Lowering My Grocery Bill

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
DrGoogle2017
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Re: Lowering My Grocery Bill

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:55 pm

littlebird wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:15 pm
DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:41 pm
Gluten free pasta tastes horrible. Rice and beans are gluten free and much cheaper. Protein and steamed vegs are probably healthier. For breakfast, eggs and bacon. Simple.
Food tastes and choices are an area where you can speak only for yourself. I disagree with your first and last sentences; although I would agree with your second and third ones.
I wrote that statement so that means I speak for myself. I don’t claim to be speaking to anybody else. I’m surprise you think I did.

runner3081
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Re: Lowering My Grocery Bill

Post by runner3081 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:03 pm

Family of 3 here, we spend $250 per month on all food (we never eat out, if we do it is on a gift card we have been given).

It helps that we have 3 different grocery chains within a 1.5-mile radius.

We shop the ads heavily and stock up on deals. We also mix in Walmart and Sam's Club for other items.

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dm200
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Re: Lowering My Grocery Bill

Post by dm200 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:18 pm

runner3081 wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:03 pm
Family of 3 here, we spend $250 per month on all food (we never eat out, if we do it is on a gift card we have been given).
It helps that we have 3 different grocery chains within a 1.5-mile radius.
We shop the ads heavily and stock up on deals. We also mix in Walmart and Sam's Club for other items.
Amazing ... You really do well :)

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praxis
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Re: Lowering My Grocery Bill

Post by praxis » Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:33 pm

miamivice wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:05 pm
I suggest shopping for name brand products at Wal-Mart, online using their store pickup option. Then you drive to Wal-Mart and they load the groceries in your car. Grocery prices are the same as in-store and there is no pickup surcharge.

Essentially, this allows you to get Wal-Mart pricing (which is 20% less than other grocery chains) without having to suffer from the ick factor of comingling with Wal-Mart shoppers. We don't buy Great Value (Wal-Mart brand) we only buy the name brand which is the same product as anywhere else. We also avoid produce at Wal-Mart and buy that from the other grocery chains.
I consider myself an accomplished grocery shopper living in an average COL area but I'm not driving across town just to buy an item on sale. And I don't clip coupons but I scan the mail fliers we receive. We have a fairly limited grocery list: salad ingredients, variety of other veggies, meats for sauces, chili and grilling, dairy, nut butters, oatmeal, beans, eggs. So it's easy to stop in at any local store for a weekly special of chicken or avocados or salmon. But I spend 80% of our money at Walmart. Even being a Costco member. And even buying produce every Sat. at the farmer's market. I get everything I need at WM including other household items like paper goods, batteries, hardware, birdseed, fish food, lightbulbs and candles. I can't find lower prices for these items at other grocery stores. When I've taken a calculator, I find better offers for toilet paper at WM than Costco. (we buy 2 ply).

I enjoy trips to Walmart and am always facinated by my fellow shoppers, but I have a sense of humor about it and have never been bothered with anything like an ick factor. (disclosure: DW doesn't share my facination, ergo, I'm the shopper) I try lots of brands and often find that Great Value quality is superior to and cheaper than name brands. They even have three levels of beef quality to choose from. And they have begun displaying a wide variety of frozen wild (and farmed) seafood (try the flounder). I am free to time my shopping trips to avoid traffic on the roads and in the stores. It makes a big difference too if you visit after the restocking cycles during the week.

southpaw328
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Re: Lowering My Grocery Bill

Post by southpaw328 » Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:56 am

minesweep wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:25 pm
What Consumer Reports says about gluten:
Unless you are among the 1 percent of Americans who have celiac disease, going gluten-free might actually harm you. In fact, gluten may be good for you by reducing blood pressure and inflammation. Gluten-free doesn't necessarily mean healthier. Gluten-free foods often have more fat, more sugar and are more expensive than other foods.
well, for us GF means no bread, or wheat products for the most part. Yes, we have GF Pasta but it is not frequent and sometimes do some GF baking. I'm fine with bread but my wife gets terrible headaches when she eats a lot of bread or gluten products. So, we just cut it out and actually has helped lose some weight mainly cause no bread.

IMO
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Re: Lowering My Grocery Bill

Post by IMO » Fri Dec 08, 2017 2:43 am

miamivice wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:05 pm
I suggest shopping for name brand products at Wal-Mart, online using their store pickup option. Then you drive to Wal-Mart and they load the groceries in your car. Grocery prices are the same as in-store and there is no pickup surcharge.

Essentially, this allows you to get Wal-Mart pricing (which is 20% less than other grocery chains) without having to suffer from the ick factor of comingling with Wal-Mart shoppers. We don't buy Great Value (Wal-Mart brand) we only buy the name brand which is the same product as anywhere else. We also avoid produce at Wal-Mart and buy that from the other grocery chains.
You do realize, this still makes you a Wal-Mart shopper. If you try the Great Value (Wal-Mart brand) of a particular product, there is a 100% satisfaction guarantee if you don't like the product. But you might have to slum it and come inside and wait behind me in line to get that refund. :wink: When the Great Value product is as good in taste/ingredients than the name brands, then you're probably just wasting money buying on brand alone. It's also a good lesson for one's kid(s) to physically go into the store, show them how to do comparative shopping. Nowadays, the stores break down the per ounce/unit/lb price so you can decide is it really worth it for a specific brand. It's a good lesson to teach one's kids about marketing, understanding ingredients (quality/poor quality) so that they can learn to become smart consumers and learn to look beyond just a brand (food or otherwise).

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TheGreyingDuke
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Re: Lowering My Grocery Bill

Post by TheGreyingDuke » Fri Dec 08, 2017 8:02 am

Interesting comments (I read the WHOLE thing) and thought to chime in with our experiences.

Retired couple, Central NY, endeavor to eat out once a week but usually don't manage to. No Costco here so have done a trial at BJ's, not the same but still money saving for organic peanut butter, high quality imported cheese (parmesan for $10 a pound), and some other items.

I do a big garden, lots of frozen fruit (I can't make use of frozen vegetables as most of the cooking is "Chinese" in orientation), and some things stored (carrots, beets, onions, potatoes, garlic). I bake all of our bread which we eat in considerable quantities. A store-bought $5 "artisan" bread cost me about $1.20 to bake

I have no idea how much we spend in the market, but it goes up outside of the growing season. Mostly shop at the local natural food market (I do buy organic especially the dirty dozen http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2017/0 ... _21902784/ and the regional market Wegman's (they custom roast your coffee beans).

I rarely buy any prepared foods, sometimes a can of beans to have on hand for "emergencies", usually cook the beans in my pressure cooker. Mostly stay on the outside of the market.

I grew up in a home where quality food was a priority and price did not figure much in the purchase decisions. I have maintained the tradition.

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stan1
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Re: Lowering My Grocery Bill

Post by stan1 » Fri Dec 08, 2017 8:47 am

Another option not really mentioned yet is to look at Asian and Hispanic grocery stores as there will be hundreds of those in the LA metro area. Since you have an Aldi they may not be cheaper but may give you some variety and more opportunities to shop sales. Often times they have good pricing on meats and vegetables. Helps if you can go during off times as it seems like most lack adequate parking. I agree $500/month in Southern California is not excessive and if you want to lower you'll have to analyze your spending to figure out what the cost drivers are. Eggs are not cost drivers and one slice of bacon per day per person should not be either. Gardening might be an enjoyable hobby but with cost of residential water in Southern California the economic benefits drop fast (commercial farms in the desert pay a lot less). As for MMM: many do not live in HCOL areas, many are outliers/extremists, and -- I'll say this as politely as possible -- I think some of them are good fairy tale writers (including MMM himself).

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praxis
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Re: Lowering My Grocery Bill

Post by praxis » Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:46 am

southpaw328 wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:56 am
minesweep wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:25 pm
What Consumer Reports says about gluten:
Unless you are among the 1 percent of Americans who have celiac disease, going gluten-free might actually harm you. In fact, gluten may be good for you by reducing blood pressure and inflammation. Gluten-free doesn't necessarily mean healthier. Gluten-free foods often have more fat, more sugar and are more expensive than other foods.
well, for us GF means no bread, or wheat products for the most part. Yes, we have GF Pasta but it is not frequent and sometimes do some GF baking. I'm fine with bread but my wife gets terrible headaches when she eats a lot of bread or gluten products. So, we just cut it out and actually has helped lose some weight mainly cause no bread.
We are not gluten intolerant, but strive to lower our simple carb consumption. Two strategies we use weekly instead of pasta are shredded spaghetti squash or our handy spiralizer which turns zucchini into noodles. Then we pour over a homemade sauce or maybe garlic shrimp or chicken sautéed in lemon butter.
I think these ideas might work for those avoiding gluten.

quantAndHold
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Re: Lowering My Grocery Bill

Post by quantAndHold » Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:52 pm

$500/month seems quite reasonable, unless you're also eating out several times per week.

Pay attention to food waste (eat your leftovers).

Pay attention to portion control on meats. Many places in the world use meat as a flavoring for a dish that's mostly not meat. Here, it's often the other way around.

Buy stuff when it's on special, especially the expensive stuff. Not really my thing, but extreme couponing does work. My mother was into extreme couponing. When she died, it took dad 3 years to eat everything she had in the pantry.

Watch out for packaged foods, and especially drinks. Skip the sodas. Make iced tea. Make lemonade with lemons from your tree. Don't have a tree? You live in LA. Plant one. Grow one in a pot if you don't have dirt to plant in.

If you have a yard, grow a kitchen garden. It isn't that much work, and stuff you grow yourself tastes really good.

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LadyGeek
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Re: Lowering My Grocery Bill

Post by LadyGeek » Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:23 pm

I removed an interchange which was getting contentious. There may be a misunderstanding of the member's intended meaning. Both sides of the discussion were removed.
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