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LAmom

How much do you spend on groceries, weekly?

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just occurred to me, do you coupon at all? If you do or want to try it, try http://www.hotcouponworld.com

 

There are forums for each store generally, and LA choices seem pretty well covered. They often overlap with San Diego so I use many of the same forum choices - Ralphs, Vons, etc.

 

I find the fruit at Henry's far far superior to Ralphs, Vons or Albertsons in the area. Costco I have had so-so luck with at times, surprisingly. There are bunches of fruit stands tucked away in San Diego - probably LA too? You can get local items there that taste better.

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I work part time, about 15 hrs a week and my whole check goes for food and $15 a week for my gas. I like to make 1 big trip to Sam's then stop at the regular store once a week. We are a family of 4 and I spend $750-$800 a month. That is with me using a few coupons and trying to shop the sales and the BOGO free.

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Family of four (although my stepson is here on some weekends), I spend $75 to $100 a week, and that covers groceries, toiletries, and some splurgy things like wine and chocolate. Very low cost of living here, and I make almost everything from scratch. I have a well-stocked pantry and freezer to begin with, so I only buy necessities and what's on sale. I can't do most grains, but everyone else can eat pretty much anything (although Dh is not a fan of beans). We probably spend another $75 - $100 each month on eating out (a couple times a month), treats for going to the movies, and whatever Dh buys as his personal splurges out of the house.

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My dh is so tired of having Ronzoni Garden Delight pasta...BUT I love the pretty green boxes! :D LOL!! Actually I like these noodles..they taste so good and esp when they were free!

 

Yup! You can't beat free!

Our store has decided to exercise their "right to limit to 4 like coupons" (they usually don't) on those, but they've been on sale so frequently that it hasn't really mattered.

Most of my kids are huge vegetable eaters, but my oldest is extremely picky. He eats this though, so it's a mini-win, lol.

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Yup! You can't beat free!

Our store has decided to exercise their "right to limit to 4 like coupons" (they usually don't) on those, but they've been on sale so frequently that it hasn't really mattered.

Most of my kids are huge vegetable eaters, but my oldest is extremely picky. He eats this though, so it's a mini-win, lol.

 

Yup our local store that I bought all my free pasta from has limited 3 internet printable per shopping trip. That's how I got all my free pasta was with internet coupons and the joy of having 3 computers at home.

 

But it's not something that will stop us from couponing still. Just won't be excessive with our free pasta anymore. hehe!

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180-220 per week, so average is about 200. Sometimes a little higher. Moderate to high COL (suburb of a mid-Atlantic city). That is for 4 people and a toddler, eating mostly organics or hormone/antibiotic free type products. We also eat low carb.

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If you are in SC you can definitely spend much less.

 

Are you buying a lot of snack foods and premade foods?

 

I shop Costco once per month and Harris Teeter once per week or so. I coupon using Southern Savers and two delivered papers per week.

 

I also use the helpful hints in this free e-book.

 

 

http://www.budget101.com/budget101-free-ebook/free-ebook-groceries-200-month-2547.html

 

I do not do everything she does (we don't eat much beef for example) but I do some of it.

 

My cost for a family of 5 with toiletries and pet food is $550-$600. My goal is to get that to $500 or under by September. I am slowly getting there.

 

However, there is going to be a bit of a sacrifice on the kid's part.....I will be buying fewer snack foods unless I get them close to free.

 

Dawn

 

I work part time, about 15 hrs a week and my whole check goes for food and $15 a week for my gas. I like to make 1 big trip to Sam's then stop at the regular store once a week. We are a family of 4 and I spend $750-$800 a month. That is with me using a few coupons and trying to shop the sales and the BOGO free.

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For the summer, we are a family of 6, and we spend about $200/week, on average. I remember when all of our children were home and very young (15 years ago?), we were on a very tight budget and I'd try and keep it under $75/week, not including milk (we had a milkman, and that was separate). It was tough! We ate a lot of legumes. :)

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Sounds about right - prices have gone way up (along with some times being packaged smaller so a double-whammy*). I have six, here - the kids are 15 and up, though. I think we are now a tad under a thousand dollars (gag, choke) a month. I had to add up all receipts when applying for SillyAutismMan's SSI 9 months ago and then it came to an average of just under $900. That is w/o a lot of junk or soda, either. Sigh. I do shop at SIX different stores to get everything we use at the best price...and paid $400 for a 2/3 share of a local CSA basket for 18+ weeks this summer (just to try it out. DS then got a summer job from the CSA and is making wages of about 3x what it cost us to join, so it has been well worth it since otherwise he'd not have found a summer job!)

