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#61 of 83 Old 01-23-2014, 09:39 AM
 
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Thanks so much for this thread! I spend between $600 and $700 per month for our family of 4, including all household products, and I've been feeling like a terrible failure! I keep thinking we should be closer to $400/month for some reason, but it sounds like we're actually pretty average. It's crazy that groceries can be such a huge cost -- that's our biggest expense after our mortgage!


I hear you. It's our biggest expense after rent, and actually approaches what we pay for rent.


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#62 of 83 Old 01-23-2014, 09:48 AM
 
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For those who can spare the expense, there's probably nothing shameful in spending a lot on food.  I've heard it said before that too many people really try too hard to save on food when it deserves a lot of attention.  It's food, for goodness sake.  Nourishment.


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#63 of 83 Old 01-23-2014, 11:29 AM
 
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For those who can spare the expense, there's probably nothing shameful in spending a lot on food.  I've heard it said before that too many people really try too hard to save on food when it deserves a lot of attention.  It's food, for goodness sake.  Nourishment.


So true.  It makes me really sad to think about the cost difference organic makes, and eating raw (as in prepared snack bars, ect).  food is our biggest expense because I just cant bring myself to buy non organic stuff.  it totally doesn't make sense to me either.  why is organic so expensive?!  I cant wait till garden season!

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#64 of 83 Old 01-23-2014, 09:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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For those who can spare the expense, there's probably nothing shameful in spending a lot on food.  I've heard it said before that too many people really try too hard to save on food when it deserves a lot of attention.  It's food, for goodness sake.  Nourishment.
Yes right on mama! And because of all the mass produced food we are given the notion that food is cheap but in actuality food is expensive and worth it because we put it in our body. The other day I calculated an organic orange for my son it it was about 50 cents and I thought" that is expensive" then I thought" well he loves them and a candy bar costs about the same... Why would that be worth it" so I bought it .., actually the whole crate of oranges.
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#65 of 83 Old 01-23-2014, 10:35 PM
 
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Yeah food is an okay area to spend more on if you're getting decent quality stuff. I'd much rather eat whole foods and spend $200 a week than eat kd and pop tarts and spend $150.

Plus getting sick costs money too and eating well can help keep us healthy.
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#66 of 83 Old 01-23-2014, 11:45 PM
 
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We are a family of 4 and eat organic dairy, meat and the dirty dozen list. Seattle is pretty spendy. We spend $800-$1000 and that is watching our budget.
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#67 of 83 Old 01-24-2014, 12:49 AM
 
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For those who can spare the expense, there's probably nothing shameful in spending a lot on food.  I've heard it said before that too many people really try too hard to save on food when it deserves a lot of attention.  It's food, for goodness sake.  Nourishment.

I think the key here is "who can spare the expense." I would love to buy organic. Actually, I used to, but after child #2 we just didn't have the money to do so. My goal is not to spend as little as possible, my goal is to stay out of debt AND buy nutritious foods. Unfortunately, that can be a hard combination. I like hearing how other folks cut on expenses while maintaing quality. I also like to hear where they ultimately have to draw the line. It helps me answer those questions for myself.

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#68 of 83 Old 01-24-2014, 06:29 AM
 
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@pp you're absolutely right, buying good food has become a privilege that some can't afford. I watched a documentary on food in America and it showed very poor families who couldn't rationalize buying any whole foods because the processed stuff (fast food especially) is so much cheaper. I remember the father comparing an apple to a burger at a fast food joint, both were around $1 but the apple wasn't filling enough so his family are the burgers. It really sad. And knowing that meat is so cheap becuse of factory farming, which involves mass torture of animals, makes it even more sad.
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#69 of 83 Old 01-24-2014, 06:37 AM
 
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I think the key here is "who can spare the expense." I would love to buy organic. Actually, I used to, but after child #2 we just didn't have the money to do so. My goal is not to spend as little as possible, my goal is to stay out of debt AND buy nutritious foods. Unfortunately, that can be a hard combination. I like hearing how other folks cut on expenses while maintaing quality. I also like to hear where they ultimately have to draw the line. It helps me answer those questions for myself.


This is the same boat I'm in.  I'm paying more attention to the dirty dozen list, but organic foods aren't a shopping priority for me at this time.  A couple of grocery stores in town have "local" sections (we live near farms) and those tend to have less pesticide while still being cheap.


