How much do you spend on groceries? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 55 Old 01-05-2010, 06:16 PM
 
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TOTALLY worth it! It's FABULOUS and it was especially moving for me (for some reason) as a parent of very sensitive kiddos.
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#32 of 55 Old 01-05-2010, 06:26 PM
 
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Where on the Central Coast are you? I might be able to point you in a few directions.

We're not strict TF, I call it more Real Food. I normally do about $60-100 a week in groceries. I shop all around though, and have the opportunity to find a lot of small local suppliers. We're not doing much dairy right now, but I love Strauss milk. It is my favorite of all time.

Anyway, we live in a condo and have a very small kitchen and a stupid side by side, so we can't really purchase a lot in bulk, so I go pretty much the opposite. I try to eat the cupboards bare each week as much as possible and eat as seasonally as possible. I do try to put up some stuff for the 8 or so weeks in the winter where there is nothing really local coming out here, but that's about it. We really have nearly zero storage capability, and I need my freezer space for my beef order.

Starting in the spring, I'm going to get a pastured chicken every other week and hopefully not buy any more store chickens. I have been trying to convince a friend of mine to go in with me on a pig too.
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#33 of 55 Old 01-05-2010, 08:39 PM
 
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I searched and searched the website and couldn't find any information on specific drop points??
You need to call or email them and they will hook you up with the drop points in your area.

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#34 of 55 Old 01-06-2010, 10:03 AM
 
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I spend $400 tops a month for my family of 4 and we are GFCF. That includes seeds for the garden, cleaners, personal care and paper supplies (of which I buy extremely little). I do this by doing mega-bulk buying which is split among many families (I organize the group), using Frontier exclusively for my spices, using UNFI for the things I can't get elsewhere, then I fill in the gaps with Trader Joes, Wal-mart (I don't like it, but we've been unemployed since May so it is what it is) ethnic markets and a local organic salvage grocery store. The salvage store is a HUGE budget help. I cook from complete scratch, even make my own things that people consider to be ingredients, like ketchup, where it is cheaper to do so. Sometimes you can catch the organic ketchup at the salvage for less than I can make non-organic.

We also have 35 chickens and a huge garden. We are not currently producing a majority of our chicken meat, though. We don't have enough space to do 85-100 chickens a year, even in rotation. And the garden didn't do great this year due to the astronomical amount of rain. I planted 38 tomato plants and we wound up with 3 months worth of tomatoes.

ETA: I also shop in unconventional places, like buying my baking soda for cleaning in bulk from a pool supply store.

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#35 of 55 Old 01-06-2010, 01:37 PM
 
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ETA: I also shop in unconventional places, like buying my baking soda for cleaning in bulk from a pool supply store.
Ohhh, that's a great idea! I was wondering what I would do when my 12 lb bag from Costco runs out since we don't have a membership there anymore. Fortunately, I think I have a long while before that runs out - I guess I don't clean very much

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#36 of 55 Old 01-06-2010, 02:14 PM
 
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You can also get washing soda from there, too.

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#37 of 55 Old 01-06-2010, 05:29 PM
 
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We are moving to Whidbey Island, WA in a few weeks, so I am curious about this as well. I searched and searched the website and couldn't find any information on specific drop points??
I called, and they have two drop points in Seattle. Not sure if I should give out the info here, but if you call they will give you the contact information for the people in charge of those drop points

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#38 of 55 Old 01-06-2010, 10:21 PM
 
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Two adults, a 3 year old and a 9 month old... we spend at least $900 a month including diapers. This is Canadian dollars. I could easily spend more if I could.

I buy at local grocery stores that carry organic foods, as well as local farms. We're lucky to live in an area that has strong organic agriculture so it's easy for us to find grass-fed products including raw dairy, but yeah... it's pricey!

Things I've found to help are... eating lots of eggs, they are cheap and good sources of protein and nutrients (cheaper then steaks anyways!!). Lots of broth, I buy chickens whole and not in parts cause it's cheaper. I roast them then make broths. I find it important to eat steak regularly even if it's not grass-fed, I really feel a huge difference when I go without it. I also love Kefir and need to learn to make it myself cause it's pricey to buy....
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#39 of 55 Old 03-17-2010, 04:27 AM
 
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We are moving to Whidbey Island, WA in a few weeks, so I am curious about this as well. I searched and searched the website and couldn't find any information on specific drop points??
There is a drop point a few blocks from where you are going to be living :-) Got to come over and chat one of these days, lots to talk about :-)

Yes, I was stalking your posts this evening.

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#40 of 55 Old 03-17-2010, 04:30 AM
 
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Oh, and to keep this thread on topic, we spend about 600 a month. Raw milk is about 4 a half gallon, pastured eggs and meat. Joining a CSA this year, hope it will be fun. We follow the menu mailer quite a bit for our dinners.

