What's your grocery bill look like?


paleo_xfit_momma

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There's not much point in me comparing costs with you 'cos I'm in the UK and so prices are probably completely different over here. I am on a tight budget so have to watch what I spend. I get a delivery of locally grown organic veg once a week and visit the farmer's market which is on every two weeks to get meat from a local farm. Those are my indulgences, the rest I try to do as cheaply as possible. I'd love to buy all organic veg and organic pastured meat but it'd be slim pickings if I tried. I prioritise fatty cuts of meat or ground beef from the farm, lean meat I buy commercial when they're on special. I eat a lot of eggs, they're organic but I shop for the cheapest and if I top up on veg I buy what's cheapest at the local discount store.

I look for things like tinned tomatoes, olives, coconut milk, oil, organic coffee, tuna, salmon, sardines etc when they're cheapest or reduced and stock up (after scrutinising the labels obviosly). Apart from that I don't buy a lot and this is where I save. I never felt I bought a lot of rubbish but looking back I obiously did :huh:. I used to buy a lot of gluten free products which were quite dear and when you add in ready meals. soups, shed loads of fruit (a lot of which went off before I ate it), it all mounts up.

This way of eating can seem really expensive when you first start, I know it did to me, but it is possible to limit the expense a bit. Good luck with it.

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I struggle with how much I spend, sometimes, but since I have few other expenses and live very frugally in general, I try to relax when it comes to paying for good food. Not everyone, however, has this option (and I likely will not always, too).

Here's a decent resource for eating this way frugally: http://paleoonabudget.com/

And I have a few tips:

  • Stock up on meats when they're on sale, or better yet, manager's special. Either freeze them as is, cook and then freeze, or cook up and refrigerate (this is also a time-saving method). Also, you can buy more frugal cuts of meat, or a whole chicken (which comes with bones for making broth!) instead of the pricey boneless skinless chicken breast, for example.
  • Stock up on frozen vegetables. If you're not super concerned about buying organic, you can get all kinds of variety for $1/lb (where I am, at least) during sales. During the week, I often eat 1/2-2/3 fresh vegetables (for salads and other raw purposes, veggies I want to eat organic, and ones that are just better fresh) and 1/3-1/2 frozen vegetables (quick and easy, bulk up vegetable content, and budget-friendly).
  • Read your stores' circulars before heading out. I typically shop at a variety of stores, and check all the flyers weekly. This past week, avocados were 79c each at one store, and two dollars at another! Then I made shopping lists for each store I planned to visit.
  • Buy canned tomatoes and tomato paste to make tons of sauce, cheap.
  • Sweet potatoes are typically a budget-friendly food, as are onions, cabbage, plantains, etc. Learn to enjoy these, if they're available to you.
  • Eat in season! I try not to buy berries unless it's the summer because, well, in the winter they're ridiculously expensive! I've been able to find organic butternut squash for 29c per pound at the peak of its season, and mangoes for 29c each when they were overripe. Learn what the seasonality is for fruits and vegetables in your region, and use it to guide your purchases.
  • ISWF has a bunch of PDF downloads, some of which might be useful for you here: http://whole9life.com/itstartswithfood/
  • Eat eggs. You'd be hard-pressed to find another way to get good protein quite as cheap.

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If you can, get a Costco membership. Before W30, we never bought produce there, because we didn't think we could eat it all in a week. Now, we do on a regular basis! Also, they carry suprising things like coconut oil, grass fed beef, and lots of sausage that is W30 compliant.

My number 1 rule is to buy all of our meat in bulk and freeze it. The only exception is the occasional steak that I'll buy spur of the moment, but even then I look to see if the store is running a special on "club packs" with 4 or 6 steaks. Also, make sure you're planning your menus at least a week at a time - if I get lazy and don't do a whole week's shopping at once, my spending goes through the roof that week.

Also, not sure if you're working on a weekly or monthly grocery budget, but try to stick to a monthly budget - this allows you to grab a great deal on meat (which you can freeze) even if it means going over the week's budget, but then the next week you might not need to buy meat at all.

