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luvmylabs23139
09-23-2009, 11:09 AM
OK, I'm working on my shopping list for the week.
How does one qualify something that is on sale, milk 1.99 gallon, which is cheaper than buying 1/2 gallon, but I will use less than 50% of the gallon. Normal grocery shopping would just dictate checking the experation date and using it for more than a week.

luvmylabs23139
09-23-2009, 11:16 AM
Next Q,
Do we get credit for the food that will be leftover or should I have shrimp everyday to spend the full amount? Shrimp is really cheap this week. It works out to about $2 per person for dinner every night.

ducknwork
09-23-2009, 11:17 AM
If you can get it for 1.99, so can the people with food stamps. That leaves you with an extra dollar to spend on candy or hot pockets next week...;-)
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ducknwork
09-23-2009, 11:20 AM
If you can get stuff on sale and have some left over for next week, that just goes to further prove the point that 50 bucks is a lot of money per person per week. Next week, you either eat out of the freezer or stock it up a little more. Either way, you eventually end up with a week where you don't necessarily have to get groceries.
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luvmylabs23139
09-23-2009, 11:25 AM
If you can get it for 1.99, so can the people with food stamps. That leaves you with an extra dollar to spend on candy or hot pockets next week...;-)

But I don't eat candy or hot pockets!
OK maybe around Xmas there is a candy bowl in the house. Oh and heaven forbid there are some homemade cookies in the house too.

Hoosier
09-23-2009, 11:30 AM
If you can get it for 1.99, so can the people with food stamps. That leaves you with an extra dollar to spend on candy or hot pockets next week...;-)

You can save your extra food stamps. Then sell them 50 cents per food stamp dollar, and buy alcohol with that money.

Juli H
09-23-2009, 11:32 AM
Freeze half the gallon....LOL

When I was shopping yesterday I looked for the cheapes items..Actually only one item I bought was on sale..the nectarines...I know I will have some bread left and jelly, and possible celery...I will just use those for the next week and save that money toward something else.....

Juli

luvmylabs23139
09-23-2009, 11:35 AM
Still trying to figure out how to spend $91.75 for 2 people for one week without throwing a ton of food in the trash or gaining a ton of weight.

ducknwork
09-23-2009, 12:14 PM
You can save your extra food stamps. Then sell them 50 cents per food stamp dollar, and buy alcohol with that money.

HAHAHA! Now THAT is a plan!:D
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Juli H
09-23-2009, 12:20 PM
Actually I think you should take the extra food to a food bank... :)

Juli

Hoosier
09-23-2009, 12:24 PM
HAHAHA! Now THAT is a plan!:D

I grew up in one of those welfare neighborhoods, and that's how it works. Every month on about the 10th (sometimes before depending on how hard they were partying) the welfare people would run out of beer money, and go door to door trying to sell their food stamps or steaks they had bought with the food stamps. They considered the market value of a food stamp to be 50 cents on the dollar.

Hoosier
09-23-2009, 12:27 PM
Actually I think you should take the extra food to a food bank... :)

Juli

Good idea, then they could sell all their food stamps and just get their food from the food bank.

WRL
09-23-2009, 12:39 PM
Still trying to figure out how to spend $91.75 for 2 people for one week without throwing a ton of food in the trash or gaining a ton of weight.

You need to "bank" the amount you don't spend.

At some point, you will run out of sugar, salt, flour etc which are normal staples that most people only buy every so often.

I would say, do your normal shopping and then if you have "left-over money" bank it to the next week.

I think the experiment needs to be tried for a minimum of 1 month.

Also, it depends on who you have living in your house.

I have one 18 year old young man who eats a TON of food. I've kept track of what I spend on a monthly basis for years. I normally (for two people) spend about $400. But then, I'm somewhat thrifty not exceptionally thrifty.

I am going to do the experiment. I think it would be cool to have a group of us do it all on the same time frame.

Listing what we bought, for how much and then what we made for meals.

