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I am sick of hearing about a family eating for $300 a month. I really can't figure out how they do it, unless they are not buying meat or any produce.<br>
I sat down today and tried my best to figure out how much each of my meals cost me. We don't buy expensive meat and I only buy produce that is in season or on sale. We don't buy a lot of chips and I make my own cookies and stuff 10 months out of the year.<br><br>
We are a family of 2 adults, 2 teens, 1 preteen and 3 children 2-8 years. We eat a lot. We have a regular pizza night. (I make it) We don't go out to dinner or lunch. I figured that I could easily send $279 a week. That is about $39 a day for 8 people to eat.You could also look at it as $4.80 a day per person. I hate going shopping, but when you sit down and look at what it cost per person to eat 3 meals a day, plus snacks, that is darn good! I mean gosh, a Happy Meal alone cost that much!<br><br>
i just thought I would share. If need be we could eat pancakes for dinner every night, but for now i am not going to make them.
 

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I hear you! I'm always amazed at how little some folks here spend on groceries. We've cut back a lot of luxuries, but we still spend more for two than many families of four or more here do!
 

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We're a family of 3ish (the baby doesn't eat!) and we spend $160 a week if I'm budgeting tightly; $190 if I splurge...that's $9/person/day, so double what you spend.<br><br>
Maybe I should ask you for tips! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I'm in NYC, but when I visit relatives upstate, honestly, it seems like grocery prices are fairly high there too. I think the area you live in has a lot to do with it. I noticed on the "sticker shock" list that many of the shocking prices listed were well under the regular price of my eggs, milk, etc. here. FWIW, I spend about 1/2 what you do per week $125-150 and I have 1/2 the people; we also have 1 vegetarian and the rest eat heavily vegetetarian (poultry 2-3 times a month). I think you're doing pretty well for NY.
 

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I spend about $130/wk for two adults and a one year old- I wish I could get it lower but I don't know how to cut anymore. Most of what I buy is fresh produce and meat. Very little prepackaged items (compared to what I used to buy!).
 

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Keeping food costs down really is a challenge, especially with the rising food prices. But I always find it inspiring to hear that others are cutting costs and finding different ways to make their food budgets work and love that people share their tips. It's good to know what others do, but I have to remind myself that I have to work within my limitations, and just because someone else can do something more than me in a given area doesn't mean that I'm not doing great. And to me it sounds like you're doing great. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br>
We're a family of 10, 2 teens, 1 preteen, and five ages 9 and under. We all have pretty healthy appetites. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> I don't think the food we eat is drastically different from most of the people around us, except that we don't eat out and we cook from scratch. Friends can't figure out why I spend so much less than them since we make similar kinds of meals. I think it's my general approach and my strategies for shopping are different, and that's what makes it possible for me in keeping my food budget low (we spend about $550 a month). Nothing too novel that hasn't been shared here before - no organics, seasonal produce, bulk purchasing. I almost never buy food that isn't on sale, lol. I just do it all the time.<br><br>
We do eat meat, but mostly chicken (the cheapest cuts) and ground beef, and as an ingredient rather than the main dish, usually just one meal a day. We don't use much cheese because of the cost, but use ricotta, cottage, and butter, as well as raw milk (we buy direct from the farmer and get it cheaper than the store milk) and lots of eggs. (We eat according to the TF approach.) I use grains and some legumes at meals. I use the more expensive veggies to supplement the root vegetables, and don't get a lot of fruit, not more than a piece per person each morning, unless I find a super price (like the 45 lb of pears that I bought a week ago for $10 at the veggie store, or 40 lb of organic bananas the week before). We always have an abundant amount of food, though at the end of the month I sometimes have to get creative to keep myself out of the stores!<br><br>
I don't often share this because people tell me it's not possible or think we exist on beans and rice. I'm sharing now to say that while it's possible, it definitely takes a lot of thought and organization, and I've been doing this a long time so I've had a lot of experience! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> Personally, I think anyone who spends $1000 monthly for a family of 8 - 10 is frugal and shopping very carefully, since most families that size spend closer to $1500 - 2000.<br><br>
I hope this post doesn't seem unhelpful, just wanted to say keep up the good work, and don't get discouraged!
 

