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Old 03-15-2002, 03:16 PM
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Hello everyone I have been away for a week so I guess I am a little late in joining in the conversation.
I have a family of 6 dh,2dd and 2ds. The kids are 13 down to 4.
I budget for $400 a month that includes all food, paper products and cleaning supplies. I don't usually spend it all but I give myself that amount for and good sales.

Sue
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Old 03-15-2002, 03:31 PM
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How do you do it ????

You gals amaze me. I read about the little amount you spend on groceries to feed a house full...........I just don't get it. I know all of the tips you've shared, planning menus, using coupons, buying what's on sale, etc..........I still can't fathom it. I don't buy meat, but do try to keep a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables in the house, I also don't buy a lot of "quick fix" prepackaged stuff, I like to cook so make a lot from scratch and still can't keep it under 400. And there's only 3, dh, 18 month dd and myself.
Would someone mind sharing an example of what they buy or cook on a weekly basis for such little amounts of money. I just can't seem to do it and would really like some help being frugal when it comes to groceries.
Thanks so much - Laurie
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Old 03-15-2002, 05:19 PM
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shocking $400 a month

How do you do it???????????? I have five and that just seems impossible with all the diapers and such. Please tell us how you do it...... I am in desperate need of advice on this.
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Old 03-16-2002, 02:58 AM
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Wow, I seem to be a big spender on food

I guess I should see what I can do to cut my food bills down a bit
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Old 03-16-2002, 04:18 AM
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KLF I keep my groceries to under $400 a month by shopping at many different stores. The majority is at a store called Aldi's if you are not famillar with it, it is similar to a Save-a-lot. I spend on average $60-80 every two weeks there. The rest of the items I get are sale items at the grocery stores near me P&C and Tops. I have found I get diapers(big boy panties) cheaper at Tops when on sale than at Walmart. I buy the cheaper brand Multi pack when on sale. 4 y/o ds only wears them at night time. Any cleaning products that I need I get at Walmart if they are the cheapest or Dollar General.
My dh and I both work at the same Hospital and get paid only every two weeks so I only get groceries every two weeks unless I need a milk run. That is where I have my biggest problem. I need self control then I can walk out of the store spending $20 and only needing milk. So I really only take enough $$ to get the milk. I learned a trick that works for me I only take cash when I food shop. I have my calculator and price book. I know on average what I spend at each store and pay CASH If I don't I am more likely too spend more $$ if I take my check book. I try to leave my kids at home. They will want and nag for extra junk we don't need.
I don't buy expensive meats unless they are on sale and then I stock up somewhat. I only canned fruit or fresh when it is on sale. I cook from scratch as much as poss. Use my crockpot alot because dh and I work fulltime +OT. We don't eat fancy sometimes its soup and sandwiches, breakfast or left overs.
I hope that this info helps. This is one area that I try to work on to save our household $$$. So I focus on this and Frugal Living (debt reduction).

Sue
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Mom to 4
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Old 03-16-2002, 04:23 AM
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Post SORRY THIS IS SO LONG!

I think its important to understand that in order to cut your food bill you have to start with a well stocked pantry. I didn't just cut my bill from $100.00 a week to $250.00 a month overnight. I started by stocking my pantry with all the non perishable items we eat, and stocking my freezer with meats and veggies. Once you have a stocked pantry its just a matter of shopping for fresh foods and keeping the pantry stocked with loss leaders. There are some months when I might spend $300.00 because the sales are sooo good. Then the next month I may only spend $200.00, so it all averages out. I do buy some prepackaged foods also. I have a teenage ds who hates almost everything but pizza. Well I try to keep HM Hot pockets made up for him but I also buy "cardboard pizzas" for him WHEN they are on sale. This week they were on sale for .59 so I bought 10 of them.

In my case my children are in school all day and they both purchase school lunches so I don't count lunch money in my food bill. My dh and I both work outside the home and we take our lunch 9 out of 10 times (occaisionally we eat lunch out with co-workers). I buy most of my cleaning supplies in large quantities at Sams Club. It's not always cheaper but its more convenient for me not to have to buy them as often. Thus I'm not in the stores as often, hmmmm maybe that in itself does save me money!

I do buy soda and chips (only at best price available.....price book would come in handy here). I pretty much make my own snacks or buy fresh fruit. I shop at a bakery thrift shop for bread. I only purchase meat when its at its lowest price. If beef aint on sale this week and pork is, you guessed it I buy pork. But this is where the stocked pantry is so helpful. I don't have to say "no sorry we can't have hamburgers tonight it wasn't on sale". I just pull out my hamburger patties I have in the freezer and we are set to go. I think its important to note here that I don't have any store that triple coupons and only a couple that double them. I only occaisionally shop with a coupon.

I hope this helps some of you to see that this was a major renovation in my food budget and its always in progress. I work at it all the time. Keeping your pantry stocked will relieve a lot of stress during those "cash poor times of the month" . No matter how tight the $$ gets near the end of the month we are still able to eat like it was payday!
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Old 03-16-2002, 04:41 AM
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I agree with Kimmyo. I stocked pantry really helps with your grocery bill. My family and I just got back from a vacation in Florida paid all by cash I am really proud of that fact. We even did Disney. Anyway, before we left it was pay day which means grocery day too. Well I knew that we would be leaving at the end of the next week so I didn't by groceries. We just ate things from the pantry and freezer. That was real nice.

Sue
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Old 03-16-2002, 06:27 AM
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Thanks!

Thanks everyone for your great responses! I have been very good at keeping our receipts everytime we have been grocery shopping. How would everyone feel about comparing how much we spend at the end of every month? I think it will help keep me motivated. Of course Easter is coming and I am having 10 people over for dinner, but I think I can still keep it down!
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Old 03-16-2002, 05:19 PM
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Shell it sounds ok to me.

Sue
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Old 03-19-2002, 06:33 PM
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How I do it...

Aldi's if you have one in your area, check it out. The prices are great, mostly store brand, limited selection, but CHEAP!!!!

I clip coupons mostly from Sunday paper, I have a couple of friends that also "donate" their coupon inserts. I clip coupons for all brands of any item I would buy, then this is the important part...Wait for those items to go on sale. When they do, you are in business!! Even better if your store that is having the sale also doubles coupons. This is how I stock my pantry. Forget about brand loyalty, I buy whatever brand is cheapest (with very few exceptions)

For meat and produce, I buy only what is on sale, for instance this past week, it was red grapes at .99 a lb. and cabbage at .09 lb. and boneless chicken breast for $1.79 lb. I also go to the store early in the day to look for marked down fresh meat. The day before the sale by date, my store puts $1.00 or $2.00 coupons on the packages of roast, round steak, ground beef, or whatever. I have gotten ground beef for as little as .60 lb. this way, just freeze or use right away. Stew meat is also a good buy when I can get it for less than $2.00 a lb. I stock up on boneless round steak when it is on sale for $1.50 a lb. or less. The same with chuck roast, sometimes at $1.19 a lb. With Easter coming watch for sales on ham, around Memorial Day and 4th of July, ground beef and hot dogs will be on sale. Plan to stock up then.

I always compare milk prices, usually Walgreen's has it on sale for $1.99 a gallon, cheaper than even Aldi's. I buy my milk wherever it is cheapest that week. Since we go through around 4 gallons a week, sometimes I will get on the phone and call around to 3 or 4 stores to see who has the best price that week. Takes about 5-10 minutes, saves me about $4 (that's $24 an hour!)

I will add other tips as I think of them!

Deb
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