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MARITIMER3 SparkPoints: (208,214)
Fitness Minutes: (118,325)
Posts: 9,323
10/1/11 11:45 A

My only suggestions would be to read grocery store ads carefully and buy specials whenever possible. I regularly shop at 2 grocery stores plus WalMart for groceries and stock up on some things when they are on special. I live in Southern Ontario, and we don't have nearly the couponing opportunities that I believe are available in the U.S., but I use coupons sometimes on paper products, shampoo, etc. I find that the grocery store usually has chicken on special once a month, beef once a month, pork once a month, etc. I have an extra freeze so buy "family packs" of boneless, skinless chicken breasts and thighs, lean ground beef, etc. when prices are good. I freeze them in meal-size portions. I also try to buy fresh fruits and vegetables in quantity when they are in season and freeze or preserve them to use in the winter. During the winter, I don't buy a lot of fresh fruit, except apples and oranges, sometimes bananas because they are so healthy. Instead I use strawberries, blueberries and peaches that I've frozen along with applesauce that I've made. I buy a bushel of beets and pickle them to use over the winter. I buy a lot of root vegetables in the winter and make stews, soups or pot roasts. I also use dried beans, peas and lentils,with brown rice and canned low-sodium tomatoes in soups and casseroles. We don't buy a lot of snack foods, except popcorn, which is very inexpensive. I grew up with a mother who lived through the Depression, and I learned a lot of her habits. Another good cost-cutting idea is to use lots of vegetables (in-season or frozen) with a small quantity of meat. We also use frozen fish fillets (not breaded, prepared) and have meatless meals occasionally.

LAURAK99 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (8,619)
Posts: 14
10/1/11 11:27 A

Wow we spend a boat load on food each month compared to others - I spend about 250 a week at the grocery. (2 adults/1 child) We eat all our meals at home and hubby takes leftovers or packs a meal for lunch. We buy/eat fresh meat and veggies (only use frozen when the fresh veggies are out of season or don't look fresh) This includes cleaning supplies, tp, paper towels and some personal items.
How do you get your grocery bill so low? I've not used coupons because they don't offer coupons on meat, fruits and veggies.

STARMONICA SparkPoints: (219,259)
Fitness Minutes: (56,384)
Posts: 12,054
10/1/11 11:18 A

It's hard to say. I usually buy groceries when I find they were almost to end. Sometimes I do to the mall because of the discount coupons. I don't store too snacks at home because I'm afraid of eating mindless.

MARITIMER3 SparkPoints: (208,214)
Fitness Minutes: (118,325)
Posts: 9,323
10/1/11 11:05 A

We probably average $100 each week (not counting paper products, cleaning supplies, etc.). I agree about prices going up! I've noticed that the loaves of bread are getting smaller, cans of juice are smaller... it goes on, and the price goes up! I have high blood pressure, so I make most foods from scratch, but when I do buy prepared foods (e.g., canned beans for bean salad or chili), I look for low-sodium or no-sodium varieties, which are more expensive. Keeping on budget is a real challenge as we are seniors on a fixed income. We've definitely cut back on our eating out as well.

EARTH-ANGEL Posts: 310
10/1/11 11:02 A

I don't really budget with my groceries (although I should to some extent I guess). I'll generally spend whatever it takes to get real and good quality whole foods.

KAPELAKIN Posts: 1,984
10/1/11 10:53 A

I don't really know, but I think it's about $500 a month for my husband and I. My weekly shopping trip varies between $50 and 120, but we get some food items from CostCo and the Co-Op, buy a beef quarter annually, get some specialty ingredients from World Market, and make the odd stop at the store after work for fresh salad ingredients and so on, so it's really hard to track what we spend.

AT49THISIS4ME Posts: 4,967
10/1/11 10:45 A

per month I reckon we spend about £40- £50 on food i have`nt really sat down and worked it out

GRNIYS Posts: 84
10/1/11 10:39 A

I have $75 a week set aside, but I'm trying to cut down on it a bit. That's for me, a preschoolers and a toddler. The preschooler takes his lunch to school everyday, so that in itself is a big chunk of the budget. At least $20 for the week. When my husbands home it's somewhere around $100-$150 a week.

Back when we were first married and just started living together (2005) we were flat broke so I managed to cook our meals for $60 for 2 weeks. But we didn't have the healthiest eating habits. And a lot of ramen was involved.

MISSYGEEN Posts: 2,075
10/1/11 8:58 A

Around 250. It's just my son and I. I shop at Aldis and buy mostly frozen vegetables. I don't get a lot of variety but my budget is so tight these days. I have a few staple meals and wee tend to cook them over and over again. If I could figure a way to vary it and keep the cost down I would. Great Post

SMS1111 Posts: 23
10/1/11 8:44 A

I don't know. It changes. I like to coupon so when there are great savings I to buy them however when there are no great savings I am less likely to buy. I would say I average about $100.00 per week for a family of 3. We do perfer organic when we can afford it.