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I'm glad I'm not the only one who is amazed by how low others grocery budgets are. It's just dh & I right now (& 2 dogs & 2 cats). DH always calls me cheap but I think I have a ways to go - lol.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>robin4kids</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11597037"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I am sick of hearing about a family eating for $300 a month. I really can't figure out how they do it, unless they are not buying meat or any produce.</div>
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Actually, I believe that it is that they don't have SIX kids. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> My family has a food & grocery budget of $200-300/month, but it's just the two of us and the occassional house guest or dinner guest. I spend $120 every two weeks on groceries, toiletries, cleaning supplies, and laundry quarters - everything I get at the grocery store. There is no earthly way I could feed and bathe and clean up after 8 people on $120 every two weeks. If I had two teenagers our budget would most certainly double.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I sat down today and tried my best to figure out how much each of my meals cost me. We don't buy expensive meat and I only buy produce that is in season or on sale. We don't buy a lot of chips and I make my own cookies and stuff 10 months out of the year.<br><br>
We are a family of 2 adults, 2 teens, 1 preteen and 3 children 2-8 years. We eat a lot. We have a regular pizza night. (I make it) We don't go out to dinner or lunch. I figured that I could easily send $279 a week. That is about $39 a day for 8 people to eat.You could also look at it as $4.80 a day per person. I hate going shopping, but when you sit down and look at what it cost per person to eat 3 meals a day, plus snacks, that is darn good! I mean gosh, a Happy Meal alone cost that much!</td>
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If you <b>really</b> want to get the food budget down, you should be looking at the OPTIONAL stuff you can cut out (like those chips). You can also substitute things - my husband and I eat hot cereal (oats, grits, cream of wheat, etc) and scrambled eggs 3 or 4 mornings a week. (Yes, even in the summer time). We like them, though. The rest of the week, we either have yogurt, fruit, and cold cereal (like a parfait) or just the cold cereal and milk.<br><br>
We like beans, too. Bean soup, baked beans, beans and cornbread, bean burritos, and Southwest Salad (beans tossed into salad greens with corn and sour cream (or fat free plain yogurt) and salsa.)<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">i just thought I would share. If need be we could eat pancakes for dinner every night, but for now i am not going to make them.</td>
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You sound very frustrated. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"> FWIW, I think less than $300/week for a family with 2 (almost 3) teenagers is pretty good.
 

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I agree..I think most people who have a $300 food budget are not feeding 8 grown people - usually they are feeding 2 adults and maybe 1-2 kids or 1 kid and 1 toddler, etc,maybe 4-5 people total and at least one of those is usually a very small person....<br><br>
We have $300 budgeted here, but go over it by $100 or so a monht, so we are actually spending about $400-$450 a month on groceries. That is for 2 adults, 1 preschooler and one solids-eating infant FULL TIME and 3 teen/tween boys half the time (dh's boys with his ex) We use easily 2-3X as much food on the days the boys are here.<br>
ANYone who has not fed 3 teen boys at once has no business getting into a discussion about how to feed them, frugally or otherwise......it;s sort of like labor, you cant really know what its like until you go through it yourself! they are huge, sucking, bottomless pits of consumption.<br><br>
One way we stretch our meals here is to use 2-3 vegetables per meal...we generally use cans which I buy on sale at 4 or 5 for a dollar, so 20-25 cents per can..add in 3 cans to a meal(corn, peas, green beans, carrots are the usual suspects), and suddenly you have a LOT more food for only 60-75 cents more. We also use cheap grains to bulk up the food, and use meat in a dish rather then it being the dish...like, instead of having chicken and each person getting a piece of chicken, taking 3 pieces and cutting it up and putting it in a casserole with say, rice, and suddenly 3 pieces of chicken feeds 6 people! add in 3 cans of vegetables, and now you have a complete meal for pennies!
 

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I spend about $400 a month for 2 adults and 3 children ages 5-10. I can say though that Dh is military and the commissary has probably the best prices in town on a lot of things and that really helps. IF I had to just shop at Albertsons or King Soopers no way could I make that budget.
 

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We're a family of 4, with the dh not always here. I think for a month, we've been spending $400 ish. I use the commissary a lot. I could get many of the same deals (and some better ones) if I paid attention to the fliers of the countless grocery stores around here, but I don't. I'd rather just go to the commissary, and not think about it too much. And then I supplement with farmer's markets and/or CSA, a trip to the health/natural foods store every now and again (that's a good place for some bulk bin stuff---those prices surely beat the commissary, for a lot of it).
 

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We are a family of 3 - 2 adults and 1 toddler. We spend about $85 per week on food. So, I think you are doing AWESOME with a family of 8. Quite frankly, I can't fathom how you have the energy!!!!
 

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Ours comes out to $6.45 for our family of 4 to eat per day. We don't buy a lot of extravagances. Cheap cuts of meat, cheap fruits and veggies, a lot of cooking from scratch, buying on sale, planning a menu etc.
 

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I spend about $120 a week on a family of five (though baby doesnt eat a ton yet). That doesnt include any kind of household items.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Ours comes out to $6.45 for our family of 4 to eat per day.</td>
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Per person? Or total? So that's like 50$ per week? I can't imagine. How old are your kids? Sorry but when I reply I can't see the sigs to know.<br><br>
I have 3 boys 13, 10 and 7. Darn they can eat. They are outside all the time. They are physically active and growing like weeds. We raise our own beef or we'd really be up a creek.<br><br>
OK here's a challenge. Maybe for a week each of us could post what we serve and the cost for that days food?? Then we could compare and see where people could have varied their menu and saved. Only in the nice way though tee hee.
 

