I was thinking about this while I talked to MamaBear, who says that for their family of 3, she spends over $400 a month on groceries.
That led me to ponder where exactly my grocery money is going. What do we spend it on?
A couple days ago I wrote about the last month's grocery purchases. We spent a total of $758.51 for a whole month, including replenishing all the cleaning supplies, all our toiletries, all our pet care needs (that runs close to $100 a month alone sometimes), and groceries. That was an exception though, because we had two birthdays to buy for, my husband was home for a week, and my mom came to visit for a few days as well, so that obviously added money onto my bill.
The other day I spent $229 at Wal Mart for two weeks worth of meals for me and the kids, including some pet supplies, toilet paper, toothpaste, shampoo/cond. for everyone, and jet dry. I then went to Safeway to purchase a few more items that were on sale for super cheap. I got 5 two liters of various Pepsi products for only $.75 each, 5 bags of mixed salad for $.75 each, a box of Popsicles (24count) for desert for only $3, two gallons of milk for $3.98 total (I don't buy milk at Wal Mart), and 10 boxes of cereal for $1.50 each. I spent about $30. Granted, I don't normally buy 10 boxes of cereal, but these were cheap and they were small boxes too, so I have some room to store them. I did buy some candy for the kids' Easter baskets, and had to replenish my reusable bags, because I forgot them at home.
I guess I am wondering how I can do it for relatively cheap (seriously, I am not counting last month, it was really odd) for a family of 5-6 (depending on when my husband is home), but others can't. I don't even use coupons!! Couponing here is not really an option because the coupons are all for products I don't use, considering I buy mostly store brands. And Wal Mart is pretty cheap already for groceries. Is it because you don't want to? Can you not find good deals? How big are your families? Do you cook gourmet and fancy foods? Do you not use left overs? Please don't take offense, I am just really curious as to how other families do this. Enlighten me! I bet that there are families that can do it for even cheaper, I'd love to learn how!
I like to cook hearty food, yet simple. I really think that helps keep our grocery costs down, as does using left overs. A family favorite of ours is Roast beef. Roast in itself is expensive, but if you can find a large roast on sale, you can make it last for 3 meals if you try hard enough. I bought a 5lb roast a few weeks back, and the kids and I had roast beef one night, stew the next, and then I froze the last hunk of beef and made stew last week. 3 meals for $11, divided by 5 people..basically 11 divided by 15 = $.73 per person per meal. Plus I had enough left over for me to have stew one day for lunch.
If anyone wants to comment, I'd love to hear what you have to say. How do you make your grocery money stretch, and what do you spend it on?
**** Just wanted to add, while I was at Target this afternoon (we had two birthday parties to shop for), I found a GREAT deal on cereal. I know I just bought a bunch for the kids, but this is for me. Selected Quaker products were on sale for $2.50 each, and if you bought 5 products, you got a $5 gift card. So I bought $12.50 worth of cereal (Quaker Oatmeal Squares Cinnamon flavor), and then was able to use my $5 gift card as well. I got the cereal for only $1.50 a box!!!! ****