How to Feed Your Family for $100 a Month – Week 1 of 52

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smith brothers farm milk delivery

Smith Brothers Farm $12.36

Can you believe it? I signed up for home milk delivery. Yep, I sure did. And let me tell you why.

Besides the fact that fresh, local milk is better for you, when I wrote down my 12 goals for 2014 I had one thing in mind, getting organized. So, how is that going to save me money?

Well, for years now I’ve felt like I was always zipping into the grocery store for “just one thing” and milk was always at the top of the list. So I decided that if I had it delivered, I’d spend less time running to the grocery store, thus spending less money on groceries in general.

I’m not sure if it is going to work, but my goal is to try and use the items in our pantry and freezer more and just go grocery shopping once a week instead of making 2 or 3 small trips.

Even though I am not great at planning meals ahead of time, I’m optimistic that my new goal of shopping less often will work out in the end. We’ll see.

free produce

Mr. Produce Guy – Free 

Last week we enjoyed another basket of fresh fruit and veggies from Mr. Produce Guy. Yum-O!

So there you have it, milk and produce. That’s it. ;)

How often do you buy groceries?

Do you get your milk delivered? Do you think it cuts down on your shopping trips?

Mavis wants to know.

Total Spent This Week $12.36
Total Spent This Year $12.36
Total Spent This Year on Garden Seeds/Supplies $0

Go HERE to read more Shopping Trip Stories.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.



Food Waste In America – Spotted Bananas and Tail Feathers

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food waste

Being able to get free scraps for our backyard chickens {and Girly Girls} during the winter months when our garden isn’t producing as much as we’d like has come in handy over the past year and a half.

After all, if I were a chicken, I’d sure get bored of eating the same old boring chicken feed day in and day out, wouldn’t you?
spotted bananas

Spotted bananas. They’re back. And it’s a good thing too because I’ve been craving strawberry banana smoothies lately and we all know the sweetest bananas are the ones that are a wee bit brown.

chicken scraps

This week Mr. Produce Guy set aside 2 boxes of leafy greens for our birds.

mottled java chicken pullet

Java, our mottled java chicken spent a good hour an a half munching down as much as she could before taking a rest.chicken tail feathers rooster

Do you remember me telling you about my suspicions about one of our Blue Laced Red Wyandottes? Well, she, is a he. Yup. So now we have 2 roos we need to find good homes for.

The boys haven’t made any noises yet {thank goodness} but since they are about 16 weeks old I suspect they’ll start attempting to crow any day now. Luckily the HH knows a family that might take the roos off our hands. I’ll keep you posted. But mark my words, I will never buy day old chicks from Wilco ever again.  We purchased our last two sets of chicks from them and BOTH TIMES we ended up with roos!

Remember Pablo? It was soooo sad to see him go. And I don’t want to have to go through that again.

free produce

Here’s what we kept from the free produce boxes this week:

  • 2 heads of lettuce
  • 5 pounds of bananas
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 6 apples

Not to shabby for free. :)

~Mavis

Would you like to see what else we have brought home over the past year?

Head on over HERE to read all the past stories and to see all the pictures.

If you have just stumbled upon this series and are wondering how I got all this food for free, you’ll want to read this story first.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

How to Feed Your Family for $100 a Month: My Year-End Grocery Budget

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costco shopping trip

Costco Shopping Trip $27.35

I zipped into Costco to pick up a bunch of wine and cheese for my parents annual Christmas gift basket and picked up a few supplies for my family as well.

Albertsons Shopping Trip

Albertsons Shopping Trip $20.89

I sent The Girl to the store and she stuck to my grocery list! Wahooo!  :)

Well the time has come to add up all my receipts and get my grand total spent on groceries for 2013. Drum roll please…

Total Spent This Week $40.24
Total Spent This Year $2192.32 {Yep, I’m over for the year}
Total Spent This Year on Garden Seeds/Supplies $919.96 {I bought a Meyer Lemon Tree, Rhubarb crowns, 6 Fruit Trees , 16 yards of soil}, Walla Walla Onions and 90 pounds of seed potatoesPlus, supplies to make my own potting soil. I also picked up a boatload of heirloom tomato plants at the Seattle Tilth sale.

I know, I know. It’s not $100 a month. And yes, I get that my website’s name rides on the fact that I’m feeding my family for $100 a month. And I still strive to do that. But since my shift towards growing a larger garden and attempting to eliminate a lot of the processed foods I was feeding my family, I’ve gone over my budget a time or two. And I don’t feel bad about it one bit. Because I’m still trying. I’m still shopping sales and bartering with neighbors and sifting through my haul from Mr. Produce Guy.

So while I didn’t quite feed my family for $100 a month, I feel better spending a little bit more and feeding them an overall healthier diet. And doing that for a little over $175 a month? Pretty awesome in my book.