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Hi there... It's hard to compare costs from region to region or country to country, so it might not help to know what my budget is. If we are talking just food, for 2 of us, the dog (eats some people food) and 2 young adults that also live here and eat with us occasionally.... As well as entertaining at least once a week in some way (having people over or providing meals to others), we spend about 6 - 700 a month. I use as much grass fed as possible, and we support local business when we can. This also includes any household items like toiletries and garbage bags. I stock up when I find things on sale, so I might spend more one month but it drops my bill for the next 2 months. Getting started with anything new is always the most expensive part. After a couple of months you'll find the best prices for the items you use frequently and stock up when you find them on sale. There are areas I won't compromise on. I like trader joes sardines and I have to have them in the house. I like oil cured olives and I must have them at all times as well. I enjoy good coffee beans, so I get them from either a local roaster or specific brands at home goods or TJ Maxx. I easily spend 50 a month on coffee beans and tea bags.

I rarely eat out, buy coffee from a coffee shop, or grab a snack from a convenience store. Most people will spend 2 - 3 dollars a day on these simple things, never mind eating lunch or dinner out once a week.

I also second the not going to the doctor. I haven't been sick in years... No cold, no flu, no sniffles, no stomach bug. Literally, in years.

You can easily do this on a budget, it just means choosing certain things over others.

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I probably spend 500 a month on food. It's a lot for 2 people but I buy a lot of organic, sulfate-free, free-run eggs, etc. I always try to reduce costs by stocking up on sale items but I shop 5 days a week and spend $20-30 each time. I figure a bit is on non-food stuff (tp for example...darned expensive stuff really) but most of it is food!

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We live in VA and spend between $700 and $800 a month on food for the two of us + two cats that love to eat veggies and meat :D.

We buy about 99.9% grass-fed/pastured meat, only pastured eggs ($5 to 7 a dozen!), 95% organic and local when possible veggies. We buy local, fair trade coffee. I also only use food based items on my skin so that contributes to the overall budget.

It isn't a whole lot different than when we ate out three times a week and ate processed foods. We have been eating this way for about 2 years (not W30 but Paleo-Esque) and have learned where the deals are and what to buy where. I also buy in bulk from Costco when I can. My costco has grass fed lamb and it is the lowest price source of grass-fed meat ($4.99 a lb) we can find so we eat a lot of it. I also do the "buy less than you need" rule and make an extra trip rule rather than buying too much and throwing it out. That has been the biggest saver for us - not wasting what we buy. I make use of pretty much everything we buy. Like, when I find pastured pork belly, I cook it really low and slow and then use the fat that renders off in my cooking . I also make a lot of broth and use it for pretty much everything.

This year, we are going to look into buying cow/pig/chicken shares to see if that cuts it down at all. Right now, we still buy all of our meat at Whole Foods.

It sounds like a lot but we never get sick anymore. I have only been to the doctor (shy of a regular check ups and lady business) once in the past two years and my husband hasn't gotten sick at all. We also prioritize good food over clothes (we buy mostly thrift/consignment) and shoes. We have also really tightened up our "random crap at Target" purchases - which was a big issue for us.

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We definitely spent more on our first go round with the Whole30. I live with my husband (who didn't do the Whole30 the first time) and my sister (who did it with me). Buying both W30 high quality foods and SAD for him definitely made things more expensive. And of course, I didn't know the best buys on things I needed the first time.

We live about an hour away from any Whole Foods or Trader Joes. I now can get most everything we need locally or by delivery. However, I compared our local health food store costs to Whole Foods for some basic items and found a HUGE price difference. Our local store was charging $20 for the same size coconut oil I could get at WF for $12.99, local store ghee was about $5 more than WF, local store coconut aminos were double the cost at WF. So every few months, I make the trip and stock up on the items I know I really save on.

