countrygirl

Spending way too much $$ on groceries!

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Wow, bananas at the farmer's market? I wonder how their growing those. My neighbor planted some banana trees and the grew nicely, but no fruit.

I would love to start a vegetable garden. I think growing greens is a great idea. I've got an area of the yard in mind, but it will take some work to build raised planter boxes and get some decent soil. I have to save up a bit to buy the supplies. I know it would save me money in the long run, and I enjoy growing my own stuff. It makes me feel accomplished. I had a great vegetable garden at my old place.

You can grow anything in containers! Right now I have tomatoes, zuchinni, broccoli, watermelon, bell peppers, cantaloupe, various herbs and onions growing in pots. Also, yeah you can grow bananas at home. I see several people here in Naples, FL advertising on Craigslist for free bananas from their trees. Check Craigslist for free stuff, here people are always giving away fruits because they have too many, like mangos. You might even find eggs, I did.

I live in an apartment so container gardening is the only way for me. I bought a few of these bags. I will try to grow almost everything I need veggies and fruit wise. :)

http://www.amazon.co...=A1SV1BYDTUK2Z5

Edited to add: I also use a meal planner. On Friday evenings I make a menu for the whole week, then figure out what veggies I need to buy and that is all I buy. Until my container veggies start growing good I still have to buy at the grocery store. Sundays shopping trip I spent $40 at the grocery store, this week I am going to the farmers market and see how much I can get with the $40 there.. an experiment of sorts! I've also been thinking about going to a local organic farm because they have U-pick.. and U-pick is usually cheaper. I just found out about them a couple days ago, sounds interesting so maybe that's where I will take my $40 this week.

I only buy for two people.

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Edited to add: I also use a meal planner. On Friday evenings I make a menu for the whole week, then figure out what veggies I need to buy and that is all I buy. Until my container veggies start growing good I still have to buy at the grocery store.

What meal planner do you use? I tried several meal planning programs 6 years ago and gave up because the didn't work right. I am using a plain list now.

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I just print these sheets off and use weekly. I make my husband get involved too, after all he eats too and we do the shopping together.

http://www.freshandorganized.com/2013/01/a-weekly-meal-planner.html

Come to think of it, when I make a list and send my husband to do the shopping he spends about half of what I normally spend. I always pick up a bunch of little "treats" like black garlic and $15 boxes of tea that I never drink.

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I think I might start growing herbs in a window in my apt.

And I wish the CSA was an affordable option. It's so much money up front here, and even as part of the CSA you need to pay extra for eggs at $9/dozen. I'm sure I'd save money overall, but despite my good intentions I never have a big chunk of money (> $1,000) when it's sign up time.

The other big saver is buying meat in bulk, but I'd have to move my kids out of their "bedroom" (our rooms are one big bedroom split into two) and convert us all to Murphy beds in order to fit a freezer in our apartment.

My husband and I usually spend the same. He is the treat buyer. And the double everything buyer. I'm the condiment and salt buyer. However, he gets it done in half the time.

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I feel like I've always spent a ton on food, but I was eating organic when people laughed at me for doing so. It can be difficult to manage, but I try to think "well, illness is expensive and I'm avoiding illness by eating better." Too bad my health insurance doesn't give me $$ for preventive care.

And for some people, this may be only for 30 days, but if you want to continue eating healthy, you will continue spending money on food.

Although they are only in the southwest US, I do find organic, grass-fed meats, and organic pork on sale (along with other organic items) at Sprouts Markets. Here is a link. http://sprouts.com/stores

I mostly shop at Whole Foods and Trader Joe's because the "good" farmers' market near me is on Sunday morning when I get to go do my favorite fitness class. The worst is when I'm too busy and end up throwing food out. EEEK! Dollars down the trash chute.

You can check this link for what produce should be organic. http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/

Good luck!!

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I forgot to mention that it's suggested by some that you try to get a few people to do meat buys with you. People in your area buy from a local farmer and split the animal so you don't have to buy a huge freezer to store the meats.

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I'm starting to get concerned about how much I'm spending too.

So I'm trying to focus on getting the most out of cheaper cuts of meat (revising what I can do with beef/lamb/pork mince), doing online checks of what the local food shops have on special, and checking out the marked down meat every time I'm near a supermarket (got a leg of pork bigger than my head a few days ago for half price).

