Thursday, January 29, 2009

budget-friendly?

I'll get to that in a minute . . .

First, the weekly grocery haul:
example

CHEESE:
local chevre

FROZEN:
Amy's roasted veg no cheese pizza ($1.50 off!)

PACKAGED GROCERY:
Seventh Generation TP
organic chipotle lime salsa

PRODUCE:
organic carrot
organic mango
organic Minneolas
organic dino kale
local hydroponic romaine
organic green pepper
local, organic beets
organic pink lady apples
organic d'anjou pears

REFRIGERATED GROCERY:
organic flour tortillas

~~~~~~~~~~

So, let's get to that "budget-friendly" question. Like many these days, I've been forced to tighten my belt a little bit -- I've stopped working my weekly shift at the kitchenwares store for the time being, so between that and the crummy economy, my monthly budget has taken a little bit of a hit. Having my weekends back has been worth it, (although I miss my coworkers!!!), but for the first time in a long time, I've been on a grocery budget.

Now, I must be honest -- $350 seems like a LOT to be spending on food every month, but I'm not sure it really is, in the end. I try to buy organic and/or local and/or fair trade foods as much as possible, I feel like I eat reasonably healthfully (which includes a lot of fruits and veggies,) we hardly EVER eat out, and although I live alone, Dan does spend the majority of the weekends at my house, so I'm feeding a hungry guy 2 1/2 days per week.

I also have to remember that cooking is my hobby -- my passion, really. I think about how much money some people I know spend on their hobbies, and think choosing cooking was a bargain!

With all that said, I still went over my grocery budget this month by $32.32. So, here's the challenge: what are some of your best budget-friendly meals/recipes/grocery shopping ideas?? I do a lot of the basics already, like shop the bulk bins, make many things from scratch, and especially lately, we've been eating more dried beans and rice than I'd probably care to, if I had my choice. (Don't get me wrong . . . I love beans. I just miss tofu and tempeh!)

How am I going to shave that last $32 off my grocery spending?????

11 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

I used to love that Amy's pizza!! Damn my gluten/wheat allergy :-(

Sharon said...

Hum, buying bulk seems to keep my budget in check. And as well, I buy things on sale, unless it is my usual romaine lettuce. But my romaine lettuce is typically at a great deal regardless.

Before heading to the grocery store, I get a quick scan online of what is featured on sale. And I go from there. Tofu actually isn't too expensive. For me, it is less than 2 dollars a container.... I would say, depending on the brand, but the large ones went for 1.50 for one, which is mighty tasty.

Shawn Powers said...

I'm afraid to think what we spend on food in a month. It's ironic we work our butts off so we can have more money, so we have less time to cook, and spend more money on unhealthy "quick" food.

Oy. :)

veggievixen said...

ooh i love pink lady apples! the name just sounds so fancy.

mtbVegan said...

I love that Amy's Pizza, man, I haven't had it in ages...I might pick one up next time I'm at the store.

Meg said...

I spend too much on groceries all the time, so I would be of no help.

Do you like the no cheese pizza? I have been wanting to try it.

Courtney said...

I shop the sales at grocery stores. It does take time to walk/travel to the various stores, but I am so cheap that it is worth it :o) I look at the Sunday advertisements--or most stores post their sales on-line too--and go from there. I make a list for each store based on what is on sale that week and what I need. I may be craving oranges, but if apples are on sale, then I go for apples. And I stock up! If something is on sale and it will keep at my apt just as well as it would keep at the grocery store, I will buy a lot of it. So my grocery bill may be a bit inflated one week, but then drop pretty drastically the next.

Oh--I also clip coupons. There are not that many coupons that I will actually use, but every once in a while they will have coupons for things that I really do buy (it is rare, but it does happen!).

And don't forget--the Asian grocery store has non-gmo tofu for .99 cents!

It sounds like you are really already doing so many things right and that you know what you are doing...it is just hard!

Let me know if you ever need a ride to a grocery store!

Courtney

Vegan On Stage said...

pink lady apples are my absolute favorite!!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE THEM!!! they are so sweet!!!

i tend to spend way way way too much money on food. Since we live in a family of three ( i live with my parents) Its so hard to not sacrifice the quality of foods that we buy for the sake of a few bucks

Cafe Cyan said...

Our monthly budget for groceries is $450 for the two of us and I once saved $32 in coupons - yay me! But that's not usual.

I think you're already doing the right things - maybe it's just time to adjust your budget (eek!)

Have you tried making tofu from your Soybella? I haven't tried it yet, but maybe that would save a dollar or two.

What about the toilet paper? Is it cheaper if you buy a multipack? (sorry, just brainstorming here).

Hopefully with summer approaching ...well, in a few months anyway...produce will be a bit cheaper and that will naturally help!

Good for you for thinking of budget. I can't say we've made too many adjustments yet except for trying to eat in more and not buying as much alcohol (no drinking on weekdays).

aTxVegn said...

Ugh, it's so hard to stay within a budget on food. I feel like I cut corners everywhere else too! And lots of my staples seem to have gone up at least 10 cents. The only other thing I can think of is to see if your local produce is any cheaper.

Burp~! said...

I try to save up too, but now figure that no matter the price, I want to invest my money on good, healthy nutritious food...and save up on the health bills in the future!