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Old 09-26-2015, 11:51 AM
 
Location: Texas Hill Country
10,542 posts, read 5,803,760 times
Reputation: 8782

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Quote:
Originally Posted by reneeh63 View Post
Meat is a big problem - you need to eat a lot more beans, lentils, and other legumes. They have a lot of protein and fiber with basically no fat. You can get a pound bag for less than a couple bucks ..........
There's a thought to a counter approach.

I learned about using lentils after reading one of the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robyn_Davidson accounts (may have been From Alice to Ocean or the actual Nat'l Geo article).....and they have been a steady item in my diet ever since.

Reading about adventurers won't solve the immediate supply problem, but it may give you notions of other ways of doing things.
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Old 09-26-2015, 12:23 PM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
38,009 posts, read 46,820,052 times
Reputation: 63946
Quote:
Originally Posted by kalfur View Post
As silly as it is - I get it all the time. So much to where I thought it was one store- Wal- Mart @529/hwy 6 in Houston, TX. But, I stop going there for a few weeks only to go to HEB and the same thing. No one should monitor what you put in your basket and honestly it psss.. me off each time. I don't care what they have in their carts! I really would like to say something to the watchers but it's not worth it to blow up in the store like that. Just wondered if any one on the planet is going through the same thing?
Are you an overweight person, OP? Ok, I'll be honest. If I see a fat person in the grocery store, I do kind of peek at what's in their cart, not so much to judge them, but to assure myself that I'm not buying the wrong things too. Without fail, what is in their cart is always the reason why they're too fat....empty carbs, and convenience foods.

If so, OP, not only your budget, but your family's wellbeing would improve if you shopped differently.
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Old 09-26-2015, 01:15 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
11,264 posts, read 21,187,914 times
Reputation: 26853
Quote:
Originally Posted by kalfur View Post
I have been ignoring people staring for a while now. I think it may be the City all together. I once had a cashier ask me why was I buying bed sheets and pillows once!! I answered ----because I have a bed!! So, matters not if it's food or a food item they seem to care too much what I have in my basket. But, the Ramen Noodle comment the OP mentioned above was said as if something was wrong with the product. There are many of things that aren't the best products with high sodium or calories that I can think of. I do agree with you on the overall spending is kind of high. In which I used to shop for more healthier meals to cook but the price increase on foods have gone up not just a little bit. Such as a family size ground beef use to be $ 7.48 and is now $15.98, chicken breast that were $11.69 are now $ 17.46. This is a hike in price for a 6 month time frame. By the time I add the side dishes of a veggie, 1 starch such as roasted potatoes and a roll you are looking at $ 60 a day and that is just one out of three meals of the day. So if we are talking $80/ a day for breakfast/ lunch / dinner per week that comes to 80 X 7 days =$560 a week. Which is kind of high $ 2240 a month. I can't see that a month!! So, we do skip meals and try to buy cheaper.
The reason Ramen noodles get a bad reputation is that they're deep fried and they have a lot of fat. The seasoning packet has a lot of sodium and msg. One packet of ramen as a meal now and then isn't terrible, but it's not the best food for you.

It sounds like you need to get a Sam's membership. I know the prices are going to vary a bit by area, but here I pay $1.88/lb for boneless chicken breast and about $3.40/lb for 90% lean hamburger meat. 5 pounds of cheddar or mozzarella is $12 or $14, it varies a bit. But I can make a lot of pizzas with that 5lb bag of mozzarella. Their store brand toilet paper and paper towels are really good too. They also have good prices on yogurt, burger buns, cereal...lots of good stuff for a big family.

My pantry is full, my freezer is full, and I spend probably $700/month for food, paper goods, pet food and toiletries. My husband would like it if I spent less, but the kids are doing online school so they're home to eat more meals, and I try to make sure we have veggies every day.

So this would be a basic dinner for 5 people: 1 chicken breast for each person $7.50, 1 family size pouch of mashed potatoes $2 (or 5 baked potatoes, about the same price), 2 steamable bags of mixed veggies, $2. A loaf of Italian bread if you think they're still going to be hungry, $1. So $12.50 for the meal.

Or pizza for 5 people: crust, $1 (flour, yeast, sugar, salt, 2 eggs, butter), tomato sauce $1, tomato paste .75, seasonings 50 cents (I don't buy all my spices at one time, I just estimate that I'd be using about 50 cents worth of what's in my pantry), 1 lb hamburger meat $3.40, 1 bell pepper 50 cents, 1 onion 25 cents, 1 lb mozzarella $3 (assuming I used part of a big bag from Sam's). $10.40 for two large pizzas, enough to feed 5 people. If you want a veggie on the side, add a tub of spring mix for $4, still cheaper than ordering pizza.

The only time I spend $60 for one meal is Thanksgiving or Christmas.

If you can buy meat on sale and freeze it, it will stretch your budget. When HEB has boneless beef ribs or shoulder roast for $3/lb, I stock up. They have good prices on pork sometimes...don't buy the pork picnic they sometimes have for $1/lb on sale, it has skin and a lot of fat and a big bone in it that make it a waste of money. But the Boston Butt cut of pork is a good deal...rub it with bbq seasonings and cook it in the crock pot all day, then pull the meat out and shred it and you've got pulled pork for two meals.

