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(Buzzfeed)   Yeah, well let me know when you can do a family of eight on $50. Good but poor parents already know all the tricks   (buzzfeed.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, Food, Meal, Leftovers, usual prep, meal planning, appointment, peanut allergy, English-language films  
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1124 clicks; posted to Food » on 16 Sep 2021 at 5:42 AM (5 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2021-09-16 6:12:26 AM  
Take it easy, Subby. A lot of rookie parents can benefit from brief articles like this, especially #4.

The author doesn't mention how much frozen and processed foods round out the week, but she's dealing with peanut allergies so I'm thinking not much.

We don't have kids and a majority of our groceries are produce, with zip processed food. And we struggle to keep our weekly bill below $100. If we went for processed foods, we could probably eat for less than $40 per week.
 
2021-09-16 6:33:45 AM  
That fool has pierced her baby's ears.
 
2021-09-16 7:02:51 AM  
Wait till the author realizes all left overs can be turned into tacos or stir fry. It will blow her mind.
 
2021-09-16 7:34:42 AM  

curriemaster: That fool has pierced her baby's ears.


It's a pretty common practice.  Either super young/early so they don't pull at them, or wait until they are old enough to be trusted not to fark with them...

If you think *that* is insane to do to a new born, wait till you hear what people do to their baby boys!
 
2021-09-16 7:37:53 AM  
How about not spending $8/lb for organic chicken breasts.  I picked up a 3# bag of frozen boneless/skinless breasts for $9 ( on sale) a couple of weeks ago. Or generally once a month or so, pork loin goes on sale for $2/ lb.

Otherwise generally good advice, or at least a place to start from.
 
2021-09-16 7:42:40 AM  

August11: If we went for processed foods, we could probably eat for less than $40 per week.


And later make up for it with health care costs...
 
2021-09-16 7:45:34 AM  
Funny thing is, as I accumulated more wealth, I got smarter about not wasting it.  So yeah, I have a bit more cupboard space devoted to buying some things in bulk because it's less expensive, and I buy the least expensive option that is good enough.

If there's one lesson I'd hammer home to people with little money, it's that pennies add up, and a little time being selective at the grocery store and a little more time in the kitchen means significantly less spent on food, and you'll generally get more healthy food as a result.  If your government has food standards, you don't have to worry much about getting poisoned... there's no need to trust a brand and pay a premium for a specific name on the packaging.  That's the thing about branding, it's designed to encourage loyalty so they can overcharge you and you'll smile as you pay anyway.

The nice thing about this advice is that it isn't "just wait, you'll see".  It's pretty much immediately beneficial, you save money the first time you act on it and you're eating healthier food and will feel physically better for that, too.
 
2021-09-16 7:51:46 AM  
P B&J would really cut the food budget
 
2021-09-16 7:52:53 AM  

born_yesterday: August11: If we went for processed foods, we could probably eat for less than $40 per week.

And later make up for it with health care costs...


Healthcare doesn't cost a thing when you're dead.
 
2021-09-16 7:55:35 AM  

Recoil Therapy: How about not spending $8/lb for organic chicken breasts.  I picked up a 3# bag of frozen boneless/skinless breasts for $9 ( on sale) a couple of weeks ago. Or generally once a month or so, pork loin goes on sale for $2/ lb.

Otherwise generally good advice, or at least a place to start from.


To be fair she also bought it thinly sliced.

I have no idea who on a budget buys sliced organic chicken.
I've bought sliced beef before, on sale, but it sure as hell wasn't 8 dollars a pound
 
2021-09-16 7:58:34 AM  

makerofbadjokes: born_yesterday: August11: If we went for processed foods, we could probably eat for less than $40 per week.

And later make up for it with health care costs...

Healthcare doesn't cost a thing when you're dead.


If only that were true... but we managed to build the worst possible society for ourselves, so it's not.
 
2021-09-16 8:01:29 AM  

August11: Take it easy, Subby. A lot of rookie parents can benefit from brief articles like this, especially #4.


