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How do you budget for groceries?

We've come into some financial difficulty, and I'm going to have to budget groceries. It will be difficult. Any ideas for budgeting or easy recipes.

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Asked by DaisyDayse at 7:04 AM on Jun. 26, 2010 in Food & Drink

Level 4 (40 Credits)
Answers (12)
  • These little boxes (and the new QandA format) are not good for big answers.
    Essentially, buy towels and napkins at a second hand shop or garage sale, and stop using paper.
    Make your own cleaners (send me a message for a great recipe)
    Use lots of dried beans and lentils; have breakfast for dinner; plan meals and snacks before you shop; buy only what is on your list; drink only water.
    I have a ton of recipes that are healthy, tasty, family and budget friendly. If you send me a message offlist, I will be happy to send you recipes and my complete list of ways to save money at the grocery store. There are three of us, plus frequent extra teens. We eat a mostly organic diet, and spend around $80 a week on groceries.

    Answer by rkoloms at 7:23 AM on Jun. 26, 2010

  • Buy cheap. Look at prices. Make a list. Do not buy stuff you do not need. Tell your kids before you leave the house. NO, kids always ask fore thing.

    Answer by louise2 at 7:28 AM on Jun. 26, 2010

  • look through the cabinet and make a menu for meals during the time between paydays. then make a grocery list for the remaining items needed.

    Answer by oldfashionSAHM at 7:48 AM on Jun. 26, 2010

  • I have a maximum $250 budget for groceries for 4 adults, 1 teen boy, 2 tweens, 3 dogs, 3 cats. We still manage to eat very well! You start by making a list of all meals your family will eat. Then you take inventory of your pantry/freezer/fridge, & write it down! With those two lists, you sit down & come up with as many meal ideas as possible, then peruse store ads to find sales on more foods that will help you make more meals. Fresh is best when it comes to fruits & veggies, but frozen is cheaper & has almost as much nutritional value. Ground turkey is cheaper than ground beef & is easily substituted for the beef. Walmart isn't always the cheapest. Know your store prices. Buy store brand. You gotta eat, at this point you can't afford to be name brand fussy. Go HERE for more ideas & recipes.


    Answer by michiganmom116 at 8:01 AM on Jun. 26, 2010

  • When we had to start budgeting for food it was hard for us too. We use to just buy whatever we wanted. What has saved me a ton of money is writing out a menu for the days that I am shopping for. I go through what we have in the house, which is never much because I don't buy in bulk, and then start from there. Mon-Thur we eat extremely cheap, something quick and easy. We don't buy chips, cookies or any junk food. That is a treat and we may get it once a month if lucky.
    Good luck once you get in the routine it is easy.

    Answer by Kari126 at 11:02 AM on Jun. 26, 2010

  • Find out what day your grocery store marks down meat and produce (usually it's the day before a new sales flier comes out). Stock up and freeze until you need. Use coupons on sale items. Plan on cooking from scratch. It may seem more expensive until you get the hang of it, but the truth is the supplies will make you exponentially more meals than the convenience food. (meaning instead of paying $1 for the tv dinner or hamburger helper you might pay $6 for ingredients, but those ingredients will make you 10 or 12 meals for $6 instead of 1 meal for $1). Start watching unit pricing - if the smaller size is 4 cents an ounce and the larger size is 8 cents an ounce, the larger one may be on sale but you are saving more to buy 2 of the smaller.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 11:10 AM on Jun. 26, 2010

  • its actually fun if you make it a game! use np and rklohoms suggestions!

    Answer by lovinangels at 12:07 PM on Jun. 26, 2010

  • I spend about $60 a week on groceries. And I buy a lot of organic. I get meats and chicken from local organic farmers and stock up a few times a year. I also buy a lot of produce from farmers markets and can items or freeze them.

    But you can easily shop at discount grocery stores like Aldi, Save-A-Lot and Price Rite. If you go in the mornings many discount their meats...i've seen strip steaks at just $3 for two steaks, or round steaks for $1, pork chops for $2.50, etc. etc. Along with using the veggies as the main with some meat and a whole grain carb you can feed a family for little. A stir-fry: $1 for the discounted beef, $0.79 bag of frozen broccoli, $1 box of whole grain pasta, $0.50 for a can of low sodium chicken broth, so for just over $3 you can make enough for two nights.

    Answer by Mom2Jack04 at 12:25 PM on Jun. 26, 2010

  • Start buyin in bulk on sale, last winter we had a $41 a week for four people and I got such good deals it was walking away with cartfuls, and soon have excess, extra food.

    Answer by blue_glass_mama at 2:30 PM on Jun. 26, 2010

  • Do not buy anything at full price and look through your store ads, make meals buy using whats on sale. like if hamburger is on sale figure out what can you do with it and go from there. Also I get more for my money if I stick with produce and meat. Like a 20lb. sack of potatoes and a bunch of meat items. there's tons of ways to use potatoes and different ways to use meat. buy frozen veggies. stay away from box dinners. use pb & j sandwiches for lunches. also find a thrift bakery outlet, like hostess or something similar. We have 2 of them that sell sara lee foods
    Also use coupons! and use them with items on sale. You can also do things like buy a 5 lb picnic ham and have the butcher slice it up for lunch meat. it is cheaper then the lunch meat section or the deli

    Answer by togo90210 at 2:59 PM on Jun. 26, 2010

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