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Old 04-03-2008, 03:32 PM   #181
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You have to treat Whole Foods like Costco. only buy the on sale meat and buy a lot of it. like when ground beef was on sale in NYC i bought 12 pounds worth

We're not Whole Foods shoppers (mainly because they REALLY seem expensive) but I know what you mean. We try to buy what vegetables are in season and then build the rest of our meals (i.e. meat) around that. And we stay away from expensive cuts of meat, though we do get it at a butcher and poultry vendor at a farmer's market. The quality of the food is a little more expensive I think, but nothing like Whole Foods.

We don't have a budget but since we're starting to think seriously about ER, even though it won't be all that E, I think we should probably start one, especially for groceries and see what happens. I'm sure it will help us cut down at least a little bit............
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Old 04-03-2008, 04:04 PM   #182
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Honestly every book I've read, web form I've filled out and every other retirement type of estimate I've read puts food costs at about half of what we spend.
Take such information with a large grain of salt. I find that many people underestimate the cost of pretty much everything. That's why it's best never to share with others the price you paid for a car, house, boat, or whatever: invariably some know-all type will suggest that s/he could easily have got the item for at least 40% less (what world does s/he live in?).
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Old 04-03-2008, 05:45 PM   #183
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Thanks,

I'm glad to hear that we're not alone. Honestly every book I've read, web form I've filled out and every other retirement type of estimate I've read puts food costs at about half of what we spend. And we consider ourselves very careful in what we buy! Next to no junk food, little processed food, etc., etc.

.......
Maybe you just need to look at what you are cooking . Our food is just about $400 a month( For three meals on most days ) with wine no animal food . I cook basically and healthy . We do not buy bottled water and we have a non meat day at least twice a week . I buy meat and fish on sale and then fill in with seasonal veggies . I rarely use more than 3/4 lb of meat or fish .Living in a city is very expensive food wise but I think you can trim it a little bit .
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Old 04-03-2008, 05:49 PM   #184
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One point I think should be considered (many have already made it) is that savings shouldn't be viewed as an expense.

If you looked at it from a P/L and B/S perspective, your savings is the net profit you made for the year, which goes into retained earnings/equity. The retained earnings are invested and either earn a return (profit) and build your retained earnings/equity (net worth), or are cash in hand at a bank earning next to nothing.

Eventually if you have enough retained earnings, you can stop working, still make a profit on the retained earnings, but begin distributing dividends (to yourself for living expenses). At that point, in other words, you are:

FIREd!

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Old 04-03-2008, 06:08 PM   #185
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Thanks,

I'm glad to hear that we're not alone. Honestly every book I've read, web form I've filled out and every other retirement type of estimate I've read puts food costs at about half of what we spend. And we consider ourselves very careful in what we buy! Next to no junk food, little processed food, etc., etc.

I've been starting to think it's very expensive to eat healthily! But I guess even then I'd rather spend money on something I enjoy and think is healthy than on a lot of other things. It's just I keep feeling that we've fallen down on the job when it comes to frugal living.........
Im not sure what part of the country you live in. However I live in California and the COL tends to be higher than just about any other place in the US. Groceries seems to be on the high side. Eating healthy is really worth it in the scheme of things. Or at least I like to think that
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Old 04-03-2008, 06:56 PM   #186
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DH and I have been spending an honest <$300 month for the two of us for the past six months for groceries. We have been buying staples at Aldi's (where for example a loaf of whole grain bread is $1.49 in the Chicago area) and meat, produce and deli items at an independent grocer. We take lunch to work and eat most dinners at home (if we go out we use a coupon). Way down from last year, when we made a conscious decision to see how low we could go. Our grown children are humiliated by our experiment so that makes it even more fun. The average even includes splurging when we have other couples over for dinner, the only time we buy wine and beer.
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Old 04-03-2008, 07:20 PM   #187
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I hate it when that happens, but one must economize where possible. Now the housekeeper on the other hand -- life is simply not worth living without one.
But would you get rid of the upstairs maid or the downstairs one.
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Old 04-03-2008, 07:25 PM   #188
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But would you get rid of the upstairs maid or the downstairs one.
Which one has the better smile?
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Old 04-03-2008, 07:45 PM   #189
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Which one has the better smile?
The one who cooks and cleans and 'a few other things' after turning her bar/liquor license over to her Granddaughter in New Orleans. And she brought her own pension/retirement fund.

heh heh heh - looks like my 1976 Bar managerette/person is my er ah new roommate. . I gotta watch those visits to New Orleans.

