Budget101 Discussion List Archives Budget101 Discussion List Ok, seriously someone point me in the right direction.

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    • #262036

      I was just reading the posts on food budgets. How do you do it? I have
      7 in the house, 2 cats, a dog, and 3 fish and one in diapers.

      I spend
      800 plus a month on food, cleaning, pet food. I have tried cutting
      back, buying on sale etc.. Right now there is a bulk pkg of pork chops
      and about 20 lbs of chicken in the deep freeze.

      My hubby is throwing a
      fit about variety etc.. this after a long talk last night about me
      getting a job and him having to take care of the kids and take everyone
      to dr apts etc… And our elect and water bills are over 200 each.

      I am
      about to turn off the direct tv. He does not understand and gets mad
      because there is not extra money, but after bills and food there is
      about 300 extra per month and with cars- kids etc.. that can be gone in
      a split second.

      How do you do it? Do you feel guilt when you tell them
      no or can not buy prime rib? Some one help…….

    • #397999

      I don’t feel guilty when I have to say no to something because it’s not in the budget. My kids are used to the standard reply “it’s not in the budget”. It kind of stops them arguing with us about something if we tell them the money just isn’t there.

      One thing we did was go to a cash budget and my husband and I planned it together so he is aware of how much we can spend in each category. When the money is gone, it’s gone. We budget $600 a month for food only, that is for 4 people and 2 pets.

    • #398000

      first try angel food ministries or great food for all –whichever is available in your area
      second if there are things you really like see if budget 101 has the myo recipe and make a recipe book
      I’m sure others will have more ideas but those two alone will save you a lot of money

    • #398022

      Maybe if you posted a little more about your situation, we could offer you some concrete suggestions. For example, how much do you spend on pet food? Cleaning products?

      Snacks? Where do you shop? Do you use coupons?

      Everyone on this board would love to help!

    • #398033
      Avatar for GuestLiss
      Keymaster

      @Sherry 80470 wrote:

      My hubby is throwing a
      fit about variety etc.

      On the variety issue, a few seasonings and spices can really change a meal around. Lately I’ve been getting boneless skinless chix breast for $1.30 a lb (walmart) so with a freezer Well stocked with chicken, it really helps to make the meals taste completely different.

      How do you do it? Do you feel guilt when you tell them
      no or can not buy prime rib? Some one help…….

      :117:

      Buy the really cheap cuts of meat that are on sale (the ones that they discount)- you can ask the meat dept which days they mark it down. There is a recipe for Faux Prime Rib, tastes so much like prime rib he wont complain about missing out!

      When spouses complain about missing out or wanting this and that, it tends to really hit hard. What has worked for us is to learn how to season cheaper cuts of meat, (marinate, marinate, marinate!) and how to prepare my families favorite restaurant dishes at home so they dont feel like they’re missing out.

      Also, if you can get HIM to plan the meals for a week, you might see a different attitude.

    • #410042

      get everybody to help… not just hubby get the kids together have them help plan meals.. when my kids were younger i would bake and have them go sell it or do crafts and they would sell that’s how we made money to do the extras..

      if it wasn’t on sale or clearence we didn’t get it….kids are older now… my daughter won’t buy unless it’s on sale cheap.. mostly she goes to second hand stores..

      i coupon more now then i did then but still only buy if it’s on sale and i have a coupon… needs and wants are two different things… not saying this to only you but to all of us..

      my hubby wants lots of things….lol he says if i don’t yell NO loud enough.. i must mean yes…. geesh

    • #410048

      Sherry, that’s a great question you ask! Its hard! Its hard to please the family & save money at the same time.

      First of all, I’d have a little “sit-down” with the hubbie. Explain to him how you feel & how much you are trying to save money. (A couple of hints on talking to him about it: First of all, don’t catch him right after he gets home from work.

      He’s gonna be tired & stressed & way more likely to get aggravated or not want to listen. Tell him you’d like to talk with him about things you’re doing to save money & then let hime pick the time that he wants to talk about it. Then, after you tell him your ideas, ask him what he thinks & if he has any ideas as well.

      If he feels like he contributed he’ll be more likely to understand when there is less variety & less likely to complain. 🙂
      Some tips for daving on groceries:
      1.) It sounds like you’re already on the right track! Buying on sales, etc.
      2.) The key for me is coupons coupons coupons!!!

      seriously, they will save you sooooo much money!!! the key is organizing them. ct your coupons, then wait for the items to go on sale.

      oddly enough, you’ll get alot of the best deals at the grocery store. the grocery stores normally go through a “sale routine.” every 4-6 weeks, the products will hit their “rock bottom” price.

      Keep a price book. (Write down the prices of everything you buy for a couple of months. Then you’ll be able to track the prices & figure out when each item is at its “rock bottom” price.) When the item is at “rock bottom” price, buy it using your coupon.

      If you do it this way, you cut your shopping bill at least in half! (Many times I’ve cut my bill by 75%!!!) You’ll also get many things practically free!
      3.) You can get great coupons online, in the Sunday Paper, on items that you buy. I also call many companies and ask them to send me coupons.

      Almost all of the food companies will send you coupons.
      4.) Also, if you ever buy something & it doesn’t please you, call the company. For example, I bought some frozen chicken breasts one time & the pieces had quite a bit of fat on them, so I called the company. They apologized & sent me a coupon for a free item – any size!
      Hope these tips help!

    • #410049

      @kdog539 80553 wrote:

      Maybe if you posted a little more about your situation, we could offer you some concrete suggestions. For example, how much do you spend on pet food? Cleaning products?

      Snacks? Where do you shop? Do you use coupons?

      Everyone on this board would love to help!

      I agree with needing more information. Without knowing where the money is going in which area of groceries it is hard to give suggestions on where the ability to cut back lies. I don’t feel guilty at all when I can’t buy prime rib, I never buy prime rib.

      We only eat expensive things on special occassions. My boyfriend loves crab legs, we have those on his birthday and that’s it. There was a time we had no food at all so he had gotten over the act like a two year old when he can’t have what he wants.

      We learned the hard way to be thankful for what you have.

      Cheaper cuts of meat seasoned correctly can be just as good as the expensive things. I use coupons and buy on sale (if it really is on sale). The reason I say this is I have caught a local store advertising bogo but when you look at the price of what you are paying for the individual bag to get the other one free it really isnt on sale.

      For instance bogo shrimp, the shrimp is usually 8.99 a bag with the bogo you get 2 for 18.00, averages out to be the same so its not really on sale. I also buy some things in bulk at the local Sams which frees up more money to spend on other things. I think I saw a post that suggested something like Angelfood, I agree with this one.

      I was able to take their menu and come up with combinations enough to feed us for the upcoming month for 170.00, granted it is just three of us.

      My boyfriend also enjoys variety do what I do is buy the meats that are on sale and fix them differently. We never have the same exact meal within two weeks of each other. The next month I buy different meats or not as much of the ones we had the previous months unless it is something he really likes.

      Hope this helps some will let you know what else I can come up with if more information is given.

      Also you may try cooking with the crockpot or from scratch that saves a lot too.

    • #410054
    • #410058

      I am feeding 4 adults (three of them men) and a dog everyday, and on the weekend we add in two children (4 & 6 yrs.), all for about $100 a week. Not bad, I think, but I know that some of you can do even better than that! I think because I make almost everything from scratch I save a lot of $$$.

      As for variety, you would be amazed how many different ways you can serve any given cut of meat! When we were first married, my DH wouldn’t eat chicken more than once or twice a month. Now we eat it two or sometimes even three times a week and he loves it!

      I think it’s because of the variety of ways I serve it to him.

      Another way to insure variety is to plan out your menus a week or more in advance, including in it what you already have in your freezer. If you can’t do a week of menus, try just three days, then three more, etc., until you feel comfortable with it. This has really helped me.

      As for pet food, do you buy the more expensive canned stuff? Perhaps you could switch to a semi-moist bag food, or at least mix the canned pet food with some dry food.

      Whatever you decide to do, remember that sometimes it’s easier to start with just one or two changes at a time so you won’t be overwhelmed by everything at once! Good luck with everything!

    • #410085

      Oh I know just where you’re at! I remember trying to keep my family of 7 not counting the wildlife afloat. We finally had a family council and laid everything out on the table.

      All the kids knew exactly what was coming in and what the bills were. I remember how in awe they were when they heard what Daddy was brining home and then how crushed they felt as we read off the bills and they sat subtracting. My 8 years took it upon himself to check our electric usage each and every day.

