Author Topic: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018  (Read 59927 times)

Roadrunner53

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #550 on: September 30, 2018, 08:35:14 AM »
Rosey, yes, the liners are fantastic. The material is like the Reynolds turkey cooking bags. Just be careful if you buy them. They come in different sizes. My CP is a very large one and oval. The largest Crockpot cooking liner just fits it and is tight. I also have a small CP and use the large liners for it too. I am cooking a pot roast today in the CP with the liner. Makes clean up so easy! Love them!

What I do sometimes is to just remove the liner from the CP and put the whole liner and food in it into a storage container for the refrigerator. I am always a bit nervous the bag/liner might burst on the bottom but so far that has not happened!

jim555

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #551 on: September 30, 2018, 12:00:44 PM »
September $199.18 total.

4alpacas

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #552 on: September 30, 2018, 01:59:20 PM »
Spending $400 at Costco paid off! I was out of town on a work trip, and my DH ordered no delivery/takeout.  We've also avoided restaurants for an entire weekend.  We had a decadent grocery spending month, but our freezer is still full of packaged food.  I hope my DH continues to opt for frozen food when I'm out of town.

Our grocery bill (including dog stuff, cleaning supplies, paper products, etc.) was $600 for September.  However, the restaurant spending went way down the second half of the month. 

I'm going to try to continue to work on bringing down our restaurant spending in October.

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #553 on: September 30, 2018, 02:40:01 PM »
@4alpacas - that is great progress! I stopped trying to change my husband's behavior while I was gone (traveling for work), & instead figured out cheaper workaround to what he was trying to do (quickly throw together dinner for the kids). I stocked up on Costco pizzas, bought discounted gift cards for the quick & easy salad bar they like, etc. It's not perfect, but it definitely saves over the previous way he handled it.


Laura33

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #554 on: October 04, 2018, 12:45:01 PM »
@4alpacas -- sure we didn't marry the same guy?  ;-)

DH went shopping when I was out of town last weekend, so that brings our monthly spend to, oh, about double the target -- $861 food, $137 HH.  It is clear that I need to stay away from the farmers' market (which accounts for over $150 of that, for very little food value).

One slight bit of good news:  I got PO'd that I was dropping so much on pierogies at the farmers' market and tried to make them myself.  Took all day, but I did it, and they are delicious, and now I have a freezer full of two different kinds.  And the dough was really easy to work, too, so now that I know how to do it, I can experiment with the different flavors the kids like. 

4alpacas

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #555 on: October 04, 2018, 02:01:29 PM »
@MaybeBabyMustache My approach to spending less is to make the cheaper way the easiest way.  So far, I've been happy with the progress.  However, it does take a lot of work on my end.  If I'm lazy, then our spending balloons. I'm the only one who cares, so I don't mind putting in the time.

@Laura33 A workaholic, spendypants?  If yes, then probably!

I've kept track of the items that we finished quickly from Costco.  We will probably go back this month, but WITH A LIST! The only restaurant spending since our Costco trip is my DH's lunch habit,* which I haven't been able to break. 

I will have to have groceries delivered this weekend because I'm desperate for fruit.

*Technically, both of us have been to restaurants while on work travel.  The decrease in restaurant spending might also be a move from our budget to reimbursable spending.

rachellynn99

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #556 on: October 06, 2018, 08:38:32 AM »
My spending so far for October is $243.xx.

I actually have about $30 of that left though in cash as I got out $100 last week and only spent $70. So I have really I guess spent $213 for the month.

This is for 2 adults, 3 kids ( ages 12, 11,7), we eat all breakfast, lunches and dinners from home or at home. I pack the kids lunches each day for school along with mine and my husband's.

I've finally gotten to a really nice spot in our pantry.  I am just using our grocery budget to stock up each week. I'll go and buy what is on sale and then meal plan when I get home. There are certain things we like to do like Taco Tuesday, so when they have black beans or refried beans on sale I'll stock up. I now have about 10-15 of each kind of can along with several dried bags of each. Same with tortillas- they had them on sale for 89 cents a few months back and I bought 10 packs and then froze them. Each week when I go to the store I just buy what is on sale and even "managers" special.

I'll buy whatever fruit is in season and super cheap. I find that we are staying in our "around" $300 budget each month for groceries and still eating very good and fairly healthy. We could not go to the store for a while and have plenty of food, but I find this process works very well for our family.

There were months in the not so distant past that I was spending $800 on groceries... Oh my goodness.

