South Beach Diet - Feeding a family of 4 for $100 per week

07-27-2008, 04:39 PM
Piggybacking on the recent budgeting ideas and questions - here is an article I found on MSN earlier today. Most of it is common sense, but it definitely can be done without going through any extra work (multiple stores, clipping coupons, etc.)

Fat Melanie
07-27-2008, 05:15 PM
That was an interesting article, I bookmarked it since I have to stick to a stringent budget; but I wonder, where the **** is that lady finding .99 cent a pound produce?? Even our sales here are more like 2.99 a pound and up. And the local Piggly Wiggly buys their produce local! I wish I lived where she did.

07-27-2008, 05:19 PM
I've found some .99 produce...some even less. Peaches this week were $.88 a lb. and tomatoes were $.99....I guess it depends on what is in season and what kind of deals the grocer gets...

The Piggly Wiggly by our house is more expensive - and nasty (dirty dirty dirty) than most of the other supermarkets in the area.

I think you're going to do great with your budget, Mel.

the slim me
07-27-2008, 05:22 PM
I feed my family on that, and we eat very well. No, not steak every day, but we do have them fairly often. i buy the sales and I use coupons. I buy the fresh things that are in season. If not, I buy frozen, which have very good nutritional value. I am lucky, I do have several stores close to home and can shop around. I look at it as a challenge.

07-28-2008, 10:38 AM has some great tips always--she feeds her family of 4 on $40 a week. That is a little strident for some but she had good couponing tips!

07-28-2008, 10:57 AM
there is no way i could feed 3 of us on 100 dollars.. even with local produce stands and wharehouse markets.

07-28-2008, 11:11 AM
She might live in California, produce is very cheap there.

I've read quite a few stories of people spending $50/week on groceries. They don't eat any animal products, which is a huge savings.

For me, I can go to an asian grocery market and spend $20 and walk out with 4 large bags of groceries. Asian markets are great for produce and many bulk type items. I do buy in bulk when I can, especially for staples.

Oh and also something I missed before is that she was feeding 2 small children. I may be naive about how much little kids eat, but $100 a week hardly seems like a challenge for 2 adults and 2 small kids. I try to be somewhat budget conscious but I do buy a few splurge items. We eat A LOT of produce and our weekly grocery bill is somewhere around $75.

07-28-2008, 11:19 AM
Feeding 4 on $100 is totally do-able, if you are willing to give up some things and work at it. I try to keep costs down, but I spend about $125/week mostly because there are some "treats" I don't want to do without and some things I pay more for in the name of convenience. People that do it for less than $100 usually have to invest a fair amount of time in the effort. You have to do alot of research to find the absolute cheapest sources of things and to keep your information current. You have to weigh the value of your time and gas if you are going different places for different things. You have to make everything you can from scratch. If you want your family to be healthy you also have to make sure that you are getting optimum nutrition for minimum cost.

07-28-2008, 01:01 PM
We make it on that much for groceries, most times even less. A lot less. But I do extreme couponing and shop the sales. Plus, I stockpile and/or freeze items. And this year we grew greens, tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, and bell peppers.

With the exception of bread, eggs, and a couple other staples, we could probably live at least 3 months on what's in the cupboard, fridge, freezer, and deep freezer.

Belle Mer
07-28-2008, 01:35 PM
Wow, I wish I could cut down my food budget but it's already bare bones. We eat cheaper cuts of meat, and beans and eggs, but we eat mostly organic products. They're a budget killer, but it's something we decided to do a while ago. Today the organic peaches were $3.99 a pound, yikes! Needless to say, I passed.

