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$1000/ mo for groceries - Page 2

post #21 of 120
I agree about ditching paper products, or cutting way back. We use mostly cloth. We go through about one roll of paper towel every two months (for wiping up things that can't go in the compost like acrylic paint). We still buy toilet paper, but cutting out paper towels, tissues and napkins helps a lot.

Consider shopping at a restaurant supply store. We're a family of five, but although our kids are young and don't eat much, it's still worth the trip for us. Most things are either the same as a good grocery store price, or a lot cheaper. We started buying giant bags of precooked, frozen chicken breast cubes there because they were the same price as than raw chicken breast at Costco, but it was easy to use them for fast meals like wraps or to add to pasta or salad, We eat a lot of cheese, and there is no smokin' deal on cheese, but it's a bit cheaper in large quantities and you can freeze it.

We don't buy a lot of cleaning supplies, but what we do buy we buy in jumbo quantities. They don't go bad. I can't believe that people buy 1 litre bottles of dishwashing liquid. i have a heart attack every time I see the price on them at the grocery store. The same with Cascade. Buy the JUMBO box, and dump a small amount into a container of a manageable size.

I agree that deli meat doesn't need to be super expensive. I've also bought the large packages at Costco, and they freeze well.
post #22 of 120
honestly, the south beach diet is soooo expensive. I bet we spent almost $800 a month when I was doing the whole south beach thing and we have one less person than you and no allergies to contend with.
post #23 of 120
Man, these ad banners must be queued by key words. All of a sudden I'm seeing 3 banners of Anna miraculously losing 20 lbs over and over! If only it weren't too good to be true... I'd be all up in it!!!


caj'smommy you totally inspire me!!! $1400+ a month down to $500 is freaking amazing! We average $400/month & there's just 2 adults & one monster of a 3y/o! I LOVE your suggestions!

Price books are definitely the way to go. I keep track of the lowest price on everything .


Also, if you want to get real geeky... I keep track of all expenses on Quicken (groceries, mortgage, etc) but I also keep my own seperate old fashioned Triple Function Check Register with 15 CR & DR distribution columns.

I break down everything here... Eggs, Milk, Produce, Fruit, Pork products, Beef products, Cheese, Gas... everything I buy. Then I can see what my trends are & better plan my shopping trips to stay within my budget.

e.g. if I spent $20 last month on beef & it worked, when I'm at the store & there are those lowest prices from my price book I use my calculator & buy around $20 of beef knowing I can make it last for a month.

I use the CR distribution to alot myself spending money for misc discretions, Sydney discretions & other specific things I'm saving up for (fruit trees, vacations, etc).

I don't go by my "real" balance in my account, I go by the balance I have leftover after I distribute my Credits & subtract my estimated Debits for the month. Then I have a "real" idea of what my spending looks like.
post #24 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by WC_hapamama View Post
You really can do deli meat on the cheap. I buy a 3 pack of honey ham from Costco for about $8-$9, and that lasts my horde for almost 2 weeks, with the occasional lunch of leftovers or chicken salad sandwiches thrown in.
In that case, then she can cut out the meat at breakfast and dinner.
post #25 of 120
I presume that you are unable/willing to make radical dietary changes. Thus, these are my suggestions.

-It sounds like you eat a lot of meat and eggs. Therefore, I would throw my energy into finding inexpensive sources of these items.

Even if it is far away, it might be worth your while to go to someplace like Costco or BJs just to buy things like IQF chix breasts, lunch meat and turkey bacon. If one is far away, you'll probably need to buy a chest freezer. Plan on going every few months and spending a few hundred dollars. Take a cooler with ice and some cold bags. Most all deli meat freezes, some better than others. Salami and bologna tend to freeze the best.

Do you guys eat beef? Does DH? I would strongly suggest investigating buying an entire steer, if so. DH's parents do this (organic grass fed Texas longhorn, no less), and the quality of the beef is far superior to store bought as well as being far cheaper. Again, you'll need a freezer. Considering a large chest freezer costs about 40% of one month of groceries for your family, I'd consider it an investment.

