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Can any former food splurgers help us? - Page 2

post #21 of 23
I'm also a food splurger who is trying to reform. We've been spending a rediculous amount every month on groceries and eating out. We are a family of 10 and have been spending around $1500/mo. We don't live in a high cost of living area, and I'm not terribly rigid about buying organic, though I do get some organic produce. I think I should be able to get the cost down to $1000/mo fairly easily. Eating out is definitely our downfall. My dh eats out everyday for lunch, and it's not uncommon for us to eat out as a family a couple times a week, and then dh and I often have a date meal sometime over the weekend. It's almost like a form of entertainment for us to be honest. We all enjoy it, but I know it's wasteful and not healthy to do it as often as we do. It often happens when we're running errands or due to my poor planning.

I don't know what is realistic for a family our size to spend, but I know I could cut it down a lot just by nixing the eating out. I feel so wasteful and awful and am ready to buckle down and start some better habits. The kids and I have started taking our lunch each week on the day that we're gone at lunchtime. We saved $75 and I'm sure countless fat grams and sodium this month alone just by doing that.

Thanks for all the great ideas in this thread. I plan on investing in a bigger crockpot(ours is way too small to hold enough for our family), and I love the idea of making a huge batch of rice and freezing it. Definitely going to do that too. Going to be lurking on this board as well for ideas and inspiration.
post #22 of 23
Originally Posted by YinYang View Post
I've been (over) thinking about it and wonder if it has to do with me working from home? I don't even know... but this is definitely my food splurge. Would love - if such a thing exists - if another recovered addict has suggestions!
That could definitely be part of it--getting out of the house to a place that feels warm and inviting and non-work-related is tempting! (I worked from home for five years myself.) Plus, it's also tempting to be able to go to a place that will be able to hand you EXACTLY what you want with no effort at ll on your part--the cinnamon raisin bagel you're in the mood for rather than the plain grocery store or day-old bagel you have at home, the pumpkin spice latte rather the plain coffee, etc.

I have the same problem with coffee, and I've mostly solved it by buying a good travel cup that I love and is easy to use (dishwasher safe, hot and cold safe, no plastic, no thin styrofoam bottom layer that falls off after the first washing, etc. ), and by buying good coffee that I like, and occasionally buying fancy (and thoroughly unhealthy) creamers when I'm in the mood for a splurge. I find that if I make the coffee FIRST THING IN THE MORNING, before I do anything else or go anywhere, it kills the craving. Even if I have to drive right past Starbucks to get where I'm going, I may feel the urge, but it's much weaker and I can combat it. Can you do something similar with your main pitfalls?

Also consider buying better-quality splurges to keep at home. For the longest time I tried cutting out the splurges altogether to save money/save/calories/try to stick to organics, and that just led to my buying coffee and snacks out of the house more often anyway, which defeated all my original goals!

Snuggly, it's been awhile since you posted, so maybe you have a handle on this already, but I was going to throw my advice in with everyone else's. Now is the perfect time to start acquiring knockout SOUP recipes! Add bread and a salad or veg and you have a great, filling meal that goes far. One of my favorites is potato cheese soup--I can make a triple batch (natural cheddar, Niman Ranch ham, organic Yukon Gold potatoes, etc.) for about $15 (maybe less, I'm guesstimating--the ham is the expensive part so you might even be able to get it lower), and that will feed four of us for dinner for three nights and will also provide a lunch or two in the bargain. My favorite organic butternut squash soup is way cheaper, and so is any chicken based soup you make from a leftover chicken (roasted the first day, chicken salad sammiches the second, and chicken and brown rice soup on the third). Soup keeps in the fridge for days, so it cuts down your cooking time, and it can also be frozen for fast meals on crazy days.

You've gotten great advice already. I'd say take baby steps, find ways to use your crockpot or cook ahead (soup! lasagna! roast chicken! fried rice!), and start putting together a repertoire of fast meals that you can pull from to menu plan. Oh, and also, when you cook a big meal, box up part of it and hide it in the fridge before your family even gets to the table. Usually, out of sight is out of mind. If your DH really needs that much food (and he very well might, of course), you can always pull it out for him. But it may turn out that if it's not there for him to pick at, he won't "need" it as much.

Good luck!
post #23 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hiya! OP here... Thanks to awareness, changes, and a visit from MIL where she treated us to dinner a few times last month was much better... Just under $700! I know, not great, but a vast improvement from our previous food bill of $900.

We are of to a shaky start this month, but I just planned the next 7 dinners, using quite a bit of what we already have. So, changes for the better is the report. DH is pleased with saving money but he, in his words, "hates having to always think about it". I said that these changes will start to become habit then we won't have to always think about it... Is this true?
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