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how much do you spend a week on groceries and what do you buy?

I spend a pile of money at restaurants and food shopping and I could be saving so much. I'm looking for some inspiration on how to eat well, cook more and save $$$.

Wed. Sep 12, 12:06pm

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i stay away from the middle aisles. that's where they keep the junk food! i stay to the outside- for fresh produce, meat and dairy. i only venture into the center for things like canned tuna, bread, bottled water and paper products. i refuse to go down the other ones to resist the temptation to grab a bag of chips or cookies. if i don't buy it, i won't eat it! good luck!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007, 12:55 PM

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One change you could make is to visit a farmer's market and buy your veggies there. You might not save money but you are keeping local farmers afloat and your veggies will be so fresh thay will taste wonderful. So you may just make a few more salads and stay at home to eat them (tomatoes are SO GOOD right now.

Best of luck to you....this is one of many awakenings you will make in your journey to better health. There is tremendous ripple out to multiple aspects in your life.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007, 12:59 PM

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Planning! I plan all my meals for the week and buy the exact quantities that I need to make everything. This cuts down on waste, saves me time in the evening (no more wandering around the kitchen wondering what to make) and definitely saves me time and money in the grocery store (no more wandering around the store trying to plan meals while I shop or buying a bunch of produce I will waste later).

I plan breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner and most importantly I plan the meals we eat out. I love eating out, but now I am more in control of what I eat and I don't just let it happen because I'm tired and don't want to cook. We eat out Friday night, Sat at lunch and sometimes Sun lunch as well (if we're away from home on errands). I plan for leftovers, etc. During the middle and end of the week I plan things that will take less time and inthe beginning of the week I plan for bigger meals so I will have leftovers for lunch or dinner later, etc. I KNOW I'm gonna be tired and not want to cook, so why let it ambush me every week?

I make my grocery list while I plan - I write on a white board the days of the week and what I'm cooking is right next to them. Then under each day I note the ingredients I need for that dish. The whiteboard lives on the fridge and I copy everything onto my list. Then I go to the store and buy the ingredients i need. I spend $75 a week on two of us and believe me I don't stint on quality meats, veggies or fruits. We spend $100 - $125 a week eating out and that's just 2-3 meals so you can see the savings (we go to one really nice restaurant and Subway is my fast food joint).

Having the whiteboard on the fridge with the meals next to each day reminds me what I was going to make when I come home and I'm frazzled. I know I have all the ingredients so no emergency runs to the store (where I pick up the item i needed and then some), and more importantly my husband can't use the Well-I-didn't-know-what-you-had-planned excuse to not start dinner if he gets home before me. :-) This system actually makes it more of a hassle to deviate from the plans than to stick to what I intended to cook.

As for what I buy? I buy very, very few prepackaged or processed foods. I make a lot of one-dish meals with chicken, lots and lots of veggies, very little pasta and a light sauce. Meals of this type are quick preprepare, make great leftovers and are satisfying. I love to grill and those cedar grilling papers make incredible smoky veggies (I make extra and throw them into a recipe like that). I like to roast chicken and use the breast meat in recipes and the rest to make big pots of soup on the weekend (again lots of veggies and no cream-based ones) and take them for lunch or freeze for dinner if I ever do get in a pinch - which occasionally happens even with the most rabid planning).

This system has saved me money, time and reduced most stress around shopping, making meals and what to cook. To each his/her own, but this has really made a difference for me. Best wishes!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007, 2:22 PM

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whatever you do, just make wise choices and read the labels!!! don't over buy your veggies - you don't want them to go bad before you get to them. that is money right into the trash. I try and shop every couple of days and pick up my fresh stuff (veggie, meat, etc.). I do a major shopping about every two weeks for staples (cereals, pasta, paper products, and canned good, etc.) In the summer I love the local produce stands - they usually go into fall and I love to get my apples there! yummy right off the tree!!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007, 2:33 PM

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I just spent almost 200 dollars yesterday for two of us but I had not been shopping in 2 weeks. So being a little on the high side I would say for two we usually spend 100-125 per week. I always have somethings left over that you continue to use. There are always things that you buy more than you normally would to stock up because it's on sale and boy it makes a difference.
I seldom plan what we will have until the night before or the afternoon of. But I always have whatever meat I want in the freezer. My big thing is I love to have tons of fresh fruits and veggies.
Lately my favorite is zucchini. I put it in everything and it really makes meals stretch.
Fry it in a non stick skillet with Pam or the equivalent of.
There are always left overs. It is hard to cook for just two. So I have a vacuum sealer and I will freeze portions of the meal and then vacuum seal it.
Then when I am tired and don't want to cook we can choose what sounds best to us. I always try and keep a few lean cuisine in the freezer for those days too.
Oh onions too they make your meal stretch.
I use very little pasta. So I have to be creative.
I love tacos and enchiladas and such so I use a lot of onion and diced zucchini. Once the seasoning is in there you can't tell any difference. On the occasion that I have company I have always got compliments. I'm tellin' ya, zucchini is a wonder food and only 20 cal each.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007, 8:26 PM

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I live with four girls and we spend about $120 a week on groceries. We are very frugal and find creative ways to make our meals stretch. We actually don't eat out very much - I only let myself eat out twice a week. We buy a lot of generic brands and pay attention to sales.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007, 10:26 PM

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Sept 12 2:22 PM

You're either a crazy compulsive or pure inspiration. Maybe both? :)

I actually believe that what you outline is a smart, cost-effective and healthy alternative to eating out. While not as disciplined, I have found that simply eating in MORE than eating out has been a sure-fire way for me to lose weight and save a fortune!

To the original poster, I would say $75 per week keeps me (single woman, working 30 hours per week) well fed on a diet rich in fresh (not packaged) meat, vegetables and fruit.

Thursday, September 13, 2007, 12:06 PM

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$150 a week for 3 people with very limited processed food.

Monday, September 17, 2007, 12:21 AM

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