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SASSISPRING's Photo SASSISPRING Posts: 10,877
2/17/10 2:06 P

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Aldi's must be a store in the USA as I've never heard of it up here, no matter where I've lived. And I agree, good on you for looking at what you truly are already buying, so that you know your budget well and can make necessary changes.

PEWILK, if its a security issue, how about putting together a year's worth of dry goods similar to what my sister'n'law does - she is LDS member and its what they are encouraged to do, as a means to prepare for any emergency. That way you'd know that you have food for a year and maybe that would help out. I'm sure there are lists on the net of appropriate amounts and types of dry goods to purchase for a year.



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PEWILK Posts: 130
2/17/10 1:15 P

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I don't know Aldi's, but sounds like a great store to have! And give yourself credit - you can't change anything if you don't know what you're spending, so congrats for starting to track it!

We've been working our way through a huge dry goods store too. It's made me question why I buy food when I have so much in the house already. I think it's a security issue. I seem to be a stress shopper, which is disconcerting. But I'm figuring out some strategies for that. Main one is that when I'm in the mood to buy books or magazines I head to the library and shop there! Tougher for food though.

SOPHIEMAE2007's Photo SOPHIEMAE2007 SparkPoints: (52,332)
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2/15/10 11:31 A

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I have Aldi's in my area too! I've shopped there alot a couple years ago. It has been a while since I've been back. I told my mom a week or so ago that I should go back just to save on some groceries. I really do like their canned veggies and it is great to save on some other staples like sugar, flour, etc. There are some items there that I will not buy again, because there were not good in my opinion.

Kim

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CASE4GRACE's Photo CASE4GRACE Posts: 2,959
2/15/10 10:43 A

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Right now I'm working on going back through my expenses over the last several months to get a better handle on what I actually have been spending on groceries - yes, that's right, I don't even know. (which explains why we are in the mess we're in!) One thing I have been doing is shopping more at Aldi. I don't know if everyone has these in their area, but they are a Godsend! They are a small store that doesn't have much overhead - usually just one or two cashiers working at a time, and maybe someone stocking shelves. Very little advertising, and they don't sell many name brand items, mostly fresh produce and their own brands or other obscure brands that don't advertise. The thing is, most of the food is really good!!! And very cheap. No coupons needed, and the trip to the grocery store takes half the time and costs almost half as much as a trip to the big grocery store I usually would shop at. I also buy things at Costco, but watch the prices carefully there, as sometimes it's just not a saving.

Currently, we are putting our house on the market, so we're going to be eating all of the stuff we have in the freezer and cupboards here to get rid of it - I guess we're food hoarders, because I can't believe how much there is! That should save on the food budget for the next month or two.

Edited by: CASE4GRACE at: 2/15/2010 (11:37)
Our greatest glory consists not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. ~ Oliver Goldsmith


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PEWILK Posts: 130
2/14/10 4:07 P

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Case4Grace, have you found any new strategies that you are adopting?

SASSISPRING's Photo SASSISPRING Posts: 10,877
2/9/10 1:05 A

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It all depends where you live, what country you live in and the region. There is a huge difference in food costs from Canada to the USA, its cheaper down there for us. And our dollar is on par for some time now. My bff just went across the line to get food, saved much money going into Bellingham even with the gas factored into the cost and she lives on the Lower Mainland where its far cheaper than for me up here. Yet my food is cheaper than those living further north. Heck, one week of camp food cost me close to $100 because I bought it in the far north of BC. And yes, transportation costs are factored into the food costs, seasonal vs non-seasonal etc.

Check out your local area, take time to do your homework. Fill out what you think would make a good week menu, then scope out the local places to see how much it'll cost, where is the best deals etc. Then you'll have a better idea. We did that as college students, plus we walked around with calculators to ensure we didn't go over the budget after we set it up.

One week for a single person here is around $50-100 depending on what is being purchased and what season it is, plus what the cost of gas has gone to. So when gas went up, our food was skyhigh. You'd think we lived in the Arctic! Up there I was used to it, one litre of milk for over $5, a small container of strawberries - waiting in line for a hour for the truck to arrive and get the best one - cost about $10. Usually we bought bulk, twice a year and spent about $2k at once, then stocked everything to the top of the shop and freezer. It just was how it was. Down here it flucuates and that makes it really difficult to budget.