I'm also going to have to get more savvy about what veg are in season right now. Cauliflower, which has been a staple breakfast veg for months, is starting to go up in price. But Zuchini are cheap at the moment. Also going to have to figure out some new ways to prepare swede/rutabaga because it's SO cheap at the moment (<$2 a kilo)

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I made a lovely swede mash last week with 1 tsp each of ginger, mustard seed, cumin and turmeric, plus some ghee.

There's a huge price variation in food here from one week to the next, I couldn't have cauliflower rice for 95% of my W30 because it was too dear, so yeah, focus on what veg is going to give you the best value for money. I'd skip tomatoes, onions and cucumbers if I was short on cash as I don't feel like they provide much nutritional value.

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Some plants can be grown indoors and will produce fruit year round. Or herbs are super easy to grow on a windowsill, as are some types of lettuce, as examples.

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Revamping to begin a second attempt of a whole30 tomorrow with my husband, our first attempt lasted about two weeks. Meat and oils are were where our costs hit an increase. I learned two things for our relaunch: do buy what you can afford. Look for specials, if local ads or websites don't have enough info (like price per oz/lb) be old fashioned and call around to compare prices. It may well save you 20 min. or more of needless driving. Plus, a few weeks ago, I packed some of the weekly cook-up items in 1-2 portion containers and immediately froze them. By our second week in, they were perfect for the days my husband got up late for work and needed something 'quick' for lunch. It saved him either a) not eating lunch at all or 2) joining his co-workers for a Jimmy John's or pizza.

We're ready to begin tomorrow!

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I made a lovely swede mash last week with 1 tsp each of ginger, mustard seed, cumin and turmeric, plus some ghee.

That sounds really nice! I'm also gonna try roasting it. I've been mashing it with parsnip too which is pretty yummy!

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We are a family of 5 on a really tight budget! My husband and I eat whole 30 but my kids still have dairy and cereal and sandwiches here and there which wic helps us buy. We used to spend about 180$ every 2 weeks on groceries and in week 3 we have noticed we have spent 300$! Its really pushing on the budget significantly.... but we feel so great and plan on making the complete paleo transition with the kids after school ends for break...to save money the meat we eat is actually almost all game meat. Elk mostly, I buy 5 dozen eggs for 5$ I will get 5lb apple bags for 3$ and a whole chicken a week... we can't afford organic but come next month farm stands open up which are much much cheaper over here....

Good luck on the spending . Its hard but worth it!

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My concern over my spending on meat is turning in to a concerning sale meat 'stashing' problem. I couldn't help grabbing 1kg marked down gravy beef (still good till tomorrow) even though my section of the freezer is already full of frozen meat & meals.

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Our family of six (two adults, four children) has a $350/wk budget for food (including household goods like cleaning supplies). 'spensive.

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My concern over my spending on meat is turning in to a concerning sale meat 'stashing' option. I couldn't help grabbing 1kg marked down gravy beef (still good till tomorrow) even though my section of the freezer is already full of frozen meat & meals.

I find myself buying meats/chicken/fish on sale when my freezer is already full too! Since my husband and I eat separate meals, I keep my stuff in the kitchen freezer while he has allof the stuff I can no longer eat plus his foods in a big freezer in the basement. Beef Broth Bones found their way into his freezer because I didn't have room in mine! :D

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I find myself buying meats/chicken/fish on sale when my freezer is already full too! Since my husband and I eat separate meals, I keep my stuff in the kitchen freezer while he has allof the stuff I can no longer eat plus his foods in a big freezer in the basement. Beef Broth Bones found their way into his freezer because I didn't have room in mine! :D

I live with my parents, and I'm grateful for the space I DO have but it's only one drawer in a big upright freezer, and one shelf on the freezer at the top of the fridge. I make myself keep a list of what's in there or else I'd never use it all up!

