Author Topic: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!  (Read 66341 times)

PFHC

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 617
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Midcoast Maine
  • Busy doing.
Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #150 on: September 01, 2015, 09:12:46 PM »
Make your own sunbutter
http://detoxinista.com/2015/07/how-to-make-sunflower-seed-butter-oil-free/

I have not tried it but remembered seeing this posted a few weeks ago.  I think hulled sunflowers are pretty inexpensive.

We did this a few years ago. $3.99/lb bulk if my memory serves me correctly. Made it in our Vitamix. It was awesome! Stopped it because of the time thing. But with the 5 year old in Kindergarten, I think we're going to have much more free time. Maybe we'll bring this back!

backyardfeast

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 867
  • Location: Vancouver Island, BC
    • My journal
Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #151 on: September 01, 2015, 09:51:16 PM »
PFHC, just wanted to say that although I love your attitude, and I totally agree with your choice to go slow in the budget reduction and hold on to this luxury as you can easily afford it.....I suspect that you will be pleasantly surprised by how much you save just by making the simple changes you've already committed to.  I predict you'll save more than $200-300/mo pretty quickly, and you may even be able to get it down more over time as you shift habits.

I say this as someone who does grow and process a ton of homestead-based food (probably80% of our veg and more than 50% of our fruit, plus we have chickens for eggs, eat the roosters, trade eggs with friends for fish and game, crab and fish occasionally), shop in bulk, buy meat direct from the farmer, fish wholesale direct in season, and buy the cheapest staples at Costco (cheese for us, mostly), are foodies and prioritize food and health to an absurd level.  And we're in Canada, where food costs more generally.  We still buy bread at the fancy bakery down the street ($40/mo!), and we do the raw milk in season ($18/gallon here! But we only need one a week, and mostly make yogurt with it, but $72/mo!).  So we're totally ridiculous and we know it.  If we needed to cut back, there's lots of luxury here.

BUT!  Our grocery budget (for 2) is between 350-500 month.  If we didn't have all these habits, there's no way we could eat the way we do--we just couldn't afford to pay retail for the quality of food we eat, and some things you can't even buy in the store if you wanted to!  We'd easily be spending $1500/mo?  So even if you don't have the time and energy to do all of this, and have the money so that you don't have to, I think you'll be amazed at how much of a difference getting out of the "buying this list of things whatever the price" habit makes.  Like MMM, you may find great satisfaction and health at a much lower price point than you might imagine.

Have I mentioned that I'm excited to see the results? ;)

Cpa Cat

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1697
Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #152 on: September 01, 2015, 10:03:55 PM »
Then drop in 5-6 raspberry bushes (I like Heritage, if it will grow in Maine, I highly suggest it for raspberries) and a couple of blackberry bushes. Maybe drop in some asparagus.

I have three blackberry bushes, and two blueberries that are on year two. We got 6 blackberries this year, no blueberries, yet. :) Hoping more will come in as time passes. I have a friend with raspberries, so we can get some plants from her. Plan to plant a couple arctic kiwis... supposed to do 50 lbs of fruit a year! Also some apple trees, which I believe can be grown from cuttings... not too sure.

So many plans! :)

My blackberries produce every other year. It's because blackberries grow on two year old canes - one year the energy seems to go to growing canes and the next year to fruiting them. I'm guessing, given the age of your blackberries, next year will be your first real crop (grown on this year's non-fruiting canes). If your blackberries follow the same timeline as mine, next year you'll say, "Oh yay, look at this great quantity of blackberries - how exciting." The year after that - "Hey, six berries!" And then three years from now, you'll be saying "Oh dear lord, who could possibly eat 25 lbs of blackberries?"

It is the same with my asian pears - but in their case, it's usually due to frost. If buds get frosted one year, there tends to be a lot of pent up fruiting energy the next year.

My persimmons took a long time to start fruiting, but are consistent every year.

My raspberries are consistent annual fruiters, but this is typical of Heritage (which can be cut down at the end of each season and fruit on one year old canes) - and why I recommend them. I have a couple of yellow raspberries that fruit on two-year old canes and they've never been as productive.

My blueberries never fruit - too picky about soil acidity.

Some fruit trees are grafted onto hardy root stocks so that they have a higher resistance to cold. So cuttings don't always produce a tree that's as hardy as the parent. So just be careful with that.

I think cuttings are great for flowering plants - you like the flower, you take a cutting, you'll probably get that flower. But with fruit, I think you should take care to choose varieties that are recommended for Maine and are noted for being productive. The penalty for doing otherwise is that your tree grows for five years and then gets killed during a bad Winter, because you didn't realize the tree you cut from was grafted.

Or - such as in the case of raspberries - you accidentally planted something that has low productivity (my yellow raspberries were actually labeled incorrectly - their paltry berries are sweet, but they produce nothing compared to their Heritage red companions).

Anyway - I could go on about gardening forever. Best of luck. :)
« Last Edit: September 02, 2015, 09:05:42 AM by Cpa Cat »

cchrissyy

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 962
  • Location: SF Bay Area
Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #153 on: September 01, 2015, 11:20:13 PM »
I'm excited for you! The changes you are already making will serve you well, and I think they're the kind where you save money AND time and don't feel like you're missing out on anything. I'd bet that right now, from thinking of these things differently you below the $1000 mark even if you don't make further changes.

nobody has suggested keeping chickens yet, and i don't know much about it but it seems like a good way to grow your own food if actual gardening is not working out, and maybe something your kids would enjoy?

About that expensive raw milk, if you know you live fine without milk at all, and you know how much you save by cutting it out entirely, awesome, but if you did want the kids to have it occasionally, well, maybe it can be a once a month addition to your food plan. It doesn't have to be all or nothing, what matters is cutting out most of it, and thinking critically about what is worth it to you and what is an expensive habit.


I love peaches, but buy none at that price. And hey, bananas are good but they have such thick skins, I don't care if they're organic. And I'm shocked at your cost of peppers!  It reminds me of a time I was given a huge grocery bag full of them from somebody's over-producing garden, and I sliced and froze them, and they went in to stir frys and crock pot dished for a darn long time after, and, my kids would eat them straight from the freezer. So, if your kids like peppers now, fresh and in cooking, well, I think if you stock up when they are cheap and in season, you may learn that your kids like frozen strips of peppers just as much : )

good luck!

Thegoblinchief

  • Guest
Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #154 on: September 02, 2015, 06:33:23 AM »
Raw milk is illegal here so for me it's a moot point, but why on earth does it cost 6x what pasteurized does?

PFHC

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 617
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Midcoast Maine
  • Busy doing.
Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #155 on: September 02, 2015, 07:00:35 AM »
Raw milk is illegal here so for me it's a moot point, but why on earth does it cost 6x what pasteurized does?
Because of subsidies and economy of scale. Its also a hot commodity here in the progressive food paradise of midcoast Maine.

Sent from my XT1094 using Tapatalk


mskyle

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 691
Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #156 on: September 02, 2015, 07:49:20 AM »
Raw milk is illegal here so for me it's a moot point, but why on earth does it cost 6x what pasteurized does?

You can't really ship it long distances safely, so you can't scale up a raw milk operation the way you can pasteurized milk. That's the main thing.

