Friday, September 12, 2008

What Do You Eat???

When a post I wrote about budget shopping was featured on MSN.com recently, I got a lot of comments wondering what we ate on $80 a week, or calling my budget unrealistic. Now, I never meant to prescribe an $80-a-week budget for everyone -- the point of my article is that setting a number, any number, changed the way I shop.

Still, this post is for those commenters who wonder what we eat on $80. Unlike many frugal bloggers, I don't really plan my meals for a whole week in advance, so I can only tell you for the past week, not for the future one. Here are the meals I served on about $80 worth of groceries:

SATURDAY

Breakfast: 8 O'Clock Coffee, cereal (we have 8 O'Clock coffee every single morning, so I'll skip mentioning it from here on out)

Snack: Farmer's Market donuts

Lunch: BLTs

Dinner: Homemade pizza, using clearanced organic mozzerella bought at Wisconsin cheese factory, farmer's market mushrooms and green peppers, and clearanced sausage from the freezer. Whole wheat dough is made in bread machine from Goodwill ($4).

SUNDAY

breakfast: scrambled eggs with mushrooms. the baby eats Chex Mix.

lunch: takeout with friends in a Chicago park

dinner: leftovers from takeout, leftover pizza

MONDAY

breakfast: Pop-Tarts (free + overage after we get the Kellogg's rebate)

lunch: cheese cubes, apples and Cheerios for the girls. Epu brought something from the freezer to work.

snack: Chex Mix

dinner: "breakfast" burritos.

TUESDAY:

Breakfast: free after rebate Pop-Tarts. Nutmeg, who was not feeling well, had a fruit popsicle for breakfast.

Lunch: free Malt-o-Meal cereal and free Kashi crackers with apples and cheese (not necessarily frugal, but both bought at the source up in Wisconsin). Not our healthiest eating, but definitely some of the cheapest in awhile.

Dinner: Eggplant stuffed with ground beef, celery, onions and couscous. Super yum.

WEDNESDAY

Breakfast: Pop-Tarts

Snack: Fruit Popsicles

Lunch: Cheese, crackers and apple slices again. Epu took leftover stuffed eggplant to work.

Snack: Fruit cups, Yogos

Dinner: broccoli and cheese sauce, frozen salmon and rice for the girls. Epu and I go out on a dinner date (huge splurge).

THURSDAY

Breakfast: cereal

Snack: cheese and crackers

Lunch: salad with cheese, bacon (my parents were here eating BLTs, so the girls cribbed a bunch of bacon from them)

Dinner: BLTs on whole wheat with cucumber salad. Tomatoes and cukes from my parents' garden, bacon was $1.29 a pound on clearance. Leftover salmon, broccoli.

FRIDAY

Breakfast: cereal

Snack: cheese toast

Lunch: 17-cent chicken pouch with leftover rice, leftover broccoli with cheese, leftover salmon

Snacks: popsicle or ice cream bar, fruit, cherry tomatoes from garden

Dinner: oven-fried chicken legs, mashed potatoes, homemade carrot muffins, new batch of broccoli with cheese sauce (we love it)

A few notes about this week: We have a lot of cheap/free breakfast cereal on hand, mostly Malt-o-Meal (free at CVS after $1 coupon) which are kind of crappy but also Cheerios which I usually get for $1 a box or less. We don't usually eat so much bacon but it is BLT season! We didn't make any homemade bread this week because I like my BLTs on store-bought.


4 comments:

Becky said...

It is BLT season! We have had them twice in the last week--once on rolls from the bakery and once on bread machine bread.

But it turns out my kids don't like bacon. Um, huh? And your menus sound yummy.

Bren said...

I think it's assumed that on a budget like that (mine's about the same as yours for a family of five) we must eat nothing but junk food. Truth is, we're eating more organic brands than ever before (they are putting out coupons pretty heavily right now, and tend to be cheaper than their conventional non-couponed counterparts), and have created more wiggle room in the budget for buying local eggs and more fresh produce.

If you've never couponed, it's unimaginable how one can survive on that little without giving up something. But we're actually eating so much better now.

Bren said...

Wow. I just read some of those (16 pages!) comments from msn. Geez. People get really touchy about this, don't they?

Carrie said...

Bren -- Yeah, I was really surprised by angry comments on that post. Because I never tried to say, "YOU should only spend $80 a week on groceries." I only said, this is what WE learned from sticking to a set grocery budget.