Thursday, October 28, 2010

Food Budgets

As I was making lunch yesterday, Nolan walked through the kitchen and asked what was for lunch.  I replied, "Soup and just made bread."

Nolan (age 14) responded with, "That's it?"

Sarah (age 6), listening in the other room,  chimes in, "Nolan, we are on a budget you know."

The truth is, we really don't have a food budget.  I do my best to balance our financial capabilities with buying healthy and as much organic food and also as local food as possible.  Of course during the growing season, we eat all our own veggies and I preserve some food.  With our garden expansions each year this should increase, possibly even enough to sell a bit again.    Our goal is to add two goats to milk.  I moved the chickens from the barn to the smaller coops yesterday to bring us one more step closer to this reality.

But the truth is, we generally eat simple, healthy foods and still spend much more than I would like.  I make soups and cook  from our store of potatoes at least twice per week now.  We also eat pasta with vegetables, rice with vegetables and very occasionally organic, local meat.  For lunches we often have grilled cheese on homemade bread with pickles (that I have canned from our gardens).  Breakfast is either pancakes (usually without syrup as it is just so expensive), organic oatmeal with raisins, or Cheerios(started this habit almost 17 years ago with #1) with bananas (the last nonlocal fruit I buy on a regular basis to help with the children's nutritional needs).  For a family of eight, we nearly go through one pound of butter each day, nearly one gallon of milk, 1/2 gallon of juice (we do each have one cup of juice with breakfast), and about 1/2 - 1 pound of cheese each day. I generally buy monterey jack, non organic as the organic is still so much more.  (The goats should help with this too.)

Including dog and cat food, the few non food items we do buy (toilet paper, toothpaste, dish detergent), and then the food items, I  have estimated that we spend about $200.00 per week (a family of eight).  As we work toward making more of these food and nonfood items ourselves, I hope this will slowly go down, not just for financial reasons, but also to meet our goal of being more self-sufficient and living lightly on the earth.  Each packaged item purchased at market or the natural food store contributes in some way to pollution or the depletion of natural resources, even if I recycle every bit as recycling uses energy too.

What is your food budget, how much do you have to buy outside of what you grow and how many in your family?


  1. We have a family of 6 (although 2 are only here half-time) and our budget is about the same. It's closer to $225 on the weeks we have the boys and $175 on the weeks we don't but it averages out. I buy about 80-90% organic and local as much as possible. We have a huge farmer's market with everything from veggies to cheese to eggs (we're vegetarian) so I get as much I can from there even if it's a little bit more expensive. I cook from scratch as much as possible, which keep our costs down significantly, but packing school lunches throws a wrinkle into that since we do buy more pre-packaged foods for school.

  2. Ours, for a family of 8, is about $150 a week, but that seems high for us, since the only meat I buy is chicken (we were fortunate enough to have beef steer ready for butchering in June), and we have laying hens and a cow for milk, butter and yogurt (I can't seem to find time for cheese, a major expense for us). I buy white grape juice and water it down a lot, as it is so sweet anyway. We have no garden to speak of...I keep trying with raised beds, but I seem to have the black thumb of death.

    We actually qualify for the WIC program, and I am considering signing on, as things have been so tight as of late.

  3. Oh gosh...I don't even like to think about what we spend on food. We have a family of 4 (and a cat), and we spend about $150-200/per week. That being said, we eat almost only organic &/or local food. I do try to buy in bulk things like organic rice/oats/beans/flour/rice milk, (baby is allergic to dairy & addicted to her bottle)!
    We also buy organic milk and cheese, but seeing that we don't have the land for a cow, this expense will stay high for us. We do have plans to increase our garden next year, which will mean more storage crops in the root cellar. I really do want to work on getting that food budget down a bit...I've never really been good at "budgeting", but with Keiths retirement looming overhead, and our income dropping significantly as a result, I'm going to have to get better at it in the very near future! This gives me "food for thought"!

