Jan
28
2006

How do you keep your groceries between $500-$700/month?

There used to be a day where we boasted of $600/month in grocery bills. We cannot make the same claim today, but we still out-save families that are 1/5 our size. Practice these principles and you’ll see how we do it.


Wendy speaks on frugal shopping.

I (Wendy) have gathered perhaps a couple hundred frugal tips over the years. I cover a lot of these in several of our books. Love in the House has an entire chapter on living frugally, and Love in the Kitchen Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, my cookbooks, have opening chapters on how to save hundreds of dollars every month on your grocery bill. Chris and I also present a talk called Cheaper by the Baker’s Dozen that really digs in deep into the ideas behind frugal living. We like to call our financial live “frugal and fruitful.”

This is one of the most common questions we get. Parents wrestle with finances when they bring children into the home. We, however, push back on the idea that finances are a barrier to having and loving children. Anything is possible with the love of God, and raising a family on a budget is hardly persecution. You can do it!

Here are some ideas that you could apply immediately to keep your budget down:

  • Bring a calculator when you shop to pound out weight/cost conversions.
  • If there is a generic substitute, get it. We rarely buy brand names.
  • Buying bulk usually brings the price down, but do the math to make sure.
  • Shop according to price per weight, not lowest overall price.
  • Before buying a prepared meal ask, “Could this be cheaper if I make it myself?”
  • Buy concentrated soaps and cleaning supplies, and make them stretch.
  • Pour a couple more cups of water into your concentrated juice.
  • Give up your organic diet. (Oh boy I’ll get some emails on that, I suppose. Sorry, but organic foods are extremely expensive.)
  • Search out the day-old food. Produce and bakery are typically marked down considerably when there is excess.
  • Search out sales on meat. Buy large quantities and freeze for future use.
  • When you shop, prepare a shopping list ahead of time — then stick to it.
  • Don’t go shopping hungry.
  • Marry a guy who hunts.
About Wendy Jeub

Yes, Wendy Jeub has brought 16 children into the world, and loves each and every one of them. So much so, she'd welcome more!

  • http://gabbygwenhwyfar.blogspot.com/ Jennifer

    I was agreeing with all your points until the last one. LOL Ohhh… yuck. BUT — I do buy my meat in bulk — at the local locker. I same a few dollars from my grocery was each month. Then every 6 months we buy a whole HOG from the locker. And we even have purchased a 1/2 a BEEF. But that is more because of the cow is bigger. Other wise, I try to NEVER buy meat at the store unless it is less than $1.99/#. OFTEN I’ll buy chicken at $.19/# and get LOTS. Prepare it somehow and freeze it.

    But I do agree — you have a lot of good points, and I think a book on this would be interesting.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Mom of 8

    I have really enjoyed the kids by the dozen series… as a mom of 8 who homeschools, I just ate up all the tips on organization and money saving :) There are two sites I’d recommend to anyone trying to save money on groceries. One is called http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com yeah, I know, hillbilly? but its a great site! and the other one is http://www.homeeconomiser.com and they have some awesome tips on saving money there too!

    Wish I lived closer to more moms of many so I could share in real life more often!
    Thanks for taking the time to share your story. I felt a kinship right off and enjoyed every minute. ya’ll came across as very ‘real’ people!!!

  • TexasMom

    Some of these tips work as well for small families. I often buy sell meat in bulk and freeze. And any time I splurge on a fancier cut (say, family pack of ribeyes are $1.99 a lb) then I breakdown in mind when I serve what I paid per “order” (i.e. plate) and what I would have paid if we had gone to a steakhouse. For our family of 6 I can make a nice steak/corn/baked potato/salad meal for about $3 a person. What would that be at a steakhouse!!

  • Jenny

    We recently switched to eating mostly organic things and you are right that they do cost more, but our grocery cost has gone down since we are not buying convience foods. You could grow your own organic vegetables if you had a garden. My kids love to garden. Then you can/jar the food to have for winter use.

  • Michele

    I feel like such a loser after watching your show!! (Just kidding). I only have 2 kids and my husband but I’m spending upwards of $200 per week on groceries etc! I had to laugh though when you said that you buy lots of tuna. I love tuna, but my family won’t even look at the can.

    As for your suggestions, they are all pretty good. But my husband quit hunting quite a few years ago.

    Thanks for your show. You and other Christian families are an inspiration to the rest of us.

    Blessings on you all.

  • Julie Skinner

    The hunting comment cracked me up. It’s true! But us city folk just don’t get into wild game,and my husband would never be able to field dress!

    Still, I am into shopping sales and couponing. I would never pay full price for food again. My husband saw your weekly budget and his jaw dropped. I spend that mch on a family of 5! Of course I’m getting about 100+ knocked off with coupons and sales! But stocking up when it’s cheap is the way to go!

    It takes a little bit of work to live more frugally, but when you can apply that money to other more important activities or pay off a mortgage early, it’s so worth it.

