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 Post subject: Re: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:19 pm 
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Semen Strong
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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.


So far one $140 TJs trip, $10 of farmer's market and $10 in snacks over the weekend. And its just the 9th....

I do have a ton of food in the fridge to get me to the months end, but I have managed to eat all my ice-cream.

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 Post subject: Re: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:48 pm 
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Tofu Pup

Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:13 pm
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Location: Western NY by accident
Joining the challenge! My goal is $275 for the month of September for a family of two adults and a breastfed baby. I usually try to keep things around $300 for all food and household goods, but we're temporarily on a more limited income than expected.

We live 45 minutes from the nearest big grocery store, so I do one big monthly trip, supplemented by weekly or semi-weekly visits to our local co-op, farmer's market or dinky grocery store.

So far this month:
$100 on my major grocery trip
$20 at the co-op on bulk flour, oats, sugar, rice, lentils and peanut butter for the month plus some organic tortilla chips (an indulgence I could have done without, but they're so good!)
$14 Chinese takeout, at the insistence of the husband

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 Post subject: Re: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:18 pm 
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Fair trade, organic mistletoe
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I've been doing pretty well spending $60/week for the last few weeks but can't seem to get lower than that. Plus I eat out at least once a week. I'm spending too much on food! But I love food...I'm on my third week of menu planning and think I'm getting better at it, which should help matters.

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 Post subject: Re: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:31 pm 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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Location: vancouver island
So far I've spent $148 of my $400 for the month. I have lots of food in the fridge/cupboards now. Some of the money went toward dried beans, which will last through tons of meals; some went towards a few convenience foods for our camping trip this weekend; the rest went towards the usual items. Seems like now that I've got the dried beans/few extra expensive staples done, the rest of the month should be pretty easy!

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 Post subject: Re: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:40 am 
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Has it on Blue Vinyl
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Yikes, why does it add up so fast? I've spent about € 80 already (not counting monthly veg subscription).

Weekly veg box update: will use everything except for the lettuce, which has gone limp before I could eat all of it.

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 Post subject: Re: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:11 am 
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Remembers When Veganism Was Cool
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Location: Midlands, UK
I'm at £42 out of £100 (and £20 of that was spent on wine and eating out in the first weekend), but I haven't really made a dent in the pulses I bought, still working my way through that first batch of chickpeas I cooked up, and having overnight oats for breakfast.

As long as not too many people are having leaving work/town drinks in the pub this month or going for celebratory meals I should be okay!

fisticuffs have you tried sticking the lettuce in a bowl of cold water for an hour or so? That will re-crisp lettuce sometimes.

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 Post subject: Re: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 12:12 pm 
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Calls "cavemen" on that
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Still going to try to do $300 this month. I barely made it last month! We are going to a few friends parties, a concert and some other stuff. Now, we budget for eating out of the house & entertaining seperatly than the grocery, but it still comes out of our paychecks, so all the more reason to keep that grocery bill down! Also, since we did very well last month with the challenge, we have more $ to spend on entertainment. Which is good. 2 day music festival...12 hours a day. Eating and drinking will cost us.

Trader Joe's on Friday the first to pick up staples and some junk for when we have people over. Around $20 there, and $65 at the store yesterday, with probably another $10 from stuff I forgot (shopping with a hangover is not a good idea. I forgot a ton of crepe)

Not off to a great start. This will be an expensive month. Maybe I should up the budget so I don't stress myself out too much.


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 Post subject: Re: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 12:25 pm 
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Dying from Nooch Lung

Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:37 pm
Posts: 3238
Location: Ireland
I went veggie shopping today. I spent just a little over €18 and it included loo roll, some fizzy orange and vegan pate that was on special offer. Proud of myself since I can often spend around €40 in there without trying. I will probably have to go back on Sunday to get some basic salad fillers for lunches next week but I shouldn't have to spend more than €5. I decided I could actually go without going to the health food shop this fortnight. I don't seem to need anything. I do need yeast for pizza bases but I will just do without until next pay. I couldn't justify driving all that distance for them so I'm making other food instead out of what I have.

I'm getting fair sensible!

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 Post subject: Re: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 1:07 pm 
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Nooch of Earl
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Clearly I'm still in "build up the pantry" mode, because over the weekend I dropped just over $100 at Penzey's. But I have extracts and spices now! (and yeah, I usually make my own vanilla extract at least, by throwing a vanilla bean in the bottle and topping off the liquor periodically, but I didn't even have an appropriate bottle for that.)

Soooo, about $300 so far this month. Planning on a WF trip today as well.. We're ridic. I'm not even cooking expensive stuff, just restocking a lot of pantry things. On the bright side, I made 4x tortilla strata from VOTC and froze 3 of them, and am planning to do the same with baked ziti with cashew ricotta. Next week I'm going to do a bunch of pumkin cannelloni (adapted from the pumpkin ziti in Vcon) and muffins to bring to a family that just had a baby, and will freeze and make extras for myself. So the month may end either cheaply or with a freezer full of options for the future, neither of which is really a bad result.

