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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Cooking on a Budget: OAMC, Make Ahead, Freezing & More / Could you spend only $100/month at the grocery store?
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    Could you spend only $100/month at the grocery store?

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    farmchick #2
    Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:47 pm
    Experienced "Head Chef" Poster
    Lost a long answer yesterday...but here we go again. I don't know where you live for specific kinds of tomatoes, but for types...try paste tomatoes because they don't need to be cooked down as much...extension agents are in every state to tell you specific kinds that do well in your area. For that matter another good source would be magazines like Mother Earth News (they have some great info. online as well). a few years ago (no idea on a date) they had lists of the best things to grow in different areas of the U.S....tomatoes and corn love the midwest. Spinach and crops that liked cooler weather do better in the pacific N.W....anyhow, I pretty much only plant what does well here most years, and stuff we really like to eat. I live in town for our business at this time...regular sized house lot. I also have about a 1/2 acre on my in-laws farm. At the same time you can still get a huge amount out of a small garden. On the farm we grow corn, we use the tactor and drill. I know people like to grow this in small gardens, but I think you can use your space better. We grow our squash, onions, and beets there. I also always plant tomatoes and peppers there and at my house. Last year we pretty much had a complete loss of tomatoes in town because of late blight, the farm produced almost until frost before they were hit. We had 12 plants on good soil, and full sun. This made all of what I made and what my mother-in-law used fresh and what she froze. We also had a cold summer here and didn't have the yeilds we often do. I grow what I need to pick daily in town. Spinach, lettuce and other greens (these don't really love the midwest, but I try them all yearly. I grow green beans on a trellis and normally have tons to can, but last year was cold and I just had enough to eat fresh almost everyday. Zucchini is great for stretching your budget and produces well. I have a neighbor who puts most of her yield on the corner to give away...I gladly accepted what she put out and gave her a large jar of jelly to thank her. My garden is 2 raised beds 4 x 16. I would recomend you read about square foot gardening (look it up online) I was able to get it at our library, and it has great ideas. Also if you have tree roots to deal with this will save you on doing all that digging...plant right over the top. Hopefully none of the trees were walnuts (they kill even after they are gone). Walnut trees have their place but not anywhere near your garden. I plant herbs because they really pay off quickly. I hope this helps with a place to really is worth it. And if you go with the square foot gardening I can say I only spent about 6 hours weeding that area last summer. The farm garden is a whole nother story....but I like gardening no matter where I am.
    farmchick #2
    Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:53 pm
    Experienced "Head Chef" Poster
    They are allowed to add a certain percentage of water to most meat....isn't that a rip off? This is why we go to a good butcher or straight to a farmer. The meat might cost more but it also tastes REALLY good. We used to farm and I can't buy or eat meat from a supermarket because it always smells rotten to me. Maybe I'm spoiled.
    Char #22
    Sat Jan 09, 2010 7:30 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    I am looking for new ideas and you all have given me some great ideas on saving as well as preparing meals. Is there
    a forum here that is about *cooking from scratch*?
    Sat Feb 06, 2010 8:36 am Groupie
    Read the entire thread over this past week. What a great topic and so many wonderful tips and ideas! We spend approx. $75 a week feeding two adults, two cats, and a medium sized dog. That counts all paper/cleaning products too. But I've been inspired and DH agrees we are going to cut it to $50 a week or $200/month from now on. We really don't need the diet soda and some other things we've been buying. I look forward to futher tips!
    G.I. Joe Girl
    Sun Feb 07, 2010 8:14 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    This is just a couple of ideas... but in Memphis, boneless pork loin roasts regularly go on sale for about $1.69/lb. Instead of buying porkchops, I always try to pick up a couple of roasts. I then cut the roasts into the size of porkchops I want. I usually can get a TON out of one roast! ...Maybe it is just my imagination, but they taste better than the $1.24/lb porkchops, too, and the $1.24/lb chops always have bones in them!
    Also, I always use atleast 1/2 of a roast to make crockpot pulled pork bbq sandwiches (Pulled Pork (Crock Pot)). My family LOVES it!
    Sometimes I use leftover roast and veggies for porkfried rice. (The secret to great fried rice is a good amount of garlic butter & soy sauce!!)
    Sat Aug 18, 2012 9:51 pm Groupie
    Just curious, given that prices have sky-rocketed since this thread faded into the background, how's everyone fairing? Should we now ask what you are doing on $150/mo? However, since it's been 6 years since this thread started, maybe we should make it $200? Wheeewwwww!
    mums the word
    Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:59 pm Groupie
    We are a family of 4 living in Canada. Out of curiousity, I have kept track of our grocery purchases for the past year and a half or so and would say our average WEEKLY grocery bill is $130-$150 - and that doesn't include the "ran out of milk/bread purchases". I actually don't think that's an awful lot as $150 weekly averages out to about $21.50 per day to feed 4 people three meals plus snacks.

