How do moms of teens keep up with the grocery bill?

Set limits he’s eating bc he is bored. Also we try and buy meals that will have leftovers and my kids also are told what they can and can’t eat like if I buy a box of corndogs for a meal they are not allowed to touch it until I make them after whatever is left is free for lunches. I always have bread eggs Mac and cheese and Ramen in the house. Also what are you buying bc 260 usually last my family of 5 2 weeks. I plan out meals and I no longer really buy snacks bc they are gone in a day if he wants snacks and things at 15 time to get a job and buy them himself.

Lots of fruits and veggies.
Bananas Grapes Oranges apples

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Idk what you’re buying that cost that much and is gone that fast. I have a 13 yr old who likes to eat and we spend about 400 a month total on groceries and that feeds everyone dinner every night and we have snacks through out the day and lunch stuff is like frozen pizzas, sandwiches, and Romen noodles… you just need to shop cheap. Aldis, ruler, savers, places like that. Even dollar tree for snacks.


Maybe get him his own mini fridge for his snacks? That way, he may be more conscious of how much he’s eating and will pace himself. It teaches control and balance. You could then buy the general grocery items you need/want without putting so much toward snacks or junk or whatever. Also, teach him how to cook/bake. Very necessary skills needed in life and maybe he’ll like it more than just grabbing food that’s already made? :slight_smile:


What r u buying that he ate 300 dollars of food in 2 days, time to see his doctor


Meal prep and use the crockpot. That’s a lot of money and food for one teen. I’d be questioning why he’s eating so much.


The price of food has almost doubled so I can see it costing that.

Mine eats a lot of Ramen I get the dollar chips not the 5 dollar ones I go to a lot of discount stores and the dollar tree. Out family dollar has a dollar section for snacks too.
I also make my kids work my son does lemonade my daughter sells lotion and they buy much of their own wants so they understand the value of money and because of that they understand the snacks are not free.
Btw thank you for being a step up mom it’s such an important job few can truly handle <3

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If he’s eating $300 in 2 days there’s a serious problem going on. Sounds like he’s bored and developing a compulsive eating habit. At 15 he can get a part time job, perhaps fast food, or a grocery store, and help buy his own food. He needs something to do besides eat.


I buy lunch meats, ham, bologna & cheese. They eat peanut butter & Jelly. I’ll buy one case of oodles & noodles like a few times a year, a huge bag of the Tyson chicken nuggets, stock up on Mac n Cheese. I do spend a lot of on fruits and fresh veggies for snacking like carrots, broccoli & cauliflower I cut and they dip the florets in ranch dressing. It’s filling. Other than that, I make dinners that feed the whole family. Sometimes we have leftovers they can have the next day for lunch. I stock up on eggs too so I can make egg salad for sandwiches or if anyone doesn’t like that but likes hard boiled eggs, I make a half dozen of them. I try to always keep it healthy and makes it easier to follow along with the prices of fruits, veggies, meets and what not and knowing what I can afford within that. Anything outside of that, sorry can’t help. But I make sure I spend my money on a lot of healthy foods just because I love them. :heart:


Just let him know what’s for your meals and what he may snack on. He is old enough to understand about budgets and expense’s. Things are not to hog down


But healthy he may slow down but teens do that eat . Thank goodness it’s nothing else it could be worse then eating.
Take her to go job hunting she get a job have him buy his own food he likes . I bet the eating slow down lol. Or like I said but healthy and food he has to cook it will slow down… they like to eat when they don’t have to buy or cook

2 days😲 wtf are you buying and where are you shopping? Because no ma’am ain’t no way. I have 3 teenagers and a 6 yr old I wish I would go grocery shopping and everything is gone 2 days later. I promise you they would learn about struggle meals real quick


I’m not trying to be that one but there is nooooo way you spend $300 in groceries and it only last 2 days… that is impossible period!! BUT if it isn’t them he must be getting high cause ppl that get high tend to eat alot but def not $300 in 2 days your def over exaggerating that’s for sure!


I have 2teenagr Boys that live here full time and they never eat that much food in two days. If they did they would be in trouble. I am very strict about the amount they eat. I hide extra food in my bedroom to make sure it does not disappear fast. I know how it can be. I would tell him straight up you can’t afford all this food he is eating he needs to chill out or get a job.

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We have a ‘snack food’ separate to main meal food… Don’t single him out just say to make things easier this section is help yourself snack food and the other stuff is for you to make meals with.

Hide the food lock the pantry. Tell him exactly like you did here. Its about money not his weight. He is 15 he should understand. Maybe tell him to do chores for allowance and he can buy the snacks he wants once a week. We have a drawer in the bedroom with snacks and stuff that our son would devour in 2 days. we take from it when needed.

