2

votes

How much money do you spend a week on food?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created May 02, 2011 at 5:09 PM

My wife and I are currently spending just under $200 a week ($800 a month) on food. Our costs actually went up when we started Paleo. I'm curious what you pay a week and what tips you might have for saving some money. We're about to buy a house, so a chest freezer is in our future.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 25, 2011
at 06:59 PM

I know! I need more bacon. I usually reserve that for Sunday. But I also wrap fish or chicken in bacon too :) We need the starch. I realized I need to up my carbs recently.

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7314)

on July 25, 2011
at 05:49 PM

Your meals look great BB. I just don't see much bacon :). I like how you include some healthy starch at every meal though.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 25, 2011
at 03:04 PM

There you go, Koko. I have 2 kids so the spaghetti is for them. They love my sauce! The noodles are expensive and I get them at Safeway. It only has those 2 ingredients and it cooks up very well!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 25, 2011
at 03:02 PM

Sure thing! I'm posting it as a new answer since there are too many characters. See below.

32d2f8a41a121608d07aa68aa17991c7

(597)

on July 25, 2011
at 06:54 AM

If you have it in you to post a sample week's meal plan I would love to read it.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 03, 2011
at 07:05 PM

MANTIOBA/ONTARIO. "Country meat" from Blumnort and Steinbach is my source although as to the grass fed angle I'm not so sure. The organ meats they claim they sell as 'mink food' to mink ranchers. And to think the minks are healthier than the humans.

D8195c5ae6c967027a3133d74969d0e1

(543)

on May 03, 2011
at 02:46 PM

personman - where are you - at those prices - I'd fly there from nyc and still save money!

D8195c5ae6c967027a3133d74969d0e1

(543)

on May 03, 2011
at 02:43 PM

Hey - bean - I'm in the city - where did you find it?! I get a lot of fish at Trader J's, but totally gave up grass fed anything - I'd go for the chopped meat - I get bison every other wk - 7.99 a lb. - it's my "grass fed treat"! eeks

D8195c5ae6c967027a3133d74969d0e1

(543)

on May 03, 2011
at 02:38 PM

ps - I think you can do better if you're in the country - +/or a place for a freezer - buy bulk - go in w someone else in buying half a steer or something!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 03, 2011
at 12:03 AM

Currently : eggs(6/$1.00), liver/kidneys(bought in bulk) 70 cents-$1.00/lb.; canned tuna($0.75); pigs feet from the slaughterhouse, shredded coconut($2/400grams); coconut oil($5.00/400 grams); various spices and herbs; cabbage, onions, garlic,. See my "diet and exercise routines, routines" post that so many have negelected. I am looking for som efeedback on this so by all means please contribute what you can. I am looking for exercise/diet related advice re: cortisol and how to minimize as well as general diet critique. Any is helpful...

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7314)

on May 02, 2011
at 09:22 PM

That's insane. I would buy it all! Heck, I stocked up one the 4 dollars/lb ground beef.

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on May 02, 2011
at 06:37 PM

It'd be helpful to add whether you live in a major metropolitan area or not... NYC and Los Angeles prices are going to be skewed. San Francisco, DFW, Houston, Chicago...

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 02, 2011
at 06:28 PM

if you cant find anything near you on eatwild. com try going to a local farmers market and talking with the meat purveyors there. Ask them about buying halves and quarters and cost. Also ask how they raise their animals.

3fdaf84be3f5f9054d2a9a029db95acf

on May 02, 2011
at 06:26 PM

Yes, please give us more details.

A8d95f3744a7a0885894ee0731c9744c

(3761)

on May 02, 2011
at 06:22 PM

Seriously!? That's nuts. You should def elaborate.

1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on May 02, 2011
at 06:02 PM

I think that's exactly what he wants. The what, where, and why.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on May 02, 2011
at 05:16 PM

also if you're buying veggies buy in season. Otherwise they are ridiculously expensive.

