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$200/month to feed a family of 6??


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I don't think her meals look entirely terrible, but they are definitely in the camp of higher sodium. Lots of canned soups, tons of cheese, processed meats, etc. Not a way I'd want to feed my family, but then we eat a lot of homemade baked goods. I almost always have homemade bread, muffins, rolls or crackers available to help stretch a meal a little further.

 

The garden CAN make a huge difference. Whether harvested fresh and eaten on the spot, or preserved for another time, I save a lot of money with my garden, or from buying bulk from the farmstands in produce season and then putting it by.

 

Right now we're cruising along on about $80 a week for a family of four. My grocery budget is just food- paper products are seperate. This month I had to allocate some of my food budget for extra baking supplies, and the trade off for that is that the kids get to enjoy corn dogs for lunch for a few days instead of something a little more nutritious/less processed. I never, ever shop at Aldi's, just the regular grocery stores in the area. I also don't coupon much, I do wish there were more out there that were for foods that we purchase and use, but if I use $6 worth of coupons in a month, that's a lot.

Edited by Sproutmaster
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I think her prices are low. A few that I notice right away are:

 

Lettuce is twice the cost here.

 

Tortillas are more than twice the cost at $5.29 for a package of 16.

 

A single loaf of whole wheat bread is $2.50 a loaf on sale and up to $5 a loaf not on sale for the kind with no HFCS.

 

Butter is never cheaper than $1.99 a pound.

 

I buy 5 dozen eggs for $7.99 so that's a similar price. But we go through all of them in a week to week and a half. We would not make it on only a dozen a week.

 

We never managed to get our entire garden in last spring because we needed to buy more dirt (raised beds) and were dealing with illness for over a month during the time we should have been planting. We got a whopping 3-4 heads of lettuce and 5-6 potatoes out of our garden this year. It's a good thing we didn't waste our money on that dirt!

 

 

Hmmm...let me see how we stack up.

 

Our cheap Aldis tortillas are 10 to a package and a little over $1. I can't find my most recent receipt to get an exact price. I also make flour tortillas from scratch, but it takes a ridiculous amount of time and effort for the return.

 

Whole wheat and nice brand white bread both go on sale every week for $1-$1.50 a loaf here.

 

We stocked up on about 75 pounds of butter at 50 cents a pound when we caught a sale around two years ago. We still have plenty left from that.

 

We have chickens for eggs. While they can be a little costly to feed, most of the year they pay for themselves in egg sales. Our eggs don't cost anything except time and energy.

 

I had high hopes for our garden this summer, until my husband broke his ankle and I had to do all of the yardwork completely by myself. We had food during the summer, but nothing for the rest of the year. I doubt I'll get much done this summer since I will have the joy of waddling my pregnant self around in the heat.

 

 

 

Now on to the main thread! All that was to say, we could make this work if the stars aligned and it was the only thing on my plate. (ha) We can even do it and eat in a healthy fashion. I really detest the rallying cry on every low-cost meal or coupon thread about how "my family doesn't eat that kind of garbage." I've been at points where I would have been grateful to eat whatever crap in a box I could afford. It also is possible to eat cheaply and well if you have the right conditions in your area. Not everyone can do it for a variety of reasons. Not everyone wants to do it. It's fine if you can't or don't need to. I just hate to see it automatically knocked for people who might find it helpful.

 

And then begin the diatribes. Eating this now will just cost you more in the long run on medical bills...etc. It doesn't have to.

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I do find it interesting to note the wide range of food budgets here.

 

I feed my family of 3 on about $200 per month, give or take (edibles only). This is mostly food purchased from an organic food store. Heavy on the fresh / whole foods. And some level of convenience - I never cook from scratch. But, we don't do much animal protein other than milk and yogurt. That could be a big reason we're cheaper than some folks. And we usually buy zero snack/junk food/drink. I'm also pretty religious about eating leftovers even for breakfast to avoid waste.

