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How much do you spend on food, etc?

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  • How much do you spend on food, etc?

    Hi,

    I'm working really hard at staying on a budget - most of the time I do okay, but I've let it go on "auto-pilot" a few times in the last year and wasted some money - had to get myself back on track fast.

    Anyway, we spend about $125 per week on groceries - and was wondering if that seemed like a lot?

    It's just the two of us - me and husband. I shop at Wal-Mart and most of what I buy is the house brand. That $125 includes all food for the week - 3 meals a day for 2 people, plus pet food & supplies for 2 cats. It also includes ALL paper products (paper towels, TP, etc) and ALL other supplies (laundry detergent, deodorant, shampoo, toothpaste, soap, cleaning products, food storage products, etc etc etc)

    When I shop, first I do meal planning for the week and make a list of what I need to prepare those meals, then I go through our home and see what I need as far as personal items/cleaning products, etc.

    I never deviate from the list - I don't buy anything that is not on my list. I don't buy junk food at all - no chips, no soda, etc.

    If I find something on sale at Wal-Mart - like ground beef - I plan meals for that week around ground beef - lots of ground beef recipes that week.

    I eat dinner leftovers for lunch - husband won't do that so I make him sandwiches to take to work.

    I buy the house brand of any product I can. I don't cut coupons.

    Strange as it may sound, at age 44, this is the FIRST TIME in my life that I ever made myself a food budget, so I'm new at this

    Any other ideas for saving money on groceries?

    Does $125 seem like a lot for 2 people - or do you think I'm doing okay?

    ETA: I guess what I'm saying is that I have no point of reference - and wondering what other family's spend.
    Last edited by BK'd-Betty; 02-10-2007, 09:14 AM.

  • #2
    that sounds pretty good. that's about 60 bucks a week each or like 8 bucks a day. that's what i'm aiming for.

    i realized that with all my eating out i was spending $7000 a year just to stuff my face, not including the $3500 i spend on liquor and smokes.

    i have cut back on the eating out but it is difficult because i work so much, i don't have the energy to cook when i get home. as for the drinking, i am trying to cut back because i think that contributes to my lack of energy. i doubt i will quit smoking anytime soon.

    but sounds like you are doing pretty good. do you have a save-alot or aldies in your area (one of those stores that you shop out of boxes instead of shelves and you have to buy your own bags)? their prices are significantly cheaper than normal grocery stores.

    but sounds like you're doing well with your budget. that's what i need to aim for.

    Comment


    • #3
      Wow!
      I can't imagine spending that much.
      We spend about $60 a week on groceries for a family of 4. (two teen age kids)
      Then again, I cook large meals and then have leftovers the next day.
      Or with something like spagetti for the next couple days.
      ($6-8 worth of sauce, $5 work of hamburger and $1 worth of noodles. Add in about $3 for 2 loaves of garlic bread and you have $17 for 2 full meals and still have some leftovers for snacking on)

      And we only really do one meal a day.
      Cereal for breakfast. No one is really home for lunch (the kids eat at school)
      So it is dinner and snacks here for the week.
      7/01/10 - filed!
      11/20/10 - discharged and closed

      Comment


      • #4
        We spend around $130 a week for me, my husband and our two kids. The kids are 3 1/2 and 9 month old so honestly they don't eat that much.
        I make my own baby food. I take leftovers or salad for lunch and my husband usually goes home for lunch so makes something for himself. The kids are at daycare all day so the sitter feeds them lunch.
        About one week a month the trip to walmart is more like $180 when we have to buy toiletries or paper goods.
        We have budgeted $600 per month for groceries.
        If we don't make a menu or plan well we always go over. Those extra trips to the store during the week really add up for us.

        My parents just got us a quarter of beef for christmas so those numbers will be going down. For anyone who hasn't thought of this angle. A whole beef is somewhere are $1200. If you split that cost between two to four people and figure that you get roast, steak, hamberger, ect all for that cost it is a great money saver. The quarter of beef will last us 6 to 9 months. We have also in the past bought a pig. That was around $350 and a whole pork lasted us 6 to 9 months and we had pork chops, pork loins, brats, sausage, ham, bacon, ect. If we had a bigger freezer so we could fit both the beef and the pork we would probably do another pig this year as well.
        Last edited by JollyGG; 02-10-2007, 11:34 AM.
        Filed: 10/26/2006
        Discharged: 03/05/2007
        Closed: 5/19/2008 - Asset case due to balance transfer and income tax refund

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by BK'd-Betty View Post
          ...we spend about $125 per week on groceries - and was wondering if that seemed like a lot? ... ETA: I guess what I'm saying is that I have no point of reference - and wondering what other family's spend.
          To see the average cost of living expenses (which includes food) in your local area, check out http://realestate.yahoo.com/Neighborhoods . Enter your zip code - you'll see the average living costs plus lots of other information about your area and how costs in your area compare to the national average....very cool!

          Costs for food and household items actually vary quite a bit depending on where you live in the US. and food costs also vary by seasons. Betty, it sounds to me like the approach you've set up is very reasonable. You aren't spending on extras and you are taking advantage of sales, etc. Good for you!
          I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice nor a statement of the law - only a lawyer can provide those.

