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If you buy almost all organic, what is your monthly budget? - Page 2

post #21 of 44

We eat almost all organic, and spend about $200 a week for 3 of us. That is more than I would like. Meat and eggs end up costing us a lot. We don't eat a ton of cereal or grains. And the local organic animal products are quite expensive. We shop at New Seasons, they are similar to whole foods, but a local chain, they are seriously the greatest grocery store of ALL TIME. I am so glad to have recently moved to Oregon where these stores are. I'd love to get our food bill down a bit, and we need to start by NOT EATING OUT. That just kills us.... it costs way too much for decent food. Then I think we just need to eat less meat as well, more beans and greens. Starting our own garden will help with that. After we get a garden going I'm going to look into getting chickens. Right now we are paying about $5 for a dozen eggs and that lasts us 2-3 days. If we can raise our own chickens for eggs that would help.... 

post #22 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by sk8boarder15 View Post

 Right now we are paying about $5 for a dozen eggs and that lasts us 2-3 days. If we can raise our own chickens for eggs that would help.... 

I have chickens.  I love my chickens.  I encourage people to get chickens because they are such a hoot and wonderful and their eggs taste like nothing you've ever tasted.  But the worst reason to get chickens is to save money on eggs.  That first egg will cost you about $150 to $1,000,000.  It gets better from there, for sure, but you never quite catch up, especially with small flocks and super-especially with organically raised small flocks.  And heaven forbid that you decide to show them with your 4-H group at the fair, 'cause that costs more money.  Not much money, and you get to divide it evenly amongst all the eggs you are getting, but still more money,

 

So, get chickens because you want chickens.  You'll get to transfer all the money you spend on them from the grocery bill to the pet or livestock bill, so on paper that will look good.  You will not regret raising chickens, I don't think.

post #23 of 44

Second incorrigible's www.bountifulbaskets.org suggestion.  For $25 you get a basket with usually 4-6 types of fruit/4-6 types of veg. Usually about 15-18 lbs. I still supplement from that, but it's fun to get the basket as you get some neat variety and items that I could NEVER justify buying, because they'd be so expensive. And, it's a great way to introduce the kids to different variety. Also challenges me to cook with what I've got.  They have organic breads too. $12 for 5 loaves. Freezes well.

 

I am 60+ miles one way from any grocery shopping. I usually hit Costco and find quite a lot of their organic items are a great savings--but the number they carry and price can vary with location quite a bit. I do online ordering in bulk which saves even with shipping (or I save and order over the required purchase or order with my prime membership with Amazon). The biggest money saver for me, is to stay out of the store! If I only go shopping once a month, I make do with what I have and when I'm doing all my shopping in one day and spending $400....it's too "painful" to see that ring up, so I don't add anything more than what I absolutely have to add! Then, when we're home, we don't have any local options to just run out and pick x item up. Sooo, we make due (or possibly order online....but then we have to wait for it to get there....so even then...I don't order as much/as often as it's not instant gratificiation!). 

 

So.....try to grocery shop for the bulk of your items only once a month. (YES I even do dairy only once a month! I buy Horizon milk which is usually 6-8 weeks out on the date in the cartons, or I buy and freeze, or get milk from a neighbor's cow when I can--my favorite option!) If you do TRULY need to go shopping in between, make it from a list and ONLY what you truly need. Those snacks and impulse items add up quickly.

post #24 of 44
Thread Starter 

Momsteader - great advice!

 

This is something I didn't think about until I was reading the replies. My budget has gone up because I am doing weekly shopping instead of monthly like I did all of last year. I am ending that!

post #25 of 44

I've posted in this thread earlier, and I am still trying to get a handle on the food bill.  It has evened out at $850, which is a vast improvement over a year or so ago, which was 1100-1200.  I am giving the girls a snack+treat budget.  They get 2 envelopes with $5 in each--so 20 pr week.  One is "snacks" the other "treats".  They can spend treat money on snacks, but not the other way around.  At the end of the week, the leftover money (if any) gets added to a jar that we will use for extra swim trips, Children's museum, tracking camp, etc.

 

Hopefully they will feel some extra freedom of not having to ask me permission, and I hopefully get some peace of mind.

