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Old 11-09-2010, 11:21 AM   #16  
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Originally Posted by nelie View Post
Is there a reason you can't eat beans?

We spend about $300/month eating mostly organic based foods. We eat lots of beans though, lots.
Beans are high-potassium, and people with advanced kidney disease lose the ability to remove/regulate potassium, leading to dangerously high levels if not monitored.
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Old 11-09-2010, 11:29 AM   #17  
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Wow! I have been spending probably $200-$250 a week. Thats for five of us; 3 adults and 2 children. I am VERY lucky in that the kids are not picky at all, and love vegetables, but are not overly fond of carbs. (how lucky? Last night they ate, happily, a fresh kale and cannelini bean soup!) They are 5 and 8.
Sorry, back on track. I read recently about people spending 100 dollars a week to feed a family of 4, but that included LOTS of beans, and lots of repetition... not very conducive to those of us trying to get healthy.

I am still learning about how to cook, and shop, but I learned a couple of things quickly. Most times we spend money to save time, so its a decision you gotta make.
For instance: do you buy onions that are already minced to make them easier to measure, or do you buy whole onions and cut them up yourself.
The same goes for carrots. Lot's of people love buying baby carrots for convenient, but if you buy just the loose carrots in the store they aren't more than $1.00 a lb, and that can get you about 5 full size carrots. I cut those into sticks (which I like better anyway) and then I am not wasting $3 on the whole pack. But in order to save, you gotta do the cutting and stuff yourself.

I am really trying to get my spending down to about 130-140 a week. It is going to involve really setting up a menu plan for the week, and then utilizing themes, so that when I spend the money on the fresh basil, I find different ways of incorporating that throughout the week.
Please let us know how it goes. I would love to hear any ideas also.

PS/ Sorry for my ignorance... Is it ALL beans, or can lentils or some other grain help to fill in?

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Old 11-09-2010, 11:34 AM   #18  
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Originally Posted by popspry View Post
Beans are high-potassium, and people with advanced kidney disease lose the ability to remove/regulate potassium, leading to dangerously high levels if not monitored.
I understand that. I'm assuming her husband has kidney disease and she doesn't. There are a lot of things I eat that my husband doesn't and vice versa. I love beans and if my husband couldn't eat them, I still would unless there was a reason I couldn't.
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Old 11-09-2010, 01:22 PM   #19  
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I shop only for myself and am following a low carb diet. I'm sure my grocery bill is a bit high because meat is more expensive than pasta.

I spend about $35 a week for the basics - fresh fruits and veggies, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, milk, eggs, deli meat, and ground turkey (that I use to make homemade breakfast sausage). I also order a "meat bundle" from the local butcher that has 14 pounds of various cuts of chicken, beef, pork, and fish. It costs $60 and lasts me about 6 weeks. And I buy things like condiments, nuts, granola bars, steel cut oats, etc. as needed, and that averages out to about $5 a week. So, that's a grand total, on average, of about $50 per week.
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Old 11-09-2010, 06:34 PM   #20  
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$100/person/month including food & cleaning supplies. I usually have $$ left over. I eat low carb, low cal, have an active family of teenage boys, one son with Crohn's, feeding anywhere from 5-9 people at a time. So I budget $700/month. I eat Fage FF yogurt, shop at Central Market for some things, etc... A healthy lifestyle is affordable. In fact, I spend less on food than back in the day. Carbs are expensive.

I do not have a credit card and use a cash envelope. That is why it works.
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Old 11-09-2010, 08:46 PM   #21  
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I'm not sure if I'd say carbs are expensive. My husband and I eat mostly organic, high carb and spend about the same as you, maybe a little more. Legumes and grains are carbs but are pretty cheap. I can get a lb of organic dried beans/grains for about $1.50/lb. Some things might be a little more, some are a little less (millet is usually the cheapest grain).
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Old 11-09-2010, 09:03 PM   #22  
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I don't eat beans out of common courtesy. He loves them, so I don't want to torture him.
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Old 11-09-2010, 09:13 PM   #23  
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I'm sorry HadEnough, that sounds extremely tough.
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Old 11-09-2010, 09:22 PM   #24  
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Shopping for just one person, I spend about $75 to $85 per week. I am frugal in some ways & a spendthrift in others. I visit three grocery stores, at minimum, comparing prices between the three, and I buy produce that's on special, or marked-down produce, and dented cans of beans, tomatoes & broth. I prefer good-quality Greek yogurt. I buy fish at least twice a week. Nearly all my salad greens are washed & bagged. I buy lots of fruit, out of season berries if I want them. I often eat the same entree for three nights in a row. I do massive cook-a-thons on Sunday. On weeknights, I sometimes eat around 8:30 PM, at the end of a very long day, and just want to warm up something that's already prepared & waiting in the fridge, or at most, steam something in the microwave. (On those nights, I'm in bed less than two hours later.) In the cold months, I make soup weekly, and there's always a pot of soup in the fridge, in addition to some entree or another.

