Grocery budget

Stefanie - posted on 08/01/2009 ( 15 moms have responded )

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Considering the economic conditions, what is the size of your family and what is your monthly grocery expense?

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Kate CP - posted on 08/02/2009

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How to save money on groceries:
1. DON'T clip coupons. The problem with clipping coupons is you end up gathering more coupons for things you wouldn't normally buy because it "looks like such a good deal".
2. Buy in bulk when the price is right. You have to be very careful about shopping at places like Sam's Club because a lot of their packages are specially made for them. So while it may look like a good deal on the surface you have to break it down to see the actual price difference. Example: You can buy an eight pack of tuna at Sam's for $9.00 which would make each can about a buck. But if the cans are not your normal size (normal size can of tuna is 6oz, Sam's sells cans that are 5oz) it's not that great a deal.
3. If it comes in a box, can, or frozen, you probably shouldn't be eating it. I'm talking about the instant foods like macaroni and cheese, Hamburger Helper, Chef Boyardee, and frozen dinners. These items are VERY expensive and really not that good for you. They are full of chemicals and preservatives and you can make twice as much by buying the individual ingredients for less cash out of pocket.
4. If you see a good deal, buy a TON of it. I'm going to use the tuna example again: you see cans of tuna on sale for $0.70 a can when normally they're closer to a dollar a can. BUY THEM OUT. The amount of money you save on gas, time, and the fact that a 30 cent price difference is a LOT will more than make up for the larger grocery bill you'll have this trip. Plus you won't have to buy tuna for a long time. :)
5. Stay away from dry cereal if you can. This stuff is really expensive and also probably not that great for you as it's full of sugar and food coloring. If you can get plain corn flakes or shredded wheat it's a better deal. Also shop the bags of cereal instead of the boxes.
6. Get a chest freezer if you have the space for it. You can freeze just about anything including flour. Things you CANNOT freeze: mayo, eggs, fresh fruits or veggies, anything carbonated. Buy things in bulk and stash them in the freezer for later use. If you use a lot of ground beef or turkey the easiest way to save money and save time is to buy the meat when it's on sale (a ton of it) and divide it up into 1 pound portions. Put 1 pound of ground meat in a gallon freezer bag and mush it flat. It will freeze fast, store easy, take up less space, and defrost in a matter of minutes when stored this way.
7. Eat less meat and cheese. These two items tend to be the most expensive. By eating a healthier diet rich in greens and fruits you can actually save money.
8. Don't buy junk food. This means chips, candy, ice cream, cookies, etc etc. If you have a hankering for cookies bake some. You'll save money, they'll taste better, and you'll actually know what's in them.
9. If you have dogs consider feeding them a raw diet or a higher quality food. The bags of food that are $40 for 30-40 pounds may seem really expensive but in reality it's about the same price or cheaper than the cheap bag. The reason why is because the higher quality food you feed the LESS you feed. A cup of high quality dog food is equal to 3 cups of, say, Kibble N' Bits (which is a nasty brand of food that I wouldn't feed a dead dog). Raw diets are even cheaper. I feed my dogs a pound and a half of raw chicken every day which works out to about $1.50 a day for food. Can't get much cheaper than that. ;)
9. Generic is often EXACTLY the same as name brand. Check the label. A lot of name brand companies actually make their product in a generic form. It's a lot cheaper and exactly the same as their name brand item.
10. Don't eat out. It's expensive. REALLY expensive. Even a cheeseburger at McDonalds is over priced compared to the quality and quantity of what you can make at home.

Good luck shopping, ladies! :)

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15 Comments

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Andrea - posted on 09/20/2013

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How can feeding your dog 1.5 lbs of raw chicken be that cheap when it's never cheaper than $5.99 per pound at my grocery store. That's why we don't eat meat more than 2x per month.

Tara - posted on 08/02/2009

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I have a family of 5 plus 2 large dogs and on average we spend $120-$150 once a week. This includes all food(meat, dairy, veggies, fruit etc.) and household cleaning supplies(windex, wood cleaner, bleach, laundry detergent etc.), and toiletries (shampoo, toilet paper, toothpaste razors, diapers etc.)

