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Discussion Starter #1
My grocery bill has gotten completely out of control. It came to $139 a couple of weeks ago and so now I'm saying no more. We are a family of four. My new budget will be $50 a week. My budget will include food and toiletries. I live in the land of no doubles so there will be no getting $500 dollars worth of stuff for 50 cents. Anyway here is what I bought today:

2 boxes of buttermilk waffles
1 box of Delimex beef taquitos
1 box of Tyson hot and spicy wings
1 carton of pineapple orange juice
1 carton of organic milk
1 bag of shredded parm cheese
1 bag of dinosaur chicken
1 3lb bag of frozen chicken breasts
1 jar of alfredo sauce
1 3lb bag of gala apples
1 head of lettuce
1 head of cabbage
salad tomatoes
serrano peppers
1 bunch cilantro
1 bunch of green onions
1 4pk toilet paper
1 pack of toilet wipes
1 pack of spaghetti
1 pack of goldfish shaped flat bread
1 bag of regular potato chips
1 bag of sour cream and onion flavored potato chips
1 18 count carton of eggs
1 pack of whole wheat french rolls

Total: $50.03 I went over by 3 cents :( which I wouldn't have if they told me the right price on the chicken breasts.

I saved 14.33 with the coupons I did use. Having a calculator with me really does help.
 

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I do not mean to sound silly, but how many/what kind of meals will be made with what you just bought? Do you have a menu plan for these items? Im curious becuase my grocery spending is out of control as well and I also use coupons.
 

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Please know that I truly mean this in a helpful rather than admonishing manner: There are very few ingredients on your shopping list; most items are processed, convenience items.

In my opinion, you could cut your grocery budget considerably simply by cooking from scratch instead of focusing on using coupons.

The food and recipe forums here are a great resource for cooking from scratch.

Kara
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I have a stocked pantry and freezer. Sorry but I am not a complete health nut. I do like some processed stuff. I know that's not a popular thing to say but it's true. My pantry is stocked with basics and my freezer is, too. I don't make a menu for the week I go by day. I'm not much of a planner. I usually post what I am making in the what's for dinner thread. Tonight will most likely be chicken alfredo and steamed broccoli. A lot of the convenience things you see are for the nights time gets away from us or I'm too tired to make something. All of those things won't get eaten this week, obviously.
 

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No apologies necessary. Everyone has their own priorities and that's the way things should be. I didn't say anything about health anyway. We were talking about keeping the grocery budget down, and I feel that cooking from scratch is a great way to do that.

Kara
 

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50.00 a week if you can sustain that your really good . however you said your pantry and freezer were stocked I think the real challenge is if you can eat for 50.00 on just what you buy that week If you can do it your awesome There are only 3 of us and I could never pull that off and I pretty much cook from scratch every night granted both ds and dh are hefty eaters but between lunches i make for them everyday and gatorade alone I think I use at least 25.00 a week I wish you luck
 

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Discussion Starter #7
50.00 a week if you can sustain that your really good . however you said your pantry and freezer were stocked I think the real challenge is if you can eat for 50.00 on just what you buy that week If you can do it your awesome There are only 3 of us and I could never pull that off and I pretty much cook from scratch every night granted both ds and dh are hefty eaters but between lunches i make for them everyday and gatorade alone I think I use at least 25.00 a week I wish you luck
I wish I could live on $50 a week for every meal. It's gotten to where I should only have to spend that to replace what I need and to add to a stockpile. Breakfast, lunch and dinner can cost a bit. Unfortunately I live where there is only HEB, Walmart and Super Target. I wish I had an Aldis, Publix or any other store but HEB and Walmart pretty much own my town. The kids love gatorade but I don't buy it often. A lot of the stuff I bought today I don't buy often either but there were some store coupons and combos where you got stuff for free so I picked up some stuff I haven't bought in long time. DS will be happy to see the taquitos. He loves those but they are so expensive. I got them for half off today.
 

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I have to say your Gala apples caught my eye:) those are our families favorite.
 
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In my opinion, you could cut your grocery budget considerably simply by cooking from scratch instead of focusing on using coupons.

The food and recipe forums here are a great resource for cooking from scratch.

Kara
I have found, lately especially, that you do save money by cooking from home, not buying expensive items, etc. When there is a "GREAT DEAL" it is always gone, thanks to extreme couponing. If I do have a coupon, I use it, but don't take lots of time to try to use them. I use them when Harris Teeter has a super coupon sale, but that is it. We have set new guidelines for what we buy. Even ham lunch meat is expensive when you see the price per pound (3.29 for 6 oz. is 8.77 per pound). We eat lots of chicken, rice, potatoes, local (hopefully garden) veggies, all of which usually don't have coupons!
 

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Way to go on $50 a week on feeding your family. My household is just me and in setp it is hard for me to keep to $50. That being said i did pick up stockpile items and trying to buy more local products. I also keep convenient freezer items for night when i don't feel like cooking.
 

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Let me just say I tried the 50$/wk on a family of 3 (to males & me)... and initially it was hard b/c there were the basics to stock up on & "ooh look our fave such&such is on sale"... but after stocking on basics, it was entirely do-able! In fact, I spent usually around 40$ (to pick up eggs, milk, lots of produce & a little meat). Now it's just the two of us (kiddo @ college), it's much less!

