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How do you stretch your grocery budget ? - Page 2

post #21 of 28
Thread Starter 

That´s true , I feel quite blessed to live here , we do have a lot of benefits here , that I could only dream of while living in the States ( even though I loved it while I was there )  

We get money every month for each child , regardless of income and having my last baby , the one born here , cost me roughly 35 US Dollars for a 3 day hospital stay and everything else , that came with the delivery . 

Plus , I get to be on paid maternity leave for as long as I want to !

BUT...electricity is expensive , which is quite a funny coincidence in a country , where it gets about as cold as Alaska in the winter and food is not exactly what I was used to spending in the US .

Milk , I don´t know , isn´t it unhealthy to drink a lot of / too much milk ?

BTW Michelle , when you lived here , did you ever have surströmming ? ( Just curious orngbiggrin.gif ) 

post #22 of 28

I make a loose meal plan for the week, and I plan it with the help of the ads for my local supermarket.  (Not sure if you have anything like that) But it really helps--if I see that sausage is on sale, I'll plan to make sausage and peppers one night.  If chicken's on sale, one night I'll plan for chicken.  I usually plan one meat meal per week, and a few veggie meals.  I do stretch ground meat with black beans.  I think it's actually better that way--the beans are good for you, and seem to make it tastier.  I also sat down and thought about what we eat, made a list and that made it really simple, to know our favorites and then just slot them in to the plan and make sure that we have those ingredients on hand all the time. Generally, each week we eat:


-a boneless chicken breast meal--then I slice the leftovers and use that for lunches the rest of the week. 

-a bean or lentil and rice meal (we like lentils with portobello mushrooms, lentils with coconut milk, black bean cakes, or chili)

-a pasta meal


-I always plan on salad

The rest of the nights we eat leftovers, or we end up out or at a friends.


We have oatmeal or yogurt for breakfast, eggs or pancakes on the weekend, and lunches are usually leftovers or tortilla wraps. 

Snacks are in season fruit, crackers and hummus, or pretzels.  I buy a lot of seasonal vegetables and greens, and use them to bulk out our meals.


I think keeping it simple and having the plan has really helped.  Also, I set a number that I'm willing to spend for the week, and when that is gone I have to make it happen using whatever I've got in the pantry/freezer.  I've been doing this for a few months and it's cut my budget in half.  I think you said you have six kids, so I can imagine it would be very tough to stay well-stocked and in budget, but maybe if you look at what you ate last week, you can identify a few things that you could have done for less?  Such as, if you had ground beef, could you have stretched it with the beans.  If you had fish for dinner, could you have bought half as much and made a larger, cheaper vegetable side?  If you ran out to the store for one thing (and came back home with a basketful) next time can you go without and find some other way to make the recipe work?  Good luck!

post #23 of 28
Thread Starter 

I have actually done that , looking at what we spend and realized , that there are quite a few things , that we could have done without or that even got wasted , because I forgot we had them .

Another thing , I will try , is going to an ethnic shop .

We don´t have any here , but in the next bigger city , so next time , I go there , I want to see , if I can buy really big bags of rice and that sort of stuff for a cheaper prize , since I figured , that is a good thing to stock up on

You said , you are stretching ground beef with beans ? I´ve never thought of that , but we all like beans , so I will definitely give it a try

Plus , one major point in our budget was cut , when I gave my useless bf the boot , he´s been gone for about a month now and I already can´t believe , how much less money we actually use whistling.gif

post #24 of 28

-meal planning before grocery shopping... making a plan considering what we already have... planning for how leftovers will be used... limiting our menu to 28 meals that rotate each month

-a pot of soup once a week- leftovers are good for lunches or will freeze well... my dd loves minestrone

-planning several meatless meals every week- red beans and rice, pasta, bean or lentil soups, bean burritos, veggie burgers, pancakes

-cut up meat and put it in a stir fry, casserole or soup instead of a slab on a plate

-labeling and freezing any leftovers that will not be eaten right away

- I buy frozen vegetables to help eliminate waste or freeze fresh fruits and vegetables

-I do mix refried beans with meat for tacos to stretch things.

post #25 of 28

I haven't looked at my grocery bill in a while (until this month--things are really tight and our grocery budget has been insane) but we've done a couple of things that has reduced waste.  One is to eat what needs to be eaten.  This seems obvious, but has been difficult for me.  Once upon a time it made me sick to my stomach to eat something I really didn't want to.  Now I'm pretty good at concocting lunches from the stuff that needs to go, and enjoying it.


The second is that when we moved, we put our little cabin fridge in the kitchen to use instead of buying a big one .  (This was mainly because we live in a place that experiences extended power outages, and this fridge was duel-fuel; the other reason being that it was totally silent.)  We bought a chest freezer for the basement.  I thought it was going to be a *huge*adjustment for us, but it turned out to be pretty easy.  In fact, it hasn't even been very full for the last 3 weeks.  The need for discipline both with buying food and eating it is incredibly high.  I'm amazed at how easy this has been.  


I know you can't just go out and buy a new fridge for this, but I can't believe how much it has helped.  We'll see how this month's grocery bill comes to.  The last time I tallied it was with my old fridge.

post #26 of 28

Eat smaller portions. Load stuff up with butter (fats help you get full and satisfied). Eat eggs, very satisfying & healthy.

post #27 of 28

For me making a menu and a list plus staying out of the stores helps me stretch the budget.

post #28 of 28
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by my2girlz View Post

For me making a menu and a list plus staying out of the stores helps me stretch the budget.

Yep , that is a big one for me smile.gif

After going through some of your guys posts , I started reviewing many areas of our consumption attitude and I realized , that I NEVER go into a store and only pick up exactly what I need , there is always at least one item more .

And another big area is taking the kids with me , since especially the older ones always want something , so from now on I am going to try shopping in the morning , when they are in school . Let´s see , how that works !

Filling up on fats is a difficult one for me , since both my DS 2 and I suffer from ulcerated colitis and if we would up our fat intake , we would be saving even more money , since we would be so sick , that we couldn´t eat anything lol.gif

And also not filling up the refrigerator so much , the kids and I have spend an entire afternoon cleaning and reorganizing it and now it is so well-organized , I love looking in there and being able to see everything at first glance without having to dig for it , or following some funky smell and realizing something has gone bad , that I didn´t even remember was there 

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