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"How to feed your family for less" - Page 2

post #21 of 116
I mostly do find such things laughable. They seem to be designed for people who have been spending massive amounts of money indescriminately on packaged, prepared foods and eating out half the month. If I was doing that, sure I could save 50% of my previous spending by following their advice.

One magazine article I read recently had three pages of "money saving" "brilliant tips". I think out of the hundreds of tips there were maybe 3 or 4 I had not tried, and those were ones that wouldn't work for our family.

What I want is for someone to tell me how to spend $200/month feeding a family of 5 healthy, good food. :
post #22 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenelle View Post
I just have to say... HOLY CRAP. $50-75 per day on food for two adults? If I hadn't seen you around this board in the past, I would think you came here just to give us all heart attacks. Stick around!
hahah I KNOW it's bad! At least you guys are being really nice/helpful and friendly. LOL I was worried I might get flamed or something! And dh and i both agree it's really out of hand, it's just we are too lazy or stubborn I guess lol.

I think it's this weird two part thing for me. When I go grocery shopping I get all gung ho on ONLY buying organic, local and fresh. This means that the food is pretty expensive (9.99 a pound for deli meat, 5.00 gallon of milk, etc.) so I buy it all thinking, man i could just eat out for these prices AND i don't have to do any clean up/prepping/etc.

Of course, then you weigh in the fact that what i'm ordering at most of those places LIKELY isn't organic/local fresh (although sometimes it is because we do try to frequent those kinds of places as well).

Maybe if i loosen my standards at the grocery store...but then i end up feeling guilty that i'm ruining the planet or something...aaah i can't win! lol
post #23 of 116
Quote:
Maybe if i loosen my standards at the grocery store...but then i end up feeling guilty that i'm ruining the planet or something...aaah i can't win! lol
Consider it this way: When you eat out, are they serving you all organic, with a "green" business model?

Likely not.

In which case, it's cheaper and better to buy it and prepare it yourself. "Greener" too, probably, even if it's not all organic.

The crockpot is a good idea for busy people. But if you can add a few basics to your repertoire, supper really doesn't take that long to prepare. Usually, it's 5-10 minutes of prep for me, and then I throw it all in the oven or on the stove and it cooks on it's own.
post #24 of 116
Hey my BF is always complaining she's broke, yet goes to the store every. day. Yesterday she called me and said she didn't want to shop, but she had to just to make dinner. Her money woes frustrate me, ugh.

Recently we had a HAM dinner, with scalloped potatoes and peas and it was seriously like 4 bucks. My local store gets hams on sale often, I had potatoes from a 5lb bag that cost .99, and organic peas that were frozen .99 a bag. The ham cost $3.

Ham-$3
potatoes-maybe.25
cheese-free
sourcream-.25
peas-.50

total $4-AWESEOME

This compares to my friend who just cannot justify getting a freezer and then is always going to the store, and complaining about spending money. so weird.
post #25 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by hollytheteacher View Post
hahah I KNOW it's bad! At least you guys are being really nice/helpful and friendly. LOL I was worried I might get flamed or something! And dh and i both agree it's really out of hand, it's just we are too lazy or stubborn I guess lol.

I think it's this weird two part thing for me. When I go grocery shopping I get all gung ho on ONLY buying organic, local and fresh. This means that the food is pretty expensive (9.99 a pound for deli meat, 5.00 gallon of milk, etc.) so I buy it all thinking, man i could just eat out for these prices AND i don't have to do any clean up/prepping/etc.

Of course, then you weigh in the fact that what i'm ordering at most of those places LIKELY isn't organic/local fresh (although sometimes it is because we do try to frequent those kinds of places as well).

Maybe if i loosen my standards at the grocery store...but then i end up feeling guilty that i'm ruining the planet or something...aaah i can't win! lol
Loosen your standards. The quality of the food you're getting at the restaurant is way less than pretty much anything you'd make at home.

I can't afford to buy all organic/natural right now. I really wish we could, but it's just not feasible. But I *can* afford to buy rBST free milk, no MSG, no HFCG or extra sugar, no dye, local when possible, etc. Also, by buying basic ingredients in bulk what I purchase generally has way less packaging. I've even gotten cloth produce bags & grocery bags to use to cut down even more on the packaging aspect.