  • C. Lawreane

    We only have four children, though we would’ve liked more. I only have one, tiny criticism about your k’bash on organic food: you have the resources (land, help, climate) to grow a HUGE garden full of your own produce (organic or not). Like the Duggars, I wonder why you don’t do so. Our eldest, 12 years, looks forward to planting and maintaining our very small patch of garden (roughly 10 feet by 20 feet) and does so with very little help or supervision. This very small garden keeps us rich in fresh veggies, tomatoes, and squash/gourds. In fact, even with just a small patch, we end up giving a lot of it away to neighbors (or freezing it). As for fruit, plant a few trees… we did one orange, one lemon, one avacado, and a peach tree. Once again, hardly any effort = a bounty of delicious fruit that our kids can just walk out and grab for a snack. It’s not a perfect solution, but we feed four kids on $600 for food…and we eat VERY healthy and very well. My DH makes over six figures a year, so it’s not a “we don’t have the money” thing… just a philosophy of getting the kids involved in what they eat and trying to do our part for the environment.
    I guess the follow-up question that I would have, since I know you are a believer, is; How are you acting as good stewards of this earth when you, and the Duggars (like you) eat so much processed food?

    Thanks for reading this,
    Peace!
    A mom of four!

  • Misi

    I love it, marry a guy who hunts. Well, too late for that! Yes, you are right, organic is too expensive, especially in certain areas. I believe that you are being not only good stewards of this earth but excellent stewards of Gods word. It would be wonderful if we could all just run right out and plant a garden and watch it grow into a bountiful source of vegi’s and fruits, but realistically???

    Keep on doing what you do, you’re wonderful, and it’s not about Peace-Earthly Peace!, It’s about following what God has called you to do- and you are doing that with great joy.

    Misi

  • Chris Jeub

    For the record, we had a HUGE garden in Minnesota when we lived there in the 90s. To give you an idea, at one point we harvested from 80 tomato plants. Those were good days! However, Colorado is not the fruited plains of the Red River Valley. Growing here is a tremendous chore. We have a rhubarb and strawberry patch, but that’s all we can handle right now.

  • Emily

    Don’t forget about http://www.angelfoodministries.com and http://www.thegrocerygame.com These two resources have cut my grocerybill and half. Using “grocerygame” I never pay for health and beauty products. I have a only been iusing Angel Food for two months but check out the monthly menu and you can see why it is such a huge savings. You can order as many boxes as you want!

  • Amy

    I was wondering when someone was going to mention the Grocery Game. This has been such a blessing to my family. Who knew using coupons could save you so much money. Yesterday I went to the grocery store and bought $115 worth of groceries and only spent $32.xx and my cart was practically full. I rarely buy generics any more. Generics don’t go on sale and they don’t offer coupons. I have a 6 month+ supply of most everything my family needs. I no longer need my membership to Sam’s Club and rarely shop at Walmart. It’s too expensive for me now. Lol. Who knew? thegrocerygame.com also known in this house as the best blessing we’ve got besides our family!

  • Wendy

    Recently I have gotten the grocery bill down to $80.00 a week and it has been kinda fun and I have made my goal. However, I am seriously checking out “the grocery game.” I have signed up for the trial time for $1.00. I will let you know how I like it.

  • Stephany Gtz

    I am in awe of you and totally inspired, I mean 600 a month? I spend about 100 a week and it’s just me and my cat !!!

    I will make my list and cut down my spending with your tips, there is no reason for me not to be able to,

    Also, while some people I saw the show with where asking about why you would have so many children, I admire you, your children all look healthy and happy, I know of a couple of people who have 1 o2 children that where not made to be parents, thank you, you are a beutiful family, may it always be so.

  • Shaundra Holmes

    Wendy,
    I just read where someone has recommended the http://www.thegrocerygame.com to you. You said you were going to try it. How are you liking it? I have not had to pay for things like toothpaste and shampoo in a while because we get it free or at least for almost nothing. The idea is to buy as many of the items that they list in blue as you have coupons for so that when you need it again, you will have it on hand. A stock up your pantry approach. I have been doing this for 3 years and it really works great for us. I get funny looks sometimes when I’m getting 10 of something, but I don’t care. I’m trying to be a good steward of our money as I too homeschool and we have a family of 6 on one small income. I am a RN, but I fell God has called me to stay home and homeschool our 2 younger children.
    The biggest challenge to the grocery game is getting alot of coupons. YOu can ask friends and neighbors if they will save they coupons for you and you can also ask the local schools or offices if they will let you have the coupons from the Sunday paper. It is too much of a challenge for me to cut out all the coupons, so I save the coupons sections stacked in a basket. I put a sticky note on the top of each Sunday’s pile with the date so that when the grocery game lists what date the coupons were from, I at can go to the basket, find the right coupons and cut them.
    I hope this gives you some ideas on how to make the grocery game.com work for your families needs.

  • Shaundra

    I also would recommend http://www.couponmom.com and http://www.coupons.com for coupons that you can print off.

  • Lissa Shae

    I liked your list of ways to save on the monthly food bill. We are a family of seven and we also home school. I wanted to add a comment about the organic foods. My husband works in that industry for one of the largest organic companies. His company also makes normal food as well. Anyhow, this may be a surprise to some, but most of organic food is not organic. Veggies and such are mixed with organic and non-organic. I know this first hand. This is a little secret that organic based food companies don’t want you to know. The veggies may be grown organic, but they are usually mixed 50/50 with non-organic.
    I also have a receipt for Wendy. My kids love this and I can make enough to feed 10 people for less than $4.00. The key is to buy the items need at a low cost. (I am sure Wendy does that already)

    Chili Bake:

    You will need:
    1. Several cans of chili w/meat and beans.
    2. White Corn tortillas
    3. 4-8 cups grated cheese, cheddar and jack (depending on how much you like cheese)
    4. One large deep pan or oven ware pot.
    5. Pre heat oven to 300

    In the bottom of the pan add a layer of corn tortillas. Next add a layer of chili (about 1 inch thick) Then sprinkle cheese onto of the chili. Then repeat those steps until you have 3-5 layers. Top with tortillas and extra cheese on top. Cover with foil and cook for 1 hour, then remove foil and cook for 20 more minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 15-20 minutes. (This will allow it to gel and thicken) You can also make this in a slow cooker and let it cook on low all day. Or if your in a hurry raise the temp to 375 and cook for 45 minutes.
    Are favorite is to allow it to cool completely and then reheat it. This makes it gel and hold together even better. Kids and adults love this stuff!