07-28-2008, 02:12 PM
Belle Mer, It might interest you to know that being certified organic tends to be more of a marketing ploy that favors large scale producers over small farms. However many small scale growers use natural or "organic" methods, but for them it's not worth the expense and requirements of getting certified, so they can't legally call their products organic. Here is a link that might help you find small scale growers in your area that apply natural methods:
Another way can be to just talk to the farmers at your local farmer's market and ask what methods they use. It can be much cheaper to buy healthier, local-grown, and naturally-grown produce at the farmer's market than commercial certified organic produce at the grocery. That is assuming of course that your main concern is getting the most natural and healthy product. And of course there's an element of trust in what the farmer is telling you, as there's no oversight.

Belle Mer
07-28-2008, 02:22 PM
I go to farmer's markets and always buy locally as much as possible first, then organic. I buy raw unpasteurized milk and free range eggs from a local farmer, and I will be doing CSA next season. I don't eat processed food at all, but still, the costs add up.

07-28-2008, 02:33 PM
Yes, that's true. I get milk from a local dairy and pay $3 for a half gallon. That's really ouchy when I see milk for $1.99/gallon at Aldi's, but that's one area where I judge it's worth it. The quality is so much higher and my kids aren't getting any hormones. I'm also lucky to get farm eggs from a friend. I may do a CSA next year, haven't decided yet.

07-28-2008, 02:36 PM
I belong to a CSA (which I accounted $25 as part of the weekly budget). We have been getting tons of peaches along with other fruits. A CSA should cut down on organic veg costs.

07-28-2008, 02:45 PM
Here's an ongoing thread on this topic from the Wholefoods Lifestyle area of the forum:

07-29-2008, 07:48 AM
Found this article, Local Eating on a Budget:

I'm really fussy about eggs - they have to be local and free range. We get them at a farm up the road, dodging chickens to get to the fridge :) We are paying more than grocery store eggs, $4/dz, but based on everything I've read they are much healthier so it's a choice we're making. I'd rather support a small local farmer than a huge egg farm a couple of states away.

This time of year we don't buy any produce that isn't local. I do frequent a couple of local farm standards that aren't organic but use IPM techniques and are sustainable, small family farms. One of those is my 3/$.25 squash stand :)

07-29-2008, 02:01 PM
What does CSA stand for? Sorry if that's a dumb question...

07-29-2008, 02:04 PM
Community Supported Agriculture - Basically, you buy into a farm (or group of farms) at the beginning of the season.

07-29-2008, 02:06 PM
thanks. that sounds interesting; I wonder if there's something like that in my area.

07-29-2008, 02:16 PM
Probably chicky, it's pretty widespread. Here's where you can check:
If you google it, lots of info should come up.

07-29-2008, 02:18 PM
In general, if you have farmer's markets, you probably have CSAs.

Here is a place to search for them in your area.

07-29-2008, 02:40 PM
I miss our CSA...mostly the meat and eggs. We've done a part share the last two years but really couldn't afford it this year (and no one to share with). But man...the beans...the melon...and those delicious eggs. Enough to make me want to cry!!

07-29-2008, 02:58 PM
Thanks for the URL. Looks like the only one around Dallas is full.

07-29-2008, 03:08 PM
You need to sign up before the season, which usually means late winter/spring. CSA signups around here start in the beginning of February with delivery starting in May. Some CSAs fill up quickly so if you are interested in them, I would contact them and ask questions. I had 3 CSAs in mind when I decided to join one this year. My first choice actually filled up within hours of accepting applications.

07-30-2008, 12:00 AM
so how did you decide which one you wanted out of the three? - nevermind. I think I figured it out. I looked at our local one online and now that i understand more how they work I can see how you might want one over the other (possibly for various reasons) - The one here looks great but they also have potatoes frequently and no eggs or meat at all. I wonder if I would be better off going to the farmer's market so I can buy what I can eat.

07-30-2008, 09:51 AM
Yeah basically I emailed them to ask them what their normal crops were and when. Going to a farmers market is a great option as well. I don't eat eggs or meat although my CSA does have an egg add on.

My husband has been given the more starchy things such as potatoes and corn while I eat more of the veggie stuff and some fruit.