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  1. #1
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    Monthly Food Expense?
    I have been keeping track of how much we spend per month on food for our household of 5.

    I have it broken down by groceries and takeout.

    You know there is a problem when takeout expense for the month exceeds the monthly grocery bill.

    April:
    Takeout Expense: $725
    Grocery Expense: $714

    What about you?

    Monthly Takeout Expense?
    Monthy Grocery Expense?

  2. #2
    Affiliate Manager FriendlyPlanetTravel's Avatar
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    Cook more at home - besides being cheaper it is healthier - not to mention more sanitary (ever see what goes on in the kitchen of these restaurants?) especially now with swine flu around

  3. #3
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    You are just throwing money away. Cook more and save a ton of money

  4. #4
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    I realize this, but it's sometimes hard to find meals that everyone will eat and not complain about. I could probably spend another $50 per week at the grocery and end up saving $500 per month on takeout.

    Again, the big problem is coming up with meal ideas for that many days without it feeling like the prison food line.

  5. #5
    Affiliate Manager FriendlyPlanetTravel's Avatar
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    Someone in a group of 2 or more is always going to complain (human nature) about something.

    Be creative in menu, have different ingredients (ex. cook spaghetti but have dishes of meatballs, shrimp, etc that people can choose to add - or not) - let everyone pick 1 day's menu - etc - when they complain make the choice of either eating what everyone else does or make your own (and clean up after themselves) Plenty of ways. Children have to learn early that they can't always "have it your way" - that's not what life is about.

  6. #6
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    chicken, steak, pork (+ whatever other meats you can find, and like)
    potatoes, rice, pasta (there are other things as well)
    frozen veggies (many different types, nutritious)
    many many other foods that you can easily make

    Any combination of the above, different each day. Easy to make, doesn't get boring, cheap.

    Eat out once per week if needed.

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador ladidah's Avatar
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    * Make a big batch of spaghetti meat sauce and freeze in batches. Just make pasta and heat the sauce for quick pasta dish.

    * Along similar lines, make a big batch of taco meat sauce - make nachos, mexican lasagne, burritos or tacos for dinner. Freeze in batches.

    * grilling in the summer is easier for us - veggies, fish, steak, chicken, corn, peppers, etc.

    It is harder if you have picky eaters but if you are able to make foods that everyone likes and freeze then at least you are saving one day of take outs. Do you do take outs 3 times a week? or more? When I used to have a day "job" I would spend Sundays cooking big batches of food and freeze for the rest of the week or for the following week so that when I got home all I had to do is reheat. Helped alot when the kids were reall little and meals needed to be quickly prepared for the little tummies.

  8. #8
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeymourButts
    I realize this, but it's sometimes hard to find meals that everyone will eat and not complain about. I could probably spend another $50 per week at the grocery and end up saving $500 per month on takeout.

    Again, the big problem is coming up with meal ideas for that many days without it feeling like the prison food line.
    Fix a meal - tell them that's what you're having - eat it or don't eat.

    When they're hungry they'll eat what you fixed.

    You're suppose to eat to live - not live to eat.

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  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager HeatherB's Avatar
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    I suggest checking out epicurious.com. They have weekly menus usually with kid-friendly options. Plus they include a printable shopping list for all the groceries you'll need for the week. If you don't like an option you can always look back at previous weeks and see if there's something there you like. While I haven't done an entire week yet the recipes I've tried are fairly easy, don't take long to make, and usually quite healthy.
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  10. #10
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Our monthly average last year, for our family of four:

    Eating out: $425
    Groceries: $450

    We don't eat out very much (once or twice a week), but when we do it's usually a sit-down restaurant about half of the time and fast food the other half of the time. We usually use coupons when we eat out. My one recurring "eating out" expense is to fund my Sonic Diet Cherry Limeade habit, but I only feed that habit during half price happy hour.

    We eat a pretty good variety of meals at home, and entertain quite a bit as well. We have quiet a few regular menu items that are quick, affordable and tasty. We usually have steak, ribs, or something else nice / expensive at least once a week.
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  11. #11
    Visual Artist & ABW Ambassador lostdeviant's Avatar
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    It sounds like it is time to learn some new recipes and experiment with new seasonings and ingredients.

  12. #12
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Food like other things depends a lot on where you live.


  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador phillyburbs's Avatar
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    Wow, those look like some seriously unbalanced figures.

    Our kids are kinda finicky, but we've been working them out of that a little at a time. But we have about a dozen or two "standard" meals that we use quite a bit and, as stated, pasta is a slam dunk. My son doesn't like sauce, so he gets butter & cheese, my daughter likes a little sauce, but detests cheese and the wife & I have whatever we feel like making that particular time.

