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#1 of 41 Old 02-02-2009, 07:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What is your monthly food budget?

How many people are you feeding?

Do you meal plan for dinners? What about breakfast or lunches?

Any special dietary needs, i.e. GF, DF, Organic, no soy, etc?

Where do you shop?

ETA: Any tips?

We have almost $700/mo (food stamps) for groceries for a family of 5 and I go over EVERY month! What the heck? I should be able to do this, but I just don't know how! We used to eat an all organic, mostly local diet, but that cost us $1200/month and I don't have that! I don't know how to tone it down and then I end up buying food that isn't as good for us...going to far the other way.

Help! We won't have FS once dh graduates, so I have to get this under control now b/c I probably won't be able to spend $700/month then~!
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#2 of 41 Old 02-02-2009, 07:36 PM
 
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What is your monthly food budget? I average $400-500

How many people are you feeding? 4

Do you meal plan for dinners? What about breakfast or lunches? Yes for dinners, weekends I do plan lunches sometimes, breakfast is whatever we feel like that we have stuff for.

Any special dietary needs, i.e. GF, DF, Organic, no soy, etc? My boys are dairy free.

Where do you shop? We have a small grocery chain in my little town I use mostly. I do have some things I have to get at Fred Meyer (1/2 hour away), but those are the only two. I can usually get pretty good deals between the both of them.
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#3 of 41 Old 02-02-2009, 07:43 PM
 
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My budget is $600.

I feed my family of 4 (me, dh, and 20m old twins) and 3 daycare children monday through friday (breakfast, lunch and two snacks).

I meal plan every meal during the week because of daycare and only dinners on the weekends.

No special dietary needs....just trying to stick with whole foods though.

I shop at Costco and Winco.
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#4 of 41 Old 02-02-2009, 07:49 PM
 
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What is your monthly food budget? $1,000ish

How many people are you feeding? 6 -all of whom eat a good amount

Do you meal plan for dinners? What about breakfast or lunches? most of the time, yes. not so much for breakfast and lunches but I do roughly plan them out before shopping

Any special dietary needs, i.e. GF, DF, Organic, no soy, etc? no, but we strive for a good amount of organic foods

Where do you shop? 99% of the time we shop at Albertsons.

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#5 of 41 Old 02-03-2009, 12:06 AM
 
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Do you have a LHFS you can buy organic dry goods like rice, beans, grains, nuts in bulk? I get all that kind of thing @ ours because it's the cheapest place, and then get dairy, meat, veg @ the supermarket.

There's one organic farm here, 1 hour from me, and the stuff they had the time I went was mostly trucked in- which was really disappointing. Plus it was all as much or more than what it would have been @ lhfs! So, sadly no more.

We've got 5 ppl here, too- and we make due with around $100 a week.
Granted, that's not very much.

Our budget goes to ( in order of what we buy most of)
grains
pastas
canned organic veg (tomatoes, etc for cooking)
frozen organic veg
fresh produce (organic as much as we can)
organic dairy
organic meat

I try to stock up when the supermarket has buy one get one items, especially on pantry goods or frozen foods. Also if I'm at target for example, I'll see if they have any deals on pantry stuff- it granola bars, etc. Sometimes they have them $1 or more less than the grocery store.

Portioning properly helps us; we're not big on left overs, unfortunately.

I do try to shop around the outside of the store as much as possible, ie avoiding the prepackaged processed stuff- it's crazy expensive per ounce. Plus not so good for you. lol

Ok, this was a huge ramble, but hopefully some of it can help.
I have a dh in grad school too, btw.

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#6 of 41 Old 02-03-2009, 12:12 PM
 
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I have a budget of $150 for me and my 3 year old.

That said, I don't buy red meat or fresh chicken. We usually eat beans in everything. I try to do fruit for snacks, but DD also gets crackers or cookies. I meal plan every meal, and shop every 2 weeks. I also coupon and stockpile some stuff.

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#7 of 41 Old 02-03-2009, 01:06 PM
 
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We spend $400 to $500 a month on groceries.

2 adults and one child, and friends over now and then.

