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Old 12-10-2015, 15:24   #1
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Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half

A woman who lived on $14,000 a year gives her top 2 tricks to cut your grocery bill in half. On our boat we do this by eating out twice as much

Top tricks to cut your grocery bill in half - Business Insider
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Old 12-10-2015, 16:12   #2
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Re: Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half

I've often thought about writing a book that combines reducing your food budget along with significant weight loss.

But that may be a bit obvious....
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Old 12-10-2015, 17:19   #3
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Re: Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half

Obviously this would not work on a boat but one time I tried cooking all of our meals in one go and freezing the meals. For a family of 3, I fed us all there meals, plus snacks and drinks for 2 weeks on $100.00.

The trick is meal and menu planning to the nth degree. I stuck with to get us over a hump but soon reverted back to my evil ways. It was a lot of hard work to do all the cooking in one go! But I did learn a lot about how to reduce waste by planning. I became a better cook and still save money even now. I'll use these skills when we finally hit the big blue too.
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Old 13-10-2015, 08:09   #4
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Re: Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half

Somebody posted a budget a few years ago that said they were spending $200 a month on food. That's starvation territory for us! I really wonder how they pulled that off or what they ate. Maybe all vegan?
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Old 21-10-2015, 21:12   #5
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Re: Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half

We cook enough meals in port for 2 months and vacuum seal them, the secret is you need a dry and a wet sealer in the same unit, we then freeze them and they taste great and don't take up much room once sealed.


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Old 21-10-2015, 21:23   #6
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Re: Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half

We have been using two tricks recently...

1) We ONLY go out to a restaurant, movies, or other entertainment when we are able to get a groupon, a buy-one-get-one, or a substantial discount.

2) We have been buying gift cards from online sites and using them for groceries and other stuff we need. That's a smaller discount (2% to 6%) but on something that is our biggest expense its a big impact.

In the few instances where we DO go out (not socially but just my wife and I) we share a meal and only get one iced-tea to share between the two of us. Using this method we have been able to save a ton of money.
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Old 21-10-2015, 23:06   #7
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Re: Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half

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Somebody posted a budget a few years ago that said they were spending $200 a month on food. That's starvation territory for us! I really wonder how they pulled that off or what they ate. Maybe all vegan?
Actually, I find that chicken is cheaper than veggies, per meal. I'm fairly frugal (stocked up on 3 Little Caesar's pizzas for $2.99 ea) and like to eat a wide variety of foods, but I'm careful what I buy and where, you can easily over pay for stuff, especially at Costco.

My mom was the queen of saving money. She took a monthly income of about $1,000/mo. (Navy income, family of 4, we would have qualified for food stamps) and put $500/mo. into savings, house payment was $109/mo., etc. She clipped so many coupons, one day she came home with 5 bags of groceries and a $5 bill. She proudly waved the $5 bill in the air and said, "Vons double coupon day! I got all of this free, plus they handed me $5 back!!"

She stopped working 55 yrs ago, and now has a net asset value of right around $1M, all from clipping coupons, cooking at home 6 nights a week, stocking up on sale items, never paying for credit (she takes the points, but pays the balance off every month) and living below her means for the first 35 yrs of her life. After that, she had so much retirement and investment income, she bought whatever she wanted (designer clothes, $110 prime ribs, $1500 dresses for my sister) and was still putting 50% back into her low yield/safe investments.

My grocery bill is probably only about $160/mo. That's not including the $90/mo. for dog food. They're so spoiled!

Most people live beyond their means, champagne dreams on a near beer budget. I have a friend who gets $5K/mo. tax free, and he can't afford to live in a trailer on that!! I told him if I went through his expenses, I could trim at least $2K/mo. off of that and get him a better cell phone plan, faster internet and more TV channels for less per month. But no, he'd rather just complain and be broke by the 3rd weekend of the month.
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Old 22-10-2015, 02:36   #8
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Re: Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half

All the good jokes have been done

In different countries things can be very different prices that at 'home'. Chicken is normally cheap but here in Zimbabwe its the same price as beef!!! Yes, you do need an axe to break your steak...

Unfortunately the cheapest diet can be the worst for health: a months worth of pasta, rice and corn meal is cheap but unpalatable and fattening.

And those cruisers who seem to post about their fish catches are not to be taken as some golden rule. Fish caught are often the same: not bonito tuna again! Or can't be done unless on passage.

Vegetables in the islands are either shipped in from civilisation or look like they are grown by a nuclear power plant.

Yes, some resturants in some places are cheaper than buying the food raw!! Galapagos was one where lobster was $13 for a huge meal but more expensive in the markets (maybe just to forigners)

I find searching for food, shopping, supermarkets and cooking a great fun. Its part of the cruisingg experience. But its not cheaper than being at home where you can stick up on Red Spot Specials etc.
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Old 22-10-2015, 05:17   #9
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Re: Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half

I think AVB was claiming to spend no more than $160 on food a month. I did challenge him on it and he posted a menu of sorts. Would seem hard to buy what he listed at Publix prices.
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Old 22-10-2015, 05:34   #10
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Re: Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half

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Originally Posted by socaldmax View Post
Actually, I find that chicken is cheaper than veggies, per meal. I'm fairly frugal (stocked up on 3 Little Caesar's pizzas for $2.99 ea) and like to eat a wide variety of foods, but I'm careful what I buy and where, you can easily over pay for stuff, especially at Costco.

