Budget Menu & Dirt Cheap Recipes Cooking for Two 2 person gerocerie budget?

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    • #244381

      I couldent figure whear else to post this and here seemed a good place.
      My question is “how much dose everyone spend weekely on a two person gerocerie bill?” I spend $50 a week. When we buy geroceries. Only problem is Dh is addicted to Mc donalds. Any tips on keeping him in for dinner?

    • #398687

      Some of the things we have taken to work in the past include: Those cheap freezer meals, TV dinners, baked potatoes with various toppings (cheese, bacon, chili, brocolli, etc.), Salads with things like leftover steak, shrimp, etc., bagel sandwiches, leftovers, cheese/summer sausage/crackers with fruit, cereal, oatmeal, cup o soup, ravioli, mac n cheese, and anything canned/boxed/canned that could be microwaved.

      I also used to take a mini crock pot in the break room and put it on High for 4 hours. I would build my crock pot meal at home, then just transport it to work, plug it in when I got there and it would be ready to eat by lunch time. You can buy a mini crock pot very cheap at many places. I started doing this and it became such a hit that each day the office staff would rotate and make enough for everyone to share. It gave us all some yummy homemade meals plus you got to eat free quite a bit. So it was a win win.

      *We spend about $100 a month for the two of us, including an occasional meal out.

    • #403311

      I have found sandwich makers are a hit with DH. We bought one at biglots for$10.

      I have made

      Pigs in a blanket

      cinnamon crescents

      tuna melts

      casadias

      hott sandwiches

      I am going to experimant with some other ideas too. so far he has enjoyed it all.

    • #403386

      I am not sure since i just live my own recently. It been 2 months and so far
      it half bag of rice, about 1 carton of noddle, 2 dozen eggs, and about 20$ meat and vegie

      not all food is eaten yet 🙂

    • #403415

      Hmm… I must still be doing something wrong, but I’m working on it!

      Before I came here, we spent $150 every 2 weeks, about $300 a month (for two of us).

      Now with all the coupons, I go about twice a week to the store and I don’t spend too much since I’m only buying sale items with my coupons – but I just calculated my food budget so far and i’ve spent $99 for the 2 weeks in november so far. So that IS better than $150 and we still have groceries left. And I ordered the angel food for $48 which we pick up next saturday, so if we can make it til then, the total for the month will be $150 instead of $300 like before!

      About lunches, I take frozen Lean Cuisines or whatever I can get on sale, and if I have any leftovers I always eat those first for lunch. He never eats lunch til he gets home so we dont worry about that (well maybe I do but I cant force him!).

      And for dinners, I’ll have frozen meat and meals if I want to prepare something that takes longer to make. Or if I have school that night, then I’ll make something easy. Like last night, I popped it one of those Birds Eye Steamers dinners that cooks in the microwave for 10 minutes and I got on sale last week. It was good and fast to eat – and it was only about $5 so $2.50 for each of us!

      About McDonalds, what we used to do since we get crazy cravings to go out to eat all the time… is we would go to McDonalds on Wednesdays (or Sundays) and buy about 10 49 cent burgers. It was really cheap, not healthy at all, but helped curb the cravings in a cheap way so you dont break the bank! And that way we weren’t as tempted to go out to a fancy meal either on the weekend since we already went out to eat during the week.

    • #403527

      I love our sandwich maker too. I got it as a gift from my Dad’s GF. It is so easy to make sandwiches and everyone loves them. Our favorite of course is ham and cheese. I know…we are boring…lol!

      Becca, just remember that each family has their own individual needs. We are able to keep ours low because I spend a lot of time working on it. I spend 3 hours at the grocery store (sometimes 4!), I spend about 1.5 hours doing coupons each week, and about 4 hours planning a menu and doing a grocery list. I have noticed on the weeks that I am kind of lazy and don’t spend time planning we spend a lot more. I also try to buy extra to stock up on really good deals.

      We also use coupons to eat out. I got coupons the other day in the mail for a salad buffet place that is offering 2 buffets for $10. Add in drinks at $2 each and for $15 we could eat out. If we do end up getting fast food, we are only allowed to order off the $1 menu.

      I also pick up extra things at places like Big Lots (watch those expiration dates). I got a package of chicken helper for .75 cents two weeks ago. A can of chicken in the crock pot and we had chicken jambalaya with Jiffy corn muffins. Chicken was $1, helper was .75 cents, extra veggies (celery, carrots, peas, onions, peppers) were about .50 cents, corn muffins are .44 cents for a total of $2.70 for the meal. I don’t use these places to do all of my grocery shopping, but it helps as a supplement.

      For lunches I eat things like ramen (I really do like it), macaroni and cheese, sandwiches, etc. nothing that costs more than $1.25 to make. Leftovers are eaten first.

      I shop at the bread outlet for all our bread, specialty bread (rye, sourdough, pumpernickel, french, etc.), tortillas, bagels, sweets, etc. I save a lot of money by doing this. I spend maybe $5-8 for a month’s worth of bread items. I have to freeze them when I get home, but I would rather freeze them then spend twice as much at the grocery store.

