How do you save money on groceries?

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Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:04 pm

It’s not you, there is price creep going on at the supermarket in two forms: subtle price changes - my big canister of quick oats used to cost $2.69 (store brand), it now costs $2.99 same size. This has happened in the last three months. That is more than inflation and the price of oats at commodity exchange is not skyrocketing. There aren’t more horses gobbling up oats, my colleagues are still eating baked goods for breakfast so it isn’t them either. The second form of price inflation-same or slightly higher pricing coupled with reduced packaging sizes. You now need to buy more packages for same volume consumption.

Do you use coupons- store issued or manufacturer issued? If you use the product and discounts are offered, I grab it.

Growing kids will eat more, teenagers especially. Agree on school lunch, if it’s healthier and not too costly, would stick with it.
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lostdog
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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by lostdog » Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:27 pm

camillus wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:29 am
One word: ALDI
+1

Walmart and Aldi are a good combo.

five2one
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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by five2one » Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:49 pm

Costco and buy in bulk. We saved enough to pay for a used deep freezer.
Cooking from scratch is always cheaper when buying bulk.

That said, Wal-Mart beats costco on eggs and milk so we buy there.

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StevieG72
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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by StevieG72 » Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:53 pm

Shop at the neighborhood Walmart. ( the smaller format store with primarly groceries)
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Elysium
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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by Elysium » Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:13 pm

InvisibleAerobar wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 7:48 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 7:31 pm

Feel free to search my prior posts, I have talked about it many many many times. Bottom-line, food is fuel to me (and only slightly less so for my wife, and kids don't know any different); we eat the same things over and over and over again, and I know exactly how/where to get them cheapest. Almost all of our meals for the entire week, for the entire family, are prepared in a few hours each Sunday and put in tupperware. There is essentially zero waste and, having lived all over the country, I am aware that we have some pretty cost-efficient grocers in our area.

How we eat is definitely not for everybody, but it works quite well for us, financially and from a health perspective (again, not getting roped into that discussion).
thanks; i'll look it up when i get a chance

completely get what you are doing re: cooking a week's worth at a time. It's mostly what I do, with the twist that i do 3-4 day's worth at a time. I did have some issues with food going bad after 5-6 days, which i why i cut it down to 3-4 days from a week.

now if only i could convince my dad that there's nothing wrong with cooking a few day's worth of food at once...
There is actually something wrong with cooking a few days worth of food in advance, even with refrigeration. Toxins. It's hard to prove though. Preparing and consuming food every day if possible is the best way to avoid toxins build up, but the modern life requires us to eat food prepared in advance. This is a compromise we take, and if someone has ability to prepare every day, there is no reason to convince them not to.

mouses
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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by mouses » Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:22 pm

MrBeaver wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 5:57 pm
Concerning the "Food prices are just higher" sentiment I'm seeing, this is actually not the case when you look at the CPI detailed data. Nominal prices for the entire 'food at home' category tracked within CPI have actually been trending DOWN (deflationary) since 2015, while the entire CPI-U has drifted up slowly. Essentially, food is cheaper now than it was two years ago,
I can remember when a package of frozen vegetables and a loaf of bread cost about twenty cents apiece. You have a short time horizon :-)

Limoncello402
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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by Limoncello402 » Thu Aug 30, 2018 5:27 am

Aldi is also my recommendation. I'm amazed sometimes at how much I can save there.
Eat clean and simple. I rarely if ever make fancy meals. Have a routine of, say, 3-4 breakfasts, 3-4 lunches, and 10-12 dinners that you cycle through. I probably buy the same 10-15 items per week, so shopping and planning is very easy. For me, easy is good, healthy and keeps me on budget.
I eat plenty of eggs, meat, salads, cheese, veggies, dairy, limited fruit, healthy fats, beans. I try to buy high quality for health. I don't eat any sugar, wheat, or junk food (since I have problems craving them, and this has led to addictions).
Dinners are usually a protein and veggies, or combined in a stew, soup, chili. Experiment with spices and seasonings for great variety.
I drink water and coffee. That's it.

scottinmet
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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by scottinmet » Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:18 am

Are you eating out less in the last year? My grocery expenses change quite a bit depending on how many times we eat out in a given month. Also, do you include clothes and other non-food items in your grocery bill? I lump all that into one budget item as they don't change much from year to year for me.

Food waste is what I'm working on right now. I am usually the main grocery shopper, but there are times when others add to the pantry and fridge and then food gets uneaten and eventually thrown away.

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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:33 am

Elysium wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:13 pm
InvisibleAerobar wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 7:48 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 7:31 pm

Feel free to search my prior posts, I have talked about it many many many times. Bottom-line, food is fuel to me (and only slightly less so for my wife, and kids don't know any different); we eat the same things over and over and over again, and I know exactly how/where to get them cheapest. Almost all of our meals for the entire week, for the entire family, are prepared in a few hours each Sunday and put in tupperware. There is essentially zero waste and, having lived all over the country, I am aware that we have some pretty cost-efficient grocers in our area.

How we eat is definitely not for everybody, but it works quite well for us, financially and from a health perspective (again, not getting roped into that discussion).
thanks; i'll look it up when i get a chance

completely get what you are doing re: cooking a week's worth at a time. It's mostly what I do, with the twist that i do 3-4 day's worth at a time. I did have some issues with food going bad after 5-6 days, which i why i cut it down to 3-4 days from a week.

now if only i could convince my dad that there's nothing wrong with cooking a few day's worth of food at once...
There is actually something wrong with cooking a few days worth of food in advance, even with refrigeration. Toxins. It's hard to prove though. Preparing and consuming food every day if possible is the best way to avoid toxins build up, but the modern life requires us to eat food prepared in advance. This is a compromise we take, and if someone has ability to prepare every day, there is no reason to convince them not to.
A modern invention called refrigerator diminishes toxins. Leave the food out for a few days and yes, you’ll have a Petri dish of things growing.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

HelenaJustina
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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by HelenaJustina » Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:45 am

Are you positive Wegmans is more expensive for then Giant? I live near both, and Wegmans is far cheaper for what I buy. Examples:

Eggs
W: $2.49 for 36, G:$1.79 for 12

Milk
W: $1.89 a gallon, G: $3.49 a gallon

Ground beef
W: $2.99lb, 90% lean, G: $5.99lb,90% lean

Chicken breast
W: $1.99lb, 3% retained water, G: $2.99lb, 15% retained water!