    xo maureen

  4. Family of 9 at home. We spend about 150.00 a week...sometimes a little more though, sometimes a little less.
    I have found that I can get target brand diapers for 20.00 a box to last me a month...I don't have enough cloth diapers at his size that hold the wetness, but I am saving my pennies.
    Our garden didn't do too good this year. But we usually have a great garden to eat out of during the summer and freeze a few things from. We are building a greenhouse right now and are planting some stuff for fall.
    We try to eat organic but can't keep the budget really if we buy lots so we just deal with it right now.
    I have a friend who gives me eggs each week we see one another and we have our own chickens as well.
    We are raising a pig for meat. That is until we get enough fencing for a cow.
    Next year when my friends cow freshens, we will be having fresh milk for bartered services (mechanical) and bags of feed.
    Meat is served as a condiment over here. Even when the whole family of 12 + come home for visits!

  5. HI Tonya,

    I think the prices of everything are just going up, up, up! I buy most of my food from the co-op but I do have to do wharehouse shopping (BJ's) or we wouldn't eat much. Did you read the interview I did with The Prudent Homemaker:

    She does grow most of her own food, but she also has to shop at Sam's and such when she can. I complain about spending $200 or more a week but this gal has times (most of the time acutally) where she simply doesn't have $1.00 to go to the store with. She can't afford butter or milk, so uses powdered. I think of this and realize how much God has blessed us in this way. Of course she is truly blessed too, I don't imply she isn't ---she has a very productive garden and is wise in how she spends. Wiser than me:-)

  6. Oh such a good post Tonya!!!! For our family of 4.5 almost 5, we spend about $100-$150 a week. We buy 100% organic, but we are mostly a vegetarian family and we don't drink milk and don't eat too much cheese. We buy almost all things from our bulk section (oatmeal for breakfast, flours for baking, sugars, oil, peanut butter, herbs, salt, baking soda, tea, honey, and lot's of other things) and mostly we buy just a few things not from the bulk section. I actually wrote a pretty long article on my blog about the very same thing, budgeting food and making simple healthy and cheap meals.


  7. This is heavy on my heart..we can easily spend 200.00...but we can't..we can only spend around 100.00 every week and that includes everything. Things are so tight for us right now..we have chickens for eggs...we don't eat any sugar. We are only buying what we need.

    Great Post!!


  8. I forgot to say we are a family of four:)


  9. Oh geez. Now I feel even more wasteful than usual. We have a family of five (though one is a baby), nine cats, and a dog. Our budget is $170 a week for food, gas, etc. But we never stay within budget. And it's beginning to show.

    All of my attempts at home food growing have failed miserably.

    We're working on being "better" though. *falls over*

  10. I think we spend between $225 and $275 a week on groceries and other household needs. I am not as good as tracking the costs as I could be but it works for us. Right now we have seven people living in our house, three are teen boys who seem to have never ending hunger LOL. I am making more from scratch than before and have always bought meats and staples on sale - we have an upright freezer in the basement which helps with storage. Butter is one thing I stock up on when it is on sale as the price varies significantly over the course of 10 weeks; it freezes well if you have the room for it. We don't use as much butter as your family does but boy do we eat a lot of eggs.

    Our breakfasts are usually eggs and toast, prepackaged oatmeal, Cheerios, French toast or pancakes or waffles. I cook most mornings so oatmeal is the fall back when we are rushed for time.

    My husband brings both breakfast and lunch foods to work each day and since we homeschool we eat all the meals together, not having to pay for lunches out too often. That said, I do love some of the packaged Trader Joe foods to give us variety since my kids notice when we are in ruts -- working on expanding our meal plans though by making at least two new recipes a week and that too is helping with costs... For several months now I have been diligent about plannng ahead with a two week menu for lunches and dinners and that has been great. The teens also help by making one evening meal each week and though they can pick what the want to make, usually they are more than happy to have the decision made by me.


