Friday, August 15, 2008

How much do you spend???

I'm very curious to know how much my blog readers (I know there is not many) spend a month on Grocery's? What sort of meals do you eat? Fresh fruits and veggies? Do you buy organic? How often do you go grocery shopping?
What is even a realistic amount to spend these days on Groceries?? I feel like this has become one of my most difficult jobs as a stay at home mom trying to keep our monthly grocery bill on budget and organized. I'm even starting to buy foods I wouldn't normally because they are less money and stretch farther which are also not the healthiest options. Lately, every time I go to the store certain items are more expensive than the last time! I'm I alone?
I'm trying to keep our monthly grocery budget at $400 dollars which I'm finding challenging since we usually end up at about $500 for the month!! Curious what your budgets and thoughts are!!!


Amanda said...

We've talked about this, but my budget is easily double yours and I still have trouble sticking to it! We eat A LOT and I never throw anything away, so I think it's just a matter of choices. I refuse to give up Diet Coke and my Wyder's Pear Cider or chips or all natural foods for the kids and I'd never get any of that on $400 a month.
Meal-planning helps A LOT, but sticking to a grocery budget generally requires a level of dedication and planning that I just don't have enough commitment for. I guess I'm good at other things!

Sarah said...

Well our budget on paper says I have 300 for groceries (including toiletries and house cleaning supplies) hahaha, its actually pretty funny when I actually put it down so I can read it. We take out money for other categories at the same time so I think I end up using that money for groceries. Some months all the grocery money goes to eating out. There was a time of great discipline where we were TOTALLY BROKE and I was bound and determined to make it work and we had a grocery budget of $150 per month for 2 adults (jonathan was a baby) We ate healthy meals (not organic but no sugar or white flour ;-) Where did that discipline go and how can I get it back.

Betsy said...

Our 'goal' is $400 a month with diapers for two and formula for one. It's nearly impossible! We did HAVE to scale back for a while and were able to keep it around $300 for a couple months, but that was eating bare basics...and not healthy ones! I always buy fresh apples, but otherwise, when I'm trying to save $ I buy canned or frozen fruit/veggies. They just keep longer. Joel and I have decided that things like soda, juice, chips, are 'extra' and by extra I mean calories, chemicals and money! We try to cut those things first. We still have a LONG way to go though.

Rachel said...

I have started trying to look for higher quality foods, especially meat and dairy stuff, and they'll usually come on sale for nothing (like Foster Farms Chicken breast at Fred Meyer for 99 a pound) and I'll just buy a ton - okay, not a literal ton :), but I'll stick 30-40 pounds in the freezer...then we're stocked for chicken for awhile and don't have to buy it when it's $3-$5 a pound, so we can use the grocery budget to hit other sales, like higher-quality bread or a few cartons of good ice cream. :)

Baking and cooking from scratch makes a big difference, too...I make up my own sauces, seasonings, and marinates instead of buying the bottles, which are usually expensive and full of junk like corn syrup and preservatives. I was trying to bake my own bread, but that took a low priority when the weather got hot and I got huge. :) But it does save money and you can make bread without all the junk in it, so maybe I'll pick it up again this winter.

The way I see it, it's worth paying a little more for things that tend to run a little more expensive, like 100% juices without sugar, meats without additives, or stuff without high fructose corn syrup, because you're getting more nourishing food that will be better for the family. We stay away from super-processed foods, and I'm realizing that the less convenience and junk food we buy, and the less we eat out, the more money we have for the healthy stuff.

I don't meal plan...I just jump on sales of stuff we eat a lot when we find them and try to keep a balanced variety of food in the house, and then cook based on what's in the house. I'm convinced that's the cheapest way to go, because you're only buying stuff when it's the rock-bottom price.

But then, you're feeding 3 guys so you're budget is just going to be more than mine no matter what. :) I'm think I'm still riding about $200-$300 a month, but I also haven't been cooking a lot lately or really keeping track of the grocery budget, and we've been eating out WAY too much...pregnancy laziness, so ask me again in a few months and I'll have a better idea of how much we really spend.

Sissy said...

It's funny you bring this up, because this subject seems to come up more and more in our family and with friends.

I have found that groceries are sky rocking. We have tried to stay under $400 and in doing that it has become a struggle. I am cooking more meals from scratch and really eating frugally. Beans, potatos, veggies etc.... I have started shopping by ad's in the paper and going to a produce only store that caters to local farmers. Planning my menu for the week has helped me out, but I'm feeling ya girl. SO EXPENSIVE! and with gas prices too????? Hard to stay in budget for everything.

I had read that anything with corn syrup is going to skyrocket with the corn shortage in the mid west. I have seen that for sure.

Marfa said...

Although we drink milk and apple juice, we drink a LOT of water here. We have a PUR filter faucet mount and I fill up a pitcher and stick it in the fridge...I think it tastes SO good. So, that cuts down on expenses. This summer, my husband planted a GREAT garden, so we've been eating a lot from that... I can't give you a realistic grocery tally, things have been so different lately, but I'd estimate $200 for August.

mommy mel said...

Kiely and I were just going over my receipts the other night to see if I "qualified" for the increase in our grocery budget that I am petitioning for : ) soo, right on topic... Our budget is $340 for groceries, but we get out cash for all our spending and I often use other money for groceries as well, so I think it comes out to around $450 that I spend on groceries. Making things from scratch certainly helps and using the low cost staples such as potatoes, beans, rice. I like to have fresh produce around, so we've cut out a lot of our snacky foods like crackers or chips and cold cereals. I always dilute juice that I buy so I can get %100 natural ones. When we do cut up fruit, we usually share and just have a few slices each instead of everyone having their own orange or such, and once a week I make homemade pizza. It's a great way to use less meat per person, but still enough to fill us up.
Certain items I buy organic...our eggs, crackers, yogurt, peanut butter, but as far as the others, I just try to get the best ones (ingredient wise) on the regular shelf. It's certainly a struggle...and seemingly more expensive to eat healthfully. Even just last year I tried to only buy produce if it was less than $2/lb, but that is getting harder and harder to find.
My mom used to get the coupon ads and make up her meal plan based only on what was on sale. Well, if you have any tips, so share, it sounds like this is a hot topic for many of us.

Eating nutritionally and living naturally on a budget is my vision for my family