No HFCS bread, cheapest
W: $2.99, 2x24oz loaves, G: $2.99, 1x20oz loaf

Hellmans Mayo, not on sale
W:$3.99, G:$4.99

I’ll admit, Giant does attractive loss leaders, but what the right hand gives the left hand takes away. They’re everyday prices stink on ice! Wegmans has a lot of exotic stuff that is easy to spend $ on, but if you can stick to your list they are very reasonable and the prices only change quarterly, so no playing games.

They have an app that will give local store prices, so you can do a thorough comparison with a Giant receipt without leaving your home.

InvisibleAerobar
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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by InvisibleAerobar » Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:20 am

HelenaJustina wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:45 am
Are you positive Wegmans is more expensive for then Giant? I live near both, and Wegmans is far cheaper for what I buy. Examples:
that's the thing, i rarely find the more "mass market" supermarkets to be cheaper, especially when it comes to fruits and vegetables. Giant may occasionally have asparagus or apples on sale, but seems to be more expensive for everything else. Same goes for other supermarkets such as Harris Teeter and Safeway (and even Shoprite, for that matter). For some very weird reason, Trader Joe's ends up being the place with the lowest prices on produce.

I made a point of finding out which store has less expensive products on my set of staple foods, and it's split 50/50 btwn TJ's and Wegmans

also, for the OP, not sure what part of the DC metro in which you reside, but there's one particular H-Mart (I want to say the one in Centreville, VA) that seems to have really good prices. That was the first one I visited in a long time, so i thought every H-Mart probably has similar prices. Not so, unfortunately.

dbapaddy
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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by dbapaddy » Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:36 am

I go to Publix and Costco. Never Walmart (ugh). Rarely Aldi. Rarely Trader Joes.

The thing is, driving to all the other possible places to save a dime would drive me nuts! On my weekends, I really don't want to be driving around in the heat saving $5...life's too important for that...I'd rather be at the beach with the kids.

Coupons? Sure, I use them when I remember...but mostly they stay in a folder in a closet....Who has time for all that crap? Plus, I always forget them, even if they are in my wallet...

Costco+deep freeze. Publix+their 50% off. Eat all leftovers. Cook at home.

Good luck!

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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by forgeblast » Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:18 am

We have been doing Plant Based for the last month. Feel great, eating better, and saving money. We still eat fish, but we like to fish so that is free :)
I look a lot at where the the big $$ going in the bill, for us its coffee for my wife. After another kidney stone I stopped coffee.
To save money look at what your throwing out, and cook your own meals.
We spend/budget for 3 people about 150 or less a week, which at 50 a person works due to the amount of fresh food we eat. If we spend less then 150, it goes in our dine out budget its nice to be rewarded.

stoptothink
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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by stoptothink » Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:26 am

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:33 am
Elysium wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:13 pm
InvisibleAerobar wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 7:48 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 7:31 pm

Feel free to search my prior posts, I have talked about it many many many times. Bottom-line, food is fuel to me (and only slightly less so for my wife, and kids don't know any different); we eat the same things over and over and over again, and I know exactly how/where to get them cheapest. Almost all of our meals for the entire week, for the entire family, are prepared in a few hours each Sunday and put in tupperware. There is essentially zero waste and, having lived all over the country, I am aware that we have some pretty cost-efficient grocers in our area.

How we eat is definitely not for everybody, but it works quite well for us, financially and from a health perspective (again, not getting roped into that discussion).
thanks; i'll look it up when i get a chance

completely get what you are doing re: cooking a week's worth at a time. It's mostly what I do, with the twist that i do 3-4 day's worth at a time. I did have some issues with food going bad after 5-6 days, which i why i cut it down to 3-4 days from a week.

now if only i could convince my dad that there's nothing wrong with cooking a few day's worth of food at once...
There is actually something wrong with cooking a few days worth of food in advance, even with refrigeration. Toxins. It's hard to prove though. Preparing and consuming food every day if possible is the best way to avoid toxins build up, but the modern life requires us to eat food prepared in advance. This is a compromise we take, and if someone has ability to prepare every day, there is no reason to convince them not to.
A modern invention called refrigerator diminishes toxins. Leave the food out for a few days and yes, you’ll have a Petri dish of things growing.
I guess technically a case could be made for increased toxicity using this method of food preparation/eating, but considering what we eat and how it is prepared, we aren't in any way concerned. We aren't preparing separate meals and combining ingredients and then refrigerating it; the only things which are "cooked" are our protein sources (primarily crockpots of meat and large batches of hard boiled eggs). Every individual foodstuff is in its own container and combined when eaten. Produce is fresh or simply defrosted from frozen. I prepare overnight oats every afternoon for the next day (breakfast for kids, first meal of the day - post-workout - ~3pm for wife and I), the other 95% of our meals are a portion of protein, a vegetable (broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, green beans, etc.), and a (dry, I put hot sauce on mine, wife/kids like EVOO or vinegars) green salad. Every so often (maybe once every 2wks), my wife will get a wild hair and prepare some quinoa or cauliflower rice or want to make spaghetti for herself and the kids. Children have fresh and frozen fruit, and a few varieties of raw nuts available at all times for snacking. Either way, increased toxins is a super odd technicality to focus on with this particular philosophy of eating.

