The Survival Podcast Forum

Finance and Economics => The Money Board => Topic started by: Black November on October 02, 2017, 01:59:09 PM

Title: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: Black November on October 02, 2017, 01:59:09 PM
My wife and I have no kids and somehow we still spend $1400 per month on food. Ideally, I would get our food costs down to like $900 per month for the two of us. Any tips or suggestions?

Details:
We eat super healthy
We cook most nights and maybe go out to eat 1-2 days per week ($1400 includes going out)
We don't buy soda/pop or junk food
We drink alcohol in moderation, but do NOT normally have beer on hand
I don't drink coffee, but my wife makes 1 cup in a french press per day.
We have a chest freezer and try to buy mindful meat in bulk
We belong to A CSA
We try to make a weekly meal plan and stick to it
We can fruits and vegetable in season
We don't normally buy ice cream or deserts
We stock pile staples like rice, quinoa, farrow, amaranth, wheat berries
We make our own pasta out of flour, water, ect
We BBQ fairly often
We buy mostly organic
We are in our late 30's
We eat mostly chicken, and reasonable priced cuts of beef, pork
Washington State Food prices are a little high but not unreasonable
We bring left overs to work for lunch.
We shop at Fred meyer which is a standard grocery store, very rarely do we go to expensive Whole foods stores.
We shop the perimeter of the store and get mostly staples to cook not processed food

Let me know what you spend on food, and any suggestions. I feel like we are grossly over spending compared to national averages.
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: David in MN on October 02, 2017, 02:15:48 PM
That's crazy. Are you tossing a lot? I'm usually well under $800 for the three of us.

Are you using bones to make stock? Saving broccoli stems to make soup? Coupons?

When I was a caterer tossing a usable ingredient got a verbal flogging. Chefs are very into not wasting anything. You'd be surprised how many high end soups at restaurants are essentially leftovers.
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: Morning Sunshine on October 02, 2017, 02:19:07 PM
about 8 years ago, I first saw this: http://world.time.com/2013/09/20/hungry-planet-what-the-world-eats/photo/ger_130614_331_x/  they redo it every year or so.
anyway, I was curious about my own habits, and so I made a list of everything we ate for a week.  I did not include seasonings, but if it was something we ate, I included it.  Even homegrown foods I gave a price to.  I turned up spending $100 less than the other US family pictured.  Anyway, maybe something you could do?

1400/90 meals - you are spending $15/meal for the two of you.  Or 7.50 per person per meal.  There is something huge in there that you are missing.
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: Cedar on October 02, 2017, 02:20:02 PM
Post a menu of what you eat a week. My ex and his son went through $1200CA a month, then when I arrived we ate at $500 for 4-5 of us. No beans involved.

Cedar
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: chad on October 02, 2017, 02:22:25 PM
Cut out the French truffles,caviar and wagyu beef... :)

I'm at about 300 a month, cook most meals at home.

Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: Carl on October 02, 2017, 02:24:04 PM
  Can I look at the wine list?

I used to budget $250 a month for myself and my 125 pound dog who eats a combo of dog and people food.
Now I cut the budget and augmented with old stock freeze dried 'survival' foods as I rotate stock.
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: Black November on October 02, 2017, 02:24:17 PM
Since today is coincidentally Monday, I will try to post what we eat for the week. (We don't eat expensive stuff like Caviar ect.  :D)

*Please also note that the $1400 includes going out to eat 1-2 time per week.  Dinner for two with drinks and tip could be $50 {= approx $400 per month}
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: Cedar on October 02, 2017, 02:39:18 PM
Since today is coincidentally Monday, I will try to post what we eat for the week. (We don't eat expensive stuff like Caviar ect.  :D)

*Please also note that the $1400 includes going out to eat 1-2 time per week.  Dinner for two with drinks and tip could be $50 {= approx $400 per month}

$1,000 a month is not hideous these days, but if you want to whittle it down, you got maneovering room.

Cedar
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: Black November on October 02, 2017, 02:48:48 PM
I just checked, and our CSA is $33.60 per week, or $134.40 per month. However, that is for a huge box of vegetables. We get most of our veggies from the CSA instead of the grocery store.
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: chad on October 02, 2017, 02:52:11 PM
I should add it's just me and dog, like Carl my dog is also 120ish pounds and on the "combo" plan also.
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: mountainmoma on October 02, 2017, 04:03:44 PM
Keeping a dairy of purchases and meal plans for a while sounds good, as that is a lot of money -- if it is just groceries.

Separate out going out to eat from food, those are 2 separate categories. Eating out is categorized under spending or entertainment.

$500 a month per person is $17 a day per person. Probably not too hard to do if it includes alcohol and some convenience foods ( store bought hummus, store bought sourkraut, fresh raviolis, etc....) My budget is of course way, way less

maybe you end up with alot of other purchases on the same receipts as groceries that arent groceries, so for the next month, look at the receipts and keep better track
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: Smurf Hunter on October 02, 2017, 08:02:30 PM
We still use the "milk man" to deliver a gallon of organic 2% for the kids, and some cottage cheese and other stuff.  It's a small premium, but quality stuff and a long time regional family business.