I don't know if you eat conventional eggs, or if you can find better quality eggs... but we buy our eggs from a local producer, and it's very inexpensive, and the eggs are much nicer. I would look into this. Even if you have to drive and pick up a few dozen eggs at a time, eggs can also be frozen. Crack, lightly beat, a little salt. Perfect for omlettes and scrambled. You may be able to take advantage of a bulk discount this way, too.

-Try to make condiments. These are high value added foods. In a weekend, we can make and can enough ketchup, pizza sauce, jam, pickles, marinara, and applesauce to last an entire year.

-You are going to need to meal plan. Try to just do it 24 hours in advance. Think about tomorrow's dinner while you are doing the dinner dishes. You know what you have, what you need, what needs to be thawed or soaked...
You don't have to meal plan weeks or months in advance.

-Try to bake more. My secret is soy flour as an egg replacement and dry buttermilk instead of regular milk. The buttermilk makes everything nice and high, and takes years to go bad. Soy flour lasts forever, too, and is very cheap. Both these items can be found at almost any MegaloMart in the baking aisle.

-We don't soak beans. We cook dry beans in 1.5 parts water to beans in the oven in a covered casserole, on the stovetop in a covered pot, or in the crockpot on high for three hours. Granted, it still takes awhile, but if you think about it at lunch time, you still have plenty of time to cook dinner.

-About homemade laundry soap, a caveat: I made my own for years. In many ways, I miss it- I think it smells really good, for starters. However, I found it to be more cost effective for me to use coldwater Tide because the homemade stuff needed hot water to work well. I now wash everything in cold, using 1 oz. Tide per load, and have noticed a very significant energy savings. In the event that we install a solar hot water system, I'll go back to homemade, but in the meantime, this works for me.
post #26 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by beansmama View Post
Just because you have one dc with peanut allergy doesn't mean you can't use peanuts does it? (unless he has it so bad if he smells it he goes into shock - obviously then you'd want to avoid it!).

I have a son who is ANA allergic to many things also including peanuts. He is oral and contact allergic. ANY item that has peanuts/treenuts (including all chocolate, most candy, store breads, boxed cereals, etc...) are not allowed in the house because his LIFE is in danger. Peanut proteins can stick around for months and if my other kids ate a PB&J and wiped their finger on their pants or under the table and then my allergic son were to brush againt it, if I were to eat a contaminated cookie and kiss him, the dishwasher cannot always get off all the proteins, etc... he could have an anaphylactic reaction that will ensure the hospital and always run the risk of death.

Savin $1 on a jar of cheaper peanut butter is NEVER worth risking your child's life just to make the parent's job easier!








Quote:
Originally Posted by WC_hapamama View Post
Not the OP, but we've been living with peanut allergy for 9 years, and we figured out pretty early on that it's easier and safer for everyone involved to just keep the peanuts out of the house.

Even if you don't react to the smell, the peanut proteins still hang out in the residual oils that get left behind on plates, hands, door knobs, lips, utensils, cutting boards, etc.

Keeping peanuts out of our house is still cheaper than the ER copays and medication costs involved with an allergic reaction.











What percentage of money do you spend on household items? Want to post what you buy? I agree that crock pot beans are SUPER easy!!!
post #27 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leta View Post
-About homemade laundry soap, a caveat: I made my own for years. In many ways, I miss it- I think it smells really good, for starters. However, I found it to be more cost effective for me to use coldwater Tide because the homemade stuff needed hot water to work well. I now wash everything in cold, using 1 oz. Tide per load, and have noticed a very significant energy savings. In the event that we install a solar hot water system, I'll go back to homemade, but in the meantime, this works for me.
The other benefit of a cold water wash is that prolongs the life of the clothing, particularly cottons. Hot water washes hasten fading and pilling... really hard on the fabric.
post #28 of 120
I just thought of another couple of things:

About lunches- check out Hillbilly Housewife's lunch page.

