Canadian Family Grocery budget? - Page 2
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  1. #16
    Registered User Sophiasmama's Avatar
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    I budgeted $600 for July,and that feeds 2 adults(a carnivore husband) and 1, 5 year old. This month I'm trying to shop from lossleaders only...have never done it before(didn't know what it was to be honest with you lol). Food is costly here too...11lb bag of ww no name flour 5.88

  2. #17
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    You know, I've been trying to find the inflation rate for groceries in Canada the past 10 years and haven't been able to find anything that separates it out from the rest of the items in the CPI (Consumer Price Index). But I'll bet it's doubled easily. I get so wistful reading about the prices of our American neighbors. Must be nice to have useful coupons and low prices.

    One of the things I'm doing now is getting as close to the farmer as possible. I am buying my meat from a butcher who buys direct from a farmer. I occasionally shop the Farmer's Market here, but there are no deals to be had there. You pay a premium for food at Market here, unlike in the US markets. We don't have roadside stands out here on the prairies. People are too far and between to make them viable.

    There are some market gardens where you and pick your own not far from us. However, they too charge a premium because the food is "more fresh and organic". So no savings there either.

    We looked at a CSA a year or so ago. They wanted money upfront...a lot...and maybe in a year or two we'd get some food. Plus we couldn't choose what we got. We'd have to use what came. We gave up on that idea pretty quick. An established CSA might be different. But this one was just getting going. There aren't a lot of CSAs in Saskatchewan.

    We tried a local food box program, but it also gave us a lot of food we didn't want/couldn't use. It was not worth our while because we could buy the food we received $10 cheaper at the grocery store (I weighed and priced it out one day).

    We've even tried organic natural foods stores. Superstore beats their prices on organics every time. I hate to squeeze out the small independent guys, but there is a limit to my budget/pocketbook! I shop Superstore first, then Sobey's, then Bulk Barn, then the specialty natural foods stores.

    Costco is not a factor for me. They don't sell organic food here and they are more expensive than any of the other stores. I don't understand how people say they get such a good deal there. We've never been able to cut our grocery bill there for the two years we had a membership. It was not worth it.

    So we're left with growing/making our own as much as possible.

  3. #18
    Registered User Nadders11's Avatar
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    What I buy at Costco is very specific. Bananas last longer, but the same price as superstore. Large bag of cut brocolli is about the same price but because it's prepared we eat it more frequently. Lasts longer too. Large package of mushrooms is cheaper. Large bag of apples is same price but superstore apples go bad faster. That's all the fruit and veggies we buy there. Canned tomatoes, baking supplies, raisens, goldfish crackers, garbage bags, grape juice, dishwashing tabs keurig coffee tabs all cheaper. Also pitas and tortilla wraps, we freeze and they last a long time. I also find their hamburger and chicken cheaper and better quality.

    But because you need organic, Costco isn't worth it. I totally understand that. Superstore is still our main store.

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  5. #19
    Registered User prairie_girl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mommy4ever View Post
    I am trying to decide on a reasonable budget for our family. I feed: 3 adults, 2 teen girls, a picky 8yo, then I provide lunches and snacks 5 days a week to 3 preschoolers. We are at about $200 - 300 per week, and I think it's insane. But there is not alot left in the house! We go through 6 4L jugs of milk a week, that alone is $30. I DO insist on lots of water, but between breakfast, lunch and bedtime snacks, it's still alot of milk. I only have 1 child that will eat beans, and only occasionally. Dh refuses any vegetarian meals. He's all about meat and has a very high metabolism. The only time I can do a leftovers meal, or breakfast for supper, or vegetarian is if he isn't home.

    .
    I would say neither you nor your kids need that much milk, or really any milk for that matter. But you could probably cut it at least in half and that would save your $60 a month

  6. #20
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    Seems to be all women replying here. Hopefully no problem with a male voice weighing in!

    I am in charge of the budget, mostly because I get a kick out of it and my spouse really doesn't. We have three teenagers, plus the two of us, and have a $200 budget.

    I really want to eat well too, so it requires some planning. We live in the country, so I buy sides of beef, chickens in bulk, and whole lamb. I worked out a deal with a friend who is a fisherman to buy fish in bulk too. We eat vegetarian at least three times per week. My kids love hummus and vege-pate!

    We make almost everything from scratch, not a big fan of overly sweet and processed foods anyway. We were going through a box of granola bars a day until I finally decided to make them ourselves. As a whole we are trying to keep these kinds of food at a minimum anyway. I buy eggs and milk in the US (along with gas). Crazy cheaper. I buy apples and carrots in bulk for juicing.

    From there it's all about the specials and taking advantage of Costco. We arrive pretty tight at $200, and pass it sometimes when we have big purchases, but it balances out to $200 in the long run. My advice is cut elsewhere if you have to, but make sure you invest in good quality food. It is the fuel that runs the engine.

