Welcome! In the next few months I hope to learn a lot about smart shopping and saving. Hopefully the things I share and learn will be useful to others.
To start with a $30 a week food budget I found I had to make an initial investment in a few starter items. If you plan on doing this it is best if the week prior to starting you buy a few basic items.
I started out with:
I bought all of this stuff about 6 months ago in bulk and still have most of the stuff and it will last me at least another 3 months. Now I may have to get the occasional sugar/flour or butter but I can tackle that when I get to it. I also already have an assortment of all the dried herbs and spices I need thanks to 4 years of collecting. I also Have a bag of brown sugar that I got on sale for $2. Now I know if I didn't have these things already then I would NEVER be able to afford all of it with a $30 budget, maybe $45 but Luckily for me I am what my husband likes to call a food hoarder. I am not, I just like to find things when they are on sale for crazy low and If I do find them at unbeatable prices I will buy it for future use. One example of something I never turn down is eggs, my local Key-foods almost always has eggs 3 dozen for $5. I NEVER turn that down because eggs are such a flexible food and they usually have a fridge shelf life of 3-4 weeks which is lovely. The best way to go about a $30 Budget is to find crazy sales, go to farmers market, get managers specials, and clip coupons. (I am HORRIBLE at coupons) Another good idea is to jump around to different stores that you know have good deals. For instance Gristedes By me will sell a pound of ground beef for $6 where as the Key-foods a block away will sell a family (3 lb pack) for $6.50. When you are shopping keep in mind what you will need to complete the weeks worth of meals. Also don't forget to eyeball the prices of foods you may want in the future, knowing the price range of certain foods will really help when it comes to planning things out. Your best bet for a budget is to buy pantry foods in bulk and things that will go bad quickly such as fruits in small quantities. The whole point of doing this $30 budget challenge is to save money, be aware of consumption, eat better, and to order out way less. This is going to be an interesting experiment and hopefully I am successful. Fingers Crossed.
Bellow is my week one Meal plan. I will be posting later once I hit the grocery store to pick up the items I still need. I will also Be posting the recipes I find along with some pictures. If anyone has any low cost meal ideas please please feel free to send them my way! I would love to incorporate as many meal ideas as possible!