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9220
Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #157 on: September 02, 2015, 08:15:01 AM »
Your plan looks great and I think you'll see a huge difference to your grocery bills!  I personally think you will have a difficult time with a complete non-shopping week. You are very fruit and veggie centric with your spending and (at least in my house) most produce won't make it a second week.  I think you may have more luck dividing your spending into 2 week segments.  This works best for us.  So I give us $250/2 weeks.  This week is a great example, I spent a whopping $200 of our budget.  I did get a ton of overdue staples and food for a birthday party we are hosting but I know that when I go shopping again on Sunday I have only $50 left.  A huge portion of that will be spent on filling our fruit basket.
This is a great point and wonderful idea as an alternative! I added it to the GGP and will talk it over with my wife.

This is a super good idea.  I know that when I've done the best in my budget, it's when I've alternated budgets by time or given myself wiggle room.
In 2009, I alternated months of $160 and $320 (only one kid back then and I was running a lot and could eat more carbs) and now I'm alternating $80 and $100 by week.  (Note: CSA is prepaid and not included in that number).  Having a 2-week budget would be even better.

meg_shannon

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 167
Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #158 on: September 02, 2015, 12:45:25 PM »
I haven't had time to read the entire thread, but I've spent five years trying to meal plan, batch cook, and grocery shop our food bills into frugalness. This applies to the US. Currently we live in Germany with a dorm sized fridge so we aren't currently doing all this.

I meal plan by the month, two weeks at a time, and some days are static. For example every Sunday is pizza night (we also do egg, pasta, veggie stir-fry, salad, and soup once per week usually). I also keep track that so many dinners will produce leftovers for lunch the next day. My husband takes them to work. Our daughter uses a YumBox (like a Bento box but can handle yogurt). I grocery shop for all pantry, freezer, and sturdy produce by the month. Only perishable goods get picked up weekly (or our CSA share). If you eat bread, make no knead bread.

I don't particularly like shopping by grocery flyer. I mostly shopped at Wegmans (in NJ) as their family pack prices were usually the same or cheaper than other stores' flyer prices. Of course this means that we will eat 3 lbs of broccoli in a week (with 2 adults and one 5 y/o).

I have a chest freezer, a huge pot (also used for canning), and batch cook a lot. With a larger family you may want a pressure cooker. Generally I batch one meal per week (say make 12 quarts of chili, 30 servings of pasta sauce, a huge roast, etc.), and we eat two things from the freezer each week. (Yay! Two nights I don't have to cook more than a side). There are whole cookbooks to help you do this and thekitchn.com has a lot of suggestions for freezer meals. Also search for anything geared towards new moms.

We buy meat on sale, managers special, from the farm, etc. and freeze it to keep costs down. We also use it sparingly.

Keep a dinner/meal notebook. Keep track of every meal you cook, a paper or digital calendar works well (and you can store the links or cookbook information - also great for remembering seasonal favorites). Anything that is showing up frequently, or that is a favorite, figure out the cost per meal. You may be surprised. Some things I thought were cheap weren't and others were. It's not important to know the cost per meal of every meal you make, but know the cost of those heaviest in the rotation.

Lentils and beans are your friends, lentils topped with an egg, lentil soup, white bean stew, curries, etc. Basically look to food cultures that are mostly vegetarian and rely heavily on spices - like Indian food. Think peasant food (cabbage, beets, potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, etc.).

Find a few fixed, cheap, healthy options for breakfast. It will cut down a stress in the morning. I like making German pancakes (also called Dutch babies) on the weekends. Lots of eggs, easy, and tasty.

Drink pretty much only water.

Snacks are hard, but if you can lean heavily on hummus, peanut butter (our daughter is allergic but doesn't eat too much yet), and other protein/fat heavy plant based foods.

tanzee

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 128
  • Location: Asheville, NC
Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #159 on: September 02, 2015, 02:37:28 PM »
I have found that produce can really kill a grocery budget.  Don't get me wrong, we eat lots of veggies, but we tend to keep it to the cheaper ones.  It can really add up when one gets a large assortment of veggies.  I think the trick is to buy specific ones and ration them effectively.  For example, rather than make a salad with 15 or 20 different types of veggies in it, pick 4 or 5, and run with it.  It can still be just as delicious and nutrient dense, but might cost half, or a quarter the price. 

PFHC

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 617
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Midcoast Maine
  • Busy doing.
Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #160 on: September 02, 2015, 03:26:40 PM »
I have found that produce can really kill a grocery budget.  Don't get me wrong, we eat lots of veggies, but we tend to keep it to the cheaper ones.  It can really add up when one gets a large assortment of veggies.  I think the trick is to buy specific ones and ration them effectively.  For example, rather than make a salad with 15 or 20 different types of veggies in it, pick 4 or 5, and run with it.  It can still be just as delicious and nutrient dense, but might cost half, or a quarter the price.
We tend to make very involved salads, so this is a great pointer. Thanks!

Sent from my XT1094 using Tapatalk


TheOldestYoungMan

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 766
Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #161 on: September 02, 2015, 03:42:41 PM »
So, first, props to the wife.  Absolutely anything she's able to do out of these various suggestions is amazing.

As an overall strategy, I was able to reduce my grocery bill dramatically over the course of a year by just picking one thing at a time to get better at.  I also picked one thing at a time to give up completely.

So for instance, this month, I'll get better at my favorite breakfast dish:  The breakfast burrito.  This wasn't chosen at random, it was based on a primary ingredient in my current recipe being on sale at the grocery store this week.  I'll optimize every aspect of buying the ingredients, try different prepared tortillas and make-your-own recipes, vary the ingredients, and figure out the best breakfast burrito I can.  Everything else will go on auto-pilot, and I'll stop eating any kind of pasta (generally I give up whatever I ate the most of the previous month or spent the most on the previous month).

Next month, I'll evaluate if pasta is necessary.  If I didn't mind giving it up completely, then it likely stays gone.  In this way I've dropped entire habits that I didn't really need, and reduced my consumption of other things.  It also forced me to try new things, because anything that was too easy quickly ended up on the dropped list.

The two things, getting better at one thing at a time plus dropping one thing at a time, let me get control of it in a way that was manageable and sustainable.  My food choices are much more deliberate. Getting better at one thing makes you faster at all other cooking, and more adaptable.  You also gain a deep understanding of the cost of the thing or the ingredients, so all future interactions with it are auto-pilot frugal.  Since embracing the egg as a thing that brings all foods together in the morning, I have virtually no food waste.

80 lbs of sweet potato is a bountiful harvest!  If you can manage to produce one thing in abundance on the cheap, you either make it a staple or trade with others in the community.  I'd trade you lb for lb watermelon for sweet potato (if you didn't live like, so hella far away).  Somebody up there is managing to grow broccoli and cauliflower.

There was a post by MMM that sticks with me, when he was talking about buying stuff on sale.  When you find that thing you use all the time for a really low price, you don't just buy 4 instead of 2 that week, you buy every one they have.

Good luck!

And uh, if you know any Mormons, they usually have the low-down on food solutions in your area.  I feel weird saying that, but it's part of their religion or something to take their food supply very seriously.  I get great advice on local sources from Mormons.  /shrug.

KittyCat

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 242
  • Age: 31
  • Location: CA, USA
Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #162 on: September 02, 2015, 04:54:15 PM »
Ya. After posting that, before I racked out last night, I had a little moment about raw milk. We have been entirely milk free for the last 7 years. Until last month when I read a book extolling the virtues of raw milk, this one in particular was about its purported benefit in combating tooth decay. The book was largely evidence free and full of wild allegations, but the intuitive arguments rung true with me. So, we went with it. The kids absolutely love the raw, no sweetener added, yogurt. Love it. And I think it is very healthy. But, we can go without. They get plenty of nutrients elsewhere, and plenty of good fats in the form of olive oil and coconut oil.

And, trust me, I know the virtue of saving $20. I am just trying to adjust myself into what luxuries we should allow ourselves. Food takes the place as our highest expense by far. More than 4 times the next highest. It will stay our main luxury, we just want to trim anything obvious. Thanks to you all, we're going to be able to do that.

I am so damn psyched to get rolling with this. The MMM community is awesome!

Coincidentally, I ran across a blog post about raw milk recently. Perhaps you'd like to read it; it's not very long, and it has a link to its source which has more information.

PFHC

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 617
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Midcoast Maine
  • Busy doing.
Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #163 on: September 02, 2015, 05:55:09 PM »
Ya. After posting that, before I racked out last night, I had a little moment about raw milk. We have been entirely milk free for the last 7 years. Until last month when I read a book extolling the virtues of raw milk, this one in particular was about its purported benefit in combating tooth decay. The book was largely evidence free and full of wild allegations, but the intuitive arguments rung true with me. So, we went with it. The kids absolutely love the raw, no sweetener added, yogurt. Love it. And I think it is very healthy. But, we can go without. They get plenty of nutrients elsewhere, and plenty of good fats in the form of olive oil and coconut oil.

And, trust me, I know the virtue of saving $20. I am just trying to adjust myself into what luxuries we should allow ourselves. Food takes the place as our highest expense by far. More than 4 times the next highest. It will stay our main luxury, we just want to trim anything obvious. Thanks to you all, we're going to be able to do that.

I am so damn psyched to get rolling with this. The MMM community is awesome!

Coincidentally, I ran across a blog post about raw milk recently. Perhaps you'd like to read it; it's not very long, and it has a link to its source which has more information.
This is good information. But the fact is, my wife and kids do not tolerate pasteurized milk, or milk products, of any kind. They do tolerate, very well, grass-fed raw milk and the products derived thereof.

boy_bye

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2472
Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #164 on: September 02, 2015, 05:55:23 PM »
posting not to offer advice, but because i need it. great thread!

KittyCat

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 242
  • Age: 31
  • Location: CA, USA
Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #165 on: September 02, 2015, 06:12:17 PM »
This is good information. But the fact is, my wife and kids do not tolerate pasteurized milk, or milk products, of any kind. They do tolerate, very well, grass-fed raw milk and the products derived thereof.
How interesting; well, if raw milk and its derivatives are the only things that work, I guess that's that.

PFHC

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 617
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Midcoast Maine
  • Busy doing.
Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #166 on: September 02, 2015, 06:48:35 PM »
So, first, props to the wife.  Absolutely anything she's able to do out of these various suggestions is amazing.
She's amazing, that's for certain.
Quote
And uh, if you know any Mormons, they usually have the low-down on food solutions in your area.  I feel weird saying that, but it's part of their religion or something to take their food supply very seriously.  I get great advice on local sources from Mormons.  /shrug.
I'll look into it. :)

PFHC

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 617
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Midcoast Maine
  • Busy doing.
Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #167 on: September 02, 2015, 07:02:30 PM »
This is good information. But the fact is, my wife and kids do not tolerate pasteurized milk, or milk products, of any kind. They do tolerate, very well, grass-fed raw milk and the products derived thereof.
How interesting; well, if raw milk and its derivatives are the only things that work, I guess that's that.
To Put your mind at rest, we are eliminating, or greatly reducing, the already small amount of raw milk we consume. If we do buy it ever, it will be a half gallon once a month.

kite

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 753
Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #168 on: September 03, 2015, 06:01:02 AM »
This is good information. But the fact is, my wife and kids do not tolerate pasteurized milk, or milk products, of any kind. They do tolerate, very well, grass-fed raw milk and the products derived thereof.
How interesting; well, if raw milk and its derivatives are the only things that work, I guess that's that.
To Put your mind at rest, we are eliminating, or greatly reducing, the already small amount of raw milk we consume. If we do buy it ever, it will be a half gallon once a month.

I've no quibble with adults who drink it, but it's nucking futs to give it to children.  It's an invitation for an E.Coli infection and those children have a weaker immune system than you for fighting such a thing.  It's not just a wicked bout of diarrhea for them, it's dehydration leading to kidney failure. 
A friend caught brucellosis in childhood from drinking raw milk from his own family's animals.  That illness left him with a sickly life in general from damaged kidneys.  He was dead by age 46 from organic failure.  I share this only because your specific intent was health.  Raw milk isn't healthier. It is more delicious, but it's loaded with risk. 
Pasteurization saved lives. 

PFHC

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 617
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Midcoast Maine
  • Busy doing.
Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #169 on: September 03, 2015, 06:15:37 AM »
This is good information. But the fact is, my wife and kids do not tolerate pasteurized milk, or milk products, of any kind. They do tolerate, very well, grass-fed raw milk and the products derived thereof.
How interesting; well, if raw milk and its derivatives are the only things that work, I guess that's that.
To Put your mind at rest, we are eliminating, or greatly reducing, the already small amount of raw milk we consume. If we do buy it ever, it will be a half gallon once a month.

I've no quibble with adults who drink it, but it's nucking futs to give it to children.  It's an invitation for an E.Coli infection and those children have a weaker immune system than you for fighting such a thing.  It's not just a wicked bout of diarrhea for them, it's dehydration leading to kidney failure. 
A friend caught brucellosis in childhood from drinking raw milk from his own family's animals.  That illness left him with a sickly life in general from damaged kidneys.  He was dead by age 46 from organic failure.  I share this only because your specific intent was health.  Raw milk isn't healthier. It is more delicious, but it's loaded with risk. 
Pasteurization saved lives.
That is excellent anecdotal evidence and I'm sorry for your loss and your friends illness. Thank you for your genuine concern and good intentions.

Thankfully, with proper sanitation and regulation, such as what exists in Maine, the scientific evidence does not support your worries. Again, thank you for your concern, but we are comfortable with the risk.

kite

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 753
Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #170 on: September 03, 2015, 08:02:37 AM »

I've no quibble with adults who drink it, but it's nucking futs to give it to children.  It's an invitation for an E.Coli infection and those children have a weaker immune system than you for fighting such a thing.  It's not just a wicked bout of diarrhea for them, it's dehydration leading to kidney failure. 
A friend caught brucellosis in childhood from drinking raw milk from his own family's animals.  That illness left him with a sickly life in general from damaged kidneys.  He was dead by age 46 from organic failure.  I share this only because your specific intent was health.  Raw milk isn't healthier. It is more delicious, but it's loaded with risk. 
Pasteurization saved lives.
That is excellent anecdotal evidence and I'm sorry for your loss and your friends illness. Thank you for your genuine concern and good intentions.

Thankfully, with proper sanitation and regulation, such as what exists in Maine, the scientific evidence does not support your worries. Again, thank you for your concern, but we are comfortable with the risk.

That's an odd opinion to me and I'm not sure I regard that as valid anecdotal evidence. I grew up on raw milk and so did my four siblings. And so did my mom and her seven siblings and their children.

I grew up in an extremely rural area where many families farmed, kept cows and drank the raw milk. That has changed now and all the young adults who work in non-farm occupations buy milk at the store. But whenever anyone gets the chance to get raw milk (usually given, not bought) and drink that instead, you bet they do.

Full Disclosure: about the time I hit my late 40's we discovered I'm lactose intolerant. I don't regard that as a consequence of raw milk - I regard it as a consequence of using antibiotics for ear infections and ruining my digestive flora.

I've never had to get medical help for the intolerance, I just don't drink milk in general any more. But I eat cheeses which have low-or-no lactose and I'm good.

Lactose intolerance is the normal human condition.  It's a quirk that some of us can tolerate milk at all because most humans cannot.  I too love raw cows milk, raw goats milk, and raw milk cheeses for their taste. 
But the science is settled.  This risk is such that the CDC, AMA, FDA, American Veterinary Medical Association, World Health Organization, and American Academy of Pediatrics are in agreement that children shouldn't eat that stuff ever.
 

Faraday

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1191
  • Age: 59
  • Location: NC
  • Solar Powered Slice
Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #171 on: September 03, 2015, 08:32:53 AM »
....
But the science is settled.  This risk is such that the CDC, AMA, FDA, American Veterinary Medical Association, World Health Organization, and American Academy of Pediatrics are in agreement that children shouldn't eat that stuff ever.

It's a fair cop.

I re-read my posting and I don't wanna be on that side of the argument, even though (apparently) I and my family were extremely lucky. Here's a CDC link discussing the issue:

http://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/rawmilk/raw-milk-questions-and-answers.html


Tyson

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2516
  • Age: 49
  • Location: Denver, Colorado
Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #172 on: September 04, 2015, 06:32:23 PM »
So I'm just curios, are the grocery costs starting to drop?

PFHC

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 617
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Midcoast Maine
  • Busy doing.
Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #173 on: September 05, 2015, 12:19:14 AM »
So I'm just curios, are the grocery costs starting to drop?
OK! The results of my wife's Thursday trip for the coming week:

Big store
item/qty/cost/price per unit
Nori/20/$2.29/$0.11
Banana/3.37lbs/$1.65/$0.49
Large lemons/2/$1.98/$0.99
Green cabbage/1.9lbs/$1.50/$0.79
Sweet potatoes/1.93lbs/$1.91/$0.99
Avocados/9/$8.91/$0.99
Red cabbage/4.24lbs/$3.77/$0.89
Small lemons/1   bag/$0.69/$0.69
Potatoes/5lbs/$1.99/$0.40
Cauliflower/1/$3.49/$3.49
Onions/2lbs/$1.99/$1.00
Total: $30.17    
      
Market   
Free range eggs/12/$9.78/$0.82
Pickles/3lbs/$6.99/$2.33
Chocolate pretzels/0.339   lbs/$1.28/$3.78
Local carrots/2lbs/$5.29/$2.65
Total:$23.24

Grand Total: $53.51!!!

I'm SO stoked with this! Tons of food for a FIFTH of what we normally spend!! WOOHOO!!

There is still room to improve. Going to shop around for carrots, she bought the pretzels for whiny kids and herself (we'll bring snacks next time... added to the GGP), the large lemons were spendy. Otherwise, this is an awesome improvement from just Monday. :) Smiling my face off.

I'm going to keep track for the coming month. Every receipt. I will post an update when the month finishes. Fingers crossed!

Monkey Uncle

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1685
  • Location: West-by-god-Virginia
Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #174 on: September 05, 2015, 04:05:59 AM »
So I'm just curios, are the grocery costs starting to drop?
OK! The results of my wife's Thursday trip for the coming week:

Big store
item/qty/cost/price per unit
Nori/20/$2.29/$0.11
Banana/3.37lbs/$1.65/$0.49
Large lemons/2/$1.98/$0.99
Green cabbage/1.9lbs/$1.50/$0.79
Sweet potatoes/1.93lbs/$1.91/$0.99
Avocados/9/$8.91/$0.99
Red cabbage/4.24lbs/$3.77/$0.89
Small lemons/1   bag/$0.69/$0.69
Potatoes/5lbs/$1.99/$0.40
Cauliflower/1/$3.49/$3.49
Onions/2lbs/$1.99/$1.00
Total: $30.17    
      
Market   
Free range eggs/12/$9.78/$0.82
Pickles/3lbs/$6.99/$2.33
Chocolate pretzels/0.339   lbs/$1.28/$3.78
Local carrots/2lbs/$5.29/$2.65
Total:$23.24

Grand Total: $53.51!!!

I'm SO stoked with this! Tons of food for a FIFTH of what we normally spend!! WOOHOO!!

There is still room to improve. Going to shop around for carrots, she bought the pretzels for whiny kids and herself (we'll bring snacks next time... added to the GGP), the large lemons were spendy. Otherwise, this is an awesome improvement from just Monday. :) Smiling my face off.

I'm going to keep track for the coming month. Every receipt. I will post an update when the month finishes. Fingers crossed!

I would add the $10/doz eggs to the spendy list.  That's pretty insane.

PFHC

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 617
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Midcoast Maine
  • Busy doing.
Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #175 on: September 05, 2015, 04:36:21 AM »
So I'm just curios, are the grocery costs starting to drop?
OK! The results of my wife's Thursday trip for the coming week:

Big store
item/qty/cost/price per unit
Nori/20/$2.29/$0.11
Banana/3.37lbs/$1.65/$0.49
Large lemons/2/$1.98/$0.99
Green cabbage/1.9lbs/$1.50/$0.79
Sweet potatoes/1.93lbs/$1.91/$0.99
Avocados/9/$8.91/$0.99
Red cabbage/4.24lbs/$3.77/$0.89
Small lemons/1   bag/$0.69/$0.69
Potatoes/5lbs/$1.99/$0.40
Cauliflower/1/$3.49/$3.49
Onions/2lbs/$1.99/$1.00
Total: $30.17    
      
Market   
Free range eggs/12/$9.78/$0.82
Pickles/3lbs/$6.99/$2.33
Chocolate pretzels/0.339   lbs/$1.28/$3.78
Local carrots/2lbs/$5.29/$2.65
Total:$23.24

Grand Total: $53.51!!!

I'm SO stoked with this! Tons of food for a FIFTH of what we normally spend!! WOOHOO!!

There is still room to improve. Going to shop around for carrots, she bought the pretzels for whiny kids and herself (we'll bring snacks next time... added to the GGP), the large lemons were spendy. Otherwise, this is an awesome improvement from just Monday. :) Smiling my face off.

