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Old 09-15-2012, 08:50 PM   #1
Violet Parr
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Healthy grocery budget for 5? (organic, fresh, no processed, grass-fed beef, etc.)

Hi all,

Does anyone here buy mostly organic, natural, unpackaged and unprocessed foods (including grass-fed beef, organic dairy) and if so, would you mind sharing your family grocery budget? (Monthly or weekly is fine.)

Also, do you include toiletries, etc in your budget, or just food?

Thanks!

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Old 09-16-2012, 09:04 AM   #2
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that isn't me...but I do buy certain things OG,etc. One thing I can say is it will depend greatly on where you live,how much these things will cost. It varies from place to place. For instance if you live in the midwest,good beef,etc will likely be cheaper than here in the east for the same grass fed stuff. FWIW,I but Trader Joes grass fed og gr. beef,it's around 7.00 per pound where I am.
At Whole foods meat counter for the actual free range og stuff it's more like 8-15 per pound at least.
Organic milk is 7.00 per gallon( I don't buy it)
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Old 09-16-2012, 09:19 AM   #3
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If you already buy it can't you figure out your current spending on this?

We do not buy all organic, but our budget is around $700 including toiletries and cleaning supplies.

I am able to get it down to $500 if I have to, but I prefer not to as it is quite a bit more work to get there.

I shop for about 90% of my items from Costco. I rarely go to the local grocery store for anything other than the few items Costco doesn't carry.

I would imagine that if you are doing all organic, etc....your budget would be up around $1,000 minimum.

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Old 09-16-2012, 09:36 AM   #4
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I have a hard time breaking mine down to weekly or monthly because I shop seasonally and in bulk to keep the cost down. In August, I spent about $100 because while I needed to restock milk, eggs, etc. I didn't need to buy much meat or any vegetables because everything in my garden was coming in. But in Sept & October that number might hit $1000+ because I'll be getting our freezer beef and pork for the year as well as stocking the pantry with long-storing veggies while I can get them locally. I'm fortunate to live in farm country, which keeps the costs down a bit; I'm paying $3.40/lb this year for pastured beef, if I was to buy the same from the grocery I'd spend much more.

Also, organic isn't a deal-breaker for me when I know where it's coming from... For example, my meat comes from pastured animals, but they aren't certified organic because the farmer does use antibiotics if an animal becomes ill (not preventatively, as is done with concentrated animal farming, but he doesn't eschew them completely as is required for organic certification either). Likewise, much of my produce comes from "no spray" and "natural" farms that haven't gone to the expense of organic certification.

But back to the question, my best guess is that we average about $700 in groceries and another $100 in pet food and toiletries a month.
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Old 09-16-2012, 09:57 AM   #5
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We buy all organic, fresh, no process, etc. It is just DH and I, but I usually cook for 4 because DH eats for 3. We spend $400 a month in groceries and that includes all the cleaning, toiletries, etc.
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Old 09-16-2012, 01:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ellie05 View Post
We buy all organic, fresh, no process, etc. It is just DH and I, but I usually cook for 4 because DH eats for 3. We spend $400 a month in groceries and that includes all the cleaning, toiletries, etc.
Wow! That's really low, even for just 2 people, for buying organic, etc. Way to go though. My DH also eats for 3, so we would be in the same situation as you.

Would you mind sharing the types of meals you make? I'm trying to go more and more organic, but the extra expense drives me crazy. I make almost everything from scratch already; the ingredients in processed foods just scare me.
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Old 09-16-2012, 03:16 PM   #7
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We do mostly organic fruits and vegetables, as well as organic dairy products (cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, creamer, ice cream), aside from actual milk because we use soy milk. We also do cage free eggs and fair trade coffee. We rarely do organic meat because it is so expensive here, so we mainly do really lean cuts of meat. But I really want to start cutting back on our meat intake altogether and go to beans and tofu, which may give me the budget for organic meats on the nights we have meat. I still have to find a way to convice my meat loving DH though

I do buy some packaged/processed foods because I simply don't have the time or the energy to make everything from scratch and I like having canned soups or easy meals in case I don't feel well or am tired. I shop a lot at trader joes because I can find products without added junk, like their apple sauce is just organic apples and water, or their nuts are unsalted and roasted in only vegetable or sunflower seed oil or their fruit leathers are 100% fruit. But we also typically buy cookies, a frozen pizza, canned soup and my son loves their turkey corndogs, all of which are processed.

All in all, we spend about $150-$200/week on only groceries. We don't have any farmers markets around us and we don't have a garden as it's next to impossible to get anything to grow out here in the desert. So you may be able to get your costs lower, even if you purchase organic meats.
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Old 09-16-2012, 04:36 PM   #8
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I spend about $30/week on food and I live alone. I have an allowance of $50/week but usually don't come close to touching that. I eat vegan- no meat, dairy, or eggs. I spend about $10 at the farmer's market and come home with a basket full of veggies. The other $20 is breads and soy products (milk, tofu-occasionally, margarine, coffee creamer). I buy beans in bulk and they last forever. I occasionally buy canned goods- soup, corn, veggie broth in case I have a busy week at work. Once in awhile I buy baking supplies, but they are used sparingly. I've found being a vegan saves me significant $$ and I eat very clean.
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Old 09-16-2012, 04:42 PM   #9
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We do all organic meat, dairy, fruits and veggies. We are a family of 4 and spend around $600 a month. I do not buy any processed food. I make everything from scratch.
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Old 09-16-2012, 08:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamSam View Post
Wow! That's really low, even for just 2 people, for buying organic, etc. Way to go though. My DH also eats for 3, so we would be in the same situation as you.

