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Weight Loss, Fitness & Health Weight Loss, Fitness & Health

How to eat healthy and feed a family os 5 healthy foods with a very TINY budget??

Posted by on May. 10, 2013 at 6:07 PM
  • 11 Replies

 I posted this to a reply from another post of mine, and thought more people may see it if I post a brand new post. 

There are weeks when grocery money is hard to come buy.  For example, this week we had $50 for groceries.  Luckily, we are kind of okay with dinner meals but it's stuff like ground meat, sausage, potatoes, white rice and pasts. :(  I know, it's not the healthiest, but according to my DH, it's what we can afford. 

Is there anyone in a similar "boat," so to speak?  What do you do?  Our family consists of me, DH, my 7 y.o. DD, 5 y.o. DD, and 4 y.o. DS.  I usually find myself saving the fruits and veggies and even yogurts for the kids because they need the nutrition to grow and stay healthy so I eat WHATEVER is in the house like raman noodles, cheese doodles or something :((  I know, that's terrible but I feel VERY guility if I eat the healthy food and then there's not enough for the week...

If you can't work with $50 a week for a family of 5?... what is your grocery bill like for what size family and what kinds of things do you get? 

(I am in nursing school and my DH is the only one working ATM. So, needless to say, we are on "hard times" until I can graduate and pass my boards.  And, no, we do not quailify for state aide)

by on May. 10, 2013 at 6:07 PM
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Replies (1-10):
CrazedMomof2
by on May. 10, 2013 at 11:46 PM
I dice and bake potatoes. I don't think that's too bad. We eat a lot of chicken. I don't think it's muh more than ground beef. We make meat, veggies and a carb usually. I usually don't eat much of the carb but the kids do.

I spend a fortune on food it seems though. Try to get stuff on sale and don't buy cheese doodles if you don't want to eat them. :)
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darbyakeep45
by Darby on May. 11, 2013 at 7:44 AM

Can you buy in bulk?  That will end up being cheaper in the long run.  How about Farmer's Markets?  They are reasonably priced as well.  Where do you grocery shop at?  Do you buy the store brands?

michiganmom116
by Rhonda on May. 11, 2013 at 8:17 AM
4 moms liked this

I'm in the same boat some weeks.  There are even weeks during the summer that I have no money for groceries....and I'm feeding 2 adults and 3 teens.  My average grocery bill is anywhere from $60 to $100 a week, including meats.

Do you plan meals?  Do you cook from scratch?  Those 2 things right there will help save money.  Do you have an Aldi or Save A Lot near you?  (if you don't know, go to their websites and use the store locator)  Take the time to know store prices and where you can get things for less.  Walmart is NOT always the cheapest, either.  I will often check the clearance areas in the produce/meat areas to get foods that are almost expired but can be frozen for later use.  Clearance veggies can be great in soups/stews/stir fry.  Clearance fruits can be frozen for smoothies.  Clearance meats are quickly frozen and used at a later date. 

Know your portion sizes.  1 banana is the equivalent of 2 portions.  1/2 cup is a standard portion for most other foods.  Sometimes we don't NEED all the food we think we do.

Drink water, home-brewed tea, or coffee at home.  Avoid fruit juice (100% sugar no matter how you look at it) and watch how much milk the kids are drinking.  24 oz. a day is all they need between drinking and cereal (if you have it), and that's not including any other dairy products.  If they have yogurt, they don't need 3 glasses of milk a day.  OH....I've got a "recipe" to make your own yogurt using milk and a crockpot with 1/2 cup of yogurt starter (plain yogurt with live active cultures).  When it's done, just add your own fruit or flavors.

Do you have any space for a garden?  Every little bit helps.  I know many people that even grow veggies in containers on their small balconies or patios.

I now follow a nutrient dense diet (no empty foods like pasta, bread, cereal, not many potatoes unless they're sweet potatoes, no legumes), but I can still give you ideas for meals.  I used to have $250 a month to feed a family of 7 (before my adult sons moved out in the past 2 years), and I did it.