None of those are things you're getting if you're eating at a chain restaurant. In fact, thanks to the crazy over pricing, packaging, and long transport needed you're eating about the least "green" food you can be eating.

So, while it's not my ideal yet or quite as "green" as I'd like to be, I feel pretty good about our shopping.

That said, we LOVE to eat out. It is by far our biggest splurge in our budget.

Finding a good balance that works for your family is what it's all about.
post #26 of 116
I can't wait to get her "frugal" tips. This should be interesting. I am scanning this forum already for HELP!

As a mom to 4 growing, eat like they are always starved kids, and a husband who walks all day long (mail man) and comes home famished, I found we were spending an exhorbant amount of money on food. I had to tell my husband the total, and he was TOTALLY onboard with my "30 day Dinner In" Challenge. We usually eat out 1-2 times a week. That's easily $80 there, if not more. If I can cook two meals for under $15 each, that's $50 in our pocket.

Granted, there is NO WAY hubby would ever resort to eating beans or something strange. I am a good cook and pride myself on serving appealing meals to him. It's a service and just a way I show him I love him. We have had to cut out twice a week seafood, choice cuts of beef, and basically what the PP's neighbor with the sale papers did: never read them and buy what looked good.

As I type I already have stuffed peppers in the crockpot and fresh bread rising for dinner rolls. I am only a few days into our "makeover" but so far we're okay. I was embarrassed to find out how much meat and veggies I had stockpiled in the freezer and am trying to get rid of them before we move into a new house (we are trying to build our savings - so this is really a great time to concentrate on building new dinner financial habits).

Whoooosh - that was long! Sorry
post #27 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magpie1972 View Post
Granted, there is NO WAY hubby would ever resort to eating beans or something strange. I am a good cook and pride myself on serving appealing meals to him.
To add: not that eating beans is strange... just he won't do it. It's something I can put in foods like chili or red beans and rice with sausage, but not enough to really make a difference. He also doesn't prefer soups or the like.

Good thing I love him a lot. :
post #28 of 116
I agree the tips will most likely be something that I already do and don't do- how do we feed a family of 6 healthy meals for less then $150 week- that i would like to know
post #29 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magpie1972 View Post
As I type I already have stuffed peppers in the crockpot and fresh bread rising for dinner rolls. I am only a few days into our "makeover" but so far we're okay. I was embarrassed to find out how much meat and veggies I had stockpiled in the freezer and am trying to get rid of them before we move into a new house (we are trying to build our savings - so this is really a great time to concentrate on building new dinner financial habits).
Can you give me your crockpot stuffed peppers recipe? I am still trying to find the best easy prep stuffed pepper recipe. The one I tried from the clay pot recipe book came out looking like the MOST unappealing thing EVER..
post #30 of 116
I found a site froma link here and I decided to give 2 days a week to crockpot cooking - that will be my "easy" day.

http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008...er-recipe.html

She includes pictures. That really convinced me not all crockpot cooking had to be beef stews and roasts. Of course, I am a big "pop it on high and cook the crap out of it" gal since I worry the food won't get done on low.

I did top mine with spaghetti sauce instead of water based on the reviews, and so far it smells divine.
post #31 of 116
I'm so surprised. The family cut their food bill from $400 a week to under $100 by...wait for it... cooking at home instead of getting takeout 7 nights a week.

And now I'm looking at the next one. She's been buying frozen meals and throwing half of them away.
post #32 of 116
Sweetie, if you are spending $50-75 per day for food, you could VERY easily flip that money over into going to one of those Freezer Meal places (Super Supper or My Girlfriend's Kitchen) and save a ton of money. Or buy all prepackaged meals from Trader Joes.
post #33 of 116
You know what the thing is though - people who spend a lot, or too much, or whatever on food aren't necessarily buying prepackaged stuff or eating out a lot. We have never been big out-eaters, and I have always tracked my eating out separate from my groceries. In months where we maybe ate out once or twice, I was still spending, gulp, abuot $1,200 a month on food & general household stuff (dog food, diapers, etc). It dipped a little in the summer due to CSA, but not that much.

