Eating Healthy on a budget of $400 a month

Is it possible for a family to eat healthy on a budget of $400 a month?


  • Total voters
    50
  • Poll closed .

MSJ

Cathlete
Hi

We have a family of 8, soon to be 9 and I feed us on under $800/month. I aim for $650. We eat lots of fruits and veggies, but not organic, and only whatever happens to be cheapest. We buy a lot of staples at costco in bulk sizes (like hearts of romain for salad, box of oranges, tuna fish, peanut butter, etc.) I also buy from the bulk section at our local winco (a discount grocery store)--dry beans, rice, whole grains, oatmeal for breakfast, dried fruit, etc. We rarely eat meat, except as an add in to soup. We make all our treats from scratch and most of our bread.

My big money saver lately has been soup. For around $10, I can make a huge pot of soup and enough home made bread to last the family through 2 dinners and sometimes lunch. I cut way back on the meat called for usually and add extra grains, or beans, or veggies, depending on the soup. This comes out to less than $5/dinner for a family of 8--pretty good, I think.

We also eat "breakfast" for dinner once a week, which is not particularly healthy, but not awful either, depending on how you look at it.

We also ripped up about 300 sq ft of our yard to put in a garden. We had mixed results. Hopefully next year will go better. We plan to put in some fruit trees next year as well.

Anyway--it's a challenge and takes a lot of planning, but I think it can be done. Good Luck!

Maggie
 

laperez25

Cathlete
Hi

We have a family of 8, soon to be 9 and I feed us on under $800/month. I aim for $650. We eat lots of fruits and veggies, but not organic, and only whatever happens to be cheapest. We buy a lot of staples at costco in bulk sizes (like hearts of romain for salad, box of oranges, tuna fish, peanut butter, etc.) I also buy from the bulk section at our local winco (a discount grocery store)--dry beans, rice, whole grains, oatmeal for breakfast, dried fruit, etc. We rarely eat meat, except as an add in to soup. We make all our treats from scratch and most of our bread.

My big money saver lately has been soup. For around $10, I can make a huge pot of soup and enough home made bread to last the family through 2 dinners and sometimes lunch. I cut way back on the meat called for usually and add extra grains, or beans, or veggies, depending on the soup. This comes out to less than $5/dinner for a family of 8--pretty good, I think.

We also eat "breakfast" for dinner once a week, which is not particularly healthy, but not awful either, depending on how you look at it.

We also ripped up about 300 sq ft of our yard to put in a garden. We had mixed results. Hopefully next year will go better. We plan to put in some fruit trees next year as well.

Anyway--it's a challenge and takes a lot of planning, but I think it can be done. Good Luck!

Maggie
Thanks Maggie. For a family of 8 you are doing really great! Because I was spending $600 a month for a family of 4, and my kids are only 7 and 1. In my town they will open an Aldi's soon, maybe that will be a cheap place to buy food. Yes, making soup goes a long way. When I make soup it lasts us about 3 days and it's for dinner and lunch. :)
 

sparrow13

Cathlete
I can't live without RBP either. One RBP cost me almost $3!!! My mom told me to just grow my own veggies in my yard and I think I might have to do just that. I just need to find out if there are times of the year that I can or cannot do that. I've never planted anything in my life, lol.
Peppers need a lot of hot weather and take a while. :)

Just as a general question, do people really find produce that expensive? I don't mean this in a snarky way at *all* I'm just surprised. Some things like blueberries and asparagus of course are always expensive, but I usually find cheap bananas and apples, citrus always seems to be on sale, tomatoes too. Carrots are fairly cheap. Cabbage is inexpensive and goes a long way, as does cauliflower. Are people buying different stuff than this? Again not snarky, just curious because I hear people say this a lot, not just on the boards.

TIA!

Sparrow
 

laperez25

Cathlete
Peppers need a lot of hot weather and take a while. :)

Just as a general question, do people really find produce that expensive? I don't mean this in a snarky way at *all* I'm just surprised. Some things like blueberries and asparagus of course are always expensive, but I usually find cheap bananas and apples, citrus always seems to be on sale, tomatoes too. Carrots are fairly cheap. Cabbage is inexpensive and goes a long way, as does cauliflower. Are people buying different stuff than this? Again not snarky, just curious because I hear people say this a lot, not just on the boards.

TIA!

Sparrow
Wow! Didn't know peppers need lot of hot weather. I might have to wait on that till next year then.

In my town, you can find bananas for .69 a lb, a small pack of apples for $5, small pack of oranges for $6-8, strawberries and blueberries about 2/$5 and they are small packs. Green bell pp can cost about $.89 each, and red bp can cost a min of $2.50 each. One day I almost paid $5 for one RBP and almost screamed when I saw the register scan that price. It use to be cheaper when I lived in Virginia, but now that I live in Florida, down here things are a lot more expensive.
 

MSJ

Cathlete
Peppers need a lot of hot weather and take a while. :)

Just as a general question, do people really find produce that expensive? I don't mean this in a snarky way at *all* I'm just surprised. Some things like blueberries and asparagus of course are always expensive, but I usually find cheap bananas and apples, citrus always seems to be on sale, tomatoes too. Carrots are fairly cheap. Cabbage is inexpensive and goes a long way, as does cauliflower. Are people buying different stuff than this? Again not snarky, just curious because I hear people say this a lot, not just on the boards.

TIA!

Sparrow
We don't, but then again we don't buy organic and we only buy that which is in season. This week, we bought a big box of oranges, a bag of hearts of romaine, zucchini, green beans, bulk grapes (costco), a few nectarines, carrots, celery, onions, strawberries, and boiling potatoes and my pregnant brain can't remember what else. We buy quite a bit of produce on a limited budget.

Maggie
 

sparrow13

Cathlete
We don't, but then again we don't buy organic and we only buy that which is in season. This week, we bought a big box of oranges, a bag of hearts of romaine, zucchini, green beans, bulk grapes (costco), a few nectarines, carrots, celery, onions, strawberries, and boiling potatoes and my pregnant brain can't remember what else. We buy quite a bit of produce on a limited budget.

Maggie
Maggie I think it's so neat that you have a large family! I always thought if I did start a family I would want just tons of young'uns running around. :) All or nothing, that's me!

Had a thought while I was eating, it may already have been mentioned. The discount fruit and veggie rack is a great place to look. I know some are squeamish about this but a lot of the stuff there is fine. Also good for soups and smoothies.

Sparrow
 

EricaH

Cathlete
Peppers need a lot of hot weather and take a while. :)

Just as a general question, do people really find produce that expensive? I don't mean this in a snarky way at *all* I'm just surprised. Some things like blueberries and asparagus of course are always expensive, but I usually find cheap bananas and apples, citrus always seems to be on sale, tomatoes too. Carrots are fairly cheap. Cabbage is inexpensive and goes a long way, as does cauliflower. Are people buying different stuff than this? Again not snarky, just curious because I hear people say this a lot, not just on the boards.

TIA!

Sparrow
We eat a lot of grapes and they are very expensive - we spend $30/week on grapes. Actually, it might be closer to $35 - I don't want to know! We like cherries, strawberries and blueberries, but rarely buy them because of the cost. We buy red bell peppers every week. Apples here are expensive and we eat at least three a day. Plus, green beans, bananas, peaches, plums, cucumber, salad, carrots, onions, cantaloupe, watermelon, etc. ...it adds up fast. My teenage sons are bottomless pits and I like to have them snack on healthy stuff when they're hungry, but it gets expensive! One of my sons snacks on baby carrots all the time - he eats 2 - 3 pounds a week and they don't fill him up at all. He'll also eat an entire veggie tray all by himself. I'll prepare it for the family and he'll eat it all! Sometimes I am tempted to just feed them fast food because it's so cheap.

Erica
 
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