(Closed) Making Cuts to the Grocery Cart :(

posted 7 years ago in Money
Post # 17
Member
6117 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

When I was super super poor I used to feed me and my ex on $300 per month.  That’s $10/day for two poeple and all meals (breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner).  We ate out once a month and everything else was from scratch.  I spent a lot of time in the kitchen however.

 

Now, my Fiance and I spend $777 on average per month on food.  28% of that is eating out (mostly Fiance for lunch).  I keep track of all this on a spreadsheet.  That seems like a lot but I don’t eat the cheaper foods (ramen, noodles, potatoes, pasta) anymore since I do mostly Paleo food.  Refined carbs are just really cheap!

 

I used to do a price sheet.  I listed all the items I regularly buy and the price that I normally get them, then a price per ounce/unit/etc.  When an item goes on sale I mark the lowest price I can get that item.  Then when I see that item in other stores or in a loss leader ad, I can refer to my sheet to see if it’s the best deal I can get or not.

Post # 18
Member
1271 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Shop with a list, based on what meat is on sale and cut dairy out of your diet.  Avoid “convenience” foods and buy in-season fruits and veggies.

Post # 19
Member
1271 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

If you want to be super saver, then go through the ads and have Walmart price match.

Post # 20
Member
215 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

My trick is to plan our meals based on what is on sale that week. I do my grocery shopping on Wednesdays whenever possible because they will honor what was on sale the week before as well as what is on sale this week.Also, I stopped buying the 100 calorie packs and started making them myself. As far as the popcorn goes, buy a bag of kernels and then put a little in a brown paper lunch bag, drizzle a little olive oil on it and fold the top a few times. Microwave it for a couple minutes and you are done. Easy, healthier and WAY cheaper!

Post # 21
Member
967 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

have you tried price matching and couponing?  I started this and our grocery bills are much lower, and we have a small “stockpile” of items that I don’t need to buy for months (some things we have enough of for a year!)

I’ve also been able to get stuff for free…(ie laundry detergent, condiments, pasta, lip balm, soap, toothpaste)…..

Since I’m in ontario I’m not sure what websites you can use for the states…but in the states you also get to “stack” coupons which will give you more savings!

Post # 22
Member
676 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I shop for myself, my Fiance, and my son I spend $50-$70/week. It helps to pick one day of the week to do the shopping and stick to it, the more trips you make the more you spend because you always pick up little extras, which once a week is fine but every day it really adds up. You should plan out a menu for the week and then put on the list the things you need to make what is on that menu. Seach through the grocery adds to see who has the best sales on what you need and go there. If you have the time clip coupons, it really does help. You don’t have to go extreme with it but if it is something you were going to buy anyway and there is a coupon then why not. It takes some time but when you get a routine down it won’t take long and it really saves a lot. We were spending like $200 a week before I started doing this, and we both work at grocery stores so not just picking up a bunch of stuff after work is hard sometimes but it really does work. We don’t ever run out of food, and generally on shopping day I run out of space in the fridge and cabinets to put everything even though it all cost me far less than $100.

Post # 23
Member
1769 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

wow! That’s a lot for groceries! Fiance and I spend about $75/week (we live in the midwest, so everything is cheaper here). We both eat breakfast and dinner, and he gets leftovers for lunch (sometimes I’ll take them, too, but I really hate leftovers, and have a lot of cheap options for lunches at work). We eat out once or twice a week (but at someplace where we can both eat for $50, max, unless it’s a special occasion), and I’m on my own for dinner on Fridays (I’ll usually go out with girlfriends or get a salad somewhere).

I do all the shopping, and I start with meal planning – that ensures nothing goes to waste. I just figure out how many dinners we need to cook, and plan that many meals. We are by no means on a budget – I think we’re just cheap eaters :). I usually plan on chicken at least once a week (so cheap!), and we both love all types of sausages, so I’ll do brats or italian sausages another time. We both love pasta and grains, so those are inexpensive, and this time of the year we’ll do a lot of meatless meals (just a big pile of grilled veggies is enough, and with quinoa on the side you get plenty of protien!).

Also, we don’t drink soda, and only buy household things (paper towels, etc) on sale. Oh, and no snack foods besides fruits, veggies, and hummus. That’s a big thing. My mom and dad are both big snackers and spend a TON of money on snacks (chips, popcorn, ice cream treats). Fiance and I don’t snack, which helps our waistlines AND our wallets. I usually shop the “outside” aisles of the grocery store – those are where there’s more prep work in the food (aka no pre-packaged stuff), but it’s a lot cheaper.

Post # 24
Member
1755 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

@caits615:  If you like popcorn.  Consider investing $15-20 in an air popper and buy popcorn to pop in it.  Go very easy on the margarine or use a healthier alternative like a dash of parmesan cheese.  It’s low calorie but also low cost.

Post # 25
Member
871 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Use homebrand foods, make things from scratch. Meal Plan. I find when I meal plan I have less food to throw away, My partner requires leftovers for lunch. I sometimes eat them too but I can make sandwiches and other things during break at work when I’m not racing around supervising the students. I make my own sauces for pasta, if any leftover I put into a steralised jar or container and put into the fridge.