Here’s a little sampling of some of the ways I saved {and splurged} through the year:

winco shopping trip
Winco:

Winco is one of my favorite places to just walk in and shop. I know that even without coupons or a detailed list, I can still save because they have rock bottom prices. And once a year or so they’ll send out coupons like a $10/$50 purchase coupon that makes their prices crazy good!

albertsons double coupon shopping trip mavis
Albertsons:

While double coupon shopping trips are a things of the past, I can still find some awesome deals at Albertsons most weeks. It just takes a little planning and a little patience.

Zaycon ground beef eventZaycon Foods:

Bulk meats are where it’s at! Sure you can to process a junk ton of meat all at once and have a lot of freezer space, but the money you save makes it totally worth it. Plus, I’ve been super duper impressed with the quality of meat from Zaycon. And now they’re having event all over the country so you can get in on the bulk meat buying too! You can see if there’s a Zaycon event near you HERE.

food waste in AmericaFREE Produce:

I might grow A LOT of produce in my backyard, but I don’t have a grape vine or banana tree or much of anything edible in the winter. Enter Mr. Produce Guy. Every week I pick up what he would otherwise throw away. I feed a lot of it to my chickens, but I salvage a lot for my family’s meals each week too! Check out all my Reclaimed Food posts.

bartering foodBartering:

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. That’s why bartering is so awesome. I have what you need, you have what I need. We swap and WALLAH! We spend no money out of pocket and both get what we want/need!  I barter my produce a lot for meat and other random and fantastic things. Check out all my Bartering posts.

costco shopping tripCostco:

Costco is a dangerous place. If you are focused and don’t get easily distracted by shiny things, you can be in and out and save a bundle. But a few times this year the lure of the samples held me in their trap and I overspent. My advice is to only shop Costco with a plan, no shopping cart and not when you are emotionally distressed or starving. No good can come from that!

vitacostVistacost.com:

I earned  Vitacost credit  by referring family and friends, etc. {you get a $10 credit, they get a $10 credit. It’s kind of an awesome system!}. So when I earned enough credit to make a solid purchase, I cashed in my credit and bought some staples for me and some fun items for my kids. Check out how I was able to score 7 Bags of Cereal + Cookies + a FREE Magazine all for only $5.12 shipped!

oroweat bakery outletOroweat Bakery Outlet:

A great way to save on bread {other than baking your own} is to stop by your local bakery outlet every once in a while and stock up on bread that has been pulled from the grocery store shelves. I buy a bunch and freeze it and no one can taste the difference.

So now the big question is: What’s next for Mavis? Should I try for $100 a month for a 4th year? Should I switch it up and set a different goal? Should I have the same goal but different rules? Weigh in you guys with your thoughts on what my budget should look like next year.

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Mondays with Mavis – How to Feed Your Family for $100 a Month

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albertsons shopping trip

Albertsons $13.65

This past week was a total snooze fest in the grocery shopping department. The HH tried some Greek Gods Greek yogurt awhile back and absolutely LOVED it, but at $4.99 for a tube of the stuff I never bought it. Until this past week. Albertsons had it on sale for $2.99 so I was like what the heck, and two tubs of the stuff.

Which may have been a mistake now that I think about it because it’s all my husband talks about now.

“When is it going on sale again? Are you going to buy more? You know what would make a great Christmas gift? A case of yogurt!!! {What a fruit loop I tell you}.

food waste in America

Mr. Produce Guy FREE

Who needs to buy produce when you can get it for free? Mr. Produce Guy is too good to me.

See, I told you it was a boring week for groceries. :) I need to go out today and get supplies for our holiday feast {we are having ham} and I’m hoping the stores won’t be too crowded {a girl can dream, right}.

Peace Out Girl Scouts,

~Mavis

Total Spent This Week $13.65
Total Spent This Year $2144.08 {Yep, I’m over for the year}
Total Spent This Year on Garden Seeds/Supplies $919.96 {I bought a Meyer Lemon Tree, Rhubarb crowns, 6 Fruit Trees , 16 yards of soil}, Walla Walla Onions and 90 pounds of seed potatoesPlus, supplies to make my own potting soil. I also picked up a boatload of heirloom tomato plants at the Seattle Tilth sale.

