I have been really pouring over the budget, figuring out where and how to save. I coupon when it fits, but I don’t have the time or the space to “stock pile” and I don’t see any reason to save money on things I don’t actually use…
Anywho, as I Googled I found a slew of blog post and articles on the topic of stretching the family food budget and on feeding the family. Thing is half of those were couponers who fed their family on three dollars a week by saving a thousand dollars – um, not helpful for me. Many were people who were feeding LARGE families or who were challenging themselves to feed the family on ten dollars a week. Some utilized six deep freezers and hunted meat. Nothing resonated.
Then I found an article about a woman who talked about feeding her family on the 500 dollars that SNAP provided and how she often skipped meals. It struck me because that is my goal. 500 dollars for a family of four. I am not on any food programs, though I have used them in the past when I needed them. (Two particular times in my life is the months following hurricane Katrina when I lost my home and job and was completely lost in life, and another was after a storm took our power for days and we lost all of our food we were allowed a month of emergency food assistance which was seriously miraculous. I was so overwhelmed looking into the mess and thinking, “How can I possibly replace this in our budget!”)
I was reading it and there were several points that kind of confused me, but what really struck home was that I DO THAT. I feed my family of four (two adults and two teens) on 600 dollars a month, only lately I have been striving to make that number 500. Only we home school and ALL meals are made in the kitchen: breakfast, lunch, dinner, fruit, snack. The end. I decided to actually LOOK look and really get into where our food budget goes. Over the next week (I would like longer, but this week at least) I will be documenting all the meals that come out of my kitchen and the cost. To give a fair picture I decided to document all the food currently in the house.
Don’t be judgey about the mess of my fridge (I didn’t even realize until a flash was going off) or the quality of food. This isn’t about how to eat (though I try to be balanced and I try to talk about our choices with the kids.) This isn’t about what should or shouldn’t be cooked. You will see processed foods and you will see snacks and you will see me not eating enough or eating too much. I am going to be honest, and that will probably be messy. Be kind, I am opening myself and my kitchen in an effort to help myself and add something to the conversation.
The fridge and freezer:
The twee deep freezer:
The photo not included (because my phone ate it) was of the bread box and it would have revealed a half pack of small white tortillas (used before I started tracking,) a pack of hamburger buns (most of which were used before this,) and a half of a loaf of wheat bread.
And there it is, a full account of all the food in this home! Saturday is the first day that I am going to be crunching the numbers and documenting everything.