Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Feeding my family of 7 on $400 a month

 A few years ago my husband and I realized we were in deep doodo. We were massively in debt and with only one income, and an low ranking enlisted income at that, we were one major emergency away from some serious trouble. We decided to get our act together and found the Dave Ramsey plan. I love Dave! He speaks to you like a normal person and you don't feel like you need a finance major to be able to follow his plan. Lets face it if we were smart with money we would not have been in debt to the tune of $60,000! So we jumped on the bandwagon and followed his baby steps. It took some time but we are now debt free with a healthy savings account, two fully funded retirement accounts, and some serious breathing room. 

One of the major things we did was start a budget and actually stick with it. Don't get me wrong those first few months were hard. We wanted stuff and we wanted it right that second. Telling ourselves no was a hard lesson to learn but we eventually got the hang of it. 

When we started budgeting the first area we looked at was our grocery budget. At the time there were just the 4 of us; hubby, 2 small kids and myself. I thought "well there is no way we could be spending a ton on groceries but lets add it up anyways". Turns out with groceries and eating out we were spending $1,200 a mth! That is INSANE! We are now a family of 7 (soon to be 8) and spend $400 a mth on food. Serious change!

I get a lot of "how do you do that" when it comes to our grocery budget which usually leaves me with a blank stare and takes me a second to think how I do it. I mean I have certain principles that I have shared here on my blog before but they are so second nature by this point that it takes me a while to come up with them and I am sure I am forgetting to share a lot of them. So I thought it might be educational for me to track some of our meals monetarily for a month. By breaking them down into meals and sharing them here I am sure I will remember a lot of the tricks I use on autopilot and share them here. 

Dinner is the biggest money suck in our house since it always takes the most ingredients and the most meat for sure. We do however usually try and stretch the meal into lunch for the next day or as a remake for the next day so that helps. So I will for sure track the dinners and will add in the other meals as I can, some things like muffins are hard to calculate but I will try :)

Yesterday was the big once a month grocery shop day :) Groceries for the entire family $415 for the month. After I subtract out all the non food items we get a total of $356.75 That averages out to $11.73 per day for a family of 6 (at the moment. Will be 7 again when dh gets home.....and we are down to single digits on that countdown ;) ).

So I guess we can start with yesterday's dinner since it was the first meal of the month and the first meal out of this months grocery stockpile.

We had a rotisserie chicken, green beans, and muffins.  The chicken was $5.99, I could have gotten it cheaper if I had went at the end of the day but since I went before lunch it was still full price. We ate half of it and saved the other half for tonight's dinner.
I also put the stripped bones in my crockpot last night and woke up this morning to homemade chicken broth. So for no extra money and really no extra effort I have 16cups of free broth to use as I please.

Chicken $2.99

Green beans $1
Muffins $2ish

Total for meal: $5.99 or $0.99 per person

Tonight's dinner is this Mexican chicken dish with some rice  

Chicken $2.99 (half from the night before)

Seasoning powder $0.05 ( I buy the MASSIVE container at costco)
Enchilada Sauce $1.21
Cheddar cheese $0.50 (got a bag on sale for $1 and only needed 1/2)
Green onions $0.39
Rice $1ish (I buy the 10lb bag for $10)

Total for meal: $6.14 or $1.02 per person

If you have any specific questions please let me know and I will be happy to answer them.

3 comments on "Feeding my family of 7 on $400 a month"

Anonymous said...

single digits on the countdown that is wonderful news, we are both so happy for you and the children

matt redoor

Christi on October 2, 2014 at 5:54 PM said...

Do you still only spend 400 or has that gone up?

On momys with you.

-mimi- on October 2, 2014 at 6:35 PM said...

We are now a family of eight. Our grocery bill is now $100 a week at the local grocery store plus $100 a month at costco and a twice a year meat delivery.


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