 

Will it work?  We'll find out.  We'll see if it affects our monthly bill a little.....

post #26 of 44

Our food budget is between 700-850, and that's for the 4 of us plus our dog. We are vegan, we try not to eat any processed foods at all, and due to many food intolerances/sensitivities I make literally almost everything we eat at home.

post #27 of 44

Thanks for the info on chickens. If it wern't for our dog that nearly killed the neighbors chicken I wouldn't even be on the fence. We WOULD be getting chickens (we can legally have 3, need a permit for more, which we would easily get). I AM going to be setting up an aqauponics set up to raise food and fish together. Right now it will just be small and raising veggies, but I hope to build a LARGE set up with a pool I got for free and raise our own tilapia. That would majorly cut our bill. Once an aqauponics system is running there is very little cost for upkeep. 

post #28 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by sk8boarder15 View Post

Thanks for the info on chickens. If it wern't for our dog that nearly killed the neighbors chicken I wouldn't even be on the fence. We WOULD be getting chickens (we can legally have 3, need a permit for more, which we would easily get). I AM going to be setting up an aqauponics set up to raise food and fish together. Right now it will just be small and raising veggies, but I hope to build a LARGE set up with a pool I got for free and raise our own tilapia. That would majorly cut our bill. Once an aqauponics system is running there is very little cost for upkeep. 

Chickens also give you a lot of wonderful poo, gobble up some household scraps (though you have to be careful with a small flock) and are a great part of the composting cycle.  Eggs are a bonus, IMO.  Totally worth getting if you like that kind of thing (i do!), but I don't recommend figuring your costs per dozen.  $5 a dozen will seem low by comparison.  Also, that cost is kept low by continuously culling the flock, and hens older that 15 months are uncommon, even for for-profit mom-and-pop operations.  A family is unlikely to be that severe with culling their flock, and egg production suffers.

 

Alright, I am teetering on the edge of Off Topic Cliff, so I'll quit now.....

post #29 of 44

We spend <700 a month. We shop Whole Foods and a smaller mom & pop type veg store. I try to use coupons when I can, and last time I went to WF the bill was $230 before coupons and $123 after. I don't buy meat exclusively at WF though, I buy the ground beef and organic chicken breast from Costco. It is always the snacks that are ridiculously expensive and sometimes I will make the trip to the commissary (read as overwhelming madhouse) if we are in dire need of some chips or whatever. Still, the majority of the shopping happens at wf and the HFS.

post #30 of 44

We already avoided almost all processed foods b/c they're too expensive. I do some relatively minimal baking at home -- muffins and stuff like that. We have oatmeal or fruit for breakfasts. Crockpot beans (waaaay cheaper than the cans). Then read Eat To Live -- highly recommend it. It debunks the protein myth and cured a friend's asthma. So we've been transitioning to vegan (I use only eggs in my baking since we're gluten free -- the eggs help things stick together). It's been a ton cheaper. The kids have taken the transition pretty well. I thought it would be more expensive with all the produce, but it's actually cheaper -- unlimited raw veggies and fruit (without the sugar and protein loads around to mess with blood sugar) really are satisfying -- all four of us feel better than we did before (and we thought we ate really healthy before). We buy almost exclusively at our local coop b/c we get member sales and discount opportunities as well as the member refund at the end of the year. I no longer do huge monthly shops -- I shop once a week -- otherwise the fresh produce gets too old....and since we're not buying the sugary, meaty, starchy, canned stuff anymore, there's not as much stuff to stock up on. We haven't been doing it long enough to know for sure, but I think we're down to around $600/mo for 4 people. (not including laundry detergent and cleaning vinegar, which we get at Costco.)

post #31 of 44
If you're eating vegan be sure to take B-12 and eat some cholesterol. Deficiencies in these can cause health problems.
post #32 of 44

Cereal is expensive!  The more oatmeal we eat for breakfast, the better our budget. 

post #33 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMommy View Post

Cereal is expensive!  The more oatmeal we eat for breakfast, the better our budget. 


I gave up buying cereal about a year ago.  My kids don't seem to have noticed.  Usually have oatmeal or toast and some milk for breakfast.  I have noticed that they eat more reasonable amounts with these alternatives.  THere is something about cereal that just begs to be eaten in large quantities. 

post #34 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by sk8boarder15 View Post

Thanks for the info on chickens. If it wern't for our dog that nearly killed the neighbors chicken I wouldn't even be on the fence. We WOULD be getting chickens (we can legally have 3, need a permit for more, which we would easily get). I AM going to be setting up an aqauponics set up to raise food and fish together. Right now it will just be small and raising veggies, but I hope to build a LARGE set up with a pool I got for free and raise our own tilapia. That would majorly cut our bill. Once an aqauponics system is running there is very little cost for upkeep. 