  11. Excellent post, Tonya. The steadily rising cost of food is something which affects all of us.

    We are a family of 5 (soon to be 6, so I'm eating a bit more than usual) in Southern Ontario. We spend on average, about $125 per week. I accomplish this by, like you, cooking a lot of simple foods from scratch. And the packaged foods I do buy (like canned soup or boxed cereal) I NEVER buy unless they are deeply discounted on sale. Then, I stock up enough to last until the next sale. This way, I only pay sale prices (which is often less than half price) for a great deal of our groceries. I drive around to all the different stores in our immediate area in order to take advantage of all the sales. And also, I buy very little organic food. I wish I could, but it's just so much more expensive. And we have cut back on meat a lot too.

    We live in a townhouse in the city and have not been very successful in trying to grow our own food. I look forward to the day when we can have chickens, since our family goes through 4 dozen eggs per week!

  12. We have a family of 3 and spend about $100 dollars a week. Clearly there is a LOT of room for improvement. I am amazed by the responses of people feeding large families for so little, and it is time to analyze my own spending. Thanks for this post. It was interesting to hear the details.

  13. What a great post. For a family of 4 plus a dog and cat we spend about $100 a week. This includes $25 for my organic fruit and veggie order. It is higher than I would like but living in the city it is impossible to have the chickens I would like for the meat and eggs. My mom has a salon about 60 miles from us and she barters services for eggs to bring to us. She has a client who raises free range and organic chickens.

  14. Okay much of our food purchased is done in bulk two to three times a year from, Azure Standard( they sell organic foods and other related items)

    We raise 100% of our own meat and as the case is this year, we don't have a beef for the freezer, so Mike will go hunting for an elk or deer. So not having to purchase meat( organic/ natural) is a big savings. We do consider the feed costs, which for the beef is minimal(as they graze, we do purchase some hay to suppliment our own and we supply natural mineral suppliments to feed through the winter) Now the poultry and pigs are more costly when it comes to feed and suppliments. We don't figure in our time( caring for them) or the butchering time( we do our own), as it just part of living on a farm.

    We grow our own veggies and fruits, preserving them via canning, dehydration, lactic fermentation or in our root cellar. We eat seasonally, this helps us not to buy things out of season from the health food store/ food coop.

    We do purchase, dairy products( when we don't have a fresh cow) tolietries, and basic pantry items; such as baking powder, yeast, baking soda and some spices( those we can't raise/ grow ourselves, but again bought in bulk, saving $$)

    We eat basic, hearty meals, making our own breads and desserts.
    I've been doing some figuring and on average we spend $100 or less a week but this isn't factoring in the feed costs for the grain, suppliments or hay purchased to sustain our livestock so.... probably $125 to $140 a week would include all that.This is taking into consideration that our grain is purchased locally in bulk as well. We are a family of three :o)

  15. We are a family of four and I spend about 50-80 dollars a week. BUT about 2 or 3 times a year I spend about 3-5 hundred dollars doing a bulk order with Associated Buyers. I use this for such things as oils, sweeteners, oats, flours, beans, and cleaners for the body and home in large quantities that I store in 5 gallon buckets. All the prices are wholesale. They carry many value added products from my foodshed and both conventional and organic foods.They may deliver in your area as they are based in New Hampshire and travel all over New England. I have invited friends to join me in orders which defrays my costs a bit.

    I also spend a little more in the summer on bulk veggies from local farmers and put up a fair amount of food. This year I worked a local farm and I was able to glean the fields after a crops major harvest for free. I have volunteered for community gardens that donate food to the elderly and have benefited from surplus.

    And I grow a huge garden. WE have had chickens and will have them again. And we have grown a pig in the past. We found this only works if there is a source of slop that will offset the price of feed and I have pondered growing some crops to at least finish the pig on.

    It is tough to balance a good simple healthy diet that is rich in organic and local foods and still try to keep the budget in check.