The most important thing here is pre-#1. Write. Down. The. Menu. Then put it on the fridge, so there's no question. You buy groceries smarter, you waste less food, and the mindset transition from "what do I want tonight?" to "what are we having tonight?" happens really quickly.
 
2021-09-16 8:06:28 AM  

Recoil Therapy: How about not spending $8/lb for organic chicken breasts.  I picked up a 3# bag of frozen boneless/skinless breasts for $9 ( on sale) a couple of weeks ago. Or generally once a month or so, pork loin goes on sale for $2/ lb.

Otherwise generally good advice, or at least a place to start from.


She paid $4 a pound (buy one get one free).
 
2021-09-16 8:06:56 AM  

curriemaster: That fool has pierced her baby's ears.


I hate this. I really think it's poor parenting to deprive a girl from rebelling and sneaking off to the mall when she's 13ish to get this done after she's been told repeatedly that she's not allowed to. It's a rite of passage to adulthood.
 
2021-09-16 8:20:34 AM  

kevinatilusa: Recoil Therapy: How about not spending $8/lb for organic chicken breasts.  I picked up a 3# bag of frozen boneless/skinless breasts for $9 ( on sale) a couple of weeks ago. Or generally once a month or so, pork loin goes on sale for $2/ lb.

Otherwise generally good advice, or at least a place to start from.

She paid $4 a pound (buy one get one free).


I missed that, so not quite so bad.  Still, if one is watching every penny, go pick up a whole chicken (usually $0.90-1.20 depending if on sale) & learn how to break it down.

Or do what we've been doing for a few years.  Ever in the deli area they have whole roasted chickens (probably 3.5-4lbs cooked) for 2/$10.  After factoring in the time savings from not having to cook or clean up it's a hell of a deal.
 
2021-09-16 8:22:19 AM  
I really hate when my fone thinks it knows what I want to say regardless of what I type...
 
2021-09-16 8:26:23 AM  

BeesNuts: makerofbadjokes: born_yesterday: August11: If we went for processed foods, we could probably eat for less than $40 per week.

And later make up for it with health care costs...

Healthcare doesn't cost a thing when you're dead.

If only that were true... but we managed to build the worst possible society for ourselves, so it's not.


If they can't vote, you can't make them pay health insurance/medical bills...

Oh, wait.  That might not be the best example
 
2021-09-16 8:31:46 AM  

Recoil Therapy: How about not spending $8/lb for organic chicken breasts.  I picked up a 3# bag of frozen boneless/skinless breasts for $9 ( on sale) a couple of weeks ago. Or generally once a month or so, pork loin goes on sale for $2/ lb.


Northern CT/Western MA, chicken breasts and thighs often go on sale for $1.99/lb.

One downside to delivery for groceries is that you can't catch the markdowns.  I stop a few times a week to a Big Y on my way home from work, often find the end-of-day meat markdowns that can really stretch a budget.  We're talking ground chicken/turkey for $1/lb, grass fed ground beef for under $4.50/lb, boneless chicken breasts/thighs for $1.29/lb, sweet sausages and more.  I buy as much as I can cram into my freezer and defrost as needed.

The ground turkey in particular is useful as I made a large batch of taco meat and it gets added to eggs and all sorts of other things throughout the week.
 
2021-09-16 8:47:59 AM  
Save containers to use for 20 lb. bags of stuff.  Big containers are great for rice, flour, sugar, oatmeal, bean, etc. that are cheaper in bulk. Why buy these things to last a week when larger quantities are cheaper and will keep and you're going to need more anyway? As has been said, we all know these things already.
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-09-16 8:49:25 AM  

TTFK: Recoil Therapy: How about not spending $8/lb for organic chicken breasts.  I picked up a 3# bag of frozen boneless/skinless breasts for $9 ( on sale) a couple of weeks ago. Or generally once a month or so, pork loin goes on sale for $2/ lb.

Northern CT/Western MA, chicken breasts and thighs often go on sale for $1.99/lb.