 

* Our Jewel advertises lower prices - ha! They are a dime cheaper than the local Meijers for sugar, for example. BUT - Jewel is selling a four-lb bag to Meijer's five-lb bag...like they think we won't notice?

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We are 6 at home now and spend $150 on groceries, animal food (dog and cat) and household supplies. We eat out very rarely. I pack my dh and oldest dd's lunch every day. I cook from scratch. I don't coupon. I buy in bulk. We have a huge garden - we eat incredibly well in the summer, I can and dry food. Recepie planning saves time and money and adds variety (cause on a small budget it's easy to eat the same thing ad neausum). We always have fruit and veggies in season. Limit milk (up to $4 a gallon) and put limits on stuff like graham crackers (5 at a time).

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We just decided that we needed to reign in our food expenses and put a limit of $150 per week for our family of 7. I have two freezers in addition to our fridge that I put anything that can be frozen into when I find a good deal. We also buy our meat half a cow at a time to keep meat prices down. Next step for us is trying the Bountiful Baskets co-op. I do plant a garden every year, but due to various problems, our gardens have never been reliable.

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We're a family of 5 with 2 dogs. We spend approx. $95wk and I coupon BIG time and have stockpile in many things.

 

I save approx. $200-$350/mo just by using coupons and matching with store sales and price matching.

 

 

I don't have to purchase these items for atleast 12 months as I have stockpiled them. And paid less than $1 or FREE for most of what I listed.

 

  • Toothbrushes

  • Toothpaste

  • Shampoo

  • Conditioner

  • Dental Floss

  • Kids Toothpaste

  • Motrin PM

  • Maalox

  • Body Wash

  • Razors for him

  • Razors for her

  • Dishwasher Pacs

  • Dish Soap

  • Hand Soap

  • Bar Soap

  • Doggie Treats

  • Scrubbing Sponges

  • Laundry Detergent

  • Feminine Products

  • Shaving Cream for him

  • Shaving Cream for her

  • Tea Bags

  • Baking Powder

  • Spices

  • Coffee

  • Blueberries - Bought fresh and seperated, flash freezed them.

  • Strawberries - Bought fresh and seperated, flashe freezed them.

  • Ziplock Baggies

  • Foil

  • Trash Bags

  • Canned Vegetables (Stocked enough for 6 months)

 

 

Like you, I've used coupons to create a stockpile of basics, wiht most purchased for under $1 or free (not including diapers or wipes, those were insanely cheap though) - and if something happened, wouldn't need to buy the following for at least a year:

 

Toothbrushes

Toothpaste

Shampoo

Conditioner

Dental Floss

Baby wipes

Diapers (sizes to about age 1.5)

Kids Toothpaste

Advil

Razors

Dishwasher liquid

Dish Soap

Hand Soap

Scrubbing Sponges

Laundry Detergent

Feminine Products

Shaving Cream

Coffee

Ziplock Baggies

Foil

Trash Bags

Canned Vegetables (stocked for 3+ months)*

Canned tuna, chicken and other meat items (stocked for 3+ months)*

*basically for emergencies and for the couple of times each year where getting out and up to the grocery store can prove impossible for a week or more given weather extremes that happen now and then in the winter, like iced roads.

 

For us - family of four - 2 adults, 1 child (six), 1 infant (six months)

 

I had to go look at our budget spreadsheet to figure out how much we spend on a weekly basis since much of what we purchase is in bulk - almost all of our meats are from the farm, grass-fed, pastured - so I don't normally buy beef, chicken, lamb, pork, bison, or turkey at the grocery store. I also don't buy most of our cheese, eggs or butter at the grocery store, nor our fresh produce at the store this time of the year (that's from the farmer's market, the CSA or our own garden until late fall).

 

So if I looked at the grocery store bills and exclude the HBA and cleaning supplies, it looks pretty low - average of $32 a week for the period I looked - July 1 2010 to June 30 2011. But that's not accurate.

 

Once I factor in our direct from the farm, farmer's market, CSA and other places, the weekly average is up to $106 a week for the year....and we eat really well :001_smile:

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This thread is amazing to me!

 

We are a family of 4, with dc 13 & 11.5. We spend $250-300 a week!! I shop at Costco, sales at grocery, coupons, very little junk, no soda, etc. but I can't seem to cut the cost further. The price of food here (CO) has gone WAY up recently, also. :glare:

 

I switched to a local milk delivery because we were paying $6 a gallon at the grocery! :001_huh: That should help some, but when I see large families spending $100 wk on groceries, I'm just amazed.

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This thread is amazing to me!