SUNSET7910 Posts: 13
10/1/11 8:01 A

Around $260 per month. It's just my daughter and I. We have quite a variety tho. Grilling foods, fruits and veggies, We get some of the goods from my parents' garden. I won't have to buy potatos, tomatos or green beans for awhile. Plus, they raise chickens so all of our eggs are free. Also, we canned peaches for good eating this winter. I would like to can more next year but need to find a good cookbook for it first.

10/1/11 4:47 A

I don't know for sure, honestly. I know that when I plan my meals and take a list, I spend a whole lot less. I know my last paycheck I hit close to $300 for 4 people (plus the baby) but I also bought extra of some things. On average, I try to spend no more than $150-$200 every 2 weeks, so about $300-$400 a month. That's for 4 people, and we eat well. The key, is planning and sticking to a list. Don't compulsive shop and don't go in hungry. You're more likely to over spend if you don't follow those philosophies.

Edited by: BELINDADUVESSA at: 10/1/2011 (20:45)
DPDAVIS Posts: 3,548
10/1/11 2:05 A

I spend the majority of my money on veggies

PIXIESTIX6669 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (21,657)
Posts: 1,465
9/30/11 10:50 P

Hmmm, I spend about 125.00/per week...and it's only me! I eat alot, and only organic...

SNOOPY1960 Posts: 1,687
9/30/11 9:22 P

I spend about $125 a week for 4 of us ( oldest is away at college )
I only buy what is on sale, try to use coupons as much as possible and buy a lot at the Dollar Tree !
My local Dollar Tree ( everything truly is $1 ) they sell dish liquid, napkins, condiments, pickles, dog food, laundry detergent etc etc. Some of the stuff is name brands and some is not. I spend about $20-30 weekly there .

I planted a garden this Summer but our weather was so bad my garden did not do well. Spring was cold and wet, Summer was wayyyy toooo hot !! I only got a dozen tomatoes and maybe six green peppers. I am hoping next year will be better.

ADGIRL618 SparkPoints: (16,361)
Fitness Minutes: (2,617)
Posts: 602
9/30/11 9:13 P

I spend an average of $400. I'm a single person but that also includes food (a LOT) for my 2 dogs and also the basics like toilet paper, paper towels, shampoo, etc. I have actually started spending less than that (probably about 100 less) by using absolutely everything I buy...I started using my mom's freezer until I get my own delivered in October and it's helping me a ton because I can make huge pots of healthy soup and freeze them. I make my beans from dry for the most part and I started buying my chicken with the bone-in which is typically cheaper. I cut it off the bone and then use the bones to make my own healthy chicken stock!

KEMBLEN SparkPoints: (10,453)
Fitness Minutes: (10,302)
Posts: 20
9/30/11 8:17 P

My budget is $400 a month. It's currently me and my son since my husband is deployed. We have been trying to eat alot more fruits and veggies and very lean ground meat(not real cheap) and chicken and we generally eat a meal for many days in a row. My budget also includes stuff like toilet paper, soap and all that so i guess we spend less than that on actual food. I am also buying stuff like healthy nuts, dried fruit, and tuna packets to send in care packages for the hubby and sometimes that stuff isn't real cheap.I think I could prolly get by on less but I like to have options and stock up. I don't mind what we spend because I know I am eating healthier food and I feel better for it...also, it fits in our budget:)

MOM345 Posts: 30
9/29/11 8:57 P

I've been trying to buy more organic meat (grain fed beef and chicken with no antibiotics especially) and increase the naturalness of our other foods. My bill is probably around $800 a month....yikes! We're a family of 5. I buy most of our groceries at Trader Joes. We rarely eat out, and I pack everyone's lunches each day. I'd like to get it down, but it's hard to both reduce the budget and up the quality of food at the same time (and my kids are pretty picky and I couldn't get away with many bean based dishes that would be more cost effective).

KELEKONA Posts: 605
9/29/11 8:49 P

It's a little hard to track for the two of us. I try to have one week around the $100 mark, the next between $50 and $75. It's been a little heavy because we got a dehydrator jointly for our birthdays and went a bit nuts. I'm also going a bit produce-heavy and somehow even the cheap stuff is worse than starch and meat.

GRAGAIN Posts: 52
9/29/11 8:44 P

I'm also trying to save money on groceries. I spend about $300 at the store and an additional $300 each month on eating outt. My goal this month is to cut down on eating out! I like the idea about Asian markets. I wonder why their produce is cheaper?

