Thursday, November 19, 2020

The Cost of Feeding Our Hive - Tips, tricks and cost of feeding our large family

Feeding a large family is like hosting a party every day and the guests never leave. As you can imagine feeding a family of 12 is expensive! Groceries are our second largest expense after our mortgage. A long time ago, one of our kids told their preschool teacher that my job is going to the grocery store, he was right. One of my job’s in our family is feeding our family healthy food on a tight budget. I wanted to share what a week’s worth of groceries for our family looks like and costs; as well as some tips I use to stretch our budget. 


Before I go shopping:

  •   I meal plan for the week – Our meals are simple and don’t vary that much from week to week. I ask for the kids input and I will have our older kids help plan and make a meal. Having a meal plan helps me stick to our budget.

              Here is one of our weekly meal plans:

o  Monday – Crockpot Sausage and Peppers with Pasta

o  Tuesday – Taco night – Ground beef tacos with rice and beans

o  Wednesday – Greek Night – grilled chicken, orzo, veggies, hummus and pitas

o  Thursday – Breakfast for dinner - Breakfast casserole and fruit

o  Friday – Make your own pizzas and salad

  •  I shop for 1 week at a time. We don’t have the storage space or budget to buy more than a week at a time.

  • I clean out the refrigerator and check our pantry that way I am not buying duplicates of items.     
  •  I buy store brand whenever possible and sign up for instore rewards card for coupons and often gas savings.
  • Even though I have a meal plan and a list in my hand, I try and be flexible if there is a big sale on an item.
  • I check for reduced items in the produce section (often they just have small blemishes or imperfections and are marked down).

A week’s worth of groceries costs around $550 for us (we rarely eat out so that cost includes breakfast, lunch and dinner for 12 for 7 days). A typical week looks like:

4 gallons of milk
1 tub of spreadable butter
4 sticks of unsalted butter
6 large boxes of cereal
2 loaves of bread
36 eggs
12 indiv cups of yogurt
15lbs of bananas
12 lbs of apples
6lbs of grapes
large bag of clementines
2 Cucumbers
Bag of Bell peppers
Large bag of carrots
Large bag of Kale or Arugula
3 lbs of potatoes 
6lbs of chicken breasts
3lbs Italian sausage
6lbs of ground beef
6lbs of pasta
3 jars of Marinara Sauce
Large bag of chicken nuggets
Large bag of shredded Mexican Cheese
Large Bag of shredded Mozzerella
1 lb of cheese slices
3lbs of lunch meat
Large box of frozen waffles
Large bag of pitas or Naan Bread
Large tub of hummus
Lots of snacks
A few treats
Paper Towels
Toilet Paper
* Once a month we will restock cooking oils, spices and baking supplies

We now live in the Pacific Northwest and I have found that produce and meat are a little less expensive than on the East Coast. We are spending about $30 less per week now. We shop at
Fred Myers (Kroger Brand) and Walmart for groceries and Costco for bulk meats, paper goods, diapers and wipes.

I would love to know the weekly cost of groceries for your family and any money saving tips you have.

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