It would give us a chance to exchange some recipes and it might be a heck of a lot of fun.

Anyone really want to make this a "group challenge"??

WRL

Juli H
09-23-2009, 12:48 PM
I started this AM....

two breakfast burritos, with cheese (2 10 inch tortillas, two eggs, one (actual) serving of cheddar cheese), glass of milk.... bean and cheese burrito (same size tortilla) and a carrot for lunch, homemade (sorta) chili for dinner, glass of milk....
I am in a unique situation, as I have one store with high prices to shop from...I imagine of most people that try this challenge, I will actually have no food left, or very little... (ie, not the variety..not enough veggies and fruits, which are HIGHLY expensive here)....$48 for the week's groceries....
I can get donuts for 30 cents a piece after 4 pm though! LOL
I encourage as many people to do this as possible - keep your reciepts and meal plan and send the info along to your reps.....

Juli

Gerry Clinchy
09-23-2009, 01:40 PM
LOL! I have to chuckle, Juli. Does living in the coldest part of Alaska make you especially hungry for Mexican food?

Beans & rice BTW (notwithstanding Dave' mention of the possible lack of nutrients in white rice) does provide the total array of amino acids (protein) that you would get from meat. So, put meatless chili over rice, and you don't need the meat. You could use brown rice, but that's usually more expensive than white.

WRL
09-23-2009, 02:23 PM
I started this AM....

two breakfast burritos, with cheese (2 10 inch tortillas, two eggs, one (actual) serving of cheddar cheese), glass of milk.... bean and cheese burrito (same size tortilla) and a carrot for lunch, homemade (sorta) chili for dinner, glass of milk....
I am in a unique situation, as I have one store with high prices to shop from...I imagine of most people that try this challenge, I will actually have no food left, or very little... (ie, not the variety..not enough veggies and fruits, which are HIGHLY expensive here)....$48 for the week's groceries....
I can get donuts for 30 cents a piece after 4 pm though! LOL
I encourage as many people to do this as possible - keep your reciepts and meal plan and send the info along to your reps.....

Juli

Yeah I gotta have some bacon in my breakfast burritos.

I bought a bunch of meat last week that was cheap so I'll have to figure that in.

Not much of a milk drinker but I drink a ton of ice tea (and its cheaper ;)).

At least its not as bad as when I was in Cordova years ago. Twenty years ago a gallon of milk was just under $6.

WRL

luvmylabs23139
09-23-2009, 04:10 PM
Gee, this is so hard, NOT!
Hubby's ice cream, Breyers is on sale this week. 1 gallon for $2.61

ducknwork
09-23-2009, 09:38 PM
We normally get groceries on Thursday night. I will post how much we spend. Should I include diapers, wipes, pull ups etc in the total?
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Terri
09-23-2009, 10:05 PM
No diapers or wipes allowed with food stamp money. Sorry, if you decide to eat free food you are not allowed to wipe.

Terri

WRL
09-23-2009, 11:46 PM
We normally get groceries on Thursday night. I will post how much we spend. Should I include diapers, wipes, pull ups etc in the total?

Yep. Unless welfare folks get more for formula and diapers.

WRL

ducknwork
09-24-2009, 06:03 AM
Either way, we will be WAY below the allowed amount of $167 for 4 people...I'll even get a mountain dew and some chicken from the deli to snack on while we shop.
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Julie R.
09-24-2009, 07:29 AM
I do the grocery shopping for us and normally spend between 50-80 dollars a week, some weeks much less. I do shop the sales and save coupons and I consider myself pretty frugal. There's always plenty for two and that includes significant other who thinks the 5 major food groups are fat, salt, sugar, alcohol and nictotine (he buys his own beer and cigs). Oh and since I'm a real estate agent and he's a contractor our income levels the past 18 mos. would qualify us for food stamps and section 8 but since we're self employed we just make do. We started a nice garden but the rabbits decimated it this year so we spent more than usual on veggies this summer, though we get a lot of stuff from neighbors who are more diligent gardeners than we are.