ETA: I did get my free jar of Raspberry whateverthe-jam at Penzeys, so think of all the money I saved!


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 Post subject: Re: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:33 pm 
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Should Write a Goddam Book Already
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Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:37 pm
Posts: 1084
Location: Western Mass
!!! Right on target with $90 for my big shopping.

And I have so much stuff. Mostly healthy, with some indulgences: Oreos, Oreo pie crust making a pumpkin pie), Daiya cheese wedge... alright. No one here really prepared me for that cheddar wedge. It tastes like cheese puff/Velveeta and my Triscuits have been transformed. Also Silk coconut milk! Woo!


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 Post subject: Re: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 6:56 pm 
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Brain Made of Raw Seitan
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annak wrote:
ETA: I did get my free jar of Raspberry whateverthe-jam at Penzeys, so think of all the money I saved!

I want the raspberry goo. The coupon... is... calling...

I am totally jealous and would love to go on a Penzeys shopping spree. Alas, I have neither the funds nor the space for more spice jars. One nice thing about Penzeys is that if you order by mail, they'll usually send you a free sample jar of some spice blend. One bad thing about Penzeys is that if you order by mail, they'll usually send you a free sample jar of some spice blend and it takes up all the room on your spice rack in your seriously tiny apartment. Thanks for all the Apple Pie Spice, Penzeys!


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 Post subject: Re: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:40 pm 
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And you never will.
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Just did this week's shopping, and I'm at $69. I think I'll have to buy more soy milk before the end of the week, but that should be it! Better than last week's $94 :/

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 Post subject: Re: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:43 pm 
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Lactose Intolerant...Literally
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What do you guys think is fair to spend a week for two adults, one 15 year old boy and a 10 year old boy? I want to get in on this spending challenge and I think I usually do pretty good with about $150 a week, but the husband and I eat out about twice a week and I think that may be too much. I told him I want to keep track of the grocery bills and he looked at me like I was crazy. He thinks I am being too cheap already.


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 Post subject: Re: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:32 am 
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Not NOT A Furry
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I guess it depends on where you are, but I would be mighty impressed with myself if I could feed four people (two being pre-teen/teen boys) with $150 a week.


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 Post subject: Re: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:55 pm 
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Addicted to B12 Enemas
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Location: Fredericksburg, VA
For a long time, I managed to spend about $120 per week for three people, but we ate out a lot. Now we're not eating out so much, so the bills are starting to creep up. My grocery store (Wegman's) keeps 30 days worth of receipts online for its customers with a card. So I have been checking that, and I have noticed that in the last month, I've nearly doubled my grocery spending, and I am not entirely sure why.

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 Post subject: Re: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 3:59 pm 
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And you never will.
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Location: Memphis
la vie sale wrote:
What do you guys think is fair to spend a week for two adults, one 15 year old boy and a 10 year old boy? I want to get in on this spending challenge and I think I usually do pretty good with about $150 a week, but the husband and I eat out about twice a week and I think that may be too much. I told him I want to keep track of the grocery bills and he looked at me like I was crazy. He thinks I am being too cheap already.

Does the $150/wk include the eating out? Is that just for groceries or for other household goods as well? If it's just for groceries, I think it's just fine, if it's including household goods and eating out, then you are a magician and I want to know your secrets.

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 Post subject: Re: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:28 pm 
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Should Write a Goddam Book Already
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Location: Western Mass
I totally forgot earth balance. How do I bake cookies without earth balance? Back to the store tomorrow...


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 Post subject: Re: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:40 pm 
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Brain Made of Raw Seitan
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GymClassZero wrote:
I totally forgot earth balance. How do I bake cookies without earth balance? Back to the store tomorrow...

Well, I don't know what kind of cookies you were planning on baking, but some recipes work well with plain old vegetable oil or coconut oil if you have it!


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 Post subject: Re: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:42 pm 
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Lactose Intolerant...Literally
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Location: Portland, OR
Sadly I am not a magician. It doesn't include eating out but it does include detergent, paper goods, shampoo etc. Last night I looked around a bit online to compare and the USDA site says that an adult roughly spends $37 a week if they are being thrifty. So I think we are doing just fine. I get a lot of cheap stuff though. If it were just me I would buy way more organic and fancy items, but having to feed 4 people (an all of the men variety) if I were to shop at just TJ's and Whole Foods I would spend $250 a week. I want to quit eating out as much to really save money. Groceries keep getting more and more expensive. I have most prices memorized because we always eat the same kind of things. Oh, it doesn't include cat and dog food.


