Thursday, June 5, 2014

Eating on $6 a day

In order to pay some credit card bills this past month, we were stuck with a very limited grocery budget of only six dollars a day. Honestly, it has been hard. But 4 or 5 vegetarian meals a week later, we realized we could actually do it! 

Although, this is the current state of our fridge:




I typically shop for 4 days worth of groceries at a time. That gives me $24 for one shopping trip. So here is a sample menu for four days plus the grocery list and total price. The grocery list is based off of everything I actually have to buy, not staples that I already have. 

Dinner:

Day 1- rice, bean and cheese burritos

1 1/2 cups cooked rice, half a cup salsa, one cup corn, one can beans mixed and heated through with cheese and lettuce on top in flour tortillas. 

Day 2- veggie pot pie

Pie crust (I had one left from a two pack) filled with almost a whole bag of mixed veggies, can of cream of celery soup, and poultry seasoning all mixed together with a giant biscuit (made from bisquick and milk) on top and baked. 

Day 3- chili

Half a sautéed onion and just under 3/4 pound cooked ground turkey mixed with 2 cans beans, a can of diced tomatoes, a half cup salsa, salt, cumin and chili powder and simmered on the stove top. 

Day 4- tacos

Just under 3/4 lb cooked ground turkey mixed with a can of beans and taco seasoning, in corn shells topped with lettuce, tomato, onion and cheese. 

Lunch:

For Chris (varied throughout the week, I don't give him the same thing every day)- dinner leftovers, banana, hard boiled eggs, carrots and ranch, chewy bars, applesauce, yogurt with dried fruit or honey, mixed veggies, PB&J, salad (aka lettuce with dressing), or oatmeal with dried fruit and nuts.

For Me: 
The rest of the leftovers if there are any. If not, PB&J, maybe a banana, and salad if there is any left. 

For Lenny:
PB&J, frozen veggies, banana, or hard boiled egg

Breakfast:

For everybody:
Oatmeal or toast with butter or jelly, or if I am in a spirit of mortification, plain toast ;)
If Chris is feeling fancy he will make himself a breakfast taco with a flour tortilla and scrambled eggs. 
Milk (for Lenny) and Coffee (for the big people)

Coffeeeeeeeeeeeeee. 

During the day, Carolina will usually just eat off of me or I will give her some banana/oatmeal/diced veggies. She doesn't eat much yet. 

Ok so here is my grocery list for all this. And by the way I got this app called grocery IQ which allows you to organize your grocery list according to the set up of the aisles in your own grocery store as well as enter the prices so you know how much it will cost. This has been so valuable to me! It helps me to know how much I will be spending in advance so I can weed out non-essentials as well as make sure I am buying the absolute cheapest possible version of whatever it is that I need. It has seriously helped me so much!

Grocery list:

Produce-
6 bananas $1.08
Carrots $0.78
Onion $1.05
Iceberg lettuce $0.99
Roma tomato $0.19

Dairy/refrigerated-
Half and half $1.08
Shredded cheddar $1.88
Eggs $1.88

Dry goods-
Brown rice $0.64
4 cans beans $2.72
Cream of celery soup $0.68
Diced tomatoes $0.68
Taco shells $0.98
Bread $1.88
Oatmeal $0.97
Chewy bars $1.88

Meat-
1.25 lb ground turkey $2.98
(I had a $0.50 off coupon)

Frozen food-
Corn $0.96
Mixed veggies $0.98

Total: $24.28

The yogurt, peanut butter, jelly, dried fruit, milk, coffee, butter, honey, nuts, etc. I do not go through every four days so I didn't buy them on this shopping trip but I did have to get other staples- the oatmeal, half and half, rice, chewy bars, cheese and eggs. I usually have to get three to six staples on each trip that will last me between a week to a couple of months depending on what it is. 

So there you have it. I definitely would not be able to stick with $6 a day for more than a few months since there are always the more expensive staples like olive oil and seasonings that always seem to all run out at the same time. This upcoming month our food budget will be $8 a day so we can actually eat a bit healthier. I usually try to have extra veggies in each lunch and dinner and haven't been able to buy that on this budget. We also will be able to get more meat. Yay for meat!

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