Food Stamp Challenge – Budgeting and Menu Prep

Hey Y’all

Well, as I promised, I am going to share how I made my budget stretch for the Food Stamp Challenge, and get the best meals for the money I had!  Take a look at my grocery list, my menu and how I proportioned each part of the meal out, and how much it actually cost to fit into my budget.

Since I was shopping for 4 people, my weekly allowance was $83.00.  This allowed me $16.60 a day, and there hasn’t been a day that I have gone over the $16.60 budget!

What did I have on hand?  Well, I always have a ton of stuff in my pantry, but for most people who receive food stamp benefits, they do not have this luxury, so I chose the most common items in my pantry that I’d be using and added them to my budget.

Pantry:

Garlic (2 heads with about 12 cloves per head) – $1.00 – $).05/clove
Butter (1 lb – 16 tbsp) – $2.77 – $0.17/tbsp
Oatmeal (1 lb – 8 cups) – $2.57 – $0.17/half cup
Cheese (2 lb) – $5.50
Sliced Cheese (1 lb – 16 slices) – $2.75 – $0.17/slice
Broullion Cubes (15 per jar) – $1.97 – $0.13/ea
Bread – $0.87 – $0.04/slice
Milk (1 gallon) – $3.49
Eggs (2 dozen) – $2.78 – $0.11/ea
Salad Dressing (16 tbsp) – $2.49 – $0.15/tbsp

Total:  $26.19

Purchased:

Bacon (1 lb – 15 slices) – $2.77 – $0.18/slice
English Muffins (6 ct.) – $2.50 – $0.41/ea
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast (1 lb) – $2.00 – $1.00/half lb (2 breasts)
Lettuce (1 head) – $2.84
Canned Tomatoes (7 cans) – $7.00 – $1.00/can
Rice-A-Roni – $1.00
Whole Chicken – $4.37
Onion (2) – $1.08
Pasta (2 lb) – $2.70 – $0.33/cup (uncooked)
Tomato Sauce – $0.67
Green Chili’s – $0.77
Enchilada Sauce (2 cans) – $1.98
Canned Beans – $0.77
Honey-Dew Melon – $2.49 – $0.31/half cup
Carrots – $1.00
Frozen Beans – $1.39
Frozen Corn – $1.39
Frozen Collard Greens – $1.39
Ricotta Cheese – $2.55
Tortilla Shells (12 ct.) – $2.89 – $0.24/ea

Total:   $35.33

 Grand Total:  $61.52
Budget:  $83.00
Difference:  $21.48 

I guess that I lied in the last post, I still have $21.48 left!  I guess I need to go back and fix that!  I am quite proud of myself.  With what I spent, I actually have enough for a whole person worth of food left!

Now, let’s see where that food went, and where it is going…

Monday – $15.52

Breakfast – $2.52
7 eggs  – $0.77
4 slices of toast – $0.17
1/2 cup honey-dew melon each – $1.24
1 tbsp butter (for toast) – $0.34

Lunch – $4.87
1/2 lb chicken – $1.00
3 tortilla shells – $0.73
1/2 head lettuce – $1.42
4 tbsp salad dressing – $0.62
6 slices bacon – $1.10

Dinner – $8.12
Whole chicken – $4.37
1/2 onion – $0.27
2 cloves garlic – $0.15
1/2 bag corn – $0.69
1/2 bag beans – $0.69
Rice-A-Roni – $1.00
2 broullion cubes – $0.26
4 tbsp butter – $0.69

 Tuesday – $11.25

Breakfast – $2.52
7 eggs – $0.77
4 slices of toast – $0.17
1/2 cup honey-dew melon each – $1.24
1 tbsp butter – $0.34

Lunch – $2.88
Leftover chicken – $–
1 cup carrots – $0.50
1/2 onion – $0.27
1 cup pasta – $0.33
3 Broullion Cubes – $0.39
Bread (8 slices) – $0.34
Cheese (4 slices) – $0.68
1 tbsp butter – $0.37

 Dinner – $5.84
3 cups pasta – $1.02
Canned Tomatoes (4 cans) – $4.00
Tomato Sauce – $0.67
2 cloves garlic – $0.15

Wednesday – $10.71

Breakfast – $0.89
Oatmeal (4 1/2 cup servings) – $0.68
Milk (4 tbsp) – $0.21

Lunch – $3.17
4 eggs – $0.46
3 English muffins – $0.93
3 slices of cheese – $0.51
6 slices of bacon – $1.10

Dinner – $6.65
Leftover chicken – $–
Enchilada Sauce (2 cans) – $1.98
1 lb cheese – $2.75
8 tortilla shells – $1.92

Thursday – $12.75

Breakfast – $0.89
Oatmeal (4 1/2 cup servings) – $0.68
Milk (4 tbsp) – $0.21

Lunch – $5.10
Canned Tomatoes (2 cans) – $2.00
5 cloves of garlic – $0.35
1 onion – $0.54
Bread (8 slices) – $0.34
Cheese (4 slices) – $0.68
1 tbsp butter – $0.37

Dinner – $6.76
Leftover pasta sauce – $–
3 cups pasta – $1.02
1 lb ricotta cheese – $2.55
1 lb mozzarella cheese – $2.75
1 egg – $0.11

Friday – $8.90

Breakfast – $2.52
7 eggs – $0.77
4 slices of toast – $0.17
1/2 cup honey-dew melon each – $1.24
1 tbsp butter – $0.3

Lunch – $2.21
Leftover soup – $–
Bread (8 slices) – $0.34
Cheese (4 slices) – $0.68
1 tbsp butter – $0.37

Dinner – $4.37
Canned Tomatoes ( 1 can) – $1.00
1 cup carrots – $0.50
1/2 bag collard greens – $0.69
1/2 bag frozen beans – $0.69
1 can beans – $0.69
1 cup pasta – $0.33
3 broullion cubes – $0.39

Now with all of that food that we ate and are going to eat, we still have a ton of food leftover for next week.  Look at what is left, and how it brings my budget down even further (if I could buy proportionately).

1 cup chicken noodle soup – $–
1/2 lb chicken breast – $1.00
2 sticks butter – $1.36
3/4 jar salad dressing – $1.86
1/2 head lettuce – $1.42
1 meal of sauce – $–
3 slices of bacon – $0.55
1 head of garlic – $0.50
1/2 bag frozen corn – $0.69
1/2 bag collard greens – $0.69
2 slices of cheese – $0.34
4 cups oatmeal – $1.36
3 English muffins – 0.93
4 eggs – $0.44

Total:  $11.14 

If I were able to take that $11.14 off of my budget, I would have only spent $50.11 on food for FIVE days!  I am just so tickled that I was able to stretch my budget so far, and spend the money healthy meals.  I even have enough left if I wanted coffee (which I have been without all week), and soda or even dessert.  I am going to be able to use all of this food next week, and maybe only spend $40 on food!  Keep checking back everyday to see how I did!

Share with me your experience with your budget.  How did you plan it out, how did it work?  What didn’t work?  How did you eat?  Share, share share!

With Love,
Miss Lindsie

Leave a Reply: