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 Post subject: Grocery Spending Issues
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 7:15 am 
Bought 20lbs of vegan protein powder
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So I just printed out our bank statements for the last 3 months and I won't even tell you how much I spend on groceries. It is OBSCENE. Seriously.

Does anyone here also spend a ridiculous amount? Is anyone a recovered ridiculous grocery over-spender?

I cut coupons but usually don't use most of them and I try to meal plan and then buy for that but somehow can't follow through.

I know that part of my problem is that my mom wasn't a good shopper and there was never much food in our house and what there was didn't really translate into things to eat. My husband has the same issues because his parents never had much money. This means that even though we almost always have way more food than anyone I know he will sometimes whine that there is nothing to eat. He's an omni and he's pretty picky.

Seriously. OBSCENE. Like $150/week on average. For two adults and a 5 year old. I'm pretty sure I can do better in August after the kid and I move back north, but still.

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 Post subject: Re: Grocery Spending Issues
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 7:28 am 
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I would say most of my disposable income goes on food, and since I'm only one person and sometimes I don't feel like cooking I can open a bulging cupboard and still end up eating chips for dinner.

Every so often I do a severe budget month called the £100 challenge, where I have to get food, clothes, travel and entertainment out of £100 (if I can! and there's sometimes a forfeit if I can't, like giving the difference if I go over to charity). Because I can't buy food on a whim it forces me to be more creative with what I've got (or buy 70 bags of expired chips! which is what I did last month. They were so cheap! but anyway...)

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 Post subject: Re: Grocery Spending Issues
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 7:35 am 
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In the US i would take my grocery money out every month, put it in an envelope, and only use that. it kept the limit down.
here, last month (when noticing our expenses were up) I tracked our spending for a month. it helped me see what i was buying and what could be cut.
i always found coupons to be a waste, as the really cheaper markets didn't take them, although i am sure if you're good at it you can get great deals.
i managed/manage to save a lot by keeping track of what is cheap where-- i used to buy my fruit in the Cambodian market, my veggies at one supermarket, grains in another, all just knowing more or less how much things should cost.
Now if something's expensive, i don't buy it (this mostly with produce). It keeps us eating local and seasonally. also, I also make a list and only buy what's on the list or what's on sale. Otherwise I end up eating chips for lunch...... and i'm trying not to do that.

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 Post subject: Re: Grocery Spending Issues
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 7:38 am 
Bought 20lbs of vegan protein powder
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yeah there are harris teeter stores here that do double coupons and sometimes triple, but they're so expensive that even after the tripled coupon they aren't a good deal.

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 Post subject: Re: Grocery Spending Issues
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 7:42 am 
Seagull of the PPK
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and heaven forbid you buy something that's not a coupon or a loss leader (easy enough for a cook, but especially if you shop with your kid), you're really taking a hit. When I stay with my mom she often has double coupons and such for the bigger stores (that i never used to shop in) and it's great to get coconut ice cream for $1 a pint, but there's that nice soy creamer i've been wanting to try too, and look! pita bread! and matzo ball mix! and FC is pointing out the new kind of pringle! and before i know it i've got a cartful of crepe that i don't really need, $100 please!

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 Post subject: Re: Grocery Spending Issues
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 8:28 am 
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I normally budget but for some reason I am spending super amounts of money on groceries. I am spending about £50 on groceries (although that includes toilet paper, cleaning products, etc) for myself a week! That is about $80/week according to an online calculator!

ETA that I am not sure why I specified toilet paper, I don't buy that much of it!


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 Post subject: Re: Grocery Spending Issues
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 8:34 am 
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When I grocery shop once a week, it's not too bad, Usually between $40 and $60 for two people, but then I go and spend another $20 on junk for myself and I really would like to spend as little as possible. Meal planning helps, but my issues with anxiety and food don't.

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 Post subject: Re: Grocery Spending Issues
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 8:55 am 
Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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For the record, I was recently talking about this with a group of my friends and $150 a week is about average, especially for omnis - so if you're buying meat and cheese that will make a pretty significant difference. People think veganism is expensive but I would bet most of us who don't have to buy omni food spend way less than most people, especially if we don't rely very much on processed stuff. Meat and cheese cost a lot of money.