Juli H
09-24-2009, 10:28 AM
Yesterday I had a customer come through the checkout line with a cart full of groceries...$256 and change, to be exact. Of the entire cart of groceries there was $20 worth of food that I would consider healthy - 10 lb potatoes, spaghetti sauce, and 3 lb of lean burger, and package of spaghetti noodles....The remaining food was (what I can remember) - Case of Pepsi, 5 bags chips (@$5/bag) candy, ice cream, frozen pizza, hot pockets (or something like that), single serving drinks (8 or so of them), and other junk.

It was hard to say 'Have a good day.' with a smile on my face, but I somehow managed.

Juli

luvmylabs23139
09-24-2009, 11:04 AM
We normally get groceries on Thursday night. I will post how much we spend. Should I include diapers, wipes, pull ups etc in the total?
NO, as they are not eligable for food stamps.

luvmylabs23139
09-24-2009, 11:10 AM
Either way, we will be WAY below the allowed amount of $167 for 4 people...I'll even get a mountain dew and some chicken from the deli to snack on while we shop.

Back out the mountain dew. If I remember correctly soda is not a food stamp item. I worked in a grocery store in college back when food dtamps were actually stamps.
Hey technically you could back out any items that would qualify for WIC as
that is an additional entilement that someone with kids under the age of 6 would be receiving if they were getting the full foodstamp benefit.

Juli H
09-24-2009, 11:14 AM
Back out the mountain dew. If I remember correctly soda is not a food stamp item.

perhaps where you live, but up here, soda or even power drinks are totally legal for purchase with food stamps....

Juli

ducknwork
09-24-2009, 11:28 AM
I think I may just scan the receipts and post pictures as some of you may be interested in the item's prices. It won't make you too jealous, will it Juli?;)
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firehouselabs
09-24-2009, 11:29 AM
Coming from someone who actually was using food stamps (and not proud of it) as a single mom going to college, I bought a lot of canned goods and meat in bulk when on sale, along with the huge bags of frozen veggies with any "left over" food stamps. I also saved around $400 worth for the end of the year for Christmas presents. Yes, Christmas presents. I would make fruit, nut, cheese, and salami/ham baskets for my mom and for the gift exchange. Only way that I could "afford" to give anything to them for Christmas. I also baked cookies and mini muffins for the holidays.
Diapers, shampoo, toliet paper, deodorant, razors, etc.. are not allowed for purchase with food stamps. This is where I spent the whooping $50 a month child support (when he decided to pay). I paid the rent, utilities, gas, insurance, etc... with my income from working two part-time jobs and going to school. All I really wanted was help with health insurance for my daughter so that I knew in case of an emergency that she would be taken care of.
Since I knew that I would not be on food stamps for the long term like some folks are, I did bank a lot of non-perishable food and kept back food stamps for after I was no longer getting them. It helped out a lot when I did graduate and wasn't making a whole lot yet with my degree.
Interesting to see that I was able to raise a daughter on just $7000 a year!

ducknwork
09-24-2009, 11:32 AM
So you were one of the people using them responsibly and correctly. I know that the majority of the people that I see using them are not doing the same thing you did...
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luvmylabs23139
09-24-2009, 12:47 PM
perhaps where you live, but up here, soda or even power drinks are totally legal for purchase with food stamps....

Juli

That was more than 20 years ago in CT. I could be wrong, my memory is kinda fuzzy on the details.

luvmylabs23139
09-24-2009, 02:30 PM
OK breakfast today
Egg and cheese on english muffin.
egg $.99/12= .0825
english muffins $.99 at the bread store /6 =.165
american cheese slice(Kraft) 3/5/16 slices= .05
total cost per breakfast sandwich = $.30
one each for me and hubby = $.60
coffee expense worked out to $.30 2 full mugs each.