He could get a job and help out. My teens babysat, walked dogs, helped me at my business. This teaches them the valve of $.

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Oats are cheap , filling and nutritious . You can do overnight oats also and add honey , frozen berries etc to change up the flavours


Stop buying so much junk food sodas juice buy water and breakfast he can eat cereal lunch a sandwich and dinner you can cook a meal rice meat and vegetables chicken beans vegetables ect


Take him shopping with you and mention that money is tight and let him know what y’all pick out has to last all week, that way it will be an “in general” statement. Not like you are pointing him out.


Put a limit on what you allow him to eat. No one, not even growing boys NEED to eat so much food.
Sustainable food is the answer here.
Make sure breakfast is big and full of goodness that will fill him up longer.
Snack- Fruit, yogurt, cereal ect…
Lunch- Toasted sandwich, heavy carbs like pasta ect
Snack- Again just fruit, yoghurt, cereal ect.
Then dinner.

There is absolutely no reason except boredom that would have anyone eating THAT much. I have twin boys going through puberty and there is absolutely no way I would let them eat much more than what is needed. It’s not good for their health to eat like that.
Locks, time restrictions Enforce these things if needed.

If he’ll eat pasta, buy ramen noodles or other types

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If he’s eating 300$ worth of groceries you may need to get him wormed, that’s a lot of food, I have a daughter who eats me house out of home and I still don’t spend anywhere near as much… maybe try slow release carby foods so he feels fuller longer

Yes to the Raman noodles! Go for filling, especially if he’s thin. The cheapest stuff you can find. As long as he’s getting his vegetables and protein at one meal a day that’s good. Cereals are good fillers again buy cheap, drinks got water, tea, or koolaid. I used to buy a certain amount, I had 3 at one point, when it was gone, they were left with bologna or pbj sandwich’s.

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Coupons are your friend. So is buying in bulk. Buy the case of Ramen !!! When food you all like goes on sale… buy a case !!! Seriously…

Get him to bake muffins, cookies, squares whatever. A lot cheaper to buy the flour, sugar etc and make your own, than to buy packaged snacks. No bake cookies and rice crispy squares are another idea. And get some things like rice, beans and lentils, they’re cheap and filling. If he’s more picky, red lentils are awesome for cooking up and blending with a good sauce, mix it up with pasta or rice. Good luck!

My 12 year old is in this phase too; when I notice him doing more “snacking” than actually “eating,” I ask him if he’s hungry or bored. If he says he’s bored, we go do something. If he’s hungry, I help him find better solutions to help fill him up vs eating junk that isn’t going to stick with him and help him figure out a meal instead of aimlessly snacking/grazing all day long.

I also do most of my grocery shopping at ALDI. It’s SO much cheaper and there are very few things that I won’t buy from there, one them being primarily beef in any form simply because I can find locally resourced beef/pork for about the same price that’s a better quality somewhere else in town. However, switching to Aldi even from Walmart had saved a significant amount of money. I went from $300-$400 every two weeks to $300/month in groceries. But obviously that’s not including like dish soaps, dog food, laundry stuff because those I won’t buy at aldi.

I have a 14 yr old grandson
And he eats constantly
To the point I have to hide stuff
He keeps coming out of his room
Expecting to find something has magically appeared in the fridge, freezer or pantry
He is constantly having growth spurts
My family shopping bill can be as high as $500 A week


Cheap eats/snacks; hard boiled eggs, bananas, refried beans rolled in a whole wheat flour or corn tortilla & nuked 30 seconds (add cheese, salsa, sour cream and/or hot sauce if you want, guac or avocado slices if you can afford it). big bag of apples, baked potatoes with Salad Toppings & shredded cheese, sweet potatoes with butter & cinnamon are all cheap, relatively easy & filling.

Also get big tubs of plain yogurt (or vanilla if you must have the sugar) and have mix-ins on hand: nuts, fresh & dried fruits, chocolate chips, granola, regular Cheerios or other healthy cereal, coconut, honey, M&Ms, and maple syrup, for example.

Buy peanuts in the shell for him to snack on. Nutritious, no salt, cheaper & having to crack the shell & throw it away will slow down his eating. Popcorn is good—get an air popper at the thrift store & have him pop his own. Top popcorn with olive oil & spices, Parmesan cheese, shredded cheddar, cinnamon sugar or drizzle with maple syrup for flavored popcorn.

Whole grain homemade waffles make a cheap & filling snack as well as a breakfast. Add dried fruit (my fave is dried apricots, chopped) and you don’t need syrup. Add chocolate chips, top with whipped cream or ice cream & you have a treat/dessert. I also like adding pecans or walnuts to waffles. Freeze a bunch, reheat & crisp in toaster oven.