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We are a soon to be family of 8 once baby arrives. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> 2 adults, 2 teens, and 3 under 6. I buy only what is on sale each week from the grocery store ads and when its on sale, I buy 5-20+ of each item. Then we are set until it goes on sale again. I always buy fresh fruit/veggies. It takes some work, dedication to looking through grocery ads and shopping, and some time to get the pantry to a point where we basically shop at home for meals, but getting the grocery bill down to what I feel is good for us- is worth it. We eat good too- last night was pot roast and veggies in the crockpot and tonight was boiled crab legs, shrimp, and baked potatoes. Our monthly food and toiletry budget is $500. It used to be $400, but I bumped it up with the rising prices and baby coming about 3 months ago. The key to keeping our food budget so low and not eating only pancakes or rice & beans <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> for us is ultimately the way I shop and the way we plan meals based around what we already have at home. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Eat">: If we didn't do that, we would definitely be spending ALOT more on groceries. I don't mean to be another one of those people who has a family who can "eat for $300 a month" but I guess I just want to show that it CAN be done and we are doing it- and I don't think we are missing anything in our diets that others aren't buying or getting- We don't buy a lot of processed food and mainly cook/bake from scratch.
 

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Well, we're a family of four, though baby doesn't eat... but I eat more because I'm nursing two ;-). DS1 doesn't eat a lot, but he will suck up convenience foods like nobody's business sometimes (pretzels... GF ones that cost $6/bag... taquitos... etc.)<br><br>
We really don't even try to save money on food. It's just not a place we've felt the need to cut yet. I mean, when TJ's has the same almond milk we always buy for 70 cents cheaper than WF, sure, I'll stock up ;-) but aside from a bit of choosing where to get X or whether to get the store brand or name brand, I don't try to keep our grocery budget down. We're gluten-free, dairy-free, canola-free, and I'm soy- and corn- and recently egg-free too, so even pancakes get pricey (though sweet rice flour is 99 cents a pound at the Pilipino store, vs. $12 for a 3-pound bag at the places I do most of my shopping, so score!)<br><br>
So all that being said, we spend about $800-900 a month on our food shopping. If you count DS1 as half a person (<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> to the TAO thread), that's about $12/day per person. Of course, the numbers we most recently looked at were from when I was pregnant, and were before we were really in the meal-planning and cooking at home groove, so more convenience food. I'm looking forward to checking it out for the next month; I have a feeling it will be similar, but there will be a LOT less extraneous food (eating out, snacks, etc.)<br><br>
We choose mostly organic produce, some organic meat, and do eat "fancy" stuff like lamb and seafood fairly regularly.<br><br>
So, there ya go. If you were relatively extravagant with food, you might be spending $12/day/person to eat... or 2.5x what you are now!
 

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We spend about $250-$300/week on groceries, including cleaning supplies and diapers, for 2 adults, 2 preteens, a 5 year old and a toddler. One of the preteens and the 5 year old have food allergies, so we have to be brand loyal to some extent.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>robin4kids</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11597037"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I am sick of hearing about a family eating for $300 a month. I really can't figure out how they do it, unless they are not buying meat or any produce.<br>
I sat down today and tried my best to figure out how much each of my meals cost me. We don't buy expensive meat and I only buy produce that is in season or on sale. We don't buy a lot of chips and I make my own cookies and stuff 10 months out of the year.<br><br>
We are a family of 2 adults, 2 teens, 1 preteen and 3 children 2-8 years. We eat a lot. We have a regular pizza night. (I make it) We don't go out to dinner or lunch. I figured that I could easily send $279 a week. That is about $39 a day for 8 people to eat.You could also look at it as $4.80 a day per person. I hate going shopping, but when you sit down and look at what it cost per person to eat 3 meals a day, plus snacks, that is darn good! I mean gosh, a Happy Meal alone cost that much!<br><br>
i just thought I would share. If need be we could eat pancakes for dinner every night, but for now i am not going to make them.</div>
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Our maximum food budget is $3 per person per meal. I've managed to spend half that if I really take the time to meal plan around sales. Yes we eat meat and produce (but obviously if I want to get it less than $3 it's not going to be steak, yk?) I think the main difference is just going to be that some places have way higher food prices. Food price really varies widely, I think you can't really compare yourself to someone who doesn't live near you.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mommaof3boz</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11601277"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Per person? Or total? So that's like 50$ per week? I can't imagine. How old are your kids? Sorry but when I reply I can't see the sigs to know.<br><br>
I have 3 boys 13, 10 and 7. Darn they can eat. They are outside all the time. They are physically active and growing like weeds. We raise our own beef or we'd really be up a creek.<br><br>
OK here's a challenge. Maybe for a week each of us could post what we serve and the cost for that days food?? Then we could compare and see where people could have varied their menu and saved. Only in the nice way though tee hee.</div>
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9 and 3. It's more like $200 a month although I have spent as much as $250 before. We usually have fruit/cereal for breakfast, sandwich and fruit/veggie for lunch and a starch, veggie, protein for dinner. I buy yogurt, string cheese, fruit, crackers etc for snacks. When I buy fruit I got what's on sale that wek. Bananas at 35 cents a lb, nectarines at 88 cents, bag apples at $1.66 etc. If I buy chips or cookies it's the $1 bags (not name brand) I get my meat at Food for Less, I've bought pork for as cheap as 42 cents a lb. When you see sales like this you stock up.
 
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