Hunger in America – Feeding my Family on a Budget: Week Two

Well, I just wrapped week two of my experiment to see if I can feed my family nutritious and tasty meals for $632.00 a month. I will say when I started this project I was a little fearful that this would be nearly impossible. I feel that I am usually a pretty frugal shopper, but I usually spend much more per month than $632.

This week has gone exceptionally well.  With food from week one still in the freezer along with frozen pork that I have, I only needed to spend $51.55 at the grocery store to get me through the week. I recently purchased a half of a hog from a friend’s son. This was a hog that he raised and showed at the county fair. Since I have a freezer full of pork, I was not going to buy any, but I have priced out comparable pork at the store.  The cost would be – Bacon: $7.00, Ham Steak: $5.00, Ground Pork: $6.00, Pork Shoulder $20.00.Wow, when I look at it that way, we ate a lot of pork this week! Guess that is what happen when you buy half a hog.

Adding in the pork costs plus $10 for a bottle of white wine (that I opened last week for the Moroccan Meatballs and drank the rest this week) I spent $99.55 for additional food this week. Oh, and looking at the receipt, I also had to buy sandwich and snack bags this week. It’s not food, but I needed them for the kid’s lunches, so into the cart they went.Adding this to week one’s grocery bill of $240. 47, I have spent a total of $340.02. This is more than half my budget, but I’m feeling good about making the budget work.

Grocery Receipt

What we ate this week:

Monday:
Green smoothie: spinach, mango, pineapple, banana, flax seed, ginger
Turkey sandwich with Monterey jack cheese on WW bread, grapes, carrots, pretzels, pudding
Salmon, green beans, brown rice with mushrooms, onion, peppers
Yogurt with blueberries

Tuesday:
Oatmeal with blueberries
Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich, apples, cherry tomatoes , cookies, popcorn
Shrimp pesto pasta, salad

Wednesday:
Cereal, bananas, milk/yogurt
Tuna sandwich, grapes, carrots, pretzels, pudding cup
Ham steak and veggie fritatta

Thursday:
Green smoothie: spinach, mango, pineapple, banana, flax seed, ginger
Turkey sandwich with Monterey jack cheese on WW bread, grapes, carrots, pretzels, pudding
Roasted chicken with potatoes, carrots, celery, and onion

Friday:
Cereal, bananas, milk/yogurt
Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich, apples, cherry tomatoes , cookies
Cheese Pizza with chicken and veggies

Saturday:
WW Waffles with blueberries and maple syrup
Leftovers for lunch
Angel Hair pasta and marinara sauce with pork sausage cooked with onions and garlic, salad

Sunday:
Cereal, milk, fruit
bacon (cooked some for the black beans, and everyone just noshed on the balance)
leftover pasta
Chips and Salsa (watching the 49s)
Pork; black beans cooked with onion, green peppers, bacon, and a bay leaf; broccoli, and rolls

So this week entailed lots of cooking, but everything was manageable for weeknight meals. The quickest meal to prepare was Wednesday’s. I have late afternoon staff meetings on Wednesdays, so I usually schedule a quick and easy meal for that night. To make it extra quick, I boiled the russet potatoes Tuesday night while I was preparing the pasta. Then I simply stuck them in the fridge for Wednesday.

Looking at all this food, I think we ate very well! Yes, I work full time. Yes, we have after school activities. And yes, I am tired in the evening. But with a little bit of planning, it is doable, and surprisingly affordable!

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