Do I really (really?) feed my family for $250 a month?

YES!!!! I really do.

I’ve had a lot of people comment to me about my low grocery budget. So, I thought I would write a follow up post to explain a little more how I do it. Here are 5 ways I’m able to feed my family (and keep us clean) on $250 a month.
keep a low grocery budget
1. First and foremost, I have a STOCKED pantry. I have 5 gallon buckets with staples: rice, beans, wheat berries, oats, and sugar. I have tons of oil that I bought on major catalina sales at Jewel-Osco when it ended up being almost free. If you’ve been reading my blog, you know I also have a ton of pasta right now! I devote part of my budget every month to stocking a staple when it’s super cheap.

2. I also have quite a few home canned goods. I try to garden each year and preserve some of the bounty to eat throughout the year. Right now, I have jars of home made pickles, home canned tomatoes, and jelly. I also have some home frozen veggies in the freezer. I am blessed with relatives who share! My dad has one of the biggest gardens I have ever seen. He sometimes gives me extra. I have frozen okra thanks to him! My hubby’s parents are traditional farmers and farm corn and soybeans. Each year, my father-in-law plants a few rows (long rows) of sweet corn. Anything we don’t eat fresh, and are able to save from the raccoons, gets frozen and divided among the families who help freeze it.

3. Next, I bake almost everything from scratch. I’ve shown you how I make my own 100% whole wheat bread and the yummy artisan bread I bake. I also make my own muffins, scones, granola, and even tortillas.  It’s yummy, healthy, the kids enjoy helping me, and (I think) it’s cheaper.

4. I stretch meat, serve smaller portions, and rely on recipes that don’t call for a lot of meat. Meat is expensive, and truth be told, I don’t think we need that much of it. Before children, I spent $400 a month on food for just my husband and I. I bought almost only skinless, boneless chicken breast. It’s so expensive. I don’t buy it very often anymore. Instead, I rely on cheaper cuts of meat and wait until they are really on sale. I have a big freezer, and I stock up. I also buy beef from a local farmer 1/4 cow at a time. It averages out to $3 a pound and tastes so much better than beef I used to buy in the store.

5. Finally, I get creative with money. I buy groceries with swagbucks and groupon deals. I use credit card points to get free gift cards. I buy things that give me rebates. And most importantly, I get out $250 cash each month and spend it wisely!!

My point to telling you all of this is not to make you feel guilty or ashamed. I hope I am able to inspire you to make small changes and save money too! I can’t believe how much money I spent on groceries 5 years ago. It’s been a huge learning process – and it’s taken me a long time to get here. I’ll have more tips next week, but do you have any good money-saving tips to share?

Comments

  1. Stopping by from Life As Mom Frugal Fridays. That is awesome! Although we love pasta & bread our family tries not to eat them at night... which is very difficult. I have been trying to follow e-mealz. And we're hoping to buy beef from a farmer one day when we get an extra freezer.
  2. These are some great tips. I save a lot from gardening too and I'm thinking about canning this summer for the first time. I'm also thinking about buying beef in bulk too.

    Thanks for linking up to Kitchen Economics and I hope to see you again this Wednesday.
  3. This is so similar to how I did things when our 6 children were still at home. Of course, this was some years ago, as my "baby" is 27 now. I fed us each for $10 a month. I gardened, canned, kept chickens and milk goats, stocked up on staples, ate meat sparingly, baked all of our bread and other baked goods. I still do the same, just for me and my husband, but right now I don't know what it is costing. I'm keeping a spreadsheet for a year to find out!

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