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RKING10 Posts: 152
1/4/13 1:23 P

Just came across this post and I thought I would share my story of the day...I'm currently a college student living at home part-time so I buy some of my "specific groceries" when I'm home...I had 17 dollars to spend and this is what I walked out of the store with:

2 bags Tysons ready grilled chicken
oscar meyer deli fresh ham
activia vanilla yogurt light
mission corn torillas(24)
5 cup bag of chedder cheese
ranch dressing
v8 juice

ZELDA13 SparkPoints: (78,414)
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Posts: 3,395
12/21/12 4:50 P

I've been trying to keep to 70.00 a week for 2 of us. That's not very easy, but that also includes everything. So some weeks are more, some are less. Here goes:

2 lb. boneless chicken 4.
peanut butter 2.
bread 1.
bag of kale 2.50
dried lentils 1.
1/2 gal milk 2.50
lg. applesauce 2.
2 lg cans tomatoes 1.50 1 for soup, one for pasta sauce
pasta 1.
lg. frozen mixed vegs 2.50 for large pot of soup, add some kale and lentils

That's 20.00 but may not last a week. I would have liked to add eggs and another fruit as well as a bag of rice and another bag of beans. Not to mention more milk. I might have to work on this.

BASKETLADY13 Posts: 301
12/20/12 2:06 P

I'm an extreme couponer and can get tons of stuff for free or for very little, but even at that, I couldn't feed my husband and I on $20 a week if we want to eat healthy. The healthy foods are the most expensive. I could buy all the junk you want for $20, but there'd be no nutritional value. My suggestion would be to shop for sales, use coupons, price match and buy in bulk. If you have a freezer, stock up on meat when it's on sale. I live in the country and have to drive 30 minutes to a store, so I have a huge freezer with tons of meat and veggies. With that said, I could probably get milk, bread, cereal & some produce for $20 each week, but eventually I would need to replenish my freezer.

NOMIE322 SparkPoints: (22,354)
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Posts: 144
12/18/12 10:21 A

I'm late to this thread but it's a good one. I live in NYC and trust me, $20 for the week won't go far (and I'm only feeding me!!!!!!). Let's see how far it could get me...

$3.50 for half-gallon of milk (I have to buy lactose free milk--this is the generic brand)
$2.50 for cereal (I could probably get it on sale)
$7.50 for 3 chicken breasts (this is the hormone-free type but I usually cut them in half so it yields 6 chicken breasts. The regular chicken is about about $5.50)
$2.00 for a pound of brown rice
$1.25 a bag of frozen broccoli (this can give about 2-3 servings)
$1.00 for 2 small onions
$4.00 for about 4 apples (and this is at $1.99/lb--the cheapest I've found them)
Total thus far... $21.75

I'm already over the $20 and just looking at my list tells me I'd be hungry and bored by the end of the week. Not to mention, I'd have to give up lots of things I like (coffee, tea, greek yogurt, anything other than brown rice!). This would be tough. Generally, I'm happy if I spend $45/week on groceries.

LOUNMOUN Posts: 1,334
12/17/12 11:16 P

I usually spend about $130 a week for my family of 3. I will try to get close to $20.

1 onion... $0.93
16 oz lentils... $1.14
1 lb carrots... $1.15
18 oz oatmeal... $1.28
16 oz kidney beans... $1.29
12 eggs... $1.66
1/2 gallon milk... $2.12
3 cans diced tomatoes... $2.25
18 oz. peanut butter... $2.44
16 oz butter... $2.68
3 lb apples... $3.98
total= $20.17

Assuming I have oil, flour, yeast, baking powder, powdered milk, baking soda, sugar, condiments and spices as my staples. I could make noodles, bread, pita bread, or tortillas instead of buying them. I could feed my family for a week with this but they may not like it much. I would miss cheese and more variety of fruits or vegetables.

Edited by: LOUNMOUN at: 12/17/2012 (23:24)
LOUNMOUN Posts: 1,334
12/17/12 10:48 P

It might be helpful if you post the amount or size of the items you bought with your $20.
How many bananas or apples? What size milk container? How many pounds of beans?

Also did you make a meal plan using just those items and how many meals will they cover?

