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Old 01-22-2013, 09:33 PM   #21
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Re: How much is your monthly grocery budget?

I'm in Oregon and I have a budget of $500/month for all food (groceries and eating out) and household/toiletry items for a family of four voracious eaters! My husband does have to grab fast food one night a week as he runs to school and that comes out of a separate budget (student loans!), and he also eats very little for breakfast and lunch most days of the week but probably makes up for it at dinner time and late-night snacking! We are very tight but we are usually able to do it. My sister lives in Sonoma County, California and we stay in Orange County, California for a week or so at least once-twice a year so I've done plenty of grocery shopping in California, and I think our grocery prices are pretty comparable here in Oregon.

I buy almost exclusively organic (some things I don't always buy organic are bananas, avocados (although sometimes they're cheaper than conventional at Trader Joe's!), oranges/clementines, green onions, cabbage, eggplant, pineapple...). Also I buy only grass-fed beef and pastured corn- and soy- free eggs and chicken, and pastured pork products. Sometimes we do have to buy conventional chicken and bacon but not very often at all. We buy raw grassfed organic milk, and raw cheese as much as possible.

How do I do it? I make *everything* from scratch. We eat very little processed/convenience/snack foods. Instead of cereal for breakfast, we eat oatmeal, millet porridge, eggs, custard, or oat pancakes. For snacks we have dairy products (cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, etc), nuts, fresh fruit, fresh veggies, homemade dips (hummus, bean dip, etc), fruit & veg smoothies, etc. The only thing I buy instead of make are brown rice pasta (we are gluten-free), corn tortillas and corn tortilla chips, and salsa. We also occasionally buy grassfed hot dogs as a cheat when I don't have time to cook (beats fast food!). Other than that we make just about everything.

I meal plan meticulously, and I make a list and stick to it. If we run out of fresh produce 4 days before I'm supposed to go to the store, we just do without (we almost always have frozen fruit and home-canned applesauce, frozen veggies, and generally have fresh carrots and celery on hand even when we have nothing else!).

I shop at 4 different stores usually and 4 different farms (it's a big pain in the butt but it's what I have to do). I know how much things generally cost so I know when and where something is a good deal. I always go to Trader Joe's & our local natural foods store for the bulk of my stuff, and then sometimes but not always go to Winco for a few items (some bulk stuff, cheese (when we can't afford raw), cottage cheese, plain yogurt, canned olives, etc, and Costco occasionally (although I think when our membership is up this year I'm going to be done with Costco), for things like organic corn tortilla chips, toilet paper, dishwasher detergent, contact solution. I go to one farm for my ground beef and milk and whole roaster chickens, a separate farm for my eggs, and a different one for my honey. I buy pork products at our weekly farmer's market.

Meal planning and grocery shopping are time consuming but that's how we stay in our budget. I plan a month's worth of meals at a time and then I shop for 2 weeks at a time, twice a month. I always save a bit of money so I can run to the store a few times in between big shopping trips. I know we always run out of fresh fruit and a few other items so I like to have some extra money on hand so I can restock before the next shopping excursion (and some things don't last the full two weeks so it's good to have a plan and know what to buy first and then have the money to go back and get the fresh stuff that I need later).

Honestly I think the best way to save money on groceries is by being strict about meal-planning and shopping from a list. No matter what types of foods you buy/eat, if you plan ahead of time and then stick to it, you should be able to slash your food bill considerably.

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Old 01-22-2013, 10:03 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catilina
I'm in Oregon and I have a budget of $500/month for all food (groceries and eating out) and household/toiletry items for a family of four voracious eaters! My husband does have to grab fast food one night a week as he runs to school and that comes out of a separate budget (student loans!), and he also eats very little for breakfast and lunch most days of the week but probably makes up for it at dinner time and late-night snacking! We are very tight but we are usually able to do it. My sister lives in Sonoma County, California and we stay in Orange County, California for a week or so at least once-twice a year so I've done plenty of grocery shopping in California, and I think our grocery prices are pretty comparable here in Oregon.

I buy almost exclusively organic (some things I don't always buy organic are bananas, avocados (although sometimes they're cheaper than conventional at Trader Joe's!), oranges/clementines, green onions, cabbage, eggplant, pineapple...). Also I buy only grass-fed beef and pastured corn- and soy- free eggs and chicken, and pastured pork products. Sometimes we do have to buy conventional chicken and bacon but not very often at all. We buy raw grassfed organic milk, and raw cheese as much as possible.

How do I do it? I make *everything* from scratch. We eat very little processed/convenience/snack foods. Instead of cereal for breakfast, we eat oatmeal, millet porridge, eggs, custard, or oat pancakes. For snacks we have dairy products (cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, etc), nuts, fresh fruit, fresh veggies, homemade dips (hummus, bean dip, etc), fruit & veg smoothies, etc. The only thing I buy instead of make are brown rice pasta (we are gluten-free), corn tortillas and corn tortilla chips, and salsa. We also occasionally buy grassfed hot dogs as a cheat when I don't have time to cook (beats fast food!). Other than that we make just about everything.

I meal plan meticulously, and I make a list and stick to it. If we run out of fresh produce 4 days before I'm supposed to go to the store, we just do without (we almost always have frozen fruit and home-canned applesauce, frozen veggies, and generally have fresh carrots and celery on hand even when we have nothing else!).

