Author Topic: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget  (Read 108998 times)

Linda_Norway

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #950 on: January 03, 2019, 06:40:02 AM »
Maybe I should add that I have a sensitive bowel and respond badly to eating onions. Therefore unfortunately, I can't eat onions, which are a typical low-price food. I also respond to some other veggies. DH responds badly to eating corn and certain white beans. But luckily not all beans. We can still eat kidney beans, black beans, and linzes.

DH wants to boycott sheep meat, because he doesn't agree with the anti-wolf politics in Norway (that favour the sheep farmers). I want to cut down on eating red meat for health reasons. So there isn't a lot of meat left to choose from: chicken/turkey and pig. Occasionally something more exotic, like reindeer meat, which is also red and very expensive. Occasionally we eat fish, which is slightly more expensive than chicken. Sometimes we eat self-caught fish. which is both healthy and free of cost. I try to eat veggie meals once or twice a week. We do it more often once than twice, though. Maybe something to do better in 2019: twice a week.

In 2018 my average food spending per month was: 4325 Norwegian crowns (roughly 450$) for 2 adults. This includes deodorant and that sort of stuff. It is also only my expenses, as DH doesn't track. But I buy most of the food.

In 2017 it was 3779 Norwegian crowns per month, roughly 400$.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2019, 06:47:10 AM by Linda_Norway »

smileyface

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #951 on: January 03, 2019, 10:50:12 AM »
I've been reading the blog avidly over the past year, but this is my first time commenting on it.  Just want to say a huge THANK YOU to APowers for documenting your shopping/cooking so thoroughly!  There is so much to learn from this thread, I feel like virtually everyone can take something valuable away from it.

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #952 on: January 03, 2019, 02:50:33 PM »
Just wanted to bump this for anyone who was interested-- all my pantry inventory is finally posted in the reserved post.

robartsd

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #953 on: January 03, 2019, 05:37:45 PM »
Just wanted to bump this for anyone who was interested-- all my pantry inventory is finally posted in the reserved post.
Overall it looks like you've used up quite a bit of stored dry goods, but added a lot of meat (~20 lb thanks to the chest freezer); did the freezer take some of your dry goods storage space?

Flour and oatmeal each look about 40 lb short of last year, potatoes are about 15 lb short (you mentioned having difficulty finding good prices), dry beans and lentils are down about 25 lb; but canned beans are up about 12 cans, rice is up by about 25 lb, and pasta is up by about 16 lb (much of that GF).

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #954 on: January 03, 2019, 09:19:03 PM »
Just wanted to bump this for anyone who was interested-- all my pantry inventory is finally posted in the reserved post.
Overall it looks like you've used up quite a bit of stored dry goods, but added a lot of meat (~20 lb thanks to the chest freezer); did the freezer take some of your dry goods storage space?

Flour and oatmeal each look about 40 lb short of last year, potatoes are about 15 lb short (you mentioned having difficulty finding good prices), dry beans and lentils are down about 25 lb; but canned beans are up about 12 cans, rice is up by about 25 lb, and pasta is up by about 16 lb (much of that GF).

Yeah, I'm really happy that my store of meat is way up.

I didn't lose any dry goods space-- actually I have more now, since the basement remodel got finished.

I'm actually only down 12.5lb lentils-- and that's mainly because I ran out about 6 months ago, and simply couldn't find them for a good price since (I like lentils, so I've been looking, too!). I just used the last of my white flour, so it's on my Costco list (that's about $6 for 25lb)-- so it just is at a natural low point in its cycle. Oatmeal, yeah, it's about 30-40lb shy of last year.

Potatoes, yes, prices went up about 50-80% at some point this year, and really haven't come back down. I'm not sure if there was a potato blight or something. I did a couple brief Google searches, but turned up nothing. Am I the only one who pays attention to potato prices?

I'm also actually only down about 16lbs of beans (I have about 8-9lb on hand still, compared to 25 at the start of the year).

Peanut butter is also up, and cake mix is up, and olives are up significantly too.

Thanks for pulling out some real comparison numbers!

Linda_Norway

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #955 on: January 04, 2019, 12:14:25 AM »
In northern Europe we have had an extremely hot summer and draught. Our potatoes look different this year, more misformed than usual. Maybe there are just less good potatoes for sale on the world market in total, which may drive up the prices. I think they now sell the potatoes that in other years would have been ditched for their bad looks. Good for the environment, though.