12/13/12 9:24 P

20 dollars a week would be very hard. I spend about $50/week, though I am paleo. Which means lots of meat, lots of fat, and very few carbs (carbs come from the veggies and fruit I eat). When I go to the grocery store, I usually buy for about 10 days to 2 weeks. I get 5lbs of chicken, 1lb of steak or a little more, 2.5lbs ground beef, 2 dozen eggs, 16oz bacon, a pint of heavy cream, some mozzarella. Then I usually get about 14 prepackaged bags of frozen vegetables of all kinds, 6 heads of romaine, about a dozen tomatoes. Rounded out with beef jerky, fresh zucchini, avocado, butter, coffee, almond milk, and tea (I am obsessed with Sleepytime Extra will valerian root). It adds up. I am passionate about food and eating clean, though. And I never run over my grocery budget at the end of the month. Worth it. I live in Central FL for reference.

SNOOPY1960 Posts: 1,687
12/10/12 10:54 P

Every part of the country has different prices !! I can not buy a gallon of milk for less than $4.00 !!

So for my $20 a week , I could not buy too much

1 gallon milk $4.00
1 box store brand cerael $3.00
1 cooked rottistoire chicken $5.00
bunch bananas $2.00
bag frozen spinach $1.00
bag frozen broccoli $1.00
1 pound box spaghetti $1.00
1 dozen eggs $2.00
1 loaf store brand bread $1.00

Would be hard for me to feed my family of 3.
Got 2 in college, if they were home all the time I'd be broke !!!!!

YOJULEZ SparkPoints: (15,981)
Fitness Minutes: (120)
Posts: 2,171
12/10/12 11:26 A

The prices I listed are generally what things go on sale for here (I live in Colorado near Denver)...and also are the least healthiest kinds of things. Like bread, the kind I like is more like $4.50 a loaf if it's not on sale, maybe around $2-$2.50 on occasional sale, but the cheapo store brand white bread can get as low as a $1 a loaf on sale and is around $2 not on sale. Store brand non-frozen chicken breasts are 2.79/lb on normal price (2.99 at Costco for a slightly better product), but often go on sale for 1.99/lb.

But, where you live definitely matters, especially for things like produce!

1GROVES2 Posts: 10,391
12/10/12 11:09 A

I agree that the prices quoted here are not what I`m paying!...I doubt I could do $20 a week for just Hubby and me! and he only eats 1 meal a day....I take both breakfast & lunch to work with me, he eats granola bars and crackers with cheese....may be possible to do $20 a week for our 1 meal we eat together at home...... Our groceries are very high here!

YLLWROSE86 SparkPoints: (976)
Fitness Minutes: (727)
Posts: 203
11/22/12 1:32 P

you guys have CHEAP food prices! a gal of milk is $4.08... and I need 2 gals of whole milk for the kids a week, and 1 gal of skim milk for hubby and I for cooking and our cereal... there went almost 12.24 of my 20 on just milk! The cheap white bread is $1.45 a loaf.. but I prefer the whole grain wheat bread which is $2.98 a loaf... 2 loaves a week. We pack lunches for school and hubby and I pack lunches for work to avoid eating out.... 20 bucks... crazy!

YLLWROSE86 SparkPoints: (976)
Fitness Minutes: (727)
Posts: 203
11/22/12 1:23 P

I feed a family of 5! I do 20 bucks a day for us... and I have a cook book $10 dollar dinners. I have young children that still drink whole milk.. then I get skim for me and hubby. I just use coupons and plan meals ahead of time. Leftovers are repurposed or packed for lunch... 20 bucks a week would be impossible!

LACIEKAY SparkPoints: (7,142)
Fitness Minutes: (1,802)
Posts: 194
11/21/12 11:36 P

hmm.. i'm also feeding a family of 4. let's see.
staples are butter, chicken bouillon, spices and water.
eggs 1.77 scrambled eggs, batter for oven fried chicken
cereal 2.22 breakfast. and coating for oven fried chicken.
milk 2.50 mainly drinks. also cereal, mashed potatos (family is obsessed)
chicken 5 i can get 3 meals out of a pack of boneless chicken breast. i'd have baked chicken, chicken soup and oven fried chicken
potatos 5 mashed potatos and soup.
rice 1 half for a side dish and other half for soup.
bananas .75 snacks for the girls. they couldn't live without snacks.
mixed vegetables, frozen 1.88
ahh i went over 12 cents. let's just assume the extreme likelihood that 12 cents is hanging out in the bottom of m purse :p

SOCAL_LEE SparkPoints: (43,325)
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Posts: 246
11/14/12 2:27 P

Krispy, groceries are cheap where you live! No way can I get a loaf of bread for a dollar here.