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#41 of 55 Old 03-17-2010, 08:53 AM
 
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We spend about 600-640 a month for 2 adults and one 3 yo. We live in South Georgia where you'd think that food is cheap but not for organic or quality foods. We don't eat red meat but do eat poultry and seafood, along with lots of organic produce.

I spend about $100 a week at the Commissary (military grocery store), there I get: some of our organic produce, packaged foods, toiletries, chicken/turkey, frozen foods, and dog food.

I spend about $20 a week at the Farmer's Market in the off season, more like $30-35 in the growing season, where I get: free range eggs for $2/dozen, I usuallly buy 2 but sometimes we don't eat them all, organic produce (oranges, strawberries, potatoes, tomatoes, onions) in the off season, and blueberries for $8/gallon during season.

I spend another $40 a week at Publix which has the best selection of organic foods but they are the most expensive, there I get: Organic whole milk for $4.99/gal, organic apple bag for $4.99, organic raisins for $3, and sometimes I buy other stuff there too like other organic produce, seafood (they have the best selection).

Sometimes, maybe 1-2x a month I go to the Asian Market, where I spend $20-30 on specialty foods, like rice noodles, Asian produce, and spices.

Oh and about 1x a month I go to the Health Food Store, where I buy herbal extracts, specialty foods and spices, vitamins, or treats ($20-35).

So in my original estimate of $600-640 that can vary upwards of about $75 depending on how much we need that month.

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#42 of 55 Old 03-17-2010, 07:54 PM
 
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We spend $450 a month for our family of 4 (and my littles eat really well) We all eat low grains and go through a lot of meat and veggies. We have chickens and a veggie garden and we shop at the farmers market for most of our veggies and fruits. We don't have much money so I have to work really hard at staying in the budget. We buy items through Azure Standard(raw cheeses, beans, spices, misc) go to Cosco once a month and occassionally TJ's. We buy our grassfed all natural beef, goat and pork through the Chico State Meat Lab (they teach agriculture and you can buy their meat) which is a huge blessing at $2-4lb. All the dairy we eat and drink is raw except for the occasional Strauss cream. Either from the health store for $8 a HALF gallon or my friend brings me stuff from a farm out of town.

I cook everything from scratch and buy no convience foods, not even packaged breads. I cook meat about 4 times a week and the rest of the week we eat a lot of eggs, broths and beans or lentils.

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#43 of 55 Old 03-17-2010, 11:42 PM
 
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Well at least I am not alone LOL.. We spend about $650-$750 a month.. Raw milk, grassfed meat, all organic, weekly CSA, etc..
I am in Northern California

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#44 of 55 Old 03-18-2010, 11:16 PM
 
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Lol, I reread my old post, and now I shop almost completely differently! I've come a long way in 3 months. In December I was reading NT for the first time, now I'm really getting into it and getting comfortable.

><> I'm a Christian, knitting, sewing, cooking SAHM to the fearless adventurer Jack born 11/08, and  a  USCG wife
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#45 of 55 Old 03-24-2010, 07:42 PM
 
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We are a family of 5, with my kids being 7, almost 6 and 4, and so far we have spent about $380 this month on food, not including milk. We have our milk delivered from a local dairy, and spend about $65/mo on cream top milk, which is pastuerized, but not homogenized, and half & half. I started keeping track of our purchases on an Excel spreadsheet, to get a real picture of what we're spending. It has really helped me see where things are going.

Although we are transitioning to TF, we still do not eat strictly TF. Maybe someday... We buy at least 2 dz pastured eggs a week, at about $4.70 dz., 2-3 lbs nitrate/nitrite free Applegate bacon a month, and eat meat at virtually every dinner. I do tend to buy organic frozen veggies, mostly in the winter months. I just got a grain mill, so I hope to start baking my own bread as soon as I can figure out where to mount the mill. We also eat out too much, which isn't included in my totals above. That is one area we need to do much better with.

I mostly shop at a local hfs, a local natural supermarket, and our food coop. I try to avoid WF, unless I can really help it. Once in a while, I do have to go to a regular grocery store, but usually for things like alum. foil or something. Also, I can find good prices on organic yogurt at one of our regular grocery stores.

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#46 of 55 Old 03-24-2011, 01:29 PM
 
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I agree. I would like to know where everyone is shopping at if they only spend $80 to $120 a week for a family of 5. I use to spend that when we were a family of 3, bought conventional food (no organic), and prices were lower. Today, we spend at least $800 a month and still can not afford to buy organic grass fed meats. Organic raw milk in Arizona is $10 a gallon. I shop at Sprouts, Fry's, and WalMart. I do my best to buy items that are on sale and clip coupons. My family's health is important to me, so I am not willing to buy cheap processed foods. Please let me in on the secrets of spending $400-$600 for a family on an organic diet. I think people are just guessing in these blogs and have not actually calculated their monthly receipts. 

