Real Food on a Tight Budget: Week 3

by lydia on November 2, 2012

Are you working with a tight food budget, but still want to eat healthy real food? It can be done – follow along as I share how I am making it work on a tight budget of $600 per month for a family of 5.


Did my shopping for the week – hit 3 stores and spent $99.97.

Dinner: Leftovers!

Food Prep: Finished making both chicken and beef stock for soups to sell locally – finished making 2 large batches of soup; beef vegetable and chicken florentine.



Breakfast:Pancakes, scrambled eggs & bacon ends.

Lunch:Random odds and ends for all – boys left right at lunch.

Dinner:Beef vegetable soup for me!

Food Prep: Started a batch of water kefir



Breakfast: Eggs and sauteed mushrooms for me

Lunch: Boys had roast beef tortilla sandwiches with mustard, carrots and hummus on the side

Dinner: Tandoori Chicken Legs, Roasted Cauliflower, carrots & celery with hummus, pomegranate white iced tea, and pumpkin chocolate swirl brownies

Food Prep:Started a batch of kefir cream



Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs and Paleo Bread toast (boys were home from school due to hurricane Sandy)

Lunch:Beef Vegetable Soup with rice shell pasta and grated parm

Dinner: Millet cakes from leftover millet pilaf, topped with leftover chicken and leftover gravy. (This was ridiculously good – I will make this again! My teenager LOVED it!)

Food Prep: none- was too busy getting ready for the hurricane, other than strain the grains out of the kefir cream, second ferment it for a bit and put it away in the fridge.



Breakfast: Pumpkin Muffins from the freezer, thawed overnight, fruit and granola

Lunch: Roast beef tortilla sandwiches, carrots, celery and applesauce

Dinner: Random leftovers (2 chicken legs, some roasted cauliflower, soup, 1 millet cake with chicken and gravy)

Food Prep: Bottled up water kefir and beet kvass. Since the boys were home for 2 days, they ended up eating more than I had planned for, so I had to run out and buy more roast beef for their lunch sandwiches. $8 more spent, not bad considering.


Breakfast: Scrambled eggs and Paleo Bread Toast. My oldest had a glass of raw milk and a pumpkin muffin. The original plan was a Pear Clafouti – which I made up and no one liked, except for me. Ah, well.

Lunch: The boys had roast beef tortilla sandwiches, clementines and pumpkin muffins.

Dinner: Just me – so I whipped up some Creamy Thai Spiced Butter Cup Squash Soup – oh yum! I may have to share that recipe soon!

Food Prep: I don’t think I did any!



Breakfast: Paleo Bread toast and homemade hot chocolate – not the best breakfast in the world, but it was something. Kids did NOT want eggs again. My oldest had two pumpkin muffins, 2 clementines and a glass of milk. I had 1 pumpkin muffin toasted with butter, a cup of tea and a bowl of my Creamy Thai Spiced Squash soup.

Lunch: Roast beef tortilla sandwiches, clementines and the last pumpkin muffins for the boys.

Dinner: I had planned Anticuchos (Grilled Peruvian Beef Heart) with soaked quinoa pilaf and sauteed onions and peppers, BUT didn’t get the heart out in time to thaw fully. Thankfully, I had some canned salmon on hand – so Salmon Cakes, sauteed green beans and steamed broccoli instead.

Food Prep: Start a new batch of sauerkraut. Make ranch dip out of the kefir cream.


Friday – Shopping Day!

My goal to include sprouts didn’t happen this week – I spent 3 days fully consumed with hurricane Sandy. I’m still finding lunches tough and my kids are sick of eggs for breakfast, yet they prefer and do best with protein at breakfast. I will have to tweak my upcoming week to do better at both. This coming week I am budgeting $125. The past three weeks were tighter because I spent a bunch of my monthly allotment the first week of the month, partly because I had to purchase food for a scout trip and snacks to send to school to keep on hand. I have realized that working with a tighter budget means I can’t buy much in bulk up front. So this month, I’ll spend $125 per week making my monthly food bill $600. I plan to use $10-12 per week to stock up my emergency food storage, and work harder to pull from the food I have in the freezer. Here goes again! Stay tuned – I’ll post the next two weeks on my food budget and take a break through the holidays – I’ll touch base again in January with an update.



  Subscribe to Divine Health
  From The Inside Out

We hate spam more than you do,
and we don't do it.

Join our weekly newsletter and get
our 52 Healthy Habits to Take Care
of Your Body FREE!



Rachel November 2, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Very resourceful! I have a family of 6 and I think we spend about $800 or more per month on food. I live in Canada and we buy raw milk for $5/2L here (we typically get 4L/week). We buy beef and cow in the half and belong to a CSA from June-Nov. Winter’s are especially tough produce wise. I won’t sacrifice my diet for more money. It’s our biggest expense next to housing costs.

Rachel November 2, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Oops, I meant beef and pork 😉

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: