Tuesday, May 18, 2010

How is it done?

So, for those who want to know how to spend $30 a week on groceries, I'll tell you what I do. There is no guarantee that this will work for you. Remember, this is eating in to my food storage a little bit. And I don't count diapers and toiletries, mostly because I buy those in bulk and they last a LONG time.

I should tell you, we are an "eat meat sparingly" kind of family. And when I say sparingly, I mean it. I think this is the most cost effective way to eat. I buy some bulk frozen hamburger and some frozen chicken tenderloins from Costco about once every six months. I buy frozen shrimp every so often.

Also, I am a "creative" cook. If I don't have everything for a recipe, sometimes I omit or substitute. Sometimes I end up liking the results better than the original.

Here is a sample of what I bought one week:
(from Costco)
5 dozen eggs ... $4.19
100 corn tortillas ... $2.79
50 8" flour tortillas ... $3.69
2 pound block of cheddar .. $4.49
2 pound block of monty jack ... 4.49
(from grocery store)
bag of potatoes ... $ .98
2 bell peppers ... $ .98
bag of oranges ... $ .98
bag of onions ... $ .98
gallon of milk .. $1.68
spaghetti noodles ... $1.59
head of lettuce ... $ .40
a few cans of tomato sauce ... $ 2.00
a few cans of pinto beans ... $1.00

Ok, so that ends up to be about $30. I have to just say "no" to junk food, ice-cream, and novelty items, which I suppose makes me healthier in the long run anyway. And I add up prices as I go, always rounding up. I think to myself, "do I really need this item this week?" and if the answer is "I guess not" I don't get it. Also, when I go to the grocery store to purchase food I always get whatever veggies and fruits are cheapest, whatever they may be.
Here are the meals you can make with all this food:
Cheese enchiladas (And make a second pan for the freezer for next week) and beans
spaghetti with garlic bread and salad
potato soup with salad and muffins (from pantry)
stir fry with rice and oranges
Etoufee with rice
roasted pepper quiche with baked potatoes
quesadillas, oranges and beans
heuvos rancheros

Of course, you will have loads of eggs and tortillas (and probably cheese) left over for next week, so you can free up the majority of your $30 budget to buy other staples you may be running low on like flour, rice, frozen veggies, pancake mix or meat.

Well, that is the gist. With that said, I did do this the whole first year we were married, but it is a lot harder now with two kids. I have decided that $60 is much more comfy.


Rileigh said...

Thanks Jamie, this is really inspiring to me. I am going to try really hard to only spend $60 a week on food, which is going to be really hard. Thanks for the tips (though I think this will be much easier in Oregon no sales tax)

jamie hixon said...

To be honest, I didn't actually buy the last two items on my list because I already had them in bulk from Costco. But I thought people might think it was lame that all of my meals included tomato sauce and beans if I didn't list them.

BusyB said...

okay i average 200 week! I would love to hear some more meals so i can cut cost in half or more than half!!! thanks!

T-Ray said...

Wow Jamie, I am very impressed! Good work.

William said...

Very impressive Jamie... i usually spend around $100 a week if i'm lucky! However, groceries are slightly more expensive in SB and my husband eats 3 times more than yours! This summer i will get to cut down when Billy is off on the fires :)
Keep up the good work, love you- Lori