Food Budget


aph

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Our grass fed beef is not $4 a pound. Closer to $6 usually and we have local farms and such. The eggs are cheap though.

The not buying lattes and eating out really will start to balance things out (although I've developed a bit of a Kombucha problem).

I am looking forward to cheaper fruits and veggies. I want to go to a berry patch and pick a ton and freeze !!

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5%?!?! I spend about 30% of my take home pay (post taxes, insurance etc) on food, and that feeds me 3x a day, plus dinner for my husband most days of the week. He buys his own breakfast and lunch - and we only partly share $$, so I don't know how much he spends, although since it's always fast food, my guess is not that much. He kicks in a bit on the Farmer's Market to help with the higher cost of food there. No kids, so it's just two of us.

Maybe I'm doing my math wrong. I know I spend a lot on certain things, and could certainly cut back if i needed to, but I'd still be up to 20-25% of my "spending money." I'm ok with this, we're comfortable enough at the moment that I can afford to eat what I want, and get the quality that I like. And my spending has gone way down, since before W30 I was eating a LOT of take out, so this is definitely cheaper. But there is no way 5% of my take home pay would cover me. That's less than $40 a week, and I'm spending between $150-$200/week.

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I can't afford much grass-fed meat. Ground beef is $10/lb at Publix. I buy organic produce at a local all-organic market, but their meats, too, are very expensive. I can't see paying $10 for a 2.5 lb chicken. No farmer's market to speak of, we are the major grower of winter vegetables for the country, and our soil is nothing but sand, so all of it is loaded with chemicals. And you can't source pastured anything in a place that has no grass.

If you have a Costco, they have a 3 pack of grass fed beef that ends up being 4 lbs (1.33 lbs in each) at around $16. Very affordable.

As to the original question, we spend a TON of money on food. We budget $1200/mo to feed our family of 6. Around 20% of our take home pay. For us, we think it's money well spent.

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If you have a Costco, they have a 3 pack of grass fed beef that ends up being 4 lbs (1.33 lbs in each) at around $16. Very affordable.

As to the original question, we spend a TON of money on food. We budget $1200/mo to feed our family of 6. Around 20% of our take home pay. For us, we think it's money well spent.

We just got a Costco in our town but it is on the other side. I'm trying to figure out if it is worth the membership, etc. to join. Maybe I'll do their free 'guest pass' one day (without kids so I can focus) and see. We only eat red meat 1-2 servings a week though so I'm not sure it is worth the extra money and I like supporting the local farmers in our area by buying their meat at our food coop.

How does Costco do for sustainable fish? That is what I am trying to eat a lot more of and talk about expense! I live in east TN. I have been buying it from Trader Joes.

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I generally spend $75/week (after the first jaw dropping stock-up) at our regular grocery. Chicago and suburbs are full of these ethnic “produce markets†that have really nice produce for pennies, and usually I can find great deals on meat there, too. Costco, once a month, about $200 but that's not all food.

TJs is for spices (they have the best garlic powder!), crushed garlic, etc. I don't spend too much there. Now that I'm not buying flavored cashews and dark chocolate at TJs, I'm not spending nearly that much.

I'm doing grass fed when I can find it, and when it's not grossly expensive. I can find ground beef for about $4-$6/pound. Haven't found that at Costco yet; hopefully they will start to carry it soon.

I'm really going to try to live off our freezer next week. I stocked up on whole chickens, b/s chicken thighs, ground beef, and short ribs at Costco, plus we have plenty of pantry staples. If I can get by with just produce, we will be well fed and I won't feel so sheepish bringing home the groceries.

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Maryann, Inyoni farms has nice greens and zuchinni and he is certified organic. He has a stall on 3rd st and Vanderbilt road every Saturday. I try to buy from him and Food and Thought. I can't afford the grass fed beef at Publix or WF at $9 plus dollars a pound but Costco has grass fed ground beef in a 4lb package for $16.99(lil over $4 a pound) and they also have organic whole chickens for $2.49 a pound and two chickens costs around $23-25.

Florida does have pastured beef, piggies and chickens but the sources are too far of a drive. Northern parts of Florida have better land for raising animals.

