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Old 12-27-2011, 02:12 PM   #11
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Re: Organic grocery budget for family of 5

I agree that you either spend a LOT of time, or extra money.

As for a budget, it is just too variable. We usedt o live in a large city in the midwest and eating organic was pretty affordable in retrospect.

Now we live in the mountains of New Mexico and there are fewer stores, less competition. So higher prices! It sucks. I want to go back to the midwest!

Azure Standard is an AWESOME resource for bulk goods. That helps the budgeting a LOT. I now have to use Azure for lots of things because there is so little available locally.

Also, watch Amazon, because some things are expensive but some are super-cheap and go on sale really low!

In Kansas I was spending about $550/ month for mostly organic. But here I spend more and get less organic. Grrr.

Right now I am pregnant and sick, so I'm just eating whatever I can, organic be darned- LOL! Sigh.

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Old 12-27-2011, 02:31 PM   #12
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Re: Organic grocery budget for family of 5

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Originally Posted by momomom View Post
I agree that you either spend a LOT of time, or extra money.

As for a budget, it is just too variable. We usedt o live in a large city in the midwest and eating organic was pretty affordable in retrospect.

Now we live in the mountains of New Mexico and there are fewer stores, less competition. So higher prices! It sucks. I want to go back to the midwest!

Azure Standard is an AWESOME resource for bulk goods. That helps the budgeting a LOT. I now have to use Azure for lots of things because there is so little available locally.

Also, watch Amazon, because some things are expensive but some are super-cheap and go on sale really low!

In Kansas I was spending about $550/ month for mostly organic. But here I spend more and get less organic. Grrr.

Right now I am pregnant and sick, so I'm just eating whatever I can, organic be darned- LOL! Sigh.
Agreed about location. I live in Michigan with a family of 6 (another on the way) and i do spend lots of time on it but i usually do freezer/crockpot meals so i am doing most of the work one day a week. I also do alot of canning and such first thing in the morning so I have the rest of the day. I LOVE making apple pie kits during the fall. It is so much less expensive and I can make one in almost minutes (just have to make the crust and then bake) so I am not tempted to go buy a premade one.

I tend to buy our bulk supplies such as yeast/flour/sugar on amazon with swagbucks so I can get it free
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Old 12-27-2011, 02:50 PM   #13
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Do you have the space to have a garden? You can raise your own vegetables organically and that's a lot cheaper than buying organic at the store!!! We grow lettuce, onions, garlic, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, watermelon, plums, and apples. Of course we can't grow them year round, but we have fresh organic produce part of the year for pennies.
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Old 12-27-2011, 03:06 PM   #14
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Re: Organic grocery budget for family of 5

all great ideas! Yes, we're just starting to get into gardening. We don't have tons of space but enough for 6 square foot gardening boxes with 16 square feet in each. I've only got half of them going so far plus 4 tomato cages but plan on having all of them going soon! And I'm also trying to figure out where else on the property is there enough sun to put a few more things in! Its not our place, we rent, so don't want to rip too many things out but I'm loving it so far!

We've been spending about $700 a month but a big part of that is hemp milk. My LOs gulp it down. Thinking it may be time to experiment with making our own but will have to do it in a way that doesn't require too much fridge space since we don't have tons of extra room there but at the same time its not something I want to be making more than once a week! That's on the list of projects to tackle in the next couple months.

Thanks for all the feedback!
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Old 12-27-2011, 07:39 PM   #15
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Re: Organic grocery budget for family of 5

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that sounds easy enough! How long does the stock keep in the fridge?
I either freeze in mason jars or make into soup (usually chick noodle or potato w/ chicken) with in the next couple days
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Old 12-27-2011, 08:55 PM   #16
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We do a lot of the same stuff PPs listed...lots of nuts, all our grains, sweeteners, beans, a few canned goods, spices, etc from Azure Standard, eating somewhat in season (we live in So Cal & everything is available all the time & it's pretty much the same price), only organic non factory chicken, grass fed beef, organic RAW milk (*not* conventional organic milk), only organic produce & dairy products unless there isn't an organic option at our store (like bananas, for example), soy & corn free eggs, lots of butter from grass fed cows, coconut oil, etc.

I make almost everything from scratch (yogurt, stock, buttermilk, pizza dough, rolls, "sour cream", refried beans, soups, salad dressing, peanut butter, granola cereal, granola bars, all snack food, etc), bulk cook, freeze or dehydrate everything I can think of, etc. I have a monthly menu plan that we change up every 3 months & I rotate the dinners on the menu every other week for 3 months before switching to new recipes. If it's not on the menu/grocery list, we don't buy it. We intentionally cut our budget in other areas & spend 20%-25% of our income on food & supplements for a family of 4 (DH, pregnant mama, almost 4 yo & almost 2 yo). I could spend less, but we choose to recognize the value of quality food & it's long term effect on our bodies. Btw, there's no point in knowing other people's food budget in dollar amounts unless you live in the same area. Food prices vary dramatically depending on where you live.