Soups are fairly easy to make, cheap & filling and a good use of various leftovers. Plus it takes time to eat by spoonfuls so he can’t wolf it all down in one bite.

Make a big batch of brown rice & freeze in portion sized containers. Add gravy, curry, salsa, and/or cut up meats & vegetables and nuke for a filling pre-dinner snack.

A can or frozen bag of mixed vegetables + equal parts mayonnaise & Dijon mustard to coat makes a great healthy cold snack.

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Beanie weenies (least bad meat hot dogs, or use veggie or tofu dogs) sliced and heated with canned or homemade baked beans over rice is cheap, tasty & filling.

Buy frozen pizza from the grocery store & bake it yourselves at $2-10 vs paying delivery. Hot & ready in 15 minutes. ALDI has an awesome, enormous “everything” pizza we love.

Make more vegetarian/vegan fare at least once a week. Meat & U.S. poultry is expensive, bad for one’s health & the environment, & generally too full of antibiotics, hormones and pesticides to be worth the cost. Not to mention fatal for the animals! :smile: Use bits of mea/poultry/seafood in casseroles, salads, etc. vs. having it be the centerpiece of the plate.

Teach him to cook so he can make stuff from scratch for himself. It’s healthier, cheaper and better for you without the stabilizers, preservatives, etc. Get heads of lettuce and have him cut it up for salads vs. buying ready bagged, or use romaine leaves instead of bread to make a healthier roll-up sandwich.


See if buying powdered milk is cheaper than the carton/gallon. Skip fruit juices and serve water or seltzer, or dilute juices so they go farther. Infuse water with fruit, cucumber, mint or other herbs, lemon or lime juice for something less plain.

Make iced tea from hot tea for cheap drinks. There are a million kinds of black, green, white, decaf & herbal teas for variety. Keep a jug or pitcher in the refrigerator.

Make your own birthday cakes. Or let a carton of ice cream soften a little, scoop into an OREO cookie or Graham cracker crust, drizzle with melted chocolate, butterscotch, or fruit purée/preserves and freeze. Or instead of drizzle, top with whipped cream and berries or cut fruit for an elegant, birthday ice cream pie. Most nights you can skip dessert, but packaged cookies are probably the easiest and cheapest solution. Ginger snaps and animal crackers are almost healthy.

Might be worth joining a club like Costco or BJs to buy big quantities of non-perishables, or stuff you go through quickly like grapes, cheddar cheese, salsa (easy solution for anytime you need chopped tomatoes and onions—great for soups) or whole grain bread.

Might be worth investing in an extra freezer so you (the whole family) can cook lots at once, portion it out and freeze it so it can be grabbed & nuked later, saving time & money.

Good luck! The growth spurts will end eventually and he’ll be launched before you know it. Could he do occasional work to help with expenses? Mow lawns, shovel snow, babysit? Maybe he could pick up some hours at a fast food or retail place.

Provide him with 3 meals a day, anything he wants beyond his needs. he’ll have to pay for on his own.

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Try explaining to him the situation you’re in. Buy food 1x a week and let him know once that’s gone it’s gone. Hide some in your room and bring it out to restock as needed. Maybe he’s eating out of boredom (I do that). Also under these circumstances maybe you could apply for food assistance. It’s there for people who truly need it.

Get a tote and hide a lot of it in your room lol. and replenish as needed. Don’t leave it all out at once.

You can stop by a church for free food pantry

I have 4 boys and I’m dreading teenage years!

I’ve seen a thing on Facebook before where you get a little basket from the dollar store and you put snacks in it for the day!

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Protein makes you feel full longer. He needs more protein snacks less garbage. Carbs are going to turn to sugar and burn off fast.

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I was having the same problems with my 2 boys. They will eat an eat if u let them. But we tried a few different things that have helped us , I’ve been making them a big decent sized meal 3 times a day an they each got there own “dollar tree bucket” that I fill up with snacks that should last them for a day . I told them about it first an let them no it should last them all day! Exercise an them getting out the house also helped us out a lot.

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Don’t know these days how a young family can plan a budget for week to week. Over the years and not just now things keep going up and up and up. When I was first married years ago my weekly budget for food and such was $15.00 a week. Beat that.

Don’t let him sit around eating all day. Make him get up and go out and do things. I know it might be uncomfortable but telling him that you spent that much on groceries and he ate it all in two days should WORRY him. Also maybe don’t buy such expensive foods.

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Sam’s club and Costco lol.

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I tell my kids I go to the store once a week and thar is it. (3 boys-9, 11 and 17) and if they choose to eat it all in 2 days they have to deal with foinf without the rest of the week. It took a few weeks but they have figured out I’m serious and make stuff last a bit longer. Alot of it was just boredom.