Wednesday, April 27, 2011

How to Feed a Family of 5 on $80 a Week: Starve Them.

Some time ago I posted that Big V went grocery shopping with me and screwed the whole $80 per week grocery budget up by tossing boxes of Hostess Twinkies in the cart. Since then people have begged me to let them in on my secret: how do I feed a family of five on only $80 a week?

Simple. I starve them.

That way the children don't grow as fast and I don't have to keep buying them new clothes. And also then everyone is really lethargic and I don't have to take them to places like carnivals and fairs. Do you know how expensive those places can be for a family of five? I want cotton candy! I want to ride the ferris wheel! Geesh, you could spend a fortune in no time.

I'm kidding.

I don't starve my family. Although throughout the majority of the month both girls will have you convinced we have absolutely no food in the house. (What they really mean is that we don't have bags of cheese puffs and boxes of Oreos free for the taking.)

I could try to convince you I'm one of those extreme couponers but honestly, I just don't get how that works. And it seems complicated. Also, my good pair of scissors got all rusty when someone left them outside after trying to hack away at a thick rope once used to restrain a crazy, satanic dog, and I really don't feel like buying a new pair just to clip coupons.

Here's the deal:

I budget $80 a week for groceries. My personal definition of groceries is "items to make dinner."

The girls eat lunch at school ($2.25 a day x 5 days = $11.25 per child, or $22.50 for both).

I either take left overs or buy lunch. When I buy lunch I try to limit it to $5-$7 a day, roughly 3 times a week, or $15 - $21 a week.

Big V eats out all the time and he usually spends between $8-$10 a day, everyday - so that's about $40-$50 a week.

Then there's the milk that gets bought just about every other day. $10 a week.

Nobody eats breakfast in our house because we all hate it. I know it's the most important meal of the day but trust me when I say if you made us eat as soon as we woke up you'd have three barfing girls fighting for the toilet. Our bodies were just not constructed to consume food that early in the day. (The baby eats breakfast. Usually a banana and yogurt with Cheerios mixed in.)

Sorry to disappoint everyone. I don't have any money saving secrets. But if YOU have them and want to share them with ME please do so!


Getrealmommy said...

hmmm.seeing as I am spending AT LEAST twice that, seems like I could still learn a lesson from you.

Phoenix Rising said...

Shoot. I forgot to tell everyone we barter for meat. V tiled a foyer in exchage for a butchered cow, and my mother gave us a butchered pig for Christmas. We have tons of "free meat" in the freezer.