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What do you buy when you grocery shop?

I am wondering how a family of 5 can eat off of a 160 dollar budget? Every 2 weeks?


Asked by Hesmynavyman at 7:18 PM on Mar. 8, 2010 in Food & Drink

Level 18 (4,812 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (11)
  • Well, we're a family of 7, currently feeding 8 (5 adults, 3 tweens), along with 3 dogs and 3 cats. I spent $120 last weekend for enough food to hopefully last for the next 3 weeks. I bought: fresh veggies, frozen veggies, canned tomatoes (on sale), some pasta, some high fiber cereals, cheddar cheese, eggs, cottage cheese, nuts, 3 liter jug of picante sauce, a few spices, some sherbet, canned tuna, 40 lb. bag of Diamond dog food, and a few condiments. I know, due to planning ahead and knowing what's in my pantry, that those things should give me enough meals to get me through 3 weeks.

    I cook from scratch as much as possible. I do not serve cold cereal every morning; we also enjoy scrambled eggs or pancakes or oatmeal topped with fruit. Lunches are sometimes sandwiches; other times we'll make up a skillet meal from scratch or have a hearty soup with homemade muffins or biscuits.

    Answer by michiganmom116 at 7:38 PM on Mar. 8, 2010

  • Good question. I was actually just talking about this with a friend of mine today. I always seem to stock up on the ingredients to make whole meals, but I don't buy enough quick snack foods. Stuff that I can just pop in the microwave and have right away. I really need to start doing that!

    Answer by Ctink8189 at 7:22 PM on Mar. 8, 2010

  • that is going to be difficult. I find I spend less money when I plan meals ahead and try to use some stuff I already have in the cabinets, that way I am not having to buy everything. And then make sure to have leftovers for lunch a few days a week. Some cheap and easy meals are grilled cheese and tomato soup, tator tot casserole, quessadillas. Just some ideas. Good luck!

    Answer by AK_aries at 7:22 PM on Mar. 8, 2010

  • Check out these links:

    Feeding a family of five for $40/week: PART ONE PART TWO


    Answer by Fallaya at 7:28 PM on Mar. 8, 2010

  • For dinners, I don't usually center the meal around the meat. The meat is an addition to the meal, such as in a casserole, stir fry, pasta with sauce & meat, or we'll even go meatless one day a week. I cook dry beans or lentils to provide the protein source for our meatless meals: lentil stew, chili w/o meat, taco soup, bean soup, bean burritos, tacos made with mashed pinto beans instead of ground meat.

    Speaking of ground meat, ground turkey is usually less expensive than ground beef. We rarely buy ground beef anymore. I have a recipe for spicy turkey burgers that the family prefers over ground beef hamburgers.

    Chicken is a very versatile meat & it's relatively inexpensive. Buy whole chickens instead of cut up parts and learn to cut the chicken up yourself. It's not hard.

    I also buy store brand whenever possible. Don't fool yourself into thinking that Walmart is the cheapest...check around, even at the dollar stores.

    Answer by michiganmom116 at 7:43 PM on Mar. 8, 2010

  • sales an cupons are your friend. I get as much as I can at target or walmart first because it is cheaper there, and then go to the grocery store for what I need after that.

    Answer by mommymeg03 at 7:57 PM on Mar. 8, 2010

  • There are three of us, plus the occasional extra teens. We spend $60-80 a week on groceries. We eat mostly organic whole foods. My grocery list is based on what I need to complete my meal plan for the week. Here are my favorite tips for saving money at the grocery store: 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 8:13 PM on Mar. 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 8:13 PM on Mar. 8, 2010

  • Frozen fruits and vegetables have a longer shelf life than fresh and retain their nutrition longer; they are often a better, less expensive option than fresh.

    Once or twice a week have breakfast for dinner. Popular options at my house are: yogurt parfaits with frozen berries and whole grain cereal; veggies omelettes with a bit of cheese and whole grain toast; whole grain pancakes with fruit; French toast casserole.

    Instead of baking a whole batch of cookies, make and freeze cookie dough balls. No one will be tempted to sneak a cookie(you know who you are) and when you do have cookies they will be fresh baked.


    Answer by rkoloms at 8:14 PM on Mar. 8, 2010

  • Only go to the grocery store every 8 days. Before you shop, plan all of your meals and snacks for the next 8 days. Write your list, based on what you need to complete your meal plan. Pull any necessary coupons, eat before you go (never go to the grocery store hungry). Most important, buy only what is on your list. The specials at the store are not to save you money, they are to get you to buy items that you don't need. If you won't use it in 3 week, don't buy it!

    I have a ton of recipes that are tasty, healthy, family and budget friendly; send me a message offlist if you would like some.


    Answer by rkoloms at 8:14 PM on Mar. 8, 2010