    I would also add that feeding a teenage boy is not easy. My teenage boy had hollow legs starting at thirteen and it seems at 17 they have yet to be filled yet;)

  16. We buy our meat a few times a year from a friend's family farm and keep it in a big freezer. We probably eat meat 4-5 times per week. For everything else we spend $50 a week for a family of 4 (my kids are 1 and 3). That money goes to fresh fruit and veggies, milk, eggs, yogurt, cheese, rice, beans, pasta and sometimes bread. We grow herbs out the wazoo, but I'm still learning about the whole gardening thing. So far I've figured out how to get cucumbers, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, lettuce, and sugar snap peas to do well. We also grow blueberries, plums and pears and are planning to try strawberries and apples soon. Hopefully I'll figure out some other veggies in the fall garden is not producing well at all:(

  17. How could I have forgotten our community garden??? For $20 a year plus 1 hour of work per week, we harvest as much as we can carry and the girls have a blast playing with the chickens and helping to pick the veggies:)

  18. I thought you guys didn't eat bananas because of the carbon footprint it leaves on the earth? Is there anywhere you can get them locally or in the US?

  19. We are a family of 4 and spend 200 a week on food and all other stuff (cleaning, toilet paper...). This might sound a lot but we live in NYC and eat all organic food. To maintain this we are members of the Park Slope food co-op where both me and my hubby work. If we just bought the same food at health food stores we would spend close to $300. The reality of city living...

  20. hard! It's the one thing I hate to budget on (and never stay within it when I try to)...I'd say for our family of 5 people, 3 cats, and 18 chickens (haha) we spend about $200 a week? i don't buy junk food or much packaged stuff, but with 3 kids 5 and under, I do buy juice boxes for car trips, and crackers. I know I could make my own crackers, but...
    We barter eggs for veggies in the summer, get raw milk for eggs from a local farmer, and order bulk items like canned beans, almond milk, etc. through a food co-op. We feel too busy to farm full on, as we work outside the home, and I've given up on gardening while my kids are little. We hope to raise more of our own food as the kids get older.
    Feeding people is costly, but important. I'd rather give up things like gadgets, cable, etc. than buy poor-quality food. We eat mostly whole foods, and meals made from scratch. Processed/convenience food has the double whammy of costing a lot and being nutritionally questionable.
    This was a great post...and all the comments gave me lots of food for thought. Thank you!

  21. Thanks for sharing! I always enjoy hearing how other people work their food budgets and glean new ideas. Right now we budget $330 per month for a family of 5 (1 teenage boy, 1 preteen girl, and 1 toddler). I have really tried to stay within this budget the last two months and have been successful (previous to that we were overspending that amount). We don't include household items (toilet paper, etc.) in that amount. Recently I've also been scrutinizing every purchase we make--especially those from Costco. I started planning breakfasts by the month (I've planned dinners for ages) and that has helped cut down our costs. We now have oatmeal and granola every morning with a different baked bread/muffin/fruit, and processed cereal one morning a week, and pancakes/waffles on the weekends. I'm hoping to cut out the processed cereal completely in another month or two. We picked and froze a lot of fruit this summer, and hope to start gleaning a lot more food from our garden in the coming years, but this year's results were terrible. When my order of apples comes in next week, I'll make them into applesauce, and that will be one less thing to buy at Costco. Also, we get our hamburger for free from relatives, and my husband hunts for deer, so that is a significant savings. I usually purchase chicken tenderloins at Costco every two months, and occasionally we will buy salmon (but next year we hope to catch a few ourselves!) However, as two in the family are vegetarians and the rest are trying to eat more healthfully, I am trying to limit meat to twice a week. I cook from scratch almost exclusively, and have been attempting to bake my own bread. I also cook and freeze all of our beans which we buy in bulk.