Also, I cannot say enough good stuff about the HBHW Custard Style Yogurt recipe. Great lunchbox food.

Buy your kids reusable lunch EVERYTHING- box or insulated bag, drink bottle, containers, WrapNMat, Happy Sacks, napkins, silverware, EVERYTHING. That's what my mom did for us, and that way, all stuff gets brought home. Otherwise, you end up with kids throwing containers and napkins away.

We have a rule in our house about fruit juice- it only comes from concentrate (boxes and bottles are ridiculously priced) and it has to be mixed with something 50-50 (after it's been reconstituted with water). We mix ours with iced tea, V8 (from the tall cans, much cheaper than bottles), and, our kids's favorite, club soda. Iced tea is made for pennies, and club soda is $1 for a gallon. Store brand in-the-can V8 is kind of expensive, but nutritious (and this is far cheaper than V8 Fusion in plastic bottles, I'll tell you that).

We do this for reasons of health and economy. First of all, juice is just fruit sugar- yummy, for sure, but not exactly a health food. It gets you addicted to sweet tastes. Also, it is far cheaper to mix it with other stuff. Basically, we treat the juice like it's flavored liquid sugar... which it more or less is.

Note: if you do mix juice and club soda, it's just like pop, it needs a bottle with a top. The first time you make it, plan to have the kids there to drink half of it right away, and then put the other half back in the club soda bottle. Save this bottle, and the next time you make it, fill both club soda bottles. One 12 oz can of juice concentrate makes about a liter of juice, and club soda comes in liter bottles, so 1 can of concentrate+water+a bottle of club soda= approx 2 liters or 1 gallon.
post #29 of 120
Okay, I just read thru that last post, and we mix juice with tea OR V8, OR club soda. Not all three at the same time. Yeesh, that'd be kinda gross.
post #30 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thystle View Post
I have a son who is ANA allergic to many things also including peanuts. He is oral and contact allergic. ANY item that has peanuts/treenuts (including all chocolate, most candy, store breads, boxed cereals, etc...) are not allowed in the house because his LIFE is in danger. Peanut proteins can stick around for months and if my other kids ate a PB&J and wiped their finger on their pants or under the table and then my allergic son were to brush againt it, if I were to eat a contaminated cookie and kiss him, the dishwasher cannot always get off all the proteins, etc... he could have an anaphylactic reaction that will ensure the hospital and always run the risk of death.

Savin $1 on a jar of cheaper peanut butter is NEVER worth risking your child's life just to make the parent's job easier!
While your child might be severely allergic, her son may not... just a thought.

But - if you can find it - i hear golden peabutter is an excellent alternative to nut butters
post #31 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thystle View Post
I have a son who is ANA allergic to many things also including peanuts. He is oral and contact allergic. ANY item that has peanuts/treenuts (including all chocolate, most candy, store breads, boxed cereals, etc...) are not allowed in the house because his LIFE is in danger. Peanut proteins can stick around for months and if my other kids ate a PB&J and wiped their finger on their pants or under the table and then my allergic son were to brush againt it, if I were to eat a contaminated cookie and kiss him, the dishwasher cannot always get off all the proteins, etc... he could have an anaphylactic reaction that will ensure the hospital and always run the risk of death.

Savin $1 on a jar of cheaper peanut butter is NEVER worth risking your child's life just to make the parent's job easier!





















What percentage of money do you spend on household items? Want to post what you buy? I agree that crock pot beans are SUPER easy!!!
Yeah...Some people have SEVERE allergies to peanuts. I totally understand that and would never suggest someone put their child at risk to save a couple bucks. EVER. That being said, some allergies are more mild and it's not a life threatening situation. I don't think the OP specified...so I thought i'd throw that idea out there, just in case it was an option.
post #32 of 120
I think it would be helpful to figure what you spend on household items before considering the grocery budget.

