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I'm sure you all could find holes, but the point is sometimes people are already doing all they can. It's more important to me to raise my own kids than to have a job outside of the home (I work part-time from home) and pay someone else to do a piss poor job so I can buy organic, grassfed everything. We all pick our priorities and move our lives around them.
You and I are on the same page. I work 15-20hrs/week at home so we don't need to use daycare. Although I also sat down and looked at daycare for 2 kids + work expenses and decided I'd rather raise my own kids than pay tons of taxes and end up with the same net income if working full time. DH has been working on a higher paying job for 2 years now with no luck. I'm comforted in knowing things can get easier in 3-4 years when our youngest is in K/1 and I have more time to devote to working. Until then our a/c is at 80 day/78 night and heat 64 day/62 night and buying lunch meat is my night off of cooking.
I'm spending about 200-300 per week for 2 adults, 2 toddlers in NJ. That's enough grassfed meat, farmer's eggs if I can get them for 3$, local and/or organic veggies and fruit and other stuff from the supermarket. I could honestly go down to 100 if I'd buy regular meat, so it does make me swallow a bit especially as DH is not on the same page and this is on my shoulders only...I don't want to ruin the family, and I don't have a job, either. So I've decided to put a couple of vegetarian or grain fed meat dinners up a week to get the cost down. I don't think that'll give us cancer in the long run (but if the O3-O6 ratios start to affect mood around here, back to all grassfed it is).
We are a family of 4, with 2 adults, a 2 year old, and a 6 month old. For every thing (food, toiletries, DH's pop, DH's bottled water, DH's CW food) we are only able to spend $40-$80 a week. We're dairy intolerant, so coconut oil is the go-to oil right now. I'm experimenting with soaper's choice food grade coconut oil right now, as it's less than half the price for TT and Vitacost. I buy grassfed burger, grassfed liver, and soup bones/oxtail from a farmer. I buy manager specials of CAFO at the store (needs to be frozen or used right away), buy only what's on sale with the exception of coconut milk yogurt (the kids share a yogurt for breakfast on a day when I don't have time to make eggs due to appointments or something), avocado, a couple bananas the kids share (sometimes DH), and sweet potatoes/rice. I buy a lot of manager's specials on produce too. I just bought 5 laying hens earlier this spring (already laying), and keep them at a friends house whom already had a flock and pay $10 a month in supplies, supplemental feed, etc and clean the hen house weekly. I get 3 dozen eggs a week from my chickens, 1 dozen of which I always give away for free, not because we couldn't eat them but to share what 'wealth' we do have. I have a garden for the second year, but have yet to harvest any summer crops, as the spinach bolted almost two months ago with a freak 90 degree couple of days. It's raspberry season here in NW Ohio, so I've been harvesting a pound or two of berries from my MIL's raspberry patch every other day that we share among a couple families. I buy coconut milk from Asian markets (A-roy D for $1.89 each). Grapes were on sale this week (10#/$10), so my 2 year old and I spent 1/2 an hour washing, drying and spreading the grapes on dehydrator trays to make our own raisins today. Unfortunately, the last few years the closest Farmer's Markets were an hour away, and the prices were the same or higher than the store....for conventional product. Gas + time + same expense or higher = nope. There is a Farmer's Market that started, literally, down the street on Saturday mornings. I plan to haul the kiddos by myself to the market to see if it can compete with the mark-down produce I buy now.
Right now, it's about survival. The only thing I won't budge on is the ground beef (grassfed). There have been one too many recalls on ground beef that's CAFO, so I won't risk it. We too cannot sell our house, we already don't have cable or a home phone, we drive old cars that we aren't paying on, I only drive a couple days a week and try to make it as economical of trips as possible regarding gas, etc. I will check out Big Lots for canned fish though. I had forgotten about Big Lots.
If you can, it is cheaper to buy shredded coconut and make your own coconut milk. I did the math, and it is equal to 50 cents a can. Also, you can make your own coconut milk yogurt for a fraction of the price.
Don't let anybody tell you, "You can't" just because they can't.
In the ages of smartphones, unless you got kids, I'd cancel tĥe house phone.
Cables are overrated as well, you can download anything.
I live in a SAD house abd honestly, if it were up to me I'd sell half of the place
People like keeping old junk. Hoarders
Everything is bad for something - How do you feel today?
I spend about $100/week. Single dude, rarely eat out except for dates. I'm a decent cook and so is my girlfriend, so it works out well for me.
I get a decent amount of stuff from a local farmers market. It's NOT cheap, but I try to support the local farms at least a little bit. My uncle has a HUGE garden and has horrendous overflow. I spent an off day last week cleaning, freezing/canning/pickling over 50lbs of vegetables to be split between myself and my parents. I'll probably go back in a couple of days for more or it's literally going to go to waste.
I buy most of meat online, in bulk, but I think I've found a line on a 1/2 cow which would be split again between my household and my parent's.