  • Gloria

    Thank you so much for all those great saving tips. When I saw your show, I could not belive that with 13 children you could keep your groceries under $600!!! Wow! Just that same week I spend $130 and it’s only for my husband and our baby. Since I am pregnant, I have really been praying and doing lots of research on how to save more. I stay at home with our little one, and my husband is a teacher. I am very thankful that he wants for me to stay home with him. I really want to contribute to our family by doing the best with our budget. I look foward to start appling some of those tips (my dear husband does not hunt lol )specially as a new one it’s on the way.

    Thank you all of you who have also shared great websites and ideas, this has been so inspiring. I belive this to be a true answer to a prayer. The Jeups and all of you that are making a difference in this world, please be so encourage. You are truly being a blessing to us all and an a great example.

  • Kelly

    I’m a vegetarian, but yeah that will come in handy someday.

  • Delilah

    Everyone needs to get the book Shop, Save, and Share by Ellie Kay. I read that book in about a day. She teaches you how to cut your grocery bill by 50%-85% by using coupons. The first week I went to the grocery store, I got $200 worth or groceries for $100. The next time I got $500 worth of groceries for $200 and that lasted for 2 1/2 weeks(with food still left over) Yesterday I went and got $400 worth of groceries for $150. It is really fun but it is time consuming (but worth it). It usually takes me 3 hours and I don’t take my younger children. Every time I go to the store the person behind me is in awe over how much I save plus I get food for free and can give it away to a family in need. It is also fun to show my husband how much we save and make his hard earned dollar stretch. I feel that is my job since I don’t work and we live off of one income. I strongly suggest you buy the book and visit her website @ elliekay.com

  • Lori Sue

    Hi there Wendy and Family,

    Just saw your show on the DH channel and you are an inspiration! My husband was shocked and teased me forever about your amazing grocery budget. I guess I have some work to do! Your children are gorgeous and the love between them is obvious! God bless you for answering the Lord’s call on your lives. I pray for His continued blessings on your family now and in years to come! God bless!

  • Barb

    Dear Jeub Family,
    Liked your show on Discovery Health. I was reading the comments re: your grocery bill and I found #7′s comment to be obnoxious. Why can’t people just be joyful for you?!!! There always has to be a BUT! If her husband makes a six figure income, I hope they are good Christian stewards with their money. But from the tone of her email, I think her critical spirit shines thru. Keep doing what you’re doing! It works for you. Good luck with pregnancy.

  • Denise Linger

    You could still eat organic, and avoid the bill.

    I didn’t see your show, just read about it on some forums. My mom came from a family of 17, my dad from a family of 10. Have you guys ever considered starting a project of a family garden? Kids of all ages can help out, and it’ll help with your costs while boosting the health value of your food.

    This is one of my main concerns with modern large families – although I understand how much cheaper it is to buy bulk/off-brand, if you look into the ingredients, it’s not always healthy what you’re putting into your body, unfortunately – which is something we’re supposed to take care of while we’re here. I don’t want to sound harsh or critical as some people want to believe, it’s just that the more I learn about what goes into our foods, the more horrified I am.

    I remember my parents’ huge gardens – we rarely bought fruit and vegetables anywhere else, we canned food for winter, and it tasted delicious. We managed to do that with my mom, dad, and uncle working out there, and little me toddling around eating raspberries off the vines. ;) My mom was heavily involved in community service and was always out running around and we still made it work. It is a very realistic goal that we have lost sight of in the modern world, and it’s just a great lesson for kids as well.

  • http://churchofgodmom.blogspot.com/ Jennifer

    I seen your show, and loved it. I am pregnant with #4 right now, and we feel it will be our last for various reasons, but if we could have more, I think we would. My hubby is from a family of 8 and I from 5, so the large families are nothing new to us (we also know several famililes with more!), Anyhow I was very glad to see your answer to this question. My MIL had huge gardens and canned up a storm every year. I remember helping with over 100 qts of strawberry jam. YUM!! If you really count your pennies and buy on sales, you can save alot of money. Our local farm market sells home ground beef in huge bags for much cheaper. We always buy in bulk and separate. Another tip, the discount rack for peppers and onions and such. I dice and freeze the peppers and onions too. Bananas freeze great, and the ripe ones (which are better for baking!) are usually marked down. Peel and freeze. Squash, Zuccini and the like, if they are old, slice and freeze for later. Or peel the Zuccini, dice and freeze for bread later. I have tons of ideas, and yes the hillbillyhousewife is one of my favorite sites. They have GREAT practical recipes with ingredient I already have. Love it!

    Great job! Your family is beautiful and we look forward to keeping in touch with you by your site.

