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Do you spend $500 or less on groceries?

We need to cut out about $160 off of our food budget. Do any of you ladies mind giving me a glimpse of your grocery reciept? I need to cut costs but still consider what we eat as healthy, no junk or heavily processed food. I've seen questions like these before but the answers are so vague to me. I need details, tell me your secrets! Aside from coupons of course.

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Asked by aluvk4evr at 7:07 PM on Jan. 8, 2010 in Money & Work

Level 11 (500 Credits)
Answers (38)
  • i'm limited to 940 characters here.... msg me and i'll send you more info... i feed fam of 5 on $300 month (including paper products & personal care items)

    Answer by ObbyDobbie at 7:09 PM on Jan. 8, 2010

  • I buy in bulk. For example, instead of buying family packs of pork chops, I buy a pork loin. Then have my husband (because he enjoys it :-)) cut them into pork chops when I get home. I also buy alot of frozen veggies. They are just as good for you as the fresh but they don't cost as much. On average I spend about $350 a month feeding a family of 6 (four adults and two kids)

    Answer by Jjoneslagrange at 7:13 PM on Jan. 8, 2010

  • Look up recipes to make stuff from scratch. Cheapest that way.

    Answer by Autumn22 at 7:14 PM on Jan. 8, 2010

  • I agree with the buy in bulk, make extra freeze what you can...breakfast food tends to be the cheapest meal..plan meals out instead of cooking on a whim..that really helped me...and pastas go a long way....I try to make enough dinner so SO has enough leftovers to eat lunch.

    Answer by sweetstkissez22 at 7:30 PM on Jan. 8, 2010

  • I spend $250 or less a month for a family of 4 adults, 3 tweens, 3 dogs and 3 cats.

    The first thing is to make a list of all meals your family will eat. Take inventory of your freezer, fridge and pantry and write down everything edible. From that list, start to make a plan of meals that you can can make. If you need to supplement with something from the store, see if that is on sale. For instance, you have lasagna noodles, tomatoes and ricotta cheese, but you need mozz cheese & ground beef. Go to the sales ads and see if ground beef and mozz cheese are on sale anywhere. Finish your meal plan with foods that are on sale or inexpensive meals.

    I'd STRONGLY recommend getting a small notebook and writing the prices of items that you regularly buy at the various stores you shop at. You may find that what you THINK is a deal is less expensive elsewhere regularly.


    Answer by michiganmom116 at 7:47 PM on Jan. 8, 2010

  • Buy in bulk IF it's a better price, buy frozen fruits & veggies when possible. Know the nutritional value of food to get the best nutritional bang for your buck.

    Make meat an accompaniment to the meal instead of the main entree, or even plan a vegetarian meal here and there. Wet burritos are great for a meal and you can make them with beans or a mix of beans & beef. Casseroles and stews are inexpensive yet filling and healthy meals.

    We only buy milk for cooking or baking or breakfast cereal. We find other sources of calcium that are less expensive.

    Cook/bake from scratch. It really doesn't take THAT much more time than buying ready made or boxed meals; it's cheaper. I can make biscuits from measuring to the pan in under 3 minutes.

    I live in a rural area, so I also grow a garden and preserve the harvest. That alone saves us hundreds of dollars a year.

    Answer by michiganmom116 at 7:53 PM on Jan. 8, 2010

  • SIDE DISHES! Bread, salad, rice, beans. It helps so much! The more sides I use, the less meat we eat and the less money we spend!

    Answer by justmyopinion at 8:06 PM on Jan. 8, 2010

  • We spend $60-80 a week for three, plus the occasional extra teen. Here are my best tips for saving money on groceries:
    Make at least some of your own cleaning products. This has the added bonus of bringing fewer toxins into your home

    This is what we use for most cleaning (initially used as part of my daughter's 6th grade science fair project). It is cheap (my favorite) and non toxic.
    ¼ cup white vinegar
    ¾ cup warm tap water
    1 tablespoon baking soda
    10 drops of tea tree oil (antibacterial, antifungal, etc.)
    2 drops oil of lavender essential oil (antiseptic and smells nice)

    Stop buying paper towels and napkins. Cloth napkins are more fun! Pick up cheap cotton towels at your favorite second hand shop. Save money and trees!!


    Answer by rkoloms at 8:15 PM on Jan. 8, 2010

  • My receipts for today's weekly shopping totaled $63.95. We bought sugar, eggs, egg noodles, saltine crackers, toilet paper, canned pinto beans, vegetable oil, bananas, tomato paste, baking soda, a few spices, sour cream, potatoes, onions, salad greens, a few canned soups for casseroles, shredded cheese and an Xbox controller (wonder how that got in there....)

    My meal plan for the next two weeks or so includes things like lasagna, taco soup (meatless), oven fried chicken, teriyaki or sesame chicken, beef roast, beef stroganoff, spaghetti, scalloped potatoes & ham, chicken pot pie, beef fajitas, oriental chicken salad (main dish), hamburger goulash, beef barley soup, roast chicken, & tuna casserole. Most of the meats I already had from buying when it was on sale. I won't need more groceries for 2 weeks.

    We usually shop at discount grocery stores like Dollar General & Save A Lot, and only buy loss leaders at the grocery store

    Answer by michiganmom116 at 8:16 PM on Jan. 8, 2010

  • Past the age of 2, the only beverage that humans need is water. Stop buying juice and sodas; buy milks only for cooking and cereal. You can liven up water with slices of fruits and vegetables; make ice cubes with blueberry eyeballs for the kids.

    Replace meats with beans, lentils, tofu, seitan, etc. You can save even more money by using dried beans and lentils and making your own seitan.

    Cook from scratch! Home cooked foods taste so much better than the nasty boxed stuff, and you will feel better because you are eating healthier foods.

    Replace simple grains (white flour, white rice, white pasta, etc.) with whole grains (brown rice, whole wheat pasta, whole grain breads, etc.). While whole grains may cost more, they have more nutrition and are more filling, so they really are the better value.


    Answer by rkoloms at 8:16 PM on Jan. 8, 2010

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