DEER-HEART Posts: 112
9/29/11 8:20 P

I feel so strange saying this after reading the other replies... I spend between $20-25 per week on groceries. However, I live in the heart of Chinatown where the Chinese markets have VERY cheap produce. I eat a heavily plant-based diet (vegetarian aside from the occasional seafood because I love it so :P) so I can buy a ton of fruit/vegetables for very little cost.

SLHOWARD1 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (810)
Posts: 30
9/29/11 1:26 P

Used to be I spent about $400 a month. I started juicing on 9/18 and now am at about $600. But its worth every penny!!! I dropped 6# in just a week! I juice 2 meals a day, breakfast and dinner and eat a light lunch. Amazing! I'm finally sleeping a solid, restful full nights sleep! Love it!!!!

9/29/11 12:57 P

I spend between 400 and 700 in grouseries per month.

I will shop only for 1 to 2 days and go frequently. This helps to cut back on the amount of food I toos out.

MISSB8604 Posts: 3,437
9/29/11 12:53 P

I would say around $300 or $400 a month. Crazy yes, but as you can see it's working!

ILOVEMY2BIRDS Posts: 2,646
9/29/11 9:41 A

Between 500-800 depending on if there is a costco trip involved that month.

KAYAKGIRL1108 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (2,122)
Posts: 111
9/29/11 6:21 A

Way too much!! Lately it has been $400 a month for my family of three. Grocery prices keep climbing...never used to be that much.

9/29/11 6:07 A

For hubby and me, about $400/month. When we've got lots of company coming, 3-4 times/month, the figure goes up to about $550

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
9/29/11 3:11 A

I spend about $480 a month on me. I get my meats from an Amish meat market, and the fish from next door at the fish market.. most of my vegetables I buy at the fruit/veggie stand. I pay a little more to get fresh food, and it tastes better.

I hate going into the big store for TP and stuff like that. I much prefer the one-on-one shopping.

ANARIE Posts: 13,179
9/28/11 11:46 P

I spend $100 or less, without even trying very hard to save. Every week I get the sale ads, look at what fruits and veggies are on sale, and plan meals around that. I buy meat when it's on deep discount and freeze it, and I buy grains, nuts, and dried fruit in bulk so I don't waste any. I do use coupons, but I'm careful not to buy something just because of the coupon. Really, the only things I buy that I could use coupons for are cold cereal, spaghetti sauce, and yogurt. I do have the advantage that, being single, I can wait to buy something if it's not on sale; there's nobody at home to pout about running out of Cheerios.

For a while I was on a budget that only allowed me about $60-75 a month for groceries. I found that I had never eaten better. The absolute cheapest foods are also the healthiest-- plain oatmeal, beans, fruits and veggies at the peak of season, and plain dairy, for example.

I don't remember who I stole this from, but one Sparker says to be healthy, "Don't buy food; buy ingredients." That works for saving both calories and pennies. And I think it was Mark Bittmann who said to start with your ingredients and then choose your recipes, rather than the other way around. He was talking mostly about getting the best quality, but again, it works with money, too.

And don't forget to be on the lookout for bargains in unexpected places. I often get great things on clearance at Target, and the local health food store (too expensive for me to shop at normally) put dairy products on sale at half price when they're a week from expiration, and still accepts coupons on that price. I've gotten yogurt and soy milk free that way. Shop frequently, and keep your eyes peeled for markdowns.

9/28/11 10:21 P

My husband and I probably spend $500 a month on groceries alone, and maybe $200-400 a month eating out. We've been working on cutting down the eating out, and I'm starting to coupon. Our biggest 'expense' is convenience - we don't shop sales and that hurts the budget. I also throw a lot of food away, and we shop multiple times a week. I get frustrated at it too. Hopefully you find some help, because it will probably help me too!

SCOTTGARAN Posts: 2,014
9/28/11 10:14 P

Hate to admit it but well over a thousand! I am an expensive machine to operate.

HALEY99 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (1,511)
Posts: 170
9/28/11 10:12 P

$100/150 a month. Single and really don't buy a hugh amount of groceries.

Edited by: HALEY99 at: 9/28/2011 (22:13)
PATTIMET Posts: 657
9/28/11 9:35 P

$600-700 a month.

MIPALADY23 Posts: 1,191
9/28/11 8:11 P

$100 /week

SHELBSYD SparkPoints: (38,719)
Fitness Minutes: (47,828)
Posts: 1,466
9/28/11 7:29 P

To much! Probably like $400 a month or more. I only feed 3 people!

Fitness Minutes: (20,400)
Posts: 2,704
9/28/11 7:05 P

I live in an area with unusually high food costs (think 15-20% higher than the continental USA). I spend the equivalent of about $250 a month on groceries, and $50 on eating and drinking out. I'm single and I'm a vegetarian, but cooking is a hobby (so really, some of that grocery money counts as "entertainment").