So I won't go back to the store until probably the 15th or so and will have the $30 cash I already have as well as about that much more to stock up if anything is on sale.


mountain mustache

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #557 on: October 06, 2018, 08:42:40 AM »
I am having an "eat what you have, spendypants!" budget month. I stocked up a lot this summer on vegetables/fruits from farm stands, etc...as well as a big Costco stock up a month ago, so my freezer and pantry are very full. I gave myself a reach goal of only spending $100 (for fresh fruit/veggies) this month, but if I keep it under $200 I will be super happy. So far I have spent $25. I am working on my impulse of buying food to throw in the freezer because it is on sale. Not that it's a bad thing to do, but I have enough right now! So I am really limiting myself, and trying to stick to only vegetables and fruit, unless I really need meat that I don't have for a recipe.

SproutingStacheHK

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #558 on: October 06, 2018, 10:00:29 AM »
Just found this thread - I'm so in.  Moved to Hong Kong recently, and whew! the groceries can set you back.  It's my single most antimustachian spend each month.  Goal for the month from now on: under HK$5000 (US$638).  Still sounds really high for one person - but a tub of plain yoghurt here is US$10.  No more buying lunches!  (So far this month: US$71.)

Roadrunner53

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #559 on: October 08, 2018, 05:39:18 AM »
Just found this thread - I'm so in.  Moved to Hong Kong recently, and whew! the groceries can set you back.  It's my single most antimustachian spend each month.  Goal for the month from now on: under HK$5000 (US$638).  Still sounds really high for one person - but a tub of plain yoghurt here is US$10.  No more buying lunches!  (So far this month: US$71.)

Buy an Instant Pot and make your own yogurt. Go to youtube and watch some video's on people who are very frugal shoppers and stretch their grocery money in interesting ways! Watch videos on youtube on freezer meals like cook for a day, eat for a month. Good luck to you in HK!

fuzzy math

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #560 on: October 10, 2018, 08:57:01 AM »
Skipped Sept (local grocery store closed and I may well have purchased $700 in discounted food to last many months).

Oct so far:

Sams club $56.87
Hy-vee $4.88
Aldi 87.81

4alpacas

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #561 on: October 11, 2018, 09:00:03 AM »
I was premature in the self-congratulation.  My DH wanted to go to dinner (or order in) last night.  I opted to go out, bring the dogs, walk to the restaurant, and have a nice evening.

$50 later.  I have a fancy lunch for today.  One of our dogs needs to work on socialization, so the dinner was a good training exercise. 

I'm trying to look on the bright side.  But...I'm disappointed that I didn't do more food prep on the weekend. 

SproutingStacheHK

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #562 on: October 12, 2018, 08:26:59 PM »
Buy an Instant Pot and make your own yogurt. Go to youtube and watch some video's on people who are very frugal shoppers and stretch their grocery money in interesting ways! Watch videos on youtube on freezer meals like cook for a day, eat for a month. Good luck to you in HK!

Looking into it, Roadrunner53!  Thanks for the tips - and it turns out I have been overestimating the cost of living re. food.  I'm half-way through the month, just did a grocery shop that I hope will take me all the way through this coming week, and I'm just touching HK$1500 (US$191). And that includes all household items & toiletries, and a US$30 water filter. Ugh - facepunches to self for the wasted months believing the HCOL for food story, and for shopping at Marks & Spencers. No more! 

FamilyGuy

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #563 on: October 13, 2018, 11:01:06 PM »
I am shopping predominantly at Aldi and Walmart to reduce my grocery expenses. Also I am planning to list everything in the pantry and plan and make dishes out of them. That is my next mini project.

mountain mustache

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #564 on: October 14, 2018, 07:14:04 AM »
I am shopping predominantly at Aldi and Walmart to reduce my grocery expenses. Also I am planning to list everything in the pantry and plan and make dishes out of them. That is my next mini project.

This is my project also for next weekend. I have a deep freezer full of food, and a pantry full, but I need to take an inventory of everything so I can purposely meal plan

FamilyGuy

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #565 on: October 14, 2018, 09:18:54 AM »
With you !! Letís make it happen.

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #566 on: October 16, 2018, 07:39:56 AM »
I am shopping predominantly at Aldi and Walmart to reduce my grocery expenses. Also I am planning to list everything in the pantry and plan and make dishes out of them. That is my next mini project.

This is my project also for next weekend. I have a deep freezer full of food, and a pantry full, but I need to take an inventory of everything so I can purposely meal plan

This. I need to purposefully weave in the freezer items into our menu, and know what's available. I bailed yesterday (was out of town all weekend) & picked up some Trader Joes options. Better than takeout, not as good as making something from the freezer. But, my goal is to inventory everything & make it happen this weekend.