I think up here the $771 would be average with the majority spending around $1K per month for 4 people. Now if only wages matched the inflation that would really help. *grin*

Good articles, thanks for sharing those everyone. And yes, if you can, look into community gardens and such, as those can be a blessing. Watch though, our garden is set in clay so not many people participate in it, as its really hard to grow stuff.

Keep us posted in what you decide works. :)



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LATVIAN_SANDY's Photo LATVIAN_SANDY SparkPoints: (156,958)
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2/8/10 5:23 P

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Thanks for the articles - very interesting! $770 is HUGE! But when I see all of the prepackaged items in people's grocery carts, it's no wonder. We tend to cook most of our meals, and only have an occasional frozen entree or pizza.

We're a family of 3 now - with a 20 yr old son, and I'd say we spent around $400 per month on food & other groceries (like paper towels, TP, cleaning supplies). So I think that $500 seems pretty reasonable for 4.

Good luck!

Sveiki!
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CASE4GRACE's Photo CASE4GRACE Posts: 2,959
2/8/10 1:18 P

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Thank you for the links to the articles - they are very helpful. Wow, $770 sounds like a lot per month, even for my family with two teenagers! I have to go back and see what I have been spending - I really haven't been keeping close tabs (a big part of my problem!) but I am hoping to get by for $500 or less if possible, and I thought maybe that was even too much.



Our greatest glory consists not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. ~ Oliver Goldsmith


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BELTONWALKER67's Photo BELTONWALKER67 SparkPoints: (115,969)
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2/8/10 12:26 P

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Here's some great tips too!

Eating Better for Less
by Jennifer Beam
Must healthy food cost more?

www.stretcher.com/stories/10/10feb08
e.
cfm


Make this a Healthy Choice Day!
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SOPHIEMAE2007's Photo SOPHIEMAE2007 SparkPoints: (52,332)
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2/8/10 9:46 A

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I'll have to read it "better" when I have the time. I just glanced at it and that is almost my house payment too! Wow!! I can't even imagine spending that amount on food. Of course, I am a single person, but still!!

Good luck! I've tried limiting what I spend and started using the sales flyer from my grocery store. I think it has helped. What I would like to do is get some shelving for my basement and start storing extra canned and boxed goods. I made soup, meatloaf and chili this weekend and froze it in single servings for lunches and dinners. All I have to so is provide a salad and desert to go along with it. Eating homemade food sure beats prepared frozen meals!!

Kim

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BELTONWALKER67's Photo BELTONWALKER67 SparkPoints: (115,969)
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2/8/10 9:15 A

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This is a great question and will probably vary from family to family, due to likes & dislikes of foods. I, too, was curious so did a web search and came up with this link from "The Simple Dollar". Love to see everyone's reaction to this! This amount is as much as my house payment! For a family of 3, we try to keep the cost down to less than $80.00 per week. Check out this link:

www.thesimpledollar.com/2008/09/01/w
ha
ts-an-appropriate-home-food-budget-fR>or-a-family-of-four/


Best wishes to you & your family as you find a dollar amount that fits in your budget!

Make this a Healthy Choice Day!
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CASE4GRACE's Photo CASE4GRACE Posts: 2,959
2/7/10 10:59 P

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I am trying to work through a budget that we can live with and stick to in the future to prevent encountering any further debt and hopefully allow us the opportunity to pay off our current debts without having to file bankruptcy. My husband and I have two teenage boys, ages 14 and 16. I am wondering what a reasonable food budget is, knowing that we are trying to eat healthy (in other words, we don't want to live on mac & cheese and ramen noodles). I use coupons and shop sales, shop at warehouses and discount stores, buy in bulk, etc., but I still feel like we may be spending too much.

So, I'm interested in learning what dollar amount other families maintain their food budget at, if you'd be willing to share. Thanks!

Our greatest glory consists not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. ~ Oliver Goldsmith


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