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Old 01-03-2015, 02:10 PM
 
Location: Southern, NJ
5,402 posts, read 5,222,907 times
Reputation: 7457

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Quote:
Originally Posted by arjo View Post
This is a great thread! Me and my girlfriend currently spend around $360/month on groceries, which is kind of ridiculous. Getting lots of inspiration to lower the grocery bills in 2015; I think I'm going to shoot for $300/month first, then work down to $250.

Our biggest problem is that we like to cook "different" stuff and we often wind up buying lots of little things for different meals, when we should be buying stuff that could be re-purposed; for example, making multiple meals with staples like onion, garlic, canned vegetables, etc. Another problem we have is not wanting "bland" food, which has gone hand-in-hand with frugal meals in the past for us. Might just have to get a little more creative and suck it up, though.
arjo, the fact that you found this Forum is a big start for you and your gf. You have a good handle on what to buy for multiple meals. It sounds like you have to build up your spice and herb supply to enhance the flavor of your food. Incorporate lots of fresh vegetables for flavor & you are on your way. You will find that the people on this Forum can help you with meals & are very knowledgeable.

In my post from yesterday I had said I was waiting until next week to go shopping, however when taking stock of what I had on hand (we came back from vacation this past Mon. & I depleted my food supply before leaving.) I started my $250/mo. budget today.


This is what I bought in 2 stores for a total of $53.00

1 dozen eggs, 100 tea bags, 1 box-24 Herbal tea, 5 lbs. potatoes, 1 lb. yellow rice, 5 lbs. white rice, 1 lb. barley, 1 1/2 oz. cumin, 2 bulbs garlic, 3 bulbs shallots, 1-32 oz. grape juice, 2-8 oz. cans tom. sauce, 1-16 oz. steak sauce, 2 lbs. carrots, 1 lb. butter, 3 pk. tri-color peppers, 1 qt. half/half, 1 lb. shredded sharp cheddar 2 loaves of fresh sourdough bread, 1 lb. Italian sausage, 1 lb. breakfast sausage. 2 boxes of cookies (for myself, after all I deserve a treat too.

As you can see except for the Italian sausage everything else will be used in various meals. The rice is going to last in Food Saver Bags in the freezer for at least 9 months. I have various soups, pasta & some meat in the freezer. (The cookieswell, we won't talk about them.

So, I started---$197.00 left until Feb. 1st. This is going to be an interesting challenge, but I am up to it, especially with the support system here. Tonight will be cheeseburgers, fries & Caesar salad. kelsie
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Old 01-03-2015, 02:11 PM
 
Location: Southern, NJ
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Thank you ccc123! kelsie
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Old 01-03-2015, 06:37 PM
Status: "I am in preparation mode!" (set 5 days ago)
 
5,514 posts, read 5,496,825 times
Reputation: 4210
The $80 a month food was unrealistic. I increased it to $200 which is more realistic.
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Old 01-03-2015, 07:13 PM
 
2,421 posts, read 3,558,174 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goodlife36 View Post
The $80 a month food was unrealistic. I increased it to $200 which is more realistic.
Where did you fail? I think $200 a month is as good as it is going to get these days, unless you can quit your job, go live on a farm and become a farmer and devote most of your day to hunting, gardening, canning and cooking!
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Old 01-04-2015, 12:34 AM
Status: "I am in preparation mode!" (set 5 days ago)
 
5,514 posts, read 5,496,825 times
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I agree. Food is just way too expensive. I ran out of food too quickly and I was eating out. The atm card is a problem for me. I have started using cash and it has really made a difference. A monthly budget of $200 is tight and I really can not eat out. Using cash forces me to really think about want vs. need.
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Old 01-04-2015, 08:02 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,722 posts, read 47,483,706 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccc123 View Post
A question for the people who only spend 15-20$ a week on food and don't eat out. Is that all year long or do you occasionally have a week where you have to spend more? Maybe to restock? I am just trying to understand how you can get eat day in and day out for $3 or less a day. I can do it for a couple of weeks but then I usually spend more. When people say they never eat out do they really mean they never have pizza, mexican out? What about a fountain drink when you get gas? Just trying to understand because it's hard for me to imagine never going out to eat with friends or family. Thanks.
When we had 5 children at home, our monthly food budget was $200 [about $50/week]. Now that our children are grown and gone, we go through a lot less food.

$5/day is easy for just two people.

I have pasta salad in the frig now, so if I get hungry during the day, I can munch on that.

