It’s only my husband and I, but we spend hundreds of dollars each week on groceries. We are both on specific meal plans and prefer to eat clean/organic when possible. After clipping coupons, scouring sales ads and only buying items when there’s a deal we STILL end up spending so much just to feed us for about a week. We just bought a house and have been through multiple unsuccessful fertility treatments so our budget is TIGHT. How can we save more without starving?

Original Post

Have you tried looking into specific meal kit programs? 

I have a pretty specific diet as well and I've been really enjoying Home Chef - for $50/week I can get 10 meals that are healthy and satisfying. I know there are quite a few programs out there like it so it may be worth looking into. 

This one, specifically, sends me all of the ingredients so that I can then cook the meals. I know there are some options that are pre-prepped as well.

I hope this helps! 

Briana posted:

Have you tried looking into specific meal kit programs? 

I have a pretty specific diet as well and I've been really enjoying Home Chef - for $50/week I can get 10 meals that are healthy and satisfying. I know there are quite a few programs out there like it so it may be worth looking into. 

This one, specifically, sends me all of the ingredients so that I can then cook the meals. I know there are some options that are pre-prepped as well.

I hope this helps! 

Briana,

How many people do your meals feed? 

I am single and my food less the non food items is about 100.00 monthly . And I have a mini stockpile of all paper products, canned goods and cereals and other things.  I get the sale add, download the coupon I want and is on sale. And if the cereal is 2 for 5.00 and is on sale 2 for 4.00. Then they have a digital coupon for 1.00 on 2, then I add my paper coupon for a 1.00 on 2. So I paid 1.00 per box of name brand cereal. Apply same steps for all purchases. And all stores have on line info and coupons like CBS. Hope this helps

Sometimes coupons and sale items are not the best value. One thing to consider is the in season prices. Fruits, for instance, can be cheaper when they are in season because of increased supply, compared to out of season and on sale. If you have the time to analyze your food spending, create a speadsheet with the cost of particular items you would get all the time and make sure when you buy it "on sale" that it is really cheaper.

If you throw away food, maybe look into the proper way to store them to last so you wont have to shop as often or at that expense. 

And gardening is a great idea for herbs and produce you use often. And if you find other gardeners out in the community, trading produce is a great way to mix it up. Good luck on everything.

Reduce the number of times you go into a grocery store for a big shop. For example, shop only once every two or four weeks but pick up everything you'll need for the upcoming two or four weeks so you can stay out of stores until then. I've been doing this recently and it helps. I may need to run in for specific items I need or forgot but I don't turn that into a bigger shopping episode than the few items I intended to get. Impulses purchases are fewer because proximity to "stuff" is less. Good Luck!

Talk to the manager at the store.  Find out when the marked down food is put out.  Buy it.  If an item is discontinuing and you truly use it, find out if you can get a deeper discount to take it all.  I am friends with my local store manager.  I have the ads five WEEKS ahead of everyone else.  They have to know what's going on sale in order to order it and corporate office needs to know in advance to have the item in stock to ship and update the registers.

Hi, all. I also try to eat clean and organic. It’s just my chihuahua and me in the house, and surprisingly it can get expensive. I keep a running grocery list, see how much money I have leftover after bills and look for coupons/deals. I have tried shopping at Lidl, Aldi, Fresh Market and Trader Joe’s but everything I need is at Whole Foods if I want to save time and make one trip. I buy frozen organic fruits and veggies so they last longer. Or I’ll freeze meat and seafood as well. It sometimes helps to use the WF/Amazon Prime app, Ibotta app and get $0.05 back on each grocery bag. Target now carries my favorite kombucha and coconut water that WF has, but for a cheaper price. Wegmans has just opened here! I also subscribe to local food delivery/pick up with Paleo-to-Go, which is about $8 to $11 per meal. I would like to see more variety at my local farmer’s markets.

I try to save money on food, but why skimp on food when that’s what keeps us healthy in the long run?! I am a nurse and I strongly believe in preventative medicine instead of just treating the symptoms. It is difficult seeing patients taking several prescription medications, many of which can be expensive. 

I will continue following this post and it is great reading everyone’s suggestions!  

I'm with you!  It's just me and my cat and I don't eat out too often so pretty much know how much I spend.  I use the zero balance bi-weekly pay budgeting.  What works best for me is to actually buy less.  I used to stock up but now I budget for each two weeks and use my budgeted amount.  It helps with meal planning and not going over.  Last night I was (silly) excited when I planned to spend $100 on groceries (only) at Target and my total after my Target card and Target app discounts were $101.64!  Pretty darned close!

