9 Comments to “Cutting the grocery bill”

  1. Joseph Beckenbach

    Dec 1st, 2010

    My family of 3 adults 2 children takes about $600-700/month. We haven’t been as disciplined as your household, and that shows. We trade off the higher food bills for having more time together, and we have chosen that consciously. So I’m happy with the situation.

  2. Gisela

    Dec 3rd, 2010

    We are two adults with two teenage boys (actually only one at home now, but haven’t re-calculated our food costs since he left). We spend around $600, + about $100 – $200 eating out. We don’t buy a lot of prepared foods either, and are making an effort to eat less meat and more legumes. I avoid name brands except on a few products (usually non-food items), and I buy what’s on sale. We shop mostly at SuperStore because I find prices more reasonable there, with the occasional trip to Safeway for Blackwell Dairy milk, which we’ve now started getting regularly.

  3. Laura Cowan

    Feb 6th, 2011

    Finally, an article that addresses the problem of loss leaders being food you don’t want to eat! Thanks for your honesty on the trade-offs here. I have been ruthless about cutting back some areas of the budget, but food is stubbornly over-budget every month, and it’s because we like to eat whole, fresh, organic, and when possible local foods. I shop in the States at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, the main natural chains in my area, and I find that even their coupons are for convenience foods I wouldn’t otherwise buy, so why bother? I’m still hoping to find tips on how to get this great food to cost less, but it all seems to hinge on good home/food management (such as buying a whole chicken and using it for chicken breast, chicken pieces in a casserole, and then boiling the bones for soup) rather than coupons.

  4. Sandra

    Feb 7th, 2011

    I think you’re bang on. The best way to save money is to buy the most whole foods we can. This has the added benefit of less packaging per weight unit of product. Trade off is, of course, your time. If we put a wage to the time we spent mindfully processing these whole products than it might come out the same price-wise as convenience food. The clincher for me, though, is I know it’s healthier and I can actually see what I’m putting into our meals.

  5. Leah

    Feb 25th, 2011

    Hi Sandra,
    I think I’ve told you about my buying club but I thought I’d share it for others who might want to give it a go. A few years ago, frustrated by poor quality and high prices, I got a group of friends together and we started ordering our produce from a local organic distributor. The food is delivered to my house and I break it down into bins and people pick up from there. We all get the same thing in our bins (more or less) which can be fun if you are into new trying new things. and we share recipes for things that might not be so familiar. Our food costs are generally less per lb. for organic produce than you would pay for conventional at the store and we can choose to purchase as much locally as possible, and because it comes directly from the distributor, it’s fresher and lasts longer…and as the organizer, my food is free as well as having the added benefit of racking up my airmiles visa with the purchases. Empowering, economical and yummy, I recommend it!

  6. Natalie

    Feb 25th, 2011

    We are a family of two adults and two dogs. We spend about $400-500 per month on groceries. The key is to be creative and flexible with items you find on sale. I big bag of ripe pears for $3? Hmmm look up pear recipes on the internet. I browsed until I found on I had all the ingredients for and made it…yum yum

  7. Sandra

    Mar 1st, 2011

    I agree. I had a Facebook friend offer me some fall-down peaches and we took them and froze them with sugar…we just finished the last of them!

  8. Sandra

    Mar 1st, 2011

    Thanks for more info, cousin Leah! You have mentioned this to me in the past. Anybody else have good experiences with buying clubs?

  9. NIcole

    Mar 1st, 2011

    Hey Sandra,
    penny pinching and being frugal, once looked down upon in the reckless spending era of the last two decades is now up for renewal! My Grandparents era of the great depression excelled at recycle-reuse and often times I find myself thinking….now how would Gramma do it? cheers..

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