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!)