I spend about $80 on average, I think, for me and my husband. What helps me is making my list and going ONLY once per week. Sometimes I will make a late week run for more produce, but more often I just try to plan late-week meals around staples more than fresh vegetables.


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 Post subject: Re: Grocery Spending Issues
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 9:29 am 
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We spend between $90-$130/wk depending on the week and if we're cooking out of the pantry and using up stuff we already have - this also includes cleaning products and other bits and bobs like that. It's nearly impossible to spend less than that without starving. This is for 2 adults!

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 Post subject: Re: Grocery Spending Issues
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 9:39 am 
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Yeah the lowest I can get ours is $100/week. That's including household expenses and what-not. But we rarely eat out and that includes my (omni) husband making all of his lunches. I feel like it could be way lower if we were both vegan and he wasn't so much of a picky eater. I'm pretty sure I could just eat lentils and rice every day and be fine with it.

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 Post subject: Re: Grocery Spending Issues
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 9:43 am 
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Pretty sure we spend way more than $150/wk for 2 adults. On average I'm at the grocery store 4x/wk. I went yesterday and spent over $80 and the week just started. Forget it if we go to Whole Foods. One trip there is always in the triple digits. WF is an hour away and hubby always says it's a good thing we don't live closer or we'd be broke. Having said that, food is one of our biggest pleasures in life and we really don't spend a lot on anything else.


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 Post subject: Re: Grocery Spending Issues
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 9:48 am 
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I'm usually in the ranges of 30-40€ per week on my own, but sometimes I go an extra day to get additional produce and I easily end up spending another 20€. Since it's the organic supermarket it's still ok, but of course if I stick to once a week it's better.

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 Post subject: Re: Grocery Spending Issues
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 9:56 am 
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My boyfriend says we spend a lot too. He likes a Zico water in the morning, a vegan jerky in his lunch, $5 a loaf bread for his sandwich, cookies after dinner...I try to save money by eating the leftover crepe and things like cereal or soy yogurt for lunch (since I am home). My big weakness is random vegan junk at the store and a once a week Zevia 6 pack that is like $4 - that I usually forget the coupon for! I am trying to cut out the random vegan crepe...

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 Post subject: Re: Grocery Spending Issues
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 10:25 am 
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I spend $80-$110/week just for me. That includes cleaning supplies, toiletries too. Even when I just have a few things on my list it adds up so fast. I do go through a good $15/week just keeping myself in Luna bars and electrolyte drinks. Can't wait until I train for an Ironman someday and spend as much on training fuel as on regular food...

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 Post subject: Re: Grocery Spending Issues
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 10:56 am 
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I spend about $150 per week for three people and that does not include eating out once a week and ordering in once a week. I really want to get that down, it seems too much. I try all the tricks that I can, buy dry beans in bulk, get non perishables (ketchup, mustard, spices) at target or oceans lots which are much cheaper but I don't really use coupons because I never see any for fresh fruit, veggies, and leafy greens which is 95% of my food intake. Do they even exist?? It's frustrating but I do think that eating healthy is expensive.


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 Post subject: Re: Grocery Spending Issues
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 11:09 am 
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I spent about $30 a week on groceries for one person and I eat extremely healthy/well. Do you buy a lot of juices/sodas? If you do- cut those out, they're not feeding you, they're a waste of money.

I notice that I save money on lunch/breakfast so I can spend more for. I buy a cheap box of bran cereal, almond milk, strawberries and bananas. Then I have a sandwich for lunch with an apple or something, some nuts or shake for an afternoon snack and eat a really delicious dinner. So I would recommend finding cheap staples that are tasty and nutritious for lunch/breakfast and then be more free for dinner


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 Post subject: Re: Grocery Spending Issues
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 11:36 am 
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Hoodwinked wrote:
eating healthy is expensive.


truth. My cart is 95% produce and ingredients (flour, spices, etc) and it's amazing how quickly it adds up. Amazing in a not good way. But if that's the cost of eating well, so be it.

