDr8OEo5dDMZjLowH7EVIxPjXRuJukB0JGJI2RhJ9JL9yemXjwDo5eBlrDWchCcXS5LJVlM_CMFtEI-udv4aHMYJXlgFiiEPpSEpOWhOjhyOOGJvef8reIKabmBWfBpK9LsRLTPR0bLIZfwVKYp25Hkn2Sa31jwMarxQUKSrDD7csjatv8QXTiv_Fg0ZORelF_8OkNxyfswluDOcfJag6o4RyNqnQa=w1416-h796-no)

Bread: $.99
Chicken: $0 (leftover)
Pickles: $.60
Red pepper: $.50
Onion: $.40
Tomato: $.44


Total dinner cost = $2.83. I also fed a couple workers lunch and made dinner for the drywall guy, so we almost used a whole loaf of bread today (we certainly would have if I hadn't used corn tortillas for Kiddo's sandwich).
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 07, 2018, 09:01:50 PM
Wednesday is ad day, and when I opened up the Sprouts ad, I saw that oatmeal was on sale! Hooray! I ALSO remembered that there was a $5-off coupon in last week's ad, AND they overlap their ads so that on wednesdays, both old and new ads are valid. W00t!

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/oRWZQ-32ds17iKtjtVExPLn84mEf8C7aiWmm6kzbaJbQT3R2vSUDq0Tc5O0buVX2eRkMSsL6sAvTqnkd6KR48kA8BRVy_3b-WFsKTHQMx6xjiotlTYBIws7oEoQivub9GeszdvS3v6HD7gS-OHMLcUcpfC-Wtpmc3iq0ND3V7JNckb7eh4bDx_72BqMPcQ3Y9p86g2dFD5cuGTp71n0gOuru5R2Dnacp-mYu5sfEqVPcoC2MkXFPuf-uSMIe-Agd2LI3hRTkHn_OMwmH5971EUhdachaC6JV-vKvCPvFCryiqlLuLxpdms3dJ27dn7eUk7lhkg0MlWhIBfQUEBnqlxVbcvqUkT-NnTmnPNikENVpAhoIT_auFl8EG1JuGOXKCrGr6CKGGFHaB7oz5IKGSYYIV3iPvquPoDwVow4pKF9pwccVqijqqrQrxAAiRO3VClyVhEblmVTGf3EwoL4dJ7CRK1LtQNX8ZSf8OzZeNsaBJFlUKU82dVA3gL8dSh5yWHW4Vy9GmGDKLdTArw9AfHRgGKeB9OQSH3c7JipOmPMiaMolVjrfojUfBpwhGqMGzay8dvycMPymvbVh8nOEPHV7EQ5_rPpbZHQBHRW-9ICnAmq1fArHBrOTetmpf5uNgAlgoFeET387ylePxAZsh4ngnMmj_KsF=w448-h796-no)
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/buEfugSb1I_uLR-UKubU2zTzAXBYOKKoo4RIQ0mhtJbvbK3U5ENrzagE5414PwQwFoP2dR44Tp2kB747Ab87Hu2ZrgSq-Mt2LB3g-1tIdIfhw4Ki-wCkskENicmPdow79F1b9L-U7XVHA4Wqa7FhaZsr5GrAvD8BrW3fH_v_hter1RCgm0V8fqh7b0wqzacmV00Rz7idpsA7dTtiFbYSIEcxCPZHqN0b7vJso0QTaOtelxu3-slpUjJ1qmQPoGkF2bj-h5oMy8KBk4tbfiJJLQMKjmLY6b6KHlbLRm5s3DzxnVNdXSQRO0We3FDk9RGu4waIoX7J2wIlGABU_5Qy4ezJq4MVw3m_er-etw7t0XjJdf11jMfs93aeU_8icnjVpsG8LeykmY-WQSS6SDbvekhNJCf31oydDvdj6tISAVveJEYuPVuo-LDl4X6JtGBqiipjLz-nQ_nTfHxCp6-i-2j0cGXPyuVTRXdYGZebOMI1BGp48MJTmfTiYvqD0sNeQYxf-cY8lpoelAZCp0PgF3dnNCr_XgqXaoMfom5GON2V4cZhBWjTAVy1Ey5TP2QcllMSl8Ghrd9aiXrs3wcF9SLCRPNfSH8ucLhyu4Kj9EjnvDNlOfEanUXkdSrqfYbwwo1md3I1V7x3VuYXEkzR_QYqVC9NAIu_=w1416-h796-no)

Green peppers: $2.00
Grapes ($.88/lb): $1.08
Tangelos ($.88/lb): $4.29
Romaine lettuce: $1.29
Oatmeal: $68.98

Coupon: -$5.00

Total receipt = $72.64. My first thought when I looked at the total at the register was "Welp. There goes this month's budget, lol!". But the oatmeal is a good price, and it doesn't really spoil, and everything else is a decent price and it's all healthy-- it'll all work out in the average. And I bet I still won't crack $200 this month. Or maybe just barely. Safeway sent me a coupon for frozen veggies at $.85/lb, which is a "stock up" price, so I'll probably end up with 10lbs or so in the freezer. But I laid up a good bit of meat last month, and 25lbs of rice, so there shouldn't be too much else to buy in bulk this month.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 08, 2018, 07:28:24 PM
I have bean soup leftovers from sunday, and Kiddo said to me "Dad, this is too much beans all the time." So....no beans on beans night, lol! I did pasta instead.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/mY3FFylV1znY-xMcNwME_q55vWaC1ic7dlVS1nRrn0mbe4OFyxIydfeOBRLt2UHP1sBgpTjsN1ZuXQ5ef8nvHWs7Q3HWLqJHyxPGgv6LZLXIX7YqF_Z6hNcC4Vxw6BjtgYX9iXSLH3HyQTSlXsgDyvdtnicSjY9-AK1Yvp5jqmLFhAAbYXcZ5Y6dDJAHRsdEu9_LBmgL89TnOSvPM4zgkAzLNGWWurcBjRKbYQ60ZrDj-z4OFH7fItmPIdAEaWW1s6hul227kU23kVmRIUsKcQ7BOtxtsaaM42dOaibelgpOjMaeK_JwXVsSwQcY75f5e_dCKybB7lR1qsB1Lm4DM_4oXxEo1vXTPNj7f0Hq2TnvAV890e7adODs4sKRrx93mOZ1-fc7hpcs4iGDI-IX044hw4f8_Gh65SqEGD1NreC1wLu2jvr2tHysITmKdwsaztRbjmltKLUjB9qcclSrS88_3ZV9P1rPuIqd59kwnK39Jbu9g7bpqmt9uTrUXGhdS8_768r-5QTT_GXKL9hIgRlXVOsu9_xdJSBrPjRmhDyn1LWrzEXnpnRs_-czeSChf_1rL_ZqvOe5GVVuQZeoBkqAqijhmmq7G-OJZkIg_BaQV1TFDcSgsG6_QK0qn-xnMPog_lE7RCcUdYtWKUnCAIS_LSs194wO=w1416-h796-no)

Pasta: ~$1.00
Sausage: $.85
Celery: $.20
Onion: $0 (leftover)
Green pepper: $.50
Garlic: $.10

Total dinner cost = $2.65 plus a bit of BBQ sauce and ketchup (Kiddo wanted ketchup. Whatever. He'll eat chocolate chip cookies with ketchup if I let him.). Everybody was pretty hungry tonight, plus I fed the drywall guy, so no leftover pasta. That's okay. I'll do lentils tomorrow, and there will be leftovers from that.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Padonak on March 08, 2018, 08:55:05 PM
ptf
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 09, 2018, 08:47:59 PM
Dinner tonight was lentil soup. The kids had no school today, so I was dragging them all over town to work with me...it was a crazy day. I was happy that I could throw everything in the instant pot and have it cooked in less than an hour.

Lentil soup: ~$1.90
Corn tortillas: $.37

Total dinner cost = $2.27. There are lots of leftovers, too.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 09, 2018, 09:10:50 PM
Also did some grocery errands while I was out and about.

Walmart Grocery:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/DSWwUKOJ5gB4iVO0NLf5iYvlNMoQ8_4ebdcywAeuRooOg02z3Bp5kgLtKul5ldFxEVCr-cKS6tc81n6FWf0Wpu0bnGQLDbyIKm6btQkVz3iBUVF_OWp77Zn10TDCt1CUGKBcmrxSdfWBkU8IpSOM2KUQ0jkIop2HUlMNJubxG7sBdgZ0pi5x7ZXHY2bl4ws3IBPWUKam7ZiOCqqNHdL1U5BdVoYmePJhcO6QoZ0tjayfVihMBdC3Q42XCKTT9L0a3_7qq43_0kCaVAd8LQMUhZHUwZjrMDVqgSrejmYrnNjPnr7ySeWCF6mwpB0Z7NCnaI_tRMV5NjlkENEJ_vUjkB647taTVCMv05aclvESncCD_JUW3GcKRumPgLu2hVznrcBD62_E5euIqgPKJVCTDOVVUuYpAmo7K8t-ov1SXkcsEZp639Vhh_CRvdoJLop6c8Eb9M5TnkkyusE8KyW525U3oM1G7y5IeOVKHs1P6YbXroadfFG0Zh5cdspkFEh6N-R-KnCzUH9l2qIZfncQsJiJ8Ri3Zvc_FoyBU56cK0b5tfAZW_HE0aTjc_HUFG6M7cT_-CdZ30ljAwRWvw-iphRyVMH7mumbNBDXM3pVqaBeqEu10S8P9zo9bZXzjTQ30ToeOHZ_hxPu4wbLfARsuauQI3ubWwjn=w1416-h796-no)

Oregano: $5.48
Eggs: $3.92
Gluten-Free pasta: $3.96
Italian seasoning: $1.96
Tomato sauce: $1.00
Corn tortillas: $2.28

Total receipt = $18.60. I've been basically out of eggs for like three weeks, so when I saw them for $1/dozen, I bought four. Also, I used up the last of my gluten-free pasta the other night, so I needed some to at least tide me over until I can find it on sale. AND I had just run out of italian seasoning--and Costco didn't have any; I was hoping for a bulk-size, but all I could find was the oregano and the little jars. Not my ideal, but it'll work until I can figure out a reliable cheap source.

-------------------------------------------------

King Soopers:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/D5BebP4e4Pkft0G2d420tlzIIRKXZbJd-emETu7CbpAQHLFd3BreUIzqrpsO6x4eaWNrpCC6qniQd2I2bITtt6X0XysEBaurg9DDRBNK2WeC7d8rK15wu9euP9118Z2BpF25hfdFk5S-R9TnF-XZoTXmAsUwXNZ96slSOg-aTj7ZARwN3ZLRPCj8cQXwlUcU_h-JodJWon_9DEraaKuDPfprZrfmmzouRvxALeLjzsoqR1iB-6Bbmgg3qlj-0p5f8CpzYLDG77akufwKRGIIauLpnqUuhNi7FPnfW1d-w4hSCw2p0SMPpWPP5Cb4XxbML73hoOHttxJJMFGsgqEkwN4QpITctvMJ5uwkoEyRGCIpxWN2gIjEBDvOTjDV42rLY1FmsPasTihIkL6cw0ZpfIVyzts-cRFf4t-cLlWVJ56SqcmAFQEdd-vXFSpETfb3osn4LeCaq762cJM2BOZq8qy635-p9-moBbHGnWlvFVL0h9GVuDYfA9dyD7hnnIsXltvfF1feh4N29EOhJxAUA3cBjYQGB4V--yl4OZ1c9mYINrEe6W4CDkd_yO-LfhrWZOSzmSAu8PqhjRY0qMAeYs174EIQCJILqB-TdNnZGyRdxBQaF6alkqntk5z6YpEnK_aqcLaD6QS4HBGdv3xhmVK4kL06oGWs=w1416-h796-no)
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/JH9tHFoetgNeVDaQzAfOcSWp8LXDQxzcCBI_0VuweUaTW87J2c30YQdm9t2HYvcFkaRprUMH0haYnGDRaVF9eTJhzZtzThmqlrEei46GfZZq67gKrNivCG0tVUYYAMjKxeJL5RWA8miCm6hyPc0q_Ibmv3E5DWGTXF-RkpwVoH7kyhp7TYW-ZF-1LpPM8Kjsfrr-ABpNX-t7nhNcTnEcqrwff_WBq9l7nX6dyi8vB1_tdMqXZAT20ci2eHMctLjj2ZOc5U1Qib0bUBiDgXKrGDZVMRj4aQdOvBtJSCjeRkbyj545Sumex1Ms9t0WQoW7Fzu7flJaTZYUGUFXb0Ph8PaGsPXwqXUfNc_PjyCFxRsGXk9dBYJ3mAHgHj0mMwCB2vmNU8nqzP_sPacYu5U9iF0YKGA025o6lI4AWrux8Ifo2zzvbKor2n7g_Pm6LEOpwtpt-R236XCjyX4OwsX05gTmcz0EERhcQoKFdaH4RPI-4ZZMGsqaDTMs8r1WKlspq5oTbiMpsOZorxNQ9T_O2dqG13rVBgw76Rm_TpsC1368dmwSqswlbVPuYLecaHiCRZMCoKqghftfbPe6toledOzifNJI1LpqX5pl7-kK0uza-TiQmNVa0Y04MHkuTrF7AIRReEHyG45nUxzO_JksRWdvj842iZph=w448-h796-no)

Sour cream: $2.00
Cereal: $1.98
Pineapple: $1.98
Almond milk: $1.34
BBQ sauce: $2.07
Peanut butter: $4.95
Tortilla chips: $0 (free friday)
Potato chips: $4.50
Tide pods: $0 (free sample)

Total receipt = 18.82. Cereal I had a raincheck for from last time it was $.99/box and they were out. Pineapple was 99 each, and it is SO's favourite, so I try to pick it up whenever it goes on sale like this. Almond milk I had two e-coupons on my card for; just one of them would have made it $1.99, which is my "acceptable price" limit, so the additional 35 off was icing on the cake. I think mayyyyybe I have enough peanut butter in the pantry for now. Maybe. And potato chips were on clearance for $.90/each, so I asked Kiddo how many we should get, and he excitedly replied "Five!", so I got five. They'll be yummy at some point; for now, they're tucked away in the pantry. I wasn't expecting the cashier to offer me free Tide samples, but I was like "well, I won't say no to a few free loads of laundry..."
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Monkey Uncle on March 10, 2018, 04:08:11 AM
Dude, the prices you're able to find just blow me away.  We never find anything that cheap around here.  Now, granted, most of our runaway grocery bill is due to the fact that we eat a lot of fancy pants stuff that you avoid.  But even if we ate like you do, I'm thinking our grocery bill would still be like 30-40% higher.

My hat's off to you!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: HipGnosis on March 10, 2018, 01:00:59 PM
I refined and perfected my recipe for ground turkey (with a bit of pork sausage) chili.
Now I'm working on ground turkey lasagna.  It's taking longer as I don't like to buy ingredients for a single dish, like;  italian turkey sausage, tomato paste, ricotta cheese.  I'm trying to adapt what I do buy and have, but not sure I can make it work...
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Lkxe on March 10, 2018, 08:12:21 PM
I refined and perfected my recipe for ground turkey (with a bit of pork sausage) chili.
Now I'm working on ground turkey lasagna.  It's taking longer as I don't like to buy ingredients for a single dish, like;  italian turkey sausage, tomato paste, ricotta cheese.  I'm trying to adapt what I do buy and have, but not sure I can make it work...

Do you eat cottage cheese? My children dislike ricotta so we have used cottage. Now that they are older I mix half cottage and half ricotta and I make 2 full lasagnas and then freeze three halves ( there are only 4 of us)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Bicycle_B on March 11, 2018, 09:53:01 PM
Like Monkey Uncle, amazed at many of the prices.  Inspired, though... so started keeping spreadsheet of my grocery expenses this year.  Started out just over $6/day for one person.  Now $5.13/day cumulative 2018.

Have built up some reserve of certain items that were on sale, mostly canned fish.  Made a few changes in the small amount of meat purchases that I make.  Got better at cooking rice, mostly by learning to flavor it better, hence using rice and beans a bit more often.  Learned simple version of bean tacos that I like - cheap delicious ecologically sound staple, added to my meal rotation! 

Did learn to price some items more accurately (tomatoes, avocados, spice) and as a result am using them more, not less... a health win.  Thanks for the inspiration, modest though my steps may be.

PS.  The big win is that I have enough food on hand that can be shared, hence I am now sometimes spontaneously treating guests to impromptu meals, or using "meal at my place" as part of a day plan with friends.  A wonderful plus, added to the routine even while total cost is going down.    :)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 12, 2018, 06:53:42 AM
Saturday was leftovers for dinner, so nothing exciting there.

Sunday, SO wanted me to try this recipe (https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fsmittenkitchen.com%2F2009%2F02%2Fred-kidney-bean-curry%2F&h=ATNwObcMwrE7AruqISr7Nf1w9ZivHEStu_q3GGnKB_VQkyrMuPH2m_z1hNsUSgfQdMVUbJhr0CXyOWaLapNV41qOqdZIBBHs97lTW_c2X_mAXcTuSg) for kidney bean curry. It came out really good, actually. I totally spaced and didn't snap a picture for y'all, sorry :(.

Rice: $.85
Onion: $.40
Ginger: ~$.40?
Garlic: $.10
Tomato sauce: $.25
Kidney beans: $.50
Oil: $.35
Tomato: $.22

Total dinner cost = $3.07. This would work really well to freeze and reheat to serve over rice for an easy dinner. Making from scratch, start to finish, it took me about an hour. I could probably whip it up faster if I was cooking freehand instead of following a recipe, but I wanted to make sure I got it right at least the first time, before I start introducing variations. Also, we had friends over tonight (vegan, so this recipe was perfect!), so in addition to feeding the normal four of us, I also fed the drywall guy + helper, and two more adults-- six adult portions plus the kids. I ended up with two servings of rice leftover and only one serving of curry. I would have doubled the curry recipe, but I only had two cans of kidney beans.

Kiddo didn't like it-- I think it was too ginger-y for him. I thought it was amazingly delicious, so I'm going to try it again, with some variation that hopefully will be more accepted by Kiddo.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 12, 2018, 06:58:25 AM
Saturday, we were invited to a dinner party (taco menu). I signed us up to bring chips/salsa; I knew there was going to be quite a few people, so I stopped in Costco and picked up a big bag of tortilla chips:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/IkMEiDeE3RY6D1ywwC600_vFyc2mJjshReW4uaYUOy7poYwHK2WVDql_9YIHaDb-aMvmcIc6ViLOdUq8LO4gc_Z6EXaIeVB7sF5BPEjRYGxPaFKXaVhXY-6GiRXU13nL2gXSDrSOc6vdXMIQDrjrRzbGHmry4eqyJ1em8UbBgdwz30EkkYgd1smAxUfRPpdNuI9DPD-rw3ukJTPXyqzxxExyKO8kCuzYrdmjtB61VGHBhclI8_oIcjzpJIKgVShDZoV_9vo4gTXwvJd3Wluv64gH_qAsihOQi8DeJK4ZF5aOtzutGxz_1uBUL8BivSj64EQX3ph2kVjulUnEhwERLztNokkFovptEQ7NEZ5p_Ji5Tl_ZIkCoIYc4JR2AFUgf5f2qGHKAtVhaodyIWthyTBut0OyOVZLdUuiLQlhQoU0Ec-8FMotwjyib1XXE6avL3vo5Qf8Kef5t_stir18_oK9Syv2jL5oeJaVPrfUWc_0Wxe_VQY4nHrJ0UlnGJn4FLb1VMUNZbjulLF2SVrVjvxHbKVL-mDPUMtNwQjiskmm0ICurP9fD8UCRUqO92x5pF-fhWJ6jDLNfyYaF0xGiL3ZMcocqZSdHsAEAQRzPzkE4j5zpAWd4kic8V7FwzaNBE1sm5mXLJE_Ebw9XLqAmqyVOPp_PYod4=w448-h796-no)

$3.89

It turned out that someone else also brought chips and salsa, so we didn't even end up opening the bag. Now it's back home in the pantry. Likely it will get used to be packed as school snacks for the kids and SO.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Roadrunner53 on March 12, 2018, 07:00:04 AM
Anyone use canned kippers? They are supposed to be really good for you and are pretty inexpensive. I have not figured out very many ways to use it. I have mixed with mayo and put on crackers and have put them on a grill cheese sandwich. Anyone have any ideas? I suppose you could throw them into a salad.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 12, 2018, 01:09:53 PM
Like Monkey Uncle, amazed at many of the prices.  Inspired, though... so started keeping spreadsheet of my grocery expenses this year.  Started out just over $6/day for one person.  Now $5.13/day cumulative 2018.

Have built up some reserve of certain items that were on sale, mostly canned fish.  Made a few changes in the small amount of meat purchases that I make.  Got better at cooking rice, mostly by learning to flavor it better, hence using rice and beans a bit more often.  Learned simple version of bean tacos that I like - cheap delicious ecologically sound staple, added to my meal rotation! 

Did learn to price some items more accurately (tomatoes, avocados, spice) and as a result am using them more, not less... a health win.  Thanks for the inspiration, modest though my steps may be.

PS.  The big win is that I have enough food on hand that can be shared, hence I am now sometimes spontaneously treating guests to impromptu meals, or using "meal at my place" as part of a day plan with friends.  A wonderful plus, added to the routine even while total cost is going down.    :)

Those are great wins! You're both making healthier food, AND being more hospitable to your friends! That is happiness increasing in the world, just due to a little more efficiency in the grocery budget. Way to go!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 12, 2018, 01:13:30 PM
Anyone use canned kippers? They are supposed to be really good for you and are pretty inexpensive. I have not figured out very many ways to use it. I have mixed with mayo and put on crackers and have put them on a grill cheese sandwich. Anyone have any ideas? I suppose you could throw them into a salad.

I'm not sure I even know what kippers are....so, no? I feel like I should know about them if they'd fit in my budget, but I can't even recall seeing the in the grocery store, so maybe they're more common in your area. Or maybe I just don't happen to walk down that aisle in the store very often.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Roadrunner53 on March 12, 2018, 01:19:54 PM
They are herring that are smoked and canned typically in oil.

Read the comments, they are very well liked and have omega 3.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Polar-Kipper-Snacks-Canned-Naturally-Smoked-Boneless-Fillets-of-Herring-3-53-Oz/19276169

Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 12, 2018, 02:36:26 PM
They are herring that are smoked and canned typically in oil.

Read the comments, they are very well liked and have omega 3.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Polar-Kipper-Snacks-Canned-Naturally-Smoked-Boneless-Fillets-of-Herring-3-53-Oz/19276169

That looks interesting. I'd have to be able to find them for cheaper than $1.40/can, though-- that's over $6/lb, which is more than I'm willing to spend for meat.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: mm1970 on March 12, 2018, 03:04:27 PM
They are herring that are smoked and canned typically in oil.

Read the comments, they are very well liked and have omega 3.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Polar-Kipper-Snacks-Canned-Naturally-Smoked-Boneless-Fillets-of-Herring-3-53-Oz/19276169

That looks interesting. I'd have to be able to find them for cheaper than $1.40/can, though-- that's over $6/lb, which is more than I'm willing to spend for meat.
I occasionally find them or sardines for 0.99/ can, and stock up when I do.  It's cheap-ish omega 3's.  I put them in a different category than "meat".  And I eat them about once a week.  For me it's a balance between cheap, easy, healthy.  Wild fish is healthy, so I work it in, but not at the recommended 3x a week.  That's for sure.

I have no pictures, but this weekend I made:

Homemade rosemary olive oil bread (whole wheat flour, dried rosemary, sugar, yeast, water, salt, olive oil)
Chicken & brown rice soup (canned chicken from Costco - EASY and on sale for 6 cans/ $6.99) - chicken, carrots, onion, brown rice, peas, stock (0.40), parsley (freezer), lemon
Roasted carrot & onion curry soup
Instant pot mac & cheese (gluten free)
Granola
Mushroom barley "risotto"
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Roadrunner53 on March 12, 2018, 04:15:36 PM
The can says two servings on the kippers so that would be about $0.72 a serving. Fish is not cheap in any form. I think this is a real good deal. It is portable and you can eat it at room temp or heat it up. A while back I bought a case at Walmart and I think 18 are in a case. They are good to have on hand and taste good. They say that this fish is very clean and not like swordfish that picks up mercury.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: StarBright on March 12, 2018, 07:52:05 PM
Anyone use canned kippers? They are supposed to be really good for you and are pretty inexpensive. I have not figured out very many ways to use it. I have mixed with mayo and put on crackers and have put them on a grill cheese sandwich. Anyone have any ideas? I suppose you could throw them into a salad.

I don't use mayo, but use cream cheese and hot sauce on crackers (with a cold beer in the summer) and it is absolutely divine!

And while kippers aren't quite the same as sardines the following will apply:

https://www.chowhound.com/food-news/47126/7-things-to-do-with-canned-sardines/

and I have made this with kippers, tuna, or sardines and I make it several times a year:

https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2012/04/lidia-bastianichs-farro-with-tuna-and-tomatoes.html


Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Chippewa on March 12, 2018, 09:13:55 PM
kippers are so good. growing up I ate them straight out of the can during our family road trips.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Chippewa on March 12, 2018, 09:33:38 PM
btw, that curry recipe looks good. i would make the green chili a serrano (for spice) and increase the ginger and garlic quantity. Also throw in a good heaping of garam marsala. I always double the herbs and spice when I cook.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 12, 2018, 10:09:08 PM
Dinner tonight was pasta. Technically it's Potato night, but I'm currently at a zero-potato state, so it had to be something else; I just finished the last of the lentils leftovers for lunch today, we had rice and beans for the last couple days, and I have no bread for sandwiches.

Kiddo brought his plate of seconds over: "Dad, can you take a picture of mine?" ... So here you go:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/0_tQJrSyT24lvHo_edHSqYig__7ILnxC2wjq7ZMm5DK58HO1M1fmp48oCfq6wk7ymTdQXHNSDFGcocQG-abH_ynCExbO8SgPbxY586xb8NPYpACcyQ4Z1TBM57tZw4plw-asQWg-5nq1EDQs64j5QGLMD3z6QCt_HvvRQ1PT6P-WGBDlVrUCKVe98kOBlyhusckUETFOLU9S4Hw3QRSvbTPEvFn1pPgyg6aeISFIL5IeabFOKoIp3akKrPlIxyRPMtH-LkU_PvCeAni6BMuI25tvvRcuHPiPB0S-BYWuEtcrQUMsgTwKsavEmwZQVEgpvzeFZwOgB2NE_ampT3A5Jbb9lb3kFNjwao9fz8JISdlKr0XLKUOysOwGJLmfgSQ8xjuqZBYTDAIXLJIIMK5RHe4ioHkwhND0Ai3QJmfCdaI_XPI8MCVVBgkc3qaWHsr4dm-KFQgiJaMSELaa8DjLNvWSegqLkGZmU25_LmsPI6sy0bM7EPEOEm9BCHwybc1cDOkp55A6bnkv0Ze-EcM6qFLc8Ae6EQOzE1RFWgJDbvvBiLZA6hOtJSjTZS7VJVg4Sz9pYFsKWhlo6YYibXeOlb1TFPaQclRaXpIjBllSbn6gOzCJAaBELX-EaV5-4K8pSOfFpIKIScA5P2jzfSgnA_lj8Rf1g96Q=w1416-h796-no)

Pasta $1.00
Sausage: $1.00
Onion: $.40
Garlic: $.10
Celery: ~$.20
Green pepper: $0 (leftover)

Total dinner cost = $2.70 plus a bit of BBQ sauce for the kids.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 13, 2018, 11:48:44 AM
Coupons in the mail! Now to wait for a good sale at King Soopers to use them.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/NTJL67SUHlQ8dHnfBywjOhtXGCLUIdPgVpWOgbxusEU7rTvwOjMmZP2dyiwZbHSJUrIJuFGkq6fgrszLhHmpscMH2TANOAdnxoBBwtcakqojpx1eBlCRKdDNEH73Ja-bmfOOiKACfV2MzAPyUYUSw2NrThs552VfK2JDQyqDg-0ZN03olfPu4infDCCaD13GrgyhhuybDKP48OssBM7Ck6XpoN_z1gqX9CyJqLjaj7c0wXoOCHnTV82IpXqQ2bUVYtQr33MJYZ8kQ5hZ2iYZdtQhkJyh9aQyFVB2n3kehSG8nqsp8DQTVtdmQVkO0b22hShjMxzmnnO5Ydc8vvIIKNUq6EDdjjAH7Gn5aTwVATb70ugrULs_fJXN8p4KO3NmAfvLUOu-uFeAdxhUTb0t5FmzpKMEyMvW1jDiUu-1Mw3RSBZ9IMKgNuAi6lLZTi0Qj5tO-0fufIuo1kvcIKQNPslklqP4_yK0LibFnOTz83RD0RtJ1vtRCuwpIbd-swmyHn4lyWTwrZyQ1oR4svE0UsPmGvOmPRRyptlmCH_5Az1snNOUOj8dHWrxSxvRdt-it5waeNsCFKaNvsIvgTnQZOapjQjZdHl2lCWhhn79pw9Dq9O1JO0K9U1GZ20aeIdofE32lYsvJOgu6oMBOa9IzMKPc2aOBrDY=w941-h796-no)

This is the first time I've gotten this kind of thing in the mail since we moved to CO. Maybe it took them this long to figure out my purchasing history? Regardless, I will be happy to get 25% off, just cross my fingers for a sale on something non-perishable.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 13, 2018, 11:54:23 AM
Safeway errand today:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/feXGG0WX5eTK7XTbNgbZE-xJdNXkaqRhcuSWLRUSyV6UZ98_suN7O9OVf8DYMI_HOJNO3YwXZMK6vBMjM0LNVX96V2Ml9GiX_xDnGxNvSR2uKJBBpsNlI-a6ogX6f5tYPRyHQrxFlHfB2XENEXcS-Sw8mTb_y9cb_z6sea2odf5FsbKOMPitOCTDiOBH0kKOHGRs01Q6dBQpYo6JpFx2MvGKkJgBh5k_6xgcHK2mYedRPpL62CmLD2PC7CaOqghaommvexIMZWC8mjkLPLQUZqkeYbLwBk-q1etmmJXJ88YpD7NELabV4tpfj5WZ6kE0EUXJ8HjcJnmeQAkr2gcT8hsZ2VTz9kiKPajn4KABtHMOXHPvVu4j2Yq60hZG2bFpa4GxgN4sWsaorY7YMYE0f3Usp_xDDYZFHrfPCAeGk2SbGErEMpotmrQEaWodnB7i9fSHQ-p2iCPydvcbuhsJlxHaIUV_mutcwqiYNqVCLkWSxLjd_tvmgvBgf1gwCJWdX2I-CiRIPnf3vmfHYMnzFHJaUi22sHo31am78ahrKGszevJhxtUZtZbZIJD4b2KisTXYIdwacWQTBtLeYkukl4Do9hu9Ue4i5Bi1O6_7X_2RlCxoTSzBRZN1xoZPylA-hPTX_jphd44c-hJRWtSHdOAom7VjwEnk=w1416-h796-no)

Onions: $1.98 (two 3lb bags)
Potatoes: $1.98 (two 10lb bags)
Frozen veggies: $3.40 ($.85/bag)

Total receipt = $7.36. I am so glad to have potatoes again. The kids will be ecstatic to be able to have oven fries again; it will be a nice change from beans and lentils. I wasn't planning on picking up onions, but they came out to 33/lb, which is quite a bit cheaper than my normal "buy-it" price of 50/lb for onions.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Discount store:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/tRtuhu13lZDIMPV4h8cShZkHZuEEzJaV3mYILJVdOxj93KRdprBIczHGDr32G5u_mIcoqUmgW96GiydvyWL4R-YOKwfef6qb2gduMpC5KKcLAD1b9LdpvLUU0qwONRW-kBssZWEi_clPIOx-pYvB7TkQc-luGlpOEXQQw9Cl6swauEdearjowP7gWU_yyHKnxk1MizagcGw5PPfM5HKFmEn--t9BtZERDpJqh2S7rD1uVkJpvf7rbOHdCh4OInbHRY6uBsaha1mFImOV8QygqHO1Wz964f0UsimNrcZc6hmMyndqz4in6p7bTlPqkM_v8mvWGYA8AqDE_9Ha0pX48-F3KLH_uDfdIn1A9UF2EI7hKljsq3lBgPtjqeYcT2Lzet0FAknF8vSVqmpbQ_xZtJa-GK8GUS5fNilTu9ScFqamJZ5uzOwpKLt-8GYKTCIVGSoEXJKRb5aZb6xdE59ubfO_BGESMEOs7u6Gn1NDApdd9YptgLw_7kuH021kYIBASoicABo95K-jF1UpFSPa5UntlC7ptZG1xv13b5HUREX10U4zFhDwH7dvxNDkUB4XQEUyPMZWqEsvfMtw-edMsMykBOEEYxEApfR6pqF3Qj1oofFduFbIZfbxvivkbHReaAIHN0bnpMs9PNENlpHv0KKAdZa_v1kd=w1416-h796-no)

Total receipt = $1.98
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 13, 2018, 11:59:37 AM
btw, that curry recipe looks good. i would make the green chili a serrano (for spice) and increase the ginger and garlic quantity. Also throw in a good heaping of garam marsala. I always double the herbs and spice when I cook.

Agreed that some more heat would have been nice, but I have to remember to keep it reasonably toned down for the kids. The ginger was a little strong-- probably would have been tempered perfectly by a pepper; I likely could have doubled the garlic and other spices and had it come out even more better than it did the other night.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: kaypinkHH on March 13, 2018, 01:30:21 PM
$1/12 EGGS! Amazing!

We go through a ton of eggs and the lowest price I seem to be finding is $3/dozen.

I really like your "buy it" price methodology. I need to figure out what good prices are for my area for my staple items.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Bicycle_B on March 13, 2018, 03:20:51 PM
$1/12 EGGS! Amazing!

We go through a ton of eggs and the lowest price I seem to be finding is $3/dozen.

I really like your "buy it" price methodology. I need to figure out what good prices are for my area for my staple items.

Factory farms make a big difference.  Does your province also eggs from them to be sold?

Where I live (think home of G.W. Bush), anything the mind can conceive, the marketer can achieve its sale.  My grocery has "cage free" eggs at $3/dozen and factory-style eggs about $1/dozen, right on the same shelf.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 13, 2018, 09:35:31 PM
Finally, I can make potatoes again! Yay! I probably should have bought more than two bags, lol.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/l7j0EY93edOy8pqwqhWp0OIWaPkU2FdmdxL_F4hXO6ZR7O_j1RfEO6n6ot80H3pZw88xD0qdwcm3JLGIWNsj22iquzjuyIh8sdPWJAT1CkraPryW5Kl1WSChtqtMFnxm3-WT3lS8_51zCO4QTzTgEZRDgwvw5_HTLC9do5kkv6Ag26l92uCfixLb1t8IUSAJYEZ1RANjT1rs_4RwHEcKcDB9hqbJyoXNpmNu25S_hyXmRvQqwLkIw8NK_ZpTweeC2DtDWZHaYYNDpnDVAXjNVvrRxps-RNrBT8mJdGMpdRIvxkiPK0SlGyOSdbOClCOylPhFZrwuiQSDTVm5RngqbdS1XHddp8POdHrz7ds6yaf2H9DBYLEJhrH3sYdzBhNcjzxRKVToxWUcafemkYmDvDgzerAMOm7regqz09ICsFFZBE6kr3HrZVyQlZmFbWZzhHsVMBQkoYuAX3nQm-EfJdjqDe1n8yT_CUqQtGuvoy2IKmwpfQQFYECPE1TZhm-vll2qgwFuQeyPFl66LMG8sPZYCOufCBwQbl-HLFB5v9km8ww9X0QtIC4VBjirIZaIGXXh65j2CvX7BwxqcYzsTfrehDmgUuu9fbuKVCc4JKYUxvobo_Yb1kKGF6NweEpZezBDZNkUhQwlS0ZuVOAXlNyQyHuuCK7e=w1416-h796-no)

Potatoes: $.45 (4.5lbs)
Oil: ~$.15
Brussels sprouts: $.85
Pulled pork: $1.15

Total dinner cost = $2.60 plus some mayo/ranch. Safeway gave me an online "personalized coupon" for frozen veggies at $.85/lb-- I'd never tried brussels sprouts as a frozen veggie, and at that price point, it's cheaper than I can find fresh. Turns out they're pretty good from frozen, so I probably should have bought more than just the two bags of them. Oh well. Lesson learned-- get a bigger freezer, so I can stock up to my heart's content.

Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: HipGnosis on March 14, 2018, 12:22:00 PM
I refined and perfected my recipe for ground turkey (with a bit of pork sausage) chili.
Now I'm working on ground turkey lasagna.  It's taking longer as I don't like to buy ingredients for a single dish, like;  italian turkey sausage, tomato paste, ricotta cheese.  I'm trying to adapt what I do buy and have, but not sure I can make it work...

Do you eat cottage cheese? My children dislike ricotta so we have used cottage. Now that they are older I mix half cottage and half ricotta and I make 2 full lasagnas and then freeze three halves ( there are only 4 of us)

I do eat, and used, cottage cheese.
I often eat it with my home-made salsa that has chipotle peppers.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: HipGnosis on March 14, 2018, 12:27:21 PM
Fish is not cheap in any form.
Canned mackerel use to be cheap.  I used it with canned salmon recipes, but the price has tripled in the last yr or so.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: MicroRN on March 14, 2018, 01:42:23 PM
Finally, I can make potatoes again! Yay! I probably should have bought more than two bags, lol.
Potatoes: $.45 (4.5lbs)
Oil: ~$.15
Brussels sprouts: $.85
Pulled pork: $1.15

Total dinner cost = $2.60 plus some mayo/ranch. Safeway gave me an online "personalized coupon" for frozen veggies at $.85/lb-- I'd never tried brussels sprouts as a frozen veggie, and at that price point, it's cheaper than I can find fresh. Turns out they're pretty good from frozen, so I probably should have bought more than just the two bags of them. Oh well. Lesson learned-- get a bigger freezer, so I can stock up to my heart's content.

Those potato wedges look great.  I'm also a huge fan of frozen veggies.  Some of them take an adjustment for cooking, but it's so easy and quick.  I try to add vegetables wherever possible, and we just wouldn't eat nearly as much without frozen.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Roadrunner53 on March 14, 2018, 04:10:58 PM
Companies that grow vegetables typically pack them where they pick them. For instance, tomatoes in CA are packed right from the fields. I used to work for a R&D company and they sent some of our team members out to CA to pack off (can) tomatoes in the summer months. Other veggies are taken from field to be prepped for frozen conditions. You are getting very 'fresh' veggies whether canned or frozen.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: the_fixer on March 14, 2018, 04:11:02 PM
The King Soopers coupons are amazing I wish I could score like that.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 15, 2018, 10:30:02 PM
Yesterday, I had too many things to do, so I was glad I had jambalaya in the freezer. The kids REALLY wanted to help paint (primer) in the basement, so having a quick dinner helped a lot in making that possible.

Total dinner cost = $0

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Today, I cooked up a pot of beans and the kids ate leftovers, so not much to report for dinner cost tonight either.

Beans: $.84
Chips: $0 (free friday)
Tomato: $.20

Total dinner cost: $1.04. Lots of beans leftover-- I'm planning to try that curry recipe again and see how a pinto bean substitution will work out, since I don't have any more kidney beans.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 15, 2018, 10:33:27 PM
Got the King Soopers ad today, and....Cheese is on sale, people!!!! Seriously, you have no idea how exciting this is, lol! I can get 2lb blocks for $4, and corned beef for $2.50/lb; if I use the 25% off coupon they also sent me, that works out to $1.50/lb for cheese, and <$2/lb for beef. Those are "stock up" prices right there.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: couponvan on March 16, 2018, 05:53:36 AM
CHEESE!!!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 16, 2018, 06:43:23 AM
Groceries yesterday:

Safeway:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/kM8s1_Gffh7rFEawv-aRRuQ_RLiT7jHIzM0jDTEFN59eNJ_GnLtzO6eiGMvdVwYcuNctRZO_xNFhSDFh_q2EyAwZxQ_9tjURBVBEnIVW33r3Y6drNi4YSDMYP0q8_XwJFztnHT41goVxkUfB6XnlrLHFOUCjoyYeU7_7FUnLSVtP-UJFcXsBAYUckxd-4K5heTOsgeJaui3OamcKzGp9_IvTbLspj6uGwrbcSROkXxdi9ZE111guAuVxnZ8ym5kdGVvlAhCw-KjKZBCBYuPS7j9kIOdPa3AHhERHZKliuRDSMwFM_e4ipK5oi9D-lchXGSCi-TwbDH8Ixxbs0zhxYH_H-4vx7ARyoYBvWPZPbbTOzp0RNDWYUXu8K393MpkE-HSXmzX6WuYPhk2BNJEvD0I1HrjDySIIdOzfp5VTDuGAnqNcRu9h7rueVYHW8i00U3eRB_wfDadYiJFR-Fd4A-_NaCLkHx9CxD2mEFOC_qyykmalRv9Hj1y6pRJpZJtvq7rZPfHQYCdQ5ktdNZ5vZl6JBTjIYQkd2HTqp6WwPVXUKBU1p-GFUoyhEdqe-Su-mm-_G-1u2yuQZEYFE5D0W2R-yORikiIyUD3Xm82DH1OrK-5YTNxWUYWLIUiZUSxP-vvcjFhmqtpn2uKniY_q_9bXDCLaafKN=w448-h796-no)

Total receipt = $1.99

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sprouts:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/1CQJgDXcPHfemVmuDVIu6rUSccOAufaJwSTyFx5EXVY5WE4GSE9mcorGqo9ZDSpB4BJJBgntIZuN_vzgWS8En7K8NSkPpZGELH_thAVYmpRtTDQwwoV687SIFAtTrq6oBbu-e70f7NYQNk_JuPfVXtmgOkIMq0PdW6-W5XGDuLhmytbPVJztIbiLq7WkpShyr8dkHycT2HfaQT8C9udCC0QXRpOHX-HJdBv-JKJGjQ5ubVX3ubxws6sQebzy0_LGagHVmJe1PPO2Q_H8uh8MSuOYiXT5mDc8FQ7wGPQR3YOgDHAe-6OIDJJG3jGq-IXmt-qg8aiiRTlbT9lrPGIgzUKPglmAwRm2BLIC_uma4FKkyEdr68WbawhJW8rORJhj-97uKl9kxoSYVRgMRVrJiF_rga_19vfKTYa-t76sQm61v24yfvLfSNiywuYm3z8WSjMRBDKtMstbvvK1qypnu8mgkysmFe2Ou0nTPSid7sn8iwdGLIiPuIieW4J2EaIBOxf9XB8BoYtb2LBjugWnBxdUuhVw6RCmNRWzjCoxMF9myxSEhonBIPa4mE_Xr-8rDB5m9bP9dNlJaml0ApeL20wsDiuHPXWpCZzbXR3nw-b6kXul3kP7zUFtlT1DdhOvKq6g2GIdSr9r3p72zE5EPhI4R7p2jhdA=w1416-h796-no)

Asparagus (2.14lb): $1.65
Brussels sprouts (1.26lb): $1.23
Celery: $1.00
Tomatoes (3.39lb): $2.61
Ginger: $1.50

Total receipt = $7.99. Veggies were all really good prices, so that was nice. I picked up the ginger, so I can make that curry again-- hopefully I'll remember to take some pictures for y'all.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 17, 2018, 09:48:15 PM
Dinner yesterday was leftovers, so not much to tell there. Maybe $.50 in ancillary ingredients.

----------------------------------------

Dinner tonight was sandwiches. With CHEESE. Lol!

Bread: $.99
Cold cuts: $1.67
Cheese: $.75
Onion: $.40
Pickles: $.60
Tomato: ~$.38
Green pepper: $.50
Lettuce: ~$.20

Total dinner cost = $5.49 plus mayo/mustard/bbq/sriracha. I put my portion of fruit (pineapple!) in my sandwiches, with a little bbq sauce-- yum! I am a huge fan of condiments and *everything* in my sandwiches, so mine were pretty dagwood style tonight. So. Delicious. And still cheaper than buying a SINGLE sandwich at Subway.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 17, 2018, 09:55:21 PM
Cheese! Went to King Soopers this morning on the way home from Home Depot (kitchen cabinets!).

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/wa3HuWn3Y5b-oNJSc_Ak26obAEl36mmx-dRukfYJ2i_Z6qQoHSuoYR7HDE8EpUDyUK6AGIH5xfxK9E-5ZjcLZpaufgq5LGOlrgQud-ZHvDcqS1-VKWSlI-NcFwBHWAJU5mxWBZFMlXTb-sW91Kp0_1VZmbTj2Xt-wd1z4GxqWlvh7ay2_u1Hw0COsa2lgzWSz2YIyopFKC9eMeoZfjUba-7FC9l0DIM1qSACEIBiX0MGCOsjwAbNdLXtEfyqj789PwmevFDHdgBCh7fS-FW5HvL1NTuo6pR0H-3FRFjDXrCHC4z8uBu88vnjtHN2wq2HxfjAzPSFmKv7axYl1deLIp3zZfg_sTqKS1qa4jItpeSyY1UkTTsdOCXBgDPWLr852prnQB8OubyBgi-8m-WGlBwURZvmP2vZkB-EhX2ZzdCR-JP4IINjdPWNP0JjbiuKhkPM90cBtSvn9xpOpTCXHdFWhzSdCs4LkilbWME5D8gR0OubIJ2KHkCbEaLqXJTejkJH_tmMgw5okIb7pINuQwSeOtSUGgow9jFVj0FOEzAfWzGQ1IZVx3ajYyY0MbEs964g7tNJU-aMcR17X_pqa8pdb5JQqauK7Y_7E8R3cMpuCwQik7-fK4yUbp3a1y9f24ScCfz0HsmKm2_RhiOD4EDS4CIsvAXY=w1416-h796-no)

Corned beef (7.5lb): $18.84
Cheese (10lb): $19.95
Cabbage (5.45lb): $1.58

Coupon: -$10

Total receipt = $30.37. If I ignore the cabbage (which was $.29/lb, so ridiculously cheap), I can split the value of the coupon between the beef and the cheese; that's cheese for $1.50/lb, and beef for ~$1.85/lb! Those are prices that are too good to pass up, especially on foods that we wish we could have more of, like CHEESE. Have I raved enough about cheese? Nope. Don't think I have, lol!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 18, 2018, 08:30:03 PM
Corned beef and cabbage for dinner!

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/y8pnK87HVkrCDeAGCcg5IJyp1U-iOG5ivE1xiKZCgofmsyHTY5XAWSAt7r1vM8yoAVQu8SU3aAdJnjceA1hZeFNup5nbVfo7YoJRIXVeegFCEoq2rnuNojbVDKSVRuxZWnmeo4rhOhhuIlf8-Q0KOHIf5N3b-S36umGQ901yuPwXI6fVv2PI-q9xwpsXqHBPfRLf8SGcb5jKjQcdqqU82vGGHx3Uef9Xl9pax9atjffXdwCmkjxCZnQ66PaOqqDnWBCEUXjZCC1d773szYBzfhnZiajUznfK7eoJQQyNGM2J1v8oLLR4e0cbHaaLV6igT3iA18fJOV8N94fuXmCG24LuUKp_2DSrZPh-7Y6ziFojsnXeH3c_Nn4794rhVp5w0cFmRbDhmYuD9W5GV2l8BBCtaRfeJXkiJlON0aKFfvqa0gcHPNIjaYsUdenXdCpcEGTajcouq9K4Yu_BTrHqrN_0PIuO8F96mhmBA_YJAWpist9ZtcmaSQSGH9qBrW0zJRls8IsaVo37wHPsnaYdV1l_xLg6kWpn7w_XP5TDw4w0zxeP2hj1Jy9wVIEgUW43Jxssgc4DyAKBhSizVlbyDBoaP_ZT-sO6RVvqdzmvK_BxXP53WojHMz12CW04A0tyzj3JuD0ATdEjnLPPC097blG9NFGuYTfe=w1416-h796-no)

Beef: $8.86
Bread: ~$1.15
Cabbage: ~$.50

Total dinner cost = $10.51. We ate about half the corned beef, and I thinly sliced the other half and tucked it in the freezer-- it was just the right amount to make a dinner's worth of sandwiches someday in the future. We hadn't had corned beef in ages (years, literally), and either I managed to cook it particularly well this time, or my mother consistently overcooked it when I was a kid (entirely probable).
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: shipright on March 19, 2018, 07:38:10 AM
I started parting whole chickens instead of buying the prepared trays.Sold side by side for almost the same cost:

Two 1000g whole chickens = 3.500BD

vs

One 1000g tray skinless/boneless breasts = 3.75BD

With the two whole chickens and ten minutes of time ended up with almost twice the meat and also got 1.) two chickens worth of skin I turned into crackling as a special snack and 2.) two chicken carcasses I turned into three liters of chicken stock (30 minutes of my time). That stock would have cost roughly 4.000BD at the store, and is much better quality than the box/canned stuff. I spent about .250BD on onions/carrots/celery for the stock.

I live in Bahrain so food is expensive and what is costly and cheap varies quite a bit from the US, but the way I figure it I saved 8.50 BD ($21.20 USD). Bird carcasses are an excellent money saver. I turn every chicken/duck/turkey I eat into gallons and gallons of stock. I find stock is a ready component of a lot of frugal recipes so it is always in demand in my house.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: couponvan on March 20, 2018, 05:45:11 AM
I started parting whole chickens instead of buying the prepared trays.Sold side by side for almost the same cost:

Two 1000g whole chickens = 3.500BD

vs

One 1000g tray skinless/boneless breasts = 3.75BD

With the two whole chickens and ten minutes of time ended up with almost twice the meat and also got 1.) two chickens worth of skin I turned into crackling as a special snack and 2.) two chicken carcasses I turned into three liters of chicken stock (30 minutes of my time). That stock would have cost roughly 4.000BD at the store, and is much better quality than the box/canned stuff. I spent about .250BD on onions/carrots/celery for the stock.

I live in Bahrain so food is expensive and what is costly and cheap varies quite a bit from the US, but the way I figure it I saved 8.50 BD ($21.20 USD). Bird carcasses are an excellent money saver. I turn every chicken/duck/turkey I eat into gallons and gallons of stock. I find stock is a ready component of a lot of frugal recipes so it is always in demand in my house.

That is some expensive chicken!  Wow.  Costco here in the US sells large whole roasted chickens for $6.  I have a hard time justifying baking my own at those prices.  At your prices, I'd totally be parting them.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 20, 2018, 08:01:32 AM
Yesterday for dinner was the other corned beef roast, only with potatoes this time. I was installing tile in my shower all day up until 9pm, so I ate quickly and went right back to work...so no pictures. I sure am glad for the set-and-forget ability of my instant pot!

Corned beef: $9.98
Potatoes: ~$.50
Cabbage: ~$.50

Total dinner cost = $10.98. I also fed my remodeling helper, and still had lots of leftovers.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 20, 2018, 08:34:34 PM
Leftovers for dinner tonight, so dinner cost is $0.

Probably going to do leftovers again tomorrow night, as the fridge is WAY too full of food to be making more.

---------------------------

Allso, I got an email from Chase saying that grocery stores are their 5% reward category this quarter, so at $200/mo, thats $10 that will trickle into our "travel money" rewards points tally. So yay!

Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: shipright on March 20, 2018, 11:23:45 PM
I started parting whole chickens instead of buying the prepared trays.Sold side by side for almost the same cost:

Two 1000g whole chickens = 3.500BD

vs

One 1000g tray skinless/boneless breasts = 3.75BD

With the two whole chickens and ten minutes of time ended up with almost twice the meat and also got 1.) two chickens worth of skin I turned into crackling as a special snack and 2.) two chicken carcasses I turned into three liters of chicken stock (30 minutes of my time). That stock would have cost roughly 4.000BD at the store, and is much better quality than the box/canned stuff. I spent about .250BD on onions/carrots/celery for the stock.

I live in Bahrain so food is expensive and what is costly and cheap varies quite a bit from the US, but the way I figure it I saved 8.50 BD ($21.20 USD). Bird carcasses are an excellent money saver. I turn every chicken/duck/turkey I eat into gallons and gallons of stock. I find stock is a ready component of a lot of frugal recipes so it is always in demand in my house.

That is some expensive chicken!  Wow.  Costco here in the US sells large whole roasted chickens for $6.  I have a hard time justifying baking my own at those prices.  At your prices, I'd totally be parting them.

Its an island. In a desert. So everything is imported.

I so miss Costco. When we discovered we were going overseas every option available still had one (Japan, Spain) EXCEPT the one I eventually got. BLAHarain.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: ohsnap on March 21, 2018, 03:45:16 PM
Groceries!

Safeway for ham and pasta sauce + the Discount Store for bread. Ham is $.87/lb at Safeway, so I decided to get one and slice it up for sandwiches, then eat the parts that don't slice so well for a dinner, then use the bone to make broth for beans/rice/lentils.
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/6X9fq-JdqNl7-KheXrZ5BJXiSQ5R9e4smTo6x7E58m6T17p6U6-JIiXKn1f1BiOeYzE5waYQFdqxUnkizHRNCRwa5G35FtqwjDLiyW2bTzP6JDzoUJ4SWWKyEyixymVC35sODsdmuqACDMZERUT8WQYY1FQJkIeCdMhXDL2zpNubKfmGNe2XLxCckR-jQNHAz_gG-z4EKetCYInxFXs8jYgL6xgQQI0gtb1mO0YOhZQcIRMtjUmJuBqYSkxE4N_FgoXEMqvrovBzb5wj-stS59ZWhcogGrThwqgxM2SNTCiKAOf346X7UJv-UHR4V0yHThIA0hLJm8A-fPmwJh0oSqIbEEagm2jSBhYrgGcuutu59wFeQ15J76v8nWlE_0vX5nG1DACREwXhIBsTnkdyqvAO7Zl_d5k0J6LTqy-VoymR-UeA1tULvbJAwGXkdeVGbYdRyYkZ5Uvi2AQKd2pWta4noKh9w6OhSzHxBpLgzKkl1eJFXFPVxgCVS_88W__R5lSbyydNO7oNGC2bLZ_N464vFPaxQ-T5JS9c1GXypOwzUAqTUk5vXIsyKw_ANGwr44eTo1oBYo6HjkRhNQ-MAAi9osDsna75m41aDpBz2ACK7eUOpWxMTrphTcJK28WDEWSt5DQgG-91liOTM52GIE9m-tV7d8LV=w786-h443-no)
Ham: $10.38


APowers, I know this was from a couple of months ago, but...is this a decent ham?  The "Cook's" brand is on sale this week for $.99/#, so I'm thinking of buying one instead of the one I usually get at Costco (which I think is $2.49/# this year).   I serve it sliced for Easter dinner, and then we eat leftovers for sandwiches, pea soup, etc for a week or so.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 21, 2018, 08:21:28 PM
Groceries!

Safeway for ham and pasta sauce + the Discount Store for bread. Ham is $.87/lb at Safeway, so I decided to get one and slice it up for sandwiches, then eat the parts that don't slice so well for a dinner, then use the bone to make broth for beans/rice/lentils.
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/6X9fq-JdqNl7-KheXrZ5BJXiSQ5R9e4smTo6x7E58m6T17p6U6-JIiXKn1f1BiOeYzE5waYQFdqxUnkizHRNCRwa5G35FtqwjDLiyW2bTzP6JDzoUJ4SWWKyEyixymVC35sODsdmuqACDMZERUT8WQYY1FQJkIeCdMhXDL2zpNubKfmGNe2XLxCckR-jQNHAz_gG-z4EKetCYInxFXs8jYgL6xgQQI0gtb1mO0YOhZQcIRMtjUmJuBqYSkxE4N_FgoXEMqvrovBzb5wj-stS59ZWhcogGrThwqgxM2SNTCiKAOf346X7UJv-UHR4V0yHThIA0hLJm8A-fPmwJh0oSqIbEEagm2jSBhYrgGcuutu59wFeQ15J76v8nWlE_0vX5nG1DACREwXhIBsTnkdyqvAO7Zl_d5k0J6LTqy-VoymR-UeA1tULvbJAwGXkdeVGbYdRyYkZ5Uvi2AQKd2pWta4noKh9w6OhSzHxBpLgzKkl1eJFXFPVxgCVS_88W__R5lSbyydNO7oNGC2bLZ_N464vFPaxQ-T5JS9c1GXypOwzUAqTUk5vXIsyKw_ANGwr44eTo1oBYo6HjkRhNQ-MAAi9osDsna75m41aDpBz2ACK7eUOpWxMTrphTcJK28WDEWSt5DQgG-91liOTM52GIE9m-tV7d8LV=w786-h443-no)
Ham: $10.38


APowers, I know this was from a couple of months ago, but...is this a decent ham?  The "Cook's" brand is on sale this week for $.99/#, so I'm thinking of buying one instead of the one I usually get at Costco (which I think is $2.49/# this year).   I serve it sliced for Easter dinner, and then we eat leftovers for sandwiches, pea soup, etc for a week or so.

It's decent, I guess. It's no Super Premium ham, and I'm sure you could taste the difference in a side-by-side taste test vs. something like Boar's Head or Costco's. But for me, I'm okay with eating a ham that's 85% as good for 2/5 the price. YMMV.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 21, 2018, 08:24:54 PM
Dinner tonight was leftovers again-- corned beef, mashed potatoes, cabbage + brussels sprouts. Nothing exciting here, lol.

Dinner cost = $1.23 for the brussels sprouts.


I just got the grocery ads, and Sprouts has some really good produce sales this weekend! Oranges for $.33/lb and avocados for 3/$1.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 22, 2018, 08:52:48 PM
Finally finished up all the critical leftovers tonight. The last of the corned beef, the leftover cabbage/brussels sprouts, and the last potatoes.

Cooked some rice: $.31
Pulled out a little bit of ham from the freezer for corned beef objectors: ~$.75

Total dinner cost: $1.06. Now, I can get back on track with the regularly planned schedule. Lentils tomorrow. The fridge is starting to look a little less chaotically packed. The only major leftover is the giant pot of chicken/beef broth, but that will end up in the lentils, so even it will be gone tomorrow. Hooray!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 23, 2018, 02:21:59 PM
Finally got around to consolidating all my rendered pork fat. I have just shy of a quart of greasy goodness.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/KzU05DVd3XafCfDFpd1MsO9jgq927no5GiWCPduLpSGare7eFnw0Bk6mSH25vOz-sG38khGjSeDdbgz4tSghrRsR0ZXl5rvmVLAAZ97rJDAHSkxiRgRQsk2LDk7LTqp8k8ireVpIuALxY0bNL3WNmeo2zYOVg4dRIU_GB8cLTjQ_Ep9Ig80JVGa7pjqAi9l-YCKQy64DwFxIN1c7kQIn7quZlkUkllVjOHaSPH1O0i0U2LDPVaAHmqe-uT70z8ghacHDWsj0FHA3BmpbacZ_j6MJv3DBixOO2vgWsnLSjZKlpc4cs73MTY_3uiNZ3Zj7hKxDFHgrPGyeSXNTTkx_x8hiL2GwiBXA539EyExrXlcdowDSy2xoLHqjosQO79G8jviV_ZJrz7B3coqHWUw5XI89HgW7HV1XF7erZJAkcz1x6YAG8Hkxd39JXYg50cK-5N-B5uyneVlNH7JMPQ1u01JOdXcqFNpaLzEOt1AkKOxSLq9bd8bIgCIpX50uiyKpGtrZh4khJw7mjT0V2Q5G3TfYoKrQI5ScIrwcKD-_-NPqjZpC3XdIQuFvFmtnTL3U23sNoaDbdarKKHTbgw4AEypMMyX5C9NB941WTxI6K4vEIG4HWhR1xZat9TvVfZ8thoWfaH5N6DPU2DzI3NFrpnuyL9yaAuYC=w448-h796-no)

This will probably last me a good long while. Likely well past the time I pick up another ham or pork roast. So delicious to fry stuff up with. Mmm.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 23, 2018, 02:31:18 PM
Also today went to do an estimate for some repair on a vacation rental, and they were cleaning out the fridge and I got to bring home a bunch of goodies!

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/mrj30fGwSEWmBVOcDdr4vvtfyLho0KZ2LS5MROFwzzEHdTZIaVhFK3YrdJYXX817JEZZF_qtzM5l84VLAY0aaP9OXfSxpHwoJfwTIddAeOKQasOUd7kuAZZcJKdArmX-ccJJgo4XtYJ5-ZLETWvzPoByoyQsdJeXS_cjNFQYPaavZ8cR3yz3nbtn9GIyadW3TPLCDt6tDKdafa5-qHWuT1lqeaz-iEh6beUWMhp9occrnWO75MSyjDIh5VtRUlwhGkSpXPLIzvgnLh3Z5P27d6HBQ5Sl90AxqxEZwbA3gsthIuO97e4oK-oa9HQ__On6pbPAWmsi-ZliOQFoNxhdUKjTYhd573rEoyYmzH4miDpJfdvP96dhd-ny6ocPoKJnx_jfHgoHRavtT_92SBuqQQ548a9tUafpwoA9am0DF4NSzL7P2HbqSdTlb0QKA0M-E_ja5OL7c59mPLy-XskC8vIeoy7pvljWcQC4B-5Sy8zRdGjU-kNdcyiFpQqFlykmTxG0pMO_dpDE6WtoB02YZpORt02Leg-plOMtpB4DBwj9US9G1Onu09R1BPNznojgzn7CUrTKcW8x4O8hPHsNO6XpguePvksGURRxTu4ylDcBz9pO-6u0fApNXZ9UyYI8x6tTazvwqoj1PMO1-nGJmKYEekqOOZpr=w1416-h796-no)

~16oz sour cream
Cheese dip/salsa (two different kinds)
~2lbs french fries
~4.3lb chicken breast
4 tubs of ice cream (who leaves a partial tub of ice cream in the freezer? Not me!)
~cup almond milk
6 eggs.

Probably $8 worth of food if I were to find it on sale and/or make it myself. Likely $30-40 worth of food at regular retail prices. This is an unexpected win for the food budget.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 23, 2018, 06:44:25 PM
Lentils for dinner:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/IxMD5E08JSQTU3r186u5N1WAkMbo0a9I4Xg6jZ7rG9yyRWnNTjmZpXaCD5NAiuLnVT6iFGs911FIqtoNt_O0VWWATZ3fPBzsIfgLmhFJ55WneVKqne3ExvVdOjghlgSPwG78oON5Xs8MYzY_4XId36vO60MS0FBeZERP9rcADp342t17Obw8TgH2G646mYtNpk5Le4P7vp3zY42wdefk2AqCb-rEOxSlSNqvhzf8vzlEzQrcdr9Li1MJa4dkPleSUUGR8L2SEl-1KjT5vvDIdaDApGgrf3WrwI2NL1K0efULOIADg_cChJfFnZF3X78fm1Qb-spgT1rrjJ5IVkr_n4T0-KW1siIen99Y3LR_A7mFwvimES-OsudpDq2lLwCsJ4BqLtenViyoMoxOFhASdANodaEJqCv_NMTczafoOCsPXmObZouw7auJmzDBSiV-lUUoN6Nwuj4dkagIaTxo-dhwKD5hPKhQ4dcDwMt7GGdDw7U8peCyuiuJcd4Gy96Y7EGAocYvDa37OqBA51nBcLIlE_5h-4ueky59QUhPeW_psW4fALNFKCWamp6crrYd5rJqd_UnCe9YzWEisYHuD7QOZxJiZuND_qAChS4CxycOoKczERWVeKiNjvhOANQuRFuYwt4iuB-FndHrkHa5vd6rzWwASc0G=w1416-h796-no)

Lentil soup: $1.20
Asparagus: $.83
Corn tortillas: $.40

Ice cream for dessert: $.65

Total dinner cost: $3.08. The ice cream cost is the portion of non-dairy "ice cream" (sorbet) for Kiddo. The rest of us got to enjoy the freebie I picked up earlier today.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Stachetastic on March 23, 2018, 07:44:16 PM
PTF. I find this thread to be endlessly fascinating! We keep our grocery budget around $400 for 2 adults, one 6 year old, and a part time 9 yr old. This includes toiletries and dog food. Our people food comes almost exclusively from Aldi.

Love the pics, too.  Thanks for giving us a peek at your familys food habits!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 23, 2018, 10:01:59 PM
Also stopped at the discount store today for bread.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/icot24zaB_2nDDYu-uRlf3-ASIIEFOiDUGGmCn3kEIne4RVUlqEYFM9Gc4F-2EcW_cTH1c0u8mOotJHKkv1g8LplxSl-i5r8AHADXUYLTr5jvFzbrY0Did25lctiQvaX3qGBm0QAMuMIvrrXJFVPDT0-GF260IILFdL027jxb1H04dU7yoOTd1ZlH3JoAN473AmEgBTG3GBrhzUcxaVk2WCHX54WhLy-gkobk6XkDUmFdYqAUgJcYWGO8aofIT7a4LqATdqx459WfRoJK6ehhWEOThzKfU02IVOsSzxDf0Pz7ejlSsJ_-0RQ1Dj7TTbHrKaQVHlXNRocRB2Z-50HlG7a29P7ifng9ALQimcyMLwv_bhw-IDIYG-akDC7t6_WQN6UIwQ0A_CwPbAgpDTvCPx6jeDGjgRoDPafy89reKq1sF6KJYvxrIaYTkuRGQatHG2NNdUcXIRearuoNEbzgVHCy_pBRhhCY2lX0sPbcJrntkIzwJZPArDGaPsJfN9gCrbopkSwikPQr2O7Kjx59aCBpDM7H6IowFpLRX6b8dB5dy8R_gYUOTCly2WyxZwqEp3a37FrwZtx_SRDmPspp6qiMBIp9I1yn8GKodI1pL1xX0Uj49hGjgdnpAlEiQOgknPYYfIyxm6h6cVl-CJ5c-fSavIjo6rs=w1416-h796-no)

$2.97
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 24, 2018, 09:02:39 PM
Sandwiches for dinner.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/ersPkAhKuve8ldvp2A9zmb_jwHDfF_N_JhO_kjHXsvk9fISXwwouI_Jl9vHt7iKIgG5FYxlgzDQSHiiYx8zk5TMIHSVm6pJt0ma8cXAhdwy5CmUd51qwiN5H9y0gsMuTZUBF-E0jlYlWVwfaVWHP9fB_FEZ__n3SwO8r1PUFW8IGOXf4QB3VxJwFLnqyVF2mMnbu2_5rX72qPdu4UchvYDIkBH6Y83paBGCq0hNQfrf0CvYkvXXLS_hWeZAFmfdLCN7t2W1Dv0yl8Fx9zEo3iB1PQrDsRXPM_ShT2B8D9N5918G25g0JFfqN2bonTVuQTlEcWlD9H4znGZ29JY-8Ez7ErlCH4bg7Ia_KkwgMmg4GJEkS3vxD8kf08ayhmty0jXO5qD57YvcA4vllHD4wdrEJcuASELWE3F1r4qjZA2P1rbPUKey8za9V4omG-bZir7njM5kSc4f6V6g7m0955p49kSJHq5p1VAkh9zRbHuKyO0hm4IhL0C85hGRg0BBF1E6uZDEbDJ62xjt7FrS62w_VHJS0KakMrQMkqUiqJRcSAIuSS_By8Uzn6n8FmCsdq9tS9Av4Bi_5Cacc3hR0pKlVG3ziUavQDeh789ZkW4NeXDjgjws4bR9Q09B-l1XXZ2t8GPFIi30Kito1XP5r15Tr-E9w3V3J=w794-h447-no)

Cold cuts: $1.66
Lettuce: $.20
Cheese: $.75
Bread: $.99
Onions: $0 (leftover)
Green pepper: $0 (leftover)
Tomatoes: $.20
Pickles: $.30

Total dinner cost = $4.10 plus mayo/mustard.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: eliza on March 25, 2018, 05:17:54 PM
Thanks for continuing this thread - it's very inspirational. 

My grocery win today was a pound of Sweet Italian Sausage for $1.  I wish I had produce prices like yours near me, but I'm very lucky to often be able to find meat marked down because it is near it's sell-by date.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 25, 2018, 07:34:27 PM
Thanks for continuing this thread - it's very inspirational. 

My grocery win today was a pound of Sweet Italian Sausage for $1.  I wish I had produce prices like yours near me, but I'm very lucky to often be able to find meat marked down because it is near it's sell-by date.

$1/lb for any kind of meat is great! I find the more I keep my eyes open for bargains, the more I find them popping up (in sometimes unexpected ways).
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 25, 2018, 08:37:26 PM
Grocery errands today:

Costco:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/WTSQcfFTzFRZz7An8Fmb6iZLP6bMzMd7ogHRDa7q6QbYM99bChhWXfYTATRMr5I1w_aFcxhEdTcLCAyM8UwJTSjaAlg2QJqCaIWEZDm_huHBGGl9RG3iHI1HnF1uMglcOq6GJvAi-mVnh9mYsdLx-Mhfg0UtKZ9wtvrduQJ2LT42qaAhg1rt2fp78FLMMOoX9lxu4g8d3xBoMQz9sfr-BG-zJRUBrB9Inp60T1t2z5q-OGVmwpMI8mCCPLZqjCJM2gJ1RHubpTNThezc32lcVmB1xG2gst-ojJvJyvwh_Lo8xDftKu2a5OU2CV6IDswZYD4YCr8Nvxx1j0SGkW0ahjR_52H4GAjREaWcsz4s6zv9FoJLEyYwgKXXIejTiD9c37P37eDAmiGwWA8jxhiRTCQ61lPSr6c5f1cx1rl3pSHFqL0CaPjN80_8Zc0AyGmpr6zsOMlYoi3EqHHaBXulw8NrKm0unoy-3mIwwEC3yGMiubllf002nq3vqkX51fzi7miJ01M7E6RIYaiw3IOCpBtIx19tbx7LMLkOMuZeFyNdwOYZmr9F97IjXgRkpT2DPbvy5XwY6Y3qccOE_fS8zXdwH77Lw3NHU-8Z5t5z9jENvBzgf8leTKkPB1i81b37COKe5jRKgrPitVYtpkx457FLXsDNrh0B=w1416-h796-no)

Tortillas: $3.59. Also, I should remember to never go into Costco on a Sunday. SO. CROWDED. Apparently, according to the Costco employee I was chatting with, our Costco is the busiest in the state of CO. Yikes!