    We try to limit going out to once a month and find that we save a lot of money that way. Another way to cut down on the eating out tab that I picked up from a boss a long time ago - don't order drinks. Simple math for us - if we go out for pizza and everyone just drinks water instead of soda or iced tea, we save almost $10. And we never, EVER get dessert when we go out.

  14. #14
    Full Member TerriFalcone's Avatar
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    Budget? What budget? Seriously, this year I've attempted to eat out less for health reasons. When I do go out ( or bring in ) it is Chick-fil-A, Thai or Chinese food or Pizza. Living alone makes cooking more of a challenge but I find that I'm likely to make dinner for friends and relatives which makes everybody happy
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  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador phillyburbs's Avatar
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    Terri:

    When I was a bachelor (boy, that seems like a lifetime ago), I made a point of finding recipes that would lend itself to an easy second meal, not just leftovers.

    Example: I would grill (or broil) an extra chicken breast or two. The next day, I could easily slice them up toss them with some greens (spinach) and other veggies and have a great salad or make that into a wrap. Or I could combine them with leftover pasta or rice for a heartier meal.

    I also always kept eggs on hand. Frittatas and omlettes are perfect for leftovers. I always found that I would be more tempted to go out when there wasn't anything quick & easy in the fridge. Making extra always seemed to help that.

    By doing this, I was able to really enjoy going out to eat, rather than eating out because I didn't feel like I had a good (or easy) option.

  16. #16
    Moderator PDXreader's Avatar
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    first off...Everyone can eat what is prepared or go with the ol pb &J! That was our rule lol. Here are our typical evening meals(breakfast free for all, Lunch packed or lean cuisine):

    Stir fry with all fresh veges and steamed rice
    Chicken Parmagiana
    pasta with beef marinara and salad
    beef taco's/burritos (all fresh including salsa)
    Baked bagels with cream cheese with sprouts and tomatoes added after being baked! mmm
    Eggs over toast (great for dinner or breakfast)


    throw in fruit and some corn and peas in any combo and those all make great meals! that are decently edible!

  17. #17
    Half a Bubble Off Plumb RemodelingGuy's Avatar
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    Crap!

    Me, myself and I would be bad enough, but add:

    1 25 yr old daughter ( unemployed)
    2 beautiful grand babies
    4 dogs
    1 hamster
    11 fish

    and with the un-believable rise in grocery prices since they were charging $4 bucks a gallon of gas,

    methinks about $400 / week just to stay alive.

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  18. #18
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    I don't keep up with what we spend on eating. We rarely eat out except for DH who eats out for lunch.

    I post a weekly menu on a dry erase board on the frig. Try to have one day Mexican, one day sandwiches, one day Italian, one day fish, one day grill, etc.

    Generally, no one complains what I cook, because they have heard enough "if you don't like what I cook, drag your bottom into the kitchen and fix it yourself." This Mom does not put up with pickyness.

    Another reason I started doing the menu board is because DH would go out for lunch and have Mexican and then I would fix Mexican for dinner and hear "that's what I had for lunch". Now I respond "you should have looked at the board".

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador bettylou's Avatar
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    I am hesitant to post this but I must.

    I am one of those people that you don't want to get behind in the grocery store checkout. I am an obsessive couponer. If I leave the store without saving at least 50%, I am kicking myself all the way to the car.

    I have a family of four and spend somewhere between $25 and $75 a week for all groceries -- this includes everything -- paper towels, TP, contact solutions, snacks, beverages, produce, etc. My daughter has skin allergies so we don't save quite as much as we could on soap, shampoo, and laundry items. Anyone can do it.

    Most of us use coupons when shopping online, it's the same principle offline.

    Seymour, we seriously need to talk! You could be savings hundreds of dollars a month!

  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador phillyburbs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RemodelingGuy
    1 25 yr old daughter ( unemployed)
    That strikes me as a variable that needs to change.

  21. #21
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    Tonight's meal will end up costing $7.

  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador bettylou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeymourButts
    Tonight's meal will end up costing $7.
    Coupons????

  23. #23
    Affiliate Manager guinness618's Avatar
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    gas to the soup kitchen
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  24. #24
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bettylou
    Coupons????
    Baked Potatoes cooked in crock-pot

  25. #25
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    I am afraid to put those kinds of numbers together. Now that we are "empty nesters" we tend to eat out about half the time. Mrs. Beachy is a very good cook, but she also works very hard as a Pre-K teacher for a Baltimore City school.

    We are not very fond of fast food (well, maybe Chick-fil-A is an exception to that). We much prefer sit-down-where-someone-serves-you type places, and we do know where some good Happy Hours are in both Baltimore and at the beach. There is even a Morton's Steak House (catch that Michael Coley?) in the Baltimore Inner Harbor area we are quite fond of.
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