My husband got a full time job! We were rocking along in August on our $400 grocery budget eating a lot of beans and rice when he got a call from a print shop that he interviewed for about 3 months ago, and they wanted to hire him on full time! What a blessing, after being out of work for 10 months we now have 2 stable incomes! We want to work on giving back to the community. Austin has a large homeless population and many people give them food and bottled water instead of $, we have already started carrying some granola bars with us to hand out to the homeless when we see them. I know this is not going to change their life but maybe it will help them be less hungry for a minute. We also have started collecting some great books from the thrift stores we frequent so we can give them to people who might be able to use them (Dave Ramsey's Total $ Makeover and The Easy Way to Stop Smoking by Allen Carr) I still have that stressed out tight feeling in my stomach of fear and dread that I have been dealing with for the past 10mths. I guess it is just going to take time for that to pass. I am worried about spending $ on anything because my subconscious is waiting for the other shoe to drop. I guess this is kind of what the survivors of the great depression felt when they horded plastic bags and old cool whip containers for years and years after the great depression ended. Thanks for all your support and prayers, blessing to you and your families!
Fitness Minutes: (118,875) Posts: 1,434 7/24/11 1:00 P
For $15 you can get a large basket full of fruits and veggies,(quite a variety and it has about $50 -60 of produce!) I only buy 2 of these baskets a month because of how big they are to feed my family of four. www.bountifulbaskets.org/
current weight: 193.0
Fitness Minutes: (5,776) Posts: 143 7/20/11 9:14 P
I agree about Walmart going up on their prices! I like to go there once in a while because they have everything, but they are not any cheaper. We have HEB in Texas, they are pretty good about prices and have a good store brand
Fitness Minutes: (118,875) Posts: 1,434 7/20/11 6:51 P
Our budget for groceries and other supplies for 3 people is only 130. per week. We have two incomes so we don't have to do this. However, we don't like to spend a lot on consumables. We shop together once a week with a list of things we will need for the next week. We start at Aldi's, go to Kroger with some coupons, then on to Walmart - if we can't find it anywhere else. ( Walmart has really gone up on their prices in the last year or so.) We buy off brands and we don't like a lot of meat. Also, we have only eaten out about three times in the last six months. We do have a garden and that helps in the Summer and early fall. I think living using a food and supplies budget requires a lot of planning and time. Of course, you also have to learn your prices so you can comparison shop.
Thanks for all the suggestions, we are very blessed to still have 1 paycheck and all the other wonderful things we have in our lives. I forget sometimes how many blessings I have, and I have so many!
I have been thinking all day about this grocery budget situation, We do all our cooking at home, no eating out, no party nights with the grocery budget. Being vegan I don't buy meat, but I do spurge on all sorts of expensive fruits and veggies. It is nothing for me to spend $2.50 on a lb of grapes or $3 per lb of asparagus or portabella mushrooms. Also when I am lazy I buy the boca burgers, and those things are almost $1 per patty! Sadly I am going to have to cut out my exotic produce next month. I will have to stick with cheap produce like bananas, apples, potatoes and carrots. It sucks that junk food like chips are less expensive than fresh pineapple! I really like the suggestion about buying frozen vegetables instead of fresh, I am going to check that out.
I will overcome this budget crunch! I will be stronger than this! Life is going to throw garbage at you sometimes and you have to climb on top of that pile of garbage instead of lying under it!
We are two living on a fixed budget and 400.00 including soaps etc. would be tops for a month of food for us. Having had a large family we still have a large freezer which helps us buy on sale. I also buy non persables in bulk on sale since our home is large and plenty of storage. Bulk in our terms might be a much smaller amount that younger folks that eat more or have families.
With medications so high and climbing, something has to give for older folks. Flutter
WE HAD A NEW SAVE-A-LOT OPEN IN THE NEXT TOWN. MEAT IS SO MUCH CHEAPER THERE. I LIKE BEEF WHILE DH LIKES PORK. HE'LL GET A SMALL ROAST & CUT IT INTO "STEAKS " FOR ME. THANKFULLY WE BOTH LIKE CHICKEN. I ALSO LIKE TUNA WHILE HE LIKES SAMON. SINCE RETIRONG HE'S DOING THE COOKING & I DO CLEAN UP. HE'S GETING BETTER AT PORTIONS BUT WE STILL HAVE LEFT OVERS THAT WE EAT AT THE NEXT MEAL. WE'VE GOT A GARDEN ALTHOUGH THIS HEAT MIGHT DESTROY IT EVEN WITH WATERING. THERE'S JUST THE TWO OF US.