I am a creature of routine/habit, it's ingrained in me, probably in large part due to having Asperger's Syndrome. Honestly, at least for me, the biggest savings to having a system is how much less time we spend preparing and eating food than average families; so important with a dual-career household with two super active young kids.

The Wizard
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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by The Wizard » Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:52 am

ccf wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 12:03 pm
What state do you live in and how many people are you feeding?

$120 a week sounds pretty impressive to me!

(I'm in Massachusetts, not near a Costco, so I shop at Market Basket)
Same here.
In my case, I'm not really trying to minimize my grocery expenses at all. I'm sure I spend lots more eating out every month, so groceries and home cooked meals are bargains by comparison.
I cook a fair amount of fresh (usually) seafood, which obviously costs more, so it's just as well that I don't worry about the total dollar amount spent on this category.

Nonetheless, I browse the Market Basket flyer each week around this time as make a list on my smartphone of stuff I want to get, but I don't limit myself to what's on my list.

When cooking for one or two people, buying larger quantities of food can be false economy if it results in waste, specifically for fresh produce.
So I no longer buy 5 or 10 lb bags of potatoes; I buy just 3-4 red potatoes or Yukon golds or russets, whatever I'm up for. This way, they are fresh, not sprouting or going mushy

Leftovers are another key; I'm really good at this, finishing dinner leftovers for lunch in the following day or two.
So the bottom line for me is simply minimizing waste in the food department...
Attempted new signature...

AnonJohn
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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by AnonJohn » Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:55 am

@HelenaJustina : Love the data, especially looking at the amount of water added!

My $0.02: I make great use of silcone-sealed locking glass storage containers. Cook in bulk and freeze / put in fridge. Putting the hot food in glass, sealing, and refrigerating quickly does keep it fresher.

I also try to eat a lot of legumes (beans, lentils). I buy them dry in bulk, often online, and pressure cook them. I've found that ordering 10+lbs at a time for chickpeas, grains (barley, wild rice), online gets me great quality for better or similar prices in the store. If I don't use them fast enough I will freeze some (especially the nuts), take them out as needed.

For lunch meat, I buy as much chicken breast as my grill can hold. Season, grill, slice, freeze in 2 cup containers. Put that with some mustard or hummus ...

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dm200
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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by dm200 » Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:10 am

Intermittent fasting several times a week can save.

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dccboone
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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by dccboone » Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:28 am

It sounds like you are doing many things right. There are two things we always do to manage our grocery expenses. First, we establish a monthly budget. Second, we pay cash for our groceries. Together, those two things will help reduce monthly food expenditures. Good luck!

sillysaver
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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by sillysaver » Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:30 am

I try to cook all my own meals, but I don't compromise on food quality. Increasingly, we buy all our produce organic, and all meats I buy are "grass-fed" or "pastured" and sourced from local ranches. Our fish is all wild-caught and some of it is sourced from sustainable fisheries in Alaska.

I think preparing your own meals and avoiding packaged crap is the single most important thing you can do for your health and budget. Sure, we could save more if we cut corners on food quality or started living like monks by eating only rice and beans, but in the long run we'd pay with our health and vitality, and that is not a price worth paying.

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Abe
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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by Abe » Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:47 am

Don't know if this has been posted or not, but walmart has a program called Savings Catcher where they will match any lower advertised price in your area. After signing up, you can scan your receipt barcode or you can go to their site and enter your receipt number and date, and they will refund the difference if there is a lower advertised price.
Last edited by Abe on Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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theanalyst
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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by theanalyst » Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:52 am

I've thought of an interesting way to look at grocery budget as of late, because I, like you, want to reduce my grocery budget. I spend ~$290 a month and I'm only one person, so I obviously can improve. But! Back to my theory.

I'm a 26yo male who needs about ~3k calories to sustain my weight with my activity level and such. That comes out to be about ~90k calories on the average month. So if the $290 I'm spending now gets me ~90k calories a month, I'm roughly getting 310 calories for every $1 I spend (90k calories / $290 per month). Now, all you have to do is look at the foods you buy and try to increase calories / $1.

For instance, jasmine rice: ~$32 for 25lb = $32 for 252 servings of 160 calories = 1,260 calories / $1 spent = 4x calories for every $1
Coconut oil, for coffee: $11 for 3.33lb = $11 for 106 servings of 140 calories = 1,349 calories / $1 spent = ~4x calories for every $1

Incorporating higher calorie foods in to your diet will easily drive down your budget. Look at your foods and calculate calories / $1.

I want to get my grocery budget to under $200 a month, so I need to increase calories / $1 to 450 calories / $1.

daveydoo
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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by daveydoo » Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:58 am

Same way I waste it: Costco
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2015
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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by 2015 » Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:00 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:24 am
2015 wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:49 pm
My philosophy and process for eating as well. Some people live to eat while others eat to live. I detest eating, and view it as an oppressive task, so I make it as efficient and effective as I possibly can to get it over with. Unless I'm eating with someone, I'm always doing something else while refueling. The only thing I like less than eating is shopping, cooking, or cleaning up the kitchen afterwards. Wasting precious seconds of life in a Costco would be hell on earth for me. For this reason, I shop quickly, methodically, and locally, and eat the same thing just about every day while cooking in nothing but a microwave.
I could have written this! I like the words "oppressive task" and "refueling" with respect to eating and will steal them from you.
2015 wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:49 pm
I eat turkey breast, 100% whole wheat bread, fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes and fish, as much as I can. Almost all meat, but particularly red meat, just grosses me out, and I eat virtually no processed or fast food. My food costs have remained the same for about the past 10 or so.

Coffee, OTOH, is nectar of the gods to me. I'll spend any amount on coffee guilt-free and would give up alcohol long before I'd give up coffee.
Now we depart. I don't eat bread and avoid most carb-rich foods. And I don't care about coffee. At home I have several types of tea. When I am traveling or visiting, friends frequently comment about coffee, and I just don't understand the comments. To me the best and the worst of coffee taste the same: it's caffeine.