I'm going to keep track for the coming month. Every receipt. I will post an update when the month finishes. Fingers crossed!

I would add the $10/doz eggs to the spendy list.  That's pretty insane.

Agreed. :) We'll shop around see if we can find a better deal for free range eggs.

Jakejake

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 720
  • FIRE: June 17, 2016
Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #176 on: September 05, 2015, 06:58:41 AM »
I've been thinking the same with the eggs. The last eggs I bought were 45¢ for a dozen. But not free range, just kmart clearance. A quick search of craiglist in my area shows individuals selling eggs from their backyard chickens at $3/dozen, which isn't too much over nonclearance regular egg prices in my area. Have you done a CL search?

The rest though - wow! Looks like a good mix of produce, with some fancier things (red cabbage instead of green, avocados) without breaking the bank.

pbkmaine

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8565
  • Age: 65
  • Location: The Villages, Florida
Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #177 on: September 05, 2015, 07:28:00 AM »
Any possibility of keeping chickens? They keep insects under control, their manure can turbocharge your compost, and when they stop laying they can go in the stockpot.

ketchup

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4328
  • Age: 30
Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #178 on: September 05, 2015, 07:35:15 AM »
That looks like a great shopping trip to me!  I'd agree about the eggs.  We get fancy free-range eggs from a local farm for $4.50/doz and can get "free-range-probably-but-I-don't-really-trust-the-label" eggs from the grocery store for $6-8/doz so it can definitely pay off to find a better source, especially if you eat a lot of eggs (I'm going today to pick up ten dozen for the month...).  Craigslist is a good source too.  I've seen them in my area for $3/dozen (but everyone closeby I've contacted has been out all the time or flaky or both, YMMV).

kathrynd

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 412
Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #179 on: September 05, 2015, 09:28:39 AM »
We live in Canada...Maritime province.
My husband and I eat almost all our meals at home..might spend $20 a month  on restaurants.
He is 220 lbs and I am 115 lbs...so in the normal range.

We buy  a lot of the same things, but stock up when there is a sale, and take advantage of the store incentives.
When the stores have their discount / reduced  produce, we grab as much as our fridge will hold. This is how we get our variety.
With our breakfast, there will be sliced fruit..and if we are having porridge (not instant) I add in fruit....as well as eating it as a snack.

We don't buy bread, but make  it with our bread machine. Makes wonderful toast.(crumbs/ crusts are saved in the freezer for stuffing or crumbs)
Whole chickens when on sale. Roast them. Then use the meat in recipes. When the carcass is picked, it is used for the base of homemade chicken soup.
If a recipe calls for 1 lb of meat, I use 3/4 lb....bulk it out with vegetables.

We use naan bread as a base for pizzas. Spread a bit of barbeque sauce...add whatever you have on top ...sprinkle with cheese..pop into oven.
Baked potatoes with chopped vegetables.Potatoes can be cooked so many ways, to add variety.

We never go grocery shopping...we go special and discount shopping...it will literally cut your food budget in half .
Given yourself 3-4 months spending what you are now, to use for your stockpile.

If you are buying cakes and cupcakes...stop. Making from scratch is so simple...but using a cake mix , bought on sale, is a compromise.

My next 4 posts will be what we actually bought and spent from May-Aug.

kathrynd

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 412
Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #180 on: September 05, 2015, 09:29:45 AM »
May 2015- 2 adults
$330.26
 
 
NN coffee 2@4.49=$8.98
Coffee Mate hazelnut – $4.99
eggs- $3.43
NN cheese 2 @ $4.79 = $9.58
Parkay margarine = $4.79
Delisio Rustic pizza 2 @ $3.99 = $7.98
mushrooms $2.69 – 50% pink sticker= $1.69
15 lbs potatoes –$5.99
onions – $1.79
stew pack- $4.49
basa fillets- $3.99
907g margarine 3 @ 2.99=$8.97
4l milk- $6.49
10kg flour- $10.00
Tahina- $4.79
x-lg eggs 2@$3.00=  $6.00
3lbs carrots =$3.49
15 lbs potatoes 2 @ 2.99= $5.98
reduced tomatoes =$1.49
1.74 kg bananas = $1.36
bacon =$3.99
sole fillets =$7.99
 
Pepperoni =$5.49
500ml whipping cream = $3.79
4L milk = $6.49
Barbeque sauce 3 @ $1.00= $3.00
can peas 2 @ $0.79 =$1.58
NN coffee 3@4.49= $13.47  (
colgate toothpaste 3@$1.79  =$5.37
speedstick deodorant 4 @ 2/$4.00 = $8.00
colgate tooth brushes 2 @ $1.99 = $3.98
travel toothbrush/toopaste  $3.29
 
 
NN margarine 3lb 3@5.89  =$17.67 – 50% pink sticker =$8.82
4L milk= $5.99
phil creme cooking herb &garlc $2.99 – 50% pink sticker = $1.49
phil crm  three cheese $2.99 – 50% pink sticker = $1.49
2L ice cream $2.99
blueberries $3.00
pork chops $1.96
naan bread 2 @ $1.99 = $3.98
 
 Dad’s oatmeal.choc chip cookies (48 ct) $11.59-50% pink sticker= $5.79
4L milk $5.99
Ground beef $5.61 (reduced)= $2.85
 
 
 2L MM Orange Juice- $1.88
4L milk- $5.99
1 lb strawberries $2.50
.22kg mushrooms $2.31
NN bacon $5.49
PC Naan bread –$1.99
 
 
whippet cookies 2 @ $1.85= $3.70
jam filled cookies =$0.99
canned tomatoes 3/ $1.00= $1.00
jelly candy- $1.75
chocolate bar candy 3 @ $2.00= $6.00
Oh  Henry choc bars 2 @ $1.00 =$2.00
keilbosa sausage =$2.00
pepperoni= $2.99
Barley =$0.90
Blueberry jam =$2.88
 
 Graves apple juice- $1.25
NN 3lb margarine 2@$5.89=$11.78  (pink sticker reduced)=$5.88
1.04 bananas = $1.82
 
 
tuna 3 @ $0.99= $2.97
miracle whip= $2.99
Minute Maid orange juice=$1.88
PC sour cream $4.29-50% pink sticker= $2.14
parsnips (reduced)= $1.49
yellow peppers (reduced)= $1.49
apples (reduced) = $1.49
.4kg tomato= $1.16
ground beef = $9.96
PC naan bread= $1.99
 
 
 
blueberry watermelon juice –$0.99
4L milk- $5.99
3lbs onions 2@$1.79  =$3.58
oranges/apples/banana tray 2@$1.49  = $2.98  (reduced )
pork chops $6.43+ $5.88 = $12.31
Bros Pepperoni $6.47

kathrynd

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 412
Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #181 on: September 05, 2015, 09:31:45 AM »
June 2015- 2 adults
 
$214.96
 
 
 