 

We are a family of 4, with dc 13 & 11.5. We spend $250-300 a week!! I shop at Costco, sales at grocery, coupons, very little junk, no soda, etc. but I can't seem to cut the cost further. The price of food here (CO) has gone WAY up recently, also. :glare:

 

I switched to a local milk delivery because we were paying $6 a gallon at the grocery! :001_huh: That should help some, but when I see large families spending $100 wk on groceries, I'm just amazed.

 

Same here! It's the 16th of the month and I have already hit my grocery budget of $750! :confused: I think I'm going to have to go back to bringing a calculator with me to the store....

 

I understand that you have to do what you have to do and that you can't spend what you don't have... I just don't understand how people can spend $75 to $100 for a whole weeks worth of stuff!! I'm in awe!!!

 

I realize that I could spend a bit less by shopping a Wal-mart or Aldi's and Shoppers, if I had to, but I still wouldn't be able to only spend $75-$100!

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Same here! It's the 16th of the month and I have already hit my grocery budget of $750! :confused: I think I'm going to have to go back to bringing a calculator with me to the store....

 

I understand that you have to do what you have to do and that you can't spend what you don't have... I just don't understand how people can spend $75 to $100 for a whole weeks worth of stuff!! I'm in awe!!!

 

I realize that I could spend a bit less by shopping a Wal-mart or Aldi's and Shoppers, if I had to, but I still wouldn't be able to only spend $75-$100!

 

:lol: And I sit here wondering what in the world you are buying! You spent more in 15 days than I will spend in the entire month for my family of 7.

 

Actually, I remember the days when I only had two small dc and how our grocery buying looked then. Way, way different. I used to buy juice, pre-prepared snacks, individual sized products, and more convenience. I never, ever bought a whole chicken - I usually bought skinless, boneless chicken. Expensive cuts of meat made their way into my cart sometimes. I bought 5lb bags of flour rather than 25lb bags, and I would have laughed at the thought of shopping the bulk sized shelves at Walmart. Oh, the memories!!

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Family of 5 with 3 cats and a dog, as well as one very hungry teen boy living with us for the summer. Our youngest is on a special diet (anapylactic to peanuts, eggs, milk, soy). I spend an average of $100- $120 per week, including toiletries (though we cloth diapered all our kids). We rarely eat out. I cut some coupons, I always price shop the flyers and look for the best sales and will often do the price matching that some stores offer. I bake and cook from scratch. We have a large garden in the summer that I can and freeze from, as well as fresh eat. I can all my own jams, juices, tomato sauce, salsa, apple sauce, canned peaches and pears straight from my garden- (but I still keep fresh fruit year round, I don't substitute canned fruit for fresh in the winter, it's more for a treat). We raise our own chickens and turkeys for meat and eggs so I rarely have to buy either of those. Dog food and cat food is included, sometimes if we run out of everything at once (dog/cat food, tp, shampoo, baby wipes) plus we have a lot of company that week the bill will go up to $150 or so.

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This thread is amazing to me!

 

We are a family of 4, with dc 13 & 11.5. We spend $250-300 a week!! I shop at Costco, sales at grocery, coupons, very little junk, no soda, etc. but I can't seem to cut the cost further. The price of food here (CO) has gone WAY up recently, also. :glare:

 

I switched to a local milk delivery because we were paying $6 a gallon at the grocery! :001_huh: That should help some, but when I see large families spending $100 wk on groceries, I'm just amazed.

 

Same here! It's the 16th of the month and I have already hit my grocery budget of $750! :confused: I think I'm going to have to go back to bringing a calculator with me to the store....

 

I understand that you have to do what you have to do and that you can't spend what you don't have... I just don't understand how people can spend $75 to $100 for a whole weeks worth of stuff!! I'm in awe!!!

 

I realize that I could spend a bit less by shopping a Wal-mart or Aldi's and Shoppers, if I had to, but I still wouldn't be able to only spend $75-$100!

 

 

My food budget is $600 a month for 7 of us. My bill used to be much lower but since I have 2 kids who are lactose intolerant and 1 who is allergic to all cow's milk products, I have to buy the more expensive milks which are about triple the price. Anyways, when I see people with the really high bills who say they don't buy junk, I suspect the problem is prices of which you can't do much about. I just did a big "stock" up run to the store and spent $110.48. Here's what I got and the prices, I bet you will find mine are lower.