I bet my family is close to $1000 for groceries, but we have a family of four, and unfortunately a large amount is semi-prepared convenience stuff for kids to grab as they run out, etc.
If my work week wasn't a chaotic mix of piano lessons, boy scouts, sports practice, robotics and something else I can't recall, I know I could shed $200 more off our bill.
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: Carl on October 02, 2017, 08:05:54 PM
  Put your family on a weekly $250 dollar food budget,save some money and you get to go out,go over budget....no dinner on the town.
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: Stwood on October 02, 2017, 10:59:20 PM
2 of us, spend less than a hundred a week, and that also includes something for the storeroom food stock.
We seldom ever purchase prepared foods.
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: Redman on October 03, 2017, 03:47:51 AM
We spend $30/$40 a week on groceries including meat and something for the storeroom. We watch the flyers and shop the loss leaders also we don't usually go to our local stores that consider themselves to be upscale unless there is a good price on something we want. I recently picked up 40# of sugar for $9.99 like that, I would never have bought sugar at that store otherwise. We go to another I call "no class/low class". Normally better prices on everything. Vegetables and fruits can be an expensive item if you expect perfect produce. I accept less than perfect and trim away anything I wouldn't eat. Scars on fruits look bad but usually are only superficial.
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: NWPilgrim on October 03, 2017, 04:33:43 AM
We spend about $200/week for my wife and I plus snacks and dinner for our daughter and her kids five days a week.  We rarely east out anymore since I semi retired.  We used to eat out several times a week when I was on salary, but no more of that.  Once a week we pick up a Papa Murphy's pizza for the whole crew (2 for $30).  On Sunday's I cook a pancake and eggs breakfast for the five of us, or nine of us if my other daughter is visiting.  We eat simple, healthy food, mostly vegetarian.  Breakfast is yogurt and granola, or toast and eggs (we buy cage free organic but only go through about 20/week) and coffee (we splurge on Keurig because we are on different schedules and only drink 1-2 cups per day).  Lunch is a sandwich, leftovers, or soup and milk or lemonade.  I pick the grandkids up and they get 3 cookies and an applesauce squeeze pouch and a bottle of water (from our kitchen filter).  Dinner is spaghetti and salad or stir-fried veggies; or burritos, or veggie burgers, tacos and beans, rice and veggies, etc.  We always have ice cream as everyone loves it, but no one eats a huge amount, just a small bowl each. I buy one bag/box each per week of potato chips, Cheezits, and tortilla chips and salsa.  We always have plenty of Tillamook sharp cheddar cheese on hand.

We rarely have other sweets.  While I love a good lager I can't remember the last time I had one.  Just doesn't fit into my daily schedule.  I usually have one when the whole family gets together, so maybe 1-2 beers/month.  We've had the same bottles of tequila and whiskey in the cupboard for over a year, so that is not very frequent either. Neither of us smokes.

We shop at Winco which is a local chain of employee owned discount markets.  I pick up a few things a week at Safeway which has higher prices on almost everything except milk (but much shorter expiration dates!) but is real close by.  I spend on average $170 at Winco and $30 at Safeway per week.  Both my wife and I have been watching our weight for the past year.  We had put on some pounds when we were living high on salary but now on retirement and wanting to trim down we just don't eat nearly as much; and much less eating out and luxury foods.  It seems the more wholesome, simple and nutritious the food, the more satisfying it is and the less that we feel a need to eat of it.  We grow some veggies in our garden but not enough to make a serious dent in our annual food bill.
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: PorcupineKate on October 03, 2017, 07:23:32 AM
I spend an insane amount of money on food due to medical reasons. Between the laying hens, garden, buying from local farms and the supermarket we spend about $950 a month to feed the 2 of us. This includes the upkeep of the chickens and the recurring costs of the garden. I am working on getting that number down. I cook from scratch mostly out of necessity and my husband loves it.  It also keeps me from relying on convenience foods which tend to be more expensive and full of things I can't eat. 

The freezer chest is a great tool for reducing food costs.  I only buy organic or local pastured meats.  I mostly buy whole chickens over cut parts. We get usually get 4 to 5 meals from a good sized chicken plus the broth. You can cut them up your self before putting them in the freezer or just roast them like I do.  The left overs get made into various dishes and the bones get made into broth which gets used for soups, gravies, and cooking rice. It can be frozen of pressure canned. We get usually get 4 to 5 meals from a good sized chicken plus the broth. We also get a very large turkey from local farm and freeze the leftovers along with making broth. 

I buy pork, lamb, and beef buy the whole or half animal from local farms.  This saves me a lot of money on high quality pastured meat.  I also get the organ meats and soup bones.  I picked up a cook book called Odd Bits to learn how to cook all of this.  It helps me get the extra B vitamins I need and I use up more of the animal which lowers the overall cost.  Batch cooking and freezing leftovers in meal sized portions is a huge time and money saver particularly when I am not feeling well. 


Tracking prices and stocking up when you find a deal.  Basically start tracking what you are paying for things and track when they go on sale and stock up when they do.   You can do this with one store but also consider online, local farms, and other local stores.  I am finding Amazon to have the best pricing on a few things so I get that stuff shipped to the house.  When you do find a good sale try and buy enough to get to the next time it is on sale.  After a while you will find that sales rotate and you will be a better judge on how much to buy.  I buy lots of butter when I find a good sale and freeze it.  November and December I pick up organic flour and baking chocolate because the  local coop runs a sale.  I just get enough to cover the various family events but why pay full price if I don't have too.

I garden and have the time to preserve quite a bit of the harvest.  Even if you can't garden you can easily  take advantage of seasonal produce.  This time of year we have good deals on winter squashes and root veggies.  I buy a good sized box butternut squash from my local farm stand for $12.00.  I store it in the basement and squash till next spring. I will also pick up a hubbard squash and cut it up and freeze it in meal sized chunks to eat over the winter.  This time of year I have lots tomatoes, peppers, and tomatillos so I made couple of gallons of chili and put it in the freezer.   I also grow my own cooking herbs which can be easily done in pots if not the yard. These are easy to grow and need little care once established.

If you have the time you can start getting very creative on sourcing high quality foods. Cedar is an expert at this and her various threads are a goldmine of information. 
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: redrider on October 03, 2017, 07:34:19 AM
A thousand seems high. I figure on $125 - $150 a week for the two of us, so $500 - $600 per month. That's for all groceries, not just food.

But it is getting tougher. It's a good thing there's no inflation - I'd be starving!

rr
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: osubuckeye4 on October 03, 2017, 07:55:10 AM
Our family (wife, myself, kid, little dog) spends in the $900-1200/mo range these days, and we're pretty "wasteful"... we're going out to eat at least two times a month at sit-down restaurants with alcoholic drinks, and ordering in at least once a week. If we had to cut it down, we could get down to $800 without too large a hassle at all. If we completely changed our lifestyle and made everything from scratch, I'm sure we could get it considerably lower... there's just not enough hours in the day (well there are, just not enough desire to dedicate our free time to cooking)


I unfortunately can't really help you because I can't understand how you eat mostly chicken but are spending about $47/day on food? ($1400/30 days = $46.67).

 As other have said, maybe start to save your receipts and figure out trends to see where it's all going? My guess is one of two things:

1) You're going out to eat more often than you realize. My wife went through something similar about 2 years ago, she asked why we were spending so much on food and I explained it was because we were going out to eat at nice restaurants 4-5 times a month. She didn't believe it, so I showed her our bank statements and she was legitimately surprised.

2) You're not actually spending $1400 a month on just food, but, you're subconsciously lumping in with the purchased food different household expenses like cleaning supplies and things of that nature that you purchase while shopping for food, which do add up.


My guess it's a combo of 1+2, but until you start to go over those itemized receipts, I couldn't say for sure.
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: Stwood on October 03, 2017, 08:31:03 AM
That's for all groceries, not just food.



Same here. I didn't include that in my post. TP, napkins, etc
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: Carl on October 03, 2017, 08:34:55 AM
Same here. I didn't include that in my post. TP, napkins, etc

I never could get the ratio of food to TP just right. :P
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: Stwood on October 03, 2017, 08:36:56 AM
I never could get the ratio of food to TP just right. :P

Same problem here.  :facepalm: :rofl:

One week yer overstocked. The next week yer out.
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: bigbear on October 03, 2017, 08:56:22 AM
My family of 7 spends $300/week ($1200/month) on food and household items (TP, cleaning supplies, etc.).  Our eating out money is in our recreation budget (like MM said).

We don't focus too much on organic.  There's usually a significant price difference (30-75% depending on the item).  And that expense is just not in our budget.  And while I imagine organic is better than conventional, I'm not convinced how much better.  It's the preservative type things that we try to steer away from.  Our diet isn't perfect, but it's where we are now.

Organic vs. conventional studies are mixed (from a nutrient perspective, not ecology):
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-is-organic-food#section7

Interesting article from the processed food standpoint (the word 'organic' doesn't appear in the article, they focus on 'real' food):
http://www.summertomato.com/processed-food-vs-real-food

Our shopping:
Most of our shopping is at the local Giant grocer (for the better quality produce compared to other grocers in the area).  We do get some meats at Wal-Mart once a month or so.  But we do go to a 'bent/dent' type store for some good deals once a month or so.  We don't go to a bunch of grocers to get the best deal (just not worth our time).  We don't do too much couponing (just what we happen to stumble across that matches what we normally buy and where we shop).  But whenever there's a good sale on meat, we load up.  The more expensive grocer usually has a really good meat sale twice a year.  So we keep an eye out every spring/fall for that.  We don't have a membership to Sams/BJs/Costco any more (none within 30 minutes of the house).  We don't buy any prepared meals or things like frozen nuggets.  We don't make noodles or breads much (just not enough time in the day for us).  We usually invite friends/family over for dinner once a month. 

It's tough to tell someone to eat 'less healthy.'  Obviously it's great to eat healthy.  But expect to pay more.  Health, time, and cost are competing priorities in ways.  Organic typically requires more work for the grower than chemicals.  Plus organic may not just be healthier, it's trendy too.  So that's bumping the price up in the market.  Unfortunately, if you want to spend less, you probably either need to grow more of your own or move away from organic.  But will that come at a cost for health care down the line?

Maybe it's where I live (SE PA)... but I've found picking fruit can be as expensive as getting them at the grocery.  CSA's are pricey too (especially if you're like many people I know who end up wasting much of their produce).  We typically pick blueberries, cherries, and apples.  Again, not an organic orchard.  We freeze a bunch, make some pie filling, and apple sauce.  But it's more for the 'experience' than a real cost savings.  So I can't wait until our bushes/trees are in full production! 

Our menus:
A normal weekday breakfast include yogurts, fruit, and cereal/oatmeal.  On weekends, I'll make eggs, pancakes, etc. on Saturdays.  I brew coffee for the ride in to work.  Lunch for me is leftovers, yogurt, fruit, water.  Lunch for the family is ham/cheese rollups, egg salad, fruit, granola bar, chips, milk/water.  Dinner's a meat (chicken and ground beef most commonly), starch (potato, rice, noodle commonly), and frozen veggie whether it's in separate, grilled, casserole, crockpot, soup... with milk/water/lemonade/tea.  My father-in-law is a McCormick retiree, so we have access to the company store.  Usually it's pennies on the dollar, so we rarely buy spices elsewhere.  Not sure I'd buy their pre-mixed seasonings otherwise (usually a little too salty for me anyway).  We have a desert after nearly every dinner (ice cream or cookies commonly).  We have homemade cookies about half the time (wish it were more, but time...).  The most common snacks we have in the house are Cheese Nips, potato chips, and whatever candy is leftover from summer parades (still have a bucket), Easter (still have a bunny or 3), etc... 

Our garden:
Our garden offsets about 33-50% of veggies in the summer.  And about 5% the rest of the year (just froze 5 more meals worth of beans last weekend).  We buy a few dozen ear of corn from the farmer down the street ($3 for 13) to eat fresh and freeze (probably have 10 meals worth frozen).  Much cheaper than fresh store bought ears and pretty competitive with prepackaged/frozen (about $0.75/lb).  It's not an organic farm and probably uses GMO corn (like most scaled farmers) though.  We have chickens, so that's a few breakfasts and lunches (and sometimes a dinner).  I sell a few cartons (usually two cartons for $5/18 eggs a week) at work to offset feed costs and have enough eggs for the family.  Our blueberry and raspberry bushes really started producing this years.  They were nice to have in a bowl, on pancakes/cereal, or on a pound cake.  But not enough to put up for winter.  I expect my apple trees to be there in a couple of years.
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: Morning Sunshine on October 03, 2017, 09:51:04 AM
We call "groceries" anything that is consumed: human food, dog food, chicken feed, cow food, TP, paper goods, etc.
household is reusable - dishes, cloth napkins (might I recommend these!  we got cheap ones somewhere.  I do not iron them  ::) just wash and fold in half in a cute basket), towels, etc.

eating out is separate (unless I am pregnant, then it is an Essential)


when shopping, look at expiration dates: cream cheese for example is usually 6 months out.  When it is about $1/8oz package (usually 1.79), I buy 24 of them.  That lasts us until they come on sale again (as long as hubby doesn't make a lot of cheesecake).  Sour cream is the same.
Chips come on sale around the super bowl and Memorial/Labor day.  Baking supplies - including herbs and spices - in early November to after Christmas.
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: surfivor on October 03, 2017, 10:34:32 AM
 That seems like a lot of money, what are the higher cost items ?
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: LvsChant on October 03, 2017, 10:42:07 AM
In my opinion, a big part of shopping frugally for food is watching the sales in your local grocery stores... stock up on the special of the week. Even if you don't coupon at all (and many of the manufacturers' coupons are for junk food, after all), watching sales is a huge savings. If you are insistent that everything must be organic, obviously this won't really work out for you, since those items rarely (if ever) are sold as "loss-leaders" in the grocery store ads. Your CSA probably helps with that, though.