Read more Shopping Trip Stories.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Food Waste In America – Chickens Love Cantaloupes

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free food

This past week there was quite the assortment of discarded fruits and vegetables in the “chicken scrap” boxes Mr. Produce Guy sets aside for us each week.

chicken scraps

The chickens scored big with a huge box of cantaloupe melons. Most of the melons were about a day or two past their prime, but the chickens didn’t seem to mind one bit.

chicken eggs

Being able to supplement their chicken feed once or twice a week with scraps from our garden and Mr. Produce Guy has really helps us to cut down on our feed bill over the past year and a half. Maybe next year I’ll keep track of how much it costs to keep a flock of backyard chickens. Then again, I have a lot on my plate already, so we’ll see.
barred rock chicken

Awkward Martha didn’t have to share. ;)

food waste in America

After sorting through the boxes, here’s what we kept:

  • 8 bananas
  • 7 apples
  • 5 pears
  • 3 sweet peppers
  • 2 melons
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 head of cauliflower

Not to shabby for free. :)

~Mavis

Would you like to see what else we have brought home over the past year?

Head on over HERE to read all the past stories and to see all the pictures.

If you have just stumbled upon this series and are wondering how I got all this food for free, you’ll want to read this story first.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Mondays with Mavis – How to Feed Your Family for $100 a Month

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zaycon ham picture

Zaycon Foods – FREE

When I found out Zaycon Foods was offering ham a while back I decided to redeem all my Zaycon credit and get 20 pounds of boneless ham. I tucked one away in the freezer for Easter, and the other one we will be serving this Christmas alongside our annual dinner buffet.

Have you tried Zaycon ham before? How was it? This was our first time ordering ham through Zaycon {we love their chicken and beef} so I’m anxious to try it.

albertsons shopping tripAlbertsons $ 8.38

I asked The Girl Who Thinks She’s a Bird to pick up a lemon on her way home and this is what she came home with. Apparently she was craving clementines and cream cheese. Ha!

Target Market Pantry Products

Target $12.97

Last week I had surgery on my Crappy British Teeth and knew I’d pretty much be drinking smoothies, hot soup and applesauce all week. So when Monkey Boy and I stopped by Target for some new socks {what was I thinking? Do you know how freakin’ packed Target is this time of year?} I grabbed a couple of cans of my favorite Campbell’s soups.

I’m not sure how the lentils and turkey breast ended up in the cart {let’s blame it on the meds} but I’m sure I’ll make something tasty with it soon. :)
reclaimed food

Mr. Produce Guy – FREE

Thanks to Mr. Produce Guy, this past week we were able to get plenty of lettuce and apples for free. Just for asking! How cool is that? You can see all the food our family has saved from going in to the dumpster over the last year and a half HERE.

Last week I stocked up like crazy, this week, not so much.

How did you do? Are you finding yourself going over your grocery budget because of the holidays, or are you superhuman and and right on target for the year?

Mavis wants to know.

Total Spent This Week $21.35
Total Spent This Year $2130.43 {Yep, I’m over for the year}
Total Spent This Year on Garden Seeds/Supplies $919.96 {I bought a Meyer Lemon Tree, Rhubarb crowns, 6 Fruit Trees , 16 yards of soil}, Walla Walla Onions and 90 pounds of seed potatoesPlus, supplies to make my own potting soil. I also picked up a boatload of heirloom tomato plants at the Seattle Tilth sale.

Read more Shopping Trip Stories.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Food Waste In America – Lettuce Anyone?

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food waste

I don’t think I’ll ever figure out how the produce section of any store makes money. What you see above is just a couple of hours of “waste.” Imagine how many boxes of produce would be on my porch if I collected free produce scraps for an entire month. I won’t, but I bet it would be pretty eye opening.wrinkled squash

Besides an entire case of good lettuce, there wasn’t too much else to salvage. There were however quite a few wrinkled squash {I didn’t want them for my family, but our backyard folk of chickens sure loved them}.

grapes

Soft grapes with cobwebs. Yum-O!

tomatoes

Soft tomatoes. Another treat for the hens.

reclaimed food

So what did I keep this time around? 2 heads of lettuce, 2 bags of Romaine, 2 cucumbers, 13 apples and 1 lonely tomato.  Everything else was fed to the chickens or tossed onto the compost heap.

Oh, and did you notice… No bananas for the second week in a row. Hmmm. There must be some sort of global banana shortage going on that I don’t know about. Either that, or Mr. Produce Guy is marking down his spotted bananas and people are gobbling them up like crazy.

Note to self – ask next time I’m at the store.

Have a great day everyone,

~Mavis

Would you like to see what else we have brought home over the past year?

Head on over HERE to read all the past stories and to see all the pictures.

If you have just stumbled upon this series and are wondering how I got all this food for free, you’ll want to read this story first.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Mondays with Mavis – How to Feed Your Family for $100 a Month

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costco shopping tripCostco $69.75

How does that song go? Oops, I did it again? Holy crackers people, forget taking away my Costco card, take away my car, and shoes because we all know you can just go up to customer service and tell them you lost your Costco card and get a temporary pass for the day.

Clearly taking the Costco card out of my wallet was not a deterrent was it?