One downside to delivery for groceries is that you can't catch the markdowns.  I stop a few times a week to a Big Y on my way home from work, often find the end-of-day meat markdowns that can really stretch a budget.  We're talking ground chicken/turkey for $1/lb, grass fed ground beef for under $4.50/lb, boneless chicken breasts/thighs for $1.29/lb, sweet sausages and more.  I buy as much as I can cram into my freezer and defrost as needed.

The ground turkey in particular is useful as I made a large batch of taco meat and it gets added to eggs and all sorts of other things throughout the week.


add chili powder to ground turkey to give it a beefier flavor and redden it up
 
2021-09-16 8:50:52 AM  

Unsung_Hero: If there's one lesson I'd hammer home to people with little money, it's that pennies add up, and a little time being selective at the grocery store and a little more time in the kitchen means significantly less spent on food


I see your advice is well meaning but it's the kind of thing someone who's never been poor says.
 
2021-09-16 8:59:56 AM  

Barfmaker: Unsung_Hero: If there's one lesson I'd hammer home to people with little money, it's that pennies add up, and a little time being selective at the grocery store and a little more time in the kitchen means significantly less spent on food

I see your advice is well meaning but it's the kind of thing someone who's never been poor says.


I wasn't poor as in destitute, but I've definitely been poor as in "can't afford anything the other kids have, it's second hand if available and nothing if it isn't".  And I ate a lot of bland cheap filler food growing up because there wasn't money to fill the cupboards.

Was I ever starving or begging for money, did I ever lack for medical care?  No (though dental was a stretch).  But then again, I'm Canadian, we try to avoid that stuff.

By the time I was in my late teens, my parents had managed to make the jump from lower to lower-middle class economically, but I still had plenty of family that was 'poor'.  And my teen years were spent doing manual labour for minimum wage beside adults still doing that same work and barely getting by... yet they always seemed to have alcohol, cigarrettes, and a better car than they needed.  And when payday came around, they were headed straight to the cheque casher and paying a premium because they couldn't wait a few days even to save 10%.

There are definitely situations where you can't dig out of that hole, but a lot of the time the barrier is that you've been trained to be a short term thinker because you can't imagine digging out of the hole.
 
2021-09-16 9:01:56 AM  
Seems reasonable considering her children are miniature and eating tiny portions, and she apparently has the free time to bargain shop, has the time to prepare meals from scratch, and has a decent grocery store in range.

I only skimmed the article.  I'm assuming she's still married, and not working full time, and has a lovely home with storage, and nice cookware, and a recent year SUV and that she spent $30,000 to remodel that kitchen with the counter space for her instapot, and she probably isn't counting the rest of the things that people include in their grocery shopping bill.

But hey, good for her.
 
2021-09-16 9:09:23 AM  

Ker_Thwap: I'm assuming she's still married, and not working full time, and has a lovely home with storage, and nice cookware, and a recent year SUV and that she spent $30,000 to remodel that kitchen with the counter space for her instapot, and she probably isn't counting the rest of the things that people include in their grocery shopping bill.

But hey, good for her.


Oh please.  You can, even during COVID, take your kids grocery shopping with you.  I was a hyper little asshole and my mother did it when I was a kid.  And she worked a full time minimum wage job.  Admittedly she had a husband with a slightly better than minimum wage job, but we lived in a fairly small rental townhome unit.  And we took the bus to the grocery store, to buy a weeks' worth of groceries.   We didn't have a magic cupboard of infinite space, either.

It wasn't fun - though honestly I was a kid and didn't care much, it was just the way things were for me.

You're giving bullshiat excuses, made worse by the fact that you're exaggerating.
 
2021-09-16 9:13:58 AM  
If you want to eat cheap, popcorn is the way to go.  Got me through the tight times in college.

/That and the 15¢ chili dogs specials at Hardees
//Several of those and you weren't hungry for a few days
 
2021-09-16 9:15:20 AM  
Family of eight (and counting, I'm sure)?  How about spending $10 of that $50 on a box of condoms?
 