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#70 of 83 Old 01-25-2014, 01:21 PM
 
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We spend at least $1,000 a month for a family of four (my husband and son have endless pits for stomachs). We are in San Francisco and despite meal planning, cooking mainly vegetarian from scratch, I am having a difficult time getting it less than what it is. I find that "Super Foods" we add to smoothies and other recipes are very expensive as well (chia seeds, hemp, bee pollen, etc). Sometimes it ends up being cheaper to go out, so once a week we get Chipotle or something inexpensive to go.  

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#71 of 83 Old 01-25-2014, 02:11 PM
 
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We spend at least $1,000 a month for a family of four (my husband and son have endless pits for stomachs). We are in San Francisco and despite meal planning, cooking mainly vegetarian from scratch, I am having a difficult time getting it less than what it is. I find that "Super Foods" we add to smoothies and other recipes are very expensive as well (chia seeds, hemp, bee pollen, etc). Sometimes it ends up being cheaper to go out, so once a week we get Chipotle or something inexpensive to go.  

 

Try Costco and amazon subscribe and save to see if you can find cheaper prices on "super foods."


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#72 of 83 Old 01-25-2014, 05:40 PM
 
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Per week we generally buy 1 or 2 boxes of tomato, 1 bag of dried beans, some lentils and/or quinoa and/or rice, a couple of different low priced veg* preferably on sale, cheese, milk, eggs, hummus, peanut butter, crackers (although I'll go back to making those soon), tortillas (will be making those again soon), extra firm tofu, raisins, peanuts, and oatmeal or cream of wheat. On occasion I'll buy bananas, in season apples, sour cream, one or two bags of frozen veg, a bag of frozen strawberries. I also try to shoot for bi-weekly trips to our local coop for $20 of meat, but sometimes we go longer than 2 weeks before we go. We get all bone in meats that we can use to make stock, and I shoot for less than $3.50/lb for humanely raised, hormone free, clean and natural (preferably local) meat. Lots of bone in pork butt and whole chickens.

 

*Among the low priced veg we get are sweet potato, cabbage, carrots, squash and anything on sale for a good price. Unfortunately we can't afford organic right now. Also, as you can see we're semi-vegetarian by necessity.

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#73 of 83 Old 01-26-2014, 11:59 AM
 
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Thank you, greenkri. That's very helpful.


Mom "D" to DD1 "Z" (14) and DD2 "I" (11) DH "M"

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#74 of 83 Old 01-27-2014, 07:46 PM
 
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Maybe it depends on where you live? We are a family of 3 - local, vegan, organic, in season, and our monthly budget is $300, not including the $400 yearly membership for our local CSA. 

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#75 of 83 Old 01-29-2014, 03:01 PM
 
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This is a great question and I always have a hard time answering it.  We buy our grass fed beef from the farmer in large bulk (100-200lbs at a time).  I also pick/grow a lot of fruit and veggies in the summer and freeze them.

 

So, for everything else we buy, it's about $120/week for a family of 4.  It would be remarkably higher if I had to buy meat each week.


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#76 of 83 Old 01-31-2014, 10:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh I just dislike when I go over our budget. I spent $70 more on groceries ..... Oops
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#77 of 83 Old 03-01-2014, 06:18 PM
 
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$1000 for a family of eight. That includes all non food stuff too like toiletries, ziploc bags, diapers, etc. Yes, I know cloth is cheaper.

It's spent approximately like this:
$225 local organic produce boxes
$250 bulk meat orders, some organic and some natural
$25 misc grocery store produce
$150 milk, butter, eggs, yogurt, cream, cheese; some organic some conventional
$150 packaged/premade food, everything from rice to potato chips, mix of organic and conventional
$50 baking and basic cooking supplies, mostly organic some gluten free
$50 misc non food items
$50 toiletries
$50 diapers and wipes
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#78 of 83 Old 03-03-2014, 10:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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$1000 for a family of eight. That includes all non food stuff too like toiletries, ziploc bags, diapers, etc. Yes, I know cloth is cheaper.

It's spent approximately like this:
$225 local organic produce boxes
$250 bulk meat orders, some organic and some natural
$25 misc grocery store produce
$150 milk, butter, eggs, yogurt, cream, cheese; some organic some conventional
$150 packaged/premade food, everything from rice to potato chips, mix of organic and conventional
$50 baking and basic cooking supplies, mostly organic some gluten free
$50 misc non food items
$50 toiletries
$50 diapers and wipes
That is incredible!
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#79 of 83 Old 03-05-2014, 09:40 PM
 
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We spend soooo much on groceries but like many of you, I think it's worth it.