  22. We are a family of 4, sometimes 5 when the oldest stays for a while, on a small farm in Vermont. I have animals for milk and eggs but if they are not on pasture, I have to buy food for them, too. Anyway, I spent between 100 and 150 a week and we always have food to spare. I buy in bulk, even at the farmer's market, and can or freeze, if necessary. I buy sale items in bulk at BJs or discount food markets. I grow tons of vegetables -- it's easy, really! We started a small orchard and have mostly apples but some plums, pears and cherries, too. That is a huge savings. We eat meat 2-3 times per week but since it's only half the family that eats meat, it isn't such a huge expense. I'm really into the "nothing going to waste" thing whereby no food gets thrown away, it goes to something that will eat it. I work hard at the budget, think about the food we eat and plan accordingly. We are thinking about buying a whole pig (Vermont swine, of course) for next year but I'm not sure. All the best, Beth

  23. We are a family of 6 at home (3 of them littles) with an frequent visits from 2 grown kids that come to visit :-) We use mostly Azure Standard for organic foods, raise a large garden that I can from as much as I'm able, we have a family milk cow for milk & other dairy products, chickens for eggs & meat and our monthly food budget is $300 per month. My Azure order this month was $262 and then I'll spend the extra on a few things that I can't make or buy from Azure. Our budget for animal feed is $60 per month. We don't buy paper products of any kind and batteries & light bulbs are in the farm budget :-) Raising our own beef, getting a couple of deer each year, and culling our chickens for meat really helps. I buy direct set cultures for dairy products like sour cream, butter milk, cream cheese, yogurt, etc. from New England Cheese. And I make all of our butter (which I use for all our baking and table needs) from our Jersey cream in my Vita Mix. I bake all our meals from scratch including all deserts & snacks, breads, rolls, etc..

    Great Post - always fun to read what others are doing in the grocery budget department!!

  24. Hi

    We are family of two, and we spend 50 dollars every two weeks, We garden, raise our own meat, grow our own hay (which is hand cut for our sheep/goats), we have our chickens,rabbits and we have our both soft and hard fruits.

    Overall, I am very pleased at how very little we spendg on our food budget, I make every thing from scatch, and hubby takes homemade breakfast, lunch and snacks to work.

    We can, dry and or freeze all spring/summer/fall and we use cold frames to extend our growing season etc.

  25. We're a family of 3 and 2 humongous dogs (lol) and per week we spend about $100 including toilet paper and other cleaning products. We used to have chickens but had to move and are now renting and they won't allow us to have chickens (still trying to talk them into it). I would like to raise a pig or a couple goats to use as meat, but have to talk the owner into that too (wish me luck)!
    On a side note, I don't know if you'd be interested in making syrup, but that's what we did when I was a child (family of 9 and yes, syrup is expensive). Quick recipe for that is:
    1 C Sugar
    1/2 C Water
    1/2 tsp Vanilla (optional)
    1/2 Capful Flavoring (ex: maple)
    1 1/2 tsp Karo Syrup (optional)
    Enjoy! and Great post!

  26. Popular post! And it is always SO varied for people depending on your area, and what is available. When my sister lived about 45 minutes away from me, her food costs were higher for the simple fact that the FOOD costs were SO MUCH MORE!

    We are a family of 6, 2 adults, 4 boys ages 2, 5, 8 & 9. I usually spend between $60-$100 a week. We do a lot of bulk ingredients items. I am cutting down on cereal , which also helps, BUT still have to do those Cheerios! :) One major cost is milk. We have a milk goat and just bought 2 more, they are all at another farm being bred right now, so no milk for us right now. TO have the goat's milk, saves so much! I have to buy soy milk now because I and my son are lactose intolerant. I shop sales and with printable coupons. I buy MOSTLY organic or natural (no GMO's). I buy olive oil in bulk and wait for sales (2 weeks ago it was 1/2 off!). We freeze and can what we can grow in our garden but it's not nearly what we need. We grown meat chickens (which helps BIG TIME), and also have beef cows that are all grass fed. During the winter it will cost about $200 to feed them hay. Pasture is free! We have cut back on paper towels, cleaners (vinegar & water works great!), among other things....

    As my boys get older, I expect to be spending much more, but hopefully be growing much more in my garden too. We are planning on more potatoes next year for one, doubling what we have this year. We are also adding turkeys, and continuing to do our meat chickens....