I buy very little packaged/processed food. I do have a few boxes of gluten free pasta/tomato sauce and I occasionally make gluten free brownies. Being celiac, I'm not really afforded traditional "cheats" and those foods in moderation do absolutely nothing negative to me. By moderation, I mean Quinoa pasta maybe once every 1-2 weeks. Other than that stuff, my fridge/freezer is nothing but beef, chicken, pork, fish, eggs, sweet potatoes and vegetables everywhere. There's usually some raw almonds and brazil nuts floating around too. Chicken is the most expensive meat for me, and I rarely buy it. Fish I buy frozen from Sams/Costco. I've also settled into 2 meals a day usually. I think I unintentionally eat a little less because of that.
If two people are spending 1K/month on groceries, you aren't budgeting at all. If you are budgeting, you aren't tightening the reigns enough. There are plenty of things that I say no to in the store on a regular basis.
We are a family of four (two adults, a three-year-old and an almost two-year-old). We manage on about $1000/month or so.
I buy all of our meat in bulk directly from the farm. The beef is grass fed, but finished with grain. There are no hormones or antibiotics. I end up paying about $6/lb for all cuts this way. Pork is much more expensive because we pay more for the nitrate/nitrite free smoking. So, we just eat less of it. Pasture-raised chicken is crazy expensive, so we don't have it often at all. Local free range eggs are $3/doz.
I try to follow the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 lists when shopping to save money. During the summer and fall, we have a CSA membership, which is definitely not enough veggie to feed the whole family, but it helps.
We are buying a house with 3 acres and plan on growing and raising a bunch of food. Chickens (for meat and eggs), and a gigantic garden - hopefully to grow enough to eat and freeze. The property is also COVERED in wild blackberries, which is an awesome bonus.
I'm glad you posted what you spend, since I'm in the same province (at least according to your username). We're just two adults and I think we spend about $600, but that is just a guess. When I am finished with school I'll be looking for more ways to save since I'll have more time.
That is the other thing. I think the more time one has the more money one can save. Canning, shopping for the best quality and prices, prepping kefir, mayo, yogurt, condiments, gardening, making broth, etc, etc.
Yes, I'm in BC.
And I should elaborate and say $700 covers ALL our grocery, household and personal care. Those non-food costs are minimal, as I spent 2 years as a crazy couponer, and the best coupon savings are on cleaning and personal care, and I use a cash budget, so I know where all the money goes. Even with increases in the price of food, our budget is still maintainable. I'm not even that frugal! We eat mostly at home, very little restaurant or convenience food, so we choose to eat well. Its still a fraction of the cost of dining out. I can make a kick-ass Keg-style (steakhouse) steak dinner for 4 at home, for less than dinner for 4 at McDonalds.
I've been pondering this, wondering why our budget hasn't changed much with eating more primally (me mostly, the rest about 50/50 when I'm doing the cooking) and mostly clean. I think its a variety of reasons.
1. I eat less.
2. I buy very vew single-serve foods for the rest of the family, and only when they're on sale.
3. We are eating the same amount of clean food, but LESS junk/processed food. I still buy treats here and there, but only on sale, and only enough for one splurge....not a basement stockpile like those Extreme Couponers. I tried it. Its impossible to stockpile chips & cookies.
4. I stopped drinking Diet Coke.
5. Hubby is a hunter. It varies by year, but last year we ended up with about 180lb of elk cut & wrapped. Its cleaner than the best grassfed beef, and less than half the price.
6. Our grassfed beef is raised by people we know, and there's very little markup. We pay less than the retail price of 1/2 a cow.
7. Except for bananas and salad fixings, I buy whatever produce is on sale that day. We eat based on price or what's in the freezer or garden.
8. I buy rice in 20lb sacks. Works out to about 40 cents/lb.
9. Meat is expensive by comparison, so I save money on all other food and fill my pantry & freezer when our staples are on sale. I never pay full price for non-perishable products, cleaning supplies, toilet paper or tampons.
10. Even the stuff that never goes on sale, like my favorite coffee, I can get for 10% less if I shop on my grocery store's Customer Appreciation Day (Canada Safeway, 1st Tues of each month).
I'm cheap as shit and I refuse to pay anything over $2 a pound for meat. This basically limits my meat to boneless skinless chicken breast and on a rare occasion reduced ground beef. I don't mind it though, chicken is super versatile. I could never spend 5 or 6 bucks a pound on meat. Grass fed might have slightly better 03 ratio but if you pop a couple fish oil pills with the regular stuff you will save dollars on the pound and the ratio will be better. Grass fed beef is HYPE. If you have the money to waste on it, thats on you, but if you don't have unlimited funds there is no nutritional reason to buy grass fed beef for twice as much.
I hate the argument of "good food is expensive, but cancer is even more expensive".
That is such a stupid argument. That is some whole foods (the overpriced super market) propaganda or something. What cheap food gives you cancer? Seriously, I am interested in knowing what these stupid people are talking about.
The best deal I have found is flats of eggs for 5.00 apiece (20 eggs to a flat.) They didn't make it past inspection for the stores. They are slightly irregular, too big (horrible, I know) or are double or triple-yoked.
When I get around to it there is a company that sells meat to the local health food stores that sets up a stand or something once a month, I plan to check them out.