 

7 pounds of whole wheat pasta at 1.55 pound

2 15 ox cans of pizza sauce 0.99 each

1 40 ounce container of garlic salt 6.49 (I usually get this at Sam's since it's $3.00 cheaper but that's on the other side of town and I will spend more than $3.00 in gas to get there)

2 30 ounce jars of Hellman's mayo (BUt I had $1.00 coupon that came off this)

3 16 ounce bags of dried beans .85 each

1 5# bag of onions 2.49

1 head cauliflower 1.99 (this is on the very high end of what I will pay)

1 head cabbage at .49 a pound

1 celery at 1.29

1 head romaine lettuce 1.99 (again very high for me)

2 heads garlic (2.59 a pound ) came to $0.83

3.25 pounds of bananas (0.43 a pound)

1 container fresh mushrooms (2.39 - 16 ounce package)

5# bag of carrots 2.89

1 cucumber 0.79 (my top price)

1 green pepper 0.79

1 block marble cheese 3.25 (it's 3.19 a pound)

1 block colby cheese 2.93 (it's 2.99 a pound)

1 containers feta cheese spread 1.39 each (and impulse buy but it's very good on wraps)

3 block cream cheese 1.09 each

1 pound of string cheese 3.99

4 self rising frozen pizzas total 11.00

6 regular frozen pizza total 10.00 (this are one of the few convenience foods I buy)

6 pounds frozen veggies and beans blends at 1.49 a pound

6 pounds of sweet potato french fries 0.99 a pound

2 frozen snap peas 1.39 a pound

6 pounds of frozen veggies at 0.89 a pound

2 pounds frozen veggies at 0.99 a pound

 

The above is my veggies, cheese, and convenience foods for 4-6 weeks.

 

Regular skim milk cost just a little over $2.00 a gallon but the lactose free milk and almond milk I have to buy are closer to $6.00 a gallon. Butter I wait till it's on sale for $1.99 a pound and I buy 20-30 pounds and stick them in the freezer. When spaghetti sauce Ragu or Prego (I don't like generics and I avoid things like high fructose corn syrup) go on sale for 0.99(getting harder to find this price) or 1.29 I buy 50 jars although this year I hope to make my own since I inherited an extra 30 tomato plants.

 

I buy grass fed beef/pastured pork by the half (1 of each, each year) but that is part of of monthly budget (meaning I spend less than $600 a month at store but accumulate the extra each month to buy the meat) I buy chicken at the grocery store but never pay more than 0.99 a pound for either whole chicken or packages of thighs. Boneless skinless breasts I buy when then are under $2.00 a pound and I stock up. I make all my own bread products and I buy wheat berries in 50pound bags from my local food co-op, flour works out to about 0.50 a pounds. I also buy brown basmati rice in 50 pound bags ($1.10 a pound) and oatmeal (0.40 a pound).

 

I buy fruit/fresh veggies from an amish produce auction in bulk. Last fall I bought 3 bushels of large red/yellow stuffing peppers for $8.00 a bushel. I froze 150 peppers whole (hollowed out and ready for stuffing- by the way that's 10 meals of stuffed peppers for us) as well as about 10 qt ziplock bags of sliced red/yellow peppers for adding to things. I think it worked out to about 10 cents a pepper. I just bought broccoli for $3.00 for 1/2 bushel and spent a few hours filling an entire shelf in the freezer with frozen broccoli.

 

I can my own applesauce. Apples are as little as $12.00 a bushel up to $16.00 a bushel. I don't remember how many quarts I get from a bushel but I know the jars cost less than $1.00 a quart.

 

 

So anyways, I thought it might be helpful to see price per item to get an idea how I keep our food bill so low.

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I understand that you have to do what you have to do and that you can't spend what you don't have... I just don't understand how people can spend $75 to $100 for a whole weeks worth of stuff!! I'm in awe!!!

 

 

It took me a long time to be able to reach the point we're at with how much we're spending on groceries - planning, "investment" (ie a freezer, time for coupon clipping), and then getting started and having the patience to wait until we hit where we are now. We were spending a heck of a lot more five years ago than we are now, and we're eating higher quality now for less money on a weekly basis.

 

For example, to buy a half-beeve (cow), it's not cheap as a one-time purchase. I pay $3.85 a pound. Our last 1/2 weighed in at 345-pounds of meat (dressed, aged, cut to our specs, packaged, flash-frozen), so I had to have $1330 to pay for it. But it will last us a year, including all the times we'll entertain and have guests, so it works out to $25 a week for what we spend on groceries.

 

In order to take delivery of the 1/2 beeve in the late fall, I have to set aside money each month - it's a huge expenditure, so it's just part of the monthly budget.

 

The first time we ordered though, it wan't a 1/2, it wasn't even a 1/4 - it was splitting a 1/4 with friends and then in the months that followed, setting aside the money we'd be spending on meat the grocery store to buy a 1/4 the next time we needed it. The 1/4 lasted almost half a year, so I did the same thing and we again ordered a 1/4 and had money left in the money set aside for the 1/4.....to finally get to a point where we ordered the first 1/2 (it's less per pound that the 1/4) and get where we are now with our purchase annually.