Last edited by saef; 11-09-2010 at 09:23 PM.
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Old 11-09-2010, 10:17 PM   #25  
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We spend about $50/week for two of us, but we almost never buy meat (maybe once every few months) and my boyfriend usually eats out for lunch, so more money is spent elsewhere in that case.

We eat a lot of frozen veggies, eggs, fresh fruit and vegetables (usually in season although anytime berries are on sale I have to get my fix). We almost always prepare separate meals, so for me, I augment the produce with tofu, beans, and lentils, while the boyfriend is more carb heavy with his addiction to pasta and rice. My latest find and new staple in my diet is almond milk...I wish I could buy that stuff by the barrel!
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Old 11-09-2010, 11:14 PM   #26  
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I'm not sure what hubby and I spend anymore. $50 to $100 per week. It's hard to come up with a hard number, because we do some shopping every quarter, some shopping every month, and some shopping every week. So we might spend $200 one week, but then only spend $10 for the next 3 weeks.

I use all sorts of money saving tips, most I learned from books like the Tightwad Gazette books, and frugal websites too (some of the tips are kind of out there, but it really makes you rethink ways to save).

The Budget Meals thread has awesome suggestions.

We bought a small chest freezer (from Christmas gift money) so we can stock up when we see great deals. For example, we don't pay more than $1.00 per pound for bone-in meats, or more than $2 for boneless. We buy cheap (and therefore fattier) ground beef and brown it with tvp (soy protein). The tvp runs $2.50 to 4.00 per pound, but one pound of dry tvp granules is equivlent to about 4 lbs of ground beef (but it's a little bland tasting, by browning it with ground beef and seasoning veggies like onions, peppers, and celery, it takes on the flavor of ground beef). I don't drain the ground beef, unless it's less than 80% lean, because the tvp is fat free (it's probably not low in potassium though).

We shop at Aldi and Super Walmart, because they're the cheapest "overall." If we had to shop only two stores, we'd choose those two. We usually get milk, eggs, butter, orange juice, potatoes, bananas, apples, and oranges from Kwik Trip (a gas station/convenience store) because they're the cheapest in town. This was a surprise, because most similar stores gouge people on the price of staples. We shop the farmers markets when we can, and even though prices are often cheaper than elsewhere, we are also willing to pay a little more at farmers' markets because the produce tastes better and lasts longer, so there's less waste.

We buy cheese from small cheese makers, because the prices tend to run $2 to $5 per pound instead of $4 - $10 you find in stores. I also buy my whey protein from the cheese factories for use in smoothes (drastically cheaper and more versatile than the flavored whey powders).

We buy spices from a baking supply store (about 1/4 the price of grocery store spices, and much fresher). If we can find bulk bin spices, we choose those for spices we don't use very often (because you can buy 1 tablespoon of a spice, if that's all you want).

We use fattier and/or bonier cutsaof meat (because they're cheaper), and then trim them at home, and/or cut back on the serving sizes (for example using them as a soup ingredient rather than as a hunk-o-meat on the plate).

We even shop dollar stores for some foods - like canned beats are usually almost $1 per can in most of the grocery stores, but at dollar stores are 2cans for $1.

We shop dollar stores and overrun stores (like Big Lots). For example one privately owned over-run store routinely gets in organic and health food stores. We shop there at least once a month. For the last year, we've been able to get organic chicken broth for less than 50 cents a can, and since we make a lot of soups, that's worked nicely.

We shop asian grocery stores in town too. We can get a quart of a gourmet mushroom soy sauce for the price of a tiny bottle of Kikoman's in the other grocery stores. Their prices on exotic fruits are also lower. Not everything is cheaper, but a lot of the foods are. Also, I love trying new foods, especially fruits and vegetables, and the prices and quality has always been better in the oriental groceries than in other gourmet specialty shops.

We shop small and gourmet meat shops. Most of the prices are higher, but we don't buy those cuts. We buy what is cheaper (and often can't be found in regular grocery stores anymore), the end cuts, the soup bones, organ meats. We can buy irregular cuts of gourmet, bacon (called bacon ends) for less than the price of the cheapest grocery store bacon. Because we use bacon as a seasoning, and not as a side meat, it doesn't matter to us that the bacon pieces aren't perfect strips - we're going to dice them anyway.

