Post # 1
I just read a blog that put me to shame: A mom feeding a family of 5 on $100 a month! (Easy to find on google)
DANG. My husband and I spend close to $600 a month on groceries and another $400 on eating out. It’s just two of us! That’s 2/3 what we spend on rent!!!
We aren’t using expensive brands or organic. We are bleeding cash on trips to the store on our way home from work, thinking we need something that we don’t or buying more than we need (snacks usually) when we should have just picked up 3 items. I’m going to try a two-week meal plan with only one visit to the grocery store and see if I can’t feed us on $300 a month.
any advice or cool tricks that y’all have used to bring your grocery bills down?
ETA I like using the crockpot and prefer to use fresh ingredients, nothing overly processed. We use canned items for our crockpot meals, but we avoid things like cereal, hotdogs, easy mac, things that barely resemble their constituents 🙂
Post # 2
rockclimberbride : Find a grocery store with good deals. Honestly… I used Aldi for a long time when I was on a budget but buying A LOT of food. I got all of my food for a bodybuilding cut diet from Aldi. I was consuming outrageous amounts of eggs [mostly whites but some yolks], like 6 a day, and chicken and steak and salmon and whitefish and fresh veggies… OH MY!! It was a ton of food. I found that having a meal plan + Aldi really saved me.
Post # 3
I’m the exact same way, my Fiance’ and I. Sometimes even while I’m shopping I stop and think “I know I’m spending way more money on food than I should”. My Fiance’ has even mentioned the trips to the grocery store. We don’t eat out alot, but I do STAY in the grocery stores. I find that meal prepping works alot, it also helps avoid fast food trips during lunch (which saves money), we usually try to do something that can last the whole week. As far as dinner goes, crockpot recipes work wonders as they are usually recipes that can stretch over a number of days and can cook while you work, but even if you don’t use the crockpot everyday still try to make recipes that will linger for awhile (i.e spaghetti, casseroles, etc.). That’s what I try to do.
Post # 4
I brought down our food bills by changing where I shopped. I don’t know if you have Aldi where you are, but we swapped to them and save about £100 a week on our shopping.
I meal plan by the week and go shopping once a week. I also buy non branded products whenever possible. I have found that for some cleaning products the saving of buying non branded goods isn’t worth it though.
Post # 5
Do you go out to lunch at work or bring lunch from home? It doesn’t seem like alot, but its crazy how fast buying lunch at work adds up.
Post # 6
I think it depends what you are eating, as well. Darling Husband and I are picky on food quality and sometimes there just isn’t a way to cut a ton of cost there. That said, what helps me is checking the sale flyers before I shop and meal planning around whats on sale that week. I also stock up when things I know that I will use are on sale (meats, boxed goods, canned goods). We have an extra fridge/freezer, which helps immensley with this.
I also will make double batches when I cook so that I’m able to buy in bulk (save money) and use up a full ingredient (save money). I hate recipes that call for 1/2 cup of something that can only be purchased in 1 cup sizes. I’ll make double and then freeze the second half for another meal, or freeze in lunch sized portions to use throughout the week. Leftovers for lunch also saves us money. When meat is on sale, I will buy extra packs of chicken breasts for example, marinate and grill them, slice in half or shred and freeze. They work super well for grilled chicken sandwiches/wraps/salads or chicken tacos/burritos/bbq sandwiches, etc (and a lot of times, chicken breast goes on sale way cheaper than lunchmeat).
I also check places like Thrive market & amazon for cheaper prices. A lot of tiems I am surprised!
Without a LOT of planning and cutting on quality, I don’t think I could feed a family of 5 for $100 a month.
Post # 7
As PP said, Aldi has some incredible savings, although it’s quite out of the way for me so I usually stick to my local chain grocer and still manage a budget of about $60 a month. The biggest thing that brings my grocery bill up is meat, so I usually stick to casserole-type meals that can stretch. Keep an eye out for “manager’s special”, too…I scored some marked down organic chicken breasts for $3 the other week (which I can usually make 1-2 breasts last for at least 4 servings). Alternatively, you could just make more vegetarian meals. Beans are cheap and nutritious. Stick to off-brands if you can (they’re almost always exactly the same but 50% cheaper).