    Many blessings on your quest to continue on saving money!

  27. oh my, we both have big families and lots of mouths to feed, don't we?? I am really wanting to start buying organic chicken but we get chicken free through my husband's job, so that is my tough decision right now.

  28. This is something I think about too. Often when I talk with others about what they spend weekly on groceries they think it is so much, but we buy organic, and are gluten free, so some things are more. Very often eating out gets over looked. We may spend a bit more at the grocery store, but we never eat out. We can comfortablly spend $200-250. A little bit more is nice at times, but not necessary. I know that if I cut out anything added in for convenience we could cut our costs down a bit. It's a hard topic to juggle at times. I do find though when we have no $ for food, it becomes apparent that we have something somewhere, even if it isn't the thing I "wanted".


  29. Family of 8, 6 kids under 12. We got 2 goats this summer and now the grocery budjet has to go to help pay for their food.

    Before that we were spending $230 every 2 weeks on paper goods (except diapers) and groceries and chicken, cat & dog food. Now we've uped it to $270, that's $135 per week...I've also taken $100 off the top to set aside for bulk items so that it's not such a blow to buy wheat berries & other grains. So now I'm left with $85 per week for just things to by at the local store.

    I'm happy to read these. Sometimes we have to splurge on buying chicks (to butcher later) and when they get big they go through their food like mad. Also have had to splurge on getting the goats set up and the hay shed stocked for the winter. Seeds & starting soil come out of the grocery budjet in the spring. This also does not include hunting trips for moose or caribou or salmon that help fill the freezer.

    Our other budgeted items include (every 2 weeks) $50 for clothing, $50 for entertainment (eating out & sitters), $50 allowance for my husband and myself to split...also more for alchohol, etc. I love being on a cash budjet again and not a slave to the credit card like we have been plenty in the past.

  30. It is so interesting to hear how others budget. I aim to Spend around 100 pounds (approx 140 usd) a week for our family of four, but I think it typically is closer to 130 pounds, once we get the organic delivery and small stops Jim makes to get more milk, etc added in. This post is inspiring as I want to be more intentional about knowing what we spend. I buy as much organic as I can and we buy a local organic chicken and a couple other meat items each month at the farmers market, which is expensive, but it is all the meat we use for the month. It has been interesting moving here as different things are expensive, there is less organic availability than in Seattle/Vancouver (where we lived before coming here) and the cost of living is generally higher in the UK.

  31. I spend about 60 pounds a week ($80?) on groceries for a family of four and my 'weekday family' of minded children. I'm afraid i don't buy organically but I try to support local businesses to reduce food miles, and support the local growers and farmers. We try to grow our own veg but it's small scale and doesn't really take off the cost of the shopping much... we would need an allotment for that! Our chickens all were taken by a fox so surrently buying eggs as well. I cook a lot of veggie food, we eat meat 2-3 times per week and I use bacon to give 'ooomph' to other dishes like bean casseroles and risottos! My goal for next year is to try buying staple foods in bulk, hopefully organically and fair trade (rice, pasta, beans, pulses, cereals etc)

    Good luck Tonya, I'm sure every 14 year old boy pulls a face at soup and bread now and again.... they are sooo hungry!!

    jen x

  32. For a family of 2, I spend about $150.00 per week. We live in a very small town in the mountains and everything is quite expensive especially organic foods. I have an organic veggie patch, so we grow alot of our own veggies & heaps of garlic which helps to keep the costs down.

  33. I loved this post. I am often thinking about food budgets. We do as much organic as possible. The baby gets the organic whole milk, the rest of us make do with hormone-free. We do a bit of shopping at BJs which is thankfully providing more organic products. I also try to reduce our meat, buy what's on sale and try to keep it organic, hormone-free and free-range. Writing this I realize how much of a battle it is (and it shouldn't be) to keep hormones, pesticides etc out of our food. Sheesh. I also find that using mostly natural cleaners cuts down on a lot! We usually work with 150 to 200 a week for a family of six, and we rarely, rarely eat out. Thanks for sharing!
    Peace, Angela

  34. Great post...I have been writing a post throughout this month and plan to post it early next week. Lots of detail there, but we spend between $400 and $500 monthly for a family of 4, sometimes 5.

