It’s been so crazy around here that I have been M.I.A. for over two weeks… how has the time gotten away from me? (Trust me, you really don’t want to know).
Have you seen the USDA cost of feeding families in the United States? It’s CRAZY. For my family of 10, the cost ranges from $1183.86 (super frugal plan) to $2326.23. That’s just for food, none of the extras that we include in our household budget like cleaning supplies, laundry supplies, paper products, personal hygiene, etc…
My budget is $1,000/mo for everything, Dad & Mom P kick in $250 which brings our total food/household supply budget to $1250 for 10 people. (Remember back when I wrote about adopting a dad? Well, I did better and married a Dad and a Mom.)
There is no doubt in my mind that if I wanted to buy packaged processed foods and skimp on fresh produce, we’d be able to pull this off under the “thrifty” plan budget. However, I believe in whole, fresh foods… not highly processed, chemical laden packaged dinners.
So… the million dollar question is, how do I pull off a high quality, nutrient dense, satisfying diet for 10 on $125/mo per person?
Step one, was to change my mindset. I have been VERY stressed over how to manage this
impossible task. I decided to look at this as a challenge… it is my duty and mission to lower our families grocery spending and continue to feed them high quality, nutrient dense foods.
Step three- plan budget appropriate breakfast options
Step four- budget cost of lunches (at home, packed, etc…). This is especially important for those without reheat access who can’t take left overs.
Step five- omit beverages. Seriously, we don’t need juice and soda at our meals or for snacks. We need water and if we can afford it, we need raw milk. If you drink 2-3 cans of soda at home, you are spending $.50-$1.50 per person on soda each day. That’s if you buy 12 packs and ration… if you stop at the neighborhood market or run through McDriveThru, you are out $1.59+ per soda. Even adding one carton of frozen juice concentrate or one on sale jug of apple juice will add $1-1.50/day ($30-45/mo!) to your grocery cost. We reserve juice for weekend breakfasts.
Today’s Meal Plan-
Breakfast- 12 eggs scrambled, toast w/ jam, fresh fruit
Snack- apple slices, cheese stick
Lunch- Hamburger leftovers, salad, water w/ lemon juice + honey.
Snack- air popped popcorn w/ seasoning salt
Dinner- pork & white bean burritos (crock pot- recipe coming soon)
Beginning tomorrow, we will be preparing all our dinners from the E Mealz plan… I will be making some small substitutions, but for those, I’ll price match the replacements. I will be adding more fresh veggies to the menu and our desserts will be fruit salad with real whip on Wednesday nights and a tasty treat on Sunday nights.
I joined E Mealz and chose the any store meal plan AND the gluten free meal plan. I don’t know that I will keep both plans for the long term, however, I wanted to see how easy it would be to combine the plans to keep everyone in our household happy campers.
Eat Well. Be Well.