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  #31 (permalink)  
Old 03-05-2003, 06:14 AM
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Grocery Budgeting

Forgot to tell y'all how I was going to try to do my grocery budget. Wondering if anybody else does it this way and if it has been helpful.

We've been trying to cut it down to $200 a month and then further. I was failing miserably and then read on some website that somebody breaks that budget into x-amount for meat, x-amount for this, x-amount for that. So in January I tried to do that,but we did horrible for keeping track, so now I'm thinking we should do it as a weekly budget. And anything not spent can be put into the cobwebby savings account (really a free checking account because there are no fees whatsoever, except overdraft).

So, I'm thinking $10 for loss-leaders, $10 for diapers and wipes (that makes $20 for the biweekly purchase--maybe our grocery savings can finally purchase the cloth diapers...our problem has been that when we have money for diapers, we're out so we have nothing to tie us over while the cloth is being shipped. Cute predicament, huh? ), $10 for meat, and $10 for produce, and $10 for packaged/canned.

Maybe next week we can give it a try, no grocery shopping this week. It's times like these that I kind of wished there was some monetary payment for being a parent.
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  #32 (permalink)  
Old 03-05-2003, 10:10 AM
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I don't have any trick or secret to cutting my food bill but I did have a plan.

I sat down and made a list of all the main courses my family would eat. Then I used that and the sale papers to make a menu for 2 weeks (because we get paid every 2 weeks). Then I went through my pantry and freezer and made a shopping list based on what I already had on hand and what was on sale. I alwasy try to spend a few dollars keeping my pantry and freezer well stocked.

I truly believe that if you want to cut your food bill down to $200 a month (it is possible) you MUST start with a well stocked pantry and freezer. Not only will this make it easier on your budget, it will relieve any stress you might have during those $$poor days before the next payday.

Good Luck and happy stocking!
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  #33 (permalink)  
Old 03-05-2003, 12:58 PM
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shocking Stocked, you mean like with food?

Quote:
Originally posted by kimmyo

I truly believe that if you want to cut your food bill down to $200 a month (it is possible) you MUST start with a well stocked pantry and freezer. Not only will this make it easier on your budget, it will relieve any stress you might have during those $$poor days before the next payday.
I used to have a well stocked pantry...now I'm getting down to Ol' Mother Hubbard. Hope the tax money gets here quick!!

I have rice! 25 lbs. of it still! And I just cracked open a 50 lb bag of flour. Almost out of powdered milk, canned fruit, canned vegies, potatoes....I have 20 fryers from a fabulous sale the other week (.45/lb!!!).
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Old 03-05-2003, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
I used to have a well stocked pantry...now I'm getting down to Ol' Mother Hubbard. Hope the tax money gets here quick!!

Just make sure that you stock up on items that your family will actually eat! I try to keep a few convenience foods around to for those emergency quick meals and for those no time to cook nights. Here are some of the things I try to keep on hand:

In the Pantry

canned beans, corn and potatoes
tomato sauce and paste
canned tomatoes
canned spaghetti sauce
peanut butter
jelly
shortening and oil
flour
sugar
canned chicken
tuna fish
instant pudding
jello
canned fruit
apple sauce
pasta
rice
canned milk (evaporative and sweetened condensed)
dry milk
bisquick or homemade mix
dried beans
canned ravioli
canned sloppy joe mix
canned stew


In the freezer

meat of all kinds (cooked and uncooked)
pre-pared ahead meals (lasagna, burritos, etc..)
frozen fruits and veggies
bread and rolls
extra cheese and margarine or butter
leftovers for lunches

I'm sure I've left something off!
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Old 03-05-2003, 04:01 PM
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I guess you'll be eating lots of fried chicken and chicken and rice then!! I know how it goes--I'm just now starting to restock my pantry and freezer. Is there enough there to keep us from starving? Yep. Would we want to eat the stuff in there for weeks at a time? Not on your life!!

I agree that you should start with a well-stocked pantry--it makes it easier to not panic when the money stops coming in(for food, anyway). Even if it's just the basics(flour, sugar, etc). But it's possible to feed a family of 4 on $35 a week, I know because I've done it, but trust me--it's not fun. Go with the well-stocked pantry lol!! The list of stuff I keep on hand is pretty much the same as Kim's, plus a few things that my family uses all the time.
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  #36 (permalink)  
Old 03-05-2003, 04:58 PM
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My typical pantry list

Here's what is typically found in my pantry:

CANNED
Baked beans, green beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, black beans, great northern beans, cream of mushroom soup, cream of chicken soup, mushroom pieces, green chiles, sweet potatoes, solid pack pumpkin, evaporated milk, tuna, stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, 28 oz crushed tomatoes for spaghetti sauce, applesauce, assorted fruit, whole cranberry sauce, sliced carrots

PACKAGED
Assorted pasta, assorted legumes, fake taters, instant rice, regular rice, peanut butter, jelly, condiments, numerous spices (need to find a bulk supplier), flour, sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, brown sugar, molasses, corn syrup, canola oil, vegetable shortening, powdered milk, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, syrup

FREEZER/FRIDGE
Fryers, ckn breast, meat mix, meat loaf, chuck roast, rolled pork loin, bottom round, block cheese, sliced cheese, bread (hm), tortillas (hm), cinnamon rolls (hm), dinner rolls (hm), snacky cake bars or cookies (hm), whole milk, eggs, yogart, frozen broccoli, frzn peas, frzn brussels, frzn limas, limited fresh vegies and fruit until we have a garden established--we tend to waste part of what we purchase at the store


I'd like to start stocking powdered shortening as well as TVP (to help stretch out my beef). I need to do a cost analysis of frozen vs. canned fruit. I didn't think about that until you mentioned it. I'm sure I missed a few things as well. I don't stock many convenience items (like the ravioli and pudding), I tend to make my own--although my ravioli left much to be desired so I think I'll stick with the frozen ones. ;-)
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Old 04-13-2003, 02:27 PM
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Frugal Family Bulletin?

I have searched the USDA website, but can't find info about the frugal family bulletin. They used to publish it years ago, and from this thread I thought they might have started again. Any weblink that I missed?

Elizabeth
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  #38 (permalink)  
Old 04-13-2003, 04:33 PM
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Frugal Shopper Bulletin

ewriggs~~~ I don't know if this is the same site you were talking about but they have alot of information and newsletters too?www.thefrugalshopper.com/living.html
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Old 04-13-2003, 05:47 PM
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Thanks Susanne

The USDA used to publish a booklet on nutrition that had good tips for 4 levels of income.

I like the Frugal Living site, and appreciate you sending it to me.

Elizabeth
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Old 01-04-2004, 03:57 PM
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USDA Food Plans! I Found them!

OK here we go - I did a LOT of surfin' to find this:

Official USDA Food Plans - Low-Cost, Moderate-Cost and Liberal Food Plans

It is a 2.2 meg PDF file, but well worth downloading!

There are a number of other publications available at that site, too, so just look around.

Cheerio!
Elizabeth

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