2021-09-16 9:31:41 AM  
It also really helps when 3 of the 4 eaters are toddlers.  I have 3 boys, by the time 2 of them were soccer playing teenagers, our family of 5 was eating closer to $50 a day in food, if I cooked every meal at home. It was actually cheaper to get fast-food in many cases when we were all together (which is why obesity tends to affect those on the lower/est earning brackets). An average weekend lunch was 8 burger patties & buns, an entire head of lettuce (for burgers and salad) plus other veggies for salad, 1-2 lbs of steamed green beans, or 10 ears of corn, nearly half a gallon of milk (2 8oz glasses each kid). Leftovers.... Ha ha ha ha ha ha. Maybe if I made 2 full pans of lasagna, or 2 lbs of spaghetti noodles and sauce. But prepped meals like chicken, steak (rarely), and such? No chance. Leftovers from my/wife's meal at a restaurant? Never made it to bedtime before one or more of the boys would ask if they could eat it. They are all still at healthy weights even as they have gotten older now and are in college and only the oldest still plays soccer. I hope she is putting money aside that she is saving now to help pay for what she will need later when those kids are all eating more than she does!
 
2021-09-16 9:38:13 AM  

ca_nimrod: It was actually cheaper to get fast-food in many cases


This doesn't add up.  It's fast food, not inexpensive food.
 
2021-09-16 9:43:57 AM  

Unsung_Hero: Ker_Thwap: I'm assuming she's still married, and not working full time, and has a lovely home with storage, and nice cookware, and a recent year SUV and that she spent $30,000 to remodel that kitchen with the counter space for her instapot, and she probably isn't counting the rest of the things that people include in their grocery shopping bill.

But hey, good for her.

Oh please.  You can, even during COVID, take your kids grocery shopping with you.  I was a hyper little asshole and my mother did it when I was a kid.  And she worked a full time minimum wage job.  Admittedly she had a husband with a slightly better than minimum wage job, but we lived in a fairly small rental townhome unit.  And we took the bus to the grocery store, to buy a weeks' worth of groceries.   We didn't have a magic cupboard of infinite space, either.

It wasn't fun - though honestly I was a kid and didn't care much, it was just the way things were for me.

You're giving bullshiat excuses, made worse by the fact that you're exaggerating.


Take your "Oh please" and shove it up your ass.  If the shoe doesn't fit, then don't wear it.  How nice for you that you had two parents and there was a convenient bus to a decent store.  I'm obviously not talking about YOUR situation, am I.  No need to make it all about you.
 
2021-09-16 9:48:04 AM  

Unsung_Hero: ca_nimrod: It was actually cheaper to get fast-food in many cases

This doesn't add up.  It's fast food, not inexpensive food.


I guess that's fine if you actually have money. They won't let me get fast food on my food stamps.
 
2021-09-16 9:55:43 AM  
She has her groceries delivered. She could probably knock that bill down by 20% if she shopped at the store herself. I guess it may be worth it if you don't have to drag 3 young kids with you though.
 
2021-09-16 10:10:28 AM  

abhorrent1: She has her groceries delivered. She could probably knock that bill down by 20% if she shopped at the store herself. I guess it may be worth it if you don't have to drag 3 young kids with you though.


You'd think she'd have at least one friend in the neighborhood or through the kid's school that they could tag team babysit and take turns going to the store for each other. Community gardens would be nice so you could get to know your neighbors, but I guess your average Karen knows all the neighbors must be terrorists or running meth labs and you can't trust your children with anyone.
 
2021-09-16 10:16:02 AM  
Aldi is a good resource
 
2021-09-16 10:32:48 AM  
At least three grocery stores near me deliver for free with a minimum order of $25-$50. Why is everyone so eager to try to find holes in this woman's story?
And yes, fast food is often the cheapest food. Two or three Little Caesar's pizzas cost considerably less than a pan of lasagne or even homemade tacos.
 