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7
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 02, 2011
at 06:28 PM

We have 3 of us: myself and two daughters (ages 10 and 12). Here is how I do it on $75/week:

Plan your meals 7 days in advance and make your shopping list from that. For us, that's about 63 meals/week. Most of the time I make one meal last into 3 meals x 3 people = 9. That's the big savings right there - make one meal last a long time.

Fruit/Veggie stand = $25/week. I get all my fruits/veggies/tubers there. Its a local guy down the road. You can use a CSA (localharvest.com) and get a week's worth of produce for about $50.

Meat: I can go in on a cow with others for about $150 which lasts us approx. 2 months. That's roughly $20/week. However, if I can't get the cow, I succumb to grocery store meat. I always buy what is on sale (some people on here will get huffy about this but I'm on a budget). I do mostly pork and beef roasts and live by the crockpot and if chicken is less than $1.99/lb I stock up. I can get away with cooking meat just 3x's per week and generally spend $20 for the week.

Eggs: I get these from Trader Joe's or if it is a "poor" time, I'll buy the 5 dozen at Costco. I think they are about $8 and last us 2 weeks (we eat a lot of eggs).

Herbs/Spices: I grow my own.

We use olive oil as the coconut oil doesn't sit well with us. We also use Kerry Gold butter. Both we get from Costco [EDIT: I meant to say Trader Joe's] and averages us about $5/week.

Cheese: We do eat cheese but only goat or feta and we also get this at Trader's. About $7/week.

The kids still like their oats but have learned to soak them in water. It's a morning ritual. Many don't approve of oats but we took them out and re-entered them into their diet with no problem. About $1.50/week.

My coffee is Bustelo (yellow vacuum packaged at Target for $3). This lasts a week. And man, that coffee is about as good as any Peet's coffee.

My green tea is $3 at Trader's and last a month.

We don't buy anything else since except maybe bacon if it is nitrite-free and only on sale for $3/lb. Otherwise we go without.

Edit: Sample Meal at Koko's request

Dinner 1: Broiled sirloin with veggies and potatoes or sweet potatoes. The whole dinner is 10 minutes from start to finish.

Dinner 2: Crockpot Pork shoulder, veggies, sweet potato puree

Dinner 3: Crockpot Whole Chicken, veggies, white rice and pumpkin puree

Dinner 4: Paleo Meatloaf with veggies and baked potatoes

Dinner 5: Spaghetti with flaxseed/brown rice noodles and a salad (Some paleo folks don't like brown rice. It doesn't bother us in this product) With this one I usually have the sauce pre-made and frozen so all I have to do is heat it up. This dinner is usually 10 minutes from start to finish.

Dinner 6: Make your own taco night! I use lettuce as the tortillas and steamed rice along with steamed veggies in butter. I'll allow beans but one of the kids has a bad reaction and refrains from them.

Dinner 7: I will get fancy here and try something new. Usually an ethnic dish like Thai or a curry. Sometimes I'll try my hand at a French dish as I've found French food to be very paleo.

Lunch: All lunches include: Dinner leftovers, salad, hard boiled eggs, carrot sticks, fruit I will include a paleo oatmeal cookie or brownie on Fridays :)

Breakfast: All breakfasts include: Eggs, cheese, fruit, meat/veggies from the previous night (scramble) Sometimes oatmeal for the kids

After school snacks: Usually cheese, almond butter and apples, fruits, jerkey

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 25, 2011
at 03:02 PM

Sure thing! I'm posting it as a new answer since there are too many characters. See below.

32d2f8a41a121608d07aa68aa17991c7

(597)

on July 25, 2011
at 06:54 AM

If you have it in you to post a sample week's meal plan I would love to read it.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 25, 2011
at 03:04 PM

There you go, Koko. I have 2 kids so the spaghetti is for them. They love my sauce! The noodles are expensive and I get them at Safeway. It only has those 2 ingredients and it cooks up very well!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 25, 2011
at 06:59 PM

I know! I need more bacon. I usually reserve that for Sunday. But I also wrap fish or chicken in bacon too :) We need the starch. I realized I need to up my carbs recently.