 
 
coffee creamer-$4.99
coffee creamer -$2.99
cheddar cheese-$5.79
brussel sprouts 2/$5.00
reduced produce- $0.99
reduces produce- $1.49
sweet potato $1.58
eggs $2.79
4 L milk- $6.09
ice cream-$3.99
Bacon 4 @3.99 =$15.96
reduced mini naan bread $1.69-.$.85 = $.84
naan bread 2 @ $1.99 = $3.98
BBQ sauce 3@. $.89= $2.67
4 L milk- $5.99
bananas-= $1.96
mushrooms = $3.00
cookies – $3.59
eggs 3 @ $2.79= $8.37
cheese 2 @ $4.99 = $9.98
sweet potato  = $1.78
stew pack vegs  $4.49
whole chicken $7.38
whole chicken $6.88
4L milk- 5.99
marmalade- $2.29
flakes of ham 2 @ $0.99 = $1.98
4 L milk= $5.99
cheeze whiz 2 @ $2.84 = $5.68
cheeze whiz =$2.84
reduced produce 6 @ $1.49 =$8.97
reduced produce = $.99
cheese 2 @ $ 4.79 = $9.58
eggs 4 @ 2/$5.00 = $10.00
4 L milk – $5.99
bagels reduced $3.59- $1.80 = $1.79
mini naan bead 3 @ $1.69 =reduced –$2.55 =$2.52
salad dressing $0.75
cream of wheat $1.99
tomato sauce $1.00
 yeast $6.59
candy-$15.00
corn chips – $0.50
bananas- $1.47
4 L milk – $6.49
 donuts $3.99

kathrynd

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 412
Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #182 on: September 05, 2015, 09:32:32 AM »
July 2015- 2 adults
 
$227.20
 
 
4 L milk- $5.99
2 juice 2@ 2$4.00 = $4.00
flour $9.99
veg oil $5.99
grape jelly – $2.29
margarine – $2.99
4 L milk- $5.99
vanilla ice cream- $5.99
peppers reduced $4.99- $2.50= $2.49
reduced produce = $0.99
reduced produce = $1.49
pepperoni reduced $5.79-$2.90= $2.89
coffee creamer =$4.99
coffee creamer  =$2.99
mushrooms – $2.00
naan bread reduced $11.96- $6.00 = $5.96
bakery buns reduced $4.69- $2.35=$2.34
cooked chicken reduced $9.99- $5.00 = $4.99
graham crumbs =$4.19
cream = $3.49
brussel sprouts  2/ $5.00 = $5.00
hand lotion $4.99
icing sugar- $2.50
peanut butter 4 @$3.49 -=$13.96
orange pekoe tea = $5.99
whip cream $2.99
parkay margarine 6 @ $3.33 = $19.98
bacon 4 @ $1.99 =$7.96
4 L milk = $5.99
2 juice @  $1.25 = $2.50
cheese 2 @ $4.28=$8.56
4 L milk = $5.99
reduced produce  6 @ $1.49 =$8.97
whole chicken $7.82
whole chicken $7.38
rolls reduced $2.79- $1.40= $1.39
2 candy bars –$1.00
 8 canned vegetables  - BOGO @ $1.19= $4.76
eggs 3 @ 2.99  = $8.97
ice cream sandwich 2 @ 6.49 BOGO =$6.49
10 lbs potatoes 2 @ 3.99 BOGO =$3.99
toothpaste 4 @ $2.49  BOGO = $4.98
 apples – $2.00
vegetables- $1.00
 

kathrynd

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 412
Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #183 on: September 05, 2015, 09:33:05 AM »
 
Aug 2015- 2 adults( 220 lbs + 115 lbs)
$213.90
 
 
2 pkgs cookies reduced 2 @ $1.69- $.85= $1.68
2 doz eggs 2 @ 2.49 = $4.98
carrots reduced $3.99- $2.00= $1.99
produce reduced 5 @ $.99 +$4.95
reduced produce 2 @ $1.49 = $2.98
2 brown sugar 2/$5.00 = $5.00
4 L milk =$5.99
2 apple juice 2 @ $1.00 = $2.00
4 L milk = $5.99
kidney beans $1.00
lemon juice = $2.49
4 tuna 4/$5.00 = $5.00
2 juice @ $.99= $1.98
coffee creamer $4.49
coffee creamer = $2.99
4 L milk $5.99
cheese reduced 2 @ $4.48 – $4.48= $4.48
naan bread reduced $2.99- $1.50= $1.49
4 coffee @ $3.99 = $15.96
12 pk NN mac and cheese =$6.29
4 tomato soup @ 2/$1.00= $2.00
50g summer savory  =$5.69
blueberry  =$2.50
onions  =$2.50
2 bananas = $0.55
whole chicken $7.86
whole chicken $7.46
ground beef = $10.49
ground beef =$9.77
4 graves apple juice @ $0.88 = $3.52
4L milk =$5.99
pogo- $1.00
hamburger rolls reduced $4.39-$2.20=$2.19
bananas= $0.99
38 cans compliments tuna @.099 =$37.62
4 L milk – $6.49
4 juice 2/$1.00 =$2.00
3 canned baked beans @ $0.79  = $2.37
chocolate bar =$1.48
apple pie=$3.99
peaches=$2.00
broccoli-$2.00
mushrooms-$1.49
2 apple/blueberry juice 2/$2.25= $2.25
sweet potato=$1.87

clarkfan1979

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2465
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Pueblo West, CO
Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #184 on: September 05, 2015, 11:28:01 AM »
I think my wife and I spent about $600/month for 2 adults and another $100/month for alcohol. Costco is way better than Sams when considering organic options. When considering organic, I buy organic if I eat it a lot. Eggs are a big part of my diet, so I pay the extra for organic eggs.

I would recommend small changes over time. You will be more likely to stick with it. Try to cut your bill by 5% to start and build momentum from there.

ketchup

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4328
  • Age: 30
Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #185 on: September 05, 2015, 03:21:42 PM »
You haven't mentioned at all what your cooking fats of choice are.  I yesterday did a cost comparison for myself and was shocked at how much it varies.  Usually I have a pretty good handle on this sort of thing, but it varies wildly.

These numbers are based on what we actually buy, and are pretty close to the healthiest/hippiest versions available.  Anything made at home was adjusted to include only approximate yield.

From most cost-effective to least:


Pastured beef suet from local farm at $0.75/lb that's been rendered into tallow at home:
4070 calories per dollar
Pastured pork back fat from local farm at $0.75/lb that's been rendered into lard at home:
3859 calories per dollar
Organic extra virgin olive oil from Costco ($14.99/2L):
1076 calories per dollar
Organic coconut oil from Costco ($24.99/84oz):
825 calories per dollar
Kerrygold salted grass-fed butter (bulk from Costco, 3x8oz for $7.49):
627 calories per dollar
Refined coconut oil (Nutiva $12.50/54oz Amazon.com):
644 calories per dollar
Unsalted Kerrygold (from regular grocery store for $2.99/8oz), clarified at home:
501 calories per dollar

So tallow and lard are crazy cheap compared to grass-fed butter and coconut oil, with olive oil cheaper but not nearly as much so as tallow and lard.

Tallow and lard are also ridiculously heat-stable so you don't have to worry as much about burning it compared to other options.

So from here on out, I personally will only be using butter or coconut oil when the recipe uses that for flavoring (of which there are plenty of course) but the rest of the time, I'll be replacing it with tallow or lard.

