We've not had it easy since October of 2016. Me with health issues and on top of that, my husband hasn't had the little extra jobs that in the past have helped us "get by". It's been tough and recently it was getting harder and harder. I am most positive there are many people in this situation that can identify. The struggle to feed your family is real. It's just the two of us; the kids are all grown and on their own and I've often said I don't know how families are managing to feed their families on so little money. I have never not had financial struggles to some degree, which is why in part, I started Cooking On A Budget.
It's been surreal to me that I am actually in someone else's shoes - not knowing where or when the next financial blessing will come about. With that I've gained a new found appreciation for those with real struggles. I thought I had a pulse on it when I did a post years ago: $100.00 A Month Food Budget when a reader came to me with her own story; however in retrospect I was not struggling back then as much as I thought I was. This last couple of weeks put me even closer and more in tune to the struggles of those that sought my advice some years ago.
I think we all have survival instincts and as a wife or mother those instincts say to us: "I'm not going to let this situation drive me down! I shall prevail." Well that sounds all heroic and all, but basically it is the need to survive that drives us to clip coupons, check various grocery store flyers for the best overall deals, menu plan, and somehow get more bang for your buck at the grocery store.
What I did to have us eat everyday was to purchase the list of groceries below and we were able to have 12 meals and a couple of breakfast sandwiches for not a whole lot of money. Lucky that our local store had just the right items on sale for me to execute the plan.
- 1 Shank Ham $1.00 per pound 8.36# = $8.36
- 1 Oven Roaster Chicken $1.00 per pound 7.50# = $7.50
- 3 Onions $1.00 per pound = $2.00
- 3 Stalks Celery = $.79
- 5 lbs. Carrots = $2.79
- 1 lb. bag Potatoes = $2.99
- 1 green bell pepper $.99
- 1 32 oz. box Chicken Broth = $3.00
- 1 bag split peas = $1.29
- 2 cans Whole Potatoes = $1.98
- 6 cans Clam Chowder $1.00 per can = $6.00
- 1 box crackers = $3.79
- 1 bag frozen peas = $1.89
- 2 loaves wheat bread = $5.00 (at 2 for $5.00)
- 1 dozen eggs = $1.99 (sale priced)
- 1/2 lb. American Cheese (deli) $2.10
- TOTAL COST: $52.46
- Meal One: Roasted chicken, pan fried potatoes, frozen baby peas
- Meal Two: Homemade chicken noodle soup
- Meal Three: Crock pot boiled ham, potatoes, carrots
- Meal Four: Chicken soup
- Meal Five: Split pea soup
- Meal Six: Ham sandwiches
- Meal Seven: Cheese omelets with peppers
- Meal Eight: Split pea soup and ham sandwiches
- Meal Nine: Clam chowder and crackers
- Meal Ten: Grilled cheese sandwiches
- Meal Eleven: Clam chowder and crackers
- Meal Twelve: Roasted chicken sandwiches
- We also enjoyed 2 days of breakfast sandwiches as well!
I made two good sized pots of homemade soup which was a godsend considering how cold it has been. My chicken noodle in a can husband thought this particular Chicken Noodle Soup I made was "the best chicken noodle soups he's ever had". He devoured most of that pot and I devoured almost all of the Split Pea Soup with Ham by myself!
This post comes with the hope that I've shown some of you how with creative thinking you can feed you and your significant other pretty darn well on not a lot of money.