 

it took time, it took patience, but it's paid off on our grocery budget. I did the same thing for the other large order items like the chicken, pork, etc. - slowly but surely ramp up the orders, starting small at first and then going larger with each order to where we are now.....and staggering the various orders over the months when seasonally they'll slaughter.

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:lol: And I sit here wondering what in the world you are buying! You spent more in 15 days than I will spend in the entire month for my family of 7.

 

Actually, I remember the days when I only had two small dc and how our grocery buying looked then. Way, way different. I used to buy juice, pre-prepared snacks, individual sized products, and more convenience. I never, ever bought a whole chicken - I usually bought skinless, boneless chicken. Expensive cuts of meat made their way into my cart sometimes. I bought 5lb bags of flour rather than 25lb bags, and I would have laughed at the thought of shopping the bulk sized shelves at Walmart. Oh, the memories!!

 

I wonder the same thing!!! I am just amazed at how quickly the basket fills up!!

 

I do buy juice and snacks for when we pack lunch.... it's just more costly b/c I'll only buy the healthier ones...

 

Also, DH works night shift now, so I pack him a lunch that consists of fruit. His Bento lunch box thing has 4 bowls, so 4 bowls of fresh fruit, 5 nights a week. It's pricey, but I worry about his health with that schedule.... so I pack lots of berries and try to give him 4 different "colors" of fruit every night. I REALLY wish I was able to grow berries in my yard....

 

As much as I am into healthy food, I still buy way too much processed food.... I've gotten a little lax. The last trip I got (from WF's) 2 boxes of pop-tarts, 3 boxes of cereal bars, 2 boxes of cereal, chips, sugar cones, granola bars, graham crackers, regular crackers, Kashi waffles, 2 boxes instant mashed potatoes, 2 boxes couscous, and 2 boxes mac-n-cheese. :blushing:

 

That's too much. But I also got Kale, Swiss Chard, 2 heads of cauliflower, baby carrots, 2 bunches asparagus, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, apples, bananas, few mangoes, grapes, eggs, milk, bread, lemonade, wild sockeye salmon, tilapia, grass-fed ground beef, chicken thighs stuffed with spinach & feta, 1 lb. turkey meat (deli), .5 lb. Havarti Dill (to put on crackers), coffee.... plus some other stuff.... I think I did pretty darn good for getting all that, plus the stuff I can't remember, from Whole Foods, for $246!!!

 

I guess I just need to cut out the processed stuff and have PB&J/Grilled Cheese instead of turkey.... and make sure I only go shopping when I have time to do multiple stores instead of only having time for one.... BUT OH!! If only I could keep buying the same stuff for $75-$100 a week!!!

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For example, to buy a half-beeve (cow), it's not cheap as a one-time purchase. I pay $3.85 a pound. Our last 1/2 weighed in at 345-pounds of meat (dressed, aged, cut to our specs, packaged, flash-frozen), so I had to have $1330 to pay for it. But it will last us a year, including all the times we'll entertain and have guests, so it works out to $25 a week for what we spend on groceries.

 

In order to take delivery of the 1/2 beeve in the late fall, I have to set aside money each month - it's a huge expenditure, so it's just part of the monthly budget.

 

The first time we ordered though, it wan't a 1/2, it wasn't even a 1/4 - it was splitting a 1/4 with friends and then in the months that followed, setting aside the money we'd be spending on meat the grocery store to buy a 1/4 the next time we needed it. The 1/4 lasted almost half a year, so I did the same thing and we again ordered a 1/4 and had money left in the money set aside for the 1/4.....to finally get to a point where we ordered the first 1/2 (it's less per pound that the 1/4) and get where we are now with our purchase annually.

 

it took time, it took patience, but it's paid off on our grocery budget. I did the same thing for the other large order items like the chicken, pork, etc. - slowly but surely ramp up the orders, starting small at first and then going larger with each order to where we are now.....and staggering the various orders over the months when seasonally they'll slaughter.

 

I want to do the buy-a-whole-cow thing SO bad.... but I have no where to put an extra freezer, or a generator for if we loose power... but when I move into a bigger house (someday!!) I'm going to be on that like white on rice!!

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I understand that you have to do what you have to do and that you can't spend what you don't have... I just don't understand how people can spend $75 to $100 for a whole weeks worth of stuff!! I'm in awe!!!

 

While it takes a while to get there, I no longer buy a week's worth of stuff. As I mentioned earlier in the thread, I use coupons and the stockpiling method. So even though I'm spending a certain amount each week, I'm not necessarily buying what is needed for that week. I'm replenishing my stock pile and buying fresh produce. Again though, I had to slowly build up to this point.

