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Thread: Saving Money

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    #1

    Saving Money

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    Alright you guys...we are still in sticker shock and I'm not sure what to do.

    How do you guys keep your food budget? We are staying in our paycheck; but, we are trying to bring down costs.

    What is your grocery budget? How do you keep it low? Do you meal plan, make ahead, ect?

    We were use to grocery shopping every day in Germany and our food bill has doubled! We don't eat out during the week (unless we get a fast Wendy's $1 cheeseburger). I'm trying to figure out what is going on!?!?!

    I'd love some tips and advise. We were debt (we have about $500 from set ups from the move); but have savings we can knock it out. I'm trying to put between $50 - $100 a month into our IRA for our future; but, it hasn't been steady since our move. Our pay has dropped with our COLA gone and our expenses seem to have gone up!
    "Obstinacy is a fault of temperament. Stubbornness and Intolerance of contradiction result from a special kind of Egotism, which elevates above everything else the pleasure of its own autonomous intellect, to which others must bow.: Carl von Clausewitz
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    #2
    We budget around $150/paycheck for food and I often shop the ads when making a menu so that I plan meals around what is on sale for the week. I find that sticking to the menu plan keeps me accountable for the food that I am eating as well. Also, I make a lot of double duty meals, for example, pulled pork in the slow cooker will turn into pulled pork pizza the next day or freeze it for later use.

    DH's pay dropped drastically with retirement and despite applying for many jobs, it took just about 18 months for him to find a job in his field. During that time, we survived on the GI Bill but our budget for groceries was much lower than it is now and it's hard for me to get in the mindset that I can increase the grocery budget some, especially because our 12-yr-old is a bottomless pit.
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    #3
    I'm single but spend around $50/week on groceries (just food no toiletries or alcohol). I do SAMs or Aldi almost exclusively. I meal plan, then am prepared to either eat the same thing till leftovers are gone, "transform it" into a new meal like noted above, or freeze it.
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    #4
    Our food budget for the two of us is around $800-900 a month. I eat a crap ton of fresh veggies, we meal plan, but we also spend $400-500 a month eating out because yum.
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    #5
    We actually have been working on breaking down our budget recently. We allow $300-$400/mo on grocery shopping and $650/mo on dining out. However, we don't have children and going out is something we really, truly enjoy. Beer and wine tastings, farmer's markets, etc. are categorized under recreation for us.

    ETA:// Wrong thread. Adding info re: how we manage our grocery bill ---

    We definitely meal plan. Quite honestly, we are creatures of habit when it comes to meals that we cook/prepare ourselves so I think that helps. On week days we typically eat a protein bar or shake. Eggs or pancakes on the weekends. For lunch I make a salad to bring to work that is usually a heaping pile of spinach with whatever other veggies looked good at the grocery store. Dinner we eat chicken and a veggie. We save buy purchasing chicken in bulk and freezing them individually in our deep freezer (that we bought on CL). But anyway, we definitely meal plan and keep all of the basics on hand.
    Last edited by EmilyPT; 07-25-2015 at 11:59 AM.
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    #6
    We spend roughly $300/month. Honestly, in the beginning I had NO IDEA how we'd do that since DH eats a LOT. One day we googled how to eat cheap, but healthy and we've managed! Pinterest also has some great, cheap recipes.
    We figured out how much we could spend on food by making a chart. We wrote down what we needed for bills, what we pay (roughly) for DS, etc. Whatever was left over we split 3 way. Food, extra money for me, extra money for DH. It works for us
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    #7
    I checked out some budget books from the library and found something called Everydollar.com (free website) where you enter your budget forecast and your actual spending. Just finished plugging in our expenditures so far this month and found out how much we spend on things and paying off debt. It's an eye opener and we're planning to knock out credit card debt first. We want to get our savings up by $350 and we'll crack down on credit cards.
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    #8
    i don't have a grocery cost budget. I buy only enough for a day or two. I eat out too often to stock up, and its mostly just me, and I hate throwing out food.
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    #9
    We don't have a lot in our "bills" perse;but, it is mostly food right now and getting a house set up again. (wish more of base housing was the same from place to place).

    Our Cell phones for all 2 (2 data plans an one trac) is less than $100 a month. We only have Netflicks and our internet besides our insurance an car payment. We still live good; but, I'm trying to findways to cut back. We only eat out over the weekend and try not to do sit down restaurants. I cook most of the time and Fruits/Veggies as fresh as we can.

    I like the Cheap meals pinterest. I'll have to go look!
    "Obstinacy is a fault of temperament. Stubbornness and Intolerance of contradiction result from a special kind of Egotism, which elevates above everything else the pleasure of its own autonomous intellect, to which others must bow.: Carl von Clausewitz
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    #10
    I try to keep it at $600 but it can get up to $800. Like right now, the kids are on summer break so they eat more than if thy were at school all day. But then if you figure in lunch money...that is $100 a month between the 3 kids. I don't give enough for each of them to buy at school or that would cost a total of $200. I'm a vegetarian and our oldest son doesn't eat much meat so I have to make sure all of us have food. Which is much easier when DH is gone. We have 4 kids ranging from 14 to 2 in age and the middle 2 are in sports. They can eat. lol

    I make a meal and grocery list. But the meal list is not set for each day. Some days we go with what we are in the mood for. Some days we pick something because we have something going on during the day or in the evening. It is a pretty fluid list but I know what our options are and what to buy for them. We also do leftovers and/or transforming. For instance, 2 days ago I made bacon raviolis with a creamy bacon sauce (ravioli from Costco and jarred sauce). We still have some sauce so today I'm making the kids a bacon pizza. The kids love things like cantaloupe and watermelon. So I'll cut one or a half of one up or slice it for a side. For snacks I have one of those platter that is divided. There are 6 sections and then the one in the middle. I use that for snacks. That way they can snack but I can control how much is used. We do things like nuts, chips/crackers, nectarines or cuties, sliced cucumbers, summer sausage, jerky, etc. One thing I had to do was limit cereal. I buy 1 bag/box per week. When it is gone, it is gone. Cereal alone they would go through at least $20 a week if I let them.
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