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How Others are Eating Well and Spending Less (Frugal Friday)
Posted By Jessica Fisher On April 19, 2012 @ 7:51 pm In Eat Well Spend Less,Frugal Friday | 18 Comments
Over the last years our eating — and shopping — habits have evolved. Despite an economic downturn  and a desire to source better foods, we’re still eating well and spending less.
As you may know, I am a total grocery geek . I love to shop for food — and cook and eat. And I love to do it all the while staying in the black.
Many years ago, when our budget really couldn’t stomach it, I tried to “go all healthy,” purchasing only organic products without any real knowledge — or financial backing — to guide my purchases. Not only did that end in miserable failure, but I also added to our family’s debt by spending money we didn’t have .
That was 2007. Later that same year, we realized just how much debt we were in (16K, to be exact) and made some drastic shifts in our spending. Yeah, eating organic foods was the least of my worries. Having food was priority #1.
In that journey toward paying down our debt , establishing an emergency fund , and learning to live without credit cards  and consumer debt, I also trimmed our grocery budget to an all-time low: $400/month to feed 7 of us. Couponing  and learning to build a stockpile  played a huge part in that. We ate well; the bills got paid; and we even saved some money.
It’s hard to prepare for tough economic times , but so worth it.
My children ate more boxed cereal  in that 18 months than they ever did in their lives. This was in the “couponing heyday” of 2008 and 2009 when I could pick up 30 boxes a week for less than fifty cents each !
While we ate more processed foods than I ever dreamed possible, I was hoping that it would be a means to an end . Perhaps someday, Lord willing, we’d be able to afford more of those healthier foods that I wanted to serve my kids.
Today our debts our gone, our emergency fund is fully funded, and we no longer spend money we don’t have. Praise God! Our family has grown in number and in size. We have since moved back to our home state of California.
While my grocery budget is higher than $400/month and couponing has taken a back seat in how I shop, we’re dedicated more than ever to eating well and spending less.
Earlier this week, I shared my journey over the last year and how the Eat Well Spend Less series  got its beginning. Here’s a round-up of how other families’ shopping and eating habits have changed over the last 12 months:
Today’s Frugal Friday! Time to swap ideas and inspiration for saving money.
Please remember to follow the Frugal Friday Guidelines or be deleted.
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 an economic downturn: http://lifeasmom.com/2011/04/how-to-prepare-for-tough-economic-times.html
 a total grocery geek: http://goodcheapeats.com/category/good-stuff/grocery-geek/
 spending money we didn’t have: http://lifeasmom.com/2009/03/frugal-friday-dont-buy-stuff-you-cant.html
 paying down our debt: http://lifeasmom.com/2010/10/8-ways-to-get-out-of-debt-frugal-friday.html
 emergency fund: http://lifeasmom.com/2009/10/frugal-friday-beating-debt-with.html
 live without credit cards: http://lifeasmom.com/2010/06/frugal-friday-how-to-live-without-credit-cards.html
 Couponing: http://lifeasmom.com/2010/03/have-you-started-your-adventure-in-couponing.html
 build a stockpile: http://lifeasmom.com/2010/06/grocery-geek-presents-learn-to-build-a-stockpile.html
 more boxed cereal: http://lifeasmom.com/2009/05/i-think-were-set-dont-you.html
 a means to an end: http://lifeasmom.com/2008/07/means-to-end.html
 the Eat Well Spend Less series: http://lifeasmom.com/2012/04/another-year-of-eating-well-and-spending-less.html
 The Life Cycle of a Couponer: http://denverbargains.com/2012/04/the-life-cycle-of-a-couponer-eat-well-spend-less/
 12 Months of Eat Well, Spend Less: http://www.goodlifeeats.com/2012/04/12-months-of-eat-well-spend-less.html
 You Can Afford a Natural Life: How to Prioritize: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2012/04/19/eat-well-spend-less-you-can-afford-a-natural-life-how-to-prioritize/
 A Look Back At Our Food Journey: http://food.yourway.net/a-look-back-at-our-food-journey-eat-well-spend-less/
 Eat Well, Spend Less: One Year Later: http://tammysrecipes.com/eat_well_spend_less_one_year_later
 A Year of Eating Well and Spending Less: http://kingdomfirstmom.com/2012/04/a-year-of-eating-well-and-spending-less.html
 One Year Later: http://foodformyfamily.com/menu-planning/eat-well-spend-less-one-year-later
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