KLAWSON17 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (83,705)
Posts: 111
9/28/11 6:53 P

Being one of five kids, plus my mom and dad, it's pricey. My mom pays about $200+ a week in food/grocery items (we try to eat good, non-processed/packaged/HFCS foods). When we can go to Trader Joes, that helps cut down on the cost A BUNCH!

SUNSET_MISTRESS SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (744)
Posts: 181
9/28/11 5:43 P

For my husband and I, we spend about $200/month. I menu plan, buy in bulk, clip coupons, and rarely ever get anything pre-made.

NIRERIN Posts: 14,236
9/28/11 5:16 P

for just me, for just food i spend about 120 a month.

ALBERTA_GIRL SparkPoints: (346)
Fitness Minutes: (15)
Posts: 3
9/28/11 4:52 P

We spend about 500 a month on food for a family of 4. More when we hit Costco to load up on fish, chicken and beef.

9/28/11 4:46 P

My husband and I spend about $400/month on groceries; we budget for $100/week and we're sometimes over, sometimes under. That includes mostly food for us but usually pet food and toiletries, too.

I keep saying that I'm going to start clipping coupons but I don't do it nearly as often as I should. I agree with ASTEPHENS11 that generics are a good way to go, but I disagree about it always being the same product. Most are truly identical to name-brands but a few are not, and some generics are definitely better than others.

My favorite way to save money is to buy in bulk. All our grains, beans and other dry goods come in bulk for a fraction of the regular price, and we go to Costco periodically. I'd go more often if it weren't so easy to spend so much, even if it's all a great buy in the long run.

Edited by: HEALTHANDHEARTH at: 9/28/2011 (17:19)
ASTEPHENS11 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (1,461)
Posts: 8
9/28/11 4:40 P

I spend about $115 a month for my husband and I. I am coupon crazed and I am always looking for deals. I buy mainly off-brand products and trust me it saves a lot of money and it is the same product. I also buy items that are grown in my state and that also saves a lot of money.

WOLFSPIRITMOM SparkPoints: (89,665)
Fitness Minutes: (71,898)
Posts: 7,700
9/28/11 4:33 P

Up here in Canada somewhat more expensive, probably $750 at least for the month with a family of 6.

NMSTEFFEN SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (4,971)
Posts: 24
9/28/11 3:35 P

It always amazes me how much more I spend on food now. (and how much better my health is for it) Switching from instant noodles and frozen pizza rolls to whole foods is a big life change, and a big pocket book change.

I love it. I'm rarely sick and have 10 times more energy, I don't think i will ever go back to such poor foods.

I live alone and usually spend about $250-300 on food each month. I can go down to $200 if i really pay attention to sales and visit multiple stores. But most of the time i am a two stop shopper. The farmer's market on sat, and good old Meijer the rest of the time.

Edited by: NMSTEFFEN at: 9/28/2011 (15:41)
LOVEBYRD Posts: 1,994
9/28/11 2:35 P

Just DH & I and it's about $350-400 which is high but not really when you think about it, we eat well and we eat healthy (and we rarely eat out!)

LIVINGPROOF006 Posts: 918
9/28/11 2:26 P

It is just my fiance and I so our bill is about 300-400 depending on what we put on our meal plan.

9/28/11 1:54 P

about $1000 per month for a family of 4 (with big kids/teens) eating mostly organic, whole foods.

I shop local farms, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Costco, and local grocery chains. I work hard to keep food from costing more than that (rarely eat out, cook from scratch 95% of the time, etc).

I figure you either pay the grocer/farmer or pay the doctor. Back in the day I used to shop as cheaply as possible and could get by on $50-75/week. While our bellies were full of homecooked food it was nutritionally poor. While I do try to keep food costs from spiraling out of control, I no longer make getting out of the store as inexpensively as possible a priority.

Edited by: DANNIELLEMARIE at: 9/28/2011 (21:21)
SPARKLES1438 Posts: 56
9/28/11 1:13 P

I am single and buy for one, but I spend about $400 a month; I purchase alot of FRESH fruit and veggies which is what seems to make the bill add up.

For a family of four, have you considered shopping at places that sell in large quanity like Sams Club, Costco, etc?

Fitness Minutes: (5,162)
Posts: 487
9/28/11 1:03 P

Over the summer I was spending a lot less, now that the farmer's markets are starting to wind down on their selection of fresh veggies I've been spending more. Granted I do get a lot of my veggies organic. My boyfriend and I spend about $120 a week on groceries. Food costs of course go up if we eat out which we do about every other week.
I don't currently have health insurance so my diet is my health insurance so I see it as worth it to spend a bit extra to get lots of veggies. Eat well, live well!

9/28/11 12:33 P

Just curious how much money you spend a month on your groceries? With the way everything is going up, it seems ridiculous on how much money food is costing us. I am a family of four and we spend roughly $800 a month. I am trying to find ways to reduce this bill?

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