October 26, 2007

Budget and Money

I need some help. What are your suggestions about saving money when it comes to food? It seems as if I spend over $500 a month for food for a family of 3 - does this sound right??? I have tried coupons but it seems as if I only save a couple of dollars a week using coupons, I do much better when I watch the store sells. I have also the The Grocery Game but this too does not save me a ton on money. It also comes out on Sunday and I like to have my grocery shopping done by Saturday afternoon.

One area that I spend a lot of money in the grocery store is fresh produce. Mikayla loves fresh fruit, apples, peaches, strawberries, melons whatever. I also like to bring fruit to snack on during the day. We also spend money on good whole wheat bread (it needs to have whole grains in it, not enriched wheat flour - which is the same as white flour), extra lean ground turkey, organic milk. I only buy these things because I think they are worth it. The extra lean ground turkey because we don't eat ground beef and don't need that extra fat in out diet. The organic milk is for Mikayla, she does not need to be drinking the hormones that are found in regular milk. If I could afford organic produce all of the time we would be eating that, but I really can't afford that grocery bill.

What are your ideas to save money on groceries.? Also the nearest Sam's Club or Costco is 3 hours away so stocking up there will cost more than it is worth when you figure in gas.


Jenny said...

1. Take a full kitchen inventory and plan your meals buying only those items you actually need to make the food you want.
2. Oust any processed food from your grocery list and research its made from scratch alternative (including yogurt, snacks, breads etc.)
3. Bake that bread from scratch! I just found out that by baking my bread from scratch I'm saving about $80 a month!
4. Instead of buying several things of meat, buy one roast and eat that over the course of the week. It's less expensive.
5. Eat more beans and legumes.

I'm starting Cucina Povera again soon so I'll give more tips there! If I watch our budget close enough we can manage <$400 on all organics.

Jenny said...

Ooh I also noticed that you seemed to be eliminating fat. It's really important for your diet to include plenty of fat including saturated fat from grass-fed animals. Check this out: Know Your Fats.

Melissa Garrett said...

I wish I had the answer for you because, for a family of five, we can easily spend $800-$1000. My grocery list sounds a lot like yours, but this also includes non-food items and what I pay for school lunches each month (for two kids).

Like Jenny, I suggest making a menu and sticking to it.

One thing my mom told me when I first got married - never skimp on food. She didn't mean buy a lot of it; she just meant buy the best quality food you can.

This may sound silly, but part of the reason why I started working from home was so we could afford our food bill!!

PS - I remember when it was just my husband and me, and we could make it on $80 a week (which also included eating out!).

GreenStyleMom said...

Ours is really high also. My biggest problem is that I buy something because it looks good or fresh, and then don't get around to using it and it goes bad. I am really trying to stick to my grocery list. It has also helped to plan weekly menus.

Check out the rebecca's pocket "Eating Organic on a Food Stamp Budget" project she did last spring. I got a lot of ideas from that.http://www.rebeccablood.net/thriftyo/

I've been thinking about you. Anything postive on the house? I also tagged you for a meme if you are interested in doing it!

Emily the Great and Terrible said...

I spend about $400 a month for a 7 person household, but I am SO careful. A few things that save me money are:

1. Growing fresh herbs on my kitchen windowsill.
2. Eating an egg based dinner once a week.
3. Eating a vegan dinner once or twice a week.
4. Baking/making most of my own foods like bread, muffins, crackers, desserts, etc.

Like you, we eat bread products made from real grain and a lot of fresh fruit. We try to eat only local, in-season produce, which keeps the price down. So right now we are eating lots of squash, apples, pears, etc.

AmyBow said...

I am definitely a "stock up on staples when they are on sale" kind of gal. I have black beans to eat for months. Maybe years.

I like to have a lot of produce on hand too, but I have found that sometimes frozen fruits or vegetables are just as good, always in season, don't go bad, and less expensive. For example, I always have frozen corn, asparagus, berries, peas, and brussel sprouts in the freezer - they are good year round, nutritious, and a lot of times better than what is available in the prudice section.