Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Feeding a Large Family on a Budget?

Ok...so we finally implemented a budget for our family. It something I have been putting off and avoiding. I will admit, it was not a fin thing to do BUT now I know exactly how much we have and where it is supposed to be going. Kind of cramps my style but I now know we will have enough money to cover all our expenses and that does relieve some of my stress. Anyway, I have been trying my hardest to find cheap, creative, delicious meals. I have been finding my recipes online and making a detailed list before grocery shopping every week. I still end up spending at least $140 every week! It's sickening to me since I know families our size that are living on $100 a week for groceries. Now granted, this usually does include all our paper products, toiletries, ect. Still though, the less I spend on food, the more I would have for paying off bills or saving. I have been wanting to join Costco because I think that would help us save a little but we are waiting to have the extra $$ for the membership fee. I also only do meat about 2x's a week and make a lot of things from scratch. I thought I'd give you an example of what we eat for dinner.
Here was this weeks menu:
Saturday: Mac N' Cheese and hot dogs (not the healthiest but it was requested by all my boys)
Sunday: Beef and broccoli with rice
Monday: Rice and bean burritos and salad
Tuesday: Sausage, biscuits and gravy (once again, not healthy but so cheap and easy!)
Wednesday: Beef and noodles and a salad
Thursday: Cream of mushroom soup and homemade bread/rolls
Friday: Rice and bean casserole
Saturday: Harvest party =)

Our breakfast consists of either bagels, cold cereal or apples with p.butter. I'll sometimes do baked oatmeal or pancakes but that is a special treat and doesn't happen very often. Especially since we wake up early and usually only have 30 minutes before leaving to take the kids to school. Lunches are usually p.butter and honey sandwiches, chips and fruit or veggies. I almost always run out of breakfast and lunch foods...drives me crazy! Yet, we have a budget and I would panic if we went over it. I'm strange like that. Anyway, if you could share with me what you do to keep your food costs down that would be really helpful! I will take any suggestions!

Also- I am thinking of doing video vlogs soon...I can't stand my voice on camera but oh well, it still might be fun! ;) I also thought of chronicling my pregnancy with videos, ect. We'll see...now that I am getting my energy back maybe I'll be more motivated to get it done?!

4 comments:

Susan said...

Hi - came over from drea wood blog. I have raised a blended family of 5 boys. My two are still at home, 17 and 21. I love boys!! Your boys look sweet. We, too, had financial strain over the years and continue to live through it. We, too, were forced to a budget a few years back and I agree with your blog today!! Keep in mind that over the last few years I have kept my budget in line everywhere but FOOD. Food prices keep going up, thus making the budget harder to keep or having to raise that item. Your menu sounded good. We, too, didn't have meat every night. My guys love biscuit/gravy. I make a lot of casserole type meals and make them healthier if I can. Low fat when I can. I do have a membership at Costco but you must know your prices at the grocery store real well and what you would pay at the grocery store with coupons. Costco is great as it sells in quantity but I question their prices a lot. Cereal for example is much better deal at the grocery store w/coupons. Or buying store brand. I shop mostly at Krogers here in Michigan and I like their brand which is a lot cheaper than brand names. Cereal ends up being an expensive breakfast with many children or big eaters. You could make pancakes say on the weekend and freeze them in individual wraps/bags so that you could just pop in the micro to warm up. Oatmeal is very good nutritionally and money wise. Mine always loved the mini muffins - again I made in quantity and freezed. I served them with some type of fruit even if it was slice apples/bananas. Will come back and peak at your blog.

Annika said...

We save on breakfast by making it instead of eating cereal all the time; Oatmeal with honey & cinn, whole wheat waffles or pancakes- I make a XL batch and then freeze we pop in the toaster in the morning, yogurt and berries, hard boiled eggs and toast, scrambled eggs. Lunches: left-overs, baked potatoes, sandwiches, pizza bread (use french bread top with pizza ingred & bake, rice & beans, smoothies. Dinner: Casseroles, stirfry's, homemade pizza, pasta dishes... I save a ton on beef by buying a whole beef. Our cost for the beef & locker fee's was 2.19 per pound for everything, steaks/hamb/roasts/lean burger. I buy in bulk and freeze. Cook as much from scratch as possible. I also garden and can/freeze veggies and fruit for the year.

Annika said...

we also have muffins for bkfst. I bake and freeze those too. we just made whole wheat pumpkin muffins this week, a favorite around here :)
Another lunch idea is nut butter on bananas or apples.

Emily, wife of Jeremy said...

Good morning. In answer to your questions, 1. America's Thrift Store is my hands down all favorite thrift store. It's now in Hixson (which is really still Chattanooga). WHich mountain do you live on, Lookout or Signal?

2. The bread thrift store is run by Flowers and is on Bonny Oaks. I can give more detailed instructions if you would like.

We budget $180 every two weeks for groceries and all toiletry and paper products (toilet tissue, etc) and cleaning products. I try my very best to save $40 of it each payperiod to add to my stash for larger purchases (like a 1/4 a cow, or like the Berkey I just bought). Sometimes I end up having to use it though. There is a Seventh Day Adventist Store in Wildwood Ga that sells healthy items at a great price. I buy my wheat and such there. http://ponderyourpath.blogspot.com/2010/09/wildwood-country-store.html We also do a good bit of shopping at Costco. I LOVE Costco. : )

What pregnancy center did you go to? Have you found a good Dr/MW yet?

I pray all is well.

Much love,
Emily