 

I realize that I could spend a bit less by shopping a Wal-mart or Aldi's and Shoppers, if I had to, but I still wouldn't be able to only spend $75-$100!
Don't be so sure! Publix, a regional chain, is thought to have high prices. I've noticed a number of our regular items that are cheaper there than at Wal Mart or Aldi, and that's even at regular price without a coupon. It pays to comparison shop, even though it's a pain to do so.

 

ETA: Comparison pricing can be done slowly too. Just start jotting down prices for one or two items each time you're in the store. Or, an even easier way is to use your receipts to get prices. Eventually you'll have a decent price book (mine is an app on my iPhone but I used to do it on paper).

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We live in NE Ohio and are a family of 2 adults and 3 (growing) kids, 12, 10, & 8. We homeschool so that means breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks are 7 days a week here. I spend on average $100-110 each week and even that seemingly little amount annoys me. This amount includes food and all toiletries. I tell my husband every week there has got to be a way to get it down to about $75/week but I am beginning to wonder if this is just plain unrealistic. I shop primarily at Aldi and only shop at Giant Eagle for items if I have a coupon since they will double it. Every week, I sit down and make a menu based on what is on sale. That includes our dinners and any dishes I might need for get-togethers, potlucks, etc.

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I'm always in awe when someone starts one of these threads. We're only a family of 4 but we spend about $200/wk on groceries (includes tp, toiletries, etc.) My dh and both dds are super skinny but seem to burn calories while they're eating. I always feel like there's something I must be missing.:001_huh:

:iagree:

 

I do buy store brand organics, which are more expensive than just "store brand", but usually not more expensive than regular name brand stuff.

 

I am a single mom of three munchkins in CA, and we live on water & milk, pb&honey's (with home made bread) for breakfast, oatmeal for lunch, and either pasta or chicken & rice for dinner, and we still spend $100+ per week on food alone. The fruit for snacks plays a big part in that, but THEY ARE HUNGRY, and I refuse to feed them crap just because it's cheap!:glare:

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Don't be so sure! Publix, a regional chain, is thought to have high prices. I've noticed a number of our regular items that are cheaper there than at Wal Mart or Aldi, and that's even at regular price without a coupon. It pays to comparison shop, even though it's a pain to do so.

 

 

:iagree:I've always shopped at Wal-Mart or Target for a few items and recently realized our Publix down the street is actually cheaper. I'm saving on gas as well because I only need to go two stores now (Publix & Whole Foods).

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My food budget is $600 a month for 7 of us. My bill used to be much lower but since I have 2 kids who are lactose intolerant and 1 who is allergic to all cow's milk products, I have to buy the more expensive milks which are about triple the price. Anyways, when I see people with the really high bills who say they don't buy junk, I suspect the problem is prices of which you can't do much about. I just did a big "stock" up run to the store and spent $110.48. Here's what I got and the prices, I bet you will find mine are lower.

 

7 pounds of whole wheat pasta at 1.55 pound

2 15 ox cans of pizza sauce 0.99 each

1 40 ounce container of garlic salt 6.49 (I usually get this at Sam's since it's $3.00 cheaper but that's on the other side of town and I will spend more than $3.00 in gas to get there)

2 30 ounce jars of Hellman's mayo (BUt I had $1.00 coupon that came off this)

3 16 ounce bags of dried beans .85 each

1 5# bag of onions 2.49

1 head cauliflower 1.99 (this is on the very high end of what I will pay)

1 head cabbage at .49 a pound

1 celery at 1.29

1 head romaine lettuce 1.99 (again very high for me)

2 heads garlic (2.59 a pound ) came to $0.83

3.25 pounds of bananas (0.43 a pound)

1 container fresh mushrooms (2.39 - 16 ounce package)

5# bag of carrots 2.89

1 cucumber 0.79 (my top price)

1 green pepper 0.79

1 block marble cheese 3.25 (it's 3.19 a pound)

1 block colby cheese 2.93 (it's 2.99 a pound)

1 containers feta cheese spread 1.39 each (and impulse buy but it's very good on wraps)

3 block cream cheese 1.09 each

1 pound of string cheese 3.99

4 self rising frozen pizzas total 11.00

6 regular frozen pizza total 10.00 (this are one of the few convenience foods I buy)

6 pounds frozen veggies and beans blends at 1.49 a pound

6 pounds of sweet potato french fries 0.99 a pound

2 frozen snap peas 1.39 a pound

6 pounds of frozen veggies at 0.89 a pound

2 pounds frozen veggies at 0.99 a pound

 

The above is my veggies, cheese, and convenience foods for 4-6 weeks.