If you want only grass-fed beef or organically raised chicken and eggs, you do have options. For the beef, you can often find a local producer of grass-fed cows that you can purchase and have butchered locally... the price per lb will be slightly higher than the grocery store's regular beef prices, but much less than the organic labelled beef. You will have to buy a lot more at one time than you may typically do, and if you mostly eat a particular cut of beef, you'll be faced with things you have never (probably) bought in the past... talk to the butcher about the options for the way the beef is butchered and packaged to suit yourself. You can also get them to save the beef fat in case you want to prepare your own tallow (soapmakers often like to do this). You can also get them to save you some soup bones for making your own beef stock.

If you want organic chicken and eggs, it may well be worth raising your own or finding someone near you who does. It will still be higher than sale prices on chicken and eggs at the grocery store (non-organic), but maybe less than the organic labeled stuff.

For example... when coffee is on sale for $5.99 for a big 2-lb container, I stock up. I typically rotate a 6-month supply in my pantry for that. Like MS, I buy certain things for the pantry during seasonal sales... When the Delmonico steaks are on sale at $4.99/lb, I buy a LOT. Don't buy things that are out of season... citrus in the dead of winter is a good buy... green chiles in the fall... asparagus in the spring.

Next, plan a menu for the week (even if it is just in your head). Don't neglect pulling things out of the freezer in time to thaw naturally, or you'll find yourself shopping last-minute and paying the highest price for whatever sounds good to you at the store.

I don't think I have paid more than $600/month for all our groceries in years (we feed our family of three plus my parents). I know this is probably low compared to most people, but I also do a lot of canning/dehydrating, etc.

Remember that toiletries (toothpaste, soap, laundry detergent, shaving cream, razors...) all are crazy cheap if you watch the specials on them (southernsavers.com is a great site) at the drugstores -- you'll never really get as good a deal on this stuff at the grocery store, in my experience. I really never pay more than $1/tube of toothpaste (and that is for Crest, which my husband demands... the rest are often free or about $.50).

Truly... this is mostly about changing your habits, which takes time and (to some extent) involves a learning curve. Be creative... make it fun...
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: Carl on October 03, 2017, 11:24:44 AM
Plan meals for a week and shop from a list,buying nothing extra...
make larger stock of soaps,Toilet paper ,etc and only shop sales.
Use non disposable dishes,silverware,napkins.
Package leftovers as meals for next day or as soup starters.
Rice,pastas,potatoes,squash make great components to base a meal and stretch your dollars.
Eating healthy can be less costly when buying in bulk and often spices can make a basic meal taste special.
Eat seasonal as imported foodstuffs are costly often many times the cost of local produce.
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: Black November on October 03, 2017, 11:25:33 AM
[DAY 1]

I skipped breakfast, but my wife had a couple eggs
Left overs for lunch

Wife and I split a $10 sandwich for dinner [Jersey Mike's]

However she also went to the store to grab some groceries to stock the fridge: (These have not yet been consumed)

1qty @ $2.29 Simply Lemonade = $2.29
4qty @ $1.99 Forage Lemon yogurt = $7.96
1qty @ $4.79 Daves killer bread = $4.79
1qty @ $3.80 Almond butter = $3.80
1qty @ $7.99 Pastured Dozen Eggs = $7.99
4.23lbs @ $2.99 Organic grapes =  $12.65
Total with tax = $39.69

So I guess we spent $50 today  :-[
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: LVWood on October 03, 2017, 11:48:00 AM
8 dollar eggs?
Not a chance in (you know where) I would ever spend that much for a dozen.
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: Carl on October 03, 2017, 12:29:00 PM
  You butter your almonds?  gasp...$8 eggs, are they CONDOR EGGS? 
I suggest that you get some vitamins and eat eggs off the rack. or find some farm fresh eggs.
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: Smurf Hunter on October 03, 2017, 12:32:55 PM
8 dollar eggs?
Not a chance in (you know where) I would ever spend that much for a dozen.

I splurge $3.59 for a dozen XL local eggs delivered by the milk man.  If I've in a pinch and need a lot more, I can get the Kroger 18 pack mass produced stuff for a couple dollars.
4+ lbs. of grapes?  That's a lot of fiber!

In any case, I don't really see a meal besides breakfast in those groceries. 

I'm no chef, but I enjoy pretending I am.  By that I mean there are staples I try to keep on hand at all times.

1) chicken breasts
2) chicken broth
3) onions/carrots/celery
4) eggs
5) oils/spices/etc

Obviously that's not all, but that baseline allows lots of flexibility.  Could be stir fry, a soup, a casserole...

Give me some bell peppers, I've got everything for chicken fajitas.
A bag of frozen peas and carrots?  A chicken pot pie.

Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: Morning Sunshine on October 03, 2017, 12:59:46 PM
Eggs last a long time.  Even if you could only get to the rural areas around you once a month to buy eggs, you could keep 8 dz in your fridge for a month before they go bad.  Local homegrown eggs around here are $4/dz.

Also, that grocery stop looks like a "I'm hungry and want something quick and easy but still healthy" instead of a grocery run.

Maybe try to limit store runs to once a week.  I bet you save $100 right there.
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: mountainmoma on October 03, 2017, 01:07:10 PM
[DAY 1]

I skipped breakfast, but my wife had a couple eggs
Left overs for lunch

Wife and I split a $10 sandwich for dinner [Jersey Mike's]

However she also went to the store to grab some groceries to stock the fridge: (These have not yet been consumed)

1qty @ $2.29 Simply Lemonade = $2.29
4qty @ $1.99 Forage Lemon yogurt = $7.96
1qty @ $4.79 Daves killer bread = $4.79
1qty @ $3.80 Almond butter = $3.80
1qty @ $7.99 Pastured Dozen Eggs = $7.99
4.23lbs @ $2.99 Organic grapes =  $12.65
Total with tax = $39.69

So I guess we spent $50 today  :-[

Edited to say, I agree with Morning Sunshine, that is not a thought out once a week grocery store run. ANd, yes, going hungry after work does lead to this type of impulse buys. Shop once a week, make do in between and money will be saved. Keep tracking it....

