When I was going to school and didn’t want to spend extra time planning the menu and shopping, I let our food budget way outta’ control- as high as $800/month. Some may not think that that is expensive for a family of six, but I have had our food budget down to as little as $400/month. The Fashionista suggested that I post this when we were talking about my children’s healthy (GREEDY) appetites and my response to that. Since I don’t work in the summer, money is pretty tight. This means that I have to come up with ways to stretch my food budget without breaking the bank. Wanna’ learn how I spend less than $400/month for a family of six? Like to hear about it, here it goes.
Last night, I made a tuna casserole with a twist, canned salmon instead of tuna. It was about $1.00 for the two boxes of macaroni & cheese (bought in bulk from Costco) + $1 for the can of salmon (.99¢ store), + .89¢ for the can of peas, + $1.39 for the can of cream of mushroom. That made 6 servings for a total cost of about $4.50.
You know how in some grocery stores (Food for Less, Ralphs’, & Superior), they have those little packs of pasta 4/$1.00. Well, the next time you see them, you’d better grab them. Here’s why: For lunch, I made my version of spaghetti-o’s with a .25¢ bag of pasta (7 oz.), a .20¢ can of tomato sauce, and two wieners, bringing it to a grand total of .50¢ for lunch for 4 children. The portions were good enough for David & Phillise, but Sam & Dakota had to eat something else. Next time, I’ll double the recipe, which would bring it to a grand total of $1.00.
Right now, some markets have a 10lb. bag of potatoes for $1. You’d better grab those also because you can do so much with potatoes. You can make french fries, mashed potatoes, shepherds pie (which is so delicious), and so much more.
Shepherds pie is so easy to make and inexpensive at home, but have you ever ordered shepherds pie at a restaurant? If you have, then you know that it can get pretty pricey. I make a big pan (the largest aluminum one sold in Smart & Final) for the cost of a bag of potatoes ($1-$3.49), + a 1lb. bag of frozen or canned mixed vegetables (.89¢ – $1.39) + 2lbs. of ground turkey ($2.00, bought in bulk @ Smart & Final) + 1lb. of cheese ($3.59) + a frozen pie shell ($1.49). The total cost varies, depending on what brands you use, between $7-$10. This will feed about 15-20 people depending on the portion size.
If you would like any of these recipes or ideas on how to feed your family in the summer without breaking the bank, leave me a comment and I’ll send you some ideas.
Here’s to good summer eatin’ on a budget!!!