    I'd love to hear what others are spending too, but we also have to take into account where you live, so please mention that in your post.
    Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:04 pm Groupie
    I'm really glad that this thread is up and running again...a new Month is about to start and I think I will keep track of my food purchases to see what happens...I do have a big freezer full of meat...and hubby is a pheasant we have that too...and I'm always on the look out for the buy and use/freeze specials...this could be exciting...icon_smile.gif
    Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:45 pm Groupie
    I live in the mountains of Western N.C. I have done some comparisons between 1-2 years ago, and now. Beef is up about 13%. Chicken has remained about the same. North Ga. is not far away, and that is big time poultry producing country. When not on sale, I can see some increase in grocery store costs, but sale prices have remained about what they've been over the past few years. Pork is outta sight compared to a few years past. The "on sale" price for a whole pork loin to cut into chops is up around 13%, but when not on sale, well, I just don't buy it.
    Peanut butter is up nearly 20%, and it seems it's about the same for any type of "processed" food....jellies, cookies, crackers, canned foods.

    When things are not on sale is when I notice the greatest difference. I only buy "on sale" items. Canned tuna price is about 100% higher, as are other canned fish items. Salmon....well, I just don't even want to go there, and I am quite fond of it.

    It's really hard to say on some things, as more and more companies are reducing the amount of product in a can/container, while simultaneously increasing the prices icon_evil.gif .

    There is also a thread here about "Feeding a Family of 4 on $8 a Day". That may also be of interest. I "bumped" that thread, also.

    I wasn't keeping track back in '06, yet even then I don't recall the one year jump we've experience just in the past year.
    mums the word
    Sat Sep 01, 2012 10:28 pm Groupie
    I've really noticed the spike in price on ground beef. It is regularly selling for $2.99 to $3.49 per lb (lean beef) and just last year it was $1.99 lb and would be on sale for .99. Now, a sale is $1.99 lb. Yikes!

    I try to buy only items that are on sale but occasionally I have to throw in the towel and buy something I am out of. Two weeks ago I decided I could no longer wait for peanut butter to be a decent price so broke down and bought a jar...guess what is on sale this week? I'll buy a jar or two to stock the pantry. However the last time I did that with peanut butter, my jar was expired by the time I opened it. No worries, we lived thru eating the expired product. It was only past date by about 2 weeks. Normally I would not eat something that is expired but I didn't figure peanut butter could be too bad.

    As per your comment about the thread on dinners under $8.00...that was started by myself but I have been too busy enjoying summer to add to that thread. I'll try to get back to it once school starts next week. I hope more people will chime in to these threads as we could all use the ideas from one another.

    Have a great Labour Day weekend! icon_biggrin.gif
    Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:41 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    I do, but it's only me and my man, now I feel bad! Lots of chicken and rice, and I never waste a bone, they always get thrown in my giant ziplok for stock bones. No crazy veggies, I buy what I can afford and work it into stir-frys or frittatas. Recipes can be the thing that crushes you, I buy on sale and make what i can from it. Leads to creativity. I always have all my asian sauces and spices on hand though so I can turn a bit of meat and a few veggies into a stir fry or a sautee. My man is not at all into beans, which kills me a bit, but I also live in CA, and gas, as of this morning is $4. 59 so, with our food prices considered I do WAAAAAAAYYYYYYYY better than most out here.
    Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:43 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    You dont live in CA, do you? It's $3.49 here for beef on sale! I have thrown in the rag on beef and seafood altogether.
    Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:28 pm Groupie
    Paid 3.78 per lb. of stewing beef here today(W. NC). When I looked at everything else in the meat dept, that seemed pretty resonable....YIKES!
    But, there is no waste, and I can add potatoes, 3.49 for five lbs, carrots, 1.29 for 12 oz., and celery, 1.29 for a bunch. I can easily turn the beef into 4 meals for just myself. Still, when I have to add breakfast and lunch into the daily food budget, which somehow seems to be an not very cheap for an individual. Thankfully, I have no family to feed......especially teenagers. The thought is scarey!
    Chef Cindijo
    Mon Oct 21, 2013 4:04 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    I would love to see some new posts to this thread, I have been tracking it for several years. In my area beef has gone through the roof, but pork is cheap and chicken fairly stable. I am trying to figure out a way to track my monthly spend, as I do a lot of stocking up when my "price" rolls around. I have my "buy" prices set in my head, like chicken breast on sale for $.99# and boneless breast for $1.99# or less, but I have been able to pick up boneless chicken breast at Walmart for $1.89# pretty consistently the past couple of years, so don't stock up on it as much as I used to. Since I have both an upright and a chest freezer pretty well stocked, its kind of hard to calculate a monthly spend when using so much stuff that is bought ahead, same thing with pantry staples as I do a lot of couponing and stocking up. Would love to see some new ideas.
    Sun Oct 27, 2013 4:08 pm Groupie
    Cindijo, "mums the word" posted back in Aug. '12 that she had kept records of spending for 1 1/2 year to get a good insight on what is actually being spent...........scroll several posts back from here. I would think that since you make use of two freezers and take advantage of sales, that's pretty much the only way you are going to get any kind of accurate feel for what you are spending monthly. Of course, when you take into consideration the price variances on food over that long, you are never going to know for sure. But, it will give you a pretty good picture. Good luck!!!

    I loved this thread when it was active. I even have it saved to "Favorites".
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