FOOD: Thins The Wallet, Fattens The Face

Kitchen with Open Shelving

Can we have a little chat about food?

I’ve never been so grumpy about going grocery shopping as I am now.  Is it me, or does it seem like it’s impossible to eat inexpensively?

Last night I spent $101 dollars and change and filled my cart 1/2 way.  1/2 way people!  I’m not buying golden nuggets or chicken nuggets.  What’s the deal?

I’m so tempted to list every item I bought, but I’ll refrain.  We’ll just say I only bought meat for one dinner.  Every other night we’ll be eating venison (that my husband shot and butchered), a potato, and a frozen vegetable, and still I dropped a hundred bucks on nothing.

Are apples, bananas, and bag of semi-ripe nectarines extravagant?

I have no idea how to eat cheaper, but then I see people saying they feed a family of seven on like $84 dollars a week, and I want to scream “HOW??????”

I cut coupons.  I buy store brands.  I don’t let the kids put anything in my cart.  Well, anything except the store brand bag of chocolate Dyno-Bite cereal.  Hey, don’t judge the sugary cereal I let my kid’s eat.  Saying I’m not a morning person is an understatement.  I cannot possible handle fussing before 10 am.  There’s plenty of time to argue over food after school.  In the morning, I let them eat the cereal and we’re all happy.

So, how does it happen? How do people eat cheap?

Are you one of those ultra-frugal people that can feed everyone for a dollar a day?  If you are, I need your help!


13 thoughts on “FOOD: Thins The Wallet, Fattens The Face

  1. AmberPamper

    I cut the costs by planning $1 dinners for at least 2 nights a week. This means that no matter what the meal we eat can not cost more than $1. For example: I cook rice and beans together. I mix a box of rice a roni (broccoli flavor) with real broccoli, I make our portion super small so that we have left overs for the next night. Ramen once in a blue moon. A can of soup for each of us. PB&J sandwich and a banana and call it a day. Ok this only really works for us because it is just me and my daughter but you get the gist.

  2. Jenn

    these comments are cracking me up. I agree with you, feeding a family is not cheap, and I get so frustrated sometimes feeling like I am paying so much for so little. I think it is especially difficult to eat healthily on a budget, not only because things cost more, but in order to not have fruit go bad, you would have to shop several times a week, and that is just cringe-worthy when you have little kids. this is my never-ending dilemma. in other words, I feel your pain (and thanks for the recommendation for EShakti, I have heard of them before, but maybe I could find something like that dress!)

  3. Deanna

    Okay, I’m having a belly laugh from reading this post and then Mary’s comment. Good stuff here…and I totally agree. I always tell my husband we would be rich if we didn’t have to eat. Food costs have gotten a tad bit out of hand. Eating healthy is expensive! Ditch the tangerines for some frozen meals and chocolate and your bill would have been lower. hahaha

    1. Cathy

      No I am not super frugal, wish I was. But my brother and his wife are. I can’t stand to spend that much time in the grocery though to be that way.

  4. Mary

    One way I drastically cut down my grocery bill was to get all my children married off and, this part is KEY, have them leave home and live with their sweetie in their own home. Now I sometimes go days without setting foot in the grocery store.

    Not very helpful, I know. Just being realistic….

  5. Jessie @ Dream and Differ

    I wish I was one of those super shoppers, but, alas, I am not. We average about $150 per week on food, and that’s with coupons, store brands, etc. {I would say you’re doing pretty dang good at $101!} The way I see it, I like to cook, I love to eat, and I’m not willing to sacrifice too much in this department. If we eat good at home, we are less likely to splurge on restaurants. By the way, I’m jealous of your venison! My husband doesn’t hunt anymore, so we haven’t had venison in ages!

    1. Melissa

      I agree, I think you are doing good. Our budget is $100 a week and that rarely includes meat. We eat off the free side of beef we get each year from my husband’s parents, who are beef farmers. One thing we do that has helped for other meats is setting a few hundred dollars aside to stock up when chicken and pork go on sale. We fill our freezer and eat off that for the year. Turkey…at Thanksgiving, when you can get them for $6 each, we buy about 4 or 5. Those go such a long way. Of course we have two chest freezers so that helps us stock up on stuff when we hit a good sale. Otherwise, my grocery cart consists mainly of milk, fruits and fresh veggies because I very rarely buy prepared foods and I still can’t seem to keep it under $100.

      1. the domestic fringe Post author

        Well, ok. At least I know I’m not alone. My total doesn’t include toiletries and stuff. That’s separate, but I usually can do really well on that stuff with coupons. It must be nice to have a beef farmer in the family. Maybe I can talk my mom into farming.

        Kidding Mom.

        (Just in case she’s reading.) 🙂


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