Grocery Budget- General Budget & Finance

How in the heck do you guys do your groceries so cheap? I would love, being the new one here to get some advice. Our weekely bill is almost 160.00. Now, I do a daycare at home, but only 2 of the children are old enough for table food. MJ From: "MJ Rivest" <quilt4luv Date: Thu May 29, 2003

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Thread: Grocery Budget

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    Default Grocery Budget


    How in the heck do you guys do your groceries so cheap? I would love, being
    the new one here to get some advice. Our weekely bill is almost 160.00.
    Now, I do a daycare at home, but only 2 of the children are old enough for
    table food.

    MJ

    From: "MJ Rivest" <quilt4luv
    Date: Thu May 29, 2003 12:29 pm
    Subject: grocery budget

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    One word. Aldi's. I don't know it your have one in your area, but Aldi's or
    Sav-a-lot are a God send to the frugal family.

    God's blessings,
    Nicole B.

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    I posted earlier about spending quite a bit on groceries. But, it is more
    expensive when you have to follow special diets. We do use some fat free
    products. And as a general rule, they are much more expensive than their
    counterparts. Would love to able to use more cheese. But, what cheese we use
    is either
    low fat or fat free. Have tried some of the soy or rice cheeses, but we
    really don't care too much for them. We were also told that most of the pasta
    we
    use should be whole grain type. I have tried corn, and rice and whole wheat.
    We have also tried some of the whole grain flours, other than wheat on the
    market. But, they also are kind of expensive. But, I would rather spend the
    money and have my hubby healthy. We just try to watch it more on other things.

    One of the things we have started doing is using our library more. Letting
    some of our magazines subscriptions expire, and then check them out from the
    library if we want to read one of them. We also check out an occasional movie.

    The movies are free. There is a charge if they are late. But, think is the
    same as books, which is currently a dime a day. I also love to read and our
    library has an on-line service. You want to check out a certain book you e-mail

    their site and let them know what you want, and they notify you when it is
    ready and you just go pick it up. They will also mail your books to you if you
    are disabled. But, think there is quite a charge for that. I currently am
    checking out about five or six books a week. I just got a couple of cookbooks
    yesterday. One is a route 66 cookbook. And, the other is on comfort food.
    Going to see if I can tweak a couple and make them low fat.

    Nadine

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    I think I'm in need of help too..my hubby and I went shopping (it's always more
    dangerous when we're together) and spent 389 for the week...although his
    parents are here and we do have 5 kids, so it's for 9 of us. I know I can still
    spend a lot less...and will work on it. No aldi's or anything of that sort near.

    traci

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    > I think I'm in need of help too..my hubby and I went shopping (it's
    always more
    > dangerous when we're together) and spent 389 for the
    week...although his
    > parents are here and we do have 5 kids, so it's for 9 of us. I know
    I can still
    > spend a lot less...and will work on it. No aldi's or anything of
    that sort near.
    > traci


    wow thats a lot of mouths to feed...i recently cut my budget down,
    and found that it wasnt that hard. I started omac..(once a month
    cooking). buying making and freezing meals ahead, that really helped
    a lot. Also I put it in my head--no premade purchases such as frozen
    pizza, hot pockets, perogies, french fries etc...I no longer buy
    prepackaged premade foods that i can make myself at home ahead of
    time and freeze for later. I purchase 50 lb. bags of potatoes, cut
    into fries, boil 2 min...then flash freeze and bag them up for later,
    I also used the potatoes for twice baked potatoes, perogies, etc... I
    make my own pizza's and hot pockets ahead and freeze them, everything
    is premade so the lazy members in the family...at least my family can
    just grab it from the freezer and put it in the microwave...o yea
    dont forget the cookies do you know how many cookies you can make for
    the price of a store bought pack....well i hope this helped a little.
    lots of luck, jodi

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    What about a Sam's ware house.Tina

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    I went grocery shopping today and spent $163.47 for the month for
    myself, 1 15 yr. old boy and a 14 yr. old girl. The only stuff I'll
    have to buy now is milk and fruit.
    Pat S in Canada

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    One thing that I find helps is to come up with a meal plan or menu so that I
    know ahead of time what I plan to make for dinners. I don't really meal plan
    lunches b/c they are usually just sandwiches and breakfast is usually cereal. I
    may try planning those a little more since I'll be home all summer with my
    kids.

