Saturday, January 10, 2009

Grocery store challenge...........

I like to think that we are slowly accomplishing our dream of becoming fairly self sufficient here. We raise a good supply of vegetables that we can, freeze and pickle. We raise pork, beef and lamb. We have chickens for eggs and a dairy cow for milk, butter and soft cheese. My freezers are always full and my pantry looks pretty stocked as well as vegetables in the cellar.

So could someone PLEASE tell me why my grocery bill is at least $125.00 weekly at our local Hannaford Supermarket?!!! Does anyone else deal with this dilemma? I am not a "spender" so to speak and do not spend on wasteful products. I buy what we cannot raise such as paper products, coffee, sugar, etc.
The one thing I do not do at this point is buy in bulk and hopefully next week that is going to change. I have recently found a local food coop and will be going to the store next week to see what it's all about. I talked with the women who runs it on thursday. They have spices, teas and most anything else you would need. They run regular monthly specials in the store and they have a catalog for things that you may need that aren't in the store. For example, last months special was cinnamon $4.00 lb!
I would love to hear what you all do to keep your grocery bill to a minumum or how to keep from going to the grocery store at all!


Christy said...

I do know what you are talking about! I do buy in bulk, mostly from Amazon actually. They have great prices and free shipping on most things. They are way cheaper than the grocery store. But we still spend more there than I want to. I need to pay more attention to what I'm buying there.

Joanna said...

I wish Christy would blog about buying in bulk from Amazon.

Deb, this is a great blog discussion. Like you, I hope to learn from others. I buy off-brands, on-sale, and marked-down. We don't eat out. I really watch and try to be very frugal but I still spend too much.

threecollie said...

I find the same problem. I think it is partly hungry guys here plus no matter how you cut your purchases, prices seem to up constantly.

Anonymous said...

I also canned, froze, preserved, and pickled and I know what you mean about still the other things are high.
I do very well when I buy from the little local grocery store. They have specials on for thursday, friday and saturday. They have their meats on ice and you can pick out which and how pork chops or roast you want. Or whatever meat they have. They are cheaper than the larger grocery stores too.
I try to go once a month to a bigger grocery store and stock up on paper towels, toilet tissue, cat and dog food, etc.
Right now I have cabbage, radishes, carrots, and lettuce in my raised bed that I mulch heavily with pinestraw on below freezing nights. So we have a few fresh vegetables to suppliment it with the frozen,etc.
The problem is that everything has gone up in price when I do go back for the monthly buying.

Joanne said...

It's hard to cut out processed grocery store food and paper goods, but totally worth it in terms of saving money. I mean, the temptation is to occasionally buy a pre-made crust, cookies, or breakfast cereal. (I've cut out all but cereal...)

The paper goods like napkins, paper towels, etc? use cloth napkins and dish towels and rags and you'd be amazed how much less waste there is,and you save money, too. Of course, I draw the line at toilet paper, which I consider non-negotiable!

I also have cut down grocery store trips, mostly because I buy locally, can and freeze, and don't want to support our local grocery chain! Go through every single thing you buy at the store and try to figure out what you're spending all that money on. I bet some of it can be cut and everyone will still be full and reasonably happy without whatever it was! Good luck.

Throwback at Trapper Creek said...

Probably bulk is the way to go, most things keep quite awhile and if you go in with someone you can buy an even larger quantity and split it. Most dry bulk items store very well, so larger quantities make sense even just for one family.

Our grocery bill averages $250.00 a month including coffee,sugar, tp, and junk food. That's for 2 adults and 1 teenager, and includes hubby's lunches for work. But, that means I have to cook everything from scratch, and no extra's. We drink Kombucha instead of pop, and rarely eat out.
But it is a full time job, managing this. The food bill goes up a little in summer when I buy extra fruit for canning.

Our co-op delivers organic foods cheaper than what regular food costs in the store. So that helps a lot.

This is a tough one, Deb. Food prices are probably not going down any time soon if ever, and the sad fact is that the poor farmer isn't getting any more $$ in his pocket.

kristi said...

I average about $90 every 2 weeks for myself...about the same on the dogs & cats too. I shop when I get paid. Last week when I went I noticed that it "appeared" to me the prices on TP, paper towels, & cleaning products went up. Its not getting any cheaper thats for sure. My downfall is my Coke & chips which has gone up a lot in my opinion. Sometimes I have no idea how families of 4 and 5 can keep up. I NEVER charge food/gas/cleaning products, too me its like paying double by the time you pay it off. There is this great bulk store in Amish country where I buy all my cooking stuff and I do save a lot there. I hope to have more of what I grown this coming year; though not sure it will be a "savings"..but I'll have satisfaction in it and won't share LOL

melanie said...

I once made a promise I would never patronize a "dollar store" just because of the negative connotations - but I have changed my mind! Check out what your local store has - I often find spices, cleaning supplies, paper goods (although I completely support the idea of cloth towels and napkins!) and assorted food items - just know your'd be amazed what they can sell for $1...

Egghead said...

I buy store brands and shop in bulk from Costco but we still spend more than I want. Prices have sky rocketed here since the gas increase (even though gas is now cheaper). The food prices don't go back down though. Frustrating.

Akannie said...

HI Deb...

This is a great blog discussion.

There's a book called The Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn that has been a great help to me. Prices are going up every time I shop. Bulk shopping helps, but I have to be careful too. It's just himself and me and all our menagerie of animals. I probably still spend 200/month on groceries (when I'm careful). I garden and can and freeze extensively. We have chickens. But I still buy some meat and chicken and fish. We use cloth napkins and towels. We recycle everything to within an inch of it's life. I rarely make meat main dishes anymore, rather make casseroles and stir frys and have a vegetarian meal at least 3 times a week. I make everything from scratch, including bread. And still, it costs that much at the store.

Glad I found you....I'll be back!

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