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I know she's provided receipts and meal plans but something seems to be missing. I'm looking at her bills and thinking 'Mine would be WAY,WAY higher than this!' for the same stuff.

 

I used to coupon. Like, CRAZY coupon. It was a job. And, a necessity. We spent (I spent) $30/wk on groceries. DS was just starting solids which I was making and I included formula in my weekly budget (although I usually bought off Ebay or CL in a bulk lot). So, 2 adults and a small child, but still, it was HARD! All of it was hard. The planning meals, scouring deals, fighting for the deals, being treated like a criminal for paying so little, and ultimately, the price to our health was the greatest hardship. It was a LOT of carbs, bad proteins, irresponsible habits, etc.

 

We've changed drastically (as have our finances) and we, on a good week, spend $100. We have 2 boys, who eat like little men. I've NO idea how we'll afford them soon!

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I spend $10 a day on meals for my family, and I can guarantee I don't feed them junk.:glare: I follow a strict plan.

 

Please share your plan and tips. :bigear:

 

I try hard to keep our down but I have two boys who eat like men and a dh who taught 'em how. Littlest one is already eating more than I am - yikes.

 

I grow a lot, buy on good sales, markdowns, and buy a cow from a local farmer. Still can't get to 200 a month. I'd love to learn what y'all do.

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Looking at yours, you and she seem to not be very far off. You said 100/wk for a family of 8, she said 200+60 (the non-food items) for a family of 6. That means you're spending about 12.50 per person per week and she's spending about 11 per person per week.

 

Yes, but like I said, we are regularly blessed with quite a bit of food from church members, including meat. I know she has a garden for veggies, but I don't see how her grocery budget is that low if she's having to buy all of the meat herself.

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But even she has very low prices listed.

 

She lists 10# of flour for $1.06. I just bought ten pounds of flour today for $3.98. That's buying the cheapest flour per pound, and it was on sale. That's almost 4 times the cost of her flour. Normal price for the flour would have been $5.98.

 

Carrots are listed as $1.23 for 5 pounds. Here they are $4.39 for five pounds.

 

I can get 18 eggs for the price she pays for 36.

 

That's what I was thinking, too, JoAnn. But then I notice she is in MN and I remember going to the store with my brother when I was there this summer and being shocked at how much cheaper everything was there.

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Please share your plan and tips. :bigear:

 

I try hard to keep our down but I have two boys who eat like men and a dh who taught 'em how. Littlest one is already eating more than I am - yikes.

 

I grow a lot, buy on good sales, markdowns, and buy a cow from a local farmer. Still can't get to 200 a month. I'd love to learn what y'all do.

 

I've been making things strictly from the $5 meals cook books! It really is cheap but the food isn't. We've not had any complaints yet. ;)

 

http://www.amazon.com/Dinner-Mom-Breakfast-Lunch-Cookbook/dp/0312607342/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1324266440&sr=8-4

 

http://www.amazon.com/Dinner-Mom-Cookbook-Delicious-Nourishing/dp/B0043GXYAK/ref=pd_sim_b_2

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Kudos to her. Her meals look much healthier than the average American family. They are eating some actually produce, the bread is homemade (without preservatives and additives), no sodas or junk food. It is not how we eat but considering how most eat I think that is pretty good.

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I could not do it, even if we at nothing but junk here. For a 2lb bag of carrots here it cost $2, one loaf of bread is $4, milk $5 a gallon, hamburger is almost $4 lb, nothing is cheap where I live. So even if I wanted to I could not feed my family on that. $200 a month would not even cover meat and veggies.

 

 

Now I have cut our food bill down big time. I have started stocking up when stuff is on sale. Like when meat is $2-$3 lb I buy double I would pay that price for half when not on sale so I figure why not stock up. Or when canned goods drop way low I buy two cases so I won't have to buy them for a while. Now my house is small and storage is limited, but I would rather use up all the little storage I have to save a few dollars. Doing this has cut us down to $175-200 a week. Now none of that includes toilet paper, dog food, etc.

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That's what I was thinking, too, JoAnn. But then I notice she is in MN and I remember going to the store with my brother when I was there this summer and being shocked at how much cheaper everything was there.

 

I live in MN and DO NOT find the prices to be as low as everyone is saying as low. I have whittled down our budget to as low as I can (we eat meat as a "side" dish and try to stay away from pasta as diabetes runs in the family) and I'm still spending around $700 per month for our family of 6. Of course that includes my ds who eats as more than husband and the 3 other children who eat as much as I do (including miss 4 year old who can pack it away in her little skinny body). I make everything from scratch including yogurt and bread which costs me around 75 cents per load. We have a lot of thin/ high metabolism people living in this family who need to stock up on more than carbs. I spend over $200 a month in produce alone. We live in a small town and I don't have time to spend driving long distances to go to Aldi's or other stores like that. I go to Costco once a month and buy just the basics there. I'm rethinking my garden plan to produce more in order to store more.

 

Beth

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I notice her prices are very different than what I see at our stores. However I use to coupon BIG time and watch sales and still spend more than she does. I even stockpiled.

 

When I make eggs for breakfast for my family everyone eats atleast 2 eggs per sitting! Plus a piece of toast and I make up about 6 potaotes diced and herbed. Just for ONE breakfast! If I make pancakes I use 2 eggs, 1 3/4cp of gluten free baking mix, buttermilk and other ingredients..for one batch..if I made pancakes every day for 1 week I'd use 1 dozen eggs!

 

However we're now 100% gluten free and there is NO WAY we could spend so little. I just spent $103 in baking needs for gluten free. Lasting us 2 months, so guesstimate $50 tacked onto our already newly skyrocketed grocery bill.

 

I use to spend $300/mo for our family of 5 (couponing and watching sales plus making nearly all I could from scratch). Then all the prices went up and our bill popped to $500/mo for our family of 5. Then we got a diagnosis of Celiacs disease x2! in our home plus the rest have slight allergies to gluten so we have to cut gluten out COMPLETELY and now our bill has blasted through the budget to about $800/mo! :( Because the products we once got that were CHEAP and AFFORDABLE contain gluten ingredients and we now have to grab the NON-gluten filled products costing us nearly 3 times as much as what we would've bought prior to gluten free living.

 

We make from scratch. Have healthy snacks. Are drinking lactose free milk, but only go through about half a gallon every 2 weeks. We drink lots of water in my house! I cut juice down to 2 bottles of juice every 2 weeks. When it's gone, it's gone! I make homemade sun tea daily though. We don't use paper products except for toilet paper. We use cloth. I make our own laundry detergent. Most of the cleaners we use are homemade or were free or only a small cost under $.50 due to coupon usage and stocking up, & I can LOTS when certain produce goes on sale. We also have a deep freezer that helps us with stocking up. I just bought 2 bags of potatoes because they were on sale and 2 packages of chicken skinless thighs because they were marked 50% off at our local store and I can't pass that deal...so our bill varies as I find unadvertised deals. We menu plan and I am really strict to sticking to our meals that are planned. We don't eat out as we can't due to all the gluten cross contamination.

 

This upcoming spring dh and I want to begin mapping our garden and start planting. We tried the year before last and it was not a good success. This time we're going straight into the ground! No container gardening for us!

Edited by mamaofblessings
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I wish I could figure out how to feed us for less. I include everything (TP, cleaning supplies, etc.) in my costs, and am not sure what it would be without that - but I can't get below about $200 a week for the four of us!

Two teen boys and a DH who eats low carb (which means meat is a majority of what he eats)....

When both boys were playing sports in the fall, I felt like $200 worth of groceries would disappear in days.

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Our cheap Aldis tortillas are 10 to a package and a little over $1. I can't find my most recent receipt to get an exact price.

