I feel like I am having a hard time staying within my grocery budget and it's driving me nuts. I know it will be different based on where you live and all that jazz but I am curious what everyone's budget looks like with allergies.
There are 4 of us (DH, Me, DD1 and DD2)
DDs are sensitive to Gluten, dairy, corn, soy, eggs, cane sugar, beet sugar, brewer's yeast, bakers yeast. DD1 can't do bananas, pineapple or onions. DD2 can't do apples or mushrooms.
DH and I sometimes eat the things they are sensitive to but I don't prepare two meals so most things are allergen free.
Our budget is $600 with $50 of that saved toward next years beef purchase.
I am usually over by 10-20 bucks and it's kind of slim pickings by the end of the month. DH thinks I am doing fine and I have a friend who spends twice what I do but I always feel like I should be able to do more with that budget. It does include household items too though.
Becky- Wife to DH, Mama to "Nani" (July '08) "Coco" (July '10) and expecting one very wiggly baby boy in May 2013!
I have teens so a ton of food seems to get consumed in this house every month. Our grocery budget is about the same as yours. We have one family member who is lactose intolerant, two vegetarians, and one who is gluten free. Finding meals that are good for and enjoyed by everyone is hard and gets expensive. I don't often make completely separate meals but I have expanded my idea of how to make something a meal.
Gluten free products can be expensive and aren't always tasty. I make a pot of rice or quinoa whenever I am making pasta - the same sauce but not everyone has to eat the same grain.
I always have some cooked quinoa in the fridge for a gluten free portion to a meal so that I can use bread or pasta as a main meal ingredient for those who aren't gluten free.
When I make cream soups I puree one portion without milk and set it aside before adding milk to the rest. Cheese is always served on the side as an option for those who want/need it but won't affect anyone who can't digest it.
We eat a lot of soup, salad and bread meals at our house. They are affordable and easily adapted to special diets.
I do most of our shopping at a low cost grocery store and buy in bulk from a food co-op for as many things as I can. Buying in bulk is expensive at the front end but cuts the yearly food budget way down.
Yeah, $600 seems pretty low considering you are including household items. Always a way, though! It seems like grocery budgets are in people's minds right now. This is the third thread I've seen recently in regards to it, with some variations.
"Let me see you stripped down to the bone. Let me hear you speaking just for me."
We don't speak about the grocery budget in this house. I know this much:
DH and I figure, the kids as well as we need to eat. That's just how it is.
I posted in one of the other threads, $1400 / month throughout 2011. Two adults here at home, two sons in college, both sons have multiple ana allergies, both off the meal plans at school. Lots of convenience food for the boys, plus inability to shop by price among brands because labeling has to be the top priority. They're careful, they're eating, we're happy.