--------------------------------------------------

King Soopers:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/b4x6eN7RMYhqt2kpTsg6uL5sQTgvBx4Eni3BHMRsSnaveedKZNYonGfKDR9z_8YWJUZYUwHGQGVb1QIK1dZHtdfhEmxXJ3S2HgvPEE3IYdnB3_82wM_s_j_-gJdXoMA7qpe3C2L4867HB06vWvjV0MfgQeM2RiLZm-oB5GIO6LK-jcK4LlFlxErif6AhxzyaYXXoDV15MEbNjFarPKEGli1DEZuPh9sZvHkAoe8UGLmF22qwI5s7uQ0-FS3RBBuUqSQmEi8UVIO3EdoSxblJDVDJGkxXxoQn7udJE9UO09aVwfm9M347hxnKwC8gWA07r-WOLoknqd1WnzF8UfIeNnpPqi54yvPGgzr3A_WKjdIbCKikPSz5TsYEyDVFw0O5BQlG6zdh8tkw3tSTZeMXyL2lRBBvuX-KohPardmu9llzGYuDXhlP3G8noTvY93HPQ3qnV9NGCqT4r6HjUC37_EfMO-IsGB7CEEVld1nqVTEhYlWT11AIZjIo1JE3zMjuISiHbHXanbZOtRweiXClAVRvuyXmO0F9f66zGNzoQQlqpzM7l5LXrOwqv4XRPcNFLwj9V3a10QQzfDHidXrSqxZbQ7lrEtrhIrInyYD_aRx9DrDHFSrBYx88RvjZ_KfRiUpqeeeugmTVe7hPeAAgbUUuMLjW3epa=w1416-h796-no)

Pasta: $8.33 (49/lb!)
Cottage cheese: $.79
Milk: $1.99
Grapes: $2.13
Salad: $0 (free coupon!)
Granola bar thing: $0 (free Friday)

Total receipt = $13.24. Got to use my coupon for free salad greens, which basically saves me from buying a head of lettuce this week. And SO loves cottage cheese (I think it's icky) so she gets to splurge this week. The pasta was on a have-to-buy-in-multiples-of-six deal, mix and match with the cottage cheese-- no problem for me, since I need to stock the pasta hole in my pantry anyway, and <50/lb for pasta is a steal.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Sprouts:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/hlqTlxgBMI2X3mBI45jBVeGXR-kpL8RW8tPCc28kjkg9ytm5-puDOeLG4GT2kXN12RhiY7oG4wUMA0ly_rIJ_-rBU2Z71jZ7RGjjv8WzXBo64IvxObk01aaVPCfLXxO2wMz0FRwG3C-COZUfi89uL7jamjHXO7fiSc6ADmp1D9YTh2Dbv81wX1_I4WlhLnyH7_HMkNTwePz4UsMdJd1pysesWKYom7Td2Ah1DNy2dYtVI7ufgRIFK2MlQqfmDCMak6xx9ZAmV3HU7fRnF7ot4c2CoEEFC_dTXi2pF_t4P1CAZmpSNb7-E5Q5qCMZ-yBQ-IeW7PAdY2yLmcu5vdYsevxI7uD9dg-59BT8dO_Tl_oiNx6M1p5sVcQ5WJDrGm7GHRNL1952RniMTJWphTrp4DEzxzzVETwlI6jOKIlXLaGwsnPShIFJsFiiqm4nvqZcBYIW6HJ4z03gE4UArFAc3kbkLZubpyILokhY8klPUBwdtRNk4PbDzzyr3-aPrVMhMG_0nLuVWXvuZQaqmCqOSaS3CnUek_lzmLgECYqkbEHUvLEMeg1sNVyMM7wZmPQ08q_Pp4W79Lv4XAFgV5dAJA2GMk7xFKEEbBTCPPBEe4t8lesVhxfzXdv81OuXZRAsGd_U9cPwQFc0pZV2Vh14Bo2Hg_zEranT=w1416-h796-no)

Carrots: $2.99
Oranges: $6.61 (33/lb!)
Apples: $2.81 (88/lb)
Avocados: $1.34 (3/$1)

Total receipt = $13.75. These oranges are HUGE! Like grapefruit size!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 25, 2018, 09:02:59 PM
We ate almost all the leftovers for lunch, so I didn't feel compelled to make anything too complicated or comprehensive for dinner, and Girlie suggested pancakes, which sounded good to me.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/qrvU1mlNWkqKqYjpQPWS3QBtkrqPfjoLhfjxLJbq0b0Fid-jm24Mb0WhgoV46nhkIBlduJsjycn7bBZZl1KIb_WVzAl3U5SXtqI2cAtcXgn0XM3j2VaNS5XsWoepU48iySkRU7odOCAdDw207_A5sGIG0U8sPUVTv1_PGj_V9XAj0rlDcy42sRB-Pk0Dr8Bx8-6H6tLuc85cjZ2a1YLmpD62kmLqcwXoQDJA18uAJC6u6RFxFsrn_0uBzFPQckt3iwBIXzk9fRuDypT58fwxhcW_qoErVsaowA3kJgvZqHnJK0RR8xpqxY3hVBml6lGQxMkVK-6Z2TcJlpjPkDYdL45or5KzO2ysNz3hPvCNUzlARoYkIMDVTpzrlPhucLuiCv83SpmS8XA50WYTyoTo1TJTmpJto7Wz2ACfm7bbxtBYIZGTNGDn4zrqHd-E8LO-KWWP40xOwp46ws5CMGdFls2X9MTJUDWAljZ_S5YmHcN-KgbBqx_3iUk8W5w9S24n8_NngRyusFYfU--LPBZkysCA_74-xMz0mk1m6dbwiCfntQa_O__N4Q1sa56Xfa5C5UlAHiEXznvVsRyGX-FQthTS7DN32Dso9Tf8OJaB-4LN2vwS0Nltf9FvGGXcv3uR8ZLY_wzLBkVQMTR0w57t46TYa-RQUJNH=w1416-h796-no)

Pancakes: ~$1.00
2 oranges: ~$.65
1 apple: $.35
Peanut butter: ~$.50
Chocolate chips: ~$.15

Total dinner cost = $2.65 plus some syrup. Yum!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 26, 2018, 10:15:04 PM
SO made dinner tonight, and I just paused laying tile long enough to quickly eat, so no pics tonight. Sorry! :S She made potatoes and scrambled eggs w/pepperoni.

8 small potatoes, cubed and oven fried: ~$.25
8 eggs: $.64
10-12 slices of pepperoni: ~$.50?

Total dinner cost = ~$1.39. I ate mine with the last of the leftover lentils, and I'm not sure if it was super delicious or if I was just hungry, but it sure tasted good!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 27, 2018, 09:47:33 PM
Tonight was rice on the schedule, so I decided to try that curry (https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fsmittenkitchen.com%2F2009%2F02%2Fred-kidney-bean-curry%2F&h=ATNkc5WY2QfBxDcMsTBapgXEF8DqZ-e49iGO4kIDekZLEJzSyz2dCGxhjCGGRu88gtNOdE1bt5KWs95zUVCnNnpIJlUXz_v9jtKZj2g1MafCY5ke8Q) again. I don't have any kidney beans, so I used some pinto beans I had stashed in the freezer.

AND I took pictures, yay!

Oil in the dutch oven, garlic and ginger starting to brown. (~$.20)
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/lyOgs8R8wtzeM1UD1hwVlMkXdtkoluRhtXpt0D82UIXRGHO79gevGBlrNx6VALxh_vo7F2pnIR6ayY8UKsyNmAgPTwpZ1XCGAAbKIrUkb9aE59mviVmzuDJgqpD0dXKk9nJGuSWURIrKLeKu9Tjkh6SydL2mLLad1-74kd8EkyrNv0nNChVBao0pDYXscKGhToMQNvDJa9EyM_iZosT72b_O2ehpwmfQKQ2N90wsRa7D13A1PakZxeQwt5bBYePrXbcbT2gUmnNSduf19mVMjkFLuZVVLK-drFlK5qKAUA42crAS-XOIXLlgrEXkixkyzCZ6Zg4NeeOUN8YGOyJvLw285mmUMLL5ftEJ5aNtgtPKk_mM7edsD5Kux8pw2A53PwYOW-jySLyRq4HP_v4LZRfPqQcl_rSe0zGSJVuTJLjykkg1pErkEMESfhv3VhjegngYkyUwCYwc_p_r5S38jCpTxxOiKio_Hdv61P1Alirwwox25wapmbhQmMroH-6faY84KrS2yf_Z2TiOsOWkHXUxkmP_F8MvnHfatX3UUSIgscazOxse_a4B_TrAM_iOQWi9ML19WHZN2H34j3FQME47k_5xyE4uE5aIHd-1o-V5i9UjehurkfLGTZn_OD9bmCo9nstFzOpSD6waLU9h_v2aVf6cPyc1=w794-h447-no)

Add an onion ($.40)
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/l26_zMyy-Hg6HZvz9UV-dNoIaEwKnZbqNUqyJgWV3q93NGjazJzjKG1ucu8AvP0b3FnT6CB7BjrpPmTg-qyEyXUh1bV336LKHq5e_vAw94uYeBr_9uXAG5pfdWdzF7vXk6KMeRDOSVI8OVmHWf4RgTUkUjaazh46CFBR7o_shH41V6BQaKnwmC_mWanSHkjCLKZtdK2xL3YcfG7lacPRuHGzaWS0zPDdz6gzfGxRy313ugv9lUXwWG2InYJPdCM5bZLS9yERbhwKRFaXIEK9-S5YJ_Col4xJobXvghUAgiwL7CF_NTN1tzgNWSL-8pcILSGiCaM1EXeoGFd0mhwuf51t-zQPYAb0Yqid8hizbcWfWkIeqFfX46YV_g1n7loqxSK8TPogkJ2GeYJov1ZEd3BVl4x7wonLwYbftBJz9G6_TK3DYqULru4jrTWWUn67oix5aUmlPGNthK4RQJfruQBFozR2hRwvMPqceOd-thjHirN357vDaB5JugwAGTZcIXAscnFeKJIL7vzOzSsFDXM6ShCP6Io_72Vmj6oi8TYLt-hT48S4R6P7SreAS8ApRZLcZ8JMsHclhyw7LeQ0lVn4UviBeSWGOus7d005mV1T2IzdchwHzwxgQSXc7zJfdArasrTvR8aBlGFN5WBgyZDkyuLHxth_=w794-h447-no)

Fry them up on medium high 'til they look like this:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/OIXu42Q-ZLnHnVpfWUUvh6QxqmAoC8PcRsldlDwsKw85_k9WjDBJF2OzORo2DNruxT272mO0COKBn4LPUROOIP9kqS7Jk4DCfVdIGBBQa75vMmLCIf763ZRAcDsG6Y9kCoTLwemwnUk5cbb3AESqwC4Gj0F0s0jFA7pJcvpnaalDdQzhsySA0Y5Qm8RZXP4GCYdjNSR0SPjuvw7LcSPWdtu6sQ4EvtRs7PJL4l7X2M4krEOO77qm32hiabsXC_5Q-6ugEch6OBIjmzjwik_PrmLpJx6ODsLgrMF21jvi47FPfK0nYLSlWy2WI2-PlwXRevRBmtfCvIhXiZ6PN5btwTeL22vWp62RrgEX5-Mv-M_zmxGTVEnp4fx7WZuA4e1Vp3Qo6vufFy-hELHxYi_fiFCb8Q81IACrWayxfxQBk2qR6T-6VLmL-Vndf8VBduOMfC3rGkQhwcRXag1p9DNFxeVZPKUS1juVs_hV_SttB3aVo92sLs0NF6slRC2QRMY0V-KTl6a6sSfv8UAFimUojDzJ4KWPMkrtrCDYRvQDYcpnA4Hz9_oQXM4X1uMp977HkNeH0voSaHvBoWSXP-YY4tqSYmysTjkvIqWHDRNHjFBkTDIfQbKhz6SSfX1g0H9Bgdpnm4kAr89fbbZTjmekdwb4lhmMfQmt=w794-h447-no)

Add spices and tomato sauce and cook/stir for a few minutes-- i.e., get the rice started in the instant pot ($.25)
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/T67vykkSptGlZ2sZoNWv4cOoukPVheLy5W74PJqFsqqyg9Dne5cksS_L68Vxb4AOz8hPa7P3gqVhntRMuIQy9qprIrCyAH313PKxKhKGR-2gCy81HaN7vBTFzD9x50EPlsGwimM_b_r9ry96Dp5fYGInKfBk-sIgQVec5ptwGWlTeoweWnyPZQupd-6BZBffX5iLKHOzBysGF4iEu6HXdCswEa_GiN2EoTZ0FDjKC2XUUmgz0WWuD4ikLAR-u_MnPr52nhAIlpyoVajkpzpgrcIurYBSuo0FEQ--2W0cjH_aW7ieJOluOZpPrWo6riYw3BncQPFSr7YJIOx2POGoo9Uo_1vvI-Pppxnd5nGq8pOrMKBz7LLXpULFscCdrc6_3AY1zK4efXHgLpoy_Kg7Ple9I2yTzYEKKS6dDnn2UaSDhP5EaQoGhTaPqRGZjhZ2_VoOhjzta9g4Qxr4cuiwATunxB0zE-Qrub-IA3ysTdfhxWffX5kcMiHO5UtL4NAgxMvzvGDexm-jb4iKy7pIhPlYos01BhS_kj5vMBX8bQMmI86xLlprfjTiA_aJoppcHJbsvUi1KakBGbVXFyDbyIcoFaYH0DUR26H-WKCMlTI-65RZLPi1Gbi0iZo4NqwDYd_V41XI6Y-jGr9vJVU9Lwh192rm_LKf=w794-h447-no)

Add beans, tomatoes, and water ($.22)
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/cAnRkW5psydqMDERrgPr60zzGwD_gOB31Z6XAfUGAE0xKVTBp1Ofo0h2xsA7BREDpeFJ0P6fxFyfpCj0XrHlwTH5prInMZKr67affRJs8xka7JNfvcvQGZJoWQjBHRcAocf-MOwHvZrM9u_slqF8Epkmk58XuTQnqud5_-ziCMsFD85xLLX1KIDkv_2FlnWPN9b-uqBCZwAyJ0v6E_OA7sbPu_4pQvpd3swt9kQZo15U8FsgmRiyCd-eJqJggOhldTt38TyfMqp7X2HX5iPHnV2o6iqvXi1AhiWFul6HUuVEWMeD0bQmD9lvBo-grY-MAL0uzP2ccVwd7sA_ZnSDFFZ7nqTod0t_bkT3FuQUHvdXyIGstXIzlJJ-IK6t0VwbKd4-RIJ_DFhapBxdDoVvqKkCBL8pxSXFpULLIhLkpdTtE8b1ULz6VAY7gNuMCEsZr9PPIIihPyL7D2ddPjwwoDniXGe6hwYaSW_W54uLz5qFjSgnxuaX1Nvlar-8gmVBD2nLsjIEZnEiE6sedFBZMXykGiCkWI2QT5ESFevBzY1grxV15LegwX1OAaOCqphfFSwzZyeMt_CMUcAoWcA7RNlelU9eU0AXFm5G9S7Ges1Sa8i0YAvjz0yLVPkoWNsa1-8C9EnRiW_gxnv2RS7pMNFSHf2Rxoul=w794-h447-no)

Serve over rice. YUM! ($.35)
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/qe9r-j7XhYo6Lv5FDyg6fYZduWb2_0gqXJZxBDHsj29xzJGqMAnsH0E2W-uVmQM-D4rlFs0uVtHK06m_9ZZfk9-u7GAoti-HcLlA5rBhPG5IjHEZa3cgOogcWt_LPkz6i5iYy49tBA9nbBaQWpmLRDoQnM7u9qJmXXX1inq0aB6PaToParMlpTzBEd7_dL6kasF-ZVY7JL9U4Mm-ejHkxrbMJQNzXIyasmpXIMKNxNQQpf6Bfeu4u5epuk_ucQe0oysUH7jPa4gmJcJ--SQ9_NQ58ZdkV_V6EZc_ZAFbfeZSsHOeOLDZoxgqryxMLTyIiBYMLxZ7bKEldzyEGHKlHMUosdZFskgGCTI8bbpdOvOgPXtAKGvCsi5DSUulV0Mg0g-_5adWIiXS772OBUUO2-kvLDIfqXtotkTtLCkkodXp0OMptpbChXFhyfKAM-HrDJXuJCLYz31vOK54vn6nTvyr6h_Nm-nsH9ZJaBiqNPUU7A3eoVBH40chgK9OPCVFANaJChpw-IxAnEDT2Yx5nyrpkuJGy6jI6Peq8Q7ooaO_5nW_8If0sbEHhLbG_mCWi65MyHhIclUb5XZzbNvNIu_PmSO1NCcq5NBZ5pNR0U4QLLKBn94yLpVTo_ck2MdDXamvJxknND6PHZTC8HajTwFSg7Xs68Sb=w794-h447-no)

Total dinner cost = $1.42. Unfortunately, there weren't hardly any leftovers...
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 28, 2018, 10:15:27 PM
Spaghetti for dinner tonight. I should have taken a picture, because it came out nicely this time. Oh well, next time.

Pasta: $1.00
Sauce: $1.00
Ground beef: $1.80
Onion: $.11
Garlic: $.10
Lettuce: $.20
Tomatoes: $.40
Cucumber: $.50

Total dinner cost = $5.11 plus a bit of parmesan.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 29, 2018, 07:45:07 PM
Got free food this morning at a business meeting! Yay!

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/k9yY7hS2YLExoHox-BUqSGvgzX3KNd9igesjk0OsCKS8Ed91rkX-E-QuTtmZgBccExBFeT1eWAstlN264Jicro8MILpUsNuNjdyKQjLjVmkF7s9yAEGWg5iu5UP3mo2c0qDqsD7fwVZWV4iSJNaPwOvbyME37sfDX_u24sGPGsymMYf6Y5LEmu6YNlmCTqZog8FI-ekIYe1wXbsiGui4i-usUNSIebUKVO2XmtGkrkfONtzmOTxsELN9fXiXWB-1Hcz2Wdo6xzYTPTH9PitJwsr3Ied4TRNtWSfL7ltAoMFOq_YHYos5AWk92ENfGEdmEG2uyecL6ZonzyntjlvjUMo9o_O2XEGXn546khMI2T6qKPqcdSorlobk_My8VbQCOSEQC06pDNUEqM1jNAq0XLMFb795wA5h15UfCfdj2toVBIqwh-UNrZqcHymW5cfbVXk4FCpXh5PggSS9X__JDQHVXml45ZdR9h2rFQO4nXlLTFSSKvuXDPd4EIeP88P2yMDApnlnD23njoWNMVbrmnMtJg0Lr9JDUb0sLma0KVLAlNIrSGAkUzLMjT0fmTeHjLyJ5dTceUCBTiIdtoQU6DF7PTZxpbQXlLwCBYFm-EDKf2-1kLavkFfx3Rh_IeRuM3AEFsUL7BwrmdChF6_eEodL3-iA5lPO=w1416-h796-no)

It wasn't much, but it made for a nice dessert for the kids after dinner:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/4ktJIODu3Wuu2bhq0vu1U1RYEifPw4Wa-fIDs5Io8Pp-tfkdxG5FLFdLRAPMZG-AX0azOahEQq2Q8uC2jRQYp0oQH5womswuTCHvq4voCPfcFD9uYATMkFN5vQIlNAnfvVpUkW9Z-v-TtDGCtPII0A5Y0ol_wjkOkcC2I_DxenvpFwO33nhzNYAdQb3CRLu1WkgYPVaPBKaIQN78jhjOTg7HqY14Dz72V_V3nXl6unly9Vyr9EPa68HrPQ2PDrOwqd9Icj4zlAJl6aAngpfa4_BHL_-aQ88_O4p80Vajq2liPxrc5CNiWYiMx1GxIJcUTWyMZcoBr3suV3UK7bZxMyPZTOSISPOcnK-Hfe_-mKl2i2m2wlqxpK_lwCzwOI5FLSWe3o9QD2WCfODARNvn44xYBUX9Vh-NMtt0wyXmhBiHaH_iIiXTtQFWoD0RDzJzFdM_ad5C0-fTSdgb3p7O5PtvaxZCjxmtlIBGmOtr5GBqyYBVUAmDB0w-eOerjrRnFa42PzVf2lNYu85uLt_IRwpmFFPoJF4kScPZSggBT9O7SWydM0aO5O2W6crUQWdYEGvs2LgsoP8IVpXJzoceWGhD05aS_n_iMNu6CGKjXiLrU579vOR0yuhd80AMgW4Ojs3DYP1pXNBP36JiCIquix1_aAMiLLfb=w1416-h796-no)

I made the granola bars this morning-- they're great for packing in school lunches for Kiddo. One of these days, I should probably do a recipe post with pictures about them.

----------------------------------------------------------------

Went to Costco this evening. It was a long day of SO being cooped up with the kidlets while I was working, so when she texted saying "was thinking Costco for dinner tonight", I was down with that, especially since the kids have been particularly well-behaved the last couple days.

Total dinner cost = $8.65

Also picked up some of these:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/5P2briod_v5sczaJe23Lqm4ptqxCd701ftqQRPUtTB4hgUGoU6p_64kisYHEpk8Cq4bv4WZWDCYQA0X2zjT34auDvspnXWhQcQkjGdWIo1juW4UXO6UmGm7zmYlnQjbMRxxwpvGXaxELdIdJWhCLMw_gWoVPSBmSLHGfSGIHNLMaaf2iMHbNLGa7wWvCrRe5Xvpz5Cai4ZcrtmI48VUQTNpSLY9NWJ5T03reJmnwwDtDwB9ahEBHxrRlLv21MnD7k1tIpSfkC4G5atf723e7CCKhayGHINoh35RUuZ9GNr6DG58c0KOyDkuigkAZf2PEUqDhVtnEx1gOFXpgcIRAtQElYhrimedQmDr0phv0Lm4HX-MxnP5Qgq2hOZqR8xiklKcpWKoOel80XmerfYkYTE6icecPhhC2Laq2PfGSeo32vOs1C7ewje-Z8sbSFfga4wrxpaKgEE_-Sgfe507C8Fiba5YUGDGcb_VLu8p1f3WqxM-xlu61lLZZH4lG6IXIc0AeGhLO_V3af7iJMfy06a4kl-H1Tl6hrdogawJU5Ght8q2P--Nu71hx9VdG-KSbCSYA7n1uts8VfDUIrcdScu_kODkYe6VaMF75hJDzWKFWStVVOdPQxwUT6AlAyqgB89yyCQ_DKdcF9moxisYl1zhPx1FRutq-=w448-h796-no)

Which are designated to be used as prizes/rewards for the kids for doing extra clean-up chores. Nevertheless, they're food, so here they are.

Total receipt = $10.28.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: meatgrinder on March 30, 2018, 03:23:55 PM
Grocery errands today:


Avocados: $1.34 (3/$1)



3 Avocados for $1?  Its $3 for 1 Avocado at most places in Seattle.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 30, 2018, 05:47:08 PM
Grocery errands today:


Avocados: $1.34 (3/$1)



3 Avocados for $1?  Its $3 for 1 Avocado at most places in Seattle.

I know!  When we lived in WA, they would sometimes go on sale for 2/$1, and most of the time would be $2-3 each. We get to have avocados WAY more often here in CO.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 30, 2018, 09:56:09 PM
Bought potatoes at Safeway today. I don't do Easter, but I do celebrate cheap potatoes!

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/N9-PzivIOHQ_nOTquyyOTPoOfNQVaZhqyCuXWLgxxDiQFwYe6ghDBD27JYRIn4dg7iN8tSHqNNQZpigIB7hhUROPJznsvprD7IjQn3dt1jGCDpJzPv5Cse2372tRbVI8Mxl-E-h2eGKVQ6R0uQJJ0Y6tuloMutsvj_0fyO7a7yohXrolEeoBGnndo6tsgwlfpmGSkhh8QPlFgsAXjaZLN_jF3f5mbNOocLsKCslLl6qyzj6fyXb1KfEs63ClsGo9sgN1VKMwRyPXET1izlqNKU08SjLXFkCBIhJ3zzPWyvajyGM7KRwRXL-wGvDhb0nzLDApELYJUWKBO0sBDM-_QNLnQDkRxJJHQdJarO5BLYg4Z2xLQMcEDJxYOdqWYdIwKhvIUskz7_wW-Sz9ViaYvobUj0PNwWIxtirdB9YNZe-1HOf8V7dRMCyydabU3OOgBRW-XCBGcM3EAY51KYuGGSftBhtN8fALqeNHNMGW_esscl6ZLRhb463micJKepCXwdViV6D9droD8WMxAmyqhV1G1FauKiZ5yP941rZmkMm5Zwabt9T8fofcd8gfLuoKfSS4jD3Bc3EflDc3aaUwGIVE6_i2HrQ4BmgEvfutXJC76oieTQJXJd0Az0e1pgxqfdhmgYw-GZpiJF4L42cdR_jUtvSZiIjY=w1416-h796-no)

Total receipt = $1.54 for 20lbs of potatoes.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on March 30, 2018, 10:02:14 PM
Lentils for dinner tonight. I am so glad that I can set-and-forget the Instant Pot. I was able to get all the ingredients started in the pot, and then we went to run errands and had dinner ready and waiting when we came back.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/FUnBmDAILHO5kv-X-C83zE1LJhfUn_ha40rtJRHI2nzmkpKPP7MazKIrm6R4jBOEqpeKhrapRPp5oWXqVfjOkq9gLfPi8aMM8ERiC0Z6_WfvFoStnZ9uem771JZs0niufKE3ZtlpTNQbnx7wNYx7Y5tqbKAQtj6jbwD3p3k8PGxz3IeBtLKABxi6rDm4Yjfk2FSh4BiynYOsR7Wq-PjUBgVQUVVbffX2BOPQcR2C_iqDeYbqpbK-hYbm_6lfBHiNh2SSJLX3xozh1UrXTYdpS0phifEXqSIpgQhKMLB3B5xdjyn5dg7AzdgVymkZ8NnFT1n7SLCLiNoGb_I2RNn1zeRiBdNbncjrUlB3bHlnnnzwQQrHPKMgXOfpFpRkwQaTZ9kUyqDs5VqBgYXMHj-6tEq8GFo8BOlaldI3O8Ji19aPhqy1QDFe0GXyAudth8jnD5bs-QTyOgGKgHuNoa815T3YDyqgu4EPAmHtLF2SPC8r-pPeJlROzdDNDU9Is9ycYF4wXgmr8gyERe6RWNPT8opSkou76Gy9D2X8Q9_Xqtrulc-DJSFCcHIBV8VrNhB_Dz8C37EphNoDUolRhPmzjmRGvy5igK3kIBPYGexMp2PsTa69VVGs0Mz0JWEp4CMEwaH2jYeqnFi0o4bMuciNy68t3MmR3VMn=w1416-h796-no)

Lentils: $.99
Onion: $0 (leftover)
Garlic: $.10
Carrots: $.60
Cheese: $.38

Total dinner cost = $2.07. Kiddo was adamant that he did not want lentils, so he had leftover pasta for his dinner.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Mtngrl on March 31, 2018, 08:28:12 AM
Bought potatoes at Safeway today. I don't do Easter, but I do celebrate cheap potatoes!

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/N9-PzivIOHQ_nOTquyyOTPoOfNQVaZhqyCuXWLgxxDiQFwYe6ghDBD27JYRIn4dg7iN8tSHqNNQZpigIB7hhUROPJznsvprD7IjQn3dt1jGCDpJzPv5Cse2372tRbVI8Mxl-E-h2eGKVQ6R0uQJJ0Y6tuloMutsvj_0fyO7a7yohXrolEeoBGnndo6tsgwlfpmGSkhh8QPlFgsAXjaZLN_jF3f5mbNOocLsKCslLl6qyzj6fyXb1KfEs63ClsGo9sgN1VKMwRyPXET1izlqNKU08SjLXFkCBIhJ3zzPWyvajyGM7KRwRXL-wGvDhb0nzLDApELYJUWKBO0sBDM-_QNLnQDkRxJJHQdJarO5BLYg4Z2xLQMcEDJxYOdqWYdIwKhvIUskz7_wW-Sz9ViaYvobUj0PNwWIxtirdB9YNZe-1HOf8V7dRMCyydabU3OOgBRW-XCBGcM3EAY51KYuGGSftBhtN8fALqeNHNMGW_esscl6ZLRhb463micJKepCXwdViV6D9droD8WMxAmyqhV1G1FauKiZ5yP941rZmkMm5Zwabt9T8fofcd8gfLuoKfSS4jD3Bc3EflDc3aaUwGIVE6_i2HrQ4BmgEvfutXJC76oieTQJXJd0Az0e1pgxqfdhmgYw-GZpiJF4L42cdR_jUtvSZiIjY=w1416-h796-no)

Total receipt = $1.54 for 20lbs of potatoes.

I live on the other side of Colorado from you (western slope). While King Soopers keeps the same prices and ad state-wide, Safeway varies their sales by location -- so I ended up paying $1.49 for 10 lbs of potatoes, instead of the 79 cents for ten pounds in the Denver ad. And we don't have Sprouts over here, which bums me out -- I love their produce. It's interesting to compare.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: soccerluvof4 on April 01, 2018, 06:21:18 AM
I could never get to 200$ a month but this thread is inspirational  have greatly shrunk our costs down 75% over the last 3 years since Fire'd. We currently are a family of 4 but at times are 5-6 as kids when 2 come home from college and our budget includes all cleaning supplies, laundry and bathroom products etc.. So i spend 20$ a day period. 30 day month is 600$ last month being 31 was $620. Thats about as low as I can go and I really work it to get to that because with 2 Teenagers at home they eat a lot and we do eat well.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: MaybeBabyMustache on April 01, 2018, 12:56:10 PM
I could never get to 200$ a month but this thread is inspirational  have greatly shrunk our costs down 75% over the last 3 years since Fire'd. We currently are a family of 4 but at times are 5-6 as kids when 2 come home from college and our budget includes all cleaning supplies, laundry and bathroom products etc.. So i spend 20$ a day period. 30 day month is 600$ last month being 31 was $620. Thats about as low as I can go and I really work it to get to that because with 2 Teenagers at home they eat a lot and we do eat well.

Having two eaters at home (not yet teenagers, but 11 & 12) playing a lot of sports, I still think that is an admirable number if you're including cleaning supplies. Best meal & snack recommendation for hungry eaters? :-)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 01, 2018, 07:56:03 PM
Dinner updates:

Saturday was sandwiches:

Bread: $.99
Ham: $1.50
Cheese: $.50
Tomatoes: $.44
Onion: $.11
Pickles: $.60
Green pepper: $.50
Lettuce: $0 (freebie salad)

Total dinner cost = $4.64 plus mayo/mustard/sriracha. I also fed my remodeling helper, too, so there's an extra person accounted for here.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dinner tonight was leftover lentils with some potato chips, so total cost = $.99 for the chips. I am exhausted from cramming this remodeling project 7 days a week AND I've managed to come down with a cold on top of that. Bleah. But my tile looks great!

Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 01, 2018, 08:05:22 PM
Yesterday's grocery shopping. Sprouts was running a weekend sale with some good stuff, and King Soopers had a saturday only thing I wanted. I had to go to Walmart anyway to look for a certain item for the remodel, so I stopped at all three, plus Home Depot (they're all nicely lined up on the way home from Walmart).

Walmart:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/8AGqgOxrLJNK9eifUQonEevVOmTOPhJ6hQLGlDGXH8354dBZhXZQ-bWljfMePODchgAVEDwhQ0bHvZ8AsHPfpyZB1RIRuoccijlQUSIdIyZxnt9hs7-zSqH5r_kfjt2UhBDKto7nCmatUN0tb4wi0G7C9q5N66O44r0UvGYor9BoLB__D8RgqKaR4sqPqamC_B4PyBenAH60Q1ZYkeyilx_2tU4ZhVUknBJKj3FMr3HmsF4NJq-VMfyMDKMJ1WglyGRjPIO47I4CtsM7d5ntNBIKrTLLjS6dAsBjq7JrkNhezJS_4r_BxICiaLPIxXhexzywt3XyV6Op7ofQrx6LnKPdV6yB4ZSXKIFn9T9QtnzQ9JEWlgH_JGsiSne24UXiR9M-ki-RLH4qzPsKToUhaSrth0dDdQnzu1yriwN2hpw1vecztpBeEVAmE2LB600OT10zn9QwRacpk3ACoDcPLsCoObFZG6X7Xuon6_COPmKylRz1H4n5jXh1-c-Yyhu8c1eLkz8NTi1Is7Sb8e_isXbQfo22Lu9q4Mt7roMd79HExQ65O4gTLzSkX5i5PWtQq8A0c1QzV5gOSW8YBT2A5ZPygWF7oASYFqI7_45tUZWf2-gdAdaLvHNvmPJVksQ7C9kA8d-eKZayeoWYKXPN-ztbysXorNsj=w448-h796-no)

Strawberry jam: $4.38

------------------------------------------------------------------

King Soopers:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/aTM7sSqilQj6XBuEV6LLioKnZDhwhHBHf_KjxhRPIPpvxoJUMprhI7HJTZA3Bovl06Wklt75cMLDzr6WV1u7ZdTPC6_1ngj4K7iZGzGuOBmbUikfhmi0Z8qRWdZ-sNba1xzjP1bqlHWr0mqtjKyDI4faEWNIIKCZFL-qIwSCA9KNFaQInLxaOf1g7elEgQnGuteRHGGJrlHNLEZkM3is-rFziqcIl6Sne0rpnQR_Qs6I69pz5141Fe2goV7uCFRY0NuTivz7t_Q3Rxz8XaTYsIilobSGBYOZRYIkBQWCeqZs7abW7EC00RF0eLKvpOHkxNWMOQAXx6gHKPaigxBccURFTSVBkcaFle4C2kiSNCnn288jKC3yPZvUuu-gCTRrTpcAqKk87yeCROYe6IP5Kn7eaLQEjARDGJ55GQpKT7SoyQF9UoG62iZBUkqBaxZBVaRXCd51bwycV9Kl4E9tsvaYpyDjxoSiWTXB5tX43IQiArUCwdNmE0fY5z23KsC0TVBQjG1i_rrpkxJwmt4QjvHr97fyW67pAdZzZsi9lsvNvJEwCPachImO6WavwjHHXV-G5DDLHWZ_C9A3BMZ6HDOsMVCNmVhYA0a9zUNcxprWvy9G8EzNMrUR9IBLMpMMMqHIfAtQf1dlUsxNdjabDCwp1d-5nUGI=w448-h796-no)

Oreos: $2.97. They were $.99/each! How could I pass it up?

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sprouts:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/4b5uA5RgPgR-HZtb63wV95u584-F9-hlYpXKHRjWfU35CDkxX_-kFHq5Ti_lkW_1FM1j272_TuMZgy8yGstgq3yeqF1VbEk1P4HzDWBZDF4kTP6Zjy_Acg6dtML5NSo9KKjCV6cu6kjs4GxH4cNAeS2Dmbg2yooi7oMgORabM-8wgpe2uEpDaKWvWKI9Y2kcukD2hbA9gNdjm8czWuVOI7atAa3qKoSoUXGgmXZsSU5qitHOy-KaqxOCj_3vPjhcnHDJ2Xe7CQ_cxV_2Bb_7-xg9OBECJK114sBLpeCCrn5HX9IGly3NS6zXz8PShOduLD6jIjNQGg9A-tR4hXLA9ygbZibvx7gBJTjZxEhqJ7qDrKtZURig_wYi7oAfe-J_ZS_9aQS0xXNb2Gk2OG0DgsPeMVR1m38UGqam9JrWTce0SLsJYQZShfqHiiVbiFutRITv0Q6ApojvJIIJePm8b2vduk2pbQm-2uL-ewGiVaLeFvecu1YnVcbhV42r1OI9WdzHX74KH_Xk5W7gcH_5C2684d-MFTCz1kXZJNadWb_diPFzQHVAs_AiLPhJB87xGlnh5AyIVfSayalVPAVYokDEkVpUyoBAVvU1MIzQRglOibUYzNRtheriSR5-r9IfotXFghpDAq6BqhcnG1cH6Aqbpx6jmDha=w1416-h796-no)

Cantaloupe: $.98
Green beans: $.49 (2/3lb)
Grapes: $.47 (1lb)
Onions: $1.87 (4.75lb)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Total receipt from all stores = $11.16
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 01, 2018, 08:56:14 PM
As it's the end of the month today.....Here is the moment of truth. I thought to myself when I bought all that oatmeal at the beginning of the month, "Welp. There goes this month's budget, lol!"--- Though all in all, it's not too bad, considering how much I managed to put into the pantry. Two giant bags of oatmeal, 25lb of rice, a gallon of coconut oil, AND we got to eat out once.

All my food spending, tallied up nicely for you. Still way too many trips to the store, but my routines are all out of whack from trying to get my remodel finished. Oh well; I'll work on optimizing that later this year.

$10.89 --- Safeway [3 visits]
$65.4 --- King Soopers [4 visits]
$98.19 --- Sprouts [4 visits]
$8.91 --- Discount Store [4 visits]
$71.41 --- Costco [4 visits]
$22.98 --- Wal-Mart [2 visits]

$8.65 --- Costco Food Court [1 combined visit]
______

$286.43 --- Total Food Spending for March.


$124.70 = January
$210.46 = February ($201.28 if you don't count eating out)
$286.43 = March ($277.78 if you don't count eating out)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 02, 2018, 06:28:08 PM
Potato night.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/centUOF4sy2PbzjxpJQ-pEv7gAS8TWq6aKhdx_HOjdrtGh9_Jv_Kye0USG9gMiLvUvUuTysJZ4vYbxVhDpmdDxyIRmtCGjt3xCyg3Q4rqmyOLXIVJ3-KhCGyFrhvZHcYXxoYAl2pZlZlQlxONGPYhvqdOWmNkDoEiCANC5COAhj6T2CspB-PqhE0WEbHvkOADHB3oVHX8w6fSQD0YjtzvF2VGqPjC-Z1I6vIJn8vnSgWMthbHEWSKnjwRmyw9Yu4afU-rTAoGMzkALOKBZTiXmcRkhQ7qCfuLdxx5wVCqXYqONbK35hshzAqN1Q3hjEfE3c1Bb88fKD_zk2E685UuMEdqSEna6MDko5EX-HL2g8qnL5m0VjudRsc9guTRlTmLZOTh0eL-oU_MC6qeNh8SSQpQnqGJ5-AxT4KhSMCO7r6_We2vl2qDbV54SqudkTclMgGIIvKcwd9zNP31Xq8U6cpN4DUAeFN7k8FYNT083lgWPDrGpwwsMEGDlFUpyoK9gfhuhPz0XoH0zb-1iKRT4twJaihfITyNgZBOj6vX4FrGgzaWDMJqKuKtqLayAoChVfPcEjmGPfdVPMyITziZUtlynQjE6hvHOOV_fhPXI0AQH8EZ4KpWW38ow_Su6cuNv0FUZAer4sIpM9s-31VrVyN-tCk2cYi=w1416-h796-no)

Potatoes: $.33
Sausage: $1.79
Carrots: ~$.60
Salad: $0 (freebie)

Total dinner cost = $2.72.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 03, 2018, 09:23:04 PM
SO wanted some tea, so she went to Safeway:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/YO8AzOxAcPW9V1Mp7fLXYLA9Netx7tCsej8wrQ88hfEqc4L2_rq1Fj3-WIVzuEFLHvoNkamYj1tAhjpZj_biGBysr-YScfkcNKYB7bMTez6QpWI-mYWSs90QcyfYiPc6ru4Mikgw0Of4zoD_oZl_fAMiAAoA_PvnABR7hT0TFoN0yy3oMvL8Zy8M-jJgt4Yd4tjTk37GeUSJd7hRf5teZT7EDKzk5Hj8jevjtIFCdaQLiNq2RebALYGA1y4YL86T-MpUKpc-mmeX30ap3_6mpo5fWdWzu7mreOa2nUnyTDhrpO1XOCLhsF_1nPPTc3VrQrjtp5o5wsvwmCBT5JO9t-gU9gW-MgQrgsRJ3w-hdARrX2XOBF-w_xAOaR6swB5an3eGNpCi4wm3klFfVbKrJ_kMzuL2OFJlT-nEq-bnvSNqkkiCKjrY_gfqgxV1pyAhIkqSS1ZMGA9V-_ojuT7BvE5ycRgQJdOPrkezG2wd8Cg15XAnrP1scPYLULlX1KRckWkqlKdJY4IUiEl9qO1hkzJCzimDoTxpeWPBiPF-LpaPCdB8cPyftMw-SxoMvWZuOysOuKc5N6zwIjKluB0t6bUszeUr6dPsF8MlJyxsgQwiTUp4z5f9FyIxEEQo1Er-6wKayrQwbFeRXyPDTLvcWLYe8nBtZjn9=w1416-h796-no)

Cost = $2.36.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 03, 2018, 10:03:47 PM
Tonight was rice night. I decided to do something fun with the freebie chicken breasts that I got last month, so I did a fancy stuffed thingamabob.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/mFWpmXBl7EM8Kw5-ApJCgM5jgEWUoGwEeywxZiGaQFhARU9IhwTR3MGMvEOkFqtDetc5rjDREcEACJEaROna7-6nhVQeIlQNJPtlKhg_Qs1cmzXkNApdbQQV-mcgCCHvob7MgUK8YBmtcPQMk_blANWlQZSc3IV5rDj2wjOanp2-mo0uUX7DnGE1_8vvedvYDMiArfVZTPwqMOLFWG5xdGFarqXGcS7LAMc-BU1mnDj0WEW4ygf_Rsbv8fynf3RwMOE6PB7Dpm4EOK-TM1U0IpDW9KiktMbupBgCLXwMcC58RzDVoUVWxaRzEJPWsy4Fetmu2bKcZOXDXbz2JyajLztUVvV0DknNPNKuyJG3Pf9qw1SpVzztXxumlRSW4wzSuaxw3oUTH0naVJ9RvLWFWG5ozE3Iy9kRtJ5bOVeP1euDJB82ti6J3-BCh54iIjnGQfmngh46mvLHLH--3tnttPCWUyc_i-mYHMHExKSUv3rpd-D5XQFXywwbWtzSh-7W9yF9kRxtC0Ir3NJXiUQ40bwIWrBvSK6OrulpMedLkGZ25WmfokpYw8ws3Lp3rks5FriDub-Bu2SQdedIWcTYWpoMV0CnAQ1HoWIHFQSOO0NnK678Jg1HBI4qJryVvht4kCk5E19WyhMmoY80jFfQ7uWPIq1h8a0u=w1416-h796-no)

Chicken: $0
Pepperoni: $.67
Cheese: $.50
Tomato: $.20
Green pepper: $0 (leftover)
Onion: $0 (leftover)
Green beans: $.49
Rice: $.30

Total dinner cost = $2.16. The chicken was a bit tricky to get flattened out, but putting it in an (unsealed) ziploc and whacking it with my rolling pin seemed to do the trick. Probably waxed paper would have been a slightly more economical choice, but I don't have any. Overall, it was great, but a bit more work than I want to have to put into regular dinner menu items. It'd be a great looks-hard-but-actually-isn't "impress a guest" menu star, though.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 05, 2018, 09:28:32 PM
Wednesday dinner, I did leftover chicken with some pasta and the last of the free salad. Meal cost was just the pasta and a bit of ranch = $1.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Today was up and running since 4:45am, work 'til two, squeeze in a grocery errand, pick the kids up from school, do another hour and a half of work on another job (when I'd normally be making dinner), and then finally home by about 5pm. I was tired, and the kids had been inordinately well behaved, even though they were legit starving.

I took some cash from the eating out fund, and we went to Wendy's. $12.96.

I do not like my days this full. Way too stressful, but eating out made for a much happier ending, as it is a relatively rare treat for the kids (plus, I didn't have to try to put together something while being wailed at by starving children).

I think I say this every time we eat out, but I consider this a different budget category than "food"-- something more akin to "entertainment". The way it works in our household budget is that there is an envelope of cash: "found money", which we call The Eating Out Fund; it is composed of money from random ocurrences, like something we happen to sell on craigslist, or if I sell a pie or cookies to the neighbour or a co-worker. When it's gone, it's gone-- generally, it has more deposits than withdrawals, and I don't really keep track of what we have in the envelope [Well, I do now, since I'm writing this series, but I used to not track it in the budget at all].
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 06, 2018, 06:35:57 AM
Did some grocery errands yesterday, too.

Safeway:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/GvSQHb_Dfc095huEGuniN4Z71J-xmKXE5R0u-Sc7V6n0xszFb_gRjNOZPPEQcOgJKM2JtkMofkF3PycyhUfFpep4yim04zIw13zSAoup5VPdxCSyEyQoKQue8CAXBpa8XqyKionwsl-NBdoBY3r14mJZF9e6zrQ12hiXIkeGdaHhcpZGiNc-u0r_XwjmH_uLnlXEyR20cSqsDBtIUu_U-bXMZgPSQvvQVS1c9PNKw6c5SHfmcmO6VEiKS8zREpknANW7M6DWFEJvN1gjHQJDkbqm4HdpJdbqqREr3vxxm20cRgv7ARfBdgW5_vFyCcI57LEyjGl0IXDMaXyc0DGpi8no3rZwLPE6QlLJE43awnq6T8-LDtZCe7bINn-sYG7bzR1To7brdsgqbsXzLmVp-vgq5Oj3HwW-awbm8L-LEm4qJ65ysc4UoN3TQfNPKlx7jcmWuXoCnGaW6R7YB2zJS77WS4tOnOQVjtjlHK6oyxVSYCSPkwkmkfWIYCGu6uekVCIwW-o48e7P9BQ4VzYy0cGyr8s-fDOHuu6u4wrm6-_UBmCDrpsaWPtALZCNPPWAFlnwmtt2E6Wa0ezmJfKCtSI8cA-CORPM83HIk0TFuy6cmBe-ElLuhBvJLEhDuP9ia45Ig8wzMfFLsk6moqomPGSVMOxc6kK3=w448-h796-no)

Chicken breast: $4.38
Cereal: $2.46
Milk $1.88
Soup: $0 (freebie coupon)

Total receipt = $8.72. The cereal was on sale for $.99/box, plus I had a downloaded coupon for $1.50 off two boxes of frosted flakes, so overall it ended up making four boxes for ~$.65/box.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And King Soopers:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/5Xtd9IxxmS5m39IySX9g3iSa-fRpihyE1yv6HWd1OhZ1NpzqxKs-Lyzty3xGH1D4q7u5q7X9YSwZ2ZwhwLgqbdh3s9lAlwLjyHs3rugWGcqwsv_6eqw3fad_dT6YXQo0Gchqo_enq2xCEt6QVXpQQ-0DATX1enNiPVIiMnYKGU4Y2Rudv-YJLjvFJLpat-Zmx4HCJ0rYvNK_6fB1gVWb5dHLJY2QxyzBCf3CDiozuXYSf9rk_jGZpAoBaBHppNmsTNufjXqkTfUk3OjeDWzpvSu-aY6alapk6uO_g2LYb5gXIofzFjCR64iIzKDXI20OopNGuDk29pgdf2ROfPI3i6jIESJ39FSa6x-aVk5WslalCVzSYerwbwd8gFvv8tk8wuqDuCh5VzsGqv-1V3cXbXBBm83nluJgFUnh1pukhMm5eabGand7QbxAJSmHhj6wNeX2FSKHKP7xLr_pvvMq3bL31mAThUXt6SbvoaxxVZW05x0siH441AFHNygldF-q8I9Ogfa9N1XmhXwWEmc8gl3epBoounRpwubEfPCP0q64SiXF9t3NpRkLjdLaplgumoNaBEhMMnz3VlWM5guO-zXKDqLTnsXUnxnG9U3uFoI0nXcoLhblF37A50gVqwrSNTwh5XwGqPs8SV0otGayoOPYFkFBOxSr=w1416-h796-no)

Cheese: $4.21

I got to use another one of the coupons that I got in that mailer-- 15% off my entire purchase. Cheese was already at a "buy-it" price, so the coupon brought it down to an amazing $1.68/lb!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 06, 2018, 06:00:32 PM
Tonight was lentils night, but I still have leftover lentils from the last time I pulled them out of the freezer. So I did chicken and leftovers

I baked all four chicken breasts that I got at Safeway the other day, stir-fried half a head of cabbage, made some carrot sticks, and served with leftover rice or leftover potatoes (Kiddo wanted potatoes, I wanted rice).

Total meal cost: ~$5.38 plus leftover chicken. I served two of the chicken breasts tonight; the other two will end up in sandwiches for tomorrow night's dinner.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Eucalyptus on April 07, 2018, 03:58:02 AM
I'm about to lose my job, so need to pare back a bit more. Going to shoot for a sub-$200 budget for groceries for myself and my kid. I'm currently doing about $220/month without really trying. Aus dollars. I should be able to smash it :-)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: mm1970 on April 07, 2018, 05:40:23 PM
Tonight was lentils night, but I still have leftover lentils from the last time I pulled them out of the freezer. So I did chicken and leftovers

I baked all four chicken breasts that I got at Safeway the other day, stir-fried half a head of cabbage, made some carrot sticks, and served with leftover rice or leftover potatoes (Kiddo wanted potatoes, I wanted rice).

Total meal cost: ~$5.38 plus leftover chicken. I served two of the chicken breasts tonight; the other two will end up in sandwiches for tomorrow night's dinner.

I decided that I'm going to make lentils tonight, after reading about your lentils above a couple of weeks ago.  I'm almost out of lentils.

Last night's dinner was leftovers - for me, leftover GF pasta.  For everyone else - we had a celebration at work with a TON of leftover pizza and chicken nuggets from Dominos.  So much gluten.  Well, my spouse and kids liked it.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 07, 2018, 06:34:04 PM
Groceries from the discount store:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/UIEkpp4TXtPaXHmGQGNKBVp92wlS8-iRPkZAQSSWvv5xOfcXfXjeuMyJQZaymKYF_ekkvzx_OvBgS7eT10kNz9Ve1pxEYYq7gVemtsqQjFr8kW4JyVnkcMEMcMQRpZDxSBfe9IGbaGYhBXb2EHxji-m1KaG-wAk7R8dp56T96r1GuG-ygM4vPpzpXBA-o0rGqYiEU6GpTa-0GTt0K-AlonuNUvPk9MazRPH2I8ZPkgCmkp3GF3z3PxjxvtrlsIXuVvZqJiQRk8KMrTi2mog-YBUUMe1KeY-LBDAsSSVWHfEtjZumKBoGQ_QMu5ymo4nRc8Sjk3Hxzh_CVyMr4du0mUkHkF3xJ0MtEpznR2bx5ropt6ayCTQjgmJEJJZiQxnqUsoJaJxaQ9421w1uhuo0h8_J5m9fKCsZJhKk2vnCE_ds9DJKuTuh50BdejveeAnOV7BKQWDkli0-6ieQMJKK9UcfoiqZw79Ecoyeal4CKB-UYEZlXgM4Ootf0VNzq0O1rQyKBsp3wah3kpIQ3eKUeGToqkrR0GjcTSF4poZEaXi2ixVuimTMKu1vzv8V1rnYOSepN5aXairozFUXGyMVtSPqR9CZv1y9I16sd-UEQvVxtzbZaJbn68tzGVgHnf0j01nXaw4RZV83r820rgkEqYWOkohVjlGC=w1416-h796-no)

Bread (3 loaves): $2.97
Bananas: $1.17 (~6lb)

Total receipt = $4.14. Bananas for $.19/lb!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 07, 2018, 06:41:14 PM
Tonight was lentils night, but I still have leftover lentils from the last time I pulled them out of the freezer. So I did chicken and leftovers

I baked all four chicken breasts that I got at Safeway the other day, stir-fried half a head of cabbage, made some carrot sticks, and served with leftover rice or leftover potatoes (Kiddo wanted potatoes, I wanted rice).

Total meal cost: ~$5.38 plus leftover chicken. I served two of the chicken breasts tonight; the other two will end up in sandwiches for tomorrow night's dinner.

I decided that I'm going to make lentils tonight, after reading about your lentils above a couple of weeks ago.  I'm almost out of lentils.

Last night's dinner was leftovers - for me, leftover GF pasta.  For everyone else - we had a celebration at work with a TON of leftover pizza and chicken nuggets from Dominos.  So much gluten.  Well, my spouse and kids liked it.

Did you know that Domino's wings (bone-in) are actually gluten-free? Granted, they're not certified GF, and of course they're run through the same oven and cut/prep table as everything else, so there's bound to be a bit of cross-contamination, but if you're not highly sensitive, they should be fine. The boneless chicken nuggets are definitely breaded; it sounds like that's more what you're describing.

Source: Kiddo is gluten/dairy free, and I used to work at Domino's.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 07, 2018, 06:49:15 PM
Dinner tonight is sandwiches:

Bread: $.99
Chicken: $0 (leftover)
Cheese: $.50
Green pepper: $.50
Onion: $.15
Tomatoes: $.25
Pickles: $.60

Total dinner cost = $2.99 plus mayo and mustard. Sandwiches are seriously one of my all-time favourite foods. Bread, meat, cheese, and lots of mayo and veggies. NOM.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: mm1970 on April 08, 2018, 09:58:08 AM
Tonight was lentils night, but I still have leftover lentils from the last time I pulled them out of the freezer. So I did chicken and leftovers

I baked all four chicken breasts that I got at Safeway the other day, stir-fried half a head of cabbage, made some carrot sticks, and served with leftover rice or leftover potatoes (Kiddo wanted potatoes, I wanted rice).

Total meal cost: ~$5.38 plus leftover chicken. I served two of the chicken breasts tonight; the other two will end up in sandwiches for tomorrow night's dinner.

I decided that I'm going to make lentils tonight, after reading about your lentils above a couple of weeks ago.  I'm almost out of lentils.

Last night's dinner was leftovers - for me, leftover GF pasta.  For everyone else - we had a celebration at work with a TON of leftover pizza and chicken nuggets from Dominos.  So much gluten.  Well, my spouse and kids liked it.

Did you know that Domino's wings (bone-in) are actually gluten-free? Granted, they're not certified GF, and of course they're run through the same oven and cut/prep table as everything else, so there's bound to be a bit of cross-contamination, but if you're not highly sensitive, they should be fine. The boneless chicken nuggets are definitely breaded; it sounds like that's more what you're describing.

Source: Kiddo is gluten/dairy free, and I used to work at Domino's.
Ha, yes I googled that once.  I don't think I'm super sensitive, but the last time we had Domino's at work and I had a few wings?  Uh, it wasn't pretty.  So, I'm not sure why they didn't agree with me, but they didn't agree with me.  So I avoided the wings at yesterday's thing too.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: mm1970 on April 08, 2018, 10:00:02 AM
Last night's lentils and kale chips
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 09, 2018, 07:23:59 PM
Yesterday's dinner...we ate the leftovers for lunch. SO wanted to make pasta, so that's what we had.

Sausage: $1.79
Tomato sauce: $.25
Pasta: $.50
Cabbage: $0 (leftover)

Total dinner cost = $2.54.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tonight is designated potato night... but I still had a few potatoes leftover from last time I did potatoes, so I decided they had to be used up. So I did. I had some sausage left over from yesterday, and onion and some green pepper left over from sandwiches. I fried up the onion with some garlic and then added the potato and sausage, and then scrambled in some eggs.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/s3Y8W3bV8uvmSYK8b-vTFuHLnsViWVWLZXSfZ080kXPhyPfzSLY2lwaxkeDEvQ7m7Dlvc0bdy38Bqa9i9ESRBAEgLaV84noFOo3KtEdrqJEO82GoD3wixPwdWY5wE_qW82aF9P3uRIh7X6YgBh8zSstmo1-t8QYydQtVKjFBXNKMlkI9vub84a_HVCZG38mrQquDR4bAtYZQUtDjwd5Tkv2MssssTsS_Tf410JKWn_W4lAeUlqHl2OAasuNh9z_GRVE42TpWp_5hE-cNihK5ysHKGKVfsY82bjArqhLQN6ZaGmX8jTsYFk8i1llTv9Gp6_G_HxaZDnyTOrcpR0pTKi-qfDf4mu4BFNWxi9b4DYjtUsu_OCsYmYC3I6ErG_y-fvnLhWmgatig2PnNVNW9P7OGT-lURGaMWHjUi8vUKJ6pCKJ6vP7UyeeNd98h8lvJMym_0J3cLCxhN0vwOVdn5C9UvoUenEfdAAO8XlUC5FvL9c9tZhO2oxk-x3fX0RrraBjj8fl9zb1b7Il4ZsTQ7X8vwDZzJSzfriakFuZFU2waATkSUKKrV6H_DifZdxT6YnVQH4bR9clY2uw4_MQ76vsDvtONMzGCquHe9bRx59BZEAXbEIKR--MAxea74uMsCuU_01jGQ9OhdWlZ0hE47FdBv8QBk4Xa=w1416-h796-no)

Sausage: $0 (leftover)
Potatoes: $0 (leftover)
Eggs (9): $.75
Onion: $0
Green pepper: $0
Garlic: $.10
Tomato: $.20

Total dinner cost: $1.05.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 09, 2018, 07:37:40 PM
Yesterday, I happened to be all the way on the other end of town, so I decided to stop in the other discount store.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/rzzSsA-nxhzLoCfQkaS9yurlBhT5YTrkjaZ-v2z9H95n2mEZzqjy-sidlIy3Pijwy5kpOACbUZzolvSCfQL8K5YYZC_VDOwIoBrct9t1WfSkFUfQd-I5njpGCarWTiGfnlQAPwiZQbSttugqT4iUtmrWVbmjeQS4gp3hUK9RxO4wGWNEUerUSyXQcl4epL0pm-x7Yfxd2mQMRPyrN_nQEwsqY4hphG2JhfIEIexG8s_DC2zXZ5qck4q9aRaSqgxzr84BQ2hxBmR70r2dJJTXyFoiLjFm10sdYNVojyE32a5a-4SX8lio14Tu6K8wMFYuNnAw2cK2CWo9plf_5Q5CU2rRqgThNt2jY1H-jurnKYoknGgelP6-RidpeLXTQ2xPh0KZ1lsKcUbFx-fjYHOdhKGvhCDJMlGb3yptv6bvQjLCnCqStAlCysynx-wZPdf_VJ2WgKhJESxAr5RH2VmdazjBsI23XkIy061MufdxuIQ5D03aJWxzWrlU_S9GRJ_DkAUQOMQz6gtgSteVkxNcO2f8rz0Xb02x0n688NyB3EsRy1U1rZ7DBZKBiGmpBOt0qbzAAYpjMyU3XNXcF_eaafF5tKK3yQ0PfPGrraJP-5Bfkqf_t-TDowUdMenMe8PAtMCjgVMquSBZw0EbROKPYp13uPZedn-7=w1416-h796-no)

Gluten free flour mixes: $1.98
Mayo: $2.97
[not pictured] (2) Larabars: $.40

Total receipt = $5.35. The Larabars I decided to get for the kids, since I was dragging them along with me, and they were behaving VERY well, despite it being dangerously close to dinner time, plus I want to reinforce a "it's fun to go run errands" in their subconscious-- so that they voluntarily come with me on enough errands that they can learn how to shop cost-effectively and all that good stuff. And it's much more pleasant when we go do stuff together with happy attitudes, even if it's just grocery errands.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I also stopped in Save-a-Lot foods. I don't have this store listed on my store list, because it's not close or convenient, so I rarely ever go. It's basically like Grocery Outlet-- mostly off-brand stuff, regularly priced just a hair above loss-leader prices. The pricing isn't so great that I'd save over just watching the sales in Safeway/King Soopers, but it's good enough that I'd shop there regularly if it was at all convenient.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/ivPPrpVLrtDk9v8BtqJIW6oGUpwecvbyOA-zqsWr-_rguHJprR8IAeJuCdXiKJpMrDqWcAS0xFzxVQUiwFBWphGXdISrBNprAc4A-WLgfxZpcr2IE-0q20jlUz0_3iM_Za_xKTPP25uP0oymNNUZmpMuxxvHtxFandda5SeWVb5y9cD1CsdDnsYn2KFAgWMZ2N_rgqV6KcYLk3ylLfC7Pvb0z01xlXryx3iLOOrgKfoprWhi2l2NfGniMoF0PMtxP5jnS-dAo_-Yvt0j2H0ULsnsqNsDDQSOiml5BMx0gdLIzzxmLd3VGHhrp9x6jLYtDuJCCT6K5MOsvvwBbx2BO-oBY67I3Yq13F5G7zblw-R2K8EDmCqRvQOaMgwAkmzFjRP1ekZcgjHsjuT8a6ksitb5D-myuUPas9CuQWWI7aQWfTQoyJO5g982_MEeiYilhR7T1Zz3hXpUpnwgQ7DDqw8Bi3U1WRXY7HAk_1dnQ7ySkRNWGVw7JEzavVQRrW6-pk3nug5shq0GRTYQSNU-otmqIlMwQDWL_zJSH6PX5xkIM4HhSM2-hzzuKikwyqBSLPpZvE6sVYGAkbnSQKtbhPxxj0hccmpbFDzAGpQhq7b3lMjujkTMzFhtRW_-pGlYky-6Qpk2sWnEJnHaH0j9JaVHO21n89iP=w1416-h796-no)

Ketchup: $2.29
Lettuce: $.99
Tomatoes (1.75lb): $1.33

Total receipt = $4.61.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 10, 2018, 06:12:46 PM
Exciting news! I finally got my basement laundry room finished...and found a nice chest freezer on craigslist. I paid $90, if anyone is counting. There were a decent number of freezers listed for much less, if my budget was tighter.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/VzQqNImwpIJPX7bM1_gueZGrbCdn5faEZL740SS5kSDvZBHA76H8BFNcYsTSkj8Hw7_RzSszggYdr3lxJrTCaS7yumsoWkH25Y5pmI5C2jUdlj3WJTHn10mwOy01KrYsw5Yom9DrhU2qH9Zu9FyyF5QQop2T1-UdjpSzJLFmofgg3ELryIngOngmymSjxQIPLRbzcwmYlgyOHmC3xeFggsuWFm6BDiUsFfkRd9BFQtFkz8P-Ls2K-AAXKjVidK8DqVdlLFVULb-G37_VjmF9WB68jnapWxhi38zDHCrBGToXpb2rOfUl-bQxkqnC0UFpq2j7Dqd-GK_dF9GVVBgmTVCb3rD7TgLDq48ZXFi5EvNWetSpi_yfKluKjrCmisieu2jmkZMym4buhbxyRa7c_bDG4YNf-vM8vUxMEd-E5nlWK4gCPqM1O0ic9WAQhbVRJelgY8wPWl4YeWGJkheVUQVltGoTSEJrkDK4zbiqD6r_gDLJyuzloTgn4jq6StueMUAGxehqPrOQM02rR2qfxR8nBx6hb9_XbPp0UsOnPINhx-sQI0ITnMa0ktgUi-UyOY-ATc5yKRhqpvFbUiTHfoeBy08jQwUGqrSIwD3dC-8XGkwDzqHYbIEhHd5VRgitC69EM_TLt4ZFP6-Feyp8gxdu6bRF8-WF=w448-h796-no)
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/PhSPIozh8G_F5jsDaakzb4QMIVPkT2ZySPrJycZkS_PYYBKvnCt1Mo5kI86GoedseHWQvX1EMmUwYVAvJpN_DgWabd3om4t11cgDMXVlGHTf8PvbX2z7B36F-uTAAY2nK1xss3Qkr4cP_ni0LIRvmDFvrEa4jBSRCsqfchiHEViron4ULpOhc_M5mlJBBuHgLB-z3ZwOnmu824ojrxmg40uzvV9msAOzUffeNDbKIFuGqwdY7fDQFJchDsKngSx73hlTXvY41AWroLkDJL5lf2jdeYT-iKDbsTthNZJ-g3JInq2cHucXDs-h4xAoQcEZmSKuF2Bcc9WRVCGgdkdjDd8qXlNyIlLSLp5Ag5zwG51iTXUKsSjNk0xqVAPEWXU2JgIvhNbt1lqjQRopovjACOhkPtBt63gWiKdRjJrel4mOyqWdscIqey3wmkuhpecC2g0TTOPwXWk1i0tUohiKNfD-FSIDJ0jcGTzzx1n1D3HPxtYYrzyaZDRK8TbssXtYYF4u4Qtu40pMyy40gkEfO5sis_87B8mDagAOCD8KED4orX6jcN_n9B6QBmxZp1jvD3LYM0VJSXRfd6YV0oaF6nWOavBJvRqlMi0ou5CdPJrWiBuywlzSU-Ce0YYvzmMdvaRfvIktFYa8K880gyiVVAXaz4ddfQz2=w1416-h796-no)

It's not a huge chest freezer, but it's about 6 times as big as the freezer compartment on my fridge. I will love having a space to keep ready-to-heat leftovers (lentil soup, bean curry, jambalaya, etc)-- which will make dinner time even easier, especially on days that are crazy hectic.

I also want to make some larger batches of granola bars and have them on hand to pack for Kiddo's lunchbox.

I also want to be able to stock up on meat and frozen veggies when they're a really good price.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 10, 2018, 06:16:34 PM
Today is the last day of the ad cycle, so I stopped at Safeway and picked up some more chicken breast while it's still 97/lb.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/UdV9Xo-SQecw_OapnIVlsJ_VXg8Ye0rH3RaJMbzwobmD3lWXvbexksjIxNWSVm8SqxFtMq4uhUcx8W_KMq3ZnqAFzX2jf8dLnXSLbrbuqwDnfoS9CQ7Z5xMJ-UvTM8KLTgW_-XNRESEZ-Jz4e5b1e1MtlJYlsodVtlgRFEFIzdZSlOD2Sb597PBu7_Txc3SZFtzYD_482e2BXeSgp4aBTLgoWmjnVj7yNlBve9RwnelW4N_HgfHw-ja5CYyX03HyNGwbvcGQlk7lgCRS7eEtFH8NcdwyYfHy2P8JmyRIxOSDcrJl7-EuBY9kOaFzO_na2mA6MRWbkuM2kic65oWFW6_FfCezmf7Pl9W7x3cde_fJ5JnOsJaqIMOwZ15Y9LaTVp2HM48IFhA7NU-oM4v0oSFXyThaBvFnyc5NhROENKyrgWFRCNJuHysKedhRhufoN7tYTj-IGuEfjTuoJqE99CtRe9Fd_KKLzUejWp4fq2so384U2GaemgsJVUZs4c0Kihl6FBW5wYGWoq0pubzPgR-u2UfVd7FARSipmon1ukrV15gvrUZasMlfoOyKEaDcjxMDmNcmze874RTJanzJztEqHFEdc2yFmkFvDf6fy19lMtPwhmraBP_yrcBrb1AWu0IQdrDitQFYHYzQnzUm7K1aJKtmpLHt=w1416-h796-no)

Total receipt = $14.75.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 10, 2018, 07:34:32 PM
Taco rice for dinner.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/tZIqy7D47eGVehjEBJZJNut15C972zV4smSDqOo1F9ZDWi1s7qEFjRdSf7zNhAu9HVzeqoaolD20RukSvUaecRGu30lzTvngx5oKUrFOvLU6euL1sMaaBolT9kTy-7qOkW4l34FpviMCeflM-FKl-mheRYMGyQAn5mRnj1EIAfHUf2drDVWJp0uBgfQXwu0qkcHJyE_iX9N4chucxiu3tAJrVlZPyDpElEnffLaoTcvJaHl0BRV1O1MvShnzgEjYVGrVML_HV-S8NrJX6W_FtuEtdpt-rfu0XIBpYv9UX9orDGOURWh4972x1Ohaj3zK88rgdedz4exw83y__EAHbgIr9kRQLgemD7ALKdwYwAnd8S1zpy7zKt38mwrNNfv_GevQPomgfpMYm-vPZTKLEldjlX6ox-x_ghpPF2Tl4GwyXCfHVySjWiLFXw13VlQrr7FGzhhGqCC32Aj7SRsQyVseygb8XPZ4CNsxqzNx4tfj5P1DD4m9m0p9LI86Mbw1A4EHpTmGTGg66N4Z-rVrwl7jjxVEMXWzSq-yMIpQrqEtWH0zx2xxF7nhwwp8QVM416MLos2lxUZWaaCI4stUSJfpMAZJlLueSIqfVzoBfzl3oqS_k3dPYCE-igKsS4zzTPIFUnOxiLKGgOfgaNfc57NJoQ6o9g6S=w1416-h796-no)

Rice: $.30
Ground beef: $1.90
Onion: $.10
Garlic: $.10
Celery: $.10
Sour cream: $.10
Cheese: $.38
Olives: $1.00
Lettuce: $.99

Total dinner cost = $4.97 plus a bit of salsa.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: robartsd on April 11, 2018, 09:08:38 AM
Exciting news! I finally got my basement laundry room finished...and found a nice chest freezer on craigslist. I paid $90, if anyone is counting. There were a decent number of freezers listed for much less, if my budget was tighter.

It's not a huge chest freezer, but it's about 6 times as big as the freezer compartment on my fridge. I will love having a space to keep ready-to-heat leftovers (lentil soup, bean curry, jambalaya, etc)-- which will make dinner time even easier, especially on days that are crazy hectic.

I also want to make some larger batches of granola bars and have them on hand to pack for Kiddo's lunchbox.

