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Old 08-06-2011, 09:32 PM   #1
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$100 a month for groceries to feed a family??

I need some help. My DH and I have come on some hard times and after buying fuel for his car, we will only have $100 a month to feed two adults and a baby. I have a pantry with some staples like rice, pasta, beans, canned tomatoes, lentils, and tuna. I buy ground beef by the "chub" at Wally world ( usually 5 or so of 80/20 and 2-3 of 93/7 and mix them so it's not as fatty) and I buy chicken or pork when it is on sale. The meat usually lasts us at least two weeks. I really need some shopping tips and meal ideas. We eat very little corn products because I have a corn intolerance and I try to shop organically when I can. I just don't like the idea of putting extra chemicals in my body. I have laundry detergent and soap to get us through for a couple of months. I am going to make DD some pillowcase dresses with some fabric and ribbon that I already have. We have started using rags around the house for cleaning and use vinegar and dish soap as the cleaning solutions. My husband REFUSES to use family cloth and we CD DD. I'm thinking about going to momma cloth, but DH is really against it.

For Christmas, I am going to make cookies for my family, scarfs for DH's mom and sisters and probably a family photo for all parties. I'm just trying to do what is best financially for my family and I feel like I have failed. I just don't want to do. I started clipping coupons and found that target will let me use a target coupon and a manufacturer's coupon too. I have a Kroger, HEB, and Randells near the house and a Wally world and a Target down the way. I can go either place, but the first three are preferable because they are closer and less fuel.

Any ideas would be great!

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Old 08-06-2011, 09:37 PM   #2
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Re: $100 a month for groceries to feed a family??

If it's that tight, I'd bet you qualify for WIC which will help a bunch with the staples (rice, bread, milk, produce, cereal, etc)

I can feed 3 adults and 2 kids on $300/mo, so I would bet that you CAN do it, but I highly recommend trying to get on WIC
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Old 08-06-2011, 09:38 PM   #3
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Re: $100 a month for groceries to feed a family??

first of all, how the heck does your dh have say for what you use for your menstrual cycle? That's your personal business IMO. My dh thinks I'm weird for using it, but he knows that I can't stand tampons and pads make me itch. If he told me not to use mama cloth I'd tell him to shove it.

As far as the groceries, for now you are probably going to need to skip organics. You can still buy healthy food that isn't organic. Also, are you on WIC? What about food stamps?
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Old 08-06-2011, 10:17 PM   #4
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Re: $100 a month for groceries to feed a family??

Lentils, beans and rice are the cheapest foods you can buy when in bulk can be as low as .25c lb. Beans and rice together form a perfect protein. I'd imagine you'll need to skip organic, maybe try to find locally grown that just follows organic practices. USDA organic certification is a long expensive process that's why organics tend to cost more. Not all commercial produce is flooded with chemicals as were led to believe. They are only applied when necessary for most crops. If it's still a concern try buying only the clean 15.

There's an extremely similar thread in the "in the kitchen' forum under your family.
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Old 08-06-2011, 10:18 PM   #5
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Re: $100 a month for groceries to feed a family??

Start using mama cloth and forget to mention it to him. There is no reason he needs that information. Also, check out thekrazycouponlady for coupon match ups for target & walmart. You can also print Target coupons from their site. Good luck!
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Old 08-06-2011, 10:29 PM   #6
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We don't qualify for WIC. We make WAAAAYY too much to qualify for it. The problem is that we have two mortgage payments and it's killing us. If we didn't have two payments, we would be fine. We moved on a corporate move and therefore can't put the house up for foreclosure.

I might just start with momma cloth and "forget" to tell him.

I KNOW I can feed us on $100 a month. My mom fed my three brothers and I on $50 a week. I'm just running out of ideas for meals. I also have dried milk and dried potatoes in my pantry too.
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Old 08-06-2011, 10:34 PM   #7
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Re: $100 a month for groceries to feed a family??

My first question is, is this permanent/indefinte, or is this just a temporary thing for the next month or two or six? Like, is it due to decreased hours due to going back to school and will get better after the semester is over, or is this a job loss/pay cut/wage garnishment, whatever.

Second question, is this $100 budget meant to include JUST food, or does it also include toiletries, sposie dipes/wipes (when and if used) cleaning supplies etc? You mention using vinegar etc to clean and your DH's refusal to use family cloth, but is that just a general money saving to try to get more to the $100 for food, or is that part of the $100?

Those answers affect the advice I have.

In general, for the most nutritional bang for your buck, frozen veggies are probably going to be your best value vs fresh. Or at least when you are going to be cooking with them. If you are cooking carrots to pair with your chicken, the bag of frozen is probably better. There are more coupons out for frozen then fresh so you can get it for less expensive, more often, than you can get fresh carrots for cheaper. Also, because they are usually frozen within hours of picking, they often retain more nutrients than the "fresh" veggies that are trucked in over the course of several days, and then sitting in the store for another few days.

Another tip, remember that non-organic doesn't equate to junk food. It might not be 100% as healthy as organic, but it's better to eat non organic veggies than organic cookies.

Also, really think about your brand loyalty. Think about the things you always buy the same brand of and why and consider if another brand will work out just as well and cheaper.
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Old 08-06-2011, 10:37 PM   #8
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Re: $100 a month for groceries to feed a family??

Quote:
We don't qualify for WIC. We make WAAAAYY too much to qualify for it. The problem is that we have two mortgage payments and it's killing us. If we didn't have two payments, we would be fine. We moved on a corporate move and therefore can't put the house up for foreclosure.
Ok, that answers the first question, this is temporary until you figure out what to do about the second house.

I am confused about your statement "moved on a corporate move and therefore can't put the house up for foreclosure." If you were to just stop paying the payments on the second mortgage, isn't that going to just put it into foreclosure anyway?

I am assuming you are trying to at least get renters into the second house, even if you can't sell it?
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Old 08-06-2011, 11:04 PM   #9
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It's a temporary situation. I have toilet paper and paper towel for a couple of months, dishwasher soap for almost 3 months and other cleaning supplies we have enough to get us through. The $100 is for food only. I know that I can make lentils make meat go further and rice and pasta make everything go further. We do not eat out because of my reaction to most fast food and we do not buy processed foods. If I want cookies or other treats, I make them myself because I know exactly what is in them that way. (The whole corn thing.) I've started buying frozen veggies and frozen berries. I want to start making my own bread too. I have a medium size chest freezer and I don't have any brand loyalty, I just buy whatever is cheapest.

As for the house, because of the moving policy, we can't have renters. Our credit scores are good-excellent and we are doing everything we can to keep it that way. We are thinking about making payments on certain items on our credit card. We are going to use cash only for fuel and food.
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Old 08-06-2011, 11:51 PM   #10
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Re: $100 a month for groceries to feed a family??

are you using swagbucks? I order alot of food items using the amazon cards I get. You could also save them for xmas gifts or toiletry items. Ive also ordered tp when cash was tight(we wont do cloth).

Seems weird your not allowed to have renters. Its a home you own right? Is it a condo? Do you have a family member that could live there and not pay "rent"? Theres GOT to be a loophole.
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