Basenji

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #956 on: January 04, 2019, 08:29:46 AM »
We need to sticky this for all time. Amazing thread! Thanks for doing it. @arebelspy @FrugalToque

slappy

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #957 on: January 04, 2019, 09:10:05 AM »
Just wanted to bump this for anyone who was interested-- all my pantry inventory is finally posted in the reserved post.

Are you continuing this thread or was it a one year thing?

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #958 on: January 04, 2019, 07:51:50 PM »
Just wanted to bump this for anyone who was interested-- all my pantry inventory is finally posted in the reserved post.

Are you continuing this thread or was it a one year thing?

I'm pretty much going to wrap it up. I've got other big priorities this year (remodel the rest of the house + yard), and keeping a detailed blog record of everything I buy and what food I'm making for dinner all the time isn't part of those plans.

I will still be around the forum, though, and it's not like I'm going to stop shopping frugally. I accomplished with this thread what I set out to do-- make a detailed practical journal of what I spent and what kind of food we ate, so that when anyone is complaining at me about "how expensive groceries are these days" or "how no-one can afford healthy food anymore" or "the only cheap food is highly processed junk" or whatever, I can direct them here to substantiate my assertions that it IS possible to eat healthfully for quite little, and that the SNAP challenge (for any person with a relatively stable living situation and a kitchen) is really *not* that hard.

Trifele

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #959 on: January 05, 2019, 04:11:40 AM »
Congrats @APowers!  Your jewel of a thread is now enshrined up on the permanent Badassity shelf where many others can learn from it.  (Thank you mods!)

:)
« Last Edit: January 05, 2019, 06:09:37 AM by Trifele »

Linda_Norway

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #960 on: January 05, 2019, 08:56:03 AM »
During the holidays I received a new cookbook full of delicious looking recipies. The book is called Simpel. It requires a lot of north African ingredients. I went to an etnic shop yesterday, but they only had a few of the ingredients. I now made some myself: lemons in salt, tahin (sesame pasta) and harissa (chili paste). The latter was supposed to contain rose petals which I didn't have access to. I used a wild plant I found in the spring that wad stored in the freezer. It is supposed to be sugary. Nice to finally use it.

Buying some flavors is a good investment to stay motivated to cook at home. The last year I have felt a bit uninspired and found it difficult to make good dishes. Although I didn't fall for the temptation to eat out or order food. We just don't do that.

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #961 on: January 05, 2019, 07:45:50 PM »
Congrats @APowers!  Your jewel of a thread is now enshrined up on the permanent Badassity shelf where many others can learn from it.  (Thank you mods!)

:)

Yay! I'm official now!

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #962 on: January 06, 2019, 12:22:17 PM »
Went grocery shopping today, and had a moment of joyful relief when I remembered that I didn't have to document everything with pictures and prices anymore. LOL! I didn't think I'd be as excited about that as I was, haha!

Trifele

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #963 on: January 06, 2019, 01:45:01 PM »
Went grocery shopping today, and had a moment of joyful relief when I remembered that I didn't have to document everything with pictures and prices anymore. LOL! I didn't think I'd be as excited about that as I was, haha!

You deserve the rest after your work of the past year!  Though all of us will have withdrawal symptoms . . . haha

TexasRunner

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #964 on: January 07, 2019, 11:54:46 AM »
Link to in first post

It would also be great if we edited the first post with the monthly totals and the final yearly average!  That way they can see the results up front when it is opened instead of having to guess at page 19...


Also, I haven't posted here (I think) but this has been a fantastic thread and I'm glad to have followed it.  It has convinced be to be more diligent in tracking each specific catagory (like food, homestuffs, etc) instead of just being lazy and letting mint group all of Walmart into "shopping".  Hope to get our family of 5 down to about 300 a year and just as healthy as this.  Great thread and thanks for the hard work on it!!!

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #965 on: January 07, 2019, 04:14:14 PM »
Link to in first post

It would also be great if we edited the first post with the monthly totals and the final yearly average!  That way they can see the results up front when it is opened instead of having to guess at page 19...


Also, I haven't posted here (I think) but this has been a fantastic thread and I'm glad to have followed it.  It has convinced be to be more diligent in tracking each specific catagory (like food, homestuffs, etc) instead of just being lazy and letting mint group all of Walmart into "shopping".  Hope to get our family of 5 down to about 300 a year and just as healthy as this.  Great thread and thanks for the hard work on it!!!

