We spend 400 dollars a month (ok, actually it probably ends up being 450 a month) for two of us, in Berkeley, Ca.
All of our red meat is pastured, however we don't eat much of it. (maybe 1-2 lb a week between us on average, usually in soups or stews or other stretcher foods that last 2+ dinners. less to none if we buy a chicken).
we buy rocky or rosie chickens (slightly cleaner than say tysons, but pretty conventional. rosie is organic).
we buy pastured eggs, never more than 1 dozen a week (less right now with the winter molt scarcity.)
We don't do raw dairy, we can't afford it. We eat 1 lb of pastured butter a week. (organic valley cultured butter, I got oh maybe 50 dollar off coupons this summer for their butter, still using them
) and 1 pint straus cream a week (as a treat for me), and sometimes straus milk. (straus is about 80% grassfed, pastured when the season here allows it, and overall very good quality)
my employee discount helps: I get our salt for 1lb coarse celtic salt for 3 dollars, and when there are eggs to be had can get a good discount on pastured eggs (since those run 7-8 dollars a dozen here!!)
We eat a lot of fresh veggies, probably 70 percent local, 5 percent of the total veggies being organic (mostly just the dirty dozen). The reason we can afford this is we have an amazing store that I think what they do is buy bumper crops because they have wonderful prices on very top quality produce.
We eat some grains and beans (trying to incorporate more). We also menu plan, this really helps with our budget.
I think we might be able to shave off another 50 dollars a month by the following:
dilligence with menu planning, freezing leftovers and veggies about to turn, etc
more grains and legumes, more soups and stews (I would be happy to do this but it uses so much stock! I need to get more beef bones)
A costco membership: I don't have one because I don't have the upfront money and am not sure I would save money, because you always buy more than is on your list. however, there are some amazing deals at our local costco for things we use a HUGE amount of. (white vinegar, good cheeses (though we don't eat a huge amount of that, ok, actually, for the most part I think I would save more on cleaning supplies (vinegar and baking soda and soap)
cutting down on cheese (to almost none, because it is so expensive), and elminating my weekly cream (we won't do that, my weekly cream is very important to me emotionally, given its grand total of 3.50)
diligence about packing a lunch for me to take to the job that I don't get fed at, instead of buying lunch there. my employee discount still ends up being a half a reuban for 8 bucks and its only neiman, not grassfed!! thats partly packing partly an emotional issue though.
If we could had the money up front and freezer space for a meat CSA or split cow, we could save a lot more money. Far more if we had a garden. Even more beyond that if we had chickens. However, there is no garden and no chickens in our third floor balcony-less walk up.
We mostly shop at two stores: the local produce store I mentioned before, and a local store called berkeley bowl: a local supermarket with ok prices, high quality, and an emphasis on natural foods and products. We also shop at a local fish monger, local meat shop (I like berkeley bowl better though, they carry the pastured meats), a local cheesemonger, and occasionally small local ethnic markets.