It's A Challenge! $60.00 A Week!

Yup, you read that right.  $60.00 per week for our food.  And not junk food {a.k.a. processed food} - this is for REAL FOOD.  What do you think friends?  Can we do it?  Would you like to join the challenge?

Here's the specifics.

Why I Decided To Challenge Myself:
A few reasons, really. 

One, our income will be cut by almost half starting in October once J makes the transition to running our business full-time.  And I think $60.00 a week is manageable {ask me that in a few weeks - hopefully
I still feel the same!}  We have gotten out of the habit of paying attention to what we spend and, therefore, overspending many weeks compared to what we had previously budgeted to.

Two, with the hectic schedule we've been living, we've started to slide into an old habit of fast and quick meals which are usually made-from-scratch but not always.  It's most often a problem with lunches and coffee drinks on the go for us, but can be for dinner as well. 

And three, to get back to converting to a whole-grain diet, making things in bulk to make weeknight meals a breeze, and growing many of the veggies we eat right in our very own yard.

What I Hope To Accomplish:

  • make the time for planning good, nutritious meals that are affordable including planning for the days something goes awry {i.e. I forget to take something out of the freezer the night before}
  • getting back to growing some of what we consume
  • being resourceful - using the chicken carcass from dinner to make soup and/or chicken stock, preserving excess garden bounty and using leftovers for another dinner or lunch
  • I hope to share with you some amazing freezer meals, slow-cooker meals and quick meals for those busy weeknights
  • convert to a whole-grain diet with limited sugar
  • and who doesn't want to save money to put toward more enjoyable things such as travel, a new car and/or paying down the mortgage more quickly?

The Basic "Rules":
  • Tracking all food expenses {this includes beverages, ingredients for made-at-home AND restaurant/take-out if applicable}.  That means the cost of ALL meals.  Some items will come from our current pantry and freezer.  Those costs, which have already been incurred, will not be included because we will continue to replenish both, as part of the $60.00 per week challenge.
  • Tracking the cost of seeds for what we grow next Spring/Summer/Fall and we'll also factor in the cost of our chickens we raise for meat, because we raise almost all of the chicken we eat.  I will not be tracking the cost of raising our layer hens, however, because we raise a larger flock for the purpose of selling their eggs. 
  • The $60.00 per week will be shared with you weekly and averaged out every month allowing us to stock up on sale items.  For example, almost all of our meat {except what we raise} is purchased in bulk during sales.  We'll buy it ahead and store it for use later which may make for a larger spending that one week. 
  • Making meals from scratch and/or reading the labels before putting an item in your cart.  We eat very few processed things currently, but I would like to move away from ALL processed foods.  This means reading the labels, even things you believe are "real" like yogurt, granola, salad dressing, sauces etc. and making sure you know what each ingredient is AND the ingredients should be limited.
  • We will continue to eat limited white-flour foods {insert a *gasp*}.  We are transitioning to whole grain but still enjoy things like the occasional {white}flour tortilla or no-knead bread {I will try the whole-grain version at some point}.  I also use white flour only in the occasional pie, cake or cookie.  Also, I've had to agree to let my husband continue drinking soda and pre-bottled iced tea.  *sigh* some battles will take longer to overcome.......

What won't be counted:  meals out if purchased with a gift card we received as a gift; toiletries; medications; things such as aluminum foil/saran wrap; pet supplies; cleaners, etc.

Why I'm Sharing It Here:
To hold myself accountable, to share our story, and to hope to hear from all of you too!
Our successes and failures will be shared weekly as well as recipes, gardening tips and meal plans.

What do you think?  Ready to jump in with us?


Flickenstichlerin said...

This is a neat challenge,

Tania said...

Great challenge! I look forward to seeing your progress :)


Unknown said...

This is a very practical for supporting the homesteading dream, looking forward to learning more!

Chris K in Wisconsin said...

You are brave to post this weekly. I really look forward to seeing how it goes. We are retired here, and I certainly have the time for better cooking, but I just can't seem to jump into eliminating sugar, and I know how GOOD it would be for both of us.
Maybe your journey will help me to get on the path with you.........

daisy g said...

You know I wish you the best. I've always been amazed that you can feed your family for so little. I don't even come close to it at that price. It seems like everything Lil' Guy eats costs $5 (he has multiple sensitivities, so his diet is limited). I know you can make this work and I'll be rooting you on! You go!

Sarah K. said...

I'm looking forward to reading about this. I've been wondering how small I could squeeze our weekly grocery bill.

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies said...

I am going to start watching what I spend, but I would think I am close to $60. Like you, it's just the two of us. So, if we have company, I don't know if I could stick to the budget, but I will try it with you!

Staci at Life At Cobble Hill Farm said...

Thanks so much all!! Sarah & Kris - so happy you'll be challenging yourselves too! :) Chris K - I've been wanting to cut down on sugar for awhile and just haven't taken the time and effort to do so..... Thanks for your comment and so happy you'll be watching the journey! :)

Anonymous said...

I love your meal ideas, but I am wondering how many you are catering for?
(I have 4 adults - 1 woman and 3 men) Will this be enough?
You concentrate on
Chicken - great!
Pork - expensive!
Mince - cheap!
I will look forward to your continuing ideas - this is exciting
Mary, NZ