All in: taxes included looks like 2007 ran 50k for one person including paying off the 2006 Chevy Equinox.

Soo in spite of 'enough' and financial independance - still letting expenditures drift up to meet 'the amount', FireCalc says I can spend - although the low end last year.
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Old 04-03-2008, 07:45 PM   #190
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Quicken says we spent $6243.83 on groceries (food, wine, household supplies) over the past 12 months or about $520 a month for 2 people + 2 cats. We buy very little processed food, but we don't systematically go for organics or "health food" (like the $25 jar of almond butter) either. I prepare a lot of stuff from scratch so it takes a lot of time but it saves quite a bit of money as well. We also eat a lot of rice, pasta, couscous and potatoes (because we like them) and plenty of veggies but smaller portions of meat in general. We have a small garden patch in the backyard that gives us plenty of fresh (and cheap) veggies from spring to fall.
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Old 04-03-2008, 07:49 PM   #191
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Probably could technically call a derail here.. Got from Sub prime to grocery bills.. And we didn't even get a Hitler Nazi Germany reference.. Damn I about to shed a water droplet from my eye area...
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Old 04-03-2008, 07:53 PM   #192
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Quicken says we spent $6243.83 on groceries (food, wine, household supplies) over the past 12 months or about $520 a month for 2 people + 2 cats. We buy very little processed food, but we don't systematically go for organics or "health food" (like the $25 jar of almond butter) either. I prepare a lot of stuff from scratch so it takes a lot of time but it saves quite a bit of money as well. We also eat a lot of rice, pasta, couscous and potatoes (because we like them) and plenty of veggies but smaller portions of meat in general. We have a small garden patch in the backyard that gives us plenty of fresh (and cheap) veggies from spring to fall.
Put the cats on a diet and raise the wine budget.
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Old 04-03-2008, 08:18 PM   #193
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Put the cats on a diet and raise the wine budget.
Why would you put those babies on a diet? Plus we get a lot of our wine for free...
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Old 04-03-2008, 08:19 PM   #194
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Probably could technically call a derail here..
Is that with or without the Fibonacci numbers?
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Old 04-03-2008, 08:20 PM   #195
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Why would you put those babies on a diet? Plus we get a lot of our wine for free...
Cute! And a lot cheaper than kids!
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Old 04-03-2008, 08:24 PM   #196
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Cute! And a lot cheaper than kids!
You bet!
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Old 04-03-2008, 08:50 PM   #197
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You bet!
What?
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Old 04-03-2008, 08:59 PM   #198
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What?
You bet they're a lot cheaper than kids!
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Old 04-03-2008, 09:05 PM   #199
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You bet they're a lot cheaper than kids!

Whos on third?
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Old 04-03-2008, 09:23 PM   #200
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DH and I have been spending an honest <$300 month for the two of us for the past six months for groceries. We have been buying staples at Aldi's (where for example a loaf of whole grain bread is $1.49 in the Chicago area) and meat, produce and deli items at an independent grocer.
Aldi's!!! My favorite budget grocery. Saved ALOT of money shopping there years ago when DW was home while the kids were little. That was back in the primitive days of Aldi's when they did not even have a belt on the checkout stand and cashiers had to memorize all prices. (They had a limited selection of items). They are building new fancy stores these last few years, but everyone I know only shops the mega chains (or whole foods, trader vics). I recommended Aldi's to an acqaintance that was complaining about the cost of food, but she squeeled like hell ( and looked down her nose at me) about their cart rental fee policy. Aldi's charges .25 to use a shopping cart which is refunded when you park it back in it's stall, plus you have to pay for grocery bags, bring your own, or scavenge empty boxes while shopping (my technique).
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