          06/01/06 - Filed Ch 13
          06/28/06 - 341 Meeting
          07/18/06 - Confirmation Hearing - not confirmed, 3 objections
          10/05/06 - Hearing to resolve 2 trustee objections
          01/24/07 - Judge dismisses mortgage company objection
          09/27/07 - Confirmed at last!
          06/10/11 - Trustee confirms all payments made
          08/10/11 - DISCHARGED !

          10/02/11 - CASE CLOSED
          Countdown: 60 months paid, 0 months to go

          Comment


          • #6
            We spend about $1100/mo for a family of 6 for food. That's everything. Groceries, toiletries, and fast food we grab maybe once a week. We're spending about $45/week/person. A bit less than you. We have 3 teens and we do buy junk food. Chips, SAM's sodas, Great Value cookies.

            I don't do coupons either. Not that we haven't tried. I'm just not a coupon person. Most times, coupons are for phoo phoo frills that we just don't purchase to begin with. Air fresheners. Things like that. Or expensive entrees that we can't (won't) afford.

            Even tho you don't carry coupons to Wal-Mart, you can do price matching. I do that a lot. Watch for your other stores ads that generally come weekly in the mail. Look in the Sunday paper as well. If you're in the Drug Store or another grocery and they've got a sale on something, note the price for when you go to Wal-Mart.

            Back in the Fall, Kroger ran Campbell's Chunky soups in the larger, 2-3 serving size cans, on Sale. 5/$5. But Kroger didn't have great selection. So when I went to Wal-Mart, I price matched Kroger's price, bought tons of soup, and we stocked up for the winter.

            A local drug store here runs Dean's Milk for $1.99/gal all the time. But the price at Wal-Mart is over $3/gal. I buy Dean's Milk at Wal-Mart for the drug store price.

            Our Wal-Mart used to require you show the sales circular from the competitor store. But they changed their policy and don't require that any more. Check your Wal-Mart and see if it's the same there. Then, anytime you see a better price any where on something you buy, just tell the cashier at check-out, "I have a price match on ........ for $....... " and they will change the price for you.

            Another trick,.......... Buy a freezer. When other stores run meat sales, you can price match at Wal-Mart and stock up.

            Also, our Wal-Mart puts Deli breads on a clearance rack in the back of the store by the Milk and Juices. On the "Sell by Date" the Wal-Mart Deli moves breads, rolls, and buns back to the Clearance rack. You can get all sorts of french bread, sourdough bread, and such there. Every time I'm in Wal-Mart, I make a run by the clearance rack.
            Filed Ch 7 - 09/06
            Discharged - 12/2006
            Officially Declared No Asset - 03/2007
            Closed - 04/2007

            I am not an attorney. My comments are based on personal experience and research. Always consult an attorney in your area to address concerns related to your particular situation.

            Another good thing about being poor is that when you are seventy your children will not have declared you legally insane in order to gain control of your estate. - Woody Allen...

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks for the feedback - and the ideas!

              Looks like I might hafta do some more work on my budget

              Comment


              • #8
                Seriously.
                If you and others in your house like leftovers then plan larger meals and stretch them out.
                It doesn't take that much more money to buy a 3 pound roast as opposed to a 2 pound roast. Make a few more potatoes. Then have leftovers the next day.
                Or better yet, roast beef sandwiches.
                Not only does it save money, but it also saves time.
                It doesn't take any more work really to make a larger meal.
                Then you are only cooking every other day. (one of the main reasons I love leftovers)

                Just make sure it is something you like, and will reheat on another day. Otherwise you are just wasting it if you won't actually eat the leftovers.
                7/01/10 - filed!
                11/20/10 - discharged and closed

                Comment


                • #9
                  When I do pot roast, I cook a ton of meat, like Tay suggested. We throw in extra potatoes as well. I shoot for getting pot roast dinner 2x from cooking once. Then, the 3rd night, I pull the leftover pork or beef with a fork, stir in BBQ sauce and we have BBQ sammies. Add some oven baked fries or chunk potatoes and slaw for another great meal all from one cooking.
                  Filed Ch 7 - 09/06
                  Discharged - 12/2006
                  Officially Declared No Asset - 03/2007
                  Closed - 04/2007

                  I am not an attorney. My comments are based on personal experience and research. Always consult an attorney in your area to address concerns related to your particular situation.

                  Another good thing about being poor is that when you are seventy your children will not have declared you legally insane in order to gain control of your estate. - Woody Allen...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    SinkingFast, we have another thread here on this topic about saving money cooking..................receipe ideas, and how to stretch the food out and save on cooking expenses........ now where is that?????

                    Here's how to stretch out a ham you have bought..........

                    1st time around - nice ham slices for dinner
                    2nd time around - ham and eggs for breakfast
                    3nd time around - ham sandwiches
                    4rd time around - ham and scallopped potatoes
                    5th time around - ham bone/chunks in pinto beans
                    6th time around - left over ham/beans and make bean dumplings.
                    Finally - anything left (usually not) - the pets get them and LOVE IT........

