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xoxoproverbs31 01-18-2013 06:04 PM

How much is your monthly grocery budget?
I'm pregnant with our second and I SAH with our toddler boy. We currently go through tons of snacks through out the day. Mostly fruit but on occasion a starch or sugar food. Anyhow, I'm finding it shocking at how much we actually spend on food a month. I don't even wanna post it, but here goes... We now spend $900 a month in groceries for a family of 3 + being pregnant. It used to be $600 a month at $150 a week and that's all allotted myself to spend. I'm not getting lots of leftovers, or freezer meals from this LARGE expense so I guess I'm asking for help on how to cut this expense!
Currently I only go to Sprouts for most non organic meats, fruits and veggies. Surprisingly they are cheaper than Trader Joe's or even Albertson's. I get pasta and frozen foods from TJ's and some dairy and bread items from Albertson's. We also shop bulk with Costco purchasing eggs, cottage cheese, cheese, shrimp, chicken rotisserie and small snacks like chips and yogurt dip.

I am really struggling with being creative with my meals even though I loosely follow a menu plan-
Mon- chicken
Tues- veggie

We don't go on dates much however we spend maybe $50+ a week in eating out/breakfast out which we definitely have lunch leftovers with.

Is it my pregnancy causing our ridiculous surge in our grocery bill?
I do have a great dehydrator that I try to use to save food.

I do have to make sure we have extra random foods for our 2.5 yo because he's a picky picky eater and all he wants are his staple 3 meals...Mac n cheese, cheese
quesadillas or pasta gnocchi.

Soo ENOUGH background...2 days a week I'm trying to do crockpot and one night of vegetarian and a night of leftovers but I find myself getting so bored and not wanting to put the effort in because these recipes all have random 1-2 ingredient I don't have or will not use there after.
We don't get coupons so I have to rely on weekly ads but I'm considering going the CSA route but even then I'm nervous because it will be veggies I don't use or have a palate for and I would just end up throwing it out and having to buy from the store anyway.

Help help help mommas and PLEASE don't judge...I'm reaching out!

kgmom 01-19-2013 07:10 AM

I love our CSA! It challenges us to eat more fresh, in season veggies and makes me get a little more variety in my cooking. I'm not sure how much money it actually saves us, though. I'm guessing not much.
I don't know how much prepackaged/snack food you buy, but that stuff can quickly add up, and isn't very good for you anyway. Things like homemade granola bars, muffins, fruit, cheese, oatmeal (non-instant), plain whole milk yogurt with fruit/vanilla/etc make easy healthy snacks. Breakfast cereal can be another big expense.
Since meat is one of the most expensive parts of our grocery bill, I don't cook it every day. Instead I like to have a couple meals a week that are cheap, for example eggs, soup (good for using up leftovers), or beans. Dried beans are especially cheap. And don't forget to use up those leftovers... A little leftover meat can easily be stretched and made into a meal the next night.
All of that said, my grocery bill is still usually higher than I'd like it to be. The price of food just keeps on rising, and as I get more nutrition conscious I find it hard not to spring for things like raw honey, local meat, eggs from the farmers market and other stuff like that.

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ThreeLittleLovies 01-19-2013 09:03 AM

Re: How much is your monthly grocery budget?
We are a family of 5, although my daughter is only 15 weeks so she only eats from me. We spend about $100 a week. It takes a lot of listing and meal planning and I still go over sometimes because my husband eats A LOT.

I stick to really really simple stuff most of the time because when I start trying new things I over spend. If I want to try adding new recipes I usually go slow, like one new thing a week so it doesn't break my budget.

We also have a list of family staples. These are things that we always use up and need. From that list I can make a ton of stuff. It has stuff like milk, eggs, sugar, ground turkey, veg oil, cheerios, coffee, canned tomatoes, etc.

For breakfast this is what I always have available: Eggs, Cheerios, whole grain quick oats (we sweeten them with honey and cinnamin). I always have ingrediants for homemade pancakes and French toast, which is basically flour, eggs, sugar.