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7314)

on July 25, 2011
at 05:49 PM

Your meals look great BB. I just don't see much bacon :). I like how you include some healthy starch at every meal though.

4
1bc18852894dad9d6dddfb3dfed49ab3

(341)

on May 02, 2011
at 05:18 PM

Grass-fed animals are now the latest craze and demand top dollar. The cheapest way for me is to hunt. If I am lucky I hope to get 2-3 white-tail deers during hunting season. Those last about a year and I eat them whole, from head to toe. Total cost of travel and hunting license - around $500. I still have to supplement with some organs and fats but those are way cheaper than meat.

3
1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on May 02, 2011
at 05:15 PM

Try this: http://whole9life.com/2011/01/paleo-poor-your-guide-to-the-grocery-store/

whole 9 did a good post on doing paleo on a budget.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on May 02, 2011
at 05:16 PM

also if you're buying veggies buy in season. Otherwise they are ridiculously expensive.

0
Df85405b9352a950d87a81c92c39ba5d

on July 25, 2011
at 06:00 PM

We spend the same, $800/mo For two adults (and an 11 mo old baby) in the DFW area. Local grass-fed beef and CSA veggies and all. It seems like a lot, but if you are spending less then 20% of your net income it's actually pretty good compared to the rest of the world-farmers need to get paid too!

0
3960d381831b80ad96164f34e2ab6030

on May 23, 2011
at 02:22 PM

My family of five has a monthly budget of $800. We eat grass fed beef sausage every morning, but we can't afford any more grass fed meat than that. I render my own grass-fed tallow and lard. I've been really frustrated that I can't eat for less than this. I've tried budgeting less and always fail.

0
D8195c5ae6c967027a3133d74969d0e1

on May 03, 2011
at 02:36 PM

as a single person on disability - grass fed is out for me - beyond my means - found that out the hard way! in nyc - I eat strict paleo but not strict grass fed - so I supplement with fish oil! it's an expensive diet!

D8195c5ae6c967027a3133d74969d0e1

(543)

on May 03, 2011
at 02:38 PM

ps - I think you can do better if you're in the country - +/or a place for a freezer - buy bulk - go in w someone else in buying half a steer or something!

0
60199d3a580a4e17969059609e48e678

on May 02, 2011
at 11:30 PM

for 2 people I am spending $120-$140 a week eating paleo.

0
98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

on May 02, 2011
at 08:41 PM

It's just me and I spend about $125/week. It's so hard to calculate because I do a lot of "bulk buying" when I get a great price on something. For instance, Whole Foods had organic strawberries on sale last Friday for $1.99/lb so I bought 50 lbs of them to dehydrate. This will last me the year I think but I'm not really sure. I seem to do a lot of this bulk buying and dehydrating so I'm never really quite sure how much I am spending each month.

Whole foods gives a 10% discount when you buy by the case so I always buy cases of coconut milk and the few other staples I can only find there. (you need to call ahead and tell them you want a case and they call you when its ready to be picked up. Or go to customer service while you're in the store and take a sample of what you want and they will place the order and again call you when it's ready for pick up.)

I eat grass fed/pastured animal products exclusively and that makes up the bulk of the expense. I try to eat/shop local but I do cut corners by ordering meat online from USWellness meats. I buy by the case there too and the prices are really excellent. They offer new specials that are posted each Saturday so I always check that out and place an order when it's something I can use.

I'm not exactly sure how much I spend but I know it's a lot. I would love to find ways to lower the bill without sacrificing quality. I've started going to TJ's for staples of frozen organic broccoli, spinach and strawberries but don't find much else there to eat.