Gerry Clinchy
09-24-2009, 06:08 PM
$50/wk (1 person) = $7.16/day
21 meals in a week = $2.38/meal
But one might figure that breakfast would be $1 or less, so
$43/14 = $3.07/meal for lunch & dinner

This week at our grocery store: 79 cents/lb for "oven-stuffer" roasters! At least 4 to 6 meals in one of those (lunches & dinners) ... just 98 cents/meal for the meat. You then have $12.42 to supply the "accessories". Canned corn 49 cents/can. Various frozen veggies available at 99 cents/16 oz. Pasta on sale (San Giorgio) for 79 cents/lb. You'd have $ left over for dessert :-) Quart of Dannon plain yogurt for $1.39 (with coupon). Also, $1.39 (with coupon) for individual yogurt 4-pk.

Perhaps the food stamps should come with menu planners?

zeus3925
09-24-2009, 07:04 PM
.

Perhaps the food stamps should come with menu planners?

Most county extension offices have menu planners.

Also, Share is a great source to extend the budget. Put in a little time volunteering in the community or for Share itself and you are eligible for free or low cost food. The program is available to anyone. You do not have to be a recipient from the government.

http://www.wholesaledistributorsnet.com/SHARE_food.html

luvmylabs23139
09-24-2009, 07:22 PM
$50/wk (1 person) = $7.16/day


Perhaps the food stamps should come with menu planners?

And grocery shopping 101!

ducknwork
09-25-2009, 06:13 AM
I didn't have time to look at the receipt last night but we spent about $145. We spent 60-70 on stuff for my sons 1st birthday next week though...

I will take a look at the receipt tonight.
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Buzz
09-25-2009, 09:12 AM
If I ate like you guys, I'd disappear.

Last night I went shopping for my trip to a field trial this weekend. I like to stay out of fast food places as much as possible. I bought bread, sandwich meat, cheese, apples, a mellon, raw veggies, and veggie dip. This will last me 2 days. I'll eat a sit down breakfast at some place like Perkins. Otherwise I'll eat out of my cooler.

Anyhow, my bill came up to $32. I doubt that I'll be bringing any leftovers home, and I'll end up buying coffee and maybe some chips or an ice cream bar at a gas station.

When I was in college back in the 1980's, I used to budget $50/week for my food. That was very tight for me.

luvmylabs23139
09-25-2009, 09:25 AM
If I ate like you guys, I'd disappear.

Last night I went shopping for my trip to a field trial this weekend. I like to stay out of fast food places as much as possible. I bought bread, sandwich meat, cheese, apples, a mellon, raw veggies, and veggie dip. This will last me 2 days. I'll eat a sit down breakfast at some place like Perkins. Otherwise I'll eat out of my cooler.

Anyhow, my bill came up to $32. I doubt that I'll be bringing any leftovers home, and I'll end up buying coffee and maybe some chips or an ice cream bar at a gas station.

When I was in college back in the 1980's, I used to budget $50/week for my food. That was very tight for me.
You really would not disapear.
Just my regular shopping before this subject came up.
I bought an eye of round roast beef on sale for $2.00 per lb. I cooked it up and sliced it for sandwiches for lunches. This meat would have been about $9.00 lb in the deli. It was a small one about 2 lbs.
18-4 =16 . I saved $16.00 and hubby said it was much better than the deli stuff.
Deli meat is really expensive and full of preservatives.

ducknwork
09-25-2009, 10:43 AM
When I was in college back in the 1980's, I used to budget $50/week for my food. That was very tight for me.

When I moved out on my own, (about 5 years ago now) I was ticked if I spent more than $30. I ate a lot of hamburger helper and boneless chicken breasts and ramen back then...
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luvmylabs23139
09-25-2009, 01:06 PM
When I moved out on my own, (about 5 years ago now) I was ticked if I spent more than $30. I ate a lot of hamburger helper and boneless chicken breasts and ramen back then...