Lunches: Whole wheat sandwhiches. Pb&J or turkey with mayo or tuna. Canned, frozen or fesh veggies (whatever is in season/on sae) and something sweet like fresh fruit or applesauce or yogurt. We also do sweet potato fries a lot. And we do leftovers from dinner.

Dinner: Simple stuff like baked chicken, veg and starch. Whole grain pasta and sauce w a little groud turkey. I get a lot of simple, affordable ideas from pinterest.

I spent $15 dollars on a spice rack from Target. It came with 20 of the basic spices that recipes call for for a fraction of what it would have cost to buy them individually. I also buy the store brand for most everything.

Snacks are applesauce, yogurt, dry cereal, raisens, bananas, grapes, graham crackers, Nutella and whatever is on sale.

MintJulep 01-19-2013 10:24 PM

Our budget is 400 a month for a family of 6.

xoxoproverbs31 01-20-2013 12:33 AM

How is $100 a week even possible???
I mean you've gotta have already a lot of staple items correct?? I just can't wrap my mind around just $100!

-Not saying anyone on here does or doesn't, BUT I don't want tips abt how shopping at Walmart is the cheapest deal. I've read mommy blogs and other articles and all the budget ones say they shop at Walmart to save money and I won't shop there anymore. Horrible standards and horrible service won't allow me to overlook their "low prices".

Has anyone shopped with Azure Standard before??

kannondicarpo 01-20-2013 01:15 AM

Re: How much is your monthly grocery budget?
We are a family of 6 -- 5 eaters.

In Ohio we were spending $450/month...though I suspect it would be up around $500-$550 with the price of groceries having gone up over the last 8 months. Now we are spending $800/month. There aren't a lot of stores here to choose from and coupons don't work that well without having those options. We eat all fresh local produce from the Farmer's Market. Dairy is SO expensive and I'm slowly cutting WAY back but it still won't ever be close to $500.

Oh, that includes all H&B too and miscellaneous (batteries, duct tape...). We shop at Costco or it would be even higher.

Brooke789 01-21-2013 06:53 AM

Re: How much is your monthly grocery budget?
We are a family of 4. We spend 600-700 month to feed us all. That is 3 meals a day for me and DH. Our 2.5 year old twins eat breakfast and lunch at daycare 5 days/week. All we buy for them for those meals is organic milk for them to drink.

ThreeLittleLovies 01-21-2013 08:42 AM

Re: How much is your monthly grocery budget?

Originally Posted by xoxoproverbs31 (Post 16181375)
How is $100 a week even possible???
I mean you've gotta have already a lot of staple items correct?? I just can't wrap my mind around just $100!

-Not saying anyone on here does or doesn't, BUT I don't want tips abt how shopping at Walmart is the cheapest deal. I've read mommy blogs and other articles and all the budget ones say they shop at Walmart to save money and I won't shop there anymore. Horrible standards and horrible service won't allow me to overlook their "low prices".

Has anyone shopped with Azure Standard before??

We don't have Azure around here. I live in the middle of no where in Virginia. The closest store is Food Lion and it's 20 minutes away. Next is Wal-mart about 35 minutes away. Our Wal-mart is only a month old and I have had an ok experience there. If I want to shop anywhere else I have to travel over an hour.

Yes, we try to keep stock in staple items. It took us awhile to get to that point though. I had to make a list of staples and try to build it up slowly when I had the extra money.

Have you looked around pinterest for dinner ideas? Try searching for 5 ingrediant meals. Keep it simple. Don't buy a ton of packaged snacks. Stick to the perimeter of the store. I went shopping for the week yesterday and spent $90ish. This is what we are having for dinner this week:

Baked chicken $5 (honey $4 and soy $2 for seasoning for a asian taste) with fresh squash and zuchinni $4, brown rice. We will now have honey to sweeten our oatmeal and for other recipes for awhile. Soy too!