I also want to be able to stock up on meat and frozen veggies when they're a really good price.
Chest freezer is a game changer. Congrats. We got one that is a similar size for about $40 on craigslist about 3 years ago. Now we have more space and might consider a second (or bigger) one. Chest freezers do a great job holding frozen food, but do not freeze things as quickly as upright freezers do - if possible, freeze in your upright freezer then transfer to chest freezer for storage.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 11, 2018, 10:25:17 PM
Pasta night:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/5WSLoEd-fJis-434YaUExc0vsAtb99yZljcE4VcuFENt7jsHDGWYGtaZgXJnrm_PCS041hvmaOvCt_1DxvqtCA4Zwfp6utRdpyF-4GPFTOeKoV58ZbVkEIsbQUepCAgwLRKU1693tYEo4T3ubwEqSKD2m6sSaa0itxZoJFw85CoeaRn8DeazMlMtNCt4yxbhOGHcxuOcXkIl2_y8BMzLdrpRa1nkaAYg7pyAqBqAr5D5x7UJv1r_wQkfK500kfUY8-eVdoC8lO4e3dcGIb3x9fcRAz6brw8XlE9G3yM3JpLWTXL4PIpTDktB6HnTvuGosW-5GxH_H8v7xCkC-AV-eK_HTSY08xRdYZrMEsFXhXFWTyKX8jvngcZ5Fjw-yYwOysUGrvom18WdmvjEx2cnN3kVbgga6MOi_c2QO0hq2-y--5Lct6LdGzhPhcaxNJvXMuFrqqYKfRUvOgJMgoml3Axp8bU3Cb_dvwK8wHyL1m5hl-rWbMK4NzJ6R50zMPTjcCK4B9aCawEC-fiTuBbN0RGbLfj_H_jMH-syW89ejCF6waEqOOtoJnrY7-wovngvJuzngVWIezN0u54kHAQNe-waQ1cO4Z3nezYnAocDZVQ2rpdHcseFt1qtqGkrUK8RS_jjcQAuxjP3qkrLtGmD0yOjD29o_YJ2=w786-h443-no)

Chicken: $5.00
Pasta: $1.00
Carrots: ~$.60
Lettuce: $0 (leftover)

Total dinner cost = $6.60.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 13, 2018, 08:30:43 PM
Did a couple grocery stops on thursday:

Safeway
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/rffwV-r6jwV7QeW8k9VF226REaiuGEQtAryHSl4CWkfxUOCW4AedJTFrh9a-rg1GcN8wHzUAKATYGMfNgd_6rDv3PfPyZza-uiwu5l9p0OKQjuoJZF7aQnSsN_9r-ZPHfvs5_mNlX_d0D7Nwd6mihLTxMa6FmQJIzQdVYSRH5wJwjy8OYYgEDR33XACilINPx-3MNRmcpJxfPC5pqwLevQt-BuytMfbjjtELcFX5_mURzw9B-5Vsre6XaGhs7uemvZ8doiT9M4ZXNkQrIVUFJkqn8JkEPh3sakrxso2NQDGBhgKcwzeohbtCC_Xlb9NAaqorn0z_6iQPvljJYj-9Qda67yh5BH2O05KVBKusWdpH7i-VgykmXeowAhU24v4MJXjxI8EsAiIyI-xrM8Y2QFBbIV7qODCJi7scMqcW3tneIxwlTnvL_qT34E3rII0t3LzjNqBNjavjnMr-p5RFFQ2o8GR_gGFo2IF6o7zre0Dw4gvL7jdqcbP1wFAAdnTYzzRRMF8En9UsBx3IJXeQXEBQZyYD0B-tuUVz8o_YssqwDu3vGln3rEv3DNU5ORbGoIPfrK74llu01uKc36tn7Jo7UaMM0gpysXH_PHc4mKFX6pd4OUoM1VRMsTVl3C-SHhQRi581Sk4SZfxVjTvfm9WJZbXRYxvT=w1416-h796-no)

Grapes (3.75lb): $3.26

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

King Soopers:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/BJSPSLVrqr9PW5LvwvpI7eeYhUMzM9dh6r0HXJb2U2Nad0bFoewxQ8IPxqkhFzJ9i-iDKMGNXjlXorty17KqSZh7THDj1-m4QM9ACf-0ijerpQKBJu2qMZXy4t7sjSfDc1Jpr-n1blfWDUS619eg0OFZMmtBrL_52khPwXVrR7rAqlHWhbFcjw66QTKuYAUzyxCrH4PKx1vMQm9Di9CEUmu7A9IHZXNysGUnQZlBfkgXsIkSGDE2vbTyl7GdCY_NJEItyp1cy03mgK6vIIpYq2FDKVLXZSaErTR1pCDJ_D3f2E3WXGAw2VQEH7DZ97svXXbnMiJ_DkxOwB24ptl__60BvtMsUYZdSKdXa4BH2P3EF5jy5ej2dTUIsdsz8EXn7oU5Ol1BA-bDZAz3EfihPsVXy2x1PFGNKz3INAFli6A_dqkZNCigSp_Kb1GEKJkVe9eYtURdtD1kPhcsUSCtUGz4KYpp_c98CcxGv0KjTD6iuoC5x_3qKanJ_t8zn6HrPOyvPyzZrqQnrvkAD0oR_5faF96wiqo_ROVMFYynrkPw4RKG_N_vcZj9KG1A6EG5uIi9o7soShz5QFnEiqL8cg_TI2QQbacSZkMhLpo0Ta5dTgDAqjYT8B1K7J9P4MAnG_0sUClQLG6t5hjl1rJdurfDaN0Dhiqn=w448-h796-no)

Onions (5lb): $1.99
Granola bar: $0 (free friday coupon)
Seltzer water: $0 (free mailer coupon)

Total receipt = $1.99. Cucumber flavoured soda is weeeeiird. King Soopers happens to be exactly on the way home from one of the jobs I've been working at the last few weeks, so that makes it easy to stop in to pick up the freebies and scan the markdown rack.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 13, 2018, 08:51:20 PM
Thursday was Beans Night. I served them with the last half-head of cabbage, and cracked open the giant Costco bag of tortilla chips.

The kids both wanted me to take pictures of their plates, so you get to see their portions too:
Girlie's:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/icroN6myJcbNttuV8_d1MvH3AnWfBvbeYXRTR6KWLsFleuDoSSF3WHmawZHURKOrk_YcIXAwpmMahCl8T67aSitjbEzENS1MtirG0J9Rlp09VuWOYS6sIJmHAIu0FAooyP0POO-o5HyED6AFB9LHEWfvVVlwh_IKxqP4LuW71SHQLu-9P7ZB1V3eJ77UkZ-AYko4KmiiMnvBvZbpfPrwH3hXBaYYiU4S1ZDl-UqlJr4FnyPg4UY6Ea8saiVZqdCYn--pS07_jlMpMZOUP02TkAw7NfOSIZlBwISTh2OvbbKbvb0x-bnZsp0lVaIngwpJTGijSP51VfYHQrHn9ARAJyQGcuyWlXUcd08iDMaXWFaDA6Pr5f2E8qOvpyzrSPahF2lD7hhTg4zb3Ngpm8A8NVJlhSzMlqeW9whGIS-L9GanB3EsvlTDJ3hCcEPLvJH1xQAJIJXF8Pur1YEil1pA0zj0Sf5DeEu6_s4XJ99WJWnK2d1ZL2P2-inQzirnU-zbjBkCXL0ooyNAx9tv4d9tnoyoVslVag-BHP_xJ6MCENef0JY7mpn7_ITlr27PaT_p7aTFPWJznRwqE33YAI_GXPv2USDjOhMMHszMO5Xu5vfUOjPfGjERLP8Rz2s9V1L1XPxrLi0Lha5_94moCmRdWawwnwEcbzFY=w1416-h796-no)
Kiddo's:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/4xKUrlNWGaGLpCXxPuYl_MTcYVeem0DPrxZAujlEjzu5Vh6DiTqe-TxLQhrJTFeN-pWYjg_pmsOBTHih86BzV3zGOCSG86mkCHk_ufV8AncxeE416HZ7faXuWlf1nHL1d5P4EYDSDFMb7swxzbVoBrm6PJQ18yMwRuFBtyeZ_weGQvBb06gNcgzI4zQgGD1bq8qkIUV6BXM_BjX1QAyRztCXzrAhh9Ua16nTw7tlbx3T0pC3UX8viVHpDuNjWhmuY78vzbZxERcZsBqeNhwL1i8snu1u-kJdYauhBkUZ5V69br5Y_FjArm9W2nTp0vatNeRUc1sAWqTSbEf0HCYdmpHcpnLq-3qXxVJb8gFYs-y3naEUjcz-7tXtsxSDBrKuE5Vf1R46gKzFyCCOdJmAncQw9wK24kL0ptLKhPGUN-jRqxpwsHIM3UXVilPCsHXuxZwI9T4OtqDHpiWuETbfPeaG61jYLEFg5USE1oQr5uG_eSvT0tbRnn9u2nnXy51IpvWJuKQgRFsi0GP_IQ60HxUjv9cjCkhDbrDx_Atj1uwuZEWv4PhEKUPwklnELcdZ_PANc3ouv1Lyf3jVZe43q0IpdpPIxY3nn9pyd2AcYhtfEdlJP4W7nGFLrtarF82vAe-peeYu0mEEtUvY33eq9B0wWH3Ze-2C=w1416-h796-no)
Mine:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/gvuU_DUs7itD7zc84nFkXyHWW6akMxweJzZ_jiz0K-AP1r5A1KrE5JvzMNWH-l-EEaO1wsKR4wBFL_j9528T23jrRYIPx2lju3yDs96N12up7vkT_7khTA2EXiSw9Dlp4pwQLYQZJDbuDn0fyY84tvHX3AclZqE59F72f74CcUnHH0MnrIGOXfpVykMJYQr8dIO8A-TQInru4CRMTzlhEqadVAopOvltMchaGH7xQMpmZFhOudDzBvL6TJkg1qHiz3SCxBfF9IdcwSv2ceWTcpzLjHUfI3nwx56RXZbz808B4T_DtAHPCfC9fIKB_9jWTbd8N6IDPoEyOs46RhBj49fOknbBuPzNAOjoUNMObobMpFVOcbxut8QE_PCxQdy629QoYKs661tQ7eCvk-tMMiSqnBHLOLj8wKXrDGnzpH5PzrtMvIrsas2FQgK0KVdQJcyDi6VtV5-cGU4FGOJr1Sf52xL2oHr4ji5wvKTMv1VIP0c1-1T45Y-PF6LniF0HxJ9VzEnsRFe2B009t2HdrE1O57XSVpaYvIBUI7Rzb9QYLZ38-HTjmRSY8shSUfKVaGHe80-Q1rQu4Rcf-IoKGpaPBFd8NkaXQxLmLHUPtGZJ-FmSZAh-iKHN-SQbkr3DLPm4Tuy-ewAIYHRJBx0RTa6_38GOQdwO=w1416-h796-no)

Beans: $.42
Cabbage: $.25
Cheese: $.38
Tortilla chips: $3.89
Sour cream: $.10
Tomato: $.25
Onion: $.11
Olives: $0 (leftover)

Total dinner cost = $5.40 plus a bit of salsa. The kids wanted their cabbage cooked; I left mine raw, and shredded it and layered it in with my beans/tomato/onion/olives/sour cream like a 7-layer dip. It was pretty delish.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tonight was lentils.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/ioja564BTCtGcs45HsjnRoxftDhilImqx7AcrELBOe_ZozV22ndeyQkmah6vXhRnEwRbozZcTKhd3kI184sVlRSTnxnhRWupcwtT-0jcUmNkNdOLQ3YPQggZ-geMTM7CfhUyr4B3CVdubHDpYqR7Erm9xQB1oZj-0OZI0LV9jpVpCnBWcLa4AMfJZjsoWzXSs976dd2CfiE9dcrP-kkGWd-5Ef-DmGiu0quiBxcQr2GGNDx4It1WK855mIo9tmnNZvP1q0qOup7PExyBry5o5AuiSR2ZuouYfUEZMoBNNX7ldSTB7vwXxYK34ubmfv1x56H1SMQ1ox4KWk3dGpslrFTmwER8ktLH1mHM-U9J4AHjuu_qh-CKf1WhENG2soW1AroKxYI1-lHM7oqQEzCS5eLAUVo9sOuiV_M-Yll0VeZeI-SoDdTH6C6uoSGATVMD664FwVRg5QoQCwscFUKQWyysgx-veZow8jdw_Rx73No_t8gKF2QuQJ33DeOpiWdI7Sm94MFJFfkawxprI-O-EFwe4v6moZoyo95Fx877XJ3zzFpWQdJinMfb_Fl27ByzXU2zw57f9MGNWWvnPQZVcKht2zgBszV13SRXtdX1RVJiR7LQ_-4S-tCagqtOMV2EhCLFr3mfA58izRXlq4wzheeiSPoTEj1S=w448-h796-no)

I made a double batch, so I can put two or three extra dinner-sized portions in the freezer (hooray for extra freezer space!). I also made this batch with no meat or bacon grease, so that it's shareable with our vegan friends.

Total dinner cost = ~3.80 ($0 for chips, since they were counted in the previous dinner).
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 13, 2018, 09:51:53 PM
I would like to just take a minute and rave about my Instant Pot. I know that it happens to be the hip and trendy kitchen gadget right now, and I really don't like being on a bandwagon. But it is pretty much amazing. I use it at LEAST 3 times a week, if not daily. It cooks rice perfectly. It cooks beans from dry to tender in 90 minutes. I can cook lentils with it in 30 minutes. I used it to steam/boil potatoes for mashed potatoes-- again, 30 min to done instead of boiling on the stovetop for an hour. I can make perfect hard-boiled eggs in 12 min from "put them in the pot" to "peel and eat". I can also use it as a slow-cooker/crockpot, which is handy for doing large roasts that need a low-and-slow cooking style to come out perfectly tender and juicy. I can use it as a warming pot for serving soup/chili/stew at a party.

I had my doubts, and was hesitant to spend $90 on a kitchen appliance that I had zero experience with, and no real-life observation of its operation. But now that I have it, I use it almost. every. day.

I love that I can start it and walk away. That creates more time for me to be effective at accomplishing the hundred-zillion other tasks that I have on my plate. For example, today: I spent 15 minutes prepping lentil soup before taking the kids and SO to Lowe's to spend an hour picking out countertops and light fixtures, then we came home to lentil soup all ready to eat.

10/10 would recommend.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: KBCB on April 14, 2018, 07:34:20 AM
That's awesome. I am still tackling our grocery bill.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 14, 2018, 10:04:48 PM
Grocery errands today:

Walmart:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/CNHgY5b-eZxrHPZA6yy_dvo0LQakei08WYhl3Q95ZrnXrEarexNYMSLlF35lkfNZB0hNWvvjJm1jfQdr6PanFsI6RGNh0doWIu_0Q5VvdiAD_XlUfLKgha_eECBFX-BIneYQx2SCjx5dj_nOPE6gsT9YVumSsa53TCYPcsI8GpUgoKg-ZShJthBOQfjEAcBRAhRr30hLvqcmA-6pIjmDs0x9dHlxvImSWqBhFu4XbowDus_GO8xvJSJ8m3CHt42eN6Z9Rp6Y9-cql-SDTYNhKyoxFuzIF5yTak6rGFHuG32l3XKqb2fuciv4PWdsTSOhOLScY7WtFaxPdZECcPg6vI9vpwPabtoiPDoikx_yYMZmvzzWzV7AcM5AOKVbzgl9D3VZZYiqh2rFA68_Fxg6WwEWOcKfTQ_6HB33uHM9grBDA1N-D_sXpziZJE4tp25HC0Sqakbl066ok6YCaMKXUKAXW82WhqIiRns-YfL86EsOLyCDQt4kVX0Ms6FUKak8qXyOxISvlIrwvJp-AVcGLObIcK96su0wd4FObfOV7xDa_yyz9aGcL0ROVvYAZdy5GJM9h1A9R7I4rTXMPgPWQ2CoivkhYoONWFh9wbBs0vTjds8lhb7i79nd4vWZyxCsvo3s_DgthJPs2BouJV2LyZb2eo--UHbx=w794-h447-no)

Tea: $9.48. SO has been on a tea kick lately.

----------------------------------------------------------------

Sprouts:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/jm9qBGMDApGAoiU972mhjhuS4V_m21Ze4NwT6CRAPsC-4FHoNZXZxKWr9WPx-C8GTyZq4pjxtCKiBRdIDekTgEBA9Pnm18o5ii_TAfaiy5OPhHZOAXkfkfkQ9rqvk_ASCE27QRRXh9lTYyXv3pHhJDksUlw4NEZf0zayMbPx4QrWIXfgb7a-Dnm_MuS_4nPlnqerb4T1RTv9NAud26zpw5DmdGTWbqWdVoo5A-4IoW5iQpfOjlzxzbMnt2UnJEmw1VGYrWG9dxpfY-sCEPmV3T1e3cj168zZhhx0gFUi1Tq7HXUXf8tzcEefNAEBfrcX4uIy76Z1Oz8M22Pkkouu8oLg5UIU7Fg425_saxpEDYjA6A0-GWykhm-iBaycyrUzZvbujN9cCGuDyFBIwlfSQhQjWdXko2E6Qm5Lbk0L2PtVZL_SkJa2YCFWZc4ceNqt06tCCbszacZm_OLpnms1bUNHtUFrgi27fHzhoU4jzCPTgtGtuqjAzAQEAnJcbr9xq9kIoqO11lQyBreMstEZ1uwxirt9Dc5TzXV7k7IkKEDNLQReG1zDIrOCsuUMK8uda98RtbVV8oGp6jgf9khLzSi4LwmzSFggmVZi-rfjkfKx-dF1IHo02bSqbirEsJ50v4NWvCJpFzDA1AQ99iIzsI1E9GaXzUhr=w794-h447-no)

Lettuce: $.99
Carrots: $2.99
Green peppers: $2.00
Tomatoes (1.9lb): $1.46
Cucumbers: $1.99
Colby-Jack cheese (5.4lb): $10.75

Total receipt = $19.19. I needed some green veggies, and I redeemed my raincheck for cheese at $1.99/lb.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 14, 2018, 10:25:29 PM
Sandwiches for dinner tonight.

Bread: $.99
Chicken: $0 (leftover)
Cheese: $1.81
Green pepper: $.50
Tomatoes: $.40
Onion: $.11
Lettuce: $.20

Total dinner cost = $4.01 plus mayo/mustard/sriracha.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: alsoknownasDean on April 14, 2018, 11:21:52 PM
Today's trip to the shops:

2 cauliflowers: $3.98
3 large carrots (750g): $1.35
2 medium onions (350g): $0.71
Half a celery: $0.79
A block of paneer cheese and a box of daal masala: $6.95

Now to work out what to do with all of that cauliflower. :)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Mezzie on April 15, 2018, 02:48:40 AM
I came in at exactly $200 last month (to the penny!). Previously, I was averaging $280.

I just subscribed to a CSA for my fruits, vegetables, eggs, and dairy, and it looks like I'll still be able to make it at or under $200 this month despite paying more for better quality.

My main shift has been cutting down meat consumption considerably. Last trip I used pork hocks to flavor my beans and I made one meal with fish as the main dish.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Hirondelle on April 15, 2018, 03:32:52 AM
My main shift has been cutting down meat consumption considerably. Last trip I used pork hocks to flavor my beans and I made one meal with fish as the main dish.

Yes cutting down on meat can save a lot and as a bonus it's better for the environment (and in many cases for health).

I'm struggling to get my bill any further down. I spend about 100/month and it seems independent of location (5 cities in 3 countries) or the amount of time I spend at my parents house (once a month vs. every weekend during BSc). The good part is that I spend less per day as in previous years I spent more weekends at my parents, but I still feel like there's a little too much discretionary spending that could be cut out.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Roadrunner53 on April 15, 2018, 04:58:15 AM
I am not cutting back on meat but yesterday I made a chickpea salad sandwich. Mashed up the chickpeas, added mayo, chopped onion and hot sauce to it. Spread it on whole wheat bread. Was very good and had the texture of a egg salad sammy. Will try toasting the bread next time and maybe add lettuce and tomato.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Stachetastic on April 15, 2018, 04:45:56 PM
I tried your oven fries recipe tonight and it was a big hit! I peeled the potatoes in the hopes I could convince my 6yo to try them, and it worked. Next time Ill leave the peels on and hope he doesnt notice. Thanks for the recipe!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Goldielocks on April 15, 2018, 04:56:44 PM
I need to share -- I had another sub $650 grocery month.  This time only $580!! and $40 of that was for hazelnuts  and supplies for my mom's special birthday cake and dinner.

Whoo Hoo.   That's roughly equivalent to $225 for two adults, in US dollars.. not even adjusting for the higher per pound meat, dairy and produce pricing here.   I did not think it was possible, and we did it without too much effort.

Thanks, AP for the inspiration.

What was different? 
1)  A lot less food in the fridge..  less to waste, less choice at one time.  Salsa was the only condiment I bought.
2)  Bought a huge ham for Easter, and we ate off of it for two weeks.  (The last of it / bone is in the bean pot now).   It was the pricier ham with the bone, but many many meals.
3)  Cooked a turkey -- and made many meals out of it.
4)  Cooked a large pork loin --  ditto
5)  Cooked  3 roast chickens  (I only get 6 servings per chicken however, so only one meal each and two lunches)
6)  Did not buy a lot of variety for veg / fruit, unless super sale, (Broccoli, carrots, onions, squash, potatoes, froz veg, apple, banana, cabbage, that's about it) did not buy much bread (made half of it) and we ate a lot of rice and pasta and potatoes as sides, etc.
7) Taught  teenage son how to make bean burritos, and we will make it again tonight, for school lunches.   Keeps him off the frozen pizza / frozen prepared foods, or eating a lot of the more expensive foods in the fridge.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 15, 2018, 05:24:25 PM
I tried your oven fries recipe tonight and it was a big hit! I peeled the potatoes in the hopes I could convince my 6yo to try them, and it worked. Next time Ill leave the peels on and hope he doesnt notice. Thanks for the recipe!

You're welcome! I'm glad they turned out great for you. Getting kids to like food in a version they're not familiar with can be a sticky wicket, so good job!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 15, 2018, 07:13:12 PM
I need to share -- I had another sub $650 grocery month.  This time only $580!! and $40 of that was for hazelnuts  and supplies for my mom's special birthday cake and dinner.

Whoo Hoo.   That's roughly equivalent to $225 for two adults, in US dollars.. not even adjusting for the higher per pound meat, dairy and produce pricing here.   I did not think it was possible, and we did it without too much effort.

Thanks, AP for the inspiration.

What was different? 
1)  A lot less food in the fridge..  less to waste, less choice at one time.  Salsa was the only condiment I bought.
2)  Bought a huge ham for Easter, and we ate off of it for two weeks.  (The last of it / bone is in the bean pot now).   It was the pricier ham with the bone, but many many meals.
3)  Cooked a turkey -- and made many meals out of it.
4)  Cooked a large pork loin --  ditto
5)  Cooked  3 roast chickens  (I only get 6 servings per chicken however, so only one meal each and two lunches)
6)  Did not buy a lot of variety for veg / fruit, unless super sale, (Broccoli, carrots, onions, squash, potatoes, froz veg, apple, banana, cabbage, that's about it) did not buy much bread (made half of it) and we ate a lot of rice and pasta and potatoes as sides, etc.
7) Taught  teenage son how to make bean burritos, and we will make it again tonight, for school lunches.   Keeps him off the frozen pizza / frozen prepared foods, or eating a lot of the more expensive foods in the fridge.

Kudos to you, Goldielocks! Fine work keeping waste to a minimum, and capitalizing on the versatility of the ham/turkey/pork loin. And +1 for teaching how to make cheap, healthy, filling lunches!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 15, 2018, 09:19:24 PM
Leftovers for dinner tonight. I added a tomato, some lettuce, and a couple slices of bread to round it out, so total cost is probably <$.50. I did sandwiches, mainly, using the leftover chicken breast. Sorry, no pics today.



Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: robartsd on April 16, 2018, 09:10:53 AM
I would like to just take a minute and rave about my Instant Pot. I know that it happens to be the hip and trendy kitchen gadget right now, and I really don't like being on a bandwagon. But it is pretty much amazing. I use it at LEAST 3 times a week, if not daily. It cooks rice perfectly. It cooks beans from dry to tender in 90 minutes. I can cook lentils with it in 30 minutes. I used it to steam/boil potatoes for mashed potatoes-- again, 30 min to done instead of boiling on the stovetop for an hour. I can make perfect hard-boiled eggs in 12 min from "put them in the pot" to "peel and eat". I can also use it as a slow-cooker/crockpot, which is handy for doing large roasts that need a low-and-slow cooking style to come out perfectly tender and juicy. I can use it as a warming pot for serving soup/chili/stew at a party.

I had my doubts, and was hesitant to spend $90 on a kitchen appliance that I had zero experience with, and no real-life observation of its operation. But now that I have it, I use it almost. every. day.
No experience with other brands of automatic pressure cookers, but we've been happy with the Instant Pot I gave DW for Christmas. I got it in a cyber Monday deal for about as much as many of the competitors (I think was notified about the deal on these forums). My sister gave one to Mom the same Christmas and Mom liked it so much she bought a second when she found it on sale later. I like that it can function as a rice cooker or slow cooker if desired - replacing both with one similar sized appliance that also has a pressure cooking feature. The only issue we've had is it doesn't seem to be as good at delayed rice cooking as the dedicated rice cooker. I'm guessing that the dedicated rice cooker makes some cooking adjustments for the soaking time that the instant pot does not make.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 16, 2018, 07:39:00 PM
Potatoes, potatoes...what to do with potatoes? Some days I just draw a blank for ideas that aren't exactly the same thing every week. So I cast around in my mind, and did a few google searches for "meat and potatoes flavour profiles" and "mashed potato entree"...and decided to try shepherd's pie.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/7kbx3KNRVCXD3wteYU0zC6wEgomePv-emg_QYni8IgL1tlIynieU5scyWKTB8Uf1WfNF_NZB-KseI65qCVr0u60mbQXu5HqvP1ggs75GlqrZwipRbpuNm52o40mbpwgnGgxWTUuvIr-AXOzsTEVF1AtboxpnIVX6yx2XP2Se3oJ8m5TIWxfr5UaaBM7NfosuHPC95ZmkoBradediQF-d31mVkxwj2azoyTowW9EwvHDCRwOBtOXFdxidNCBxRvcuJwbZe0K9cwgJB28wrzciHGUtZDtJAULu8o9jIkK6NZ88Tc_yalU1sauaQh-euyrCEXGU_log9IBgGYdA8hvP1nHoDg_95qXVfu1xbFiY7lPM27Y61DvyzSL-DG4LBKjiKqPdNO8z2uUDjhG9oTjIscdtABgaxxdjL_APqEn8w32M_Bu81tsMdj1XV-ILZUNj50znzTKsuP1XL6JHpSSaIkkzU5cktjQlDNm9cQsQHF2mgMcOzNToKQ08Dv3wbXSG7DwkIx7qWEmdlK0QsXgUfgAG1XpaUdmNV28dq_l8Mczew29ArESNo2DUFlHULiqW1uUHBnx4qRrdFiBmRBolsszaILcdk6YyOiWW5aMnn-FkPVIKik1xB8NjdVsa8PEKZae-iga-K-FJ87EYqQgr8iYQ7ryckrcH=w448-h796-no)

Ground beef: $1.80
Onion: $.11
Garlic: $.10
Celery: $.20
Peas: $1
Potatoes: $.40

Total dinner cost = $3.61 plus a bit of cornstarch to thicken the gravy. I wasn't sure it'd come out super great, but as it turned out-- it got two thumbs up from the kids, so that's a definite win. Also, it turned out to fill up my 11"x13" pan, so there are tons of leftovers. Mmmm.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Basenji on April 16, 2018, 07:47:00 PM
Ooh, looks like I have some reading to do here. I may not get down to $200 but I sure like having some good ideas. Thanks for this thread!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Goldielocks on April 16, 2018, 07:55:31 PM
Potatoes, potatoes...what to do with potatoes? Some days I just draw a blank for ideas that aren't exactly the same thing every week. So I cast around in my mind, and did a few google searches for "meat and potatoes flavour profiles" and "mashed potato entree"...and decided to try shepherd's pie.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/7kbx3KNRVCXD3wteYU0zC6wEgomePv-emg_QYni8IgL1tlIynieU5scyWKTB8Uf1WfNF_NZB-KseI65qCVr0u60mbQXu5HqvP1ggs75GlqrZwipRbpuNm52o40mbpwgnGgxWTUuvIr-AXOzsTEVF1AtboxpnIVX6yx2XP2Se3oJ8m5TIWxfr5UaaBM7NfosuHPC95ZmkoBradediQF-d31mVkxwj2azoyTowW9EwvHDCRwOBtOXFdxidNCBxRvcuJwbZe0K9cwgJB28wrzciHGUtZDtJAULu8o9jIkK6NZ88Tc_yalU1sauaQh-euyrCEXGU_log9IBgGYdA8hvP1nHoDg_95qXVfu1xbFiY7lPM27Y61DvyzSL-DG4LBKjiKqPdNO8z2uUDjhG9oTjIscdtABgaxxdjL_APqEn8w32M_Bu81tsMdj1XV-ILZUNj50znzTKsuP1XL6JHpSSaIkkzU5cktjQlDNm9cQsQHF2mgMcOzNToKQ08Dv3wbXSG7DwkIx7qWEmdlK0QsXgUfgAG1XpaUdmNV28dq_l8Mczew29ArESNo2DUFlHULiqW1uUHBnx4qRrdFiBmRBolsszaILcdk6YyOiWW5aMnn-FkPVIKik1xB8NjdVsa8PEKZae-iga-K-FJ87EYqQgr8iYQ7ryckrcH=w448-h796-no)

Ground beef: $1.80
Onion: $.11
Garlic: $.10
Celery: $.20
Peas: $1
Potatoes: $.40

Total dinner cost = $3.61 plus a bit of cornstarch to thicken the gravy. I wasn't sure it'd come out super great, but as it turned out-- it got two thumbs up from the kids, so that's a definite win. Also, it turned out to fill up my 11"x13" pan, so there are tons of leftovers. Mmmm.

AHA!  I know potatoes... and cheap recipes using them..

Potato Pie -- like a meat pie using potatoes (and maybe eggs) instead of meat.
Pirogies
Mashed potato patties fried in a cast iron pan.  (my favorite, usually using leftovers).  I may add peas or veg, too, or have them on the side.
Boiled potatoes topped with sour cream
Shepard's pie
Scalloped potatoes with ham (and corn)

Fries, baked potatoe, twice baked with cheese, etc.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 16, 2018, 11:02:14 PM
Potatoes, potatoes...what to do with potatoes? Some days I just draw a blank for ideas that aren't exactly the same thing every week. So I cast around in my mind, and did a few google searches for "meat and potatoes flavour profiles" and "mashed potato entree"...and decided to try shepherd's pie.

**

Ground beef: $1.80
Onion: $.11
Garlic: $.10
Celery: $.20
Peas: $1
Potatoes: $.40

Total dinner cost = $3.61 plus a bit of cornstarch to thicken the gravy. I wasn't sure it'd come out super great, but as it turned out-- it got two thumbs up from the kids, so that's a definite win. Also, it turned out to fill up my 11"x13" pan, so there are tons of leftovers. Mmmm.

AHA!  I know potatoes... and cheap recipes using them..

Potato Pie -- like a meat pie using potatoes (and maybe eggs) instead of meat.
Pirogies
Mashed potato patties fried in a cast iron pan.  (my favorite, usually using leftovers).  I may add peas or veg, too, or have them on the side.
Boiled potatoes topped with sour cream
Shepard's pie
Scalloped potatoes with ham (and corn)

Fries, baked potatoe, twice baked with cheese, etc.

Yay! The tricky thing for me in trying to come up with potato recipes (that actually taste good) is that Kiddo is dairy-free. Which means that cheese is out, *creamy* mashed potatoes are out, scalloped potatoes are out....it's kiiiind of depressing, and I'm sort of glad for him that he has no idea what he's missing out on. :(

I've never tried potato pie (or meat pie, for that matter, unless you count chicken pot pie). I've also never tried pirogies. I would be happy to look at your recipes if you have any. I've actually done mashed potato pancakes with leftovers before, and the kids rate those pretty highly! I think shepherd's pie will make a more regular appearance in the menu rotation; with a bit more prep, it shouldn't take quite so long to get it on the table as it did tonight.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: savedough on April 16, 2018, 11:14:08 PM
The dairy free recipe void for potatoes!   I, too, have a dairy free child and he loves make your own baked potato with dairy free butter, bacon, broccoli and black olives.  Weird but it works for him.   I also fry them, make potato bread rolls, breakfast burritos or shepherds pie.   
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Roadrunner53 on April 17, 2018, 04:45:45 AM
Can you use almond milk or cashew milk?

https://www.thespruce.com/best-non-dairy-milk-alternatives-1000954
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: CrustyBadger on April 17, 2018, 05:46:46 AM
Yay! The tricky thing for me in trying to come up with potato recipes (that actually taste good) is that Kiddo is dairy-free. Which means that cheese is out, *creamy* mashed potatoes are out, scalloped potatoes are out....it's kiiiind of depressing, and I'm sort of glad for him that he has no idea what he's missing out on. :(

I've never tried potatoe pie (or meat pie, for that matter, unless you count chicken pot pie). I've also never tried pirogies. I would be happy to look at your recipes if you have any. I've actually done mashed potato pancakes with leftovers before, and the kids rate those pretty highly!

Are eggs OK?   This is a KILLER potato pancake recipe. It mixes mashed and shredded potatoes for an awesome texture my picky eaters really love: 

http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/killer-potato-latkes

Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: couponvan on April 17, 2018, 05:55:12 AM
If this wasn't the sub $200 grocery thread I would recommend vegan cheese for the potatoes.

What about latkes with pork and applesauce?  I'm sure there are some dairy free alternatives for those. Like this one:

https://www.jesselanewellness.com/recipes/gluten-free-latkes/ (https://www.jesselanewellness.com/recipes/gluten-free-latkes/)

Or getting a spiralizer and doing shoestring potatoes.

Or making potato gnocchi dairy free (probably too pricey for the $200 thread to get the ingredients).
http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/dairy-free-homemade-gnocchi-499352 (http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/dairy-free-homemade-gnocchi-499352)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 17, 2018, 06:52:33 AM
Can you use almond milk or cashew milk?

https://www.thespruce.com/best-non-dairy-milk-alternatives-1000954

I can use non-dairy milk. I don't always have it on hand, though, since it tends to be expensive unless it's on a really good sale. And it's not really creamy the way real milk/cream/sour cream is, so I'd almost rather suffer through less-than potatoes, and save the almond milk for Kiddo to eat with cereal.

Yay! The tricky thing for me in trying to come up with potato recipes (that actually taste good) is that Kiddo is dairy-free. Which means that cheese is out, *creamy* mashed potatoes are out, scalloped potatoes are out....it's kiiiind of depressing, and I'm sort of glad for him that he has no idea what he's missing out on. :(

I've never tried potatoe pie (or meat pie, for that matter, unless you count chicken pot pie). I've also never tried pirogies. I would be happy to look at your recipes if you have any. I've actually done mashed potato pancakes with leftovers before, and the kids rate those pretty highly!

Are eggs OK?   This is a KILLER potato pancake recipe. It mixes mashed and shredded potatoes for an awesome texture my picky eaters really love: 

http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/killer-potato-latkes

Eggs are fine. Kiddo is just no milk products and no gluten. That latke recipe looks like it uses breadcrumbs (gluten); but even if I substituted something, it still seems like a really labour-intensive process with boiling and grating and food-processing all just for some pancakes. To be honest, I'm pretty lazy, and it just sounds like too much work for me, lol!

If this wasn't the sub $200 grocery thread I would recommend vegan cheese for the potatoes.

What about latkes with pork and applesauce?  I'm sure there are some dairy free alternatives for those. Like this one:

https://www.jesselanewellness.com/recipes/gluten-free-latkes/ (https://www.jesselanewellness.com/recipes/gluten-free-latkes/)

Or getting a spiralizer and doing shoestring potatoes.

Or making potato gnocchi dairy free (probably too pricey for the $200 thread to get the ingredients).
http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/dairy-free-homemade-gnocchi-499352 (http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/dairy-free-homemade-gnocchi-499352)

Yes, vegan cheese. I keep thinking I might try it, but it's just so expensive. We do have a container of nutritional yeast which we call "cheesy flakes", but we bought that ages ago (before we moved to CO), and I have absolutely no idea where I'd get more, so I don't really want to use large quantities of it to make some kind of "cheesy sauce".

I've done hashbrowns before, which are just latkes with fewer steps....but it's the "wring the water out of the grated potatoes" step that I get hung up on. I mean, it's no big deal if you're only making 4 potatoes worth, but it's a bit more hassle when you're trying to wring out 3-4lbs of grated potatoes. I just haven't figured out a good way or a tool I can improvise to make quick and easy work of it.

I like the idea of shoestring potatoes, but deep frying uses SO much oil.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: mountain mustache on April 17, 2018, 07:03:21 AM
Can you use almond milk or cashew milk?

https://www.thespruce.com/best-non-dairy-milk-alternatives-1000954

I can use non-dairy milk. I don't always have it on hand, though, since it tends to be expensive unless it's on a really good sale. And it's not really creamy the way real milk/cream/sour cream is, so I'd almost rather suffer through less-than potatoes, and save the almond milk for Kiddo to eat with cereal.

Yay! The tricky thing for me in trying to come up with potato recipes (that actually taste good) is that Kiddo is dairy-free. Which means that cheese is out, *creamy* mashed potatoes are out, scalloped potatoes are out....it's kiiiind of depressing, and I'm sort of glad for him that he has no idea what he's missing out on. :(

I've never tried potatoe pie (or meat pie, for that matter, unless you count chicken pot pie). I've also never tried pirogies. I would be happy to look at your recipes if you have any. I've actually done mashed potato pancakes with leftovers before, and the kids rate those pretty highly!

Are eggs OK?   This is a KILLER potato pancake recipe. It mixes mashed and shredded potatoes for an awesome texture my picky eaters really love: 

http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/killer-potato-latkes

Eggs are fine. Kiddo is just no milk products and no gluten. That latke recipe looks like it uses breadcrumbs (gluten); but even if I substituted something, it still seems like a really labour-intensive process with boiling and grating and food-processing all just for some pancakes. To be honest, I'm pretty lazy, and it just sounds like too much work for me, lol!

If this wasn't the sub $200 grocery thread I would recommend vegan cheese for the potatoes.

What about latkes with pork and applesauce?  I'm sure there are some dairy free alternatives for those. Like this one:

https://www.jesselanewellness.com/recipes/gluten-free-latkes/ (https://www.jesselanewellness.com/recipes/gluten-free-latkes/)

Or getting a spiralizer and doing shoestring potatoes.

Or making potato gnocchi dairy free (probably too pricey for the $200 thread to get the ingredients).
http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/dairy-free-homemade-gnocchi-499352 (http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/dairy-free-homemade-gnocchi-499352)

Yes, vegan cheese. I keep thinking I might try it, but it's just so expensive. We do have a container of nutritional yeast which we call "cheesy flakes", but we bought that ages ago (before we moved to CO), and I have absolutely no idea where I'd get more, so I don't really want to use large quantities of it to make some kind of "cheesy sauce".

I've done hashbrowns before, which are just latkes with fewer steps....but it's the "wring the water out of the grated potatoes" step that I get hung up on. I mean, it's no big deal if you're only making 4 potatoes worth, but it's a bit more hassle when you're trying to wring out 3-4lbs of grated potatoes. I just haven't figured out a good way or a tool I can improvise to make quick and easy work of it.

I like the idea of shoestring potatoes, but deep frying uses SO much oil.

For mashed potatoes, you could do some full fat coconut milk (in the can), which is usually much less expensive than non-dairy milks, and a little goes a long way to making things creamy.  Nutritional yeast is my favorite thing, as a dairy free person, to put on almost anything. Baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, any place where I would normally put shredded cheese, or parmesan. You can get it at Sprouts, it's not extremely cheap, but a little goes a long way and it lasts forever. It's also super nutritious!!

Most dairy free cheeses I find pretty meh. I like Daiya shredded cheese if I'm going to have a pizza night with friends. It melts the best, and tastes closest to real cheese. But it has literally 0 nutritional value. I buy a few bags when it is on sale at Sprouts, and stash them in the freezer, only to be taken out at special occasions. There's also an almond cheese at Sprouts that is pretty good, it actually has about 7 grams of protein per serving, so closer to "real" cheese. I eat that by the slice, I think it's tasty and has a good cheese texture. But, again I only buy it on sale, and stash it away for every once in a while. I don't really find it can be a "staple" in keeping a low cost food budget.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: the_fixer on April 17, 2018, 07:08:40 AM
I believe you posted some Curry stuff in the past I recently made this out of leftover cocunut curry and potatoes, added some broccoli.

Honestly I figured it would be horrible but it was amazing all of the flavors work so well and the broccoli gave it a hearty meat quality.(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180417/d53ba4e2be41b891bc15cb79115abaf3.jpg)(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180417/3230739e455c3eb1a959c5902b9267ea.jpg)

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: couponvan on April 17, 2018, 07:58:25 AM
For latkes, if you have a salad spinner that works and doesn't throw out too many potato skins.  It's not as perfect as using clean dish towels, but it is fast.  I think latkes are 100% worth the effort - yum with applesauce for kids....
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 17, 2018, 08:04:16 AM
For latkes, if you have a salad spinner that works and doesn't throw out too many potato skins.  It's not as perfect as using clean dish towels, but it is fast.  I think latkes are 100% worth the effort - yum with applesauce for kids....

I don't think I've ever owned a salad spinner in my whole life. I don't even think my Mom ever had one when I was a kid, lol. I might try one if I find one for cheap in the thrift store.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: robartsd on April 17, 2018, 08:48:33 AM
I've done hashbrowns before, which are just latkes with fewer steps....but it's the "wring the water out of the grated potatoes" step that I get hung up on. I mean, it's no big deal if you're only making 4 potatoes worth, but it's a bit more hassle when you're trying to wring out 3-4lbs of grated potatoes. I just haven't figured out a good way or a tool I can improvise to make quick and easy work of it.
I didn't know there was a "wring the water out of the grated potatoes" step. I grew up in a large family (8 kids). Potatoes were grated and placed in a large colander to await being fried up on the stovetop 2-3 skillets at once. Cooked potato patties were placed in the oven to keep warm while the next batch cooked. Our hash browns were usually a bit soggy and grey, but we still liked them.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: savedough on April 17, 2018, 10:54:25 AM
Nutritional yeast is pretty cheap in bulk at any granola type health food store.  Dairy-free cheese is just NO!   I don't like to use coconut milk peronsally because then my mashed potatoes taste like coconut, but cashew milk and pea plant milk are very good in them.

I don't think I'm in the right place because with three strapping boys and a 6'4" husband (plus a full-time job), I don't know that I could do a sub-$200 month.    Maybe if I psych myself up...
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Goldielocks on April 17, 2018, 01:01:56 PM
I have a couple of scalloped potato recipes that primarily use flavoured chicken stock, then just end with a splash of cream and a sprinkle of cheese.  I bet they would be good without the dairy.

The key for eliminating the nice fatty dairy may be to use homemade chicken stock, that you don't skim all the fat off of..   You make your own, so you know what I am talking about here..!

Alternate Sliced potatoes and sliced onions, in a large, foil lined, greased, rectanglar (like a jelly roll) pan, top with chicken stock to almost cover (seasons stock with thyme, savory, salt, pepper). Dot with butter / other fat.  Top with diced ham (optional).  Bake on low oven for a long time until the potatoes are soft and most of the stock has been absorbed / evaporated, and the top edges start to brown and crisp up a bit.   Eat.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: CrustyBadger on April 17, 2018, 02:44:43 PM
Eggs are fine. Kiddo is just no milk products and no gluten. That latke recipe looks like it uses breadcrumbs (gluten); but even if I substituted something, it still seems like a really labour-intensive process with boiling and grating and food-processing all just for some pancakes. To be honest, I'm pretty lazy, and it just sounds like too much work for me, lol!

Yeah, it is a potato pancake recipe for a special occasion, not for everyday.  But, it is REALLY yummy!   You can use cracker crumbs from any gluten free cracker for the breadcrumbs as a binder.   I do have a potato ricer, so the mashed potatoes are easy for me; I don't have a food processor though so I just use a blender.  But I also have two teens to do all the grating for me!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: couponvan on April 17, 2018, 05:32:33 PM
I like using my salad spinner as the salad bowl, and it really does make a difference in crisping up the lettuce to wash it and chill it more. I didnt buy my spinner-it was a gift from my MIL.

What about potato chowder? Or potato shepherds/cottage pie?  Probably higher effort than you want, but they do freeze well if you batch them. For chowder I leave out the dairy until I thaw it.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 17, 2018, 08:18:42 PM
Just did leftovers for dinner, so dinner cost = $0 plus a bit of sriracha and sour cream.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Mtngrl on April 18, 2018, 06:06:25 PM

[Or making potato gnocchi dairy free (probably too pricey for the $200 thread to get the ingredients).
http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/dairy-free-homemade-gnocchi-499352 (http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/dairy-free-homemade-gnocchi-499352)[/quote]

Yes, vegan cheese. I keep thinking I might try it, but it's just so expensive. We do have a container of nutritional yeast which we call "cheesy flakes", but we bought that ages ago (before we moved to CO), and I have absolutely no idea where I'd get more, so I don't really want to use large quantities of it to make some kind of "cheesy sauce".


[/quote]

It's been a few years since I've lived on the front range, but I'm pretty sure you can get nutritional yeast at Sprouts in the bulk bin section. Might be worth price checking.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 19, 2018, 06:52:18 PM
Wednesday was pasta night

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/zgPNRKnsLrUXc-RYsP1D3SYsGlyPzQVH9oQ-ZwFLfqgIcK_-sJ789tpJwhFr76RabI0uIX8aEXRqDrQZWKIfP8Of1c_cv7Ei1wAo9SleZwyAzfnCcSJGqo4urESURbQ1m38JDPvPp_j1RatYm1SEvZFrzVcKq-ZekX5UuzWip1lFbjfVgjWE3v2bnghMQ0QcvV5bNy4HS3dASVg7d7odIB5OsF8ikJIjgBBofDvAJ2xe87CrvSWtkefVHkarZcSKm0hlAq0LMD2Cp2q1C8fEqbuK4tu41W0Crog7IvlauP3NpEGt1PAbqMf67Av1gbZNcSi1WsCzdGWhCY3Gc42a1s0dpjJZVmDmnmgej2vG9THPvGV_Oevxl0wTGdV8hpcfUxkIzV8RKFYv5O9Xfs-MYtm9wG61qaZUkzaiCe6XcODZt2neEXXiupLuKCVm4dkaJa4oSKGaaGK6JcLNDk3EUvShd-ZbfbY0r1jw3RjQEznmsSaebHlTZCqrkO5vhnVVm-JnV8rWdgqFjv7VsOtegSLBcLDZfvxAGKV3Zacb8c8uwDxiC9nfYmZGlOW3PifF7A16QxnM3aLX7ZJJYwdcma5rucW21YMyIe6gpnKfIqtpUhTIUxmR1fFtTNSFQ4arJprNr-kC2AZAxkGVCE3b5Y0B-a3pFclI=w1416-h796-no)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/5Jk4Bq3-U8EGDAmPFvDm2Bhg8t6n7-4ZuPhKJ5alS12CIQu9siLDBkEkztIrNWbuZ2X-rrmtH1WLX5uiEz4Sg2A1i35W44wFQFGNhieQzzpmU3aQIBYU4QHUjxxLIaYpyPpAFrozQ3eUmo93mR3q2VUuXcqc2fSSUKyEy7aMLLKD82BzIiLz8V6tfjW_5HwpK-lzfYA0SrcB9g3DDJIJHcwbnQdi3GHAdk9GPbg4GcLkcRojcDP_FyNwW1A__QZPREGaPLiwzABsM41_8yw3t8f2WfLrnL4qsptKLD8j0q_w8hhAos_JQQ7IbDsCYHXPmlWezq6MuhuSjiZbJm8CGNiFa4aFDHx7zqxtjIwAMjwXYBu2zgaZHjxW0B62X8brt8Pbhro2qBmwbXZxnNT_zWv581H-uWTzXo6CyGdd_fXVBNPIsDSrjtCoYqh-1HTyhm4uOaeNPr_UVlvTwJuydQh5-eldAUTVxv1Cr0bAdDThubYwh9mLYGNx2l9PkxB5Tk4tmrc4JmJDMTSpHh1153h41a-2aKr2CHe1jJENGj8nTEDP6Dhh7Uh2UpmZ_oaIFCMmUKmUsLuJUvKOiOvMsVdyjIu9GHG5my-mfLvbXORUEYYmVBgUrkGJW7GJmhFsyX-sKjuoFvIW9Waw5GamQuDjkIfLuBOk=w1416-h796-no)

Pasta: $1.00
Ham: $.75
Lettuce: $.20

Total dinner cost = $1.95 plus a bit of mayo. I chopped my lettuce and ham and added a smidge of garlic and paprika for a pasta salad-ish something.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tonight was beans night, and we did burrito/tacos.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/5xfQlm2Mu8URGRyYR0jOmcxVrNlQBv2NIETU0aic1QCGqu9zcF1_6nju23JYg7B5sf5ywb5V6TD3GDfxFoXLxXNHufIeflVhiy5H9DXvbslr4U_E-rW9VdRS-TrZxkdsvpC5Zkb94OS6V2lLPrQlwOGdzxPQCX6UdmDzCkOH8H9Q_Pe_9fwkcXUXwvFIERfsq4c5m_0D19feyCy7xZzgJXrHbQm3mTR9rhvMbtstarog6z_nt3YgjBg1Lih3BGB5pT8Bdma8jLQ7bDwwAZQ8JP4X5WfOQGxaD7oepbODgIp4-giaQM8o2yxa0vvHhRia1z5iusOre4nOIs3bvCx7thpuKYY_q4wJ8PI30YZhvhMxdPJLlr9JV1mbZm0UnWTblS1GjfAw_HEJq0h0QpgsF3pKeAscZQsg1sP2LG7Dz5Bh-Kfz2YEAt9p6es2028NEP86ewbDDcfq5dIMdA5dgHtjVkWnP_3ax1MSf64iH1c0E9NgK83oyx66pJXODFxDwdkt-BYIv8NI6fAEfKrmI6zJG4DPUq6WdRgVdWlfZ0EqWzDvrT_xmtfByN64Y186Oebx8WkW7sLUzyzqYb5_hN2OjqLRHZ11YRP5FwwG9kO6rFCWkMwHdTR7z75mbusLwz36gryHTwYPdUD-4D-X5pkCOla1SFzPj=w1416-h796-no)

Tortillas: $.60
Beans: $.84
Cheese: $.50
Lettuce: $.20
Onion: $.11
Tomato: $.25
Sour cream: $.10

Total dinner cost = $2.60 plus a bit of salsa and cilantro from the freezer.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 19, 2018, 08:12:20 PM
Also did a grocery errand to Safeway on Thursday:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/GCzIHKK6nbjY6aMYhj4CkfyK7uFNyDxdlOEdH1loxcWXLWaBGTlRjv4ff6YliCdil7cDuYWI_EhJ0lNVWC8pnrRJlh9YWTEjM9i8l5ff7f82BU_F8ONP7sYoHMxXpQFKr7IqFTWf1EgmdGY-GVtjk3c1IBOP1Psm8OybzCb5BzyZUdjFzKmzX3QUvFP4VP80JCjdywZbJq9O3-XDxJbR8pv5dAyiR03mlywfrB5UHqYA_0ffdJi2uwFhzFijmbRG8YsLqJzB0WF9UN1UJdueE07zelOWXx9jG08bKADU2i-0yUrwHcDuMr-WkPpyDtXEEp0RwUQZrgUW86nX7zqA4-n08QQnxl1u73wvzXiCEtvd_QEYZQ1LkYlVV0_IF5zdyzbxWgIV6bKkke9xnoqqDJTJVi1pZoKKhw68bJ0jdNLynwyeIbh1sa0by94nqNfxywFh369Y-c--ASQYUMc528Uvjs00Y_kgn4FNkVCJP5iuydNEinWwgISVb7eWoTCpYJPycVvZxoFg-iJJcznWObCf-JnJ_3sgyiC-T2aA5FwgXl6IfCtdlVeD_NQSMbh9CUdi4ku-hxNhXrN_l03ZehHjS91MHgv5bjrfhOxXOMpHiK8Nxk33rw-xNBGc2WG4be_McbB870kRY9wz9tHXN1s8E989-rP8=w1416-h796-no)

Black beans: $.78
Kidney beans: $3.12
Garbanzo beans: $.78
Tomato sauce: $0 (free monopoly ticket coupons)
Milk: $1.99

Total receipt = $6.67. Beans were $.39/can, which is still not a great price for regular (i.e., pinto) beans, but for beans that I don't often find for cheap, it's not terrible. Garbanzos will almost certainly end up as hummus, and the black and kidney beans will probably end up in some kind of curry or bean salad or something where pinto beans would be "boring".
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: alsoknownasDean on April 20, 2018, 02:46:04 AM
39 cents a can for black beans sounds awfully good to me. I stock up when they're under a dollar.

Made a cauliflower curry yesterday with chickpeas ($A0.73 a can), frozen peas, coconut milk ($A0.89 a can), some curry paste/garlic/tomato paste and a few onions. Goes really well with rice.

Yes, I cook an awful lot of things in a wok.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180420/2b3a71b1aa2e7825ef762208ccd7419b.jpg)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 20, 2018, 06:03:07 AM
39 cents a can for black beans sounds awfully good to me. I stock up when they're under a dollar.

Made a cauliflower curry yesterday with chickpeas ($A0.73 a can), frozen peas, coconut milk ($A0.89 a can), some curry paste/garlic/tomato paste and a few onions. Goes really well with rice.

Yes, I cook an awful lot of things in a wok.

[IMG]

Don't forget that I'm talking US$ and you're talking AU$. Your $1/can is my $.77/can.

Cooked beans are ~3x the size of dry beans; I'm pretty sure that I can buy dry black beans very easily for 99/lb, so cans have to be pretty close to 3/$1 to be comparable. But even that is beside the point. The way I look at it from a food budget point of view is this: I can get nutritionally equivalent (but boring) pinto beans for 50/lb dry-- which is like 17/can; so black beans for 39 is like paying a 22/can premium for a variety in colour/shape (and a bit of different flavour). Is that variance in colour worth the extra cost? If I were only feeding myself-- the answer would be "no", because I'm okay with my food being the same every day for months on end; but I'm also cooking for SO and the kids, and they are way less motivated by saving 22/can vs eating the same kind of beans every week, so I splurge the extra for their sakes.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: alsoknownasDean on April 20, 2018, 07:23:57 PM
39 cents a can for black beans sounds awfully good to me. I stock up when they're under a dollar.

Made a cauliflower curry yesterday with chickpeas ($A0.73 a can), frozen peas, coconut milk ($A0.89 a can), some curry paste/garlic/tomato paste and a few onions. Goes really well with rice.

Yes, I cook an awful lot of things in a wok.

[IMG]

Don't forget that I'm talking US$ and you're talking AU$. Your $1/can is my $.77/can.

Cooked beans are ~3x the size of dry beans; I'm pretty sure that I can buy dry black beans very easily for 99/lb, so cans have to be pretty close to 3/$1 to be comparable. But even that is beside the point. The way I look at it from a food budget point of view is this: I can get nutritionally equivalent (but boring) pinto beans for 50/lb dry-- which is like 17/can; so black beans for 39 is like paying a 22/can premium for a variety in colour/shape (and a bit of different flavour). Is that variance in colour worth the extra cost? If I were only feeding myself-- the answer would be "no", because I'm okay with my food being the same every day for months on end; but I'm also cooking for SO and the kids, and they are way less motivated by saving 22/can vs eating the same kind of beans every week, so I splurge the extra for their sakes.

Yeah black beans and red kidney beans are about the same price dried here ($5-6/kg, which is about $US2/lb IIRC). It's just that black beans (and pinto) aren't quite as common here and there's no generic brand black beans (often they're over in the 'Mexican' section of the supermarket instead of with the other beans), so the normal price is about $1.95 a can for the brand name ones, instead of $0.75-0.80 for generic brand red kidney beans. I'll still buy them when they're on special though.

I don't mind spending a bit extra on some ingredients, price isn't everything :)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 20, 2018, 10:06:01 PM
Lentils night. I made a double batch, so I can put some more up in the freezer.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/ePAyiEDFpjycz6tQYHdXOZBmiCGksxfty6RXABAwXnUvX3BP7G2P_R1t89ejRGspjvN5aoQthLtwNyzNTGHzi570_NvZhmk4nOSzBzXVeTj7G11fIx0RiM80MuQOS91sQ7xByqFkgITgb3hFDCEs1yucYYtQsFinI-uFUHCz2BRjAKHqIiOSjuoO2bpTkmv7lb5f43Ze02tGLfhkqTa9ZCyl_9ytbDnc0L6GaIGz_KksqttFk36lso_QHCAe1i1pESiS6iVxk2md8w1LJ4_himgjamXf-fJ9pl3dJbsDCxgbIG9t1Wk_Zwq_Df2IWPgQv7Jdp36RoRZg-pga2fm_Miv_3LhUs3uh7JO28xO4_dkTZNl0cWtd6AbyXSMUTPt0_IRVlTwwAPPNJ28bnLo2m-61UB6lzGOFY83B-h0OrC6JdUrq2EuRAplV4DV3onhizS5YoWpVZYOpnlCrgIsNg7VKB_elmhnN-2yTZMhCoRcFNKzqRviCEqi2uK1i_h1KCwqg422iQgU8FMJppG3n-Ok6LP9kvzqbx0jLResOgF0C43h-t-A9tPL7X1zjD5HWZIpJ6TZBpVypPCIkkZoLhS5nc1uRA_Opjs_wBIIGjGWGAXK4MlT6Arrh72sIoWymGR1Sq8sxvCl7JWHqmgFAoHSVsmBVAmqL=w1416-h796-no)

Lentil soup (onions, garlic, carrots, celery, lentils, chicken broth, seasonings): $3.50
Tortilla chips: $0 (leftover)
Watermelon for dessert: $1.00

Total dinner cost = $4.50. Made a giant pot full, so there will likely be two dinner-sized batches to go in the freezer, plus some leftovers for Sunday.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 20, 2018, 10:33:53 PM
Did a Sprouts errand today, too:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/CjrySBLG74rh4wiPAve8iU9bqZGufzD_TNKCILA2COwpZ02dM37ibqnDd7mogPy6fSzJULcyltaz98gXm3EQDvKVACMQfyOXJwYrcn6P2YQ21ZMSdkIzya9HOehLOalrGppdGeK4aVv5CLUkDZLOx9fxZLxMYVFwCQteykmYuOZKjz2SZD8yAZ1mcmw6SubGPFiQAawNpC2lwsxkHyrPAwvDWvK9nIaczd4qzoz7nD4P9qaht3AIuQ06GSGVrB2bqLq1tPqJ2bQa-nQuzQKeYD2YI58J65UvPuu2cEEVmvHMxz4JmRqWtNh7-SAQYixlYxzdg8V9tLnMOSvYE40lA8sYt0wnGje-ab-FymQ97QVN0XEBi10jjNXYDWaKXqtmBHup8ptZdYyw3zoXOzks6R2nPKnnoYaDAQzvjZ8UWGllzArOgnJTXXwSqtptVzb2SwOS9Vfd5LxEEFXjbeJOm18ECptXQvPFyc9v-PjD5kS5mXhDjY68jnxb4JP90S6XjvAbAF4Cwvr34ArCQSZ5TgMZTXA5UuVy59Vva5Hnzffk4L26k7qExIMWXVs4sn2FSvOlBikdKPKPIrqmiqJr50CqP5tKJ10Kpz-Z86wRz_S_CEIE2ymQp78NJy6i_O5tQV71k4PdPn_G21jdCIP93dQp0e0_VyVj=w1416-h796-no)

Lettuce: $.99
Green pepper: $1.00
Corn (6 ears): $1.00
Watermelon: $3.96
Canteloupe: $2.00

Total receipt = $8.95. I don't know who's growing watermelons that are ripe in April, but for $1.98? Yes, please. Also, it seems a bit early for corn, but again, the price is right.

Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: dragoncar on April 21, 2018, 03:41:20 AM
Inspiring
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 21, 2018, 10:22:38 PM
Sandwiches for dinner tonight:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/qDaRIWnpDtjn41-xu1my1kEcGT5OQZDjju0Dp7Ya4Fzi8d9S2NgmYHoR9W_CEVk1nSb95k8VabNE6tvSfF8Xv6ux13KIsfDIVWAlZwpC9An6rv-3_oqARsnfF6c7IKWi7WWOvKyf5NV5XkOWGZ-UGNtmLJgzzTcdnQrkuY44RC58GafthqwEx-QGLYOlh-QjWqwqzSUIw8n9ct2ncMW0q9pYmLQWoVBHdpzYNzZvq1_0HftXU_106HIT-XZNn_MU-wl0gx-h7zDZ4epMzTdoOCTByTyCtdIAv6Bhtmsnc1iT4M10j_g5_VK82yoD1kPXHBQP7wcGsLjaijAh4mOSxqkYIy1TCm37FTZmaW-5ziXt9PnCSmbPvhclBjYJYS_PCYBP1xLDC9kcTzg3DMR7i1ylusr-ION5KIfC0VrqQUFwa_YOymde2VZCQV8xNuS4NeJRM7WghYeCxY3dGPB-vdEJkmjlWEUUBlRexB-eiwF8DZyeFMRq_fb9ZF6FX0eRVBr0EWFO7GMB_TdtZhLbqY7jFt3OiFciX00Ym8svZMqBnr-Xr6GZly2dboGeneOqzFKeos3zOHS5AXf5Yzf4xLPVjG7fii_t_crDM0pbqg_75dzr-OUKO20q32WLeTrVfVcSTl8nkt9Bv9q9CIpgraIw1SnWBh5_=w794-h447-no)

Bread: $.99
Cold cuts: $3.33
Cheese: $.50
Green pepper: $.50
Tomato: $.25
Onion: $.11
Lettuce: $.25
Watermelon for dessert: $0

Total dinner cost = $5.93.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 22, 2018, 09:00:07 AM
Stopped in the discount store yesterday:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/mno5fj3hTVEZ6hXWS-vF2SlGTWgPl9C-BaTl9zKjoF63lWH1Endi2HgLQDS5SbZpn-Z2AnbrTg7lAnG4jf7BZyoHxY1qojvNJeyuBEL3JE3tc3HSWMrHh5-SdBkDqKi4eW2FNk4qJlwSo41mcqfS7uG603XVQlozfh95xsPtuBb72KHtvKadmJm-cruLOw2v6mYDHMDAsv3hrBVdgqUP5a4ms-wZ969DLcS_k0PNr_CxUQIPpjWqVVnzMADWx_6jEwqHhdzzQHMHASZ3SWbYpG2rhRTcHo8wGfi7NBoYRSkla8yiEQjBQaM5l8LxBZuitf3MduPI16FupQJF69rFEk-kEF3GZ3qawcrgx5qtQfjfB3Fe3_OWYZc3SZPG2mherhCLMXn70oCCvK7sQ-UIz_skJNZSWEUPALwjJbk7D_vj6pKBFqy72XJzB6gH4g-rehBhpqQracZUbrqWz-Gji9Kw4_AU-YZIway7n-dy3IF0o2Kc9dbKiTP9PEqbeO0JT4L0f7l9kCaqsGul7lIULLEAGLNPt44f6cxabjOYyikRyxL4fLG_XbHMlrzVuzhYkuC8Hb9sfJQsjbKJE46cUSnHiR1-BTJBd4mEuo9FiGtTZKySKeJ6ugUJqsR1-f7CrofuIN78idvR93ptmIF8MmbjSeRvu4r8=w1416-h796-no)

Bread: $1.98
Pineapple: $1.98
Coconut cream: $2.19

Total receipt = $6.15. The basement remodel is 98% finished, so I'm planning on a "basement warming" party in a few weeks with a pizza menu-- so I'm planning ahead for toppings, hence the pineapple. Also, coconut cream! This is the first time I've even seen it (even counting regular grocery stores!); it was more expensive than I'm willing to pay on a regular basis, but I thought it'd be worth a try-out, to see if it's really worth keeping on the list of things in my head.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 22, 2018, 09:33:10 PM
Normally, it's leftovers night on Sundays; but I've got a busy couple weeks of work coming up, so I've been putting all the leftovers in the freezer for future easy dinners.

So tonight I did corn-on-the-cob with chicken and carrots
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/t4ogwfl4zFVUGSmxCXjVGCqfw7ZPcRs7BK8HeBfzMHLcUx3ammC4tQ4ffakqfrjyk2nDmFEISfU-29pAb7QAR0ybDk7fSM8rAz8PW4h5JkJXyACYeY4aoRxW0hkZTzkLyXMZHWzl_Ld3qwWzhw4I3OtjX0GpZR4vidTsEj2GDCbflsJV97BqFCJRrvfyluLsjy-xVB7krpSBKM2FRaweWpMT2nJ6w2GssyFlsWSivs3f2go8hMn0SXXzVRCkPb21YBzhh-q8AdIn0LDVvLRHstK5flYgSmizDGIB-8HUyUPhKxOSixM-80Nsu0RNkXwfFQ81C8a0naLv0vob87v512diXvPWRbbWQOsUGu9Oqup3VIythFrdCqvP_XDOuyaF7bLTW7zFOBVVOyPYuO-I7yz2K6owQ7MVw0Bo-v9ttYO8-gejoWm1jnQtSNgZ7u3wpvw09d06JDzEWpXh1dS3wADm7Z2Io1hxMFvejygGK8pnGzVYP4Qm4zfPdsIkjKI9WG7CCy_CIzgH2Pr8EvYY0JTZh1jEWyoRf7px3cdtMvr25yubnP-9q9VK5N5CBhi0UcdFApuTUCxS8_A5tKOuHXBWQE9HGTiQOWaRnbnnEF_MJNeJy5IKYkXSSmpshh5M7qxMyMXTthjXpF5T3hrkv3k9NS4JAQGZ=w1416-h796-no)

Chicken: $4.93
Corn: $1.00
Carrots: ~$.60

Total dinner cost = $6.53. SO doesn't like the crispy delicious fatness of the skin, so I get it all to myself hahaaaa! Omnomnomnom. There were 2+ breasts out of 4 left over, so they'll come in handy for some lunches and probably another dinner.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 23, 2018, 07:28:55 PM
It's actually Potato Night on Mondays, but I was all prepared to make a giant batch of jambalaya...so that's what I did.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/rqucvqbbrrgEUYuTp1EGietw3Kt50JeT5DR9k17N4OmpC2CBABsFtXwNcORda-fHv7heda5CjZRiKJTo21TwfznuEb_JhyT7J5F1i0Gv3LaQk80FC1UHKZHZBpMvExnb-byjhZklhpsAx-l4GyAVzF79NUa_VpVQBlS4tBKpqM4ZjVs_9E2vmOVEzdWv-rImlKJb-uNaAQ9Ivv0z5DeOjVS_H1CEAoDVph_rS1u-CUjLQmxz37x8gTAhg2ob2Yo5iJHLRcJoR3uMruJcgqeGaNtgXHFkJBq1rxLEZnMzxqSXt1HVv74O-WTbnbgNghZS221GWvnJ1s5Lzusmuf3gweNgnQ1k_CqEWYYA75xocGABNTuhkF6elYqqZGltkZQdEd4bIIi9rU3FVqoRCLwcIUen_RK9UhLHGx2DJ88dzEgyKRemzr1Y4xPIM-UInZKITvtm78aU7UEjWvlL3Ks3zqS7NJhJr6TgtLDR5QRrrdTwwKTRko15nM1mPsEilpqGxqNazGAVlk_wojX0BLC6Kkhzg3-fq0XUw7MNyBcHxEJXltma31iurVJabqZ37n1b2nVsV5VVPEq73mjanEADsYdWDbTcGopECOKh14R1qdQXcXM13_hB8D9V_gTpGQq9BE2t7rP1xhJ05i2-njFZ8yS4QMU8eTtx=w1416-h796-no)

Rice: $.92
Sausage: $1.99
Tomato sauce: $0 (freebie cans)
Garlic: $.15
Onion: $.60
Celery: $.25
Green pepper: $1.00
Tomatoes: $.40

Total dinner cost = $5.31. I made it a triple batch, because I've been doing a "stock up my new freezer" thing, trying to make sure I'm set up with some easy dinners for when the next few weeks get crazy busy again. This recipe gave me 4 dinners' worth to put up. As a note-- I'm recording the cost of these pre-prepped dinner assemblies as I actually make them (i.e., tonight's "total dinner cost" includes all four of these leftover dinners too). So when I go to pull them out of the freezer, you'll see me list out a $0 cost, since it's already been accounted for here.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/35eaM6kmxBfNpr_upYwlZe--_peO-CFHwssEPWJjPPOZRqYPRHfpeLi0xSprAY_r8UzN_Y7ekPeYNOyfsaEqxe3CvvSiMaifHOKeL8C3k_s__NAJnSRRaICmQiOho7uNeNJgdto39oZRCEqtmve0GflWOfftXdvffDMEC2fkWIRm7nvyCdP076psOR8_zntCEJlH5kyYTSaewwYJGdRrNEIIcZRT-fvKADeQzdXob05Pj3JsTlZn1wgSqr_KGYQK0RbcrQhSA--9vNVQLp9BJbeS-zGDljNmtTErdzVRZzbJHWf0wVp4G0me-HTxCIVOVg55qrKm8eoEpztJJXQW530rPTZLfwDnpHZ6eN89q3xUDkbHZkDr1CtkjgtVUK6r2Ii9Oe0K9-9ziuE3ahUUwO7yJqsuOaL-Dn_XqR9fauubGhzR0mtTe_nh7Y7o8bxMEJ7JMNHMyXv9aJEYAmll7DIuXOxspjqqDh_3MVN4ngPjXHxrD9dLvbKfMtOyj4yHPUeJa2uMRq9oXRmIyBKQsTFQ9GVRCs7mNB-5P4xDt3Zg4XHkATSRKX0wvb8G5b5YfWFHKB4jRyAUdtYdsGd0nOISke290Xcdu-Pw8BaIbxKZSRefSsxlzOn3ai9qoo4evAuJd6VoB3nPzTVA0RQN-0tW_ORr66or=w1416-h796-no)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 24, 2018, 09:26:25 PM
Since I did rice yesterday, I did potatoes today:

Girlie's plate:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/qe7f69VL4tI0BerUr2ZdIovKFaLA1eOrif3dV1PuIrogktEARVZjwMmgB2KphbkZ_2LOUSYmCImLz2XRl7lU5wkm_FpAiJFFCwKrRTcS0-4LvfmzAq3OvNUIR57ZNqu6JSBqyR8QNJXPi3XjRChu0YLbu86qHyfZU_GjyENaSRkFBZpQnUMmLrjSZDyBrNRV4f2QLWV-Qc8h5Zhl_L23QasMqSH7y2uNxbdbDY58KPWnkbkB20dnRW0dBZqhOEdNUDZXnmZPutobGEd6JvHaN3xFsq1a3-KTVLDpt-nKksEwBlMmjGCfM_Z02DrPaOSgBOc9IJfSyXpf2klfWSlbbxdmBMFh4maSGHCqubzjWwhKWrMj5MG0-8DzGG2afUwH1weapyKserS8BZ7m0l-J9l4MsFmXB2n7AlqTH_OTj37wDgtsAmuxI1fD5qUkdQA6XIWVdpc9lBOFhz84U-0R97GrlhzcgWt02yCcab8HVmtvXQk6J3JlMWmAhqOL8Iyr4BzIM5DS9wI4xye8MDyk0uO9hO7o5Br7A7wR3PDHFdZQJQKHmUAjZFayV-1SDTOVR-2eK7pbDxX0HhuHs8wC-uev-KXBy-iernT1EtMxz4ppgCvVGyOfAOyc4d8ynMBMOqLw89ImtqwboigFVGwU65et6KI3MWH7=w1416-h796-no)

Potatoes: $.45
Carrots: $.65
Lettuce: $.20
Chicken: $0 (leftovers)

Total dinner cost: $1.30 plus a bit of homemade ranch. I make my own ranch, because Kiddo is non-dairy; it's not really hard-- ranch is basically just mayo with seasonings, thinned down to a pourable consistency. I add garlic, a bit of salt, pepper, and dill; ideally, I'd also add some onion powder, but I don't have that in my spice cabinet.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Mezzie on April 25, 2018, 07:19:24 AM
This month I've only spent $123.78 (my next grocery trip isn't until May). That was with a rather extravagant farm delivery. I wish I'd paid closer attention to what I ate so I could replicate this fluke.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 25, 2018, 08:34:55 PM
This month I've only spent $123.78 (my next grocery trip isn't until May). That was with a rather extravagant farm delivery. I wish I'd paid closer attention to what I ate so I could replicate this fluke.

