But what does it cost?

I hear often people say that they can not afford to buy healthy foods.  They talk of the cost of exotic or out of season fresh produce.  The key to living within your food budget is to eat what you can afford within season.  Right now the best buys are carrots, potatoes, and onions. Frozen or canned produce can be much cheaper than fresh.  I also look for the weekly ads to see what is on sale.  When butter goes on sale (around $2.00 or below) I stock up and put it in the freezer.  You can do that with a lot of other things like bread for example or fish and seafood.  What kills us is the cost of milk and other dairy.  We easily go through 2 gallons or more a week and Shannon and the girls love cottage cheese.  Friday nights tend to be our “fun food” nights like pizza, tacos, or spaghetti so we go through quite a bit of Mozzarella as well.  Below is a list of the food we have purchased over the last month.

You might notice there are no fresh fruits, beef, pork, or fish on the list.  I purchased apples from our local FFA chapter before Christmas so I have not had to buy fruit for over a month.  We have 2 small deep freezes full of beef, pork, and venison.  We purchase and process a beef and a hog every year.  Shannon hunts so we process the venison he gets on his adventures.  If at all possible it is much cheaper to obtain your meat in this way.  It takes a little planning to save back the money and you have to have the freezer space.  I also worked up and froze corn this summer.  I also froze peppers, zucchini, and okra that friends gave us.  By the end of summer people with gardens are begging you to take their surplus.  Take them up on it and freeze or can it for the winter.

We did buy some of the “unclean” foods this month which cost an extra $50 on our food bill.  I would like to note that chips will be gone within two weeks. They are such a waste of money because they don’t last anytime  and they have no nutritional value. The yogurts and juice pouches are packed in my oldest daughter’s lunches for school and right now she kind of lives on hot dogs.  I know I shouldn’t still be packing these in her lunch and I hope to start altering her lunches soon.

Least Processed or WholeFoods

Milk- $34.92

Cheese-$22.83 (Mozarella, Swiss, Cottage)

Other Dairy-$16.70 (Half and Half, Yogurt, Butter, Sour Cream)

Eggs- $9.02

Salad Mix- $3.00

Frozen Veggies (4 bags)- $6.62 (Cauliflower, Broccoli, Carrots,Peas)

Fresh Veggies and Fruits- $24.83 (Celery, Whole Carrots, Potatoes, Yams, Avocados, Onions, Peppers)

Canned Veggies and Fruits- $13.78 (Diced tomatoes, Applesauce, 100% Applejuice)

Olive oil and Vinegar- $10.66

Spices and Condiments-$9.91 (Sea Salt, Oregano, Mustard, Minced Garlic, Chives)

Chicken Breast- $13.00


100% Whole Wheat Bread- $4.00

Oatmeal, Brown Rice Flour, Buckwheat flour, Yeast, Popcorn (not microwave!)- $18.00

= @ $190.00   Usual monthly food budget is $200.00

Processed Foods  

 Prego Spaghetti Sauce- $5.00

Flour Tortillas- 1.78

Ovaltine-$4.28 (for the girls)

Chocolates $1.29 (For the girls)

Yoplait Trix Yogurt $2.98 (For the girls)

Capri Suns $4.00 (For the girls)

Toaster Strudels $5.00 (FTGs)

Hot Dogs (nitrate/nitrite free) $6.50 (FTGs)

Lays Stax and Pringles $7.50

Cheetos Puffs $3.49

Harvest Chips $2.68

Ranch Dressing $5.00

Country Crock Spread $2.97





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