Thursday, March 4, 2010

Living Off Of $25 a Week - Possible?

I confess one reason I haven't posted as many recipes lately is because of trying to cut back on grocery store expenses. Naturally, I was interested when a blog I follow, Cheap Healthy Good, recently did an experiment: The blogger's husband was to cook for his family for a week, using only $25. I was interested to see what the guy would eat (seriously!). Granted, he used a fully-stocked pantry in addition to his grocery store finds, but still impressive!

The ideas that were shared at the conclusion of the successful experiment were helpful to me, as an economically-minded shopper, and also since I do the grocery shopping in our family. Some of the things that worked well for this man were:

  • Starting with a big chunk of meat and stretching it as far as it would go. This guy used a 3.5-lb pork shoulder over and over: in tacos, on top of egg noodles, as a breakfast side, in a peanut sauce, etc. I think this is a great idea; it also helps limit meat consumption.
  • Making a big pot of chili at the beginning of the week. This veggie-and-bean dish provided useful leftovers for many days. I'm going to keep this in mind next Meatless Monday!
  • Coupons, shopping from the circular, and unexpected discounts. By staying flexible and open minded, he found many unexpected deals.
  • Big, healthy breakfasts. Hello, oatmeal!!!
  • Baking. Homemade just about anything trumps store-bought any day! He mentioned cookies, but I think this is almost always true for baked goods.
  • Starches. He built almost all of his dinners around potatoes and grains, which are cheap and filling. I would add beans and legumes to this category - they make the foundation of some great, cheap meals too! (Think split pea or bean soup, stewed lentils, chili, etc.)
  • Fruit. Especially bananas. I wouldn't support the last part because bananas aren't local and overall produce a negative effect on the environment due to shipping. (Although I still cave in and buy them every now and again. I'm still human and I still crave banana bread sometimes!) However, I agree that fruit is the perfect naturally sweet snack. Apples and oranges are usually easier to find local and cheap in California.
  • Peanut butter. A good source of healthy fats, I would just add to be sure you buy natural. I feel sorry for those kids who die if they smell a peanut, cause they're missing out. And what's up with schools outlawing PB&J? Sacrilege! (Just kidding)
I hope you were inspired by this awesome husband like I was to save more on your next trip to the grocery store!

1 comment:

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me!