      I love Jiffy box mixes because they are cheap and easy to make. The corn muffins make 6 muffins which is more than enough for us for a meal plus you can get them on sale 2 for .88 cents. Jiffy has all kinds of mixes available. I also get noodles and tomato sauce from the Mexican section of the store. Noodles are .33 cents a bag and the tomato sauce with seasonings is a quarter for a small carton. Also instead of buying frozen hash browns, I buy tater tots then mash them down if needed. It saves on freezer space and makes them very versatile. They also make yummy oven hash browns.

      Try to keep snacks simple. Bags of pecans are made up with cream and brown sugar then baked for a quick snack (Paula Deen recipe called pecan pralines). Popcorn is sprinkled with chili powder or cinnamon and sugar.

      Layering ingredients is also a great money saver. Tortillas, cheese, and bacon bits are used for quesadillas for lunch then for dinner I use the rest of the bacon in sandwiches, a carbonara, breakfast for dinner, etc. One package of bacon ($2) stretches for two sometimes three meals. Chili dogs for lunch then use leftover chili from a big can to make nachos for dinner. One large ($3) can of chili stretches for two meals.

      I have a really good cook book from Betty Crocker that is designed for meals for two. Here is a link to Ebay so you can see what the book looks like: Link I got mine at a local library book sale for a quarter. It is my favorite cook book and I would be lost without it. Most of the meals are super quick, easy, cheap, and very tasty. I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a cookbook catered to smaller portions for two people. I also get the cooking for two magazine. Love it!

    • #405212

      I also have an issue with my significant other enjoying fast food-of ANY kind. Anyone know how to break him of the habit??? I hate the amount of money we spend on it, and my body doesn’t appreciate it either! 🙂

      Also I’m pretty new to utilizing coupons. Anyone have ideas on how to make it more efficient when I’m in the store? I have no problem organizing them at home, but find that when I get to the store I find them difficult to keep organized when price comparing. Any thoughts would be greatly appreicated!!!

    • #405205

      I also have an issue with my significant other enjoying fast food-of ANY kind. Anyone know how to break him of the habit??? I hate the amount of money we spend on it, and my body doesn’t appreciate it either!

      The only way I can keep the hubby from spending the money on the fast food, was to make him give me that exact same amount that he spent and put it in an envelop. At the end of the month we counted it out and that was his wake-up call that it uses the money fast.

      I don’t know if this will help but when I go to the store I will go through my list, then through the coupons I have at home. Then put only the coupons for items I will be getting into envelopes to take with me to the store. Of course you have to stick only to your shopping list when you do this.

    • #405221

      Couponing just takes practice and eventually it becomes second nature. I always go through my shopping list and coupons before going to the market and put the coupons in the front of my organizer that I know I will be using. When I get to the market these coupons are in my hand as I go down my list. When I come across a special, I will look into my organizer and see if I have a coupon and then will determine if it is worth it.

      I got past the fastfood urge by making my own stuff in advance and freezing. It then only takes a few minutes in the microwave — Egg McMuffins, burritos, sandwiches, cooked casseroles (in individual servings), etc. — plus a supply of sliced carrots, celery sticks, radishes, etc., that I try to rotate being on hand so it is not always the same thing. Making your own Hummus or dip is always a treat too.

    • #405217

      I always take my coupon caddy to the grocery store then pull out the coupons I want to look through (seperated by categories) I use a clothespin to clip the ones I’m using to the cart and another for the ones that I won’t be using that need to be refiled after shopping. That seems to work for me.

    • #405791

      That’s a great idea about the clothespin! Now I won’t have to fight the coupons in my pockets throughout the store and at the register!! Thanks for the idea!

    • #407446

      I put a little star next to items on my list that I have coupons for. That helps jog my memory when I get to that item in the store.

    • #407454

      I was spending $250 a month to feed 7 of us but starting last August we are spending $400 a month as 2 kids are in college and have to furnish their own food and I’m also stockpiling this year. Come June we’ll start living off our land and only shop twice a year for what we can’t grow ourselves.

      When we started crawling out of the financial hole I was just as bad as my DH about eating out whenever I wanted or grabbing what I thought I “needed”. We finally went to the envelope method. We each got $20 a week and if we blew it at MacDonald’s or Wal-mart and then needed milk or gas well tough luck so we each managed to break some bad habits pretty quick but it sure wasn’t pretty for a few weeks!

      I still have to be in right frame of mind before stepping into Wal-Mart or I really blow it. The trick is, you have to communicate and work together toward the same goal. Good luck!

      We have $4,754 of debt left from $187,000 we’ve been working off for 6 years. By March it’ll be gone and then we’ll just have the house left and pouring every penny we can scrape on it, it should disappear pretty quick! It really took us 2 years to both get on the same page together.

      And everything that could go wrong did! We already feel so very free and can hardly wait for another 3 years to get the house paid off too!

    • #407478

      brchbell,

      Wow you could actually write a book of your own about ridding debt..
      Such a good job that you have done for you and your family.. Sounds like you have applied alot of hard work here..