 

Regular skim milk cost just a little over $2.00 a gallon but the lactose free milk and almond milk I have to buy are closer to $6.00 a gallon. Butter I wait till it's on sale for $1.99 a pound and I buy 20-30 pounds and stick them in the freezer. When spaghetti sauce Ragu or Prego (I don't like generics and I avoid things like high fructose corn syrup) go on sale for 0.99(getting harder to find this price) or 1.29 I buy 50 jars although this year I hope to make my own since I inherited an extra 30 tomato plants.

 

I buy grass fed beef/pastured pork by the half (1 of each, each year) but that is part of of monthly budget (meaning I spend less than $600 a month at store but accumulate the extra each month to buy the meat) I buy chicken at the grocery store but never pay more than 0.99 a pound for either whole chicken or packages of thighs. Boneless skinless breasts I buy when then are under $2.00 a pound and I stock up. I make all my own bread products and I buy wheat berries in 50pound bags from my local food co-op, flour works out to about 0.50 a pounds. I also buy brown basmati rice in 50 pound bags ($1.10 a pound) and oatmeal (0.40 a pound).

 

I buy fruit/fresh veggies from an amish produce auction in bulk. Last fall I bought 3 bushels of large red/yellow stuffing peppers for $8.00 a bushel. I froze 150 peppers whole (hollowed out and ready for stuffing- by the way that's 10 meals of stuffed peppers for us) as well as about 10 qt ziplock bags of sliced red/yellow peppers for adding to things. I think it worked out to about 10 cents a pepper. I just bought broccoli for $3.00 for 1/2 bushel and spent a few hours filling an entire shelf in the freezer with frozen broccoli.

 

I can my own applesauce. Apples are as little as $12.00 a bushel up to $16.00 a bushel. I don't remember how many quarts I get from a bushel but I know the jars cost less than $1.00 a quart.

 

 

So anyways, I thought it might be helpful to see price per item to get an idea how I keep our food bill so low.

 

Interesting...there is a HUGE price difference in frozen goods but not much difference in fresh. A frozen pizza on sale is about 5.99 ea., & veggies are more but can't exactly remember offhand right now. I can get butter on sale for 2.99/lb & cheese is more than what you pay also. There's no way I could get a jar of Ragu on sale for 99 cents even on sale. I'm thinking about making my own sauce, but I'm not sure what kind of savings that would be.

 

I do buy organic milk for our family but just recently went with a local distributer that delivers it for much less than what we pay at the store. Hmm...I notice that you have no cereal or oats on the list. I'm trying to get our family away from eating so much cereal. Those prices have gone WAY up recently.

 

Love the beef idea but we don't have a freezer. I keep checking on Craig's List for a used one because I think it really would help keep our grocery costs down.

 

 

It pays to comparison shop, even though it's a pain to do so.

 

ETA: Comparison pricing can be done slowly too. Just start jotting down prices for one or two items each time you're in the store. Or, an even easier way is to use your receipts to get prices. Eventually you'll have a decent price book (mine is an app on my iPhone but I used to do it on paper).

 

I used to have a notebook with comparison prices of items I routinely purchased but then we moved out of state. Since we've lived here, I haven't had a chance to develop a new one. It might be time for that. I remember being very surprised about the prices at certain places. Thanks for the reminder!

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Interesting...there is a HUGE price difference in frozen goods but not much difference in fresh. A frozen pizza on sale is about 5.99 ea., & veggies are more but can't exactly remember offhand right now. I can get butter on sale for 2.99/lb & cheese is more than what you pay also. There's no way I could get a jar of Ragu on sale for 99 cents even on sale. I'm thinking about making my own sauce, but I'm not sure what kind of savings that would be.

 

Actually I did list oats down further in the description. I buy it through our food co-op (Country Life Natural Foods) in 50 pound bags. It's about 40 cents a pound there (haven't checked the exact price but in that ballpark). There no cereal on my list because don't buy it. ever. It's too expensive and mostly empty calories and my kids will wolf down 3 bowls each and still be hungry an hour later(even with whole grain cereal). The kids eat oatmeal, muesli (soaked oats with fruit, nuts and honey), oatmeal pancakes or some flavor of oatmeal muffins every morning for breakfast so we have no need for cereal.

 

I knew some things are very cheap in our area compared to others. That's why I posted prices so those who are spending $750 or $1000 or whatever and wondering why they can't get their bills lower can see that those with lower monthly bills probably have prices that can't be found in their area. But my number one savings area is buying bulk (preferably from places that are not grocery stores) to get the best prices.

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Family of 6 -- $150 - $200 a week. Includes everything (TP, Cleaners, Mascara . . .)

 

It has gone up about $50-$75 since all the economy stuff has started.

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:lol: And I sit here wondering what in the world you are buying! You spent more in 15 days than I will spend in the entire month for my family of 7.

