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    • How to Feed a Family of 4 for less than $200 Month

      According to the US government, the average family of 4 spends between $713-$1,113* a month on groceries.
      Learn how we feed our family of 4 for less than $200 a month! Download our free E-book, complete with recipes, a monthly menu and more.



      Please Note: This ebook was Originally Published in 2001

      F.A.Q - Here are various questions that we've received via email . . .

      Several Guests have asked: " I noticed this e-book was originally written in 2001; Do you still spend under $200 a month to feed your family, and if so, how?"
      Yes, this e-book was originally written nearly a decade ago. Today, my children are Teenagers (with apparently hollow legs!), and the Economy has changed drastically in the last 10 years.

      With that said, We still feed our family of 4 for $230-250 per month. This amount covers the following:
      • Cleaning Supplies
      • Beauty/Personal Care Items
      • Paper Products (namely TP)
      • Groceries(obviously)
      • Pet/Critter Chow - (chicken feed, dog food, cat food) Horse Not included.
      The biggest difference in our family budget between then and now, is that now I often utilize coupons. I used to (mistakenly) think that coupons were difficult to clip & use and for products that I wouldn't purchase anyway.

      I still feel that more often then not, the coupons we tend to clip are for products I wouldn't normally purchase, the difference is now, I don't have to purchase them. I often get the groceries for free by using the coupons properly and matching them with sales.
      Another thing that has changed for us, is that we have moved across country (literally) twice since this e-book was written. One area was so rural (less than 150 people in the entire town), that we had to drive well over an hour to get groceries. Which meant we couldn't buy frozen foods unless we also bought ice and brought a cooler, or they'd be ruined by the time we got home.
      It also meant that we were not able to purchase meats in bulk from a butcher. Instead we had to take advantage of seasonal deals to stock up. For example, in January we purchased 50 lbs of boneless skinless chicken breasts for $1.33 a pound.

      So, yes, this e-book is still valid today.



      How do you find time to make your own mixes from scratch? I work full time outside of the home, and I don't have time to make my own mixes/groceries.
      Let me ask you, how long does it take you to get in your vehicle, drive to the store, pick out a few convenience item groceries, stand in line, pay for them, drive home, unload your car, and then put away the groceries? I'm willing to bet it takes you more than 20 minutes, but I can make 10 mixes in 20 minutes, without a thought.


      How do you do it?

      First, make sure you've tried the recipe and enjoy it. While nearly all the recipes on our site are tried and true, everyone’s tastes are different and what some claim to be the best they've ever had, might equal the flavor of roasted skunk to you.

      Once you've tried the recipe, simply line up 10 Ziploc bags (or vacuum seal bags if you are fortunate enough to have this delightful item in your kitchen!). Measure out the ingredients into each bag.

      For example- if you're making cookies, measure your 2 c. of flour into each of the 10 bags, then your 1/2 c. sugar, into each, etc. Scribble the directions for mixing them up on the outside of the bag with a permanent marker, For ex. - add 2 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla, mix well bake 350 10 min. It doesn't have to be labeled with tags worthy of Martha Stewart, you just have to know what else to add to make them.

      Do you Phone family or friends?

      If you do, this is a great time for making your mixes. While you're chatting away, catching up on all of Aunt Bertha's latest doctor appointment updates, or lending an ear to your best friends boyfriend blunder, sock away a few more mixes in your pantry. Even a 15 minute phone call can result in 5 or more mixes in the cupboard for another day.


      View our $50 Weekly Menus- these include Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and snacks

      Please feel free to submit additional questions or suggestions below!


      Statistics are based on Official USDA gov Food Plans, 2008


      **UPDATE**
      2012 Family Guide to Groceries under 0 a MonthLast Year we released an Updated Version of this eBook, "The 2012 Family Guide to Groceries under $250 a Month" a 73 page guide to drastically reducing the grocery bill

      Comments 28 Comments
      1. MissDaisy's Avatar
        Amazing information that anyone can follow. I love that any income level can follow this ebook. It's helped our family pay off thousands of dollars in debt and were still going.

        Hope to be debt free by November 2011
      1. faxonfive's Avatar
        Wow....that was easy to download!!! Thank you Liss - Is there a way I can get this in hard back???

      1. faxonfive's Avatar
        Heck Im gonna print it......Duh.....I was having a moment!!


        Thanks bunches!!!

      1. happy0349's Avatar
        I'm so excited that I found this offer.