Done. First post has the overall average posted, and a link to the relevant detail/breakdown post on page 19.

Lews Therin

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #966 on: January 08, 2019, 06:09:25 AM »
Random Canadian data point for those interested.

2018 grocery spending for LT and his partner: 90$/PP.

that`s less than 1.1k on the whole year. So it's not just a US thing.

zoe2dot

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #967 on: January 10, 2019, 11:38:51 AM »
@APowers  You inspired me to finally use the food scale I've had for a year.  I was shocked at how many ounces of protein I was consuming.  I was also shocked how much longer it lasted when I was eating 4 oz instead of 8 oz...the shockingly simply math should not have been so shocking. 

I'm echoing everyone's kudos and thanks for keeping this thread going through the year. 

Linda_Norway

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #968 on: January 10, 2019, 12:52:38 PM »
We are doing quite well eating vegetarian food several times a week, the last 2 weeks. We are also eating all leftover portions.

I have some trouble eating all bread . When I but bread (cheap and healthy), i cut it up in daily portions and freeze those. We take out one every day. I have larger pieces for the days that we don't work. Often the last (thick) stump is left over. Sometimes I can use breadcrumb in a dinner dish. Maybe I should make a ziplock bag of crumbs instead of ditching the stump.

Lews Therin

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #969 on: January 10, 2019, 08:32:07 PM »
Toast the stump, and put something excessive on it (nutella, pb and bananas... Make it a treat!

Linda_Norway

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #970 on: January 10, 2019, 11:49:30 PM »
@APowers , in one of your early posts I saw bags of self-grated cheese that were in the freezer. Does that work well and can it be used as normal grated cheese later?

I have some stumps of cheese that are in their plastic bag in the fridge waiting to be grated when I need grated cheese. Sometimes they have started to get a bit of fungi on them and I need to cut of the outer part before grating. Would it be smarter to grate them now and store them in the freezer?

robartsd

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #971 on: January 11, 2019, 10:05:22 AM »
@APowers , in one of your early posts I saw bags of self-grated cheese that were in the freezer. Does that work well and can it be used as normal grated cheese later?

I have some stumps of cheese that are in their plastic bag in the fridge waiting to be grated when I need grated cheese. Sometimes they have started to get a bit of fungi on them and I need to cut of the outer part before grating. Would it be smarter to grate them now and store them in the freezer?
Yes, freezing grated cheese works fairly well. Sliced and block cheese don't freeze well (they get crumbly when they thaw), but that's not really an issue for grated cheese.

APowers

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #972 on: January 11, 2019, 01:42:59 PM »
@APowers , in one of your early posts I saw bags of self-grated cheese that were in the freezer. Does that work well and can it be used as normal grated cheese later?

I have some stumps of cheese that are in their plastic bag in the fridge waiting to be grated when I need grated cheese. Sometimes they have started to get a bit of fungi on them and I need to cut of the outer part before grating. Would it be smarter to grate them now and store them in the freezer?

I think what you saw was grated mozzarella in ziplocs--- but it wasn't self-grated. I had bought the giant bags from Costco and portioned it into smaller baggies. Self-grated cheese would probably do okay, but you may have a problem with it sticking all together. I know the commercially grated cheese gets a cellulose/starch powder to keep the individual shreds from clumping, where a home-grated cheese wouldn't have that.

galliver

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Re: Have a sub-$200/month Grocery Budget
« Reply #973 on: January 11, 2019, 06:03:33 PM »
@APowers , in one of your early posts I saw bags of self-grated cheese that were in the freezer. Does that work well and can it be used as normal grated cheese later?

I have some stumps of cheese that are in their plastic bag in the fridge waiting to be grated when I need grated cheese. Sometimes they have started to get a bit of fungi on them and I need to cut of the outer part before grating. Would it be smarter to grate them now and store them in the freezer?

I think what you saw was grated mozzarella in ziplocs--- but it wasn't self-grated. I had bought the giant bags from Costco and portioned it into smaller baggies. Self-grated cheese would probably do okay, but you may have a problem with it sticking all together. I know the commercially grated cheese gets a cellulose/starch powder to keep the individual shreds from clumping, where a home-grated cheese wouldn't have that.
You can add cornstarch! (1tbsp/lb or thereabouts)