Saturday, October 9, 2010

Grocery Woes

I normally just use this blog to write about what our family is up to but today I want to ask you all for some advise. Over the past couple of years we have really been trying to tighten up our budget and one of the biggest parts of our budget is food. We eat most of our meals at home (maybe eat out once or twice a week for lunch or dinner) so grocery shopping is where most of our money goes to feed the family. How do you all do it? I am so frustrated with groceries and the cost of food. We found when we moved to NC that food prices were higher here than they were in Washington State. I used to be able to stop by a produce stand on my way home from work and get all of our produce for the week for cheaper than the grocery store but the produce stands here are the same or more expensive than the grocery store. Though price is a big part of our decision making when it comes to food we also want to consider health and be wise about where our food is coming from. I would love to go all organic and all natural but our grocery budget is already bulging. Here are some of the choices we have made about the food we buy that we don't feel like we want to compromise:

  • We buy fresh fruits and veggies instead of frozen or canned whenever we can.
  • We choose to not shop at Walmart (both personal and corporate reasons).
  • We buy snacks that don't have a high sugar content or high fructose corn syrup in them.
  • We try to make two meals a week that don't contain meat.

We know that the above choices may increase our budget for food but for our health we feel it is worth it. Here are the things we do to cut costs:

  • We buy items in bulk such as cheese, milk, eggs, toilet paper, paper towels, diapers, wipes and a few other things at Costco.
  • We use "The Grocery Game" to shop at Harris Teeter. Use coupons and buy items when they are on sale instead of when we need them.
  • Buy cereal and snack items at Target when we can't get them on sale at HT.
  • Shop once a week and plan our meals for the week.
When we budget for groceries we include anything we get at the grocery store: cleaning supplies, detergent, paper towels, toilet paper, dog food, diapers, wipes, toiletries ect. Our budget for groceries for the four of us and our dog is $600 a month. I am ok with spending this much but we are really struggling to stay within our budget and are ending up spending more like $700 a month. Ouch!! I just feel like this is too much. Before I started staying home full time I figured we just weren't being consistent enough. But I have been trying very hard to stay within our budget and am struggling big time. Any suggestions you all might have would be great. We don't want to compromise health but are up for any other suggestions.

I wanted to post what we spend because maybe this is just what it costs and I can just chill out about it. I know some of you have a budget that you stick to and know exactly what you spend and others have a rough idea. Either way I would love to hear what you all do.............


Anonymous said...

I buy most (90%) of our produce at gmart on w market street. It's cheaper so i can get more. -alisa

Lindsey said...

Our budget is 600/month here in Idaho so it's probably close to 700 in Greensboro since our cost of living is so much cheaper than yours. I do all the same things as you.

One thing I've found save $$ and boost the health factor is make my own bread. I buy whole wheat flour (which is more expensive than white) but it's still cheaper. We also eat a ton of bread for sandwiches and toast so it makes a difference. I have also found a super easy flatbread/pizza dough recipe that we have been using in place of some of our bread. Check out and click on pizza on the sidebar. It's AMAZING! I'm not sure if that helped, but there you go.

Taylor, Alicia, and Lilly said...

There is a book called "Miserly Mom" that I have read. A lot of it is very extreme, but there are some great suggestions and ideas that I never thought of to use!

Lindy said...

Three things that we have done that save our budget immensley are:

1. eat oatmeal for breakfast 3x a week. It's really healthy, and it's SO much cheaper than cereal.

2. We eat beans and rice once a week. It is CHEAP! And yummy. I do use canned beans and canned tomatoes for it, but it is still pretty healthy even though I've heard the arguments about canned foods... It feeds my family of six for about $3.00. You can't beat that! I'll e-mail you my recipe, if you'd like it.

3.I make my own laundry detergent. This saves us close to $20 a month!! I like it, and the only short-fall I see in this is that it doesn't get our whites as white. So, we supplement our white loads with bleach or Oxi-clean. I can send you that recipe as well, if you'd like. It takes about 10 minutes to make a batch that lasts for a month (probably longer for you...)

Good luck! I'll keep checking your comments to see all your friends' suggestions. :)

Anonymous said...

We have given up on variety. I plan a Sun - Sat meal for each night and that is what we eat that day all month. I just started it and saved over 100 bucks! This includes buying organic milk and snacks for Ayla. We'll see this month. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I am a picky eater as you know but I find using my crock pot helps. You can by cheaper cuts of meat the slow cooking makes them extremely tender and with a crock you can make for two meals and freeze one. It is always cheaper to make to than one. Also when you find a sale on cheese, buy it freezes beautifully. Love to all Meemaw. Call and I will give you a couple of really good crock recipes...

Anonymous said...

Well, I make it a priority to tell our private chef to only by organic. He says it busts the bank, but I think it is worth it. We try to cut back in other areas, for example we only have a pool membership at the local country club and not a full membership. Also, we decided to sell one of our cars. We thought it was a little silly to own four cars.

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titushome said...

You can so do this, Sarah! I'll come back and post a few random ideas when I have time - we actually have a grocery/household items budget of $150 per month! And we eat great on it!

More later!


Bonnie Nieuwstraten said...

Hey Sarah! I'm just catching up on blogs. I LOVE the pics of Johnny and Emma! They are just precious. I am with you on the cost of food. We have actually committed to planting a huge garden this year. We've even thought of getting chickens!

I'm going to see Sarah Titus on Sat. at an Ethiopia event and I will have to ask her how she does that on $150. That's a mazing! I am baking a lot more, and trying to not buy many packaged foods. But, it's hard for me to keep it under $800.

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