  • C. Lawreane

    I posted a few months ago, asking you about the garden, and you replied that you used to have one in MN, but that CO wasn’t so hot for gardening. Anyway… I live in an arid environment with soil that had been over-farmed by mass agriculture for close to one hundred years. Our first attempt at gardening and fruit trees was terrible. But, we read some books about getting the soil healthy and irrigating our soil correctly… here are the results of our “small” garden for 2007 (and we’re only half-way through the harvest season).
    118 lbs of oranges and tangerines
    30 flats of strawberries (still producing)
    40 lbs (about a pound a day since our first pick) of green beans and snow peas.
    carrots (we don’t have an accurate count because our littler ones have decided that they really like the carrots… oh well, it’s healthy).
    Throught June and July we had about 40 ears of corn (wasn’t a good year for our corn.).
    97 lbs of zuchini and yellow squash
    57 artichokes
    Enough garlic, chives, peppermint, sage, and thyme to last us two years…we’ll plant different herbs next year.
    86 lbs of peaches (give or take those that were eaten by the kids while picking)
    Our new lemon and lime trees produced a grand total of five or six limes and lemons. :/
    39 baskets of blackberries from two bushes (again, the count might be off because of outdoor snacks).
    Too much spinach, kale, and leeks to keep track of
    All that from a garden of 18×20″. We’ve also got pumpkins and other gourds that are yet to be harvested.
    I tried some of your shopping tips and, combined with our garden, we got our grocery expenditure down to sixty a week for our family of six. I’m not quite a “Jeub shopper” but we’re getting there. :)

  • Marsha B.

    Many of us in Colorado do have gardens, and they do produce well. Timing is almost everything…but the other thing is the weather. The Jeubs, as well as my family live on the Palmer Divide. Raising a garden up here is almost miraculous. We’re supposed to start planting right after Memorial Day, it froze on June 6[(?)not exactly sure of the date, we were out of town]. Now we’ve had an unusual amount of rain, which was wonderful, but it is sometimes mixed with hail, which happened the other day. A local nursery (plants) owner had her entire garden destroyed by this-these were her flowers in full bloom. Sometimes the hail comes in June when the fruit trees are in bloom and knocks all of these off; therefore, no fruit later on, which happened to a neighbor. It just seems like a waste of time, when there is so much else to do, like raising children. We still have a potato bed and my youngest son has been growing tomatoes in his room during the winter, and puts them out during the summer. Not much of a harvest, but a good learning exercise. The best we can hope for is native plants that edibly produce. Some of these are choke cherries, dandelions (now native), black berries, etc. But with the soil so different from one side of our almost 6 acres to the other, even underground food is hard to grow. If only we could grow artichokes…

  • Kristi Tripp

    I’m agreeing with the gardening woes… I tried SO hard to grow ANYTHING in the Palmer Divide…. The wildlife would eat anything I planted- even “deer resistant” plantings. One year we had snow on my oldest son’s birthday- June 13th. All my outdoor stuff froze. Even the leaves on the trees were nasty for a month or so. That same year it snowed like that on Labor Day. Even if you can get the wildlife to stay away, there’s not much growing between mid June and the end of August… by the time the garden gets going, the weather gets it. And that’s without droughts and hail. Add to that the neighborhoods where people live on shared wells and people get downright nasty if you’re using all “their” water. There is a real danger of wells drying up most summers and people with horses and other animals REALLY need some water leftover…

    From the sounds of it, C Lawreance, you live somewhere nice and warm where the growing season is long enough to counteract the difficulties of getting the garden started with little to no water. Add the odd freezing temperatures and it’s MUCH cheaper to just buy the veggies at the store.

    *I* live in TN now, where you stick the plants in the ground and they just grow… what a difference between now and then!

  • C. Lawreane

    Good point about the climatic differences. However, for us, that would just be a challenge to try and build a greenhouse and do some hydro-growing for a science project. ;)

  • Debbie Scott

    I am reading through your website after seeing your show :) I wanted to comment on the gardening issue also. We live in OK and our area has terrible soil. I live right next to my mom who, over the years, has been an avid gardener-until we moved here! I was bound and determined to have a garden, but container gardening just wasn’t going to fit our family (would be lots of containers just for 5 kids! LOL). I learned about Lasagna Gardening. Your library should have books on it, and you can learn about it online. You can start a small garden just to try it out-perhaps next year, or start some fall/winter veggies for this year. It was easy and if you know someone who has manure, or compost to share, you can do this for pretty much free! Actually, I would say, with hay from my mom’s fields out here, goat manure from her goats, and some compost (which we could make ourselves, but I never start it) we might have spent $6 overall-well, not including seeds :) But, it keeps us in cucumbers, zuchinnis, tomatoes and some herbs for the summer-into the fall with a good season :) Just a thought. Could be a neat HS project for the kids. And, if you use heirloom veggies/fruits, you can recycle the seeds from them for the next growing season!

  • Elizabeth

    Hello,
    I’m wondering if you’ve ever tried shopping at a restaurant supply?I use it (and there are only three of us in our family). The prices are incredible and you can eat healthier for much less money.

    Your family is filled with love and that’s the most important thing. I always wanted a large family, but my health has made that an impossibility. Thankfully, God gave us just what I can take care of. I wish you well and look forward to hearing more about you and your life.

