Frugal Grocery Indulgences
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A big secret to lowering our grocery bill so substantially is that we indulge. Yep, a frugal grocery list has room for a few splurges too!
Getting ourselves to stop going out to eat randomly, give up our Qdoba habit has been learning to cook food we love at home. That starts with buying groceries we love. So how do we fit splurge items into our $225/month grocery budget?
- We shop the sales ad and splurge on things that are on good sale already
- Splurge items rotate throughout the year, following the seasons, so we never tire of them
- Fancy produce is a favorite splurge (no guilt when you are buying healthy foods)
What We’ve Been Splurging on Lately
Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans
In the summer I posted a picture on instagram of some chocolate covered coffee beans that were my big splurge! They cost a whole $4. I basically think they are the perfect splurge item for me, since the caffeine actually works, so I can only eat 2 or 3 at a time, or I risk having a major coffee buzz for the next hour.
Yum, berries, maybe the most magical fruit. I picked a couple of gallons of blueberries this summer, and still have enough in our freezer to make it until blueberry season this year. But sometimes I like a fresh, non-frozen berry. When they go on sale in the winter I definitely splurge and buy some raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries.
I love guacamole, and every once in a while (even in Michigan) I can get avocados for $0.60! So, I indulge a little and stock up. This past year I learned that I can let them ripen on my counter, than throw them in the fridge. They last another month in the fridge without turning brown! The trick is to get them in there before they are too far past ripe.
A friend of mine also freezes avocado mush and says it works great! I don’t seem to buy enough avocados to need to try that out (or I don’t have as much self control as her), so the fridge works for me.
This past month we’ve stocked up on organic apples, leafy greens, and carrots. I’m not fully decided on where I stand with organic food. I would love to go fully organic, but can’t justify paying the extra price always. I pay attention to the dirty dozen and clean fifteen. It’s pretty counter intuitive that apples are in the dirty dozen. And I’m happy to report that kiwi is in the clean fifteen!
For now we try to grow and freeze lots of our own food. And as we grow our wealth we’ve been buying more organic foods.
Freshly Ground Peanut Butter
I love to bring my own jar and watch my peanut butter be freshly ground when it goes on sale! I still haven’t learned how to make my own PB at home (for the same price as store bought), so this works for now! Peanuts = $1.80/lb; freshly ground grocery store PB = $1.80/lb – I don’t see any savings there.
Last week both the no sugar added PB and the freshly ground stuff went on sale! So we stocked up, and now I feel like I’m living a life of luxury. (As I’m writing this, I’m eating my organic apple with some fresh pb for dessert.)
Over the holidays I made my family’s favorite chocolate paleo pie and Mr. Kiwi made his traditional egg nog. After trying a few non-vegan recipes out, he decided that we would break vegan and buy 1 dozen eggs and 1 container of whipping cream to indulge on his favorite holiday tradition.
Both of the pie and egg nog require maple syrup (since we don’t eat the white granulated stuff). So, now we have a bit extra in the house, and I’m dreaming up what goodie I’ll make for my 30th birthday with the leftovers. I’ve got a couple of months to plan ahead and really enjoy the indulgence. 🙂 Half the fun is in the planning, right?
Also, even if you do eat sugar (no judgement), maple syrup is just so much better and you need so much less than the other syrup requires!
The Regular Groceries
If you are curious about our non-grocery splurges, check out the 15 items that always make our frugal grocery list! In 2017 we averaged spending less than $225/month on groceries to feed our family of two adults. That also includes random grocery items such as toilet paper, so we spend even less than that on food!
We didn’t always see these things as indulgences. But as we simplified the food we put in our bodies, and eliminated most of the processed foods, a simple thing like a blueberry became much more satiating. And, trust me, we have a lot of room to improve on the healthy eating front, but splurging on some healthy groceries helps keep us happy and our wallet a lot more full!
It helps us waste less food, grow a better garden, and cut out a lot of restaurant spending.
What are your favorite grocery indulgence? How do you avoid food waste?