I’m feeding my family of six for just $200 a month, by using the contents of my weekly Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) box as the backbone of my weekly menu plan.
This week’s menu plan was all about comfort foods – stuff that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside: hot cereal for breakfast, delicious wraps and soups for lunch, and pizza, enchiladas, and taco salad for supper.
In each of my $50 menu plans, I list what I fed my family for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for an entire week. Remember, the cost is based on what I paid for ingredients. I analyze each recipe, totaling up what I paid for the basic ingredients.
I get it as close as I can to $50, sometimes going a bit under and sometime a little over.
The whole purpose of this series is to show you how inexpensive it is to feed your family a healthy, whole food diet, without resorting to buying processed or junk food.
I really wish I had more creativity when it comes to the area of breakfast. However, given my lack of feeling wide awake before 9am, it is, perhaps, best for my family that I have given the responsibility of getting breakfast on the table to my beloved husband.
Waking at 6am, he cooks a hot breakfast of either cream of wheat or oatmeal for our tribe of six. We top oatmeal with berries and a splash of plant-based milk. Our boys add a bit of cocoa to their cream of wheat to make it chocolatey.
We never drink glasses of milk. So, a half gallon of plant-based milk lasts us ten days. Although, we all do enjoy a cut of hot coffee each morning.
- $2.00 – 1.5 pounds cream of wheat
- $1.80 – 2 pounds of oatmeal
- $2.00 – Fruit
- $1.20 – Milk
Total Cost of Breakfast: $7.00
For some reason, the past two weeks we have been breaking out of our tradition of eating a bowl of soup and fruit for lunch. I’ve been adding some wraps and salads to the menu.
Chickpea salad, a family favorite, is incredibly easy to make. You can eat it on top of salad greens, in a wrap, on crackers, or as a traditional sandwich filling. Homemade tortillas come together in just minutes and cost (literally) pennies to make.
After having bits and pieces of supper entrees left over for the past two weeks, I also added a designated “leftover day” in which we clean out the fridge and everyone grabs what they want to eat.
- $5.50 – Lentil tacos on homemade tortillas, apples (X2)
- $5.00 – Smoky sweet black eyed peas, slice of bread, apples (X2)
- $6.50 – Red Lentil Soup with Beet Greens, Chickpea salad sandwiches (X2)
- Leftovers (X1)
Total Cost of Lunches: $17.00
This week we focused on familiar comfort foods like tacos, enchiladas, and pizza.
On Wednesday, the 15 year old sous chef was hungry for pizza and I wanted cornbread. So, we combined them, creating a dish that everyone in the family has asked us to repeat in the near future.
We whipped up a double batch of cornbread batter and then spooned pizza fillings in between a top and bottom layer of cornbread. If you want to see what it looks like, we un-molded the finished dish and test tasted it live on Facebook
- $7.00 – Cauliflower Nut Taco Salad (X2)
- $4.50 – Pizza Stuffed Cornbread (X1)
- $5.00 – Layered Enchilada Casserole (X2)
- $5.00 – Carrot Top Sabzi (X2)
Total Cost of Entrees: $21.50
- $3.50 – Apple crisp
- $0.00 – (Cost figured into entrees) My Salt-free, Oil-Free Marinara Sauce
- $1.50 – Roasted Cauliflower Head
- $1.00 – Homemade Tortillas