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 Post subject: Re: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:30 pm 
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Huffs Nutritional Yeast

Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2012 8:26 pm
Posts: 101
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Does anyone have a recipe for homemade laundry detergent or dishwasher detergent? I've been keeping track of my expenses this month and I've discovered that cleaning products are a considerable expense. If anyone has any ideas about how to reduce these costs, I'd love to hear them. :-)

Unfortunately I've developed a sensitivity to toilet paper and the hypoallergenic toilet paper is ridiculously expensive. Poopiebitch, I remember you mentioning 'family cloth' in the August thread; do you think it would still be feasible if it's just for one person? I don't think my boyfriend would be too keen on the idea! :-)


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 Post subject: Re: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:01 pm 
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Lactose Intolerant...Literally
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I make my own all purpose cleaning spray. There are so many recipes online. I always try a new one. You can also make your own room sprays and window cleaning spray. I have never made detergent, don't think I want to venture there. My big Kirkland all natural jug lasts our family of 4 about 9 months or so, so very economical. I have our laundry times down and only do full loads. That saves on detergent as well. You can probably put some cheap vegan shampoo in hand soap pumps. When I was young my friends mom would use cheap shampoo as laundry detergent.


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 Post subject: Re: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:15 pm 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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Location: vancouver island
LittleChicken wrote:
Does anyone have a recipe for homemade laundry detergent or dishwasher detergent? I've been keeping track of my expenses this month and I've discovered that cleaning products are a considerable expense. If anyone has any ideas about how to reduce these costs, I'd love to hear them. :-)

Unfortunately I've developed a sensitivity to toilet paper and the hypoallergenic toilet paper is ridiculously expensive. Poopiebitch, I remember you mentioning 'family cloth' in the August thread; do you think it would still be feasible if it's just for one person? I don't think my boyfriend would be too keen on the idea! :-)

Here's a link to a recipe for laundry detergent:
http://homemadelaundrysoap.net/homemade ... recipe.php
It doesn't cost much to make, and it makes a large batch too. I've never made it, but my mother uses it for all of her laundry.

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when you realise how perfect everything is, you will tilt you head back and laugh at the sky. -buddha


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 Post subject: Re: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:19 am 
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Should Write a Goddam Book Already
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Location: Western Mass
Limone wrote:
GymClassZero wrote:
I totally forgot earth balance. How do I bake cookies without earth balance? Back to the store tomorrow...

Well, I don't know what kind of cookies you were planning on baking, but some recipes work well with plain old vegetable oil or coconut oil if you have it!


True... true... but my favorite cookie dough recipe calls for it. And a little oil. I bake so rarely it seems dangerous to try something new.

It turns out I completely forgot rice wine vinegar as well. Booo me. In theory I should be able to simply grab the items I need and NOTHING ELSE. I will tell myself, "There is no more room for anything."


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 Post subject: Re: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:16 am 
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Saggy Butt
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LittleChicken wrote:
Does anyone have a recipe for homemade laundry detergent or dishwasher detergent? I've been keeping track of my expenses this month and I've discovered that cleaning products are a considerable expense. If anyone has any ideas about how to reduce these costs, I'd love to hear them. :-)

Unfortunately I've developed a sensitivity to toilet paper and the hypoallergenic toilet paper is ridiculously expensive. Poopiebitch, I remember you mentioning 'family cloth' in the August thread; do you think it would still be feasible if it's just for one person? I don't think my boyfriend would be too keen on the idea! :-)


Laundry Detergent:
1 bar soap, grated
1 c borax
1 c washing soda
stir together until well blended, makes 32 oz, use 1-2 Tb per load

Dishwasher Detergent:
1 part borax
1 part baking soda
use vinegar in the rinse

Dish Soap:
1.5 c hot water
.5 c Dr. Bronner's
1 tb vinegar
1/8 tsp tea tree oil
whisk together until blended, store in pump or squeeze dispenser

I haven't made the laundry detergent yet since I can't find washing soda anywhere, but I'm still looking! I'm also having trouble finding backing soda in bulk. We're trying to make our own household cleaners (and some toiletries) to cut down on packaging waste, plastic use and having to ship products that are basically water all over the country, but it definitely has the added benefit of being super cheap.

Have you considered installing a bidet toilet seat? We have a Toto toilet and we are actually ordering one of their Washlet seats to cut down on toilet paper use (my husband wanted to do family cloth since we do cloth baby wipes but I, as the main laundry-doer, nixed that idea). They are supposed to fit onto most standard toilets!


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 Post subject: Re: September Food Spending Challenge!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:40 am 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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So I think my current strategy is to stay away from the grocery store as long as humanly possible. My full is totally full of odds and ends, and I have a pretty well-stocked pantry. I figure I can do a whole week, though I might need to pick up a veggie or two by the end of the week, for which I'll just bring a few dollars so I can't overbuy.

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