I shop weekly from a list I made planning for dinners, and breakfasts and lunches with a lot of repeats (like eggs&bacon or bagels&yogurt for breakfast, sandwiches and/or soup for lunch). Dinners are typically a meat (fish, chicken, turkey, once in a while lamb), a veggie (peas, carrots, broccoli, green beans, squash, salad, spinach, etc), and either rice, potatoes, corn (in season), pasta, or homemade bread. Snacks are fruit or carrots, nuts, peanut butter, or cheese, and maybe crackers or popcorn. Dessert lately is homemade baked goods, fruit, or hot chocolate (from scratch).

We get organic milk and high Omega 3 eggs, and minimize the processed ready made stuff especially if it has hydrogenated or high fructose or added soy or whatever. We eat very little red meat, just as a preference.

We shop at Kroger. When available we also get milk and eggs locally from a co-op, produce from the farmer's market, and a little produce from our garden.
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#8 of 41 Old 02-03-2009, 06:06 PM
 
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We sepdn $300-$400 (depending on the budget) a month for 2 adults and 1 toddler. This includes dh's lunches every day (he takes his lunch), but it does not include eating out. We eat out once or twice a month (whatever the budget allows), as part of our entertainment budget.

I meal plan for lunch and supper, and breakfast on weekends. During the week, we usually eat cheese toast, scrambled eggs, cereal (dh only), or oatmeal. On the weekends, I cook breakfast. We almost always eat leftovers for lunch, but on days that that isn't appropriate (like when we have stir-fry for supper), I plan something else.

I would love to spend more , but we make due. We eat lots of beans, almost every meal has some sort of stretching carb (rice, potatoes, bread, tortillas), and we have breakfast for supper once a week. We eat ethnic food, we eat beans, and I try to be creative. I think that we eat really, really well for the money we spend.

I shop at Kroger and 2 local chains, Publix and Ingles. Plus an occasional run to the Piggly Wiggly in the next town over for a specific brand of chicken they carry. I shop at Trader Joes (usually once a month for wine and a frozen "I wish we could get take-out" meal), 2 local international markets (both huge and lovely), very occasionally super Walmart (like twice a year), Aldi's sometimes. I love to grocery shop.

In season, we buy produce from our local farmers' market (usually $35/week is my budget there, so a little less than half my total budget), my dh and mom have gardens, and my BIL gave us a deer this fall.

We are also thinking of using our tax refund for a side of beef, to improve the quality of meat that we're eating.
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#9 of 41 Old 02-10-2009, 05:01 PM
 
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We spend about $400 per month on groceries. That is for me, my dh, my 4 yo and 1 1/2 year old, who hardly eats. I am trying to get that down as we really should be spending $250-$300, but we like food!

I shop at Whole Foods usually, try to get as much organic as possible. I do plan out our dinners and we keep breakfast and lunch pretty simple.
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#10 of 41 Old 02-10-2009, 09:16 PM
 
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This is tricky for me to answer, since my budget varies based on time of year. When I'm buying everything at the grocery store in the winter, I start pushing 160-200/week. That's for everything except the greens and protein powder. Family of 4. I have found that 160 is the average. If I eat out of the pantry and freezer to save money, then soon enough, one week I'll spend 200. It all averages out. I keep thinking about trying the Grocery Game, but we just don't eat that kind of food.

During the summer, it goes down since I'm getting the CSA box. Our farm is about $23/week for 22 weeks.
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#11 of 41 Old 02-10-2009, 09:45 PM
 
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What is your monthly food budget? $400-$500/month

How many people are you feeding? 5 - 2 adults & 3 children

Do you meal plan for dinners? Yes. I try to plan around the store sales and what I get in my organic produce delivery

What about breakfast or lunches? no

Any special dietary needs, i.e. GF, DF, Organic, no soy, etc? We keep kosher. My dh can not have soy but that does not seem to be much of a problem... I get quite a bit of organic foods, but by no means all....

Where do you shop? Publix. local kosher market. a few things I know are cheaper at whole foods - but that is not too often (their 365 brand). I get all my produce through an organic produce buying club. It saves a ton.

ETA: Any tips? Co-op or CSA for veggies and anything else you can get through them....

when I started combining coupons with sales my spending went from $600 a month to less than $400 on most months.

I'm Andrea - I have three boys - 12 year old twins & an 11 year old

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#12 of 41 Old 02-12-2009, 04:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks to all those that responded. I'd like to be able to do $400/month! I have been studying the meal planning threads!
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#13 of 41 Old 02-15-2009, 10:42 PM
 
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What is your monthly food budget? $400

How many people are you feeding? 2 adults and 1 dog

Do you meal plan for dinners? Yes. We make a list each week before we go grocery shopping of what we will be having.

What about breakfast or lunches? Yes. Same as above.

Any special dietary needs, i.e. GF, DF, Organic, no soy, etc? We buy organic, local when possible, eat little meat, but what meat we do eat is organic and pasture-raised. We eat free-range, organic eggs.

Where do you shop? Whole Foods, farmer's market

ETA: Any tips? Join a CSA now before they fill up for the summer, check farms around you in the spring to see if you can buy a whole pig, half beef, etc. It's way cheaper. Keep an eye on freecycle for freezers, then you have room for extra stuff - you can freeze those last green beans before they go bad, or buy that whole pig and freeze it, etc.
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#14 of 41 Old 02-20-2009, 04:28 PM
 
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How much do you spend a month? $500


How many people are you feeding? 5- 2 adults and 3 kids

Do you meal plan for dinners? Yes.

What about breakfast or lunches? Lunches for grownups is always leftovers and the kids have peanut butter and jelly most days. Breakfasts are planned (mostly home made pancakes waffles and muffins)

Any special dietary needs, i.e. GF, DF, Organic, no soy, etc? no

Where do you shop? Giant Eagle, ShopnSave, Walmart and a monthly trip to Sams Club

ETA: Any tips?
I plan dinners around the store circulars (I can get mine online). My snacks are planned so for eg I know that every Tuesday morning the kids will have yogurt for snacks, so if I see a good sale I stock up. We shop mostly by the list. ESPECIALLY if dh has gone to the store. If it's not on the list he has to call and ask otherwise he spends insane amounts of money. We do NOT get any chips, granola bars, snacky foods, premade dinners because they all cost so much. I save any money left at the end of the month (if I don't spend all 500) and use that to Stockpile from Frankferd Farms (they sell organic flour and such that I can buy in 25 pound bags). I use dry beans because if you plan out your meals you know which nights to soak them, it's not hard and it saves money.
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#15 of 41 Old 02-20-2009, 05:01 PM
 
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We spend probably around $300-400 a month. Thats for 4 people (me, DH, my Dad and my DS age 2), buying mostly organic. ~50 of that goes to dairy (milk & cheese), and ~300 is spent through my co-op. The rest is random, missalaneous stuff from the grocery. I buy in bulk through my co-op and thereby can wait for sales on what we eat. I only vaguely meal plan in that I generally try to know what I'm making a week ahead of time for dinners. breakfast & lunch are really random.
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#16 of 41 Old 02-21-2009, 11:07 PM
 
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My spending went down since I started combining coupons with sales. I did this through www.grocerygame.com, which I found to be pretty helpful, and fun.

Doing my best every day with DH , DD (11) , and DS (4)

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#17 of 41 Old 02-22-2009, 10:47 AM
 
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granolalight- can you tell me a little bit about www.grocerygame.com,? I have not started with coupons yet, but hope to soon.
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#18 of 41 Old 03-15-2009, 08:42 PM
 
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What is your monthly food budget? $200/mo grocery, $50/mo meat

How many people are you feeding? 2 adults, a 20-month-old, and a 2-month-old (through nursing).

Do you meal plan for dinners? What about breakfast or lunches? Dinners, yes. Breakfast, no. Lunch is leftovers first, whatever you want next.

Any special dietary needs, i.e. GF, DF, Organic, no soy, etc? Not really.

Where do you shop? 90% Aldi, 5% our local butcher, 5% Wal-mart. However, a lot of things we just make here at home, including bread, tortillas, soups, broth, etc.


I take cash. That way I can't possibly spend more than I have. I've had to put things back before (and man, is that embarrasing) but I never go over. We do not buy soda, chips, cookies, etc. We do a LOT of soups, stews, casseroles... and a LOT of crock pot meals (like, 6 out of 7 days a week is crock pot.).

However, even on only $250/mo, I think we eat awesome. We're never lacking. There's always veggies, at least a little meat, etc. We don't do organic though... it really doesn't appeal to me. We do do whole grain, pretty traditional-food diet stuff.