Saving dollars really is a matter of saving pennies. We cut costs in so many ways, even those not related to groceries (which allows us to spend a little more on luxuries whether they be at the grocery store or elsewhere).

I love books, but I rarely buy new. I borrow from the library (ordering from interlibrary loan, if necessary). If I borrow a book that I just must have, I'll buy it used from (often even with shipping, I'll spend less than $6).

We don't have cable television. We bought digital converter boxes, and the digital channels that come free are enough variety for us.

We don't have a land line (and until recently didn't have cell phone contracts. We used skype through the computer and a pay-as-you-go Trak Phone).

We watch movies online (but are considering Netflix or a similar program).

We shop thrift stores, pawn shops and second hand shops for a lot of our clothes, craft supplies, books, jewelry, household items, gadgets....

Hubby and I are both on SSDI due to disability, and it's a tight budget. We save on as much as we can, so we can afford our medications and rent (our biggest expenses). We have to spend a lot of money on medications, and we have to spend a lot on rent if we want to live in a relatively handicap-accessible apartment (The only thing our appartment lacks is a zero-lip shower instead of a bath-tub. We're saving to do that eventually, and the landlord has agreed to install it, if we pay for the supplies. That God-willing will be years down the line, but we've started saving now).

I highly recommend the Tightwad Gazette books though, because they really do have so many different tips, it changes the way you think. When you're always looking for a bargain, you find them in the most surprising of places.

I used to love shopping at the mall, now I have so much more fun shopping the second hand shops. I used to love shopping in gourmet shops, now I love shopping in ethnic markets (and find better foods at better prices - or sometimes even the same brands I used to pay three times as much for).

My mom and sisters in IL love viatnamese/thai spring rolls that they tried in our friends thai restaurant. They bought the ingredient in one of the gourmet shops near their home (prices are pretty comparible in our area) and it cost them over $20. I bought the supplies in our local asian grocery and spent less than $10.
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Old 11-10-2010, 10:32 AM   #27  
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I am on Weight Watchers and I shop for me and my boyfriend. I cook dinner probably 5-6 times a week and it is hard to gauge the amount per week I spend, like kaplods it isn't always a weekly trip. I went over the past 3 months and the average was about $70/week. My boyfriend eats out for lunch everyday but I work with my sister and pack lunch for us both. I am lucky that I have a large variety of stores to choose from when doing my grocery shopping -

Kroger- I usually go once every 3 weeks for a bigger shopping trip - baking supplies, canned goods, vegetables, dairy, amish chicken.

Trader Joe's - about once every 5 weeks for olive oil, balsamic vinegar, those little MREs of Indian food, frozen stuff.

Whole Foods - maybe once every 2-3 months for specialty items.

Findlay Market (local market - various stores and farmers) - about once every 2 weeks for vegetables, fresh cheese and olives, meat.

Sams - about every 2 weeks for dog food, frozen fish, lunchmeat.

I buy all my beef online (except for ground beef which I get at Findlay from the local farms) and that is usually about $120 every 3-4 months.

Also, like vdander24 I tend to buy things like a 5 lb bag of organic carrots ($2.99!) which is about 5x the amount of carrots compared to buying baby carrots, lettuce that needs to be washed and cut rather than pre-bagged - it keeps just as long, if not longer. I don't normally buy salad dressing - I use olive oil and vinegar. Also buying whole chickens or bone-in/skin on is alot cheaper, I got 2lbs of amish chicken thighs for less than $3! Or if you are planning on dicing the chicken meat buy the chicken tenders rather than the breasts.
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Old 11-10-2010, 05:04 PM   #28  
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I spend close to the same amount for just my husband and I - $75-$100 a week. It seems so ridiculous spending so much for 2 people. But- we haven't been eating out, which saves a TON of cash and the frequent visits to the grocery store keep me stocked on fruits and veggies.
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Old 11-10-2010, 08:24 PM   #29  
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I probably spend around 25-50 bucks a week for myself. I could get the cost down even more too if I planned my meals out better.
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Old 11-10-2010, 09:36 PM   #30  
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my household is just myself and my 9 year old son. We eat out one night a week. I budget 40 dollars a week for food, but since we live so remotely when I fly into the "big city" I stock up on non parishables and ship them out and hand carry out meats that are not locally available like lobster and lamb. I only get out of town 8-10 times a year though so its not consistent. I actually went a whole year once without leaving town.
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