Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Feed the Family for $75 a Week!

Mary at Owlhaven is challenging us to feed our families for $75 a week in the month of September. She has 10 kids and is taking the challenge!! (She does have a huge garden and promises that no one will go hungry!) So, here is the question ... Can a gluten-free, mostly dairy-free, organic meat, locally grown fruit and veggie family of six eat for $75 a week ... without Mom going crazy and dh or the teenager starving?? What am I thinking? The teenager is always starving anyway!

So here is the plan ... After several discussions with the family, we have decided to go without juice for the month of September. That will save us $15 a week. We also are going to eat only 1/2 to 1 pound of meat with the dinner meal five times a week. We will eat more beans. I will search the "scratch and dent" store that sells local organic meat (these are not cut nicely or else are in smaller portions than most folks want) and often has some gluten-free products. Then I will rotate between the farmer's market bulk section, Walmart and Aldies for everything else. Once I have the best deals of the week, I will make a menu. I will avoid EarthFare (the chain health food store in our area). I will try to avoid those quick runs to the store for one item that always turns into 10 items. 

MORE INFO ~ The teenager will be using $25 of his own money to buy snacks to keep in his room for night-time snacking. Also, I have about 5 pounds of meat and 3 pounds of fish already in the freezer. I also have about 4 quarts each of frozen beans, strawberries, and onions in our freezer  from our garden. I also have several pounds of gluten-free flours, 15 pounds of rice and 3 bags of beans. Otherwise, the cupboards are pretty bare, with just a few odds and ends.

Week One ~

Amazing Savings ("scratch and dent" store) -- organic cheese, 3 containers of Soy Dream, 5 bananas, 3 plums, 1 pound organic ground turkey, 3/4 pound free-range organic ground beef, 3 bags of BBQ chips (all natural), locally made strawberry jam, 2 gluten-free pasta and sauce kits, 3 boxes of gluten-free cereal, 1 box of organic candy canes, party platter of shrimp, organic latkes, frozen peas, BBQ sauce, 1 loaf of wheat bread (for dh's lunch, he isn't gluten-free at work), seltzer water Total~$35.51

Walmart ~ cage-free eggs, Smart Balance (margarine), 4 cans of tuna, Oriental Stir-Fry, 2 pounds of grapes, 4 cucumbers (locally grown), broccoli, lettuce, 10 pound bag of ice, trash bags, SOS cleaning pads, Trident sugar-free gum (for dd with braces), Ajax dish detergent, white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide Total~ $33.15

Farmer's Market ~ One bushel of Gala apples  Total ~ $14.00

Well, the grand total for my first week of shopping is $82.66. That is $7.66 over my goal. Not bad for my first try and the apples will last a long time. So next week I only have $67.34 to spend. Yikes! (Of course, this is just a game so no one will go hungry!)

Blessings, Dawn


  1. Good Luck in the challenge Dawn!

    It's gonna be a tough one for us organic eating families.

    Thanks for visiting my blog over at Laura Williams' Musings.



  2. I look forward to how you do and your menu. Heres an idea, popcorn is cheap, and glutten free right? A great snack.

  3. That amount is our target goal for groceries each month. First let me say I include any kitchen, bath, laundry and (nighttime) diaper needs within that cost. We are at 400 the last few months. Which I think is good but, could be better. Someday I hope to have a small farm and not need to buy so much but, for now that's about what it costs us. I love to talk about recipes so do share. :)


  4. You did really well with your savings. We have been trying to do something similar for a few months now, only spending $100 a week. At first it was hard because we weren't working with a menu, but it has gotten a lot easier. The kids even help out with the menu planning using the sale circulars. We even had money left over last month so I took my kids (including the oldest) out to lunch yesterday.

    Keep up the great work. It is well worth the challenge.

  5. Sounds like you are doing great! Anytime I need to save more money, I try to buy more single-ingredient foods and fewer ready-made. That might dovetail nicely with your desire to buy organic...

    Glad you're playing along!


  6. WOW~ I think you are doing an amazing job given that you are buying organic and you have some special concerns...I think I read Gluten Free...that is much more expensive...the scratch and dent store must really be a blessing....