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Help! Need to decrease the grocery bill

14 years 4 months ago #63715 by OBRN2MD
We have four kids (so that makes 6 of us) and we spend about $800/month on groceries. My hubby cases the ads every Sunday and we buy in bulk at that time. Whatever is on sale is what we eat for the week. I will even go to two different stores if the deals are worth it (I know, time is of the essence.....I work, I go to school, my hubby works and goes to school, we have dance, skating, swimming, piano lessons, hockey, basketball, gymnastics, etc and no daycare or help with the kids). But to save $400-600/month completely makes up for the extra driving (I usually throw groceries in with some other errand that I have to run). I was just thinking the other day, though, that if it was just my hubby and I we could probably get away with $60/week (and I could have my Caribou too :) ). Oh, and I also make a menu for the week. That way we know what ingredients we have. We don't buy brand name anything (unless it's cheap). I rarely spend more than $1.99/lb for meat of any kind. The kids love "upside down days" where we have breakfast for dinner (pancakes, french toast, eggs). With a little planning, it's really not difficult to save a bit (last year we went three months on $600/month). Hope some of this helps.

In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps. Proverbs 16:9

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14 years 4 months ago #63716 by Cindy
We are a family of 4 and our budget is usually 350 to 400 a month. My nine year old eats more than either parent so I dread puberty! I have found that the biggest detriment to my food budget is taking my kids to the store. I am a push over for high priced kid snacks! I shop alone with a list, and stock up on meat at Sam's or Costco. That is the best buy there, just take it home and individually wrap it. Also, the coffee beans are cheap and good and I always buy like 3 jumbo packs. I also save on personal care stuff like shampoo and toilet paper. I always try and make double of any big meal we eat and freeze a portion for later. We love leftovers here so we only cook big like twice a week. I agree that one of the easiest way to save money is a deep freeze. As for alcohol, I buy Australian wines espescially reds, Rosemont and Jacob's Creek. You can find one you like for like 6-7$ where I live. I hope this help and thanks for all the great ideas.

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14 years 4 months ago #63717 by plum
Ladies-This has been great. This month we have spent around 400$ for food and other household supplies. And our house and freezer are stocked (I was sweating a bit when our power went out due to a storm earlier this week, there is a lot of meat in that freezer!) . I think we have detergent, mustard and ketchup forever. I'm getting much better about having stuff for lots of different dinners on hand vs only a few very select meals. I have started to look at the ads and we have joined Sam's club. That is a great place for meat and cheese and lots of things. I am unsure about their salmon, it seems to be a very alarming shade of unnatural pink that is not present in the wild-caught salmon that is sometimes on sale at the Kroger. Sam's frozen fish looks good though. We go there for gas too. The Australian wines are pretty good buys, and pretty decent wines. Sam's is good for wines too. We have started doing a major shop every other week and then on the off week buying only some produce and milk as needed. I have started to become more creative. I had zucchini that I was going to grill but that didn't work out so I made a homemade veggie tomato sauce for pasta. We ate half of it and the rest is in the freezer, I'm lovin it. We are wasting a lot less and saving money...awesome. And I'll probably buy the coffee at Sam's too.

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14 years 4 months ago #63718 by fearlessphoenix
We do the meat market/Aldi's thing also and spent $600 for groceries and staples in April and are still eating off menu plans that I make up two months at a time - Spaghetti-O's (generic) and Pancake mix are our friend. I don't buy frozen waffles - I make my own then freeze them, I don't buy frozen pancakes - I make my own and freeze them, I fry up 10-15 lbs of hamburger at a time and freeze it in 1/2 lb bags and cream-of-chicken soup is always in supply at our house. I don't have AC and do my cooking once a week and make up three BIG dishes (tuna noodle casserole, Methodist Casserole, Spaghetti Casserole, Chili etc.) and everyone warms up their own plate with whatever they feel like and I keep a big bowl of greenbeans, corn and some canned fruit on hand and everyone gets to eat what they like. We eat out on payday but that's pretty much it.

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14 years 4 months ago #63719 by Allison
I think I am on the high end of average... I don't have many tips but this is how it works for me....
First of all, I use to use Sam's but it would always end up costing me more and Sams's and Walmart are the same company so I can get most of the same things, just smaller portions.

I shop at a super walmart where I get all of our food, my animals food and house hold goods like cleaner and TP.

You can get cleaners and stuff at the dollar store and if you go like once a month and but all of them at the same time you save quite a bit...my mom swears by this!!! I know it works, another thing she does is shop early in the morning for meat thats on sale...its totally good and some of the deals she finds are unbelievable.

I spend about 500- 800 a month on groceries, it varies a lot.

I have to say that myself and my kids are vegetarian and i buy A LOT of the morningstar veggie stuff and it adds up a lot. I buy a lot of unneccesary snacks for my kids and my husband sometimes, that probably explains the more expensive months. We eat fairly often and this is not included in the total. When I work I eat there for cheap...like a dollar...and my husband is a restaurant manager so he eats at work or goes to one of the nearby places and gets something. I also buy stuff for my kids to eat at my moms when she watches them. This is probably about 75 a month and about half is included in my first total.

wow...i just realized how much that is!!!

Also, i dont clip coupons, i guess i might if i did a super shop once a month but when i go aboput once a week i find the money i could save is not worth the time it takes.

I break everything down as payment....

It takes me say and hour to cut coupons that save me 2.25 if I ONLY cut what i would buy anyway...would you work for that?



"The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil but because of those who look on and do nothing." Albert Einstein

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14 years 3 months ago #63720 by AnnaM
Have always lived frugally, even while working as a full-time FP and making decent bucks. Now that I'm burned out and quitting, it allowed me to put enough money in the bank to survive til my pension kicks in. Learned a lot of it by reading the Tightwad Gazette several years ago. The newsletter is no longer published (she made so much money on it that she retired), but the best tips were published in a series of three books, titled The Tightwad Gazette (I, II, and III), by Amy Dacyczyn. Most of what I do has already been mentioned (2nd freezer, buy sundries at the Dollar store, shop at Aldi's for food and sometimes Sam's, though you have to know prices to know what saves you money at Sam's, buy loss leaders at our regular grocery stores. One thing I do is to keep one of those coolers that plug in to the cigarette lighter in the van during the summer, so I can do multiple errands on my way home without worrying about the frozen stuff. Saves time and gas. I have no idea what I spend in a week or a month, but it's not much. I'm just too busy to sit down and figure it out. Maybe I will now that I'm quitting.

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