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taweavmo3

Budget For Groceries

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I'm looking for some budgeting ideas regarding food. We are all gluten free & dairy free...it's my husband and myself, and four kids. I *think* I have it down to as inexpensive as I can get, but I still feel like I am spending a small fortune on food! We probably come out ahead in the long run, since we really don't spend much a year on doctors visits and meds, but I'd still like to save more if we can.

No matter what, I always end up spending around $180 a week on food. Here are my splurges:

Almond Breeze, $3 for a half gallon carton, and we go through a gallon a week

Authentic Foods brown rice flour, $12 for 3lb

Earth Balance butter sticks, $3.50, used sparingly

Pasta, once every two weeks

Calcium/Mag Citrate, $10 every two weeks, but worth it to me

Probiotics for my girls, $5 every two weeks

Everything else is just basics...meat, rice, potatoes, fruit, veggies. Some typical kid fare like marshmallows, fruit snacks, peanut butter, pudding, pop corn, chips (only used for school lunches, sparingly). You get the picture. These next two weeks, I'm cooking meals that don't use as much meat, but I still spent the same.

Is my budget fairly frugal for a gluten-free/df family of 6??? I'm just wondering. Anyone do this for cheaper with some tips for me? I've gone hard and heavy with the coupons this past month, and haven't really saved much. Thanks for any ideas or tips you may have!

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That doesn't sound too bad for a family of 6. If you really want to save and don't mind coupons then try doing match ups with what is on sale. That way you save a lot more. Especially if there are buy one get one deals or 10 for $10.00. That way you can get items for pennies or a dollar. There is a forum called Hot Coupon World that has a lot of the match-ups.

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I'm looking for some budgeting ideas regarding food.
You may qualify for some income tax credits...

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It would also be a good idea to see if you might qualify for food stamps. You do not have to be unemployed or on social services. It is dependant on your income, family size etc. It doesn't hurt to look into it.

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you are spending $4.28/day per person. that's really not bad at all! so, congrats on getting it down this well! :)

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That only comes to about $4.30 per person per day. I think you're doing pretty well, and a lot better than a lot of Americans do even when they don't have special diets.

In my brief searching, I couldn't find better deals online for the specialty foods you're getting. But you didn't mention which pasta you buy or how much it's costing you. There's a wide variety of prices out there for gluten-free pastas, but it sounds like you don't eat a lot of it so maybe it doesn't matter. The cheapest I've been able to find is the Sam Mills Pasta d'oro. It's not my favorite but it doesn't cost a bundle, and it's OK.

-Elizabeth

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you are spending $4.28/day per person. that's really not bad at all! so, congrats on getting it down this well! :)

Sweet! I never thought to break it down like that. We've been gluten free for so long, and have added two kids since going on the diet, so I have NO clue what a "realistic" food budget is for a family our size. I used to think adding dairy back in would save us money, but I've realized cutting dairy is actually cheaper (not to mention less doctor visits for sinus issues).

Thanks for pointing that out to me, I feel frugal now, lol.

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Here is a site that has a sample grocery list and menu. It is for a gluten free, casein free, soy free food stamp budget. If your not soy free it can be cheaper than the prices they list. Even if your not on food stamps, it can be helpful. All meals are nutritionally sound as well as budget friendly.

http://Gluten-free Casein-free-diet.talkaboutcuringautism.org...food-stamps.htm

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Here is a site that has a sample grocery list and menu. It is for a gluten free, casein free, soy free food stamp budget. If your not soy free it can be cheaper than the prices they list. Even if your not on food stamps, it can be helpful. All meals are nutritionally sound as well as budget friendly.

http://Gluten-free Casein-free-diet.talkaboutcuringautism.org...food-stamps.htm

While this site looks helpful, is it realistic?

Can a 3 pound chicken (if you can find it for 99 cents a pound) feed a family of four for dinner and have enough left over for lunch the next day?

Is one egg and 6 ounces of potato a sufficient breakfast for an adult?