SproutingStacheHK

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #567 on: October 20, 2018, 12:37:30 AM »
A new low (or a new budgeting high) - just finished this week's grocery shop: HK$250 (US$31); I'm expecting it to last until next Saturday's shop.  So far this month: 1-7th: HK$950 (US$118); 8-14th: HK $700 (US$87); 15-21st: HK$250 (US$31).  I went through the freezer and pantry to account for all the leftovers and stored food, and came up with some meal plans for the week ahead - before I went shopping. Like the comments above, I'm determined not to buy until I've used what I have. Thanks for the inspiration, FamilyGuy and company! My monthly aim of HK$4000 is not even half gone: I'll have to revise the number way down for next month.  Side bonus: all this careful watching of what I buy and consume is having an amazing effect on my weightloss goals.

Laura33

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #568 on: October 22, 2018, 06:20:18 AM »
My sloth and frivolity continues.  Currently at $472 food, $40 household.  $80 of that was (i) beer from the farmer's market, and (ii) tea from Amazon (thus killing both my grocery and gazingus pin challenges in one swell foop).

The overall trend is better, though.  Even though we are still shopping at Wegmans, the last two weeks have averaged $120 each for the actual groceries, which includes kids' and my lunches.  I have been avoiding the farmer's market, which helps a LOT, and DD has been good at sticking to the list.  So clearly, the lesson is to avoid the temptation of what seem like one-off little treats -- I think at close to 20% of the food spend, we're beyond the meaning of the term "treat."

mountain mustache

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #569 on: October 22, 2018, 06:24:02 AM »
I did my freezer inventory (which was really cold, btw!! haha) and made a spreadsheet, because everything needs a spreadsheet. It was so nice to see everything I have, and reorganize as well. I took out a bunch of stuff I know I've had for a while, and it also helped me make a Costco list for things I need to stock up on.
I made 4 different dishes for the week using older ingredients I had forgotten about in the depths of the freezer. And I only spent $18 on groceries for the week!

Roadrunner53

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #570 on: October 22, 2018, 07:40:13 AM »
I did my freezer inventory (which was really cold, btw!! haha) and made a spreadsheet, because everything needs a spreadsheet. It was so nice to see everything I have, and reorganize as well. I took out a bunch of stuff I know I've had for a while, and it also helped me make a Costco list for things I need to stock up on.
I made 4 different dishes for the week using older ingredients I had forgotten about in the depths of the freezer. And I only spent $18 on groceries for the week!

Good for you and the spreadsheet! I am too lazy to do that but it is an excellent idea. My freezer broke about 4 weeks ago! EEEEEEKKKKKK!!!! Called all around town to find a quick replacement and NOPE no one had anything in stock. All told me about 3 days. I did not want to lose a whole freezer full of food and was in panic mode! Even checked Craigslist for a used one and NOPE nothing listed was suitable. By chance I went on line to Sears website and found an upright freezer and they advertised next day delivery! OMG! So I bought a jumbo upright sight unseen and hoped for the best! They also had free shipping but did charge a little extra for overnight delivery. It was very cheap and I have already forgotten what it was. The freezer was just under $1,000. They gave us a window of delivery time and were even early! All my freezer items were saved! Nothing lost except maybe one bag of OLD veggies! We kept the freezer door shut, no peeking and unloaded it about a half an hour before they came to deliver! WHEW, what a crazy two days!

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #571 on: October 22, 2018, 09:28:24 AM »
@mountain mustache - I thought of the freezer inventory, & got ready to attempt it & my dry erase boards wouldn't come clean. Lamest excuse ever. I moved on to another task, and completely forgot about it. But, need to make it happen! Thanks for the reminder

jim555

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #572 on: November 01, 2018, 01:19:31 PM »
October $185.75.

SproutingStacheHK

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #573 on: November 02, 2018, 07:14:29 AM »
October HK$2160 (US$275) - not nearly as good as the rest of you, but something I'm really happy with after the horrible blowouts of my early months in Hong Kong!  Aiming for under HKD$2000 this month.

thesavoryhello

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #574 on: November 04, 2018, 01:40:03 PM »
We have been working on the same goal this last year! We went from (yikes) 900+/month early on in the year to $360 in September for two adults. It went up again last month (to $506) as we adjusted to a new diet for health reasons, but hopefully once we figure this new diet out it will be back down in November.

