The Great Grocery Challenge.... : LUSENET : Country Families : One Thread

As you all know I keep track of all of my food expenses for the year to try to reach a certain average. My goal for this year is an average of $250 a month for 6 people. This includes any food that we purchase, as well as meals eaten out, and vegetables seeds and plants. Normally at this time of year my average is a little high, as I generally tend to stock up a lot in Feb. and March. So right now my average is about $300 a month. However I am super-stocked up so I should be able to bring it back into line in the next few months, and maybe even come in below average by the end of the year!

One thing that is making it more difficult is my determination to eat healthier. I am buying nothing with hydrogenated oil, white flour,or any mixes or "fake" food. We are cooking almost 100% from scratch, which does take more time... and the initial cost of switching to more healthy products is a little high...

So tell us your average and how many people and any tips or hints you may have.

-- Melissa in SE Ohio (, April 01, 2002


I budget $140 a month for 2 of us. Yes, we too try to eat very little processed foods. This has been a particularly tough year for us with business problems and surgery just lately for my husband. I am so thankful I raise chickens, both layers and broilers, grow garden and can produce and people have been very good to us in giving us some venison this winter. I have whole wheat stocked up from Y2K and grind that to bake bread with. My monthly $140 includes paper products, but not chicken feed because sale of eggs pretty much takes care of the feed I use. We eat out very seldom.

-- Nancy (, April 01, 2002.

I don't understand how so many spend so much on groceries every month! Well, ok, I know how, but why? It's so unneccesary. We are a family of 4 (kids 7 and 4). We spend the equivalent of about $273 US ( about $433 Cdn) on average per month. This includes paper products and cleaning supplies. The only prepared foods we buy are things like dairy (cheese, yogurt), peanut butter, jam (soon hope to rectify this one), and bread. Occasionally we'll pick up a box of cereal for the youngest one. We just don't purchase junk, or food with no nutritional value.

Little to no prepackaged food doesn't mean we don't eat well. All goodies are from scratch, and we eat mostly "meat and potatoes" type meals. Rice and home-made pasta as alternates for the tatters. Spaghetti sauce from scratch is mucho cheaper than a jar of it. Tastes better, too.

Soon hope to replace much of the purchases with our own home-grown. Working on learning tomatoes, sunflowers, strawberries, and peppers this year in the garden. Next year hope to get cane-type berries, and give peanuts a shot. We already do the salad stuff (lettuce, carrots, etc.). My spending amount above doesn't reflect any homegrown produce as we couldn't plant last year.

-- Rheba (rb@notmymail.notcom), April 01, 2002.

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