    Elizabeth
    St. Paul, MN

  • http://www.jeubfamily.com Wendy Jeub

    To answer some of the comments. No we do not buy soda pop very often at all, unless it goes on sale. I really try to watch for good deals and then stock up.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Also, we gave “The Grocery Game” a try it really is a neat idea, however it did not work out for us. I just do not have the time to take care of coupons and there were so many items that we just don’t care to use. So if you love to do coupons and that is fun for you, you would love doing “The Grocery Game”. For us it was just a matter of spending more money.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    We eat a lot of good food for less. When I find frozen veggies on sale I buy 10 bags. If meat goes on sale for $.99 a lb I will buy 40 lbs. I often use canned tomatoes for many things they are under $3.00 for a 7 lb can at Sam’s. We do not use boxed cereal for breakfast it is just what I call “boxes” of air. The children seem hungry in an hour. We trade off from whole organic oatmeal to whole grain bagels with cream cheese to whole grain bread with butter and jam.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    As far as the gardening goes, you just can’t really get much at 7000 feet. Our snow season (which I just read in the paper) is from July 31st to June 1st. So living up in the Rockies makes for a very short season. It would take so much time, money and effort that it is not worth it to me. I have 6 children 7 and under and one on the way and that is more important to me.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Try to look at what you are buying at the store. Are you planning out your meals? You will save money if you plan your meals around what is in season and what sale items you buy.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    No we have never shopped at a restaurant supply store but if I can find one I may check it out! Thanks for the tip.

  • http://www.jeubfamily.com Wendy Jeub

    This recipe is really yum! This is great if you have some leftover potatoes. However it is so good you may want to just make mashed potatoes for it.

    Leftover mashed potato Soup

    2 TBSP’s oil

    1 medium onion chopped

    2 TBSP’s flour

    2 tsp’s salt

    2 dashes of pepper

    2 Cups broth

    1/2 Cup milk

    1/2 Cup cheddar cheese (or use your favorite kind)

    4 or more Cups leftover mashed potatoes

    * optional – add some leftover meat.

    Saute the onion in the oil until see through. Mix in flour, salt, pepper and broth. Bring to a boil stirring constantly. Reduce heat and add potatoes, milk, and cheese. Do not boil. This is ready to serve when hot. Serve over homemade croûtons. (pg)
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Please feel free to type in your good frugal recipes.

    Blessings to you all, Wendy Jeub Psalm 61 & 62

  • Melissa

    I was just wondering with your grocery bill so low if you bought formula? I have nursed all of my baby’s.I’ve never became pregnant while nursing.I’m curently nursing my one year old daughter and know that we could become pregnant soon.I was wondering if you had any advise on tandum nursing.

    You have a absolutly beautiful family.

    Melissa

  • http://[email protected] Wanda

    Wendy I have emailed you before on the digest and you are so sweet to take your time and help all of us other momys . Your such a blessing

  • Becky W

    Dear Wendy,
    I have seen your DHC show a few times and you have been such a blessing to me. I have been reading some of the comments made by some of the responders and a few have not been very kind. I think you are doing a wonderful job! We are all human, and we are all different, that is what makes life interesting. Praying that the Lord continues to bless you and your family.

  • Becky W

    I just wanted to add one thing. This may not work for a large family, but it does with our family of four. Sometimes I might make just a little extra chx breast one night and later in the week shred it and turn it into something new. Kind of like Wendy did with the turkeys for the birthday bash.

  • Judy

    Loved your book! Loved your show, too! I really enjoy seeing shows about large families and how you make it all work.

  • Becca

    Wendy,
    I heard an interview (replayed from last year) on the radio (102.7) this morning on the way to work. I am a married mom to twins, work full time on one of our cities military bases, and live on a cattle ranch 50 miles east of the nearest city. Your grocery savings tips are great! While we don’t have to buy meat- just pay the locker plant fees to get the cuts we want from the cow of choice in the field… We do spend probably more than we need to on the perishable items. :(
    I will take to heart your grocery tips and see how much we can save! Thanks fir the challenge!
    I agree with you on the gardening problems! Our ranchis at the same altitude as Monument and the only way yo go is a green house! It’s just too time consuming to fend the critters off the blossoming food, keep the frsot from killing your winter harvest… There are some tips I’ve been learning from some of the ladies in my area. paint buckets black and fill with water to have warm moisutre in the greenhouse… Lots of ways to do it- but the start up cost needs to be planned for.

    Also- folks in the city could save a lot of money with a compost kit- I think Home Depot has some… Use your compost kit to create great soil for the gardens and reduce the size of the trash bin you rent from the trash company!

    On an other than money note- well it’s the reason we try to save money… You are truly blessed with all your children!!! We are unable to have more kiddos as I had some medical reasons to have a partial hysterectomy a couple years back. My husband and I would love to have 4 or 5 kids and me be able to stay at home with them. We have a set of twins right now from my first marriage and are researching an option of gestational surrogacy, since I have eggs and he has sperm… The cost involved is intimidating though. We just keep praying for a miracle and just KNOW without a doubt that we will one day be blessed with our own children one way or another.

    I hope you disregard any comments you hear on your website feedback or from people in your daily life that may make snide remarks. What a wonderful treasure you have in your house and life every single day!

    I look forward to checking back in on this website for more great tips and encouraging family oriented Christian news.
    Thanks for sharing your family with all of us out here to learn from!
    Becca

  • http://www.alaskahorsmans.blogspot.com Elizabeth

    I love your ideas…I just have to add that you have to marry a man who hunts…and kills something!! HA My hubby grew up hunting in Canada, but now rarely gets the time to go and the one time that he did go bear hunting (we live in Alaska) 2 yrs ago, he got skunked. We’ve been blessed to be given some meat by a friend who is a hunting guide though. I’m always looking for ways to save money on groceries, they are so expensive in Alaska, especially any “convenience” foods, so we don’t buy those unless it’s a really great deal. We (or I should say I :D) are going to plant a garden this year, we’ll see how it turns out. Thanks for sharing all of your valuable information with us and congratulations on your wonderful family!