Those are always nice months to see in the budget spreadsheet. Sometimes I wonder *what did we even eat?* lol!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 25, 2018, 08:38:10 PM
No pictures tonight, sorry. Everything was pretty basic; plain-jane pasta with some green pepper, lettuce, and chicken.

Pasta: $1.00
Chicken: $0 (leftovers)
Lettuce: $.20
Green pepper: .50

Total dinner cost = $1.70 plus a bit of mayo and ranch.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: avalanchecity on April 27, 2018, 07:43:35 AM
what do your typical breakfasts and lunches look like? are your lunches mostly leftovers?
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 27, 2018, 09:44:34 PM
Sorry for the slow updates! Work has been starting to get busy, so I'm trying to cram everything else into a bit smaller time schedule. I'm sure I'll get the wrinkles worked out of the new routine pretty soon.

Annnnyway... I did a couple grocery errands yesterday:

Costco:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/xNV2sPwg7kQeR0XpZMJjkJ3y872QxJ4jGK04h3u98Q-JyC7qM94rhRDuYZNhxQLiyBDUkMIaRonLMND6p9_XXDALdYqHlDY_RUzyA0d--uqVHgyji5hnJy54K6cpcT-m_qs0-vx9ytMIMO8RPP2JiuSMo8MqJFOOvjBkXlP54WSz-Kkjpp7g7Ko8f7v3ZMCfHJc1cckT-oKVazC-L3ttLqn8y3-cSxiehZGW0rpmT-Of54Dps4zMNonl3pbNmuyDvM38LXApL5gv6giLDxB4-vBjjfrH8lcFk7myHr0R-QiCOv2s3mOMw0ir8okziG5dogHzW9XOO2zVu-ED6LvZq8gNcDARaCgtQJqitrxovGlJWJwc_CfcEHbGCaF3PJLpy_7F1TU_TaZ3y3EorqmsaL3uYhBYRqgUGOmCjxHTcO2nXDyYia7zRrrQJVwjsLooXij5gzpcCTy2Wt8rnDVWU8zvZnAueTYvYJeKmVj24z2XSWK0V8aj-tN-0L4XnHFvMWzntTIa7W1oWgSlPfXjisPPY-S8dijcqYlgU70mDUGSxekiLNSD0cgF725K31ZLirtdrCI3GLu8Iat-1u_6SEhVZeH3lRg9XjOHYq8mk-xB_3TBQhgsHhtZ32MezbgM83BnAahWwwtAAy8mpFJmoGULWC36hLj3=w1416-h796-no)

Tortilla chips: $3.89
White flour (25lb): $5.99
Salsa: $9.90
Peanuts: $5.69
Garlic: $4.69

Total food receipt = $30.16. Bread turns out best when you add gluten in some form to your whole wheat flour-- the easiest way to do that is to mix in some white flour; I'd been waiting and waiting for flour to go on sale in the grocery store, but no luck. The peanuts are designated to end up in the granola bars that I've been making for school lunches/snacks (which reminds me, I need to do a photo/recipe post about those at some point). The chips will end up as a side to go with my legume-heavy freezer meals (beans, lentils), as the pairing with corn makes it a whole protein; and it's super easy-- pull from freezer, defrost, serve with chips and bam.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Also did a Sprouts errand:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/L2mmRbYypTPSAtPhxFfpTsLbg6LdCUaQLCNQm9UxLoayODF5_kCTkXfojwbPfxrHC-yalXRHMAi7O7QokxqOkP3Dfh7RSRdiHzvkibr7hdc8E69IwKv37ldwdOoe0FzFOpFNZRJFTokJxbd1AyexnOl0Rj-iQ3MP6ZyLuwhmBS0uUNjoshj6xZpYQxjiXppfGNPfT5h-RvTN8t34YDjJ5Jcebpt0FiHkjykzHwWNn-poRLDBbFkM5dQVl95a-ORUo5FOnSk2crg9427AK7QTbCfomzotWIWa2pqtJH68at_G_A_IIYJfLO3vnT032o3diicb26fWaK6RuDk8oVh2UBfoOH_zrrt6P5XIeF-3pSpuZsHesL4zn9mbgPi4tiFG91oeeKK-7DKhAIvmDr5ll4ifIlPoBUvsJ1_gFu8LaCnyT0jEdHaYSSxNwvyAWSm38ZnIXbgkZ-dZTKCTUw-TF85h2av3tR_RItoHWR_XfymRbEQcWYPcYehBkTrv41zg9vXCQjn7OFN6lxkAYu737Pkl6RVQARswR7OTPP3J-jkp0S7-tkKmPgJiy96Eue_9ukSwGHpXX3IxXzPk7KTX2KZdq6Jqpp7fAphNU6wNvWHVcznsfhBz9tZHDrAB3N6wFobRhAVI4s02ZEeCKfsWViSKmU39spbE=w1416-h796-no)

Strawberries: $6.16
Ginger: $1.17
Green peppers: $1.00
Red peppers: $3.00
Lettuce: $.99

Total receipt = $12.27. Strawberries! 88/lb! I'm definitely going to put my new freezer to use here; SO has been wanting to make smoothies, so I prepped and froze 6lbs (minus the chef's portion, lol) on a baking sheet tonight (friday). I'm going to buy another batch to freeze tomorrow, and probably another batch after that, before the sale goes off.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 27, 2018, 09:52:47 PM
Dinners:

Thursday was beans night, so I started a batch in the instant pot in the morning before work. I love my instant pot. I picked the kids up from school, went to Costco, then came home and beautiful beans were ready and waiting for us-- I used some of the tortilla chips, plus some pepper and lettuce. Probably ~$2.50 plus a bit of sour cream and salsa.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Tonight was lentils night, but the kids didn't have school, so I took them to work with me (currently doing a big landscaping project, so there are lots of dirtpiles for them to play on). Didn't get home until 5:45pm; I thought about pulling lentils from the freezer, but decided that since they'd eaten leftovers for lunch, I would just serve them lunch for dinner with some extra veggies and then they could just get a bath and go to bed (they were totally worn out). Between a pbj and some bits of leftovers, and some frozen veggies, probably dinner cost ~$1.75ish.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 27, 2018, 10:04:18 PM
what do your typical breakfasts and lunches look like? are your lunches mostly leftovers?

Typical breakfast is oatmeal. Either with milk and brown sugar, or cooked with brown sugar and a dash of salt. Lately, when milk has been on sale, I've been adding in a bit of the breakfast cereal to my oatmeal-- so oatmeal + milk + ~1/2cup frosted flakes (or shredded wheat, or corn flakes, etc) on top. I love breakfast cereal, but it's not really very filling, and using it as a mix-in helps satisfy that "want" while still leaving me with a filling and nutritious breakfast.

Lunches tend to be mostly leftovers. I usually make more than enough dinner portions that there are a couple or three lunches' worth of leftovers. If there don't happen to be any leftovers, then I'll do pbj sandwiches or something similar. I personally often skip lunch, as breakfast usually holds me well past noon; I'm also self-employed, and that gives me more paying hours in a shorter day, plus we normally eat dinner around 4pm, which is a lot earlier than many folks. The kids are also normally in school, so they eat lunch there; Kiddo is gluten/dairy sensitive, so we usually pack him a lunch, which is why sometimes you'll see me post about granola bars and stuff like that.

I should do a couple more "here's what I'm having for breakfast/lunch" posts, so people who didn't start from the very beginning can see.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 29, 2018, 07:11:03 AM
More grocery errands yesterday.

King Soopers:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/7wfWQwXxfl2jITSFffsehSOT6ohz1MUpQ-MRiVP18x7x1RjJvfqZkumX1T4vxvgKR1eNJrp7bOtFAbU74SURwqI5ycS6jo3oIES58bi0W8I6JMtbbysZBeDLOV3ybY3wrxavSlHcRbklzVKevZDy-vyE7MetS6sHX5MAlGg0JtaEFc1KT562-dqf6L8kJYWhQFaXrB7BcUW3hFThcL81o428sAPfIm9P9B636XoE_OW2W8LBy9ULZElt9va7nBuUtn6phs-pQUZPd0XTya6IjfPyZ3mWfr6yQKK6rdkdTjQCjPfIxBy1DEHNImzLX4q53H7YWYeI12VRTtXy6BFM0DToptnM9ZdUuNWBZM8a_7jSI2FL4PMcANHhVm9wIL4S5FMyzF8K0_KVOZxuLyi5Vzbm9BtHinvtHT4snD9M1vGheV6EXd8tsciUHa_IEVtLwdd1_H-9WcqcK3Pz9rxAYFv2PL_XWK5b_pSLZcCX41UMZcIJaQyaSblLMOQkhw0BX2de3jDpolzfgac2dCv9h8UeaMBHCwXGOLpHs52fJA49Z2J0062V7AXlGk55IcjR9Pn8C8vwumy-bZGpzTNd49cvfPWsPRwPY7uk0HN_A6g5qk2TEiKQub1Kcs6CYNIOxon8D_3bGYVrbA2MlZSqJ4fBWe7CvFrd=w1416-h796-no)

Tortillas: $2.00
Taco seasoning: $0 (free Friday)
Tictacs: $0 (free friday)
Pineapple: $1.94
Pasta (5lbs): $2.45
Milk: $.50
Almond milk: $4
Potato chips: $0 (free friday)

Total receipt = $10.89. I was planning on buying milk at Safeway for $2/gallon, but as I was in the dairy section, I noticed they had short-dated half-gallons marked down to $.25 each!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Also went to Sprouts again (fortunately, it's directly on the way home from King Soopers (and Home Depot, which was the other errand I did yesterday).

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/7RWGu7Mlr_viXhpv-PKkcNwBf4NdiQ9n79LbMFRw_Cl6dCtqTNbxS8VUX--2oPNWyDWdh8n6MnLa2RHHXq_TQa8KPKM8PsBiWoC9qdMm7v4b8L-j__WO0Ds37vP_SC6DgHZdF_zti0fy-oySNsb-tYus9__JuFvFPsFecARMDiA9vL2Xzew2d1giie8nZH6voZRpAS0dGt1E7CTmqapiulr76Vhu31CeyJs_Ord4idWwoIb44vITxJjpx7r8KamSJpcX5S2jD_wBXN_CjKwtoRjR1mFHOoIvrXa1RNxnfZ47wedrhhturhLYQ9kjIep2TmQg488RMSh7-LRR_QI8GrABGEmaqz13ZJQlv_azcInUKkNjrxerEh7sYz8jRZoSn6ZORCGbWieaXSIFWtAtVDA-BcqlPchcQ9s0JizOqo5E_DPJx7MQNq0lvnuWi6xsO8GQhjxnxl-e4gKMIVCRf0EVxQPxcEXx8k2XRVPnPZbwm91ItlcjTiNk1HrqEqaER9zelbUZaLGPt-PAxZT4vIpUMb_DxPHoa8xlVja1sZa_Qd-pr5wjxcK5CvmSg20dC3jM9e3xxTkDsIEsKEr8wD7f7zPIAMh8js4sIQxjwusKFkfAF1EHvRDPNP_oyEGhGO_blND7eR3NIV_tk3dPi7qbqTEo4P3T=w1416-h796-no)

Strawberries: $6.16
Oranges: $1.83
Craisins: $.72

Total receipt = $8.71. More strawberries for the freezer. The craisins are planned to end up in my granola bars. They also had bananas on sale for cheaper than Costco, but they were out, so I made sure to get a raincheck; which is fine, actually, since we still have a watermelon and the two pineapple to work through.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 29, 2018, 07:28:14 AM
Sandwiches for dinner yesterday (saturday). Sorry, no pics again.

Bread: $.99
Meat: $3.33
Cheese: $.65
Lettuce: $.20
Red pepper: $.50
Green pepper: $.50
Onion: $.11

Total dinner cost = $6.28 plus mayo and mustard. We used about 1/2 the package of cold cuts, which I slipped back in the freezer, so next time we do sandwiches it will count as that much cheaper.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 29, 2018, 08:04:02 PM
Went to pick up a microwave off craigslist, and stopped in King Soopers on the way:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/H-O8zlGVZTd-zwko6ksba0J5KcQf6lq4W3rRLCgSFG6_dHkVF4Chh-UhiD20_XnW-GK0rI3GVa_HrpRmJOkP5c_eSgsrwh3r7YDYbmP67fWGqmjyhW0YjLyaPCp2WzyrJnodv1Y6wXBfeRyYI0ZD6WQlL4Dxao2oZedmNvojhGN8gUIUiYf-95Fh6i9AtTOEPmTkZ43_HLWPye4QyB9Yo4xSqgyiao7CU5moISiConN_u0FUUByMDcfcXRiSK6vmQBvKwxUlgjNs_3TFgIS_oLvL_NPn_hmIKsDmGdtQsEpUBqbQP4tXxXCCDrYlY70VMmrT7VNN82U6QnWxQ5xgJ9akvg8FvOb6sj89cCUN3Ox3ah2bjuvNH_aKXFbynzfGexZ4F_Li9tixrV3NgvtjVj5ZXrLLT0bUxQWZOYvUg0pNSK9iTGaSOh9iA8Yn3mQECdfZwwdh5-8P3cuH1vA90xyawDWwBr_78xsrUmKeusViGMkcR9Od57VE1AoJaRF13lbCdwBXzYtdd3-P4MsWIY5xiRAz8aTMxabJeb2ziWlk7SnMdRItIBYVRqYVDJkqfTzkeJ-AN7w63mLz9cyAS-hBfdjkaYu_eqsnXckUAM3DCmb-IeZJJpRyffyBSZsitAU2yPmA8GBSeJz0w9xJ9uY0F-t_jVDs=w1416-h796-no)

Pineapple: $2.91. Since I'm on a freezing streak, and it's only 97/each....I am so happy to have that additional freezer space!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 29, 2018, 08:07:19 PM
Dinner tonight was leftovers. Finished off the beans most of everything else that was left over this week. Probably added ~$.50-.75 of other ingredients (some veggies, a few chips, a few tortillas, etc.).
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: momcpa on April 29, 2018, 09:05:17 PM
I am amazed at the low monthly costs that some/most of you have for your groceries. I keep track of all our expenses on Quicken and just did a summary of our grocery costs for last year and our dining out costs for last year.  The combined number is really big compared to all of you.  And I don't think we eat that extravagant or fancy.  Pretty much meat and potatoes.  Bad habit of soda that doesn't help the total costs.

My question to you who inspire me.........do you keep your toiletries, house cleaning, laundry supplies separate from your food costs?  I lump all those costs in with my grocery expense.  (shampoo/bath soap/toothpaste/laundry soap/batteries/toilet paper/printer ink/foil/etc)  Is that what is making my numbers so high?  Or maybe I'm kidding myself on the amount of food I buy!!

Thanks for any comments.  (and keep up the great work!)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 29, 2018, 10:13:05 PM
I am amazed at the low monthly costs that some/most of you have for your groceries. I keep track of all our expenses on Quicken and just did a summary of our grocery costs for last year and our dining out costs for last year.  The combined number is really big compared to all of you.  And I don't think we eat that extravagant or fancy.  Pretty much meat and potatoes.  Bad habit of soda that doesn't help the total costs.

My question to you who inspire me.........do you keep your toiletries, house cleaning, laundry supplies separate from your food costs?  I lump all those costs in with my grocery expense.  (shampoo/bath soap/toothpaste/laundry soap/batteries/toilet paper/printer ink/foil/etc)  Is that what is making my numbers so high?  Or maybe I'm kidding myself on the amount of food I buy!!

Thanks for any comments.  (and keep up the great work!)

Thanks for the compliment!

I do separate out "household" costs (printer ink, foil, batteries, ziplocs), from "toiletries" (soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toilet paper), from "food" (actual food only). So the costs here are only food-- things that we actually eat.

I don't know what portion of your "groceries" are food vs. other stuff, only you can tell. I do recommend tracking it, if you really want to see where your spending goes. For us, I don't have the exact numbers in front of me, and I'm too lazy to dig them out, but historically, household/toiletries/etc certainly don't average more than another $100/month (usually more like $20, unless we have to buy printer ink or replace a laptop or some other relatively big ticket item).
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 29, 2018, 10:16:50 PM
Really, all I want to do is to make a thread worthy enough to be part of the Ultimate Mustachian Food Guide (https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/off-topic/the-ultimate-mustachian-food-guide/) created by @acorn, lol. I discovered it a while back, and then was disappointed that I hadn't made the cut *sad face*. It is such a great compilation thread, though. If any of you haven't checked it out, you should.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 29, 2018, 11:15:06 PM
Got my second batch of strawberries into the freezer tonight.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/fWLkpeWgAExq1l5_QPkdx-Xji4oF9a1vjT6JtSizgQV-C2JNT55HpXPQwWDm0BwEHMAe6b55roR96fMLK6h3r2WvnbtbM5gyH-lY2OZ5rfPCO8huSxPbQJM-N4lv6cE0ZWRNC1C5AtlljBEq45U3u6jukpI8ViaLiL4g7rU6kr4WzOw8eE9zyVvleZFD1ryeHTJltj0CvLmN-K65ZD7JDCSufTqdRKiby6nY5ggCgJXQkCIUY_RrEDfulz5GMlkxiotyFgjYvUwFcLDy4YwgwdOGP0nOy4q8vOKGtT_w8X8BGNCMQWfBchRsf1l6NV6EQHKiBpSESweVkFECPeLvs8cg2st0bsY0kjFewfnBCQ_QS2I18Knl7fsHJV_zqCNdq3YtEqIMAfxrmV8Lp4abYRhNaUpuj04GpcTgd5rpeTaWYuejL1dr2YCcT-Q8Yv97eA4xfjBkc7i1NjDrdM89FnVuY7as7OryCTzFComQAtVzeMW7Ttgq0GflYLZsee35B2n3GaDrLAKa7CJ7u70v1PkKVo5T_vu5kWUfv3tfFxA2_7Rwu04a8KVAw-05m24hD_Zj6X1QBOTiVMPEr5T51d7d4XoVdIQjyxs66_CGt2t32R0xkDpFZY0OEH0zc1muc9qr9pP48d9LIJA24XfdVS_OSg0Odq6d=w1416-h796-no)

~6lbs of strawberries. I did 5lbs the other day, and I plan to do one more batch before they go off sale.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: jim555 on April 30, 2018, 07:27:13 AM
I do separate out "household" costs (printer ink, foil, batteries, ziplocs), from "toiletries" (soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toilet paper), from "food" (actual food only). So the costs here are only food-- things that we actually eat.
I do the same thing.  Different category for toiletries and household.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: the_fixer on April 30, 2018, 08:09:07 PM
Your post inspired me to look at the sale ads this week and use the king Soopers digital coupons.

~95% of what I would have normally purchased had a coupon and many of the items were already on sale so with just a little effort I saved a bunch of money.

The digital coupons are so easy to use not like the old days where my mom would spend hours clipping them out of the paper and then hold up the line sorting the at the checkout.

THANKS!


Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 30, 2018, 09:41:11 PM
Stopped at Safeway after picking the kids up from school:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/MJ2qLcM6hotaI4PzwSWaeiMv3moAXaymnvDc72ns8AlXi8JdaKhulAFFnU90I4jRDjjLmZ-tHRsEqbEXssNDQADx-gJKuP0S8sftV_l5GnlGLpdv62BnveKe_0mvLvxRyWFmLGw_cUBqZeOGciGdpaNRtoEPjBcBc36tjSL9ZfOzazIKBtvg5uwIdelJ5GWQjU0NDGtfnDI6Sl_eJJKqu_f1ygp_kGjSmd3wuiQJBU43MtCaSxGmuNsUiWCeiTTrHF7Y32TosbE09IqZq50I5_3paNc0dJwrZH5Wu47IWWgv635wHyHXBdzFZq_3gHl02IS9CzEfiCvEYU0-HjwoBhbJUc9wjZybqhLRdAvW_AdEpVkYnwr8VMSrr2hh1lQ8ZRK5_Es7AXEHoyCh4_TRraji5hYz_4heEGC02LTusqVQ1tsvWXMATTzhTjtlsb8EAicI2pvlgSNhB-eO5nuR9ZNRI8kh2hJg17QPhwoGibhHkIYJ3ufcytqqxBCUnJf1mFoudpe-ZKl2gif_aK-IFBl-41FDDVhnZNE26WW7tSXwLPteE3CIl3GCcSTriSogDspFdw-Uz6dTrCnQlycUDiZ9RFAe8kf9k48Syrvo8j0q2V637s5oHfhs4Xx11ZKfvHoYxOydy99HgUa_NQneaHxvNEtvxZP4=w1416-h796-no)

Frozen brussels sprouts: $4.25
Frozen broccoli: $4.17 $2.55
Cookies: $0 (freebie coupon)
Dairy-free ice cream: $1.00

Total receipt = $9.42. I got three broccoli and five brussels sprouts-- all of them were listed as eligible for my e-coupon. But did the register catch that? No. Did *I* catch it, as I was scanning the screen to make sure the coupons applied? No. This sort of thing is frustrating. The system applied my $.85/lb coupon to the brussels sprouts, but not the broccoli. AND there was a huge long line, so I felt pressured to make my transaction as quick as possible, and didn't notice that the total was off. So now, I have to remember to take my receipt with me next time I go in, plus talk to the customer service person and get my $.54/bag back. Gah. On the bright side, though, I got some free cookies, and had a coupon for the dairy-free ice cream, which is a very rare treat for Kiddo, so I was very happy to be able to pick it up for a reasonable price.

ETA [5/22]: I finally remembered to bring my receipt in and get a credit for the over-priced broccoli. $1.62 back into the food budget. Yay!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on April 30, 2018, 10:07:15 PM
Meals today:

I remembered to snap a couple pictures of my breakfast this morning, for those who may have missed my more in-depth breakfast breakdown towards the beginning of the thread.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/XSK1CqOMpQLl7yS2CVEJGnSxInffeGR2xBL796jd_n4pPwAlHju2lyQmQzidgEPd7oT1uWp32JywI6CKIarSkFCpcHyRRcfR5OFKly-VbtdWOEKG3O_sdCHlEGhJXAuYV4lpjB_x0-lIBSGBEiYYzsB7Qg1aONOKS7KvoQC9Xblnk98Yv5wK5uceyBtIH8RbLeqjKF2mAXBultE4oAvbro5_VOriTOI9J0uwU7hBx3MIb9RtXNjQulbYUyWMEKD6DqACywhRKsEeDep9C3d76eyR5vumOqWAumlLtMg_iLwHOXQ1D__L6ov8qaA74XjjEVzfNH2y_fwZ7A9cmQVT-Ks5IjI6wqOgfITZuiQ9GT5kNu_5kx3AekfO99rjgr9KPSMY2WYPF8eRy1ZGwJgLG-Paherd7VchxfxarEeGPWwXbvN7KZ72xLMXEE8SxmEu4ITIcofAiNpsbzJSBuztD6hOQkNxShynJTS3xEarN3pAC3ZOtGGALImr8z7ro-Uuy68uvGKG3AB7wbxVPoEHcghLnh3MlQy_l9BU4XFHD0xGHI8W20rDutxlxvm59TEHqKvbuP6aMK2q1mwQ0micZmUt3E7Z-79O3zrAKPykOlUzQuC4St-7xt3vw9GDW91x2Njh75PRq2Uy243i3poNV9To5Lnqb9OT=w1416-h796-no)
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/lswJLhItfaojwjc1pHTvQOuIu_KvXO_riO-36rQmeEN6YVEb2LSHc0Cj6jXfLuIQRX-Qag7yEMR66ehPVIMz8Ii2f3mIH1ueJR8YlIVEy1ZrqqY0o6wYnZmNJ8wrh2xU9wV1pW1BdzvRTwuYwX9xlt7Y9BCVLYmZXjUlpcFbTaaXWzpyfnkfQgAgfw0u3eo5Of4H6bLxvXmYPmViTwSTPUskX7w7LJLW26suPUcyw9nAxeHWVcr6p2pA0d-20AGUmIIkqomg79ejLdNn4R0Rg1zGOWItXicRwCT2RknH-NxwJ0IcsZQiBp3FdH2HjQsbv97WCGcEMEVeAkxXgjiv4vLd-K8qgi4PERlPRZxu7_pGIXeG_R5Nk0fjb1m3GNULanLUvy2U2xXyvhI8cx7QTg8TYgnoQCnY01Kb7YN5dvUrJAHCouohXBXCmn7fjGfmpoiuCmEo5QqG6O_UnZD4fy-piiKTS7fAAFOcdnTTAHvoJOfA-V_PhBfIHJhyM4QOikOP0G7T2IrqUuPyzJuwt5FMA3m7Su0rm9HnoPOb5RVWf0NG1fxekD2ZvFN2JLVoaFY9XmMt_S7pIYUxdaiYXe2huhaMZlgozKbIplrBFMC5kpmW-deEf2rTkgCo5bAPTc_Ogz8cwihFG43XKccgvW1CaMg3vSTN=w1416-h796-no)

I snapped two shots, so you could see the cereal that I buried under the oatmeal; it looks like more than it is, because it's sitting on top of some oats in the bottom of the bowl. A bit of oats, a handful of shredded wheat*, more oats, a bit of brown sugar, and then milk. I usually prefer whole milk over skim, but I think I'm currently using 2%. I don't normally put fruit on top, but I had just finished prepping strawberries for the freezer last night, they were already washed and de-stemmed, and, well, they were delicious.

*I've noticed that I actually don't care if shredded wheat is frosted or not, but SO prefers the frosting, so....I just add a bit less sugar on top.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dinner was....I don't even know, really. Meat and potatoes, I guess.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/g1nQ4LzfIpnLjQW-s9hf9zUWqu34LT_tUeC_0_iuKKM_6H1q93WYCw4dH08d1GBUOEVjY9bSPF-RBmVik3GFQNoMICd52NrYfjSm7l_bEn8Un8v-GuF5XALxjzRMELCXbEdUjLF5KL_kHE4vS478emquqQcj0LvpcNJToZAYKIJX4pls70mdJCcYe-CwUDeLTU8-pDEt2YE-1Uflf12GE6YINMrKpxplcnrgIXYoHJzTImkaT0FLeRngit4dvxa0MzLSOJ9DPj4y6Y_cwP_gYnXPtRHLSfK5NINaWZvWw5Q_YUFZpey9xDb0r8jM8iqeAVxA1qcy_sIQE32TdUK5g1j1vtucf1C07n0csVT0uPfKoJtQUvF9clIzc6IcMcyIW9E1rzzifakTdGkGNXPIMSgdFKIsd6-zQXScL3HTXqY2Z712_OrSpqDPTe9xKm81QbVK7d8gXAjqH-AJSeysf90vNfNcjzYK8rvgCJd3jOeqxSGWAYQ7KNSdsnuUFRN0JTJzTV7fdef1i_oDQykSx8_h4JQ75FzlqYBOqplCtgiiWBm7Vf6ZYce39aQRWMgxke9oW4dgTUm-VyTKyA2rDQsxUuvfwNEA905I2RpPck4L7Ru9TYhEU1c1peUhnRORGpHmToAxcqlhffHUQyQ0Qaep-pG20yok=w1416-h796-no)

Potatoes: ~$.35
Ground beef: $1.50
Red pepper: $.50
Orange: $.45
Onion: $.11
Garlic: $.10
Lettuce: $.20
Sour cream: $.10

Total dinner cost = $3.31. Potatoes are potatoes, but I decided to do something different with my meat stir-fry. Instead of garlic/salt/pepper, I did garlic/cumin/turmeric/coriander and then some chili powder in my portion (so as not to scorch the kids). I added in a bit of sour cream to mellow out the heat a bit, and the oranges for some sweet/tartness (probably plain yoghurt would have been more "right"...but I don't think ANY of my cooking is proper cuisine, lol). It was...not bad, actually. It would have been better if I could have simmered the meat in the creaminess, but then Kiddo wouldn't have been able to have any.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on May 01, 2018, 08:22:56 PM
End of the month tally for April. Came in well under $200, and I feel pretty good about how much food I have in my freezer-- all those strawberries and pineapple, plus about a week and a half worth of freezer meals ready to pop out and re-heat.


$43.56 --- Safeway [6 visits]
$20.00 --- King Soopers [4 visits]
$36.85 --- Sprouts [3 visits]
$15.64 --- Discount Store [3 visits]
$42.43 --- Costco [2 visits]
$9.48 --- Wal-Mart [1 visits]

$12.96 --- Wendy's (restaurant)
______

$185.53 --- Total Food Spending for April.


$124.70 = January
$210.46 = February ($201.28 if you don't count eating out)
$286.43 = March ($277.78 if you don't count eating out)
$185.53 = April ($172.57 if you don't count eating out)


Also, now that we're four months into the year, I'm going to start including a year-to-date average. I'm hovering closer to my $200 line than I'd like to be, but on the other hand, I've also been filling up the pantry and freezer. I'm certain I have more food on hand now than when I started the year. So I think this average will drop a good bit in the next couple months.

$201.78 = Monthly average (including eating out)
$194.08 =  Monthly average (not counting eating out)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on May 01, 2018, 09:22:30 PM
Rice night tonight. Decided to use some of those frozen veggies and do an actual stir-fry.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/7rZK1J4sm9_uY38p8WmKoYfmcvm9VjogZbA3H22_ky69ta2zvCZ5fWj6nC7J0H72ZAVRD4Up1xtJQUM0j0xbIWYgzZ21XE7f_nRUhFqF8sbFJguBn4aFwh-AEXgSp4HONtm-302RhOuA_rRvVu4Ck-9ZP_G4TwSJZnskSjBfrHQP6SEIqyZoIEA15jt0UKrFxcIEkcSI2TDoTAAN_MknPlPbIhYtT3cb5J-lxebHJ75Ic6zeOoLCO4V6qoi0eOwhAJVFHnYQ3-Fpxh2z1XLHK0FzZRF1Ngc0zUlppxhzFbIhdSmBC2GyhM8Yx6SK8jdzrwk6puSr2mZoS9o2ciKExffnSDL8XsmmiMOItS8N6Mnw3O3AHqtx_dobiqDSPxVCUKKtmApdK1oDL9IA62dCxuqsyg459c-pfaudbVICzs_RqEx7oGEWKLqfsi_krc8kxiNNyzkyjzNza6OZgJnLolWh3ogdewxVSzVVZupKE2zcxiYMUiI_d-K9MVy7ftqM4FaQm9LX42R_WO85c58B5tCX6CZRhVwnRDf2WJF_hYvWwbw5Sf0g47mV_qBT_lvFXuGIOJqjc2ZJGihtk3yx9add4aFS2CkI8JdDCJpTJIWdeKnWsGP9iQVoaTOkY-sSgxzQ4G9KEgL5fxDLFO16_tAb_FcmrZJL=w1416-h796-no)

Rice: $.30
Ground beef: $1.50
Onion: $.20
Garlic: $.10
Carrots: $.30
Broccoli: $1.39
Red/Green pepper: $0 (leftover)
Pineapple: $.10

Total dinner cost = $3.89 plus a small knob of ginger (1"x1"x1"). It turned out pretty good, actually. I would have liked to add some red pepper flakes for a little heat, but Girlie was icking out over the broccoli as it was, so "it's too spicy" might have put it over the top.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on May 01, 2018, 09:36:40 PM
Today is the last day of the strawberry sale, so I made another trip to Sprouts for a final batch for the freezer.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/HG8rdd7aH1KAxCWaFRBRRESBeZoe89SWkptpc3SXA5Ywo3mQbeJQ5eriJm0A_th9c0T0fsj2mOJDkF0BfiFyElS5akxIl8Ul0TY3jptGN0xIEpic3fB7EOYzi4ZcHkuZnxW1mZ1CMZ-AY2gJcWVjBk5ISCQajx57ChE7fTZAsQ-zNEyFhz3G3OlQeqIv6aslUH7-cGxh091ejJ6V2KLLm-wNgP4a6ZgDkaXYrQKUQ6vWTDSmkKqV6QZ100fGIB8StExETV8z0f3FXrRWldDFcsIm_FX9Rv7vfI4PJrA2thhyQrH0rJgJ11TTa4TKQfTq8JBi6YOSg6sVFTh9aGREQSoBBODlTV373SeSJ15ywbyajt5dcSOEswLVglJEG6p9PGqJxIYG0bZgQDqzhLymocbwEpQwwX8p4Uq8Is9TYbgyvqJFQTEfqn_GbaicI2dZQWLnMmN8Be1M_8WETj_yJzrI2b-pNWAZK_UHXaX7YysE6YXAych6fl31dCEgpA27d8yGekjROxTjC6cVB11yEEVYa1-3GWDjEs3kmFCMqNgu3IqOdDPexVB9liZvRv9XeRiH9lfK59QgAcxtS-ZpFDrtUsXL__06M6c08ESIru3hXMJyMsnRskAEx3RAAupBmzXVL3j_QVnMxxV3W7uDaKFPH7rlYa7x=w1416-h796-no)

Strawberries: $6.16
Tomatoes: $1.08
Fancy tomatoes (1lb): $.98
Celery: $1.29
Lettuce: $.99
Red pepper: $1.00

Total receipt = $11.50. I feel a little bad for buying tomatoes, because when I got home and checked the mail I saw the next Safeway flyer leading with 77/lb for tomatoes. Oh well. I did need some, and I'll probably end up buying some of the cheaper ones too.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Goldielocks on May 02, 2018, 12:09:22 AM
RE: toiletries question.

I don't have a tiny grocery budget, but I now buy shampoo and toiletries at a different store, so only toilet paper and paper towels and stretch wrap / sandwich bags are in my grocery budget.

But -- since starting with MMM, these are now very low cost expenditures here:
TP and paper towels, hygiene - maybe $4.50 per month?  less?   (paper towels are used for greasy messes, but not much else)
Stretch wrap / parchment / sandwich bags:  $1.50?   (reuse other containers)

Shampoo, toothpaste, soap:  cut back on showering at home, so $8 per month.
Laundry, dishwasher:  Buy lower cost brands, wear clothing more than one day, don't wash towels daily, etc.   $6 per month.

Total: $12 per month.  Family of 4 (adult sized)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on May 02, 2018, 06:30:30 AM
RE: toiletries question.

I don't have a tiny grocery budget, but I now buy shampoo and toiletries at a different store, so only toilet paper and paper towels and stretch wrap / sandwich bags are in my grocery budget.

But -- since starting with MMM, these are now very low cost expenditures here:
TP and paper towels, hygiene - maybe $4.50 per month?  less?   (paper towels are used for greasy messes, but not much else)
Stretch wrap / parchment / sandwich bags:  $1.50?   (reuse other containers)

Shampoo, toothpaste, soap:  cut back on showering at home, so $8 per month.
Laundry, dishwasher:  Buy lower cost brands, wear clothing more than one day, don't wash towels daily, etc.   $6 per month.

Total: $12 per month.  Family of 4 (adult sized)

That sounds about right-- I buy a giant bazillion-roll pack of TP at Costco about once a year for $25, we've been using the same roll of plastic wrap for probably years, shampoo is cheap, I haven't bought toothpaste in ages (and when I did I got it as a freebie)...
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on May 02, 2018, 08:40:17 AM
Made granola bars this morning, and remembered to take pictures and write down the recipe and everything!

6 cups of oats: $.90
2/3 cup of oil: $.37
1/3 cup brown sugar: $.09
2/3 cup water: $0
1 cup peanuts: $.49
1/2 cup craisins: $.26
2 eggs: $.17
(~2 Tbsp?) Cinnamon
(~1 tsp?) Allspice

I think ideally I'd put vanilla extract in as well, but at $35/pint....I'm trying to stretch what I have until the price comes back down from the stratosphere.

The recipe is pretty brainless-- mix everything together and then spread in a greased 9x13 pan and bake at 350F for 35-40 minutes total. I usually pull them out 10 min early to cut them into bars while still warm, then transfer to a larger cookie sheet for the last 10-15 minutes so they can crisp up on the sides as well. Once they're done, put them on a cooling rack so they don't get soggy bottoms from steaming themselves against the pan.

Makes 24 ~1.5oz bars. Total cost = $2.28, which works out to be 9.5/bar (6.3/oz).

Everything in the bowl:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/vy3mnc1VrCxAUr6KolvRG0KkUd45qeX8XBdpH9iRJ5T32DrTkbuVCByuNjqwwm2aP17VnbqrK7Kb-OeCCYSGkYjvglySZjeaIC8KuD6vOcENATu-IT_SQgSLgUAFV0rmwg4uj3dz3DJp1nsNR78NjmkC4dSQaje2mAivsNznBucumEIJu07LOIfQvzhBCWfsvnV9AuZ6W4giWfDNRnPnwJfN8tknPcsWGlW62GP-imRmoZnawv9L9yOdaN52ooemW-T6vaEKHdFUHmu-r7-c6unBl5nPIipntUlauOYlWlCYx1UVtlWPiaiDFSMwc0R14Gh7HkPXgPROg0As5AUSwMj_yuXf_TkxTWEIB2Dack-ifpwgzi0loBZRvacVjtRgWd3M12FEUUdpMEsFFO-EGljF4ogS3zukWCTSQEhEhTZM8epUEoDbqGYb8zSRMv6rebhp43Pgruby_fThkTQ_og_N6KBnkaggaq-FOIckVuOii_rR7LxqYcKX5e9cd92rge4-cKqUS4rjsfQHxoGdxTfxO0K2ddF4TT7-1HD56zUetsOZ6iPrKPitQaBO_I8fZdUoLmTSvihB2yeUvE9pT8nloDWKaIt1YL422prkxhIPw1z097tNA88zxg-d4Y-nKokisCuA0N78-gCslKvH1KmczEDYxUkg=w1416-h796-no)

Spread/smooth into pan:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/vgaIzx1A1dUl3Rv63wMhEaMrF0iTqRwEy3Y67TxD-3HcmUL2R3b-WSaezPe2qOaBm30EopQJCwgrUCP_ct43cbgbCW0yEU-suObuFl_gXaXZxmLUf_dhU1VoMRBeXqUkSGWrY9Ygxaknu9KnwCKbyK3EMyI4eDO_O-K5R-e7cfbzPv8eJagCzhpsRUlA-kelcyWSzw2HO3XjGR7I8AFJZw8jL36SbrQvlhirj5Qf8Fgl1fFs_A7ArcDPgpIDAOSDcZ7Wzn3f5Eeg0PGOXzYOr4UoPUQiVOY2C6TMEjVjPGssnHf1Rd43ZaDwuAjgH_qNAdaya_cqtAxha-5hfBlQ8PhBXZBzZs6TwdFzSPfe9Hug_8EXYIvA_ch60dFGhIaJx7N_T0QOWn_jbAyUA0zbwlAhWBR82PgGA4V-FUZOrOMj5VF5Mo1h5hDsT6XqmnXMPMaS23fRkVD1MOq0ji8WT-uhjdShn1x57B4yxbmgJ7GSEKJ0xdiIDOhvTerYO2C7aNngoek4xipZ0GUBX2AAhZgehoG2RpYqm5hhah587SFOacJ7kXV-jPHAn7uXSPKrF64CVHJYVrZCu-F4J61iJe4Uzl0TXHwn04E1-yJUu0Pjc_N0eTutkTbA80Dzwy9KSMlXcPBExMQhrlVGFcAE5Zkzlhckxuhn=w1416-h796-no)

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes, then cut and transfer to cookie sheet:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/dxvFJZq8XKJlo_TQSmINKk78xqghpf01wh7Sxshzjmb9cpnUi_dkQlHp0f4RjfW3tXIvKcpX4PtAH_6lz5UGEIgAJCw-rhAtU6bvGhMCxxjiTdHIHosOEhmARnYlWEhRWsNZSEH9LlYX5mhTDA3xBvab7BVt1CYn-c8EqTsAihPFmcB0KJqFri2TTpo19Vm7KSuAfAWZe00HwpRlPYNnfCDtjqZCx6QSs0cyWMGwEf1fyJ6KbaoA8sCGrgK2eMOUm_OMI21JJczdQbdR80AeB6j3GvabarTwp3SiXuKxqHOFCFUtUPiFAjZEJSF3oLEBUUoZDo0RTvkV-JTE4cLxkLBhv9AW_8ogKSLOeYYZMQauzvRlllHshb-UOBA91LQG-ST25na3m82jPsCDOclVEpZj9F5fZe-iCo7dxusfh7HSO8HdXab3b-phYEc-YwI5Ih0bdQfTbune58djbaLwz3HEwTuVfuj5OiG0HiN8pN1Z9dfj8AUevNPEx64SeCkQhTLO6cjYAIBhwNLau_wpipqMm1ORFBFqGoAt7Vnt9H-9x_XEtppNVwowUdQH18deryCh9P48KErcKMBtnIuxL-mZxLWSAV73VeY7qtBQooa18VHTJTkao6BJssV-DnLBYPeOdfS85Yiiv29Z626pqtmU-Ujez1Y9=w1416-h796-no)

Bake for 10-15 more minutes, then done:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/iY-YrbUIkaHUrFeFdhjAOtNvu_SgBtEcYhhHa7lw5kg9rShenitY8UehleDGQ81SflCjy3meutC6HUO3X4_hTQuTfT26aWofL2uxenfBqdl2e5Ux_scsVnl-Y5OCWZ-61Npo15Ah0GGsjmFpFhCpEMqC9xhiqcXMVbKuVIHkkKWeURdYx4Qp_MioPWDuwXIsXiF3EmU0ibInpeq5hjNVQbJuEdHnJm2rgWq0tzQlYZVJcisn56agFqvm9kAweA9ff3XXNSziczOTDB94-5rpwOaqqbLzVSQ_xG8l-fvsVZFDxUbtu-gbvwPoa9uX0U8g4b0hnxwJ5C3LAqRGFwOQyY29xGnqOrtRFbGU8OuNU4n3Knq50_GSl6xFTAQ1-yrp2jBn2E2cEw2TfDndMe0yqgoYU6MsosXOjitaylQDxAzfu05nnwye8lKHSFoxzLyHTREv81tYEjPUTijNTqKZcZqFGbxmLMbm5Gvm-YbfYoly5Ti2_ZzjDs3_KhzOi22dlf-vqURURVWEbNW2JPA4GzcZ3weZ2h-hSQLFhKN5Hnh1Aueui0rou88SQRSD0YKfLUH46kkgEEtL9M28RN0begbL-RPIWbQ8d99eoMxhTQ4vgoVvnVlHEuHXc6u4hbp6Q3eY9BBvBNptuBFns1kS1dscMlE__QLy=w1416-h796-no)

Transfer to cooling rack, and stylishly arrange a few on a plate so they look fancy:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/NxPVyorzzSKdphoTcs-CCYEDY-kzIfbfEUo0qb15qMSAelHRF3nmlQLVp08Zit11LpO5kx7vRFVCIfJiB-5i12N5syn4zUmB-mY6OS8poRxh-47hzpiM790necI-BX1n7BgKgWFxSYPJC8x4g70-OfbdYyqPbEFilEeWU_PesT3F7xk9WjAfcn217Xen8kjV3HyYMMqiwMfZ9MAXhlOwz0wQX7Flk2a6sZqzEvRzgTj5iu7Z8mWJpkrXOulE-z95N_kVs9U8wqTsyQxvrhDYgGGSIS30fZ8hjkierry7-olYdLzzSL1N6XG8Xt1l5K2RyDhftu_fbK5_m0HO2o9x1IWMN6YhWjKICeVpzXll7WNm1FGkh5BYATungxxMxlRN8z_Crc4f0HqF7hcE5D0eUHMT0SyoDLAyvRmJhVT5BM-tgiW41XSvmtLyMHBEg3dUGtr78ijSZppeuqksLYwqMtM87c-orSbZVZBmOJat1py_Z_If8VgqpFZ1eznPz5LpUtzZj6YszJrZaCF21sA4C3WLEeob3zeUVwA-rCLjVBA1lYcXFuTh8NkwL4flUY7ho7SxHHpXuJaBO50HLSArwQC5uBX0ZkP8TLJJ8M5YaJVJFQ9zyZA6YIifl2dvMZ2QXGmxunDgzOIMOghGzNDn1-3dl55aQNwa=w1416-h796-no)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on May 02, 2018, 07:53:36 PM
Dinner tonight was lentil soup from the freezer, plus some fresh baked rolls. Cost = ~$1.00

I also prepped my last batch of strawberries for the freezer, and decided I wanted strawberry something for dessert; so I made some strawberry pie/crisp. Probably another ~$1.

I should have snapped a nice picture, but all I actually got was this (Girlie's crisp topped with lentil-stuffed dinner roll, lol!):
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/gkOybwtTcIwGhU8utxYXX-E6tRp0iGIQC4GHF0qwjyr0j6b-HZnqO5Z9GDMeRO9N3YcpuGKlWgwa4vx-o0kuro8TJtqCWMBWNQhNsS0nLaC2LLX_3R3P6-0cz79IbzgiUQAZKnaUDoTSl2FC4XzRCTS2xboQ4cntQsDmOsR_8GnJ8cZe1t78P1oXLTlXrEDwsUADOdhfuBsu2rePqcGSu0H68kr2qVCrI84_sFLUv-WyDJKFURjUbAcFOH5HcE2Lpzh9wL84kCCUCKzADSqrS1nGE9nH2y5PQeHrpuGUzTlqPQoRkExVDd6e9Frkm8gsUfCd5LZLDxlqqdBjwDYMb2A4hi6BwlnP_661Zx1azik-VeUF8avB0DNzK8ehnPzOdWPjYiuLRuhbqBur9GK9MwVsEc_LhRX-oI7vdUw6l5y0gBZKTxox0aP6emw9NgOC8SmsBQ3zR5_0oFu6DFcB_TQ0Ma_WCQGODqVc0Ru1Gy8seNHqK-YHDFHXKYytv0js4jscqWnoA17oItbLPn4VtvT4mtPYw2Rzmlom_LugJZHl6KtrHKKoJqWsm5SmR_5z4zpD4eQWeprg1x0gx3MkYA1bbrPMcnsh4ygdptqJw-1hGMfNbFtZAVP6Wp1NMBKxqWTZlhvyYTl-JJQMiGjjqlfM3szd4BvR=w1416-h796-no)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Goldielocks on May 06, 2018, 12:01:59 AM
I had a "twilight zone" conversation with a woman (single, 50) who had asked me to help her project retirement costs.

She did not know what she currently spent on groceries a month, and when I suggested that we use the default Cdn average of $350 per adult, she did not think that low of an amount was possible because her last grocery bill was $117.  (I mentioned that some are high and others low -- and I know that she cooks her meals and does not buy premade / frozen things.)

I felt like the twilight zone where I realize I am suddenly in another world of perception.

Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: PMG on May 06, 2018, 12:22:42 AM
Regarding expensive vanilla, have you tried making your own? It's simple, just just few vanilla beans sliced open and soaking in a bottle of vodka.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Goldielocks on May 06, 2018, 01:44:04 AM
250 ml  of vodka = $8.64 to $8, 3 vanilla beans $21  ($34 for 5 beans on amazon right now).

250 ml vanilla -- $30 (approx)   That's assuming that 3 beans will do the trick for a cup of extract.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: PMG on May 06, 2018, 01:48:05 AM
250 ml  of vodka = $8.64 to $8, 3 vanilla beans $21  ($34 for 5 beans on amazon right now).

250 ml vanilla -- $30 (approx)   That's assuming that 3 beans will do the trick for a cup of extract.

Wow.  Its been about three years since I bought beans and I paid around a dollar a bean!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on May 07, 2018, 07:23:37 AM
All right. Time to play some catch-up! Sorry for the posting delay-- this last 4 days have been pretty non-stop. No grocery shopping, though, so it's just a dinner report.


Thursday:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/F-ZAIje_eMx5ra_PT7AJ36QAh5v_WOtgX-YiRZOO1nGC5plpZ9mtTJmSQokT--jwpMqoi4SZyMIU2G1Gj9EV5I_L6IU4A4W8Iesrpb4uav4p94fuuBWZeDzEcwcMdZALeOJ1OCam_YOkODJs7NzMGn35v3oi-akF182PVEPekqMH4qXM5N44cdu6ZN5e1eoTcdFdMxGCSkKg3VcqHJaAqyrWIdwbXXrEOeue7yyFY5kBq0xdue5NRXGPfHAJSYTxcppvKY30zyye0lqjMj2wBbe2E1SS3uUKkBYwMB5JBqu6Hw56bNAOZEHNrcgKTTqIr5RQUcZgj0iAzkbRIpvqz1AEvOlpMEckxbsNN3xXbQDYwElXkGflMOuQ-UYMiZv6c_suAxWyS-ZIHg0uPeysCDYrLY8sNJJ6YuU4-PTCcOeMmUGvDVB_QwQDrid9Zl-AslMDxCB1c3wYKcWl0EPTwzRBuM2KBw4aeUrNOCp53y6gSJouMZtSQYl4LZB8E5uGnFnetI3FB-QkuEWNuGL63prGIF99YzkBLKcYeU4-c5ce5cQ56x5KYLn_9fJNZTcKh4JQRwyaRB67ghq6Ngp6ubsmSl88EPvInGvP8wMSv_a3BU-ohf7jpBkq69lLZEauWd1GAHviBobK7XHqQ4tiptUv9E9X_5xp=w448-h796-no)

It was a kid birthday, and they wanted pizza and ice cream, so we went to Costco for a birthday dinner. Cost = $13.03

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Friday:

We did dinner at a fancy restaurant. Above my pay grade, but this dinner was actually not for us, per se. I've known and worked for an older couple (i.e., a bit older than my parents) for the last two years, and they've been inordinately helpful and have become friends and mentors. They've pushed me to expand my perspectives and raise my goals higher than I would have ever thought to. So now that my basement remodel is pretty much finished, I invited them over to see what I did with the skills they taught me, and then I took them out to a nice dinner as a way to say "thank you". Cost = $130

I don't count this as part of "food expenses" in my budget-- for two reasons. First, it's a thank you gift, rather than a grocery/cooking substitute (e.g., I could have bought them a restaurant gift card, or a quality household item/tool, and it'd have been the same-- a way to say thank you, and not a way to get out of buying groceries); and second, "eating out" counts as Entertainment. But I list it here, because it is in fact food, and it's what we did. I'm not trying to hide anything here-- you all get to see everything relevant to how my food situation works.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Saturday:

Sandwiches for dinner. I worked late, and SO put dinner together. I know she pulled some leftover cold cuts from the freezer for it, so based on past sandwich nights, I'd put the cost at ~$5.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Sunday:

Leftovers! We have SO. MANY. LEFTOVERS. in the fridge right now. Lentil soup (I ate the last of this), stir-fry, mashed potatoes, rice....

Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on May 07, 2018, 07:49:24 AM
I had a "twilight zone" conversation with a woman (single, 50) who had asked me to help her project retirement costs.

She did not know what she currently spent on groceries a month, and when I suggested that we use the default Cdn average of $350 per adult, she did not think that low of an amount was possible because her last grocery bill was $117.  (I mentioned that some are high and others low -- and I know that she cooks her meals and does not buy premade / frozen things.)

I felt like the twilight zone where I realize I am suddenly in another world of perception.

It is so weird talking to people who have no idea how much they spend, especially about a category like food/groceries that's pretty clearly definable.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on May 07, 2018, 07:54:15 AM
250 ml  of vodka = $8.64 to $8, 3 vanilla beans $21  ($34 for 5 beans on amazon right now).

250 ml vanilla -- $30 (approx)   That's assuming that 3 beans will do the trick for a cup of extract.

Wow.  Its been about three years since I bought beans and I paid around a dollar a bean!

My understanding is that there was a GIANT crop failure in Madagascar a couple years ago, so vanilla supply/demand is all whacked out, and that's why prices are through the roof.


I haven't tried making my own-- I probably should, at some point. Maybe once the prices come back down to normal levels. It'll be a first for me: first time buying vanilla beans, first time making extract, first time buying vodka...
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: BrightFIRE on May 07, 2018, 02:00:42 PM
I had a "twilight zone" conversation with a woman (single, 50) who had asked me to help her project retirement costs.

She did not know what she currently spent on groceries a month, and when I suggested that we use the default Cdn average of $350 per adult, she did not think that low of an amount was possible because her last grocery bill was $117.  (I mentioned that some are high and others low -- and I know that she cooks her meals and does not buy premade / frozen things.)

I felt like the twilight zone where I realize I am suddenly in another world of perception.

It is so weird talking to people who have no idea how much they spend, especially about a category like food/groceries that's pretty clearly definable.

People who don't examine their spending/purchases at all are weird to me. I was at Aldi yesterday sorting through the bags of lemons to make sure I didn't get any bad ones, and a woman walked over, grabbed a bag without even looking at it and walked away. I literally couldn't process it and stood there in shock, going, "But, but, some of them are rotten!" My SO said, "Just think, she saved 20 seconds!"... and wasted several dollars on bad produce.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: mm1970 on May 07, 2018, 03:53:16 PM
I had a "twilight zone" conversation with a woman (single, 50) who had asked me to help her project retirement costs.

She did not know what she currently spent on groceries a month, and when I suggested that we use the default Cdn average of $350 per adult, she did not think that low of an amount was possible because her last grocery bill was $117.  (I mentioned that some are high and others low -- and I know that she cooks her meals and does not buy premade / frozen things.)

I felt like the twilight zone where I realize I am suddenly in another world of perception.

It is so weird talking to people who have no idea how much they spend, especially about a category like food/groceries that's pretty clearly definable.

People who don't examine their spending/purchases at all are weird to me. I was at Aldi yesterday sorting through the bags of lemons to make sure I didn't get any bad ones, and a woman walked over, grabbed a bag without even looking at it and walked away. I literally couldn't process it and stood there in shock, going, "But, but, some of them are rotten!" My SO said, "Just think, she saved 20 seconds!"... and wasted several dollars on bad produce.
Eh, I'm unable to use all of a bag of lemons before some go bad anyway...
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on May 07, 2018, 04:30:25 PM
I had a "twilight zone" conversation with a woman (single, 50) who had asked me to help her project retirement costs.

She did not know what she currently spent on groceries a month, and when I suggested that we use the default Cdn average of $350 per adult, she did not think that low of an amount was possible because her last grocery bill was $117.  (I mentioned that some are high and others low -- and I know that she cooks her meals and does not buy premade / frozen things.)

I felt like the twilight zone where I realize I am suddenly in another world of perception.

It is so weird talking to people who have no idea how much they spend, especially about a category like food/groceries that's pretty clearly definable.

People who don't examine their spending/purchases at all are weird to me. I was at Aldi yesterday sorting through the bags of lemons to make sure I didn't get any bad ones, and a woman walked over, grabbed a bag without even looking at it and walked away. I literally couldn't process it and stood there in shock, going, "But, but, some of them are rotten!" My SO said, "Just think, she saved 20 seconds!"... and wasted several dollars on bad produce.
Eh, I'm unable to use all of a bag of lemons before some go bad anyway...
I don't even know what I would use a whole bag of lemons for, unless I was making something special like lemon bars or meringue pie, or some super fancy lemonade.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on May 07, 2018, 07:11:31 PM
Went to Safeway this morning:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/yFbBK5votXQD5kGxo_P2hgM1UhZlwuxRByUKOdHqMFIlEOTOSJ26yetxOwuKsoYsP0amyIsiiGI8uMKO1LPderFRAYpiJ_VQHmDW2Xw08rFaYSdOPNodyqfnlxKleogSDWzBHtLKJ9-IAULorHeGD0d_XrUv7bLq_ZmQxIyjQw4IiRZ43jIn_1-O0Cxfb1fvhHoYLQowkk209ufOmijgK_9ljwgbYwjN12VzXxt_ixK6eZc3JBcBoYnbn6HuVAnoh1yIQxnW5cn07Q7hGjBeNHDFByvO0rLJRBba6xFpTW5jkUgrjLY4Uybwh9lZI5YEyt7Jjw37ZvR7ES7KBUOs00CspV5Dq0ncsXdxSjtf03eESLgtbJZ00JTZaUibfvNLlTd0gB894FAzcFst1l823eSsL3GvP-LsTfXY-QHL8u9lNc6h1mlU7kvOSA9bCvCaCkjaE320toXas0H87SYtc6iyTV6JdDND3WMAAKO2pGbf3kCn092hnIpR6gpRhbsITAK-F3thewNXoPeAxdTaDj-wt1YHLrw4zxBusISrWjadqZso8ANu45OrBDGfhxlMqo1NSJ4nviUbN81BINby_e7Y_AYYjaNDux9Vv0JJCvWOicbdI90ZGU-5pAmqiGLtpTN0cR5D_ngomSeqGt_7NQONYiAsD3E2=w448-h796-no)

Milk: $1.99

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Also, a friend who was leaving town for a week gave me some free food:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/cgiELCOQpAwCp_G4oNP6d89m7BB_W7P62lyjdZlJuQlKD9_lQ6Te6EC7MmKaZ-ZmdsjRsg6RBCLFbpmfsBMXLH5qZ8czUU81Z57TpkNGHcHOaOIihVcalNh_yrLoIk8B2u04NQ_fmREBS1sgi6dWJBzXiV-jbDe5_DWX5Unj9TmQbU0mc7PYw2hIRm72seCnD0prLSo1H7TWYNcsR8dxhJ_YovlPtRYLSbiSVc1WBJKBDy1ZsWv7Lg0MkDSMcS_NVu4jzBLeiQAoFmH4TPDqR64HbjEfDoRaCyiENqb7E-f1LOk66bItEkvi16avqoKE31nqQCu36EObhfDAixQqchl35OxpV35JXk06yxetGYPnd-p0YxQRhZv4EJK_S-N_pbPPh-7tuFxQsalirzjskojODow4oWLCDN88RDqdpjPHtWAKxAZGOdKvf33ZDq11wlRd4_n5Xp9z3Nv3FM09Tgv7S88Hzq8ro1qaPo4fFKIVBElcBrIKzWCEgD6HhNAS_V9D2dnsUYBEyskryYQ-1ybheYx-CSAD_07LzBwEMM5anWK_G0roNZrpHKXHCTS4KLxu4qrvaZV3I3C1EyeXG0eKO7Q3QNdhmc5ouSTk89F0PgUfhynZ_yiJ18GnGQs95rYAj9eBX8XIxG5xX87w-44gNI5aCspX=w1416-h796-no)

5 oreos (the package was almost empty, but still...
1/2 loaf of bread
3/4 of a key lime pie
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on May 07, 2018, 07:29:36 PM
Dinner tonight was chicken and leftover potatoes.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/1q_3HIdVnUtpF99MOoNQxSZ09QpEiNvJrJPaWwl-RZCMIpV6sqxiME-lIABlLvRRZ5JlltS4_tx0SxLfltp29D6diXUaZxRqtyNxxk-7jysD8voJH1EewBq5N9SztI-DjLzfAUGDbwkfS8OiDA2SLyZSTe1yKw2BXNUqMrpOx31DfyU4pOmGdd-EE_r3CJC0i61qGDGBLwsEON6EsRuXijh28xf5-CtZh5RkA_eBWW-heVmJukkBT9AM3hGqzxoGy6KUzHSo1so6IV2L8ijutLASK7MNJNkwsmOOOaRnlOEW416DG_D-rQfJWQ6x0SJUmN65A4nf5MCbGtMQrDIeiIYpLBhFB5m-zo2UUYCXUg1tCCSM4lPenIUWIESiX0KYkUtc74Tlov3p83e-ikgcdekCmkXSIe-wFUBvI5fhyyubxKiBPMIaeQk9MhMQ9Hh2d2D1q63XWLdNL8in7op8JH6EUmtiOSWxxGZwkghqrK0gwOoxxHh0EvRGCSTdW4fhRcrGM0FJxj_44F9SdQw9IhUnk6zihszxQOQjSu7iWw8XloxCp-vEnUdnS_RPVEbJknmTQEQc4ATpkw7FisXJYjzgOpL8GjzEaEjyN8fUqSA-HYjh2UEm5t9PgdgxIdUksnWeOg3Wf5xljmPyf1Dpw7Oyq1AVzlYl=w1416-h796-no)

Chicken: $4.82
Potatoes: $0 (leftovers)
Carrots: ~$.50

Total dinner cost = $5.32 plus a bit of ranch.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Cali on May 08, 2018, 05:12:55 AM
Swung by Big Lots because I was trying to kill time before an appointment.

Bought Lemon Nilla Wafers on clearance for $0.25 a box.
1) Didn't know there was such a thing as LEMON Nilla Wafers.
2) They're not even expiring this year so I don't know why they were on super clearance but I bought them out (4 boxes).
3) They're darn good!

I can't even make the equivalent of one box worth at that price so I'm quite excited about enjoying them for the next couple months.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: abhe8 on May 08, 2018, 09:03:50 AM
I love you posts! Our budget is a little different with a family of seven and I don't have the time for quite as many grocery runs, but I have found ways to optimize. You thread is definitely encouraging me to push myself. Thank you.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on May 09, 2018, 06:29:23 AM
Tuesday is rice night, and I still have leftover stir-fry, so did leftovers again. Total cost = ~$.25 for some fresh rice.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Stachetastic on May 09, 2018, 06:45:56 AM
Our Big Lots is right next to Goodwill, so I try to hit them up at the same time. Big Lots clearance food is hit and miss, but I've found some amazing deals there, especially on fancy granola bars.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: BrightFIRE on May 10, 2018, 10:55:15 AM
It is so weird talking to people who have no idea how much they spend, especially about a category like food/groceries that's pretty clearly definable.

People who don't examine their spending/purchases at all are weird to me. I was at Aldi yesterday sorting through the bags of lemons to make sure I didn't get any bad ones, and a woman walked over, grabbed a bag without even looking at it and walked away. I literally couldn't process it and stood there in shock, going, "But, but, some of them are rotten!" My SO said, "Just think, she saved 20 seconds!"... and wasted several dollars on bad produce.
Eh, I'm unable to use all of a bag of lemons before some go bad anyway...
I don't even know what I would use a whole bag of lemons for, unless I was making something special like lemon bars or meringue pie, or some super fancy lemonade.

I admit to being surprised at the casual attitude towards food waste in a sub $200/mo grocery thread. Lemons are expensive! I make salad dressings, marinades, popsicles, etc., and the juice can be frozen. But my point wasn't about lemons, it was about thoughtless wasteful purchasing - I guess I failed to get that across.

Anyway, I've been thinking about the dairy-free mashed potato issue. Some things you could try if you haven't already: use some of the starchy cooking water; use olive oil like the Italians do; use silken tofu. If you save bacon fat, a little bit of that swirled in will keep you from missing butter! (This is  also a great add-in to beans.)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: 2Birds1Stone on May 10, 2018, 11:21:14 AM
Mmmm pie.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Mtngrl on May 11, 2018, 08:01:04 AM
I love that your friend gave you leftovers so they wouldn't go to waste! My neighbor and I used to do that kind of thing all the time. (She has moved away and the place is now a vacation home, empty most of the year.)
An ER friend has a side hustle minding many of the vacation homes in our area. Folks pay him a flat fee to go by and check on the house once a week or so to make sure there are no plumbing leaks, etc. When he takes on a new customer he always tells them that when they get ready to go home, feel free to leave their leftovers and he will put them to good use. (He regularly shares excess with the local food pantry.)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Alf91 on May 11, 2018, 02:48:14 PM
Do you remember what temperature you baked the granola bars at? I am going to try them.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on May 11, 2018, 08:15:10 PM
Dinner updates. I'm falling so far behind here. I really ought to dial back the crazy in my life, but....make hay while the sun shines, I guess. Also the kids have been sick and I've been sick and tired. Stupid throat colds.

Anyway.

Wednesday, more leftovers. Finally finished off the last of the stir-fry (whew!). We had planned to eat ice cream for birthday dessert at Costco last week, but the kids were both pretty sick and tired, so we called it a night after pizza, and went home with a promise of future ice cream. Today was that day.

$6.16 for frozen yoghurt and smoothie as a belated birthday outing.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thursday was beans. SO did some baked beans-ish something. We had them with tortilla chips. Beans, corn, salsa, peppers/onion/garlic. Probably ~$2 at most.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tonight was lentils. SO wanted to try using that coconut cream to do a creamy lentil stew. It was ok. Not bad, but not amazing enough to have in the regular rotation. Lentils, onions, celery, tomatoes, tuna, coconut cream, plus chips on the side. Not more than ~$5.

Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on May 11, 2018, 08:20:17 PM
Went to Costco this afternoon.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/BJDS-GJ7XSC_M0YVoa9CYF3wRw92fvLLM2MTarq6HtYoLmgwn0h2NAdJVt8LUGeuwBtVOs8grOp7FvTEzbJcuuL86EAgqpKEEgsRMWS6vocP4qwKfsEpuJIoDvg8kd1qk6-qmqZS4AsOJZ9U4Ig8hQDGTaTwg7ub5e1G2ySbK7h6hMQN35rgnRx3jvVJCJTrwYB58-JE0liUP-Iyn8_Fb1WBJn-HSvkUMf4d3kpewYJlPWoUXX3VzPotUH2s_VS2TQ4AvIAvDU2iqsHMojDnj61w_q9QEuOOzzpNazvinRTctMHJJDCbsNGS_7T3RepYDyj02bUm6b84iyrUgRRrw-XVaAjaTseaH_RJfFwq8LTIFlX4XOlcmVaAYuolFpkRQlT7Xod5dNCus-syeCgCNLsYdV0in-Dgi7wK_0MJBUWj6F_DA4mzLQc1h3qn0IDZSNFmi5moMUmx_8OYq0YOWIKhH_IVDGPKj899TjW3HziRdhfz-RUpm07it27UviRKcb5gLhVxi8wIClSIINJUt_qZFjbdmaLzglVj5yy_qX-vPiKVjk57Wp2WI2pBTrDi89rQmW3UcudIW8KAbx1wMkkg6oq_fEQfCddQKQVKMusQGRMi_XKYCiuGtjTbjd3B5sA-s6AJCOuK7LrGbAR5qLrMRUJpFN-M=w172-h305-no)

Tortilla chips: $3.89.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on May 11, 2018, 08:21:32 PM
Do you remember what temperature you baked the granola bars at? I am going to try them.

I baked them at 350F. Did I forget to include that bit of important info in my recipe post? Whoops!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on May 11, 2018, 08:28:13 PM
It is so weird talking to people who have no idea how much they spend, especially about a category like food/groceries that's pretty clearly definable.

People who don't examine their spending/purchases at all are weird to me. I was at Aldi yesterday sorting through the bags of lemons to make sure I didn't get any bad ones, and a woman walked over, grabbed a bag without even looking at it and walked away. I literally couldn't process it and stood there in shock, going, "But, but, some of them are rotten!" My SO said, "Just think, she saved 20 seconds!"... and wasted several dollars on bad produce.
Eh, I'm unable to use all of a bag of lemons before some go bad anyway...
I don't even know what I would use a whole bag of lemons for, unless I was making something special like lemon bars or meringue pie, or some super fancy lemonade.

I admit to being surprised at the casual attitude towards food waste in a sub $200/mo grocery thread. Lemons are expensive! I make salad dressings, marinades, popsicles, etc., and the juice can be frozen. But my point wasn't about lemons, it was about thoughtless wasteful purchasing - I guess I failed to get that across.

Anyway, I've been thinking about the dairy-free mashed potato issue. Some things you could try if you haven't already: use some of the starchy cooking water; use olive oil like the Italians do; use silken tofu. If you save bacon fat, a little bit of that swirled in will keep you from missing butter! (This is  also a great add-in to beans.)
I didn't mean to imply that I would buy a bag of lemons and be okay with them going bad. I hate waste. I just can't imagine myself buying a whole bag of lemons in the first place, as I don't know what I would use them for.

I don't have olive oil or tofu on hand, so that's not really an option. I do have some saved pork fat-- it's not quite as salty/smoky as bacon fat, but it's not bad as a butter substitute in a savory dish like potatoes. I generally do leave some of the starchy cooking water in the pot as I mash them, but it's just not the same as adding in some milk or cream. :S
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on May 14, 2018, 06:32:03 AM
Saturday night dinner was "Indian chicken" -- shredded chicken in a curry/tomato sauce. Served with fresh naan. We had a potluck dinner to attend, and all our babysitters fell through, so I had to go alone. :( I made some pasta salad to bring with me.