I think I’m getting lazy. Seriously, it’s just too easy to go one stop shopping at Costco this time of year. All those free samples, shiny things to look at, I can’t stop. Can. Not. Stop.

albertsons shopping tripAlbertsons $22.39

Hot deal of the week was yogurt on clearance for $0.25 each and day old cinnamon rolls for $0.99.  I also picked up a package of Bob’s Red Mill Oat Bran. I wanted to try it out before I ordered the 4-pack from Amazon. The verdict? I like it! And hold your horses, it was 28% of your daily fiber requirement and something like 7 grams of protein in one serving.

trader joes shopping tripTrader Joes: $12.79

What can I say, I need to find something better to do with my time than hang out at the grocery store during the week.I’d take up knitting, but then I’d just spend all my money at the craft store. So you see, I really can’t win, can I? All I can do is hope spring will come early this year so I’ll be too busy outside to go shopping.

A girl can dream, right?

How did you do this week?

Are you spending more on food lately too? What’s your excuse?

- Mavis

Total Spent This Week $104.93
Total Spent This Year $2109.18 {Yep, I’m over for the year}
Total Spent This Year on Garden Seeds/Supplies $919.96 {I bought a Meyer Lemon Tree, Rhubarb crowns, 6 Fruit Trees , 16 yards of soil}, Walla Walla Onions and 90 pounds of seed potatoesPlus, supplies to make my own potting soil. I also picked up a boatload of heirloom tomato plants at the Seattle Tilth sale.

Read more Shopping Trip Stories.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Food Waste In America – The Monkeys Stole My Bananas!

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food waste in America

What? No bananas? Seriously? What happened? Was there a monkey convention or something we didn’t hear about? It’s been ages since we haven’t had at least 10 pounds of bananas in the free produce boxes Mr. Produce Guy sets aside for us each week.

fresh fruit

Shriveled mangos, soft grapes and super soft apples. Perfect for chickens, not so great for humans.

asparagus

The asparagus was a wee bit past it’s prime. So we tossed it onto the compost heap.
lettuce

Even though this lettuce was perfectly fine to eat, we gave it to the chickens. They LOVE their greens and when it comes down to it, we can really only eat so much lettuce ourselves. food waste in America

What we kept for ourselves this week:

  • 2 large fruit Bowls {retail $9.99}
  • 2 head of iceberg lettuce
  • 2 apples
  • 1 mango
  • 1 avocado

Not a bad deal if you ask me. :) What do you think?

~Mavis

Would you like to see what else we have brought home over the past year?

Head on over HERE to read all the past stories and to see all the pictures.

If you have just stumbled upon this series and are wondering how I got all this food for free, you’ll want to read this story first.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Mondays with Mavis – How to Feed Your Family for $100 a Month

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jenni-o turkeyAlbertsons $.52

Last week I used all 5 of the $20 off Albertsons coupons I scored with their gift card promotion. Not only was also I able to pick up a nearly free turkey, but I was able to stock up on some key ingredients for side dishes and desserts as well.

albertsons shopping tripAlbertsons $3.65

Our chickens have practically stopped laying {we are still getting a few eggs a day} so I had to break down and buy a dozen eggs. Buying eggs when you have chickens seems so weird to me. But eggs are a must have for breakfast {and baking} around here.

Albertsons $0.69

I forgot to take a picture. oops!

weekly groceriesAlbertsons $0.66

Breakfast weenies, sparkling cider, rolls, green beans, cream cheese and more eggs.

groceriesAlbertsons $0.82 

Holy cow Mavis, are those more eggs? Did you really buy 5 dozen eggs last week? Yes, yes I did. I told you we eat a lot of eggs around here! As for the peppermint patties and mini doughnuts, I have no idea how they got in my cart. They mucy have jumped in or something. ;)

food waste in America

Mr. Produce Guy – FREE

Getting free “chicken scraps” from Mr. Produce Guy each week really helps to cut down on our grocery budget.

bartering food

Bartered Goods – FREE

And last but not least, my barter with my neighbor Hulda. I was able to trade some of my garden vegetables for some free elk meat and fresh baked cookies. Aren’t neighbors cool? :)

How did you do this past week? Any gift card deals in your area?

~Mavis

Total Spent This Week $6.34
Total Spent This Year $2004.25 {Yep, I’m over for the year}
Total Spent This Year on Garden Seeds/Supplies $919.96 {I bought a Meyer Lemon Tree, Rhubarb crowns, 6 Fruit Trees , 16 yards of soil}, Walla Walla Onions and 90 pounds of seed potatoesPlus, supplies to make my own potting soil. I also picked up a boatload of heirloom tomato plants at the Seattle Tilth sale.

Read more Shopping Trip Stories.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

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