Prices are similar to around here, although good quality eggs can be had for $7 in some spots. The eggs are not the killer on the budget, you likely are not buying these every day -- keep tracking.... Almond butter depends on how often you are going thru it. Daves killer bread is a good bread at a reasonable price. Actually, all of it depends on how often...so keep tracking, and soon you will see if you have an expesive yogurt, beverage or almond butter habit or something else ... it will become clear.

If it was my budget, so far I would think the eggs are reasonable as it is a good quality, whole food. Daves bread is totally reasonable. If the yogurt was one or two containers a day, I might think it was cheaper to buy a quart of yogurt, put it in container to bring to work with a dollup of jam. I would not have bought the grapes as an out of season, imported item, even if labeled organic. I would be looking for apples and pears, and a lower price. Grapes are nice, but that is 13$ for not much nutrients. Beverages can be a budget killer, so depends on how much a month. If that is 1/2 pound f almond butter, it is a reasonable price. I like it fresh ground, but cant afford it.

backyard eggs are often $7/dozen, organic feed around here.
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: Black November on October 03, 2017, 01:16:38 PM
8 dollar eggs?
Not a chance in (you know where) I would ever spend that much for a dozen.


I got to double check.... the receipt just says Pasture Verd 7.99 I assumed it was eggs but not sure what Pastured Verd is...
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: Carl on October 03, 2017, 01:22:34 PM
  I had to look at your profile...I live in Louisiana and a dozen farm eggs,or even duck eggs (they taste the same!) at the local health food market cost $2 to $2.49 and I bet many things ,say HOLSUM BREAD is $2.19 a loaf, back to my thought is your economy and produce is not the same average cost where you are verses where I am as I get whole,dressed,farm raised chicken for $3.49 (whole chicken,not a pound) and that is already ROASTED!

Last thought is we have a cell phone APP that price shops local stores for best prices and coupons etc and bet you also can find one...it takes a bit of work to economise ,but well worth the effort.
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: Cedar on October 03, 2017, 01:39:05 PM
Quote
1qty @ $2.29 Simply Lemonade = $2.29
4qty @ $1.99 Forage Lemon yogurt = $7.96
1qty @ $4.79 Daves killer bread = $4.79
1qty @ $3.80 Almond butter = $3.80
1qty @ $7.99 Pastured Dozen Eggs = $7.99
4.23lbs @ $2.99 Organic grapes =  $12.65
Total with tax = $39.69

Lemonade:
1 bottle of organic lemon juice $3.00, but use 1/4 cup per half gallon
Water $0.00
1/4-1/2 cup sugar per half gallon

You will get at least 5 gallons (20qts)  of lemonade for around $5 or less. Which means you saved yourself $43.51.


Bread

I love Dave's, but you can easily make bread... For not very much. Add whatever you want in it. I have posted my normal gi-tp bread recipe here a few times. I hate day old bread, so make it in mini pans. That is what I have been doing the last two years now. Splurge and get Dave's now and again, with Dave's look for day old. I get it at Gleaners is why I eat it, but I would never pay that price.

yogurt
Buy some organic milk $10/gallon. Buy your Forage Lemon yogurt $8 for 24oz. Mother it off in a Crock-Pot and ice chest, towels....and you will get 140.80 oz for $18. Then mother it off again with the last cup. After a few to nds, you might have to buy a few tablespoons of the Forage lemon again.

Almond butter
It is probably cheaper to buy it, unless you get a great find on almonds... After Christmas? But try making nut butter. REALLY easy to do.

Eggs
Are the eggs you buy made out of silver or gold? Yikes. Someone has some backyard hens somewhere. Don't buy them for over $3-3.50/doz. Look up n CL if you have to.

Grapes:
Buy and eat what is in season. You have local grapes around right now. Look on CL, call extension. Backyard grape owners don't spray their grapes.

Cedar
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: Cedar on October 03, 2017, 01:54:53 PM
It does sound like work, but making bread is 15 mins hands on time. If I am in a hurry, I use the breadmaker for kneading it, but anymore I find it is easier to mix, knead, rise in the same bowl, less stuff to wash. Use as little flour s you can for kneading, it has a thinner crust.

Yogurt? 5 minutes hands on time?

Every single person I have made homemade lemonade for, starts making it at their house. I used to stock cases of lemon juice for Lemonade.

I read a very long time ago, each time you take a trip to the grocery store, adds on $40 over your intended purchases. I literally was saving my ex bf and his son $5,000-8,000 a year in groceries, as I was not buying ready made food, and started shopping once a month, which then dnded up being once every couple months.

My brother and his wife shop daily for groceries.. I hate to see their grocery bill, but if  that $40 is true, they spend a schwack extra.

Cedar
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: osubuckeye4 on October 03, 2017, 02:31:29 PM
Lemonade:
1 bottle of organic lemon juice $3.00, but use 1/4 cup per half gallon
Water $0.00
1/4-1/2 cup sugar per half gallon

You will get at least 5 gallons (20qts)  of lemonade for around $5 or less. Which means you saved yourself $43.51.

That's a great suggestion. I switched to water/coffee and my wife mostly drinks water along with the occasional "luxury" soda brand once or twice a week, but if we're ever entertaining a bunch of people I'll put that lemonade recipe to use.


Not that the markup on most pre-made stuff isn't absurd, but the markup on 64-128 oz bottles of lemonade/fruit juices is especially INSANE (and out here, you also have to deal with the "sugary beverage" tax, don't get me started on that)
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: David in MN on October 03, 2017, 03:00:56 PM
I used to shop daily. It actually can save money. You just buy the freshest ingredients and take advantage of current sales. That's why good chefs do it. But that was pre-baby.

It weirds some people out that I would walk in not knowing what I would cook that night and decide after looking over the produce and meat. I'm not afraid to ask the butcher what the best deal is. At the end of the week leftover veggies become stock in the freezer.

It's a more European way to cook but it will force you to be a better cook because you're literally playing Iron Chef every day. I usually kept it under $20. Granted there would be days where I'm coming home with shrimp, blood oranges, and artichokes sweating a little. But if you've got cookbooks from the world over you'll hit something.