Victoria
The only reason I eat bread is because it's easy (!) and if I don't eat it I lose weight. But yes, I know many people avoid carb-rich foods. But not liking coffee?? That's unforgivable! It's much more than caffeine, it's the only vice I have left! :D

41Fin
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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by 41Fin » Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:31 pm

Best way is by not wasting what is purchased and basing recipes off of what is in he house. MY wife will cook something that requires 3 tablespoons of "Special sauce #7" but spend $5 on a bottle of it that ends up getting thrown away later

I've been trying to make a better effort in regards to eating whats in the pantry but its not always easy.

Edited to add: Make a list before you go and stick to it.

winterfan
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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by winterfan » Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:41 pm

I don't actually think your grocery expenses are all that bad! We are a family of three (plus one cat) and we spend around between 700-750. This does include all of our household items too (paper products, laundry and bath, pet, etc.). I think it's high. I'd prefer to spend around $600. I know what our problem is though. Everyone has gotten used to having certain items available. For instance, my husband like to eat this special sprouted bread (I make homemade for my daughter and me). That is about $15-20/mo. He also likes having whipped cream available to put on berries (both whipped cream and berries are pricey!) and nuts for snacks.

I also enjoy cooking and baking and can never stick to a list. For me, the best thing would be to shop once a month or at least every two weeks. I find myself popping into the store because I feel like adding a salad to our dinner and we are out of lettuce. It should only be a few bucks, but I figure, since I'm already at the store, I may as well pick up a few things. Ha, $50 later...

We can afford it, so I'm not going to begrudge my husband the food he likes to have around, but I would scrutinize a few of those "must-have" items. Honestly, if I eliminated the fancy fruit, cream, bread and nuts, plus my own wants (fancy cheese and olives), I would be closer to my spending goal.

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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by KeepItSimple78 » Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:13 pm

-buy in bulk when it makes sense from warehouse clubs
-meal plan
-cook from scratch as much as possible
-cook more than needed and benefit from leftovers
-optimize credit card usage - at a minimum use a BoA cash rewards card (2% back grocery stores/Walmart/warehouse clubs)
Avid reader of personal finance/investing literature; however, no formal training in this area. My comments are always well-intended, and most often well-informed.

MichCPA
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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by MichCPA » Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:18 pm

jehovasfitness wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:59 am
stoptothink wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:31 am

2. Move away from meat, fish, eggs, dairy - on balance you will save money and improve health.

as a health pro here, meat, fish and eggs/dairy are not bad for health.

in fact, on a cost basis eggs are quite cheap given how much nutrition a whole egg provides
+1 I didn't get this either, eggs are less than $2/ dozen for me. Most research on health would seem to indicate that eggs are a great choice, especially since the link between food cholesterol and blood cholesterol seems to be less defined than we once thought.

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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by LadyGeek » Thu Aug 30, 2018 3:51 pm

I removed an off-topic exchange that was derailing the thread (opinion of eating food). As a reminder, see: General Etiquette
This is a moderated forum. We expect this forum to be a place where people can feel comfortable asking questions and where debates and discussions are conducted in civil tones.

...At all times we must conduct ourselves in a respectful manner to other posters. Attacks on individuals, insults, name calling, trolling, baiting or other attempts to sow dissension are not acceptable.
Please stay on-topic, which is about saving money on groceries.
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UpperNwGuy
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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by UpperNwGuy » Thu Aug 30, 2018 4:15 pm

LadyGeek wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 3:51 pm
Please stay on-topic, which is about saving money on groceries.
In that case, the answer is easy: be careful what you buy and be careful where you buy it.

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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by livesoft » Thu Aug 30, 2018 4:32 pm

KeepItSimple78 wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:13 pm
-buy in bulk when it makes sense from warehouse clubs
-meal plan
-cook from scratch as much as possible
-cook more than needed and benefit from leftovers
-optimize credit card usage - at a minimum use a BoA cash rewards card (2% back grocery stores/Walmart/warehouse clubs)
I went out to lunch today with a new "empty nester" and we talked about saving on grocery costs, meal planning, etc. The bottom line is that for a single person living alone, most of the above suggestions do not lead to savings. Instead, they lead to throwing away food.

I hope the next time this thread comes up that it is with a twist: "How to waste money on groceries?" The change of perspective might be refreshing.
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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by midareff » Thu Aug 30, 2018 4:38 pm

First, we use an AMEX 6% cash back card. After $95 annual fee it's still $265 cash back on $6K of grocery purchases. My wife hates to spend money and doesn't eat meat or fowl so that cuts back some. I rarely eat read meat. We take advantage of BOGO and WAS, and will stock up. Most consumables such as toilet paper, paper towels, tooth paste, body wash, canned condensed milk (wife), soda, seltzer, napkins and such can be bought at discount, sale or promotional pricing and stocked. We eat out about three times a week (retired couple), probably doing near $500 a month on meals out. Do what you can do and don't sweat what you can't do.

saintsfan342000
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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by saintsfan342000 » Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:07 pm

You may find discounted gift cards for your grocery store for sale at ABCGiftCards.com, CardCash.com, CardPool.com and MonsterGiftCard.com. The discount isn't a lot...maybe 3%, but for a guaranteed expenditure why not take it!

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Toons
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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by Toons » Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:12 pm

Have Walmart ship them to me.
No gas
Save time. :)
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

jlawrence01
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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by jlawrence01 » Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:45 pm

lostdog wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:27 pm
camillus wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:29 am
One word: ALDI
Walmart and Aldi are a good combo.

Actually, I have been getting better everyday low pricing at the local Kroger affiliate in Arizona than I got at Walmart. Then when you factor in the specials and digital coupon, there is really little need to deal with Walmart. In addition, there is a significant quality improvement between the Kroger store brand (usually labelled as Kroger's) and the generally miserable Great Value brand.