    I can't say I know exactly what I spend of groceries a month. I keep track of
    it off and on and it's usually around $300. My sister who has only one small
    child spends over $500 a month and can't understand how I manage on $300 so I
    plan on keeping track really good of what I spend and what we eat so that I can
    show her what I do. I'll share that with you all too. One thing though that
    does affect her food budget is that they have more company than we do. Also,
    they have a boat and when they take friends out on their boat, it seems as
    though the friends expect dsis and her dh to supply all the food and drinks. My
    sister says she's putting an end to that this yr and will let her friends know
    this ahead of time.

    Kathy

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    Charlotte posted, and several others asked in similar ways:

    > Can you please post to the group any menu samples, food costs ect.? I am
    > very interested in this also as I am sure many others are. I spend $400 a
    > month on food and household items, this includes a 7 year old, me, my
    > husband and a BIG dog. I know that there has to be a way to cut down. I
    > would love to have sample menus and such. I have to have something in front
    > of me to follow as I have no clue! LOL Thank you all for all the info, you
    > are great!
    > Charlotte

    Hi Charlotte and all,

    On 7 May, I reposted on this subject from my perspective, giving
    recipes and an example of what I did for nearly two years until this
    month--$50 a month for food for my two youngest sons, now both
    teenagers, and me. It wasn't easy, but I did it, and hopefully that
    will give each person seeking it, the encouragement.

    Look for message #6281, and you'll find several posts in one in
    there. Also check the Budget101.com website, the archives on
    the list itself, and listen for the tips. You'll find them everywhere
    here. I'm not reposting the message because there are several
    here who have seen this one several times. Besides, it's a 20 kb
    message! lol

    Hope you'll take time to hunt for it, and hope that helps.

    Warmly,
    Michelle
    One of the moderators

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    I make up menus and I have cut my spending but now Tuesday the 3rd is the
    last day of school around here and that is gonna kill me with my grocery
    spending. I still want to maintain what I have been doing it but how am I gonna
    with
    2 sons that eat twice as much as I do.~~Tammy
    Date: Thu May 29, 2003 1:45 pm
    Subject: Re: Budget101.com : Food budget

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    I run a day care and I fix three meals per day and three snacks per day.
    There is three in my family, myself, DH, and DS age 12. My son alone has
    ADHD and eats 6 small meals every day. He only weighs 71 lbs. and I have 6
    day care kids. Our food bill is $250 - $325 per month. We buy a lot of store
    brands and also stick to the 4 Basic food groups strictly. My husband and I
    limit our pop to one per day. Our son drinks none. We serve lots of rice
    dishes, lots of potato dishes, lots of pasta casseroles. There are many ways
    to fix very inexpesive meals. Cheese is a meat alternative, along with eggs,
    our fruits and vegetables are what brings up our food bill. It can be done.
    There are many internet sites with many different frugal recipes. You just
    have to check them out. Tania

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    That is definately a budget breaker. I have little get togethers throughout the
    year, but I make very clear that they are pot luck! Feeding all your friends is
    what really does break you. Not to mention it is very rude of her friends to
    expect her and her husband to feed them! Wow.

    Does your sister shop the clearance? Or does she clip coupons even? Maybe take
    her shopping with you once or twice so she gets the idea. It really helped my
    sister to go shopping with me.

    Emily Y.