Of course, a gallon of soybean oil from Walmart for $6 works out to be a massive 5137 calories per dollar, but nobody should be eating any of that no matter how cheap it is.

PFHC

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 617
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Midcoast Maine
  • Busy doing.
Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #186 on: September 05, 2015, 05:39:30 PM »
You haven't mentioned at all what your cooking fats of choice are.  I yesterday did a cost comparison for myself and was shocked at how much it varies.  Usually I have a pretty good handle on this sort of thing, but it varies wildly.

These numbers are based on what we actually buy, and are pretty close to the healthiest/hippiest versions available.  Anything made at home was adjusted to include only approximate yield.

From most cost-effective to least:


Pastured beef suet from local farm at $0.75/lb that's been rendered into tallow at home:
4070 calories per dollar
Pastured pork back fat from local farm at $0.75/lb that's been rendered into lard at home:
3859 calories per dollar
Organic extra virgin olive oil from Costco ($14.99/2L):
1076 calories per dollar
Organic coconut oil from Costco ($24.99/84oz):
825 calories per dollar
Kerrygold salted grass-fed butter (bulk from Costco, 3x8oz for $7.49):
627 calories per dollar
Refined coconut oil (Nutiva $12.50/54oz Amazon.com):
644 calories per dollar
Unsalted Kerrygold (from regular grocery store for $2.99/8oz), clarified at home:
501 calories per dollar

So tallow and lard are crazy cheap compared to grass-fed butter and coconut oil, with olive oil cheaper but not nearly as much so as tallow and lard.

Tallow and lard are also ridiculously heat-stable so you don't have to worry as much about burning it compared to other options.

So from here on out, I personally will only be using butter or coconut oil when the recipe uses that for flavoring (of which there are plenty of course) but the rest of the time, I'll be replacing it with tallow or lard.

Of course, a gallon of soybean oil from Walmart for $6 works out to be a massive 5137 calories per dollar, but nobody should be eating any of that no matter how cheap it is.
We use bulk olive oil and bulk coconut oil from Sam's (no Costco near us). Not quite as good of prices as what you're getting, but close! Don't really have access to tallow and lard, but they sounds like yummy options!

PFHC

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 617
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Midcoast Maine
  • Busy doing.
Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #187 on: September 06, 2015, 12:45:49 AM »
PFHC, this just occurred to me. Some people with gluten issues can tolerate sourdough breads.

http://www.culturedfoodlife.com/can-sourdough-change-the-gluten-free-diet/

This might be worth playing with. I have a cookbook where every single bread recipe uses a sourdough starter. If you could use some bread, even if you had to DIY it, it could give you access to a good, cheap food to stretch your budget.
Thanks for the lead! We very rarely eat bread, but we could try sourdough pizza crust for pizza and movie night. :)

Bendigirl

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 57
Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #188 on: September 06, 2015, 07:39:39 PM »
I was thinking about some earlier posts and one that stood out for me.  There was a price per pound breakdown of your grocery list, with greens coming out looking very expensive per pound.
I personally like to use servings, not weight, as a guideline. 
My 300 gram container of organic spinach might seem high priced when looking at cost per pound (it costs 3.99 canadian) but we have large salads every second night and this container lasts for four suppers, two meals each.  So I get eight large servings, each serving .50 cents.  Of course I add other goodies, generally garden tomatoes, organic broccoli, red onions, toasted pumpkin seeds....maybe feta and some small amount of protein.  I find this perfectly acceptable ( absolutely none of my greens sprouted in my garden this year, very sad) and this old body needs all those nutrients.

Tonight was a fresh tomato, pepper and onion stir fry (lots of garlic and fresh basil) over some black bean pasta.  This was new for me, saw it in Costco last week and with its high protein content I thought it a great find.  It was amazing!  I HATE beans but this pasta was good and organic, about $1 a serving with 22 grams of protein and a pile of fibre....will keep this on the shelf for sure.

Great job on your latest trip....I pay about $6 for organic free range eggs and I thought that was terrible!

PFHC

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 617
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Midcoast Maine
  • Busy doing.
Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #189 on: September 06, 2015, 08:57:04 PM »
I was thinking about some earlier posts and one that stood out for me.  There was a price per pound breakdown of your grocery list, with greens coming out looking very expensive per pound.
I personally like to use servings, not weight, as a guideline. 
This is a good thought. Most of the food we buy, we are buying with something like that in mind. Not necessarily the price/lb, because i'll be damned if I eat a pound of spinach in a week, but more so the price/serving and even more so, the price/nutritional benefit.

Being an engineer, it would be nice to break your foods down into cost/nutritional benefit. Make a spreadsheet that could track that. It would be tough because of much of what find to be nutritionally beneficial has a hard time being proven by science... or maybe more accurately, being funded to be proven by a peer-reviewed research paper. But, when eating it as a part of our regular diet, you can feel the results of the nutrition. You actually feel better. In a perfect world, you could do a price/hey-I-feel-better index to hold the naysayers at bay. :)

Quote
Tonight was a fresh tomato, pepper and onion stir fry (lots of garlic and fresh basil) over some black bean pasta.  This was new for me, saw it in Costco last week and with its high protein content I thought it a great find.  It was amazing!  I HATE beans but this pasta was good and organic, about $1 a serving with 22 grams of protein and a pile of fibre....will keep this on the shelf for sure.
Sounds amazingly yummy. I've said it before... wish like hell we had a Costco nearby.
Quote
Great job on your latest trip...
Thanks! I was excited! I just talked to my wife tonight and asked her how she felt about the week. Asked whether she'll make it to Thursday, how was making meals going, etc. She said it has been going great. :) Said it was like other aspects of our life when we simplified (clothing, for instance), it got much easier! She said she used to open the refrigerator and be overwhelmed, stressed, and worried about what she was going to make with all the wonderful food. She was stressed she was going to let it go bad. This lead to overly involved meals with many ingredients, wasted leftovers, and increased stress around meal time. She said the last four days, that has been gone, which has allowed her extra stress-free brain space. Which in turn, allowed her to get creative and simple... like making gluten free cheese pizza with things we had right in the pantry! Kids loved it and she did not have to buy anything extra to make it. Good stuff!

She did say that she may have to hit the store Monday afternoon for bananas for my sons first day of school (he LOVES bananas and they are such an awesome healthy source of calories). We talked it over and decided that she would make oatmeal for breakfast and slice one of the 4.5 million frozen bananas into it, then for lunch, make chia pudding with a small amount of blended frozen banana for flavor. YUM!
Quote
I pay about $6 for organic free range eggs and I thought that was terrible!
Ya, we have to get that figured out... or it may figure itself out. I just found out that I may be reacting to eggs, and my wife can't eat them. I have been troubled by persistent canker sores (5 at a time!) and have been scratching my head as to what was causing them. Long story short, as a last ditch effort, I cut eggs out (I would eat five a day out here because it is one of the only lean, non-fried sources of protein available) and they started to heal that day! Wow. Then a couple days later, ate a bit of an Asian rice dish that had, unkown to me, eggs in it. That afternoon, 2 hours later, I developed another sore on my tongue. So, nothing is concrete, yet, but suffice it to say I will be avoiding eggs for a while!