Would you mind sharing the types of meals you make? I'm trying to go more and more organic, but the extra expense drives me crazy. I make almost everything from scratch already; the ingredients in processed foods just scare me.
Tips on getting our grocery bill low:

-We buy at the commissary (DH is military)
-We don't buy any junk food. No chips, no soda, no candy, etc. That also helps to keep our grocery bill down.
-I save an average of 5-10% with coupons
-Well the first thing of eating organic is that most people don't understand is that eating organic doesn't mean eating better. Studies show that organic veggies have the same amount of nutrition. The only difference you don't have as much pesticide, etc residue. There are certain fruits and veggies that it doesn't matter if they are organic or not, so don't spend extra money on those.
-buy vegetables that are in season

Nutrition tips
-try to make everything from scratch and avoid preservatives
-stay away from sodium
-stay away from all the artificial (colors, sweeteners, flavorings, etc)
-nitrate and of course msg



We go out to eat about twice a week.I don't eat meat except for certain seafood (wild caught). I don't ever buy red meat. So I mostly buy chicken (that is free of hormones, cage free, etc). I usually buy a couple of trays and just separate portions depending of what I plan on cooking and mark them.
So most of my food planning is around making sure I eat enough protein every day. Our typical day of food for us like this:

Breakfast
DH- cereal/ fruit (1 apple, an orange, etc)
Me- oatmeal/ typically a banana or scrabble eggs with tomatoes (no cheese)

Lunch
DH- PB and jelly ( I either make our own jelly or buy it at a farmers market to make sure there isn't a lot of junk on it). Whole grain bread.
Protein shake and another portion of fruit.
Me- Salad (add fake chicken, boil egg, etc for protein)
protein shake (I make sure our protein doesn't have sugar, etc

Dinner
-Olive and Feta Pasta and I usually cook a side of chicken for DH.
I use vegetable pasta for it.

Some recipes I really like
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/spinach...ad/detail.aspx
Don't put so much sugar though

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/olive-a...ta/detail.aspx

As a side dish
Cut some zucchini put some salsa and some reduce fat cheddar and put it in the microwave or oven. It is delicious.

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/over...0000001895929/

Greek salad is my favorite. Some feta, olives, lettuce, cucumbers, red onion, green peppers and some olive oil with vine vinegar to top it.

Bean burgers or portobello burgers are also very yummy.
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Old 09-16-2012, 09:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ellie05 View Post
Tips on getting our grocery bill low:

-We buy at the commissary (DH is military)
-We don't buy any junk food. No chips, no soda, no candy, etc. That also helps to keep our grocery bill down.
-I save an average of 5-10% with coupons
-Well the first thing of eating organic is that most people don't understand is that eating organic doesn't mean eating better. Studies show that organic veggies have the same amount of nutrition. The only difference you don't have as much pesticide, etc residue. There are certain fruits and veggies that it doesn't matter if they are organic or not, so don't spend extra money on those.
-buy vegetables that are in season

Nutrition tips
-try to make everything from scratch and avoid preservatives
-stay away from sodium
-stay away from all the artificial (colors, sweeteners, flavorings, etc)
-nitrate and of course msg



We go out to eat about twice a week.I don't eat meat except for certain seafood (wild caught). I don't ever buy red meat. So I mostly buy chicken (that is free of hormones, cage free, etc). I usually buy a couple of trays and just separate portions depending of what I plan on cooking and mark them.
So most of my food planning is around making sure I eat enough protein every day. Our typical day of food for us like this:

Breakfast
DH- cereal/ fruit (1 apple, an orange, etc)
Me- oatmeal/ typically a banana or scrabble eggs with tomatoes (no cheese)

Lunch
DH- PB and jelly ( I either make our own jelly or buy it at a farmers market to make sure there isn't a lot of junk on it). Whole grain bread.
Protein shake and another portion of fruit.
Me- Salad (add fake chicken, boil egg, etc for protein)
protein shake (I make sure our protein doesn't have sugar, etc

Dinner
-Olive and Feta Pasta and I usually cook a side of chicken for DH.
I use vegetable pasta for it.

Some recipes I really like
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/spinach...ad/detail.aspx
Don't put so much sugar though

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/olive-a...ta/detail.aspx

As a side dish
Cut some zucchini put some salsa and some reduce fat cheddar and put it in the microwave or oven. It is delicious.

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/over...0000001895929/

Greek salad is my favorite. Some feta, olives, lettuce, cucumbers, red onion, green peppers and some olive oil with vine vinegar to top it.

Bean burgers or portobello burgers are also very yummy.
What is fake chicken?
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Old 09-16-2012, 11:16 PM   #12
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What is fake chicken?
It is called Chik'n but I figure someone would ask.
http://www.morningstarfarms.com/products/chicken.html
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:38 AM   #13
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I used to eat Morningstar Farms products but then I looked at the label . I make my own "burgers" now.
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:54 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ellie05 View Post
It is called Chik'n but I figure someone would ask.
http://www.morningstarfarms.com/products/chicken.html
Ugh - full of GMOs. Anything I eat with soy has to be organic.

And for anyone wanting to learn about the scariness of GMOs, watch Genetic Roulette. The movie is available for free online until 9/22. http://geneticroulettemovie.com/

Last edited by ellone; 09-17-2012 at 07:03 AM.
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Old 09-17-2012, 07:01 AM   #15
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For a family of 3 we are spending $250 a week. Very few processed food. We eat Organic chicken and grass fed beef. We had a lot of veggies from my sister's garden this summer so it helped keep some costs down, but it will go up in winter. I buy the dirty fruits and veggies organic. Others I buy organic when I can (frozen helps keep costs down).

Now for toiletries, are you asking because you want to go more natural on them as well?
We buy SLS free & paraben free toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, etc.)
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