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Groceries for a family of four....only $75 a week

Each week this time of year, usually on a Saturday, I make the 15 mile trek to the grocery store and spend about 40 minutes and $75.00 buying one week worth of groceries and household necessities for my family of four. My two oldest are twenty-one and nineteen and out of the house. That leaves my nine-year old and five-year old to feed, they are both boys and always hungry. I am a stay-at-home school-from-home Mom so I am perfectly able to make our meals and desserts from scratch with is a huge money saver. Although I do not buy whole chicken roasters and cook and separate the meat for meals…I buy the more expensive boneless, skinless chicken breast. The savings would be significant if I would purchase whole roasters but after leaving a 14 year stint as a vegetarian I have trouble with meat still on a bone.

My goal eventually is to food shop only once or twice a month. Living in the northeast the fresh fruit and vegetables can be tricky to keep for weeks at a time so in the winter months it is just not feasible to shop so infrequently. In the summer months home gardens would supply us with our vegetables and we stock up on things like laundry detergent, shampoo, soap and the like with the surplus in our budget. This way when we are buying produce in the colder months we already have a winter supply of non food items stored in the basement and our weekly budget remains the same $75.00.

The following is a random week shopping receipt and menu. Keep in mind when you peruse my menu that I was not totally without food at home and some meal components are from my freezer and/or left over from previous food shopping trips. There is also more suppers than there are days in a week. This is because I like to have some choice already in mind. Many times when I have been inspired I have strayed far from my menu and created wonderful meals all within my $75.00 budget. Another point to make is I live in New Hampshire and food prices do vary geographically. Note there are no fresh tomatoes on my list…it’s March 2010 and the freeze in Florida eliminated the Florida tomato crop and skyrocketed the price of the Mexican tomato crop which I refuse to buy. As a result I plan on researching hydroponic tomatoes growing so I am never in this tomato-less predicament again.

80% lean ground beef 18.65 (1.99lb)
Chicken breast 4.49 (2.69lb)
Chicken breast 4.22 (2.69lb)

Romaine Hearts 2.29
Cucumbers 1.99
6 lbs Mac Apples 3.98
Granny Apples 2.80 (.99lb)
2 lbs carrots .99
2 lbs bananas .97

12 oz Mont. Jack cheese 2.00
12 oz Cheddar 2.00
1 lb Mozzarella 2.99
(all cheese is in a brick/not shredded-that would cost more)
Fr Van creamer 2.99
Whole Milk gal 2.39
1 lb butter 1.99
2 doz Lg white eggs 2.78

2 Chunky PB 5.00
2 Pasta sauce 2.00
3 whole wheat bread 4.50
Strawberry preserves 2.49
Flour 1.99

Total $73.50


Breakfast MENU
1) Oatmeal
2) Pancakes -made in bulk in freezer
3) eggs
4) toast

Lunch MENU
1) egg salad sandwich
2) PB & J sandwich
3) supper leftovers

Supper MENU
1) burgers, salad, carrots
2) chicken, cauliflower, cucumber salad
3) spaghetti, meatballs, carrot salad, homemade bread
4) homemade pizza
5) meatloaf, potatoes, brussel sprouts
6) bacon wrapped chicken, cucumber/carrot salad
7) goulash, salad, bread
8) sloppy joes, salad
9) leftover night

1) Apple
2) Banana
3) carrot
4) homemade muffins, cookies, baked goods
*The rule at my house is you never need to ask for a healthy snack you can eat any fruit or any vegetable ant time!

DESSERTS (all homemade)
1) Pie
2) Pudding
3) cake
4) cookies
5) muffins

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Summer on the back porch

Summer on the back porch