The first time, we bought our meats at WF, which certainly was great quality but definitely could be expensive. Even then, we stocked up on meat when on sale and just froze portions once home. I will say that we spent more on meat (and still do) because we've really gotten into the issue of how the animals were raised (my sister is becoming something of an expert on the issue:)

In the fall, we were able to purchase 1/2 a grassfed cow from a local supplier. That cost $475 for hanging weight of 172#, and the butchering cost $75. That was mid-October, and we still have lots of beef in the freezer. I will definitely do this again.

We get an organic fruit and veg delivery service weekly. The upfront cost seems more to those who haven't been buying organic. We have the option to change the items in the delivery and the quality is great. But I find it saves me time and money overall. Time, of course, because we don't go to the grocery store often (like 2 times a month). Money, because when I'm not going to the store I don't buy things I didn't budget for or need.

And this time, our Whole House is Whole30. I'm not sure my spouse is compliant when he's out, but he is at home. So we're saving money this time because we're not buying junk food, cheese/dairy, alcohol, etc. We also don't eat out much now, only a few places in our area have compliant options that I find worth it.

I don't really save any $ on health care, but I have Crohn's Disease and see all the doctor's regularly for that.

I do find that we've made some better life choices overall since Whole9 that have saved money (we just shut off the cable/tv, saving about $100 per month) (we get together with friends to play cards or boardgames instead of going out for drinks or dinner).

Overall, for 3 adults I'd say we're currently spending about $500 a month for groceries

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Since I'm saving so much on not buying wine, dairy, processed foods, and eating out, it doesn't feel as bad to splurge on high quality meat, coconut oil, farmers market eggs, and extra produce. I'm not sure if it comes out a wash, but if it's costing more, I actually don't think it's by much.

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One big thing I do- Amazon subscribe & save. I buy my Nutiva coconut oil, Native Forest coconut milk, organic sunbutter, coconut cream, and coffee. I've also ordered coconut flakes from amazon. I have amazon prime as well, which is $80/year, but I would spend more than that just in shipping (I love amazon!). I've made cuts in my budget in other areas- I'm big on all natural household/beauty products, which I know are not for everyone. I make my own tooth powder, body lotion, dry shampoo, I use baking soda to wash my hair & acv to condition, I make my own deodorant, laundry detergent....don't buy bottled water, we have about 50 white towels we use for cleaning, which cuts down on papertowels...I'm sure I'm forgetting some things. We don't eat out when I'm doing really strict Paleo, so that saves $$. We also cancelled our cable recently and purchased a Roku, which streams netflix & hulu plus (as well as Amazon and various other programs) directly to our TV via wireless internet. I LOVE IT!! It cuts back on not only $$, but the time we're up late catching out favorite shows. My husband and I don't have "move night" on Fridays anymore, we have "TV night" where we watch a bunch of our shows from that week via Hulu.

As far as my budget (for two people- although my husband doesn't eat dinner with me about 2-3xs per week and I don't cook him breakfast or lunch), I budget $60 to spend at the market each week. This gets me my veggies, eggs, and whatever random non-perishables I need (which isn't much because of my amazon purchases). I also usually shop Saturday night and pick up a cooked whole chicken- my store (Wegmans :wub: ) does a plain chicken- and if I don't need any non-perishables, I plan a seafood into the menu for the week, or buy any other meats I might want, they have a decent selection of organic grass fed & pastured beef, chicken, pork and lamb.

For most of my meat- I shop through US Wellness. I wait until I get a 15% coupon code in their newsletter (comes twice a month). We could probably do about $200/month from there. My lunches are pretty much always leftovers from dinner the night before, so I don't have to buy different "lunch food." I keep a couple cans of tuna in the house for the rare times I need lunch and don't have any leftovers. When I have extra money from my "market budget" I splurge at a health food store near me on pure wraps and stock up on macadamia nuts.

So...I think that puts me at under $500 for food. My food budget is a bigger priority to me that having cable and buying toxic beauty products, so I go without things when I need to squeeze out some extra $$ to get grass fed meats.