 

At HEB we can get soft flour tortillas for about $1.50 for 20 tortillas. We use this more than bread now.

 

Whole wheat and nice brand white bread both go on sale every week for $1-$1.50 a loaf here.

 

HEB has a no HFCS bread for about $1.50 a loaf here. I was at Walmart last night so had to spend $1.98 to get a no HFCS bread. "White wheat" it was called.

 

We stocked up on about 75 pounds of butter at 50 cents a pound when we caught a sale around two years ago. We still have plenty left from that.

 

We have chickens for eggs. While they can be a little costly to feed, most of the year they pay for themselves in egg sales. Our eggs don't cost anything except time and energy.

 

We buy butter at Costco and use it sparingly. I have not found a deal this good.

 

We eat hardly any eggs at all. We've got a 12-pk of eggs in the refrigerator now that is dated 12/2/2011

 

Meat: We use mostly chicken because we can get it regularly for $1/lb. Other meats are sprinkled through/special stuff.

Edited by vonfirmath
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I do think it's area. I spend $650/month for essentially 5 adults and 4 kids but that's at Aldi in rural Indiana. I realize that would be a no go in an urban area.

 

Indiana is high in my opinion....I am from rural Indiana. Even the prices between two different Walmarts about 30 miles apart, are different.

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I do find it interesting to note the wide range of food budgets here.

 

I feed my family of 3 on about $200 per month, give or take (edibles only). This is mostly food purchased from an organic food store. Heavy on the fresh / whole foods. And some level of convenience - I never cook from scratch. But, we don't do much animal protein other than milk and yogurt. That could be a big reason we're cheaper than some folks.

 

Yes, I'm sure eating vegetarian helps a lot. We are a family of 3 eating paleo/low-carb and spend about $600/month on food alone. I buy primarily meat, eggs, and vegetables, rounded out with some cheese, cream, nuts, and olives. We get much of our beef from a grass fed beef co-op and eat things like wild salmon at least twice a week. I buy zero pasta, bread, rice, crackers, flour, or juice. My son snacks on things like olives, hard boiled eggs, cheese, or veggies with hummus. We do drink wine and coffee.

 

I also wonder if some of the difference in some budgets is portion size? My husband is a 200 lb Marine infantry officer and athlete who works out hard during the day. My son, although just turned 5, has always been 95th percentile for height, skinny as a rail, and extremely active (he rode 2 miles straight on his bike alone yesterday). There is no way I can skimp on portions for these guys!

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Is she saying that $200 includes breakfast and lunch too? I have been interrupted too many times to get a clear picture here. She says something about all her breakfast and lunch items she already "had on hand"...:confused:

 

I get so discouraged about this. I can't seem to keep my budget in check with groceries. I can't grow a garden or have chickens. I do make most things from scratch, but I don't have a good enough stocked pantry to completely take this over. I know it's a process. But my husband was just laid off last week and I am feeling panicky to figure out ways to save tons of money. Even doing rice and beans or ramen every night temporarily we will still spend at least twice or more what this woman does.

 

:banghead:

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I live in MN and DO NOT find the prices to be as low as everyone is saying as low.

 

We live in MN and I don't feel we are paying low prices at all for food or anything. I'm always amazed at how much cheaper fresh produce is south of us (we travel regularly). We're in the city too, which probably doesn't help. But I don't think we have a particularly low cost of living at all. I'd be embarrassed to post what we paid for a 2000 sq ft house compared to most parts of the country unless you're in one of the top 10 metro areas.

 

Many WEEKS I'm spending close to $200 for our family of 4 on groceries, and we eat pretty simple.