    • #407479

      brchbell you have inspired me !!! Thanks for that!!! 🙂

    • #407494

      @redring 9743 wrote:

      I couldent figure whear else to post this and here seemed a good place.
      My question is “how much dose everyone spend weekely on a two person gerocerie bill?” …. Any tips on keeping him in for dinner?

      I use Angel Food Ministries, 1 box a month for $30 and it feeds my daughter and I for a full month. Lately the meats have been coming in individual servings where you can cut them and leave the rest frozen, which has helped. Add to the $30 a month, the $70 I spend on milk, juice, fresh fruits, veggies, bottled water, and “quick meals,” and we are at $100 for a family of two.

      I will be able to cut it down more with the help of this group and learning how to make “quick meals” of my own.

      I used to spend a LOT more, but I cut out junk from my diet. I don’t keep it in the house. I think I will be able to cut it down more when we cut out soda and juice from our daily diets and when I become better at choosing veggies, as I tend to overdo it and then throw a lot out.

      ~Shell

    • #407513

      We got ourselves into one heck of a mess but finally realized it. The biggest help was when my DH realized when he got his 30 years in at the company he wouldn’t be able to retire! We were so in debt he’d have to keep working!

      We started with prayer and fasting and putting our mess into the Lord’s hands. We knew we made the mess and couldn’t get out without His help. We started with the littlest debt and paid it off quickly and then started working ourselves out of it.

      6 month’s after we started my husband got mobilized with his guard unit and we went from making $109,000 a year to $52,000 overnight! I must confess I went to the Lord full of doubts and He showed me amazing things! The first thing that happened was a cash buyer came to buy our house when no one was buying anything!

      We only had 6 days to get out and 2 oldest kids were unavailable. We worked like dogs and ended up with most of our stuff going into trash bags and we threw everything into a storage unit. I have 2 weeks during this time I hardly remember, it was truly that bad!

      3 things I remember most is #1 my son didn’t have cancer (oldest was on a mission & #2 was in the hospital having surgery during all this) #2 It was like a fire- a lot of stuff just disappeared never to be seen again #3 We survived! The year before all this we had bought 100 acres way up in NW Missouri and had started a pole barn. Well we had the poles in and 3/4 of the metal roof up.

      We rented a dumpy trailer for 30 days and during that time we decided to move up to the pole barn and live in a tent until we could finish it and move into the pole barn. Well let me tell you living in a tent on the Mo/Iowa border in February is not the brightest idea! When we moved into the pole barn in April we were still shoveling snow!

      We were only in the tent 2 days when people started showing up. We were way way out in the boondocks where maybe 2 cars a day pass by! But they came from all over Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, even had a guy from Montana come by for a couple days!

      1st one that came said he had a guest house available until 1st week of April and it was within 3 miles so we had a warm place to sleep. They came in worked and left. Most of them we never even knew their names!

      We think of them as angels sent from God. After we got the roof and 4 walls around us we moved in. The 1st night it stormed.

      We couldn’t hear for over 15 hours because it also hailed and it was quite deafening in that metal building! We had no skills to build but each day we started with prayer and asked the Lord to show us or send someone who would know what to do. We framed in rooms and started making what was meant to be a machine shed into a home.

      I even hooked our own electric line into our meter box myself! We saw so many miracles that I don’t think my children could ever doubt the Lord ever again. For 2 years we lived on our food storage, what we caught ourself and an occasional meal out.

      We continued to work on paying off the debts smallest one first. but we got a bonus. Because my dh was over playing in the sand most of our debts went to zero interest and most told me i didn’t need to pay monthly payments. needless to say that helped a lot.

      i also called and asked each one how much they’d take to let me pay it off and most of them took a lot less than we owed them. by the time we got the house done we had the highest one left and right when they got ugly i asked what they’d take and it was the exact amount i had in the bank. that left cars and the house and now we are about to pay off that last car–actually it is brand new as my son totaled my suv in august and dh wouldn’t let me buy a used car.

      (we don’t repair cars- we can do amazing things but fixing cars isn’t one of them!) anyway we paid half the car right off and will own it free and clear by march 1st and hopefully never have a car payment again! With just the house payment we can pay it off really fast as it’s the only thing we are paying on now. But the big change is we no longer just go out and buy what ever we want.

      We have changed through all this. We have no credit cards and pay cash for everything. We have learned in a big way what is a need and what is a want and we most certainly want a lot less now!

      We did it as a family all 7 of us working together. I pray that after all this my children will be much better about their financial matters than their Mom & Dad were!

    • #407521

      brchbell,

      How wonderful that everthing is working out for you & your family now. And yes you did put everything it the correct hands and with hard work too.. You are truely Blessed.

    • #407549

      Brchbell,
      what an amazing experience your family had, and what a testimony. Thanks for sharing.

    • #407698

      I am finding that most of the coupons offered are for items that I don’t use. Anyone have and ideas about finding coupons that everyday ordinary people would utilize? We also over spend on our grocery budget.

      DH is one of those that thinks that unless it is a “name brand”, it isn’t worth buying. I am slowing showing him that this isn’t always the case. Thanks for your help.

