Tuesday, October 4, 2011

To All Moms and Dads Out There

As some of you may know, Mr. R didn't work much during the month of September; to the point where I am having to call some of my bills and make arrangements.  Ehh, it doesn't happen often, and most are willing to work with me because I am usually on time and make more than minimum payments.  Also, blessedly, we only have one credit card, and it only has $400 left on it, so it's not a huge issue.  Anyway, the one area where I tend to not pay attention is our grocery bill...I went online and checked how many times I went to Publix and Winn-Dixie in August and I was SHOCKED.  I spent nearly as much on my groceries as I do my mortgage (which is $1300-ish.)  Oh my WORD people, I have got to get this under control.  What a WASTE.  I am spending about $300 a week on groceries and eating out, and I don't even have a stockpile. 

So that leads me to my next question.  For those of you who have larger families, which include teenagers, how much do you normally spend on groceries per week?  Do you shop weekly, biweekly, monthly?  Do you bother with coupons or just buy store brands?  Do you eat organic or buy as many pre-prepared foods as possible?  Do you calculate in for kids bringing all their friends over?  Do you have an eating-out budget?

For the past two weeks, I've only had $80 per week to spend on groceries.  Heck yes, it was tight and we are not eating as healthy as I'd like.  That makes me reason (in my own head, which is not always a good place to be!) that a budget of $150 per week would be acceptable for us.  This would need to include breakfast (which for the kids is cereal, but I prefer stuff like eggs, omelets, bacon, that kind of thing) three kids packing lunches which include a sandwich, a drink, and some sort of snack, after school snacks, a decent lunch for me (I don't care for sandwiches much, I actually prefer leftovers!) and a good hearty dinner.  Plus maybe a dessert for the kids a few nights a week.  Do any of you menu plan?  If so, how far in advance do you plan?

I'm curious to hear from you!  Please comment, and tell me how you budget to feed your family!


Kelly said...

So we're a family of five (Isaac is back home yay :) ). Me, a 17 year old guy, 19 year old guy and nearly 21 year old guy and Doug. We buy and fix all of Doug's food each week, and he uses a cooler in the truck.

We spend $1000-$1300 a month on food. I cook mostly from scratch. We eat a lot of fresh produce. I buy some organics (mostly dairy and only for me; these guys wouldn't touch organic. I joke and say the way I know something will be there when I go to eat it is to label it whole wheat and/or organic lol).

When Doug's partner got let go and he had to go single....we lost our entire grocery budget in salary. It's been rough! No notice, just bam..... But God has provided.

Oh, I buy a little bit of frozen food things for the boys to fix themselves (pizza rolls, frozen waffles, chicken patties, hot dogs). Mostly they cook, too. Homemade mac & cheese (in the rice simple!) or pasta or whatever. It's insane how much food costs! And we rarely eat out; $5 take and bake pizzas a couple times a month. Doug and I sometimes go to Chipotle for a date, but it's only $30 a month. Food and gasoline...insane! And electricity!

Sarah R said...

Gas is insane, you're right. I put $66.60 in my car on Friday, and I have literally only gone to the high school once, and to church tonight, and blessedly I still have 3/4 tank. Our power bills actually go down in the winter. I've had $70 bills in January, but $300 in July. I don't mind spending money; but I do get mad when it gets wasted.
So the husband and I decided to try and stick to a $150 per week budget, but with a twist. I get paid biweekly; so on my payday, I will take $300 and put it in an envelope. I will go shopping and spend approximately $220-$240 in one day. That leaves me approximately $60-$80 for the next two weeks, to pick up milk, bread, or random snacks. Plus, I just really hate grocery shopping. Twice a month is fine by me.

Kelly said...

I'd love lower utility bills in the winter. The electric a/c bill in the summer is awful (Nearly $400 this summer!) And the gas/heat bill in the winter is $300-$400. Blah!

Jennifer M. said...

I don't have a whole lot of wisdom in this area since I'm single, but I do know about being poor and needing to be frugal with the groceries. One thing I discovered while I was trying to eat more vegan-ish was that I spent WAY less money on food that way. Meat, dairy, and packaged foods are soooooo expensive. It costs way less to buy vegetables, grains, a little tofu here and there, rather than always trying to buy pre-made stuff or more expensive items like milk and eggs.