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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by cheesepep » Fri Aug 31, 2018 12:06 am

If you really want to save money, you got to eat differently — at least different from an average American meal. No silly hamburgers, pizzas, fake meat, salads, etc. eat more “ethnic” food with loads with cooked veggies, rice with every meal, tea, soup (clear soup, no cream soups) and fruit for dessert. You will be healthier and you will also save money. Remember if the food is wrapped in plastic or comes in a box, it isn’t real food.

MJS
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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by MJS » Fri Aug 31, 2018 1:13 am

In addition to extending your pantry, you may also have needed to replenish many of the little things this year, perhaps in CostCo sized packages:
Herbs & spices, such as your chili powder
Baking soda, baking powder, salts, cocoa powder
Sauces - soy, Worcestershire, hot...
Vinegars & oils
Sugar, honey, jams

These add up quite a bit, but also last quite awhile. If you're doing lots this year, it's expensive!

UncleBen
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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by UncleBen » Fri Aug 31, 2018 6:46 am

As a 2 person family, part time vegetarians, Marylander who spends $4200/year on groceries including paper goods and cleaning supplies perhaps a few of my tactics would help.

1. Let the sale flyers drive your menu vs. letting your menu drive your shopping list.
2. Pick your stores and shopping strategy carefully. I never set foot into Giant unless I'm looking for something I can't get anywhere else.
2a. Aldi is the core of my shopping. You mentioned a lot of produce, canned beans, tomato paste, pasta, and frozen veggies all of which are cheaper at Aldi and quite good quality. They don't sell GMO, have a fair amount of organic and gluten free products. They have whole wheat pasta but I don't think high protein, that can be bought at conventional grocers fairly often on sale. Some dried beans are a deal. Their dairy is often the cheapest. When fruits are in season and on special, I buy in bulk, clean and freeze for smoothies. Their organic frozen spinach is currently cheaper than I can get at the warehouse. You also mentioned cream cheese - very cheap at Aldi and you can easily add flavorings like cinnamon & nuts or strawberries. Spices, chocolate, salsa, chips, peaches and mandarin oranges in glass jars (not the canned) are other items I frequently buy at Aldi.
2b. Warehouses are key for vegetarians. Nuts, chia, frozen fruits and veggies, maple syrup, non-dairy milks, cocoa, and chocolate chips are usually a deal. If not vegan - butter, honey, cheeses are also deals. You can get good deals on dried beans and rice if you are willing to buy and store larger quantities. They have better bread than Aldi IMO, i.e. Dave's Killer breads.
2c. An occasional trip to Walmart (or even Giant) might be merited for things that you cannot find or might be cheaper than Aldi or the warehouse. Quaker Steel cut oats are $2.29 at Walmart vs $2.99 for generic at Aldi. I also stock up on herbal teas there. Once a quarter is about all it takes.
2d. Some things are difficult to find and expensive locally so online shopping fills in. I buy sunflower seeds, flax seeds, stevia, coconut flakes, TVP, vanilla beans, crystallized ginger, and sometimes spices online. Amazon, Ebay, Vitacost, Puritan's Pride, and Iherbs are good sources.
3. Don't buy processed vegetarian products. Veggie burgers are a good example. It takes a bit of time but you can make better burgers from scratch and freeze the rest of the batch for convenience on busier nights. They are about $.25 each to make. Non-dairy milk is another thing that is easy to make and much cheaper. A few oils and vinegars in your pantry will set you up to make delicious, healthy dressings.
4. Use CC's with quarterly rewards, I have 2. At least once a year they each have groceries and warehouses as the category. I stock up during those quarters and buy gift cards if I haven't filled up the $1500 limit by the end of the quarter to use when the reward categories aren't in effect. So in theory I save at least $200/year on groceries with cashback rewards. Online purchases always go through the 5% Amazon card or reward portals for the other websites.
5. I bought linen napkins and microfiber cloths years ago and do not buy napkins or paper towels. Most cleaning supplies can be made from a few ingredients and essential oils. The Dollar Tree also has decent cleaning products, sometimes name brand such as Comet. If you have a steamer a lot of things can be cleaned with just water.

SelfEmployed123
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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by SelfEmployed123 » Sat Sep 01, 2018 6:09 am

Calico wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 4:15 pm
So many people to reply to!

Thanks for the tips on Aldi and Trader Joes. I didn't know they made a vegetable pasta too. My daughter loves that stuff but I hate the price. So I will check it out. I just hope I don't end up spending all day on Saturday running to multiple stores. That can be annoying as I hate all forms of shopping in the first place.

Like I said, I have an Aldi close by but it literally used to be a hardware store and is tiny. I will give it another shot though. Maybe it's changed as it's been over a year since I've been there.

I started shopping at the farmers market out of frustration. Not so much for cost or organic. So much of the fruit and vegetables at the grocery store either had no flavor or went bad in a couple of days. It was nuts. I tried Whole Foods for produce for a while (and they were really expensive, but at least stuff wasn't rotting on me). When the market closes, I will probably go back to Whole Foods. By far the most expensive thing I buy at the farmers market is the bread. It's $4 a load. But it is so good. It's actually filling as in I can eat a slice of it as toast with coffee for breakfast and it holds me until lunch. It's made by an Amish bakery.

I have one credit card and I get 1.5% cash back on everything. That doesn't come off my grocery expenses though.

I buy ice cream bars because I love ice cream... if I buy it in the larger containers, I eat too much. For some weird reason, I feel guilty eating two ice cream bars but think nothing of eating a soup bowl full of ice cream. I just have no self control with ice cream. But you are right, that would be cheaper.