Assuming pantry staples are oils (I have olive, coconut, and sesame) and spices (the usual range), I'd get for a family of four:

a gallon of whole milk ($2.69) -- use half to make yogurt
a dozen eggs ($3.50, I buy free-range eggs)
a whole chicken ($6.00), this is two dinners, then make soup with some pasta (79 cents) for another dinner and some lunches
loaf of bread ($2) and peanut butter ($3, I pay more for real pb) for kids' lunches -- but a jar lasts two weeks in my house so we'll call that $1.50
pound of dried beans for soup ($1; veggie scraps for stock, that's free)
this leaves $2.50 for fresh food. Hmm, no, I don't think I can do this. Maybe if I were single and had the time to go around to different markets asking for marked-down produce and looking for meat and dairy items that are marked down because they're about to expire. Or if I had that garden I keep talking about starting!

CLRWILLIAMS25 SparkPoints: (34,625)
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Posts: 1,091
11/14/12 1:39 P

Cool thread!

20 dollars....

2lbs dry lentils- $3
2lbs carrots- $1.50
2lbs gala apples- $2
3 packs Frozen mixed vegetables- $3
2lb chicken breast- $4
1lb cottage cheese- $2
2lb tofu- $4
1/4 container bulk Oatmeal- $1


These are all things I buy regularly. $20 a week would get pretty boring.

KYLAR_STERN SparkPoints: (22,234)
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Posts: 1,053
11/14/12 1:13 P

A WHOLE week for $20? I'm not sure I could do it. I should be able to and I wish I could. Lets see, one week of the cheapest groceries to keep me going.

Chicken breast, 5 lbs. $10
eggs 2 dozen, $3
bananas, 10, $2 (cheapest fruit I know of)
Brown rice, $1
Bulk oatmeal, $1 (Probably what I'd eat in a week)
frozen veggies, $5 anyone know of a cheaper way to get to 4 servings veggies a day for a week?

And I'm already over my limit and need more. I can't do it... not with getting enough protein at least. And this gets rid of all the milk and greek yogurt that are staples of my diet. Could maybe do it if I went the cheap bulk method, but that's incoporating a lot of fat in there to get the protein amounts high enough

DIDS70 Posts: 5,368
11/14/12 9:15 A

Like the previous poster, I am assuming that the staples on hand are oils and spices. Now being vegan raw I can easily spend my money on a 3# tub of baby spinach, almond milk, some red peppers, a zucchini, some tomatoes, and a cucumber. If i have enough left over i may throw in a bag of nuts.

my staples are:
coconut oil
olive oil
grapeseed oil
apple cider vinegar
assorted nuts
sesame seeds
almond milk
granola (which I make myself)
grade B maple syrup

sure a lot of the stuff above may be considerable cash but since I don't use much of it, the stuff stretches.

My favorite meal at the end of the week is a everything in the fridge salad. the dressing is usually some ACV and olive oil with some seasonings like ginger or cayenne. Again a lot of the spices can be bought and stretched.

11/13/12 7:42 P

Chicken, turkey, and potatoes for sure.....Some frozen veggies and milk. What staples are you counting that you would already have?

YOJULEZ SparkPoints: (15,981)
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Posts: 2,171
11/13/12 5:27 P

I guess I'm curious as to what "pantry staples" you mean... so I'm going to assume things like oil, salt, pepper, some basic seasonings, etc.

Whole Chicken - $5
Bread - $2
Peanut Butter - $2
Frozen Broccoli 2 pkgs - $3
Potatoes 5lb bag - $2
Ground Turkey 19oz - $3.50
Pasta - 16oz box - $1
Pasta sauce - 24 oz jar - $1.50

Total $20

KRISPY6372 Posts: 95
11/13/12 3:37 P

This month I'm playing a game to see how far I can stretch my grocery budget. If you had only around $20 to spend this week on food, what items (hopefully healthy) would you buy? This obviously assumes you have certain pantry staples on hand... btw, I'm feeding a family of 4.

I'm curious to see the responses... I'm always looking for ways to cut my food budget but still keep it healthy.

Here's what I came up with:

Beans - 2
Whole Chicken - 5
Milk (2) - 5
Bread - 1
Eggs - 1.5
Bananas - 1
Apples - 3
Sweet potatoes - 2

total $20.50

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