Pack your own lunches for work. Peanut butter, egg salad, leftovers, etc…lately I’ve been making a bulk batch of burritos (refried beans with cheese) and freezing them. Just toss one in my bag on the way out the door and pop it in a microwave at work…works great! Filling, relatively healthy (especially if you use whole wheat tortillas), and soooo cheap! (Tip: use a bit of water to thin the beans and make them more spreadable—stretches them just a bit more)
And finally, if you have a dollar store type place near you, price check some of your common pantry items there. Sometimes they can be more expensive, but things like bread and snacks are usually cheaper (even the name brands). You should be able to just look on their website to see their prices…super convenient 🙂
Post # 8
We plan our meals for the week ahead of time. We triple or guadruple the recipes. And we find recipes that can easily be used as leftovers or frozen. When you shop only the perimeter of the store, you’ll save a lot more money. Packaged food is expensive.
Post # 9
wonderwedding : We are pretty good at bagging our lunches. What is really causing problems is these casual stops to the grocery store on our way home from work to grab steaks… and bread… and cookies… and ice cream… and a treat for going to the grocery store… and wtf we just spent $70 on crap when we only needed steaks!!!
I think I’m going to tell Darling Husband that only one of us is allowed to go to the grocery store for the time being so we can get this under control.
Post # 10
All… We live in a town with a single grocery store (Smith’s if you’re familiar). The town is isolated and prices are somewhat inflated for transportation.
I did just pick up 11 boxes of pasta yesterday for $5. They carry Kroeger generics and run their promotions as well.
Post # 11
Also, I have recently discovered that a pound of quick oats from the bulk aisle is less than $1.50, whereas a box of individual servings of oatmeal can run up to $4. I just add cinnamon, honey and whatever chopped nuts I have laying around.
Post # 12
Buy ingredients, not products. Stock up on items when they’re on sale. If you do buy products, limit yourself to only buying when they’re on sale or buying the generic brand.
That being said, I refuse to buy generic brand sour cream, ketchup, etc. as they are completely different quality but a lot of other products that is NOT the case.
Meal planning so you aren’t forced to resort to easy options, which are almost always expensive.
Packing a lunch.
Shopping at a discount store for most stuff saves a ton. There is generally a smaller selection of meats at those stores (and sometimes noticeable quality issues) so I tend to buy meat at a regular grocery store, on sale.
Post # 13
How do I get my Darling Husband to not inhale an entire $5 bag of chips in one night?
I think I’m just going to stop buying them or immediately ration a bag into smaller containers to make it last… like 5 days lol.
Post # 14
rockclimberbride : my fiance and I are the same way lol
We know that meal planning would save us a lot of money in the long run, but neither one of us is interested in doing it. Mostly because I just don’t know on Sunday what I’m gonna A) feel like eating on Wednesday and B) feel like cooking. Sometimes I’m just not in the mood to cook when I get home, or to cook something that involves much in the way of prep, so if I start meal planning and a certain night of the week is supposed to be something that involves a bunch of cooking I don’t feel like doing, it’s gonna throw the whole damn week off lol
Because we aren’t on a super tight budget, I’m not that worried about it. We do pretty well at eating our leftovers and not throwing food out, and that’s my biggest issue with bad buying habits. He is far worse than me for buying a bunch of unnecessary crap when he goes to the store. That’s his prerogative and if he wants to waste his personal $$ on junk he can go right ahead lol
Post # 15
You need to start making a list, and only get what’s on the list. It’s easier said than done but for me it’s a huge way to cut down on buying stuff I don’t need at the shop.
we get our meat delivered by a local company and freeze it all, we’ve not bought any in 2 months (we spend £200 on meat..) that way we just buy veg as we need to make meals