No. of Recommendations: 5
I spend @400 a month for a family of three and we eat very, very well. We cook from scratch. There are three things I can think of that keep the cost that low:

1. We don't buy meat. We always have a freezer full of venison. My kid takes the deer(s) and my brother processes the meat for me. No hunting lease fees no fancy hunting equiment just a youth hunting license that costs under $5.

2. We have a garden every year. Some years it is more of a help than others. What we always have though are fresh herbs. We also get way more free eggs than we can use from my sister's pet chickens. The kids sell the excess at farmer's market.

3. I have a lot of dry bulk goods that also doubles as my "kitchen decor". I keep big glass containers with seal tops in a row along the back of my kitchen counter that runs the length of one of the kitchen walls. The jar capacities range from quart to gallon capacity. The jars are pretty nice as well, all that pretty gleaming glass. The reason I like the jars lining the counter is because then I am more likely to use the product if it is "staring me in the face". Also some of the jars are very heavy. If they were on the shelf behind the pantry door I would have to shift them around to locate what I needed and that would be a pain. My actual pantry is about half-empty and generally has stuff that I find ridiculously cheap so I load up on it (like really cheap spaghetti sauce that can "extend" a homemade sauce; or cartons of chicken broth that got put in the 50 cent bin. That sort of thing. I just counted and I have 14 glass jars and 4 baskets lining the back of my counter.

The nice thing about the bulk dry thing in that if its in bulk it's cheaper - I take cloth bags to the whole foods store maybe once every 2 or 3 months and fill my bags then dump into my glass containers. The only thing I seem to have trouble with is the whole wheat flour (and to a lesser extent the whole wheat saghetti) which seems to go "off" in the summer. I keep the flour in the refrigerator.

The weekly trip to the grocers is generally for dairy products (milk, cream, yogurt and cheese) and fruit (a lot - strawberries, mangos etc - the only thing the garden can consistently produce is melons) and vegetables (some) not produced from the garden with a few exotic items - greek olives or won ton wrappers.

We eat a lot and we eat fancy.
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