Welcome to our last family to answer the ” Real Food on a Budget” questions! This is Maggie Bokros, mom to many. You can find her blogging about their adventures at A Bokros Kind of Life.
1. What does “real food” mean to your family?
Real food, to us, means preparing it from it’s natural state; i.e., using fresh green beans as a side dish instead of canned. We very seldom use pre-packaged or pre-prepared foods.
2. What do you eat in an average week? (Inc. meal plan if you happen to have one)
Our meal plan last week was: Monday – Chickpea and Tomato Fettuccine with Baked Zucchini, Tuesday – Salad Night (this is just a HUGE salad with tons of fixins) , Wednesday – left overs, Thursday – Sweet Potato Burritos with Green Beans, Friday – Tacos, Saturday – Homemade Pizza, Sunday – Egg Casserole and Waffles
3. What groceries do you buy? (Include general amounts) see above
4. Where do you buy your groceries?
Kroger and Costco for bulk items and dry goods. I get my meat from a local Organic Meat Co-op and my produce from a local Organic Produce Co-op. I also get my free-range eggs from a local farm.
5. How much do you spend per week or month?
I spend on average $250 a week on produce, staples and eggs. I buy my meat every other month and I usually spend about $250-300 on that. I try to stay around $1000 total for the month. Keep in mind my paper goods and diapers are included in these numbers!
6. What are the biggest ways you save money?
Costco saves me money, but I am very careful to ration out what I buy so it lasts. For example I buy Kettle brand chips there in huge bags and divide them into smaller gallon baggies. I date the baggies so that everyone knows they cannot open the new bag until the date on the bag. If I just put the huge bag on the shelf in the pantry it would be gone in no time! The other things I do to save money is stock up on items when I find a really great deal. I use my deep freeze and the top of my pantry for storage. Recently I found bags of all natural flour at my Kroger on closeout for very cheap. I bought everything they had on the shelf (10 bags). It will stay fresh in the freezer for a very long time and I saved over $2.00 a bag! Lastly, I ALWAYS plan my meals and shop with a list! This translates into huge savings and little waste!
7. What are your biggest struggles in sticking to a budget?
The hardest thing is keeping my little girls requests to a minimum while we are in the store. I have found that staying to them, “We are only buying what’s on the list.” works well. I usually say it once before we go in and then use it as a reminder while we are shopping. We also pray in the car before we go into the store that God will help us to be good stewards of the money He has given us to spend for groceries and that He would help us to have self-control while we are in the store.
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