Speaking of lean protein, a question for anyone who is still reading...

Where do you get bulk beans? Looking for 5+ lb bags. I looked online at Amazon and the prices are pretty good. We have the option to order and pickup at Sam's. Any other sources I should price check that you all know?

Thanks in advance!
« Last Edit: September 08, 2015, 03:55:01 AM by PFHC »

PFHC

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 617
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Midcoast Maine
  • Busy doing.
Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #190 on: September 06, 2015, 09:27:18 PM »
You might see if you can source duck eggs.
Consider it done. In the market, they are $15 just to look at one egg. ;) I'll be looking elsewhere for sure. As a matter of fact, I just posted an ad on Craigslist asking if anyone has some to sell in my area.
Quote
Are you committed to organic beans? I usually just buy mine at the Indian market, but they aren't organic.
Nope. We have a few ethnic markets down in Portland. I'll check into them. Thanks for the lead!

pbkmaine

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8565
  • Age: 65
  • Location: The Villages, Florida
I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #191 on: September 06, 2015, 09:37:52 PM »
Pumpkin, for bulk food resources, try this website: www.theprudenthomemaker.com. She's neither organic nor gluten free, but I think you'd like her ideas, and there's nothing she doesn't know about squeezing a penny.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2015, 09:46:31 PM by pbkmaine »

PFHC

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 617
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Midcoast Maine
  • Busy doing.
Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #192 on: September 06, 2015, 09:48:58 PM »
Pumpkin, for bulk food resources, try this website: www.theprudenthomemaker.com. She's neither organic nor gluten free, but I think you'd like her ideas, and there's nothing she doesn't know about squeezing a penny.
Thanks, darlin'! ;)

pbkmaine

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8565
  • Age: 65
  • Location: The Villages, Florida
Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #193 on: September 06, 2015, 09:53:38 PM »
Anytime!

1967mama

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2165
  • Age: 54
  • Location: Canada
Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #194 on: September 06, 2015, 10:13:07 PM »
Pumpkin, for bulk food resources, try this website: www.theprudenthomemaker.com. She's neither organic nor gluten free, but I think you'd like her ideas, and there's nothing she doesn't know about squeezing a penny.

+1 for The Prudent Homemaker! She's awesome!

PFHC

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 617
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Midcoast Maine
  • Busy doing.
Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #195 on: September 06, 2015, 10:19:20 PM »
Anytime!
I just rifled through her blog. Found a great post on eating beans every night. Sent it to my wife. There seems to be some great ideas on how to trim the fat throughout. Thank you!

PFHC

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 617
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Midcoast Maine
  • Busy doing.
Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #196 on: September 06, 2015, 10:32:57 PM »
I would add the $10/doz eggs to the spendy list.  That's pretty insane.

Agreed. :) We'll shop around see if we can find a better deal for free range eggs.

I wish I were able to sell your family my duck eggs. (I'm nowhere near you, so transport would be a problem. :-)

I sell them for $2.50/dozen and they are huge. It's not a moneymaking proposition by any stretch. It pays for their food, the rest is hobby.
So, we have talked about raising animals in our house, quite a bit. I would love to, but, as mentioned innumerable times, I'm not home all the time. The kids would love to because what kid doesn't love animals... and at age 3 and 5, they would have marginal responsibility, at best. My wife, on the other hand, knows that the work load and PIA that comes with raising more animals than the two turkeys (our kids) she is already raising. So she is not interested. We have talked about it for FI time, but I still have hopes that as the kids age, we may be able to make something work before then.

So, ducks. How much work have you found they require? What are your input costs? I am certain we could free range them because our land has a 1 acre of Maine wetlands, which is ideal for the right ducks. How many eggs do they produce per week?

Thanks!

Faraday

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1191
  • Age: 59
  • Location: NC
  • Solar Powered Slice
Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #197 on: September 07, 2015, 03:13:43 AM »
...
So, ducks. How much work have you found they require? What are your input costs? I am certain we could free range them because our land has a 1 acre of Maine wetlands, which is ideal for the right ducks. How many eggs do they produce per week?

I don't specifically recommend keeping ducks, but I'll answer any questions you've got:

Required Work: I feed them in the morning and evenings and let them roam around during the day foraging for bugs. Their true benefit is how they keep the bugs down. We used to be up to our butts in spiders and crawly things and the ducks gobble them down.

Input Costs: About $3/chick from the local Tractor Supply. Then there's whatever pen  you need to put them in at night. You can buy a pen for $100-$250 depending on fancyness. I make all mine, I can make a big, nice pen for about $110.

I occasionally have to buy "health aids" for the ducks. things you add to their water to give them electrolytes, pro-biotics or even an antibiotic if they need it.

Eggs/Week: I've just now gotten my girls to giving me 4-6 eggs/day or about a dozen eggs every two days.

I recommend chickens. Ducks are just too favored by predators. Right now I've got a HUGE Red-Tailed Hawk trying to eat my girls, so I've had to keep the girls penned in more and hang out with them outside with my rifle. You don't want that kind of trouble.

Chickens, I think are a better source. They can live on cheaper feed than the ducks and you will have fewer problems with them.

Monkey Uncle

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1685
  • Location: West-by-god-Virginia
Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #198 on: September 07, 2015, 04:32:51 AM »
I recommend chickens. Ducks are just too favored by predators. Right now I've got a HUGE Red-Tailed Hawk trying to eat my girls, so I've had to keep the girls penned in more and hang out with them outside with my rifle. You don't want that kind of trouble.

You do realize that all birds of prey are protected by federal law?  The fine for killing a hawk costs a lot more than building an enclosure with a chicken wire top over it.

PFHC

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 617
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Midcoast Maine
  • Busy doing.
Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #199 on: September 07, 2015, 05:58:49 AM »
...
So, ducks. How much work have you found they require? What are your input costs? I am certain we could free range them because our land has a 1 acre of Maine wetlands, which is ideal for the right ducks. How many eggs do they produce per week?

I don't specifically recommend keeping ducks, but I'll answer any questions you've got:

Required Work: I feed them in the morning and evenings and let them roam around during the day foraging for bugs. Their true benefit is how they keep the bugs down. We used to be up to our butts in spiders and crawly things and the ducks gobble them down.

Input Costs: About $3/chick from the local Tractor Supply. Then there's whatever pen  you need to put them in at night. You can buy a pen for $100-$250 depending on fancyness. I make all mine, I can make a big, nice pen for about $110.

I occasionally have to buy "health aids" for the ducks. things you add to their water to give them electrolytes, pro-biotics or even an antibiotic if they need it.

Eggs/Week: I've just now gotten my girls to giving me 4-6 eggs/day or about a dozen eggs every two days.

I recommend chickens. Ducks are just too favored by predators. Right now I've got a HUGE Red-Tailed Hawk trying to eat my girls, so I've had to keep the girls penned in more and hang out with them outside with my rifle. You don't want that kind of trouble.

Chickens, I think are a better source. They can live on cheaper feed than the ducks and you will have fewer problems with them.
Unfortunately, my wife and I appear to be allergic to chicken eggs. :/


Sent from my XT1094 using Tapatalk