I scratch cook almost exclusively, including bread & yogurt, but I never watched sales, and I only bought organic. I could not figure out why I couldn't get my bill down. We don't eat that extravagantly either, we eat meat maybe once or twice a week. Yeah, it was organic meat, but not filet mignon or lobster, more like flank steak or chicken. We eat beans & rice, and burritos. Stir Fry, casseroles, etc. It was making me feel a little crazy that we spent so much for such mundane fare.

It was only when I got serious and started a pricebook, watched sales, clipped coupons and dropped organic that I started saving. It's still a work in progress, but I went from $1200 to about 500. Of course, there are also some things we've given up in there, like wine, but really, we eat about the same as we did before, just smarter. And not organic, unfortunately.

I just wanted to respond to the comments that people who spend exhorbitantly on groceries are also buying crap or not scratch cooking. Honestly, if I really wanted to save money, I'd do less scratch cooking - I think prepackaged crap is actually a lot cheaper, but that's a sacrifice I'm not willing to make.
post #34 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinoikoi View Post
I love crockpot cooking, but I get nervous leaving it on when I am not home.. Did your come with a timer or did you buy one that plugs in somehow or do you go without a timer?
I do too. I would never leave the house with an appliance running. By the time the neighbors notice the flames your house is gone.
post #35 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Norasmomma View Post
Hey my BF is always complaining she's broke, yet goes to the store every. day. Yesterday she called me and said she didn't want to shop, but she had to just to make dinner. Her money woes frustrate me, ugh.

Recently we had a HAM dinner, with scalloped potatoes and peas and it was seriously like 4 bucks. My local store gets hams on sale often, I had potatoes from a 5lb bag that cost .99, and organic peas that were frozen .99 a bag. The ham cost $3.

Ham-$3
potatoes-maybe.25
cheese-free
sourcream-.25
peas-.50

total $4-AWESEOME

This compares to my friend who just cannot justify getting a freezer and then is always going to the store, and complaining about spending money. so weird.
Can I please have your recipe for scalloped potatoes?
post #36 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by carouselrider View Post
In months where we maybe ate out once or twice, I was still spending, gulp, abuot $1,200 a month on food & general household stuff (dog food, diapers, etc). It dipped a little in the summer due to CSA, but not that much.

I scratch cook almost exclusively, including bread & yogurt, but I never watched sales, and I only bought organic. I could not figure out why I couldn't get my bill down. We don't eat that extravagantly either, we eat meat maybe once or twice a week.
This was us. And, I agree that sometimes, getting hamburger helper is a lot cheaper than cooking from scratch. Not as good, on many levels, but cheaper, yes.

I do a once a week blog thing where we post $5 dinners from the sales flyers. It takes a bit of thought to get a $5 meal (for 4). Now, I bet the vast majority of my suppers are under $10, but I find that the $5 mark takes a little thought.
post #37 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by BetsyS View Post
I do a once a week blog thing where we post $5 dinners from the sales flyers. It takes a bit of thought to get a $5 meal (for 4). Now, I bet the vast majority of my suppers are under $10, but I find that the $5 mark takes a little thought.
L:ink, please. Thankyouverymuch :
post #38 of 116
post #39 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by BetsyS View Post
I just came to link to this blog. You beat me!

We have started following her blog and I've been picking and choosing meals and creating a menu for each week. It truly is saving us cash.
post #40 of 116
For those who can't/won't watch the actual Oprah show, here's the online synopsis: http://www.oprah.com/dated/oprahshow...elebrity-chefs

Excerpt (http://www.oprah.com/article/oprahsh...r-florence/5):

Try Tyler's Slow-Cooked [crock-pot] Barbecue Pork Shoulder sandwich.

The recipe saves time and money. "These sandwiches are $3.75 apiece, right? That plus a salad, dinner for four, under $20," he says. "It's five minutes of prep time, and then the whole thing cooks while you're at work or while you're out running errands."


Gasp - dinner for 4 for under $20? What an amazing, astonishing savings! I'm sure this board could learn a lot from this show!
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