But it's crazy how much we spend... Maybe... $700-800 for 2 adults and a baby!?$%?*%

And I buy a lot of stuff from Save-a-lot (mostly frozen dinners for my husband when I work evenings, frozen fish, cheese, lots of cans, sugar, coffee). But I go to the coop and buy local/organic stuff in bulk (flour, grains, nuts, spices, etc) and most veggies in season. I don't eat out, buy as much on sale as possible, bring lunches to work, somehow I feel like it should be cheaper... BUT we do like our crawfish and shrimp every once in a while :P


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#80 of 83 Old 03-13-2014, 12:20 AM
 
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A family of 5 in San Diego County and we spend around $400-$500 a month in groceries. We eat fairly well, but it's not all organic either. And I'm okay with that. If I ate only organic, it would be close to $1000 a month. And guess what? I don't have $1000 a month to spend on groceries. I have $500, and that's actually a lot of $$ to spend on food. What I'm trying to say is that you usually spend what you have. You can't spend $$ you don't have. I don't have $1k, so I don't spend it. Simple. 

 

How do I get the most bang for my buck? I plan my meals solely around what is on sale. I scour the ads, and my coupons, and that's what I buy. If something is a rockin' deal...I stock up. 3 lbs of chicken thighs for $6...I stocked up. Cereal is $1.25 with sale/coupons...I buy more. If there isn't a deal to be had, I sometimes don't buy anything because I have enough from a previous stock up. I also shop at multiple places for food and PLAN....and stick to the PLAN! I buy my regular groceries at one place, my toiletries at another, and my produce at another store. It takes up one morning a week, but then we don't go to the store again. 

 

What do I use coupons for???: toliet paper, toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoo, conditioner, soap, hair gel, feminine products, dishwasher detergent, laundry detergent, fabric softeners, dishwasher soap, deodorant, tinfoil, ziploc bags, qtips, make up, sunscreen- toiletry items. I am not brand loyal at all. I don't use paper towels or napkins ( all cloth) or diapers ( use cloth) . 

 

I also use coupons on : granola/cereal type bars for my kids lunches, yogurt, cheese, canned goods- beans, diced tomatoes, broth, soup- , pasta, pasta sauces, rice, sugar, flou, apple sauce. I also shop at a store that uses online coupons. 

 

So, although I hear very often that " there aren't coupons for the things I buy". I"m sure you buy something from my list. 

 

And like I said before, you spend what you have. If I had $1000 for groceries, I would probably buy more....buy more organic. 

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#81 of 83 Old 03-13-2014, 04:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You are exactly right. We spend $575 on mostly organic so I guess we do have the money. We also choose to make our toothpaste, and mouthwashes, and make everything possible from scratch so that we can spend the extra cash on veggies and such. Good point!
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#82 of 83 Old 03-13-2014, 04:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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And since we are all on a budget , I am loving this site
http://www.budgetbytes.com
So simple and cheap and the recipes can be altered.
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#83 of 83 Old 04-07-2014, 12:49 AM
 
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^

That is a wonderful site, going to be very useful because I'm in charge of my family's grocery buying.

 

I live with a family of 8, all girls, so it's understandable that we could spend quite a lot on our weekly grocery bills. Our weekly spend ranges between £500 and £850 and the reason for this swing depends on our girly needs appertaining to body care products and household cleaning. Fortunately we make our own bread and grow enough fruit and vegetables to keep our weekly shopping bill in the £500 mark. The high price of bread per loaf in our British supermarkets can make it difficult for young families on a tight budget. As bread is invariably eaten with meals, not just sammiches, the weekly spend alone could be anything between £7.50 and £14 depending on the quality of a loaf. Makes good sense then, to make your own bread and cakes, though this depends if you're a SAHM. Recently, UK food nutritionalists said we should up our 5-a-day to 7-a-day. All very well, but the cost of fresh fruit and vegetables isn't cheap in the UK. It really is horrendous.

 

I divide my time between home and our family farm, but am fortunate in having a nanny look after my little girl. Nevertheless I am in charge of budgeting for my family's grocery bills in addition to accounting for my fruit farm's business, though by rote everyone contributes to a large jar in the kitchen. Every week there is sufficient cash in the jar and we have never gone without.

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