My husband and I have a budget of $60/wk for food and basically anything else we buy at the grocery store (deoderant, cleaning products, etc). This budget has slowly increased over the last few years, originally it was more like $30/wk when we first moved in together. I am a vegetarian and he is a celiac pescetarian.
Pet food for our two cats is a separate thing for us. We buy the 20lb bags of food at the pet store and only have to buy pet food about 3 times a year. One cat is rationed and fed twice a day, the other gets fed 3 times a day as much as she wants. I think that not leaving a bowl of food lying around for them all of the time has done a lot to decrease that particular expense. The timed feedings were a suggestion from our vet and he told us they looked good and to keep it up at their most recent checkup.
I'm trying to stay within $130 a month. A few months ago I was spending $160, but my budget has had to change. I can do it if I don't buy too many meat analogues nor sparkling waters, or other extras. When things are tight I consume more beans and tortillas than usual, and unfortunately, more white bread than I'd like (2 loaves for a dollar, *sigh*). I'm not as adventurous in the kitchen right now because that costs more. No cooking with wine.
We definitely hemorrhage money via groceries. There are two adult, a 9 year old, a 3 year old, and a 1 year old at home.
We really focus on buying primarily whole foods and keeping a variety of fruits and veggies in the house at all times. Add the soy and almond milks as well as any other condiments or the few non-whole food items (tofu etc), and, well, we are talking a fair amount of money.
That said, we are planting a rather large garden for our small space and we are frugal in most other areas of our lives. Healthy, cruelty-free food is not a place I am willing to compromise unless we had exhausted other cost cutting options!
And my pup gets some home made dishes as well as V-dog kibble at &60/30# bag, so yeah...
We're new to being Vegetarians. We're still working out our monthly budget but we now only go shopping twice a month. We're still purchasing items to try them to see if we like them so sometimes out biweekly groceries are more than others. Right now I think we're looking at about $300 but it will definitely go down when I start gardening again in the spring and summer. It will cut down on our budget by about $100.
Because of foodstamps right now, 18 dollar. Yeah that's right 18 dollars.
Thank god for sales
Red Bell 3 for 1
Green Bell 2 for 1
I refuse to buy unhealthy breads either despite it. I have a little brother to take care of and I'm going to make sure he stays healthy, at least healthier than I was when I was at his age. All though you can really thank uneducated parents for that.
After reading through this thread, I realized my grocery bills have skyrocketed since I got an apartment. In college I had $20 a week for food, so I spent $20 a week for food. Of course, there was always a veg friendly cafeteria I could go to if I wanted, but I always had weird schedules and missed mealtimes.
Now our grocery bill for two is frequently $80-120 a week. Chalk that up to an expensive area and an incredible organic/local vegetable box delivery I suppose. A lot of what we spend could be cut back though. About $700 a year of that budget is coffee alone, so there are definitely places we could make some budget cuts.
I know my sister is on a much tighter budget than I am and she manages to spend no more than $35 a week. She is vegetarian (not vegan). But I know that she has to limit herself in her choice of veggies and fruits to those that are the cheapest (so she eats a lot of cabbage, carrots, and iceberg lettuce) and "white" foods (such as white flour instead of whole wheat flour). To be honest, that's not something I am willing to do. Eating whole foods and whole grains is very important to me and I'm willing to spend money on them.
Pasta is also super cheap to make, less than two dollars for a huge amount.
Pizza is also cheap to make if you don't use cheese or meat. Buy a huge sack of flour and that cuts the cost of the dough down to like 20 cents. The rest is just like a zucchini/pepper/whatever which doesn't cost much.
I think what costs money is eating pre made things or eating out. Seriously I can eat for a week on the money I spend when I eat out for a single meal.
When I first lived abroad I would eat out almost every day. I did that the second time as well. The third time I went to live abroad I knew about how much I spend a month and took enough money to cover that. However this time I was vegan and cooking almost everything myself and I was amazed at how much money I had left over. I never knew how much money I was spending on food before that.
