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Old 10-21-2008, 06:49 AM
 
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We are trimming every dollar we can and I know
we can trim alot from our food costs. In the past we ate out alot and would spend 1000 to 1200 a month.
What would be a reasonable budget if we cook /shop sales/ use coupons and don't eat out. We do like to eat healthy .
Once I set a goal I am going to take that cash out for the month and try to only use that amount .
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Old 10-21-2008, 07:16 AM
Status: "I cannot wait for the heat to break..." (set 5 days ago)
 
Location: Where the sun likes to shine!!
20,368 posts, read 25,494,040 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kelly237 View Post
We are trimming every dollar we can and I know
we can trim alot from our food costs. In the past we ate out alot and would spend 1000 to 1200 a month.
What would be a reasonable budget if we cook /shop sales/ use coupons and don't eat out. We do like to eat healthy .
Once I set a goal I am going to take that cash out for the month and try to only use that amount .
It depends on a couple of things.
1. Where do you live? Food prices vary greatly from one area to another.
2. How old are the kids? If you have 2 teenage sons they are like bottomless pits.
3. When you say healthy do you mean fruits and veggies or "organic". Eating organic is very expensive.

So that being said I don't know what a good budget would be for you but I can give you some ideas on how to cut your grocery budget.

1. Make your coffee at home and bring it with you.
2. Pack lunches for everyone. Sandwich, fruit, and a snack.
3. Drink water and juice. Cut out soda unless there is a "really good sale"
4. Cook a meatless meal twice a week. Breakfast for dinner one night and Homemade pizza and a salad another night.
5. Cut out the convenience foods.
6. When you cook something make a "large" batch and freeze some. Lasagna, stew, and soups work well.
7. Most recipes can be modified to make them healthy.
8. Shop at a farmers market for produce if you can.
9. Plan your meals around sales.
10. Keep track of prices and when something goes on sale buy extra.
11. Only use coupons for things you would normally buy. You can also e-mail your favorite companies and ask them to send you coupons,
12. Meat is expensive- again stock up when it goes on sale.
13. Ask the produce and meat managers when they have the best markdowns. Sometimes you can get a really good deal.
14. Shop only the perimeter aisles at the grocery store. That is usually the healthiest.


These are just a few ideas. You should easily be able to stay under $150.00 a week and possibly spend less than $100.00.

Lisa
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Old 10-21-2008, 07:30 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
1,181 posts, read 2,697,707 times
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Totally agree with everything Lisa said. Somewhere between $100 to $150 a week is very achievable, but the one thing I would add is planning. Without meal planning, your efforts can be fruitless.

Start working on a weekly menu from breakfast to dinner and use that to work up your grocery shopping list. Look at what you have in your fridge first and build on that. Also, you can prep your meals ahead of time by measuring and combining the required ingredients in ziplock bags over the weekend, so during the week prep time is reduced and you're not tempted to go out because you don't feel like cooking.

It's a lot of work to cook every single day, so make sure you plan on having 'leftover night' and maybe frozen pizza or taco night where you just heat things up rather than cook from scratch. Also, leftovers make for great lunches.

I also make things like meatloaf and meatballs and freeze the mixture I've prepared. The night before I'm ready to cook them, I thaw them in the fridge. Like I said, it's a lot of hard work, but my food budget is between $300 and $400 a month for me, my 2 kids and their dad who often eats dinner with us. I also end up giving him most of the leftovers, so I'm almost feeding 4.
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Old 10-21-2008, 03:23 PM
 
Location: Some place very cold
5,500 posts, read 19,513,009 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kelly237 View Post
We are trimming every dollar we can and I know
we can trim alot from our food costs. In the past we ate out alot and would spend 1000 to 1200 a month.
What would be a reasonable budget if we cook /shop sales/ use coupons and don't eat out. We do like to eat healthy .
Once I set a goal I am going to take that cash out for the month and try to only use that amount .
There's a thread in the food forum that includes lots of tips -- and one woman in particular does an AMAZING job collecting coupons and making food for her large family. She only buys on sale and keeps a large pantry and freezer full of food. I'll try and find a link....
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Old 10-21-2008, 03:41 PM
 
Location: Gary, WV & Springfield, ME
5,826 posts, read 8,460,346 times
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Look at a couple sites that cater to people who pinch pennies and make everything from scratch. One of these is the Hillbilly Housewife at Frugal Recipes and Low Cost Meals | Hillbilly Housewife and another one is Budget 101 at Budget101.com - complete resource for digging yourself out of debt where you can learn to spend less in every aspect of your life from shopping for groceries to clothes to gifts. Both are worth their weight in gold.
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Old 10-21-2008, 03:48 PM
 
Location: Stuck on the East Coast, hoping to head West
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I spend about $180 per week for a family of 5 (3 boys, 2 are teenagers). We rarely eat out-maybe once every six weeks. I plan meals around sales. I also tend to stay away from convenience foods and fresh produce. I also buy fruit and veggies in-season from a local farmer. When they're out of season, I switch to frozen. I also love, love, love my crockpot. It is incredibly easy, especially for nights when I'm driving the kids places and we can come home to a healthy dinner.
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Old 10-21-2008, 04:26 PM
 
Location: Some place very cold
5,500 posts, read 19,513,009 times
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I've been eating more rice and pasta and bread lately because protein has gotten too expensive. I try to go with brown rice because it's healthier. Love local in-season vegetables, so last night it was squash with brown sugar and butter, kale cooked in olive oil, and brown rice. Very yummy. Sometimes I buy chicken on sale and cook that. I count every dollar these days.
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Old 10-21-2008, 07:34 PM
 
7,695 posts, read 12,845,131 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by younglisa7 View Post
It depends on a couple of things.
1. Where do you live? Food prices vary greatly from one area to another.
2. How old are the kids? If you have 2 teenage sons they are like bottomless pits.
3. When you say healthy do you mean fruits and veggies or "organic". Eating organic is very expensive.

So that being said I don't know what a good budget would be for you but I can give you some ideas on how to cut your grocery budget.

Lisa
wonderful ideas.. I am already doing some of your things
but eating out has been our budget killer.
1)We live where cost of living is high. Milk is 4.20 now but I usually get it
at the warehouse stores and freeze a dozen gallons.
2) yep...2 bottomless teen boys !!!
3) not organic..just fruits/veggies/healthy protien.
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Old 10-21-2008, 07:35 PM
 
7,695 posts, read 12,845,131 times
Reputation: 9599
Great ideas everyone ...thanks

I may start with 150/week and see if I can do that.
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Old 10-23-2008, 05:55 AM
 
Location: Charlevoix
750 posts, read 2,446,368 times
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I spend 180-200 every 2 weeks grocery shoppping for a family of 4. DH gets paid every 2 weeks, so thats how/when I shop.

Really, 200 every 2 weeks is only 50 bucks per person. This includes pet food and paper goods and cleaning supplies too.

I hit the dollar store and get my dish soap and toilet bowl cleaner and other things. Same as the grocery store, but for a dollar.

Stock up when things are on sale, plan meals around the sale ads, make things from scratch and freeze leftovers for another meal.
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