Friday, March 21, 2014

Feeding a Family of Five With $100 a Week - Week 1

Well, we made it through our first month of only spending $100 a week to feed our family! And I will say, I was VERY shocked at the results! I never felt like I needed to go to the store for anything! I actually felt like we had more food in our pantry than normal. I'm not sure how that is possible, but it's true. 

If you are looking to cut back on spending, groceries is the place to start. If you haven't read Part 1 about why we are doing this you can read it HERE.

Some of my starter tips? 

*Make a list and stick to it. I know we've all been told this before and it sounds harder than it actually is. All you do is scan your house; the pantry, fridge, bathrooms (for toiletries) and make a list of the things you need. Then when you are at the store and are tempted to buy something impulsively, it's so much easier to say, "NO" because it's not on the list.

*Make an assessment of what you need and decide if you REALLY need it or if it would just be nice to have. Yes, when you are out of toothpaste, you really do need to buy toothpaste, but when you fridge is running low on juice boxes, do you really need them? Will your kids die without them? Can they drink juice from a cup or plain water and live? 

*Choose one thing per category. For me lunch was the category I had to trim down. Do we really need lunch meat, tuna, PB & J and chicken breast all at once? Do I really need multiple options every day at lunchtime? Does my toddler really need pretzels and crackers and Goldfish at once? Do we need 8 types of produce at one time? 

* And last, take a calculator with you to the store and add up what you are putting in your cart. This was important for me. As I've mentioned before, we live rurally. Grocery shopping is not convenient. I am VERY tempted to stock up on EVERYTHING. But, while trying to stick to my $100 a week I started to think, "How many loaves of bread do we need for ONE week?" "Do I really need to buy 6 loaves? Or can we get by on 3 loaves?" Because the truth is...I will be right back in the same grocery store one week later! 

So, my first week was a huge success! We had everything we needed for packing school lunches, eating healthy, wholesome dinners and breakfasts. Even my toddler (my bottomless pit) survived! 

Here's a picture of what I was able to purchase with $100...

Showing the world what is in my kitchen feels a little revealing. LOL! I feel I have to explain what I bought. But, I know I don't have to. You will notice there's no meat. As I mentioned in my intro we keep our freezer full of venison and farm raised chicken.

Some of the dinners we had include:
Spaghetti with venison meatballs
Veggie quiche (not all meals need to include meat)
Venison steaks with roasted veggies

Breakfasts usually consist of:
Eggs and toast
PB on toast
My oldest always just wants cereal :(
And Oatmeal made with brown sugar, cinnamon and some of our canned apples.

Lunches at home and for school:
PB & J (it's my kid's favorite!)
Fresh fruit
Carrot sticks (one of the only raw veggies my kids will eat)
String cheese or yogurt

These are just some examples. I can honestly say, no one in this house has gone hungry yet. And we are now on our 2nd month of only spending $100 a week! 

What are your money saving tips? How do you cut back on spending at the grocery store? 
Feel free to ask any questions you might have! 

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