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Question: The $25 Grocery List - Could You Do It? - Page 2

post #11 of 48
Grocery shopping to feed a family on $25 a it doable? Yes (although probably just barely). Are you going to be able to get a wide variety of foods and fill all caloric, vitamen, etc intakes that you need to to be healthy? No.

$25 a week to feed a family not all from grocery shopping? Much better. If all vegetables and fruits were achieved from the families own garden, eggs from a families own chickens (not to mention chickens themselves), etc etc and then using $25 a week in groceries (or even $25 minus costs associated with the above for a week) to supplement what you didn't have grown yourself you'd be able to have a healthy diet for that price. But that's not doable for a lot of families in America.
post #12 of 48
Originally Posted by Kim View Post

If I were doing this, I could buy:
Eggs, 2 doz. $3.00
Chicken, whole $4.50
Milk $2.30
Margarine $.75
Rice $2.00
Pasta $1.00
Beans, dried $1.20
Bread $1.00
Broccoli, Frozen $1.50
Peanut Butter $2.50
Cheddar, block $2.50
Potatoes $3.50
Salsa $1.50

These are based on Aldi prices. The total comes to about $26. I could make several meals with these ingredients, starting with the chicken. I'd boil the bones to make broth and could turn that into a sauce for rice/broccoli casserole. The eggs could be the basis for breakfast for dinner along with the salsa, beans and Cheddar. We could fill in with peanut butter sandwiches. I think we could do it.

But there literally aren't enough calories here. People would be seriously undernourished. How much flour and sugar are we assuming in the house before this budget? You can stretch a lot with a sack of sugar, because it is loaded with calories if not nutrients, but other than that...

A lb box of pasta has about 1600 calories in it. A lb of cheese 720. 2 dozen eggs about 2300. 1 lb beans about 700. That has got a family of 4 through one day of minimal calories, and the members of it would be losing weight, assuming 2 average size adults, to the rate of about 1 lb a week. And that's almost half your calories gone off the list and it's just for a day.

I think you could get more food than that for that amount of money (I just got sacks and sacks full of great food at Harris Teeter for $10). But that would depend in part on your luck in terms of sales/coupons that week. (And if you were a couponer, you would have a good stockpile to draw from, probably, so this discussion would be moot.)

I've got enough food in the house that we could easily go 2 weeks on $25, and we wouldn't even be very limited in our choices. But's going to be sugar and flour.

There are about 10,000 calories in a 5lb sack of flour and 7800 or so in a sack of sugar. I don't think anything compares to the pure calorie bang for your buck of flour and sugar. So, since flour and sugar are so cheap, you could probably manage it with that and have a little for butter/oil to make bread, etc, and maybe some vitamins.
post #13 of 48
If I have corn meal, flour, sugar, and spices already in the pantry, it would be easy. We get free eggs from a firend who has chickens.

I could buy:
dry beans
baking powder

With that, I could make beans and rice or vegetarian chili, cornbread, yeast bread, biscuits, and cheese omelets. Not the most varied diet in the world, but cheap and nutritious.
post #14 of 48
We had to do that in the past (you know when a pesky unexpected expense comes around!), and it is doable- it's not a way I think someone should live on weeks on end but it does happen! Here is what I would go with using this weeks ads, and using some of my free to me when I need it:

Eggs 2 dozen (free from mom's chickens)
Whole Chicken (free from mom's)
Lettuce (free from our garden)
blackberries (free from earth!)

1 gallon of milk $3.80
2 loaves bread $1.58 (I don't like making bread!)
3 lbs bananas $1.47
concentrate oj (big sale) $1.38
jello (2) 50 cents
off brand mayo $1.79
ramen noodles 8/$1.00
off brand peanut butter $1.69
carrots $1.79
celery $1.99
2 pkgs frozen veggies $2.50
hot dogs $1.00
off brand salad dressing $1.50
spaghetti noodles 75 cents
butter 68 cents
spaghetti sauce $1.19
total $24.61

Of course there is a ton of savings with having a lot of free things- but that is how I would work on the $25 a week at this present time (of course if it was winter a lot of the things would be not on my list!).