Indian chicken:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/iOQLGl85DrORlnnjjF0HzjPITp7uEPnS6rki3Ik--cBquCvuYkT2WRb38YJDdveI_rK0cUusGUwvqXXigUG-M_L9SHbo4xkmopEpEuafAJy4McYSIZS_ahXkV6m8gqWhZcdLrwl0uyun5UFYUvc0UN32OInf8ihVa7Bs41iwKM4vPw75zPT178_kvVi_ptlmKk2BEfPv2L-EgEK_HxhKvp0wKSfXpiyKJZlx3wGCrXaHvO9FWKQml-2EAoUnEmrgFKnqI9zYCB22cXbaf8ywIfyMQextYGqVmIa1Yf6EeF7JRphdT3nVuhIgHSWZabHKMNLXXdun9gWdPgx-FQflqwwS0HhRLVW0YolHJcxD9cXxKD3iLU-xTYzDjgxQX1Q2zcmihnjVB93fVLGrEf0Iu7CvtQ5bpsYZDAHSb578sAmL4tK8pmv5EltvUO3GobloisI3ec9mzazZ4BECbUvZ8gDlg4usr2aQ3Ma2GQrYWOrQZbz5R9gdNnv-qJaLO8YAQL76bF5PDjx8OK-QeeuCp_2fBAxhS8LGHabWa0de6pMh5IM8BxfyoVpbg-j3ozbACABe7ZG_DsjZ0G_jHtFRyPUI0Z5QqAXoAhTLi5wgXLJvOYpcnjsEAcuzQ9OwHNqV03F0y680xS-U3Vn36fEPYU2zrOKOsYwJ=w448-h796-no)
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/03JTB5SWOWfMF5iIHPUJY-aE66_OGFmWP6iCoUCHExvOyFFW_NQK8ZDu1Uh4A-I90EmDSUvesE5hfPq91sKv3OWRPxAzfnVYy_dntLnPEeVl2oPGvZ5RNjW4m1z7yH-AQe2TI246csvM1G8gxcjlfJHYVf8E8MysI02jnBFcbXiYF-RUhdt1j1AckoY5xug4SLoIzoJzphsUIhiw76aikhCDLwBtKRSEQ13C-sQHTqjdFOgy4HJY6-iyVVy6SdBxd2DXgfhWonBrTIrCEs6OiKksyfCh_tNAvnKskdXpG3GawaK_bXHOnEnF5GK-hS9v-JhSMdBzSRgM5PLLMwXltCPsK-ptdXMzp2PeoYcPWbcXH8eUlrXXle47i28byWtMHbDSJGADR8vr7tHx_HbBckcn7V91sEKbC2vrCaMeLtbvy7_AFmRYARoC5eYBBUFxExthH9h8EEJSn6m9uCoHfQAUs5pGN0fzwX2Zhph43m0auoRpiZUlkf8i8PjD6DQrNtul8lu1cfZDsvgXzu0KGdAJyd7AvMl3MaJkM1JnFpv4P_sgHWENMU6zgFFjAD93aDB06_-wbJyMLkocjK5g7pWWLvmC_tT6kIhEfnb0zRvQGrwaKUM84F4oSyb5u--_hVqAXoAdkfgNXJ3zA68M0kuDNxMUSUhc=w1416-h796-no)

Pasta salad:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/iUHH8SeY0PGRrLrGaq59Pe8lTChJpSN9ARBRp2J7LAdQjAOdXj826fYovypwJbf6Xg5gNt1l999Q0AtSoi2X3sq-uffWy7y8crrbUocNN6WNERnP2cGKYxWOUyexLlTGEuUC0XbYNXHkPtB_PB84lDqDVXB4ggOLTV_P3pmZBxoqluGgKGtNyKt2EayGefUCp0uwnhRje1D3gNCwnoy_tkEqVHqdDo7O2DleEA4KOg0EM2cwOI1SJNNHP8vtxaWYwT5uijImXK8UW16uQiewr0rUiC7NTz7LaFF29mLoFgxDTRdranjZfuyGNwnTaqovEY8g2crtblmdCt_0qxYup_kujy_vT8KEhw3nUZOWEcXIeo9gTqUTI2Pwt1ORLJXe4yt6_iEg1CahtLBFMmsu3IbHAqIWMCnHmdR2D7QspHlqLt0iTqiLc14t8VV2QyU_1tHalLIHwcPVBHDYsCFamL8kVpvV3BTZ0Usy8d94vX0RawRVnMdHBBfXp7e-GLNN8nemmV1CmHj_rQKxDBDkwZ4xBQMJiZPkp9AAtMDmA-9oA_d9_RQn4zS_326jHIComrIlpsQlJKECMlQtVaMp8XcQ4eE-LIieAE7EblhCkKIRzlvcVK1RMM2DguqVxNExgySCW1Oabk7GYHFa07QUVNGRl6mLWZvj=w448-h796-no)

Total cost is probably $5 or less for everything. The chicken meat was leftover from earlier this week, and pasta is cheap...

--------------------------------------------------------------

Sunday dinner was leftovers: lentils, chicken curry, pasta salad.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on May 14, 2018, 06:36:40 AM
Also stopped in at Safeway yesterday:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/w3iOIuG-up4XaVzsBo0URWOyOChW9YwS4sehumEgezSOa9AV_PnnqqPQctzWK27wRK85L1j0Tm6acYkABLCE77-N4lKD5Zr-txEUckcjf5Kn64jHZ62EjtV6YAktzRpuxy1PpRwtgkAnAmsLWxvPamcSrpm7CtzhEMrJ6iGA7QfGckj_6ZDzDrZ5RODn5IrXDJtbH_OYW8oQRP2aSx1a2HH3yOyl9tM-X1uZ36Xq9ZMBGG-CIEJ35rp2e1mLUxcTJXJtDg5YmHhh8ayw5jH66F_GrY9ofTYeu-Bl86U_udgtQUyXeiQ0KM47f-UlSmlpYex7ORLzPF_LdYVA6718VbDuOWcCCKmaTJPkgXeAxSZTy3j8ey7c2WGxmNmEg-xBcxq85hDkYOuqU-bRHwV6qRaFVMJZq6veEdpC9bgvIAoaNcANkgKHOztFlzFOXNDezHgxZ1O1P_2C9L-YSTAEg-iAHt0BaFjMfzn7luqX3v8o9Ri0D0NjEtBfaFtEi_YFHPelOfPdXSKGmtrj2b-vDLe3U1e7DFcaIYofQ58L1IfBMhif_PyrSrqSw7WjibotQb61PaTTs7n-nBymVKx7X_i11cmH8q5r-fOGwctdq3Al-r3ttpGGIUTHSqpJpa7_HNDizfCp018B60w1saaf3vRzlRmdBFmD=w1416-h796-no)

Tomato sauce: $2.97
Tomato puree: $1.29

Total receipt = 4.26. It's a bit more than I like to pay for tomato sauce, but I'm completely out right now, and I have a pizza party scheduled this weekend (basement remodel is DONE! Yay!). So I have to have it. One of my friends is allergic to garlic/onion, so I bought the puree to make a safe sauce for her.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: robartsd on May 14, 2018, 09:12:21 AM
Went to Costco this afternoon.

Tortilla chips: $3.89.
Wow, a single item Cosco trip! (I'm guessing this was in conjunction with the Frozen Yogurt birthday desert outing - perhaps you had some non-food spending in the warehouse as well).
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: mm1970 on May 14, 2018, 10:59:42 AM
It is so weird talking to people who have no idea how much they spend, especially about a category like food/groceries that's pretty clearly definable.

People who don't examine their spending/purchases at all are weird to me. I was at Aldi yesterday sorting through the bags of lemons to make sure I didn't get any bad ones, and a woman walked over, grabbed a bag without even looking at it and walked away. I literally couldn't process it and stood there in shock, going, "But, but, some of them are rotten!" My SO said, "Just think, she saved 20 seconds!"... and wasted several dollars on bad produce.
Eh, I'm unable to use all of a bag of lemons before some go bad anyway...
I don't even know what I would use a whole bag of lemons for, unless I was making something special like lemon bars or meringue pie, or some super fancy lemonade.

I admit to being surprised at the casual attitude towards food waste in a sub $200/mo grocery thread. Lemons are expensive! I make salad dressings, marinades, popsicles, etc., and the juice can be frozen. But my point wasn't about lemons, it was about thoughtless wasteful purchasing - I guess I failed to get that across.

Anyway, I've been thinking about the dairy-free mashed potato issue. Some things you could try if you haven't already: use some of the starchy cooking water; use olive oil like the Italians do; use silken tofu. If you save bacon fat, a little bit of that swirled in will keep you from missing butter! (This is  also a great add-in to beans.)

Eh, I live in So Cal.  Two of my neighbors have lemon trees and give em away for free.  People will sometimes bring bags of lemons to work. 

I rarely pay for lemons, and when I do, I'm happy to pay 0.33-0.50 for a lemon to make my salad dressing.

Anything that starts to go bad in my house goes into the composter!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on May 14, 2018, 03:08:06 PM
Went to Costco this afternoon.

Tortilla chips: $3.89.
Wow, a single item Cosco trip! (I'm guessing this was in conjunction with the Frozen Yogurt birthday desert outing - perhaps you had some non-food spending in the warehouse as well).

I did actually also buy a car battery, but it's not the first single-item Costco trip I've made. The trick is to not grab a cart. Then almost by default, you can only get the one item you went in for.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: robartsd on May 14, 2018, 03:15:48 PM
I did actually also buy a car battery, but it's not the first single-item Costco trip I've made. The trick is to not grab a cart. Then almost by default, you can only get the one item you went in for.
I generally just find Costco checkout lines not worth the time for a single item or two, but there was a time when I was between jobs that I would enter Costco to window shop and try the samples every time I stopped there to get gas.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on May 14, 2018, 03:27:25 PM
I did actually also buy a car battery, but it's not the first single-item Costco trip I've made. The trick is to not grab a cart. Then almost by default, you can only get the one item you went in for.
I generally just find Costco checkout lines not worth the time for a single item or two, but there was a time when I was between jobs that I would enter Costco to window shop and try the samples every time I stopped there to get gas.
Of course I stopped by all the sample booths while I was there...that's half the fun! :)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on May 14, 2018, 04:57:04 PM
Dinner tonight is leftovers. The last of the pasta salad, the last of the curried chicken, some of the lentils. Maybe $.50 in miscellaneous ingredient bits.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on May 16, 2018, 06:22:08 AM
Did a bunch of errands yesterday:

Safeway:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/el21bE8Spo9L3MPqc_KHYnMVnJ91BYNPj5NHidohevl3DEvC-1347U093NpyDTAvmBSeySjEIo85nXC8EqL49ys3NTIZvCBjzIv26osDJKuSduDCWky26YP14k4kAQ97XheKQwO-SV3rDAA8dAFCo8bmKq9nj92pBQb5oFNrnIswhfSc3v5Oy0IrH-lCgCZiW0R-pgKRPEWoiF6QykxwdwWIFHA9yVOrL1LyjueFx13txxQ2xelNY2DNvspNynhU2fCL2YxzIU537dwh4xlVN9zbGjz9i_q9DoOWHv7fUpCBtR1CQiaQWKXLNfHiO5J_LjtwUIKw9U65c2cD6HNSFRbiCaI47tmVbH0g7a_nLXPpF5DwnILtxCHzMAvt_MC1d_or3g0Oc8m7a6qt4kvryN_qlD7Ta4s_XB0rFf-_rTdr6IhkojJE7k6AVxpwokR-GgZ_PUIVGaRRiDKxa8lBf_G4St89eZAdx7brrshvTp2BTZcvt_1a_6A9EXvBBu2digr8IzLj0T7u9TdhADHP-GoZN9azAc2aWCb5hEpG9EUBib2l001Ez2rB0go4IfRD2zgMXZKoh2_gx8miiEgGButp_JLF2Ok6J6IkbuqTHJrfgkJpd-jY4ECj36BSC6XRvSJ8ftrOKm3ptHC4UjoP7Y_qJRsxain5=w1416-h796-no)

Pasta sauce: $2.97
Milk: $1.99
Water: $0 (freebie coupon)

Total receipt = $4.96. PLUS, I remembered to bring in my receipt from the frozen broccoli coupon mess-up, so I was able to get a refund of $1.62 for the overcharge mistake. Yay!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Discount store:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/YtmGr7hELi4zvQzROIVe7x3AS9CSuOxbrKeBbl594gD-dGPJdBM-ytk5QoLtdlVJLYS0GHOSk9aUo2XwTicSTZ_ALaHgpoSB0q8mttbWWY6tSb2EJawUJvvQImMlAhFP0-E3d7FRggRknE23JAeJR3DCbPMpTeQxPHXyOSIMzfBL6kimifona7pp1xQjzBW7aBo7q1Rt6hsIeKAFQ3v_3wCT5aC3Sqf_s-z4P8TTzBSXkksjRlxHsBxDb0RrLT3hZzLt_lOfcsxkvMf0ZhrTDmKJ8WPYNhnGD9eWfMaNn-AkU_nelRoqx4p2IXR3cemCczaS43MEC1htT_6iD1Px3rGSly7Rlf6IGFniMZWcetKqsF4NY3Ncly46cxyKp4vps30QmQclakJ3KCMo1LCg1RxzSffGfNe0qBkuEIuPEwYrbc3Z9CiCiYDl-bMYvhdEaXC22W99BM4UUJQkTKHNL1XWDew0HBOnaYLheWqnjctmbWQQ64Pl76EkFGgr_Reyko_ZgBFIDg0siHlZkB211GR5-ahT3MJkgHenFLw49efolSDmaZYkP8uG61_keAqQhzOWm_gqyQvHox1KkcbrJzKqVEkRvA9O7beoMl8IPOipVIuE6FkTuAFVeS4FO3_0NmkWI3Pb-R4nX-ooPSbUJox4pFQsV5GF=w1416-h796-no)

Bread: $1.98

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Costco:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-immCbZa3Robe3V3_73-0VP_nDDQZfqjqFlqYPgr-LYYOhAbbBvdOKRykR9n2duIufNfeYocUlFg_3oh0FlEasK7Z4oIJk6-yHeL7L5Mn3cifpXqIPRI2iOef10yWxFQELz6MSVMMAGYbGnvEr3ddc47Mv0WoARqClygHM0PZFyhlwJtHD5TO5eY5V-4Jq0VTICq7V19YwhkskNOFzObkH8P2GjXpIy4aPvWEDBOMwyLUIYdu69voDrtyC0gCTgAgEtwWtxq3nu3hC5fgjdxVttzpGIpqoDfAu1ng7K3uATgQw-At5tRzxQBld6fkPlECo8609lGqJfpxN7cAE0q3nn-XPy6I86oUM1Q21gqtqI-xEZuXSdhQrhoXpwaTU9qVB6902-_gIRdqik8p7Uf-YGJ0GLP0n-9uuIYD8DdbPHvamqyXHUiprYd4r-lBgfRI4p9kX153rrmsZOoK2tJIKI6TH-hPjyKst95AD8w8AtTFcc07uoJfq5FlmjzX10vmHNw4kWCzs5fBE3IxrExVbS_4r3DkbiNG0W4IaveM7eqGimIt_pOj91iyzRrtNZhkQOJ8S_BEhtYvRBo5r69FoAzQu8UrVZkvHOkUXrDNg-dW7-QS0r336MBGdBoHMn479EtzcurUkH0a3taT82HmjpmEjd_CANZ=w448-h796-no)

Mozzarella: $11.49

We did buy dish soap as well this trip, and I SHOULD have bought tomato sauce here instead of in individual cans at Safeway. I still may come back for a giant can, as they're only $2.75 or something like that, which is a much better price/oz; then I'll save the smaller cans for when we just need a single meal portion instead of a pizza party size portion.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

King Soopers:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/lNRkVyE2fdxSVsvj32N8YpSiOXqUJG09FAVYGAueprc6D2CtjvhROikVqy235S9XEhQ18oVvOZyu9NHQwVTErZnQazxMgp42fQw-6g0-2-wHcFfu-DFtYXownbAuFbjdY9xMwNL216DsMQYJNFLsB0kBJlmIGZK57xq5edN_u0tqzOBf8jZO8fdfX2y5Kdoq0zjWfSkxwsULzw7mFIYhV6lJMxph9b998GCytt3pMFpBk9wSlkFt_Clmz0lOHxP_3FC5qynSxRfB63aaq6N0mTZM8rspFnYcMMtSnoX--NOMYoCz63V1XG9lwxYRJgDorqeBd1lSICAL48T4QX4yAeEDkGelhKacvMRJszfcLxd9biJWJx3qhCYPCcLsefP978TmwCEycYij4oVRKikMG2KpfUdxa1FSLnih4YKOYLFnsLxEWeuF8vELgKB5AV8Zd0oZWB2uxPfC-9LYK1v9iwdBwvEgyXrlVRstu7OUlcHmFUDcscyE7AG0XkT4oTq7xRPPbbmkvA4Idgn0TB06qaD5Hl64-8gakBCRGbyBaWEfcIGvcAFcyPZLl-npkcdbnhVUZXd3XPNIhqeUSjsDGes2nYGXZ_vUDJVdy_nkDsss8JESW6Zzs5NaU1GCsVOpy_sWbKAJZTj8JVXo19Ca_frMocMe-PeH=w1416-h796-no)

Ice cream: $4.49
Soda: $2.38
Pineapple: $.97
Candy: $0 (free friday)

Total receipt = $7.84. Ice cream for the party, of course!

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sprouts:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/HJhQ9Yd4bVdCMnCptfB_JQECo-wOAZDTL0pHqe_2pqxy_y-5A0pVuu4boDuiVUEZe9MOyTNXW2hqtrdPAqsarQgvwQquGmN6YQPmD9eu54-By8r4iLNysgyBsbbwbFh76UV9qnWoxuqHDB2a71iVgjV8Ywojuw_vkyMWjCGEAsCpYIx40pV2EYvImtBSDxEXbc0SmEvXcVaIcm4loOyzN_Em8h3jB0R-DbnraYBTIBLJNbKWL8lZOwPTydD9zQmJZZvou_wFXVEaDLOX2EtynUsP8ViILaKAFEk2I8EQb0fQE3yjykMxw54qCYUc7gcyLnymVXhHsOirLkKuX38uJi2QVxQ_ZjVwTg3ieB0Pnol_S8MFn7QEPzcQaMBXrTLEJfZZ-u08yOEgzMhV63BoXBhUXEki-czxwv7UKGrTFoiGas9ERpE69W_R1pgNG4Slc1m0hYO1t_AUhG_KU509Weo8gY-jqDpWugFrhGlvArGHBCvuX--d133jJiEHLyzO4d6TSGcGWJMj2NKpnIi8vNaNSSvsXEjGx3wr2NmOV1zSybV5_1bzzS-pfc98mffdfbp7iUuv48SiMi4voDNYKX37KH-4pfNElOgCqI8lxju_NVU_NLxfjNmC6HQY6TVjYleFz2FcyPxkdIH0FEsmJkaEnfl3D5lM=w1416-h796-no)

Lettuce: $.99
Cucumbers: $1
Jalapeno: $.10
Bananas (11lb): $3.61
Tomatoes (2.8lb): $2.46

Total receipt = $8.16. I finally got to use my raincheck for $.33/lb bananas.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on May 16, 2018, 06:24:32 AM
Dinner last night was sandwiches. No pictures this time, but pretty much the same as most sandwich nights. Bread/meat/cheese/veggies; probably ~$5 or less in ingredients (meat was frozen leftover, so no additional cost there).
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on May 17, 2018, 07:31:47 PM
Wednesday dinner was the last of the leftover lentils, so ~$.60 for tortillas to go with it.

--------------------------------------------------------

Tonight was jambalaya; rice, sausage, onions/peppers/garlic/celery in a tomato broth. Not more than ~$4 cost-wise

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/LfnoNqNiJppTLPiCZqtqNmEGGwsgc8Aia7SIsWiTU2kjfIPUZ14pQi07wTO34ah2da3QMGztpjUpQBqTWq-_pRuUO0KnjxuTsR6IK1YS0hFM0DmB5yLmPY0Nm8WPvucVqhCFaHfeiPLr804CeRhezAwCeACTUIeslaQY-HAkQ0f79p6cRwBXxLxzL4OZml6wChNsgNkatzU1blUrR804gh1SxDAHiwzO8IgTBkNuBs6a7GuYx4kp8xkrv1q7eZokRE3wah4aqKKvq-lpOsZ9J6iAiRe4YXWXX2IPmLeC6iXv8e1MJxzuNTh5K8pc1-_1NiRwBeSccLb1IMhlFrr34n89HPEZbiIRGvV7hiWHgagaSqV7sQuGkKiBaOlZNCNKDqrImlOvxt3F4FhzeBvJ36YdCV_ybvCfonG2JBDe1Tsv6Or3qzKOG5TbSp4C_fvl-Tlm4Aes5T4cI6UFhxRxzAERgzkSuECSeHra1YxKF7di6_MMQdcV8pJbsUaIhed4_NRXsHFR3dqJiq5qrkpebGyy1N6x6rLL8q97WrUH45o1ZObtYrdEQ7_O190Zsgvtkzfsh79bt2hK7SDZTJQnuve94QpKofv1ojqMwd7q_hgfaBeWtgaSrIJq9N6wFiQ9RR8FF5Q90nRiColSi3jXO-ZxUins4XrX=w1416-h796-no)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on May 17, 2018, 07:33:48 PM
Also stopped in Sprouts on the way home yesterday:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/QVRb9A37G9TA43kRS9u3-9v6dYGTH3aeFBR8R2a4eUrd2CmUAa4gDltVL1NDYQcLwXalEVrTAM1Cb4eYQFxbuDxMkM4t1ZZmg_30cnFAv3bPRXJI0v0H8wCpxIimrc9uZaVGNIMpvK8r0HE2_kFk14QWgwdHGp3uMGBy9P0a3cmiA1rlYsD_iac1Y8Bu60tPhjKzXS916bhRoefEfPc2fPcuL363BqVkBRxNenz_vgEjVn886kqqA2ZpnI5uMAWXxK4ZFk0U_w-hsMXKSlyjoAmzTLl0sLcxIaySnGvKyNHQgN79krMa6HvZdFWq5Kv7OLYyRXU5kW4HUUtvDBT8VUBRsiW_laiKJ_2CNIB_hzqzN7HNQ4js9Ajef6aA_vY9XshxdjDCBvqGXyJMrZk-LDLVih126bPY_3kRGGDUU8dhWJoahdLCXo6dxUehdtEBWNF3QltI3BoELZvB6_E4JVWhx6QZ1JEHnuhQUcfcyyRYzAUTHjUyI2-CeVajCV7NzWsUsUnZH-VtrLAS5FUytrySzbXLs4nc32y_2OvAYYfiqreHpZ_KMv7gLovcETYOhw-ydxOOHGM3qtByr1HEfREfiOOOoNdR6wyfN7pD2Dm304JeaenDm5p_Jy8FERqCUMX6lNqwXDdDfSnRSRhaHOW5PIVRfrmK=w1416-h796-no)

Grapes (6.5lb): $4.54

69/lb for grapes! Going to put some of these babies in the freezer too!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: mm1970 on May 18, 2018, 04:48:13 PM
Also stopped in Sprouts on the way home yesterday:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/QVRb9A37G9TA43kRS9u3-9v6dYGTH3aeFBR8R2a4eUrd2CmUAa4gDltVL1NDYQcLwXalEVrTAM1Cb4eYQFxbuDxMkM4t1ZZmg_30cnFAv3bPRXJI0v0H8wCpxIimrc9uZaVGNIMpvK8r0HE2_kFk14QWgwdHGp3uMGBy9P0a3cmiA1rlYsD_iac1Y8Bu60tPhjKzXS916bhRoefEfPc2fPcuL363BqVkBRxNenz_vgEjVn886kqqA2ZpnI5uMAWXxK4ZFk0U_w-hsMXKSlyjoAmzTLl0sLcxIaySnGvKyNHQgN79krMa6HvZdFWq5Kv7OLYyRXU5kW4HUUtvDBT8VUBRsiW_laiKJ_2CNIB_hzqzN7HNQ4js9Ajef6aA_vY9XshxdjDCBvqGXyJMrZk-LDLVih126bPY_3kRGGDUU8dhWJoahdLCXo6dxUehdtEBWNF3QltI3BoELZvB6_E4JVWhx6QZ1JEHnuhQUcfcyyRYzAUTHjUyI2-CeVajCV7NzWsUsUnZH-VtrLAS5FUytrySzbXLs4nc32y_2OvAYYfiqreHpZ_KMv7gLovcETYOhw-ydxOOHGM3qtByr1HEfREfiOOOoNdR6wyfN7pD2Dm304JeaenDm5p_Jy8FERqCUMX6lNqwXDdDfSnRSRhaHOW5PIVRfrmK=w1416-h796-no)

Grapes (6.5lb): $4.54

69/lb for grapes! Going to put some of these babies in the freezer too!
I stopped at sprouts on the way into work!

Brussels sprouts: 0.69/lb
cucumber: 0.50
baby peppers: $1.98
5 lb potatoes: 1.50
3 lb org apples: 1.98
Dark almonds: 3.99/lb
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on May 18, 2018, 10:23:09 PM
Also stopped in Sprouts on the way home yesterday:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/QVRb9A37G9TA43kRS9u3-9v6dYGTH3aeFBR8R2a4eUrd2CmUAa4gDltVL1NDYQcLwXalEVrTAM1Cb4eYQFxbuDxMkM4t1ZZmg_30cnFAv3bPRXJI0v0H8wCpxIimrc9uZaVGNIMpvK8r0HE2_kFk14QWgwdHGp3uMGBy9P0a3cmiA1rlYsD_iac1Y8Bu60tPhjKzXS916bhRoefEfPc2fPcuL363BqVkBRxNenz_vgEjVn886kqqA2ZpnI5uMAWXxK4ZFk0U_w-hsMXKSlyjoAmzTLl0sLcxIaySnGvKyNHQgN79krMa6HvZdFWq5Kv7OLYyRXU5kW4HUUtvDBT8VUBRsiW_laiKJ_2CNIB_hzqzN7HNQ4js9Ajef6aA_vY9XshxdjDCBvqGXyJMrZk-LDLVih126bPY_3kRGGDUU8dhWJoahdLCXo6dxUehdtEBWNF3QltI3BoELZvB6_E4JVWhx6QZ1JEHnuhQUcfcyyRYzAUTHjUyI2-CeVajCV7NzWsUsUnZH-VtrLAS5FUytrySzbXLs4nc32y_2OvAYYfiqreHpZ_KMv7gLovcETYOhw-ydxOOHGM3qtByr1HEfREfiOOOoNdR6wyfN7pD2Dm304JeaenDm5p_Jy8FERqCUMX6lNqwXDdDfSnRSRhaHOW5PIVRfrmK=w1416-h796-no)

Grapes (6.5lb): $4.54

69/lb for grapes! Going to put some of these babies in the freezer too!
I stopped at sprouts on the way into work!

Brussels sprouts: 0.69/lb
cucumber: 0.50
baby peppers: $1.98
5 lb potatoes: 1.50
3 lb org apples: 1.98
Dark almonds: 3.99/lb

That is a fantastic price for brussels sprouts! Spot on!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on May 19, 2018, 08:56:28 PM
Friday was the last of the leftovers for dinner.

-------------------------------------------------------------

Also went to Safeway for some last minute items to prep for tonight (saturday):

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/MTfqalXHZ9mds7ZWhbe8RXKh4izr_BB4SpRlwA9HiY0EQWEia3ViO-K1wo0OwbHs2D9dbgFZ2xGLJaTKODRW02TBeMYoCyNC1E_Q1nWYLPGFvPtbhByEp3Rx6Y0qgc1Vlo4EE0E5S1pikXbQIjqKP8nnVScc7ltGSW7VyiSrYw0IUAk-yo0Sj4sHZArCVz4fIjZCrSS0cqUc2QabUFqS6R__EXU72dZnXFKiJd_yGLzB8mT1YhFmLw0dhNEtLhafIvYQ2EuN8dA2ILhCm5Z0rpd3iutgGBI568f8nGTFQllDfh6OABc5DpDNY_TGtXbL4_1RxcYM1qKCWbna7fnhXJoV0mgu2t-inQg2J8bzeJ4PuVkzI16ad3paKGdbORoLwID2h_Dv0WnnU1DMpI8q4eN2clA9JYqJLNVQZ8wQJQWigg4iPtiRGkAen-Uy_Wfz8cVJI-XqZfvJFIv514glbaQ88FhBJjbDDJQMAhmHzDPUfcMdPSxImAJ9dZbXfyEBn8O14Gk3XUFnKFkYOzlWnETGdp0FgeTpXV3lZ04e561FTjMB8Z595_bSPm6Zs7bC9U1v96RSwxYXY0HC7jkhiRuw5R7Asx2wQqnfiJ1W5M0mkRJ70cRHqpOtkyTTcJWufzpmZ0JGfRvu60e2MXGq5VFh3EtdJtUf=w1416-h796-no)

Cauliflower (4lb): $3.40
Pasta: $.01
Pepperoni: $1.99

Total = $5.40. Somehow my e-coupons were messed up again, but fortunately there wasn't a huge line, and I was watching carefully, so the cashier was able to catch it. Also, you can see a bottle of aspirin in the picture, which I got as a freebie from a monopoly ticket coupon.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

I also went to Costco and picked up a can of tomato sauce:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/aZAW57PA7WrKUbICdxeWe_dvnC_H6U6aw6J0X7vB9ueOvTBIaX3SPPgqlVSX3D7kMwftPj8W66qK_fmKpbB3mXHFFHz9yLI6Ka_WZ8AwhQUVjhgB4CXZQF3oVAiVHjoKlifjPGqjUq8HYMU2KQ67EoF7mH7d9llE78b28_WpxYKMkz5-o1j9NntAjfzCXf4Bh7Iiwv8zfw925YQcV4up4peApwY94Syg9ncNdZVV4Mn0BA1At7gxZZKniunE60MDhcvzNxbT5Iu-DIqy79r4j3dEfWO_d9vO_HODd7PkmvSUK8udGQvvtL04Uh5CBmcQm1O9FbvojHBsDevAI51b-b5CsiG_MVMfZuRitcyp54N1K0ioKavc8NGdgxlLSQKW9ZE--rNTa3_FBbtX_Qmtplssi9t7jDnpx1pCEN8_P60gKZ5ojL0ihd8i-Sfdg3GjIe_OjZFdOGtf0c7v_icc3pfUPN_TlL3fHXqy3aJfnUbX8xn3bU1A0RkMKoYB-H5zEEbaCfzOL4Nqibv-bJ0xaFcbqIAxb9u-aUPfO41AfCVdntMkxzPQwXvXxxKmhA9ikVfhmcP7pr_yA2AQmB_lN8poWVNzOYrCZlhDb7LCED4A-XEUr7T19YUaYSPz0vLpZSQPQCTGWhEmsrTxyVAXY0pdjpBs6VMl=w448-h796-no)

Tomato sauce: $2.99. I did actually buy other things this time, but they weren't food items.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on May 21, 2018, 04:49:26 AM
Saturday was my "Yay, the basement remodeling is finished!" party-- I did pizza from scratch with some salad. I <3 pizza, and good pizza from scratch is amazing!

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/CpCQE8BYJda6a68hditd76CqSUF3vRSrLzFD_D4ZfqjH7DZuzQVLQshf1P1ggDcDqdS_TmMSAuQjBxzREKQbeNgPULYJ_oDkDVkNwR6DVUZTwVs8VgsyTi6PJR2-M2YSHV10lMkceD0FC7QM5YjTz8EkqswlTTku5m7xllQ5IYKx_HXDRlNnD27hcrx9eAp3orBCTh3OprZNZeaNKlGL1BXzgS6b9mZDL2OqUPhPnBArmpbLr-2s9TJ59fYWdaIZxMIQyAz991CIZsC0jYHBI5qD0v85k8dzpx1ira91UvBDXQ5ACOY7byy13w_kF5jU8GpEoTBfvIvMRAsB2tmW75dqCOkDonSi3zPXACuUeKSjQpVZxWP0lhgo31aRLC9AR_ZbQxg0Uq1NjwMDivv9H-ldlPb0McdjbOX0Wi7upk_MSGZhJciSFRcqZnyfo7bEkWZlCVaim0HkZHCkx4Rit9eDSHuK4RR3kEUkkxm2zc7zazIG5ro8RBDwvuUGwi6RQE_6CJ3PJEVjRIAbo_KqywU8HiqXeoojWoqOAvbN9tKiR9imRUWGld-fY_e9CDAB2GxfQ-qz1vlsdrWruOwxQkJtpOA23IEo8Gb79RGY35lvrYMNxtcwCbqPGgkJt-DHwYsbJMaEuxfohFVhYZpDluM94VyrzdnO=w1416-h796-no)
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/tIN9ia8EBjUKkRDTvVICHfFrOZ-ug3HhO5-PYljcOnDJvVtvOSYZgqQWmiz95hZPT3sel3QRUYJug3CDN-4TXspHJz0V3x6xsLT3tgWGZKvyOekBj8_mvPmNnNb8cOZSKtZwwvDDkFpxBofPMncpXs5f31vdKcRdag17vunZCaWnBI7GmWjp8xDRMTs_YvsqnuraBOe33wn9ekwl_moC-u7AS3aNas1Ac6ZwvQSDAmeux6pD8k197CPb6xySDCwq1Oaj_6ZWpXD3XTUBqPHRHYPzUfR1XCDnJFPw7b1TzHb0yRZzHXPFJO2ECnNSjnzKjthtC4VNmhXo01IhpcwCYzSZD_LRzVCv1tD47TgNQYXPbq_5KQtfYitp36yV9UVDJ4bAsNGy1eD-nnJvRs8LkCFyOArnYHzGncD9ezAefm9Bvti5roHjd-yhiCkQ4J7zOfr6ogY8ULXGajzD9_mcjgnWKzoFwjyzpSr2zJ3rwQwF7DXMZMRo69iEn53kBsAlSNdM8DfpfUS-eRdrOhz38BakJNZsQob6Dvw4Nnzriy7JnbgmJjWkHbA36wgu6HD86ac7yeCMPuxtyvD4CySYfvWvlPN6tZOxl3WeOoNyvI8LFJsgurj9dCs6VimkNU04bNkTU6t8kct_hnjDS-RdEX8pmzQPu73u=w1416-h796-no)
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/UC1EBMHGTTWUQpkvr8idJe5kcfEZEPvesGz5-w_0K8QvsaPnogrr5TePNOI0UADWOR0RVDjXhqZs3ARVudjnEJ6z-7OjaxMcfYwL7dNPNm6drexzb7wEK32q2vLCysCBUxaSZdwRmRXpEtxj2KVVxL3y16SV5Zyycdoxvv9Ofeq442hgqjD_PBXvmOQ49MtqHBcYkEtKvSXnaEH4IsmusutO-Bryp2gHitK99Owkdg42gbHMb8SzXOhaESGA9O-AhCFNgflbrjdVwiGBbQJV8log83QmZB8mRcIvHR1csFxHn-WgdLmb-97m_L4fu7LcdfYx-yWzXPcLZ4b3ilDmjZGSzrEzsep-7eEfFEHMsts6tf5S9UrT5GeqLDPQsUNFxX9X4Nlx9MHzjrmcdLrIhCP0qoDEbTqLmzH_-jLaSMyszdKf4rpeamn8qfuMr5DTG7q6c9Wn-iUWwYcgEI_c9mtTe9xJtsCvfLO5kfeF9V0XyUy5LowJDC3MWoubHff2lPkt4pPCLjWja66s6OEyJ5vzS74Qid3z0hwFZxRIFUA5nxOsb_GmWSAo0rLR7tSGfrcOo-VBDP_2gzRMWMmEi91PTLOnk7bC2GGwSBe0xy65MGEY3qivz746ObFNi0EVA_1E1Ehp06Mjt1cfpLG3WHlCxoncTvt0=w1416-h796-no)
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/J7tiE4zNX18-wiy9m8z3Xh2qiwUWJ69J49aFKvfmi2_waWs1h1ZkbhIdby18HJp9_Zk7sjtrUVAChSewN27WSfFo4l8Kflrl4OGaIDCtrJFMNwctFmIhosN6K-hBCkPJ3KmfB-gQcZjRTkDohH26XrgimieWncTE19Hxjou4VOpMD9lE_RO09kfBB5lugXSA5HkbNdCNtCDzHoARW6j2WDuGR7RkW4xPOU5XdZ8TArXMYbwVBqA6-jCp747Dlxsz3Z6h65snSVdAqzWgWOYRL0qJuamicGh1m9siOgwppIb8Usor7bz4TwvSl4qM6BsfdUuRHwKL-I9JlzQbMbfyCH6DExpS8GEHaDktYUcNvsOMUWaThSlX0kAXcBJiAGZbFP5t5dJyBT3ldblwbUIpNQtStTZqsRaKwsw-qWlrcz-6I8LcZPHplKvyzlsCpH4uvIZjd8e5NNFPGH6-GA62ZOMah3dVaAMccoqFoNZKtmBive3ApnvC94ciwF6zm6n3uPCCF4O2Of2PxlJNzlYMs_SYZg0mJ2UC51fel_Ssqt4i42VSvr7TEpOvD2QyCd1teyovlAZaxAOXjC_eVGLCEFSzOGcuL6CEhRs54NHE5PZPC2OSLBj_ddIftRZULjZoFAfPfgc2dGwhF-FUmU6MeGCdAFlwatOr=w1416-h796-no)

I'm not sure how to cost it out exactly, but

~$5 for dough (have two regular loaves worth still in the freezer
~$8 for toppings (pepperoni, ham, pineapple, onion, tomato, jalapeno
$3 for sauce
~$9 for cheese
~$2 for salad
~$3 for soda

~$28 to feed us (4) and nine guests. Plus of course we had pizza leftovers for dinner on Sunday. One of the things I tend to struggle with is being social, as it's easy for me to just be by myself and mind my own business and end up having no friends; that's no good when we live somewhere that we don't even have family. So to do stuff like this and actually have people come is pretty huge for me. I'm going to try to do this sort of thing more often.

I do need to figure out how to play host and make pizza at the same time....
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on May 21, 2018, 05:07:41 AM
Also, totally scored from the tenant move-out fridges/dumpsters yesterday. As you know, I work in property maintenance, and we had two houses do a move-out yesterday. They were throwing away perfectly good food!

I dragged home a giant (30"x30"x30") cardboard box full of random stuff, and picked through it to find the non-sketchy stuff (I'll eat food off the floor, but I'm not going to eat the been-in-a-stranger's-fridge-for-who-knows-how-long chip dip). I also scored a basketball and a soccer ball for the kids, and a window fan for the house.

Giant box full of food:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/7Tthy_dIgwXk-R2xFrh9ghtOF8n2anquMxBU7vN3JuzlG2mexWLlTVTmHAF4aMyrZE8dj93uBq9zr4Eja_MFoAbnHZQmlBWBZXCkjdlsbjz0db3tqXAp5wnz7zXvDk69zYMERZxu1yWf0PFowhUI9B5dkxA30nXo8OXB9VSihzN-PxCmLvnHAkRwUB3YLAn7_bsqImKD3lcWTA6JonXPfULLzDlvjv4YGN6WR1LJbJdZuC2HvnVGI_fMd3EdxXeHylHZYc7gBCe4oyHQVNAlMcS5yg65b7WTXecqH5MooacIPEiKjox0Qde6sCR35wrl38pHcgaSlOC2fEMkI27VxYGE8hJkRSQNbgPEEdn9iWp5oMVkKf6scXbVc2gGb_BvrDbFziJTOewGUnxn-2w9elz1mIXCfiwPaWy8eHxzP7BctCOPUtTN9jQ2Oo7shWzJYG1-zW5-E4LV4yGj4C67S-Hzh9Oy09zYMA70xX-xUAloQ0AfIHZBlnAlUNNU7Z_KO-5b7pPLJRsOZFv-OFAtbM_iShDEf-VKcirhHDiur_akIUskQo-K3v0zsrjbOG3OwDC6ko1Fr52QkFhdXZwca3AhCEGHnxVJN5u1zeZ7l-Dz88wXd2nWKiWvBUOwGeOITRkjanU9bfiy6YZdn_EoH0DFs0p7ymDZ=w1416-h796-no)

Salvageable items:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/qU6ALRBk1GQMMVEAFbhctaD9-wRK2rlHpOBAkesTokSp5rxM-QJQSi9BHCo6NHIaU4BZ_esf5ljOKfoZ1Yj3EDLuQ6Ye0HoWvxWDuz6T4lhu6m1yfamnhmDeklxFT87l7fUOddPfi7oGHWVyKUXZbNcE6RdDNxl0_c55BQDPqCmnONuoJaCTMvE4Wfd7R8q0n6JRMWd9JAaeYEb1LUu5E8lHl3gn1qLIuxJUcCAjBRv04cmr2alCrQOKrNNUd7TMNLoqrgGz9Zwbn2Jkb9B3057rDLH_2WvHTQzOfLLI0tuQQxWS-p2cnaAbrsiDjBpyl7ajw6iTxZ-qJvzqPv2uPKrNgzy80ih9_hCL8mUE3hcKxwY-MyaDFje-JRsnBCXR-HYqpBgf1TIdDxF_eM7cDM9ewDJQH4ATgltkI-mntmtpwkRm0_-L1y0BqENYHEVnUXILmBqO1RH-45As9h128gZw0MOw-oRonwDZJrC1B1hQDqUSnIvn8mX-0Z8RHuead9wNf_rAaPbG3CVWFaRw271sX54FjmJ2cGd8-wqTqoJ2ki54aZ7UdmsCa0ilacVXjS2wS852hiFMKVfzjPdKq493pYctZDEg1bRN5tjFQbYkVPf7eaeSbP0r6uT5noPa2GjckSHxdDWiKUlbE23MtSWzR9PEsaB8=w1416-h796-no)

8 packets of fancy instant oatmeal
2 packs of english muffins
1lb frozen veggies
1 bottle of mustard
A whole chicken (~4lbs)
1lb bacon
1 bottle of soda
4lb bag of sugar
~8oz EZ-cook rice
3-4 frozen fish fillets (mahi mahi, and a mystery meat)
3 8oz packs of cold cuts
~12oz frozen fried rice
Individual applesauce cups
2 sweet potatoes
8oz fancy ravioli
~2.5lb hamburger patties
2.5 dozen eggs
~20 corn tortillas
Jelly/ranch/mayo/soy sauce
1lb fancy ramen noodles
"asian style pasta" kit
2 big cans green beans
2 cans spinach
1 can refried beans
1 head of garlic

Wow! I also picked up a half-empty box of ziploc bags, three nice tupperware containers (complete with fridge experiments, which we'll throw out), and a pack and a half of coffee filters. Probably $150 worth of food, if I were to go to the store and just buy it at non-sale prices. We only threw out about of the box, but it had all just been designated as trash. Such waste!

I won't complain about free fancy food, though. Nom.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on May 22, 2018, 06:44:05 AM
Dinner last night was ham and sweet potatoes (yay for free food!) with some leftover salad from saturday.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/u7m5JacKyvvU6L4JVRlQi12YO5jMjwAS0PPxyXG9AWHWKGHw872FHSLcXI7uCkfK2dDf1KqBNwr3obvrXIGEsN0MLTFhljzLTs2u6I82VL8bcvWQI1iUoBR6mJHcwPFNp_J82rE3qLX1lFDvMEv1P4kpj-fZ5jqk4C90ExGkAexxxMrc-FsipRSAHsa20Ush2gmBvLopaYsXY41NegpL3HPy5V79LGTCKgSLNl2MoCo4W04-mgLbxtiKYGIfij4eyka35draNFd_rWayAx3TLSRjzdDbrCQG8tWBUY3t_PGNP8wlFSgqdRpzf7_pZXeLQexdCPVjLRyj-PXjktCSlWOBb3XmEOq5YCYFHc7UYGw-PigXX93lBqy0EmEJtajF1LRBwlMOmz-00PTrzRL9L7AYF8QACfU_tz3DQvTK1JHQOznzXxksRal83K9bC7VbDHtFKwhBEYzEiBudtu48plrkfBWPtW-5-ynucBHryyP7oaEmfrTtXJkxph3vqdmglPhw7ac4h_wA1BsacDdc0q4hW-DM5ZELGYXhkAahgBYgHGcq9NTxeZZxPf69jUoHsuftdjoYGQMfRXj2Q-JIy9sUOPyGNmH4vjBe27LeVdiiS9V23DteQtyGeqpXRYO5vrt295P10vixw7iZgKuBLoBypZWGRHVJ=w1416-h796-no)

Sweet potatoes: ~$1 (freebie potatoes, plus marshmallows/molasses)
Ham: $1.50
Salad: $0 (leftovers)

Total dinner cost = ~$2.50
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on May 22, 2018, 07:59:47 PM
Dinner tonight was the last of the leftovers from yesterday and saturday. Sweet potatoes, salad, pizza, and a couple eggs. Cost = ~.50

OH! And I forgot to mention that I managed to get a refund from the broccoli e-coupon mis-pricing Safeway experience. I just had to remember to bring my receipt and show the manager at the customer service desk the coupon on my phone. He even acknowledged that the e-coupons don't work properly half the time. So yay! $1.62 back into the food budget (I'll go back and update the former post with the now-corrected price).

Also did a Safeway errand tonight:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/QNycv1z2OefL1xCUHxTp5OuP5VP01_kS7vVgWeCxU6ghSddZpAYgRDL8SnjDdVZjFg4qS9RXjUKOKjCckAnCkNwXNG0CV7RMvlv54eAZwTJB4LQqo5g1apymIuftoIdbrcDQlKrUtodyS4sCb-7YRJDzJJZvriLZMIQD0Ldxx3R5QqbjgwKzdJj7j8-ObXhzrkydn36oYOxFTeq9HclWeNN3ak_Elun8BeG850p6PeNg1pAmUXUJoiu5s1JmQlW6NmM_B4x5otfjD_Z_RZ3wJdmPnZxD_Md1Fok_-zkiSF_IoFLEZxVxUzEg7dkx1ajbjUFEIe0p-I0FsKG7SMsxzEXYS9wnrE_d7oWi9RrCrpF0-6xJHBp8hwG721RNzPLbfeu_2YLxvdK626I8e2ZrY_2TUzIGMpDdtCFYo_c_SK3dgY4GVv7HJJJQM5-j1ttKduiHo4b2PxNu68YEIfVdXVwPQlGqiD4BjT95cEnZv0rirxcG5OQyJfvA4IlbU7eQdrLJ2pouuM8OwyCxGO3jdOCUKOZQMSoCmn8OZHJJlPrPlif_2XIkoNtpG-ANwc3gPZrEjgNX37RyZwBSmESug6_lHo19184kxf3k1E8cWat07TEjROz1rJ0yIHJxyjiIJ-wRHQWnVgQOUl2Kf-V55fvWV9_5sqqR=w1416-h796-no)

Cereal: $2.97
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on May 25, 2018, 07:13:25 AM
I am way behind on my posting!

We've been on a stir-fry kick the last couple nights:

Wednesday:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/S4c9NkNOSmOjRojCCilqwHM90EZmLffTcaOeBzlkcfG57U9NFZZsc2fi4uTaflJOWL17J15dmOXI-V8pdSaTlPoCGitEmZk2w3-TDC5aZor-DIP65xlJpKQ5EgCYBxA4kMz_DBEEDnSF06wPV2Hoo8d-WOCWfnT-LJZb1j8IbfdkQvV2DXMtJpvEi5XYPvcqEdqu6Xnw9wlD10YrzMqM_JFvzAfAEawEYJ_ogyj05YX237ScsrNaVWY3HgFKQk1IvfSd8GzY6GX6ql9iJocCVKeU4YFOUcyFpqoT-9_SLACMKEC53RLDpteDKQeA3Jk9gzQkyifrf25kmSM0ExtPqI7S4Zxy__ZoWLWL1Sa2HJWLdXwWbVI_ZnRKunuU4ccTSgN_a0Su-6H7q9nLZA_AcJXVgbJS5QUQblK_Q7uTVPAm_Znaf3XJ_jURaeVutmzBcMb09HyICwADmQc2dSXlP6eF5hByUb2L2lZlE_Az8ke_E_aLL-l8DKKVhPMIOQ_ZiSn7I236Dno5tH-kmCm7raexnHj0QZApWPymMebvrqw0ZV7nZM5_Rai7BUo8Prw3XvoxNS2SsL-iq2JMvklZftyH4N_PL1TA_Q7Dp_5j6ZwIICuedwC9Fv_jVy4kYxZ53Og8A8mo2mm7d5YrRdzO8wztUnwfiu-r=w1416-h796-no)

Ground beef, red pepper, broccoli, carrots, onion, garlic, seasoning; served over the fancy fresh noodles I snagged the other day. Came out super delish! Probably didn't cost more than $4.50.

-----------------------------------------

Thursday:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/yGvnDjyp61dPrO_USc_17VivL0v2OVYS2jhBpf6Hu9qIQs_09d50_kGFKVagC8H3lN4JI8_jbia5B_tuhYb0ICeMoHbzmkCCJi8nivB2AEG8ZoaSpYGSIeDoFdgFgykit1PKg5ecS9cqUTdr2wk7vSiU_NdngXxcJf201UH8FDmvuAvCQ54stBdoDD0Bwly20_SNidXtTXxzXZ1uTKypWyQdniIm5svlywj3kq5rjihfUW255czESuYfGSJo-4wgGP7bMGivoC9SrgzwZ2jnXuHhHQSbLiGh_Js1c4fojiQTb7-VhUuFgh5HE7S-itDVErKEOJHhsNFNHA9Cn8TYLwopbnqsXgESc3ywQChKftbgEXChgfppGa0BN13-qhq4go463CsFh3hV7NGGSF-fJ1jKtFK2jlq4D5sfUfJyVEfmIn2iaZf9PLgXkR9EBdvBe5r5p5bsRu3M2Ceh68IZf1BsjGsDgFN62fQcu2bzTt0Nr-XYMV75YaK3e15xZEATnpm_Fo9RcOoMYvmmwowkClmHw2WYZsDTAqThjv_mJQbhYDX6xo8UlbO_A3QLVmjpraQy3aseCMF8FEPpavo07LEs3jkarbLSz1RqPsUL50uEI_lwwmojq5tXLVs7AU6I_mV8pY65vkv51NhdD3jLJBvchQpUXTW4=w1416-h796-no)

Ground beef, broccoli, pineapple, red pepper, onion, garlic, seasonings; served over rice with a sweet/sour sauce that SO made from scratch. Again, super delish!

Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on May 25, 2018, 07:30:19 AM
Aaaand I need to catch you up on my grocery errands:

Walmart (wednesday):
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/ozVOEoolfLnMQcQF49rEMNKsGoqC7j5UdUOw0aVny9FukMkzewrBX7aAxHhKZ61Ivs1B5bULNdv-BBAqC5I5Ev2RtmNRE1cY2GxkcRLquR9B-oHhK6Oc-ZE3x_J7NehDlwey6xH3Ucig8cddo6PUXDSKgjig7GeYvOi704QNKESCRtdv2aDCRGAIIDIZ-wkSHvnWJ7NoCqfJukh3FOAgjfqw1PPUfM0DuohOf42hgJMcCRKysswgiZp5hPrv3q7sE5Z1QLjtAq3fD-fm1zZmhYbPrJLxAHFP5vEEhIzpcJSIuYHBJlIfD5Hw4zacBd_hrywBmR7bBqOkmWXNEkDN1i3-p4FEopvTdL4zAHz6IRSHf9TMt2M5mrcBubZDraiev9Cedt6YsU4jGHaIGPBfYWNFc2yc0YjPtMGYLavpDzE1MiU55GJbceGuqX-eQvMGjpPXcS8rxVCjmOOwdbz_bTbc8dA6_3pQ_1uCkjoUWt-QEMGEOtC_7pEOPD5Nbu8jvmVOgV1MR4DoL6jFcJYBMjMcBfHK-siyz-LvB3QXbhlEi0Q5LIYlTVazCi-aRCX5AouwCneQoOa7kRr01LpiwqVts0cNaFlQ44_mE_I9O85vwV1Vru3I_0l-5-c5VZMtfZ-kCUW8fjDYrVdGltX5zF79wCwkNw0u=w448-h796-no)

Gluten-free pasta: $1.98

--------------------------------------------------------

Sprouts (thursday):
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/YIwqQZ0w8jDxJe8V_Q4tAIlm9kgUYJga_0GkwG8KustvIC_BWlfKteJmFY_67p83Y9jCAefnStwoyCyYSh8BmqlRFLZUQqq_J37MRxK7X057cjrIUha0lM_KuKSigCwOa2L5lkQlFxN3AIpNKpid3qxArIUsT9xQMveALJ0H_0U_uQbBE08c3ZQkKgHGP98MeFEhmn_1jyczx317naNm0MXsFExVFyzo13foP8bF6k1kSA6sbKxb9mK6boPMYvSF9ob0dYgxGhtRkiO2UIzOq3HcfX3csm-MrUWee-8Xb3tcmJwsME3E4MJmqZUst3bgf160EkWbIVviYydf6CcZyaP1XQwp-1Wtlw_3tEspq20Aqdn0M8ojBMPwqlrPH9FayK30jU6n6zlbBQpRmndfPnyCxtmcY8hUCgN9LXL-Cq7K5pmaP7XPml7Z2V6wQAx_9pH2gHjrGOo2QxVvxkz4ROkEE_khEMjNKEYLZm8NS61mO18ry3RA7rozr1-gmPVhZTgD_VO8p2HVOXtwNUWRme76RO2lXKRmcsjCrKTL0gir4o_HWCgLLPugd2v-kq2lZz-VIxoVRnexSFIWOMJC8YoyH_qIKCBwsDamOlmRqhpnupdtF0odlzeh7tV7b0ClI_Cdw8F79uhJ4JTa1DI6n2ZbXffTRUN_=w1416-h796-no)

Onions (5.5lb): $2.78
Corn (6 ears): $1
Apples (2, not pictured): $.69

Total receipt = $4.47

-----------------------------------------------------------------

King Soopers (today):
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/biODd53Bzts3dt2rcekcWyZkdI2xOKPg2EHI_kdOuCMcOnItNHqEe9G1c6K8rdhgxRPhuHSZizcFQkOxaCgug8LAVg0s1T57lGxKE3HqXf8xjcddj6Ra4xgIf2JXh5O0ituIlHFaDyN6xtuwz3A4XF_5bmXm9o0GmDHBO95vDODToA2nrKoB8cqqO50mBzQu65M8hErKk_O2qfi2CMLOnR2a7odm-s6aWzqbmWq0N0L3zRZ-LJ0rcORqfn70drl9ItkwnfDu2I-NhC_j3jlgdqyb-E85osRvwmN76Aa1m3eo8ah3jer_Fy7uv9M5SytJUgNPwNKSsnuiglXdMmHgG0RwxvoQV18BmtafkjbKsE2V_V7cYnQEvHrcnJCMoaFyUcw4C0VsnG-Z8eTv7e-edizzI8PQ7AZVGLJ9FtMOOTX2o2h_aYnm0y0FYdNeJBjQmtkGYRnaYv_Ox9x68N3whVn9sH8nDyyONGGnDiPWwuA3xD-oG1sj-UKqIAtOGjUViPvAu9NpcKBLoiRMst40spDxXRODD1085oqDvmRhiEQafP-koLEC_xF-vt-W8fjWNZSDNF0QK5zTP5ehcdN_T3RL9qfbKMjGYJLp-Tt1Py5w7-0OYHjsP7-QwQ_WNuWfYZ0tQxcXD24YarkRE0iu8ToT4aAioN1d=w1416-h796-no)

Watermelon: $1.99
Milk: $2.09
Larabar: $0 (free friday)
Vitamin Water: $0 (free friday)
Cheese: $0 (freebie)

Total receipt = $4.08. I was hoping for a better markdown price on the milk....and I could have gotten fat-free milk for $1.69, but fat-free is just *eugh*. King Soopers seems to have a better selection of markdown dairy than Safeway does. It'd be nice if the store was closer-- then I'd be able to swing through more often and check the prices.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on May 31, 2018, 05:45:35 AM
I feel like I've kinda dropped of the edge of the map for the last few days. It's been crazy. I'm sorry. I've been trying to get the new basement remodel furnished, plus working pretty much every day (and later than usual, too, since the kids are out of school and don't have to be picked up at the bus stop).

Fortunately, I haven't been doing much grocery shopping either, so there are only a couple errands to bring you up to speed on. But first, meals:

Friday: Beans-- did beans with tortilla chips, some lettuce/salad on the side.

Saturday: Sandwich night
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/QxS0CwwDjEASEUmhXh59iIIFru9EChU-2Rm6cRAohNg0m6lvdAX-M1x9bV2RUOs5bedBBTq6rR1XdI_CgmMDq47k0A554SaXRey3n6XFzsXiRJzGmIXeDCeZwVRU7IRUdGT121YsjY2LIfhEo8NQDNGJVoZLm8UB4tTVXXUk9pfckXlwcMSJqMEc--E9uy9RuIsrSHzZSL5-w3EIbZU6N31gDlgoCu1KHs0_KI_gir-5uHJ4W9pJFOOEGDNjTPVIUmxeaLRxT-cbfPSFqBYhJyYPATj1BYCAYJIP369KZpWmyQywqs9utzHrZpW5_cmfECnd9GH7ElWGyjkSx60mP9dr_Ww6pbbhDyv9uxBmemd5hjoIigAH8xl13ahNC7nS8mlFg96R1AAfy-EMQb4l1XGBwtsgHXzLwqHRfgY0g3Ods0gVlOa2u0ToPL9Eo5_A_C_gPXGbFCDvLyHCY8fD66KmxA5Ub-RAF2pGyLDBSuGbKD_ER_5TBhYv7-zTKr_v_MOl5U6ldgMLbMySLreCcFk1ES-dvlzmxo_5S_E6yuizw6jcWfOJh7wAEKfcfVlbtAbC4O14YQimRT_UZ2Qm25xXAAEnA4-GdtT5a7GeL95hoxw5y5PEs2F6Y_NVyRv2RNtliMNCr2hFS-2b3vlNk60i5xO2FU2b=w1416-h796-no)

Sunday: Leftovers

Monday: SO pulled the whole chicken out of the freezer and roasted that, along with some corn-on-the-cob.

Tuesday: Leftovers

Wednesday: Spaghetti
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on May 31, 2018, 06:04:25 AM
Okay, groceries:

We went to Walmart for supplies for the basement, but also pick up these:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/oaSFGQ9bcXZY37C0YyWo9PJTQYDoEz6L1uMPMWVseBJ4AbubArmXH1qZXGKeD5x6dBFIFu8EqC4G4jKjpg_SAElXsnsrWJh2TTYz9aULORDzsULiu4PpVq0tUDFLEhaD4Jul0zPZGanKf09iHKIHFZOrG2lp71yXBa-71l-UPuH89NWBkbM5wiXacknurwHKJSIbX3ID8PWYxhjqDoCBswC4AGw-wWdrw_z6ncVptWW7pRgBCqiSbL5jQ5OoGCthj1U6wjhDYVrFz21JfSg8IIVu30iMbnPuROzuxDfYhWW0TguZBg1AsavL0QoG8DYTyJc29h4rRIsWCvCzc4Q5gTAeocI1e-6AzTzR69uXaMRZ4g_MT2KzDwNTlQ7ZNrTSqhwWoHT8aFPRvsGKUMb-HusUIpCccITqQtYzqWiw8lTaUCy4yJI-m9dJUJv_LHNZ_JmXGcQYwEcuGkM2197Acnwi8j9REXafVe4VOhSDzD4o4DYPAx9CSxkx4eIMInLQVTHUJfDx2iozytmO3YVOKH5Ov38CfLpUsztXBN097JLIACyTNzxEeiOpWFE0fsQRyJO_DHyprzoi-TNMxGkIbusXdGMBVvE6ygC6HVujkBUYnJVxLYXEgQlculg5IsOI0G3R-0Xv7xCYg-tcu1GPRJnccXGNgdxf=w1416-h796-no)

Lime juice: $2.48
Popsicles: $2.48
Gluten-free pasta (not pictured): $1.98

Total receipt = $6.94. Summer is starting to get into the swing of things, so the kids will enjoy those popsicles on hot afternoons.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Also, I got to snag a last few things that had been missed in the tenants' freezer. Plus, I was the recipient of 3/4 of a leftover pizza and half a sandwich. I work with the people, so not worried about weird germ diseases.
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/a5cbSu2geMfpGrYXNVJHGcfpAtlOrLp65fT91nNeF0BmMrogmSxSrEzl9HLkwePUl74RPA6LUFfkjXRPQT1r9dPnM7zO5oPdkpo80UFXklYsGuPBtuKSNCih30W1S1OVULXZz7UTa6U3Zqwb4LI5DNDmGTxZTVUoIs3F8RWaI7YCptGzTgNicPJYfjind9JBqKI_9XPZUcHjq7voOjNVCNuOFYhZ4OuSNlthNxSds2Dm2heXn1Tnz_0CLaAoNquN72mKhn38I6NHCo15qYlDk3S47v7YWAyG4r8fUYT2waPkiHGj7D7gQAP-X9DArj9mPgEOiWdQ5FkWMiPF0t3bGfQ2eB6-thCs2geJmHcvfbgghGIKh0ogSkgWnudbNKiRaHY-UfcBCxUvCVYp5wUmGjLpksMIZkHj5xFHHDzlT_GQark8VtrWhwbLrCuEGI0xZZpF_QElFXrUP_n_wONx6W4ACrDXopGPBDUbPXJqAGP2KuunqY6yqnw1vhcFlNXxsIy4QvC84I4u5c7NL8pmIjv4ZT81_QMPf3GW1cBbObaMgT4BwzSUiEeLECk8E53mqrEDsuOab7AFBYb7BASOPoL3FO9Dsrk5scj2H8YUKaljsk9LJWAx0cKnfZmP2TcglGwtbU2qL_qUVrnfstu18Q2MNPggcB-z=w1416-h796-no)

Pizza (wrapped in foil)
Roast beef sandwich
Boneless/skinless chicken breast (frozen)-- probably 4lbs
Ground beef-- ~1lb
Frozen chicken strips-- ~2lbs
A few deli-cut slices of salami
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on May 31, 2018, 08:56:12 PM
Dinner tonight was beans. SO and the kids did theirs with tortilla chips, I did mine in tortillas:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/5J27sBqKIKO1FWPnau7yzEfhGey_hIlhZD5C0n666QklPbaRlvGLSjvcYpnY3N4g8Ctt4ipwzBJModqCAUbS55ZSPKNdcFPDfPjIFfSNOlcPaysBx4JBWaeW-GQfS0noudut2x1NNKgVQxGfmQNqu6Ein0DCnJ1IxBNabeufaZbXFQV7fnYx56qccl8fcBEE50U1H21_HOAXhZ2HRmXfcvsuGcBxHqQnNf671lO2cMTcfmk_LQ8P0R3LB7E_xpVAIMqVEsK3Gb2e2Gx33QNqNlUWGhUtAmNK92VAjgoKfquIxIwC1EN9NXnFNesV15jXMefKskfP65p7de1nOPNaLtMq0L_I6XrAyf864C0D8iUpTJplYWIMNbbOKQ1lKwslIf82ogIP5XbZHcPUQd6rfdfdvwY8Lpuc1v8WAIajiYja3xNFG2IbnagezVCGBUiHAVVmoZydEtpCTWp9xPQ5gAmw5yI8fRpHvRjROJppEohi7OiBoZoRNdJGDX1S46U2NjBg9YUK0UC1Lcb4GDH25ZjKSanx1dP8AE4Fe9_9QHOP-m9zCr1T9UurX0tV71xS0IN8kjzsbUQ1mZZeKxq6T12MhiOrFOPwYKcbbqzhdAW6g64RBWsgZrbw4_LtPYG0GTt-WaZisA83YTqjNfjp9NrlYJ6Y-fBf=w920-h517-no)

Beans, tortillas/chips, onions, tomatoes, salsa, sour cream, a bit of lettuce and a bit of cheese. ~$4 or less.

Also, I feel like our chest freezer is somehow suddenly full...maybe I should have gotten a bigger one, lol! Between finding fruit on sale and freezing it, having some make-ahead meals put up, and all the random food I saved from becoming trash, I should only have to buy fruit/veggies for the next while.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on June 01, 2018, 05:57:25 AM
I know I've been a bit terse these last few weeks. All of life just happening at once (basement remodel, work winding up into full swing for the summer, kids getting out of school, etc) squeezes things like this series for the precious amount of free time in my day. I'll try to keep up a bit better-- one of the things that I need to do is take some time and actually plan out my weeks/months so that I have time to accomplish all the things that I want.

Another plot twist for this series will be that we're taking some (much-needed) vacation time. I will be saving all my food receipts for this too, and I'll try my best to continue to post as we're doing a bit of travel. Forum posts are a bit tougher to put together using only my phone. I do plan to keep y'all updated. And finally, I do think we'll still hit our overall average goal of <$200/mo on food, even though we'll be living pretty extravagantly (for us, anyway) while away from home, even though June may be a little higher.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: StarBright on June 01, 2018, 08:32:17 AM
Thanks so much for keeping this up!

I haven't commented a ton but do check back regularly. Enjoy your vacation!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: LittleWanderer on June 04, 2018, 08:18:47 AM
This is a great thread.  Your updates are awesome, APowers!  Enjoy your vacation!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: couponvan on June 04, 2018, 08:22:14 AM
I love those ice popsf.  Yum.  Reminds me to pretend my kids like them so I can buy them and eat them myself. You're grocery bill amazes/inspires me!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on June 06, 2018, 07:30:48 PM
Went to King Soopers:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/ml4xbqrTzOO-WYq-y6HVRjilSAfdsrQ535tGePUtW1dhsV1NE3xnK0KsVROc00NGdaGBmnOgd8fXJXDRcUxu87gyqSKyEV7c29VNnxgQVNOMTTwqeFaVd440cwuc9IwoH2PRKnqoc6JoC468kKJ04yz76w8eyoO13WnpqaERt44HFER9jbgXICvJx_NnEZW_js5YjWRLAIX_Ut5Ln0fDYZKxb7u2K-Zu-DnLRNznYuSN9gh5bwGVq7lCFxn4RO223GhDe3YQ-WcVGZk_oY2aUFjZVZ7h4TMsBvPPGSVyr3EViPIQQlXkz_c44fPsAd2wQXQpjmuP9J0Uac1PgTToAe-ZNTa9f9teOKRFtwp2uv4-Nfh-RWuMv_Iv7aMPA01Xg_MGVq7s1UEGvwOoCZl2lA1IXynBWqQxtE-VVStOANHVNCSCGGXkNLZVvSdBVvEyug2zpqe_MBObIpzYEfRdyG-sUv6OL4qZ16C5AudAGTEFtxOX6DMnrY8Xhk10HrlxFg1oCsNfd1HT42PChEbnWxqkqtK-7u75mXnmmP67bMb5j5nRILva5vwqBYfAFPInHuj5Hpsjh4YqmRPnRw5MBMS-0VsT8c6h5YfvAQ0QZCKS4ZkqokW6qMwriPHfYEdgnSR1BS8fCcfP2aDUNfKcUuwEfHnqoNDQ=w1416-h796-no)

Sour cream: $.99
Chicken: $15.05
Sausage: $4.47
Peanut butter: $0 (freebie)
Milk: $1.99

Total receipt = $22.50. I was happy to find sausage on markdown, since my freezer stash was getting a bit low.

---------------------------------------------

Also stopped at the discount store and got gluten-free blueberry bagels-- I needed a gluten-free bread option for packing road trip lunches, and that's what they had.

$1.99
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on June 06, 2018, 07:45:48 PM
Day 1 of road tripping

Lunch was packed from home

Dinner at Costco: $8.48 (3 hotdog combos, 2 slices of pizza)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on June 07, 2018, 07:18:26 AM
Breakfast is provided by the hotel here, so no cost to the food budget.

Kids really enjoyed playing in the hotel pool last night, as high pool admission prices make swimming a rare treat for all of us. I got up early and had a chance to practice some real swimming in the pool by myself. After reading some technique articles and practicing... I'm better than I thought I was, more out of shape than I want to be, and while not great, I can clearly do better than "not drown", which makes me happy.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on June 07, 2018, 01:26:06 PM
I can't seem to get pictures from my phone to upload. I think the image size is too big. Oh well.

We stopped for lunch at Wendy's for $12. Burger with no bun for Kiddo, chicken sandwich for me, burgers for Girlie and SO, plus fries for all. I'm kinda bummed that Kiddo can't do dairy, or we may have splurged even more and done the 50 frosty special. Oh well, it's not like merely eating out isn't luxurious enough, lol.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: mm1970 on June 08, 2018, 01:21:22 PM
Breakfast is provided by the hotel here, so no cost to the food budget.

Kids really enjoyed playing in the hotel pool last night, as high pool admission prices make swimming a rare treat for all of us. I got up early and had a chance to practice some real swimming in the pool by myself. After reading some technique articles and practicing... I'm better than I thought I was, more out of shape than I want to be, and while not great, I can clearly do better than "not drown", which makes me happy.
It's funny - for me that makes a vacation also.

1.  Free hotel breakfast - because I go down before everyone else is awake.  I eat and drink my coffee in peace.  And I don't have to do dishes!
2.  Hotel pool.  The YMCA is just not the same. 
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: rdaneel0 on June 08, 2018, 03:42:35 PM
I love following this thread! I'm not usually one to pop in with unsolicited advice but baba ghannouj/baba ghanoush is the food of my people! I have noticed a lot of really silly recipes lately and you mentioned all the steps and the poor result so I thought I'd share how I make it.

First I roast the eggplants whole over an open flame on the stove, I do it until the skin is quite black and puckered/peeling. I also choose eggplants that are on the smaller side as the really large ones are often less flavorful in my opinion. After the eggplants cool I peel them with my hands, the skin comes right off for the most part. I don't bother removing seeds or anything! Sometimes they are cooked enough (if eggplants are really small) at this point to mash with a spoon, but if not I roughly chop them after peeling and toss in olive oil and bake in the oven for maybe 20 minutes, then mash. I add in zaatar, garlic, tahini, fresh lemon juice, and a little olive oil. I often do this at the same time as hummus (which doesn't require the oven but does need food processor). I also love to make falafel from scratch, so cheap and delicious. Usually I'll also make lemon potatoes and tabouli for a full meal!

Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: OtherJen on June 08, 2018, 08:55:34 PM
I love following this thread! I'm not usually one to pop in with unsolicited advice but baba ghannouj/baba ghanoush is the food of my people! I have noticed a lot of really silly recipes lately and you mentioned all the steps and the poor result so I thought I'd share how I make it.

First I roast the eggplants whole over an open flame on the stove, I do it until the skin is quite black and puckered/peeling. I also choose eggplants that are on the smaller side as the really large ones are often less flavorful in my opinion. After the eggplants cool I peel them with my hands, the skin comes right off for the most part. I don't bother removing seeds or anything! Sometimes they are cooked enough (if eggplants are really small) at this point to mash with a spoon, but if not I roughly chop them after peeling and toss in olive oil and bake in the oven for maybe 20 minutes, then mash. I add in zaatar, garlic, tahini, fresh lemon juice, and a little olive oil. I often do this at the same time as hummus (which doesn't require the oven but does need food processor). I also love to make falafel from scratch, so cheap and delicious. Usually I'll also make lemon potatoes and tabouli for a full meal!

I want to eat at your house! I love Middle Eastern food. I make a lot of baba ghannouj in summer but haven't tried blackening the eggplant directly on the stove burner. Yum.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: rdaneel0 on June 08, 2018, 10:47:52 PM
I love following this thread! I'm not usually one to pop in with unsolicited advice but baba ghannouj/baba ghanoush is the food of my people! I have noticed a lot of really silly recipes lately and you mentioned all the steps and the poor result so I thought I'd share how I make it.

First I roast the eggplants whole over an open flame on the stove, I do it until the skin is quite black and puckered/peeling. I also choose eggplants that are on the smaller side as the really large ones are often less flavorful in my opinion. After the eggplants cool I peel them with my hands, the skin comes right off for the most part. I don't bother removing seeds or anything! Sometimes they are cooked enough (if eggplants are really small) at this point to mash with a spoon, but if not I roughly chop them after peeling and toss in olive oil and bake in the oven for maybe 20 minutes, then mash. I add in zaatar, garlic, tahini, fresh lemon juice, and a little olive oil. I often do this at the same time as hummus (which doesn't require the oven but does need food processor). I also love to make falafel from scratch, so cheap and delicious. Usually I'll also make lemon potatoes and tabouli for a full meal!

I want to eat at your house! I love Middle Eastern food. I make a lot of baba ghannouj in summer but haven't tried blackening the eggplant directly on the stove burner. Yum.

