How to Feed Your Family for $100 a Month

New Flash:

I did not exhibit self-control last week.  I went crazy!  Although I used several coupons, I went over budget BIG TIME and didn’t really care.  Why?  Because sometimes in life you just have to be a normal person and buy normal things.  Normal is good.  You can always get shock therapy later {if you have a coupon}.

Here is the low down on what I purchased this week.

Fred Meyer $10.59.  The Handsome Husband stopped by Fred Meyer grocery to buy half & half.  When he came home with 10 lbs of bananas I was like “Why on earth did you buy all those bananas?”
“I like bananas, plus they were on sale.”
“How much were they?”
“$.69 lb.”
“Costco sells bananas for $.39 a lb.”

Note to self: This is exactly why men should not shop for groceries.  Not only do they buy way to much, they have no clue as to what a good deal is.  If it’s shiny and they are hungry, that’s all that counts.

Albertsons $14.99

Thanks to some free coupons a reader had given me, I was able to score some free food at Safeway.

Safeway $19.83 This was an expensive trip.  However, I was able to pick up some unusual things like, frozen mussels, deli meat, fresh basil, meat, broccoli cheddar soup and a bunch of other goodies.  While unloading the bags the HH freaked out.  “What’s going on?  Why did you buy this stuff?  This isn’t what we normally eat.”  It was hilarious.

Target $.88 for the cookie mix and macaroni and cheese.

Albertsons $1.95 {I used a $5 Preferred card coupon}.

Amazon $ FREE Thanks to Swagbucks!

Costco $16.93 {not including the new rug}.

Feeding your family for one hundred dollars a month is easy.  All you need is willpower.  Anyone can cut coupons, read a grocery store ad, drive to the store and shop.  However you won’t get very far if you can’t control your purse strings.

Total Money Spent This Week: $65.17

Total Money Spent Year To Date: $65.17

Total Spent On Garden Seeds: $0

Yes, I will try to spend only $100 a month again this year.  BUT and here is the major but, I am not going to make myself crazy over it.  If I go over I go over. If the HH wants a bag of Doritos and they are not on sale. Fine.  I will buy them. Whoop T Do.  Getting there is half the fun right?

Here are the One Hundred Dollars a Month Challenge Guidelines I have set for myself:

1. Money spent on Vacation food does not count.  Why?  Because when we travel we use money from our “vacation fund.” Money that has been set aside specifically for vacations.

2. If I {or anyone else in my family} receives a gift card to a restaurant or fast food establishment it does not count.  Why? Because the gift cards were a gift.  We did not have to pay for them out of our own pockets.

3. If I WIN a free gift card or gift certificate to a store it does not count.  Why?  Because I won it!  I did not have to pay for it out of my own pocket.

4. If I am able to score a free $10, $20 {ect.} catalina from the purchase of a gift card {ie: Amazon, Home Depot, iTunes ect.} the amount I spent on a gift card does not count towards my food purchase total.  Why?  Well that one’s a no brainer actually.  If I know my husband will be buying something from the Home Depot in the near future why wouldn’t I purchase a gift card and score a catalina for some free food in the process?  Duh.

5. If I purchase any seeds for my garden I will count the seed purchase as “food” money spent.  However, if I can re-coup the seed money via selling my extra produce to neighbors, friends or family I will deduct any earned money from my “garden seed” total {I will keep this tally separate from my food purchases}.

6. If I am given seeds, barter for seeds or collect free seeds it does not count toward my total.  Why?  Because the seeds were FREE to me.

Whew!  That’s it.

How about YOU?

Do you have any grocery goals in mind for 2012?



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  1. gloria says

    I love what you’re doing here, and I think your guidelines are very reasonable. Taking inspiration from your own 2011 challenge, back in February I set our grocery budget (just the two of us) at $45 per week. This includes household items, cleaning, paper products, personal care and pet food for our two cats. I managed to make it for the most part. I went over budget a few times times mostly due to unexpected company, holidays, etc. I really blew it out at year end, though and spent about $400 in December on food for 9 house guests who were with us for 10 days over the holidays. This covered both everyday meals and party food for Christmas and New Years. Worth every penny. We supplemented heavily over the summer with produce from the garden and will do so again this year. I would like to come up with some way to store our produce and I’m looking into turning part of our unfinished basement into a root cellar of sorts. Need to figure that one out. I work full time so I don’t think I will do much canning this year, although we have cherry, apple and pear trees. We are using our grocery savings to pay down our mortgage with a goal of paying it off in 4.5 years. Since the middle of July we have paid off 20 months of mortgage. Woohoo! My dear hubby has been great and helps me clip coupons. He is very motivated by the prospect of paying off the mortgage.

  2. Desi says

    @ gloria I think that’s awesome you’re paying off your mortgage with your savings, we’re doing some of the same here. Mavis going over is no biggie. I have suck with my old budget of $500 a month but try to spend $300. The extra $200 is there if I need it because of something comes on sale or just went crazy that month. My reward is if I can not spend that last $200 it will go on our mortgage. Wahoo for saving money! So excited for you, this year will be awesome and I’m looking forward to it. Going to try for more food this year as well. Maybe I should try weighing it and see how much I come up with. Hm how to expand the garden without the HH noticing…

  3. Kerri says

    I’m so glad you’re going for it again! Yeah! I’ve recently gotten a lot of people hooked on your blog so I was hoping they weren’t too late to check up on your challenge. I’m excited for the gardening aspect, too. I always have big aspirations for my garden in the spring but I’m afraid I pretty much lack all gardening skills so I’m hoping to pick up some tips from you.

    I’ve always wondered, do you count toiletries, household products, etc. in your $100 or is it only food. Just curious…

    Thanks for doing this again!

  4. Heather S. says

    So looking forward to following you this year as well! Good luck with the 2000 pounds! I live in the dessert so have had a lot of trouble growing a lot here (zucchini is my best bet, but I haven’t had a lot of luck with too much else)… I don’t know if you’ve ever tried it, but when my bananas start to get spotty (and I don’t have plans for banana bread), I just throw them in the freezer. My kids love smoothies and these go in them well. It’s a little hard to peel (I use a paring knife), but then I just throw it in the blender with the rest of the stuff :)

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