      He’s 25 now but I can still see him with his notebook and pen going out to check the meter and we all still laugh about the day he came running in half crazed screaming “stop what you’re doing, turn it all off! the wheel is spinning like crazy and we’ll have a terrible bill again!” It was the start of our family getting our act together and working as a team instead of doing our own thing.

      You’ll find lots of info here on this site and directions on where to get more help. Join us and learn with us and let us know how you are doing!

      Cherlynn
      nw mo

    • #409624

      I can’t wait to try the Mock Prime Rib- I think that will be on my next week’s menu!!!

    • #410108

      3 fish and one in diapers.??? How do you get the diapers on the fish?…Sorry but you need to laugh or you will go crazy. Good luck with you budget but remember once in awhile you have to do something you want to for fun (the hell with the budget).

    • #410111

      @suey 101519 wrote:

      3 fish and one in diapers.??? How do you get the diapers on the fish?…Sorry but you need to laugh or you will go crazy. Good luck with you budget but remember once in awhile you have to do something you want to for fun (the hell with the budget).

      i agree once in awhile you need to do something for fun, but you can find economical and free things to do. :doh: never, never, never take the attitude of to hell with the budget. it starts with the one time of i can ignore the budget this once and then before you know it you are ignoring it all together, the phone is ringing off the hook by bill collectors and you are wondering how you are going to get out of this mess.

      sorry if this is harsh but to get out of debt and stay out of debt you have to absolutely have to stick to a budget. one time of not paying attention to it can affect you for years.

    • #410483

      I disagree that there cannot be variety on a limited budget. There are a gazillion foods to make on a budget. You can make pasta a million and twenty two ways.

      You can have nights when you have breakfast for dinner. You can cook chicken every way known to man. You can buy store brand and use spices to make it taste better.

      I think we get so used to eating a certain way that we truly don’t realize what is out there until we are forced to decrease our budget and get creative. Check out the recipe area and see some. Look me up, I will post some I know of.

      I have already posted a bunch for Dinner for 2, that you could easily make for more. All recipes I make are pretty cheap to make, as I don’t buy anything expensive…EVER.

      ~Shell

    • #413028

      I don’t know where you live but one thing that helps us tremdously is buying beef right from a local farmer. In my area I buy a split quarter double wrapped for the freezer and I pay $2 a pound. Thats for everything from steak, roast to hamburger flat $2 a pound.

      Plus this farmer does not use lots of horomones and things in his cows. He does give them antibiotics only when and if they are sick. When I go to the farm to pick up my meat I see the animals grazing.

      They are all very healthy looking animals and the taste is so much better than store bought. Of course this only works in certain areas and you do have to have a bit of cash up front. Great use for an upcoming tax return.

      In my opinion.

    • #413139

      I just felt like I should share with you about me and my beloved hubby going through the same thing.

      He wanted to know WHY was it that he was working such and such hours and not able to get Steak.

      Then I told him Steak here is sooooo expesive even on sale about $6.00 a lb.

      Well there’s 4 of us so that’s about $20.00 just for the meat for one meal not including the fixin’s.

      so i said all this and then added and honey look at how much time you had to spend at work away from us just for that one meal !!!!!
      i told him how many hours it would be right down to the minute !!!

      when he heard me say that his heart changed !!
      he didn’t see it as me being the strict person trying to make him spend his hard earned money the way i see fit. he seen me as his helper & guardian of money.

      he seen that i had took into consideration just how hard and long he would have to work just for the one meal.

      it really did help !!!!

      and i do try to fix him special treats as much as possible. so when it does go on sale we can have it atleast sometimes !!!

    • #414311
      Avatar for Guestbethaliz6894
      Participant

      one way to save money is change what you clean with. everything can be cleaned with water, vinager, and baking soda. i take the soda out of the fridge and move it to the cleaning pile.

      add vinager and you have a cheap all purpose cleaner. use 1/2 cup of vinager in the rinse cycle of laundry and skip the fabric softener, use it in place of jet dry. mix some vinager with water and dish soap and spray showers down after taking yours, cleans the next time you take a shower.

      and one last tip, vinager is antibacterial.

    • #414314

      @mdowdy 101523 wrote:

      I agree once in awhile you need to do something for fun, but you can find economical and free things to do. :doh: Never, Never, Never take the attitude of to hell with the budget. It starts with the one time of I can ignore the budget this once and then before you know it you are ignoring it all together, the phone is ringing off the hook by bill collectors and you are wondering how you are going to get out of this mess.

