How I Shop For Groceries On A Budget As A Large Family
So, every month, my goal challenge is to be as frugal as possible with our grocery shopping. According to the USDA calculations, we are below what a “thrifty” family of 9 in the USA spends on only food per month, which works out to about $1093/month (I calculated using their chart and our ages and gender).
Remember the USDA is counting the cost of FOOD only, not toiletries, etc. Our food budget for a family of 9 is usually $900 each month. Our toiletries such as diapers and baby wipes for multiple kids are in addition to this amount. I realize that there are families that live on even less than us. I’d love it if others shared their tricks to making do with less!
Buy in Bulk. Once a month we make a trip to Costco. There we buy any food that is cheapest from Costco. We buy most of the dry goods on an every-other-month schedule, with about half of the items one month and the other half the next… etc. so the cost is split up.
Shop Around. We go to Fred Meyer (Kroger) and Walmart on the same day as Costco and buy everything else we can stock up on for one month at a time. Then every weekend, I pick up fresh produce from Fred Meyer.
And online. I also spend a couple of hours every month shopping online, usually on Amazon. I buy hard-to-find-cheap organic foods, special foods for our allergy kids, and baking products. These items are bought in bulk and most of them are bought alternatively every few months, so once again the cost is split up.
Use Coupons. I am not an extreme couponer, but I do take advantage of the coupon book from Costco every month, along with coupons/rewards from Fred Meyer that I get via snail mail, email, or online, and discount codes for Swanson. We also receive 2% back on what we spend at Costco which almost covers our yearly membership fee. I only use coupons for things that are already on my list, though!
- Compare Prices. I keep an up-to-date list of prices right next to the item on my grocery list. I use a notepad type app on my smartphone for my grocery list and simply update the lowest price found and where I found it each month. This month I found that organic apples were much cheaper at Costco than at Fred Meyer, so we bought a big bag of them.