USDA Food Plan Estimates $ - Where do you fall/what do you think? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 43 Old 12-20-2011, 08:46 AM
 
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I would say we are between thrifty and low-cost plan and we are a family of 3 even though My dh eats enough for 2 people sometimes.  It makes the servings on the recipes inadequate for my family.  We buy meat because my dh thinks it should be at every meal, I mostly shop on post as well and sales at Safeway, and maybe once a month at Sam's club.  I would really like to reduce our grocery spending still because we can barely afford it.

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#32 of 43 Old 12-20-2011, 11:57 AM
 
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We come in somewhere between the low-cost and moderate plans, once I do the adjustment for a 6 person family. However, I don't separate out our groceries from other things we buy at the grocery store (toiletries, cleaning products, sometimes socks/underwear, occasional batteries, stationery supplies, an odd crossword book or some such). I think our actual groceries come in pretty close to the low-cost plan. We eat a fair bit of meat (not every meal, but almost every dinner, and an occasional lunch or breakfast), and buy some things organic, but not all.

 

These plans confuse me, though. They don't really account for varying prices in different places. (I remember reading someone here talking about butter going from $0.99/pound to $1.29/pound, and she was stressed out. While I sympathise with the huge jump, percentage-wise, I can't get butter, even on sale, for under $3.00/pound, and it's usually closer to $4.00. That's a fairly major discrepancy. That kind of thing makes it hard to assess spending, imo.)

 

I'm trying to get back to making my own bread and few other things that I used to do. There never seem to be enough hours in the day, or enough energy in me, these days. I need to get on it, though. The price of bread makes me cringe...even aside from all the crap that's in most brands!

 


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#33 of 43 Old 12-20-2011, 05:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragana View Post

 farmers' markets only in the summer (and then they're not cheaper than the grocery store, just better stuff).
 
That's the way it is here, too. The farmer's markets (when they're available) cost the same as the grocery store (sometimes more). The quality is usually better (although one of our local grocery stores has some decent quality local produce, too), but it's no cheaper...and I have to drive farther to get there, since I have two grocery stores within a mile of my house, and no farmer's markets anywhere near that close...except the berry place up the hill...yummy.
 
My best price on organic eggs, for example, is $3.29/dozen, which I'm sure makes most of you cringe. Organic ground beef is $4.99/lb. at Costco, $5.99 otherwise, etc. etc.
 
umm...wow. I pay $6.99/dozen for free range organic eggs (we eat a lot of eggs, so I stock up whenever they go on sale), and non-organic ground beef, on sale, is about $4.00/lb...$5.00/lb and up if not on sale. I haven't even priced organic recently. The variances in regional cost of food blow my mind.


 


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#34 of 43 Old 12-20-2011, 07:22 PM
 
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Wow, this is kind of bizarre.  My family of four is at the low-cost plan almost to the dollar - and I do most of our shopping at Whole Foods!

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#35 of 43 Old 12-20-2011, 07:29 PM
 
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I would say low to moderate for us.  We also include toiletries and the like in our weekly shopping so that accounts for some of the cost.  All in all, we spend a max of about $80/week for a family of three (that also includes DH's vitamins, coffee, cat food, litter, etc.).  We're fortunate in that we belong to a large food co-op that only does a 21% mark-up (as opposed to a 50% or even 100% mark-up).  We're mostly vegan so we don't eat cheeses or meats.  Another variable is that DD has a food plan at school, so that cost is incurred in August of each year.  We live in a small apartment and don't have a car, so stockpiling isn't really an option for us at this juncture in life.  Despite this, I feel as though we eat pretty darn good and don't spend a lot for those good eats.


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#36 of 43 Old 12-28-2011, 02:14 PM
 
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We're well below the thrifty plan with 2 adults and 3 children ages 2,3 and 4. Even including our WIC benefits for our foster children which total about $150, then we spend $400/mo. The thrifty pan would have at us at about $650/mo so we're doing $550/mo. We are in expensive so Cal, don't buy many organics anymore and eat flexitarian.

When I was working, pre-kids and we were eating TF and even more specialty diets like SCD or paleo type ones just DH and I were in the liberal plan at about $800/mo.

I go back and forth between wanting to scrounge our budget in every area so we can eat organic, local, etc. But then I go back to being in solidarity with the average American who doesn't have a choice. Someone on food stamps can't buy from CSAs, people on WIC can't get raw milk, etc. I just try to feed my family as healthy as I can with what our economy has thrown at us. I'd rather be an example to someone on food stamps that you can eat whole foods on a budget, even non-organic ones then follow an esoteric diet. I guess for those who still believe strongly enough in those kind of diets it will help sway the support towards local, sustainable, organic, etc. eventually. Once CSAs will take EBT (I know some farmer's markets do, wohoo!) and organic is an option with WIC then I will be happy =).