Florida is great if your a tourist but it sucks monkey balls for residents, especially in the southern parts.

/sigh

Thanks, Sharon. I own a business and can't make it to the farmer's market on a Saturday. I switched from Costco to Sam's this year just to see how I like it. They are fine, and much more convenient, but they have no grass-fed anything. I do like the perk of being able to shop at 7 am on my business membership. My store opens at 10, so I had too much trouble getting to Costco. I may switch back when it's time to renew, but right now I figure I'd have to eat an awful lot of meat to make up for the $60 membership. When you factor that in, it makes it a lot more expensive.

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The first few weeks of my first Whole30 I dropped close to $200+ a week for a family of four...which I thought was a LOT, but then when I started to calculate the total I would spend (prior to Whole30) on lattes and take out/fast food, I found I was actually saving money. It stings a little more when you see it all at once on one LONG grocery receipt. I was now buying groceries for not only dinners, but also for breakfasts and lunches...which, prior to my Whole30, I would either skip or eat out. Right? Ouch...that hurt that pocketbook...I felt the same way...I thought, "Man, this is going to break the bank for this old state employee!!"

After the second week, I referred back to the book ISWF and took on some of their tips.

I went to the web to figure out what produce was in season and found that those items were typically on sale at the grocer. I knew I needed to spend a little more on avocados and sweet potatoes and planned to do so, so I bought other items that were on sale. Bagged avocadoes are cheaper than buying them per piece.

The book suggests buying only the dirty dozen as organic...this will save you TONS in money. Check that out.

As far as meat goes...that is really hard...I found that my co-op has local, grass finished meats on sale, HALF PRICE on Wednesdays. So...look for tips like that...they don't advertise this, I found out from an insider...so make friends with your grocer!

The other thing I realized is that the first few weeks you are stocking up on the pantry items you probably didn't have in your kitchen prior to Whole30, like coconut oil, ghee, organic EVOO, organic nuts, etc. Those cost money...after the initial stock up...you only have to replace them as needed...and it shouldn't "hurt" as bad thereafter.

By the third week, I was spending about $150-160 a week, plus a little more if I need to get household items like soaps, toiletries, etc. Which, by the way, the first two weeks, I was so into the food planning that I inevitably would forget about the rest of the household stuff..."WHAT? NO TOILET PAPER??" LOL!

Now that I am riding my own bike...I have my set, go-to meals and my grocery bills have evened out - much easier to budget, for sure!

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  • Atleast 25% for groceries. We don't buy fancy stuff like nuts or fruits, or baking flours. Nothing organic. Everything is conventional. Definitely nothing from farmers. (Beef liver from a farmer here costs $5 per pound, ground beef costs $8 per pound, a cabbage the size of a small woman's fist costs $3 ... not gonna happen!) (Eating paleo is actually much cheaper than SAD. We used to spend double that amount on food).
  • 30% for housing, and then a little more for utilities. We don't have fancy stuff like TV, not even the digital antenna. Husband's cell phone plan which he needs for work is very expensive and costs way more than all of our other utilities combined. If he got a Net10 plan we could use a lot of that money for more food.
  • Almost 20% for gas to get to work(!)
  • Other money goes for specialist visits and physical therapy every week, since he hurt his leg. This takes any leftover money not spent on the above. His insurance is pretty cheap, but doesn't cover a lot so we pay most stuff out of pocket. I keep bugging my husband to call and ask for a payment plan that could give us a little more leeway.
  • Leftover money, if any, gets spent on car maintenance and repairs (almost 15 year old second hand car).

When we die we won't be able to afford a coffin in the cemetery, so we'll just give a college kid $25 and a six pack of beer to dump us into a ditch somewhere. I hope he enjoys the beer, we certainly didn't get to enjoy any :-P Maybe they could throw us in the compost, we would probably decompose in one week and no one would be the wiser. Better than being a organ donor.

:blink:

:huh:

:D

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Thanks, Sharon. I own a business and can't make it to the farmer's market on a Saturday. I switched from Costco to Sam's this year just to see how I like it. They are fine, and much more convenient, but they have no grass-fed anything. I do like the perk of being able to shop at 7 am on my business membership. My store opens at 10, so I had too much trouble getting to Costco. I may switch back when it's time to renew, but right now I figure I'd have to eat an awful lot of meat to make up for the $60 membership. When you factor that in, it makes it a lot more expensive.

