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Groceries how much do you spend?

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Old 04-23-07, 08:49 AM
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Default Groceries how much do you spend?

Hey all trying to figure out if I spend too much each week on food. We have a family of 5, three of which are boys. Each week we spend about $200 on everything. ( I include all food, meals out, diapers, pretty much anything we buy at the store). Some weeks are less and some are more but we average about $200 per week. How much do you spend? Maybe we should have a grocery challenge or a thread about ways to save money at the grocery store?? The frugal books I'm reading state that the author's family spends around $180 for food and under $50 for non food for the entire month. Another book says $50 for food per week and under $30 per month for non food. These families don't eat out and they use cloth diapers but still. They spend a fourth of what we do. Anyway just wanted to see where others were at. Thanks in advance for any info/ help.

Love in Christ
Amanda
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Old 04-23-07, 08:55 AM
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I don't post here often but your thread definitely got my attention.

I have a family of 5 too but all 3 kids are under 5 years old. Our budget for food is ridiculas.
 
We spend an average of $200 a week too most weeks. I buy in bulk at Sam's too and freeze meat when it's on sale or from Sam's to reduce costs. I know what my problem is though I'm an impulse buyer so that block of special cheese that's $6 will find a way in my cart if the mood strikes me .
 
I make a list of stuff and still end up with several bags of "extra" stuff each trip to the store. I also don't go one time a week and stick to a menu very well I hit the store 2 or more times a week to pick up forgotten items then end up buying other things we don't have to have but I want.
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Old 04-23-07, 08:59 AM
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i have tried to cut down my food budget but it's hard...

i spend about $200 a week on my first shopping trip
 
then when i go back for things i forget i spend more on things i didn't need..

we also make a few trips to BJ's a month and i can easily spend $100+ there including diapers, wipes, etc..

The only way i can see spending less is not buying fresh fruit/vegetables and buying a lot of boxed/canned goods.

we like to eat healthy so I am not going to compromise and buy unhealthy foods to save money.
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Old 04-23-07, 09:12 AM
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it would be easier to spend less money and eat prepared/boxed foods-- my fruit/veggies/perishables (bread/eggs/etc) alone is alteast $40 a week....

The past few weeks I've been challenging myself to eat from our freezer
 
I stock up too and forgot what I even had in there
 


But normally on just groceries/cleaning items/paper products we spend atleast $100 week.... then if I add in eating out, I would say that's atleast another $60 week...
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Old 04-23-07, 09:46 AM
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We budget every dollar we spend into envelopes every 2 weeks. So for two weeks, our budget looks like this:

(*divide by two for one week's worth of expenses)
Groceries: $130 (we spent a little extra last week because our envelope for this morning's trip to Kroger holds $61)
Dining out: $30
Gas: $70
Diapers: $10 (both of our girls are in nighttime diapers only)
Miscellaneous: $25 (this provides a bumper for anything we've forgotten)

Then we have what we call "Pork Barrel" items that we roll into the budget for the two weeks until the next pay day. We make separate envelopes for those, too. The consist of things like:

(these are some from this half of the month)
Haircuts
Birthday gift for our godson
Clorox 2 at Sam's
A new flag for the flagpole
Date Night (for my birthday)
Sarah's birthday
Greens Fees for Golf League

We have that all in Excel and we fill in the amounts and it adds up how much we need to withdraw from the bank in cash. We get out the cash and distribute the money into envelopes. Then we ONLY spend what is in the envelope for that need. If there is extra, we put it into Miscellaneous.

We also shop at Sam's but we've streamlined what we need there to bananas, apples, bread, chicken breasts, potatoes, ground beef (which I buy in 6# packages and freeze in 1# sections).

Our meals are healthy but not filled with stuff we don't need either. Last night we had baked potatoes, corn, and grilled chicken breasts. Tonight we'll have meatloaf with carrots (frozen and cooked in the steamer) and salad. Tuesday night will be pasta and meatballs, Wednesday is Andy's golf night so we sometimes grab dinner out on our way to a park or something and he'll eat something when he gets home (or I make breakfast food for dinner--which the girls love!: heart: ). Thursday night will be chicken fajitas, rice, and salad. Friday night I'm going out with some old friends from high school so Andy and the girls will probably have a frozen pizza or something easy. Saturday we usually grill out and Sunday will probably be chicken again.

So it's not like we're eating Hamburger Helpers or mac & cheese all the time. We eat plenty of fruits and veggies; I'm just selective about when and where I buy them to get the most for our money. And our veggie steamer has become my best friend.
 


So it IS possible to live on a tight budget and by doing this, we've been able to go from $32,000 debt in January of 2006 to only $8,500 debt this month. Our budget allows us to pay $1400-$1550/month toward reduction of debt and we'll be DEBT-FREE by Halloween!!
 


Once we're debt-free, we'll probably loosen those pursestrings a little and allow ourselves a few more dollars at the grocery and maybe a bit more in dining out as well. I'll keep you posted, though.
 


Sorry for the epic response.
 
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