I shop at Aldi's too and the prices are hard to beat. The individiually packaged chips and such are actually about the same price per serving as the big bags at Aldi's. Same with juice and such. There are reasons to cut down on packaging, but that is another converstation.

I do "cherry pick" at Safeway when they have sales on cereal or other nonperishables. Occasionally they have cereal for $1 per box and I stock up. I do think that it cuts down on our grocery bill significantly.

If you are spending, say $900 per month on food - that is about $5 per day per person. Honestly, I don't think that is too bad. You may cut down on meat and look for a few inexpensive meal options (e.g. oatmeal for breakfast).
post #33 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Softmama View Post
what are you using for this :
The recipe can be found here....
http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/laundrysoap.htm

And, I am guessing the whole family cloth thing freaked out a few LOL!!!!
Its not that weird at all.
I use cloth pads, and when we have babies, I will use cloth diapers and wipes!
I would much rather not throw my money down the septic tank.
And tp is not that cheap.
I like this saying. "If your not using cloth, you are using garbage."
post #34 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by WC_hapamama View Post
The other benefit of a cold water wash is that prolongs the life of the clothing, particularly cottons. Hot water washes hasten fading and pilling... really hard on the fabric.
I have never had a problem using cold water with it....
Did you use the liquid or the powder version?
post #35 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Denvergirlie View Post
Make your own... lots of threads on this on MDC, but basically equal parts of Borax, washing soda (different from baking soda) and a bar soap like Zote or Fels Naptha.
Grate soap in food processor, combine with powders. Tablespoon per load. Some will melt the soap in water and then add the powders to be more of a liquid gel and use 1/2 cup per load.

lots of videos on Youtube about this too if you want a tutorial
I make the liquid version
Works much better.
post #36 of 120
I second the Costco idea. A lot of the stuff you buy is really much cheaper there - even cheaper than Aldi. Turkey bacon, for example... 4 packages is something like $6. You'll also save a bunch on eggs and produce - apples, carrots, spinach, and lettuce are all consistently cheaper there for us.
post #37 of 120
With regards to peanuts....

Even if the one child is not severely allergic, there's no guarantee that the OP's kids' school allows peanut products. I know some schools around here have a peanut ban.
post #38 of 120
If you must keep the meat, you need to switch to cheaper meats. Steak is a *killer*. Chicken breasts are usually pretty expensive too. And deli meats. Yikes.

Go for whole roasting birds or bags of thighs and ground beef or turkey, and stock up when they are on sale. You can roast a whole chicken, tear it apart, and use it in a couple of different meals. You can also use roasted meat in sandwiches, either making chicken salad or just cutting it fairly small. Yum.

Watch for sales on eggs, too. I've seen them go down to .89/doz. Instead of everybody getting several individual eggs, if you feel they need the protien you could make a couple egg-y meals per week. Baked oatmeal, and stratas (leftover bread, milk, eggs)
post #39 of 120
"And tp is easy.
Look for flannel on sale( or raid the rag bag, or cut up a flannel sheet), cut it up with pinking shears into 5" squares, get either a dry bag and or a small bucket, and put the squares in a basket on the back of the toilet.
A color system for each family member can be a good idea for the squeamish."--PaulaJoAnne


OMG I'm horrified. That is really gross, and I could never do that. We do as much as we can... we don't use "much" toilet paper, but oh my gosh, good for you. I could never, ever, ever...

OP, I am right there with ya, spending $1000 or more at the store a month. I keep trying to work on it, but last week was $300 and I have to go again today.
post #40 of 120
Quote:
South Beach:
Limited carbs - no/ limited bread, pasta, potatoes and other grains. Some are okay like brown rice and can do other in moderation, but limited carbs. Possibly no or limited beans and lentils
No/ limited pork
More fish & chicken and likely limited beef as well
no/ limited dairy
Have you ever done the SB diet? What is written above is not at all accurate for SB - pork is not limited, nor is beef or dairy. Pasta and bread are notofflimits, just that they should be whole grain. Beans and lentils are also allowed.
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