I find it weird that everyone is telling me Costco is cheaper for paper towels. I must be wrong. I found my old notes and I have $15.79 for a 12 pack at Costco and $12.70 for a 12 pack at the grocery store. Although I tend to buy the individual rolls. If I bought a 12 pack, it would take up half my panty shelves!

We aren't allowed to have gardens in our neighborhood (forbidden by HOA or I'd have one).

EDIT: I really wish I could reply to everything. there are so many good ideas. I'd be writing non-stop though. I just commented on a few. I love a lot of these ideas and will try them. Thanks for the links too!
I recently comparison shopped at my local no frills grocery store (think safeway or krogers) and the local Harris Teeter. I was surprised how small the difference in overall price was between them. The local grocery store was cheaper by about $200 per year for the same items, but only because they send out mailers with $10 off coupons about 50% of the time. You could walk through the store and see which store is actually cheaper. You may be surprised. The other suggestions on this forum are excellent.
"Get what you can, and what you get hold, 'Tis the stone that will turn all your lead into gold." | -Benjamin Franklin

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dm200
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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by dm200 » Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:56 am

I eat a lot of fruit. One benefit of frozen fruit is that there is no waste - you just eat what you want and the rest stays in the freezer.

Church Lady
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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by Church Lady » Sat Sep 01, 2018 12:49 pm

OP,
- If you have Target nearby, they sometimes have good grocery deals. You have to watch for them, but they are there.
- Stocking up is expensive, and it is easy to get carried away. Here are two true life
examples. One relative always buys toilet paper whenever it is on sale. One day, she decided to
count the rolls in her house. It was over 200! At some point, prepping --er, stocking up --is akin to
stuffing dollar bills in your mattress, earning no interest. I think she reached that point!
And again, I am using up my freezer contents as I am in the market for a smaller one. I find things in
there 5 years old! No kidding! And I use my frozen goods all the time!

When stockpiling, it's essential to label your goods with the purchase or 'best by' date, rotate, and use
them all the time.

- Don't want to run around to three or four stores every weekend? Of course not! That's not the way
to do it. You visit different stores on different weekends.

- Since you asked, I spotted some areas of improvement in your grocery list.

(Philadelphia brand because the store brand doesn't come in the flavor my daughter likes

Buy the basic store brand. If your daughter wants a 'flavor', have her mix it up on her own. You'll
save, and she'll learn a life skill. I'd have my kids do this even if the premade flavor were cheaper
just to learn the skill and to contribute to the household. You can't get much easier than folding
things into softened cream cheese.

milk Where I live, Aldi has the best milk price. The second best milk price is at Walmart.
Aldi is maybe ten cents cheaper than Walmart, and Walmart is a dollar less than what you paid at
Giant.

Kidney beans. Most beans you can cook in the slow cooker to save money and cut back on
sodium. Kidney beans can make you quite sick if you don't boil them. (web search for best cooking
practice). Just saying!

water chestnuts These are pricey, although I too love the crunch. Can you substitute a
cheaper ingredient?

bread crumbs My grocery has a 'day old' rack. If day old bread is cheaper by the pound than
bread crumbs, you can make your own. This gives you the option of whole wheat, sour dough, or
whatever. Or maybe in your house you turn your nose up at the bread heel. Bread crumbs!

paper towels, toilet paper Your grocery may not be the best price for these.

Morningstar veggie sausage This is definitely more expensive than it used to be. I'm not
sure why. Now that China isn't buying US soy beans, maybe the price will go down. But what
worries me more is that this is a highly processed food. I wouldn't forbid the veggie sausage, but I
would encourage you to add homemade veggie sausage to the rotation so you're only buying
Morningstar on sale. Who knows? You might find a recipe you like better!

frozen veggie pasta IF zucchini is cheap where you live, get a spiralizer' or a Vegetti and
make your own --it's pretty easy. Put the protein in the sauce. A Vegetti is cheap, but a
spiralizer lets you spiralize a greater variety of vegetables.

If your goal is to cut carbohydrate, you can try shirataki noodles. Giant had it last week 4 bags/$5.
It has virtually no protein, but also virtually no calories and zero carbohydrate.

ice cream bars With the humidity we're having on the East Coast, I don't wonder you crave
ice cream! You could buy a 99 cent Popsicle mold, and make yogurt pops.

Good luck!

[Post formatting changed from "link" to "bold" typeface --adminLadyGeek]
He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity. Ecclesiastes 1:8

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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by michaeljc70 » Sat Sep 01, 2018 3:08 pm

UncleBen wrote:
Fri Aug 31, 2018 6:46 am


1. Let the sale flyers drive your menu vs. letting your menu drive your shopping list.
This is the most important thing I think.

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dm200
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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by dm200 » Sat Sep 01, 2018 3:36 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Sat Sep 01, 2018 3:08 pm
UncleBen wrote:
Fri Aug 31, 2018 6:46 am


1. Let the sale flyers drive your menu vs. letting your menu drive your shopping list.
This is the most important thing I think.
Yes-but be careful. I find that a great many things "on sale" are things I would not buy and eat anyway.

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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by michaeljc70 » Sat Sep 01, 2018 6:28 pm

dm200 wrote:
Sat Sep 01, 2018 3:36 pm
michaeljc70 wrote:
Sat Sep 01, 2018 3:08 pm
UncleBen wrote:
Fri Aug 31, 2018 6:46 am


1. Let the sale flyers drive your menu vs. letting your menu drive your shopping list.
This is the most important thing I think.
Yes-but be careful. I find that a great many things "on sale" are things I would not buy and eat anyway.
From your other posts it sounds like you don't eat meat, so different than most people. I cannot imagine buying food I wouldn't eat because it is on sale. But I guess it probably happens as people buy other things because they are on sale and never use/wear them.

