Think you can budget your groceries at $25 weekly for a family of two? It’s manageable but challenging. When I began a $25-per-week food budget with food blogger Patty Cake in July, I didn’t believe it was possible. Now, I know that this food budget can work for my household of two people – just not every week.
Take the Food Budget Challenge
If you’re needing to save money or cut back on your household budget, you should take the $25-per-week food budget challenge. At least try it for two to four weeks. If it doesn’t work for you, tweak it until you are able to become more frugal with grocery spending.
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Patty Cake from pattycakespantry.com and Amanda from The Fundamental Home both have proved that they can feed a family of five on $25 a week, though not always. For instance, Patty Cake went over budget $8.21 for her fourth week on our challenge.
Look at a copy of Amanda’s menu from Part 2 of her “How I Feed My Family of 5 For Under $100 Every Month” series. She shows you how to “make meat part of the meal, rather than the star.” Amanda explains how to use meat as a complement rather than the main entree: “Whenever a recipe calls for a pound, I use half a pound or less.”
My household doesn’t have five people but two – my trucker hubby and myself. It is not possible to do $25-per-week for his truck food budgeting and our household groceries. So what I’ve done for this challenge is keep the two separate and only do the $25 budget for food at the house. Part of the food does, however, become part of my husband’s menus. For example, I cooked mini meatloaves and huge meatballs one evening when I divided a ten-pound 93%-lean ground beef package into freezer bags for future meals. We also enjoyed Meatball Chili – yum!
I’ve traveled in the truck with my husband, and eating our home-cooked meals saves money as well as fills us up with nutritious food. After riding with him several times, I’ve found some “truck kitchen” items that would surely make meals in the truck more convenient like this sweet little swivel tray:
The swivel tray is made for an auto or truck cup holder but may not fit right where the semi trucker’s cup holder is. The gear shift in the big rig is where the cup holder is in the above photo. But I’d love to see if it could work somehow.
Week 4 of the $25 Food Budget Challenge
Week 4 of my food budget challenge was definitely the big challenge for me. I spent much more than $25. It was the week of my husband’s birthday. I planned a surprise party of family and friends.
What I spent for the birthday party food: $69.08
The birthday food included:
- steak for kabobs
- Greek yogurt
- grape tomatoes
- salad dressing
Some of the leftover food items were left off of the party food list because I brought them home. The steak alone amounted to $35.00. The salmon was $8.99 per pound, and I only purchased one pound. There was plenty of food, but I would rather have plenty than not enough.
I spent $29.59, $4.59 over my budget. My grocery list:
- vegetarian chili
- red potatoes
- brown rice
- Alfredo sauce
- cottage cheese (2 large)
Potatoes, rice, cauliflower, oranges, and cantaloupe were leftover foods and have provided many meals since then. The cantaloupe went fast. I divided the rice into a few freezer bags. So anytime I want rice with a meal, I grab a bag from the freezer and heat it up with whatever entree I’m serving for dinner – like part of the meatloaf I made in my Farberware pressure cooker.
Next blog post will be the 5th week. Then I will look at the five weeks combined and decide if I need to increase my budget amount. The food budgeting has been a good challenge for me. It’s making me pay closer attention to how much I spend and encouraging me to stick to my grocery lists.
Well, folks, that’s how the 4th week of this challenge went for me. Thank you for following my food budget challenge. If you decide to begin the food budget challenge, let me know. I’d love to hear about your progress.
See you next time!