Maybe I'm just lucky but I've never understood how some people's grocery bills can be so high! Are we just in a lower COL area or something? I can't imagine spending $800/month on groceries! Heck, that's half our monthly pay.
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#19 of 41 Old 03-15-2009, 09:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What is your monthly food budget? $200/mo grocery, $50/mo meat

How many people are you feeding? 2 adults, a 20-month-old, and a 2-month-old (through nursing).

Do you meal plan for dinners? What about breakfast or lunches? Dinners, yes. Breakfast, no. Lunch is leftovers first, whatever you want next.

Any special dietary needs, i.e. GF, DF, Organic, no soy, etc? Not really.

Where do you shop? 90% Aldi, 5% our local butcher, 5% Wal-mart. However, a lot of things we just make here at home, including bread, tortillas, soups, broth, etc.


I take cash. That way I can't possibly spend more than I have. I've had to put things back before (and man, is that embarrasing) but I never go over. We do not buy soda, chips, cookies, etc. We do a LOT of soups, stews, casseroles... and a LOT of crock pot meals (like, 6 out of 7 days a week is crock pot.).

However, even on only $250/mo, I think we eat awesome. We're never lacking. There's always veggies, at least a little meat, etc. We don't do organic though... it really doesn't appeal to me. We do do whole grain, pretty traditional-food diet stuff.

Maybe I'm just lucky but I've never understood how some people's grocery bills can be so high! Are we just in a lower COL area or something? I can't imagine spending $800/month on groceries! Heck, that's half our monthly pay.
Thanks for posting. We are officially off food stamps. I don't know if you all want me to tell you about my experience last time I went, but I walked out. It was sad. Anywho, so this week I am starting on our own! I am going to make a meal plan for the week for dinners, buy a crockpot off craigslist and I LOVE YOUR CASH IDEA! That way you can only spend what you take! Love it!
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#20 of 41 Old 03-15-2009, 09:46 PM
 
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What is your monthly food budget? around 1400 a month

How many people are you feeding? 6

Do you meal plan for dinners? 5 out of 7 nights

Any special dietary needs, i.e. GF, DF, Organic, no soy, etc? we eat traditional foods, mostly. 95% organic and local when possible.

Where do you shop? my local consumer-owned coop/hfs or whole foods, also local organic butcher and local baker for good sourdough bread.
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#21 of 41 Old 03-16-2009, 12:04 AM
 
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Maybe I'm just lucky but I've never understood how some people's grocery bills can be so high! Are we just in a lower COL area or something?
your kids are still young

I'm Andrea - I have three boys - 12 year old twins & an 11 year old

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#22 of 41 Old 03-16-2009, 08:16 AM
 
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Thanks for posting. We are officially off food stamps. I don't know if you all want me to tell you about my experience last time I went, but I walked out. It was sad. Anywho, so this week I am starting on our own! I am going to make a meal plan for the week for dinners, buy a crockpot off craigslist and I LOVE YOUR CASH IDEA! That way you can only spend what you take! Love it!
An awesome crockpot resource is http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/. It's a woman who made a new year's pledge to crockpot for a whole year - and she did it. She posted all her recipes. Some of them can be pricy but often you can substitute with lower-priced ingredients and still get the same result. Sometimes I think I live on that site, I crockpot cook so much...
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#23 of 41 Old 03-16-2009, 08:17 AM
 
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your kids are still young
Ugh, that's very true. . Does that mean I should start saving up now so I can afford grocery bills in a few years?
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#24 of 41 Old 03-16-2009, 05:02 PM
 
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What is your monthly food budget?
It's supposed to be $400/month but I hit a little snag when I first became single and I was actually spending about $600 due to convenience items, but I'm getting back on track now.

How many people are you feeding?
1 adult, 2 preschoolers

Do you meal plan for dinners? What about breakfast or lunches?

Breakfasts are all the same every morning, and lunches for the kids are through the schools, my lunches are leftovers or convenience foods. I do meal plan for dinners, but their going through their picky phases right now so there's really not a lot of variety they'd be willing to eat anyway, so "planning" is not that hard.

Any special dietary needs, i.e. GF, DF, Organic, no soy, etc?
No

Where do you shop?
Super One, Super Evil Walmart


ETA: Any tips?

make a price book, always check sales before buying anything.

Single mom of 2 boys
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#25 of 41 Old 03-16-2009, 07:52 PM
 
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Ugh, that's very true. . Does that mean I should start saving up now so I can afford grocery bills in a few years?