2021-09-16 10:35:38 AM  

fasahd: You'd think she'd have at least one friend in the neighborhood or through the kid's school that they could tag team babysit and take turns going to the store for each other.


Another thing my mother did when the family didn't have money.  She and several other mothers formed an informal mom's group, and a few of them would supervise the ankle-biters while the remaining moms ran errands or just took a mental health break.

Because back then dads didn't often help with that kind of thing and mine wasn't an exception.  I still rib him about that today.
 
2021-09-16 10:43:46 AM  

testosteronephobe: Two or three Little Caesar's pizzas cost considerably less than a pan of lasagne or even homemade tacos.


Are we allowed to assume these people have enough money to have a fridge and freezer, maybe an oven?  Because you can get a frozen pizza from your local grocery store for less.

And lasagna?  You don't buy lasagna, you make it.  I'm a lousy cook and I can make one.  And if beef's too expensive as your filler, there are lots of lasagna recipes that don't rely on a large pile of ground beef.  Depending on the recipe you use (and the size of the pan), you should be able to approach $10 for a standard-size lasagna and that'll have a lot more mass to it than a pizza.

Fast food will use lower quality ingredients, and though they save money by buying in bulk and using cheaper ingredients, they still have to cover the cost of their retail space and staff.  There's a premium there.  If fast food is cheaper for you than cooking, you're cooking wrong.
 
2021-09-16 10:44:08 AM  

testosteronephobe: At least three grocery stores near me deliver for free with a minimum order of $25-$50. Why is everyone so eager to try to find holes in this woman's story?


Not trying to find holes just saying that free delivery isn't actually free. There's still an up-charge in there somewhere. It may be on the products. Have you compared the prices for delivery with the in-store prices?

They're not paying an employee to pick your order and deliver it without somehow making money or at the very least, breaking even. They're charging you one way or another. And if she's using an app like instacart, she may be paying a lot more.
 
2021-09-16 11:00:23 AM  
Salmon twice?
 
2021-09-16 11:09:39 AM  

Unsung_Hero: And lasagna? You don't buy lasagna, you make it. I'm a lousy cook and I can make one. And if beef's too expensive as your filler, there are lots of lasagna recipes that don't rely on a large pile of ground beef. Depending on the recipe you use (and the size of the pan), you should be able to approach $10 for a standard-size lasagna and that'll have a lot more mass to it than a pizza.


I dunno. Stouffer's frozen lasagna is pretty damn good IMO and I can get a family size for $8.99 at the grocery store. Even leaving out the ground beef you still need to buy the cheese, sauce, noodles and whatever else you're putting in it. But I don't want lasagna without meat.

If your worried about a food allergy or chemicals or something it's fine. It's your money, I don't care how you spend it but the idea that making things from scratch at home is cheaper than buying prepared foods just isn't true most of the time.
 
2021-09-16 11:17:27 AM  

abhorrent1: testosteronephobe: At least three grocery stores near me deliver for free with a minimum order of $25-$50. Why is everyone so eager to try to find holes in this woman's story?

Not trying to find holes just saying that free delivery isn't actually free. There's still an up-charge in there somewhere. It may be on the products. Have you compared the prices for delivery with the in-store prices?

They're not paying an employee to pick your order and deliver it without somehow making money or at the very least, breaking even. They're charging you one way or another. And if she's using an app like instacart, she may be paying a lot more.


Ahhh. You are probably right about the markup. I haven't tried grocery delivery, just see that it's free, but maybe it's "free."
 
2021-09-16 11:21:20 AM  

Unsung_Hero: ca_nimrod: It was actually cheaper to get fast-food in many cases

This doesn't add up.  It's fast food, not inexpensive food.


Says the guy who gets what he wants instead of eating off the dollar menus.
 
2021-09-16 11:26:03 AM  
Unless it's all eggs, beans, and rice I call shenanigans.
 
2021-09-16 11:30:08 AM  

testosteronephobe: Two or three Little Caesar's pizzas cost considerably less than a pan of lasagne or even homemade tacos.


? One of the big frozen lasagnas is at most $12. Two hot n readys from squeezers will set you back $14 without tax.

I'd ask if you live in a major urban area, but I found out fairly recently that due to competition food is cheaper for my fam outside Chicago.
 
2021-09-16 11:31:54 AM  
I'm sure it varies store to store and service to service but here's a comparison someone did.
You're not really saving any money buying store brand when you use delivery. At best it's a wash, at worst you're actually paying more than you would for a name brand you shopped yourself.


Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-09-16 11:35:10 AM  

NINEv2: testosteronephobe: Two or three Little Caesar's pizzas cost considerably less than a pan of lasagne or even homemade tacos.

? One of the big frozen lasagnas is at most $12. Two hot n readys from squeezers will set you back $14 without tax.

I'd ask if you live in a major urban area, but I found out fairly recently that due to competition food is cheaper for my fam outside Chicago.


I should have said I was talking about homemade lasagne, but I'm sure you can buy frozen lasagne for considerably less than it costs to make it at home.
 
2021-09-16 11:36:04 AM  
It's always amusing to me that Americans argue about food. I guess we'll argue about anything.

I know other countries do it, too, that doesn't make it less stupid.

If your food preferences/buying/preparing work for you, great. They don't have to be the same as someone else's.

This is a Buzzfeed article, not the Constitution. We don't have to argue about it. It's really not necessary.

Yeah, I know, welcome to Fark.
 
2021-09-16 11:42:10 AM  
Also, for the "what about?" assholes, she addresses that. Her planning seems to work for her and is also a lot of work. It turns out that trying to feed kids food that isn't garbage requires effort.

It's easy to plan for yourself. You're making food you intend to eat. Planning meals for children is different and requires different skills.
 
2021-09-16 11:47:58 AM  

testosteronephobe: NINEv2: testosteronephobe: Two or three Little Caesar's pizzas cost considerably less than a pan of lasagne or even homemade tacos.

? One of the big frozen lasagnas is at most $12. Two hot n readys from squeezers will set you back $14 without tax.

I'd ask if you live in a major urban area, but I found out fairly recently that due to competition food is cheaper for my fam outside Chicago.

I should have said I was talking about homemade lasagne, but I'm sure you can buy frozen lasagne for considerably less than it costs to make it at home.


Possibly? The last time I tried to make from scratch lasagna (using the cremette box recipe) the cost and taste was pretty close. Let's see...

$1.25 noodles
$3 italian sausage
$2 jarred sauce
$0.50 eggs
$3 ricotta
$3 bag o shredded cheese
Various spices

= at least $12.75 total. Call me a heathen, but I'll take the all natural frozen brick and save the time.
 
2021-09-16 11:54:07 AM  

abhorrent1: You're not really saving any money buying store brand when you use delivery.


Has anyone even suggested delivery was cheaper?  I'd think most would assume delivery would be more expensive at the cost of convenience.
 
2021-09-16 11:54:55 AM  

NINEv2: testosteronephobe: NINEv2: testosteronephobe: Two or three Little Caesar's pizzas cost considerably less than a pan of lasagne or even homemade tacos.

? One of the big frozen lasagnas is at most $12. Two hot n readys from squeezers will set you back $14 without tax.

I'd ask if you live in a major urban area, but I found out fairly recently that due to competition food is cheaper for my fam outside Chicago.

I should have said I was talking about homemade lasagne, but I'm sure you can buy frozen lasagne for considerably less than it costs to make it at home.

Possibly? The last time I tried to make from scratch lasagna (using the cremette box recipe) the cost and taste was pretty close. Let's see...

$1.25 noodles
$3 italian sausage
$2 jarred sauce
$0.50 eggs
$3 ricotta
$3 bag o shredded cheese
Various spices

= at least $12.75 total. Call me a heathen, but I'll take the all natural frozen brick and save the time.


Where are you finding $3 Italian sausage? A pound of ground Italian sausage at the Jewel by me is like 6 bucks.
 
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