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    Don't know if my tips help but it works for us:

    We buy our meat in bulk 2 times year. It's organic and comes pre-vacuumed sealed and goes right in the freezer (big upright). For a family of 4 (and I often have other family over for dinner) we spend $160 a month for that. I find it's less wasteful (because I used to have meat go bad because I *forgot* to freeze it) and it tastes better (because it's organic).

    We have milk delivered to our door once a week by a local dairy. It saves trips to the grocery store where you can impulse buy

    I use coupons like crazy. I have friends who use the grocerygame.com to help them (I used to but found I didn't need it myself). If you can stockpile it helps and then plan meals around what's on sale. I do freezer cooking (buy lots of what's on sale and then making a meal for it and popping it in the freezer). About 3-4 hours once a month to make 10-15 meals

    I buy a lot of whole grain and low fat items so they cost more as well as organic produce. I use a grocery that doubles coupons (King Soopers).

    Here's my average monthly:
    milk: $15-$20 (depending on how much we drink)
    meat: $160
    groceries: $150 give or take here and there

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    Everytime I try to download the 37-pgs of grocery tips I get an error message and then it shuts my browser down. Can anyone email me a copy of this?? sojillian@hotmail.com
    Thank You!

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    Default There's always room for improvement.


    I have know the poor days as a single twenty year old who only had 60 dollars a month to spend on food (less than my bus fare!). But, when you grow your own family and acquire an adult companion- the game can change. You can have your concerns- but if they aren't shared (as in a family effort) you can always feel like you're fighting a losing battle. So- first step would be to have a family discussion to outline the whys and the goals so everything makes sense to everyone.

    Here are some tips I've accumulated: Other than getting freebies- which I totally encourage...

    Produce: Grow as much as you can, otherwise this will be a big part of your food bill. YKWIM. If you spend a lot on produce and no one eats it or it goes bad, don't buy as much. I think canned veggies will do you get in a weird habit of letting your fresh food go bad habitually.

    Meats: on hillbilly housewife, the lady calculated that you don't get a better oz for oz deal on leaner meats- so go for that higher fat content as you can "discard" the cooked fat and end up with more "meat" and change in your pocket. Buying in bulk for meat is always a good idea especially when on sale/clearance. I don't know how many ranchers grow "generic" cows or pigs- so just go generic. The next best thing to ground beef is ground turkey- usually 50% less in cost. Final strategy is to stretch out your meat usage- make a pound last two meals instead of one.

    Dairy: Buy on sale b/c you can freeze. Or- MYO yogurt & yogurt cheese. You *can* free milk! So go crazy buying it on sale. I found on a website (sorry- I can't "cite the site" but I am acknowledging that it isn't my original idea) that you can buy a gallon of whole milk- split it b/t 2 gallon jugs and fill them the rest of the way with milk and you'd produce 2% milk at a fraction (1/2) the price! Remember I said you can freeze your multiplying milk reserves.

    Starches/noodles/rice/Beans: They are your friends! They are usually the cheapest bulk (belly filler) foods out there. They also happen to be cheap to buy. And even cheaper to make.

    Cleaning/beauty products: a lot are "multi purpose" and not advertised as such. Ammonia, baking powder, lemon juice, vinegar, alcohol work fine for most things. You can dilute most stuff and that will bring down the "cost" for the item overall.

    Don't spend on stuff that you don't enjoy or that you won't even use. Making your own stuff is a fun way to make a "family" activity out of most mundane stuff. Remember that most products out there were great "quickfixes" that people just like you thought of and decided to bank off of... so don't buy in! The stores aren't in business to save you money. Make saving money a goal/challenge/game. It's all worth it.
    The overall strategy is to use less money to survive w/o going to the store as often. It's those "I just need to get eggs milk and stamps" that end up being the $60 non necessary grocery trips!

    Otherwise: try angelfoodministries.com or SHARE (like http://www.sharecolordo.com) that offer discounts on quality food.

    Hope I helped a little.

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