I'm Andrea - I have three boys - 12 year old twins & an 11 year old

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#26 of 41 Old 03-16-2009, 08:29 PM
 
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What is your monthly food budget? $750/month

How many people are you feeding? 6-2 adults, 4 kids, and I sometimes babysit

Do you meal plan for dinners? Yes. Every Thursday I start for the next week (dh gets paid on Fridays and I usually go on Saturdays to the store).

What about breakfast or lunches? Yes....I try to do cereal about 1-2 a week (only because it is so darn expensive!)

Any special dietary needs, i.e. GF, DF, Organic, no soy, etc? Nope

Where do you shop? Our local Stater Bros.

ETA: Any tips? I usually go through our store ad to see what kind of meat is on sale, and make my meals from that. Homemade snacks (banana bread, muffins, etc.) Take only cash with you!!!! Only buy whats on sale (easier said then done, but our store usually has lots on sale so I really luck out).
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#27 of 41 Old 03-21-2009, 08:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by riaketty View Post
What is your monthly food budget? $200/mo grocery, $50/mo meat

How many people are you feeding? 2 adults, a 20-month-old, and a 2-month-old (through nursing).

Do you meal plan for dinners? What about breakfast or lunches? Dinners, yes. Breakfast, no. Lunch is leftovers first, whatever you want next.

Any special dietary needs, i.e. GF, DF, Organic, no soy, etc? Not really.

Where do you shop? 90% Aldi, 5% our local butcher, 5% Wal-mart. However, a lot of things we just make here at home, including bread, tortillas, soups, broth, etc.


I take cash. That way I can't possibly spend more than I have. I've had to put things back before (and man, is that embarrasing) but I never go over. We do not buy soda, chips, cookies, etc. We do a LOT of soups, stews, casseroles... and a LOT of crock pot meals (like, 6 out of 7 days a week is crock pot.).

However, even on only $250/mo, I think we eat awesome. We're never lacking. There's always veggies, at least a little meat, etc. We don't do organic though... it really doesn't appeal to me. We do do whole grain, pretty traditional-food diet stuff.

Maybe I'm just lucky but I've never understood how some people's grocery bills can be so high! Are we just in a lower COL area or something? I can't imagine spending $800/month on groceries! Heck, that's half our monthly pay.
i would LOVE to know how you do this. even with young kids. what does a week of meals look like for you? what do you make at home? tia........cuz i need a 250 food budgette, 500 would even be fine. sorry no imput to the op. in a similar but different boat.
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#28 of 41 Old 03-23-2009, 11:32 AM
 
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We spend a disgusting amount of money on food. My husband has no concept of saving, or coupon cutting, and he goes food shopping a few times a month and will blow an ungodly amount on FROZEN junk that only he eats. It really makes me angry, and after reading this I'm banning him from the market.

Food Budget: 1,000 roughly.
Feeding: Two adults, 1 toddler.
Do you plan meals: We work from home, so all meals are eaten here. I plan dinners, and breakfasts but lunch everyone is on their own. I stock up on cheeses, wraps, carrots, soups, and other quick foods.
No dietary needs
We shop at: Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and A&P. I try to get all organic, and locally grown. When the farmers market opens we will go there!

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#29 of 41 Old 03-23-2009, 11:54 AM
 
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Hi!

Our food budget is $350.00 ish per month (a little more if there are special b-day dinners involved)
We feed: 8 people: 3 teens; 1 10yo; a preschooler; a toddler; a preggo mama; and dad
Yes! We plan meals!
We have a bit of a dietary issue as one son is a Type 1 diabetic.
We shop at: Aldi, Walmart, Festival Foods & Copps (for produce when there are no farmer's markets around), Bakery thrift store and Salvage (dented can) stores.

tip? Don't buy any pre-made desserts, snack cakes, etc - home make anything you want for a treat - it's cheaper, healthier and keeps kids from getting used to it being around.

I have lots of tips on eating organically and frugally on my blog and there are other great ones like stretcher.com and frugalvillage.com!

Unschooling, writer mom of Matt, 22; Lydia, 21; Alex, 18; Liam, 16; Jack, 9; Kiara, 7; Seamus, 5; Anais, 1 and ??? May 2015. About to hit the road in an RV full time. Currently live off grid in Alaska.
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#30 of 41 Old 03-23-2009, 12:44 PM
 
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