countrygirl

Spending way too much $$ on groceries!

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Ha, I have received permission to do the ISWF salmon cakes this week as a dinner option...I have never bought canned salmon before but I hope we love them because they seem like the next best thing to crab cakes, which I can't really make these days because good crab is hard to come by where I live. (Jealous of the poster above who lives in Baltimore)

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Would your husband know if you added ground up liver to meatballs?

 

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No, but I would! :lol:

And no tuna salad? Really? So tasty!

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Nope! He will eat real salmon or white fish occasionally but hates it canned.

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Well, back from the store, just shopped for my first Whole30 week and spent $114.00. Not bad. That includes TP, a roll of paper towels, and laundry detergent. So the food was just a skootch over $100, mostly vegetables, meat, eggs, and a couple of odd bits for my husband who is not participating. I think I saved money not buying my usual $5 a half organic milk and two horking fistfuls of overpriced cheese. And half and half by the hogshead.

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Well, back from the store, just shopped for my first Whole30 week and spent $114.00. Not bad. That includes TP, a roll of paper towels, and laundry detergent. So the food was just a skootch over $100, mostly vegetables, meat, eggs, and a couple of odd bits for my husband who is not participating. I think I saved money not buying my usual $5 a half organic milk and two horking fistfuls of overpriced cheese. And half and half by the hogshead.

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Sorry, you lost me at the part where you somehow paid less than $14 for TP, PT, and laundry soap. :lol: You must live in paradise!!

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If you have an Aldi in your area they have some pretty good produce, all the other stuff in the store is of course pretty much junk but  it do have good weekly speicals. I do find it challenging sometimes with the grocery bill, esp. living in a part of WV where most of the food is trucked in and prices are quite a bit higher, but def. going to farmers markets is great too, at mine you just have to get there super early otherwise everything is gone! :)

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I wish the nearest Aldi wasn't 65 miles away or I'd definitely go there more often. I'm in North Central Pennsylvania just below Corning, NY. About 50 miles in either direction from Wegmans, which carries all the exotic and organic, but I tend to shop online to keep my travel costs lower. We're poor folks here in Tioga County so there is not and never will be a Trader Joes or a Whole Foods.

As for paper products, there are only two of us, so that stuff lasts a while!

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Thanks everyone. Like many of you have said, I focus on getting the high quality meat first, then I determine whether I can afford organic vegetables or not. Most of the time the price difference between organic and conventional produce seems worth it to me. One thing I could really cute back on are those trips to the coffee shop. Even though I am only buying iced tea for myself, it costs me 2.50 per day....or $5 (!) if I also get one in the afternoon. That adds up to anywhere from $17.50-35 a week! This week I bought a large jug of iced tea for 3.99. It should get me through the week.

Iced Tea is super easy to make...a few teabags & some hot water, let it steep for a few minutes and it's done!  Super cheap too.  The regular teabags cost like $3 for 75 or so, and it generally takes about 6 to make a gallon...That's 12 gallons of tea for about the price of buying it at the coffee shop.

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I grow many things year round in my garden: Chard, kale, lettuces, carrots, tatsoi mustard greens, sorrel, parsley (and other herbs). All can be tossed into a salad. Most can be added to stir fry, soups, smoothies. I'm in Zone 6. I do have a raised bed with a makeshift plexiglass cover for the winter, easy to cobble together.

 

A thought: Just like you are swapping out SAD food for better, more nutritious food during the Whole30, you may find it a good choice to swap out other expenses for food - downgrade or lose you cable tv, carpooling/bus instead of driving alone + paying for parking, etc. Don't think of it as depriving yourself of the tradeoff, think of whether it is worth it.

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I keep reading all the new posts here and appreciate you all sharing your tips. I have worked really, really hard to reduce our food expenditure and it is tough. We are a family of five and our kids eat paleo for the most part too. We were spending around $1,000 a month easily and now are getting closer to $800. And that's about as low as I think I can go. Sure, if I fed my kids Mac n cheese, hot dogs and pb&j's we could whittle away more. I buy lean conventional meats and splurge on the good bacon. I buy grass fed when it's $5/lb or less. I buy cage free eggs but not organic. I buy organic produce for the 'dirty dozen' and conventional for the rest. Around here (Denver metro) it's like it's a privilege to shop at the farmers market. The prices are SO much higher than at the store. It feels like charity. I confess I haven't done a CSA because I like to pick and choose my produce each week. So for that privilege I will suck it up. :)

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How did you rig up the plexiglass covered bed? I'm in 5, so I'd love to get some fresh stuff in the winter, but I don't know how reasonable that is.

 

Hi Renee, check this out: http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/2504/cold-frame-gardening/page/all

 

Also, GardenWeb is a great resource if you want to start a veggie garden http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/cornucop/

 

I haven't done a cold frame yet, but I'm thinking about it! I'm in zone 7 so I might be able to do without it. My summer veggie garden was kind of a bust this year. Too much rain and not enough sun. The cherry tomatoes did the best. Too bad I can't eat them :angry: .

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How did you rig up the plexiglass covered bed? I'm in 5, so I'd love to get some fresh stuff in the winter, but I don't know how reasonable that is.