    • #407705

      MOST, yes, but if there is one or two that you can use then you are ahead. I buy only the Sunday paper every week for $1 just for the coupons. I always get my money back and then some, especially considering my store DOUBLES coupons.

      Check in your community for coupon swapping clubs where you can exchange coupons with others.

      It takes practice to really get good at coupon savings, but done right you can save 30%-50% or more of your grocery bill.

    • #407719

      I hate coupons just because they make me spend more if I’m not really on my toes! I am lucky because I shop at a Military commissary and they tend to have a lot of coupons right there with the product especially in the dairy area. My son gets the Sunday paper free so he saves out the coupons for me and I look through them after I have my once a month grocery list made up and only clip the ones I will have that month.

      I usually save $20 by doing this. I don’t use very many of the coupons but it is worth my while to look through and take the ones I will actually be using.

    • #407724
      Quote:
      dh is one of those that thinks that unless it is a “name brand”, it isn’t worth buying.

      one way to help with this is if he does not go shopping with you to go ahead and buy the off brand and fix the food. don’t tell him that you used an off brand. he wont notice the difference.

      for some they think it has to be of a lesser quality because it isn’t a name brand. fortunately this is something i can do because i usually fix the food before the hubby get’s home and clean up all of the items so he doesn’t have a clue if it was name brand or not.

    • #407777

      I am still getting back into the coupon swing, as it will just be two of us on our own again in about 4 months. Budgeting and careful planning for sales and stockpiling we do plan on keeping our food/household supplies budget around $200 – lots of excellent ideas in this thread!

    • #407801

      Unfortunetly, he IS the one who does most of the shopping, as I am limited as to how long I can stand. I am “slowly” convincing him that name brand isn’t always better.

    • #407806

      My DH used to insist on name brand but once I got a case of Raggity Ann Peaches at Aldi’s and he tried them and went crazy! He realized they were much better than name brand. He has since came to understand that some off brands are ripe foods that name brand cannery’s don’t care to deal with.

      Ripe foods taste much better! He now supports us as we prepare to grow and preserve all our own foods because it will be chemical free and ripe when preserved.

    • #407869

      Good News!! Hubby and I shopped last night … together…

      I was able to convince him that some store brand items were as good or better than name brand. He’s learning… lol.

      and speaking of the differences between name brand and store brand, i have noticed that wal-mart brand tomato sauce is a much better bargain than name brand, any name brand. the ratio of tomato product to water, is incredible. if you pick up a can of name brand, and a can of great value, and shake them, you will see what i mean.

      i successfully converted dh, with this one, at least…. this particular product anyway… lol.

    • #407873

      See? Men ARE capable of learning. Next step is seeing how long the memory retention lasts. Good Dog. Good Dog! 🙂

    • #407874

      LOL mcnerd, I guess you are right! And he is a great one too!

    • #407883

      @mardhines 98085 wrote:

      Good News!! Hubby and I shopped last night … together… I was able to convince him that some store brand items were as good or better than name brand. He’s learning… LOL. And speaking of the differences between name brand and store brand, I have noticed that Wal-mart brand tomato sauce is a much better bargain than name brand, ANY name brand. The ratio of tomato product to water, is incredible. If you pick up a can of name brand, and a can of Great Value, and shake them, you will see what I mean. I successfully converted DH, with this one, at least…. this particular product anyway… LOL.

      Be careful of the Great Value stuff! My 24 yr old son almost died from eating their peanut butter and the double whammy was he worked for Walmart and because he was in the hospital and missed more than 3 days he got fired and they refused to pay the hospital bill from this. It’s been 2 years and we are still fighting them over this.

    • #407900

      brchbell: I am wondering though, could he by chance be allergic to peanuts, or something in the peanut butter? I have been using Great Value peanut butter for years, without problems. I’m so very sorry to hear about your son, both that he was so ill , and that Walmart did him so dirty. I have to say that you are not the first person I have heard, even here locally, that has bad stories about Walmart, and how they treat their employees. Very sorry to hear it.

    • #407909

      Was that during the time that several brands of peanut butter was recalled for making people sick?

    • #407912

      He got the batch that was full of salmonella and 3 people died from it.

    • #407913

      Wow, that was a scary time…sure didn’t have a clue what kind to buy because even the Peter Pan brand was affected. That was when I started to make my own. Less risk involved.

    • #407914

      @wilbe95 98137 wrote:

      Wow, that was a scary time…sure didn’t have a clue what kind to buy because even the Peter Pan brand was affected. That was when I started to make my own. Less risk involved.

      Wow Wilbe95! Would you share your recipe for homemade peanut butter with me?

    • #407918

      @JennyCup 82423 wrote:

      I also used to take a mini crock pot in the break room ….

      what did you make for that meal? i work and it would be great to have a hot meal than!!

    • #407974

      there are crock pot cook books. My library has them. its easy to go and make copys of the recipes you would like to try. I recomand useing the crock pot insert bags though. If i dont my pot gives everything a funny tast.

    • #407975

      oh! wilbe I would LOVE to know how to do homemade peanut butter. I like the natural stuff but it costs a lot at the store.

