How to Feed Your Family for $100 a Month – Week 6 of 52

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

costco shopping tripCostco $55

So. The HH was out of town last week on a business trip and we needed flour. Who has the best price on flour? Costco. And then I’m sure you know what happened after that.

Monkey Boy wanted chili, The Girl wanted those fancy shmancy crepes and I wanted a quick and easy dinner {rotisserie chicken}. Chalk up eggs, bread and chocolate chips to necessity items and, well, and you have a $55 trip to Costco. Good times people, good times.

Note to self: cut up Costco card.

zaycon chicken breastsZaycon Chicken – Free

Thanks to my Zaycon credit I was able to get 40 pounds of Zaycon chicken for free this past week. 40 pounds of chicken goes a long way when you know the deal won’t come around for another 6 months. The kids asked if we could have Ritz Cracker Chicken tonight so I’ll be stopping by the store later to pick up some crackers.

I don’t know what it is about Ritz Crackers, but a box lasts about 2 seconds at our house so I’m going to have to find a good hiding spot for the extras. Ha!

smith brothers milkSmith Brother’s Milk $15.95 

The chocolate milk was a splurge.

fresh pineapple fruitLocal Produce Stand $6.24

Pineapples for $2.50 each? How could I resist?

How about YOU? Did you order any Zaycon chicken? Did you process it all already?

Buy anything else you just couldn’t resist this past week?

Mavis wants to know.

Total Spent This Week $77.19
Total Spent This Year $225.28 {This is not going well
Total Spent This Year on Garden Seeds/Supplies $4.50

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.



How to Feed Your Family for $100 a Month – Week 4 of 52

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

smith brothersSmith Brothers Milk $11.16

Getting your milk delivered is RAD people, totally RAD. Shuffling outside in 40 degree weather at 8am in your pj’s to collect groceries off your porch is the best thing ever.

albertsons shopping trip

Albertsons $12.04

I sent The Girl to the store for lunch supplies and this is what she came back with. Had I sent Monkey Boy we would have had a totally different picture. ;)

costco shopping tripCostco $11.35

About those eggs. Remember last month when I told you how we thinned our flock of chickens? Well apparently we gave away our best egg layers. Which wouldn’t have been a problem if Lucy the Puggle Dog hadn’t suddenly developed a 2 egg a day habit. Yep, that sweet little pup has us wrapped around her little paw and I now find myself scrambling her up 2 eggs every morning for breakfast.

Hopefully once the days get a little longer all the chickens will start laying again.  But until then, I might have to buy Lucy a carton of eggs every once in a while.

panera breadPanera  - Free {Thanks to a Panera gift card my parents gave me for Christmas}

The savages got to it before I could take a picture.

parsnips and carrotsBackyard Garden 

Last week I pulled up a few baby parsnips and carrots for a hearty soup.

That’s it. That’s all I bought. Obviously it wasn’t a stock up on anything kind of week. But that’s the beauty of waiting for a good deal I guess.

How is YOUR grocery budget doing this month?

~Mavis

Total Spent This Week $34.55
Total Spent This Year $102.22
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.

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

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

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.

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

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

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

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who gave me advise {and recipes} on what to do with the the 20 gazillion pounds of green tomatoes I harvested the other day.  I plan on whipping up some green tomato goodness just as soon as I get a few more cups of tea pumping through my veins this morning.

In the mean time, here’s what I picked up at the store this past week.

Albertsons – $5.18 

Earlier in the week I picked up free tissues, free pasta, free yogurt and some nearly free cheese with a couple of sets of Albertsons double coupons.  On my last set of double coupons I earned a $5 off your next order coupon.

Albertsons – $.01

I hung on to the $5 coupon until yesterday.  Albertsons had their 3 pound bags of chicken on sale for $4.99 {limit of 1}. In order to use the $5 off coupon though, I actually had to spend $5 in products, so I picked up a $.02 grape to bring my total to $5.01.

After the $5 off coupon was applied, I only had to pay $.01 for 3 pounds of chicken.  Yee-Haw!

Costco and Target – $8.79

I also went to Costco last week and forked over $7.75 for some whipping cream.  Man that stuff is expensive.  To maximize my Costco shopping trip I went at lunch time, you know, when all the ladies with hairnets are passing out free samples.

Local Store – FREE

Being able to pick up “chicken scraps” from our local store has really saved our family a lot of money in the produce department this year. Watermelon, fresh corn, mushrooms, strawberries and grapes are not things I would normally purchase for my family.  So being able to get them for free has not only been helpful with our budget, but it’s been pretty fun to see what comes our way each week as well.  Free food rules, no matter how you look at it.

Total Spent This Week $13.98
Total Spent This Year $978.71
Total Spent This Year on Garden Seeds/Supplies $516.21
Total “Seed Money” donations received $51.00

How did YOU do this week?  Any splurges?

