Feeding your family with healthy preservative free food in this economy is a challenge. Everything is going up in price. And living where I do in Canada we seem to pay more for everything.

I have a family of three. We all eat for two. My husband especially - that man can eat! Of course he's the skinniest of the bunch. Although my daughter can eat her fair share and she's a skinny thing too. No wonder I hate skinny gluttons. I'm surrounded by them. Again, I digress.

I've decided I'm going to do a 4 week challenge. Here are the rules I've set for myself.

I will cook only -
  • Preservative free Food
  • Real food - no packages
I will purchase only -
  • Organic (dirty dozen) fruits and veggies
  • Locally grown produce whenever possible
  • Naturally raised and grain fed meats and poultry whenever possible
  • Free range eggs
  • Organic dairy when possible
I will do this and feed my family of three with an added hungry and tall boyfriend every once in a while, including Sunday dinner, breakfasts, lunches, snacks, beverages and desserts for $150.00 per week. If we go out it is included in the $150 budget.

I may use items already in my fridge and freezer which will help until I get used to this budgeting. (I wish I had a garden)

This $150 does not include toiletries, alcohol (thank goodness - I'm gonna need some), pet food or other sundries.

Every Sunday I will withdraw $150 cash and put it in an envelope. That is my budget for the week. If I use it all up before the end of the week I will have to get creative with my cooking.

I will let you all know how the money was spent and the meal plan for the coming week. I will also let you know whether my meal plan was completely out to lunch (pardon the pun) and how I needed to tweak it.

Here's the plan for the next week -

Dinners for the week are:
  • Red Lentil Curry, with Spinach and Homemade Naan Bread.
  • Maple Pecan Chicken, with Brown Rice and Broccoli
  • Spaghetti with meat sauce (ground beef from freezer), salad
  • Greek Turkey Meatballs, with spicy sweet potato fries, cucumber & tomato slices
  • Spicy Soba Noodles with Chicken in Peanut Sauce, Spinach
  • Chick Pea Curry, Arugula, left over Naan Bread
  • Roast Beef 'n gravy, roasted potatoes and Broccoli (Roast beef from freezer)
Desserts - Banana 'ice cream' and home made no sugar Apple Crisp

Lunches are:
  • Tuna Sandwiches, mini carrots, fruit
  • Fresh Tomato Soup, Natural Ham Sandwich, fruit
  • Fresh Salad w/grilled chicken breast, homemade Ranch dressing, fruit
  • Leftovers
Breakfasts are:
  • Eggs, 'fried' potato, grapefruit
  • Oatmeal with berries or apple, flax seed, cinnamon and maple syrup
  • Plain Yogurt, berries, honey, flax seed and cinnamon
Snacks are:
  • Whole Wheat Banana mini muffins (homemade)
  • Homemade Hummus with veggies
  • Homemade 'microwave' popcorn
  • Fruit with Peanut Butter
Honestly, I hate budgets. As a bookkeeper with my own business I work with numbers all week. Adding (again pardon the pun) more numbers to my week is just nasty. But, things are tight. I'm spending too much on food. Time to tighten the reigns and what better way to be accountable than to make it public? So ... wish me luck.

Not a very funny post I know. But give me a week, this could get hysterical, or I may become hysterical. One of the two I'm sure. I'm thinking when a cauliflower can cost me $5 to purchase this is maybe harder than I realize. What I don't want to do is set myself up to fail. Fingers crossed.


UPDATE: The farmer's market is freakin' expensive! Two garlic was $2.50! I spent $12.50 for 4 carrots, 1 beet and 1/2 a bag of potatoes. What?!?! It took me forever to shop today, but I did it. I thought for sure I was over and was going to have to return a bunch of items and embarrass myself at the counter. Instead of chicken breasts we're having Chicken Thighs $9.90kg for free range. As I was running out of money I had to opt for some regular chicken - something I don't want to do - for the other meals (soba noodles and salads for lumch).

Money went like this -

$117.99 Save-on Foods
$ 20.00 Farmer's Market = potatoes, tomatoes, beet, carrots, green onions and 2 heads of garlic
$  1.99 Soba Noodles

I've got $10 to last me through the rest of the week. Next week will be tough as I will have no extra meat to grab from the freezer. Oh boy. Beans for dinner. But that's why it's a challenge right?


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