I was inspired by my blogging friend Mandee (of The Kitchen Wife) to drastically trim our grocery budget to $50 a week. That isn’t a lot to realistically feed a family, but it would more than halve our grocery budget – which would mean a lot more margin in other areas! I was trepidatious, but challenge accepted.
The first week we attempted to spend $50 we failed miserably. The biggest mistake we made was not using cash. In theory it sounds easy to stop at $50 using a debit card, but it sure isn’t for us. And throughout the week we ran out of a couple of things and spent even more.
This week we got $50 cash, and made a menu. I tried to incorporate as many ingredients that I already had on hand as I could. I came up with 7 dinners. Lunch is usually a sandwich or leftovers and for breakfast we do smoothies and muffins. So as long as we have dinners covered, we are pretty much set for the week. Here is the menu I came up with:
2. Butternut Squash Lasagna
3. Crock Pot Mac & Cheese
4. Beans, Cheese & Rice
5. Mexican Beans & Rice
7. Crock Pot Beans & Rice
Yep. Thats a lot of beans and rice. A few weeks ago we bought a 10 pound bag of pinto beans and a 25 pound bag of rice at Sam’s, so we will be eating beans and rice for some time to come. It may not be glamorous, but its cheap and good protein. I add a side salad for some fresh veggies.
The grand total for groceries this week was $45, and that includes a pound of organic, fair trade espresso beans. I plan to make up some homemade muffins, crackers, and maybe some cookies so we resist the urge to run to the store for munchies. My husband is weaning himself off of Mt. Dew, and I am weaning myself off of wine, so we have been making lot of pitchers of Passion Tea Lemonade!
Do you stick to a grocery budget, or do you blow it every week like we did? I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments!