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 Post subject: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 5:12 pm 
Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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A fresh new thread for everyone to gather together and share their trials and tribulations, tips, advice, and goals. Good luck to everyone this month!

My goal this month is $100/week. A bit of a lofty goal, as food here is not particularly cheap. I predict many delicious bean and rice dishes, homemade pizzas, and curries. There are four of us (my partner, my four-year-old, my eight-week-old, and me), so hopefully we can stay close to that amount! We're going to try using cash, because last time we did that, we saved quite a bit!

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 Post subject: Re: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 5:26 pm 
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I'd like to do two TJ's shopping trips (circa $100 each) plus assorted farmers markets etc ($50) and limit dining out to ($100) just for me and Leela. So $350 for the month.

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 Post subject: Re: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:10 pm 
Nooch of Earl
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I'll try it this month, now that my pantry is sort of established. I'd like to stay under $150/week for our family of 2.5. We'll see at the end of the month whether the $10/day (it went up!!) my husband gets charged for food when he's on the ship counts.

This is not much of a bold pronouncement, but since I haven't actually gotten a fair tally on how much we're spending yet, it's difficult to set a goal. Mainly, I want to eat well, cut down on waste and eliminate restaurant trips that happen solely because I am too exhausted to cook.

On a related note, somebody on FB posted this story: http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2012/08/22/40 ... port-says/ I think it's relevant to the food budget discussion because obviously the dumbest food expense is the food we buy and don't eat! I feel like I am not doing a good job here, so I think I will also keep track of what I throw out.


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 Post subject: Re: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:31 pm 
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Yes, I feel like if I only do one major food trip every 2 weeks and then supplement a bit, I know what I have and nothing goes to waste.

My husband was bored last week, so he bought "interesting looking" veg, and now I'm struggling to get everything used before it goes bad. I like all the stuff, its just overwhelming to try and keep in mind what you have and when it goes bad.

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 Post subject: Re: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 8:10 pm 
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I'm in again! My goal this month is $100/wk for the 2.5 of us, and that includes any eating out and all household goods and toiletries.

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 Post subject: Re: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:10 pm 
So Totally Yiffy
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ok,ok,ok i'll join in since we need to scale back for a few months. the goal is $125/wk (trader joes one week, costco the next) for our family of five with minimal eating out (minimal as in one or two meals out). this is 100% doable as i have done it in the past but requires some planning/organization/motivation.


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 Post subject: Re: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 1:59 am 
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So, apparently I need to join this. Spent $550 a month the past two months just on groceries, for just two people. I'm not even sure where the money all went to! Goal for this month is $100/week.


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 Post subject: Re: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 7:47 am 
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Oh I'm in!

I wanna try to spend 100$/wk or less for this month, and then keep dining/take out to a very low minimum of 50$/month. So 450$ should do it, right? Theres 3.5 of us. Me, the hubster, my almost 4yr old son and a little one due in Oct. So really, I need to eat a bit more for myself.

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 Post subject: Re: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 8:45 am 
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In august, we spent a little over €70 ($90) a week (not counting stuff we used from our pantry which I restock with a huge online order every couple of months). I tried to get the sum down a bit more, but it won't work because my partner loves his luxury goods and he is right, we can easily afford it. I guess it's just my crazy thriftiness that derives pleasure from eating cheap homemade foods. Also, I think it's a good idea to save as much money as we can to pay off the mortgage.

So, $90 a week it is!

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 Post subject: Re: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 11:25 am 
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I'm in! I didn't exactly keep a big running tally last month but I tried to keep my dine-out and bar spending way down, and I want to narrow that down even more this month (and always?). I now make the vast majority of my meals at home and utilize leftovers and odds and end grains and produce for lunch, yay (and there's that whole on unemployment and food stamps aspect). I'll be out of of town a lot during September and October and will be spending more than I'm used to and it's making me nervous.

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 Post subject: Re: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 1:15 pm 
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We're aiming to keep it on an average of $75/week for groceries, household supplies and vitamins. I think it's doable. My biggest spending problem is that when I see something on sale, I tend to stock up... on one hand, I'm saving some money in the long run, but it makes for big spikes in my spending on certain weeks, and with some stuff (like canned goods) it's not like it will never go on sale again. I have to figure out the magical amount to buy that will tide me over until there's another sale.