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Here is a site that has a sample grocery list and menu. It is for a gluten free, casein free, soy free food stamp budget. If your not soy free it can be cheaper than the prices they list. Even if your not on food stamps, it can be helpful. All meals are nutritionally sound as well as budget friendly.

http://Gluten-free Casein-free-diet.talkaboutcuringautism.org...food-stamps.htm

Thanks for the link....there are some good budget stretching menu ideas. Now that my kids are getting a bit older, I can try going back to casserole or stew type dishes. Before, the kids would never eat food that "touched each other", lol. I can get two meals out of one whole chicken if I make something like chicken pot pie or chicken enchiladas (we just omit the cheese),and that helps. But if I just make roasted chickens...they all just want the meat, and they'll go through two whole chickens in one meal.

Anyway, thanks again.

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$180 seems very reasonable given the cost of food these days. I save a lot buying flour and pasta in bulk on the internet. For example, the pasta we like is about $3.50 for an 8 oz. box but if I buy a 10 pound bulk box it's about $30. The only other suggestion is maybe to buy the snack items like marshmallows, fruit snacks, peanut butter, pudding, pop corn, chips, etc. in bulk at Sam's or Costco.

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Can a 3 pound chicken (if you can find it for 99 cents a pound) feed a family of four for dinner and have enough left over for lunch the next day?

Is one egg and 6 ounces of potato a sufficient breakfast for an adult?

On 1) YES! Turn it in to chicken rice soup. It's a VERY cost efficient, and TASTY meal. :)

On 2) That's... about 160 calories? I'd vote no, not enough - I would eat at least twice that.

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I think your budget is great! I have figured out a few ways to cut costs but you may already be doing these things:

1. Pretty obvious, I buy in bulk any mixes off the internet and a bit more if I find free shipping or buy one get one free.

2. I make many crock pot meals or soups (great with left overs) . Anytime you add broth you can add 1/2 the meat bringing down the cost. I learned this trick in northern China. Warm broth makes very little veggies and meat go a lot further.

3. We do not drink sodas or bottled/canned drinks. We use refillable containers and I make my own tea (hot and cold) as well as using juices in concentrate or by juicing them at home.

4. I never pay for paper or toiletry produces without coupons. If we need toothpaste or toilet paper I will go online that week and see what I can get on sale at the manufactures. As well as taking the buy one get one frees for that week at the grocery store and stock up.

5. Weekly leftovers night. Normally I get some bake potatoes and we have a potato bar with left overs and toppings from the refrigerator so that we use up EVERYTHING that week or anything that will be going bad fruit wise we have smoothies!

6. I know you said pasta sparingly but think about polenta (Gluten-free corn meal) or whole quinoa. They are both very inexpensive, easy to make and go MUCH farther than a bag of pasta but for me fill the sensation well.

7. THE FARMERS MARKET! Best thing I have ever found! See if you have one nearby. You have to shop around at the different stands for the best prices but buying in bulk they will normally give you more discounts. Cheapest organic all natural food I can find. I go every Saturday and purchase 1 dozen eggs and 1 meat for the week along with tons of veggies. You have to eat what is in season but it is great for you!

8. My sister who's daughter is gluten-free goes to her local farmers market and cans what is seasonal so they have inexpensive jams, marinades, sauces, and veggies year around. I am not a cannier myself but she says it does wonders for her budget!

*I know my cousin in New York who's husband is on disability qualified for 25 dollars a week to shop at the local farmers market and some food stamps. See if your state has the program available.

Hope it helps but I think you are doing great!

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Another idea is to check out Angel Food Ministries - they have food distribution that is not income based and have an allergen free package that includes lots of items from AllergyFree - you can check the website for centers near you and menus.

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Gee, I think you're doing great! I'm not even going to say what I spend for just my husband and I :lol:

Truly--you've got it down to a science! :D

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Wow....you guys rock! That is why I so love this board, always full of great ideas. I think I can get a bit more creative and do even better, but now I feel good about what I do spend. Thanks so much for the tips, much appreciated.

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Wow! There are three of us when my husband is home and I spend a lot more than that per week. That's not even counting all the supplements I have to take!

We do eat pasta frequently. My husband is Italian.

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