I find that when I buy meats/poultry/seafood on sale, they tend to be at least 1/2 off. Veggies too. Asparagus here can range from $1/lb to $6/lb depending on the store and season. A lime can be 79 cents not on sale at the regular grocery stores and the ethnic stores have them sometimes 20 for a dollar. If you go to the store with a list of 10 items you have to have regardless of price, you will spend more.

criticalmass
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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by criticalmass » Sat Sep 01, 2018 7:16 pm

MrBeaver wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 5:57 pm
Concerning the "Food prices are just higher" sentiment I'm seeing, this is actually not the case when you look at the CPI detailed data. Nominal prices for the entire 'food at home' category tracked within CPI have actually been trending DOWN (deflationary) since 2015, while the entire CPI-U has drifted up slowly. Essentially, food is cheaper now than it was two years ago, both in nominal dollars and even more so when adjusted for general inflation. You can access the selective category data more easily here:
https://data.bls.gov/PDQWeb/cu

There are also some interesting data visualizations here:
https://www.bls.gov/charts/consumer-pri ... e-data.htm

Apparently, the price of ground beef has grown tremendously (114% in the last 20 years), while other things like bananas have barely budged (<10% over 20 years). Also, oranges are incredibly cyclical. I knew produce was cyclical, but I had no idea some things like oranges operate like clockwork and others like tomatoes are much more random.

With that said though, for people with children, the amount we individually spend on food will increase until the kids move out, but that's because the family is eating more, not because the same amount of food is getting more expensive.
Even though CPI lists data through 2 months ago, recent data is preliminary and may be adjusted. In August, I noticed slight food prices across the board, even for items that have been constant for 5 years or so. Higher fuel prices lead to higher food price.

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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by squirm » Sat Sep 01, 2018 7:24 pm

livesoft wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 4:32 pm
KeepItSimple78 wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:13 pm
-buy in bulk when it makes sense from warehouse clubs
-meal plan
-cook from scratch as much as possible
-cook more than needed and benefit from leftovers
-optimize credit card usage - at a minimum use a BoA cash rewards card (2% back grocery stores/Walmart/warehouse clubs)
I went out to lunch today with a new "empty nester" and we talked about saving on grocery costs, meal planning, etc. The bottom line is that for a single person living alone, most of the above suggestions do not lead to savings. Instead, they lead to throwing away food.

I hope the next time this thread comes up that it is with a twist: "How to waste money on groceries?" The change of perspective might be refreshing.
That's a good point and one reason why we don't but to much at warehouses, otherwise it just goes in the trash.

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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by InvisibleAerobar » Sat Sep 01, 2018 7:48 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Sat Sep 01, 2018 3:08 pm
Let the sale flyers drive your menu vs. letting your menu drive your shopping list.[/u][/i][/b]
this may work for the choice of items such as fruit, cereal, and yogurt, that is to say, things that can be eaten without much preparation, but it's kinda moot for dishes one has to prepare. At least for me, ingredients for those dishes accounts for the bulk of my grocery spending.

there are certain dishes I have learned to cook well because of experience. further more, due to my OCD tendencies, I know the nutritional brakdown of the dishes I make. Furthermore, i don't have to dredge up a recipe while cooking, and i don't have to contemplate about what other ingredients need to be substituted. That asparagus may cost $4/lb, or it may cost $1.5/lb. However, the difference comes out to be $25/month at the most, and that's the ingredient with the highest fluctuation. I'll get it regardless, b/c it's a really small number, all things considered. I personally haven't found any other vegetable that goes as well with risotto, and as I need to eat a certain amount of vegetable per day, it really can't be changed unless there's a substitute that could work reasonably well (btw, if anyone knows of a good substitute, I'm all ears).

and that's what it really comes down to. I know what I like, and once I have a solid rotation, I need a pretty good reason to include something else in the rotation. No reason to take a chance based solely on less expensive ingredient (I will, however, try new dishes that appear appetizing).

the big picture here is that while further trimming the grocery bill is good, my own philosophy re: food that I make is that it should be reasonably tasty, reasonably easy to make, reasonably healthy, and cheaper than frozen dinner/salad bar at the grocery store. If I manage to do that, I avoid eating out for more than 95% of the meals in a month, and that's where the real savings come in. The pasta dish that I make comes out to be less than $1.25/meal; the asparagus risotto, less than $1.75/meal (with $4/lb asparagus). Dishes with organic chicken is less than $2/meal. All that cost less than the price of a measly sandwich (or a pound of food in a salad bar)

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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by criticalmass » Sat Sep 01, 2018 7:51 pm

dm200 wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 11:43 am
Dottie57 wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 11:29 am
jehovasfitness wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:59 am
stoptothink wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:31 am

2. Move away from meat, fish, eggs, dairy - on balance you will save money and improve health.

as a health pro here, meat, fish and eggs/dairy are not bad for health.

in fact, on a cost basis eggs are quite cheap given how much nutrition a whole egg provides
As someone who has trouble with anemia at times, I think red meat is important. You don’tneed to eat a lot. 8 oz hamburger tastes great, cooks fast and leaves room for lots of veggies on the side.
We disagree. Follow the science.
I follow science and I like to save money on groceries. My spouse was vegetarian but was experiencing anemia during this time. Based on our doctor’s scientific advice, we now eat meat occasionally, usually meatballs and hamburgers prepared at home. We buy meat (usually) at Aldi, and occasionally legacy grocers during sales. This is very cost effective and all anemia is gone.

Eggs are also excellent cost effective sources of protein, we eat for breakfast or on sandwiches. My training coach highly recommends I eat several eggs per week. Prices have been all over this year. The lowest we paid this year for a dozen was 75 cents and highest over twice that. I’ve found eggs are often cheaper at Walmart than Aldi. Aldi is my choice for many staples. Wegmans (northeast and mid Atlantic regions), Walmart, Market Basket (New England - when the owner families aren’t feuding), supplement occasional shopping at the big grocers. I haven’t been to Lidl yet.