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#47 of 55 Old 03-24-2011, 01:39 PM
 
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Personally, I can say that I have calculated my receipts.  It really is that low.  We live on an uber-strict budget, because my income varies due to being self employed.  We know where every penny goes.

 

I think it depends on where you live.  I live in an area that is a hotbed for local foods.  Even the people who are otherwise conventional are into the local food movement here, and we've got tons of farmers.  There is a farmer's market every day of the week in some part of the city.  Organic doesn't mean expensive here.  We also have a chain of salvage stores that carries organic products.  The box might be dented, but who cares?  I can routinely get stuff at 50-75% off there because the box has one corner crushed.  I go into sticker shock every time I go into a health food store.


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#48 of 55 Old 03-24-2011, 07:36 PM
 
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Food prices are only going up these days... it stinks. Feeding my family healthy food is the only option. I try so hard to do everything I can to keep it to a minimum. We have no choice but to keep to a TIGHT budget. I penny pinch to the extreme, shopping in different stores,finding the best local deals, meal planning weekly, making my own ferments and condiments and cooking everything from scratch with the exception of bread. We're currently buying alverado st. sprouted breads and tortillas but I'm doing a sourdough starter this week for the first time. Can't wait.

 

All that to say... it takes about 1000.00 a month to COMFORTABLY feed our fam of 6. However, we make it work on 800.00/mo. It gets intense. We don't recieve any assistance and are self employed. It's our largest expense aside from rent. I'm ALWAY looking for frugal recipes and shortcuts for the budget. I usually comment weekly while making my menu on how rediculously expensive it is to feed ourselves in a country where food is in abundance and SO MUCH of it ends up in freaking dumpsters anyway.

 

Raw milk costs 10.00 a gallon - we use 3 gallons a week and limit use to 1 glass a day per person and other uses like cooking and adding to oats

Pastured local eggs are typically 3.75 a doz but I recenly found a little tiny vitamin store in town that sells them for 2.50!! - we use 4 dozen a week

 

We keep b-fast and lunch super simple. Eggs with fermented veggies and a slice of toast/soaked oats w fruit.

 

Lunches are occasional tiny amounts of leftovers ( they rarely exist due to keeping meals to the amount we will eat to keep cost low), dark leafy salad greens w/ dressing and whatever veggies we have on hand and a soft boiled eggs, cheese quesadillas on sprouted tortillas or a baked potato w broccoli. We try to fit in canned fish once in a while.

 

We tend do do at least 4 pastured meat meals and 3 meat-less.All but our chicken. No connect on that yet- currently getting no abx/hormone free "organic" but from a large mainstream store brand.

 

Low on grains for dinners.

 

Snacks are plain whole milk yogurt, fruit, veggies and sometimes crispy nuts

 

We do buy everything that we can organic.

 

It.is.not.cheap. But we're doing all we can to be as frugal as possible. Inching a little closer to self sufficiancy every day. Moving in May and getting our first flock of chickens!!


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#49 of 55 Old 03-26-2011, 03:12 PM
 
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$300.00 a weekfaint.gif for 2 adults and 2 toddlers with large appetites. We are GFCF and dh can't have anything with any kind of of pepper in it. We live at close to 10,000 feet in the mountains, so our growing season is pretty non existent but we do have our own chickens for eggs and meat. We eat organic 90%. I have tried so hard to bring down our grocery budget, but it really isn't possible. It's by far our largest bill every month.

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#50 of 55 Old 03-27-2011, 12:42 PM
 
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The lowest we've done was $55/wk with a pre-paid CSA (which ended up being about $35 a week though the value of the food in equivalent supermarket groceries was easily double). That was before we were eating meat, though. We also received WIC at the time which provided a bonus of about $150/mo. Sooo.....I guess that comes out to about $120/wk, and I felt like we were eating really well at that time, not going hungry or feeling malnourished, but definitely eating a lot of the same foods.

 

With our grocery money, we bought big bags of beans, brown rice, oatmeal/brown rice grits, sunflower seeds/walnuts in bulk when on sale, wheat and corn flour, the biggest "natural" cheese available, eggs, a big stash of tea, coconut oil when on sale, and the best butter I could find. The CSA fed us well! With a big base of greens, plenty of onions/garlic, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, squash, potato, YUM! I made a lot of casseroles, and we ate salad about twice a day. Plus I made tortillas and bread loaves weekly.

 

eta, I'd say we were about 80% or more organic at the time due to the CSA and scoring bulk organic staples.


