I have to admit that we did not start the challenge until Sunday, February 2. The reason: we needed to finish up some food that was in the fridge. The rules I set for us were: we would start with whatever was on the door of the refrigerator, the spices and seasonings that were in the cupboard and whatever was left in the jars of flour, sugar, etc. Anything that I had otherwise in the house would be deducted out of the amount we would have for the month.
We are a family of 2 and if we were to receive the full amount in benefits from the SNAP program (food stamps) that would be $255.50 for the month, $63.87 per week. I decided I would budget it as we were getting weekly, so that we would still have money at the end of the month. I was amazed at how little this allowed us to purchase and at the last grocery store realized that I only had one option for dinner for the week. I did splurge and buy yogurt for our lunch (this is what we normally eat) since Stella does not eat meat or drink milk. It was cheaper in the individual servings than the big container – and yes I did buy whole milk, organic. So are you wondering why I would buy the expensive yogurt and not the cheap stuff? One of the reasons I decided to take this challenge was to see if we could still eat a nutritious and healthy diet.
I ended up going to 4 grocery stores to get all that was on the list and the list was not long – but I did go over the $63.87. The list:
Parmesan cheese $4.79
Whole milk, raw cheddar cheese $3.29
Mozzarella cheese $3.99
Tortillas (10 pack) $2.04
Spinach (organic) $3.53
Broccoli (organic) $3.89
Apples 3 lb (organic) $6.99
Yogurt 10 servings $11.90
Raw milk yogurt $4.50
Blueberries (3 cups) $3.22
Eggs (2 dozen – local) $8.18
Smoothie Juice $3.65
Grand total: $81.24! Now some of this we will use in week 2, but not a lot of it. We are now down to $174.26. Next week Stella will be doing the school lunch along with week 4 – so that will cut the food expense for those particular weeks.
Saturday night was spent soaking grains, making dough, soaking beans etc. I will share our recipes and menus with you as we venture into the days ahead!