    • #408001

      Prep time: about 10 minutes

      Ingredients:

      1 1/2 c. unsalted roasted peanuts
      1 tbsp. peanut oil

      Directions:

      For smooth peanut butter:

      Mix the peanuts with the peanut oil, and pour the mixture into the food processor.
      Process the mixture until it’s very smooth.
      Store your smooth peanut butter in a sealed container in the fridge. It will be good for 2 weeks.
      For chunky peanut butter:

      Take about 1/4 cup out of your 1 1/2 cups of peanuts and set them aside.
      Mix the rest of the peanuts with the oil, and pour the mixture into the food processor.
      Process the mixture until it’s very smooth, then stir in the peanuts that you had set aside.
      Process a few seconds more to create the chunks in your chunky peanut butter.
      Store your chunky peanut butter in a sealed container in the fridge. It will be good for 2 weeks.
      Serves: 12 (serving size is about 2 Tabelspoons)

    • #408034

      SUPER!!!! I am a peanut butter fanatic, this is so exciting.

    • #408256

      I also have troubles with this. The only thing that I found to some times work is to just do a general internet search for that product/brand or visit their website. I have been able to find some coupons this way, but other than that not much else I am aware of!

    • #408476

      I never thought of making my own peanut butter! This sounds fun… and I never heard about the peanut butter recall 2 years ago but it does remind me of the awful pet food recall and the same problems we are trying to have making them pay our pet bills. Good luck and dont give up. There are probably some class action lawsuits you might to be able to join if others were affected too!

    • #408478

      I cant get past the smell…am I the only one who hates peanut butter?

    • #408479

      @wilbe95 98253 wrote:

      Prep time: about 10 minutes

      Ingredients:

      1 1/2 c. unsalted roasted peanuts
      1 tbsp. peanut oil

      Directions:

      For smooth peanut butter:

      Mix the peanuts with the peanut oil, and pour the mixture into the food processor.
      Process the mixture until it’s very smooth.
      Store your smooth peanut butter in a sealed container in the fridge. It will be good for 2 weeks.
      For chunky peanut butter:

      Take about 1/4 cup out of your 1 1/2 cups of peanuts and set them aside.
      Mix the rest of the peanuts with the oil, and pour the mixture into the food processor.
      Process the mixture until it’s very smooth, then stir in the peanuts that you had set aside.
      Process a few seconds more to create the chunks in your chunky peanut butter.
      Store your chunky peanut butter in a sealed container in the fridge. It will be good for 2 weeks.
      Serves: 12 (serving size is about 2 Tabelspoons)

      Thanks so much! I’m gonna try this!!! 🙂

    • #408483

      @faxonfive 98947 wrote:

      I cant get past the smell…am I the only one who hates peanut butter?

      Yup! LOL” Since it is just pureed peanuts, do you hate peanuts themselves?

    • #408490

      I hate peanuts as well!!! now I love pecans and walnut!!! even brazil nuts though…

    • #408493

      My bf’s mom hates pb too – I dont understand it. It’s kinda like those people who hate chocolate… can’t really understand how or why??

    • #408507

      @faxonfive 98960 wrote:

      I hate peanuts as well!!! now I love pecans and walnut!!! even brazil nuts though…

      I wonder if you could make “pecan butter” or “walnut butter” or something? I wonder how that would taste? 🙂

    • #408929

      I accidentally made walnut butter at Christmas, didn’t even think frozen walnuts in the vitamix wouldn’t powder up right?!

      Tastes good on toast!

    • #409043

      @chevy_chick95 10238 wrote:

      well we used to have a budget of $300 just for the 2 of us! how insane!!! LOL”

      when i re-did our budget this year, we now have a $80/month food budget. i know that may sound steep to some but i can make it happen!! it’s already the 18th of january and i’ve only spent $34!!! wahoo!

      Good job on this one, care to share how you did it

    • #409044

      great recipe you just saved me from buying my daughters peanut butter, I will be making it this time. Thanks

    • #409045

      @brchbell 97302 wrote:

      I was spending $250 a month to feed 7 of us but starting last August we are spending $400 a month as 2 kids are in college and have to furnish their own food and I’m also stockpiling this year. Come June we’ll start living off our land and only shop twice a year for what we can’t grow ourselves.

      When we started crawling out of the financial hole I was just as bad as my DH about eating out whenever I wanted or grabbing what I thought I “needed”. We finally went to the envelope method. We each got $20 a week and if we blew it at MacDonald’s or Wal-mart and then needed milk or gas well tough luck so we each managed to break some bad habits pretty quick but it sure wasn’t pretty for a few weeks! I still have to be in right frame of mind before stepping into Wal-Mart or I really blow it. The trick is, you have to communicate and work together toward the same goal. Good luck! We have $4,754 of debt left from $187,000 we’ve been working off for 6 years. By March it’ll be gone and then we’ll just have the house left and pouring every penny we can scrape on it, it should disappear pretty quick! It really took us 2 years to both get on the same page together. And everything that could go wrong did! We already feel so very free and can hardly wait for another 3 years to get the house paid off too!

      you need to write a book, put it on the net and make millions LOL I sound like one of those work at home scams LMAO

    • #409222

      @faxonfive 98960 wrote:

      I hate peanuts as well!!! now I love pecans and walnut!!! even brazil nuts though…

      I know of people that make almond butter and use it like peanut butter. You might try something like that. I expect you could use the same recipe and just use almonds instead.
      It might be worth a try almonds are suppose to be good for you.