I think a family of four (depending on age/gender/activity levels) 50-60$ is reasonable.
AND within that budget, when I came in a little under (say only needed 30$ of food), I'd splurge on a bag of chips or cheezits or maybe buy some baking chocolate for a special dessert/treat.
Sure saving money is great, but if you're under budget, what's the harm in treating the family to a little something fun. ;)

Keep up the good work carlitasway! It'll get easier the more you do it. :)
 

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I agree with PerSue. We normally spend about 50$ for the three of us. Granted I have a pretty good stockpile on general items. We buy some processed items for nights that are hectic. We even take our own picnic lunch to our son's football games so we don't have to purchase food and beverages at home games. This morning I basically only bought soda for DH and baking products for the holidays. Brown sugar and powdered sugar were on sale for .99 as well as marshmallow creme. Bought eggs, milk, cheese and a few other things and spent around 35$. Once you have a well stocked pantry you can do 50$ a week or less in my opinion and get very good healthy options with sales and coupons. Of course, I am from the midwest and our cost of living is significantly lower than a lot of other places. Keep at it and it will become easier. We have had this unwritten rule of 50$ per week for about a year with occasional overage spending maybe every three months or so when meat is on sale. You can do it. Good luck.
 

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carlitasway;1565892My new budget will be $50 a week. My budget will include food and toiletries. Anyway here is what I bought today: [b said:
2 boxes of buttermilk waffles[/b]
1 box of Delimex beef taquitos
1 box of Tyson hot and spicy wings
1 carton of pineapple orange juice
1 carton of organic milk
1 bag of shredded parm cheese
1 bag of dinosaur chicken
1 3lb bag of frozen chicken breasts
1 jar of alfredo sauce
1 3lb bag of gala apples
1 head of lettuce
1 head of cabbage
salad tomatoes
serrano peppers
1 bunch cilantro
1 bunch of green onions
1 4pk toilet paper
1 pack of toilet wipes
1 pack of spaghetti
1 pack of goldfish shaped flat bread
1 bag of regular potato chips
1 bag of sour cream and onion flavored potato chips
1 18 count carton of eggs
1 pack of whole wheat french rolls
Total: $50.03
I'm in no way criticizing you, because a $50 weekly grocery budget is really good. :) But in my opinion, the waffles, rolls, flat bread, and hot wings can be made at home much cheaper than the store bought products.
The juice is more cost efficient if you purchase the no sugar added frozen concentrate and make it up yourself.
The parmesan cheese is MUCH cheaper to buy intact and shred yourself...only takes a few minutes-even less if a food processor is used.
As far as the dino shaped chicken, even with a coupon, usually regular shaped frozen chicken nuggets are less expensive, specially in a generic/store brand.
With the saving on the above, a 12 pk tp could have been bought instead of the 4 pk, and you would have still been way below your budget...;)
 
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Oopppsss...double post...:/
 

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If the goldfish shaped flat bread is for a kiddo, try cutting their bread with a cookie cutter and saving the excess for stuffing, breadcrumbs, etc. it would save you alot and you would have more shape options.
 

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If the goldfish shaped flat bread is for a kiddo, try cutting their bread with a cookie cutter and saving the excess for stuffing, breadcrumbs, etc. it would save you alot and you would have more shape options.
Yep, I did this for my youngest two boys when I made them bento boxes for lunch.
 

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I think $50 a week is fine. I have been doing that lately to build our savings "slush" fund back up since we bought a house in Aug. It's been not our favorite meals(nor the most healthy), but they're cheap and filling- usually gotten on sale. Here are some of the things I have been doing, and it's usually under $3. for the meal and includes leftovers for the kiddos and I for lunch the next day (DH takes 3 sandwhiches and a snack to work with him everyday, plus breakfast which is usually muffins I have made and frozen);
Red beans and rice
Biscuits and gravy
boiled cabbage with cut up sausage thrown in
spaghetti
black beans and rice
qusadillas
Chilli
Chicken and yellow rice with steamed broccoli

...I can't think of anything else right now, but it can be done. Good luck. I would recommend planning though. I don't go day by day (like Monday will be tacos, Tues. spaghetti), but I do plan a certian amount of meals and then choose from that list what I am in the mood for. I also take into account on busy days, like Thursday has to be made by lunch or in a crockpot and on Wednesdays we have to eat in the car on the way from gymnastics to Church. It takes a lot of planning, but at least we aren't eating out. I also always have a cheap frozen pizza in the back of the freezer for my just incase meal ;) Hope this "book" helps.
 

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i think everyone has their splurge areas not everyone has the same life happening and you did great .

to be honest i can buy waffles cheaper than making them if i wait for a sale - alot of times people assume stuff is cheaper when the cost of flour sugar milk etc has gone up so much that "old " calculations are no longer realistic .

i actually saw alot of ingredients less than half was premade stuff .

i know due to my kids activities and my fibro i have some premade stuff sitting around for bad days - in the end its cheaper than doing what seems alot in the non frugal world do which is running thru a drive thru.

a person can set up a challenge to be what they want it to be - and since most on the frugal train do have a pantry or freezer full of stuff

i work and have a illness many cant work with so a little processed food goes in my cart now and then . thats just my life . doesnt mean i am not frugal enough means i have realized what is more important than some frozen pre-breaded chicken for the kids or wings for my dh ( 0nly one who eats them )once in a while and thats health and time with my family .
 

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Paws;1567054 The parmesan cheese is MUCH cheaper to buy intact and shred yourself...only takes a few minutes-even less if a food processor is used. As far as the dino shaped chicken said:
- block cheese in our area is the same price as shredded
-generic/store brand is cheaper, but name brand regular or shapes are the same price and if they are on sale with a coupon they are the same price
-some times you can't afford the 12 pack, so you buy 4 to make do
 
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