Where can I find help on food for the month, on a $350.00 budget? It's for my fiance and myself.
By Duane from Pine City, MN
That is 87.50 a week for 2. Not a bad budget if you follow the grocery store sales (I prefer grocery stores over Walmart), cut out the soft drinks, prepackaged food and use coupons (might can get some prepackaged snacks w/coupons). I follow a thrifty group if interested let me know-they post online where the deals are like what CVS is offering for the week and how you can combine certain coupons to get cheap or almost free and where these coupons are. This is great for shampoo, detergent, can goods and such. They also post freebies and combined items. Some ideas are cook dried beans from scratch and bag them in sandwich bags or snack bags then add these every chance you get to your meals like for instance chilli can really be stretched with cheap beans. Add chilli seasoning, paprika & garlic powder to a sandwich baggie full and mash around-makes a wonderful sandwich spread or a dip. Eggs-1 dozen can can several meal ideas. What ever you have left over from dinner - do not throw away-even a tablespoon can be saved! combine with a little cheese & wrap in a flour tortillia shell-freeze this and you will save enough for a meal real soon. Popcorn for a snack-the old fashion kernals are cheap! cut a roll of bounty in half (use a coupon to buy), add 4 T of baby oil, 2 T of shampoo, 4 c water into a sealed container like a tupperware bowl - put the bounty in there and let the water absorb, when absorbed pull out the cardboard in the middle-these are very cheap wipes. These can help use less toilet tissue.
I won't recommend where you shop but I will make a recommendation on how.
By large amounts of things that you can make multiple meals with. Larger amounts of something are usually cheaper than small amounts (not always).
For example: I am going to buy a family pack of chicken breasts and cook most of them in a slow cooker. This meat I can fry and season with fajita seasoning for fajitas, mix with salad dressing for chicken salad, add to rice with some sauce and pineapple bits for sweet and sour chicken. I am going to keep one breast and grill it for barbecue chicken.
Be creative, make lists of foods you like and see if you can't buy and cook for several dishes.
And read some of the archived articles here on ThriftyFun, they are really good references.
I feed a family of 4 on 50$ a week and sometime's it's less. I buy what's on sale and buy stock up's when I can combine a coupon w/ a sale or it's just a great price(ketchup,mayo cereal ect.)and also buy store brand's on sale.This way I don't pay full price for anything.I buy whatever fresh vegtables or fruit is in season and in winter buy frozen which is as good as fresh.
I rarely use coupons, because where I live store brands are usually lower priced than the brand names using coupons. I shop strictly at WalMart. If something is cheaper at another store all you have to do is take the ad with you to WalMart and they honor the price. My daughter and I get by on $200.00 a month for groceries, and being I am partially disabled I don't do any baking, and we used the canned beans for things like chili. However, when I make chili or goulash the most hamburger that I ever use is half a pound. When I make beef stew, I never use stew meat, I use a half a pound of hamburger. I buy canned fruits and vegetables, because they are lower cost than the fresh. I use instant potatoes instead of fresh because with our schedules we can't use a five lb. bag of potatos before they start to spoil. Here in order to get food from the food pantry you have to get a voucher from your social worker or some other organizations. The last I heard you can only go once every six months. In order to qualify for food stamps they go by your total income, not what you allow for your food budget. They also figure rent/mortage, etc.
My favorite are big lots, Dollar store, and Doller General, oh and the local bakery. Big lots I get canned items, candy, etc.. Dollar store, I get the cleaning supplies, Dollar General, I get other supplies I can't find at the other stores, much cheaper, then, I go to the bakery local one and get their day old bread which tends to be 1/2 off..., then, I get the rest of my food and a discounted grocery store like save a lot or Albertsons because they have 10 items for a dollar each special and you don't have to buy 10 items of the same, you can get 10 different items that cost 1 dollar. And the rest is the meat, we go to local meat markets and we just shop around. Sams club is where we get our chicken they are 4.99 for the baked ones and not bad, and the lunch meet comes in bigger packages, which we get too.
I absolutely love the 10 for 10 sales! Stores use to be strict about them. You use to have to get exact things and the sale only came around every once in a while. Now, stores do it a couple of times of month. Check around for ads near you that have these deals. I will warn you that a lot of the food on the 10 for 10 isn't considered "healthy," but if you're not too picky they're great. Also, I only use coupons if there's a sale on the item. If there isn't a sale, the coupon doesn't take much off (even with double/triple coupon). Check the ads again and then cut your coupons.
I bought an inexpensive Salton dehydrator. What I can't eat as fresh food gets sliced up and dehydrated. When root veggies were on for an excellent price most of it was dehydrated and is now used in soups, stews, etc. I also have at least one meal per week using various beans that I reconstitute. Cheaper than canned.
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