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I keep telling myself I need to make a list of what I have so can plan meals better...and. Keep telling myself.... ;)

It's really worth doing. Think of all the money you'll save on meat you won't have to buy once you've done it :)

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I keep telling myself I need to make a list of what I have so can plan meals better...and. Keep telling myself.... ;)

I have a very small fridge freezer provided by the landlord so I can't change it. I bought a table top freezer which, don't laugh, lives in my bedroom. In it, I keep meats that I've cooked and frozen in individual portions. The trouble is, its so crammed full that my new menu planning is open the freezer and whatever falls out first is the meal :)

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Periodically I just have to declare a moratorium on meat purchases until I use up some of what I already have. There is no sane reason why a single person has to have 2 whole pork loins (cut into roasts and chops) on hand. I only stash boneless, skinless chicken breasts because they take up less space than bone-in chicken. It's a sickness! help!

Kirsteen, I laughed out loud. How true!

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It takes a while to settle into paleo. I track my budget on mint.com, and before I started paleo I would always go over my set food budget (which includes restaurants and such). And then when I first did the Whole30, I went WAY over. And then over the course of the last 12 months, while I've been pretty much eating paleo at home and not eating out as much, it's gradually come down to where I'm staying in budget, and I'm going to challenge myself to see if I can get even a little more frugal. I seem to just need to eat less, which helps. I've gotten more and more conscious of food waste (I am embarrassed to think about how much food I'd throw out before -- especially veggies because I'd buy them with good intentions and then not eat them, now I power through tons of them every week) and also more and more conscious of how much food I actually need to have around, so I don't overbuy as much. I am less concerned with having a wide range of choices available in my house at all times -- I used to buy like five kinds of cheese and then it would get moldy because it turns out I like the idea of cheese but I don't actually eat that much of it. I've stopped building Great Depression style stockpiles of stuff I maybe might need. I don't have to stock the accoutrements of baking under the illusion that I'm a person who bakes when really I only did so a couple of times a year. I also buy less wine, which adds up. Keep an eye on some of these issues -- your relationship with food isn't only how much and what you eat, but how much you buy and why. That may also begin to change.

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Over $200/week for a family of 5 here in Wisconsin. My biggest piece of advice is to create a menu for the week and stick to it when you shop! If you are like the rest of the US, you waste a ton of food through impulse shopping or wishful thinking ("I'll make that for sure!"). Second piece is to buy local and seasonal.

Organic food here is significantly more expensive than conventional. I do pay attention to the Environmental Working Group's Dirty Dozen and sometimes buy non-organic in the foods less pesticide ridden. Probably sticking to seasonal fruits and vegetables is a good budget reducer. Buy bulk when the berries are cheap and freeze them? I do that with blueberries and strawberries. They generally aren't good for more than cooking with or adding to things like yogurt or oatmeal but it works.

Grass fed beef is insanely expensive here! It is what I use so I just suck it up and pay the price. Honestly, the health benefits so outweigh the price when it comes to the corn fed-grass fed decision so I just stick with grass fed. The meat I have access to here is both grass fed and organic (but not certified mostly due to cost). If the farmer is good enough to go grass free they are generally mindful of following organic guidelines as much as possible. I'm to the point that I'll forgo buying the meat if I can't buy grass fed.

I'll stop here and admit I am blessed with a husband's good income so this is easy for me to do. I know that isn't the same for everyone.

I buy a lot of cabbage, carrots, zucchini and make stir-fry. Mixed with ground beef it really goes a long way. There is a Pakistani Kima recipe floating around on the web (Paleo) that is so, so good! Cauliflower 'rice' when it is in season really stretches a meal. Bulk nuts instead of bagged. Same with rice when I eat it (if I go back to eating it).

I buy things like ghee and coconut oil on line and in bulk to save $$. I cook everything and rarely buy prepared foods anymore. We don't eat out much at all but that is by choice and not to save $$. I bake all of my sweets for the kids. Tropical Traditions and Green Pastures are my go-to places. Find any friends who are willing to split the cost of a case and do it! CSAs are great if you are adventurous and willing to live with perhaps eating only beets or kohlrabi for a week at a time.

Food is just expensive! I'm always amazed at the total on the register vs the number of bags I carry out. I just got a job at our food co-op which will apparently give me a 15% discount! That makes up for the near minimum wage pay check for us. :) Now, after over a decade, my unsolicited advice on healthy eating will actually earn me some cash!

Good luck to you.

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