      🙂 Jac

    • #406198

      if you eat the McDonald’s selects…. buy the Tyson Chicken Strips, these are the same exact thing they use (I used to work there.) You can buy a bag for $7.00+/- and a 5 pc selects meal costs roughtly $5 something.

    • #410092

      @nascar88racing 101470 wrote:

      if you eat the McDonald’s selects…. buy the Tyson Chicken Strips, these are the same exact thing they use (I used to work there.) You can buy a bag for $7.00+/- and a 5 pc selects meal costs roughtly $5 something.

      now that’s interesting. Thanks for the info.

    • #410098

      Hubby gets paid every two weeks and when I major shop it about $125 but between pays I probably spend another $50 and that is just for two….The boys come for dinner on saturday though so a bit more is need then, I’m cooking for six.

    • #410107

      @faxonfive 98947 wrote:

      I cant get past the smell…am I the only one who hates peanut butter?

      I actually can’t stand the smell when someone else is eating it but I don’t mind it when I am eating it. Weird I know. lol

    • #411041

      I just recently moved into my own place and am still trying to get the whole budget thing down. The last time i went shopping I spent $92 on mostly food. I am thinking of getting me a small chest freezer so that I can get more food and shop less.

    • #411118

      I just recently moved into my own place and am still trying to get the whole budget thing down. The last time i went shopping I spent $92 on mostly food. I am thinking of getting me a small chest freezer so that I can get more food and shop less.

    • #413749

      my guideline for groceries including all cleaning product, paper and plastics, pet treats, as well as personal needs like shampoos, soaps, toothpaste etc. has been 350 a month for quite a few years.That’s just for the 2 of us eating all meals but 2 per week at home, 2 adults kids coming by twice a week or so for dinner and not entertaining more than twice a month.(yes I used coupons and shopped sales, just not as much as now)

      Going over my records for 2007, we averaged 33l mo. Last Jan we needed to start watching expenses more closely and I cut groceries to 285 a month from Jan – May. Then an adult child moved back home (divorce).

      My budget went out the window and from June – Dec it averaged 380 a month. Yearly total for 2008 at 340 mo average.

      This is a new year (just 2 of us again) and I’m trying to get back to that 280 a month figure. That’s about a 20% reduction and I feel pretty confident I can do that.

      Maybe even better as I read more tips and plan more menus and incorborate cheaper meals.
      We’ll see!
      So this is my accountability board and I’ll keep you posted on how I do.
      January – almost met my goal -spend 287
      187 was for needed items
      100 was for stockpile (I consider that anything we won’t use in the next 2 weeks or longer)
      I do have a lot of stuff in the freezer that I’ll try to pull from over the next few months.
      (unfortunately a lot of it is what ya’ll consider junk food) lol
      I also have a stockpile of shampoo’s and conditioners for me (DH just uses Head and Shoulders) as well as soaps, gels and lotions.

      So unless it’s free or nearly free I won’t be buying that for the rest of the year.
      I know this is long and I’m rambling but I’ve often wondered what people in the same situation as us spend on things. So I thought I’d share.

    • #415052

      For crockpot lunches I loved making chicken noodle soup, veggie soup, chili, etc. during cold days or rainy days. Add some jiffy corn muffins to the side (made the night before) and it was very filling.

      Summer dishes included spaghetti, sausage and sauerkraut (not a good break room dish as it is smelly), Chicken and rice, taco filling, chicken and dumplings, etc.

      Any dish that you make at home in your crock pot is great for making at work too. Adjust the ingredients for a mini pot for yourself and you have a wonderful cheap meal.

    • #415707

      @brchbell 97302 wrote:

      I was spending $250 a month to feed 7 of us but starting last August we are spending $400 a month as 2 kids are in college and have to furnish their own food and I’m also stockpiling this year. Come June we’ll start living off our land and only shop twice a year for what we can’t grow ourselves.

      When we started crawling out of the financial hole I was just as bad as my DH about eating out whenever I wanted or grabbing what I thought I “needed”. We finally went to the envelope method. We each got $20 a week and if we blew it at MacDonald’s or Wal-mart and then needed milk or gas well tough luck so we each managed to break some bad habits pretty quick but it sure wasn’t pretty for a few weeks!

      I still have to be in right frame of mind before stepping into Wal-Mart or I really blow it. The trick is, you have to communicate and work together toward the same goal. Good luck!

      We have $4,754 of debt left from $187,000 we’ve been working off for 6 years. By March it’ll be gone and then we’ll just have the house left and pouring every penny we can scrape on it, it should disappear pretty quick! It really took us 2 years to both get on the same page together.