We could always help you out, let ya use our membership. :) What kinda store do you own?

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This was a great thread and put a lot of things in perspective for me. My husband and I eat Paleo 90% of our time. This is our first Whole 30 challenge and we definitely had to switch up our grocery shopping. I'm not sure if anyone has heard of Bountiful Baskets, but we buy at least one basket each week. We've found that on the Whole 30 we need two to get us through the week.

My husband and father are also hunters. We live off the meat they shoot in the fall. Mostly venison, antelope and possibly elk this fall! We also have a family friend that raises us a pig every year. We are very thankful for all the food we're able to gain through people we know.

If we don't get everything we need from the Bountiful Basket, we do our shopping at Walmart. Crazy, but totally possibly. We don't have a ton option where we live. There is also a local food coop where we purchase the things we can't get at Walmart. We also buy some things in bulk at Sam's Club.

We spend an average of $60 a week on groceries. That includes my husband, me and our 1 year old daughter.

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I spend between $250 and $300 per week for a family of 5 - whole30 or not, because we pretty much always eat whole30. I try and try to get this down by shopping around and menu planning, but I don't really know where else I can cut back... we're very committed to food quality being a priority and spend little on "fluff" (almond, coconut flour, fancy oils, clean snacks, etc.) It's still frustrating that quality food is so expensive - we are constantly cutting back in other areas so we can afford good food.

Approximately 75% of our meat is grass fed or pasture raised. I would say about 75% of our veggies are organic as well. Eggs are organic too (Costco) and we go through 4 dozen/week. I buy 1 dozen pasture raised eggs/ month for mayo, etc.

I shop at Costco, Trader Joe's and the local farmers market just opened so I will be buying more from there. I also have things I buy monthly at WF's, Sprouts and Amazon.

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Part of my problem is that it would be cheaper if my whole family just ate what I ate! I have to buy "my" stuff AND their stuff!

Pea, I am worried about this in my own family. My son is coming home from college for the summer in a couple of weeks and he will *not* want to change his eating habits. It has to be his choice; he's too old for me to make him eat differently.

However, I am going to ask him to go shopping for himself while he's home for things he wants to add to any meals I cook. Most of the time when he's home on a break, he cooks for himself anyway, so hopefully things will settle into a complementary pattern that won't end up costing me so much.

And who knows! Aren't the college years when you try new things and find out about yourself? Maybe he'll be open to it!

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Yeah, my husband said this week that I need to find a way to lower our grocery bills too...we've been spending almost twice as much on food. I'm post W30 though, so gluten free grains are back. Goodbye, Bob's Red Mill, you and my Glutinos are too expensive to keep! I'd rather keep the good meat and veggies and eggs. Yum!

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Buying dry goods type things on Amazon has really made a difference for us, I think. It occasionally means I have to buy a LOT of something (as in, I currently have enough shredded coconut to last a long, long time), but it definitely cuts some things down a little.

We still spend a lot more on groceries now than we did pre-Whole30 (we're in the middle of a partial Whole30 right now, too). But, I've gotten better at knowing which things cost what where, and what we actually like to eat, and what makes for meals that stretch. Chilis and stews are definitely favorites, because they're usually sort of hands off AND they often incorporate cheaper ingredients (stew meat or ground beef, canned tomatoes, frozen kale, etc.).

It is just hard to deal with, though.

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  • 2 weeks later...

its hard to read all these posts complaining that grass-fed meat is $8 a pound (or even less). We keep kosher - and there is no grass-fed option in this area. a cheap package of meat is $10/lb. That's for stew meat, CAFO, not steak, not grass-fed!! And chickens - cut up chickens are $3.50/lb. Frozen pastured chickens, when I can get them, are $6-7 / lb. So just be THANKFUL you can go to Costco, or a local farmer, or hunt the animals yourself. And I looked for kosher, grass-fed meats online - and with shipping, $20 and up per pound.....sigh.

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