      Sorry if this is harsh but to get out of debt and stay out of debt you have to absolutely have to stick to a budget. one time of not paying attention to it can affect you for years.

      i agree… i fell in my debt by pretty much the same way.

      there is a ton of good information in this thread.

    • #414324

      incheck4real,
      what a fantastic way to deal with your DH, not only did you explain the situation but made him feel loved and appreciated all at the same time. We could all learn a lesson from you.

    • #414334
      Avatar for GuestLyndie
      Participant

      There has already been a bunch of great ideas posted…I’ll add in my 2 cents worth though, maybe it will help:

      I have a monthly budget of $800 to spend on food, cleaning supplies, drug store purchases and pet food for a family of 5 (me, hubby, 2 teens and a tween with special needs) plus 2 cats and a dog.
      Here is what I do:
      I have a price book that I use to log the current price of our most commonly purchased items at the 5 stores I shop at most often. I track the items and figure out what price I will buy at (I call this my “target price”- for example I stock up on cheese when it is .25 or less per ounce, Mac&Cheese when it is less than .50 per box and bone in chicken breasts when they are less than .99 per lb. When the item is in my target price range I buy enough to last for at least a month.

      It sounds like a lot, but I may only buy 4 boxes of Mac&Cheese, 10 pounds of chicken and 4 pounds of cheese to use for a whole month.
      After my weekly shopping trip I go though the fridge, freezer and pantry and make up a list of foods I want to use over the next week. Next, I sit down at the computer and make out a menu plan. I use several online sites to look for recipes that “fit” my ingredients.

      If the meal is a hit with the family I will copy it into a folder on my computer I set up to hold the recipes. I also make notes about the recipes as well-what I added, how many servings my family actually got from the recipe, etc. It took me quite a few months of buying in bulk and adding to my pantry and freezer for my system to work.
      When I am done with the family meal plan, I sit down and work out meals for my youngest son-he is on a gluten-free diet.

      The special foods I have to buy for him cost me roughly $100 of my budget every month. I make a lot of his baked goods from scratch, but things like cheese, apples, and meat he just eats what the rest of us eat.

      As for my pets, I buy our pet food at Trader Joe’s. One 25lb bag of dog food and 2-4lb pound bags of cat food cost us about $25 per month. I could buy cheaper food, but the dog has a corn allergy and the food I buy at Trader Joe’s is corn free.
      I noticed when I tried to switch the cats to a cheaper food they were shedding more so I just keep them on the Trader Joe’s brand food and everyone stays happy.

      For my cleaning supplies, I make an all purpose cleaner using 2 oz vinegar,1 oz rubbing alcohol, 12 oz water and a tiny drop of dish soap. I put it in a spray bottle and clean everything from floors to windows with it. If something needs scrubbing, I use a paste of baking soda and water.

      I use very few paper towels, I recycle my old bath towels into cleaning rags buy cutting them down. To keep them from shedding strings all over I just zig-zag stitch the raw edges on the sewing machine.
      I don’t make my own laundry soap though. Hubby has some allergies so I have to use one of the “free” detergents.

      My children have grown up with our budget so they know that sometimes they might want something but mom and dad have to say “sorry, but it’s not in the budget right now”. I try to remind them that I will provide for all of their needs and some of their wants. I allow the teens to do extra chores around the house for extra spending money plus they get to split all the cash we get when we take in the cans and bottles to be recycled.

      Also, I keep track of our finances using a computer program (don’t know if I’m allowed to say which one). It tracks income and expenses and I can pull up a report at the end of the month that shows what I spent and where. It has been very helpful for my hubby to see in black and white how I handle the money-I’m sure it’s ended many an argument before it began.

    • #414498

      I cook from scratch. Convenience foods can be expensive and the costs add up. We have a lot of hamburger and chicken meals.

      We rarely buy snacks or soda. We buy whatever pet food and cleaning supplies are cheapest. We buy a lot of store brands instead of name brands. When milk is on sale we buy several gallons and freeze them.

      We turn the lights off in any room that no one is in. We keep the heat as low as we can. My great grandma raised her kids during the depression.

      She always said go put on a sweater and an extra pair of socks to save on heating costs. We combine errands into one trip to save on gas.

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Budget101 Discussion List Archives Budget101 Discussion List Ok, seriously someone point me in the right direction.