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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, mamas! Nutritious food on a budget. How do you do it? We currently do pretty well, but I would REALLY like to cut down on our weekly grocery bill. We don't eat many prepackaged foods (only vegie burgers and canned tomatoes w/no salt) so much of our menu centers on fresh whole foods. Most of our menu is also plant based rather than meat based (hubbie's getting used to this).

What do you spend on a weekly budget? Oh, it's dh, me and 2 yr old dd.

thanks in advance!
 

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Plan and shop according to whats on sale or in season. Beyond that I can't htink of too much other than relook what stuff is costing and decide if its worth it or could be substituted with something cheaper.
 

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Here's a small sample of what we do:
Monday
b- homemade granola or oatmeal or 8 grain cereal oroatmeal pancakes and fresh fruit
l- pasta with homemade spaghetti sauce, whole grain bread, fruit
d- fresh green beans and onions, baked beans, fresh fruit salad

Tuesday
b- homemade granola or oatmeal or 8 grain cereal oroatmeal pancakes and fresh fruit
l- ham or turkey sandwich on whole grain bread, veggies and fruit
d- onion and garlic soup, buttered whole grain toast

I buy only organic fruits and veggies. I make almost everything from scratch and buy mainly from a local helath food store. I do hit the local grocery store when they have sales on organic products.
 

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We have a family of three (ds is 4 though) and we spend about $400 per month on food (shopping at a co-op for all organics but the prices are very reasonable for NYC standards because it is a workers co-op so only a 27% mark up).

My suggestions would be to buy from a co-op if you can, stock up on sales when they happen (we used to shop at a regular store with a good health food section and I would stock up when things like organic whole wheat pasta or canned tomatoes were on sale).

Also, if you have access to decent bulk bins, they often cut down on costs. Things like dried beans and lentils are always cheap. We sprout our own alphalfa sprouts for a nice 'local' and dirt cheap green in the winter. One bag of seeds costs us about $1 and makes about 20 quarts of sprouts!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
We buy both conventionally grown and organic produce. Our salad greens are always organic (I can taste the pesticides on the other stuff). Our beans, rice, oatmeal, (and other grains) flour, etc... are also organic and bought from a co-op.

Our fresh fruits and veggies are bought from the local grocery store. Normally we don't buy packaged foods, the only exceptions are veggie burgers, which I'd rather make myself in large batches and then freeze for later (any good recipes?).

What are cheapest (but nutritious) vegies and fruits? I realize that I probably need to research myself, but if someone could give me some ideas I would appreciate it.

Thanks for the ideas so far. I am thinking I need to incorporate a soup, bread and cheese day....
 

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I found the easiest way to stay in my budget is to plan out Breakfast, Lunch and Dinners for the whole month- then just buy what you need for that week. I spend about $60- $75/week this way- but that does include soap/toilettries, etc. and I don't buy organic. Dh takes leftovers for lunch at work and the kids are eating at school now.
I saved about $80 each month when I started cooking breakfast for the family- instead of going w/ cold cereal or toast.
 

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For produce, I always follow a $3 rule (nothing more that $3 a pound, ever). Greens are wonderfully nutritious and super cheap (like $1.50 for a huge bunch of organic chard, collards, kale around here). For us, green beans and apples are very inexpensive right now also, citrus is starting to be cheap and readily available.

Oatmeal is also a super money saver over cereals, as someone mentioned already.
 

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The other benefit of cooking breakfast, for me, is that I stay full longer, and I'm not going crazy looking for something to eat at 10 am. And, my dh isn't stopping at a convenience store for a snack mid-morning. So, it ends up saving even more money.
 
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