Breakfast: eggs, toast, oj and a fruit (either banana or berries)

Lunch: ramen noodles, pb sandwiches, chicken salad (on a sandwich or on top a salad).

Dinner: spaghetti (can usually have this for 2 nights!), salad with every meal, roasted chicken one night, chicken salad another night, chicken soup (usually will be for 2 nights as well!), hot dogs for a "treat" night. You can always get creative with chicken!

Dessert/snack: with it being summer time my kids love jello. I can make a jello salad with adding the berries, carrot and celery sticks (with peanut butter). With having a few cents left over I would be tempted to pick up a package of koolaid to make popsicles.
post #15 of 48
Yes, for a week or two if I had to, I could do it. Buy a few inexpensive fruits & veggies, the usual starches, rice, etc., and do the old standby rice & beans, muffins, pancakes, omelets, fried potatoes, etc., for a week.

We don't count calories (I count carbs) so that wouldn't worry me.

I spend about $60/wk on groceries for two adults and two kids, so $25/wk would be hard but I could manage if I had to (but I'd be using up my stockpile). $25/week/per person is really high. I couldn't imagine spending $400/month on groceries!
post #16 of 48
Of course if I had to I could I would start by Breaking my budget into how much per meal. Taking out the extra things. We don't really have to put cheese on everything.
Very basic things. That we can strech. A 5lb bag of potatos, a bag of rice, I know a community center where they drop off day old bread from safeway (its really good bakery bread), milk of course, Mac and cheese (the store brand). Shop at winco or walmart for prices.

I had a friend who spent $75 a month on groceries because she worked at the store and was the one who every sunday morning spent her hours marking things on sale. She knew exactly when to buy things.

I have been trying to spend $50 a pay period and use up my stockpile. Our bills have been lower.
post #17 of 48
I could NOT do $25/ week.
The only reason I can clock in under $40/ week is because I happen to have a freezer FULL of t-bone’s (purchased in bulk at Costco and cut my own serving sizes), filet mignon (purchased in bulk at Costco and cut my own serving sizes), whole chickens (purchased when on sale for $5), pork loins (50% of sale), various types of ground meat, two bags each of whole wheat, pastry/ bread and AP flour, rice and a good amount of powdered milk in my stockpile. Our grocery prices per item seem higher in my neck of the woods than what I notice some here post.

18 eggs~ $3.49
950 g cheddar cheese~ $6.49
(2 lbs) peaches~ $1.98 (0.99/ lbs)
bananas~ $0.70
(2 lbs) strawberries~ $2.98 ($1.49 each)
mushrooms~ $1.49
(2) lettuce~ $1.98 (0.99 each)
(8) corn on the cob~ $2.00 (sale price)
(2) 1.2L cans apple juice~ $1.98 (0.99 each)
(1) 900g package of no name macaroni noodle pasta~ $1.49
(4) cans flaked tuna~ $3.56 (0.89 each)
(2) diced tomatoes~ $1.78 (0.89 each)
1 lb butter~ $2.49

TOTAL $32.41
post #18 of 48
We have special dietary considerations in our family so it would work if it absolutely had to, but we would be missing some of my son's needs, so it would have to be very temporary.

That being said, could you really get all your RDA of fruits and vegetables with that budget? (Without the option of growing stuff or getting it for free). I know around where I live it would be a stretch just to get the 5-9 daily servings of fruits and veggies recommended on that budget, much less anything else. Just for a family of four for one week, that is 140 - 252 servings of fruits and veggies. I can't imagine how that would be possible when buying all of it. Just a thought I have been pondering while reading a lot of these types of threads over the past few months.
post #19 of 48
With 5 people ( 2 teenagers and a growing 9yo and 2 adults), it might be a little difficult. I am sure I could if I had too. I would choose those meals that would go far, like spaghetti, goulosh,oatmeal, beans, etc. If it come down to having more time than money, I would be researching what I could make from basic ingredients.
post #20 of 48
I do think a vegetarian could do this easier than a carnivor.
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