Haha, I would love to host you! Definitely try blackening the eggplant first! When you just peel and roast the eggplant it can get a kind of slimy consistency and it doesn't have much depth, when you blacken it there's added sweetness but also the flavor and texture is much better! To be honest, the same is true of okra. I know many westerners find okra to be slimy and kind of gross, and I've had gross slimy okra too, but if you prepare it properly it's crunchy and juicy and delicious!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on June 09, 2018, 10:07:34 AM
Gah. Somehow the post I had written yesterday got eaten. :(

I don't want to try to recreate the whole thing again on my phone, so I'll recap:

Thursday dinner was at my sister's house, so no cost to the food budget (also no lodging cost!). We did baked chicken witb roasted carrots and mashed potatoes with salad on the side.

Yesterday we got to the Airbnb house we're staying at with a bunch of my siblings (little sister's getting married, yay!). Did grocery shopping for four days worth of food with my brother... $315 for four dinners/lunches/breakfasts for 13 people. And these are nice meals: bacon/eggs/pancakes/waffles/etc for breakfast, sandwiches/leftovers/snacks for lunch, gourmet pizza/pasta/salad/Mexican/etc from scratch (we like cooking, so this is fun for us).

That works out to be $6 per person per day. For ALL meals + snacks. So. Much. Cheaper than doing restaurants. And more fun social interaction. None of us drink much alcohol, so that's a lot of money unspent; though even if we did, we'd still be making our own drinks instead of going out for them, which would still save us money.

Last night we cooked tex-mex style-- tacos, burritos, etc. with all the fixings.

Lunch yesterday was fresh French bread with meat and cheese and a couple apples on the side-- $10.27 at WinCo, and we had lb of cheese lb of ham, and a whole loaf of French bread leftover. WinCo is the best!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Mezzie on June 10, 2018, 10:10:40 AM
May groceries came in at $101.74, but that's largely because I was cleaning out my pantry, my roommates cooked a LOT and shared, and I ate out more than usual to the tune of $146.42 (!). Total spent on food: $248.19.

For June, I'm already in $81.89, so this is more normal. I do have a one week training the last week of June that includes catered breakfasts and lunches. Their breakfasts tend to be too sweet for me, so I'll probably eat at home in the morning, but the lunches are usually great, so I should save a bunch then. I think $200 is realistic this month.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on June 12, 2018, 07:02:35 AM
Saturday night we did chicken Alfredo for dinner.

Sunday was an early afternoon wedding reception (late lunch), so we did leftovers/random stuff for dinner.

Yesterday, we did up some awesome amazing pizza from scratch.

We sent a full paper grocery bag full of extra food home with one sister who lives in the area, and we're taking a few thing with us (leftover gluten free bread, etc); we can't take much because we have limited trunk space and a lot of journey still ahead of us. We're sending the majority of the leftover food home with another sister who only lives a day's drive away. So. Much. Leftover. Food.

We'll do lunch on the road with some of the leftovers that we're taking, and then dinner somewhere...we haven't decided yet.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Antonn Park on June 13, 2018, 02:00:07 PM
I'm trying to get my grocery bill down to $200, but since I started avoiding gluten, excess sugar, and non-EVOO oil, my bill has increased. Don't forget about the "grass-fed" beef or chicken and organic veggies/fruit. This all came from reading Genius Foods and knowing that because I have an increased risk of Alzheimer's, I should be careful of how I eat. Does anyone have any tips on buying whole foods and saving money?
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Mezzie on June 13, 2018, 06:57:49 PM
I'm trying to get my grocery bill down to $200, but since I started avoiding gluten, excess sugar, and non-EVOO oil, my bill has increased. Don't forget about the "grass-fed" beef or chicken and organic veggies/fruit. This all came from reading Genius Foods and knowing that because I have an increased risk of Alzheimer's, I should be careful of how I eat. Does anyone have any tips on buying whole foods and saving money?
That's pretty much how I eat. I think once you get used to it, it's actually cheaper (mostly because you have to make 99% of your food yourself).
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on June 14, 2018, 10:04:55 PM
Dinner on Tuesday turned out to be the Costco right next to the hotel. $9.09

Wednesday breakfast was actually PBJ and apples, since the hotel didn't offer breakfast. :( It was a swankier hotel than the last one, too. Oh well.

Lunch was a stop at Costco for gas and lunch meat, since we had bred and cheese still. $11.99.

Dinner was Costco again, $6.56 Wednesday night (after dinner) we arrived at my grandparents; we'll be here for a couple days (leave on Saturday).

Today's breakfast was fruit/cereal. Lunch was leftovers/sandwiches. Grandma took us out to In-N-Out burger for dinner, so that was a real treat.

Tomorrow, the plan is to be out most of the day, so it will likely be restaurant food for lunch and dinner. We'll see.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Hirondelle on June 15, 2018, 04:38:42 AM
I'm trying to get my grocery bill down to $200, but since I started avoiding gluten, excess sugar, and non-EVOO oil, my bill has increased. Don't forget about the "grass-fed" beef or chicken and organic veggies/fruit. This all came from reading Genius Foods and knowing that because I have an increased risk of Alzheimer's, I should be careful of how I eat. Does anyone have any tips on buying whole foods and saving money?

Some generic advice on this:
- Cut out as much meat/dairy as you can tolerate. You mostly don't need it for health and this will be one of the more expensive parts of your diet when bought organic.
- Check for what products it makes sense to buy organic and for what products it's just a waste of money.
- Select your supermarket; WholeFoods is totally overprices while Trader's Joe has quite a bunch of affordable organic foods.
- Beans and rice are basically the cheapest thing on earth and do fit all your criteria.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Cool Friend on June 18, 2018, 07:56:42 AM
Strawberries were on sale: 3 lbs for $5!  I've got all my fresh fruit for the week :)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on June 19, 2018, 09:41:10 PM
Finally home! Yay!

Friday we met up with my uncle's family and cousins. We picked up some sides to go with pizza from a local pizza place. We had a nice dinner and catch-up conversation. $9.32

Saturday was another day of driving. We had to go through Las Vegas, so we decided to cruise down the Strip just to gawk, since we've never been. Seriously, it might be worth going again at some point just for the peoplewatching, lol! Anyway. We did dinner at Wendy's in Utah for $15.97. Then another hotel pool, yay!

Sunday was a shorter drive, and we stopped in Arches National Park, staying in Moab for the night. Arches is _amazing_. We drove around the park in the evening, and then we were able to do a couple short hikes in the morning before we left to make the last leg of the drive home. It is definitely worth a multi-day camping trip at some point.

There was a Denny's right next to the hotel, so we went there. That was a bad decision. Only 30-50% of the tables were full, but it took at least 10 minutes just to be seated. Should have taken the red flag then, but I was dumb. The food was reasonably okay, the waitress seemed friendly, but the wait seemed interminable-- I was seriously measuring in my head *Hm...x minutes to the store, x minutes to "home", x minutes to cook....I could just about make dinner myself on a hotplate and a microwave....", and the check was messed up too. Ugh. Some days I'm happy to pay $30.06 for dinner. Not this day. Anyway...moving on....

Monday we did Arches 'til lunch-- picnic in the park-- then on the road again. Drove through all the pretty mountains and did dinner at Chipotle. $26.82.

Today was pretty much a "sleep in and do nothing" day. Picked up some bread, lettuce, and tomato and did sandwiches for dinner with the last of the cold cuts and cheese from the cooler.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on June 19, 2018, 10:09:27 PM
Sprouts for some fresh veggies:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_uacZQe47HvliiEB8k8Llunz46vh13UNIlIdJ-aVhXHbLC6P2PuQJ4FDIKaFRskRglJloZn3Sc-HbBDUhOro2PlyKhMRBbkW4IXs4m6V71BvHIlpt5ngNH8I060LVg0qanlXxjWiPvB3-5M8sVHMwUJBpsOUQY8wyxe7PMjG-Nq2vGCazDaMtb1JrNz1eVXjqQmFKXk5lOf_7iYWc0txEidTIKMzFEA6frP4Jx3c8DQDVEfbwG169451xPPFWCwiy0FhD-ZfVFH4Ojb8xn4WI2IiFZLIYKpZb_ouafWqvwyhwsfjxWwiBlRN4TgAO70DMDcR3is-7ogOnuaq5M9a7dc3g4GK1YsHzvrziei6tHWVgGPHWUEQZrF4KCq4FeqFuvlbIKJO25xe_PNCszIdFXuKk0v6xBb-2QAdtWXNewvfAlCS3icJF0XHWdFaqnH3ipWO69wHwMBdOC6UyTkfFSM8Z0huMdi6Fad9zbPw-5_utikj1bumiDkIZj5zuKvQ346V_RD2j5DBlwyXHFqWs_r7hXiB8UUGqHX7Ma4IgCRpci08z4Z9k5lWAt2zM72olUowAJm4zWPHjvAxv0_8H84O7zn1Avmy5_hld0-ZtsCvecXECNLmAxyjX0hUOFHkjNvI439wPEfUKjTPwGr_jXnbsSeMMKdW=w794-h447-no)

Lettuce: $.50
Carrots: $2.99
Tomatoes: $.85

Total receipt = $4.34.

-------------------------------------------------------------

Discount store for some bread and peppers:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/1NFwI_XF4mdbG7wt_oPbq4C1yjY1de5cKY6Z-iF1p6OnW7BkPBtnNDt0UgxiQOZOBAdouBb6BjJFhUfcaoWLOvanX89yBwPAXda1tfM461QVqmnvL5jbrBy-ipl7mtnrpU0UbzKAFZrL6JJ8pIPUznW_w9ZaPEJq1ANeFuwZzktBlgbEKme7JO5UYDXmdVawaMlVHaqbu8xRHtGyCsH-uN4dH0ialNBe_kKnD3T1FBoQKdqxuh9PL5c7qnP4kQJ20ujd6MlazPEQ8yRmos9EUABPL-OwyCxa6ZUcQRscV7aS_pgEbxXDlExbdcM5K7Xi5w0pwN7X1ihMUo6T8ESqMAjv10_Uc5M3F0fV7ftHD4ptQzCkbnisv86lQjPv3NZ58vIXmJRl5AqHRh_SCPoSE-fdjBVVD3rXKR9gv7l36r3_vHKlfkTLHADdfS1OaPbHuSh3ddf6cn0V2Sh8CXKxt76fXzJybGHwO1mkatvbyr1dzTZoFGStV39kTY8tJuxH-FvbLRfkI1MZArCqHPtfTM5R9Rvnad8zKkFbjoH_rMj6DvyyiTOWa7qiKgqWP89F48TCGX6tKQth2CxeCvA3NzpWiZB-tnqgvzTK0F0HPqamy-i3mcGcXKvPv6sNQ-ScMOU7BpzpIAVwT8P_2SNPx_jkk0dBxT6J=w1416-h796-no)

Bread: $1.98
Peppers: $.90

Total receipt = $2.88. I don't usually expect to find decent produce at the discount store, but the bell peppers were $.45/each, and I figured they'd be good for some extra pizzazz to our sandwiches for dinner.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on June 22, 2018, 10:41:13 PM
Kiddo's birthday was Wednesday, and he wanted pizza for dinner, so we stopped by Safeway while we were out and about, and  picked up some pepperoni.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/BZBmYjumBu_HVXpa-CKEoO56RpyDXEyKju2-lQu8uSg8d8bo5k2B2hkMoHUbqOLwenlaLwtJPMpXaLfBB06zdMbBe0RH6n3f553VaG_qaiuqgSKLo0NC9h6jdakzeIjhErBtBwV4BmYeB02wf1nufnvIXDPt9fRydA7_Rl6QF5qiMCJ5XEc-zXUlRmaRYdym48HOPzf5QEOYyMYyQ-4sEsDtvEgoJj0JL7pyFjP7R5n6UmdhQ0Ej9CG9mKuXwbYayhJjzs9QtHgByl5uybrBLVcup1BUKGCzi_X4qnGtef-3DwMsZGsIDMvYXkUjpNjDhvlqua47qSmKaI_C1UYbZweqne7gCvz_w0xZ7xPUh3U5mRsY4J-lpiG3bJUcXIk8cUTg4vQ-zsK8vUuplPTVhLHEhGzwnDo692cH51SWnvOwNFu4SjSK-E9KcvJJEgk43L5lbj-DCYI1m2371Zyt2unxna9BdxUvrg0r6Z-5Yk3l3P2bkU6Gglbv4xJ1R-kxVfDLSPl6XMrH43ApzbDwIqWnyg36TTT17ShGcRFMgHj-LQS2kbA5MtvEP8USN9m1nqpnzFqxhFDMaywmkq0dpe8KHAUY0OTvexyCw8nsLgFCA_STQ_vNbWMBJvBkgJbaBnfDuQO6Otk-1cJpio2pQJ3kD1cAKI9y=w1416-h796-no)

Total receipt = $3.00. And then of course, we made pizza for dinner:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/2JmfvFoDU05kAgJ_r3wV7gK3vH55yV16s6XcMky9bD2yyJbnUcQjjH2UaJMv75AlYHrOpzMKsiyAjl9QOf0zoqfez0R9XFpY7tAq9JLouLtiz9rRo_fa9onAeSRZ7AIDuJmXyryT1KNMfjKjFP95GJvN6ydRt1Y5mZUId5YxdOe1XumXQaFhqadJIaP5P4YqVlfVe_SBeUo-JHziHV1GlGjHvkuBTUXrnDhnlIqecU4Cn5Ra45opaLSak2A4w88FMn9brgRotKjahwK3TUxWwlztMlR4KEla3JCG0D1YgKcoxRkYJKmv_DlthaAU0skit1VKNRWvoJU1d5nBe9Ci6JzF5vJS9tV2qY_4LKTPgAqIzXNFl8Ygo4EjPDIvPBa7r9AVkz25T-NGDbaeYntJTM6R-nlOW1lPwiYjTxp4EUAe_VnRM4E4GMjUMNsdDa7unnwDACpu7AQu_B0BvtREKDUsY267e_MHpLQ6ZnKOlesbPa4BDyBkx59RZAoY20r1QfP4Ear3LcQAOEp1KXCNR3XkZznm3JS6QGR7WsbThJXL_UYVjVpG4Ive-E7JFWA5eFqsBt7_LQXol6yZainkVaklUIU4_azNtcgzSzLuvPZImoOoDo-2Lu2JB-dSMnI2RhRFA5dDIfJdobvlIXFLPoZ7KWh-Hl10=w1416-h796-no)

---------------------------------------

Thursday was beans night--- so we did beans with tortilla chips and the last of the lettuce with some tomatoes.

Tonight was pretty hodgepodge. Everyone's been a bit tired and cranky the last couple days; so Kiddo ate the last of his leftover pizza, Girlie and I had pbj, and SO made herself an individual-sized portion of pasta with some leftover pepperoni bits.

Also, we stopped at Sprouts on our way home from yet more errands:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/rare4lAfUYey7pizElIjzJ92-yOFVganE1DQ2v1GBtgPomJYqXFTu1cEpwPzW8HPWdWvawaEcR-nRg4-cqvgPIsLrcPYMeaHCCOxqRMJsXfSVJODsKVlZDxM8gbCeD4-4U4OBZuenXyfC_yTssxM9Ws5S0_NWIRC7j2AxhvW6buffjwgN9rW550ZJKAKsY2KBFjqjGNmmOzzrcJSl-NH3E8XGKc7upkYj-lr7jCmnULNL_PcPjZfpmaaJz9qLNGI3rpm32C08GO6aj50AZM2ouKRM6Qw2wguhpszBel3v8YeOAY70BxFSsWJUW7QckESnujpzZeY_3cKmGHtAFMsGy8_iyqAdgXbFCVaiLLeXaEhvGmlZ0hdzsVAVmY0V-RweTin3cQ36FUSCdk1PMLxWZZ-1pB21GqtjtkQ5rcGJkcNK4XFKrsT7Zd-9qsqqEZtPmWr9IA0LMENX-UkJwMIdQ5JiHUNqIaaCM0zgK7s-jR2DwAOKEfh7TaFFaBZUUyj1TBk13kCCL6n6zKRSeo1ijQ5KZzQijZYTVRG_1anmt-IciVfN-N2_OOFZ85yUwFrGJCSMFAqSvwVuNAoliCePSqu5d7V2MDwOzfmmwyE0yyr1DfM6W875OfgHIdbhVdHGQR3uPZF7m6GpYTJSHRT2N2jfdkDRMtL=w1416-h796-no)

Strawberries: $1.76
Tomatoes (4lb): $4.09
Cucumbers: $1
Green peppers: $1
Avocados: $1
Lettuce: $.50

Total receipt = 9.35.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on June 22, 2018, 10:47:57 PM
AUGH! The house was so nice and clean when we left...and we've been back four days, and it's just a crashing mess. It didn't help that there were birthday presents to open (from grandparents and aunts/uncles mostly, plus a bunch of hand-me-down toys that my Mom unloaded on us when we visited them on vacation). Some days I just get sensory overload from having so much on my to-do list, plus living in a remodel, plus having two kids leaving toys/messes EVERYWHERE.

Ok, I think I'm done venting. Work tomorrow, then do grocery shopping, then clean another section of the house then put the basement beds together....aaannnd I guess I have to fit dinner in there somewhere.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on June 24, 2018, 10:05:37 PM
Couple of grocery errands from saturday:

King Soopers:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/FAZV23eAyBGdZ_hZ51MbkkfSHXxLZUmt4CNpJpIxj9ytKnXXMjWDGSjcKdwY1Db0Pd_02iW967mBnz4IcIG5wzWsiFTm5OZl7c8XyWdwo3ZNZHp2V4bmXPB2fxD9UvhldUZHq3RwrtbOryhJahlqGp536qpH4SO7Qp9gh69Fz_D7haSdFHjgCDY3N6HxBVE7AbvOIT6TjoFnSLVtB11fB1QlxkGTI0eV6ktwiyekbbeY_db9KN329IMOg--fdCvd4r4urS82XmMAPGlVS7nKN9ytgfE0fq_GRatWgNHf0Sg4wST5q4MOSijKA5fxD8UPymrsH5PgMDpHFzp2W4aJ-fLDe2KmBMgIWPnCTUX6yl7m91fSPUIFV87VTOTo8J0DEl4M0yhsdi2NtL16vhE1osa9HhZt8-A5q4Z5VXct6hU_FkTTS-a_uXYcTTyqqQZh4tR8zU4HQuUZjaLAmhCE1i3T8iSTctvb8gIReuR4djpzF9PEQP8dhm2dGF7RU7XyXAPZK5UKy-NE3i9jLOxhbMdBwFSD1NTmgEORDBMp_cmV8GS7go1ZyzRATwm_Hz7iwSePuAEvXWZtVkaxW10sxsy6Hr7f7kXr_Yv-izxyawRbJReUCGphOBrlvuPea40bGlDivJG3g_minvIQIzlpfmAOvliuh-pU=w1416-h796-no)

Cereal: $.99
Cheese: $4.95
Peanut butter: (freebie)

Total receipt = 5.94. Cheese for <$2/lb! Unfortunately, they limit you to 5 items on the coupon. I always watch for this sale, because I so rarely find cheese cheaper anywhere else.

------------------------------------------------------------------

Safeway:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/EowVGZ4h-_ZxqsBOHMpS29o8w_WQrqxWV2qqbMYGkvB3I5i1V5PhMEnmAGmk98ziz6VejxzQlvvvPSiBq0_0khzIneGcbjEIUQbs1847ohA-318n2ODiNoIca11zzosymDKPwopXEhlOqLxfHNXwsRjEIUK5Y6Z9rnZrIvGhpQ44Cv9tjYU3t7hJheRXaddFwW_szQQ41V_yMBwGmUt_USrPajd6uAO95UJjFdaGfp1mwU1SxV8hluxvi95zK_c2m8R29ftDGmYA4iBN_iKRCW2bPIv_2ZsNM_gjwuFsLUVUEF4uteUk-Yu1qSrYh6spv1WhVKklFNbVnflKveFLhqVyNkFIajvIcvTrLwtpxiaKncfYFbjr2xdbaWi1fQ0Q62QZ43DBYDkWuyZ2re7yCYc0OVI3nwvvTx3ue9qJJExi0wfeifJ22_sP-cN-TP1_1mY9EgMFYMLNIqWRcnFQTmgluCUsgv5mY4uh_isRALex0rPfqQmjpQPZIarRL3lTtx7MgNPjnwcgi1ye3o6ruC3gWR9l3fCTbsQ9rI7x0BZExzk49Fx5BLJL4iF9VF12mFjUVruFtPAQVq9Ii2W57DT_HJ9nOf3EiZ7FHN-MHi37qwu_K-qEqWPG9gGqM7E8z1mfWpfLeNE3-AMxO62tfy3Wt4XmdMn7=w448-h796-no)

Cereal: $1.97.
Milk: $1.99

Total receipt = $3.96. They had cereal on sale for $.99/each, plus there was a mfg coupon on the website that I put on my card. 3/$2 is an okay price by me, lol. I love breakfast cereal-- though it's not super filling, so I use it as a topping on my oatmeal for breakfast.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on June 24, 2018, 10:09:11 PM
Dinner on saturday was sandwiches. No pics, but pretty much the usual-- meat, cheese, lettuce/tomato/onion/pepper.

Dinner tonight was chicken & rice with some homemade sweet & sour sauce. SO has figured out how to make it from scratch (well, I think she uses ketchup as a base), and it just makes the whole meal twice as delicious!

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/DXV-BA-1cbjAWjcgYwLGKHCy0_c3IWpmRZJM5jwNKIzLUdEgwHj_noy0OhlqStA7_VkhmHGj_jCxzG45_SRBR3943N5cIbgsQfHS_AEz1g4NU7Zx03amu1qmR5j8qS4lenjlAqHT5t6hCEgI0EsEpgxPNkO848rEJ0GdncqeCCP75tUrgMlNSjLCTQ7KUpTeAfwN0pvIId0zQTBMR__alomwz8O3kLwXD0M7W7EHzBrY87DdixWju4PTSDs5bDALHiYiArpr2JjyzDILLpSoIMa_RNwQm9rAfQtv3k3o5Ekl17vQQ-lmkMQ6gFY_y39VmosOaVolabfKEu3zmVG_doSSN1GOHwnsw0LON49qmQRzhefa74aZZQM9JonavGa8IhJNXD6ZMWFtRrpfcEQxJ4v3a-nvWN-hNkXdKlSRXb5wsRIu_L0BJBwLswZDY3w6IYn8FeTmtjjEFx6Hdoca-eyBUaeeoEa1hJXbgrfM6uyvvWN1YoNrCrUChystM4dK0VqosURVopZLdiu9ULeCMZAVgdy0ekvNlkGSdV4HOI9xnrGGfJUusMdQJK2liQ61seYHW9AN9g0JgRFXxdGWOZxJ6vDP1-VY31km4aAbCHOiTHm5bMg2rqZbiSRc76Ny8EF2HrSf4G96j06YJtYQ72Ae2gaOEcCY=w1416-h796-no)

Also, nobody else likes chicken skin, so I get all the deliciousness. Mmmm.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on June 24, 2018, 10:43:28 PM
End of the month tally for May. Sorry it's so late in coming! Somehow managed to make this a super-low grocery month. There was a super-fancy dinner out as a thank-you to my mentors, so that will show up here, too-- even though I don't count it in my food budget, because it's designated as a gift rather than as "food". [Now that I've got all the numbers actually crunched, I'm kind of surprised that my monthly average even including that $130 restaurant meal is still toeing my $200 average line. I expected my ytd average to jump way up.]


$19.58 --- Safeway [5 visits]
$11.92 --- King Soopers [2 visits]
$28.67 --- Sprouts [4 visits]
$1.98 --- Discount Store [1 visits]
$18.37 --- Costco [3 visits]
$8.92 --- Wal-Mart [2 visits]

$19.19 --- Costco Food Court
$130.00 --- Fancy Restaurant
______

$238.63 --- Total Food Spending for May.


$124.70 = January
$210.46 = February ($201.28 if you don't count eating out)
$286.43 = March ($277.78 if you don't count eating out)
$185.53 = April ($172.57 if you don't count eating out)
$238.63 = May ($108.63 if you don't count eating out)

YTD Averages:

$209.15 = Monthly average (including eating out)
$176.99 =  Monthly average (not counting eating out)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Goldielocks on June 25, 2018, 12:56:24 AM
Nice!   I am consistently lower the last 4 months, too, although nothing close to you, that first low month proved to not be an aberration, but the trend.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Daughn on June 25, 2018, 01:02:12 PM
Apowers - Do you have a blog? If you don't, you should.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on June 25, 2018, 09:33:46 PM
Apowers - Do you have a blog? If you don't, you should.
I had a blog a few years ago, but I just....don't like writing enough to keep it up. I'm actually kind of worried that I'll let this series end up petering out before the end of the year. I think one of the things that helps me keep it going is that it's very concrete and specific-- so I don't feel like I have writer's block because there's no creativity required-- just write down what I did, and try to make sure I take pictures of meals here and there.

Also, I really want a concrete fact-base I can point to when people whine about how "no-one can get by in these terrible times bla bla bla". I couldn't ever find one, so I decided I had to make one. Also, I figure it'll come in handy on the forum here when people in the case studies or ask a mustachian are like "how can I possibly get my food budget under $1,000 a month? It's sooooooo haaaaarddd [/whine]"
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on June 25, 2018, 09:36:34 PM
Nice!   I am consistently lower the last 4 months, too, although nothing close to you, that first low month proved to not be an aberration, but the trend.

Good work! I know you've been staying on top of the sales and keeping your menu efficient. Keep it up! :)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on June 25, 2018, 09:41:24 PM
Tonight was potatoes night, so I did oven fries with them. The kids ate theirs with leftover veggies and chicken from yesterday, and I put my chicken in a salad with some tomatoes and ranch and ate that with my helping of fries.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on June 27, 2018, 10:49:11 PM
Dinners:

Tuesday: Chicken alfredo pasta (I'm not 100% sure about the sauce-- SO made dinner tonight).

Tonight: Taco rice

---------------------------------------

Stopped at Sprouts on the way home from work:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/fdqWNQSWqz3gjq6ZYxT0PDkTfWuoW15jLASYrPGkSfj27EmOK3iEjgp8u_dKQtSHB3TSwcswYTroK8e9KhvVLlC1AqI05gN5WoVLFCQU0DDw6CnfKZvubhfUDb1b2V9lHfKGoDVLyig46lHMTzfLLfeq6xjOIPOnHeQH1KjyR00XhcMK-5qRkTHa3STppBXNhRYXjh4A5fQXvfRTwC0tHXYhWZ3xSb5U3dl99wQtLtIf0iihVVEHeMkMROXiR1riinsJb0A47u6qsh-rU4jdpryZUbIphNRRDYn499N9Br69gSChJsPfcpdoJ9k27BLZQWmJaGidoZ6i30WuAfRfBgMRC4IyipDX3OenS9f85QRsdyssooeCI_9q56tb0iiJ1Me2Mt1FCZjmay4xYrK4QQQRfYd8MGhHgcuFuQIbrki82xS0HXYaoLd_sOwRsjF3bo0AcT6D3YyNC0JtEh7wY0-pFlI9TeoayTfpsh71y-avjE0eNm15oyJL730Mh2Ov3RbtPULB8zgW_A5IrHLWFS0-2dsir28O0jwZwBRtJiSusXKMGstntpFiTRzIKKwdirE8GcdDSzZEfwvhBWN0xPSBlCcF8f7aWVjQJb5GrXxUfHny2ZE7-fAv5WL31z3cUPXqH5KE73cyIFj645t2fPFJZxPxOHwO=w786-h443-no)

Asparagus (1lb): $1.03
Apples (4lb): $3.45
Lettuce: $.50
Cherries (2.25lb): $2.92

Total receipt = $7.88. Cherries were $1.28/lb, which is a bit more than I like to pay for fruit, but cherries are not often this close to my $1/lb rule of thumb, I decided to splurge a bit. The kids were SUPER jazzed about having cherries for a dessert/snack.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Roadrunner53 on June 28, 2018, 05:08:53 AM
Here is a woman who has 10 mouth's to feed plus pregnant with another and she spends $1,200 a month!

If my math is right she is spending $1.29 per person per meal including snacks!

$1,200/31 days per month=$38.71 per day

$38.71 per day/10 people=$3.87 per person per day

$3.87 per person per day / 3 meals a day=$1.29 per meal per person per day

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PhpBk99mds

Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: JanetJackson on June 28, 2018, 06:21:14 AM
This thread is great, I'm coming in between $300-$350/month for a SINK who weightlifts/does CrossFit 3x a week, yoga once a week and works part-time on a farm and my side hustle is dog walking (thank goodness my day job is mostly office work/body rest) and I want to get this down as much as is reasonable with my activity level and dietary needs.

I definitely EAT, and I'm pescatarian so I sometimes go for the seafood protein options, which are more expensive than the tofu/beans/P. Butter options for protein.  I could make smarter choices here.  I also follow a somewhat specialized nutrition plan which is easy on the high gluten (some is fine), very little cheese (so sad), and a few supplements that I do include in my food budget (a few pre/pro biotics for my awful stomach issues and some marine collagen to blend up with some lemonade powder after a workout). 

I think with my level of activity, a realistic bottom level would be $250-$275, but I'm curious as to whether I could get to sub $200 without being hungry and mad.   

Looking forward to following this thread! :)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on June 28, 2018, 10:22:08 PM
Did leftovers (taco rice, mostly) for dinner, then took the kids to the park to eat a few cherries for dessert and an hour of playground time.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on June 28, 2018, 10:59:45 PM
This thread is great, I'm coming in between $300-$350/month for a SINK who weightlifts/does CrossFit 3x a week, yoga once a week and works part-time on a farm and my side hustle is dog walking (thank goodness my day job is mostly office work/body rest) and I want to get this down as much as is reasonable with my activity level and dietary needs.

I definitely EAT, and I'm pescatarian so I sometimes go for the seafood protein options, which are more expensive than the tofu/beans/P. Butter options for protein.  I could make smarter choices here.  I also follow a somewhat specialized nutrition plan which is easy on the high gluten (some is fine), very little cheese (so sad), and a few supplements that I do include in my food budget (a few pre/pro biotics for my awful stomach issues and some marine collagen to blend up with some lemonade powder after a workout). 

I think with my level of activity, a realistic bottom level would be $250-$275, but I'm curious as to whether I could get to sub $200 without being hungry and mad.   

Looking forward to following this thread! :)

As you're thinking about vegetable protein, don't forget lentils! Also, remember that a complete veggie protein is legume+grain-- so pair your lentils/beans/peanuts/soy with rice/corn/wheat/oats. So you can do a rice/beans dish, or lentil stew with some hearty homemade bread, or peanuts/butter in your oatmeal, or pbj sandwiches, or tofu in your stir-fry over rice, etc.

And don't forget to follow your weekly grocery ad flyers-- sometimes you'll see a screaming deal on a non-perishable staple that you use all the time. When that happens, jump on it and stock up!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Hirondelle on June 29, 2018, 12:10:51 PM
Apowers - Do you have a blog? If you don't, you should.
I had a blog a few years ago, but I just....don't like writing enough to keep it up. I'm actually kind of worried that I'll let this series end up petering out before the end of the year. I think one of the things that helps me keep it going is that it's very concrete and specific-- so I don't feel like I have writer's block because there's no creativity required-- just write down what I did, and try to make sure I take pictures of meals here and there.

Also, I really want a concrete fact-base I can point to when people whine about how "no-one can get by in these terrible times bla bla bla". I couldn't ever find one, so I decided I had to make one. Also, I figure it'll come in handy on the forum here when people in the case studies or ask a mustachian are like "how can I possibly get my food budget under $1,000 a month? It's sooooooo haaaaarddd [/whine]"

I've actually been referring to this thread in every single case study where people spent extraordinarily much on groceries :)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on June 29, 2018, 08:54:17 PM
Apowers - Do you have a blog? If you don't, you should.
I had a blog a few years ago, but I just....don't like writing enough to keep it up. I'm actually kind of worried that I'll let this series end up petering out before the end of the year. I think one of the things that helps me keep it going is that it's very concrete and specific-- so I don't feel like I have writer's block because there's no creativity required-- just write down what I did, and try to make sure I take pictures of meals here and there.

Also, I really want a concrete fact-base I can point to when people whine about how "no-one can get by in these terrible times bla bla bla". I couldn't ever find one, so I decided I had to make one. Also, I figure it'll come in handy on the forum here when people in the case studies or ask a mustachian are like "how can I possibly get my food budget under $1,000 a month? It's sooooooo haaaaarddd [/whine]"

I've actually been referring to this thread in every single case study where people spent extraordinarily much on groceries :)

Haha! Maybe one day I'll be famous, lol!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on June 29, 2018, 10:24:08 PM
Dinner tonight was lentil soup pulled from the freezer. Served with some tortillas, so maybe $.75.

Also, pro-tip: don't go shopping when the kids are hungry and tired. They literally fell asleep in the 10 minutes to Walmart (not grocery shopping); then on the way home at 5pm, they were pointing out the window at every restaurant they recognize as a restaurant and asking if we can go there. On the bright side, they weren't SO hangry that they wouldn't eat their dinner nicely, so that was a relief.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on July 01, 2018, 02:48:20 PM
Did burrito-tacos for dinner last night. Pretty low-key. Maybe $3 in ingredients.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-U8PsTT61e2heha562tTjTkohAz18AqedD7IH047gFolnKhi0sIRysBk4n1bVXGRTJDPI05MQbTj4QyTpr65dJpdYt7Fd5VP8eVIQpjibaXD_3kRBMVslH_7sm1bhb7id5HsyiG6N-C3wyyjuudjM5l0p5EhO4DxaXLC5gqJGYeiLYWjENuMthKtWjD_OzpLAt39wmeQDUDS8evIoSLMJQ7ZwnD0gqmRmoM7DKUTQvLjLhlGI1z1TKF--dvcRMD8FkPeUcNliAwytsThzmTrO28lvFFK3O17LZRp9Io3sOlIYisctnbXTE1dEh7GQdDbuW6xCAZ2M71I3VSMh_bqLU8IFu202ptIfIF1cRzQLTvZfcw6_NVtSObPLN9vVXTURMmyFbx-Gyp22lWW2K0kcN5i2DVpstnyFue__W-qZIfN3-19zq3iAnDhD_cOU3kpcLmA6LXPP9JD6bLn9un6hnyQnw0phf4cGMh9vdUgaq2kHysUWxflg9PAr5KdvbyAV70AigxLcXWxHiiJ2VOATvnoglkjgQ82GlzUG3eSrIInyMEL-K1huHEJZSzoKHppscxbdhgN5H-TKrFLJadln5rsMAcltQ5pjwN6EAeKs8cf-pC0v6nsVfxtWfqWXGpDAJC6PQx2E02MoQdj1R3jfIZilO9IZal3=w1416-h796-no)

----------------------------------------------------

Also did a Safeway errand

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/OZ35d51rIvBI4pIfuKDmXluFw6rfBPDBKJufzaM3_bCA7obkweVuiVpZi2n-VzCBlGuv_DBn88dxuTfcugVwDctPIDjLUIY4ZktxuF3wKH-yaWS_UvgQS9re4tdtaFKSNp43zsm6S7XmUET5d9l1w6ttFPq1nyGro2pbSHvOPWJPFil-VVvLMGbPbLcMbs3s5Vk7TZVrC9Ym5C40_W37NjAAl69W_ap95dXH1TJid-JmZspPOqo_ePy7tWSbmukcr50I8R31Ned0PEsImZFHUjBqvSxrNVGN1E8hBAetaOFJLvEFHS0NiELjwsPJOKtUpfK2HF3_6cIm3vguP10xbOVrPcL3hyxKLlt6iUBXw6wlcXHO57rjpMisVj3pVysnI2SuozuL9YJzWlbeUvcNjtMYB4eZghBoZbMTXPnhlTgXY3EoPR-fnKPfEybt4JYF75jsxmZXTU4AKo8EQhZLBDrvl8uLY6z6eOW9lX_o-spsLRnEEH5bzZChExMnteWSftkoHAESy-AlBAzc_ha3zl3TNVTqWwjJAWbCv6hXfT0a1I84MM10fDun6i6x-5g-itoEv9oa3bYPBMVwfVnBDdnn2xxKktjEc4HrawKp5Qu7ZQiwZ_lqcKCvurVNcC5plWd1m_W_WCC2yQVPi5NCxMr80BgBDgy0=w448-h796-no)

Corn: $1.00
Ground beef: $22.33
Shredded cheese: $0 (freebie)

Total receipt = $23.33. I had originally only gone in to pick up the corn at 6/$1, but ground beef was $1.99/lb on a manager special. Couldn't pass it up at that price. Then I got it packed up in meal-size portions-- about 0.9lb per ziploc. I like to flatten them out so they're super-easy to defrost and I can pull them out of the freezer right before I start prepping dinner and they can defrost in the skillet.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/OChEtssOdBcBnLfHjaIMGdIn3t1CmNCwIzB9BPNsvDz1BsvM-3fuaZeLdgUoJfo3MQOX7B3bpQq51QV7VpbkmLfcNnLvcQFPCRpibuyxUIU7HfvV-VCmvXUBWI1E2uc7dIBXS3S02kQB-0Megguo32u2wqS1cfnIh4OtZ_fYDcdOSmFC42RJpqCdBe6Gg0dOmLO_8vH53Tz6uz9_Dkce5Hazgm0Q3gNVMcwdPZ7iT8Gi7xFwrPHDnnYYXS906jEKjIBH46TSYD-BSjzpuxK6ni6QfnnAjdKxKusubh5JvTkMpnRDq_rIW_7rmbGiVBnWDvx9GU8-SeMtSsxo6BwMYmIBzRrCMxReJfrvlXy0hewYg1LrRjsiKUY58SFvuGpqyaFcHmkR8I3Oyd2OwhOl3WgOfq_ht4ugh_FMnP5MZqzWVikgFmVGx2C2HM6N87CUF0Su6eT3erHdYVuGcTjJc7V7XF5hcDMxi-9azj26stgVSgAqPCRhkNvydiLrnRGkScHs74On17iY3nQVxMvw9S-G_vdyXB4L-0jsiKx39OxneyN_VfizP4Ztum3d0uaQUsBqtQfj-V-kJ2MmMrTwulIzmrNh90lMjAM3q9N_ZZ64uHunFDASVTHSiE20vX_4FKx5kM5gmjQwywJQE11iqLWbOeYWbJ-X=w1416-h796-no)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: robartsd on July 02, 2018, 08:45:55 AM
I like to flatten them out so they're super-easy to defrost and I can pull them out of the freezer right before I start prepping dinner and they can defrost in the skillet.
[/quote]
Plus, I bet it makes keeping the freezer organized easier.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Trifele on July 02, 2018, 08:59:47 AM
Thank you for this thread, APowers.  Badass. 
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Megs193 on July 02, 2018, 01:50:12 PM
Flattening the ground beef out is genius!  Not only does it thaw faster but its a space saver. I buy my ground beef in bulk at Costco. Its a little more but I think the quality is excellent and I am definitely stealing this method!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Roadrunner53 on July 02, 2018, 04:29:06 PM
You could also cook it up with onions, let it cool and then vacuum seal it flat then freeze it. I do that all the time. Then you are 1 step ahead with most recipes that call for cooked ground beef and I love onions in everything.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on July 02, 2018, 06:35:09 PM
Quote from: APowers
I like to flatten them out so they're super-easy to defrost and I can pull them out of the freezer right before I start prepping dinner and they can defrost in the skillet.
Plus, I bet it makes keeping the freezer organized easier.

Yeah. It does help the organization a lot. Especially since I can stand them on edge and pull them out like books, instead of them just piling and falling all over themselves when I go to take one out. I use quart-size ziplocs-- and the grocery store usually packs their value-size ground beef in ~3.5lb trays, so it's easy to portion out-- just 1/4 of the tray per bag. No measuring or trying to portion it on a scale.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on July 02, 2018, 06:45:13 PM
Had a friend over for dinner last night. She brought a salad, and I pan-roasted three bone-in chicken breasts ($4.07) with a few carrots, and served with corn on the cob. It was delicious.

Pro-tip: ALWAYS marinate your meat. I used to think "marinate" meant I had to fix up some fancy brine solution, but it's easier than that. The goal is to get salt on the meat. So all I do is take my chicken breasts and use my salt shaker and shake salt on both top and bottom, and pile them all in a container and let them sit in the fridge overnight. Or for 30 minutes. Or for a few hours. Generally, the longer the better. They cook up SO MUCH juicier and more flavourful. Salt is amazing.

Tonight we pretty much just did leftovers-- chicken, leftover corn, and I cooked up the asparagus. _I_ wanted some bread, so I made a loaf's worth of dough, and then pan-fried it in my cast-iron skillet; it turned out really good for going from flour to flatbread in 90 minutes or less.
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/646coGzVGJfCT4DNaW1woS9Zj1pXtpTNUpNBkxr4qEbLnazGcY4tJrjnAcw1rnzfKTQQv6XYUU2BFIGW53Q_IfYqVStW70I0R1XPuEJSJVqVjvvKg7olXk4jUC88jDd3OSMmgwmqhrSCJIFd4uyeIs2W_E3N2SfQ0uX3mGHGHSoGw1exh_qbPT8gkpFWM1ROjqVRLZLkuaNcUgi_TonTB9iJmREEwsO-eQ3uOK8TBerWkEvkbxlnkwji2pY9b5kZoliT7IlljQzfnox_d68zBt2_RDQQTMTHUYMyZrS-4-U3Cwev4C9thSIRJ1g--F8feHnRabxmCaCBvNLbVbobryXSy98qpAId-YcFKnZON6UU2iRKxehestjJFltC2dwGOJL93LKayfZNguDNnYLP5XB6pcKDd727X9exWVtwoTVhq_KmVuz28qDDMOHPP9W4jdwWhFa-RK6_TcAAT6MKDodo4XTMIbANwFgqBrEt4b5eaxRj9TvmOnGwLcCvgugn7HUY49sxAn9rohTBMiH4dvx5ZEnMcgu8PyQ782LV_qdEFpyiElU0XfXonSOgAGRoer7SCniNrpmmiUF_pNPi11rVTMKB9L6hrWcRSCTT_n37xAncArHI45Bojs8neCH4DuyT4P1lPRpfJTEm4y7jQ7XVeGLRBJof=w1416-h796-no)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on July 03, 2018, 09:36:22 PM
I was gone working pretty much all day. SO made pancakes for dinner. I had mine with peanut butter and strawberry sauce. Mmm. Mmm. Mmm.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/Cfxd0dzWEuB1tyENIz-XWUh9Ec3e4GI_zicVc8BEPj6_1b8dqcVfbkO3MF9_M85lhTHQxhKdsDHUAnjeGhjYpF8UFFqWpqTdhkIcTcJGVv4O4mOznKcNRj5-6LW3PyLZuu6uM08I1BFrtjJin2g08wfQ6-zcTZ45YOC2ELRDYUHPozkWNVPQPX1Szn8KL32LFwk-iwaA6fQ88CIkYBqVcKwT3MYNlsdor33-9g9Sp664wVl_Nok8Anv7T144rbN74FPFMhG7UxYIyWqYBQVgOzyZet012_8CbkXdjQ0KMzo60ZldjKPfkh3c2As3ivuIfN-6pMp3sNZ11A3R28YkcUuX3Cg1KpVoT6YrtUJIUiMIOmJGZcnmWxLxjMXJdgAV2_OfMWbjYd7fHsnELPDhEudQ2siCchz4c9Re6qLmywFc6WugnRSvINhuRB1J9J5YQPVCcbI5SCfF3rkVrMhPqqA98peMEKBBOxRmTfE6_xaaYsHrhVuWlpc-dgRQe-_lSowmxsInyBg7iGcEV2PxiyRqLikSoQ3H-5feah2F9W8MCPeJ-gMm3zQkT9gcbYjtYonSj_lXbeTZI-qokt_i8V44W48XvOJJJe3MCsExBtG4MGvYH5aYHG1Q5kuHLBLyGKrruRkxAIki45kOUei01xMEg9R27v-S=w1416-h796-no)

-----------------------------------------------------

Also, stopped at Safeway on the way home and picked up a couple extra somethings, because it's our anniversary.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/NO8PJGSaz_NFCfkYNNUzigvui8PPqhgMmV3nMrfz_k4dY9u_c9ah7_mWXRaz-9ZJjQ6JieeExYt4mNDKHQUxXjIvUzEd56SSZsV73zHbt03lTmf85C0phklCeDzNbZwebmS4NyxH7pl_N661G91l2XS4YaZ9coMHAwgr3bobAOZ6ko0zT9-1MqDmHBpp66nrkUgsN_6eeCZlUWt4wbumkixKMPwRz_BNic-QbkxDm8BUYrAQbDZD0V3AerKc2TPK7O3JwBKEzEqkKWmeVeMiu4OvuNzHOMrxM3lrWXe_QSPmVukabEsOqJwvm1oj0GwsH88a-ZKRp2i-Ekjkz6kVcrbDl2i2nchVGwI0uIGHEyls2PcEqq3tnoUS9rme_o-lCh_10C2ohlJh9QL0nALnavQ4tRYNvr8DimxSy7V4DZMaK3QBDIDfjZeCUz0dS_Ts08WUXq41TLEvj3Xw5zsJszomDKJ0PAE8lvXv6J6JufiPJcmCr3-8g7qhiHBJytV3_JSpTvqlddrACSigJPUdi3hBlYwWGOSCsMKw3BXPHf715-zXZX2V39nLKi5QEHegzIJVhFC1CDMd18K2-s-yV8hI2K-2_Vb2ZId9yCVGfzifgX44-bEdJ1auELCtiKFihobJKUGKJshcpuSMzpL1vSPGdaiBh7rJ=w1416-h796-no)

Chocolate bar: $2
Oreos: $1.72

Total receipt = $3.72. Chocolate for her, because, well, yeah. And Oreos, because, well, also for her :). She is my favourite human in the world.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on July 05, 2018, 10:23:53 PM
Did hamburgers on 4th of July-- free patties on homemade buns. Was super delicious.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/AeL6Q8t00WyTNVSP1zuk2o0SeTJVRtrFNdLTF0Ve9J1Yjg6fEc1eufzdifi608hOPX9uXxvemfKUibNo5hIbE4_qnxmCOzsIWpDFKpDl9a0MV3ky-z_MWHcAF_YZAu3EAUuqMggR8YoTv2nJqg_zjTcnyCtmZZgPNlOpbuLzpBCCRDujEeSyi69kXZ0se62MXAkS5XUczOOuKb_lczK8-B9G3AGbxnCHmG0G1Wvo2SIZiXwkm3XmY5vRSRF7ez1xn6LSB_kJd3Q9LuxkOmpIyXQUmxsoRhPPcYVLA5VWrZIeZ9gLWCZV50xqXWotZvQbTumKN1O1YMwZb7kWvwBqBQ20L-003H-DsIK2SIuv-Pq47jXJam0NOAf-c25SSfI6kdPrRJJYQSD0ONPR7CDDz-hg8tnnu-iT_1mX1itpVRSsG1f_PinK_oZQMgEaC8Vpn8eTbndU5lQLqKfLNRvxRnI9Gmua7U-kNXWtpgqM2nEd9rds_30ZWOZsmEpziGyRlPNaCQ2DS9oGNQRi0hBRpYf-XT8-tZN9t_0ph8krj6x76nQMa6y0sswhlPJgIEen-HMCqLWOyumm8Vht5uTA0tP2Ql-f3BQzxnwCoKoTPgC4WL7xueNIL64Xhf_FnIINFRueG5q7pFhIN6WdA64mVqh22Lxe2GYd=w1416-h796-no)

Dinner tonight was beans and corn chips. We also did a Costco errand, and had a pre-dinner snack-- pickles, cheese, salami, trail mix, some fruit/chia sauce, etc.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on July 05, 2018, 10:32:27 PM
Costco errand:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/jNIJX5dGirNOH91LqrtQo8W0wFI_oy1uAp-_D62tLOC3a4uTrusfw926pttzHlfjgpaQfDF7Zs-Ky2M_QtliD67-Zjrp8uV3OVdbkJBgjCOxn-fwVkGlSH_eLgQiPbE6z2SQlwhZf5WT3Zr7GDVXzrxDmh1ovfPPD0IMu-7Ux8aEFpvsB7BnjNEcJUB2X0S-ghUItvQTSXFGFfGLgC4DHvBG68py3xNYldjSV6GnpgRKY30IsmFKMIgHUovN10nMYRN9wwSVOwg3OBOB-0p6x8ecF-K0tD0OTNfDDuYF00liX_lqgSskAe-fF2I5ksiiTbQWCjWiibWVwQOGbJALFZiJX4mxywdGr8DA7n_TXR59mnTsiv8OtkTAyKPNWf5EJAJfhae6kEubQuxx4KYZ8mxJCXgzE3qFn_ScituqlCQNcLouy2za5ZR3xdPi_h9hBh3yAof-CaJ9efnyDUvOLfbodEdhgi3WYBQd1JWixe1W_sBxiT3d6wFtxhNuhbs00alLNRoBliDspyFG4HToLBFAkGI_qyi11_2BnRULSpZEGtbdQ4Sf1qp6dbDYHmMG6Iizn7o1i6hAaC1raDT-E7ah5Kv21Q7zB3qDB-qva5OoNh0VMZTSK4hQz49Wo6LesUH5qvZHpz-mao6l1G6Hcy2_DepQjtJG=w1416-h796-no)

Ranch seasoning: $5.99
Bananas: $1.39
Ham: $7.69

Total receipt = $15.07. SO wanted "real" ranch. This will be way less expensive than buying it pre-made, and much more consistent than my "add a little of this, and a little of that, and about yay much dill..." method.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: robartsd on July 06, 2018, 08:41:47 AM
Those burgers look great. In addition to being cheaper, I think that ranch made from seasoning tastes better than the bottled stuff too.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: OtherJen on July 06, 2018, 10:45:50 AM
Costco errand:

Ranch seasoning: $5.99
Bananas: $1.39
Ham: $7.69

I did not know that Costco sold ranch seasoning! That's going on my list. Husband loves ranch dressing, and I like the flavor but not all the additives in shelf-stable bottled dressing.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on July 06, 2018, 09:08:39 PM
Sorry for the long delay...I saved all the receipts from our vacation, and thought y'all might appreciate the cost breakdown.

Food |$241.66|
Restaurants: $109.02 (7 different occasions. Mostly Costco food court, with a couple Wendy's, a Denny's, and a Chipotle)
Groceries:$132.64 (Mostly our share of food while we shared the Airbnb with family, but also some bread/meat/cheese for travelling lunches)

Lodging |$716.60|
Hotel in Billings, Airbnb in Tacoma, Hotels in Redding/St. George/Moab

Fuel |$480.52|
Stopped for gas more than once per day, on average (16 stops/13 days). Also included in this are a couple quarts of oil, and a couple toll roads. According to Google Maps, this road trip was ~4,000 miles.

Fun activities
National park pass: $80 (we will definitely use this multiple times before it expires)
Arches souvenirs: $10.64
Legoland CA: free (guest passes; grandparents are lifetime members and had extra tickets)
Little Sister's wedding: free (more or less, haha)

-----------------------------
We also managed to forget SO's razor, so we spent a couple dollars for a pack of disposables-- of which she only used one or two, so we still have some left.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on July 09, 2018, 11:01:33 PM
Ohkay.... catchup time!

Thursday and friday were pretty normal boring dinners. Did beans as dip with tortilla chips, lettuce, and cheese for dinner on thursday. Friday was mainly leftovers.

Saturday we invited some (new) friends over-- well.... they insisted on dinner being their treat, since we've hosted them before, but instead of going out, they came over and brought pizza fixings (homemade dough, plus a bunch of different toppings). I threw together a salad to go with it, and splurged on a 2L bottle of soda (mainly for the kids, but what's a pizza party without soft drinks). It was fun, and we plan on doing other fun things with them in the future.

Yesterday, we did sandwiches for dinner, and tonight we had jambalaya (two meal portions squirrelled away for the freezer).
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on July 09, 2018, 11:18:40 PM
Grocery errands over the weekend:

Safeway on Friday:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/8fooZgdq3Y2CIM4wOez3WYgXI8xsD6psDApOB3RbJPgGuB0e8C3s0vFWfPwgJmdJPNyOlMXhHZRkVxpXqCegDeLrsPrI9BMx-S3ZIyCeOjEUXR5X1Oh3pTBNrNsTaJNiuQm5wjMMZ_Z1qLqE5Lhyw82041GO6PyLKxMZNR267dKcld4YxP-k07S_V_UXixg2HVAwpkfH3OcnihkNIfTlPa3kB548h5zU8C4s7Q2h--NJO2L8Fxv-9c2zN6CXI6f1fF4w1ACNoWr2fy8LRhXNqi_bEv3NDBipoBsVA3OQMiPgeO23MavhOdPzri-JBxCSiVsTLnZqMsGsb5lYIF-PV5LVXuxO0VqwijG8b3PLZD6vor4oQKpHCI0eAVZdvRhmguiza1CBGZKK94ZSs-w_yl1I4s-W3vvDBjkH9BVJkMW1nOMPeH_dhTwfsyR5gKfInWW5AsmHNHNJyMEdpXyKE2BNgpEY9QH5W-T-ktDX3T4frOT20m2onvTE1NA851D9l_l4EGWOdTLThtgVBD8UdN7tN7IE4KbB8Ntky1sobw3NwqQa7JIi7SXxRYCW5fQOJmpWtZp9KGdItfGTAc5ywquIYmNH2UDkcqcK-CvghTbGIbNGv5EBJp4g2B607ch7xRRWpekg3KI81L6abzLx_gb4QYSfdAv1=w1416-h796-no)

Chips: $0 (freebie)
Eggs: $0 (freebie)
Milk: $1.77
Cantaloupe: $.97

Total receipt = $2.74. The melon works out to be ~$.33/lb, which is pretty cheap for fruit, imo.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

King Soopers:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/npDJR8BiDrk5Gb7fi-8VhV3rdJnTb4BFiX1AN033waKAZpov_NwPs5BQxGs0wqYBMaYTiWzbGevtwmNYav8mPvV9MRJZ1KUccIvMaZqzPWji3PeZcnah2fltvNJe_I8CTHTiNy4TytCEtFl61PtksOGzcPmW0zYBgVrBY9hwO9OQklSwjgJ4-cZdnL7ismH1r23YHGHPGDkJlqCjVH1vAtOlI2ie99nm8XVut8zS3SRLFsgX5FNui37t3oOAmSKjW25OZFPSXj1dqwU_8BlNnWtX4gs49cgymTBubwfFMEiXIiofzBuGQ413cbXp4hQA9jQmuGGyivBzpRsupnBb4-WuahCJI2wClq6rTgOsqqoS3ws13cKHzOL3SwwOMSMi7TtffTRvUvaVK_gSZSV_grrZNZTP-d0-uea_A3OHy6_sq1clD-EVBvjSdOBdpDdDFC0UZJl9Bv3kVCVrPRlLxHV6-mCe02whRR-F8VytvYOWR2rG-CR8wJThcCqxjwakD0MKM_PlkWokGyyV1whCip8VCjtIQUpuiVtESgwZE8-uXkoe9H9Mx7HnjIB1NRZH7_zBZl-NpAKN2ZDOVy7CSErilt5W8XduekPl97JKtLPHRvU8sDaJ5cwewvoDtFcHL8uMpTKWJBXNh8jxH2hmHjKc3iTGV7op=w1416-h796-no)

Otter pops: $2.50
Protein bar: $0 (freebie)
Sour Patch Kids: $0 (freebie)
Bagels: $0 (freebie)
Butter: $4.47
Soda (not pictured-- 2L bottle store-brand soda): $.86

Total receipt = $7.83. The bagels were a pretty nice giveaway item; I think it must have been a new flavour introduction offer.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Sprouts:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/yGNA7xGgKn8Ww2Glaz6OZfuYKl56n22pXa6z-tP9Oqj1J4LcDWAJ0L2j_cC5TRS2u7kK-ChNRqxGn4wTyCtWjxrr49r7zlt-mpV6NnULJcXAKltRQ3lcRojbKjQXlw2vF5yHqFlUwirtk0tC5ys7hX29jBT_AA3Umb9p_TL2En_AqUW-6S3TC_ETMaQyvL_cVl1in_65oJb3ByxR_8bX_5XW4opZi8e16BRMpkjh41XgI4kh96U1301qhzyxY1SJEVvMzGlmOLSzCmZDVL_f9r1jdFWVaw0DcwGM1IW9h9ddgCPGdDEx2SRtLLo2oCRIcONMmJUdyWY4zZoVNqWfNwx7ImnJtV0ljddo_keADILpToDqcBwzBrzYq0Lii6QeZxsGgoVRMuump5-B-72X1Fl5smemSMeMeaIdmAem8ucXJIDFYbc-qD9ntphKYRIscwJe3GAefFk2P49KbjVhajpP8WP0sWUCkoq3pvIWzMECI6pum2c1xqEF0F8Ljosj81haOxSdekfwcSIpzUsNVcVHnLs_3fqO4G7Y6kucvEthUTKIZpgpOmJ6lDnMo7vwLQuAaDyDBesSVdgvk4RBdZPvia3Mgml_0xBHB3BvpRg-NO6PD05dEogvu84v-WUg6Pgyjkz3ti8BbZfoybLT5qqtC52Hfx6d=w1416-h796-no)

Anaheim pepper (spicy): $.34
Celery: $1.29
Lettuce: $.99
Radishes: $.50
Apples (not pictured): $.38

Total receipt = $3.50. The apples aren't pictured because they got eaten before we got home; the kids were doing pretty amazing on this errand, and apples were $.50/lb, so I let them each pick one to eat in the car on the way home.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Discount Store:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/zqg-2a5SYIxF907kqaJaHgUVh2QwXDD3MFWY_qT7UoME-UsSy57IFkZgeDONQOkSl9JHEGJRgqKoEyf2saqMaLG-SJPjhT6SWYyR0hw6gn4NxSLTw5JPMEjAYlzFx2UBXcSUbMiMno1B_dU6oNodMrWl7VlPc5aHltwYKOcXnpAXCRi6Ut-S-FlKcxfMyUFDn94MHmmmhtgiiMcJazyCudDNYwdTPd81BqxoLhPdscAUPVyLBj4UI710NGuYLUS1uIIxTWI0y9K1F72Hp1Bb7XsbdSdF0hMPyTuGqsFsbhPB-y4Zwp4Hf7h_ttasO3mQ6bea4Xvxx19gdxwQJVTT91ymRniq4C0KwiGWVNaO92tcd_KU_FL1JSEzK3PIPBy8H3aMqozE5iQOWtJDSPGQWg8UHV-tTnbzTu_BnYfeJDPNnfjMbokiDD93hGEtz_PHAcDu0Y97XS6WcAwqFP7hRK0eN0Pv27tRyfk2gLxwu3B2pIHYoy316ucWbthUWqs9TxyLbfBBXazJshyTi7Hf0zXMJ0qJrt8BStxs10j8n-fknDK8qud_HWjQSQTXNmMhYhnauQ2jXoDBLQHQYb6tVZ50QUzftRp45mUux92b0o49JWcTsmcYHH29fKcyDMXCh1gaV2jn2vnVNEaR2ph_GhRc9Zmy5pno=w1416-h796-no)

Bread: $1.98.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on July 10, 2018, 07:22:14 AM
Here's the end-of-month tally for June. Obviously this month is not normal because of the giant 2-week roadtrip vacation we took. But let's see how the numbers actually shake out...


$6.96 --- Safeway [2 visits]
$28.44 --- King Soopers [2 visits]
$21.57 --- Sprouts [3 visits]
$4.87 --- Discount Store [2 visits]


$109.02 --- Restaurants on the road trip (7 meals out; some Wendy's, some Costco, a Denny's, and a Chipotle)
$132.64 --- Groceries on the road trip (Some WinCo, some wal-mart, some Costco)
______

$303.50 --- Total Food Spending for June.


$124.70 = January
$210.46 = February ($201.28 if you don't count eating out)
$286.43 = March ($277.78 if you don't count eating out)
$185.53 = April ($172.57 if you don't count eating out)
$238.63 = May ($108.63 if you don't count eating out)
$303.50 = June ($194.48 if you don't count eating out)

YTD Averages:

$224.88 = Monthly average (including eating out)
$179.91 =  Monthly average (not counting eating out)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on July 11, 2018, 08:20:00 PM
Costco errand on tuesday:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/Gjc3Borzd9oHvcUBXDT7Ze64hAn16bXqfv2_CT93jcR4ofca5XKYktuGVS-8l4dfaA6YkYDN_wfEOKeaLmr5RyiiyeTprDIIpyMqOksy_eGSF4hg1h0W6cD-iLwgd8yLveU70zjHGtZs7MLsaWp_lkBmHy6l9sOIbQwE8JDwkOxepAL2JtpyNmRvz1yKb90ZHeZEMcDwSVpGkD830YYAQ44jUB_KupjH3-CtVv_HeGjdFgCuFiFN-gAuLZv9qzh9HpPbf8Ofijw4Z08FCo38LFmh4Iig0M4zP2KZDxbDD1tJz5WTfmnn8xLUmfSEybyOopr46FlUobSSxazKsfuylSHIocEuFillC9sMqOieSNp896_NJrXHMp1lt8DyUPHfcUevJrwHHELHUYUzpUTxYFNWNAi8wRLXif1LzeDZf7YislJW-IOknTMvpScpDNV_bG2coKUnuWEZHiforNbT9grCPS-lU-Y2M4DyR_2UDtvEn90kBYVLGVNt19QN1UBDY-CyzrjuPHdozZeBLP9rongHoLWR6FoExzsp4nEaleSXknqVYj1YH9DV8cjOQNajd116CiD5NTHTiCbkaq8_3U5UI4pldZlQMs_m5nLxVMCreLNQGrM_8WkniG5x7Cltpe0M-OxtO4RN4X_EBv9__CyFmZqoOmQ-=w448-h796-no)

Tortilla chips: $3.89
Tortillas: $3.95
Corn tortillas: 2.99
Rotisserie chicken: $5.40

Total receipt = $16.23. I have determined that our last Costco bag of tortilla chips lasts for _at least_ 6 chip-centric meals; my "buy it" point for a regular bag of tortilla chips (1 meal) is $1. I didn't expect it to be more than a break-even deal, but I am pleasantly surprised. Yes, we ate the rotisserie chicken for dinner that night. Served with some bread (GF pasta for Kiddo), and a few veggies (kids had veggies with their lunch, so not too concerned).

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sprouts errand tonight:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/GQe50nydfk-mGjLdQge3mixdN7gg13ZYzg_WBfC51BX7y5EQNnWG56Bu3CcEPsJSGUgmJ2-XWfyryYAaPAA1HSK8pEdoqLEnDu_bVMPnpP2vs8p_vqxOp3chCS2G09ixBEFokEiw0z65jM_tl64AhQQyOURIQ7Y2J_l8T4Qb2MJ0ZCLRJle-wEUje5QICwfVa8vAfQRYwHF7925XKqhQjkTZ4leQkivM2fFBguIAJb8MgUsdeKOAi48zm0S5UpvhnnCLwaxgGrwyThDAuJWYfx55a7UYbWGxxDbZJlnvtS0H4RaxKDeilM7Tv-jOQKD1XGdKFNRkLQXDfVo0ZSI3IEA-30ZjVOyzreeKSWTo3LBfvy08IMNuL_raotzAI-PMRgL8bZWrrT2I3OmKrQfH3ylnBvJMoooHWCOYjii_1Roa8XRSojWqZMY-IvT76ADaku1hkr8oHSpUxfbC7k4u3OcCqRynKySS2ouH1Rw2E7f4_REtmw6hoPaRU60GKdRmwQHhduqE9xahPsscvRdUgNY8HhbgwSNFODLICwMx1EIgV_yB10xsSZBcylv08MbKlheBQYLsVGNhmfTqwP4D0URNn4z-hUEb0DL20cTl-wFLREdB-f-WEJ17xHtLE8l7jAFxjsEMF1uastwxwi6DGMfXezQ9Xv4C=w1416-h796-no)

Cucumber: $.50
Red peppers: $1.50
Green peppers: $.50
Tomatoes (1.8lb): $.89
Cherries (3.3lb): $3.20
Oatmeal (7.2lb): $7.12

Total receipt = $13.71. I discovered this morning that we were OUT OF OATMEAL. This pretty much constitutes an emergency in my house, lol! I should have bought some 3 weeks ago when it was $.69/lb, but I thought I could make it another ad cycle. I was wrong. These oats were $.99/lb, so not TOO bad, but still 50% more than I want to pay. Lesson learned: always buy the oatmeal when it's on sale.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on July 11, 2018, 08:29:34 PM
On a food-unrelated note....

Last weekend, I noticed my work truck front wheels were WAY out of alignment. I jacked it up on saturday only to find that the tie rod linkage (drag link?) rod had somehow been STRIPPED out of the tie rod end. Not. Okay.

It took me about 4hrs to fix the truck from start to finish, including doing an alignment. The new part was $36. If I had taken it to a shop, it would have cost me $300-600! Even assuming the low-end estimate of $300-- that's about $65/hr SAVED. Maybe it's not additional cash in my pocket, but it's sure a lot of money that didn't have to come out of my pocket. I have worked on cars before, but I have never done this. Having the ability to fix/service my own vehicle saves me a TON of money, because otherwise I'd be at the mercy of a shop (and even a cheap auto shop charges $70/hr for labour).
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Trifele on July 12, 2018, 04:07:06 AM
On a food-unrelated note....

Last weekend, I noticed my work truck front wheels were WAY out of alignment. I jacked it up on saturday only to find that the tie rod linkage (drag link?) rod had somehow been STRIPPED out of the tie rod end. Not. Okay.

It took me about 4hrs to fix the truck from start to finish, including doing an alignment. The new part was $36. If I had taken it to a shop, it would have cost me $300-600! Even assuming the low-end estimate of $300-- that's about $65/hr SAVED. Maybe it's not additional cash in my pocket, but it's sure a lot of money that didn't have to come out of my pocket. I have worked on cars before, but I have never done this. Having the ability to fix/service my own vehicle saves me a TON of money, because otherwise I'd be at the mercy of a shop (and even a cheap auto shop charges $70/hr for labour).

Fantastic.  You're the man!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on July 12, 2018, 09:28:26 PM
Dinner tonight was the leftover beans. I had carrot sticks with mine, the kids ate the last of the lettuce.


--------------------------------------------

As another side-note unrelated to food-- I've mentioned that I was remodeling the basement. Well, we got it pretty much finished and outfitted and listed it on Airbnb towards the beginning of the month. It booked up really quickly and we have our second set of guests already! I'm really excited that our house can now generate some income for us. It's a new adventure for me, since I've never done this before.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Roadrunner53 on July 13, 2018, 06:33:34 AM
Dinner tonight was the leftover beans. I had carrot sticks with mine, the kids ate the last of the lettuce.


--------------------------------------------

As another side-note unrelated to food-- I've mentioned that I was remodeling the basement. Well, we got it pretty much finished and outfitted and listed it on Airbnb towards the beginning of the month. It booked up really quickly and we have our second set of guests already! I'm really excited that our house can now generate some income for us. It's a new adventure for me, since I've never done this before.

As much as I like the idea of generating income by renting out part of my house, I don't think I would like a parade of weird people coming and going in my house. You might have 50 great renters and then comes along the one scary odd ball. Good luck to you but not my cup of tea!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on July 13, 2018, 06:46:17 AM
Dinner tonight was the leftover beans. I had carrot sticks with mine, the kids ate the last of the lettuce.


--------------------------------------------

As another side-note unrelated to food-- I've mentioned that I was remodeling the basement. Well, we got it pretty much finished and outfitted and listed it on Airbnb towards the beginning of the month. It booked up really quickly and we have our second set of guests already! I'm really excited that our house can now generate some income for us. It's a new adventure for me, since I've never done this before.

As much as I like the idea of generating income by renting out part of my house, I don't think I would like a parade of weird people coming and going in my house. You might have 50 great renters and then comes along the one scary odd ball. Good luck to you but not my cup of tea!

Our basement is such that it has a separate entrance, and access to the main house can be locked. These were some of the modifications I made during the remodel process-- specifically for privacy/security reasons.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: zoochadookdook on July 13, 2018, 09:48:12 AM
Broke single 26 year old here. I live with the girlfriend of 7 years. Together our grocery budget is around 200 a month. I spend maybe 4 times a month on pizza. She doesn't cook, mainly all prepackaged so it makes it tricky but we manage. So far Costco bags of rice and our local (ungraded so cheaper) bulk meat market are god sends. That and discovering a rice cooker. Protein powder from myprotein comes out to 200 servings at 19g protein for like $50 which is by far the cheapest protein source I've found, etc.

Does anyone have any healthy/flavorful rice cooker meal ideas? I eat around 3000 calories a day (instruct wrestling at night/work all day) and find it hard to cook multiple healthy meals so I'm all about convenience.

Thanks
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: mm1970 on July 13, 2018, 11:14:33 AM
On a food-unrelated note....

Last weekend, I noticed my work truck front wheels were WAY out of alignment. I jacked it up on saturday only to find that the tie rod linkage (drag link?) rod had somehow been STRIPPED out of the tie rod end. Not. Okay.

It took me about 4hrs to fix the truck from start to finish, including doing an alignment. The new part was $36. If I had taken it to a shop, it would have cost me $300-600! Even assuming the low-end estimate of $300-- that's about $65/hr SAVED. Maybe it's not additional cash in my pocket, but it's sure a lot of money that didn't have to come out of my pocket. I have worked on cars before, but I have never done this. Having the ability to fix/service my own vehicle saves me a TON of money, because otherwise I'd be at the mercy of a shop (and even a cheap auto shop charges $70/hr for labour).
My spouse's car's AC broke, right before an incoming heat wave in the 100's. 

He googled.  Well known for Civics of that age.

He made an appt with Honda.

He googled some more.  Found the broken relay.  Pulled a different relay, put it in the AC relay spot.  AC worked.
He cancelled the Honda appointment.  Went to car parts store.  $20 for the new relay.

Google says having it replaced by Honda would be $102-$200
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: zoochadookdook on July 13, 2018, 11:29:00 AM
On a food-unrelated note....

Last weekend, I noticed my work truck front wheels were WAY out of alignment. I jacked it up on saturday only to find that the tie rod linkage (drag link?) rod had somehow been STRIPPED out of the tie rod end. Not. Okay.

It took me about 4hrs to fix the truck from start to finish, including doing an alignment. The new part was $36. If I had taken it to a shop, it would have cost me $300-600! Even assuming the low-end estimate of $300-- that's about $65/hr SAVED. Maybe it's not additional cash in my pocket, but it's sure a lot of money that didn't have to come out of my pocket. I have worked on cars before, but I have never done this. Having the ability to fix/service my own vehicle saves me a TON of money, because otherwise I'd be at the mercy of a shop (and even a cheap auto shop charges $70/hr for labour).
My spouse's car's AC broke, right before an incoming heat wave in the 100's. 

