This “ Reduce The Grocery Budget: Fee A Family For $150 A Month ” post describes what my wife and I do that allows us to feed our family for just $150 per month. This post contains affiliate links/ads. See disclosure policy.
If you reached this part of my post, you either are wondering how my family lives off $150 or less for food per month. Or you are looking at slashing your grocery budget but can’t seem to figure out how. Or maybe something in between.
Before I go on discussing how my family is able to live off $150 or less per month on food, I have to tell you first how far we (i.e. referring to me, my wife, and I) have gone to reduce the food budget.
Two years ago, our average grocery budget per month hovered around $300 primarily due to my daughter’s food (i.e. formula and baby food). A year ago, we were fortunate to bring down our food budget to $200. These past couple of months we’ve been able to spend around $150 or less for food.
Truth of the matter is, when we thought we couldn’t and wouldn’t be able to reduce the grocery budget, we somehow were able to reduce it. Over the past couple of months or years, we have been experimenting and exploring ways to reduce the food budget. Of course, with experimentation and exploration, we sometimes end up spending more. But most of the time, we do save some money.
Reduce The Grocery Budget: Feed A Family For $150 A Month
There are a ton of tricks on how to reduce the grocery budget. What my family does may or may not work for you but that’s ok. Each family has its own needs and I completely understand if you don’t agree with my tips and tricks here. But anyways, here are the steps that my family does to reduce our food cost per month.
Just a side note, my family eats good food…well, great food I should say even when we are on a tight budget. You will see, at the end of this post, the typical grocery budget and what we buy with our food budget.
Shop around sales
We buy what is on sale. With so many recipes online and so many grocery stores that advertise sales every week, chances are you can find something that you like to eat. I know we do. If the product is on deep discount, then, we tend to buy in bulk as long as the product is non-perishable or something that don’t expire fast.
Plan and execute weekly meals
Before we do our grocery shopping, we make sure that we plan our meals for the upcoming week based on the weekly sales. There a ton of websites that publish weekly sales ads even before the stores publish them. One of my most favorite sites for weekly sales ad information is Living Rich With Coupons. I know there are a ton out there but this is always my first stop before we do our grocery shopping.
If you ever go to a grocery store without a plan or even a list, what do you think happens? You may either end up not buying the things you need, buying more than what you need, or a combination of both. When you plan your meals and know exactly what you need, you reduce the chance of buying or spending more.
Don’t make meals that are just too complicated
When I say complicated I mean meals that have a long list of ingredients. As much as possible, stick with the basic ingredients since you can use these for other dishes. Basic ingredients are those that you use a lot of times. If you need ¼ cup of tomato sauce and bought a 1 cup tomato sauce and don’t know where to use the rest, you may end up putting it to waste. Not good at all.
There are a ton of great recipes that mostly use basic ingredients. You can always go to All Recipes, Pinterest, and Yummly for some great dishes.
Learn the prices of the products
Prices of grocery products may or will change from time to time. For us, when we know that the prices are high even when the products are on sale, we don’t put those products in our cart. It’s just that simple. When you do your grocery shopping and you buy the same exact stuff almost all the time, you get to know how much they cost and when they are priced high or low.
Even when the products are on sale, we avoid buying impulsively. We tend not to buy items when we don’t have coupons for them. Just because a product is on sale doesn’t mean that it’s a good buy. What I observed from years of couponing is that sometimes some stores will bring up the prices of the products before discounting them. Many shoppers, being unaware of this trick, think that they are getting good deals out of these products.
My wife and I always wait when there the products are on sale and when we have coupons for them. If we miss the sale, we know that there’s another sale that will come in the near future. So, we wait until the sale comes around and we have coupons for those products we like to purchase.
Some stores will double your coupons’ value. When the products are on sale and you have coupons that can be doubled, then, you are looking at great savings.
Avoid loading your dish with meat
Meat can be or are expensive. When you cook, try not to make the meat as your main ingredient of your dish. Use less meat in a dish. This goes to say that you should use more vegetables and less meat. When you do this, you make the meat as an accent to your dish. Vegetables especially the in-season ones are really cheap and they are healthy, too.
For vegetables and fruits, we always buy in-season veggies and fruits since they are cheaper. I suggest that you consider buy in-season products.
Re-invent and use leftovers
As much as we want to eat everything that my wife cooks, we just end up with leftovers. We sometimes intentionally do this because it’s much cheaper, more convenient, and easier to cook more than less.
When we have leftovers, we either re-invent them to create a new dish and/or use them as my lunch for the next day. For example, when we have baked chicken leftover, we create chicken pot pie using such leftover. Good for me because I get to the chicken pot pie to work as lunch. Or just take the baked chicken for my lunch and I’m still ok with it.
Example of My Family’s Weekly Food Choices:
A couple of years ago, our grocery bill for the 3 of us was around $400.00/month, which was a lot. We came from Las Vegas where food was cheap but it’s a different scenario where we live now. But we have managed to cut down our grocery bill to $150.00/month by planning meals, finding alternatives to many expensive ingredients, planting our own veggies, among others.
When I wrote the How To Save At Least $14,000 A Year, Alexandra (one of my readers) asked me what on earth am I feeding my family on $150/month. Here’s my response to her.
“Here’s how we budget our meals (on average):
6lbs of chicken @ $1.99/lb – $11.94
4 lbs of chicken thighs/drumsticks @ $1.88/lb – $7.52
5 lbs of ground beef @ $2.89/lb – $14.45
1 lb of Shrimp – $6.00 (on and off meaning sometimes we do have shrimp every week sometimes we don’t)
Veggies and fruits – $8.00 (just because we have veggies planted)
Breakfast (i.e. oatmeal, pancake, peanut butter, egg, bread, and milk) – $7.50 (roughly because our oatmeal, peanut butter, and pancake are something that we don’t buy every week but more like every 2 weeks).
Misc food (i.e. flour and spices) – $5.00 (this is not an every week supply).
Total – $60.00ish minus coupons*
Note: We tend to have some unused foods by the end of the week and the $60 is the highest amount we budget for our family.
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We are able to feed our family for $150 or less. Do you think it will work for your family? What have you done in order to reduce your grocery budget?