Of course staples (butter, onions, carrots, olive oil, flour, cheese, etc.) were Costco hits. So at about $700 per month we ate the way one would at a trendy French bistro. It's not a bad lifestyle. But I was a professional cook on/off for about 8 years.
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: Cedar on October 03, 2017, 05:20:51 PM
the occasional "luxury" soda brand once or twice a week,

Other than my detested mountain dew I drink for migraines, we don't drink soda around here. We love organic  spritzers, but started taking club soda, pour it into our glass drinking bottles (recycled Voss), add a tablespoon of organic juice, or the juice off homecanned berries, and you got spritzer. I have been eyeballing those machines which make carbonated water, but in a pinch, I just do tapwater and juice. I basically get 6-8 "cans" of luxury soda for  $1.50 tops.

Cedar

Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: Smurf Hunter on October 03, 2017, 05:30:47 PM
Other than my detested mountain dew I drink for migraines, we don't drink soda around here. We love organic  spritzers, but started taking club soda, pour it into our glass drinking bottles (recycled Voss), add a tablespoon of organic juice, or the juice off homecanned berries, and you got spritzer. I have been eyeballing those machines which make carbonated water, but in a pinch, I just do tapwater and juice. I basically get 6-8 "cans" of luxury soda for  $1.50 tops.

Cedar

I have 5 gallon "corny kegs" that originally were for soda-pop but are now used by home beer brewers.  Just add water and turn on the CO2 pressure.  You can buy the machine, but I'm only out $100 in hardware and can of course serve draft beer too.  (I haven't made beer in ages)
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: Fixit on October 03, 2017, 07:37:03 PM
First let me say that you are spending more a month on food than I make . On a high dollar month i may spend $200. Yes we grind our own flours and make our own foods from staples . Sugar , salt  and most herbs that we don't grow are purchased in bulk .
 We grow a lot of our own stuff plus I help with a food give away every week . That's 5 to 6 hours of work but in turn after it is over I look at the surplus and take home what I can use now or preserve for future use. I have left there with lots of organic mark produce that just needed someone to put it up .
 This works for me . Your lifestyle is different and what I have found is that most people adjust their lifestyle based on their income. I am not sure how you spend $8 for eggs. Though that's about what Jack gets for his duck eggs.
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: Frugal Upstate on October 04, 2017, 06:18:22 AM
I always have a hard time saying how much we spend in a month because we've had a deep pantry for so long, bought bulk meat, canned etc.  My monthly cash envelope for groceries for our family of 4 (without eating out, or including dog food) is $200, but I frequently pilfer up to $100 from other envelopes.  Special canning buys (like $30 for two boxes of paste tomatoes to make salsa & sauce) might be extra but then lessen the cost later. 

Eating all organic is far more expensive.  Right now ALDI and Walmart are running conventional eggs at $.79 a dozen.  So you are paying $7.20 more for your eggs.  If you buy eggs twice a month, that's $172.80 more per year on eggs than if you bought conventional.  Is that worth it in order to have organic? Only you can decide.  You may feel yes, it is due to food quality concerns.  But you probably have multiple items like that

I blogged about frugal living for 10 years, and I always said, you should save money on the things that don't really matter, so that you have the money for the things that do natter to you...and only you can decide what things do matter to you. 

I'm going to guess that you tend to do all your shopping at one store because it's convenient, and that the in store is where you can get the organic/natural products that are important to you.  Perhaps if you separated out the "important" stuff from the "unimportant", and then price shopped around for that less important stuff at more discount sources you could trim a bit of the fat?

Also if you haven't checked out the organic products at places like Walmart, Target & ALDI in the last few years, you may be surprised at the variety, quality & price.

Good luck
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: Redman on October 04, 2017, 07:19:35 AM
I'm going to guess that you tend to do all your shopping at one store because it's convenient, .........
Also if you haven't checked out the organic products at places like Walmart, Target & ALDI in the last few years, you may be surprised at the variety, quality & price.

Good luck

We bypass the convenient store, only 1/2 mile away, and go to another 6 miles away. Why? Prices. For what we would spend at the local store we can buy twice as much at the other store. The other store is a "value" store as opposed to an "up scale" store. Wife likes chips etc. I refuse to buy them anywhere but Aldi's, we also buy canned goods only at Aldi's unless there is a product we want that they don't have. I can go the the value store and Aldi's in the same mileage as a round trip to the value store so I plan our buying to do that when ever possible. That being said I do watch the flyers for the local store and will go there of the price is right on items we want.
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: osubuckeye4 on October 04, 2017, 07:50:54 AM
Other than my detested mountain dew I drink for migraines, we don't drink soda around here. We love organic  spritzers, but started taking club soda, pour it into our glass drinking bottles (recycled Voss), add a tablespoon of organic juice, or the juice off homecanned berries, and you got spritzer. I have been eyeballing those machines which make carbonated water, but in a pinch, I just do tapwater and juice. I basically get 6-8 "cans" of luxury soda for  $1.50 tops.

Cedar

We have a soda stream and when we were avid pop drinkers we used it very often. These days though, we mostly just make carbonated water with it. I'll say that it's way cheaper in the long run to pay the $50 for the soda stream and then $12 for the CO2 tank (refills are less), than it is to buy seltzer water by the bottle/case. The bottles are ridiculously marked up, but the cases definitely add up over time as well.


That said, we've pretty much cut out soda as a family. My wife will occasionally pick up a 4 or 6 pack of something on the exotic/costly side (Jones, Cactus Cooler, Frostie Blue Cream, etc.) if she is feeling like a treat, but that will sit in our fridge for a month before it's gone.

If it became more of a habit for her, I'd look into a way to mitigate the cost.. but $8/month for her to have a soda on a weekend or after a long day at work once in a blue moon isn't breaking the bank by any stretch. There's a ton of other luxuries we could cut before it came to that.



On my end, I switched from buying a case of beer every week... to buying a handle of cheap scotch/whiskey... to now buying a bottle of nice scotch/whiskey once a month (most months I don't even finish it, so I've started to established a collection of good scotches/whiskeys).

I don't know, I found the more often I drank cheap booze... the less I appreciated it. It didn't really feel like a treat or celebration, it felt like routine and I didn't think it was a good routine to establish.



