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I'm on a grocery budget of around $450 every month..

How can I stretch it to make a full seving of veggies, and other things my family needs every day? Without running out of money/food at the end of the month?

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Asked by Anonymous at 10:55 PM on Nov. 30, 2009 in Food & Drink

Answers (24)
  • obviously shop with coupons. buy generic brand if possible.i admit there are some dinner where we do not eat veggies at all. but i make sure that day they kids are getting fruits. some days they dont get fruits and only veggies. i dont think its oging to kill them to miss a serving of veggies as long as there are other things to make up for it. buy in bulk and in cans. buy lots of pasta.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:57 PM on Nov. 30, 2009

  • Best idea is to make sure you plan all your meals ahead of time.  Make yourself a menu for every week and buy ONLY what is on your list (plus the simple things like eggs and milk), and you'll be shocked at how much money you save.


    Answer by kittyhasclaws at 10:59 PM on Nov. 30, 2009

  • i have found that instead of buying canned vegis its best to buy frozen because you can buy bulk and save money and only cook what you need at a time instead of having to put the rest in the fridge to go bad and get tossed out

    Answer by shay1130 at 11:02 PM on Nov. 30, 2009

  • buy in bulk its cheaper, garden when/ if you can. coupons, buy generic & shop where its cheaper. visit it tells you ways to stretch your dollar.....

    Answer by maiahlynn at 11:04 PM on Nov. 30, 2009

  • I totally agree with Kittyhasclaws, I am on the same budget and the only way we don't run short like we did this month is to plan out full menus. I found good recipe sites and learned how to make new things one of which has become a staple and a specialty. I planned down to the snacks and I did use coupons although I clip them way better than I remember them. Make it fun so you aren't so focused on the budget. Another thing that helped was splitting the budget into weeks so I knew once that weeks money was spent I had to work it out or knowingly dip into the next week but it kept me visual and removed the end of the month surprise.

    Answer by 1st_LadyD at 11:07 PM on Nov. 30, 2009

  • Frozen veggies
    Small amounts of meat
    Whole poultry is cheaper than parts and MUCH cheaper than red meat
    Plan ahead and STICK TO THE LIST
    Cook SIMPLE. This is key. Haute cuisine costs a lot more than simple, peasant food. But peasant food can be filling, nutritious, and easy to prepare, not to mention a lot cheaper.
    Cook from scratch as much as possible.
    Don't expect to buy organic anything. Potatoes, apples, and greens are the only things I really make a point of. Just about everything else, the skin can be peeled off and that's where most of the pesticides will be.
    Invest in a good selection of spices. The chief differences in ethnic dishes lay in the spices/herbs. If you have a wide variety, the same roasted chicken can be turned into several meals from around the globe.
    Coupons can be hit or miss. For me, they don't do much good. You don't see them for flour, pasta, and other pantry basics very much.

    Answer by eema.gray at 11:24 PM on Nov. 30, 2009

  • Also in relation to produce, buy in season. I don't buy many tomatoes in the winter because they're not in season locally. I do buy lots of parsnips, kolarabi, potatoes, cabbage, and squashes. Yes, this means I've had to learn new recipes and get my family to accept new tastes. But the savings to our food budget make this effort worthwhile.
    I buy generic for pretty much everything.

    And BTW, my monthly budget for two adults and a bottomless pit of a toddler runs around $300. I've never yet run out of food before the end of the month.

    Answer by eema.gray at 11:27 PM on Nov. 30, 2009

  • advice from above is great and it does help. i like to shop at super walmart, i cant believe how cheap their food is, try there. try to make 2 or 3 meals a week vegetarian, make breakfast for dinner. potatoes, stuffing, pasta, chicken, ground meat any type of vegetables and tomato sauce are my best friends, so many meals that you can make with those items.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:49 PM on Nov. 30, 2009

  • I spend $250 or less a month for 4 adults & 3 tweens. I really don't have a lot to add to the above tips....plan meals before shopping, cook from scratch, buy seasonal fresh produce, stick to store brand...

    I very, very rarely use coupons. I buy the majority of our groceries at Save A Lot and Dollar General. I also grow a garden every year & can and freeze the harvest, & raise 100 chickens for our freezer each summer. I realize that not everyone can do that, but even before I started doing that I spent $450 a month at the MOST.

    When you plan menus, take inventory of your freezer & pantry first. From that list, put together as many meal ideas as you can. Then use the store ads to find things you might need to add to what's left in your pantry to make more meals. Example, you have lasagna noodles & ground beef. You need mozz cheese & cottage cheese, tomatoes & tomato paste. Cheeses are on sale, the rest are cheap.

    Answer by michiganmom116 at 11:55 PM on Nov. 30, 2009

  • Make salads from different vegetables, not just lettuce. Shredded carrot salad is chock full of vitamin A & it goes a long way! Shred your own cabbage to make coleslaw & get a bigger boost of nutrition than iceberg lettuce will give you.

    You don't HAVE to have fresh veggies as a side at every meal. Frozen veggies are often less expensive and pack pretty close to the same nutritional punch as fresh.

    Meat doesn't have to be the center of the meal. Make dishes that use meat to complement the dish, like stir fry or other skillet meals, even casseroles. Try some meatless meals, like lentil & barley stew, homemade nacho bean dip & tortillas, taco soup, meatless chili, etc.

    Answer by michiganmom116 at 12:05 AM on Dec. 1, 2009

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