When I was vegan, a few years ago, my food and toiletry plus animal food budget was around $125 a month for just me. The most expensive things for my vegan list were milk substitutes & fresh veggies. Do you have an Aldi's, save a lot or other discount off brand store around you? They tend to have cheaper fresh fruits in veggies. Obviously, each week is a new super discounted item, but if you can have super cheap nectarines this week and super cheap tomatoes next week, and incorporate those items into meals and snacks, then it will help your budget a lot. While there, check out the prices on milk substitutes. Canned coconut milk can be stretched to 2 or 3 times the canned amount with some water. Other vegan friendly snacks are available on the cheap if you are willing to stand in the snack aisle and read a bunch of labels!
When you shop at health food stores, ask about discount days, coupons available, mailing lists, and promotional days. Even if you stocked up on items once a month on the discount day and could get 10% off your order, you save 10%!!! Without doing anything other than stocking up once a month!
Also, drugstores have a ton of free after rebate deals, even without using coupons.
I think you should be able to do on $400 or LESS. No big 'nights out' for meals... and not a lot of snack and junk food from the grocery either. Plenty of popcorn, and if you can learn to make tortillas. to toast up for chips that should help. I spend about $200 a month for 1 person - and that is lots of fresh produce (which is not cheap) and I don't use coupons, which I probably could... except that they are top name products which I may/maynot buy.
I cook most of my own meals, and like to especially fix healthy soups that I can use for a few days, or stews, and crock pot meals.
I was wondering where you live? There are only two in our household. Produce is the biggest part of our grocery budget. I average about $350 to 400 a month for groceries & household necessities. I live in Indiana. Since most of our stores and products are national, I think our prices are the same as everywhere else. The only thing cheaper here is housing. This time of year, we grow tomatoes & bell peppers in our back yard.
Are you cooking from SCRATCH? Are you eating in restaurants? When we retired, our food budget increased. But then we realized that we were not eating in our employers cafeterias, and we cut our meals out to once a week. I keep canned beans on the shelf, but I also make them from the dried state. If you use milk: Use powdered milk when ever you can. Frozen veggies are cheaper than fresh - just don't buy the fancy ones. Buy the basics. You may not have as much variety. I find that coupons are not helpful as they are only for brand name foods. The store brands are usually cheaper. Once in a while, a brand name is cheaper on cereal than the store brand. We eat a lot of oatmeal. You can do great things with apples & oatmeal.
HOUSEKEEPING: What are spending on cleaning supplies? Is there something you can cut. Use shampoo sparingly. Everybody has a different situation - but I have found that I can wash my hair with shampoo every other time I wash my hair. The other time, I just rinse it well so that I can style it.
Hillbilly Housewife has two budget menus for family of four that might give you ideas. $45 Emergency Menu for 4 to 6. This one is more vegan than the other. http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/40doll armenu.htm www.hillbillyhousewife.com/40dollarm en u.htm
Growing some of my own food is my best solution. Stick with whatever grows well in your area. Utilize pick-your-own fruit sales and either use a food dehydrator (thrift stores often sell them for under $10.00) or freeze (look for a used freezer in the classifieds or on craigslist.com There are other whole grains that can be cooked like rice and are very nutrious, some less expensive than rice, for instance barley, rye. If there is a food coop near you buy things in bulk there (grains, nuts, beans, lentils). I agree that sprouting works well. Lots of info on youtube about how to do it. Birgit
You can talk to God all you want and that's great, but the changes happen when you start listening to him.
BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN OTHERS.
Body Fat %: 16.0
Fitness Minutes: (180,361) Posts: 1,982 7/17/11 11:13 P
Ummm, sounds tough, sorry to hear it. I used to spend about $75/wk (single, and that's Australian dollars but it's roughly equivalent). This year I'm averaging about $50/wk. Some savers that work for me: - make my own tempeh. - grow my own sprouts (red clover, mustard, alfalfa). They are filling and the seeds seem expensive but they grown a lot of greens. - get to the farmers' market late. Try to pick up bargains on stuff that might otherwise be thrown out. With the bulk stuff, e.g. graprefruit recently, I made some jam and have been bartering it for other food with people I know. Tempeh is also a good barter item for me, people are queueing up for it! - help out at the community garden. Every time I go I get a share of whatever's harvested that day. Hope you manage okay, Alan
current weight: 146.0
Fitness Minutes: (5,776) Posts: 143 7/17/11 11:01 P
So my husband's temp job ended Fri and so we will again be living on 1 income until he gets another job. I was writing out the August budget today and with the increase in insurance premiums and cost of medication we will only have $400 for food for the whole month of August. We already live very frugally and cook all 3 meals at home. We are vegans and already eat a lot of rice and beans, and our monthly grocery budget averages approx $600 (with toilet paper and toothpaste, etc) I am not sure how to cut the fat anymore without resorting to ramon noodles everyday. Any suggestions?
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