 

 

 

I can honestly say that I thought this when we were in the Midwest too. Now I sit out here on the west coast and wonder HOW in the world we could have ever had a food budget of $100 per week. My GOAL is $225 per week or $450 per two weeks but we usually stop and pick up this or that and it ends up over $500 every two weeks. :glare: For us this does not include diapers (we cloth diaper) AND we don't use a lot of paper products - no napkins, paper plates, paper towels, etc. We eat almost entirely produce and meat with limited grains and we limit dairy intake as well, no beverages (like juice, soda, etc.)

 

I DO think many here who buy their meat in bulk must consider that their grocery budget isn't necessarily low, it's just that they bought in one bulk amount. So while we buy pork, beef, and chicken bi-weekly those are expenses they don't have in the receipt BUT it is in the bottom line.

 

It's SO hard to compare grocery bills.

 

We have many children, but six of them are 7 and under... what the bottom six eats only compares to our two oldest. :D So the family of four (with two teens) might have the same budget as the family of seven with many littles! The family with the $100 food budget per week is only counting her grocery bill, but not DH's eating lunch out at work, or grabbing pizza on the weekends, etc. Another might count her groceries but NOT count the trip to Wal-Mart for paper goods.

 

Too many variables and then you have the health factor. Technically I KNOW I could feed my children cheaper, just cut the meat, cut the fresh produce, no organic, and fill them up on grains. I could cut my bill by at least 1/4 to 1/3.

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This is an interesting thread. What I found helped me to decrease the amount I spend on food was to think about individual meal cost instead of how much I was spending weekly. I set a goal of a specific amount per person, per meal, and bought food accordingly. If meat was on sale for $5.00 and I could get 5 servings from it, then it cost $1.00 per meal. Then add in some veggies and potato, and the cost is about 1.50 per meal. If I bought a roast for $10 and I get 15 servings from it then I can cut the cost of a meal way down. Some meals of soup and bread can cost only about .50 - .75 per serving, leaving me money for a more costly dinner later. This kind of thinking changed the way I shopped.

 

My oldest ds is moving from a dorm into an apartment next month for the next school year. He has had a school meal plan in the past, but now he will have to shop and cook for himself. He will have a very low budget for food - about $100 per month, so there is no room for wasting money. He is only feeding himself, so if he is careful he should be able to do it. I have been getting recipes together for foods he likes and ideas for meals that are inexpensive.

 

My ds can cook well, but I realized I had never taught him how to shop on a budget. He won't be able to decide what he wants to eat and then go buy the ingredients because that will cost too much. I have made a list of foods I know he likes to eat and a "don't pay more than ____" for each item. Cost of living is lower where he is going to school than it is at home, so that should help him. I have tried to show him how to price the cost of meals and stick to that. He has about .80 per breakfast, $1 per lunch, and $1.50 - 1.75 per dinner. That is not a lot, but it can be done. It is just a different way of thinking about meal planning. He was sure that it can't be done, but I have taken his favorite meals, broken down the cost of ingredients and the number of servings and showed him how he can eat within this budget. He will have to buy food that is on sale, and he will need to cook a recipe and freeze the extra servings to eat later.

 

I have been buying non-perishable food items when they are on sale so he will have a full pantry to get him started. (This is not helping MY food budget!) Hopefully he will just need to buy produce, dairy and meat for the first few months. I made a list of meals he can cook with the items I have purchased, and listed portion sizes.

 

I wish someone had taught me how to shop and plan meals within a budget. I had to learn that on my own.

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I'm in the Detroit Metro area. We spend $170 - $200/week for a family of 6 that includes two teenaged boys. And, I get mostly organic foods. I haven't read all the thread, but your amount seems high.

 

I'll go back and read what everyone else is saying and see if I have anything creative to offer here!

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I DO think many here who buy their meat in bulk must consider that their grocery budget isn't necessarily low, it's just that they bought in one bulk amount. So while we buy pork, beef, and chicken bi-weekly those are expenses they don't have in the receipt BUT it is in the bottom line.

 

 

 

I included it in my post, which I rounded up to $106 a week. Here is the breakdown I pulled from my spreadsheet that was groceries only (not cleaning or HBA since I break those out on the spreadsheet):

 

345 pounds beef = $1330

80 pounds pork = $320

40 pounds lamb = $350

20 pounds bison = $80

36 chickens = $288

4 turkeys = $110

2 goose = $40

2 quail = $30

4 duck = $40

CSA (mid-April/mid-Nov), Farmer's Market & other local* = $1236

Grocery store food = $1664

Total = $5488

 

Weekly = $105.54

 

*local items are eggs, sometimes butter, some cheese

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