0
91c2e2a35e578e2e79ce7d631b753879

on May 02, 2011
at 08:16 PM

It's hard to say; we buy freezer meat, aka a side of grass-finished beef, a whole pastured hog and many whole, pastured chickens at a time (we have a 20 cubic foot standing freezer, plus two side-by-side refrigerator/freezers). Bought this way, the beef is about $4.70/lb., the pork about $4.00/lb. and the chickens about 99 cents per pound. Eggs are $4/dozen during the winter, when we buy them at the health food store, and $2/dozen in the summer at the farmer's market. In the winter, produce runs us about $75/week; in the summer, anywhere from $15 to $30, depending on what's in season (again, from farmer's markets). This summer we will be receiving deliveries from a CSA co-op; the entire season cost $250.

I've started canning a lot of the produce we buy, plus I make my own stocks and broths and render my own lard and tallow from the animals we buy. We purchase vat-pasteurized, non-homogenized milk and butter from a local farm that grass feeds their cows; the milk runs about $3.50/half gallon and the butter is $3/lb; we go through a gallon of milk (well, our 16-year-old does) a week, and about a pound of butter. Cheese, depending on the quality, runs anywhere between $2 and $7 a pound; I no longer eat it, but I'm willing to bet my husband and son eat about a pound a week, between the two of them.

Three of us eat 3 dozen eggs a week. The side of beef will last us 9 months, a whole hog around 5 months and we eat, on average, 1 chicken per week. It's hard to say exactly how much meat we eat a week, but we rarely eat out and our diet is pretty meat-centric - we eat it all three meals. No grains, of course, except for the loaf of sprouted grain bread I buy our son every week.

I'm sure if I sat down and figured all of this out, it would be cheaper than the $200/week we spent on groceries before we changed our diet; and, again, if we eat out once a month, it's an occasion - we used to eat out about once a week. We used to throw away quite a bit of food, too, I'm ashamed to say; now we rarely do.

0
4e813fcf7266312684862b945c1c3281

(462)

on May 02, 2011
at 07:32 PM

I have been spending about $75 a week, mostly at whole foods. The sad thing is that I work at a restaurant and get TONS of food for free and still drop $75 as a single guy...

0
A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on May 02, 2011
at 06:48 PM

In NYC, two adults, both paleo (but we do corn and rice cheats on occasion)...

$125/week

I buy mostly grass-fed and pastured and veggies in season, locally grown.

I tend to skew my purchases this way: I am willing to go for a higher price point on the more nutrient dense foods and go for a lower price point on the "trimmings". Ie: I will buy the more expensive meats (except when the cheap grass-fed is available!), fish, and fats/oils... and I will buy the less expensive veggies, in season, on sale.

Another way in which I "save" money is I buy fewer cheats. I either cut them out completely, or I rotate them on a weekly/monthly basis.

P.S. I just found an intermittent source of local grass-fed ground beef for $1.50/lb!!! SO EXCITED! But it's limited availability.

D8195c5ae6c967027a3133d74969d0e1

(543)

on May 03, 2011
at 02:43 PM

Hey - bean - I'm in the city - where did you find it?! I get a lot of fish at Trader J's, but totally gave up grass fed anything - I'd go for the chopped meat - I get bison every other wk - 7.99 a lb. - it's my "grass fed treat"! eeks

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7314)

on May 02, 2011
at 09:22 PM

That's insane. I would buy it all! Heck, I stocked up one the 4 dollars/lb ground beef.

0
826c5e2bca3547506098db84277d9f12

(166)

on May 02, 2011
at 06:23 PM

I spend about $300 a month for two adults. I look for meats on sale. I get the Sunday paper and check all the flyers. Kroger has organic free range chicken now, and bison. Kroger also has a really good selection of organic veggies. I look to a local organic farmer for eggs. And I also have a pretty good sized garden and grow a lot of my own vegetables. I then can and freeze them for the winter months. I also shop Aldi for some other things I can't find at Kroger. But with the price of groceries climbing the way it is I am sure we will have to start buying some lower priced meats. (I am on a very tight fixed income) Check out www.eatwild.com for a list of local organic farmers in your state.

