Frugal Village Forums banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,097 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My husband and I have decided it really is time to get a hold of our finances. We are working on a budget and we anticipate that it will take us a few months to figure out our monthly expenses for groceries and household. Right now, we're going with $600 for the month and that will include diapers for 2 of our children. I would like to hear from people that have a family of six. What are your expenses for groceries and household for each month?

Thanks,
Cherie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,412 Posts
Hi Cherie,

While I dont have a family of 6 living with us, just 5, we do support 2 children from DH's previous marraige. Because we pay so much child support we have to set our food/misc. budget really low, ours currently is $75 a month BUT we dont eat expensive breakfast/lunch/dinner just the basics ... store brand/no fills cereal or oatmeal, B1G1 lunch meats, store brand bread, chicken legs, wite rice, beans, potatoes, mac & cheese, spaghetti, etc...

We also dont eat out very much, if at all unless someone offers to treat, I know that sounds greedy or mean but it's the only way we can afford to eat outside the home.

Being that you have 2 children in diapers, meaning they are young, have you thought about trying for WIC (women, infants and children) in your area? They provide milk, cheese, eggs, peanut butter or/dry beans, juice and if you have a baby drinking formula, they also provide you enough forumla, baby cereal, juice, to last the month.

My budget also includes toiletries, womens monthly needs, laundry detergent (store brand), dishwasher tablets, paper towels (trying to cut down on these and paper plates).

I am sure you will find tons of advice coming your way here from other larger families, but If you can afford $600 a month, that's great, I dont see how you cant stay within your budget but trying shopping at Aldi's, Price Rite or cheap stores in your area (these types of store require you to bring your own bags or boxes).

Good luck and let us know how things turn out! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,355 Posts
we are a family of 4 with three fat cats to feed
My budget is 400 and that includes all the pets stuff and all non-editable needs like paper towels, shampoo and ect. The first place to start, see what you can get for free. I almost never pay more than 50cents for anything that you can buy at a drug store. Do you have a cvs? I get all my shampoos, toothpaste, tampons, and whatever else you can think of for free or even get money back at cvs.
Cleaning products and paper goods are the next thing that will eat your budget. Make your own cleaners and use cloth napkins.
My next big tip is the laundry. You should never need to use more than two tablespoons of laundry detergent, no matter what the brand. And always cut your dryer sheets in half. I buy cuddles dryer sheets at walmmart for .89 and thats for 50. IF I cut them in half they are 100 sheets for only .89. Trust me they will work just as well and some people even cut them into thirds.

I know you can do it and befor long you will be able to cut down even more!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
942 Posts
We are a family of six also - 2 in diapers and a third one who still wears nighttime pull-ups. We range from spending as little as $300/month to $500/month depending on stockpiling. This month we spent closer to $500, but I won't be spending very much next month, maybe even less than $300 as we work through what we have.

Some things that have helped us cull our budget from around $700 (before ds was even born) has been:
1. Aldi's, Big Lots, Dollar General for our can goods and other staples
2. Scratch cooking has been one of the biggest dollar savers, period. And the family likes it better. We don't buy snack foods anymore - we will make pudding from boxes that I find for .30c or less, bake cakes, brownies & cookies from scratch. We also eat a lot more fresh, seasonal fruits & veggies for snacks (where I am willing to spend some money).
I've checked out cookbooks from the library, even some of the fancy ones, and have found many recipes that can be made cheaply within them. The Italian cookbooks are great for making dishes that go a long way for little money.
3. Buy Manager Special meats. I have found out when the local grocery stores do their big mark downs on meat. For example on Wednesday's if I my meat supply is getting low I will run by the grocery store and check what they have on special. These are the meats that generally need to be eaten or frozen within 24 hours. I have never had a problem with any of it, and the grocery store will still refund if something is found to be wrong with it. This way I have gotten packages of chicken legs/thighs for .99c, that is for the package not per pound, roasts for $5 or less, 2lbs of 80% lean ground beef for $2.00, etc.
4. I try to find ways to cook one type of meat and use it at least three ways each week. The crockpot is a huge help with this. Example would be cooking a roast in the crockpot for dinner one night. The next night I might take the leftover roast and shred it, cook it with some taco seasoning and mix with white rice and cheese. The leftovers from that would be used in rice & bean burritos later in the week. Tonight I am roasting a chicken, tomorrow night we will have chicken tetrazinni and will make two pans of that (one to freeze), I should have enough meat to also have chicken quesadillas later this week. This is from a 5lb chicken I picked up for less than $3.00
5. Reduce the amount of meat in any dish. Replace with veggies or add more pasta. My kids are not big meat eaters, so we have meat for flavor in alot of dishes, but they are not the 'main' course.
6. With a family this size and scratch cooking it makes sense to pick up some of your staples from a warehouse store. But do check the prices, Aldi's is cheaper on some of them. But I have found milk, eggs, cheese, Flour, pasta and meats when I can't find much on manager special other places to be good deals.
7. Replace as many paper products with cloth. A roll of paper towels will last our family more than 2 months. I've just had to train the kids to clean up their spills with dish towels instead.
8. Buy generic. I really don't worry about the name on the label too much, unless it is a brand I won't buy for personal reasons. I save alot of money on formula each month because we buy store brand formula at less than half the cost. These formulas have to meet the same, strict FDA guidelines and inspections.
9. I switched to cloth diapers just recently so we are still recouping the start-up cost on that. But, I believe that it is going to be so worth it in the end. The 2-yr-old is wearing training underwear, but if we go out for long periods is in pull-ups. I will only have to buy one package of diapers per month for each child.

