If you haven't already noticed, there is a food spending poll on the left sidebar. Take the poll when you get a chance. It is anynomous. I promise!
I'm trying to figure out if I am spending more than average family of 4-5 on groceries each month. I'm a little perplexed because it appears I am, but, there are so many things I do not buy, that I know a lot of other families do (I'm not picking here, I just cook from scratch, mostly and I know most people do not have as much time as I do, or desire). I don't buy bread (as in, I think I've bought two loaves of bread and a few artisen loaves from the bakery since we moved here in late July), cookies, boxed mixes (aside from organic mac and cheese for the kids when I'm sick, they are with a sitter, etc), canned food (aside from organic coconut milk and tuna), salad dressings, juice, soda (aside from the occasional Kombucha drink - but, I brew my own now) or ice cream (I make my own for about $3/quart and it has just a few ingredients in it - currently: eggs, cream, raw agave, dark chocolate and peppermint extract-cream is the most expensive ingredient). I keep my cereals to one - an organic cheerios knock-off which, typically, lasts three weeks a box.
Now, I have been "stocking up" on various flours and baking/cooking ingredients. So, that may explain our recent higher bill. But, man, Matt and I think that with all the scratch cooking I do, we'd be saving so much more money. The key is to get on top of meal planning, and track the exact food expenses better - which I plan on doing. But, holy moly! Maybe Matt and I are both unrealistic as to how much it cost to feed a family?
I feel like I really stretch the dollar. I mean, that $14 free-range, local farm chicken I bought supplied over four meals for the family (I made tons of chicken broth-still not used up-and used the left-over chicken for a chicken curry dish).
Each loaf of bread I make costs about $1. Buying the equivalent in the store (but, not really, because it isn't fresh), is $3 a loaf.
I am, currently, spending more on produce. But, you just can't beat a fresh, local tomato in taste. There is no comparison. In fact, it kills me to see people buying a Mexican green pepper at the commissary when the farmer's market is taking place a mile down the road and the peppers are plentiful.
What do you all spend? Tips, tricks (Since I cook mostly from scratch - coupons don't really work. I think I've come across two or three coupons recently - for our peanut butter, nitrate-free deli meat and mac & cheese)?