Home » What Do You Want to Know About Feeding Your Family for Less?

What Do You Want to Know About Feeding Your Family for Less?

ff-pigThat’s the question we need you to answer.  Or, more aptly put, what hurdles do you encounter when you try and reduce your grocery/eating out budget?

The Frugal Farmer team is working on putting a book together that will help you cut your grocery bill tremendously.  We want this to be the best book it can be, by writing it to cover the topics about feeding your family that concern you most.

Submit your ideas, questions and struggles that cause you to spend more on groceries than you’d like, leaving them in the comments.  In the coming weeks, we’ll work to address those questions and get you the information you need on how to feed your family for less.

And spread the word!  We know that grocery spending is a huge budget buster in many families.  The more feedback we can get regarding readers’ grocery bill struggles, the better the book we can create to help people spend less and save more.

Thanks for leaving your questions!


  1. Kara says:

    Meatless meals or meals that use less meat (like using one chicken breast for a meal vs. two or three). Hopefully that makes sense! Looking forward to hearing more!

    • Laurie says:

      Thanks, Kara! We have meatless and “less meat” meals, often, so we will definitely include some of those types of options for cost savings! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Petrish @ Debt Free Martini says:

    For me eating more fresh by implementing fresh simple vegetables like green peppers, red peppers, mushrooms, spinach, and carrots to my meals saved me money. When I included meal planning instead of just going to the store and buying 5 of what I like to eat, that also saved me money. I also love to utilized meals that I can freeze and use later, by using ingredients that are not costly.

  3. Aaron says:

    Best meals that you can make ahead of time and reheat later. I’ve heard of one fella making about 40-60 burritos at a time and then storing em for later. Lot of upfront work – but if you like burritos – why not! 🙂

  4. One thing that made it difficult for us to keep our grocery bills down was the fact that different people in the family had different diets. My husband, after having gall bladder surgery, cut way back on fat, so that, for instance, he would only eat white chicken meat and the most expensive cuts of beef. Two of our daughters became pescatarians (no meat besides fish). My husband has eased up on the expensive meat requests, and one of our pescatarians – the one who still lives at home – has gone back to eating all kinds of meat. It does make it easier to keep the grocery bill lower when everyone is eating the same meals.

  5. Hee, well this is timely! Cool. I’d say it’s important to talk about how to do that without having to use a lot of added-ingredients foods. I definitely am willing to use things that are “processed” (canned coconut milk, fermented stuff like pickles) but I really try to avoid things I can’t pronounce and a lot of cheap-eating guides don’t consider that stuff.

    • Laurie says:

      That’s definitely on our list, C, as we try and live/shop/eat the same way. When our youngest was nearly 2, we found out that he had both corn and dairy intolerances. It was SO difficult to find processed foods without high fructose corn syrup in some form on the ingredient list!

  6. Mr. SSC says:

    A key source of savings that should work for most people is we don’t shop without a list. We found that reduced our overspend significantly. Also, we decide what 5-6 meals we want for the week; i.e. crockpot chicken one night, skillet chicken another, lasagna 2 nights, etc… Then we cater our grocery list to those meals. Another way we keep costs low (~$500/month family of four) is getting meat/veggies/fruits based on what’s on sale. When items are plentiful and in season prices are lower. When they get above our price point, we look for other veggies or fruits instead.
    Finally, every 4-6 months we keep all grocery receipts for a month and tally them to identify areas for improvement, and to make sure we’re staying on track.

  7. Iforonwy says:

    Well I think things are a little different here as there are only 2 of us, both seniors and we are the other side of the pond.

    The thing that worries me though, on behalf of others, is that cutting back often seems to mean cutting back on quality too. I worry that meat and chicken in particular are being produced in ways that cut back on animal welfare in order to give the consumer a better price.

    We try to eat organic meats, eggs and veg where possible and the cutting back is on quantity rather than quality.

    The first comment refers to using chicken breasts. I often buy these to use in recipes but I know that buying the whole chicken is often the better option.

    • Laurie says:

      So true about the quality these days. We buy a side of beef, and it ends up being $3.50 to $4.00 a pound for high quality, grass-fed beef.

      • Iforonwy says:

        If I were to buy a decent quality piece of top-side beef at the supermarket it works out at about $6 – $7 per pound. Organic would be about 50% more. It would most likely work out cheaper if I were to buy a side as you would but that would not be practical given that there are only 2 of us and the size of the freezer.

    • Lady Locust says:

      It concerns me when people mention meatless Mondays. Meat is healthy. Try cutting back on snacks, drinks other than water, and anything pre-made/processed.
      Also, grains are cheap because they are a government commodity not because they are a healthy choice. One might save on the grocery bill now only to have a far greater bill later in life. It’s a decision not to be taken too lightly. We refer to it as investing in our future health. Also, it’s easy to sprinkle some lettuce seeds in a pot on the window sill. Growing your own and preserving the abundance can’t be beat:)
      Great post and ideas.

      • Laurie says:

        We eat meat, but we do have many meatless days. I think the important part is eating healthy, grass-fed meat, not so much on how much you eat it. I hear you on the grains too – they have to be healthy grains. We buy our pasta from Trader Joes, because it’s produced in Italy where Roundup and other evils are illegal. We don’t eat pasta real often, but when we do, we feel much better (physically) when eating the Trader Joes stuff.

  8. Cool idea! I’m big on go-to recipes, as the main problem we have is not the saving money itself, but how best to utilize our cheaply found staples: rice, beans, chicken, etc.

  9. This is great! My biggest challenge is that I want a lot of vegetables, but since it’s only the two of us, if I buy a wide assortment of veggies, most of them go bad before we get to them. So I end up only buying one vegetable, say broccoli, and we eat that until it runs out, then we switch. But I’d like to have more options without breaking the bank or being wasteful. Yikes! It’s a tall order, I know! 😀

    • Iforonwy says:

      We eat a variety of veggies each day/week but I only buy what I know I will need/use. I heard a good tip the other day. Buy your roots loose! Don’t buy packs of veggies just however many carrots, parsnips, etc that you will need.

      I count out how many oranges I will need – I have one a day – and the same for apples, pears etc.

  10. Great idea, Laurie! Our biggest problem is that we’ll be really frugal for a little while, and then go hog wild. We enable each others whims and fancies. Neither one of us is good at saying no to the other. I’m not sure this comment helps at all. But it’s the only thing I could think of. :

    • Laurie says:

      Kay, you should set aside some grocery money each month as splurge money. That way you can have a little to be irresponsible with. 🙂

  11. I only eat chicken and Eric doesn’t really like chicken so we always end up making separate meals which is time consuming and expensive. Any suggestions about how to make a “base” meal and then modify it based on meat (or no meat) preferences would be great.

  12. Kim says:

    I find grocery shopping gets blown out by lunch box items for the kids. We don’t buy individually packed items and bake a lot for lunches but it all adds up!
    Any suggestions ?

    • Laurie says:

      Thanks, Kim! I will think about this. What are you serving the kids now for lunches? How much, about, does it cost for each child/how many children are there?

  13. Mrs. Maroon says:

    I’m really trying to be creative to use what is on hand or what is on sale instead of planning a menu and then just going out to buy it. Less expense at the store and fewer random trips for just one or two items. Similar to DB40 – use the staples we always have without getting burned out.

  14. I’d love to learn more about eating for less when you have to buy food for family members with allergies. My daughter had a serious dairy allergy for years, luckily she grew out of it! But now we’re trying to stay clear of wheat and gluten for my other daughter. Kids I tell ya.

    • I hear ya, Mark.. Our son struggled with both dairy and corn allergies for a good 5 years. I’m definitely planning on talking about saving money in those areas and sharing great meals that don’t include dairy, gluten and/or corn.

  15. You love me! No more writing down your recipes because this chica gets a book now! WOOT! :)jk I think everyone above already covered pretty much everything.
    I’m more about using what we have and freezing too. Also, recipes using fresh vegetable from the garden or that could be another book. Thanks, Laurie.

  16. Lady Locust says:

    We bought a whole grass-fed beef for about $2.75/lb. It’s a big bill all at once and has to be planned for, but works out healthier and a better buy.

    • Laurie says:

      Agreed, LL! We order our beef that way too – it’s much cheaper, much healthier, and it tastes delicious! None of that pink slime garbage meat that’s associated with animal cruelty.

  17. I’d love to read more about the health, cost, and taste differences between organic, non-organic, grass-fed, free range, grain-fed etc. We purchase some organic produce (especially during the summer) but not meats. We are starting to buy more and more grass-fed meats. I’d love to hear your point of view.

    Also, anything gardening related. I started my own urban garden last year (inspired by you, and using your posts as resources) and LOVED it. Yield was meh, but it was a learning experience and I loved the carrots and zucchinis I managed to harvest. I can’t wait to start growing again!

    • Laurie says:

      thanks for the input! I’m working now on putting together a comprehensive guide. Regarding the garden, it definitely takes two or three years to become adept at it. I’m finally, after two years of really working at it, and three before that of kind of working at it, feeling like I’m starting to know what I’m doing. Try again this year and see how it goes.

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