A $400 budget may still sound to high to some, but it is $300 less than before. I'm hoping it will go down more over the summer as we move to a seasonal/local diet and eat more out of our garden.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
460 Posts
We are a family of 6. My children are 12, 10, 7 and our youngest just turned 2 on the 24th. We started out spending almost $1000 per month on groceries, diapers (I have 1 in diapers), and paper products. I have gradually got our bill down to about $600 right now. I am hoping to get it to $400 and I will be happy with that.

Cutting out convenience and junk foods has been the biggest money saver. I shop around for sales on some things. I prefer certain brands, like Pampers or Luvs diapers, so I shop around until I find the lowest price on them, use coupons and stock up when I get a good deal.

I also have been doing more baking at home. I never buy store bought cookies anymore. We make our own cookies (and I even use whole wheat flour so they are healthier) and I also make bread a few times a week. I go to the day old bread store and buy loaves of bread 3 or 4 for a dollar, then make up a whole bunch of french toast and freeze it, then when the kids want it for breakfast they just pop it in the toaster. Much cheaper than buying premade french toast.

I buy most of the kids' and my clothing at resale shops or Walmart, too. When I find clothing on the clearance for really cheap, I buy it in a bunch of sizes. A while back I found 3 piece track suits (jacket, shirt and pants) for $2 on the Walmart clearance and I bought one of every size. My toddler will have enough track suits to last the next 3 years. lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
then make up a whole bunch of french toast and freeze it, then when the kids want it for breakfast they just pop it in the toaster.
How do you make french toast to freeze? Do you just prepare it normally, but instead of serving it, you freeze it?

Very good idea! Please let me know.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,488 Posts
How do you make french toast to freeze? Do you just prepare it normally, but instead of serving it, you freeze it?

Very good idea! Please let me know.
Heres one..

Baked French Toast Sticks (this is a big batch but you could cut in half)

1-1/2 to 2 loaves of thick bread
1 c melted butter
16 eggs
1-1/3 c sugar
1 t cinnamon
2-2/3 c milk
1 T vanilla

Preheat oven to 350.
Cut slices of bread into 3 sticks. In a large bowl, mix together butter, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and milk. Beat well. Dip sticks into egg mixture and place on sprayed cookie sheet. Bake for 25 minutes (turn them half-way through... and if you've got 2 pans in the oven, switch those around, too). Cool and freeze. To reheat, place sticks on plate and microwave for 30sec - 1min depending on your microwave. Or, pop in a toaster oven.

Freeze them in freezer bags and just take them out & microwave.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
460 Posts
How do you make french toast to freeze? Do you just prepare it normally, but instead of serving it, you freeze it?

Very good idea! Please let me know.
Yep, that is exactly what I do. I have a stove top griddle that I can make 8 pieces of toast at once on. I usually will use a whole loaf of bread, a few eggs, a tablespoon of sugar and some milk. Dip the bread in the mixture and cook as you usually would. WHen I freeze it, I put it on a cookie sheet and I use bits of wax paper or leftover bags from dry cereal in between the slices. After they are frozen, I take them off the tray and put them in freezer bags. If you put them in the bag and then freeze them, they stick together. But if you freeze them first, they wont stick.