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I think I could do it, if my family didn't have a bunch of food intolerances that rule out all the cheap foods (wheat, oats, and rice for starters). Eating oatmeal for breakfast is super cheap. You just pick the more inexpensive meals and make a lot of stuff from scratch. And you use more expensive stuff like meat and cheese as condiments and not a main part of the meal. You buy bananas instead of more expensive fruit...that sort of thing. Of course it would help if you have a more average family in terms of how much they eat. DH is a very big guy and eats a ton, I eat a whole lot too, and all three of my kids eat as much as the average adult woman IMO. I spend about $400-$450 a month on food for my family and that includes a lot of expensive items like gluten free flours and goat milk and butter. We eat a lot of beans & potatoes because they're cheap.

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One loaf of bread per week for 6 people.

2 eggs per person per week.

Ten pounds of ground beef and 12# of chicken per three months, yet they have 4 meals for each planned in just that 2wks! (ETA: The spaghetti pic doesn't have meat, so only 3 GB meals.)

 

Also, I see her list of things they eat for breakfast. It seems those things would take a lot of money to restock but none are on her list for that 2wk period or the Sam's Club list (besides flour, but for all the things she makes from scratch 25#/3mo wouldn't cut it).

 

Family of 7 here and this would allow us only one sandwich each per week and maybe a couple of people could then have a slice of toast one morning. That's if everyone really ONLY wanted one sandwich at a meal. I have boys who can eat more than one.:glare:

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I spend almost that per week for a family of 4 with 2 eating like birds. I don't know how I'd cut it down to that per month.

 

Thank you for saying this! My grocery budget is $200 a week for a family of four and my youngest doesn't eat much. I always feel bad when these threads come up and see what everyone else is spending. We probably eat too much meat and I know our portion sizes should be cut down. And that budget has to cover dog food, cleaners, toilet paper, paper towels and any clothes we might need and any eating out that we do. But I still feel it's way too high and that I need to figure out how to cut it down.

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We did a family of 7 (and dog food), including 4 adults (3 kids- 1 of which was a teen male) on $400 a month for a couple of years. It was lean. Very lean. I'm not sure how we could have gone lower unless we'd given up some essentials like t.p.

We do eat meat daily- my dh requires it or goes right back to a state of chronic fatigue- not pretty.

If I eat lots of bread/pasta I go into a fog and gains pounds per meal- also not pretty.

We gardened. Container gardening and herbs can even make a diff if you don't have lots of space.

OAMC made a diff - do it for breakfast and lunch too.

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We gardened. Container gardening and herbs can even make a diff if you don't have lots of space.

OAMC made a diff - do it for breakfast and lunch too.

 

I am curious as to how you do OAMC. I can never get my head wrapped around it esp with meat dishes and egg/cheese/heavy cream dishes. Lunch is my weakness....as I always think big for supper. B'fast and supper is my forte. Not lunch.... Do you have a blog post on that?

 

Holly

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I don't understand the distinction about food only as making an appreciable difference. I just bought trash bags, from Aldis, $4.8 for 90, that will last us 6 months plus. Cleaners are vinegar at $2 gal- which lasts a LONG time. Homemade detergent- maybe $2 for a 6 month batch. TP-Charmin- in bulk for WM is $12 every other month. Dishwasher Detergent even using name brand isn't more than $3a month. Hand-Dish soap is $13 for a gallon of BioKleen, which again, lasts 1 yr+. Personal care items soaps etc average out to less than $2 a month. I had budgeted $20 month for such items, which is sufficient, sometimes it is a bit more(like when I buy a gallon of hand dishwashing liquid). I guess making homemade and buying in bulk can save a lot. There are a few other odds and ends but it is so rare it averages it to very little. Like I use coconut for a face cleaner/moisturizer but I buy it 5 gallons at a time for eating etc. Dh uses shave gel but doesn't use very much at a time and I haven't bought any in ages.

