Grocery challenge! : LUSENET : Country Families : One Thread

It has been a while since we discussed our grocery budgets, and cost-cutting ideas. The entire year of 2001 I kept track of every penny spent on food for my family of 6. When I averaged it out it was about $65 a week. I don't remember the exact amount, but I will look it up later and re-post if it is much different. This was enlightening to me because prior to this I thought I was spending about $50 a week! So it was more than I had thought.

We have been trying to eat a much healthier diet, more of a lifestyle change actually, so I spent a little more than normal in January just buying some healthier items. I bought a gallon jug of olive oil for $8.99 and some other bulk buys. I haven't added my totals for Janusry 2002 yet, but I know it is a little high. I have set a goal of $55 a week for 2002. I would like to buy more basic food items, raise a bigger garden and cut out most all junk food to accomplish these goals.

Anyone else up for the challenge? Let us know what you spend a week/month whichever, and give us some of your best shopping/food procurring tips!!! Tell us your goal and how you plan to reach it.

-- Melissa in SE Ohio (, February 06, 2002


Melissa, I did the same thing. Kept all my receipts in a shoe box, totaling each month and averaging at the end of the year. Found out I was spending approximately $55/week in groceries. This might not have been exactly what I thought, but at least it gave me a starting point to gauge my grocery spending for this year. I also kept a list of coupon savings. I also thought I was doing better there so was surprised when my average monthly savings was only about $11. I know I can do better and now have the stats to prove it. There is always room for improvement.

My best tips are to organize what you already have so you can shop from your own freezer/cupboards.

Make up menus based on what you already have and take advantage of lost leaders at your grocery store.

Try never to toss out good food. It's amazing how much food we throw away. A little bit of leftover peas or corn added to some ground beef and gravy topped off with last nights leftover mashed potatoes makes a delicious Shepard's Pie.

Good luck to everyone.

Wishing you enough.

-- Trevilians (aka Dianne in Mass) (, February 07, 2002.

Shopping around and asking friends for prices where they shop can really save you money. I will only be the Extra Virgin, cold pressed olive oil because of how it is extracted. In the stores it is sky high. You get a great price at Sams club though. Also, buying in bulk can help a lot. We grind our own wheat to make bread, which I am sure many of you do. Buying your wheat, and other items bulk really saves in this area. I buy the instant yeast at Sams. I get 2 lbs. for $3. It is vacuum packed in foil bags. I am using some yeast that I bought 2 years ago, and it is still good. I stocked up when I had the money to do so. My game is to try and buy as little as possible at the grocery store. Saving receipts is a good idea that I will have to try. Also, do away with many of your paper goods. Don't buy paper plates, cups, etc. Use cloth napkins. Fold them at your place and use them more than once. I cut all old shirts, etc up into rags, and I quit buying paper toweling. Things like that really bring prices down as well. Hee hee, I will get off my soapbox now. I do have a page on my website that lists some ways to simplify and save money.

-- Marci (, February 07, 2002.

When we discussed this before, I think Cathy said her goal was to spend $10 per person a week. I thought this was a good rule of thumb.

Also I count seeds, garden plants, food from restaurants, chicken feed, and money at the grocery store in my "food" budget.

I don't count cleaning supplies and other misc household items. I try not to spend more than $10 a week for all of that stuff including: school supplies, cleaning items like dish soap, laundry soap, bleach, toilet tissue, etc... Usually don't spend that much though.

-- Melissa in SE Ohio (, February 07, 2002.

We average out to between $50-$55 a week, this does include paper products but not health and beauty stuff (shampoo, medicines, toothpaste, etc.) We basically don't buy anything unless it's on sale. And when it's on a good sale we buy it by the case or cases. I also buy some things in 25 or 50 pound bags (oats, wheatberries, dry milk, dried potatoes, etc.) I don't use the dry milk as much as I could but it's really nice to have on hand. We have six people in our family so I think this is pretty good.

-- Deena in GA (, February 07, 2002.

You know, I think I'm doing so good and then...... Yikes! Mine was about $76.00 a week. Way too much, I think, but that total included all food, including eating out and lunch money at school for my daughters. It was more for them at the High School than dinner cost at home. The oldest is in college, so maybe it will go down some. I am trying to go to the store less, and use up some of what I have, though I like to keep a good supply of food in my pantry. I have always tried to stock up when things are on sale.

However, after reading your totals, I see I have a ways to go. But you have inspired me to try harder. I want to be a good steward.

-- connie in nm (, February 07, 2002.

Good Grief! No fair! I spend about 300.$ a week on groceries. Granted I have 9 people in the house including 4 adults and 3 teenage boys. I'm so jealous! How do you do it?

-- Buffy in Dallas (, February 08, 2002.

The million dollar question Buffy... I probably use lots of the same methods many here use, and we have had some great threads in the past on this. If I get time I will run some of them up. But mostly cook from scratch, buy on sale, in bulk, garden, grow, hunt, forage, if anyone offers you anything take it (reciprocate too!) When you shop, THINK!!! (# 1 most important thing). Don't shop hungry, or thirsty. Make a plan of how much you will spend. Carry cash, to keep from overspending. Don't waste anything.

I am going to find Mitch's first post on this topic and run it up, it was great.

-- Melissa in SE Ohio (, February 08, 2002.

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