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I have a LARGE FAMILY need help to eat healthy with a small budget

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There are 9 people in my family. One of the main reasons I gained weight is that it is cheaper to eat low nutritional value, fatty foods. I have been buying fresh fruits, yogurts,  fresh veggies & more since I started dieting. OMG I can't afford it!! We are over our budget weekly and could have some major trouble if I don't figure this out. Our weekly food budget is $70... seems impossible.. 

 I would appreciate any help or advice any of you have.
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My monthly grocery budget for 2 people is around $75 per month (I also live on an island, so the cost of groceries is higher here). I have an extensive garden, do a lot of my own home canning, raise my own sheep and chickens, barter locally for the things I want or need. Do you have the space to start your own garden? Is there anything that you can do to supplement your income? For example, I knit and quilt on commission, chop wood, teach classes, offer local web design services and multiple domain hosting, do onsite computer repairs in my community, provide small business consulting and grant writing services, help people with their gardening, sell veggies at the local Farmer's Market, sell handmade soaps and my partner is a successful author with 2 best-selling books. Just little odds and ends, but every little bit helps. It's not impossible, you just have to think outside the box and have determination. Having healthier eating habits improves the quality of your life and the individual lives of the folks in your family and will eventually lead to saving in future medical bills. Have you tried buying in bulk? Even Costco sells veggies and fruits in bulk.  
I use the following website when planning my grocery shopping, it is a list of The World's Healthiest Foods:
        Thanks ix for your responce!

      We do have a small garden of tomatos and green peppers so far. We have clay/sand for soil. So, when we started this garden early spring, it was costly getting bags of good soil mixed in. We are hoping that next yr we can expand and grow carrots, potatoes, cucumbers and much more. We can't own any farm animals here. We do live in a rural community. But, I didn't know until it was too late that there is a HOA with rules.

  I homeschool 3 of my 6 children and I try to sell some items we don't need. That $$ supplement goes towards bills.

    We shop at Costco.. we're really careful what we buy.. ten things from Costco could cost $100.

Just checking out an online grocery store, some items that might assist in making family meals go further, especially if you are making things from scratch (which is a huge savings on the pocketbook):

20 lbs of rice $10.19 USD
10 lb russet potatoes $3.69 USD

Also, you might want to check out Walton Feed, they specialize in super bulk prices, for example a 50 lb bag of black beans for around $30.00 USD
Do you have a Farmer's Market in your area? I sell canned tomatoes for $5.00 a jar and will sell out every fall, guarenteed. Those little $5.00 bills add up FAST! This year, I planted over 4,000 tomato plants. It's a lot of work, but work I enjoy.

Be sure once you get your garden going, to start growing leafy greens. They are super easy and very healthy! These folks started to turn their backyard into a garden, and started selling organic lettuce to local restaurants. They have some great ideas on their website to help establish a healthy food budget.

It's good to hear you have access to a Costco! Costco is great for rice, toliet paper and fruit. Also meat, if you are a meat eater. I think they have veggies, too. But honestly couldn't say, I only go to Costco for toliet paper. It's a 3 hour drive one way for me to get to the nearest town with a McDonald's and the Costco. So it is like zip in grab the toliet paper, don't look at nothing else. But you might want to check out to see if they have veggies... I usually find they have pretty good quality of everything else.
Will your family eat beans?  If so, you can stay on your diet and also feed a lot of people for very little money.  Dry beans & lentils can cost as little as .49 a pound.  Cooked from scratch, you can control the amount of salt in them, another health bonus.  Brown rice, when bought in bulk (not in those dinky 12 oz boxes) is also inexpensive.  I bet you already cook oatmeal for your family, but did you know that you can serve rolled oats as a cold cereal?  It's the same thing as that expensive Mueslix.  I have a lot of bean and rice recipes, mostly vegetarian and low fat, if you want them.  I think you already know how to shop for bargains.

You can enrich your garden soil year by year, by composting your grass clippings and leaves - you don't need to buy expensive fertilizers.  I used to grow a huge garden every year and canned and froze all kinds of vegetables.  Not all of us are lucky enough to live in a place where we can farm, but most of us can figure out some way to grow at least some of our own food.  Even living in an apartment as I do now, I grow my own herbs.  With the price of fresh and dried herbs in the store, and given the amount of herbs I use, it's a significant saving. 
 only 2 of us eat beans, so I don't make them that often. I live 45 minutes away from all the stores and I have only seen a small farm stand twice over the summer.  Yes, they like oatmeal, with a little sugar and cinn.

   I definately want to grow leafy greens! I checked out some of the websites. Thanks!! Gathering info we can use from them.
Awhile ago I was researching the same information (not for me, it's just two of us, but for my sister who has a very large family all living off one income) and I came across this website:

Some of it goes too far for me and my sis- like she suggests sewing your own reusable menstrual pads, but I remember there were sample menus on a budget and section on "dieting on a budget" information.  I hope you get something out of it.
Great! Thanks!!
9 Replies