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Thread: Could you live on $25 of food a week?

  1. #61
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    I checkout out Aldi once and left without buying a thing. They have brands I've never heard of...I would rather buy Walmart Great Value brand. Plus it's not that close to my house.

    I do go to Trader Joe's about once a month to stock up on a few things that they carry that are good and cheap. The rest of the time I get staples (bread, pasta, canned, frozen) at Super Wal-mart and meat/fruits/veggies at Harris Teeter (preferably on sale).

    Most of our dinners for 4 are under $10. Sometimes as low as $5 (sometimes we have egg-based dinners). But when you add in oatmeal/milk/cereal for breakfast and peanut butter/lunch meat/bread for lunches, not to mention lunchbox staples like juice boxes, carrots, apples, granola bars, we would be hard-pressed to spend less than $100/week. Our grocery bill for a family of 4 is about $600-650/month, but that includes paper products, dog food, and hygeine items (shampoo, etc.) so I think that's pretty good. We probably spend another $100-125 on dining out, and that's a month where we're being "good".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sweetie View Post
    Thanks, McJag. I am finally going to get a little break. I have worked since I was 17, and supported myself, so it's a little hard to the pride right now. I am actually going back to school and I will join in to the family salon business. I think I will do good at it, and I will be my own boss. I will never have to worry about working for another person.....plus, people always need haircuts. I am ready for a change of pace anyway. 16 years behind a desk is long enough. I am ready for a little more freedom.
    Good for you, Sweetie!!!

    I'm sure you'll be very good at being a hairstylist. It's laid back, but you make excellent money. It's funny you mention it, because I was thinking about reinstating my license to be a nail technician while I finish my bachelor's. Depending on where you work, you can easily make 50k a year, and it doesn't feel like work at all.
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  3. #63
    Elite Member Sweetie's Avatar
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    ^ Thanks, Spark.
    I think I will do really good at it. My SIL makes well over $1,000.00 a month, so I am sure I can do that, too.

    The change just sucks, but I guess life is never stable.

    hotncmom, what kind of dinners are you making that are egg based?

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotncmom View Post
    I checkout out Aldi once and left without buying a thing. They have brands I've never heard of...I would rather buy Walmart Great Value brand. Plus it's not that close to my house.

    I do go to Trader Joe's about once a month to stock up on a few things that they carry that are good and cheap. The rest of the time I get staples (bread, pasta, canned, frozen) at Super Wal-mart and meat/fruits/veggies at Harris Teeter (preferably on sale).
    I can see people getting a little weirded out by the unfamiliar store brand names. For some reason, I can't remember the ones Aldi uses. However, they have a money-back guarantee on everything, and they were one of the few grocery store chains that didn't have to pull contaminated peanut-butter items from their shelves -- although they did pull one product of their own volition out of caution.

    I also wouldn't be surprised if a number of the less exotic Trader Joe's and Aldi's items are produced at the same place, since they seem to be owned by the same conglomerate.

  5. #65
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    I did it in college, I ate one meal and two snacks from school vending machine every day (those cracker and cheese or peanut butter combos) and drank tap water (which is actually pretty good in NYC).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sweetie View Post
    ^ Thanks, Spark.
    I think I will do really good at it. My SIL makes well over $1,000.00 a month, so I am sure I can do that, too.

    The change just sucks, but I guess life is never stable.

    hotncmom, what kind of dinners are you making that are egg based?
    Sometimes we will have scrambled eggs, toast, and strawberries (or apples slices). Sometimes french toast or pancakes. You could also make an omlette with veggies/cheese. I have made a quiche (or just an egg-bake in a glass dish with no crust) at times too...you can put just about anything in those, mushrooms, green peppers, onions, or meats like sausage or canned crab. Sometimes we buy the yellow corn grits loose at Earthfare (the kind in bins), the slow-cooking grits, and have a big pot of those as well.

    Another good cheap meal is risotto. Buy it loose by the pound at a whole foods market where they have grains in bins, and it's cheaper than the packaged. I use canned broth, add sauteed mushrooms, green onions, Italian seasoning, and throw some fresh grated Parmesan into it when you remove it from the stove (or oven, I make mine quick in the oven). You could even throw a few shrimp in or some cooked chicken if you had some leftover.

    Chicken breasts - buy on sale - not the boneless, skinless, but the split breasts with bone and skin. Bake them in the oven. Make gravy with the broth. Slice the chicken and serve with gravy or make a sliced chicken sandwich, or use in a green salad. Then when you've gotten all the primo larger pieces of meat off the bones, pick the bones clean. Use the small pieces of white meat to make chicken salad, or use in soup, or make chicken quesadillas with mushrooms, onions, melted cheese. Or, use the pieces in risotto (see above). I usually buy the large family size packs on sale and bake them all and you can wrap the extra cooked shredded chicken in saran wrap, and then put in a freezer bag and freeze. Then I thaw it as needed for soup or quesadillas, etc.

  7. #67
    Elite Member sparkly's Avatar
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    I have an Aldi's not too far from where I live, and my mom keeps telling me to check it out. I currently go to the Hispanic food market for my produce, meat, milk etc., because it's so much cheaper than even Walmart is for the same name brand foods. I buy hormone free milk for less than $3.00 a gallon, whereas a grocery store like Publix sells hormone free milk for much more. Last week I bought 10 lbs. of chicken for $4.90! You can't beat that deal.
    They have things like Jiffy muffin mix for .20 a box.
    I'll check out Aldi's, but they probably won't be able to beat the other store's prices that I go to.
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  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotncmom View Post
    I checkout out Aldi once and left without buying a thing. They have brands I've never heard of...
    Ah! I have a tale to tell you.

    My other half is in haulage - we have refridgerated units so we haul foodstuffs.

    Recently one of our friends was going between McVities United Biscuits -McVitie's
    Cadburys (to get the chocolate coating) and a distribution centre... well, he brought us some biscuits back and guess what they were labelled! Yup! ALDI!

    We also do fish & al the local supermarkets & main brands use the same processing plants to produce their products. BirdsEye Birds Eye - The home of delicious, healthy food does some great fish & chicken & it goes to Tescos, and they supply fish to ALDI too!

    You don't have to get a whole weeks shopping from there, but I would recommend trying stuff. You might not recognise the brand as it could be a european brand or re-branded from a major food manufacturer.
    My Mr goes crazy for their stilton & broccilli soup!

    Quote Originally Posted by MohandasKGanja View Post
    I also wouldn't be surprised if a number of the less exotic Trader Joe's and Aldi's items are produced at the same place, since they seem to be owned by the same conglomerate.
    In the US Theo Albrecht owns the Trader Joe's specialty grocery store chain. His brother Karl Albrecht owns the Aldi Süd discount supermarket chain. The two chains originally were a single family enterprise until a friendly division of assets in 1960. Aldi Süd operates the Aldi groceries in the United States. So Aldi and Trader Joe's, while owned by the brothers, have separate and distinct ownership and operations.

    And, we have a lot of ALDIs but no Trader Joes... in fact do they have trader Joe's anywhere else that in the US?
    Last edited by Tati; April 27th, 2009 at 05:55 PM.
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  10. #70
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    We have several Aldi's around here and I shop there all the time. They have the cheapest prices on groceries I have ever seen.

  11. #71
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    You don't need to be a brand slave for basics - flour, pasta, bread, cheese, milk, tinned stuff, frozen veggies etc.
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