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 Post subject: Re: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 2:31 pm 
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Count me in! I will be earning less from this month, and want to try to keep to £55 (about $87) a week. It should be fairly doable: my main downfall is ignoring stuff I have in the cupboard and buying stuff that takes my fancy instead. I need to start meal planning seriously and only buying what I need.

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 Post subject: Re: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 2:50 pm 
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Cornelie wrote:
In august, we spent a little over €70 ($90) a week (not counting stuff we used from our pantry which I restock with a huge online order every couple of months). I tried to get the sum down a bit more, but it won't work because my partner loves his luxury goods and he is right, we can easily afford it. I guess it's just my crazy thriftiness that derives pleasure from eating cheap homemade foods. Also, I think it's a good idea to save as much money as we can to pay off the mortgage.

So, $90 a week it is!



I'm in the same boat: we can afford to spend what we do on groceries, and to some extent it makes sense right now (I don't have a lot of time to cook as we have bigger priorities with getting the household settled, my cat having flea and possibly heart issues right now, the baby, etc). I feel like to successfully do this he's going to have to not notice a difference. But, on the other hand, I don't like wasting food, or wasting money going out for unsatisfying food we don't really want just because our stomachs are growling or just because I failed to plan well. Plus, having enough right now doesn't mean we always will, so I like to squirrel away money constantly. For the past couple years we've saved about 25% of gross income and I'm really happy with that, but I feel like if I don't put money away in a different place it just gets spent on day to day unnecessaries, you know?

Anyway, food.

A big challenge this month is, I think, going to be Oktoberfest. I always get in German cooking mood in Septermber and that could mean pricey ingredients and ordering from the German store and and and... Husband will want pretzels from Bavaria Sausage (obVeg: no idea if these are vegan, probably not, he's not vegan), etc. Maybe I'll satisfy myself making seitan sassages with different seasonings.

I'm also due for a Penzey's trip, and need to completely restock my extracts collection. For me it's not the main grocery trips that are the problem as much as these little run-ins with specialty stores or whatever and I turn around and suddenly we're buying $80 worth of artisan crackers and fancy mustards.


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 Post subject: Re: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 3:28 pm 
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I'm in! I'm going to set my goal at $50/week (for just myself). This should be interesting, as before I had a job, I had $100 to work with for the month and then if mom had extra money from other stuff, I'd get food from that. I think $200-250 should be fine for me so I'm starting at $200.


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 Post subject: Re: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 8:41 pm 
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made out our two week meal plan with 10 dinner recipes from vegan on the cheap and quick and easy low cal vegan comfort food plus our standard breakfast and lunches. spent $90 at trader joes and $25 at whole foods. still have a costco trip to factor in tomorrow but even so we will definitely be under budget!


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 Post subject: Re: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 5:49 am 
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lindsay t wrote:
made out our two week meal plan with 10 dinner recipes from vegan on the cheap and quick and easy low cal vegan comfort food plus our standard breakfast and lunches. spent $90 at trader joes and $25 at whole foods. still have a costco trip to factor in tomorrow but even so we will definitely be under budget!

Wow. I'm in awe. I'm struggling to commit to a one week meal plan!

I started the month off with a major shopping trip (ending at $60) so we'll see where I end up budgetwise. Considering that's how much I spent for the entire month last month (it was a ridiculous kind of month) I was out of pretty much everyting so a lot of what I bought will last a while. There were some non-food items like shampoo and conditioner plus knit gloves (because they had them and it's getting colder and my old ones are almost worn out). My biggest indulgence was a whole bunch of fruit, nectarines and grapes.


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 Post subject: Re: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 11:29 am 
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I'm in again.

I ended up spending about £110 for food and drink (including eating out/going to the pub) last month, instead of the £80 I was hoping to do, so I think I'm going to try for £100 this time. I just spent £16 including 6kg of pulses (chickpeas, rosecoco beans and split peas), and I think I'm going to soak half the chickpeas and half the beans and cook them tomorrow ready to freeze in portions.

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 Post subject: Re: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 12:53 pm 
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So I added up what I spent on groceries and eating out in August, and it came to just over $200. My goal for September is to keep my food costs under $175 for the month, but I'm really aiming for $150. This includes food for the cat, which costs about $1.40 per day.