I shop at 4 different stores usually and 4 different farms (it's a big pain in the butt but it's what I have to do). I know how much things generally cost so I know when and where something is a good deal. I always go to Trader Joe's & our local natural foods store for the bulk of my stuff, and then sometimes but not always go to Winco for a few items (some bulk stuff, cheese (when we can't afford raw), cottage cheese, plain yogurt, canned olives, etc, and Costco occasionally (although I think when our membership is up this year I'm going to be done with Costco), for things like organic corn tortilla chips, toilet paper, dishwasher detergent, contact solution. I go to one farm for my ground beef and milk and whole roaster chickens, a separate farm for my eggs, and a different one for my honey. I buy pork products at our weekly farmer's market.

Meal planning and grocery shopping are time consuming but that's how we stay in our budget. I plan a month's worth of meals at a time and then I shop for 2 weeks at a time, twice a month. I always save a bit of money so I can run to the store a few times in between big shopping trips. I know we always run out of fresh fruit and a few other items so I like to have some extra money on hand so I can restock before the next shopping excursion (and some things don't last the full two weeks so it's good to have a plan and know what to buy first and then have the money to go back and get the fresh stuff that I need later).

Honestly I think the best way to save money on groceries is by being strict about meal-planning and shopping from a list. No matter what types of foods you buy/eat, if you plan ahead of time and then stick to it, you should be able to slash your food bill considerably.
Dang girl!!! You're able to afford raw dairy on that budget???! Way to go!
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:20 PM   #23
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Re: How much is your monthly grocery budget?

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Dang girl!!! You're able to afford raw dairy on that budget???! Way to go!
In full disclosure, the kids are the only ones who drink straight milk, and even they don't drink a ton (they are mostly big water drinkers), so I only buy 1/2 gallon ($3) every week or two. I also sometimes buy regular whole milk to supplement the raw stuff if I'm going to be cooking a lot with it (macaroni and cheese, custard, baking, etc). I buy a pound of raw cheese every 2 weeks and we buy conventional (Tillamook) cheddar for anything above that. The cottage cheese and yogurt we eat aren't raw, either. I just buy Nancy's cultured yogurt and cottage cheese.
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:08 PM   #24
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Re: How much is your monthly grocery budget?

$55/week for four people, two dogs and a cat. LOTS from scratch, bartering with neighbors and our farming friends, bulk purchasing from Amish and the natural food store and serious planning. We have a much harder time with organic during winter because we're so rural and the shopping choices are very minimal!
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:25 PM   #25
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$445/ month, food only
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:27 PM   #26
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I look at store ads online to price match. I also stock.up on marked down meat for the kids
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:04 AM   #27
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Re: How much is your monthly grocery budget?

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How is $100 a week even possible???
I mean you've gotta have already a lot of staple items correct?? I just can't wrap my mind around just $100!

-Not saying anyone on here does or doesn't, BUT I don't want tips abt how shopping at Walmart is the cheapest deal. I've read mommy blogs and other articles and all the budget ones say they shop at Walmart to save money and I won't shop there anymore. Horrible standards and horrible service won't allow me to overlook their "low prices".

Has anyone shopped with Azure Standard before??
If I go into walmart, I have to have a list (or my WIC stuff). Otherwise I end up doing a lot of "oh we need this", and "I could use this for something" on stuff that we really don't need, and I end up spending twice as much there. So I am trying to stick with the weekly ads and deals for our local stores and KS and SW. That is it right now. I don't know exactly what we spend, but we are left with only a couple dollars at the end of the month and that is what I want to get away from.
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Old 01-28-2013, 01:03 PM   #28
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Re: How much is your monthly grocery budget?

I live in southeast Michigan and I shop at Meijer. I choose it over Walmart because it is headquartered in Michigan and they are always sponsoring local events. Plus a lot of the things I buy tend to be cheaper there as well. I have a family of 4, and we try to stick to $100 a week for food, health and beauty, and paper products. I used to be able to spend as low at $60, but now we are plant-based, and I make a lot of things myself, so I tend to spend right up to my $100 max. If I have to buy dog food though, I allow an extra $30 because I haven't found a way to get that within my budget.

My tips:
-I meal plan for 7 nights a week (we don't like meal repeats)
-I shop at one store, once a week.
-I use coupons and store "perks", usually only used for health and beauty or cleaning
-I pack my husbands lunches for work, along with lots of drinks and snacks
-We don't eat out unless we have extra money
-We go without!!!! Yeah that is the real way we save

I say we go without because there are a ton of things I would love to buy, and a lot of times staples stay on the list a week or two before I can budget them in. If we had more money, I could easily spend it. We rarely splurge and we don't buy any sweet stuff. Prepackaged food.....what is that???

I have to say that when it was just me and my dh, we spent way more money a week on food and eating out. I never shopped with a list and we never had meals planned in advance.
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Old 01-28-2013, 01:07 PM   #29
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Re: How much is your monthly grocery budget?

We spend an average of about $30 a day or about $900 a month on food for a family of 7 eating.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:57 PM   #30
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Re: How much is your monthly grocery budget?

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$1000 a month for a family of 4 humans and 1 pooch in Canada :-)
This is us also. We easily spend $1000 for a family of 5 with a bun in the oven, plus a mastiff and two kitties. I would like to spend less but, I think this is pretty realistic whole food costs here! I would love to be under 500 a month, but it's usually 250 or more a week
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