        Thanks for making this ebook free
      1. MoGirl1073's Avatar
        when you try to view the ebook, it is only showing the first page. everything else is blank...
      1. Liss's Avatar
        Quote Originally Posted by MoGirl1073 View Post
        when you try to view the ebook, it is only showing the first page. everything else is blank...
        It sounds as though your ebook copy was corrupted during the download, you should download it again, but this time be sure that you aren't running other programs in the background- which can cause issues for some users/computers.
      1. Briarwren's Avatar
        Quote Originally Posted by MoGirl1073 View Post
        when you try to view the ebook, it is only showing the first page. everything else is blank...
        I had the same problem. However, I discovered that after saving it to my computer and opening it from there, that all of the content was there.
      1. FreebieQueen's Avatar
        Quote Originally Posted by Briarwren View Post
        I had the same problem. However, I discovered that after saving it to my computer and opening it from there, that all of the content was there.
        Oh! I guess i did not realize that folks were trying to view the book without Downloading it first! thank you, I will add a note to the page to let them know they must download it completely before they will be able to view it.

        thank you!
      1. alltheworldisar's Avatar
        This is fantastic! I'm so excited, I made and published a post on my blog about it immediately. You can check it out here:

        http://alltheworldisart-funcreativitygod.blogspot.com/2012/08/free-great-frugal-ebook-feed-family-of.html

        Kudos on such a helpful book! I love to help people too, so I offer lot's of frugal tips and info on freebies, coupons etc. on my site too. Your site is great!
      1. megwallacel's Avatar
        great ideas in this book I found it on Amazon.com Kindle books and now I am hooked on the site. Thanks, I love the Recipes and money saving tips and ideas, always looking for new ways to save time and money
      1. BellaRosa's Avatar
        Is anyone still able to feed their families for an entire month on $200.00? Over the last 2 years food prices have skyrocketed (especially in rural areas) and I was wondering if this is still possible. I would love to hear feedback on this.

        Bella~
      1. Christina P's Avatar
        I downloaded the book- thanks for making it free! One question, your book focuses on dinners. Does the 200 include breakfast, lunches and snacks? If so, how?
      1. Twoods's Avatar
        Very interesting ideas here, not only in the book either! Thanks for the free ebook!
      1. Shellc1971's Avatar
        I am making several of the mixes today! Living 45 miles from the nearest grocery stores, I need to make the stuff myself! Laundry detergent will be my next to tackle!
      1. Ginger.Foodies's Avatar
        I have a question about a item in your excellent book.

        Page 31, Lemon Pie-Filling Mix

        It seems incomplete. How do you use it? What do you need to add and do to make it into lemon pie filling?

        Do you use milk or water? How much?

        Do you cook it, like the cooked pudding mixes of old? Or is it more of an instant pudding that you bat into submission?

      1. FreebieQueen's Avatar
        Quote Originally Posted by Ginger.Foodies View Post
        I have a question about a item in your excellent book.

        Page 31, Lemon Pie-Filling Mix

        It seems incomplete. How do you use it? What do you need to add and do to make it into lemon pie filling?

        Do you use milk or water? How much?

        Do you cook it, like the cooked pudding mixes of old? Or is it more of an instant pudding that you bat into submission?

        Whoops: here are the directions to make a pie:

        1 BAKED pie crust
        1 1/4 cups lemon pie filling mix (see book for mix)
        2 1/2 cups water 3 egg yolks (save the whites for meringue, you'll also need 6 Tbls sugar)
        2 tbls butter

        Have pie crust ready & still HOT.
        In a large saucepan, combine dry lemon pie filling mix, 1/2 of the water and egg yolks.
        Mix until smooth.

        Add remaining water. Cook over medium heat, until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat. Add butter and stir until melted. Cover & let rest 5 minutes, then stir again and pour into prepared hot pie crust.



        Now you may either refrigerate for a couple of hrs and add whipped cream or else you can add meringue to the warm pie and then refrigerate.

        For meringue
        In a deep metal or glass bowl, beat 3 egg whites until stiff, gradually adding 6 Tbls. of sugar. Spread on top of the warm pie, sealing to edges(to make peaks, dip your clean fingertips in meringue and pull up)

        Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 8-10 mins, until meringue is lightly browned. Cool pie on wire rack, then refrigerate.
      1. Shelley43's Avatar
        I down loaded this book! I can't wait to try some of the mixes! We have had a big drop in income and I'm trying anything I can to save money!
      1. maddiejane's Avatar
        This site is so great for saving money, thank you!
      1. Caitieb5189's Avatar
        This is great and gives some wonderful examples, and tips on how to make this work in the real world not just those ideal lives magazines, and such assume everyone lives.
      1. Rondahs's Avatar
        Great Ebook, thank you. And happy holidays.

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