Ramen is like 10 cents at Walmart. That's 70 cents for a week's worth of lunches.:p

ducknwork
09-25-2009, 01:13 PM
But you have to have a grilled cheese with it...:D
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luvmylabs23139
09-25-2009, 04:55 PM
But you have to have a grilled cheese with it...:D
You sound like hubby!
OK I worked it out using the expenisive bread but bought at the bread store, as we normally do.
Arnold country white $1.39 loaf =16 slices, I counted them.
.10 per slice.
Using my Kraft singles bought on sale 3 pk for $5 /16 slices = $.10 slice
bread is large slices so you need 2 slices of cheese.
Grilled cheese is $.40
This is $.50 per lunch so now we are at $3.50 for a weeks worth of lunches.

Martin
09-25-2009, 11:58 PM
After reading through this thread I have come to a conclusion...We need to send you guys to washington and let you balance our federal budget! You all rock!

My son left for college this year. My daughter just "sleeps" here so we have saved a bunch of money on goceries. My wife and I went shopping tonight and we spent 189.89 on food. We planned our menu and have food for two weeks, Breakfast, lunch and dinners included.

Martin

Juli H
09-29-2009, 11:05 AM
today is my last day on the 'food stamp challenge'...I will be glad to go to the fridge and eat a little bit more variety, but I certainly never lacked for food to eat. today I will have a fried egg with hash browns from my last potato, a tuna fish sandwhich and carrots, and my last serving of hamburger stew with a slice of bread for dinner...I really missed out on more fresh fruit though....

Juli

Julie R.
09-29-2009, 11:50 AM
Well... I have to confess I blew my budget big time last week. My normal spending routine easily allows 2 of us to eat well for under $80/week although some weeks I do spend more especially if there's a good meat sale. I can also truthfully add that since we both like to cook and like our own cooking better than everyplace we can afford to eat, we rarely ever eat out, maybe one or two dinners a year and almost never lunch.

So anyway my budget buster was a visit to Trader Joe's last week. I had to drive to D.C. and stopped there on the way home and spent $125 on stuff I can't buy in the redneckville grocery stores where I live. Plus Trader Joe's really does have great prices on impossible or hard to find foods like produce, cheeses, good coffee, whole grains and nuts, etc. and a great variety and great prices on frozen fish. Come to think of it a lot of what we (and others) waste our money on is prepared foods: sliced, wrapped or grated cheeses, washed, cleaned & picked vegetables, deboned, trimmed meats, etc.

luvmylabs23139
09-30-2009, 01:22 PM
I'm running way UNDER budget with one day to go. I have packages of meat unused in the freezer plus frozen veggies. I also have extra meals of meatballs and homemade sauce frozen so it won't go bad. A pot of turkey rice soup is cooking away on the stove. HUbby is in heaven because he considers most of this stuff a treat, he's already asking when the soup will be done.
I need to quit playing this game because hubby is getting way to spoiled with all of this home cooking!!!

YardleyLabs
09-30-2009, 01:41 PM
One of my clients is an organization that helps families that have been homeless or are in crisis. They have a number of concrete assistance programs but also work hard to assist clients in developing the skills needed to stabilize their lives and get themselves out of poverty. I mentioned this thread to them. They were very impressed. They currently have classes on shopping and cooking to assist families in learning how to buy and prepare nutritious family meals within a tight budget. One of them is planning an article on that part of their program to include on their web site. Assuming it happens, I will post a link.

ducknwork
09-30-2009, 02:50 PM
See! Every now and then moaning and bellyaching WILL get something done...:D
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Richard Halstead
09-30-2009, 05:05 PM
Ramen is like 10 cents at Walmart. That's 70 cents for a week's worth of lunches.:p


Add a couple tube steaks to that Ramen lunch and you have a dinner fit for a financially embarressed king.

ducknwork
10-01-2009, 06:49 AM
I never did get around to adding up the receipts, but I think it went like this:

$145 at WalMart
$11 at Piggly Wiggly
$20 at Harris Teeter

Out of that $145 at WalMart, about $60 was stuff for my son's birthday. I did not subtract diapers, makeup, toiletries, air filter etc. So, our total for the week (for 4) was $111 ish. I haven't been hungry this week - at all. I did have to go to the convenience store and pick up another gallon of milk last night for 3.56. Daggone kids drink that stuff like it's going out of style...2.5 gallons in less than a week!:shock:
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Gerry Clinchy
10-01-2009, 08:30 AM
I never did get around to adding up the receipts, but I think it went like this:

$145 at WalMart
$11 at Piggly Wiggly
$20 at Harris Teeter

Out of that $145 at WalMart, about $60 was stuff for my son's birthday. I did not subtract diapers, makeup, toiletries, air filter etc. So, our total for the week (for 4) was $111 ish. I haven't been hungry this week - at all. I did have to go to the convenience store and pick up another gallon of milk last night for 3.56. Daggone kids drink that stuff like it's going out of style...2.5 gallons in less than a week!:shock:

Geez, you're good ... even with the party and extras you still came in under the $200 for a family of 4.

Truthfully, if we're going to do food stamps, then I think they should allow for the differences in food costs. The people in AK really DO have higher prices on food than other places (at least from the prices posted here). Not to mention their heating costs might be just a tad higher than NC :-)

Surprised nobody mentioned popcorn for a "treat". Cheap & healthier substitute for chips. And fun for the dogs, too :-)

luvmylabs23139
10-01-2009, 02:29 PM
Geez, you're good ... even with the party and extras you still came in under the $200 for a family of 4.

Truthfully, if we're going to do food stamps, then I think they should allow for the differences in food costs. The people in AK really DO have higher prices on food than other places (at least from the prices posted here). Not to mention their heating costs might be just a tad higher than NC :-)

Surprised nobody mentioned popcorn for a "treat". Cheap & healthier substitute for chips. And fun for the dogs, too :-)

I bet their AC bills are a lot lower!!!
Popcorn is a standard snack in our house cause it's healthier than chips and cookies.
We got pop secret on sale the other week for $1 per 3 pk box. I stocked up and bought 10 boxes.

ducknwork
10-02-2009, 09:38 AM
Last night we dropped $115 at Wally world and $20 at Harris Teeter. Walmart includes 3 gallons of milk, $10 for paint rollers, $5 for makeup, $5 for dog stuff, $10 for brooms, plus more birthday stuff and other extras. I can't believe my son is a year old today. At Harris Teeter, they had whole chickens for .57/lb. We bought 4 @ about $2.50 each, plus some other stuff.

Total for the week, >$140, and we won't be hungry.
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luvmylabs23139
10-02-2009, 03:05 PM
At Harris Teeter, they had whole chickens for .57/lb. We bought 4 @ about $2.50 each, plus some other stuff.



Hey, I just got back from HT and bought 6 of those chickens! I had to stock on their bleach sale too. $.99 per jug for Clorox!
Food Lion had Edy's ice cream on sale for $1.99, 3 day special, stocked up on that too!
Saving money on groceries is a fun game for me.

Juli H
10-02-2009, 05:12 PM
I bet their AC bills are a lot lower!!!
Popcorn is a standard snack in our house cause it's healthier than chips and cookies.
We got pop secret on sale the other week for $1 per 3 pk box. I stocked up and bought 10 boxes.


yes, but heating bills will kill ya... we have an outdoor wood boiler...it burns near 25 cords of wood per winter...about $2000 per yr if you bought it, we figure $1000 for cost of chainsaws, gas, vehicle wear and tear...not counting the time it takes to get it..

some people heat with fuel oil....about $500/mo during the winter months, if you don't supplement with wood (most people do, if they have oil heat)...Of course a majority of these people also get energy assistance from the gov't - up to $3000 per yr...

Juli