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 Post subject: Re: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 1:03 pm 
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I am going to try too! My goal is 75$ a week for two of us. Unfortunately this month there will be signfigant eating out but next month that will go too. Now if only I could just keep the animals under 75 a week:(

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 Post subject: Re: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 2:01 pm 
Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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I'm finally cooking my own beans! Canned ones here are fairly expensive (it's about $2-3 for conventional, and $4 for organic), so we are going to be eating them a lot more often. I haven't needed to go shopping yet this month, since we went a few days ago, but I am finally out of fruit and veg other than avocados and delicate salad greens. I need some cook-able vegetables again. So I think I'll pick up a few items today, and just bring along a twenty and no debit card so I can't overspend.

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 Post subject: Re: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 3:18 pm 
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I'm in!

Going to try to stick to $40/week although today my bill was $56. I am stocking my pantry with staples though so I fully expect once it's done it'll be a lot easier. I'm already stoked that groceries - even organic- are a lot cheaper than in Seattle.


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 Post subject: Re: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 3:38 pm 
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I'm in! We are remodeling our master bathroom so I'd like to cut food costs to have more money for that so it doesn't drag out forever.

I'm shooting for $125/week at Whole Foods for the 2.5 of us, not including my husband's lunches. I don't think it's feasible to include pet food, toiletries, cleaners and supplements in that. We already spent $70 yesterday and I have to do a mid-week shop. My goal is to avoid prepared foods and buy 90% of our groceries from the produce and bulk department. I'm making our own seitan, almond milk, and yogurt which is helping a lot. I'm attempting to bake our own bread but incurring a lot of flour waste while I learn how to make it edible... If I can get my asparagus out of bed on Saturdays I'll try to get what I can at the farmer's market too.


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 Post subject: Re: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 8:41 pm 
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mandycoot wrote:
I'm in! We are remodeling our master bathroom so I'd like to cut food costs to have more money for that so it doesn't drag out forever.

I'm shooting for $125/week at Whole Foods for the 2.5 of us, not including my husband's lunches. I don't think it's feasible to include pet food, toiletries, cleaners and supplements in that. We already spent $70 yesterday and I have to do a mid-week shop. My goal is to avoid prepared foods and buy 90% of our groceries from the produce and bulk department. I'm making our own seitan, almond milk, and yogurt which is helping a lot. I'm attempting to bake our own bread but incurring a lot of flour waste while I learn how to make it edible... If I can get my asparagus out of bed on Saturdays I'll try to get what I can at the farmer's market too.


Hey if you're in Austin, you may want to check out Sprouts. They are smaller than WF but seem to be less expensive.

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 Post subject: Re: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 8:46 pm 
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My goal for September is $0. This will be easy because this also matches my bank account after buying gas to get to work and paying a stupid medical bill they sat on for four months, so I thought they were all paid.

Plus side: crepe falls out of the pantry every time I open the door. I'm going to have to be creative, but I certainly will not starve.

Also, I bought a can of chickpeas at Costco. A six pound can. I'll have chickpeas to tide me through the apocalypse. It was $2.99 !

This unfortunately means that Molly also must economize. However, she has frozen corn, a few organic apples, and a doting grandmother who is sure to sneak her a pepper or two. She is already stocked on parrot pellets (don't those sound tasty?)

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 Post subject: Re: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:24 pm 
Should Write a Goddam Book Already
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bunniee wrote:
mandycoot wrote:
I'm in! We are remodeling our master bathroom so I'd like to cut food costs to have more money for that so it doesn't drag out forever.

I'm shooting for $125/week at Whole Foods for the 2.5 of us, not including my husband's lunches. I don't think it's feasible to include pet food, toiletries, cleaners and supplements in that. We already spent $70 yesterday and I have to do a mid-week shop. My goal is to avoid prepared foods and buy 90% of our groceries from the produce and bulk department. I'm making our own seitan, almond milk, and yogurt which is helping a lot. I'm attempting to bake our own bread but incurring a lot of flour waste while I learn how to make it edible... If I can get my asparagus out of bed on Saturdays I'll try to get what I can at the farmer's market too.


Hey if you're in Austin, you may want to check out Sprouts. They are smaller than WF but seem to be less expensive.


Thanks! We live right by one (well, a former Sunflower/Newflower) so we hit it up in emergencies, but my husband actually works for Whole Foods so we have a 30% discount. Best ever! (except I go there pretty much every day and buy soooo many extra groceries I don't really need)


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