 

My husband built a little raised bed (square, maybe 2 feet by 2 feet of dirt) and then bought some plexiglass from Home Depot. For the first winter we just put that over it when it was cold. Then he finally built a nice wooden frame for it. But you could just rig it with the plain old plexiglass. Just remove the cover on warm days.

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Buying seasonally helps a little bit, but I buy fruits and vegetables that don't have to be organic. I really don't buy very much organic at all since I can't really afford it (paying back student loans). When I can afford to, I will. The money I will be saving from eating out will definitely be going to the grocery bill!

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I haven't been able to find a farmers market that has actual farmers... the CSAs have waiting lists and appear to cater to people who have a partner that can pick up the order mid week during the day.  I will keep looking.  I go to a warehouse store and buy veggies and meat etc when I can - I don't drive much if I can avoid it.  This is my first Whole 30 so I'm sure future ones will have better quality food - for now I am just marvelling (Day 4) on how much already has changed and on how much I am missing from my "old life".

 

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I haven't been able to find a farmers market that has actual farmers... the CSAs have waiting lists and appear to cater to people who have a partner that can pick up the order mid week during the day.  I will keep looking.  I go to a warehouse store and buy veggies and meat etc when I can - I don't drive much if I can avoid it.  This is my first Whole 30 so I'm sure future ones will have better quality food - for now I am just marvelling (Day 4) on how much already has changed and on how much I am missing from my "old life".

miriam, that is so weird that you haven't found a farmer's market with actual farmers around here all the farmer's markets i've been to have been all local farmers and farms and local crafters...most of the farmers will give you deals, and my kids are often given free apples or berries by the farmers when we go to the market.  i just did a big shop today and spent $75 more than i wanted to...i spent $204 when i wanted to stay close to $125, but i bought chicken breasts on sale for $1.99/lb ( a savings of $1.70/lb i bought 3 big family packs) and i bought 2 organic chickens on sale at $ 1.49/ lb each, so shouldn't need to buy chicken next week. i do spend $5.99/lb for grass fed beef (if i could i'd buy the organic grass fed beef, but at $7.99/lb i really can't swing it at this point in time) and i did have to stock up on some staples this week that i won't need to buy again for a t least a few weeks. typically i feed a family of 4 on $700-$800/month (though i really need to aim at $600-$700/month), and i learned that even though it seemed like i was spending a ton of money last time around in the long run i saved about $100 over the previous month's grocery bills...i'm hoping to be even better this time around since the farmer's markets are open and i can go to those and since i am planning my meals and paying close attention to the sales fliers. really, meal planning and shopping the sales flier are very helpful (i find if i plan my meals and shop accordingly i am less likely to pick up something "just because" and i know that certain sales only happen once in a while so i do things like what i did today and buy a lot of certain things then freeze what i'm not cooking in the next few days). i also try to keep all of my produce under $3/lb and preferably down around $1.99/lb...organic cabbage is $1.99/lb at my grocery store which is way more than the cost of conventional (which they sell for under $1/lb) but i usually will do it...i haven't been buying apples but organic gala apples were on sale for $2.49/lb this week and my kids have been asking for them so i bought a few...you just really have to figure out if it is really worth it for some things...i only buy apples and strawberries and blueberries if i can afford to get the organic ones, so some times i don't get them. another trick is to find out what wild eatables are in your area...i refuse to pay $1.99/bunch for dandelion greens since i know i can get them easily in my yard or nearby, i can also get purslane and chickweed to add to my salads easily as they are abundant in my neighborhood...earlier this summer the kids and i got a whole bunch of black raspberries that grow wild near us.

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Thanks everyone. Like many of you have said, I focus on getting the high quality meat first, then I determine whether I can afford organic vegetables or not. Most of the time the price difference between organic and conventional produce seems worth it to me. One thing I could really cute back on are those trips to the coffee shop. Even though I am only buying iced tea for myself, it costs me 2.50 per day....or $5 (!) if I also get one in the afternoon. That adds up to anywhere from $17.50-35 a week! This week I bought a large jug of iced tea for 3.99. It should get me through the week.

 

What about making your own iced tea at home?  I make sun tea several times a week (will be switching to decaf tho) and a box of Lipton ice tea bags are relatively inexpensive and a glass jar isn't to pricey.  I don't drink a whole lot of it, but my husband does. 

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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.

 

Maybe that's their "gluten free/healthy option" for those who are eschewing pastries and such?

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clean food is up high on our priority list.  It is higher than T.V., a new car, fancy cell phones, a second car, air conditioning, crap from Amazon or Wall-mart.  I enjoy good food and I don't mind giving up some other creature comforts to afford it.

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I don't think I will be giving up a/c in Florida and much as it pains me, we will eventually have to buy a new car. Our is 15 yrs old, we've taken good care of it and have had to spend $3500 fixing it in the past two years, plus crappy gas mileage.. it's time for a new car.

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oh my!  I guess living in Wisconsin has it's benefits :)  I can get grass fed organic beef, chicken, pig, etc at the local famer's market on average for $3/pound.  We also have a lot of CSA's etc.  The only problem with that is we have limited growing seasons.  This was probably already mentioned, but meal planning and making a grocery list is what I think has helped the most to stay on budget.  The trick is to only get what's on your list :)

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Ajclemons5 - what part of the state are you in where you can get grass fed for $3/pound?? Do tell! I'm in Madison and the prices seem to be jacked up at the market on the square...

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