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Food Budgets in general

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Just curious here. I have been making weekly grocery trips since new baby is approaching three months and is (1) easier to take out and (2) fussy around dinner time! Weekly shopping helps me plan for the week and also to avoid the "run to the store" at the last minute that seems to add so much to the monthly grocery bill. However, since I have been going regularly I have noticed that I am spending approximately $100 per week! This seems like a large amount of money for two adults and a 23 month old toddler. My husband does not eat breakfast and has lunch provided almost every day through his work, so that money is mainly three meals (and snacks) a day for my toddler and myself, one meal for dh per day. Doesn't this seem too much? We don't buy any prepackaged meals, rarely buy snack crackers or cookies, and do buy meat. I also never buy out of season fresh fruits or veggies.

How else do you all do it? I know there must be larger families feeding more people for less money, so please share your secrets with us!

Thank you,

post #2 of 12
No advice, just wanted to say I'd be happy if my bill was only 100 dlls per week. sigh..... it's not like we're eating caviar either...
post #3 of 12
I'll bet you are actually spending less shopping once a week, v. running to the store all the time--I know I do. I spend around that much, maybe a little less, for the four of us (dds are 2 and 5, but I think the kids really don't add much to the bill).

Is this just for food, or does it include other things like toiletries, pet food, cleaning products, etc? Those things are generally cheaper elsewhere than the grocery store where I live, but I often don't have the time to run to other stores. They can add a lot to the bill.

If I can run around to different places to shop, I can save a significant amount of money. I work out of the home though, and my shopping time is pretty limited. So when I do get to stop someplace that has a good price on certain items, I tend to buy in bulk. I have a freezer which helps.

If you really want to trim your bills, check out the copies of the Tightwad Gazette (3 vols) from your library. The author makes the case for really keeping track of prices of things that you use all the time and finding good places to shop. There generally is no one cheapest grocery store. You save the most by shopping different places, but it does take some time and some planning so you aren't running all over the place, but make stops to pick things up as part of your normal errands.
post #4 of 12
We spend a TON of money on food. I have an organic fruit and vegetable service deliver a box 2X/month. That's $40. Then, all organic cereals and breads, plus lunch stuff w/out nitrites. Pastas, hormone-free, antibiotic-free beef and chicken. Cage-free veggie eggs. Dairy w/out hormones. . . the list goes on and on. DH has stopped looking at what I spend on food. It's around $175/week but we don't waste anything because it's all too darned expensive in the first place. Maybe if more people bought organics and couldn't afford to throw away food, their kids wouldn't treat food like a toy.
post #5 of 12
I agree...

Originally posted by calgal007
but we don't waste anything because it's all too darned expensive in the first place. Maybe if more people bought organics and couldn't afford to throw away food, their kids wouldn't treat food like a toy.
post #6 of 12
I shop mostly at Sam's Club. The savings are just too good to pass up. The only organic food I buy are celery and carrots, I get them elsewhere. But everything else I buy at Sams. For example, 6 pack granola bars at grocery store are $3.00, the same granola bars at Sams are $6.00 for 32! Avacados are $1.35 each in grocery store, at Sams they are in a package of 4 for $4.00. It's the same with everything, the savings are well worth the $35 year membership fee.
post #7 of 12
Wow! I'm impressed that you only go once a week. I'm trying to get there but it is so hard. My dh is gone mon thru thursday every week. I work half hour away in my hme town and I stay with my parents one night. the health food store where I do all of my shopping is there as well. Sometimes just to be sane I take a jaunt to the store. It seems I always spend about $50. Even for little stuff. I'm working on cutting out the extra trips.
post #8 of 12
We spend about $70 - $100 per week at the grocery store for me, dh and dd (20 months). That total does not count, however, a trip about every month and a half to Sam's to buy certain large things in bulk (cereal, toilet paper, paper towels, etc.). The Sam's visit is usually about the same as the figure for the weekly grocery bill. Yes, Sam's is part of the evil, evil WalMart family, but it is, indeed, so much cheaper to buy certain items there (not everything, note). I agree that it's important to figure out what you buy regularly and then to find out where you can purchase those items most cheaply. We're fortunate that we have an excellent grocery store about 5 miles away that fits the bill for most of what we buy, and thus only go weekly.

Edited to add: by the by, the weekly bill figure above usually includes at least one "splurge" item, like two USDA prime t-bone or porterhouse steaks or something. It also includes organic yoghurt and milk. Our lettuce and carrots are organic. Most of the rest of what we purchase is conventional stuff.
post #9 of 12
Yep. Sounds about right. Just me and DP and we spend ABOUT 100 a week on groceries. Eating well is expensive. We don't bother with organic, but we are vegetrarians and faux meat is pricey.
post #10 of 12
We spent about $60-80 per week on everything (food, paper products etc etc) for the 5 of us - 2 adults & 3 children (7.5, 6 and 4.5) We don't eat organic at all because all organics around here are at least double the price, usually more. We eat mostly vegetarian meals, the only meat we eat is chicken - grown by dh's parents, and occasionally ground turkey from the market.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the feedback. We do go to Costco for our paper products, so I guess our monthly bill would be higher with that taken into account. It is reassuring that others are spending in the ballpark. I can only imagine how much higher our bills would be if I did buy a lot of prepackaged convenience foods!

Thanks for the reminder about the tightwad gazette EFmom. My parents used to subscribe to that and found it useful, I think I will check them out next time we head over to the libarary.

Thanks again for the feedback,

post #12 of 12
This is a topic I am very interested in! I have been working hard to cut back to $75/week for groceries, not including paper products and non-food items, for my husband, who is a BIG eater (and skinny as a rail) my 9-month-old, and me. We were spending 100+/week, not including eating out occasionally. We are vegetarians and eat mostly organic everything. Soy milk is very expensive! I have read all of the Tightwad Gazette books and love them...I have even done lots of shopping around and keeping a log comparing prices. I have found that a lot of organic things are actually cheaper at Whole Foods (I prefer a co-op, but it is farther away), so I shop there most of the time and buy in bulk. I almost never buy snacks/pre-packaged foods, although I do have a sweet tooth and try to bake if I really need to satisfy a craving. This has the definite advantage of being healthier, and I am very careful about not wasting anything because everything is expensive, but it does take more time to prepare food. Anyway, the biggest changes I've made recently are switching from cereal to oatmeal (cereal is insanely expensive, and we were going through boxes and boxes of it) and making my own bread (I use a bread machine). There was a poll recently on this very topic with lots of suggestions.
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