0
Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 02, 2011
at 06:19 PM

by far the bast way to save money I have found is to find a local-ish farm that raises animals in proper pasturing ways and to buy animals directly from them by the 1/4 or 1/2. If you can't afford that all at once (though it sounds like you can with $200/week), you can split it with friends. This will bring meat costs way down, though you'll have to freeze it. You'll also be getting better meat. This works even in very urban areas. Here's a place to start: http://www.eatwild.com/products/massachusetts.html

Plant an herb garden. Herbs are great but pricy in store and you usually only need a little bit at a time. Also, this doesn't require too much space. If you have room for a few vegetables, grow those too.

Meat thrift is important. Save the bones from the meat you eat for stock. When you buy chickens, try to get whole ones and either butcher yourself and save the carcass for stock, or roast whole and when you eat it all, use the leftover carcass and saved bones for stock. Keep them in a freezer bag in the freezer until you have enough to make a nice stock. Stock freezes very well too and its pretty easy to make.

See if you can find if there is a meat processor near you. Sometimes, they will literally be throwing meat away. They tend to know very well how each person who brings meat their way raises it. If there is no demand for certain offal or say, pigs heads or trotters, you may be able to get these cheaply or even free. Some farmers also have no use for these things, though generally you have to know them personally because they're usually very small time operations. As someone mentioned, hunting is great too.

When you find a good deal on things like pastured butter, buy a lot and freeze it, it freezes quite well.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 02, 2011
at 06:28 PM

if you cant find anything near you on eatwild. com try going to a local farmers market and talking with the meat purveyors there. Ask them about buying halves and quarters and cost. Also ask how they raise their animals.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 02, 2011
at 05:15 PM

I managed to spend only $35 per week previously with 4 meals per day. Now it is probably $56 per week. You have to go bulk and know what and where and why

A8d95f3744a7a0885894ee0731c9744c

(3761)

on May 02, 2011
at 06:22 PM

Seriously!? That's nuts. You should def elaborate.

3fdaf84be3f5f9054d2a9a029db95acf

on May 02, 2011
at 06:26 PM

Yes, please give us more details.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 03, 2011
at 12:03 AM

Currently : eggs(6/$1.00), liver/kidneys(bought in bulk) 70 cents-$1.00/lb.; canned tuna($0.75); pigs feet from the slaughterhouse, shredded coconut($2/400grams); coconut oil($5.00/400 grams); various spices and herbs; cabbage, onions, garlic,. See my "diet and exercise routines, routines" post that so many have negelected. I am looking for som efeedback on this so by all means please contribute what you can. I am looking for exercise/diet related advice re: cortisol and how to minimize as well as general diet critique. Any is helpful...

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 03, 2011
at 07:05 PM

MANTIOBA/ONTARIO. "Country meat" from Blumnort and Steinbach is my source although as to the grass fed angle I'm not so sure. The organ meats they claim they sell as 'mink food' to mink ranchers. And to think the minks are healthier than the humans.

1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on May 02, 2011
at 06:02 PM

I think that's exactly what he wants. The what, where, and why.

D8195c5ae6c967027a3133d74969d0e1

(543)

on May 03, 2011
at 02:46 PM

personman - where are you - at those prices - I'd fly there from nyc and still save money!

-1
Af9537cfa50562b67979624e9007e12a

(1334)

on May 02, 2011
at 10:35 PM

my wife and I and a teenage son, we spend about 130.00 per week for food. I check all the sales every week, stock up on things, etc. we have 2 normal fridge/freezers (one in the garage), and a chest freezer, all that capacity helps a lot. our lunches come from crockpotting meat on sunday and filling the little plastic resealable tubs for the week. so one week I will eat chuck roast everyday, one week chicken, maybe a pork butt roast the next, etc. If avacados are on sale for a week, I will eat a bunch of them, if they are highpriced one week, I will do without.

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