  • Becca

    I looked up a build your own greenhouse site that looks very plausible in some “extreme” areas…
    Hope this helps any of you that are thinking of gardening in our “fair weather” states such are found in the north. Hopefully a husband with building skills can take this and come up with a good creation to bring forth lots of fresh fruit and vegies in the winter!
    http://www.survivalplus.com/foods/page0009.htm

    Becca

  • Liz

    I don’t know how you do it – I must be doing something terribly wrong or I’m just eating too good (or expensive?) but my grocery bill is about the same as yours and I’m only feeding 2 people…yes t-w-o people…

    Good for you!

  • Kerry

    The toxic foods you’re feeding your family by not buying organic seem to contradict the statement that your children (and one on the way) are most important to you.

    I agree that gardening is definitely the way to go for a family of ANY size. With food prices on the rise- as with all other prices- everyone has to become much more self-sufficient. From raising hens for your own eggs, to having a garden for whatever it can produce (Ruhbarb, strawberries, etc.) you need to become independent.

    The logic is no different from your comment on “Marry a guy who hunts.” What you produce yourself, you will not have to purchase. And what you produce yourself, you will find tastes sweeter, is more preciously valued.

    (That home-grown/made strawberry jam is SO MUCH better than the kind from the store! And now your children know how to plant, grow, harvest, and cook/can! Those are awesome skills for anyone to have.)

    If you’re unable to provide a healthy diet for your children (including limiting their intake of pestacides, hormones, antibiotics, genetically altered foods, etc) then why have so many children?

    Quality of life is more important than quantity of life. And the quality of life for a child who eats organic, hormone free, is greatly improved to that of a child who has processed foods.

    So you don’t live in an area conducive to gardening??

    What’s more important? Where you live? Or your family’s health??

    I’d move. I’d very easily pack up that huge family of yours and move to where god gives you the land you need to sustain your family.

    Put your faith in what god created- the earth – and its ability to provide for your family the best possible creatures. God wouldn’t have given us the earth and plants if he didn’t plan on them being HEALTHY for us and for all of our children for years to come.

    Get closer to god by getting closer to green.

  • Traci

    Wendy,

    As far as gardening goes, I understand your concerns. Hubby and I live east of the metro area, and although our elevation is under 6,000 feet, we still have Rocky Mountain weather concerns. We have had a wonderful veggie garden for the past two years. What I would recommend is making a veggie container garden, even if you only choose one vegetable, it would make a difference. Mother Earth News has a woderful DIY self watering pot using 2 5-gallon buckets. I’m sure the info would be available on their website (if not, e-mail me and I’ll scan it and e-mail it to you if you’re interested). With things in containers they can easily be moved out of bad weather, then back outside again for more sunshine. Raised beds with greenhouse (a much bigger project then container gardening!) might also work.

  • Penny

    Have you tried making your own laundry soap? It is easy and cheap. We user 1/2 cup borax, 1 cup baking soda and a bar of soap to make a 5 gallon bucket of soap.

  • Sandra

    You can make your own baby wipes,too.But I bet Wendy may already know this.Google ‘baby wipes recipe’ and there are several that will come up.

  • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris Jeub

    Funny you mention homemade baby wipes. We have a recipe in my cookbook called “Homemade Towelettes. =) -Wendy

  • Sandra

    I ordered the set you have on sale a couple days ago.I’m looking forward to getting them all.Happy 4th of July!

  • meghan

    Emily- Thank you so very much for posting the link to Angel Food Ministries. I’d never heard of them before and when I went to their website I almost cried. It is going to be such a blessing for our family. My DH has been so stressed lately trying to figure out how he’s going to provide for our family as the cost of everything rises. I drive a school bus (it’s great because I work 9 months and get paid 12 AND my children go with me so I don’t have to worry about what they’re hearing and seeing in someone else’s care) but with the cost of gas rising I may have to quit my job since I drive 40 miles back and forth to work a day and if gas gets any more expensive it will use my whole paycheck just to get to work!

    I grew up in a single parent home, as did my husband, so neither of us knew how to cook when we got married having grown up on convenience foods prepared by moms working 2 and sometimes 3 jobs. I’ve finally mastered several dishes, the art of taking every advantage of an extra freezer, and I’m working on making my own cookbook to give to my children so they don’t have to start from scratch like I did. The only thing I’m still really struggling with is learning to find deals. I spend $120 a week (give or take, some week I spend closer to $80, but I never go over $120) for our family of 5! (We wanted more children but medical problems on my part prevented that.) All of my children are potty trained, so that figure doesn’t include diapers. I’ll check this forum often to see if anyone has any other tips on grocery saving tips, but I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who mentioned Angel Food Ministries.

    God Bless!!!

  • Sandra

    Thanks from me,too,for mentioning Angel Food Ministries.I placed my first order with them and pick-up is on the 26th.
    The Jeubs books and cd are great,lots of good tips in them.

