Hunger in America – Feeding My Family on a Budget: Week Three

Well, I have wrapped up week three of my experiment to see if I can feed my family of four health and tasty meals for one month with a budget of $632. $632 being the maximum amount of SNAP (Supplemental Nutritious Assistance Program) that a family of four can receive in California.

So far, so good. I am about to say that yes you can, but I am not quite there yet. This week I am not accounting for a full seven day week.  As you know we are a blended family and we share custody of my step-children with their mother and step-father. We have a week on, week off schedule.  But due to travel plans, they have been with us for the past three consecutive weeks – that is why I choose to run this experiment at this time. They went this last Friday to their mom’s, and they will return this next Friday. Then I will resume my experiment.

Groceries

This last week, I did another big shopping run. And then a second quick trip because we decided to have pork burritos with the left over pork from last week, and I needed to pick up tortillas. I have a lot of food still from the this last shopping trip. In the freezer I still have two whole chickens, a package of chicken tenders, and about 2 pounds of hamburger.  This will stay in the freezer until the kids come back. I did some shopping today for my husband and I, but I will be keeping that separate. I am doing my best to keep these four weeks true to the guidelines that I have set for myself for this experiment.

Monday night’s flounder was a fail! The quinoa and roasted cauliflower were a huge hit, but the fish was way off. I am not sure if it was the fish or my cooking.  Either way – it was a major fail! The rest of the week was delicious! As you can see, we got a lot of mileage out of that pork roast. My son was even here last Saturday, and I sent him home with a care package of pork. Lots of pork! It really helped make meal prep much quicker this week.

I tried another one of Melissa d’Arabian’s Ten Dollar Meal recipes – the three cheesesteak sandwiches. They were a huge hit! Absolutely delicious. Unfortunately, I completely forgot to snap some pictures. And they were pretty sandwiches filled with onions, peppers, mushrooms, and melted cheese. Oh well, between work, kids, swim practice, dogs, homework, and making dinner – I forgot. Remember this is real life! So I used Melissa’s pictures. I will make them again for sure – so maybe I will remember to take pics next time.

What We Ate This Week:

Monday:

  • Cereal, banana, milk
  • Turkey Sandwich, carrots, bananas, graham crackers
  • Flounder, quinoa, cauliflower (Sophia liked the flounder, but Dominic pulled leftover pasta out of the fridge)
Flounder with confetti quinoa and roasted cauliflower.
Flounder with confetti quinoa and roasted cauliflower.

Tuesday:

  • Oatmeal with blueberries
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich, apples, grapes, cheese crackers, cookies
  • Pork burrittos (or salad) leftover pork, beans, avocado, tomato, cheese

Pork Salad

Wednesday:

  • Green smoothie: spinach, mango, pineapple, banana, flax seed, ginger
  • Pork sandwiches, celery w peanut butter, cherry tomatos, pudding cups, saltine crackers
  • Three Cheesesteak Sandwiches

Cheesesteak

Thursday:

  • Cereal, banana, milk
  • Bagels with cream cheese and sliced turkey, apple, celery, cheese crackers
  • Huevos Rancheros with cottage potatoes, black beans, avocado, and tomato
  • Huevros Rancheros - the last night of using up the pork and black beans
    Huevros Rancheros – the last night of using up the pork and black beans

Friday:

  • Green smoothie: spinach, mango, pineapple, banana, flax seed, ginger
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich, apples, grapes, cheese crackers, cookies

 This week I spent a total of $173.72 on food.

Groceries Week 3

Groceries Week 3

Adding together week one: $240.47, plus week two: $99.55, and week three: $173.72 – I have spent a total of $513.74. This leaves me with $118.26 for my final week.  I think this is doable – remember, I have a lot of chicken and hamburger still in the freezer. Plus I have not yet baked the muffins or brownies, and I still have pasta, canned chicken, and tuna. But I will be getting close! Stay tuned – the results will be posted in two weeks.

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