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Old 12-26-2008, 05:59 PM   #1
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Please help me with my food budget!

ok we are really trying to cut costs with our wedding coming up and food is a huge expense for us. from eating out to buying stuff we dont end up using etc. we are a family of 4. 2 adults, 1 4y old and a 1 year old. what is the average monthy or weekly budget for us? i have started to use meal plans to help with shopping and buying unessasary stuff. but i have no idea how much most people spend. then i can really work from there on budgeting it with coupons and such. thanks!!!

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Old 12-26-2008, 07:45 PM   #2
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Re: Please help me with my food budget!

How much meat do you eat? Cutting back on that can make a huge difference. When I was first starting to cut back on our food, I would try to incorporate at least one meatless meal a week.

When we aren't having to cut back, we spend $100 a week for a family of 6, which includes 2 adults, an 8 year old that eats like an adult, and then 6, 4, and 2 year olds.
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Old 12-26-2008, 08:10 PM   #3
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Re: Please help me with my food budget!

we dont eat an averg. amount of meat per say but it is very easy for us to have 2 or 3 meatless meals a week. we like homemade mac and cheese cass. with veggies in it and never put meat in it. and i am looking for others. so does $80 a week sound reasonable? this also needs to include lunches and enough leftover dinner for hubby to take to work! thanks again!!
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Old 12-26-2008, 08:33 PM   #4
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Re: Please help me with my food budget!

Great job with the menu! That helps alot and when you stick to your list, that helps even more!

A couple of tips too. When you make your menu, check out the circular for the week at the grocery store you shop. You can plan your meals around whats on sale so you save even more. I think you could save lots when you buy meat that is on sale. I buy mine at Sams club and it is cheaper than my grocery store. Also, shop the perimeter of the store. That would include produce, meat, frozen and dairy. I rarely have to go down the middle aisles. That would include alot of processed foods. I still do go down those aisles for Mexican and pasta stuff, but it's usually one or two things. I dont even go down the cereal aisle but once every couple of weeks.
My budget for 2 adults and a 3 year old is $60 week. Sometimes I am under that and it's really nice when that happens. Sometimes I go over, but it's ok when that happens. I have been trying to use what's in the pantry and freezer lately so I can keep the budget between $40 and $50. I am going to start shopping at a different store that is cheaper and on Thursday's they have an on going coupon that says buy $50 save I think $5 or $10. I don't remember. I am going to try that.
Good luck with getting your budget organized! It sure feels good to spend less!
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Old 12-26-2008, 08:43 PM   #5
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Re: Please help me with my food budget!

My family is not nearly as large, but we just started using grocerygame.com. It seems to be working for us so far. It is based on the theory of stockpiling, so that eventually you don't have to spend much at all at the grocery store. We went to the grocery store and spend $100 and had a grocery car overflowing with item (grocery & non-grocery). Just wanted to throw that out there as a suggestion.
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Old 12-26-2008, 08:46 PM   #6
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Re: Please help me with my food budget!

I spend anywhere from 100-150/wk. It just depends on what we need. Sometimes I have to buy laundry detergent, shampoo, TP etc. I can get down to 80 if I have to. We have a family of 5 - two adults, 12 yo dd, 4yo ds, and 2yo dd. My kids are eating more lately though. We go through 3-4 gallons of milk a day. I can go through a dozen eggs in a day! I try to shop according to what is on sale and plan menus according to that. I also like menus4moms.com because it gives me alot of ideas. I try to buy organic when possible and that is when my bill goes up. I bought some clear containers to store my cereal so that it can stay fresh and keep longer It also helps because my kids do not notice brands so much. I buy trader joe's brand cereals and it is alot cheaper than those at regular grocery stores.


ETA: I don't use coupons much because i end up buying things I would not normally buy for my kids, ie. unhealthy items. I tend to cook mostly from scratch and do not buy anything with MSG, or artificial colors.
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Old 12-26-2008, 09:04 PM   #7
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Re: Please help me with my food budget!

thanks!! i dont buy much laundry items and such as we make most our own soaps here but im going to check out those sites you mentioned! also dont like alot of processed foods and no msg etc. i am learning to cook more from scratch now and we eat out way less!!
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Old 12-27-2008, 01:02 PM   #8
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Re: Please help me with my food budget!

What you budget is pretty close to what we spend for 2 adults and a 3 year old and a 6 year old. Eating out less really helps and so does the meatless meals. I've been getting a bit more food at drug stores when there are deals and that has helped me. Like the cereal for 1.99 and then a $1 coupon. I really try to match sales and coupons and try to avoid using a coupon just because I have it on an item we wouldn't buy normally. It's only a good deal if you're going to use the item. lol

As for those items you bought and don't end up using. There's a couple websites where you can input the ingredients and find recipes to use the items up. Make it an adventure and try something new.
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