  • http://www.jeubfamily.com Wendy Jeub

    Yes! We only buy Organic food when it is a very good deal. I buy it outdated at Vitamin Cottage most of the time. They bag up the older produce and sell it for $1.00 a bag.
    Also, all the Elk meat that we get when my great husband hunts, is all Organic and free range naturally.
    This is our main source of meat. You can save money too just by keeping your eye out for bargains. However, you need to make sure that your Organic food source is really all that it says it is. Many of the large quantity sellers are allowed to add 50% non-Organic and still label it Organic. So make it a good source you trust and spend your money wisely.

    Joy in the Lord,
    Wendy

  • http://www.jeubfamily.com Wendy Jeub

    When I talk to people about meat I ask them, “What is your main concern?” They tell me it is the hormones in meat.
    One way to get good meat is to hunt it yourself. Or find a local supplier or try Tyson chicken, Tyson does not add hormones to their chicken and they are a main source for the Olympic training center.

    God Bless,
    Wendy

  • Lydia Thompson

    I just came across your website and have been very encouraged with everything I have read. We are from colorado but are now in missouri. We miss it alot! My husband has never been hunting before but would like to start. How do you find a place to go hunting? We are planning on getting our hunter safety here sometime and from there have no idea where to start.
    God bless as you serve the Lord,
    Lydia ps18:30

  • michelle

    I think it was your husband that mentioned how you buy the better quality of dog food for you dog(s), I was wondering what brand you buy?

  • http://www.jeubfamily.com Wendy Jeub

    Hi Michelle,
    We use Sam’s Club brand. It is the kind that is a lamb rice mix. Our dog loves it.

  • Elizabeth

    I’ve enjoyed watching your show on Discovery Health channel. I applaud you for being such good stewards of God’s gifts. I’m in awe of how you manage everything. What a blessing to have so many beautiful and happy children. I agree with all your suggestions on saving money at the store. I’m lucky to have a husband who hunts (lol) – and it’s not gross. It’s actually better than anything you can buy in the store (and that’s coming from a city girl). As for organic – I totally agree. It’s a total waste of money. There are many scientists dispelling the myths of organic products. Here is a site that #7 should check out – http://www.thetruthaboutorganicfoods.org/2007/01/09/the-truth-about-organic-food/. It might surprise her to know that organic does not equal good for the environment and more nutritious. Just thought I would pass that along. :)

  • mel

    Coconut cake:

    White cake mix

    Eagle brand sweetened milk

    8 oz cool whip

    8 ½ oz cream of coconut

    Can coconut milk

    Shredded coconut for topping

    Bake cake according to directions. Mix Sweet milk and coconut milk in bowl. While cake is hot poke holes and pour milk mixture of top of cake. Cover and let cool in fridge. (I like to sprinkle the coconut on top of the cake before I refrigerate. Then cover with whip cream mixture, but it is good leaving the shredded coconut until last.) Mix cool whip and cream of coconut and spread over cake. Sprinkle shredded coconut on top and serve.

    Mel

  • Wendy

    Hello All,
    Love all the dialog keep it coming.

    I would like to let you know that Chris’s wonderful parents have a extra large garden in MN and they do a lot of home canning and freezing. When we visit or they come our way, we get many items from them. So this adds to our already good diet.

    Joy in the Lord,
    Wendy <
    Gal 6:2

  • http://www.LinesFromTheVine.com Tracy

    Hi Wendy,
    You have such a wealth of good ideas and recipes shared here. Thank you for taking the time to put it all together to share.

    We have been experimenting with gardening here for the last year. Our home is in Alabama so we have great weather for gardening. One thing we did this year, might actually be something you could do (if you wanted) where you live- we planted potatoes, sweet potatoes and peanuts in big trash cans and buckets. Do a quick internet search and you’ll see how. You basically just put the seeds (or seed potatoes) in the bottom of the bucket and add a little dirt. As the plant grows up through the dirt, you add a little more dirt. Do this until the plant reaches the top of the bucket or can- all along the vine will form peanuts or potatoes. If the weather isn’t favorable, you can just bring the buckets indoors. We’ve also been doing this with carrots and radishes in long planters from a Dollar General store. It might be an option for those who can’t garden but would like the savings. I turned it into a “kid project” at my home. Each of my nine children, who are old enough, grew their own bucket of veggies. They thought it was lots of fun and were proud of what they had grown when we served it at dinner. : )

    Thank you again for this ministry. Your family is precious!

  • wendy jeub

    Oat Fruit Crunch Bars

    1 cup flour
    3/4 cup brown sugar
    1 cup oats (any type)
    1 Tbsp cinnamon
    1/2 cup butter, melted

    Filling
    1 cup brown sugar
    1 cup water
    1 tsp vanilla
    2 Tbsp corn starch

    4 cups fresh fruit, peeled, chopped

    Mix first 5 ingredients set aside. In a sauce pan melt together the filling; sugar, water, vanilla, corn starch. (Not fresh fruit yet.)

    Keep stirring until mixture thickens, remove from heat. Grease a 9 by 9 inch cake pan.
    Take 2/3 of the flour mixture and press it into pan. Lay fresh fruit over, now pour cooked starch mixture over fruit, then pour remaining flour mixture over the top, press down gently.

    Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or browned on edges. Enjoy!!

    We really like this recipe and serve it before we have to run out the door in the afternoon for an activity.
    We like to use 1/2 whole wheat flour in this recipe, so that would be 1/2 cup white and 1/2 cup whole wheat.
    We love to make this with rhubarb or apple.
    Try using a quart of pie filling instead of the homemade filling offered here, or try jam, however, if you do this you may want to cut down on the cinnamon as cinnamon can be strong with other fruit.
    We like to double this to make it fit a 9 by 13 inch cake pan.

  • wendy jeub

    Cheese and Garlic Biscuits

    2 cups flour

    2 1/2 tsp baking powder

    1 tsp garlic salt

    4 Tbsp lard

    1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated

    3/4 cup milk

    Mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in lard. Stir in cheese. Add milk. This makes a soft, sticky ball. Roll out onto floured surface and press into rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. Cut into squares or circles . Arrange on un-greased cookie sheet. Bake 425 degrees for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

    These biscuits are simply yummy.

    You can trade out the garlic salt and use just garlic powder if you like. Also, you can use shortening instead of lard.
    You may pick any cheese but we like sharp cheddar best. Enjoy!!

  • wendy jeub

    Marinated Pork Ribs- 1/2 C lemon juice, 1/4 C soy sauce, 1/4 C mustard, 1/4 tsp Cheyenne, 1/4 C brown sugar, 1 C oil, 1 tsp minced garlic, 1/4 tsp Lawry’s season salt, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1 C Pineapple juice, 5 LBS ribs.

    Mix all well and marinate. Grill

  • wendy jeub

    Pumpkin Spice Latte-

    You will need, Strong coffee, Evaporated milk or 1/2 and 1/2 cream, brown sugar, plain cocoa, pumpkin pie mix filling, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, whipped topping, 16 oz mug. Make your coffee strong and add a scoop or 2 of cocoa to the grounds before you brew. …Now put 2 TBSPs of pumpkin pie mix in bottom of empty cup, put 1 tsp of brown sugar, dash of pumpkin pie spice, add some coffee, rest cream, top with whipped topping and dash of cinnamon. (you may want to stir well before adding the topping)

  • http://www.teachingthecrew.blogspot.com Mommaofmany

    Here’s my best tip for keeping the grocery bills down: Go to the Farmer’s Market at the very end of the day. Most of the fruit and produce will not last to another market day, so the farmers will be happy to sell it at greatly reduced prices. I get SO many different foods this way! I live where the market is year round, so we eat seasonally in this manner. I get an entire tableful of food for just a few dollars.

  • HeatherHH

    I’d be interested in seeing this post updated.  I wonder if the last 5 years have made a difference in your grocery bill.  We have 6 children ages 10 and under, and we spend about $450 a month on groceries.  We’ve really noticed our grocery bill go up in the last few years, though some of that is definitely the result of moving from the midwest back to the East Coast (middle Atlantic).  We immediately noticed a difference in prices, plus the sales weren’t as good.

    • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris Jeub

      You’re right, it would be good to run through an update of this post. Inflation has hit the supermarkets, and our grocery bill is less stable. The principles of frugality still apply, though.

  • Jeffsangel

    “marry a man who hunts” :D

  • Jenny

    Wendy, those espousing organic only=loving your family and anything else being willful neglect/abuse are not just rude, but grossly wrong. Countless kinds of crops are extremely vulnerable to pest devastation and the agriculture industry is in a perpetual game of “keep ahead” in formulating methods and products to safeguard their crop yield against ever evolving pests. Without sprays and pesticides, crop yields would plummet so low that millions would starve; not just people but livestock dependent on the feeds generated in these fields. The amount of livestock fueling modern human diets far exceeds grazable pasture available. Relegating livestock to a grass-only diet while maintaining adequate numbers is an impossibility at this time. Pesticides address more than external pests as well. Fertilizer and even natural soil contain a staggering amount of bacteria, viruses, parasites, and other pathogens. Pesticides serve as a barrier to keep the flesh and skin of a crop from infestation, especially helpful for produce with multiple external, permeable barriers like lettuce or cabbage. The sickest I have ever been in my life was from organic Brussels sprouts. I not only rinsed them, but soaked them, and roasting long enough to render every layer tender was not good enough to combat the salmonella saturated soil that had thoroughly infected the vegetable. In a matter of hours, from 10pm to 3am, vomiting and diarrhea dehydrated me severely enough that I entered the beginning stages. Of renal failure and the force of vomiting pulled muscles in my back and diaphragm and ruptured my esophagus into a bloody mess. I was a strapping, healthy 25 year old. Food poisoning still *kills*–in 3rd world countries across the globe– by the thousands. Now imagine being a vulnerable small child, too young to communicate effectively to convey/grasp what danger you’re in…. Modern medicine and the preventative measures of pesticides have made food borne illness such a non-issue in 1st world countries that even the best of parents could potentially overlook the gravity of a sudden onset illness as “just a bug” and could wake to soul-devastating tragedy the next morning. Eschewing organic-only is not only NOT abusive and neglectful, it bears consideration for the health of loved ones and the nutrition of the masses at large. I cannot adequately express how absurd it is to mock and question the Jeub’s love for their family because frugality leads them to NOT imperil their family.

  • Janet Kiessling

    A piece of advice…….do not live in California! We try to be as frugal as possible………..and there are only 8 of us at home…..we can not get the grocery bill below $800! Shhhhh…..we are possibly moving!!!!

  • Janelle

    Hey Wendy! Could you share how much you are spending per month on average now? Have your strategies changed at all? I love your cookbooks and enjoy your site!

  • http://www.ericamcneal.com/ Erica McNeal

    Mary a guy who hunts… haha!!! Love it!!!

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