Eating Great Food on a Budget: Part 1

Recently a wonderful person on Instagram asked me about how to manage a budget with respect to groceries and if I had any blog posts about the topic. Before I looked back in the archives, I listed a couple ways we keep the grocery bill reasonable in the DM.

As I mentioned after reading the book, America’s Cheapest Family, I don’t see feeding my small family on much less than about $150 a week even possible. America’s Cheapest Family spends a whole $350 per month to feed their family of seven or $458.19 in today’s dollars.

$350 in 2007 = $458.19 in 2020

That means the America’s Cheapest Family spends about $2.18 per day per person. We spend about $18.78 per day per person. At first I was shocked and felt a mild horror set in that Mrs. BMM, the lady who blogs about saving money and paying off debt spends 8.6X to feed one single person. Then I felt ashamed at spending so much. And then reality hit me.

I’m a person with over 14 food allergies, lactose intolerance, and cannot eat a single grain without some severe side effects. Grains are one of the cheapest categories of food in the grocery store. A box of spaghetti is less than $1 per pound compared to my green pea “spaghetti” at $2.99 for an 8.8 ounce box. Rice that’s off the table, which sucks because it’s cheap. And because of these food allergies, there are just some foods that are banned all together from our house even though Mr. BMM does not have a single allergy.

Over the next couple of days I’m going to post about how I keep our primarily keto/ paleo/ grain free/ lactose free grocery bill fairly reasonable with some recipes, links to older posts, and meal prep ideas.

Meal Prep Idea #1

Batch cook inexpensive sides. I’m talking about baking a dozen sweet potatoes, making mashed potatoes, defrosting frozen veggies, or roasting frozen veggies. I find that if I make 2-3 large batches of sides, then we can mix and match with a meat to create several combinations of meals.

Also consider making a salad and top with your meat of choice. This can get tricky when you think about the hundred of potential salad toppings. Keep it simple. Have a dressing or two on hand, a bag or two of different croutons (Mr. BMM loves these things), and maybe some sliced almonds or shredded cheese (another Mr. BMM fav). A grocery shopping rule I follow is that I don’t have a lot of different salad topping backups in the cabinet. The urge to keep opening new toppings is great so I eliminate that urge by limiting the backups.

Want to try Wal-Mart Grocery pick up and save $10?

Use this referral link. We both get $10 off!

Wal-Mart sells their dressings for about $0.92 per bottle, croutons for $0.98 for a typical 5 ounce bag, and roasted sliced almonds for $1.98 for 3.5 ounces.

Recipe Ideas for Quick and Easy Meals/Sides:

  • Crock Pot (aka Slow Cooker):
    • Sweet potatoes: Wash the potatoes as usual, place in the crock pot, bake on LOW for 6-7 hours or HIGH for 3.5-4 hours.
    • Pulled pork: Place a 1-pound pork butt roast with the fat side down, sprinkle cumin, garlic, and smoked paprika over the top, drizzle with 1/2 lime juice, and cook on LOW for 8 hours.
  • Grill:
    • Marinated chicken: My favorite marinade is homemade honey mustard. Start with about 1/2 cup of honey, add about 1 tbsp each of apple cider vinegar and avocado oil, add about 1/3 cup of mustard powder, add about 1/2 tsp each of garlic powder and smoked paprika. Stir and marinade.

Grocery Shopping Tip:

Grocery shopping during 2020 has triggered a lot of old traumas when I see bare shelves. I have done much better with Wal-Mart grocery pick up. It’s free! I get only what I need! And I don’t end up wandering the store for stuff we don’t need! If you struggle sticking to a grocery list, consider the Wal-Mart grocery pick up.

Want to try Wal-Mart Grocery pick up and save $10?

Use this referral link. We both get $10 off!

blue shopping cart on street during daytime

6 thoughts on “Eating Great Food on a Budget: Part 1

  1. Thank you! this post was very helpful! 🙂 I tend to spend $100 a week on two people and i want to narrow it down to even $50 a week. covid has def caused us to buy more groceries than normal. especially snacks. love the idea of prepping easy meals.

    Liked by 1 person

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