I would recommend...
-buying some canning jars & lids from Azure so you can fill your freezer
-buying storage buckets & gamma lids from Azure so you can buy in bulk & store your food properly
-checking Costco or Sam's Club (if you're a member) to see what kinds of organic products they carry (it varies a lot by area). My Costco has great organic bread, organic frozen veggies, a little organic fresh produce, organic peanut butter, organic jelly, organic eggs (for when my farm source is out), organic olive oil, organic canned tomato products, & a bunch of other organic processed foods that I refuse to buy.
-making a master menu plan & a master grocery list with all the current prices from each store (I've found that some stuff is cheaper from Azure, some from Costco, & some from Trader Joe's; it isn't just a one store is cheaper than another thing for me)
-learning everything you can about bulk cooking

HTH!

ETA: Other areas of "grocery budget" that we save in...we buy our toothpaste at Trader Joe's ($1.99 a tube), I only wash my hair every 10 days or so (saving on shampoo) & very occasionally bathe my kids with shampoo or body wash, we normally just use warm water (helps with dry skin too!), use baking soda, vinegar, & rubbing alcohol as our only cleaning products, use family cloth, only use rags for cleaning (no paper towels, ever), cloth wash cloths for napkins & tissues, re-use ziplocks (I tried to do anyway with them but my freezer is too small for all glass storage, ), etc.

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Old 12-27-2011, 09:09 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TPLmommy
We do a lot of the same stuff PPs listed...lots of nuts, all our grains, sweeteners, beans, a few canned goods, spices, etc from Azure Standard, eating somewhat in season (we live in So Cal & everything is available all the time & it's pretty much the same price), only organic non factory chicken, grass fed beef, organic RAW milk (*not* conventional organic milk), only organic produce & dairy products unless there isn't an organic option at our store (like bananas, for example), soy & corn free eggs, lots of butter from grass fed cows, coconut oil, etc.

I make almost everything from scratch (yogurt, stock, buttermilk, pizza dough, rolls, "sour cream", refried beans, soups, salad dressing, peanut butter, granola cereal, granola bars, all snack food, etc), bulk cook, freeze or dehydrate everything I can think of, etc. I have a monthly menu plan that we change up every 3 months & I rotate the dinners on the menu every other week for 3 months before switching to new recipes. If it's not on the menu/grocery list, we don't buy it. We intentionally cut our budget in other areas & spend 20%-25% of our income on food & supplements for a family of 4 (DH, pregnant mama, almost 4 yo & almost 2 yo). I could spend less, but we choose to recognize the value of quality food & it's long term effect on our bodies. Btw, there's no point in knowing other people's food budget in dollar amounts unless you live in the same area. Food prices vary dramatically depending on where you live.

I would recommend...
-buying some canning jars & lids from Azure so you can fill your freezer
-buying storage buckets & gamma lids from Azure so you can buy in bulk & store your food properly
-checking Costco or Sam's Club (if you're a member) to see what kinds of organic products they carry (it varies a lot by area). My Costco has great organic bread, organic frozen veggies, a little organic fresh produce, organic peanut butter, organic jelly, organic eggs (for when my farm source is out), organic olive oil, organic canned tomato products, & a bunch of other organic processed foods that I refuse to buy.
-making a master menu plan & a master grocery list with all the current prices from each store (I've found that some stuff is cheaper from Azure, some from Costco, & some from Trader Joe's; it isn't just a one store is cheaper than another thing for me)
-learning everything you can about bulk cooking

HTH!
Wow, I'm impressed. I'd be interested in reading a blog about your menu planning, bulk cooking, etc. if you ever feel like starting one to share!
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Old 12-27-2011, 09:17 PM   #18
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Re: Organic grocery budget for family of 5

Wow, I've never heard of azure standard! I will definitely be buying from them!
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Old 12-28-2011, 12:03 AM   #19
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Wow, I'm impressed. I'd be interested in reading a blog about your menu planning, bulk cooking, etc. if you ever feel like starting one to share!
Haha! Too funny. I started one earlier this year to share that same info with friends but couldn't keep up with it after I got pregnant again in July & was sick in bed for three months. I'm slowly working on getting it back up & running though. I'd be happy to email you my menu plans & grocery lists, & links to blogs I frequent for ideas, if you're interested. The menu plan & grocery list are both excel docs that I made. Easy peasy but might give you a few ideas.

PM your email if you want.
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Old 12-28-2011, 12:21 AM   #20
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Re: Organic grocery budget for family of 5

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