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The $20 grocery list

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
What would you buy when you have limited funds and no food in the house for the week? We used to do the $10 grocery list, but since food prices have gone up I think $20 is more realistic.

This assumes that you have the basics on hand in your pantry.


Gallon Milk, $4
2 Pounds of dried beans, $1.78 (I would make a big pot of beans and use the leftovers for chili with the ground beef and tomatoes)
Dozen eggs, $2 (mix with biscuit mix for pancakes, biscuits, or waffles. Also, for scrambled eggs)
Box of biscuit mix, $1
Pound of ground beef, $3 (This is for chili)
Large can of tomatoes, $1.50 (This is for chili too)
Loaf of bread, $1
Peanut butter, $1.50
Bag of apples, $3.99

Total $19.77 plus tax.

If I got anything on sale and had any extra money I would get an onion and possibly cornmeal for cornbread with the beans and chili.

How would you spend your $20?
post #2 of 31
2 gal of milk $6.16
3 loaves of Bread $2.64
1 jar Peanut Butter $1.18
10 Ramen noodles $ 1.20
Life Cereal 21oz $2.98
2 bags frozen veggies $2.00
5 lb Potatoes $1.39
3 mac & cheese $1.05
1 package of Hot Dogs $.99

Total = $19.59

Eggs we get free from the chickens so we would also fill in with scrambled eggs, egg salad, etc.
It wouldn't be the healthiest week we had but it would get all 6 of us by
post #3 of 31
5 lb chub of hamburger $8.00
6 boxes mac and cheese $2.00
10 packs of ramen $1.00
2 cans of spaghetti sauce $2.00
2 # box of spaghetti $1.00
1 box instant potatoes $1.50
1 loaf of bread $1.10
2 bags frozen veggies $3.00

Total $19.60

I keep powdered milk, beans, rice and egg noodles as staples, so this would round out the week nicely. My grocery budget for a family of 5 (only 4 eating) is $90 a month.
post #4 of 31
$90 dollars a month. That is awesome. I wish I could do that
post #5 of 31
I'm inspired. I spend about $100 a week. Out of the that, I spend $15 on milk. If I only had $20, I would buy milk, bread, eggs, cereal, mac-n-cheese, bananas & apples.
post #6 of 31
WOW! $90 a month?!
I spend $200 a month on a family of 5 and thats an extreme stretch. do you eat alot of veggies?
post #7 of 31
Milk-2 gallons $5.75
Bread $1.50 (right now I do have two coupons for two free loaves so I would probably use one of those)
Cream of mushroom and chicken soup $2.00
apples $1.00/lb. $3.00
whole chicken .79/lb $3.95
bagged salad $1.00
box of rice $2.00
post #8 of 31
I wish I could spend $90 a month on groceries. We are a family of 4 and I spend $200+ a month. We do also get food giveaway once a month. I would love some tips on only spending $90 a month. Does this include cleaning supplies and such?

Thanks,
Janice
post #9 of 31
I also want the secret! $90 a month!!! that is awsome,
my new years budget for me and my son (7) alone is $120 month!!
and I really don't know if I can do that...
it's dinner for both of us every night, breakfast every morning and I take lunch to work.
(son eats lunch @school)
PLEASE ANY TIPS, I WOULD LOVE TO LOWER IT TO $90
I WOULD SAVE $30 MONTH THAT COULD GO TO MY DEBTS!!!!!
WHAT DO YOU BUY WITH THE $90
WHAT R THE PRICES LIKE, HERE IN S. CALI. IS EXPENSIVE...
post #10 of 31
[QUOTE=janiceruth]I wish I could spend $90 a month on groceries. We are a family of 4 and I spend $200+ a month. We do also get food giveaway once a month. I would love some tips on only spending $90 a month. Does this include cleaning supplies and such?

Thanks,
Janice

Janice,

I have been a lurker here for months, but your post inspired me to join and start posting!

Remember, some of the people on here have really little kids. Two kids under 6 together probably eat less than 1/2 the food that your growing 15 year old boy does (or your 11 year old for that matter), so your budget will naturally be more. But, given your $200 there are still some ways that you can save more.

Here's my advice:

Don't be afraid to look in non-traditional locations for food deals. By that I mean stores like Walgreen's, CVS, or gas stations. They frequently have deals on things like milk, bread, and eggs, just to get you in the store. Just don't stick around and spend $20 more on stuff you don't need.

Also, check out bakery thrift stores. I have gotten three loaves of bread for $1.00 before, as well as brand-name bagels and cookies for pennies on the dollar. I just freeze the leftovers, or we have a lot of sandwiches/croutons/garlic bread/breaded things for a while.

Big Lots and the Dollar Store are my friends for things like pasta (my local Big Lots frequently has 1 pound of pasta for 25 cents) and spices. Just make sure to check expiration dates.

Powdered milk. (haha). Now before you balk, I agree that powdered milk is not as good as fresh milk. I would never recommend it for straight drinking or cold cereal, but that's just my personal opinion. However, I do recommend it for cooking (adding to cornbread, muffin mixes, mashed potatoes, etc). Mixing a gallon (or 1/2 gallon) each week takes about 5 minutes, and can save you a lot of money.

Grow your own herbs and spices. Plants like basil, rosemary, and mint can be grown in your kitchen in a small pot near a window. Things like plain white rice, tomato soup, and carrots can really be dressed up (and can relieve the monotony that sets into low-budget menus) by adding fresh herbs. You can get seeds for less than a dollar a packet, and if the plant is taken care of, it can last for years. Once you've used fresh herbs, you won't want to go back! Also, you'll save money by not buying flavored pastas and rice packets.

Hope this helps. If you want more advice, I'm a fountain, and it's free (lol)
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