I feel like the 1/2 gallon of whipping cream was a splurge for us.

~ 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.

How to Get Free Food Week # 19 – Reclaimed Food Show and Tell

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

This past week I hit the jackpot in the reclaimed food department.  Melons, lettuce, strawberries, corn and grapes.  This whole idea of asking your local grocer for their chicken scraps isn’t a bad gig. Some weeks we make out like bandits, and some weeks the chickens get all the loot.  What we obtain, and what we are actually able to reclaim varies, and I think it’s what keeps me going back for more.

Life’s like a box of scraps… You never know what you’re gonna get. ~Mavis Gump

Now if this were the depression era, I’d probably just cut away the bad parts, but I have chickens, and they sure do love corn.  So when they see The Girl and I with a big box of golden goodness, they make a run for the gate and stand there silently, waiting for it to drop on the ground.  And then it’s a free for all.

I wonder what people in other countries would think of our produce standards here in the US.  3 “bad” leaves of lettuce ruin the whole bag?  Fine by me.  I can pick out 3 pieces of lettuce in a bag that’s not set to expire for another 5 days.  No problem.

Hardly a week goes by we don’t get free strawberries  We have so many in the freezer right now it’s ridiculous.  I wonder if the amount of free berries will slow down in the winter months or stay the same.

Free grapes?  Heck ya I’ll take them. I don’t mine sorting.

I had to peel back 1 leaf to get it to look like this.  How much does a head of lettuce cost these days anyway?

I’m thinking we must have salvaged at least $50 worth of produce.  How crazy is that?

  • 6 watermelon quarters
  • 2 bags of salad mix
  • 3 heads of lettuce
  • 4+ pounds of grapes
  • 4 ears of corn
  • 20+ pounds of strawberries

Go Forth and Salvage!

~ Mavis

Would you like to see what else we have brought home over the past 5 months?

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

Forrest Gump {Two-Disc Special Collector’s Edition} $9.47 ~ Amazon.com

*Amazon prices can change at anytime

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

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

Aren’t you glad back to school shopping is over. If I have to walk into another store selling ripped jeans or paper thin t-shirts, I think I’m going to pass out.  I seriously despise the mall.  Seriously, who pays good money for jeans with holes in them?  It’s weird. Plus it smells there.

At least when I buy groceries I don’t have to walk past a bunch of teenagers who have doused themselves with an entire bottle of perfume or boys who wash their clothes in AXE shower gel.

It’s official, I’m getting old.

Here is what I purchased last week.

Albertsons $5.34

You can still do this deal!  Head on HERE to see how I did this.

Albertsons $7.67

I had a bunch of Albertson’s Summer Sizzling Sweepstakes tickets to redeem and was able to pick up 6 free doughnuts {Monkey Boy was over the moon}.  I paid $2.59 for each gallon of milk and a whopping $2.49 for 3 granny smith apples because I really, really, really wanted to make a batch of apple pie jam.  I’m happy to report it was totally worth it!

Albertsons $1.99

I earned a $5 off coupon after I redeemed by Albertsons tickets and was able to pick up a bag of frozen chicken for only $1.99 after the discount.

Papa John’s Pizza $0

I redeemed some Swagbucks for a $25 Papa Johns Gift card.  The Girl and the HH were both gone so I let Monkey Boy have BOTH of the pizzas!

Barter with Mrs. Hillbilly $0

I traded some fresh produce and salmon for bison meat.


Barter with Girly Girl $0

Dove chocolate for beets?  Hmm, I think I got ripped off.

QFC $5.98

I picked up 2 packages of  cream cheese @ $1 each for The Girl Who Thinks She’s a Bird’s so she could have it on her bagels.  I was out of butter, so I paid $1.99 per pound.  Hopefully there will be some sweet deals on butter before I run out again.

So all in all not a bad week.

How did YOU do at the stores this week?

What was your favorite deal?

Did you buy your kid a pair of ripped jeans this year?

Total Spent This Week $20.98
Total Spent This Year $889.40
Total Spent This Year on Garden Seeds/Supplies $496.58
Total “Seed Money” donations received $51.00 

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 Get Free Food Week # 18 – Reclaimed Food Show and Tell

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

The pickin’s were a little slim this week.  But I’m not complaining.  With the kids getting ready to head back to school, the garden, the chickens, and having to get ready for a quick trip to Boise, I was a bit relieved to see only 3 boxes when I picked up our “chicken scraps” this week at the local produce stand.

Some weeks I love having a bunch of free produce to sift through, and some weeks it’s a chore. But I’m in it to win it, and I just have to remind myself that I am getting FREE FOOD, and no one should ever complain about free food. Ever.