When I had chickens (until we moved, a year ago), they cost us next to nothing. Baby chicks were about $1 each. We started with 4, but 1 died. We bought 1 bag of chicken starter feed ($15/25 lbs, if I remember right). Supplemented food right from the start with kitchen scraps and leftovers. We used a large Rubbermaid type tub for a home, lined with newspaper, with a bare lightbulb hanging for heat, for the first few weeks. They lived in the basement, and our dog learned that they were family, not dinner. Sort of like the guinea pig. By the time they moved outside, the dog defended them from local cats and racoons. Although I remodeled a rabbit hutch for the chickens, they declined, preferring to roost in the trees. I lined a cardboard box with straw, and the ladies deposited eggs, nearly 1 per day per hen, in the box on the front porch. Totally free range. We supplemented what they could forage with kitchen scraps, but never bought chicken feed after they moved outside. Our yard was large, but not really fenced. I guess the chickens liked their home, because they never left. Our chickens were very tame and friendly, and infinitely amusing. I know none of my methods are "standard", but the girls did well, and gave us much joy, and many eggs, for little money, and little effort.

 

I think if you started chicks in a cage (for their safety) you could teach your dog they aren't prey.

post #35 of 44
I like the idea of chickens, so I could know what they are eating. I have such severe reactions to soy and corn (conventional), that I don't even trust organic or free range eggs. I'd love to be able to use eggs again. Maybe someday. I can't have chickens where I currently live.
post #36 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

I like the idea of chickens, so I could know what they are eating. I have such severe reactions to soy and corn (conventional), that I don't even trust organic or free range eggs. I'd love to be able to use eggs again. Maybe someday. I can't have chickens where I currently live.

Soy- and corn-free feeds are becoming common for owners and small producers.  If you live close to a slightly more rural area (or an adjacent town) that allows chickens you might be able to locate an owner who uses this type of feed.

post #37 of 44

I think we spend about $650 or maybe even more.  We are two adults and two kids.  The kids have multiple food allergies and organic fruits and veg are their main snacks.  My husband eats conventional unhealthy food so I save money there.  I have to order my kids' bread from FL and I spend over $100 per order in order to make the shipping more reasonable so that's a big expense we have every couple months.  I get a lot of our shelf stable food from Vitacost, iHerb and LuckyVitamin.  A lot of the food is cheaper than the grocery store but there are some things that are more expensive so I have to stay on top of knowing what the best price is.  Vitacost has a lot of sale coupon codes so I'm trying to have a list ready for when they email the codes because they are often good for one day only.  I don't eat much meat so that helps.  Avocados are one of our big expenses though.  My son and I love those!  And I've been making my own bone broth for soups.  Even thought it was pricey to buy 2 pastured chickens from the local farm I figure with being able to make 3 crockpots full of broth per carcass it's cheaper (and healthier) then buying stock in the box.  Plus it's helping to heal the kids and I from our leaky gut issue.  I coupon a bit too but that's mostly for my husband's non organic food. 

post #38 of 44

We are 2 adults, two kids, and one toddler, and I think we spend between $700 and $800 a month. We get all of our meat local from the butcher(AWESOME prices on grassfed beef), which isn't organic. Close to $200 of our budget goes there each month. We, for the most part, do not buy snacky food... No bread, no cereal, no juice, no lunchmeat. We do get organic tortilla chips, as I make a lot of dips. I think the biggest hit(stuff that feel outrageously priced when I pick it up) to the budget is dairy (kefir, cheese, sour cream, non-dairy beverages) and organic produce. And, hate to admit it, organic coffee and nice beer. That is probably $80 of our monthly budget. Does that count? Can I leave that out of the tally? *haha* I am going to start trying to purchase more staple things in bulk... Brown rice, beans(stop buying canned, a joke at $.89 for 3/4 cup of beans), quinoa. And we plan on getting chickens and putting in a big garden this year. Looking forward to the summer!

post #39 of 44
There's only two of us, though one is a teen boy. We were spending $50-70 each month on beef, but it's been $100 a month this winter.

Right now I don't know how I'm going to buy this month's beef, or food for the next week, as I had to pay an attorney and there's nothing left. I talked to my husband about it, and he ok'd me taking money from the joint account, then raided that account. But that's for some other thread.
post #40 of 44

Does anyone know where to get the best price on organic peanut butter?

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