                    It's amazing what you can do with one nice size ham..................

                    Same principal with chicken and a pork roast...... goes into BBQ, soup,etc.....

                    Mom was great at stretching out the $40.00 grocery allowance my dad allowed her each week................. we ate good, healthy, and had plenty to eat....... and not junk either..... she taught me well....
                    Minny

                    "It's amazing the paths that our feet sometimes follow in life".

                    My suggestions are from "personal experience" and research only. Do not consider this as legal advice. Each bankruptcy case is different.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Minnymouth View Post
                      SinkingFast, we have another thread here on this topic about saving money cooking..................receipe ideas, and how to stretch the food out and save on cooking expenses........ now where is that?????
                      That's funny, Minny!!

                      We just did roast this past weekend. That's why when Tay mentioned it, I thought of it. Pot roast is a production so I don't do it real often. Maybe once a month or so.

                      I cook pot roast in a pressure cooker. I have a larger one. Like 6 quart sized. So I can do a large amount at one time. Cook once. Several meals. Only have a fair amount of dishes the one time. Works for me!!

                      Since it was "heat and eat" last night, today's dinner was cooked yesterday afternoon. We have a snow storm coming so we threw together a big pot of chili yesterday. It simmered until bedtime. Then out into the garage. It's like a fridge out there right now with the temps so low. I'll bring the pot in in a bit and throw it on the stove to heat up for dinner tonight. Yummmm!
                      Filed Ch 7 - 09/06
                      Discharged - 12/2006
                      Officially Declared No Asset - 03/2007
                      Closed - 04/2007

                      I am not an attorney. My comments are based on personal experience and research. Always consult an attorney in your area to address concerns related to your particular situation.

                      Another good thing about being poor is that when you are seventy your children will not have declared you legally insane in order to gain control of your estate. - Woody Allen...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        YES - its definitely "chili" weather............... had homemade soup the other night off a roast - lol.

                        We've been lucky here in KY - all the snow has been 75 miles north of us so far...... all we've had has been a dusting this year.......

                        My brothers are getting "pounded" in upper Ohio............ and the people in NY - I sure don't envy them any - hope they are warm, prepared, and have lots groceries and a way to cook........

                        Years ago when we had an ice storm here - no elec for 8 days and trees over the roads...... I cooked all meals on the grill out back - COLDER THAN CRAP OUTSIDE.......LOL..... even made my morning coffee on it, fried eggs, etc.......

                        Looks like it may turn into a "vicious winter" this year for many folks.......
                        Minny

                        "It's amazing the paths that our feet sometimes follow in life".

                        My suggestions are from "personal experience" and research only. Do not consider this as legal advice. Each bankruptcy case is different.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          my boyfriend eats during his sleep...and has put on 10 lbs....I need to lose another 10-15 so I started buying slimfast for myself....a can for breakfast & a can for lunch....that's $2 a day for lunch & breakfast for me....$10/week is pretty good...

                          as far as he goes...I am not keeping food in the fridge anymore...unless it's fruit or vegetables.


                          I would say $125/week for two people is pretty good...that's what I have in my budget...but he eats EVERYTHING...so we have to discuss things before I fill up the fridge...I am not working to support his stomach....
                          Filed Oct 2005discharged February 2007,Shapeless in the fire's glow, tell me if you think you know,
                          Who it was we were below, where we've been and where we go

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            LOL - I HEARD THAT..............
                            One of the roommates I have - a guy - 42 (aren't I the lucky ole lady) is like a garbage disposal............................
                            I told him "you like to eat so well - start paying for some of it".............

                            So he did................. yeah, some of them have a tremendous appetite.....

                            Glad I don't have 6 kids (all boys) like a friend of mine.............. they eat her out of house and home....................

                            I tell her that her retirement went for groceries.......6 boys and their friends!!
                            Minny

                            "It's amazing the paths that our feet sometimes follow in life".

                            My suggestions are from "personal experience" and research only. Do not consider this as legal advice. Each bankruptcy case is different.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by SinkingFast View Post
                              That's funny, Minny!!

                              We just did roast this past weekend. That's why when Tay mentioned it, I thought of it. Pot roast is a production so I don't do it real often. Maybe once a month or so.
                              Really.
                              I don't really consider anything that can be roasted as a production.
                              I just throw it in the pot with potatoes and carrots and let it cook for a few hours.
                              Pretty easy.
                              The only hard part is peeling the potatoes.
                              Which I sometimes skip and just leave the skins on them. Depending on the potatoes we have at the time.

                              As a bonus this time of the year. The oven going for a couple hours also makes the house feel a little warmer, as well as the smell of things cooking just makes things more pleasant.

                              Biggest problem for me is that I work 3rd shift, while my wife works 1st shift.
                              So I usually have to use a slow cooker through the week and start it in the morning to have it done at a normal diner time.
                              It works, but just doesn't taste as good as oven roasted.
                              7/01/10 - filed!
                              11/20/10 - discharged and closed

                              Comment

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