  7. #21
    Registered User MomToTwoBoys's Avatar
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    With the impending loom of increased meat prices in the US, are any of you guys and gals looking at butchers and other means of getting your meat more than before?

    It's already tough getting chicken breasts for under $3/lb and ground beef is getting up there too. Pork's a nightmare, so I try to get it only when it's 30% off or more. I already told the boys that we'd eat ground beef or vegetarian unless by some grace of God, we find meat for a whole lot cheaper.

    Meat packages here are $3.98 per lb for 100 lbs, but I feel like we can do so much better.

  8. #22
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    We use a butcher already. I have to have antibiotic and hormone free meat and poultry, so it makes sense. It's cheaper to use the butcher than a specialty health food store for some reason. I suspect it's the butcher's ability to order in bulk. We spend about $150 on 40 days worth of meat. That would be about 20 meals with meat in them. We eat vegetarian and fish as well. I rotate beef, pork, chicken, fish and vegetarian.

    I am getting nervous about the cost of food period. It is already 18% of our take home pay. That's a LOT! But if we don't eat the healthy stuff I hurt and am limited in mobility. So we eat the good stuff. Just less of it. What the hay...I need to lose weight anyways.

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    I will try this it was a good idea..this is an excellent early christmas budget..

  10. #24
    Registered User Gibs's Avatar
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    I am in Newfoundland and milk is 4.59 for 2 Liters (Basically 1/2 gallon)

    Prices here are ..... gahhhhh

  11. #25
    Registered User Sophiasmama's Avatar
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    I agree it is getting worse...my 4.95/lb of organic chicken that I bought this summer is starting to look like a deal. I worry about the food hampers/banks.

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    I should try this! in anyway

  13. #27
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    We've reduced the budget. We are on $175/week. We have meat in freezer. Lots. So this will be ok for quite awhile. Dh has also start shopping with me and this makes a positive difference. His requests aren't so pricey any more. We are coming in under budget. Working on eating down the stockpile too. So then we'll start fresh. Dh wants more home made less processed. The girls are baking every week. Cooking with intentional leftovers in mind. Tonight's roast chicken is also tomorrow's quesadillas. The bones and leftover meat is chicken noodle soup for lunch the next day. Trying to stretch as much as possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mommy4ever View Post
    We've reduced the budget. We are on $175/week. We have meat in freezer. Lots. So this will be ok for quite awhile. Dh has also start shopping with me and this makes a positive difference. His requests aren't so pricey any more. We are coming in under budget. Working on eating down the stockpile too. So then we'll start fresh. Dh wants more home made less processed. The girls are baking every week. Cooking with intentional leftovers in mind. Tonight's roast chicken is also tomorrow's quesadillas. The bones and leftover meat is chicken noodle soup for lunch the next day. Trying to stretch as much as possible.
    I'm really impressed with the changes you guys are making. Great job!!

    We stay at around $250.00 a month, 3 adults. I make most every meal from scratch, shop loss leaders and buy local as much as possible. Farmer's Markets have become a way of life for us during the summer months, HOWEVER the prices there are now going over the roof. Not sure how much longer we will be able to shop there. I'm hoping forever, yet with the rising prices they are choosing to price their items at, it might become a no for us as early as this summer.

  15. #29
    Registered User Nadders11's Avatar
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    Which farmers market do you use homsteadmamma? I've been to few in calgary and the prices are getting ridiculous!

    We're at about 600 a month for a family of four. Baby started solids! Downhill from here lol! We eat at home, make from scratch usually and only eat out 3-4 a month.

    I'm hoping to grow a garden this year to offset some of the cost.

  16. #30
    Registered User mommy4ever's Avatar
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    We are feeding 3 adults, 2 teens, 1 elementary aged child full time, and then 2 preschoolers and a toddler mon-fri. Breakfast lunch and 2 snacks.

    one day I won't be feeding anyone buy dh and I, but that is a long way off.

    We don't often do farmers market, as it is expensive. I have been gardening the last few years. And it's paid off on some things. But some items just don't keep or preserve..lol

    We are baking weekly. I am really contemplating getting back on baking break, but it just doesn't do sandwiches well, even though we love the bread. Home baked is just so much cheaper, easily under $1 a loaf, I'll need to price it next time I buy flour.

    We have also started rationing the goodies. If it's out, they eat it until it's gone, if it's put away, they get some everyday and it lasts the week and no one feels deprived. Before some one wouldn't get something, now everyone enjoys. I don't like doing it, I don't want to be the food police, but, in the end everyone is happier for it...who knew. It's worth baking when it's enjoyed for more than a day. We've started doing it with snack foods too. Now everyone is getting a fair portion. And grocery costs are going down now if I could figure a way to deal with milk, we went through five 4L a week this week.

    I know if I can find the right recipe for bread, that will save easily $10/week....$520 a year. That is significant. If anyone has a good sandwich bread recipe, I'd love it!

    Dh and I are going tomorrow for groceries, so I'd best be meal planning now.

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