  35. What a great post! I think $800 is great, especially with older boys. My sister has a 5 & 8 year old and she tells me they eat a lot more now then when they were toddlers. I have $600 in our budget. Last year, I really got a handle on stretching a dollar and still using a lot of organic and fresh foods. We are actually always under budget. I probably spend closer to $500, except for holiday & birthday months.

  36. What a great post! I always enjoy reading/learning about how others do their food and budget it in! Thank you for sharing how you make the $$ stretch. We live in Canada, so to make the budget stretch further I actually shop for things such as cheese, butter and organic chicken meat across the border in Washington State...that saves me about $200 per month! :)

    Blessings to you and your family.

  37. An interesting post. Traveling was hard for me that past few months because I didn't have most of farm food at our finger tips. We have dairy cows (of course sheep and goats are better) but it's what we have at the moment and the milk is so rich and delicious (we don't pasteurize our dairy) from this milk we make our own cultured butter, creme fraiche, thick cream, and yogurt. We to enjoy oats in the morning that we soak overnight with bananas from our garden and raw honey from our bees, homemade bread with marmalade from our bitter oranges in the citrus field. We enjoy pesto pasta made from our fresh basil or arugula in garden, or zuchini fritters. We have our own free range chickens for eggs and I make a raw egg shake, with yogurt and nut butter, honey for the children around midday. Some dinners are chicken, soups, or organic meat (we do buy imported because I won't eat the meat from here) and after seeing feed lots in the USA I just can't support that cruelty. I look forward to finding our farm hopefully in Colorado so we can be self sufficient and grow what i can't grow here in this tropical climate. I don't know how much we spend probably less than you because it's not $$$. We also only have electricity for approx 12 hours a day, sometimes less.

  38. I'm impressed by all these big families eating for relatively little. We probably average about $50-60 a week on groceries but there are only two of us. On the other hand, we buy a lot in bulk and grow a lot of our own food, so some weeks we don't buy much other than milk and maybe coffee.

  39. Hello Tonya

    What a thoughtful lovely post. I have had such a good read. As my mind awakens to a simpler life, if anything, I am becoming more aware of how I spend..We eat well and most of our vegetables come from our orchard. I no longer buy bread and get up to bake bread every morning. Our superfoods we are on for raw eating cost quite a bit. I know that I have a far distance to go to become more frugal. It is a goal of mine which I am working on daily. Tonya, I hope you are well. I admire your self sufficient journey. I get inspired everytime I visit.

    Have a wonderful week
    Warm regards

  40. Hi Tonya~
    Thanks for visiting the farm! I was thrilled to see that you are from Vermont...I LOVE Vermont! We also have chickens and dairy goats (and one Jersey) so I am very thankful for the fresh raw milk and butter. Blessings to you today~
    Sending a hug from the farm~

  41. we spend about $200 a week for a family of 7. My youngest is lactose sensitive and almond milk is pricey! I have been trying to build up a dry goods pantry and learn how to cook from it. We eat meat (chicken and fish included) about 5 times a month, we just don't feel it necessary more than that.

    I have been finding good bulk deals on Amazon which has helped with the budget and learning how to stock up on things in season and how to preserve them for later (I'm currently dehydrating 27lbs of organic apples!)

    I use coupons and work hard at getting the best value for what I spend.

    We should be getting a couple Zebu cows in the next 3 months to help with our budget, this will become our milk products and beef, sheep and their milk will come the following year. We already have chickens but they're too young to lay yet.

  42. I don't like syrup so I use homemade jams, jelly,applebutter and fried apples on our pancakes.
    Only 2 at home now so we spent $75 - $100 a week
    on grocery. I'm trying to grow all our own food.
    Love your blog. Just found it today.