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#51 of 55 Old 03-28-2011, 05:41 AM
 
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If it's any consolation, the price of food in NY is pretty obscene, too.  My family (two adults, 12yo, 9yo, 5yo & 3yo) is currently getting 650 a month in food stamps and it's not enough most months.  I can get local somewhat pastured (*sigh*) raw milk for $4 a gallon and eggs for $2-3 a dozen (though the farmer's market and health food stores ask 5+!!!), but produce, grassfed/pastured meat and staples are OBSCENELY expensive.  If I'm being  very careful, when I've got a pantry with a solid amount of staples (dried beans, grains, etc) I can get away with as low as $3 per person per day for a few weeks (or about 125 a week) but if I'm buying everything, it's closer to $5 per person per day (or about 210 a week).  If I'm not being super careful and get whatever produce I want (ugh, I hate rationing fruit!!!!), I can (and have!) easily spend 300+ a week on groceries.  Unfortunately, we only get 400 a week from unemployment, so not being careful just isn't an option right now.

 

I'm in the process of trying to get a coturnix quail setup before the spring so I won't have to buy eggs anymore.  If I can find rabbit hutches or cages, I can borrow my brother in law's incubator and hatch my own eggs.  There's a farm where I can get locally grown organic poultry feed for a good price and I can supplement it with bsf grubs.  Coturnix are laying machines -- they lay about 300 eggs per year each.  Yes, they're small (4 or 5 equals one chicken egg) but they don't need as much space as chickens.  You can even raise them indoors if need be.  They're easy to process, too, so you can use the excess males for meat and most of the females for egg laying.  It's cheap to get started, too, other than those darn hutches and cages.  *sigh*  Anyway, if anybody is interested in learning more about them, I highly recommend going to http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewforum.php?id=48.  They're good people!

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#52 of 55 Old 03-28-2011, 12:32 PM
 
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Well at least I am not alone LOL.. We spend about $650-$750 a month.. Raw milk, grassfed meat, all organic, weekly CSA, etc..
I am in Northern California

Yeah, here too. I remember when DH and I were first living together we had a $120/wk budget and that seemed so high! And now we spend about $200/wk if i'm lucky, not including the CSAs. I joined a meat CSA that cut my meat budget in half, but its still $200/mo. My veg CSA is about $100/mo. Pastured eggs are $6/dzn, milk is $12/gallon. DS' formula is about $30/wk, i'm glad he's starting to show signs of weaning. Interestingly enough I spend less when i'm grain free, since my grocery budget is independent of meat or veg.

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#53 of 55 Old 03-29-2011, 09:38 AM
 
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Wow, this is a really helpful thread.  I've been struggling to keep our bill (just my fiancé and me right now) under $500 a month and have not been able to do it, even with veggie and meat CSA's!  I guess it's just time to accept that we're going to have a higher grocery bill, and we need to make room for it by cutting back in other places, because it is probably the most important (to us) item on our spending plan.  Here I can get pastured eggs for $6/doz, raw milk for $13/gal, raw colostrum kefir for $2.75/qt, veg CSA is only $68-86/mo (depending on 4 or 5 week months), and meat CSA was $106/mo for 12 lb of meat but I just canceled it because we've started sourcing direct from farmers - got our first quarter hog last week.  I hope that will help bring down the cost of meat.  We don't get nearly enough seafood in our diet because of the cost.  :(


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#54 of 55 Old 03-30-2011, 12:14 AM
 
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Well, I made a purchase of 70 lbs of beef (none is ground beef though) and 20 whole chickens, so aside from that...

When i ONLY buy what is on my list for my meal plan (we use cookingTF mailers for the most part) I spent around 150. Maybe a little more if I have to buy things like coconut oil, or several new spices... EVERYTHING is expenive here:/ raw milk is 7 something a half gallon... i EASILY spend 30+/wk on apples... So, 600ish for a family of 5. When I meal plan. If I dont... that number can EASILY double...


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#55 of 55 Old 04-01-2011, 04:57 PM
 
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We probably spend somewhere between $600 and $1000 on groceries each month. I need to keep better track of our receipts. That's for two adults, an almost 5 year old and a huge 1 year old, a dog and a cat. That also includes soap, toothpaste, deodorant, etc. I make my own laundry detergent, I cloth diaper, most of our wipes were given to us free by someone who works in the industry. I am trying to have our family eat as cleanly as possible, but it's hard to do and stick to a budget. I can spend about $5.80 a gallon on organic cow milk at the grocery store or $7.50 plus an hour in the car round trip to get a gallon of raw organic cow milk from a local farm. I try to go to the farm once a month to get butter and milk. I had to give up their raw cheese - it's too expensive, and we blow through it too fast. Grass-fed meats are absurdly expensive here, and I'm still looking for better sources. We have a garden, and I'm hoping to grow more of our produce this year. I have quit wasting money on a lot of processed crap we used to buy, and I'm trying to spend more time baking, but it's hard.

 

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