      And everything that could go wrong did! We already feel so very free and can hardly wait for another 3 years to get the house paid off too!

      Sounds like someone else is doing the Financial Peace University method. My wife and I are just starting out and are saving our $1000 emergency fund. We have learned a lot in the past month about where our money is going and have found that we can save $500 or so a month by planning where our money goes and using the envelope method.

      It’s a good way to limit your spending because you see and feel your money leaving your hands instead of scanning a piece of plastic. We’re spending $400 a month for the 2 of us on food, and we shop at Aldi’s for 95% of our food and the remainder at WalMart.

      Congratulations on knocking down that much debt in 6 years! You are my hero! :081::occasion16::081:

    • #408500

      @Doughboy 109044 wrote:

      Sounds like someone else is doing the Financial Peace University method. My wife and I are just starting out and are saving our $1000 emergency fund. We have learned a lot in the past month about where our money is going and have found that we can save $500 or so a month by planning where our money goes and using the envelope method.

      It’s a good way to limit your spending because you see and feel your money leaving your hands instead of scanning a piece of plastic. We’re spending $400 a month for the 2 of us on food, and we shop at Aldi’s for 95% of our food and the remainder at WalMart.

      Congratulations on knocking down that much debt in 6 years! You are my hero! :081::occasion16::081:

      We paid off our last debt a little early, letter from the credit company says paid in full Feb. 14th 2009! Best Valentines present we ever got!

      Now we are pumping $5,000 to 6,000 each month on to the house. DH retires in Aug 2010 so don’t think we can get it paid off but get it down enough to refinance to a payment we can afford. Also losing the food budget later this year will help.

      We did all this on our own after very sincere prayer. We followed what the Lord told us to do. We knew we got ourselves into the mess and needed His help to get out.

      By the time we heard of Dave Ramsey we didn’t need him. I’ve had the pleasure of talking to him several times and let him know I think what he’s doing is awesome! He gave us his curriculum’s free of charge for our kids to us.

      Just to be sure they never go the wrong direction!

      Our oldest son graduates from college in May and after 3 years of heavy student loans he decided to work to pay his expenses and now so close to the finish he is down to 1.200 left on his loans and has over $6000 in a money market acct. As soon as he gets to work somewhere he’ll go ahead and pay off the rest of the loan and start life debt free. Hopefully the other 4 will remember to stay out of debt along the way too!

      If our kids can learn from our mistake and stay out of debt than it will be ok.

      I’m praying for everyone out there who is in debt and trying hard to get it paid off they they can hang in there and find a way to do it! I feels so great to know the only thing we owe for is the house. Our bank has mentioned refinancing our house and having the loan just cover 5 to 10 acres of our property.

      We’re thinking over the situation. I like the plan only because if something gosh awful does happen and we lose the house then we’d still have the other 85 to 90 acres to live on. We have a primitive cabin on the other side of the lake we could move into!

      Best of luck to you & yours! Hope you get out of debt in much better shape than we did!

    • #416358

      January grocery spending 287 (187 regular needs 100 stockpiling)
      February spending 328 (124 regular needs 204 stockpiling)
      Blew it big time!!!! Just totaled up my month and went over budget by $48
      I can justify it though.

      lol
      K-Mart super doubles did me in for $27 mostly cleaning supplies and paper towels,
      found a great deal on tilapia at 1.50 a pound at Wal Mart, couldn’t pass it up, got 12 pounds (wish I had more room in freezer)
      found 2 pound cans of coffeemate at Publix for 3.49 each after $1 coupon, got 6
      found 2lt Sprite at .80, had to get DH 20 bottles
      also did a lot of bogo w/coupons this month
      I know the stocking up will help reduce the costs in the long run.
      Maybe March will come in under budget.

      (DH says if I’d quit finding deals it would, hee, hee)

    • #417173

      Way to go Niddi!

      Even though you overspent by a little, you are really saving in the future when you would have bought those things at much higher prices.

    • #418254

      @wilbe95 97808 wrote:

      One way to help with this is if he does not go shopping with you to go ahead and buy the off brand and fix the food. Don’t tell him that you used an off brand. He wont notice the difference.

      For some they think it has to be of a lesser quality because it isn’t a name brand. Fortunately this is something I can do because I usually fix the food before the hubby get’s home and clean up all of the items so he doesn’t have a clue if it was name brand or not.

      dh is open to this, so we’ve tried a number of ‘off-brand’ items to see how they compare to national brands. we’ve found some that were just not going to replace the brand we like, we have found some items where the generic was acceptable, and we’ve switched. (i have to admit, we still use a majority of name brands because neither of us liked the off brand version) but, we’re willing to try them.

    • #418260

      DH and I spend about $500/month on groceries, not counting eating out. We’ve decided to keep takeout to a minimum, and allow only once a month ordering Chinese (which is about a $50 bill). Subway or a Costco pizza for $10 each are a little more common.

      Neither of us like the typical burger/fastfood takeouts. I’ve also quit with my Latte from Starbucks and make regular coffee at home for the morning commute.