Breakfasts:  cold cereal is expensive by the time you get done adding milk and if you don't measure portion sizes.  Don't get it unless it's free or nearly free.  Instead, make pancakes from scratch and top with fruit.  Buy oatmeal in the canister or in bulk instead of instant and add your own toppings (fruit, spices, raisins, peanut butter) to add variety.  Egg casseroles can stretch 4 to 6 eggs to make 12 good sized servings.  Frittatas with veggies are healthy and pretty cheap.  Homemade muffins and hard boiled eggs can be a filling breakfast.

Lunches:  deli meat and cheese is expensive for sandwiches.  Stick with egg salad, tuna salad, chicken salad made from leftover chicken, PB & J, PB & banana.  Make hearty homemade soups for those that are home, or chef salads using leftover meat and simple veggies.

Dinners:  meat shouldn't be the centerpiece.  Casseroles will stretch it out, and there are plenty of options for healthy casseroles.  Stir fry will stretch a small amount of meat to feed the whole family, as will stew.  Make sloppy joes instead of burgers....1 lb. of ground beef or turkey will make 8 to 10 servings instead of 4 burgers.  If your family eats beans, baked beans/refried beans/calico beans/misc bean dishes can sub for meat.  Buy cheaper cuts of chicken (drums/legs or wings) and make casseroles, skillet meals, baked chicken with them.

Snacks:  make your own granola bars (I have a recipe), make your own trail mix, pop some popcorn kernels (not microwave popcorn bags), make smoothies with some of the homemade yogurt and frozen fruit with banana for sweetener and freeze them for popsicles.

CLEKate
by Bronze Member on May. 11, 2013 at 9:01 AM
2 moms liked this

One thought: Often frozen fruits & veggies are cheaper than fresh ones.  They are just as good when it comes to vitamins & nutrition.  And they never go bad.

calsmom62
by on May. 11, 2013 at 11:25 AM
I don't know where you live, but you can buy wheat and other grains, grind it into your own flour, even in a food processor, , and use that to make your breads, pasta, etc. Do you garden.? A mesclun salad mix is easy to grow even in containers abd you can have fresh salad all season. You can grow tomatoes, etc too. If you are meat eaters fresh chicken us cheap and you can stretch a chicken to make several meals, soups, casseroles, etc.
childofGod995
by Member on May. 11, 2013 at 4:57 PM

is there a food pantry in your area

darbyakeep45
by Darby on May. 11, 2013 at 5:10 PM

Great ideas here!

lovinlife0607
by Member on May. 25, 2013 at 7:24 PM

 we try to buy in bulk when it's available at local stores but the closest Sam's Club is about 40 minutes away and we never are in that area.  There is only 1 farmer's market around here and we plan on taking advantage of it this summer.  we buy store brands as much as possible and usually shop at aldi's or Walmart if we are this low on cash a week

Quoting darbyakeep45:

Can you buy in bulk?  That will end up being cheaper in the long run.  How about Farmer's Markets?  They are reasonably priced as well.  Where do you grocery shop at?  Do you buy the store brands?

 

lovinlife0607
by Member on May. 25, 2013 at 7:29 PM

 we rent a half a house and no room for a garden.  I have tried to grow my own tomoatoes and herbs but they ended up dying very quickly.  I have a "brown thumb" rather than a green one. LOL however, we have a good friend who has a LARGE garden and sends up fresh produce when she can.  We even have made our own home made tomato sauce from her tomoatoes.  I don't have a food processor. 

Quoting calsmom62:

I don't know where you live, but you can buy wheat and other grains, grind it into your own flour, even in a food processor, , and use that to make your breads, pasta, etc. Do you garden.? A mesclun salad mix is easy to grow even in containers abd you can have fresh salad all season. You can grow tomatoes, etc too. If you are meat eaters fresh chicken us cheap and you can stretch a chicken to make several meals, soups, casseroles, etc.

 

lovinlife0607
by Member on May. 25, 2013 at 7:31 PM

 unfortunately, the food pantries that I have found here actually have you bring in a pay stub.  if you aren't "homeless" or "poor" they will not help you.  I understand where they are coming from, but it still sucks.

Quoting childofGod995:

is there a food pantry in your area

 

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