We have a couple large pepperoni pizzas in our freezer, they cost $3.50 each. When we are in the mood for one they are handy. I usually add mushrooms, bell-pepper, onion and more cheese. We do have pizza sometimes, but pizza does not mean you have to spend $20. You can have a nice store-bought pizza for $5.

When our children were at home, we made pizza a lot more often. Instead of buying it. Now my wife works, much of my day is filled with farm activities, so we don't cook from scratch as much now.

I make enchiladas once or twice a month, and taco salad too. Maybe a big pot of chili. Mexican is not very expensive to eat.

We do a lot of home-made breads. I make sourdough bread, my wife makes sweet breads.

The only time ever buy a soda at a gas station, is when I am doing a long drive. My relatives are on the West Coast, I live on the East Coast, so sometimes I drive coat-to-coast, on those trips I get soda at gas stations. The same for my wife, her sister lives in DC, so she drives to DC once or twice every year. She gets stuff from the gas stations on her trips.

Social eating:
We usually have a potluck lunch after church each week, so we make a big casserole pan of something or a large salad.
I have gotten involved with a couple different community organizations lately. Most of their meetings include potlucks. I attend 4 or 5 of those every month. One of those potlucks is held in our home, the last Sunday of every month.
Most Monday evenings we have a small group of friends over for supper with us, really a support group kind of thing.

For New Years a friend asked me to bring BBQ pulled pork to make sandwiches for 200, he owns a dance hall, and I owed him a favor. It was fun. He supplied the buns. I had to start 3 days early, cooking down a pork butt; added onions, bell peppers, tomatoes and BBQ sauce. The buns were the most expense part of that meal, and I did not pay for the buns, he did.
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Old 01-13-2015, 04:04 PM
 
Location: Southern, NJ
5,402 posts, read 5,222,907 times
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$52.00 spent in week 2 of January. $145.00 left until February 1st. It is not as easy as I first thought to do this.
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Old 01-13-2015, 05:02 PM
 
11,780 posts, read 8,209,779 times
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Quote:
$5/day is easy for just two people.
I think you would have to load up on cheap carbs to hit that budget.

This is what I remember eating yesterday:

1 (maybe 1/4 lb) Chicken breast $2/lb
3 Eggs .20/ea.
milk - .02/cup
Oats .15/ea
Yogurt $1.25./ea.

1/3 lb Salmon $5/lb
1 can Green beans. .50/can
apple, Banana, maybe .10/ea
1/8 lb Broccoli $3/lb
+ butter, olive oil, and seasonings.
---------------------------
Total $5.75 In theory I could have cut out my protein and made pasta, but it's pretty hard to go without meat for most people.
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Old 01-13-2015, 05:56 PM
 
Location: "Daytonnati"
4,245 posts, read 5,748,743 times
Reputation: 2953
^
.10 cents for an apple? Really?

I am trying to cut back on my food budget and am having some issues with that. I guess I could skip the bag of clementines (which I use as snack food) and maybe the fresh herbs (chives and dill), but tough to see where I can cut back.

I tend to eat a lot of fruits and vegtables, but also things like oatmeal, cheerios, milk, coffee, etc. Coffee could be a high cost item, too....I don't eat much pasta or bread, and almost no baked goods as in pastries, etc. I do cook with rice a bit, tho.

Meat is pretty sparing. I buy a ring of wurst (like kielbasa) and cut it up four ways so have a quarter of the wurst for a meat course. Or I skip meat and just cook something like stew (for an entire week), or just have one meat course per week (chick breast or pork chop)(for Sunday dinner).
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Old 01-13-2015, 06:16 PM
 
11,780 posts, read 8,209,779 times
Reputation: 3425
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayton Sux View Post
^
.10 cents for an apple? Really?

I am trying to cut back on my food budget and am having some issues with that. I guess I could skip the bag of clementines (which I use as snack food) and maybe the fresh herbs (chives and dill), but tough to see where I can cut back.

I tend to eat a lot of fruits and vegtables, but also things like oatmeal, cheerios, milk, coffee, etc. Coffee could be a high cost item, too....I don't eat much pasta or bread, and almost no baked goods as in pastries, etc. I do cook with rice a bit, tho.

Meat is pretty sparing. I buy a ring of wurst (like kielbasa) and cut it up four ways so have a quarter of the wurst for a meat course. Or I skip meat and just cook something like stew (for an entire week), or just have one meat course per week (chick breast or pork chop)(for Sunday dinner).
I'm guessing on the apple/ea price. I know I pay $3/lb, but I just buy however many I will eat in 4 days. My overall point was that I don't think it would be easy to feed 2 people on $5/day. It can be done if you sacrifice and load up on carbs, but I wouldn't classify that as easy.
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