In the past I’ve created posts explaining the USDA Food Plan Costs so you can get an idea of how much people spend for food individually and as a family. While I do know a few people who spend less than the thrifty food plan, this seems to be spot on most weeks for me.
I do aspire to the thrifty food plan, which was $38.00 February 2019, but sometimes I go above, spending closer to the low-cost plan of $47.20 a week. Mind you, I do buy some organic, non-gmo items, and I’m still learning to do this in the most affordable way possible. I want to point out that I do a stock up trip with my tax refund where I spend an additional $100 to $150 in one trip, but the food lasts a long time.
During years when my parents grow food, my overall average has gone down significantly. When I have a place where I can garden I plan to grow most of my own produce and herbs, but I am not there yet.
Here are some ways I save money on food:
- I grow some of my own organic herbs and dry or freeze them for later use. Parsley and mint are two of them.
- I have chives growing out at my mothers. When I visit, I cut some and bring it home to freeze. This is an absolute freebie for me.
- I make some things from scratch, such as Paleo pizza crusts, muffins, and tortillas, as well as the occasional dessert.
- I make my own fruit sauces.
- I coupon minimally. It’s hard to find coupons for most of what I buy.
- I try to buy when on sale.
- I accept fresh produce and eggs from anyone who wants to give them to me.
- I freeze small bits of food to add to smoothies, soups, and other things later on.
- I snag good buys at farmer’s markets at the end of the day/season.
- I comparison shop. Sometimes, but not always, I can find better deals online.
What I don’t mind spending extra money on.
- Organic, Maine-made honey.
- Organic, Maine or Vermont-made maple syrup and cream.
- Organic, locally canned pickled beets when my parents don’t make them.
- Organic olive oil, coconut oil, and ghee.
- Almond and coconut flours.
- Enjoy Life chocolate chips.
I don’t buy a lot of these more expensive items, but I do like to have them on hand once in a while. Sometimes I like to make something special.
How does your spending compare to the amounts given for February?