My mom was the queen of saving money. She took a monthly income of about $1,000/mo. (Navy income, family of 4, we would have qualified for food stamps) and put $500/mo. into savings, house payment was $109/mo., etc. She clipped so many coupons, one day she came home with 5 bags of groceries and a $5 bill. She proudly waved the $5 bill in the air and said, "Vons double coupon day! I got all of this free, plus they handed me $5 back!!"

She stopped working 55 yrs ago, and now has a net asset value of right around $1M, all from clipping coupons, cooking at home 6 nights a week, stocking up on sale items, never paying for credit (she takes the points, but pays the balance off every month) and living below her means for the first 35 yrs of her life. After that, she had so much retirement and investment income, she bought whatever she wanted (designer clothes, $110 prime ribs, $1500 dresses for my sister) and was still putting 50% back into her low yield/safe investments.

My grocery bill is probably only about $160/mo. That's not including the $90/mo. for dog food. They're so spoiled!

Most people live beyond their means, champagne dreams on a near beer budget. I have a friend who gets $5K/mo. tax free, and he can't afford to live in a trailer on that!! I told him if I went through his expenses, I could trim at least $2K/mo. off of that and get him a better cell phone plan, faster internet and more TV channels for less per month. But no, he'd rather just complain and be broke by the 3rd weekend of the month.

No doubt your mom was a good planner. But 55 years ago 1,000 a month was a luxury income. No, she would not have qualified for food stamps! She was able to put aside half her income, in part, because she had that much to spare.
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Old 22-10-2015, 08:24   #11
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Re: Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half

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No doubt your mom was a good planner. But 55 years ago 1,000 a month was a luxury income. No, she would not have qualified for food stamps! She was able to put aside half her income, in part, because she had that much to spare.
Sorry, I actually got the timeline wrong. 55 yrs ago, my father's income as a Navy chief was $550/mo. In the mid 70's, my stepdad's income as a Navy chief was around $1,000/mo. That was very low for a family of 4. In 1978, I remember working for min. wage at $3.25/hr and a friend of mine was a union electrician making $25/hr and they were planning on going on strike for a $3/hr raise.

I do agree, her monthly expenses were low enough to bank 50%, but that was HER doing. How many people do you know who could put 40 or 50% in the bank, but instead, their expenses grow to exceed their income at all times? probably 90%. Certainly everyone I know.

The only people I know of in my generation who have managed to save anywhere near that amount of money make $300 - $500K/yr.
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Old 22-10-2015, 08:42   #12
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Re: Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half

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I do agree, her monthly expenses were low enough to bank 50%, but that was HER doing. How many people do you know who could put 40 or 50% in the bank, but instead, their expenses grow to exceed their income at all times? probably 90%. Certainly everyone I know.
not everyone may achieve that level, but everyone saving for a boat is at least trying (not making a statement on the result but the intention!)
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Old 22-10-2015, 09:07   #13
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Re: Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half

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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
All the good jokes have been done

In different countries things can be very different prices that at 'home'. Chicken is normally cheap but here in Zimbabwe its the same price as beef!!! Yes, you do need an axe to break your steak...

Unfortunately the cheapest diet can be the worst for health: a months worth of pasta, rice and corn meal is cheap but unpalatable and fattening.

And those cruisers who seem to post about their fish catches are not to be taken as some golden rule. Fish caught are often the same: not bonito tuna again! Or can't be done unless on passage.

Vegetables in the islands are either shipped in from civilisation or look like they are grown by a nuclear power plant.

Yes, some resturants in some places are cheaper than buying the food raw!! Galapagos was one where lobster was $13 for a huge meal but more expensive in the markets (maybe just to forigners)

I find searching for food, shopping, supermarkets and cooking a great fun. Its part of the cruisingg experience. But its not cheaper than being at home where you can stick up on Red Spot Specials etc.
I agree, it is harder to exercise many of the money saving methods when you are someplace like Africa.

But in Africa you can afford to pay someone to do your shopping for you... When we were going to move to Nairobi we were talking to some friends that where there with the embassy. They paid (well, the embassy paid) less than $500 a month for both a full time driver/gardener and full time cook/housekeeper. They paid almost nothing in groceries because they had the Kenya's do the shopping for them.

So, conceptually you could save money by paying a local to do your shopping. They certainly know where to get the best foods at the right prices.
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Old 22-10-2015, 09:16   #14
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Re: Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half

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So, conceptually you could save money by paying a local to do your shopping. They certainly know where to get the best foods at the right prices.
Bloody hard for a tourist to do

But it reinforces the point that local knowledge saves bulk money. Cruisers have the difficulty of never being a local. Never having tome to wait for a special.
If I was living on land I would buy one of those whopping great freezers and stock it up when prices are low.
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Old 22-10-2015, 09:37   #15
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Bloody hard for a tourist to do

But it reinforces the point that local knowledge saves bulk money. Cruisers have the difficulty of never being a local. Never having tome to wait for a special.
If I was living on land I would buy one of those whopping great freezers and stock it up when prices are low.
Never shop front line.. walk inland a bit then head in the direction the shopping bags are coming from.. same goes for restaurants etc..
Trouble with many folks is their fear of not speaking the local language and the distrust they feel.. in many cases down to unjustified scaremongering from others of their own race.
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