Edited by soror
Mistake in Numbers
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I don't understand the distinction about food only as making an appreciable difference. I just bought trash bags, from Aldis, $4.8 for 90, that will last us 6 months plus. Cleaners are vinegar at $2 gal- which lasts a LONG time. Homemade detergent- maybe $2 for a 6 month batch. TP-Charmin- in bulk for WM is $12 every other month. Dishwasher Detergent even using name brand isn't more than $3a month. Hand-Dish soap is $13 for a gallon of BioKleen, which again, lasts 1 yr+. Personal care items soaps etc average out to less than $2 a month. I had budgeted $20 month for such items, which is sufficient, sometimes it is a bit more(like when I buy a gallon of hand dishwashing liquid). I guess making homemade and buying in bulk can save a lot. There are a few other odds and ends but it is so rare it averages it to very little. Like I use coconut for a face cleaner/moisturizer but I buy it 5 gallons at a time for eating etc. Dh uses shave gel but doesn't use very much at a time and I haven't bought any in ages.

 

Yes, but not everyone does this. I buy Diapers, lots of bathroom paper, and do not have a dishwasher. The smell of vinegar makes one of my dc very sick, so that is out. I work with what I can, and sometimes it costs more. Of coarse I do buy in bulk, so that is great.

 

Dnaielle

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Depends on what she means by feed. If they have chickens for eggs and are either vegetarian or have raise their own meat, then sure it's possible. Otherwise there is no way. I have a friend that spends $500/month on a family of 8 and I couldn't understand how she did it until I learned that doesn't include meat, eggs or milk!

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I don't understand the distinction about food only as making an appreciable difference. I just bought trash bags, from Aldis, $4.8 for 90, that will last us 6 months plus. Cleaners are vinegar at $2 gal- which lasts a LONG time. Homemade detergent- maybe $2 for a 6 month batch. TP-Charmin- in bulk for WM is $12 every other month. Dishwasher Detergent even using name brand isn't more than $3a month. Hand-Dish soap is $13 for a gallon of BioKleen, which again, lasts 1 yr+. Personal care items soaps etc average out to less than $2 a month. I had budgeted $20 month for such items, which is sufficient, sometimes it is a bit more(like when I buy a gallon of hand dishwashing liquid). I guess making homemade and buying in bulk can save a lot. There are a few other odds and ends but it is so rare it averages it to very little. Like I use coconut for a face cleaner/moisturizer but I buy it 5 gallons at a time for eating etc. Dh uses shave gel but doesn't use very much at a time and I haven't bought any in ages.

 

We are not a family who uses fancy cosmetics and such, but we still spend quite a bit on household supplies including toiletries and cleaning supplies:

 

We seem to go through an insane amount of toilet paper, one $15 package/month plus another $10/month for flushable wipes. We might go through one $3 bottle of shampoo and another $3 bottle of conditioner per month. We buy bar soap in bulk spending about $40 once a year or so. A cheap $5 bottle of generic face wash lasts me a couple of months, but there's still toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouth rinse, dental floss, deodorant, tampons, band-aids, ibuprofen, Benadryl...we're always out of *something.*

 

Dishwashing liquid is cheap and I stock up when I see it on sale, but it seems that we're CONSTANTLY running out of soap for the automatic dishwasher. The cheap stuff simply doesn't work well. Laundry soap is $14 but lasts 3-4 month per jug (tried the homemade version several times and I just wasn't happy with it.) I'm constantly picking up random things like light bulbs (even with CFLs it seems we always have a light or two burned out), trash bags, a can of air freshener (we only use it in the bathroom, but with five people and a litterbox sharing one tiny bathroom, we very much need it when one person is done and there's a line forming at the door if you know what I mean), trash bags, big jugs of vinegar, $7 bags of baking soda at Sam's Club, boxes of Borax or washing soda, enzyme cleaner for when someone (animal or person, LOL) pukes on the rug or sofa... the list goes on.

 

I really just don't see how people spend less. It's not as though I'm buying expensive, luxury household and toiletry items.

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http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/40dollarmenu.htm

 

A little dated, but I think the food prices are still somewhat accurate, depending on location.

 

Her 2009 came out to 280 a month.

 

 

I realize she has it as an emergency menu, but I cannot imagine eating that way. High in carbs and low in fruits/veggies plus none of them are fresh. One night dinner is creamed tuna and peas...but it only uses 1 - 6 oz can of tuna. One of my kids can eat a can of tuna in sandwiches for lunch....and then be ready for more food before dinner time rolls around. And he is a skinny thing!

 

We are a family of 4 with 2 teenage boys and our food budget is far over 200 per month--closer to 200 per week. We enjoy good food and shop at the local health food store often. I'd rather allocate more money on food and scrimp on other areas, clothing and home items for example. We are definitely thrift store shoppers. :)

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I read a blog post in which a woman claimed she can feed her family of 6 (I have no idea of the ages) for $200/month without using more then a few coupons.

 

I'm not totally convinced.

 

We get half a cow for free every year (my parents are awesome) and I can't do it on less then $500/month.

 

Is it possible? Please share your secrets!!

 

I think it would depend on several factors. Age of the children, diet requirement, where you live since there can be huge differences in grocery prices from region to region, access to bargain shopping, ability and/or willingness to "put up" food via canning and freezing, ability to grow-your-own or upick produce, and lifestyle i.e. are you willing and/or able to cook from scratch, how important are organics etc..

 

I feed my family of 5 plus a large dog on $300.00 a month and that includes toiletries and household products. I do not use coupons. We are not on food stamps. My children are all teenagers and one is a fast growing boy.

 

My "secrets" -

* I live in a relatively low cost area grocery-wise.

*With a very few exceptions, we do not buy or eat prepacked or convenience food except as special occasion treats.

*I shop once a month except for some fresh produce and bread. Mostly, if we run out of something during the month, I just wait until next months trip to replace it, unless it's truly something we need like dish soap or toothpaste. That doesn't happen very often though because I look at everything in every category each month and restock if it looks like I don't have a month's worth. This keeps me out of the store!

*I cook almost entirely from scratch using my freezer and pantry which I stock with staples and ingredients.

*We've gotten away from a snack lifestyle and instead we eat three squares a day. For an occasional snack the dc will eat some fruit or a bit of leftovers, or make a piece of peanut butter toast, all food we usually have on hand. IOW I no longer buy designated snack food. Snack aren't forbidden or anything, we just tend to not eat them because we get a full three meals.

*I am able to can or freeze a lot of fresh produce in summer and fall.

*I buy meat in bulk and/or on sale and portion it into meal size quantities and freeze.

*I've ditched some household products all together (window cleaner and dryer sheets) or found alternatives that are less expensive, for example paper products - I buy one roll of paper towels a month for $1.00 at Walmart and only use it for grease draining, for everything else we use cloths.

I don't buy plastic wrap, instead I use and reuse Glad/Ziplock containers.

*I'm not into organics as I'm not convinced there is enough benefit to make the much higher cost worth it, and also since so much of my produce is u-picked locally or bought locally from farms in the summer, I'm pretty confident in it's health and nutritional quality. We get farm eggs and high quality milk from a local co-op and those are the only two grocery items I knowingly pay more for in order to get the better product.

 

 

And that's how we do it :) Sometimes it's a stretch, but I usually come in under budget.

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Where are those of you living who can still harvest from your garden? I'm in the snow over here and had to say goodbye to my garden last month. :(

 

Look up cold frames, if you aren't familiar with them. We get lettuce, carrots, kale and spinach all year because of ours. They can be very cheaply built and are not very much work once you read up on it. Although this fall I've been really sick, so most of ours is gone...

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I realize she has it as an emergency menu, but I cannot imagine eating that way. High in carbs and low in fruits/veggies plus none of them are fresh.

 

:iagree:

 

I know not everyone has a choice, but I would feel a bit sick feeding my family like this. But then I tend to think refined carbs are about one of the worst things you can put in your body. A meal of pancakes, syrup, and OJ would make me physically ill and also make me hungrier for the whole day. I find that 3 measly breakfast sausages will fill me up longer than a bowl of oatmeal, and definitely longer than the white flour-sugar breakfast that fills half of her menus.

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I don't understand the distinction about food only as making an appreciable difference.
Well, for us it's $40-$50 monthly for diapers and wipes per baby (we usually have 2 in diapers). Dog and cat food, cat litter - about $40/mo. Toilet paper is about $30 per month. Those are our huge costs.

 

Everything else combined is only about $15/mo including razors, deodorant, teeth care, bathing needs, cleaners, etc. More when we aren't making our own laundry detergent.

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I probably spend that each week (but includes all other purchases like TP, not just food. Hers includes only food.) I have 3 teenaged boys, though. So it's more like feeding a family of 8. We go through at least a gallon of milk per day for instance. I buy few if any snacks, do buy ice cream occasionally, and cereal, bread, and Fiber One bars for when we are running late and have to go from here to there to yonder and won't be home for lunch, etc.

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I find that the lower our food budget is, the healthier we eat. It's when I have a larger budget that more processed carbs get added in. Our food budget now is $300. This includes 2 pizza nights, mostly organic fruits and veggies, and lots of gluten free foods.

 

That's funny, 'cause I was thinking the same thing.

 

Our budget is $550 a month for all food and toiletries/paper products/household items; everything from trash bags, to shampoo, to napkins, etc. Even vitamins and the odd bottle of tylenol or whatever. And that's for all of us. Dss and dsd each spend about 1/3 of their time here, so the best estimate is that I shop for 5 people. And we all like to eat. :D I'm guessing that of the $550 per month, maybe $475 of that goes to actual food. So, that's roughly $16 per day, or just over $3 per day per person.

 

Hunh. I think that's pretty good!

 

And we eat 'better' (less processed, more whole grains, I bake, make our own soup, etc) than ever before in the ten years we've been married. When dh and I both worked, before I had Zee and started staying home, we ate TOTALLY different. Most meals came from a box or a can, we lived off processed food, and generally just did whatever was easiest/quickest. But then, we didn't have a grocery budget, either. I just went to the store and bought whatever I wanted; I also didn't use coupons. Man, I hate to think of all the money we wasted back then! But, we could 'afford' it, 'cause I had a career, too.

 

Funny how things change...

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Our grocery budget has been $600/mo for some time. This includes toiletries and cleaning supplies. It does not include eating out.

 

However, DH and I were just discussing needing to raise this for several reasons.

 

1. He got a bit of a raise,

2. We want to eat healthier,

3. Food prices have increased in the last year and it is getting harder and harder to eat on $600/mo.

 

We aren't sure yet what it will be, probably around $750 or so. We are a family of 5 with 3 sons.

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Tuna anything makes me want to gag, unless it is fresh caught tuna seared and blackened. ;)

 

We thrift store shop a lot and yard sale shop and it just seems that even though I have been worried that it will get harder to find used clothing for the older boys, we haven't had any problems! It seems that as soon as I need the next size, someone in our mom's group will post that she has 8 pairs of jeans in that size in new condition for $2-$3/pair! It has been wonderful. I don't think my boys currently have any brand newly purchased items of clothing in their closet right now.

 

Dawn

 

I realize she has it as an emergency menu, but I cannot imagine eating that way. High in carbs and low in fruits/veggies plus none of them are fresh. One night dinner is creamed tuna and peas...but it only uses 1 - 6 oz can of tuna. One of my kids can eat a can of tuna in sandwiches for lunch....and then be ready for more food before dinner time rolls around. And he is a skinny thing!

 

We are a family of 4 with 2 teenage boys and our food budget is far over 200 per month--closer to 200 per week. We enjoy good food and shop at the local health food store often. I'd rather allocate more money on food and scrimp on other areas, clothing and home items for example. We are definitely thrift store shoppers. :)

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