Originally Posted by 2girlsmom
I feed my family of 5 for just a little less then that. We eat a lot of fresh veggies and fruits. I usually don't buy convience foods either. I also don't buy a lot of snacks. I will make muffins and cookies but other then that our snacks are fruit, veggies, and yogurt. I buy store brand whenever I can. For my meat I check my small local grocery store for the meat that is on clearance. It is the meat that needs to get eaten of frozen that day but its usually a great price. My produce I buy a lot of it in season.
Same here! I second not buying many snacks or convenience foods, my toddler has plenty to snack on without buying many of the snack foods offered. Pretty much the only snack foods I buy are wheat crackers, juice boxes and organic yogurt in a tube. No cheese sticks here, I buy the 2.5 blocks of cheese and just cut off a slice. I also bake cookies and muffins once a week for snacks.
I stock up on the few convenience foods I buy when they go on sale (for ex: I like the whole grain and all natural rice a ronis, I usually use one a week, so when they are 10/10 I will buy 5 of them and it lasts me awhile) I also stock up on flour, sugar, pasta, black beans, natural pasta sauce, canned whole tomatoes, tomato sauce and frozen spinach when they go on sale.
When I buy chicken (which never seems to go in the clearance meat section here), I buy the large packs on sale and portion them out into freezer bags and freeze them. Chicken leg quarters are great for this and very versatile, you can bake them whole, cut them apart or shred the meat and make stock from the the bone. Whole chickens are also a great deal, we get at least three meals out of one chicken (roasted chicken, use some in pasta or make chicken burritos, boil carcass and make stock for soup) When whole chickens go on sale I buy 2 or 3 and stick them in the freezer. I like to use ground turkey in many dishes, I buy the 1.25 lb packs when they are BOGO free. When I add meat to a dish like pasta, I only add about 1/2 pound. With tacos or enchiladas, I often use 1/2 lb of meat and mix it with refried beans.
We eat LOTS of fresh fruits and veggies. I buy seasonally, right now we are eating a lot of oranges, apples, lettuce, winter squash and artichokes.
I menu plan every week: first I look at what I have in the house (meat in the freezer, produce, pantry items, etc) and I write down what meals I can make with them and make a list of what I need to complete the meals and the usual weekly buys. I organize my list by the sections of the store to help me not forget any items and avoid having to go back. I always have a couple of easy meals each week in my menu (BLT's, quick pasta) to help avoid take out on tired nights.
We live in the SF Bay Area and it's ridiculously expensive, we are a family of 2 adults, 1 toddler, 1 dog and 2 cats and I spend $80-90/week on all of our supplies without using coupons (we don't eat or use many of the products offered). I shop once a week, often going to two stores (regular grocery store and Trader Joe's)