      The majority of our grocery bill goes to meats and organic veggies. Because it’s the two of us, I don’t buy meats excessively in bulk, but will buy enough of something for 2-3 future meals if I find a great deal. Meats and fish are our highest price items. I’m really picky about the cut and where I buy it.

      I’ve tried the really cheap cuts (and meats from our Walmart) and we won’t eat it, so even though it was a fabulous buy, we still wasted the money because it went in the trash. $10-$15 meals are our goal.

      I’ve always cut coupons, and I participate in a coupon club at work (we put our Sunday coupons in internal mail envelopes and pass them around with a distribution list), but I only cut coupons for items/brands I use. We’re very brand loyal once we find a favorite based on preference and quality (Heinz kethcup is non-negotiable!) We are open to trying off-brands, and give them a fair try, but quite honestly, off-brand purchases are a minority. I just started up a price book in Excel to keep an eye out for really great deals for things we purchase often, and begun to plan my meals around weekly sales, and I’m starting to get back into rebates.

      I’ve also recently stumbled upon a Trader Joe’s (the only one in our area), and LOVE it, but it’s a bit inconvenient to get to, however, their organic veggies prices rival our grocery store’s regular produce prices, so I try to go when I can.

      I was raised to eat well, and am more willing to cut other things, like Starbucks or pricey snacks, or even extraneous non-food items so my grocery budget has a little more room. We’ve been very fortunate that this is an option, not necesity, but still want to save what we can.

      Are there any others out there who are trying to minimize a more ‘gourmet’ grocery bill?

    • #418276

      @ThriftyMouse 112995 wrote:

      The majority of our grocery bill goes to meats and organic veggies.

      I buy our produce directly from the farms – the organic tomatoes that we are putting in our salad tonight were picked this morning, and they cost only $1 per 3 lb bin. Check online for local farms and farmer’s markets. I live in town, and we don’t have the land to plant a garden (not to mention SEVERE watering restrictions!) Over the years, I’ve found that U-pick produce is the best way for me to go.

      I buy whatever is in season, freeze whatever I can, and we have cheap produce all year long. I do this for berries, green beans, corn, tomatoes (make into sauce and then can/freeze it) onions and peppers (dice them up and freeze in baggies, pull out and add to recipes.)

      This doesn’t work for some produce (I haven’t figured out how to stock up on lettuce, yet!) But, if I have been able to get a year-long supply of green beans for 20c/lb, I don’t mind having to pay extra $ for my son’s organic bananas in the middle of winter. In my mind, it all evens out.

      Also, some smaller farms may not be able to afford the $$$ “Organic” stamp, but still practice the proper farming methods. Don’t be afraid to call local farms to ask about pesticide use, fertilization methods, etc. You might be able to get a good deal on your veggies *and* help a local family business at the same time.

    • #418284

      Oh you lucky ducky living in Florida where you can buy fresh produce from local farmers year round! My test basement garden did grow very well for lettuces, radishes and baby carrots. So I’ll at least have that much fresh during the winters in the future!

      We’ll have to settle for canned, dried and frozen stuff for everything else. Carrots and potatoes from the root cellar and winter squashes too! But up north we don’t get to have local farmers selling from October until around May.

    • #418289

      @brchbell 113038 wrote:

      Oh you lucky ducky living in Florida where you can buy fresh produce from local farmers year round! My test basement garden did grow very well for lettuces, radishes and baby carrots. So I’ll at least have that much fresh during the winters in the future!

      We’ll have to settle for canned, dried and frozen stuff for everything else. Carrots and potatoes from the root cellar and winter squashes too! But up north we don’t get to have local farmers selling from October until around May.

      on one hand – i get to go pick strawberries next week, when most of the country is still dealing with winter. on the other hand – you have a basement!!!! that is one of the things that i really miss about living in maine – basements.

      none of our florida houses have ever had enough storage space.

    • #411222

      My March grocery/paper/cleaning/toiletries came in at $285 only $5 over my budget goal.
      Spend $131 on necessary items and $154 on stockpiling.
      Based on the last 3 months records I figure we can get by with about $150 if we hit a rough month.(good to know) In the meantime, I’ll continue to add to the nonperishable stockpile as long as I find the sales, have the right coupons and also the extra money.(trying to get about a years supply) cleaning and toiletries have been easy but having more trouble finding great deals on paper products and nonperishable pantry items.
      Trying to work those coupons!!!!!

    • #411279

      My March grocery/paper/cleaning/toiletries came in at $285 only $5 over my budget goal.
      Spend $131 on necessary items and $154 on stockpiling.
      Based on the last 3 months records I figure we can get by with about $150 if we hit a rough month.(good to know) In the meantime, I’ll continue to add to the nonperishable stockpile as long as I find the sales, have the right coupons and also the extra money.(trying to get about a years supply) cleaning and toiletries have been easy but having more trouble finding great deals on paper products and nonperishable pantry items.
      Trying to work those coupons!!!!!

    • #419304

      we have gone from about 200 a week to 75.00 a week. so i really appreciate the different recipes that are posted.

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Budget Menu & Dirt Cheap Recipes Cooking for Two 2 person gerocerie budget?