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Grocery Spending and Deep Freezer

March 24th, 2016 at 04:53 pm

Something interesting I found about our in general spending habits. We do often times spend money daily. But we really don't shop and buy stuff other than groceries. We do have many days of running out to the store for a sale or fresh fruit or veggies. I've found that it's almost every other day. But at the same time since we've moved and had no income we've really curbed eating out. Before I would say we ate out 3-4x/week. Usually one night during the week, Saturday lunch/dinner and Sunday Lunch or Friday dinner. So our eating out was running $200-300/month if not more and not counting special occasions.

Now looking at our spending, yes we do spend between $650-750/month on groceries. But our eating out is less than $100/month. This month we've eaten out $10 so far and haven't any plans to eat out the rest of the month though it might happen. Plus our grocery bill is weirdly under $500 to date and we are trying to clear the freezer and pantry so I predict we'll be under $600 for with 7 days to go. We've already bought the rib roast for Sunday which will a few days of leftovers.

So we talking with friends who have a deep freezer because they hunt. DH and I meet quite a few people now who hunt and I grew up eating a lot of hunted meat (smoked) and fresh fish. I miss it but DH doesn't hunt and we've not really had the opportunity to fish. But now we're in a place where it might be possible. We also live in a house with a garage. So buying a deep freezer after we buy a house is something we're discussing.

Even if we don't hunt (i'm interested in Elk), I just got elk burgers from friends and deer tenderloin from other friends, I was thinking maybe we could go an buy a quarter cow. It might be cheaper and something worth finally investing in.

What are people's thoughts about deep freezers? Do you have one and what do you use it for? Do you hunt?

8 Responses to “Grocery Spending and Deep Freezer”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    No hunting. No deep freeze. I think if you do hunt/fish that a fresher would be very helpful.

  2. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    Not until we move so we don't have to move it again. Then we'll research it more. I think we may not hunt but I'd like to buy a quarter steer.

  3. snafu Says:

    Perhaps because I started as a teacher paid the last Friday of the month, it was practical to shop once a month. In my opinion every shopping trip avoided reduces spending because even if just stopping for milk, bread and oranges, you'll likely buy at least enough to fill a bag. I see grocery shopping as one more repetitive chore, buy it, make/serve it, used up and needed again. Gratefully DH has recently undertaken this activity and while I'm puzzled by some choices, I appreciate his pleasant price matching requests at the till.

    I use a menu plan + store flyers/electronic ads to create a list for the month that tends to be season matched and cost efficient. There is a stop on the way home weekly to take advantage of a bulk and ethnic outlet for extra fresh fruit, vegetables and dairy. Experience has taught if I'm missing an ingredient there's likely a substitute or I can make something different. It's very time saving to make a large batch of easy to freeze entrees, bag it in appropriate serving sizes and have a back up plan for days when it all goes off the track. A small deep freeze holds a remarkable amount of food. In my opinion, restaurant food has become boxed, frozen, packaged meals full of fat, sugar, unpronounceable chemicals sometimes poorly handled and I prefer the creative challenge of cooking.

  4. CB in the City Says:

    I used to have a small deep freeze in the garage, and it held a lot. Now that my kids are grown I have no need for a freezer, other than the top of my fridge, but I think it is a great thing to have for a family. I would only caution don't go too big unless you have a large family and do a lot of cooking.

  5. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    One purchase I want to make as soon as we have a house is either a chest freezer or stand up freezer. I have been making homemade "tv dinners" for my lunches, and they take up a LOT of space in my above fridge freezer. Once I'm making for two, it will be SO nice to have the extra space.

    I used to have a stand up freezer - inherited from my parents when they downsized. I used it for 8 years and loved it! Only let go of it because I foresaw too many more moves in my future and didn't want to keep hauling it around.

  6. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    Snafu, how do you manage without fresh fruits and veggies even once a week? I really cut down on waste by buying very little and more often. Before it was easier to accidentally miss fruit or veggies, but now everything is eaten and preplanned for 2-3 days. I struggled with the once a week shopping that sometimes things would go bad before we had time to eat it.

    CB I would like a freezer.

    FT I keep thinking maybe. I wonder what it would cost to run and if it's worth it.

  7. LuckyRobin Says:

    LAL--You can easily shop your fruit so it lasts all month. You just have to adjust how you do it. You buy berries and ripe bananas for the first week, a sealed container of spinach, green bananas, a whole pineapple, green mangoes, or whole melons (canteloupe, honeydew, watermelon) for the second week, and kiwi, oranges, grapefruit, and apples for weeks 3 and 4. The most perishable stuff gets eaten first while the green bananas and mangoes have a chance to ripen, and the longer keeping stuff gets eaten last. You can do similar things with vegetables. You buy lettuce, kale, green onions, and chard for the first week, broccoli, cauliflower, and bell peppers for the second week, and carrots, onions, radishes, cabbage, turnips, parsnips, potatoes and sweet potatoes for weeks 3 and 4.

    We have a couple of freezers. We use it to store the chickens, ducks, and rabbits we raise and butcher, and 1/4 cow and 1/2 a hog and any lamb we purchase. I also store berries, onion and bell pepper strips or dices, and any other garden produce that I don't can. Even before we started doing this I would buy meat in bulk on sale, transfer it to usable portions for my family, and freeze it. I saved a lot of money that way and almost never paid full price for anything. I also use it to have homemade TV dinners and double batches of lasagna, enchiladas, or casseroles for future meals on days I don't feel like cooking and can just pop something in the oven.

  8. livingalmostlarge Says:

    Great thanks LR. Too bad DH hates frozen food. He only eats fresh meat if possible. He prefers it never frozen. I got a deal on meat and he refused to let me freeze it. UGGH. Him and his stupid I can feel crystals.

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