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oh...and forgot to mention, I'm hoping to do a cow share this Spring. There's a good program near me (but the priciest I've seen), 1/8 of a cow is $400 for about 43 pounds. They estimate that would feed 2 people for about 6 months (obviously with also factoring in chicken, pork, fish, etc. into my diet as well). The cow share prices are cheaper with some other farmers and cheaper in other areas of the country. Definitely worth looking into if you can spend chunk of money up front.

I do a veggies CSA 1/2 box from May-Nov. Which is about $13/week and more than 1/2 the veggies I need for the week. Again, this is $$ up front too. They also do eggs, $4/dozen for pastured which is cheaper that I've seen elsewhere.

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We are a family of four where my son and I both have "special diets." We are both gluten free and I am also dairy and soy free even when I'm not on the W30. My other son and husband do not have food sensitivities and while the whole family is great about eating what I prepare, we do have some SAD/non-paleo foods in the house (bread, pretzels, string cheese). Before I started carefully planning out our meals, I was going crazy at the store. I would spend between $250-$400 a week on groceries depending on what we needed to stock up on. This was SO not sustainable! Now that I am planning better and cooking much more, we spend around $200/week. My medical bills have gone down significantly, so it's definitely a trade-off.

I think the suggestions above are so awesome and I will look to incorporate them. We are Amazon Prime members, but I have never considered Subscribe & Save. GREAT suggestion!!

Erin

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We spend about $1200/month on groceries (there are 7 of us). We use everything. Leftover pot roast gets turned into a veggie/beef soup with a few added spices and veggies. Leftover chicken gets turned into another meal. We compost all our fruit/veggie scraps. That saves a lot because we don't have to buy soil for the garden. Frozen veggies are a great way to save. I go to Costco once a month and stock up. Cutting processed food and not eating out have made a difference. I shop the circulars and stock up on the sale produce/meat. It took me about three weeks to figure out what stores had the best prices on certain items that don't go on sale. I keep lists for each store on the fridge so I can get everything I need from the stores I don't usually visit at one time. We live in Houston and have a lot of international choices. They carry a lot of things at much lower prices than chain stores. It takes a little time, but it can be done.

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We spend about $800-$900 per month- family of 6 (at home, anyway). I take advantage of the year round farmers market that is half an hour away, get non-food items at Aldi or Walmart, and get the bulky things at Costco- beef, chicken, pork, prosciutto,and those big bags of spinach. I save receipts and when 2 weeks go by, and I know another paycheck is coming, we are usually low on everything, so I whip out the receipts, try to plan all meals (or at least get an idea) and make the lists, add it up and do everything I need to stick to the budget. I make all our meals, including DH breakfast & lunch every day, so I am sure we save $$ on that. We never eat out, as we have had to completely cut back on that a few years ago when DH was laid off. Money is nutsy tight all the time, but I try to stay organized, prioritize, and plan as much as possible those things I CAN control- like what purchases I make. For a while I felt a little sorry for myself when I really had to start watching pennies at the grocery store. I never shop for anything else- so food should be a free for all !! Not so, though.

I am really happy we found paleo, and more specifically the Whole 30- great guidelines, and I am never even tempted to buy garbage. My lists are so easy to stick to now !

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I totally agree with the whole dr bill thing, but we have insurance anyway- that's all we ever pay for (just our daughter & I are covered for now...) Good point about not eating out anymore. We were probably about 3-4 meals/ week, then tightened up a bit to more like 1/week- now not at all.

Eating out for me is frustrating, because in doing my own cooking, using good oils, I'm becoming a bit of a food snob. I no longer want to put garbage in. Plus, even just for a lunch it seems we were spending about $30! I'd think, we could have eaten steak AND salmon for $30! But then I would have had to cook it, and that's the whole point of eating out. Getting a break. But if getting a break means I might feels worse, then it's not really a break. I resigned myself at our last restaurant outing, to accepting that the grilled chicken was grain-fed and probably not healthy. I had a salad, hold the cheese and crutons, bring on the olive oil and vinegar, a little S&P. Hot lemon water. It was all pretty darned tasty. And that simple meal for two for dinner, was still $30. sigh.

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