In the end, only kindness matters. - Jewel
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There must be some difference in food cost based on location. My mom goes to South Dakota every year and goes nuts at how cheap groceries are there.
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This is a overall amount, some weeks it is more like 60 bucks, and I save the remainder to stock up my freezer and pantry. ( I keep a fully stocked cupboard and deep freeze)
I get about 50 bucks a month of "free" dairy milk,beans,cereal,juice,fruits/veggies through the wic program.
Once a month or so I have access to a costco, (I do not have a membership) and I buy tofu for a dollar a pound then,a 10lb bag of rice, dried fruit, a big tub of hummus, and something special from the freezer section too (this past trip, spanakopitas!)...
I spend 80.00 or less when I go, and I treat it as an "entertainment" expense.
My keys to success lie in meal planning, eliminating food waste, having a simple diet.
I have 160 dollars cash a week for food, medicine,gas,school expenses...birthdays...whatever. My bills I pay separately.
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Last edited by Island Sneezer; 11-24-2014 at 09:06 PM.
I didn't do this this time but try out coupons.com and check ads for price matching if your store does it. Coupons are hard if your vegan or want organic. But there is sites for organic and vegan products. Also if your area has a CSA try to join in you get fresh produce on a biweekly bases. It's a lot upfront but for the summer and in to the start of fall it's worth it. So a low food budget is doable but it takes work.
We spend about $45 a week on two adults---but he has the palate of a five-year-old and would happily eat peanut butter sandwiches for every meal On a typical shopping trip, we buy bread for lunches, grapes (his only lunch fruit) and a few other on-sale fruits for me, sandwich fixings as needed, soy milk, tomato sauce, canned beans or other dinner items and that's it. We go to a bulk food store once a month and buy rice, pasta, crackers, raisins, oats, nuts and seeds and so on. That's usually about $50 but it lasts a whole month. We also each have one big-ticket item once a month, his is fancy peanut butter at the health food store, mine is pumpernickel bagels from the local bakery. That's $10 a month each and can be covered within the $45 a week limit.
Our typical meals:
Breakfast (me) is a bagel with something on it, or oatmeal with something mixed in (applesauce, raisins, seeds etc.) or sometimes a smoothie. I have no idea what he eats for breakfast. He usually eats at work and says that people always are bringing treats in and he just gets whatever is there.
Lunch (me) is either jarred soup or a sandwich, a veggie (usually baby carrots or snap peas) and grapes or berries. I pack an apple or banana and sometimes some crackers for snack in the afternoon. For him, it's a peanut butter sandwich, grapes and a cookie or treat.
Dinner is usually a fend-for-yourself (in which case, he eats soy cheese sandwiches) or something we eat together. This is often a pita pizza, bowl of pasta (mine with veggies, his without), rice bowl or something simple. I am trying to broaden his palate some, but it's slow going and neither of us particularly enjoy cooking...
Now I honestly don't even have a budget that I keep track of, but during lean times it's always good to have beans, grains, root vegetables, spices, and a bag of frozen spinach, as well as oatmeal and a non dairy milk.
My first attempts at vegan long ago were hilariously expensive and unsustainable because of stacks of frozen meals and faux meats...when I learned better cooking skills and more about nutrition, things got much more affordable. I don't even like to eat faux meats every day, they can be too greasy or processed, though I still do like them a few times a week in moderation.
She operates on the realistic principle that things like bottles of vegetable oil, spices, onions, garlic and potatoes, as well as even dry beans or rice, will last for a while. ..so each week you'd have more "roll over" to get fresh vegetables or have more diversity.
I don't recommend anyone go quite this extreme, but it's interesting to see what a chef can do in such limited circumstances. ..she put Gwen Paltrow to shame, and I really liked that a lot. I personally think being a vegetarian is cheapest, though others like this woman argue that vegan really can be done equally as frugally. ..I would just have concerns about things like keeping nutritional yeast, B12 supplements, black strap molasses or adequate green vegetables to supply iron and calcium if one wasn't spending at least 20-25 a week.