Saturday, February 16, 2008

Yay!

I'm so proud of myself. I've been menu planning for a while now, but I've got it down to a science and the last several weeks, I've been able to get a week's worth of groceries for anywhere between $75 and $90. That includes paper products (paper towels, TP, diapers, etc) and other consumables (dish detergent, laundry detergent, razors, vitamins, etc) and we don't eat out. I plan for all three meals for at least 6 days...one day of the week we might eat at my folks' or the IL's for dinner and we usually eat lunch with them at least one day on the weekend. So for 18 meals (I plan every meal and snack) for the five of us and a week's worth of snacks, I get out under $100. I used to spend so much more. AND we still ate out.

And what I'm really impressed with is that we're acutally eating pretty well. I've always complained that it's hard to eat healthy on a tight budget because the good for you food is so much more expensive. But with the menu planning, we're still eating fruits and veggies and whole grains and not too many convenience foods. We still eat boxed mac and cheese about once a week and the kids love their canned soups, but other than that, I'm cooking from scratch so we're eating well.

A family of 5 eating for under $360 a month...YAY!

10 comments:

Kate said...

Yay! And wow! I'm impressed!

Kim Whitton said...

That's really impressive! I might need to pick your brain a bit about this one. I seem to be in a rut, especially with snacks!!

K in the Mirror said...

You are great! And do you use coupons, or just shop wisely at good stores? I can't seem to get the hang of the coupon thing very well, except the occasional cvs trip.

Alli said...

I DON'T use coupons (I can't get the hang of it either) and I shop at ONE store! I think one of the big tricks is that I only plan to eat meat (beef, chicken, turkey, etc) 2-3 times a week. The other nights we do meatless meals. And if I buy a whole chicken, sometimes I can make it last 2 meals. I also try to make use of leftovers, but not often because I don't like leftovers and many times there's not much left of a meal.

KatieBug said...

You are my hero. I am just terrible at meal planning and lately I have been buying frozen meals because I am too sick/tired/lazy to cook. I NEED to make more things from scratch and lay off all the convenience foods.

chewymama said...

I wish I could get our grocery budget somewhere near that. Planning definitely does help though!

Alli said...

Katiebug--girl, you are in survival mode. All bets are off when you're in survival mode. Those are the times you pay the extra money for someone else to do the hard work...and you don't regret a penny!!

nicole said...

Good for you. I was averaging about 80 dollars a week at the grocery store, but my last two weeks have been more expensive. However, I was buying staple items that will last a long time. We buy our paper goods and some snacks at a warehouse store. Your monthly total is awesome! We are hoping to keep ours around 500, including eating out. Of course, I already told Husband that March does not count, since I'm having a baby on Feb. 27 and don't plan to cook for a couple of weeks.

LaughterThoughts said...

yay for you! i'm not quite that organized... planning my menus too much doesn't happen because a lot of times i operate based on my food mood!:) i do buy in bulk and freeze, etc. i haven't actually tallied my grocery bill down so specifically, though. i guess that's some 'food for thought' eh?

Jenn said...

hey Alli! Just catching up after too long of not reading here! I love that you feed your family for that price! it makes me want to try harder...I hate menu planning but I know it works. I need to do it, things are getting tighter around here and will continue to do so :)

Thank for the encouragement even though it wasn't just for me :)

PS: love Zachary's random thoughts!