He googled.  Well known for Civics of that age.

He made an appt with Honda.

He googled some more.  Found the broken relay.  Pulled a different relay, put it in the AC relay spot.  AC worked.
He cancelled the Honda appointment.  Went to car parts store.  $20 for the new relay.

Google says having it replaced by Honda would be $102-$200

my 04 civic ac compressor decided to seize the other day
The compressor is $200 or so. Labor is a pita.
I may decide to buy it (or not, it never worked anyway) when I have my timing belt done in 10k miles but for now I got a shorter belt that skips the ac compressor pulley and just winds the alternator and crank. Cost $50 installed vs 400
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Hirondelle on July 13, 2018, 11:30:25 AM
Broke single 26 year old here. I live with the girlfriend of 7 years. Together our grocery budget is around 200 a month. I spend maybe 4 times a month on pizza. She doesn't cook, mainly all prepackaged so it makes it tricky but we manage. So far Costco bags of rice and our local (ungraded so cheaper) bulk meat market are god sends. That and discovering a rice cooker. Protein powder from myprotein comes out to 200 servings at 19g protein for like $50 which is by far the cheapest protein source I've found, etc.

Does anyone have any healthy/flavorful rice cooker meal ideas? I eat around 3000 calories a day (instruct wrestling at night/work all day) and find it hard to cook multiple healthy meals so I'm all about convenience.

Thanks

Couldn't you cook meals for your girlfriend while cooking for yourself? E.g. meal planning/bulk cooking. There's several threads on this forum talking about meal plans and bulk cooking so you should be able to find plenty of inspiration there. Considering you're already as low as $200 while using many prepackaged foods is quite good!

I don't have a rice cooker, but I regularly make big batches of Thai or Indian style curry. They are 3-5 portions at a time depending on amount of veggies/tofu I throw in (I know that's not a big batch but I'm a single person with a small freezer so it's the max I can stock up). Another easy rice option is just good old fried rice with veggies SE-Asian style. Have the rice/spice/some veggies frozen as a base meal and throw in variations while heating it up.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: zoochadookdook on July 13, 2018, 11:40:11 AM
Broke single 26 year old here. I live with the girlfriend of 7 years. Together our grocery budget is around 200 a month. I spend maybe 4 times a month on pizza. She doesn't cook, mainly all prepackaged so it makes it tricky but we manage. So far Costco bags of rice and our local (ungraded so cheaper) bulk meat market are god sends. That and discovering a rice cooker. Protein powder from myprotein comes out to 200 servings at 19g protein for like $50 which is by far the cheapest protein source I've found, etc.

Does anyone have any healthy/flavorful rice cooker meal ideas? I eat around 3000 calories a day (instruct wrestling at night/work all day) and find it hard to cook multiple healthy meals so I'm all about convenience.

Thanks

Couldn't you cook meals for your girlfriend while cooking for yourself? E.g. meal planning/bulk cooking. There's several threads on this forum talking about meal plans and bulk cooking so you should be able to find plenty of inspiration there. Considering you're already as low as $200 while using many prepackaged foods is quite good!

I don't have a rice cooker, but I regularly make big batches of Thai or Indian style curry. They are 3-5 portions at a time depending on amount of veggies/tofu I throw in (I know that's not a big batch but I'm a single person with a small freezer so it's the max I can stock up). Another easy rice option is just good old fried rice with veggies SE-Asian style. Have the rice/spice/some veggies frozen as a base meal and throw in variations while heating it up.

I love thai food but whenever I head over to krogers it seems like I could have ordered out from the insanely good authentic joint (massive portions) for the same price as ingredients. Curry I could get down with; a rice cooker acts as a slow cooker/saute then simmer as well.

Fried rice I completely forgot about. Any tips? I normally just throw it with some eggs, hot sauce, canola oil, bag of veggies.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Hirondelle on July 13, 2018, 01:13:10 PM
I'm not any more creative with my fried rice but changing up the veggies and indeed some egg/tofu. I'm also a fish sauce lover so it's a variety of fish sauce, spicy sauce and/or soy sauce. Cashews are also a good add! And some lime. And now I want to go back to Asia and eat it all :p
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: zoochadookdook on July 13, 2018, 01:20:24 PM
I'm not any more creative with my fried rice but changing up the veggies and indeed some egg/tofu. I'm also a fish sauce lover so it's a variety of fish sauce, spicy sauce and/or soy sauce. Cashews are also a good add! And some lime. And now I want to go back to Asia and eat it all :p

Yeah the fish sauce was spendy but it definitly has to have the spice. I can't ever seem to make it near as hot as this local thai place (they have some sort of nuclear government lab thai chili going on). This weekend I might take another crack at it; or at the very least try some new fried rice.

Getting enough protein in that tastes good is another sort of tricky requirement. I eat a ton of chicken, eggs, etc a week and cooking flavorful/not dry chicken in bulk is always a bit of a challenge!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: seattlecyclone on July 13, 2018, 07:00:27 PM
I've recently started following the weekly sales and coupons more closely. Pretty proud of today's shopping trip. I got:

* 4 3/8 gallon containers of ice cream,
* 4 pounds of cheese,
* 12 cans of fizzy water (got mint in the CSA this week and want to make some mojitos),
* 3 50-yard dental flosses,
* 2 pounds of frozen potatoes,
* Some weird milk made out of pea protein (I'll try anything if you pay me to take it out of the store),
* a loaf of bread,
* a dozen eggs, and
* a candy bar.
Net cost: $12.85 after coupons and scanning my receipt with the ibotta app, plus I got a $2 coupon for my next trip.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on July 13, 2018, 09:55:04 PM
Broke single 26 year old here. I live with the girlfriend of 7 years. Together our grocery budget is around 200 a month. I spend maybe 4 times a month on pizza. She doesn't cook, mainly all prepackaged so it makes it tricky but we manage. So far Costco bags of rice and our local (ungraded so cheaper) bulk meat market are god sends. That and discovering a rice cooker. Protein powder from myprotein comes out to 200 servings at 19g protein for like $50 which is by far the cheapest protein source I've found, etc.

Does anyone have any healthy/flavorful rice cooker meal ideas? I eat around 3000 calories a day (instruct wrestling at night/work all day) and find it hard to cook multiple healthy meals so I'm all about convenience.

Thanks

Jambalaya is a great rice dish. And easy to make in a big batch and freeze for later. If you make it with more meat per portion than I do, it's likely even pretty good protein-wise.

On a side note, $1/lb for chicken gives the same protein/cost as your protein powder. Or, 1 cup cooked beans + 1 cup cooked rice = ~24g protein, and I know those are cheaper than $1/lb.

I would give you recipes....if I cooked from them, lol! I think most of the recipes I've written down in this thread have been based on me pausing to measure things as I just added them by eye. Stir-fry is great. Rice and beans are great. I'm not sure how much sameness you can stand from day to day, but rice/bean dishes keep really well-- if I was only cooking for myself, I'd probably make a batch of rice, a batch of beans, and eat them in various combinations for a week, and then switch it up once they were gone. Or just cook a new batch. But I'm not one to be compelled to always eat something different every day. Eating planned leftovers is probably the most convenient food situation I can think of.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on July 13, 2018, 09:58:39 PM
I've recently started following the weekly sales and coupons more closely. Pretty proud of today's shopping trip. I got:

* 4 3/8 gallon containers of ice cream,
* 4 pounds of cheese,
* 12 cans of fizzy water (got mint in the CSA this week and want to make some mojitos),
* 3 50-yard dental flosses,
* 2 pounds of frozen potatoes,
* Some weird milk made out of pea protein (I'll try anything if you pay me to take it out of the store),
* a loaf of bread,
* a dozen eggs, and
* a candy bar.
Net cost: $12.85 after coupons and scanning my receipt with the ibotta app, plus I got a $2 coupon for my next trip.

That's a pretty great grocery bargain! Did you manage to get the ice cream for free? Getting 4lbs of cheese along with a bunch of other stuff in a $13 purchase is some fine sales-catching!

ETA: This was at Fred Meyer, wasn't it?
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on July 13, 2018, 10:00:33 PM
Dinner tonight was rice, brussels sprouts, and the leftover chicken from Costco.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/IxgiQT7cRVC-eGQzlWSUsz9ZvBMfyrm5Tgyi8N8y9H2yZ9ydpQOsbDuK7fJn5SQjdyxMTn-jlVUjlo2d6ljIaLpUlPDWuUkLwN72OSmsjJNSiGxVJFjY8l1CWqF0LjpnRQr_QHi46LTE64IebrNbEm_f1QaTleOmjMyYw_wqg6pTAwUxljf6KMc-8_YRRL-24KJqa3NxPfxc4CorfKnVJ89C3ziOdFyQ2W8JYjkOBu_n9anM43qJIr37vdrxop0zk56e7ORtwYfgsDgUv3Vp_8P4iHmCJ_r74G0rKjlRavOyIOoeGZMvds9_CIa8zd7BlMKf5MDxRRUA6y0-HVnOH4vg05mXqewNLhuS4kBTapylv_whff3spzF6pkpbAme_DsuNdAeojDb_chM8Vcyk4Ym9EEHqg99F7i39DsfKaMAgOr765xEjf6WJtIO8kqMEDb2CPvhgxCRl9UYtw2gh8EpC3BubcQoG_tazs50jFH6kUsfvn9itczKwo7mWyioMv-z8F7HpU5yRGtJIpYIr5bAR2xNRBWTKHl-vJxZxFUSXxVTPs_0BOnrg0kn099bEnKqCziHKNhrUoOFq3bqqDauIduTLW4qJf2IZ4HdAS80oHIjpvTjrq3Nnd8Zi_gZHe3QfAPc17QGHTghzga0Nmd42UCn-47L4=w1416-h796-no)

I added a bit of soy sauce and bbq to mine, the kids ate theirs pretty plain.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: seattlecyclone on July 14, 2018, 12:56:24 AM
I've recently started following the weekly sales and coupons more closely. Pretty proud of today's shopping trip. I got:

* 4 3/8 gallon containers of ice cream,
* 4 pounds of cheese,
* 12 cans of fizzy water (got mint in the CSA this week and want to make some mojitos),
* 3 50-yard dental flosses,
* 2 pounds of frozen potatoes,
* Some weird milk made out of pea protein (I'll try anything if you pay me to take it out of the store),
* a loaf of bread,
* a dozen eggs, and
* a candy bar.
Net cost: $12.85 after coupons and scanning my receipt with the ibotta app, plus I got a $2 coupon for my next trip.

That's a pretty great grocery bargain! Did you manage to get the ice cream for free? Getting 4lbs of cheese along with a bunch of other stuff in a $13 purchase is some fine sales-catching!

ETA: This was at Fred Meyer, wasn't it?

It was QFC, same corporate parent as Fred Meyer.

The ice cream was a 99 Friday/Saturday only deal, limit 5. I wasn't sure my freezer could hold all five, so I only bought four. In hindsight I probably could have bought the fifth one. ibotta gave me 25 back on the first ice cream.

The dental floss was this deal (https://www.krogerkrazy.com/2018/07/free-listerine-floss-with-kroger-mega-event/): $1.99 normal price, but part of the "buy 5, save $5" promotion, making them 99 each if you purchase participating items in multiples of five. Printable coupons get $1.00 off the first floss and 75 off subsequent flosses, bringing the cost for three down to 47. Then if you buy three or more the cash register spits out a coupon for $2 off your next shopping trip, meaning they're paying you $1.53 to take home some dental floss. I'm happy the Kroger Krazy blog exists to tell me about these things because I would never spend the time to put the pieces together on my own. It's fun when it works out!

The cheese was also part of the "buy 5, save $5" promotion. I bought two two-pound packages to round out the discount from the dental floss: a brick of colby jack and a bag of shredded mozzarella. They ended up being $5.49 each. Seems like they mess with the price of cheese every week at QFC. Sometimes one size will be on sale, making bigger sizes less cost-effective. Sometimes they'll put Tillamook on sale, leaving the store brand more expensive. It makes no sense. We go through a lot of cheese in our house and my rule of thumb is to replenish our supplies when it's $3/pound or less, skip it otherwise.

The candy bar was the "Free Friday" promotion they run every week where they give you some little thing free for signing into the store coupon app on Friday. You don't actually have to go to the store that day, but I did anyway.

The pea protein milk and frozen potatoes had ibotta rebates making them free, or slight money makers after factoring in the credit card points.

I paid full price for the fizzy water, bread, and eggs (minus 25 from ibotta for the eggs).

Bringing the total down farther was a $5 off $25 coupon QFC sent in the mail, and a $2 coupon the cash register spat out the last time I went to the store.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on July 15, 2018, 07:48:27 AM
Here's my grocery errands yesterday:

King Soopers:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/BduY4Ybyt0EGgV29TwmnYdMvmkrCXOOa5uUxNsW2JhRhX3eweqWOiue-UPzCIqgUNSXPzmKJjD8fc7TlT0yjgzT0TQCYJRPi7SlPg_dBx_J_e-Zn-grs1fqGSSDvGh8NuWXq2--zI01aVKuvCY7QjDv0I-Z66Owc_5TmkdYxZ3ie2Pgare5bQOvZ93fRd3Ept_tu3v5tD9kB1hYbfsiscBJKvIkKcp9mjmS7OJDPltLRyBdURlB1udDDq0V8KpzS2A0T_1EEN92vyKlcQx3DpBSONrN5mHu0xDaPbzJ_53AecKin4klk40FRv_zJ61hT0PZRBEqG9J6C4FVvLh1q7FZpqHI52NA9wa4xSA5WipV0wcNyfqNUy9YUymh_dH2C8DtO5HhbMsBdn_7rSJLrQbeO-liKB2UlHze6bTH_1_6KI9WcqzNypPUWFPPRvtmui2hrj_oNMaw0Ke-ehAKBUsM5gruYvUfk7FqNMci9zZNTpa3iSldC8QbXB9MRFwo4abbH6rURWFfOuqI2tFdklueIi7eL7FDzEGSiUfTUo3lHx-3nvuz5fK-rAcKRu5YIh7PNuuvS9pY_8d-ZYpRTyjZPPkgniYn54ZVZAiQVqYYA5iX43C4ehmC5NcyTb-P8IkzjjjxCfYbk_yvP5lAl5ArUecvkHxfO=w1416-h796-no)
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/1nJ9NyPqKndtY0n329OpR2YJfhLgF6EVKmWGvIni7S3RGp9CFUnGNNPE8PcP0_q897jOBA9ZlnaJGSpahyYJP75kIkrVc7XehTqsv0tVo2WrGemNgsAXnryVnojz8iPeySSBb2-kEPQZM_wBgO0qmkbzl3qMnXBFchChsqGhbYhxWEvQnxSHx2btGYGbp4-YkzV9HLA7tFcXuInsby63k7nC4jg6R6f0cPsf7RVM-vr48nMJ_FfQUxhp44PBwXVZOtqeeARilSDtLpUkNH_Imrxdov0sfRRizuEoYAuHs6qOndoyib4YdX2hdH0Eg5L1OfEg_B8s78N0orrPSxvoPdwEnAkJFgjxLINcmWGy7xIA9-_aUOwAsQtDDb28GLKcuGVN4WtpPN_qs3kocYQdyzElEtGTlrbRPEn8jYkmJY86mTnTPbJLqRpg1oSLv5E_yUFYyXlyRCllpvoODMTFI7I8W1cGUgnOnrFAFaxgfKMVJyaDuyxv2_8S0MqydEPrtlRWEJdAApmfEWcPiFYKj7qm2jnYJVcvm5JLp_1gBs9hOmu0qHMF-uHlrJmhV-zsaIOMfrmfYHGZfrLnPsFtxrQS094qb_rcHG3gAon3p4mfWoMmeGEvowBDhqOegDX_M3U0Ih-Hcphjor7RtZx69IuDTDwsP4Y3=w1416-h796-no)

Eggs: $2.57
Milk: $.99
Ice cream: $4.95
Yellow peppers: $.99
Chocolate bar: $0 (freebie)

Total receipt = $9.50. After all that talk about ice cream.... My register never seems to give me any $2 off coupons-- I bet it's because I don't ever buy any non-food high-margin items.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Discount Store:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/q_7pFiFzmMKhzW4Q2FjQn0L8JtJ5sz3eJCU2nONQrtkeNb6AlDydvAsS1HCdplTM13VULBGDgFJlXOCDloj1zdA-vHFIG7MrqUStbmWM3Ag9ZTTXbU8aLAFJqfXINjSRvlvDp4NA6lnYgol2IJsboZQrxKp0CNrBKZrY-uNo5mcFJDezNyNg8GRFrzqZs63BMzk46vn3t5y0PiqRGVmKtmFcBI9HhsHvz8EC8j4SI0Y4Wn3g37v-AsPouTea8UP1BeruxiPlkOG7Kh55xy2FtrMlzLqBnu6-cvoVvH2GqjyD8W5-aJd4D4HZmyyqpNYRKpb5UUcLHplrJo_tkSx6Sep9Qk1rpg-IZvub2Gw47h5NDVUTgGwtn7OE-ioVPc_6EPpW13AbT0LAVVeHYavEMpNky4FUr6tKjt_1jIaDbyCzbDqIL-1020w4gQwVD8J4-VodDBUGgAelQY5qCPM0nWbP1ut1O7nAOCepcjB9RO0ygNhfWmUyhbPJ5DmBee3yIy2iGVvvODh863_IE0tqYCXAeifx9aVBxJT5HhyLcghxJ6xpqJBxM2KymCFPJPrpXxzN1mVlkTvjy5OfyMQZGuLK8lJ7MR189iPtt5aOnkujixI1fxP0RUaLhS5Gt5OCKeyCokNxxbBAzVfomKiPxpc5f9zT42Bq=w1416-h796-no)

Bread: $1.98. I also noticed that they had sliced turkey cold cuts in their freezer section for $1.69/lb-- that's the best price I've seen for lunch meat-- which means we'll be able to do sandwiches more often. I'm going to go back today to pick up a batch of them.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Sprouts:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/zKjQUzJ8uSRKqid0aDu5xC75Z25OUzkWpaYPCaOjgMmmULr2-xE-y7_HY0VMa-E4h68k1RIyfqZhuNVCJl5E9--n7mu7_t8jzdAdnChPMjcxRpJfr4vV0prkAZB6QxkkYBoJHiSESi8aeuO5hR8p1zG37ySvJ1K_DPjtumSu8e7oGmt7rh_fNcJJuk7ucACcNzTojp8bnYq1DIAyW4V-E9PlzlUALhozQ35-LXkNTQOGgLPsfK_J0Ys9GKEsgA_SeKjye21JnUlvDesdfQkuBdrAuhleyNBicKpgB_Uc9MWzLRv2nc-9D3HO5VXYBnL7ZqLiN8ltrM3IlfMM38ON3fryaqTtLi6IoRGHa1PBotNMSB2bUWCG0X1JNxNh-6ib3BdqM7KZTS-svi-Zfl2M2V-m1veoNlJxpBqlVkEh6VxoEJI3kdJpPjEr9fXcjcGBGdScicVMCXVjFDVq-4TqhjhpEV4EqfpBVCHoGeEe7gjAzAr5JMG-b9xGrsF3BJhBz2EImiyBJCYwBzaj4kV0ZoioqaDNZBHGeHGQd_YbSnGhZrkX2im3iFmchftwGyNm_4S4n3cB8G6y70zF947CZYwqRR2krjQyRElxeVYPIBXApcVDMQg_xhta2k5R61pnuJqOakK8-m4VDYPWZ3oGZhAQldCGkFAa=w1416-h796-no)

Cucumbers: $1
Green peppers: $1.50
Lettuce: $1.98
Cherries (2.25lb): $2.18
Tomatoes (1.5lb): $.75
Corn (8 ears): $1.60
Chicken breast (~14.5lb): $14.00

Total receipt = $23.01. I was going to get chicken at Safeway (where it's $1/lb), but I happened to glance at the Sprouts flyer while I was in the store, and they had chicken breast for $.97/lb-- so that saved me a whole trip to Safeway!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on July 15, 2018, 07:49:56 AM
Dinner tonight was sandwiches. I pan-toasted mine with some bacon grease. Yum!

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/I4WTSew8X3plAmknx5sKoomU9uYic2fi2cD_TYQ5DpbN5p7GuIlQeOcamGAUUuJne95Wrf3GTLMDzF0zKfpXXIvFZLU0_BFuP37W2WmDWgfvTGSKNjfSbnvUdcMU1d87SC6UnqP7juKGDZZ8jtoyXzXRbnA_WRR9RK-D1d425IkG0FtHuWbY9gbMChNqwKDMYVSBsr60fe0RE91FRCRrHDCrh9OFuSZ1Voo7TsxiRjhPJDkIWUqZpW0gYu6QfNl82ynVcUo3C1SHDWVVyuYmr-LcL7bCuq2sWnqIm8XRS9aYZ2AjwBsRZQw6g9kAfqeidvf763noeLvKdH-106W2xI24b3mlCw8JiyoL6J7gyCmYK15MUnBtrU7ingQIIbt-H_yiVn1Om-k0KljgveHdUf6YExoe6kPNA-bIVIGSLFRGBb9pwHRGJtuvPwSxgoEOkkjdkf4l_5DFqwiKNp-YOgsbDvlmuH2HT36No6F9uamlUe09gg-FoPPdxVZRufEa_wXMD36yyIzhHpiWKBpR2SwDLFMrNeUmkJKjYgjG4h3I2TAyGHOFZOBllsgU5qPiMCxH6eD8nwcQI01pARClV-5ZyzC55vXm4BqVWfHfCbP04RAoc1RzbxCim7vT-0oG6wuzF4hf3VcqUM51fZG5EebCdOi_Iw55=w1416-h796-no)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on July 15, 2018, 03:40:09 PM
Grocery errands to report!

Went to Save-a-Lot foods, which is not really in my shopping radius, as it's further away than I like to go. But they had bacon on sale!

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/QXlx_nyrY8pfCf6MBqCrAnxGO7ydbFeyWLPW8TuFk3MUrJwZHlIYQh6DfuUorpAhcWheQg43BopLq9T50ZixUxuq36yLRLwrVWZycwNaar-380hw3-KZVyWI6RcL5ur6FYMj9bXcFWNN-WksYNg94mwuV_QML0AEf7OiamIg32L4IxrruD7rsPxMY2GOfx2wK1J3NU6ZZQV87DJZRDct3QIcjndkJmha3tslAjSsKQMWv8eA9N1rv9g3LlJSIOjXB6oNmY8MnWYBpVqS5U3WW8Jqbjci3MxwO-GoVBBu8ZSGyeRRAO_5mYoSl1bGmxagxIQfEEbJk6TUTSTDL6J23EH8H8wWWReR0PcFNwKHlm2vMwZG4TngylpL91M_pxX8b6hnaWWaVP827PcFB9jD5rRtad3XKkqfQF3JJaOH5Mrk65ISiOIdc2Bk1kSyG633uvyI3dH4FrFli4zjyqZe5zN2o7YbN1Zow4xA0M_lt7nIHImm-omhBqIr-VhE_7Q7ClBBt2c6_ej9bTS3Yjs_Hmbb9pCq8te3HJ1ONQPy65_A1s60DfJFAkw4YwZR0hIz7ZiDLDPZ5NTsgp9-bjMiILY27k9xR9n6u7uWU4W_Uw0fhoI5c4LnZIDWgPgmzpfEV0ReNlNKdy69rQYQoC6kAoTkjXTtVzWI=w448-h796-no)

Bacon (15lbs): $22.50
Potatoes: $1.98

Total receipt = $24.48. Bacon was $1.50/lb! I don't think I've seen this low of a price in literally years.

----------------------------------------------------

Discount store:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/XxlCrGzDcThB5QsWYmKk4Dx9B_UdfR0gFQdBEDvYoaV29c84M23cEsqtWLvAgvwTbplDtpej4ZGciKRzmAUturF3wD3RAcRCkVb23pAtnt28uCoZh0yTPSGQ1eLpgX2t1UTC5CEu5Vzl2l2jQexgdIV-7Y1ilYjEOZBet1aBiBZw-y86i2w6BXGuXBa6cD-vCnotM4c-y_8xpclNNP_1kBot3kCa-IdTjTuLKe8FgJWiYkCvRU60xkqxER4ALO3Rx1-_GdrDQnoKFUa_JXWbgelDZPx8jYbclZZeqyIO_xbmy6bMd9B8Y-YNV_TBnleT6Vo4k7JblFLw9MlyE6wcE4qnk7Vs8aGSQHVojlZAs7sxNvjn8FRtG2atZlKnFpr5AeLf6qKDaWYlut9Y81rbXb48ObIRNXSZ3Jcg8sCRpmXQyVAx8K2ExefKHfnjq3HrnG82WnF74R7UoOaqMQMkLJV6GclNliPQdeDVEo1XOD4eRZ1NZQQIHn6NWGjON3H5U80I9roF5A91inahJxxz8eRw6rPxeOJxifjIHh6wjiUlM2gQYMMb9JTsQuscelgW7axnsEea40oDFKq91zrKCwxFXqUfheAtaffai9OyW8_STN1ddz3xiUNijrdoBHvN-8e6Po0p2p9AyReU1lH8B0kCKNb-w765=w448-h796-no)

Turkey cold cuts: $25.35
Milk: $.99

Total receipt = $26.34. The turkey was frozen, and only $1.69/lb, which is way cheaper than I can find lunch meat anywhere else. This meas sandwiches (a perennial dinner favourite) are able to be in the dinner rotation much more often.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on July 15, 2018, 03:41:53 PM
Also, my chest freezer is officially full now. It also needs to be re-organized so that everything can be reached as needed. Or maybe we need to start eating from it more....
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: couponvan on July 17, 2018, 05:45:58 AM
So lunch meat can be frozen and defrosted? Why have I never figured this out in all my years?? Lol. I am the only one that likes sandwiches with turkey meat in my family.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on July 17, 2018, 06:02:02 AM
Dinner on sunday...we had friends over, so cooked larger portions than normal, but totally worth it. Aaaaaannd I totally forgot to take a picture again. We did corn on the cob with roasted chicken breast and salad on the side. And root beer floats for dessert!

------------------------------------------------

Dinner yesterday was fajitas! SO made dinner since I was working late. But leftover chicken and stir-fried peppers/onions/tomatoes/corn. NOM.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/WpixFPQbResp9QCIjuIUdacflhQtYvlCcefr4idWt1GZAYrZIOikxDlMoLKT8iY4Hbw7sQvezFT__9_RtsazybinreXP8zETTqTkzs97YHaHNWqddWqgMOYIODT-3QmLm7crpBxCa0lyxJMpBWW3hY32fMdF6JR9ho_AtkNXjaxgrSQwMnIG-WQRTrz3pQHstiDRK4K0BckqboUkhHYZKAvANqKzxloFe4D1BnET_G9qBNCoBWYnrMUtIYZ-wv_XtTraqhHYfa3xayShX7iHJ89iJ-yRCSunBbxcbUfZa5j3GqemkNazrgFFgi0weDvi8N_yMszTqIdxUYQEDyhT7f2xop_bkH25-TConzHjOsVi1D_VDJZw4_qOoWmtmMsUEMWwVcucicuhcsQ7ISS90CbFUwqoHJGiN5OL0qvRWEhdw1DnbzUtdXJ82Ex-XsbfsD-bKlvFd3Ob3Gf5XlxuERuHJH5qjf8djQBsnUCzT2lPjFEXbRku_O65-LS8UUEliaaO8raZVUD8ivMqS0hhbJ61XGw9jv-WyfL0aUZHtfnk701No8ZNtCKQhOJHQst5CATi7hPOyMMPSq9OiqrQcMlfgq69x7KNoUPPzBnvYup-cIzVtugfh9JsdQjkXUgzyVHuxMa1lkUkF-Jzdnv0Ez0tPt5ORgTQ=w1416-h796-no)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on July 17, 2018, 06:06:49 AM
So lunch meat can be frozen and defrosted? Why have I never figured this out in all my years?? Lol. I am the only one that likes sandwiches with turkey meat in my family.

YES! Lunch meat freezes Really Well, imo. Which makes it really easy to stock up on when the price is right. You do have to make sure that you allow it to completely defrost, otherwise sometimes the slices can be still frozen together in the center, even if all the surface is completely thawed. I haven't noticed the texture/flavour being affected, either-- not like cheese, which becomes a bit crumbly and hard to slice after being frozen; it tastes the same, so I still freeze cheese, though-- I just make sure to slice it *before* freezing, instead of freezing it as a block.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: soccerluvof4 on July 18, 2018, 08:06:48 AM
For a family of 4 , 2 Adults 2 young teenagers and occasionally a 5th when one comes home for college we have still steadily held at 600$ a month. I dont seem to get below that number unless I cut out way to much nutrition and or freshness. We do eat meat pretty much every night and that also includes all toiletries and cleaning supplies and laundry stuff. We dont have waste so thats good but I think thats as low as I can get.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: CrustyBadger on July 18, 2018, 08:19:45 AM
So lunch meat can be frozen and defrosted? Why have I never figured this out in all my years?? Lol. I am the only one that likes sandwiches with turkey meat in my family.

I buy lunch meat and have the kids make up cold cut sandwiches every Sunday night, then freeze the sandwiches.  They last at least a month if you freeze them very airtight.   Thaw overnight and put the condiments on in the morning for school lunches, or remove from the freezer in the morning and put in an insulated bag and add the condiments if desired at work or school.   It has really helped us avoid cold cuts and cheese going bad.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Roadrunner53 on July 18, 2018, 01:19:37 PM
So lunch meat can be frozen and defrosted? Why have I never figured this out in all my years?? Lol. I am the only one that likes sandwiches with turkey meat in my family.

I buy lunch meat and have the kids make up cold cut sandwiches every Sunday night, then freeze the sandwiches.  They last at least a month if you freeze them very airtight.   Thaw overnight and put the condiments on in the morning for school lunches, or remove from the freezer in the morning and put in an insulated bag and add the condiments if desired at work or school.   It has really helped us avoid cold cuts and cheese going bad.

This is a really good idea and would solve two problems. We are just two people in our house and a loaf of bread almost never gets used up before it is stale. Plus, at times we throw out lunch meat because it has been in the fridge too long. I LIKE this idea!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on July 19, 2018, 07:29:42 AM
Tuesday dinner was pasta with some leftover chicken and vegetables.

Yesterday's dinner was the last of the chicken with rice and the last of the leftover salad from sunday. I put salsa and sour cream on my chicken/rice.
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/nk1vyFKJMQEKgW1k9PFVuyK4EjJW5rg-bX-cCLWCx3tSUddU2pPB9qc8eBz0EBbPOEZOonHR2vXBAV9_Exw_T-E8wJMSXj9sTrPB5YqEZudF0_WjOdAasCv0QCpagV3kAvJIpMYcPbt8wqzaiPI1DfUZRSoyT-Vt4i6ANFw0Y2Vf8nVsvpy52N9gzxU9mg4_eCdxlOxbQShboDk54v3XpcyBjDi2cgFLtaZeomogjGNyyvBMVa29cDneF9maEzj1F8Ok63Gshy4mmpqxwutuK7jRw-lJAlYY96NJxx2PZwX144812prgxKofL-iRh4r5v-4CniB_rNOT-mX65XSyKR22Yq7pL2Bobr6WKGAEDTf5Nd2scBDtZemS7qlUsjV4uFwHUKO6a_raO7Rsut2PSN3OwxreoIUM-HPTLXHVZAKZQwp3_aWxYuxAIP7M4l6aUWFjXrKWbu1ay3oYDMXtRaBP7z-z3pNFtqiE8QSLNuTLLr2XZXa_r7IIKUHbKxjl34nrHf0B_IQUHSqMtWuDs9vuchhXfljqLBxSiQXFH9j963Ow-Eq6AvYXr-RnF3-UeLYzC07pAshHy8phNmWUtzzeyoHbiTKwRpdgEJe8Nj6bqXfP-zEPTOoHWuIGjEzhtR_4gbWcXyZeeGejRkVveGkl8sJfAyd7=w1416-h796-no)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: galliver on July 19, 2018, 01:01:59 PM
I'm not any more creative with my fried rice but changing up the veggies and indeed some egg/tofu. I'm also a fish sauce lover so it's a variety of fish sauce, spicy sauce and/or soy sauce. Cashews are also a good add! And some lime. And now I want to go back to Asia and eat it all :p

Yeah the fish sauce was spendy but it definitly has to have the spice. I can't ever seem to make it near as hot as this local thai place (they have some sort of nuclear government lab thai chili going on). This weekend I might take another crack at it; or at the very least try some new fried rice.

Getting enough protein in that tastes good is another sort of tricky requirement. I eat a ton of chicken, eggs, etc a week and cooking flavorful/not dry chicken in bulk is always a bit of a challenge!

Bake it at high temp in a 9x13 dish! I used to make dry chicken until I found out that every recipe that has you cook it at <400F and or longer than like half an hour is WRONG. As an example: http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/easy-garlic-chicken-5478?ftab=reviews&photo=384779 The glaze is delicious (I think added more oil though), but if you just do olive oil+salt+pepper or olive oil+chicken seasoning the baking instructions still work.

Poaching also works for tender chicken. I had luck with this: https://www.inspiredtaste.net/27293/tender-shredded-chicken-recipe/

Chicken thighs are fattier and easier to make tender, also frequently cheaper, but still plenty nutritious! Brining, as APowers mentioned above, also helps keep poultry tender :)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on July 19, 2018, 05:18:05 PM
I'm not any more creative with my fried rice but changing up the veggies and indeed some egg/tofu. I'm also a fish sauce lover so it's a variety of fish sauce, spicy sauce and/or soy sauce. Cashews are also a good add! And some lime. And now I want to go back to Asia and eat it all :p

Yeah the fish sauce was spendy but it definitly has to have the spice. I can't ever seem to make it near as hot as this local thai place (they have some sort of nuclear government lab thai chili going on). This weekend I might take another crack at it; or at the very least try some new fried rice.

Getting enough protein in that tastes good is another sort of tricky requirement. I eat a ton of chicken, eggs, etc a week and cooking flavorful/not dry chicken in bulk is always a bit of a challenge!

Bake it at high temp in a 9x13 dish! I used to make dry chicken until I found out that every recipe that has you cook it at <400F and or longer than like half an hour is WRONG. As an example: http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/easy-garlic-chicken-5478?ftab=reviews&photo=384779 The glaze is delicious (I think added more oil though), but if you just do olive oil+salt+pepper or olive oil+chicken seasoning the baking instructions still work.

Poaching also works for tender chicken. I had luck with this: https://www.inspiredtaste.net/27293/tender-shredded-chicken-recipe/

Chicken thighs are fattier and easier to make tender, also frequently cheaper, but still plenty nutritious! Brining, as APowers mentioned above, also helps keep poultry tender :)

Agreed. I bake my chicken at 400F. The breasts are pretty thick, so they take ~1hr to arrive at "done" (155), but they come out with nice crispy skin and are as juicy and tender as I think is reasonable to expect from white meat.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on July 20, 2018, 06:58:35 AM
I got home from work, and SO was making curry something something that she let me taste a potato chunk out of-- it was AMAZING. Then she asked if I wanted to eat dinner at Costco, as the curry wouldn't be ready for at least another hour. So that's what we did.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/qiy3AyME-ntqtprmA3w_trUDB9Y5mYQf4T4w1PEPHLnDf39fm97KhTTy5WutMgCGriDCVYR8X8rRuSwTcj32MwgtQiwADsTJx0v9xz1o7wrdiDry7zvMAQt4Daad1rGG5gQpZ2MFJFibSNzIpv7JUOUuntNvTuxzbHnoJKnaReCwq9Wp9GMSfruKWgP6T_SWE0J5i1gy4t1yPh35wrwOkMjFMTVhQ1MD3YVG8SIzE633Q_D7tGqZji8q2jhEDPNfhNYOccKh-21p6cXDDpEZL4Hklu5MTV3uPj-RZ6isSO1QJ3XIkC9AoyfrRdfG-2Sdi3UWGC7lnZ5sR2ChRCmciDHddX6cI3F_qCu1BpEO0aePib1b9H88fbqAFZDXS5Yows5sk8iSu5EH5HNV9V_6UEgTlndJgSxhyyLUi8mbPSEZ6lklfzc0v-rGmmdbuJCjviRDW5Fct9A_Aj63EgdNjlkrNKpnjw5h0_Xnub7ipfjfp3prMxl5Du82CdUZy-GOGFWZMWzIKaMlwBvKr_P09gOGWJHWoSuhFPr1Nrsjuw1B_qmKR2W6skzufZ0uwMbHxRcifu3Q-Qwh8fV0a76AZ59Uh_-i7ks-iWt7g1D9WXY0mjv6enkHR7crhH4jeXM5GRg0S_WXCTes0W1Yzy2-I0sotoIKtlSS=w1416-h796-no)

Total cost: $12.39. One whole pizza plus a hot dog for kiddo (who also had some potato pieces prior to coming to Costco).

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Also, a friend gave me a dozen eggs from his chickens-- fresh eggs are fantastic.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/wJwg1tuhtxokLiLqANyfdVAwnCpPovKt9bJq3dyo9FlXEAeCqEGP1qkiNjgshav_9YBN5pOqm0N9yfroJiDuBWNkUpggtdnCtu4h-JRAe_hG5JvLjmmOQPsn625yLzh_EHCdwSYeMU0Edxiur0K-eMSfLxlEPgVq_GmJrVe1lkbqTEmOAE3wd7T8gQHQEjHm3q5qAlxhnM_X_z0989_Z69G9aYGFii2gChZXF5azbHuruHZ7e_gBxgkA7gH1tH72Xgs3W2594XbxAehP8mZtBpdm1K565LqwZONdbZNzCTy2pmjH7rAR4gjRu2fduQIjawbNHmOy577gmQYeoBG2CzRd_iPniyl8zogm0aDRCEPsU7sVbQU3ANMVGoQVI1YCNOGYU4gsOI5etNyDMVnilodtASjpGAMZxM1EqrUQJJHSl6lhX2A7JIhXm89pZnkyIpEgtTHnZm3DB2dtH3ywqG0nfPj4DQhYBNZ2ZAb19ExhA1Ap4AH2w6jBxQvg9npNsH6jyg_NbBPabhW0sjeg7JO7COYRcdiyKTCFyf2xGomNNDYxnuETQ7iqNCPmN1IrzCpbzRvMj4igJrXcrr8CY31dVYn3u7d1jbeP8Gd_AEZ2AB700cg_Sl4R7RLVeNDivaoEHlOi4wM6uHS6r_l8XP0N4-EaUYJ_=w1416-h796-no)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on July 20, 2018, 10:08:02 PM
Did SO's curry potato stew for dinner tonight. Chicken broth, potatoes, garbanzo beans, tomatoes, curry spices, all simmered together. It was delish. NOM. The bacon on the side was also good, but -- I don't especially like potatoes, and this curry dish was GOOD.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/FuTmF9kRUfK-m2yfl70gG_Wag5Ua4Fsvw_kOudEL-iHmyL5Imy9r21Rws1vl74WWABkuJugeej619a7zMM5zjcbdGpmq0kEuko316LeA8flPCvKv9lZcFVBBQnwtWf92_Gia4vOAmtQvb4xQGDrjYMuVI72lZK0s8yHZftEd7WMkBVru83UJ3cXUYJAz2cYlMAaMYIhc99fCrLgEmZpRYcz792Yo77-76W7v35r2HGQBNmT5WlK2TE_pA6ZgXHbcjpub2lMeaSfL4Vu0jOEXmaeq0hzY0VpmyLoH-velXuCHmbjKDBWDoW7Q3Y8cnycWzFdNWVsts1jmJ3vd-T25WvP5fAqekU6u2bPiMfuKpk_lKY--RpeZEAefGbBgRhWt2YbLDbWfBBduz6KLlisWdHWgeE1mXhi3IAGKE3keWQgsWHzhf2OTxGT4dfuGN3wtAgsU9CW2c8c1yyW_Cvm_SgR9jyO-89_JGS8pomvP55esjl5kyZji5nQYvaD-ZZnqsENBdFBRXFIqOWa6yRJwEQWFwZP-EUwETYmZ1od8AQQlD_znU0_AgC7O8pcxQ_c0oqkNwUFgcJ6RoIOEJ6e3VKfjYg1ogP9XdfJhct1rtMkQ_IgcaFBo7PJ76kGEC_kcXtjX-31kPTZvgV5OF56DTPw0qNW9x8GO=w1416-h796-no)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Roadrunner53 on July 21, 2018, 04:24:29 AM
I live on the east coast and can't seem to find any deals on butter for a while. Every once in a while they have butter on sale for $1.99 a lb. but when it is not on sale it is creeping towards $5.00 a lb.! Anyone on the east coast finding butter anywhere on sale? How about Aldi's?
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on July 21, 2018, 07:06:02 AM
I live on the east coast and can't seem to find any deals on butter for a while. Every once in a while they have butter on sale for $1.99 a lb. but when it is not on sale it is creeping towards $5.00 a lb.! Anyone on the east coast finding butter anywhere on sale? How about Aldi's?

That sounds pretty similar to how it is here in CO. $1.99 isn't too bad. I think the lowest I've seen was $1.49, and that was on a weekend-only Kroger coupon with a limit of 5. You just gotta stock up when you find it on sale-- butter freezes really well, and lasts forever in the freezer.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Roadrunner53 on July 21, 2018, 07:12:46 AM
Yeah, I buy it when it is on sale but dang, it almost is never on sale! What is up with butter being so high priced theses days?
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on July 21, 2018, 07:37:43 AM
Yeah, I buy it when it is on sale but dang, it almost is never on sale! What is up with butter being so high priced theses days?

I dunno. It does seem like it's on sale waaaay less often than it used to be 4 years ago.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Roadrunner53 on July 21, 2018, 08:18:59 AM
Yeah, I buy it when it is on sale but dang, it almost is never on sale! What is up with butter being so high priced theses days?

I dunno. It does seem like it's on sale waaaay less often than it used to be 4 years ago.

I used to pick it up every three weeks or so on sale. Now, probably every 5 weeks it might go on sale. Next sale I am hoarding up big time!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: galliver on July 21, 2018, 10:02:26 AM
I live on the east coast and can't seem to find any deals on butter for a while. Every once in a while they have butter on sale for $1.99 a lb. but when it is not on sale it is creeping towards $5.00 a lb.! Anyone on the east coast finding butter anywhere on sale? How about Aldi's?
I think it's $2.99/lb at Trader Joe's (normal price, since they don't really do sales). And it's tasty. I don't remember seeing butter around the $2 mark in a while...but maybe I gave up tracking it and just settled on TJs.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Roadrunner53 on July 21, 2018, 10:34:35 AM
The last time I bought it I got it at Costco and it was 4 for $10. Costco is 20 miles away so I don't stop in there very often. Do I drive 40 miles round trip to save $4 on butter? LOL!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on July 21, 2018, 03:06:02 PM
Just did a bunch of grocery errands. Some good sales this week!

King Soopers:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/UDr57uOyaJxa0jmZCeEQQNI6zMHpd_ES1YZfFnOhTXB2KhtqTf_rd7mBKDFvMrGvf9a29JR3frOT1vHHvQn7UOMtVP-vxiNHgZamRoYLZ0MlLHimvBG-bdCnsILxoYzXWNr835qiKspeTKcBETkAlxg0hxkWNs4urhxpAKf9_MqU4rR99ldf58jMDUS3Fb2kejv33z3iBhGdFVc9LbpYyZTxflzwwTc7nD_Mrt_4F8BUGm7--f5UySFLn1CrP9H0ykmsteOQKKuZ6IR-JPRpvaPxsFeEmpbS4jaR3r8-AgrF5graXthwRI5GM0Ztp4WwQRtdVpAP-a0isc2fM5-IrXJJ74rVpbppfdbKtmX9c5ncRoQ_Sot5MIJRYofAlEpIRROVJU1wyggyO9jcbjRb2UvWgX3Pt_raIGMsYm1wYEQvPnFoQFXxrZZjFELKY5gT9Vh4tA4_HjJPGbNzYC6jV57sjc_T2MCsg2PIYJvZ-zI3QEjutBC2Rlfy8dunhsis9HeXQX_4ALYtqCwDLtPsAKxyK8WQ-mSgZnkqx25BQkSQRB7NcgE11iAwjfRoQnFCFhl1BhedKHGbPnYFIyZLHtN_MwfupeOwSkCDeNfg3A-W-mNtQzGBOPm5qhEG8GNNGqPnfl-RcFrQ3wOiAQNRlBqYI8Hv-N9H=w1416-h796-no)

Cheese (4lb): $8.01
Ground beef (3lb): $7.21
Candy: $0 (freebie)
Corn (12ears): $1.50
Popsicles: $2.57

Total receipt = $19.29. I almost didn't walk through the dairy markdown cooler; I'm glad I did! $2/lb for cheese is a definite buy-it price. I'm planning on slicing the log of ground beef into burger patties for a future hamburger dinner. And corn was 8/$1!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sprouts:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/xBmLqx4ttjAoCkdkQH6C7QwTCIq1-NI2aS305heBPR1TbMY8Es5GhrKj7aNcb4UgpZ3ZJpUOwbkmhdO5jTzIcDRiY-n0cO6K9dMhCbzHwvQHLlanpErsBiHiTnAciQTj8yTtCrhJEeAYr9o9i7DN-FncohxaHFTYj-K4IkEwD7MyPzCrfwLTkYBRLjZV8YV37SUxvq_yhpO29UgDc1RQm02DAwJwyXYO0VCWud40ix4nFOrPgIJ059a08gD1Qo6kPyoXztAFTRrDax8s_vuNr8wQrb6qE-4j8-sG5CTsPnI2AKpWZ6KWDKxf7_mAHaRRRGuNjr4sDwxaME4t_MvsnzJ2ByStRg5qL7DFJ1OXhiUeiUAArdiw8OjBLg_xkt88kw_Sqc7Y6TiInyIzZHvyA3SahQHaUEESzV0HOUAgmzPMfSRsPbgUkza_A7AY1Gnj3KfrtjT8WTLoleFyT5_RPMQF8Xm_0vXYJJL6tyhIVI0-lQ1MlZdomB7MnZvrbp2vSvKWQiFrnjdfZq3rVePz6alTUR6fVHYG74HULf_rW7xTid2MtlvWhAvWFkcf_APreJmZmKdeWT99PxcL2kQSlz6SCLzr_TdldL59HqagFXBWT1KVlDsICMAA4cF5S0cJsWkgj614ObJuGWKaYQS0PKueKxx8-00M=w1416-h796-no)(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/mF-PK52o3xVqujQDCtflr1JzBwpUo91A25w2gSJ9e_2RVm9h4fsY0DJImNFcd2lW92AVA-UDdTTz1VChXrqpeTaafxqpsOfFcWAllcRFXoKGtO9CSuKUQIo_X4PKQPz_4fG9kG4LgA6H79EGsiy_Y3YjB7GBZo4HSMpSR4fxVbuPtxf6YuOAw1VfJ5FgBKf0olPM1k1C4Y-hCfvE6ZknA0vQarAsTJz9mZI8bHEyAYp56YqYC-lv8dvQTbQjgaIfmlZpKcYYVbYmmt-a5ZsbrP971cfePbZDUPRHTreSikjZCfiB6nujGMAgLz-mf_QwcXw9mQUgLjDXWhbPXnesEdiPp99UknLLfCGIBigPddNiQ4wE2OqcdIJBT9kwywiszTf6lVUr8lB_sSV9Wwnhj4mW_pSf6kr1rgFp-efoCXDAbyu7VlGE6vVW7Zhnfo7zSdO4wjAz150_-johyOJ2xS9Uv6kZ6vCUNQRUFeaXYe97Kd5w9YGxnuQISM8_F2g0FSHxfZozSVwggNbRAAePLgiU8dVCrJP05aZqvlllj3a2IZZtGC3B8HN2eYGG9nvKzE5Q6UqyT1TEvRDbP7EAQEPrZHYR3kbFIVxb8a7a6WJ8Lkopa0o4iPukirKwwv-Q4o4Bq0kf2EGb9TWmq78eR_h655KxxTb7=w448-h796-no)

Blueberries (4.5lb): $7.92
Pineapple: $.98
Lettuce: $.50
Cherries (2.9lb): $2.84
Mangoes: $1.00
Tomatoes (1.2lb): $1.21
Oatmeal (50lb): $34.49

Total receipt = $48.94. Got my oatmeal stocked back up! Also picked up rainchecks for cantaloupe (75/each!) and peaches (88/lb!). Blueberries are the best price I've seen in a couple years; I'm hoping they'll go on an even better sale once blueberry season is in full swing, and then I'll pick some more up. This batch, I put about 4lbs in the freezer for smoothies or pancakes or whatever.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on July 21, 2018, 03:20:19 PM
I also thought you all might like to see what I do with the 50lb bag of oatmeal, so I snapped a pic of my buckets before I put them away.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/7dRsDo-x4OadtxZxJUWDSY441_P-WM19VGe5iX6AA43FULMtjea88zvNmUfVfKJs12MsV28JN672PDzYivI7jr6sbdhQ9oI57E5TcKW1WRMb6pGTKZBqMuR1OqBSAb56EYZ5PDNJYAGfCZaxtbu6iARFW89jch00LBx2qF1riXzNrLpfpBCfdzu7DnkL-5MYl9ZXy90qqAdQHzNiXHzQkaQmxJoxIBiq7SAbc3LoipXsyLa7uaVekR0jZDNL7L0CBskbl6VQ9eHsK3nXSVkJdIx9hb6BX9wx7Sx6vF7P34zee5xLY6-cQ9CIv0H5GJXV8Jo_ELunnVNZ7aozn7PS13zlhP6LG_dA1Ikkh5Hec08IRnIP7I40s-8WdYHCUg-4ackkjflLfVWgs59LTd319RR4etcqma08W0qtBQRpYnDfvoRCrK_dKkXVzT9wigThaDSEii6Y7AXrPf1Xrshwr55SuDLX4FnRLgTIfSWP4W1EjnCKaYswZ6THH0Akh8ph6M8J4hLai3Sq7ziOCSQh5fMawKtR3A-ZpvjiXeCF7vmdCvrq1nVDO44ekKor2T8vEg75FoAzqzYTN_CuP4a2mACyAUFWu57g_id_A42hud2a5fk3BfIJPTIH8ZpqpuleM9CnjPS4VRkwj5DwIC32DVsHIUJmiXcD=w1416-h796-no)

50lbs of quick oats fits *exactly* in my two 5-gallon food buckets, plus a gallon container that lives on my countertop. Yes, that's a repurposed Costco popcorn jug; it works really great for oatmeal. It's not so big that it's unwieldy, it has a nice handle, a wide mouth (that's not so wide I can't pour out of it into whatever bowl I'm using), and a rectangular footprint (easy to tuck space-efficiently into a corner of the counter). I think I probably refill the counter oatmeal jug about once a week. And yes, that's a repurposed milk jug that I use as an oat funnel; once my counter jug is ready for a refill, it will live inside the oatmeal bucket.

In order to get the oatmeal to fit, I have to make sure to shake/tap the buckets so that the oatmeal isn't fluffed up so much. I fill them about 3/4 of the way, then shake them (little quick motions, not big shakes) while allowing the bottom to tap on the floor-- it helps the oats settle and be more compact.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Roadrunner53 on July 21, 2018, 04:26:10 PM
Do you eat oatmeal every day? I started using steel cut oats but get tired of it in just days. I can't do oatmeal every day...I wish I could. Do you make anything with it except oatmeal? Also, people say oatmeal fills them up and it doesn't fill me up at all.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on July 21, 2018, 04:58:05 PM
Do you eat oatmeal every day? I started using steel cut oats but get tired of it in just days. I can't do oatmeal every day...I wish I could. Do you make anything with it except oatmeal? Also, people say oatmeal fills them up and it doesn't fill me up at all.

I do eat oatmeal every day. Sometimes I'll eat it cooked; in the summer, it's nice to eat it with milk. I'm also the kind of person who would be happy to eat the same thing every day and change it up once a month or so. The rest of the family requires variety, lol! I really like that oatmeal is quick and brainless to make, and it does fill me up (though apparently my "serving" size is about 3 times what normal people eat as a "serving" of oatmeal).

As far as using it in other arenas than breakfast-- I'll use it in oatmeal cookies, or to make granola (either for breakfast/snack eating or as granola bars)...not too much other than that, maybe a fruit cobbler/crisp topping.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Monkey Uncle on July 21, 2018, 06:38:31 PM
Do you eat oatmeal every day? I started using steel cut oats but get tired of it in just days. I can't do oatmeal every day...I wish I could. Do you make anything with it except oatmeal? Also, people say oatmeal fills them up and it doesn't fill me up at all.

I make oatmeal pancakes in big batches and freeze them.  They're my go-to quick breakfast for most mornings.  Thaw a couple in the microwave, heat them in a frying pan for a few minutes, then top them with peanut butter to give them a little more ballast.  They hold me until my mid-morning snack. ;)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Roadrunner53 on July 21, 2018, 08:30:23 PM
Do you eat oatmeal every day? I started using steel cut oats but get tired of it in just days. I can't do oatmeal every day...I wish I could. Do you make anything with it except oatmeal? Also, people say oatmeal fills them up and it doesn't fill me up at all.

I make oatmeal pancakes in big batches and freeze them.  They're my go-to quick breakfast for most mornings.  Thaw a couple in the microwave, heat them in a frying pan for a few minutes, then top them with peanut butter to give them a little more ballast.  They hold me until my mid-morning snack. ;)

Recipe please!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Monkey Uncle on July 22, 2018, 08:33:32 AM
Do you eat oatmeal every day? I started using steel cut oats but get tired of it in just days. I can't do oatmeal every day...I wish I could. Do you make anything with it except oatmeal? Also, people say oatmeal fills them up and it doesn't fill me up at all.

I make oatmeal pancakes in big batches and freeze them.  They're my go-to quick breakfast for most mornings.  Thaw a couple in the microwave, heat them in a frying pan for a few minutes, then top them with peanut butter to give them a little more ballast.  They hold me until my mid-morning snack. ;)

Recipe please!

(I usually double this recipe, which will make enough to last me a couple of weeks.)

3/4 cup of oat flower (make this by whirring up rolled oats in a food processor until the particles are about the size of coffee grounds)
1 cup of all-purpose flower (I use 1/2 all purpose and 1/2 white whole wheat flour to cut down on the refined carbs)
2 Tablespoons of sugar
2 teaspoons of baking powder
3/4 teaspoon of salt

2 eggs
1 1/4 cup of whole milk (can use buttermilk if you like)
1 cup of cooked oatmeal (1/2 cup rolled oats, 1 cup water, dash of salt; bring to a boil and then simmer for 5 minutes)
1 Tablespoon of molasses
3 Tablespoons of melted butter

Optional: 1/3 cup of chopped nuts (I like walnuts.  This raises the cost, so you could leave them out if you're really trying to pinch pennies.)

Pre-heat your favorite griddle or skillet to a medium heat, adding just enough oil to keep things from sticking.  Use a neutral-tasting oil (i.e., not olive oil).

In a large mixing bowl, sift the dry ingredients together until thoroughly mixed.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs lightly just until the yolks and whites are mixed.  Add the milk.  Add the cooked oatmeal, making sure it has cooled enough that it doesn't cook the eggs.  Break up the large lumps of oatmeal into smaller lumps.  Add the molasses, distributing them evenly throughout the bowl.  Stir in the melted butter and give the whole bowl a stir so that everything is mixed.

Immediately dump the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and mix just until no visible dry material remains.  The batter will be lumpy - this is o.k.  If you are using nuts, use a plastic spatula to fold them in gently after the batter has been mixed (don't destroy the lift that the baking powder is generating).

Spoon or dip 1/4 cup blobs of batter into the griddle and fry as you would ordinary pancakes.  The batter is much denser than regular pancake batter, so you may need to cook them longer at slightly lower heat to ensure that they get done all the way through.

I put a wire rack on a large cookie sheet and put the pancakes on in a single layer to cool.  Once cool, the whole sheet goes in the freezer so that the pancakes will freeze individually.  Once they are frozen, I can put them in a Ziploc bag.

These pancakes are also great substitutes for regular pancakes.  On the day that I make them, my wife and I will usually have some of them for breakfast with a home-made fruit topping of some sort.  Much healthier than regular white-flower-and-sugar-bomb pancakes (and much more filling, too).  You can also do any kind of addition that you would do with normal pancakes (blueberries, cranberries, apples and cinnamon, citrus zest, whatever).

Enjoy!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Roadrunner53 on July 22, 2018, 08:41:13 AM
Thank you!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Trifele on July 22, 2018, 08:47:05 AM
Thanks for this @Monkey Uncle!  These sound really good.  I can't do oats (allergic), but you have inspired me to think about replicating this with buckwheat, which is my usual go-to for hot cereal, and buckwheat flour is widely available.  Love the idea of freezing them.  Never thought of doing that.   
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Monkey Uncle on July 22, 2018, 03:38:59 PM
You're welcome, both of you.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on July 22, 2018, 11:14:58 PM
Did sandwiches for dinner on saturday. Nothing too special.

--------------------------------------------------

Had our neighbours over for dinner tonight-- baked some rolls, cooked up some bean stew/soup, made a fancy salad!

Bean stew was beans (4cups dry), celery (5stalks), onion (1 med), garlic (2tbsp), green pepper (1/2), ground beef (3/4lb). Fried up everything but the beans in some bacon drippings until browned a bit, then pressure-cooked in my instant pot in chicken broth. I wasn't sure exactly how it would turn out-- I basically made my lentil soup, but with pinto beans instead of lentils (though this time I added some paprika).

Salad was lettuce and tomatoes, of course; but I also added in a bit of red onion, a green pepper, and I shaved the kernels off of one of the ears of fresh corn. I'm not a huge salad guy, but I thought it came out rather nice.

Also, pics of yummy bread:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/nO2VcQtFW_DMZnabO1zqyEy7iHE-LBh3vgBlo1tg9GOgpC1VrtBIPcwPY5kX3ATgpKCMPWTs_H9z_-ZuS79jaHj1Yd_yz5pg7psaHKLg3x4bEVPQ6UalqcZ7Kc6TKh_UdNGjPIy6VaI7qefjd0VfRTyOaYAhFtqGzZRxaTic4W-OzC5B2ta3p9jJ7DUlHNf5L9HtNpfI45g2nhg0GQGKEGEpc_mZnaiYHtiQtI72XfPtmrX0LLS0mr8dRXbYR6cIzSM4G5i0OchFB9AJoUxa81AyOelreJRN0A6MRAgYFtyXzHF7xqgPMCaAuvy93S8Bv8B--_Nl8MKXTXRsokjH4my6MO0K5iEXbZK1bWBz6lUKVw6ofjhRvzvjy_acB0S4N2jdWkByUz5erWcE0rUeo2GpIq3KaQW4S9ViOcl1cfurR0TlY9SvyIcEZbByzr9zPBPzTPOF34tv-BOsb4hLAf8NuLyugwKGbNgcodoR24xiX2prMmvHkiuIwbs4SyAyc932wRX4zExlzBkv2MG23fdjuwLGKuabI9kyrEM5M8UXxPhSSPPYzF8W1ux9EemP-tBEctxJY50xYSPPmgeOc8UbGHyZTKByOo61tKFkE2t95uKsrfxGIEa8cud48IywGRsLxIXiglIlQNgeAVunwpRVjCejjS8B=w448-h796-no)
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/eZTas_i09lT3AtcfyUufwG1EKL_htQJ1kHnuSbrhFRmuBGwpL7C3Si14_RzKexd9BoPpLtlyVKmSPmbvbIe4qh9rYEnk25tIB7cLCAf542HWTSXIpO29TaShcRh0fzmttEOBCw2ccatNnUCQZqZEYmcAW1i_aOZvBf8j7E8GCsuDtronzaccGmReCkhEOzGAoEsuomRwNFKh-wjylHGuTWsc-G-C2-CluUPd53hYPoDVdZA63jU56QP59O7KA3B37BncG0arB40ZazWU9_c4DW-H1zcAq8dMU8V3A8a4D7Pkc0LyLDKTRvTdig8ZhbLDF-yGVb_sejZj9YHHsw95nDK1YoYI8MRWrooEaJ5KKPbeA5uz13ES5rRAF5MFqH4jfeMJ2Cgp_c0zlAo-BOwpuyV_fG87kH6YlparV4nWqVmWe12UdkAbjESalROhtl43WPcE5AFvEhaI4JUswb89iIjjedTeaEc0829OCstSKpLRAP9SUZiNqPSfp_sZH6CyA1LEk2CovC-VEkk1_RNMAgJwVACS8sCbYg-4yee4yeAyWrSRM8zaAcZMApI61Z5Ld5NJNOImmttwt3V2Rvn7oHXqEOTOTVRt-s-OUzjtMA16Rc1ltVJn8VtReGDIbOJ1AEWSz28SwyhVStHBaVtag1lt0Xu6pxFi=w1416-h796-no)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on July 24, 2018, 10:07:20 PM
Did another batch of curry potatoes something something for dinner on monday, along with the leftover bean stew.

---------------------------------------------

Tonight was rice night; I did a stir-fry. Kiddo thought it was great. Girlie hated it and barely even touched it. I thought it came out pretty good-- the sauce was a bit thicker than I wanted, but that's what I get for eyeballing the cornstarch, I guess. This dinner literally only took me an hour from "Welp, better get off the couch and make dinner..." to "Guys, it's dinnertime!". I feel like that's pretty good, considering I had nothing prepared or pre-cut ahead of time. I think my ultimate goal is 30 min from couch to table (for a regular, non-special meal).

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/YPijaBRVWtk3Qx12xJTLwrmQ3T_8lFFxWi3ipX6SapMDsBLyMRPlSEMZDYDqLcbjEtXb3yYa2kV9pW8MQt-xVsvjTBfSOLPDIG0f8oeK-O5QNBtx9gmmVrSB0F0XrS8yvoJKWsxbbsMXQ3tTacke7y2od3jUWcRtnMhf5AYziXsGLiK5z71F3oWt8sHvgfxnG290j-uFqxJ4eKZnIX-3HFYz6LUdruPKGOoINs_uZ3NQeDfmrXqMR9GtKZ5d76TnRtye0uwPWfqvKjweGusG-IRl5rJjexymYG2JMspcsyX0dnkk4zCFYTVNBgfrdPd2C3XQUYGXTT7E9c7BxGLLRtmgjywvNXJ1UODJkOWwUAF9PdE-VSIE29YPRonXk99mwrJ7nvGE2tuaffP0G9rN-2Gj0d449AHCCh-jan1xHkdtVUzCMnS1r_mhr3x8U_lGRruokcLpJLvvNcCMMsQLTG1dNpSLp-OoDhIpTHsgYr00XlX8gx08byG5356kpIrE80e-4WsDPu7pLZDyI03AjfWZcGhVFLKrOZI6kqXi7ps4XBkKJHSuMtcfibw4_MylWVmLBgApckAo_CP8udE7cYHQWuGzrl0oOE3wFzx5WaFjE36CtLchoqCebMMXblkZnzpob54wIV8NvA0VXAHJ5Vk0PuU52Mqf=w1416-h796-no)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on July 26, 2018, 09:48:33 PM
Grocery errands to report (late, I know!)

Safeway for milk:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/a61P77yGhRBxbfva8EX103kj0hzdqxtdospMrRkZPrW0wd5_euHlqRRyppzsHkbs4CFwX-eLHjc395Ve3WNqbSXwvkfcXbQedGfQEB5AYCVr1rlhaqydjhq5ogLyGasx1X-uSZqp9yZAuVUXI98NirkZpM6BcsJOgak7DuVbUs9gc-YH-s8VE52owqYly5KEvdG2mG_8UaD6hu6SkG_1nx71ZtnL8cEcHLAfecsoJgUY9c7cB7O7_WzvdoT66US5CoeqItCIK1eAICyQ0tA0Ly_URbFZeaTAT5oHPJc3FjoWe1VJ3u66YcX3N8fE89new3S-JFHbTT85wJRXEhu2pfbdPPC50itVTOwEp0N6a-k-u18OJh6NOLbaAP91mZThP3-j94KTVBVnDk5CctqfncOj6VAYChAi_hxhffvRlwueO-_kolze_ZPtSgpg-Rhhh0jgB6SGbUImKoE7TyObzOIFxX_cZYxtt4P55MGUzoEdnOKoo-vt8SqtZqEYCntPXFhmi_EIkaWLFEQx28rFr-vEYNQYfqQ40StSpoV4mqhXMuohSovEb7kopgJwgoBk0Gc8ckXW6TMMU8vlCNCv_KNcskcqsQgqhmK58jS5qkKXgwKrL6YwwawbgzFKIkaKjtqh0ZjuVMiNJ-gu8X3XDk7_7enTa6gD=w448-h796-no)

$1.99

------------------------------------------

Walmart for lime juice:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/Nne9swf2Kfy4EL4ek6iuL7hn4aMLXG9m6z8fL8lnl_fYUMgfUwHBgxbFFvL0OD4NU3LMD6SfpTG9WiJMCCLFl_VxVmBMG-dvO0ZmXzLo2XWA3gZ70VxfGLXyZSkf2S3Z32EuSTHUElNTCGNoxKkONqZOpp9vXrisJBYHvQyo_qE7hg6IdRmJQxAEqkivOa3Us8yiq8-mkeQ89B4capwKwY6JKusMIc955VUIIFeFuKgLHq96RTcR3r8jFJtUI7rNSMaqQdXygBYH1xZz99S7oPyogURAs34W6oYLh5vNyQ-1isv1TJbFQHcrIx_tzPZ1jROhJliZoLCaqv_0O39nK78marjHhm6Hgt244PYZGJyasrbaeHLH7oGlZdRO8c2FdveKJWwH2QCfGWvl5ILp53tT80eJNXpAi3QO4SNzAs3QU0FI5HRujj8wgVdpTyxd7K2mZd_iywoIuKmoVckEO8Crg7KP1hbciyyxscGN1LuYgZhTtVcZUv58dcB9fw0RwyZ_0-Ae9xhdyzr6wj_BJ6LMyDhEpUOyc3Au24osvTrY1mQNf28IuTaLjniv00PYiGokDvGsY_GGHGS4TjNES4Telx9MWuY8m7G13fZubKYe-YdyJi94Uhe18Fwfqh8P5jMqzG-CfCjjq4_sNGuCEPpvO24LBEyt=w448-h796-no)
$1.00

--------------------------------------

And the discount store for a bunch of stuff, mostly gluten free bread! Aww Yeah!

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/0aJdvWlnN44jHGN-7A71Fq4Dio8atvOLQkpKgaLgAS-TZCeq-AJoramk6lLAwj1kd0lA8RYE9g5qpRBGQ0PLq_BOT7fZhBU3IrvIJ9v_BtHS_9U84A_qdwYhYqY0Qcvu1rXonAo2Jioh8xXyqSTMI22q-NW3r-PszdA7THveY_cGcE4O5Cw-jN59UwYUtURCNKnKk5zHaVUdrHKfQYS2okZu0Mn-mrgVOF56DfQb4hn1a5iitQLqDGbP4W01p73Cq727HAN7wm8QjC9yxQoogAzJetWoUscGE2IUL0p32Ls-eDZE6tzWh20-2CGz8YeCzbhKhcXsy39jDYk17_t277YFpif97IKGzAZbaiwqHz_nRLNi9xT6BRAMVRTIsI8UO1keqO-WhBN3irkBhdxWHYCBocegvDdxp33oJWxdCfQJrNN74E1-ycKU9osPmbybSgxFOwZcS6qo2Mh8xTqumKQJ7GT7qZbOS18p_A_suyNcgg9qC1DbYovTRlHnBpNHp9bo6rw7341kyUA9RunxZnW6IOt-W7izTLj3QJ_qa1viDMeusb-iVsxBVO4ay5oA4BsHFwb2CvdQ7liJtf-XBzOaUb9bs31b3X7w9spDC3JGNU4E5DU6Hu9WTY0WZRidVBLNLU_c-6Q4FzTVYnZgzN2bLt_fBWlL=w1416-h796-no)

Bread (3 small loaves): $1.25
Gluten-free bread (14 packs): $6.89
Mayo: $.99

Total receipt = $9.10. Yay for the discount store! Gluten-free sandwich bread is crazy expensive, so I hardly ever get any (and that makes Kiddo sad, since he sometimes feels a bit left out on sandwich nights, although he's usually a pretty good sport about it). He was SO EXCITED, lol! We actually decided to do a picnic dinner tonight-- we went for an adventure out to the Paint Mines park (Calhan, CO). I had planned to eat dinner at the park, but it started raining right when we started hiking; very lightly at first, but after we had rock-hopped a bit, it really started coming down! I was glad I'd brought my umbrella! It was really cool to see the pigments flowing out with the water rivulets. Dinner was sandwiches, of course, but we actually ended up coming home to eat it, since it was raining. On the way home, stopped to get an Icee (well, not a brand name Icee, but frozen soda nonetheless) for the kids to share. That was $1.03.