Then my kids just pop them in the toaster for breakfast. My youngest just eats his plain, but my older ones put butter and syrup on them. They taste just like fresh made French toast, too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,296 Posts
I budget $600 for groceries, household and personal care each month. We are a family of 6 too, with one I am trying to get out of diapers. We also have 2 cats. Most months I come in around $400 a month.
I only buy milk at Sams Club, it is around $2.30 a gallon there, but that is over a $1 less at any other stores here.
There are other things that I get there too in bulk and have those on a rotating schedule so I am not buying that stuff all at once.
We rent and can't tear up the yard for a vegi garden, but during the summer I go weekly to the farmers market and buy bulk of fresh produce that I can bring home and freeze or can.
I also use this website http://www.couponmom.com/ to match up coupons with sales in my area.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,394 Posts
:ponder: ....I do the freezing french toast thing too. (I also freeze waffles when i make them up on the weekend) Never thought to freeze them first and then bag them...I always just put a small piece of wax paper or washed cereal bag in between. Guess I'll be freezing 'em first from now on. Thanks ladies!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,138 Posts
I make large quantities of egg omlets. I pour an egg or two into freezer bag then add what ever I want in the omlet (ie olives,cheese,meat etc) then quish it and seal it good and lay it flat on a cookie sheet in freezer until frozen. I do use a foodsaver so that I can drop the bags into boiling water and within 3-4 minutes they are done with no messy pans. If not using a foodsaver you can use regular freezer bags and cook inside bag in microwave.

Have never tried french toast so gonna give this one a heads up this week to try.:fdance:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,824 Posts
I have never tried the french toast but I do freeze homemade buscuits. I just make a big batch and then put them on a tray to freeze and then put them in a freezer bag. That way I do not have to make them at every meal and homemade is so much cheaper than store bought.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Consider cloth diapering. You can buy flats or prefolds very cheaply online. I know a few people who use flat tea towels from walmart, for abt 1$ a piece very successfully. A few pair of nylon pants and a set of pins and you're done. You can get all this very cheaply on ebay too. Use cloth wipes instead of buying disposable ones. Any washcloth will do, or you can buy special ones online. I use a spray bottle filled with water and a little apricot oil, which I spray directly on my son when changing a messy. I throw the wipes right in the diaper pail.
Even when i had 2 in cloth, its only a couple of extra loads of laundry a week.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
Thanks brenda and pB&J!!!

I hope to try it this weekend!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,680 Posts
I cook up pancakes and freeze them the kids usually stick tem in the toaster to heat them up.

We are a family of 7, the kids are 18, 16, 11, 11 and 3. We also have 2 cats(can only feed them whiskas) and a large dog. We spend an average of $375 every month for food, household stuff, toiletries, clothes and all birthday and xmas gifts. The biggest thing I do is stockpile, I try not to buy it if it isn't a loss leader or on clearance. My kids tell everyone I won't buy it if it's not on sale. We shop the second hand stores for almost all our clothes(not undies) and we cook everything from scratch unless it's cheaper to buy it made(I can get day old bread for 50 cents/loaf, it costs us more for ingredients, electricity and time)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,338 Posts
Homemade goodies are always better than store bought snack cakes. About the only thing we buy now are potato chips and the such. Even the dip we make most of the time or buy when it's on sale.

I make breakfast sandwiches (meat/egg/cheese) and freeze them. I have yet to try the french toast/pancakes/waffles. I also take leftover hamburgers or hotdogs and throw them in a bun and freeze them too. They make excellent quickie meals/snacks or easy to grab on the way out the door in the morning to work lunches. Sure beats the price you'd pay at fast food places or out of the vending machines at work. I recently was talking with someone and they paid $2.25 for a 'mystery' burger from a vending machine.... YUCKY!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,739 Posts
We are a family of 6. I have one in pullups. We budget $400 a month for food - I cook mostly from scratch, which saves money. But I do have some allergies with my dd to deal with, so it is more expensive on that end. I am currently trying to lower my grocery bill but it isn't going very well. We spend about $50 a month on toiletries and paper products. I do think there is room for you to lower your budgeted amount, but it just takes time. Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,244 Posts
We are a family of 6 with 1 cat.

Our average bill is about $320 a month. This includes pullups for the youngest, who stubbonrly won't train..ughhh. and toiletries and paper products, sanitary etc.

We do buy a 1/2 beef once a year, so add about $30 a month for that.

I'm really hoping to cut it back more. I'd like to see it about $250 for the month. I've fallen out of the habit of price book. Out fo the habit of baking. I used to bake bread, savings of about $40 a month. $40 buys ALOT of flour and yeast..lol. One of my goals. Baking snacks too.

We dont' get much for prepackaged or prepared foods, but we do get some. I'm planning on cutting back there too. The $20-30 in granola bars and puddings adds up too.

We have a discount produce market I should get to more often, but don't..lol. That woudl be a 20 to 30 savings too.

Gee just chatting it out here shows me where I can cut back! and reach my goal!!
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top