Lora - posted on 08/02/2009

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Family of 3 plus pets (including a pig who eats all of our leftover scraps) and I only get paid once a month as a teacher and my husband is on worker's comp due to a fall from a ladder! We shop mostly at Walmart, it is much cheaper than grocery stores, and we usually eat for about 115 a week including fruits, veggies, and pets. I use lots of coupons and make my meal plans based on the weekly fliers and coupons for sale items. I use CouponMom.com as well and can get some great items at Walgreens and CVS when they go on sale b/c they have customer appreciation cards and rebates too!

Lyndsay - posted on 08/02/2009

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There's me, my husband, our son, and our dog. We both get paid at the end of the month so we'll spend around $250 to stock up on stuff to last us through the month, and then we'll have a weekly budget of about $20-$30 to buy milk/that kind of stuff. This is just food, doesn't include stuff like diapers/wipes.

Jen - posted on 08/02/2009

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We are a family of 3 and when we go to store we spend about $200. We buy diapers and wipes from Sams Club once a month. My daughter eats Gerber meals and I get those on sale usually when they're $2 a piece and we buy every flavor and they last a couple of weeks. We buy a lot of can veggies for sides and the rice and pasta sides. We could do more about saving money and we are going to make a budget because we're buying a house so we need to budget everything out again.

Stefanie - posted on 08/02/2009

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Thanks for the replies. My DH and I were looking at our finances and trying to find out if we were over spending in this area. We spend about $200-$250 a month for a family of 5 so I think we are about average from what I've seen here.
Thanks again!

Abigail - posted on 08/02/2009

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$250ish. We have me, my husband and our daughter. We live on east coast Canada and everything is SO expensive out here. Thankfully our daughter is sick of baby food and eats with us so we no longer have to get the jars. But we still have to use formula, diapers, wipes...snacks :/

Amanda - posted on 08/02/2009

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We're a family of 5, and we spend around $75 a week in groceries. We don't usually have to buy beef or veggies, since we buy half a beef twice a year from a local farmer and, we have our own veggie garden. That helps us save quite a bit throughout the year.

Tessa - posted on 08/02/2009

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For just us (2 adults, 1 toddler who eats more than me) we spend $150 - $200 a week, including meat (from a local butcher). Our total would be more like $150 max if we were in a city and not a tiny town. Here it is $50 for a box of nappies for a month, but we wont be buying these much longer so I won't include that in my total. The dog costs $36 for about 6 months food. We buy raw foods that we cant grow yet, dairy (which is twice as expensive here) and wholemeal pasta.
Our toiletries and house cleaning costs us about $250 for the year. This includes organic clothes and dishwashing liquid, organic body care products and vinegar and bicarb for cleaning with. I have calculated this to be about the same cost as what we were originally spending on chemicals a few years ago.

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I spend about 200-250 a week....living in Canada. This includes baby diapers, formula, and cat food.
Kate I would LOVE if you could send me those tips on saving money! Thanks

Nycole - posted on 08/01/2009

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We are a family of four, plus one dog and we spend between $100-150 (never more than $150) every two weeks on groceries...to include pullups, wipes, dog food and other ammenities like laundry soap, dish soap, people soap...lol. I go to www.coupon.com daily and get a ton of coupons from them. I also make out a meal plan and grocery list before I go grocery shopping. And we eat great...fresh veggies and an endless supply of apples and 'nana's because my 3 and 2 year old insist! If you can get your veggies and fruits at a farmer's market, you will save a TON of money.

Stephanie - posted on 08/01/2009

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we spend about 50 on us and 60 on the baby a week and its me and my hubby and baby

Kate CP - posted on 08/01/2009

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Currently we are a family of three with two dogs. We have a weekly budget of $100 including "dog food" (we feed raw so it's WAY less expensive). I have found several tips on saving money on groceries. It's kind of lengthy so I won't post unless some one wants the whole shebang. ;)

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