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save money on food?
Old 12-09-2011, 08:33 PM   #1
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save money on food?

I am impressed with how little so many of you spend on food! How do you do it? I buy only store brands, shop at Walmart most weeks even though they do not have fish, and still we two are about $200/week. The Beloved loves good imported beer... and I have a diet soda fetish--but that still would be only about $400/year different.
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Old 12-09-2011, 09:00 PM   #2
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I am impressed with how little so many of you spend on food! How do you do it? I buy only store brands, shop at Walmart most weeks even though they do not have fish, and still we two are about $200/week. The Beloved loves good imported beer... and I have a diet soda fetish--but that still would be only about $400/year different.
How many are in your family ? I spend $100 a week for two . I shop the sales and cook from scratch usually five or six nights .We also eat all breakfasts at home and I eat lunch at home most days . We eat tons of chicken and when I find good sales I stock up . Turkeys are on sale now so I'll buy a few . One turkey will make several meals Turkey , turkey sandwiches , turkey tetrazzini , turkey soup . We do drink wine but it's cheaper wine and I drink one diet soda a day .
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Old 12-09-2011, 09:17 PM   #3
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We are also just two. And we never eat out--perhaps 4 times a year--unless we are traveling. I also cook everything from scratch except a frozen diet lunch each day at work ($1-2/day.)
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Old 12-09-2011, 10:20 PM   #4
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I am impressed with how little so many of you spend on food! How do you do it? I buy only store brands, shop at Walmart most weeks even though they do not have fish, and still we two are about $200/week. The Beloved loves good imported beer... and I have a diet soda fetish--but that still would be only about $400/year different.
Im single and pretty much every day I eat an apple and celery for breakfast from walmart and that is 10 bucks a week by itself. Lunch I always eat oatmeal and milk with walnuts and bannana chopped into it and that costs about $15 a week by itself. I dont eat it because Im poor, I just like it and it takes 2 minutes to fix. Thats a hundred bucks alone a month and not many people would eat like that. Dinner is varied and usually $5 a pop for a good frozen stir fry type meal. The snacks, soda, bottled water, and high grade coffee, put a big dent in the food budget. That pushes me to close to $400 a month. I have to buy my snacks individually at gas station. If I bought the bigger bags at walmart, there would be no savings as I would just eat it up in a day anyways and get fat.
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Old 12-09-2011, 11:25 PM   #5
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Where do you live? Prices vary a lot between different parts of the country/different cities. And are you "foodie" types who buy a lot of specialty items, fancy condiments, imported food, etc.? Posting a typical week of grocery purchases and rough cost for items might give us a better idea of why your costs are so high.

Oh, and do you end up throwing away a lot of food/leftovers? That can be a huge money suck. I am trying to put more leftovers directly into the freezer for that week or the next week's lunches, because sometimes we get backed up and end up missing a few things that get to iffy status and we don't want to eat. Hoping the soup I just had for lunch was not one of those, for example.
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Old 12-10-2011, 12:15 AM   #6
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A few years ago we had two kids in college at the same time which made for a very expensive year. While it was just DH and I at home I started buying marked down meat that was close to it's "sell buy" date. These things are marked down 30%-50% and I've never had something that wasn't just as good as the full priced meat.

I still keep an eye out for discounted packages and use a Foodsaver vacuum sealer to freeze meat.

I also like to use a pressure cooker to make soups or stews. There is always extra for leftovers.
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Old 12-10-2011, 01:27 AM   #7
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I read about these food budgets and wonder how it could be possible. I have tried, but so far all my efforts are cancelled by what to my eye has been considerable food inflation.

Ha
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Old 12-10-2011, 01:39 AM   #8
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...I never buy fancy mustard or much of that jamon iberico beloved by one poster...
Eh, you are talking about me!

I was joking about these fancy food. I have not had jamon iberico since my trip to Spain. I do not even know where to get it here in town.

Just have to set the record straight.
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Old 12-10-2011, 01:58 AM   #9
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Eh, you are talking about me!
A-ha! The high living free spending wastrel has been uncovered! If you don't cut out this profligacy you will be be NW-Bound for the rest of your life, and never NW-Arrived.


One of my sons just came back from Madrid and he found a tapas place that sold specialty hams from all the different provinces and regions of Spain. He said it was magnificent!

