Thursday, April 12, 2012

grocery challenge

{frugal breakfast - homemade yogurt & granola}

Have you ever seen how low you can get your grocery budget without sacrificing nutrition? Measure, weigh, calculate, and price out what meals really cost. Cut the junk completely, bake furiously, and plan everything down to the beverages.
I thought I would try, with careful planning, to see if I could participate in a $400.00 grocery challenge. I went to the Hillbilly Housewife's website to look at her emergency food budgets to get an idea of where to begin. For sure, if we were in a emergency, I would use it as a guide. For my purposes, I want to basically do what I am already doing nutritionally, but simplify it to the bare bones minimum cost. Call it an experiment.
I am sad to say that for my family of 6 in the area that we live in, it in near impossible. A $400.00 budget gives me about $13.30 per day to work with. Ouch. Even if I have a strict budget of a $3.00 breakfast total for 6 and $5.00 total for sack lunches, (popcorn for snack is under 30 cents)that leaves me $5.00 or so for dinner. This is not impossible, but really difficult. If we were mid-summer with the garden producing full swing it would be much easier. This is definitely a case for a big garden and putting up as much food as possible for winter.
I spent a few hours putting all these numbers together and quit because I got frustrated that we couldn't do it. But I am feeling a renewed sense of determination to be able to do this with a full garden. I think that maybe I will reduce our food budget to $500.00 and see if that is doable right now. Just for a month I want to see. In the summer, I will try again for the $400.00.
I like a good challenge.

Have a blessed day, Tami


  1. Our food bill has decreased, but we had two kids move out :) I think knowing where the pitfalls in grocery shopping is the key. If I shop at more than one grocery store for the "sales" I spend more just jumps in the cart. Oh and menu planning is my best friend. Have fun paring down the budget!!!

  2. Menu planning is a constant struggle for me. I'm just not good at it. I commend you for taking up the gauntlet ~ I think $500 is still a challenging figure. But I bet you do it! You are ahead of the game in that you are a big baker and very conscientious shopper in general. Next month I am going to do one big monthly shopping and fill in with fresh produce and dairy halfway thru the month...we'll see how that goes!