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#37 of 43 Old 01-03-2012, 08:22 PM
 
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We are low income (students here) and get FS for just two of the three people in our family which is $340/month.  So that's what we live off of.  Usually we run a bit low at the end of the month and have to eat dry goods out of the pantry or frozen veggies in the freezer, but usually it's about right.  The only times I think we falter is when we do buy some pre-made stuff, like veggie nuggets for DS.  I am gone all the time as a nursing student and DH is not really an avid cook..he'll follow a recipe if I plan it and lay it in front of him, but he's not really all that creative in the meal department.  Thus, sometimes it is really a life-saver to have some ready to go stuff.  I do cook in bulk and freeze (though have to store at MIL's since our freezer is itty-bitty) when I have breaks or long weekends and that helps too!  We have had dry spells before, when FS have lapsed and we have lived off as little as $150/month, though I can guarantee that we were NOT healthy then! 


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#38 of 43 Old 01-04-2012, 07:28 PM
 
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I spend about $100/wk on groceries for a family of 7. We do get some milk and veggies from the kids daycare (low income) once a week and dinner with grandma 1-2 days a week. I do a lot of couponing and buy very little meat. There is more packaged food than I would like in our diet. I'm want to get more homemade meals in there, that's why I'm in the meal planning forum.

 

I would love to see butter at $1/lb I just bought a couple pounds on sale for $3.29, store brand at that. Meat.... I got hamburger for $3.49 on sale this week. Despite living in a "fishing town" seafood is out of budget, way out, at the supermarket.


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#39 of 43 Old 01-05-2012, 07:39 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Azreial View Post

I spend about $100/wk on groceries for a family of 7. We do get some milk and veggies from the kids daycare (low income) once a week and dinner with grandma 1-2 days a week. I do a lot of couponing and buy very little meat. There is more packaged food than I would like in our diet. I'm want to get more homemade meals in there, that's why I'm in the meal planning forum.

 

I would love to see butter at $1/lb I just bought a couple pounds on sale for $3.29, store brand at that. Meat.... I got hamburger for $3.49 on sale this week. Despite living in a "fishing town" seafood is out of budget, way out, at the supermarket.




Wow.  Would you mind sharing what some of your typical meals are?  $100/wk is fantastic!  I spent that last week but we have a freezer full of meat, plus I had to buy $40 of canning stuff because I got about 60 gallons or so of crabapples!


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#40 of 43 Old 01-05-2012, 10:44 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Azreial View Post

I would love to see butter at $1/lb I just bought a couple pounds on sale for $3.29, store brand at that. Meat.... I got hamburger for $3.49 on sale this week. Despite living in a "fishing town" seafood is out of budget, way out, at the supermarket.


Oh, yeah - I only buy store brand (unless I need unsalted - usually for Christmas baking - because the store brand doesn't come in unsalted). It's comparable ot what you pay...usually $3.89/lb. The somewhat better name brand is $5.49...and the organic (don't even think it's from pastured, grass-fed, cows) is...think it's $6.79 for a half pound (I don't check it very often, because it's too depressing).


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#41 of 43 Old 01-05-2012, 11:03 AM
 
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Ok so I was going over my budget and I'm spending 300 every 3 weeks at Costco.  Then I pick up a few things here and there at the store, which looks like about 20 to 50 a week. So I'll go for an average of 35... so 440 for 4 people, 3 dogs and a cat.  I think the cat eats more than the dogs.  I do buy some organic and I spend quite a bit on fruits and veggies.  Which in themselves can be meals for my girls.  DD2 eats all the bananas and DD1 eats all the apples... sometimes I get an apple...  I do make a lot of muffins and such my girls and DH are bread lovers.  I hate bread.  Not much milk is being used in our house anymore and the girls are not into cereal but love oatmeal.  I think oatmeal helps us out a lot since DD1 could eat oatmeal and apples all day everyday.  I buy what every one likes and generally do not spluge on junk.  Like everyone would be happy with soup and sandwiches for lunch and dinner and oatmeal for breakfast... EVERYDAY!  Odd ducks.  I on the other hand would be happy with steamed veggies and rice everyday.  So I"m a little out there too. 

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#42 of 43 Old 01-07-2012, 02:51 PM
 
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I live in Oz, so I don't know if my opinion counts, but I would fall somewhere between low cost and thrifty, leaning more towards thrifty most weeks. 

I do buy some organic/specialty foods (vegan) which tend to bump the costs up somewhat. 


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#43 of 43 Old 01-14-2012, 06:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laohaire View Post

Everyone always says this chart is a huge overestimate, but I fall in the low-cost plan (not the thrifty plan). And that feels ok to me because I certainly worry about the cost of food and hardly going out and buying caviar (or even avocados - that's a treat for me). Most people say that they spend about half of the thrifty plan and don't even feel the pinch.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoBabyMaker View Post

We fall somewhere between low-cost and thrifty.  Not that I trust anything from the government but that makes me feel pretty good.  Sheepish.gif


This isn't an overestimate at all for our area.  I would be at about the low cost plan- this chart makes me feel way better about it too. $150 a week is a stretch, we seem to always be out of food.  Part of it is that we can't eat anything cheap like rice, wheat pasta, potatoes because of allergies. 

 

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