My Food Storage Deals: Grocery Budget

Grocery Budget

>> Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Frequent question:

"I just have two quick questions for you, how much do you spend on a monthly basis on grocery/household expenses(on average, I know it probably fluctuates) and how big is your family? I just stumbled onto your site and I'm trying to take it all in! I'm getting excited about getting a food storage for my family, I always used expense as an excuse to not have one."
~Kristine
That is a common reason why people put off getting their food storage--they think it is too expensive. The complete opposite is true!! Having your food storage SAVES you money!

I have a family of six--my husband (who is a BIG eater), four children (who have their fathers appetite) and myself (who unfortuatetly LOVES to eat). So...we are not small eaters by any means! We also have close family and have AT LEAST one family 'party' a week where it wouldn't be complete with out LOTS of food for 20+ people. I obviously LOVE to cook and average cooking 6 meals a week--plus, breakfasts, lunches & many snacks, desserts & homemade breads in between! Having said that, we spend an average of $300-$400 a month. The national average for a family of 6 would be $600 or more. This total also includes obtaining my families year supply of food along the way.
There are however, months where I spend MUCH less than the $400. Right now I am (for fun) seeing how long I can go without buying any meat for my family's meals. My freezers (three--scary!) are FULL! I stock up on meat when it goes on sale and have realized that I need to be on strike from buying meat for awhile! I have 100's of pounds of meat in my freezer--chicken, steak, roast, bacon, pork, sausage, turkey, whole chickens, etc. I only buy meat when it goes on sale for GREAT prices, stock up and over time you have a whole freezer filled with meat. It has been over two weeks and all I have bought is produce. I have averaged about $50 a week for produce, so at this rate I will only have spent $200 this month on groceries. That is what is so great about food storage and having your freezer stocked! Over time you find you really don't need anything for your food storage. This Macey's case lot sale all I needed to add to my food storage was 2 cases of applesauce, 2 cases of pasta sauce & 1 case of tomato paste. Once you start buying food storage you may think it will never end, but it does! You will find you are eventually just maintaining and replenishing your food storage instead of buying everything in bulk. When you buy a little food storage each time you go to the grocery store, and buy those items on sale for 'red/great' prices (we tell you which items to add each week) you will find it will not take any extra money, and you will begin to get your year supply, ONE WEEK AT A TIME!

One other tip that may help your family get your food storage is to put away $100-$500 of your tax return to go directly to your food storage. This is when we buy many of our long term items and make sure we are up to our 'year supply' totals. Many of these items we buy at the LDS Cannery (wheat, dried beans, powdered milk, potato pearls, oats, dried onions, hot chocolate, etc. IN BULK!). Other items we stock up on are rice, flour, pasta, etc. at Costco. The rest of the food storage items we buy, we buy throughout the year when they go on sale for great prices. You will be surprised how much food you can buy with $500! Even if you have only $100 available from your tax return, you can stock up on quite a few items.


My only number one rule, is I don't EVER buy groceries that are not on sale (if an item isn't on sale & I need it, I go to Walmart because it will be the next lowest price available)! To keep your grocery bill low, it does take will power! I rarely buy fruit snacks, treats, twinkies, chips, processed foods, etc. If my children want a snack, they get something homemade (cookies, popcorn, homemade granola, fruits, vegetables, etc.) These 'quick' meals and foods are MUCH more expensive than making them homemade. Learning to make many of your breads, snacks, and desserts from scratch will save you SO much money and will be much healthier for you.

With a little planning and dedication, you can get your year supply of food..and you will find it will be FUN & EASY! Begining in a small way as President Hinckley says will give BIG dividends in the future.

13 comments:

Heidi January 21, 2009 at 1:18 PM  

Do you have a sandwhich bread recipe that you love - we have tried several and they never slice right and they don't last very long (ps I don't have a bread maker so I make it by hand)

Samantha January 21, 2009 at 1:28 PM  

I can't tell you how much I love this blog. Your ideas about food storage are incredible. This holiday season, I was about to save money through the year, so that my Christmas Shopping was done before Black Friday. Then, starteing in October, I was able to add money to my grocery budget, and I really stocked up on my food storage. We have so many cans now that for an after Christmas present, my husband and I invested in a Shelf Reliance. Thanks so much for all your posts. President Hinckley is right-there really are big dividends.

Tiffanie January 21, 2009 at 1:40 PM  

Thanks--I will be passing this on to my new emergency prep blog. I try to tell people that it really isn't that hard to set aside money out of each paycheck JUST for food storage. I in no means have as much as you but I feel good spending $20 a week on food storage instead of something trivial. I think everyone has a area that they can cut down to find money for this. I also bargained with my husband for $225.00 from the tax return:)

.::still blinking::. January 21, 2009 at 6:55 PM  

I understand the amount of beans, wheat and water I need to have in food storage. I am really confused by the amounts of other things though, like applesauce, canned peaches, etc. I know these things don't have the same shelf life as beans and wheat, but I don't know what and how much of other things I should be buying. I have your weekly updates, and am still confused. Help! Is there someplace to calculate how much of other items I need?

LaDue & Crew January 21, 2009 at 9:46 PM  

I have stumbled upon your blog, and am amazed, as well as excited! I have been wanting to begin storing foods, as well as learning to shop more wisely, and yours is the best blog I have found for this! While I am not LDS, I believe that we need to prepare, to be ready. So thank you, I will be coming back here often, and using much!

D n C January 21, 2009 at 10:46 PM  

you mention buying pasta from Costco but I have found that it is the more expensive prices for what you get and so we never do buy there, what do you consider a good deal from Costco. We love pasta adn would love to buy from Costco..
can you advise...?

SexyMama January 21, 2009 at 11:43 PM  

I completely agree. When I was Stake Food Storage Coordinator I used to tell members, "Each food storage purchase is an investment in next month." I learned that whole foods such as the whole oat groat lasted longer than rolled oats, but stayed fresh longer and were actually less expensive.

The essentials are usually more filling too! = )

Tam January 22, 2009 at 11:19 AM  

I love your blog and your food storage ideas! I wish I lived in Utah and could take advantage of your website (for only $5/month, WOW!) Unfortunetly for me, I live in CA and have a hard time telling when something is a REALLY great deal and not just an okay sale. How do you keep track of all the prices of all the products in all their varieties to know when you see a really good deal?

cutie pie January 22, 2009 at 2:51 PM  

Sexy Mama, I have been looking for oat groats and have not found them. Where did you buy them?

Lisa January 22, 2009 at 5:20 PM  

Thank you SOOOOOOOOOOO much!!! Since I stumbled upon your blog( and got pregnant with our first) I have realized we really need to get started on our food storage. All I asked for for Christmas was food storage. I got a bosch, wheat grinder, a year supply of wheat, bulk honey, and lots of yeast. I learned how to make homemade bread and have been price matching like crazy! And instead of buying really expensive baby furniture we have been given free stuff and used that money to start our water supply. Thank you for sharing your talents with those around you:)

Michael January 24, 2009 at 12:41 AM  

Shan --we missed one "obtaining my family's . . ." Luv ya!

Ron January 27, 2009 at 12:53 PM  

When you say that you spend $400 a month on food---does that include TP, shampoo, toothpaste, cleaning supplies, medicines etc. Or do you have a separate budget for that?

K&Z January 30, 2009 at 11:21 PM  

I signed up for the membership meal planner and I paid w/ paypal but I'm having a problem figuring out what to do next. I can't log-in and when I try to go to the customer service link it just takes me back to the homepage. Can you please help me figure out what's next. This was the only way I know how to get a hold of you. My email is krystal_xox@hotmail.com. Thanks

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