I also second the advice for the Blue Cash credit card. Based on the OP’s spending the annual fee version would be best. They often have signup bonuses and/or waive the first annual fee.

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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by InvisibleAerobar » Sat Sep 01, 2018 8:02 pm

winterfan wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:41 pm
I don't actually think your grocery expenses are all that bad! We are a family of three (plus one cat) and we spend around between 700-750. This does include all of our household items too (paper products, laundry and bath, pet, etc.). I think it's high. I'd prefer to spend around $600. I know what our problem is though. Everyone has gotten used to having certain items available. For instance, my husband like to eat this special sprouted bread (I make homemade for my daughter and me). That is about $15-20/mo. He also likes having whipped cream available to put on berries (both whipped cream and berries are pricey!) and nuts for snacks.

I also enjoy cooking and baking and can never stick to a list. For me, the best thing would be to shop once a month or at least every two weeks. I find myself popping into the store because I feel like adding a salad to our dinner and we are out of lettuce. It should only be a few bucks, but I figure, since I'm already at the store, I may as well pick up a few things. Ha, $50 later...

We can afford it, so I'm not going to begrudge my husband the food he likes to have around, but I would scrutinize a few of those "must-have" items. Honestly, if I eliminated the fancy fruit, cream, bread and nuts, plus my own wants (fancy cheese and olives), I would be closer to my spending goal.
this is the other thing i was thinking

the OP really isn't doing that badly.

$3400 for last year (for an adult and a growing teenager) is really good. $140/person/month. $6400 for this year is also not that bad. What needs to be said is that vegetables at most places are expensive, often running $2.5-3/lb, and that's before one removes the inedible portions. Let that sink in a bit, regular chicken (viz. those raised on antibiotics) cost at most $ 2.8/lb for chicken breast, with thighs costing closer to $2/lb. A red onion cost ~$2/lb, with other produces such as peppers and tomatoes costing more. While one can increase intake of beans and lentils in a vegetarian diet, it's by no means significantly less expensive, and perhaps more expensive when one has to purchase special vegetarian items.

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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by Miakis » Sat Sep 01, 2018 11:17 pm

Things we did when our grocery bill was shocking us:

1. We budgeted per meal. I bought a couple of books - $5 Dinner Mom and a few others that specifically focused on low-cost recipes. Once I realized that I could cook a dinner for $5, it became my goal. There were plenty of meals in my regular rotation that were blowing our budget away. Set a budget for lunch too. For me, it was $2. We already ate cheap breakfasts.

2. We sat down together and talked about the extras we were buying and the cost of them. After realizing how expensive some of our snacks were, we talked about snacking less and replacing them with healthier and more cost effective snacks. We eliminated most other extras like juice and junk food.

3. We stopped shopping at the farmer's market. Sorry to say, but that $25 of produce looks like it was twice the price of buying the same stuff at the grocery store. No comment on the spelt bread. Special bread will always bust the budget.

4. We started meal planning around sales and used coupons - but truthfully, this stopped being as important when we stopped eating meat. It's nice when certain produce items are on sale, and I have my limits on how much I'll spend for each produce item, but when meat is out of the picture, it doesn't much matter.

5. Finally, we revisited the grocery spending on a regular basis. It's funny how things started creeping back in - ice cream every week, special bread, farmer's market. We would justify stuff as being a "treat," but before we knew it, it turned back into a habit.

michaeljc70
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Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Post by michaeljc70 » Sun Sep 02, 2018 8:26 am

InvisibleAerobar wrote:
Sat Sep 01, 2018 7:48 pm
michaeljc70 wrote:
Sat Sep 01, 2018 3:08 pm
Let the sale flyers drive your menu vs. letting your menu drive your shopping list.[/u][/i][/b]
this may work for the choice of items such as fruit, cereal, and yogurt, that is to say, things that can be eaten without much preparation, but it's kinda moot for dishes one has to prepare. At least for me, ingredients for those dishes accounts for the bulk of my grocery spending.

there are certain dishes I have learned to cook well because of experience. further more, due to my OCD tendencies, I know the nutritional brakdown of the dishes I make. Furthermore, i don't have to dredge up a recipe while cooking, and i don't have to contemplate about what other ingredients need to be substituted. That asparagus may cost $4/lb, or it may cost $1.5/lb. However, the difference comes out to be $25/month at the most, and that's the ingredient with the highest fluctuation. I'll get it regardless, b/c it's a really small number, all things considered. I personally haven't found any other vegetable that goes as well with risotto, and as I need to eat a certain amount of vegetable per day, it really can't be changed unless there's a substitute that could work reasonably well (btw, if anyone knows of a good substitute, I'm all ears).

and that's what it really comes down to. I know what I like, and once I have a solid rotation, I need a pretty good reason to include something else in the rotation. No reason to take a chance based solely on less expensive ingredient (I will, however, try new dishes that appear appetizing).

the big picture here is that while further trimming the grocery bill is good, my own philosophy re: food that I make is that it should be reasonably tasty, reasonably easy to make, reasonably healthy, and cheaper than frozen dinner/salad bar at the grocery store. If I manage to do that, I avoid eating out for more than 95% of the meals in a month, and that's where the real savings come in. The pasta dish that I make comes out to be less than $1.25/meal; the asparagus risotto, less than $1.75/meal (with $4/lb asparagus). Dishes with organic chicken is less than $2/meal. All that cost less than the price of a measly sandwich (or a pound of food in a salad bar)
I've seen risotto made with corn, zucchini, mushrooms (obviously not a veggie though), peas, bells peppers, etc. The vegetable also doesn't have to be in the risotto. Can't it be a side? Traditionally, it is mostly made without vegetables (except onion or garlic) in it. Of course what you are saying is true- eating at home costs less than eating out even if the ingredients aren't the cheapest.

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