As I write this, I don't know if any of this helps Black November at all  :-\... just sharing household experiences/trends that we've put into practice. I'll stop now and let someone else get the thread back on track.  8)
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: LvsChant on October 04, 2017, 10:43:54 AM
@Cedar: Interesting about the extra $40 per shopping trip. I have to say that my typical shopping is done at least once/week. That is the best way to be sure to catch all the sales on the grocery store's specials. Many items go on sale about every 6 weeks or so in a rotating cycle, so if I buy enough to last at least 6 weeks of a great sale item, chances are good that I'll catch it when it goes on sale the next time -- but not if I only shop once/month.

I think the problem can be solved with discipline (and never shop when you are hungry :) ) I typically check out with only the sale items in my cart and nothing else. Of course, I am grateful to all those impulse shoppers who make it possible for me to get the great deals. If everyone shopped like I do, the grocery stores would have to either raise prices or go out of business...
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: mountainmoma on October 04, 2017, 11:27:11 AM
@Cedar: Interesting about the extra $40 per shopping trip. I have to say that my typical shopping is done at least once/week. That is the best way to be sure to catch all the sales on the grocery store's specials. Many items go on sale about every 6 weeks or so in a rotating cycle, so if I buy enough to last at least 6 weeks of a great sale item, chances are good that I'll catch it when it goes on sale the next time -- but not if I only shop once/month.

I think the problem can be solved with discipline (and never shop when you are hungry :) ) I typically check out with only the sale items in my cart and nothing else. Of course, I am grateful to all those impulse shoppers who make it possible for me to get the great deals. If everyone shopped like I do, the grocery stores would have to either raise prices or go out of business...

Yes, discipline. I have been shopping for staples from a once a month delivery, and at Grocery Outlet. But, this weekend, I happened on a sale flyer for my local health food store, and had 2 items that I would use unbelievably cheap. Westbrae organic canned beans for $1/can, normally these are $2.69/can. Yes, I know that cheaper beans can be bought, maybe at .69/can on sale somewhere else. But, Westbrae is a much better quality, because no pesticides, yes, but also their cans are safer and the actual quality of the beans by sight and taste are better. So, I got some, may go back for a few more, I more often eat from dried beans, lentils an awful lot and some pintos, but make home made hummus from garbanzos and like a few other ready cans for when I mess up on plans. The other item was Natures path organic cereal that was 1/2 off. So, I bought 2 of the large bulk bags, which altogether is equivalent to 5 normal sized boxes. So, because of sale is now $2/box equivalent. There are some weeks of summer where cold cereal is all I can handle, so now I have next summers cold cereal. My "impulse" buy was 2 cans of Bon Ami cleanser, as this is my main cleaning agent, so those were $1.50/each, regular priced. That is never on sale, but is still cheap and effective ( I can clean without scratching glass shower doors, glass tiles, plastic shower surrounds, as well as scour pots with one cheap product that has no bleach to bother my septic ! ) Total out the door was $23 dollars, 10 cans organic beans, 4 lbs organic gluten free cereal, 2 cans cleaner.

Back to your planning for this thread, so yes, buy a sale if it truly is what you use that is the time to stock up. Otherwise, stick to the plan. Since you have a CSA, the best may be to keep your running list on the refrigerator, of course, for those staple items you see are running low, then once you see what vegetables you have for the week, look what else you have in the pantry, plan meals around that, so add to your list a few things that will make those meals happen with those vegetables. Go to the store once a week, right after the csa delivery or next day, and stick to the list and the meal plan you have made.
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: Black November on October 04, 2017, 05:17:24 PM
[DAY 2]

I skipped breakfast. Wife had a few eggs
Lunch was left overs.
Dinner was a Papa Murphys pizza $16.40

Normally we do more cooking, but this week has been kinda hectic.
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: Morning Sunshine on October 04, 2017, 05:25:14 PM
[DAY 2]

I skipped breakfast. Wife had a few eggs
Lunch was left overs.
Dinner was a Papa Murphys pizza $16.40

Normally we do more cooking, but this week has been kinda hectic.

any snacks?  you did not eat anything until lunch?
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: Black November on October 04, 2017, 05:29:47 PM
Quote from: Morning Sunshine
any snacks?  you did not eat anything until lunch?
No. I know it's not healthy, but I leave for work super early so lunch and dinner are my main meals.
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: David in MN on October 04, 2017, 05:50:28 PM
I routinely eat 2 meals per day. Breakfast at 10am and dinner at 7pm. I've been digging into this and there's not really evidence that there is a correct number of meals per day. Studies are conflicting (often based on who paid for them).

I've seen a number of former athletes (I think Hershall Walker was the first I learned) cut to one meal per day. Men in particular seem to perform better with one massive meal a couple hours before bed and working their day fasting. It makes sense when you realize we recover during sleep (when every bodybuilder knows mass grows) and we tax our energy during the day. Align the hormones to feed on fat during the day and replenish overnight. This is less evident in women. Might be something in our male hunting and female gathering past.

Anyhow, my point is not to worry.
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: Stwood on October 04, 2017, 06:18:26 PM
Same here. Thats what I've done most of my life. 1-2 meals. Now that I'm retired, my meal times have changed, but still usually only 2 meals.
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: Black November on October 04, 2017, 07:22:45 PM
[DAY 3]

Skipped breakfast. Wife had two eggs
Left overs for lunch
Dinner takeout Panda Express $19.02

We also picked up our weekly big box of veggies from the CSA $33.60. Not yet consumed.

Again, we usually don't eat out so much, but it has been a strange week. Maybe now that we have more veggies, we will cook more.
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: Carl on October 05, 2017, 05:09:57 AM
  Sounds to me like you have reigned in spending just by the effort required to list the expenditures.
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: Billie D on October 05, 2017, 08:34:21 AM
I saw that you are in Bonney Lake.  I'm also from the area.  I've found that prices at Fred Meyers are usually much higher than other places in the area.
Check out your local Winco. Try not to on the weekend, it's crazy busy.
But... they aren't fancy, so the prices are lower. Often times you can actually get the larger size product cheaper than the smaller, because they got a deal on it.  I'm not a huge fan of their meats, but will buy them if I know the name brand.
Produce is good, and priced well, and they have bulk items that I buy to put up in my storage.
It's worth a shot to go and try it out!
Also... I think in Bonney Lake you have a Grocery Outlet?  I don't do my "grocery shopping" there.. but it's a good place to watch for deals, and if you sign up for their email list, you'll see when they get in some killer deals.

