Family Food Savings: Feeding Seven for $400 per Month (Free Monthly Shopping & Spending List)

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I receive many questions when I mention that I feed our family of seven for an average of $400 per month. These questions have inspired my September series called Family FOOD Savings: Because We Like to Eat!

Family FOOD Savings

I will be featuring my personal spin on tips & tricks that serve my family well. We’ll be talking about shopping, recipes, planning and any other interesting questions you email, facebook or tweet me! In addition there are several exciting guest post coming up from fellow moms who I need to take notes from myself.

Before we jump in, let me s-t-r-e-s-s, there is no condemnation in this series. I’m sharing these numbers and how-to’s only to inspire moms who are seeking creative ways to reshape their food budget. ¬†When I was trying to figure out how I could be a full-time stay-at-home mom, our grocery cost was a huge¬†concern¬†for me. ¬†I knew we we’re spending $800-$1,200 per month on groceries, as a family of five, mainly because I hadn’t had the time to learn how to plan or cook.

Now, I take joy in stretching our food dollars by faith,

which helps keep me home where I belong!

Today I’m sharing my $400 {average} ¬†Monthly Shopping & Spending List¬†. This list and price are specific to our region, just know both gas & milk are nearly $4/gallon here too.¬†Throughout this month I’ll also be sharing how I use these items to make healthy meals for my family. Here’s another great article which shares¬†3 Ways to Cut the Meat Without Decreasing Nutrition. It’s full of creative ideas like¬†partly using homemade meat stocks and cutting meat in recipes by ¬Ĺ ¬†by replacing meat with rice and beans.

  • Don’t worry–cheap can still be healthy!

We also don’t buy sweets, chips, soda, or a lot of processed and pre-packaged foods. We have fruits and vegetables within or on-the-side of every meal. ¬† In addition, besides my morning coffee {don’t take that from me Lord} our main beverage is water.

What helps our food budget immensely is a discount grocery store that is specific to our state, but I know most towns have some¬†version. ¬† This store is a blessing. ¬†It’s always my 1st stop on grocery shopping day. ¬†However, I turn into a crazy woman when they have deals like 10/$1 Trix yogurt, $1.49/.lb rolls of¬†Colby¬†Jack Cheese, or 2/$1-64 .oz Juice.

What else helps make our grocery budget work?

  1. Meal planning around dinner {my meal planning system with monthly printable list}
  2. Everyone in our family eats three meals per day without a lot of snacking in between. ¬†This insures everyone eats their meals and in turn isn’t hungry an hour after lunch. ¬†It’s always worked well for us. ūüôā
  3. When we do snack it’s fruit {fresh or canned}, or homemade yogurt that we make in the crock pot.
  4. Babies are breastfeed long-term.  I make very simple homemade baby-food that I start slow introducing while continuing to  breastfeed.
  5. Over time I’ve built up our freezers & pantry by taking advantage of reduced and sale items. ¬†Even brown bananas that are marked down to 15-cents, can be frozen and later used in Banana bread.
  6. Eating leftovers {big $ saver – it is until it’s gone}
  7. Once-a-Month Grocery Shopping
  8. Freezing Milk {I also freeze cheese, sour cream for cooking, leftover beans/rice}
  9. I use brown rice, along with meat, in many recipes. If the recipe I’m making would need 4 .lbs of ground beef‚ÄĒI will use 2 .lbs of beef and mix in 3 cups of brown rice. You could do this creatively with many meals.
  10. I throw in a few extra cans of veggies into most meals I make.  It adds more bulk and besides, we all need more veggies!
  11. {bonus} By using cloth diapers, making homemade laundry detergent and cleaning cheaply with vinegar, I have more food left in our grocery budget!

What are ways you stretch your food budget?

 

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