Somebody mentioned brisket...brisket is great if you can really get a lot of meals out of it. But a big brisket makes about 3 meals for my family, so it's not cost efficient for me. My husband overeats when we have a large quantity of meat like that.

And somebody else mentioned being overweight...it's true that people look in your cart more when you're overweight. I don't care if they look at my cart because I don't care what people think. I buy a lot of veggies and a lot of ingredients to make things, rather than processed foods. I've lost 150 lbs and I'm still overweight, still working on losing more, but it's no one's business. I don't even look at other people in the store enough to notice if they're looking at me. I'll say this though, if you don't like people looking at you in the store, don't ever develop a problem that requires you to use the motorized cart or a wheelchair...I was in a wheelchair when I broke my leg and people would come up and ask if there was really something wrong with me or if I was too lazy to walk, even though I had a huge, hot pink cast that you could see from across the store. That's when I learned to ignore people.
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Old 09-26-2015, 01:26 PM
 
Location: North Idaho
23,479 posts, read 30,088,141 times
Reputation: 46399
You have my sympathy, OP. Prices keep going up, packages get smaller and smaller, and as kids grow they need lots of food. When my son was growing fast I'd go shopping and the next day he'd say, "there's nothing to eat."

I'd say, "what do you mean, there's nothing to eat? I just brought home 5 bags of groceries!"

And I'd look in the fridge and cupboards and there was nothing to eat. He'd already eaten it all.

A couple of suggestions. Use a crock pot and serve beans at least once a week. Use a small fatty piece of meat for flavor and the right spices and your family won't even notice that you are saving some money.

Get an air popper and buy popping corn from the bulk bins. Ten cents worth of corn gives you over two quarts of popped corn. A healthy cheap snack that kids like. Treat it like a reward and the kids will be crazy for it. Do your homework and I'll pop you some popcorn. Hurray!

If you would like to give your location maybe someone has some suggestions about places to shop. I can tell you where to get the best food at the best price in my neighborhood, but doesn't do you any good if you don't live near me.

Last edited by oregonwoodsmoke; 09-26-2015 at 01:36 PM..
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Old 09-26-2015, 01:27 PM
 
3,196 posts, read 1,878,830 times
Reputation: 8442
Quote:
Originally Posted by kalfur View Post
I don't know about you but, I can't fill up my pantry anymore. I use to be able to shop for a lot of groceries - like 2- 3years ago. But here lately it's been very hollow and empty with few canned goods and a loaf of bread. I mean, I grew up looking into the pantry as a kid with stacked shelves of all sorts of interesting products. To a fat kid this was beautiful to me- lol. So, I'm a Mother now with growing children in the house and it's hard to keep food in the house yet I'm spending more money on food. I would love to grow my own veggies in the back yard but I'm in a neighborhood that sometimes has strict water usage. I would love to re- live the days when you could fill up the pantry with "good" products again. These days the packages are getting smaller and the prices are still going up. Any thoughts of how much money should a family spend to eat 3 meals a day and a snack at least??? What do you buy- honestly? When I'm in the store shopping and try to shop cheap- I get looks from others passing by. . .WTH. . .I'm trying to budget but as soon as I reach for a pack of Ramen noodles or cans of tuna - everyone acts as if I broke a rule. This is crazy!
Quote:
Originally Posted by kalfur View Post
As silly as it is - I get it all the time. So much to where I thought it was one store- Wal- Mart @529/hwy 6 in Houston, TX. But, I stop going there for a few weeks only to go to HEB and the same thing. No one should monitor what you put in your basket and honestly it psss.. me off each time. I don't care what they have in their carts! I really would like to say something to the watchers but it's not worth it to blow up in the store like that. Just wondered if any one on the planet is going through the same thing?
Quote:
Originally Posted by kalfur View Post
Yes, and I do understand the Military issues with moving. I was on the east coast for 4 years - Navy but relocated back to Houston and it has changed in many ways here. I spend about $ 1850 on food now for a 10 year old and 14 year old -boys. My daughter and I eat pretty lite. I know it cost a bit for boys as they are active but I can't see my self spending $2,000 to $3,000 on food. They are regular size boys. Me and my daughter are on the slim side. But, it's hard to stretch the money and still eat healthy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kalfur View Post
I have been ignoring people staring for a while now. I think it may be the City all together. I once had a cashier ask me why was I buying bed sheets and pillows once!! I answered ----because I have a bed!! So, matters not if it's food or a food item they seem to care too much what I have in my basket. But, the Ramen Noodle comment the OP mentioned above was said as if something was wrong with the product. There are many of things that aren't the best products with high sodium or calories that I can think of. I do agree with you on the overall spending is kind of high. In which I used to shop for more healthier meals to cook but the price increase on foods have gone up not just a little bit. Such as a family size ground beef use to be $ 7.48 and is now $15.98, chicken breast that were $11.69 are now $ 17.46. This is a hike in price for a 6 month time frame. By the time I add the side dishes of a veggie, 1 starch such as roasted potatoes and a roll you are looking at $ 60 a day and that is just one out of three meals of the day. So if we are talking $80/ a day for breakfast/ lunch / dinner per week that comes to 80 X 7 days =$560 a week. Which is kind of high $ 2240 a month. I can't see that a month!! So, we do skip meals and try to buy cheaper.
This doesn't make any sense at all. Unless you are making filet mignon 3 meals a day or making enough food for a dozen people and throwing out the leftovers there is no way that you could be spending $80 a day for the four of you per day, if you shop by price at all. Assuming that you and your daughter really 'eat light', that means you are feeding these boys at least $25 in food per day! You talk about ramen noodles like THAT is what people are looking at in your cart, but those cost less than 50 cents each, so unless the boys eat 50 packages a day EACH that's not the problem.