What CSA are you using? I've been looking around, but haven't signed up yet.
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: mountainmoma on October 05, 2017, 09:18:36 AM
  Sounds to me like you have reigned in spending just by the effort required to list the expenditures.

budgets and dieting -- the act of keeping track pushes most of the changes
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: Smurf Hunter on October 05, 2017, 09:20:09 AM
I saw that you are in Bonney Lake.  I'm also from the area.  I've found that prices at Fred Meyers are usually much higher than other places in the area.
Check out your local Winco. Try not to on the weekend, it's crazy busy.
But... they aren't fancy, so the prices are lower. Often times you can actually get the larger size product cheaper than the smaller, because they got a deal on it.  I'm not a huge fan of their meats, but will buy them if I know the name brand.
Produce is good, and priced well, and they have bulk items that I buy to put up in my storage.
It's worth a shot to go and try it out!
Also... I think in Bonney Lake you have a Grocery Outlet?  I don't do my "grocery shopping" there.. but it's a good place to watch for deals, and if you sign up for their email list, you'll see when they get in some killer deals.

What CSA are you using? I've been looking around, but haven't signed up yet.

I'm about 10 miles north of your guys in Auburn.  I think Fred Meyer is the most affordable of the mainstream super markets.  Try going to QFC or Safeway and you're bill might increase 20%.

I sometimes hit the WinCo in Kent for bulk food purchases.  They sell mylar, food grade buckets, grain, dried soup and even dog food by bulk weight.  Usually dry goods are what I'm after, as their meat and produce is of marginal quality for my tastes. While there are some good values, I feel like shopping there is psychological conditioning for an international relief organization. If you want to hear a dozen foreign languages, and have as many people cut in front of you, pay with coins, demanding the clerk allow them to use EBT for tobacco, steal your parking spot, etc. the WinCo off 212th in Kent, WA is for you!
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: Black November on October 05, 2017, 09:23:16 AM
What CSA are you using? I've been looking around, but haven't signed up yet.

Been a member for many years. They are great http://www.takerootfarm.com/
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: LvsChant on October 05, 2017, 10:12:34 AM
PS: I hope you don't take any comments on your purchases as criticism... as for me, I'm only offering comments based on my experience that may help you... I'm sure the others are doing the same.

(My husband loves Panda Express -- the rest of us not so much. Every now and then, he'll stop on the way home from a meeting, etc. to pick up his own special treat).
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: Stwood on October 05, 2017, 10:25:46 AM
If you want to hear a dozen foreign languages, and have as many people cut in front of you, pay with coins, demanding the clerk allow them to use EBT for tobacco, steal your parking spot, etc. the WinCo off 212th in Kent, WA is for you!

Sounds like you ought to go in and kick some ass and take numbers.  :rofl:
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: surfivor on October 05, 2017, 11:03:52 AM
 I eat out a fair amount but I go to many restaurants until I find some that I feel are good quality food and portions for the money. I also eat at buffets which are all you can eat deals for $12 etc.

 I only go out to eat when I am fairly hungry so I either eat everything or bring home leftovers
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: mountainmoma on October 05, 2017, 01:13:56 PM
Since you guys are busy, both work, the planning the weeks meals will save money, as you will have a plan. Also, having everything prepped so that the food is ready or will be so quick when you get home that it is quicker than eating out will help. A crock pot can make a meat dish or cassarole while you are at work, then you can just steam some kale to go with it, so 5 minutes after you walk thru the door, you have dinner. Crock pot can make some soups and chili, now that it is getting cooler. Then, if no time, a salad and piece of that dave's bread for toast to go with the soup
and you have dinner. I have seen that some people will prep ahead if it is going to be a busy week, then they just dump their pre-prepped zip lock bag out of the freezer, into the crock pot  in the morning. Eating dinner leftovers for lunch is a great idea, that way each day only needs one meal plan.
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: AvenueQ on October 05, 2017, 01:21:56 PM
I have seen that some people will prep ahead if it is going to be a busy week, then they just dump their pre-prepped zip lock bag out of the freezer, into the crock pot  in the morning.

America's Test Kitchen has you covered in that respect, if you need some recipe ideas:  The Complete Make-Ahead Cookbook. (https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Make-Ahead-Cookbook-Appetizers-Desserts/dp/1940352886/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1507231183&sr=8-5&keywords=america%27s+test+kitchen)
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: Frugal Upstate on October 06, 2017, 05:45:01 AM
Im also.jyst wondering, since you seem to eat fresh, natural and/or organic, how are you handling your Long term food storage?
Title: Re: Help! My wife and I somehow average $1400 a month on food
Post by: Black November on October 06, 2017, 09:30:40 AM
[DAY 4]

I skipped Breakfast. Wife had two eggs
I had a bowl of cereal for lunch, and wife had left overs.
Dinner was chicken $7.64 and bushes baked beans from storage.

Again this is not a normal week, and probably not a good week to be conducting this exercise. [Details to follow.....]

Im also.jyst wondering, since you seem to eat fresh, natural and/or organic, how are you handling your Long term food storage?

Like many of us on TSP I have a mini supermarket in my garage consisting of 9 guerrilla racks.

Below is what I have been using over the years.

My approximate contents:

Utility Rack 1 - Hygiene Soaps, Toilet paper, toothpaste, medical,
Utility Rack 2 - Small Propane bottles, tiki fuel, Cleaning chemicals, Gasoline, light bulbs batteries, Black out kit
Food Rack 3 - Dog food, glass jars, dried pasta, dried fruit, small bags dried beans, vacuum pack jars of rice,
Food/ Bev Rack 4 - Juices/small bottled water, Canned Goods/ condiments, Baking goods
Food Equip Rack 5 - canner, dehydrator, slow cooker, kitchen Fermentation crock, food slicer, food processor   
Food Rack 6 - Empty Jars and over flow jars of food, Soymilk, soup stock
Food Rack 7 - Wine making equipment, and Decomissioned DIY Aeroponics setup
Food Rack 8 - ???? I forget
Hanging Rack 9 - Use for Dry curing biltong, sausages, and other meats also has a fan pointing on it.
I got to go out and check what is on the other rack. I got this info from one on my old posts 3 years ago.