One of the Paint Mines formations, with "Girl of the World" poised on top:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/2fhfQM9-eqKtlgWYr_S9Ef02khAb5xR4YrOaEQABtO1TF5iO5NmgUkEyMblytEcdeLddRCgODCtQVsOaDiDOHkdK60mZ_Ax1i0eNdC5LqKRQyFtiXN5z5n-8kXpEN2E0e8nMDkxtr-ElJp5_q2hv4SkFRbV_CL0Rv8nu31p3qJspt11wfS4q7UZt1U65YwQAC7ghxcMLnw57XXPxLjUIcTiqagcUlxkeh8Vv2xp39ZKVXm2-5SszDlqfH0_XbTHgyliIGYzODx_8z0UtqfNI700ogLOvWS5hMwMffk5F-oyt952GADBep2snTKK6KCrFMmtn1cYMe3CtbYQFCcIV4yLucKBOvUaLv61n07ITytCoTg_j6V6AEQ7J2A3Wpn2tMfXR1QcoIdrsLcRPkrCHFoqsoUcs0rw2z4G_-JMEaE0gpQk34W8HqvkXwg5yGfraD0B_D7-v_VOrSM5dNzSX1U0SyY-d_UY3yaWfy5IS8ee6UaARWJrYrZexM70QyHKzDRsXupDF9UvBkEBKF1I6cdR8H_WprtFd1XGK2Rx80PBstm6QxGkS-wCHHK_BNhBPxN6u_rQLQt7H5D77GzhjLbLoItqj_ThCJuIRma6BP3G3HSIxCYupTQ22-4A-Lt3t0UogiPfcSnudYW1GoOZx4Ax7_UT-dx2p=w1416-h796-no)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on July 29, 2018, 09:18:53 PM
Did a Safeway errand on saturday, on the way home from another outing with the kids:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/UExX2n2zE9rVt4rtrbQaxXRjLFfHcLwVm5cx_WaZJpqPTNfw6RqSyhMP-_SjmGswgr0vCwozYb-rBKsZI4eZvByTzD-Z55fIRlz1Jk4B7iIq4mWTEsfbtkcAF27srMo4alNPZgb8HekFsgfiMzB1lK9XAihJkR9q-E3iOJ9TRoY39J8LDiW7jjPLJg2DeqYlM_Hp_ttuhQjaW7-Zz57B5u-unLaE3TxesXXb6fQwlBnJayVmt16kyUPODYV-jP6AGdsq4BjFCwWcqDcDOfHfwYqvemUL1qmnYfE6lj7HkccnsNmrpbkFx9mbXkEGw3nn8_WAaeFECqDPcieQ9IRf_xPgjayn6WsobeH5LXbe_y4J7BHc9vUs2cNHQR5zukMr6g74tgZfTNqO1m8FXC-XZPjxmhtoLcpSEPcZuhprUP7pDwqnm7bFABZUL3g2x7Es3HkOShqNmmHiUeIJgOjgvl7-gljfr3QgLKsd_12MlaAdbWpHroQENdwg2dWkoo24Bq5NTB6v9IGZAJbG43H5gYvrFgXQ3wxgjo0bEPJwRDayzoaj0KbBiJB60q2et6GfEvT1enFjOjmhYfXNOOdWBx-nMcFtTKKFBbjtNsuvoePYAiSyKBmdLqZ4z9XUGq1ktVONEnMEJL6FLhdVWaa7Mgpj4CVLzxA9=w1416-h796-no)

Lettuce: $1.00

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Then used that lettuce on hamburgers for dinner:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/8hkJO2MrYRAR_zcVSkJ7ItTrxPsOIFfevRthia3wO1pc1JJMqvwQrXWnap0Nw3tMTU9VOlIVagUpphmkJsHlwm5QzexKhPQ--abF53h1aLwphEyKwJJRehayEdY_39uzYyNEc0e_gsDdz6sooG2KhqT79OjlR5rGXx6cDdXMIhtNgg2DT2Nk57IUhO9X3XUDMAYORQlNHHZytU-C2wwgsj1vE4CITJP_vgXKkMtGzbmX-PVccSRkw4Xnirxnl7Is0rAoiwr2ZJ8BWKgJhxsmyvng1dTDQ4HUC7oYmZe-rlI4Fr4SOfh72gKg-7ggTD4TByrB4ainIkhAHrkayg7pP674OCsTYi48StcA8pnLjrjj--on9HFp4p58VJglFnePaBEKnZqntJ4svsKKtKMe5kuduYKKGZI6cXotxLaFrTDy6R-qkjTogbG4gh9QSvxipOmMnLn28xgRa7TawtBhiZ-CVkzKW3ww_xnihCDleX_gv-yPlCV_RExdbkBGzu7Tm3dn534jmTESfpes3X5WnvEl7D1tkGZgykjvGdbrPgTXP_nFuYgz3IVIPHlwfr4B3G61ROR4XHjVjTsVqrI-a72opuZC1ErZPlJewFC5hDBh9TOCtIR2LW1q1qpXw7lAKTej3V7yOmAoThD3Aubk3eP0TtFSks7-=w1416-h796-no)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on July 29, 2018, 09:23:22 PM
Also did a Wal-mart errand today. Mostly for back-to-school supplies, but picked up a couple grocery items too:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/raBPs5HBl6EXCt7g8dqDfjOnvBEwL0lpG0pZRfgtOHVn-dzu0WfboIojsZ4KNXUkIbF3aKfcVi2aCHiiKZ0VNbalpNbsrnEjxU3NNdcmQOt5VNSe7srzAPiL3_ihiGHNFBhxWZkbCuoS0atAevMVsfOnjWloDq4A3kLER1l1BuIVutRh-x-52WPa7Ez39sEtOo2bzOIpF5zU3zMZwhqJq5BvIGtvfqfgxEZiwkNgrCz-w4nLxkk31bRFrhrz1lpgfOYLa6aiVs85xwSb6OUA44IAkRZ4nZ8BoX5DT-AIr-K-Gi8Ob4rJsO1dMAHOu-xbkF14kpW4IsYyYbx16OnRG4Jc_XBJO7g2koJRb0XOu7fw2BrFR-KqDhOFfuhJylIdxJzBzXRwiyr8BADjyvWvdfWk-EmKDIE7-rPgVxSMgfavrbDnNfYd4E8MUltAsxJMJ94IKwSe2fpWTKPk7YHrmSdgb9GhUP8xJU5fBLU9DzSZoQC5zBhD9_yXQFFuZQ0WdCC8J-VBSDlf8IoHO9Mdx81xZ5r_ewJdp_6BCoUsTsG4DzAklQ6t4p4LMaATyF7-QYr_mss3bV0TpRviQf6-aj7zrF39EQkROsXXZXqt18QV0MlOHF8HYEzfiJMk3cD1wUH9d8gnMVPJJMcAEiHJeuiOfhe-NHqR=w1416-h796-no)

Strawberry jam: $4.28
Grape jelly: $1.96

Total receipt = $6.24.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Goldielocks on July 31, 2018, 02:29:24 PM
I also thought you all might like to see what I do with the 50lb bag of oatmeal, so I snapped a pic of my buckets before I put them away.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/7dRsDo-x4OadtxZxJUWDSY441_P-WM19VGe5iX6AA43FULMtjea88zvNmUfVfKJs12MsV28JN672PDzYivI7jr6sbdhQ9oI57E5TcKW1WRMb6pGTKZBqMuR1OqBSAb56EYZ5PDNJYAGfCZaxtbu6iARFW89jch00LBx2qF1riXzNrLpfpBCfdzu7DnkL-5MYl9ZXy90qqAdQHzNiXHzQkaQmxJoxIBiq7SAbc3LoipXsyLa7uaVekR0jZDNL7L0CBskbl6VQ9eHsK3nXSVkJdIx9hb6BX9wx7Sx6vF7P34zee5xLY6-cQ9CIv0H5GJXV8Jo_ELunnVNZ7aozn7PS13zlhP6LG_dA1Ikkh5Hec08IRnIP7I40s-8WdYHCUg-4ackkjflLfVWgs59LTd319RR4etcqma08W0qtBQRpYnDfvoRCrK_dKkXVzT9wigThaDSEii6Y7AXrPf1Xrshwr55SuDLX4FnRLgTIfSWP4W1EjnCKaYswZ6THH0Akh8ph6M8J4hLai3Sq7ziOCSQh5fMawKtR3A-ZpvjiXeCF7vmdCvrq1nVDO44ekKor2T8vEg75FoAzqzYTN_CuP4a2mACyAUFWu57g_id_A42hud2a5fk3BfIJPTIH8ZpqpuleM9CnjPS4VRkwj5DwIC32DVsHIUJmiXcD=w1416-h796-no)

50lbs of quick oats fits *exactly* in my two 5-gallon food buckets, plus a gallon container that lives on my countertop. Yes, that's a repurposed Costco popcorn jug; it works really great for oatmeal. It's not so big that it's unwieldy, it has a nice handle, a wide mouth (that's not so wide I can't pour out of it into whatever bowl I'm using), and a rectangular footprint (easy to tuck space-efficiently into a corner of the counter). I think I probably refill the counter oatmeal jug about once a week. And yes, that's a repurposed milk jug that I use as an oat funnel; once my counter jug is ready for a refill, it will live inside the oatmeal bucket.

In order to get the oatmeal to fit, I have to make sure to shake/tap the buckets so that the oatmeal isn't fluffed up so much. I fill them about 3/4 of the way, then shake them (little quick motions, not big shakes) while allowing the bottom to tap on the floor-- it helps the oats settle and be more compact.
D'oh!  I am not picking my costco sized empty container out of this week's recycling.


On another note, I mentioned to DH when we were talking about finances that our grocery budget has consistently been below $600 (CDN) since January.

 After pointing out that he (and I ) are eating less due to diets (note it is a low carb diet, intermittent fasting with lots and lots of meat and veggies..less food but more expensive.).. well, he did not believe it and started to say how there is so little food in the house we must be forced to eat out (um, not!  I am dieting!  and I still toss leftovers that they won't eat when I away from home).   Frankly, he just does not believe that 4 adults can eat on the equivalent of $500 USD month in and month out.

What is the difference for us?  Less variety, less waste, more focus on eating the foods with lower price point (pork loin roasts instead of steaks, avocados bought one at a time instead of a bag, cabbage and onions instead of broccoli when prices are high, etc), big drop in packaged frozen anything,  almost eliminated any baked goods ( I make them now) except sliced bread for DS's lunches...big drop in variety of produce in winter / spring--   My food costs are now rising in summer because we are buying the super fresh local fruits and veggies, even with their prices lower than ever.

We still buy a lot of frozen pizza, chips and soda.  I still buy lots of cheese, lunch meats, bacon, roasts.  I just only buy on "super" sales now.   We have almost stopped eating pasta, potatoes, rice, beans while this was going on, too.   
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on August 01, 2018, 08:21:27 PM
What is the difference for us?  Less variety, less waste, more focus on eating the foods with lower price point (pork loin roasts instead of steaks, avocados bought one at a time instead of a bag, cabbage and onions instead of broccoli when prices are high, etc), big drop in packaged frozen anything,  almost eliminated any baked goods ( I make them now) except sliced bread for DS's lunches...big drop in variety of produce in winter / spring--   My food costs are now rising in summer because we are buying the super fresh local fruits and veggies, even with their prices lower than ever.

We still buy a lot of frozen pizza, chips and soda.  I still buy lots of cheese, lunch meats, bacon, roasts.  I just only buy on "super" sales now.   We have almost stopped eating pasta, potatoes, rice, beans while this was going on, too.   

Less waste, and more paying attention to buying things when they're on sale; just doing those two things will easily be the 20% that accomplishes 80% of the savings in your budget. Way to go, Goldielocks!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on August 01, 2018, 08:36:22 PM
Dinner the last few nights has been pretty boring and plain-jane. Stir-fry with salad, lentils from the freezer, just basics.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on August 01, 2018, 09:58:28 PM
Here's the end-of-month tally for July. This month has felt a bit out of whack because my work schedule has been packed, plus this month marks the start of renting our basement on airbnb...it's just felt crazy and slightly out of control. But my chest freezer is full, and I can live with that, I think.


$32.78 --- Safeway [5 visits]
$36.62 --- King Soopers [3 visits]
$89.16 --- Sprouts [4 visits]
$39.40 --- Discount Store [4 visits]
$31.30 --- Costco [2 visits]
$24.48 --- Save-a-lot [1 visit]

$12.39 --- Costco Food Court [1 visit]
______

$266.13 --- Total Food Spending for July.


$124.70 = January
$210.46 = February ($201.28 if you don't count eating out)
$286.43 = March ($277.78 if you don't count eating out)
$185.53 = April ($172.57 if you don't count eating out)
$238.63 = May ($108.63 if you don't count eating out)
$303.50 = June ($194.48 if you don't count eating out)
$266.13 = July ($253.74 if you don't count eating out)

YTD Averages:

$230.77 = Monthly average (including eating out)
$190.45 =  Monthly average (not counting eating out)
[/quote]
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: StarBright on August 02, 2018, 08:22:25 AM
that is amazing!!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on August 03, 2018, 09:45:10 PM
Did a Costco errand on Wednesday:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/CsjbFB6VItaQWMEE4Yg5S0HufSqKkoUSeurCmK6MUXXEYHbJrWveeVHtGTiapN3PeVMYtP6mbfk88FNP4cwocoiOyZcUslPj1Iezr6SDPTXLZT_7W_2ukpwNX_YcRFHnZut7ixspF8ovyDv7NllMZgZ21Gm-j8HQ0kAqfMlnO8uSWX_os3JP8VWVC7li9RxHiZ_IeDvNcmLvYb78QGY41saFJPKJg7bL51ZJWNk5QYAAkHtk1xszbCU0mjwv_XPBuVgy_R5cMTTlFaPANEERvREOh71-NOuYdqUim__Xu6OaeGhxVWyLtDnGwNoKXwNXKkn3zAUA0gwTOYErOrzer3xrUhkvRQRHSOPx9D84-m0kxOG-E9ksbUhV69LgaQmqWVlq6iXu3e05jARMQAyy0Xu6FV8jt-MULWSmTlEjESmtCyS_tZPt6p_bB4vaY30LgT5L6cg1TMHzAW34KHGlPKbAB4YCBL6qOhgNeWZUwv4yzjuv5ZRYlAwLHpdHqJJP-klLMzg4B9NzPf1rGlpCkNw_GX5hDx7gX1aURoFmTWom_3Gs0TMHhqJsoCZfRf2s3DhJgd0d2LnriIOWUKqxuWm_77aL4d3aveQfAXRk22eWzNlSCUDP8Wz9SAEtRVJHO9nhWnv_zXNbRvWoaB-SrJ5z4fAASyn-=w1416-h796-no)

Beans: $12.69
Brown Sugar: $15.99
Rice: $9.49
Bananas: $2.78
Salt: $6.69

Total receipt = $47.64. We also bought some other stuff-- vinegar (for cleaning) and toilet paper, but those aren't food items.

---------------------------------------------------

Also ate dinner while at Costco.

$9.18 for three hot dogs and two slices of pizza.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on August 04, 2018, 09:25:13 PM
Some more grocery errands:

Save-a-Lot Foods

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/V41iO_lfBKWbWI1P_EeHcksGytY_oH_0KtoFjKr_Heeu0LMTfNfmm9P-TMt5S7xxY2k0cM2KWqZ27WxRD9e_vyWCsp5tkCeAXR7X2g-v4Ue7azoDKl77SJPNhJ8Y3icjwmxEszo08mwQQHI68j3tSsGTYFsgOzdP-UR4h2WofeOl1dhD2GDFsEVjFGkLvK72Sk1_OnPStGMCcOnZsm3gh-7RGB81UdGHdcfYQOeE17nLSWzQKfjxgiHzEnqwLE8ooORXio9FRG9iwd4LmnbVLNrZawWB0QLDL-UUevJlLtWhiAGae6njGtoetFrj9zL1FPPmr5CyCYsw-G0mLhAN8IFhPkue0wOZctvpKqe6pB2CqlZcan7DrJN5wn9mu1lxwFKV3qOCSE4qlRAio2ApOOoQ5InjKswPnA-kgTtBuFqGD7BgJctzRbvqRz_P0Z9vGn-43d-QoHbkM18fXgl1iHJ15-mxovrdbh6vUMI8x0RA-94JNKvB0LTmhJpkBZUwwehLXQHgr0tVU--knD34hChyeIFF-HVlt6mUi67KwWmZYcDe68mkrZr_0Mi4_u8U8Hl7hPK7fI16M_0b6K0eJCt0Kk4npb6BACMifzxDYzBkhRrxebAf00q87AlZVbI7bTFio4T3sH_fzvI0ihUbNhI47107O9WC=w786-h443-no)

Onions: $3.29

-------------------------------------

The Discount Store:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/XCrNCCN6IW1RnE56HHa1zcwoCqqrv-IH2DU0FqOfpjHNlivL0_pR2mYV3xip5tlrQZXE9fmj5yrK6KNS3BBzBUQ5HIW__ukCBblN9Xx2kD74OfhrIa-gpXiSYkfSVrfm67j5AnIr42xYfrklE7--TzZ8c8xbsI0Rfa5o7ro7wiijD7WpWerI4yKWwrdTLlicriWjKhIXVMaXruTQsYrhs9Hk-5Vya4Z2bZNI1PLMoH-SyXKGZ3IIWHheY8rd3qTGCaMjePawyh0SEZPS1S7ONLTEPP3JVBypufGD60XhvYFXltuNj1KD9OZcaOj448Qxw3zkIW-Tw8Suzl_zz-ryIE56WanNOYL-fVZbrodpnH6uhE7zkNHcgDq4JHWJJvkcZLQoMjFtBGDxu0Qj5LYIG3Kw10DFRPx0uzsZqR_WIzCeYWhk5MkzLbntuGpQaqYDAWIoCP3qMITPPFswzcRplTkWti27ggfw41hkhD4lrhdUh6n6DAZEO8erOCRoMHLlf0Ua0neYsuMh9QSAV1RwZzAetvTQizomY2G9F8R7NgqM8mIW5Xw2tnqJvQk9Ez6by0lY3CTKYzCdabuaWQRQ7lG7wfIo0k-9TBY5VlPQPvCejuiP7hfWTNX4_DAAEYyNzoAUM_Rc_RdSvSSRRyZTqj5hefWtkS7R=w786-h443-no)

Caramel chips: $3.06
Mayo: $1.98
Bread: $.25

Total receipt = 5.29

------------------------------------------------------

Sprouts:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/sfzsUJW0U_YchlpblFXzNVRO6D7JWvt1nSWrSCMCO_Rv1_35RsDLgRKEoEYMaeEGS6nFGgt9kW_hZHRPo5T9fi-9fqUgjffMlFOc5_dDYgzuJqTDg-A017e6hqyXauAwo1sV99OIzP6XiSay8zJ7oHvTlsEjzxvoNHy7SZbk2TWKqCzE2kQO1P82DxfxxNL139qNxoaE2b88Hmtt6RJ_PqFvDJNriItXt3WWLPSYxjzjCm8Caf_0cD6uDCxUrWanc49iEL1thC1sJSlM49R2KIN29zUzMTnrWFa4Rwxl6j9LAkqIbUgtK10hb3c-o3vNwnD8yBIlofUvnqsuxSghbw25TvWKzHl9XShLyiHTtwNgBA6JNkw0nBR6M52wlC9dsJcBhIJmE5FZ6TeZCUM3j--9G-uQQ9S17x_MKlBvHTUus0ci895gUkMnmuP8ZnaWRRIlT6-7fCJR4rEe1anmbbmH8D8YuHTO8eSNrKH_GlqITRxi7tmVR2vv49MDTwz-Cn18J1WSXkkj2dR0bbVT0TJRVLbNmvKrJetfEXLK3bvHzmq8tlhX7YLScBbLVPFQMUPzT7lXho81R3jtBXTEUWQxqp7Ci_2LZG6_gtUMgXvZzf82LLifODda8FVZdrWItyZtMn36wtZGzd-rj9wjT_l1aMTi0qwF=w786-h443-no)

Carrots: $2.99
Cilantro: $1.00
Apples (4lb): $3.53
Lettuce: $.99
Tomatoes (1lb): $1.07

Total receipt = $9.58

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

King Soopers:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/INsSWd44UmbwyJGu85KXfwWVMme8nGxfXYxR_i0134AVtWKND2dnSJ3Ssfod6W0TOUx5ctHLdLx9FGDdEO_B7PjG8N0PLxgNnSaY5PAFGXt0NHKUQQ_tvSYFx-l-l5E0T5RK8V8wRYTShmsu2-kkXO1cnp80b_noN4RGW8ZWeseyqTPYKflnTLo6ktmEwqfZHDMzztvYTs7pT7GJwyumef_Dvi9JtgeU2_gUVEg1tg1e2lOBXTuHVo7NDXhHQudITSSG7jIJL1GWWnbnajpHLddMFP8yFcxaoAMzT1hMQIOSs_8s6bo1oBL_gkVg4O1ENuRxD7uoEh_40mUzuYPa5ZX_M2mfyatAoACemcPp8OWORgXrcBEZtyHNDn8IHDoySJgPd2xbzpozykG9VkSXrfV-hGYFsT_hJ7tqEEzGcGOTL4oQxXSO9zYYprnQx4uiBEhlK2ArYcopOyQ5_D6JEZGR30x5tAUkbWTSUOGmk2jjMIUkEBOCXZ4u-72tRjMhVJDjj51dT3iaTrDzP6qU6VdSDa3nXoLn7eKWvIFNhBI3ZkWtQQAAvK0RdVL37x5x71ZXOGqp0rZdbxCU1RSG0u40rovyZZ9C4V-nEVYdaoi6m1OPO5O54Q3CjTg3DMiSEdHrEQ0IGma-gydBHCs58XgexuZR0yPb=w1416-h796-no)

Cheerios: $.98
Sour cream: $1.98
Grapes: $1.90
Granola bar: $0 (freebie)

Total receipt = $4.86

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Safeway:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/97fSVvM6uWO9WP9we0UUDsQu01NFoFXu-FcNofAlFj3sKNDJ6NO6i3ZL8ZA6uK1aYEzT2YjYOwEalqkSiX9-NaSDdbQnF0qikC3we-SZGT-BW7zXdcxI50THaWtdlDhTeIq6t2pL5Jog4Y7w773lZiT1JVbjvpQloUtoG9PH8pyj4AOm4IhmTYmuyATn_T96e9fYCygMe7CuRGne6An9fZHoQbZ93fzL9p_2srztppw6LMcd7Aa5P_6OmqIrUAb8t-RclrSjcuYrdEvtyyDh_ZlEF3ZfEkkq0j1ONlzieTZ965-XG8dTeHVSRz7KnhhimPnsABgMXc8FU96DN8KM4TiuFzd9sNDW81X40hDFUlaTkjoCE6yylsznWZ0xZNpx6XFzV-xjKti_Tn-jVIiv9x1nG-AzDWYEzr3AKd4gso9F2zkqRt1ah9TW-8HVNTw06oczTNxobPdEFP6YjbqSZ4nUMrrg-XD_MiguTOHJITPhZ3Ec4jQqLdqxqlbgXpjZR7YTExsUDncTFE_MDGpGtb8EUCMKhxyedKvmJGjyiPbWruPwIauOwUaLmJywn9E2udx1nIkdtMBLP0THFp6F8FY8Mqn3Py5yewnOV1Dsg01qnIdS6nzK4CUcMcinWCCKlKOJD8ZNMqZai3NUNu62YsD5F6JEwpBv=w1416-h796-no)

Milk: $3.49
Eggs: $2.74
Yoghurt: $2.89
Peaches: $.94

Total receipt = $10.06. I bought an extra gallon of milk and the plain yoghurt because SO wants to make some homemade yoghurt. The instant pot has a yoghurt making setting, so we'll see how that turns out.

Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: MrsPB on August 06, 2018, 06:17:20 AM
Loving this thread and getting updates when theres a new post! Thank you APowers for taking the time to do this.
We are a family of 4 in Canada, with two young children and currently at about $700/month for just groceries. Im working to get it down but we have some restrictions since I cant eat wheat, corn, eggs and have trouble with beans/lentils/cruciferous veg even if I take Beano (which is not cheap). I do serve these foods to the rest of the family but its limited since Im not going to cook two meals a night when I work full time.
Our prices are much higher than what I see posted here and we dont have Aldi or Lidl. Milk is fixed at around $5.20/gallon and the lowest eggs (rest of family eats them)  I can find are $2/dozen. We mostly shop Costco and Superstore and we eat a lot of produce like berries, bananas, apples, cucumber, peppers, carrots. We are two working parents too so we do have a few convenience foods like jar sauces and cheese strings but its not too bad overall. I think the things that I can work on are:
Not immediately replacing foods when they run out;
Imposing price limits on the higher priced items like meats and be more strict following them. Im pretty good with knowing a good deal but also tend to fall back to the staples list at times;
Limit consumption of higher priced items like berries and meats. In working on serving smaller meat portions and padding out meals with more filler.

Our bill will go up in Sept when my oldest starts school and I will be proving her snacks and lunch which previously were included in daycare fees, but thats offset with daycare fees dropping to just before and after care fees.

Does anyone else have issues digesting beans and cruciferous vegetables? What are your tips? I love these foods but Im put off by the after effects!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: OtherJen on August 06, 2018, 11:39:25 AM
Does anyone else have issues digesting beans and cruciferous vegetables? What are your tips? I love these foods but Im put off by the after effects!

Honestly, I did for a few years during adulthood (despite eating these foods as a kid) until I was diagnosed with celiac disease and for about 6 months afterward until my small intestine healed. If you have food allergies/intolerances and young children who are still eating those foods, it is highly likely that your food is being cross contaminated. I know I have to watch my food like a hawk when we stay with my husband's family because my young niece and nephew scatter pretzels and goldfish crackers everywhere, and I usually end up with symptoms of gluten intake no matter how careful I am.

Unlike me, my husband didn't grow up eating beans and he has problems unless they're cooked a certain way. He has no problems if I soak dry beans in boiling water for at least an hour, drain and rinse them, and then cook them in a pressure cooker on high for 25 minutes.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: rdaneel0 on August 08, 2018, 08:46:21 PM
Your stir fry looked fabulous. I have also been guilty of eyeballing corn starch and ending up with ultra-thick sauces! I am very envious of your grocery prices!!!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on August 08, 2018, 10:56:32 PM
I've been working later hours this last week or two, and SO has been stepping up to make dinner. Tonight was taco rice.

She also made yoghurt in the instant pot. She said it was way easier than trying to do it with a pot on the stove and a warm water bath in a cooler.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: JoJo on August 09, 2018, 01:23:40 PM
I'm selling my condo and need to be out in a little over a month, so I've been trying to use everything up in my freezer and cabinets and probably spending less than $10/week.   One month to go!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on August 14, 2018, 11:06:12 PM
Some grocery errands I have been way overdue to post:

Costco:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/kjCpZiooMLV5Wu5MkzbrotzlYCjUlBz2l7B2BIr6N91lfp5sBythEgE8-3T257n0BFWGb-zyyp35nJPMaucbkxkMGDpssGNONaDs1-mnkYlkJuiyLRLGJewSDu-EXfcRMs_9aW_9nq8jQGYRhsTDg9Cyiuk-bVkG0kvuKClXrxiYp7tnVUEPgNv2Ys6PmgSm5asrDtWNRb3R14ftTbVEJLFzq9Dmhg2IEykE6y4zkGl1_1i9IazIlmCAqxa6yEoelSIZjv8ggeadqXvaPoZz6uYC5oevlAlQhT3CiD7elFTQPugA5xlrq-7bAGwcO7HiA7xEZ5aN5CJvcQhkwWhJ84WnmV7kVgaOCGuyqy-ZFORzsBHPMbg9vfgGVprNg1Skvq18K0hfBjAEKcQi72kqvvjN0qawv40UFvL0xTfIwoLEhMbz0MXN7yo201aiY9s1O0f5mq3YJr7kYBgj32KXkFL_Qf1QkhQ5JBf2CXIOCN9-jYKLVgI2_vEj5kbkdwwC4XW0DQokMBAkfHDqfylcUmW-RyfQ5eU1T817bdAcpbLwK67fmkpF2IzR5u0NHdR3IJFyDi26p1BUXcreykPyDybywZ8pjltPo8_H_0lOoFkmyXdthq50r1BxgB5JFMQ9oaPLkannEN1Ulvx1FVirlG5SjjSXbipx=w794-h447-no)

Chips: $3.89
Salsa: $9.90
Peanuts: $5.99
Pecans: $14.99
Almonds: $11.49
Bananas: $4.17
Rotisserie chicken: $5.40

Total receipt = $55.83. The kids are going back to school this week, so I picked up the peanuts as a snack that I can give them after they get off the bus-- I figure I can give them a handful and send them outside while I'm putting dinner together.

----------------------------------------------------

Sprouts:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/l3kpSvFmW2HZu3PzG2lqWb_PRW9fGAXxXldY9R5JildrNKj3DrKTOOmOUVykzyefPXEqBDRAmE-R-M9hsITIH5MxMKojK3j8atap-R5PzUlb8Z7q0D8RTMklvFNbzGtoLKZku8pwnLXxLONViU0R1nIjd1Gi3ojIkwDE07d1J6my1DTh0swhixcsp4uDgI6xvKaXtMfN80SEHxl7_5GnMC4qmmcHZQ70DtdulhWKahM5D0hpDKfOShk5bsfplQ_VH9ZgJAc4TXgTvqDiM6R1I7zJBTy4kfRB5ivY9HOEdCqWkhukxp5dVGBIL3FJISL_XQjTCgLpCQiPOgTuvnVYF3WPAWIGBKWe98yqpNupN8yh763nOIwJKLu90brvDQxqFIXwo8ExYQPUew2yw1ZdaRK4S6cpYL6x8E1kh4JKXf8EO4lMaQYOsTIN9ySqvEuFhkjt7hHEkzq7jnv1Ia1Xb3siNJqdqXNh--6wkuTiPd6cpW3FXsq7tey30VSlGiBdQ_dykICyA9mROF9M_BdsT6GTE15fomuxfHvxD-14ucHl3OGDk_9dwkfaKTltSC0N0hOFzF4EORmjCKOIq6m3jFQd_gtDS8_4iwwaOFy1Pf4u0xsZ03zsKW_vGcHOF8wOPuoEomT3QZFVskb8shjpmcGZQNaghtmO=w794-h447-no)
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_5oXLNosR0JMHDiazGoVX8sQFnd85k-iCJQoLdHoOOOsNsAgxSBcYHVXzVrdBC7AhuMkyDODF7VMIM32qSPLSva9bIjMRwNa4YK67RZ3oSrF8qFDjdUJd-oErwDZN0bNTOJiVHRoMsB_mJYIcvtnDcLZ8agrpjzlGpQSE6Y_a9q0qyUp4pCPm5I7To_MPHg_B7KsLKoXfkb-AEEOj4aTspMIDZbIjx6HmsyZRWQHi7YjoFDVJLKlkglWMpm2kVKN6hkTJPVRVj7_dYtWiYuXYqQLsZbJxNoy9Y4Zj74P312WJMiwziXmunw9YgAOS6owhb1pxAfy2dcyunBEQ2drctxdejxzhdUNRBgz7o3IrH9289PzpHXf2vDnKxg7OhueA5piotel44buJWSkJIL41NTC4C1K0l_-6VSaN3fxL_AttYCwLZEq5eZYo0PH6NtaaHOJDNjcuAGqaJ-3K13P4MUPQg7p1X9u4Wt-imSVtOdIQzubUQ9dyRjOb8IBAWAs6fFVEUaa-0cR2y8jEhQyOz_yJwlQSpl9Ud7HloNXbzan3ppgKXF7opO2_8TypgHqP0zoNry1ZAcJAgyH4aXJKVPQSbaU31DO7C6sFwbiJHeyIBiny97jlCnNVrsoWSir3YviC47L3N_LgKQMSRPKlZ5SWmkUXOo1=w794-h447-no)

Grapes: $.39
Celery: $.99
Apples: $.78 (not pictured-- eaten before the kids got home)
Green onions: $.50
Lettuce: $.99
Radishes: $.50
Tomatoes (1.5lb): $1.46

Total receipt = $5.61

--------------------------------------------------------------------

King Soopers:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/6eR9jeTpun5kRWyDnMq9y8w2JaN3tYlaZEFOE6d0nM3QjfAXDGrFOhn6zPUG0Q1M9qMJfpt1kAupFkH-Di15veKfbqbQ40p8n_kpLbmnPVEitYIpIQuG-VtU0p-etNPyVz2I-a7k7PG4fiauFr1drf_xgId64CMH_7JZaTggemLzvztX1LUqsAU0NVivmG21raAkD0zwFbfHsHR8C825j9zIRwgMfm6AYQXHMb0DfrfRvBnOFUjvPer5XPUKaBdMM4f5RwLrLI_A3-ofhcbVbcW0m2BCs-bvD4wTR-JtnaOtPPn0UGdoUYsdVQq5brCipnjuLeKr1klQ4NEPDwHjQfzeAfU5S3KngR_jobEu3H8mOXOhIl94544D6LFCJSsMtxRWnVavc-s95f4PX5FUvsUl_xcQRsvEMuOE2C9bgLikZVBf1i8J7AyN6dwlO-Hred3O_lcILUbv1rzMi6gkgl7ep68DVryu02YH0ad8uIvPxX4WoWfFsdsURhUWU483Ibk40KFacwMR7_h1AorgHe4gOLZhV-ZXBtAWfOyqQgvPljswfOy7k5WPGg80qP1VIElZaB_eZjzWWcQa83SaTpmvFReuewoyBs_5qBKj2V2tw5xG4De3uwz4SuIpj0dkScOV-I-0R9h_K3JQAMdZj08UaUyXTR2u=w444-h788-no)

Protein shake: $0 (freebie)
Mac n cheese: $0 (freebie)
Hot dogs: $4.95

Total receipt = $4.95

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Safeway:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/bEQN_apjyqDSjOroCxS4hGN7alwCCnn5k10OP3_sJMC_c-BYuE0JZjhYGtS5_scXetzSGsVA2vegb2uBiv-HjHRtiuWIP0k__3D-ZUG_7-J4sVn1KmKmw-Rsya6u0vmt4avKoBnhAkzqeKynJyA6vi5gbPXvOf28GMNf2oK7Iso7r-Z7c358Fz5og3TvE4RAQnnkXQObujJKNIG1cwJ8V-8mq7cgfOPf09EIFm4ZJkQvlNeHZdvoqrf1i76j1xEkbzxwJssVXgPm_wAippz6talI3TMX-E5bxloW6hu2es7nFZJAKFGn17_BuiJNr53K9QAVb_y1F2a7422gojAtLOuIYW9V7XeHqSCIESN8KqJPQmrpjKDcHp3vPrtWtKYaXpFb4pjtebRG5A8YDnKcMaOETh-wTqCLPYduRq552cDm76t2NqoeOROwO35A6svcb7Z7VfDEerAWijBVPA-xirQDHARQiyRONZgoo_-YMJ_6iUibwCi5QXPURSulexXC7VwB4QfOFkITUQ6JCUrJb63UIisYOuLeZypH3Kj1Weh6B0VBJw-szyDNpruug_PIx156FhgHkAJx5ZgBxDCdMrYDwPHT-s8ZgIS5cIEikbet6Dxr8ztp7r9s1U2MpPqdeQzwjdtlLrgvFz25qxzPC6oLV0QFrd8K=w794-h447-no)

Cheerios: $3.00
Butter: $3.00
Milk: $1.95

Total receipt = $7.95. Maybe, one day, the e-coupon system will just...work. Trying to make the coupons work for those cheerios was a bit bizarre-- if I had only had the weekly ad sale on my card, the total should have been $9.95, but with the coupons, the register rang it up as $10.95. The clerk didn't even understand how that happened. Bleah.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: OtherJen on August 15, 2018, 06:34:29 AM
Nice! Those rotisserie chickens are such a great deal. Im still kicking myself for forgetting to grab one yesterday (was at an unfamiliar Costco).
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on August 15, 2018, 10:37:20 PM
And some more shopping that I did on saturday.

Sprouts, King Soopers, and Safeway:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/buE2TiB9LqDbnfEeNDBMbEiz4xqhIO1nRKVvw_9PELRVyiegGh64l3FTkFL7zOEdVhut5nM6SjdipKspntnpCYezNv4JpNa3M6XSqROUXgZjm0RSwm8e_hqetTUZFvuF2rOAWMVqlTfOPBLs1ytYhFHUzzqB5DskG74EOf20diieMcjVrc-pSaVUHlu_HR2E1Os9Xwkeub9VWTPfNmJDy_Av4jGWjQGiN1xIPyVkfl3-M_hopj0F0CBC2XKdcFvhbf2KB8zgCAF6Y1rzxNYlYJmXkXHG0mM7xKgpOdxNQzL7Y7HtR2C_sX0c0Vx80SvuSSEUaOzvVvqHJxiiQCi3Cjr3CgmXhC3XeM93rGk1YeB5ZOzlxrROr2fcX8wcsrjUSuKwiJ4vbJYaxaxuUPRbOr5sCy-969iAt1SDYBkm9VFVl2_NQNMW8QCe0XUborrijhwHdbPL5hcGqBIvyFf1YXBSsQ-Y48nGUwZr8Ns5x5BW2HxsTKFoJuhhHIqLHEHYLbIA3wifVr_eRQJvhBTA86vM5JmURb9m1fXgcXM4XfLqhhgzXP_HxjoBa5RDnJF_Al_eGBhq0Dq9DcxWH49QDkHNQST5wrkm4GyuhzDZ9fJ-TyWXhpGkEOwIDzRVU2u3SRAnEd_zj_JP5CC64wISkMPvBW3ILl9W=w794-h447-no)

Anaheim pepper: $.20
Cantaloupe: $.75
Cucumbers: $1.00
Ginger: $2.51
Green/red peppers: $2.16
Grapes: $5.58
Corn: $.17

Total = $12.37. Invited a friend and his wife over for dinner on sunday night, and I wanted to make fajitas, so I picked up the fresh corn (6/$1!) and the spicy pepper.

-----------------------------------------------------------

Discount Store:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/C9h1tyn4xklcH5Tt1xBwsEgqJtI91JzHv8rlyYkBez3UrwjQb9BOOTAaVpC3i2FtOqsZ6rskD1mV7LkSfaEU-Hc4uULOMmwTZhRuquTt52qX-DBK-2SALfDu5viZvoVE_DoY_xL5_GwQOLU2AvLSoAiu21tWct4KKVGdOwvzl-6Q3T0WW_I9GqHF1ogvu25WA9VBdSxeqVMnUTm32MPF90FDILJOitvVd2vMEsrgjOrelzHvTLL4sGTg4OdEvbBiaf9dOGwO5cwmUSinKul2Z-QtGuMfYrEFgwtRkRok2K7rrRPCr06RJjp5jW5tGHWFGzGvL6_WONn2UULIkgsD61031LkqXjsZk6Gtj_o6GfCBO0gJe-TumygmL0eMqzacV5p4TVaNlYbjo_UhWZ2A9gwlaWeT-bdlvmCzPIwufEP2DpUDz3d8x3SypS9LocY617zxKQYSVN52qLyf8eD0nucT2Cp75rBoZs9Mhpv8C0t9lp-w7sx1XI5WQsC3b9VH2RUJxbcHcwA5ffLKrVMreTZNu8_eqTQGoqxSsPlxjXRv73GTkgqo2yiP3LYa6K28YlOEKe3ItBApS0obpcYw7zmETdkH0aABDS7NkASMD4EmSqe5MWFXRwCo5tFxgFGeKqdlpSDMjHZa08idYmuI8tZRFsF00Bz9=w794-h447-no)

Hot dog buns/rolls: $.99
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on August 15, 2018, 10:46:33 PM
Nice! Those rotisserie chickens are such a great deal. Im still kicking myself for forgetting to grab one yesterday (was at an unfamiliar Costco).

We usually can get two full meals out of one, plus we get to make some pretty great broth with the carcass and inedible bits.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on August 19, 2018, 02:55:47 PM
Grocery errands!

King Soopers:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/LUjs0CHGYjQBGqj0DLIPKi4zoavCD6bLGzcE6pqR81YSJxZnmxf8UmvqbClBKlj9O0FZPfWSGuhGks-WTL2T72qdNXz23EFCrp0CYPlDfs3VlD6hJ5ynSTDLVdO37qoSiymA3N7QgYGBEgLDiOxRmPkVqtU_sgyziOM5s4cU16hko6Ox2yd57WbDW18HIhhHXpk9sYPyZ3JkouXdMvV17AX5pvVh0z5XzJGdxyAWHGC7BqspdWRJ3-X_uC-nzt-pEQRXG-pns0YbsmPQVZHwr7mRURFs9BdhOIyQVAyjovPXaJx8x1FiV5mMw9kh6nw9EBKzcVvnTDprD1GUlZDGwT37vroEr-rzDPOM6pd-yxLyclrtj3-rVHLpFR9Kj69MYagmlbsUO_Untac-Oe0TjIBmp-P6IGsR_60382DlQQxV2mZGcfxx_9wDXWDqjKl3FP9GAHQ_4VWvCerdUDXynMH0nnScZnJ3q29DH2NYfSmm3rgsGnnsNulahd_fCPRH8IIH9H-RBZGYeMsbKAhR5nx8eOZa2tm8xgKOpVvezKu75l1VXPULe-LGIuGXNc6e7xBkJS1Bk0YJCfGZSArM3mw2bz8V-jQ3cSkuSERUKwvqIZlfcgEnR7xg7F4m_5Hbey_qoHJLxWO1Z8YhhLXeLsfKH-_rXsti=w1416-h796-no)

Cheese: $4.95
Granola bar: $0 (freebie)
Peanut butter: $0 (freebie)

Total receipt = $4.95. Cheese for $2/lb? Yes, please.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sprouts:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/By5n4SdOIwo7P2MeHmfuZoe3aTaiP7-Ln2tFkKXs18uz_LqeKO3IN-0Z_vVuih3Pgv59AEUUrNHRA0mgeWdD68r-doCBRc7HI_rknyr8WJCzWUOLXpSDTI5cX2dEsEnFbo30S_kjjh3yCp1RgDrXRk3b-1KIOJ4sOAjabmKJbPYtUCYCJbXmMFR3z5yhPxLqnJPltwUhGXR9CN9JC_dtmRZ1iaMpEROckDAZRNE9_PIrgCsEjK3CosNripCQa7PK58MJTv3WtMhDrW5OgQpHpHpjBjRfebZZYHpvykHfDJ39i-MjCCu0FraUMxj5klzi7r0pQvtidVcfb-ybKKj90K9qeSPjjgxXK2XF4lobKmIx_gAoMjBmYecx-ClB2SoeFOpDuefSm9drnw_JxDFoHz6Ltq1s8mDmD-fkSNF7SkQy32vmoSr597BwwBbXEl5u4se9YAardMYtRvXD9YTTRi0dytv_5AVHPO61D4bX7zoeAGIDJ4tgjpvIOUYebdoo0-6f-JDS3T7p5abOG_cSkevBPOa4IUQKzvg_JMAp5XLublR8gyu2uHoUjr4iQ18JUR6_z9dPJfdZcNLYpnNooPEcgVgNbJsHVZrsiUuUPM4uiPaCLd8a1u1sdEFGjy9pyUhqTGiBlV41DcoHZSV9gNTtK0WsUVGX=w1416-h796-no)

Corn: $.84
Ginger: $.78
Cabbage (2.2lb): $1.08
Lettuce: $.99
Spicy pepper: $.11
Tomatoes (3lb): $2.92

Total receipt = $6.72. Doing a stir-fry tonight. Hopefully I'll remember to take pictures.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Safeway:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/sGJpkURgeyIQSb2wPBvYT1jFWu_TYIqI4KK-qfbTUSHcGSl6l_8MkkTrgKBgeeTb0nyuJRLwlAoUmkuIeFVRL_MMST0ZKJA4eB8xFDlmveJ6ZjxguavhGWAjVF7alA-KND4gKAJ3tlH-h8f9LBC-B3qrqbsEfP5HOfC2rusb19rslDC5KH-s6iURwwcYvbon9bMEtu5Pz0a0AqNaqAGeDmDR7L4_tntg-jtk2NB6PXiRO7os_lurJnmQTedhIAV7aIvIQKwiA_Nmg6XeYD3AXh16RoRyqauU0vlGRd3WciSbZUU4ikWbnSEyN2cwrrgWiT5TQKTpdiAyl_LuAdtRqPsjs5EneKqaX_95Fm_cLaYOAA5XIXASFCCCKfmLZApiT85kTBgdMXbnz1RNlU14clXOq_ihB2Gn-KpDotLW1p2vUMQBEVgir-vvWjRmtyXE8NmBN-WBAhJ2B1TiDOiEJ1-d_BFCJoSLJCnajbkENb8M_LEHJ-xJfVT_0cZZk6opI2nU-65L9xoNRH2sfZWf82DyxVMw0wo5bcoFFF6bvbjhsZzlRwag7wfGf2lVncNXWUKiJuT7Y08Lbk3xaoZUcnBTPQN-FKSC_ECBdM6kXbemDNo94cr0iJ6Ahqqqc8bmMcyES7ED3E880Tzbj3QAxX37-ydKVqga=w1416-h796-no)

Milk: $1.98
Chicken: $4.17

Total receipt = $8.15. Chicken was $.69/lb; I generally am willing to spend an extra $.30/lb for pieces, because they are so much more easy to freeze for using later. But I figured I'd use this one right away, so nbd-- it's currently marinating in the fridge (always marinate your meat!) and will be dinner tomorrow.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Also, managed to pick up a freebie gallon of milk from a customer's rental, so that was a nice bonus!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on August 19, 2018, 02:59:31 PM
SO took that giant hunk of ginger I got last time, and made it into this:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/4X-iXsGYyIGj2SNNd3uq50C-9TVulrr9FB4yVhDH7vMv7zdfMee-ewOzYZCcVJd_kXzDKTP5KxllMqle9trZjkhNijpcGO6z9MCCsysc5t8mPq329zT2qy0I51NxKjDRETRbpyPCx80G6MhC7L5medbXZZSInrtvI38F_9_tKIpmU6Oh4hWmz7jF5NhMzdGvr4hiNlChsBR2W6aBzERyAeUH1MHTnffswWSL-aUIpgkq0wgjQlzdtSnRl1_Y1eERXSTd9QAScUlsuuP_T9daV0k6DcWKTX44V4Ge3vDKnKcBzWl_jrfYbccx6agfQDx67ubm0GVGUYuHHtjOQlr6nocadzI2PjwUj3TzkbRkvh0ti2EZ9JWuT6oTpkD5jik5RsMj0Nbn3GCtAKfKFM-TydnUYlfaYX4mqs73eMJ5YHLtgDq5IZ1A6-aLRIpkJdsrcsVhufH5REWXh7Vg6EUH0Ew_c2cfh179ZRdT4EqpT9rJ1lnyAYkG4DyP0UNcm7WMvsKJ7VaUJeHFFK-J4Ncf2L9YspSNkomQfmRh-kMiG1Wk7rMKopbY9z3tuOMELAWbAUKRe53HP03JMAvg8KsUj3AscNQLOO7oYbbSmLgGLGUXhids9aIG0PwYdCs_KtMERW14TWES3XwKwUjLMhdy0vubBBvBIcqU=w721-h403-no)

Candied ginger. So delicious.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on August 21, 2018, 11:06:16 PM
Ay yi yi! School has started for both SO and the kids. Yesterday, I picked the kids up from the bus stop, and took them back to work with me-- they had a great time, playing in the giant dirt pile, "helping" me drive the skidsteer-- but by the time we called it quits, it was 6:15pm. Normally, that's when dinnertime is over and I tell them to get ready for bed. So instead of going home and making something (it'd be 7:00 by the time dinner was even on the table), we went to Costco.

$8.65

I got paid an extra 3.5hrs on my timesheet, the kids got to play in the dirt, and no dishes. While not ideal for this thread's budget, it made the most sense; we came out money ahead, the kids had a fun time, and I didn't have to fix dinner after a long day.

Sunday night, I did stir-fry, and of course I didn't remember to take any pictures. Our guests said it was amazing, so that makes me feel like my cooking skills are pretty decent.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: JoJo on August 22, 2018, 09:55:33 AM
I'm still eating thru everything in my freezer and cupboard.  I've spent about $20 on groceries in the last month - pretty much just vegetables and eggs. I'm also on a diet right now so sticking to 1000 cal a day keeps it cheap.

Only 3 weeks left to eat the stuff in my house.  I think I will have to throw out a little bit of stuff, the dry goods will go in storage for when I return to the US.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: OtherJen on August 22, 2018, 06:07:41 PM
Im super excited that I remembered to grab a rotisserie chicken from Costco yesterday ($4.99 at the Ann Arbor, MI store). I pulled off all the meat and made 2 quarts of stock, and we shredded up some of the meat into leftover black beans and rice last night, my savory oatmeal this morning, and tonights Italian white bean, vegetable, and brown rice bowls (made with some of the stock and free tomatoes and herbs from SILs garden). We still have enough leftover meat and stock for chicken noodle soup tomorrow night.

I also bought 25 lbs of Thai jasmine rice for 17.99. Together with the 12 lbs of organic brown rice ($12.59) purchased last month, we wont need to buy rice for at least a year (2-person household).

I renewed our lapsed Costco membership last fall and it has been one of the very best things weve done for our budget and diet. Were not to your level yet, @APowers, but you set an excellent example.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Dee_ on August 24, 2018, 07:49:18 PM
Folks, thanks for a lovely backlog of posts to enjoy!

Posting to follow and hopefully contribute. Some background: I'm reliably able to do groceries for DH & myself on <$350. Between making most stuff from scratch and cheapy Midwest prices (1.50 for two dozen eggs, whoo) it's never too hard.

Our primary pitfall really is fresh fruit, we can easily spend ~10-15 per trip (and I usually make something like 3 trips/month) on peak-season deliciousness. Hoping I can do some gleaning this fall and cut into the spending for a few months.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on August 25, 2018, 10:44:36 PM
Meal updates...mostly normal stuff, but wednesday night my mentor/employer/friend took us out to dinner. It wasn't a fancy restaurant, but still, it's more than what's in the budget, so it was a very nice treat.

Also, I made granola bars so we'd have some to pack in Kiddo's lunch box.
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/P3zYfdDCQd-wglZ0HUI-ywnOcfPifhKhrHZx9Qe6TIyTV8lIG9kpm1UHLeWaraKLBeE0-c68pBiSwhT8BTb5oTenHrpGqvk6NDAXGsewpydyCwcN6Rr_faUT1TpfIq521RcDKrQyg-SDH4H9xCQPIFS6IY8u3R5yAiAD7Bhwh7gwjEsKxULIr5KNg-1f0myAcgd2BnhT8mnww64Cp5WizNQPQzRsLmehMtgpDaGB7pIsGo3ghXGh3Q6ylhGcvcfaC9r2CqdI4I6p76O4eGNMgqXyLByuqC0JBzflCGMKebwCCU68yZYj2737689PYrj_z7T7dhOWSLzVE87lEXxHFi1j1v40wmPnXj39kXQI-_GLVU8ZtZJT-FU9ZjiQ8_sKnVku0X3knwuh6fXjFvKW45U4-vuG3e0DlzT2HCIoTkYQnOYgsNj2hevjFpeqyk_JwP5oHFMf9N9z61leGl_sGN85xWzYSCF_DjHK5gU3U6ZyCvV0eBlnh3mdoZzXkNWLUZ4Fv3N26eKT08aXKgZuh5ICuFXlR46UJxDeo20AjhisssnhdHtYO4gmYQrvFno7_F1D_MJ0CZWfBMxLPRhDpySZ4uwFmZhF_5Lfnu844E46ctV-aGkgKlQCRxyvUa-TtUuJ_xSRCdvBeFiZi9zGO1wXppEE_VM8C1ZKUBHd0z7ef6N86mQ-kYQZ=w794-h447-no)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on August 25, 2018, 11:39:53 PM
Grocery errands:

Walmart on friday:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/Z2jwu9DTrilYNAAACuYBwr-R2qCoDigjRWyeFT6Z8lHRsOR2lCTXrugjhJG4loAo0ZlzmuzaN_F_LfB2A-D-w_NycdFsCwAFMpW2a5ieue3YB65JZ_B07tOtN8shirOjOi4-IeQuK16Ieo-H0Xe6pmjwvp5AOJTfaw5VvpziQpo5uj9P_5MWQh3DhfFkKpuJoMd_JGEmc6DN2kNp5TimJnVPgVWniGgYqSs1gXXPJIO6o6skWCpa-l6QtxeOARWd6-jN59YJrHoX2agnLOMHW2AQCsgFTVlWQUdEsiOz-i9CAwq0mIGAV8x9f0GaM9_H4ppS8eGvDNeoeGW9rmBFB42rvqfiLyn9E3bmRI8yVsJjGyrn5R-0AdlbbxpdNeHsHN3ZQA16TkraQzsrMKdItUFz-CgMjFUW6CHODRfEkMbJqoyRuBehyXtaIxDv3SRyrsxCNDkWiPtfRXP8Oar1VOQbmFSYRXG32nqWafRcHyTbCWrkf_SPQkqxrURyXkOqrKItif36zpKlm8lny3av40iWTmzey6FujJ9ZcPt_-zpOuphBQEpDZpJdzza8VI7rMTIJLrnTY3eE3qa04ZG6AkTv7ONJRvFQTNVFDWYHKQFdGdkE5hTDE7QrXETzhk4VptQz1_5dQuSh64TbkJNmddQr2WZ0cEwDZeSHRLB3dWec4ljw2vf9ZYjx=w794-h447-no)

Gluten free pasta: $7.92
Lime juice: $2.48

Total receipt = $10.40. I just wanted to make a note about the lime juice; I can get the walmart brand for $1, or the Realime name-brand for $2. But the difference in quality is pretty stark. Store-brand and name-brand are pretty equivalent, but compared to the key lime juice, they taste "cooked" and I have to use about twice as much to get the same amount of lime-y oomph.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

King Soopers:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/3P8LAiFzYEu4qBu2YNQU7eYoR54Rtz-NdC722p06r-UJD_jiQakoGg9VZ8AWelKllP4sbamfn0wPA-pZ9MtLEduHhjjls-YIcsLcfpma1mIs5bcy0hCA1TrdUn_mhOJ9kfes5tNoryrQAXfqRh21VNa_f9tKKLaFLFlL0s2pHSPoGeAc94rbVqTJxo7ds-ifqYMVcnZicxYrEiGv2yWRz43m1rcqcuQhuTKJ5de5MCpJ0jl-DYnuHc-7rvrKxuzUdzGFJKNoQpJwQE5zYdDl1eGx-jF1ZklDTeNevqIIUOrqypK6d4NHu5BHshmGA3qzIjOXlWce8h8ja3XskRJR7zwfJI8JMnyNg3GGdb3O5Ov4qXLEMtuA7p_bx_UDX31caf_b7lohicZh_g10bRLfaU18mF3Sxunye1BM054s29GhD-exr705JTG37ZJPj3FmVcIUk7DkZkh8eL0rP01UOSodZlNWT_cvot7jmcR06d1iUJSeg-5NDh4LGv5DvO4tdFAqbJ--Zi1nAXMAAGBFRs87yygHZEUZW7UpqlixnuRy2nMg7ID24kq7PPFQ8F9qo8tC1mYTfAPq-bkMuw09tKA3ZTu-VllDfVKLUy6MFxKuVCFEf43TDBEpL35vsWX8FIE_TcGJ4iqETvGPCXVK-4qC_W6iZVScCDT1CzfrSqkl3nT_Pa9x46Ad=w794-h447-no)

Cheese: $3.74
Gum: $0 (freebie)

Total receipt = $3.74

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Sprouts:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/WPCBj60C013vW98DY3sv04tAYPwCU5tPGQNHDWqrrqC3zgWxsqh-T_g3RVWtRaMJK_IhB9EKAPCICkw1oLGKcAfLBDzj4aSviAxhjA5FNgW8Uy7nL_E_wRT_4SgDT0ihaCbwrKWSRBHjYy3vuoMbCAmhH9kuQiy_uF7R8_gzMp8ePHnw8lxgFg8-UFT9qajbAJYn5RaQgmoG95ZGXB6nuLjtAaTdGwU3pRN5H81UNRBwxNcOfVc2VPBwHVJ1SAyWDFNfAUarDTQ1n50NiE75kOyUTdJ0BuXdM7FIKrI7ty0v-JZrNZ-FBnazNjr7EAPzUKr5ZVOjmzrwCiWcmqzeFD0Ghh7Emf_imC43rGWKbDge0dtCjiewn-Frf4jRIsDkLKor-Il83e3nszDy-tu7NW6yMmEVeuJpesfT6xxHGeUD92H0fwx3X0Z3Eu8HEJXU22V8-hhVD5RY2vtEY9vtAbRP-KdORHcAyjSKQJRm4rb-DHgq86Zcp0tb-c0gSz5fTfqF5-1E00DgxcNCZmtR-TcjFBv3Qw_kp0rQp5BcWDbRkVgDdHmoC9RFL2K_vsk4JvkGVCEfElPzrxkIjxaa7RIGv59cAThT4JCv3WiesweERY6L7U7El51-ciJw1B4FP4REj_Oj6AvCLqu5ivyc90hXvaIZKmho2DkaeQpMzG_U3QhDgKRXZEaI=w794-h447-no)

Apples: $12.76
Green peppers: $1.00
Lettuce: $.99
Corn: $.75
Tomatoes: $1.40
Peaches: $1.29

Total receipt = $18.19

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Discount store:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/4BIvMWtAjA5JVlavl3shZeXWfL6Beq230aXzaj42PerzD_CVOimf8G5qRVoosz-7ERGlUMIun0lLt6fwtZJsXn_PaJpD8vDXetW7wB41wplS8Hp1PS5eleALnE-Hvm6Z5Yrcg-XGYUCF29nWtbAT6TAABgrwo-Gh8neqAoJexvzJCCw6crS5oOZ789eNOoQFWAf3FhpQKj_5YMd0TbSjBvRu1ewvjptu8XbxEZLhZuefF9ok0xUuyJvaXhLmd0RJxLskbxdm0Na1y0ZZTfGo68kBfoIXQ_HVUBYZVXMIfbuiAf3tlVfxZMlpyNdTr8iaRRQ7-rtxR5rS20giGwbx-ZFpFVwnYaUebHhKCDUpo3nywOViwen3gAoKBLBNnSVLPKZ9IcaT-kczTD1q6tQZkyGHPDQchCSMCJE4jqQmhXqETLVfGLc8COYCvTH-Lycwg-AWlIRFCq3hGomp8g9mZcdSIljZDc-dz4Y4zkzHbHAyYPMGFO36Ti0xjvt40u94rygAe8Pv_VPVJbkjSRe-l1oBraxbIGnG0Vdx4w30U2CKKdjzc-ItPzDmaNN7jctZpNPYrbN6FxyqNV5EZlyYZ3UFW6yY_HqdtQHE3322L3MUOLfFVwouSRrC9bnxWWZUciMkw4hx1AhxIERgMxrAIxLEiIfZoN-hQ34mjZwfLyV7Xu1jkCi5spQr=w794-h447-no)

Bread: $1.98
Mini peppers: $2.98
Misc chips: $1.00

Total receipt = $5.96. I wasn't expecting to find mini sweet peppers for a steal, plus they had the individual bags of chips that will be very handy to pack as snacks for the kids' school lunches or for taking with us on a day-trip or hike.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: JoJo on August 26, 2018, 04:14:54 PM
Grocery outlet had 2 lbs of nectarines for 99 cents.  If I weren't flying out of the country soon I'd be all over that.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on August 26, 2018, 05:26:24 PM
I don't know what happened to potato prices, but it seems like they jumped up about 6 months ago to about double what they used to be. I'm very sad that the cheapest price I can find for a 10lb bag of plain-jane russets is now like $3.49. First world problems, I guess. It just makes me wonder if there was a problem this year with the major potato farms, the way there was with the vanilla crop last year.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on August 28, 2018, 08:52:40 PM
Did stir-fry tonight, except served over pasta instead of rice. It's been tough trying to figure out a good way to get dinner on the table after taking the kids to work with me 'til 5:30 or 6pm. I'm usually mostly exhausted, and the kids are often verging on hangry. Tonight seemed to go pretty well, because I spent about 10 minutes chopping/prepping everything so it was ready to go-- pretty much all I had to do when we got home was boil the pasta and throw ingredients in the frying pan.

Also, did my own homemade teriyaki (ish?) sauce from the pan drippings and the last of my chicken broth. It came out amazing. A ton of umami and I managed to get the right amount of starch to have it be just ever-so-slightly thick, so it wasn't just brothy (though that would have been fantastic too-- could have eaten dinner like ramen instead of like fried rice. hmmmmmm).

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/2x3G-8Zhodq_dp-UE_DCDPwWmI9hNhnBULPeNjS_IGR-Hnrg-iIEgG9Oig6yFxdF6iNFRB4R-mTFlAFK6lq5eGrXUBpmibp4OwFoZTAt5zdDS7efhLnA6WDIMqyX3ifaAYh6NQzPLz0ooKcg9GMmDxUBKbukqkvFX6OJkQvOSC3UVLZAkhQ7jiPIGBGCgvk_sFCPwSWMfcpUhSwSoIz3Dvva3PsLAOtgWRpqYL8-x5qCwhKHg6TeKnmyceZnBEUGg0vkVtF7RXlEb4vU7retyy7R9XE5Psa5mP_mg32xZy6JdgFd4j4lHX31DPscNCF9QbBt_bHffMtXVcXrAfOfm5a9QzmtzUq3DP2kbh2gwBYhYZ6s23jJobUO-qIe9UxtTTQ9cEmMpoxli95-w5wwEnfJ_Rafq6IUGXtg1uJZY_uWPAetyeTGFlyqHG30ivEFy87LM-KDdIRHhsZmsMhE4I0uUjb2ZXe8OZDvxl5F3F34GXA5RZI-8hv0u63qcxdhWbrb_ayPRw6ZvCZ4bFulvhOrMZ4PSTAEBzmLAxiF0vs0nvVhCCW2CqIp8LGsvJ6UZXif3IwVaR0qmTwO5Wa_8YR7-MUChiPP5EuCDfEwy4VOSGZWDqdsI2RoM6RKWP3oyaqRukZBA_QWLdw2Kp8I2jGtg0WR4CfAjiRbKXTyqExZKEbZ_nHQg88j=w1416-h796-no)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on August 30, 2018, 08:06:34 PM
Stopped at the discount store today:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/lIzQrGJqIa6gcF4tARNzyR0S8OKXWLAzLP0JjJoek6kCz0ghdNFEdtNxQ7Led77avLM6mhC5EwaoYL-78K7hrziRoZu_oGa6tCHIBI1cEGjpTIJRWrFOI2UYvfHK1HJRMQ760i4cL5R7AjL77gls0kvRTrW9l1V3gtejYsks_jfNVADP6vNumnJtQ1_hu2tjIP-tgr6uN28nqQ8bCWGuRnVxfPuAXtASsWJYW4rwDZ4gV49LtFIJv9dibu8SM2EoA3eWlLKo7KI4x7p_X7BV3b3iZnUa-PZxzHomjzjPOdHc9uxfY-JlNQEeiGdFvZ7assuCzUr3rSR86eJq-fbucDxy1oXHQ37ByeW5crMLj1OfinN_y6THzCpmjRGcKckWfP6hbH0PyaRDBCH2zXtkaher-ghlDBTf9tJ4ZMC6AQ3rxPE44pbar29IOyc_P2hAB_8ckWS5scL_Dz9Oa9ZizjKrjB1b2WJA-Pors2QjnErH0KpXRAkZAadGLQ-KuWw3LVXc1vJKV4NjY67DKxBPDSzVb3pyhsq7o26KNMb77GKPXgrd1qFGI5qsaGQ8uBn7hk27U9Zmn87tr5wHJUwoDDjBE2gpkLJmZQ3A2twnoALDtCEvZHTOi1_2k6uP98ZZc5gdqDSw4rUoTii2uy5mQ0EqfSbbAccHAZcsDniMnhf-yUGJiJsqkd75=w1416-h796-no)

Tortillas: $1.98
Hot dog buns: $.99
Corn Meal: $.99

Total receipt = $3.96
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on September 01, 2018, 10:37:52 PM
Grocery errands! From yesterday:

Safeway:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/4MoNEqTvsO6XOaO_IrEIjwZPzo8EvFqju5LCD66smbT3-EbwkyvL6XutSBu5gG7vRbxMjNqUdqSasriDqmrEtRainVImH5puEuD_RtPdBqHKuOIPUjsBG2xwiPEHvhEQbplb9X7dTXRgZQGMZ-JsOuYZmbw9c17MsT8PjkbwqhfJGLSDqriHpEejMl-tu1TteQDcC6dcHvKqHTOW6KepJJGicV7y1GR5d8gsYtZi-SXVKG_MoGBQ8ha0vpMqI4cwr_xc6LGAmUf7lpbVDEA5iDpE_Ci_1fhB0QRozd7aEzTrsF_gGkuOiDO4uWyZKRAmUEk8tUAQqX0jachZEJeA7FBTMyhU0hGZXJC6E80dtM8vISx6KXhxJSqxoLvulx3-Siz9i3O1nUNyksm2E1f7J_UnU2EJISHTZ_qOGqOk8JNayrxF0vMc6Wq-_Eh6c3mP1gSovvMSMGZperYAGbIuuaJpffGbJTbyXAfuPM6zyB3Eo7cEqPfpzClHvFEC0naX-FAK1lYYk8SEunabfk2umqRwmNRFRhyU33LQ9TbKd3sEMqYkriC6WLgSkUXAddIw0J1T32cb_x4piJhBIhS0m8yLACd7pFNKMmpW94Ck5MdSpKaj4wuhZ_-gB7eWwBfDJZSaWANflKhPrdjfyGA4D5ZRnCHjDGZBynttPISLVhAhVeo0t8RqusBk=w794-h447-no)

Chicken: $19.98
Chai drink: $0 (freebie)
Corn: $0 (freebie)

Total receipt = 19.98

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Discount store:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/4hXeoZ-1sbHcaDFRNqioeZtpqa7yu9D0qJJGwaHMtPr8MGW0hconOBKlgzRUiLtVXufencEzLyrsWE75G77L0TztDDLiHtv78QSBmYF3lwRFY-oymFk8Zf6969mUtmeKEDMS9kd4JmMsiOHDsrNfgXcdiPXyjtmpRhpwbiC_Baq154Zt20NOYPd-VKRlqzC3NQlYoRxkAPTJgdt3jCAMCkzKwOKiDSdcJvEH8lDHbvhV6otuF4uuwpI7fqdWCBzuJYca4KLcwfgvcP-2HugDj5mkLOpWLUX6ucvbuQz-8ohczQ7VHlspyIk99ASi4UAppCmyjDot50acuQGHOVB1Q6RWr4AOEOd_beRUmCke9LCLxlvmWK_qb9fxzg-bspdsT2IoizO5tp4VQm3BaeXDmjUkAbrmFBTMzlt-y-myGugcwJtt1PynUZmec5ki_XMHSNneMS80KHYH-82LpSGuqpXI0RchnOj0UpZshSf_SM_q9dUbd32KUQZnlCdaB5YTHM3bS23P69iaOGkAqH0Kutdb8Rh2QIrjAt9B9XBjx_9p_fy0UyHwtNomqYNShnb5c0WhSTVPyPprt7We1AkizCCp6osJF3jfbFJeQy2A0XedZO0TYimRtiSGmS8jT2UNewc71ugWeupAvrHKwR5oaHtUs3jxzRn8lCb3y6eXf3WmphsSlvwENI0A=w794-h447-no)

Cereal: $1.50
Caramel chips: $2.97
Mayo: $.99

Total receipt = $5.46.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on September 01, 2018, 10:38:33 PM
Here's the end-of-month tally for August. I feel like we overspent, but I think it's just the $100 Costco total throwing me off. Beans and rice, though, plus a bunch of meat and cheese.


$46.14 --- Safeway [5 visits]
$18.50 --- King Soopers [5 visits]
$52.47 --- Sprouts [5 visits]
$21.66 --- Discount Store [5 visits]
$103.47 --- Costco [2 visits]
$3.29 --- Save-a-lot [1 visit]
$10.40 --- Walmart [1 visit]

$8.65 --- Costco Food Court [1 visit]
______

$264.58 --- Total Food Spending for August.


$124.70 = January
$210.46 = February ($201.28 if you don't count eating out)
$286.43 = March ($277.78 if you don't count eating out)
$185.53 = April ($172.57 if you don't count eating out)
$238.63 = May ($108.63 if you don't count eating out)
$303.50 = June ($194.48 if you don't count eating out)
$266.13 = July ($253.74 if you don't count eating out)
$264.58 = August (255.93 if you don't count eating out)

YTD Averages:

$235 = Monthly average (including eating out)
$198.66 =  Monthly average (not counting eating out)
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on September 01, 2018, 10:47:15 PM
Stopped at King Soopers on my way home today:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/a0uApzoXeq6ivOAz8_ELofJweNtafVlCkshluDymTz77UUtQLX_KJRlsiB6B2psgVabSWrdalCLCR_RMEwEMKgM1LGlp-VgH5CfDDf_4WCZsk22NVJmqTlTb848PooTgIkjkZkJP3gSOAh6bCOvS5UiuA3-e3DGwFBYPDlBN-GkxvrkdkV45l3MM5bf9ukx7a0KwQYSVuUMHlYTQSSRibM2As8EsYeUkOMHTSztpaJ_5RjzG0_Op03RY6MO9Sp9NIgWnUw7Ti84ABuQvtXsWOjv12f19yF5feMqxVSD2rcOAhuZ346zCO0D_q3GrOwXpl9XAAc3cJEvs0j1esSdhedpIRjSDs8FxBa1fOSvNH4RsbWVPiOGomrR6IDu-kn4M7qNMs1WWXuPeYtNpDIokR3tcwaz_ILvmF7-Dn5uX6KDWp__KhCIWweWnZEzUTu-qvhsr4efvtjIgy5y1N6vM-uQTy1Bg_GH0anIyZBKR19VOMaE0U211p44xpZCNGLLrygu0mv2CbVl9G4BjV1YvaXrd83TlhbQRTjfPmymqWagyWvthuiSM8A68EnfA7tLY6_m09Q9_kIBgL-IlC7tdbO3hshl4dfJ9D7D_H7LNdjh2_9P5Et-FJHAOWxDtMf3hM5mikwKVRFNe9hQSwHiToc8gRkcXBaH2T6eMYacNrVHTo9ELwPBIDkaP=w794-h447-no)

Chocolate milk: $.10
Hot dogs: $4.95

Total receipt = $5.05. The kids were ECSTATIC about having chocolate milk. And it was only 10 cents!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Trifele on September 02, 2018, 05:12:15 AM
@APowers, how do these freebies work that you frequently get?  Is it only King Sooper that does those?  Thanks
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: OtherJen on September 02, 2018, 07:20:13 AM
@APowers, how do these freebies work that you frequently get?  Is it only King Sooper that does those?  Thanks

Obviously Im not APowers, but Kroger does them too. You have to be signed up for the online rewards program, and you get a free item offer on Friday.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on September 02, 2018, 07:27:29 AM
@APowers, how do these freebies work that you frequently get?  Is it only King Sooper that does those?  Thanks

I have my King Soopers card connected to the website/app-- every week they have a digital coupon for a free item. Usually it's a new product they're trying to feature, and it's often small/single serving size.

Safeway does the same kind of thing, but not on a regular schedule.

I think they track my purchase history, and then sometimes will send me a coupon for something similar to what I've bought in the past "You're a great customer! Here's a coupon for cheese [or peanut butter, or milk, etc] we know you like!"

I don't go searching these out-- I just make sure to take advantage of them when they come up. I also have my account settings set so that I get an email when there are new coupons available to download. I end up checking through the coupons about once a week for each store. I also have the app on my phone, which makes it easy to download a coupon at the store, if there's one that I forgot when browsing through. Having the coupon app also makes it easy to doublecheck that I have the right item for the coupon without having crumpled up little papers in my pocket.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: Trifele on September 02, 2018, 09:17:44 AM
Ah!  Thank you both!
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: bearandmoose on September 03, 2018, 04:32:39 AM
Shaws/Star Market do something similar.  Maybe Stop and Shop too.
Title: Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
Post by: APowers on September 06, 2018, 10:26:18 PM
Costco report fr