I'm curious about where you live (re costs) and what you are buying and eating.  I know that eating organic is more expensive, but I'm having a hard time understanding how you and your husband can spend that much.  However, we don't eat organic most of the time, and I have been cooking for our family (now four adults, used to be five) for a lot of years, so my situation is quite different from yours.  So we eat things I'm sure you wouldn't, although we don't eat a lot of processed foods because I cook daily.  I mainly shop at Aldi with a few trips to other, larger stores for things like fresh ginger that Aldi doesn't stock, with occasional Costco runs, and I do keep a small stockpile of staples because I buy ahead when items are at their lowest prices.  Not counting household supplies like paper goods and cleaners, etc., or restaurant meals, I usually spend about $100 a week for our family, with my husband and son getting their lunches at work.

 

Someone mentioned kombucha. I understand it's not hard to make at home. That may save for some of you as it is super expensive by the bottle. // Yogurt is definitely easy to make. There are simple recipes for doing it in a crock pot. So you don't even have to buy specialized equipment. 

This reply is for B. Craig re paper products.  Because I live alone and don't buy in bulk paying the membership fees to sites like Costco don't make sense for me.  I think you'll just need to really compare prices working the fee into the equation.  In the past five years or more, with the exception of toilet paper   I have almost completely stopped buying most paper products!  I will buy inexpensive paper towels when I want to clean windows but I simply use "real" plates and stalked the clearance endcaps and stocked up on cloth napkins (you're washing dishes and laundry anyway right?) Cloth dishrags can wipe up messes as well or better than paper towels and napkins...and glass plates are way classier than paper.  Plus you'll be proud to save the environment by not adding all that extra paper to the landfill - try it!

I also think you need to keep tabs on prices before deciding where is best for you and your situation re paper products.  I almost never buy any paper products at a grocery store other than Costco, as the prices are seldom good enough.  I only buy Scott toilet paper, as I learned years ago that it is usually the most cost-effective choice (but I'm buying for 4).  I spend enough at Costco to always get the membership fee back, plus more in my Costco refund, so the membership is free for us.  You do have to really watch what you buy there so you don't waste and so that you aren't enticed to buy things you don't really use.  I watch sales, there and other places, and sometimes get our household products (paper, personal products, etc.) at Target at good prices.  And as Jeanne (above) said, we try to use as few disposable products as possible.

As a family of 2, we do have a Sam's Club membership and buy TP there in the large bundle, they do offer in-store instant savings at times. The TP is the only paper product we buy. When we pay we use the Sam's Club credit card and get kick-back savings for an annual check (Feb), great for Christmas spending.

We use cheap paper towels sparingly, never plastic "silverware", no paper cups, no paper plates. Just wash the dishes when done. We do have a dishwasher, but don't use it-a big water waster. I regret getting it.

Saving money & saving environment can have different viewpoints. I use green bags to carry groceries, but don't get upset when I need plastic. I use those to line trash cans instead of buying trash bags. Also use those when my granddog visits for picking up the yard. I try to recycle all that I can - have been doing that since the late 60's from my parents influence.

We had metal lunchboxes with tupperware containers for sandwiches, etc. and I still use that concept.  Silverware and china or stoneware plates and cloth napkins are used instead of paper and plastic.

Old clothes get turned into dust rags or used to scrub the sinks/ tub or to dry the dog and car.  Clothes that no longer fit or don't bring me joy are either donated or sold at consignment shops. 

I turn the a/c to 77 when not at home and keep the windows covered in the heat of the day (I live in Texas and we stay hot much of the year.) Ceiling fans are in use a lot. I try not to use the oven in the middle of the day (if at all) to keep the house cooler.

I have a compost pile and collect rain water to water plants (indoor and out) and my recycle bin generally has more in it than the trash bin. Old newspapers are given to the vets to use in the kennels. I get and use coupons in the paper more than I use an app on my phone. I don't drink coffee, so have no need for those disposable containers. Tea bags are used on my roses. Egg shells are used in the vegetable garden. Compost dirt is used for the garden or in places my yard needs extra soil. 

Hi--I'm not sure what this question is asking, but I'll try to answer.  We sure aren't experts at using less, but we do recycle a lot and try not to buy things we won't actually use.  I try to buy quality items that will work well for us, whether long-term things like clothing or short-term items like detergent, etc.  We don't use paper plates or utensils, etc., except for very rare events, although we do still use paper napkins (I go back and forth on that one).  I've switched to more natural laundry products that don't contain any water and have less packaging and a great price.  I don't use any laundry softeners, etc., except wool balls (they're great!).  I try not to buy convenience foods and instead cook dinner from scratch almost every night and otherwise eat things like sandwiches, fruits, oatmeal, eggs, etc., for other meals (although the entire family loves potato chips!).  I do sometimes use Amazon to buy some of our items, and I'm not sure if that improves things or makes them worse energy- and packaging-wise (we live in a small town).  We buy high-efficiency appliances when we can (and unless the person above who says using a dishwasher is a big water-waster only has very small loads to wash, that is usually incorrect, as hand-washing dishes uses much more water than a today's dishwashers do).  I think it almost always comes down to more work versus speed or convenience, unfortunately.  

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