Chicken drumsticks $7, green beans $2 and whatever other leftover sides we have. There are enough drumsticks for leftovers for lunch.

2 nights we are having a pasta dish with whole grain noodles $2 and tomato sauce$3 and ground turkey $3. I have some fresh mushrooms and frozen peas i'm going to beef it up with. I also bought a block of cheese for something else that I may add if I have enough left.

Breasfast for dinner, I have enough for 2 dinners (if needed) and enough for breakfast. But we usually have cereal or oatmeal. 18 eggs $2.5, low sodium nitrate free turkey bacon $2.5. I have the flour and such for homemade pancakes. We don't use syrup. Oh and I got whole grain bread for $2.5 for toast and lunch sandwiches.

Cheddar broc soup mix, just add water $3 and grilled cheese $3 on whole grain french baguet$1.70. The soup mix is SO good although very processed. Cheap dinner and always leftovers for lunch.

BLT's with the rest of the french baguet and turkey bacon. Got baby spinach$3 instead of lettuce and tomatoes $3. Will have left over sides, like green beans with this.

Ground turkey $3 taco's. 18 whole grain taco shells $2. I have taco seasoning, hot sauce and salsa already. Using leftover tomato and spinach from BLT's. Bought a big block of cheese to shred for $6(might use with pasta if there is enough). Will use some of the cheese, tomato and spinach in morning eggs.

The rest was spent on oatmeal, bananas, animal crackers, yogurt, milk, orange juice... and something else i'm sure.

I have to portion out our dinners instead of putting it all out there on the table. Otherwise my husband will throw down enough for 3 grown men. I used to try to feed him until he was stuffed but have learned that is actually very bad. Bad for our budget and bad for his health. So I make sure he has enough to satisfy. But he always eats whatt's left on our plates anyway.

Sorry... I got carried away with this reply. I just wanted to show you it's possible. I shopped at Food Lion.

Almacham 01-21-2013 05:00 PM

Re: How much is your monthly grocery budget?
Oh gosh, easily $800 per month. My SO eats huge amounts, and I have four growing kids. I'd love to cut that down a bunch, though. I will be watching this thread.

Mama*Kim 01-22-2013 12:30 AM

My budget is roughly $350 a month for 4 people. That includes toiletries, and other household products. I keep a very solid list of basics in the house at all times, so grocery shopping is more about replenishing basics and picking up specialty items.

Here's an example:
Breakfasts - I keep a basic stock of cereal, homemade granola, eggs and pancake stuff. This week, I needed to replenish just eggs and sugar.
Lunches - Sandwiches or leftovers. I bought bread (only because it was on sale, otherwise I would have made it) and lunchmeat.
Dinners this week - Korean meat and lettuce wraps (bought ground turkey, rice and leaf lettuce. Already had seasonings), spaghetti (bought pasta, bread crumbs, and canned tomato products. Already had ground beef, herbs, onion, garlic, and stuff for garlic bread), sausage and veggie pasta (bought sausage, broccoli and diced tomato. Already had onion, carrots and seasonings), chicken soup (already had everything for this: chicken, stock, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, seasonings, potatoes), black bean tacos (bought tortillas, cumin, chili powder, lettuce and salsa. Already had beans, cheese). That leaves two nights of leftovers or eating meals from the freezer (I often cook double batches and freeze the extra).

So, this week's grocery list was: eggs, sugar, bread, lunchmeat, ground turkey, rice, leaf lettuce, pasta, bread crumbs, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, sausage, broccoli, tortillas, cumin, chili powder, and salsa. I always grab lots of fruit and veggies for snacking like apples, grapes, cucumbers, bell peppers. I also bought yogurt, almond milk, butter, napkins and a couple of other little snack things.

My total was $58. This was a slightly smaller than usual shopping trip, as I typically spend about $80-90 a week. Last week, however, was a bigger trip because I was out of a lot of things. A lot of that carried over to this week.

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