This week I was able to reclaim-

Over the past few months I received emails from people who have been both successful and unsuccessful in getting their local grocers to allow them to pick up free “scraps” from stores.

In the end, I think it boils down to what the individual store policy is.  Some are afraid of giving away produce because of lawsuits, some stores already have a program in place for local charities to pick up the “old” fruits and veggies, and others are just happy to give it to someone so it doesn’t go to waste.

So if you’ve already asked all your local grocery stores for their seconds and have been turned down, maybe try a local farm, fruit stand or CSA and see if they are willing to give your their blemished produce {or let you purchase it for ultra cheap}.  The worst thing anyone can ever tell you is no.  And if you don’t ask, you won’t know for sure.

Peace Out Girl Scouts, I’m headed out to the garden to pick some veggies!

♥ Mavis

Would you like to see what else we have brought home over the past 4 1/2  months?

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

Have you read the The Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn?  This was the first book I ever read on frugality.  Not only is it a great read, but a huge eye opener.  Amazon has it on sale right now for $15.61 and it’s worth every penny.

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

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

Yesterday on the Dirty Dash race course, we came across a bunch of day hikers on a guided tour.  Jokingly, one of my teammates {Mrs. Idaho; who was covered in mud}, spread her arms out really wide and started to approach the day hikers. Both a man and a woman opened their arms, and smiled.

Mrs. Idaho smiled back, put her arms down, and let out a little giggle.

But I didn’t.

I ran up the man {whom we dubbed “Random Guy” and jumped into his arms…

IT. WAS. AWESOME.

Note to self: Never miss a Kodak moment.

P.S. I think Random Guy works out a lot.  His grip was pretty tight.  Either that or he’s totally used to mud covered ladies wearing black underwear over pink tights constantly jumping on him.

As for last weeks shopping trips?  Well, they weren’t quite as exciting.

But here’s what I purchased.

Fred Meyer – $6.00

Last week Fred Meyer had 1/2 gallons of milk, chocolate and orange juice on sale for a buck a piece so I stocked up.  As you can see Monkey Boy drank some chocolate milk on the way home from the store.


Albertsons – $2.70

I stopped by Albertsons on my way home from the airport and did 5 simple transactions using double coupons.

Here are the coupons I used -

$1/1 Ken’s Dressing Coupon 08/12 SS
$.60 Chex Mix Printable Coupon
$1/1 Kikkoman Soy Sauce Printable Coupon 
$.30/1 Chobani Printable Yogurt Coupon
$.75/1 Quaker Baked Bars Printable Coupon
$1/3 Better Oats Oatmeal Printable Coupon

Talk about an easy peasy week.  Feeding your family for only $100 a month is a breeze when you have plenty of fresh fruits and vegetable to make meals from.

Total Spent This Week $8.70
Total Spent This Year $868.42
Total Spent This Year on Garden Seeds/Supplies $496.58
Total “Seed Money” donations received $51.00 

So how did YOU do this week?  What did you buy?  Or more importantly, did you hug any strangers this past week?  Do tell!

14,000 Things to be Happy About $8.95 ~ Amazon

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 Get Free Food Week # 17 – Reclaimed Food Show and Tell

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

We made out like bandits this week with our “free chicken scraps.”  I can hardly believe we have been picking up free grocery store cast offs for over 4 months now.  Where does the time go?  There was a little something for everyone this time around.

Buff the Wayward Chicken and her friends enjoyed 2 boxes of lettuce, spinach, corn, melon and grapes.  We even had plenty left over to feed Girly Girl’s Chickens.

How to dehydrate strawberries

 Since our freezer is almost bursting at the seems with frozen strawberries, I had The Girl dehydrate these ones.  She also dehydrated the mushrooms.  We will use the strawberries in homemade granola, and dehydrated mushrooms in soups this winter.

All in all it was a great week to be a cheapskate.  Lots of goodies!

  • 3 bags stir fry vegetables
  • 5 cantaloupe halves
  • 9 ears of corn
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 1 half of a pineapple
  • 6 pounds of strawberries
  • 12 ounces of spinach
  • 1.5 pounds of mushrooms
  • 3 heads of iceberg lettuce

Not too shabby if you ask me. I’m curious to see what freebies will be available this winter. Sweet potatoes? Squash? Apples?  Who knows, but I’m excited, and I’m glad I’m keeping this up. It’s fun, and every week is a surprise.

Peace Out Girl Scouts,

I’m off to go work in the yard.  I’m expecting company today so I need to go tidy up.

 Mavis

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

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

See more “How to Dehydrate Food” recipes

If you are looking for a deal on a dehydrator, Amazon has my favorite Nesco American Harvest Food Dehydrator on sale for $38.23 shipped if you need one.

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.

Recipes Garden Frugal Canning Chickens Travel