You can buy a whole rotisserie chicken for $6.00 each or less.
Cans of vegetables cost a dollar each.
A dozen eggs is less than $3 most everywhere.
A loaf of regular bread is a couple of dollars
A gallon of milk can be bought for $2.25 to $3.50 per gallon.

So, each boy can get a whole rotisserie chicken, 3 cans of vegetables, a dozen eggs, a loaf of bread, and a gallon of milk EVERY SINGLE DAY and cost only $17 a day. I think everyone will agree that that is WAY TOO MUCH FOOD regardless of the how much they are growing, or how hungry they claim to be, at 10 & 14 years old.

And yet you are spending $16 on 3 pounds of ground beef and $18 on what, 4 or 5 pounds of chicken, and fixing ALL OF IT for one evening meal for the four of you? Then somehow spending another $26 for four servings of vegetables & potatoes and four rolls to get to a cost of $60 for the meal.

I don't buy it.
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Old 09-26-2015, 01:33 PM
 
133 posts, read 133,426 times
Reputation: 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
Are you an overweight person, OP? Ok, I'll be honest. If I see a fat person in the grocery store, I do kind of peek at what's in their cart, not so much to judge them, but to assure myself that I'm not buying the wrong things too. Without fail, what is in their cart is always the reason why they're too fat....empty carbs, and convenience foods.

If so, OP, not only your budget, but your family's well being would improve if you shopped differently.
I stated in the beginning of the thread that me and my daughter and the boys are regular sizes No I'm not fat!! 142 lbs/ 5' 11 @ 43yrs old I would not consider fat - unless you are talking about "Runway Models". My daughter is less than that 121 lbs, my sons aren't overweight either. But, if I did see a larger person I still smile to say hi, and keep it moving. Have you ever thought that they may have a family history of larger bones and body mass instead of looking at it as to what they are eating??? - Just saying!!
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Old 09-26-2015, 01:35 PM
 
Location: North Idaho
23,479 posts, read 30,088,141 times
Reputation: 46399
The only time I ever notice people really looking in my shopping cart is right before Halloween when I have three or four thirty pound pumpkins in my cart. Inevitably, a couple of people will ask what I am going to do with them.

I put them into dog food and buy a full years worth when they are cheap.

I buy a couple of 40 pound boxes of yams at thanksgiving but no one ever asks about those.

OP, try making granola instead of buying breakfast cereal.

My granola isn't so cheap because I add lots of expensive nuts and dried fruit. But a granola with just oatmeal and a few raisins would be cheap and filling. Add a few chopped walnuts to increase the food value.

Just be carefull with granola recipes online. They use far too much sugar, like you are making Cracker Jacks instead of breakfast cereal. Reduce the sugar and your family will still eat it and it will be healthier.
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Old 09-26-2015, 02:04 PM
 
24,503 posts, read 35,965,437 times
Reputation: 12847
I've found food to be much cheaper than in the past due to increased competition in the organic food space. I welcome the competition but with caution. We never know where the corners are being cut in order to reduce pricing.
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Old 09-26-2015, 02:10 PM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
38,009 posts, read 46,820,052 times
Reputation: 63946
Quote:
Originally Posted by kalfur View Post
I stated in the beginning of the thread that me and my daughter and the boys are regular sizes No I'm not fat!! 142 lbs/ 5' 11 @ 43yrs old I would not consider fat - unless you are talking about "Runway Models". My daughter is less than that 121 lbs, my sons aren't overweight either. But, if I did see a larger person I still smile to say hi, and keep it moving. Have you ever thought that they may have a family history of larger bones and body mass instead of looking at it as to what they are eating??? - Just saying!!
Ok, I was just wondering. Just for the record, I'm not that skinny myself.
By the way, I never thought to be self conscious about buying Ramen noodles. You could wear a tee shirt that says. "I'm making Oriental Salad" haha. Despite the fact it is nothing but sodium, all my kids loved Ramen, and they wouldn't have survived being poor college students without it.
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Old 09-26-2015, 02:46 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
11,613 posts, read 20,767,085 times
Reputation: 16996
This thread belongs in (and has probably been covered) in the frugal forum.
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