My favorite way that we've saved money on produce is that we started buying from a huge wholesale produce warehouse that typically sells to grocery stores and restaurants. We split up the boxes of produce between 5-10 friends to manage the minimum size requirements that you have to meet when buying at that kind of place. We also made our gas money back, which was nice. We love avocados and berries, so it saved us a ton of money to get huge boxes of avocados for <$.50 per avocado, <$1 per box of berries, etc.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #575 on: November 04, 2018, 02:08:40 PM »
October HK$2160 (US$275) - not nearly as good as the rest of you, but something I'm really happy with after the horrible blowouts of my early months in Hong Kong!  Aiming for under HKD$2000 this month.

Did you invest in an instant pot to make yogurt or a yogurt maker? If I recall, you mentioned yogurt was expensive there. I made one batch in mine and it came out awesome. The only trouble is that it takes a long time. I have to make sure I get up early to start it. Takes about 1-1/12 hours in the morning to steam the milk then cool it down, then it has to incubate for 8 hours. I want to be able to take it out before bed and refrigerate it. I am attaching a youtube video. This video shows one jar in the Instant Pot but I used...I think...5/ 12 ounce jars. The yogurt came out thick like the youtube demo. I used Greek yogurt, plain, unflavored. Some other video's show a need to put the yogurt in a strainer overnight to strain out the liquid. The procedure I am attaching did not require that step.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtXnaP17D4Q

If you decide to use this recipe I would suggest you watch and write down every step. I wrote down everything and for me it was 27 steps but I wrote everything including buttons to push. I watched it again yesterday and picked up another tip I missed the first time.

SproutingStacheHK

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #576 on: November 05, 2018, 07:10:49 AM »
Not yet - I just didn't buy yogurt, which worked just as well!  But I'm on the lookout for three key pieces of kitchen equipment when they come up cheap in the asiaexpat classifieds - a bread maker, and instant pot, and some kitchen scales.  This, and messing about with them in the kitchen, will be my Christmas present to myself, since I can't visit home this year.  Thanks so much for the video - filed away for when I get my pot!  I do LOVE a good Greek yogurt, so I'm really looking forward to trying out the recipe.

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #577 on: November 05, 2018, 07:43:59 AM »
Finished October with $670 in groceries. Our budget is $625. Our freezer is completely full, so I'm hopeful we can get through November under budget. *fingers crossed* We shop on Saturdays, and there were five Saturdays in October, so not totally unexpected.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #578 on: November 05, 2018, 08:01:08 AM »
Not yet - I just didn't buy yogurt, which worked just as well!  But I'm on the lookout for three key pieces of kitchen equipment when they come up cheap in the asiaexpat classifieds - a bread maker, and instant pot, and some kitchen scales.  This, and messing about with them in the kitchen, will be my Christmas present to myself, since I can't visit home this year.  Thanks so much for the video - filed away for when I get my pot!  I do LOVE a good Greek yogurt, so I'm really looking forward to trying out the recipe.

Just make sure you find an Instant Pot with the yogurt button! Not all have them. Yes, the video is good. Whoever posted it did an excellent job.

jim555

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #579 on: December 01, 2018, 04:42:05 PM »
November is in $203.31.

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #580 on: December 01, 2018, 09:29:48 PM »
$545 on groceries in November, for a family of four. My almost 13 year old boy is eating an exceptional amount right now, so I'm investigating cheap snack options to keep him full. Goal is $625, but we were on vacation for almost a week, and ate out quite a bit. (Considered as the vacation budget). Either way, I'll take it as a win.

middo

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #581 on: December 02, 2018, 03:38:55 PM »
I just found this thread, a bit late in the year.

We started 2018 spending $1028 in January on food.  My goal was to get it down to under $700 per month.

Last three months average has been $506, with November coming in at $413.  December will be a little higher as Christmas goodies will tend to inflate it a bit. 

My biggest change has been to stop buying the most expensive cuts of meat and fish.  They may be nice, but slow cooking and a bit of thought can make cheaper cuts (and smaller serves) just as interesting.

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #582 on: December 02, 2018, 09:10:02 PM »
Wow, @middo - that's a huge change! Congrats on the drop & all of the improvements.

mountain mustache

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #583 on: December 02, 2018, 09:52:30 PM »
I am really happy with my progress for this year, getting my spending around $300 a month for my groceries(VHCOL area). November ended up being a stock up month for me, which means I spent about $550.00 (two trips to Costco, 1 trip to Sprouts, 1 trip to Trader Joes). I don't get to stock up super often because I live really far away from anything but a really terrible Safeway, but I had two trips in November to towns with the "good stores". I'm stoked to go into December and January with a stocked freezer and pantry...my goal is to end the year with a $200 grocery month in December!

Zola.

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Re: Reduce your grocery spend - 2018
« Reply #584 on: December 03, 2018, 03:59:02 AM »
Mine has been chaotic and terribly inconsistent :/