Post # 26
Member
5659 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

We typically spend between 75 and 125 per week. I spend a lot of time looking at the deals that are out there are stocking up on meat and freezing it, as well as stocking up on sides like rice or frozen broccoli. We NEVER have snacks in our house. One is because we like to be healthy eaters and if we have snacks in the house we will sit and eat them. Two is that they really bump up our grocery bill and I just don’t want to spend that much money on food that comes in a box. We try to eat mostly produce and fresh proteins. We are also creatures of habit so we do fine eating our three planned meals a day and not really having a lot of snacks around the house. Definitely stock up on meat and other items you frequently use when they go on sale, and learn the coupon deals that are out there. Even if its just out of your grocery stores flier!

Post # 27
Member
1949 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

We struggLe with this too. Here’s our plan:

 We make a meal plan two weeks out, and base our grocery list offthat. If we’re not planning to eat it, we don’t buy it. I found this drastically reduced our grocery bill. We also cut out mid week trips to the grocery store. This stops the impulse buying. 

We set aside $40 cash a week for eating out/movies, what evEr. Once it’s gone, that’s it. Typically, it means we don’t order alcohol or dessert when we eat out, or we share one dessert. We do it in cash so wno know we can’t over spend. This “allowance” was directly a result of wedding saving, and we’ve kept it ever since (a year now) and its been great!

Post # 28
Member
126 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2016 - Bridgewater Place

My fiance and I spend between $100 and $200 every two weeks on groceries (so about $100 a week). It’s boring but what helps us is to not try and be super creative and eat different things everyday. We both eat the same foods at work. Also, try to shop at discount grocery stores. I do the bulk of my shopping at Aldi’s, The rest I get at Costco. We have a little fruit and veggie store near us so we get fruit from there if we feel like venturing. It’s SUPER cheap there for fresh fruits and veggies.

I don’t like cooking very much so we buy a lot of frozen meals at Aldi’s with are about $4 a bag for dinner.

I tried couponing and ad shopping but I just don’t have the patience for that. Truth be told my finace doesn’t have the patience to shop at more than one place but since I buy the groceries, I do it anyways but it does save so much money.

Post # 29
Member
1924 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

My Fiance and I spend about $75 a week on groceries for the two of us, but we buy almost 100% produce.  Buying produce is the best way to shop–you can get very healthy food for cheap!  Also, we shop at Whole Foods and Trader Joes and buy 100% organic.

Here’s a sample of what I’ll eat in a day:

Breakfast: 1/2 cup organic frozen blueberries, 1 banana

Lunch: 2 pieces of Ezekiel bread, 2 tbsp hummus (whichever one is on sale at Whole Foods), organic spinach, organic tomato.

Snack: 1 organic pear, several organic carrots.  Usually also some blueberries and non-fat plain greek yogurt.

Dinner: Steamed veggies or some sort of baked vegetable dish.  Tonight: Zucchini parmesan (which is simply organic tomato sauce from a jar, baked organic zucchini, and some pamesan cheese).

Dessert: Organic fruit smoothie with non fat plain greek yogurt, banana, blueberries.

We have one MAJOR rule: ZERO food waste.  We eat ALL of the food we buy every week and we don’t let food go bad.  If we have food at home, we don’t buy more unless we’re sure we will eat it.  

We have another rule: NO PROCESSED FOODS!  If something is processed (such as yogurt or tomato sauce) it has to be minimally processed.

I know this may sound ridiculous, but we save TONS of money every week by eating this way. We go out to a restaurant every Friday (we have been doing this for years) and we have another rule: 4 out of every 5 restaurants we eat at has to be $30 or less for two of us to eat, including tax and tip.  We live in West Los Angeles (VERY expensive place to live) and we make it work!

ETA: I don’t add all the organics in here to be snoody, just to prove that eating organic doesn’t always mean more expensive.  

Post # 30
Member
2226 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: January 2012

Food prices vary greatly depending on your area: I spend $70-120 a week to feed 2-3 people. The way I’m able to keep costs low is diligently following the flyers, knowing what things cost (i.e. I never spend more than $2.50 on a box of cookies, 8$/kg on meat, $1 for brocoli). I stock up when non-perishables go on special & a freeze lot of things. I’ve also found that it’s cheaper to find a good produce store, that sells cheap(& fresh) fruits & veggies while minimizing the amount of boxed/canned foods. I have 2 favourite stores which specialize in cheap produce & alternate between them depending on the weekly flyers.

Post # 31
Member
47206 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

We budget $400 per month for the two of us but often have money left over. I stock up on things we use all the time when they are on sale. I also shop in Bellingham as I live in Vancouver close to the border. As an example, I get whole chicken for 69 cents a lb when the cheapest up here is $2.99

Check out the coupon websites. They will tell you what the bagains are every week, plus what you can get for free using coupons.

I can’t remember the last time I paid for toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, dishwashing liquid, Barbeque sauce etc.

If you don’t get the weekend papers that have the coupons ask friends who do to save the coupon flyers for you, or check the recycling bin if you live in an apartment.

ETA Nothing to do with your request, but do you really need to take two trips back to back? Could you not combine the trip to your friend’s wedding with a honeymoon?

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