Ha
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Old 12-10-2011, 02:01 AM   #10
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Oh man! And you did not go with him? Everybody knows about Italian and French food, but Spanish food is also a true delight. Is he bringing back some for you? Smuggled in his briefcase somewhere?

PS. I of course have arrived in the PNW. Many times, in fact. But I just couldn't stay! Too expensive!
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Old 12-10-2011, 02:10 AM   #11
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I spend much less than $100 a week on food on my own (I live on my own). Sometimes I get a veggie footlong sandwich at Subway. About $5 for the day, it's healthy food and it tastes good too.
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I am impressed with how little so many of you spend on food! How do you do it?
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Old 12-10-2011, 04:23 AM   #12
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For the two of us we spend ~ $300 per week for consumables.
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Old 12-10-2011, 04:45 AM   #13
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We eat tons of chicken and when I find good sales I stock up . Turkeys are on sale now so I'll buy a few . One turkey will make several meals Turkey , turkey sandwiches , turkey tetrazzini , turkey soup . We do drink wine but it's cheaper wine and I drink one diet soda a day .
There are two of us and we do almost the exact same thing, (except we don't drink soda and our wine is 'home made').............turkeys were on sale at a local supermarket yesterday at 77 a pound...(which is cheap hereabouts); we bought 2 (fairly small ones), and put them in the freezer.
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Old 12-10-2011, 04:55 AM   #14
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We grocery shop at Walmart once a week - always between $100 and $120 for 2. Its the same every week - bread, eggs, sliced ham, cheese, yogurt, apples, veggies, pineapple, pork chops for me, fish for DW, frozen healthy choice steamer lunches, popcorn. I do fast food about 4 times a week that adds another $20. About once week, I pick up a steak for another $12. So I guess our total is around $130 to $150.
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Old 12-10-2011, 06:15 AM   #15
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We shop primarily at Whole Foods Market. I'm afraid to calculate just how much we spend there because it will make my BP spike at that will make my insurance premiums rise.

In South Fl. Publix has opened a chain called Greenwise to compete with WFM. So far, a very good option.
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Old 12-10-2011, 06:39 AM   #16
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I separated the food and wine budget and am eating much cheaper now.

At one point in life when I was in debt and earnings were low, I achieved a really low cost of food. I built a menu for the month and shopped only to complete what I needed for the menu. I built it to maximize the use of left overs. Buy a ham for Sunday dinner, ham sandwiches for lunch, Monday and Tuesday ham dinner, ham and broccoli casserole on Wednesday and ham and split pea soup next. And so on. Buy enough hamburg for burgers the first night, meatloaf the next couple and chopsuey the next. Chicken breast tonight, chicken stir fry the next and chicken Alfredo the next with chicken sandwiches for lunch. Build the menu for the month and then a shopping list to meet it, then only buy whats on the list. Cook enough bacon for breakfast, BLT's for lunch and crumbled on the salad for dinner. Saves on cooking utilities. 100% cook at home, pack your lunch for work, institute portion control, (good for weight control as well) and your cost will drop dramatically.

Fortunately I don't need to do that today, but will do it again if required.
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Old 12-10-2011, 07:19 AM   #17
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don't you think this is sad? work all those years to retire and have to skrimp on groceries instead of eating what we like? If you can't eat what you enjoy whats the point?
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Old 12-10-2011, 07:22 AM   #18
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I just did a calculation from my database, and we (two people) spent $74/week so far in this year on food. We don't eat out unless travel. We do eat a lot of fruits (from local farm market) and vegetables, only very very little meat. We grow our own vegetables like green/pole beans, garlic, tomatoes, radish, etc. to supplement. I make my own yogurt and bake my own garlic olive bread. I guess that also helps.
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Old 12-10-2011, 07:29 AM   #19
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don't you think this is sad? work all those years to retire and have to skrimp on groceries instead of eating what we like? If you can't eat what you enjoy whats the point?
+1. Enjoying healthy food doesn't have to cost a leg and an arm, and the keyword is moderation. After a certain threshold is crossed, more frugality won't make sense anymore.
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Old 12-10-2011, 08:43 AM   #20
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+1. Enjoying healthy food doesn't have to cost a leg and an arm, and the keyword is moderation.
I am eating pretty healthy food, I think. The problem is I want to eat good-tasting food, even if it costs more. Those often are not healthy.
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