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 Post subject: Re: Grocery Spending Issues
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 11:41 am 
Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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I used to do extremely well with this and managed to keep it under $75 a week or so (for three of us) but I don't know if it's skyrocketing prices or my inability to plan, but that number has gotten blown out of the water. I just had a $180 trip!! Granted, that included dog food and clif bars and some other big things, but geez, ouch. And it wasn't even my full list.


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 Post subject: Re: Grocery Spending Issues
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 11:42 am 
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Ha, I've probably spent $150 in the last week just for myself. Mind, I've started a couple homebrewing batches (requiring lots of sugar and juice, at least, even if you don't count yeast nutrients as groceries), and I've been hitting up every ethnic grocery in town to round out my spice drawer. With *everything*. But even when I'm stocked with annatto, saffron, and six or so varieties of paprika, my grocery bills are high. I know I could make them much lower by planning meals around sales, but I plan my meals around interesting dishes and ingredients that I want to explore and develop, and that

I think I'll invest in a pressure cooker. I love rice and beans, but don't cook them that often because usually if I start cooking beans (even pre-soaked ones) when I get home, I won't get to eat until 10 or so.

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 Post subject: Re: Grocery Spending Issues
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 11:49 am 
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Eating healthy and fresh is expensive. When I don't want to eat creatively, I can get by on a disturbingly low grocery bill each week. Some weeks I'll take my coffee black to save on soy milk. Lots of beans, rice, and frozen veggies.

It's not delicious or exciting, but it keeps the costs down.

When I have the cash, though, I can end up shamefully high grocery tabs because cooking is fun and food is exciting!

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 Post subject: Re: Grocery Spending Issues
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 12:01 pm 
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yep we're at about $150/week for 2 adults and a toddler. I don't know how it happens! Part of it is my partner's relentless "stocking up" on anything we might be semi-low on, but then again, I appreciate not going to make something and being out of the ingredients!

we do 90% of our shopping at Trader Joe's and the rest is more produce that I purchase at the greenmarket or Whole Foods. We try to stretch trips to TJs to at least every 10 or 12 days because it seems so ridiculous, but then again pretty much everything we're buying there would be more $ somewhere else - tofu (he and the toddler eat tofu scramble probably 4 times a week), various plant milks, bags of potatoes, canned goods etc. And by the way, this includes us planning meals for the week regularly! sigh.


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 Post subject: Re: Grocery Spending Issues
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 12:02 pm 
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We easily spend $100 or more weekly for two, even though I grow the majority of our veggies year-round. I'm sure it would be $175 weekly if I didn't have a garden. Buying everything organic, and splurging on vegan convenience foods does us in.

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 Post subject: Re: Grocery Spending Issues
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 12:02 pm 
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I'm so glad to see other big grocery spenders here. I was shocked/embarrassed to see (via Mint) that I have been spending about $500 a month for just me! That does include non-food things like parchment paper and shampoo and random other things I get at the grocery store, but geez.

For me, my plan of attack is going to be: 1) go to the store less often (every "I just need to pick up one thing!" trip turns into $20 of impulse buys), 2) clean out my pantry and meal plan using all the random stuff in there (so many things I don't really know what to do with- barley?), and 3) prep all veggies at the beginning of the week so that they're easy to use and fewer things go to waste (I'm not too bad about that, but when I'm starving and want something NOW, I'm more likely to go buy a burrito than wash and chop kale before being able to cook).

I doubt I'll ever get down to $30 or $40 a week, but even getting down to $60-$70 would be good!


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 Post subject: Re: Grocery Spending Issues
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 12:08 pm 
Because Bob Barker Told Me To
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I know I probably spend too much but sadly,I don't even keep track. I make tip money every day and while I should be saving that, I blow it cause I go to the grocery store way too much. I don't plan my weeks out and I really need to start doing that.


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 Post subject: Re: Grocery Spending Issues
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 12:22 pm 
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I go through this all the time, I feel ya. I'm re-starting a new budget right now, and meal planning, spending in cash, re-using ingredients - meals, cooked grains, sauces and produce, along with not visiting the stores as often and picking up things on a whim, is helping me kick back into cheaper-mode. Making tea over buying cups of coffee, have cold press in a picther at home...little perks. Two weekends ago, I took an inventory of grains and ingredients in the house I could use in meals, and did similar this past Sunday. It was almost fun. Good luck!

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