I have returned from Whole Foods…My total expenditure for this visit was just shy of $71. Of that amount I have a few foods which will carry over into next week (some dried friuts, rice and pasta). However, I do not have much in the way of fresh produce, and this week we will be relying on frozen vegetables to round out our nutrition. I am going to work on my menu a bit more diligently for next week to see if I can remedy that situation. Today I went online and discovered that the maximum amount of food stamps for a family of 4 in TX is $668/month, which works out to just shy of $6/per person, per day for food.
I have decided that as far as my budget is concerned I will allow $5 per person per day. I have decided to break it down per person because for 4 days of most weeks I only have to provide food for 2 people: me and my youngest son (a teenager, so no break in the amount consumed…). The other 3 days my husband is also here. My total budget for most weeks will be $85. Therefore, I have approximately $15 left to spend for this week. I have bought my meats/fish, breakfast and lunch foods and most, if not all, of my dinner ingredients. That $15 will be used for fresh fruits/vegetables if needed. I did buy some staples even though I already had them on hand so I could properly allow for them in the budget, but there may be a few items from my pantry which I end up using. In those cases I will approximate their value and add that amount to what I have already spent. So while my total cost may not be exact each week, it should be within a few dollars.
There were some specials this week which I am contemplating going back to take advantage of…mainly on the bone-in/skin-on chicken breasts (organic) for $3.49/lb. I can buy some to freeze, making sure I allow for that cost in my future weekly budgets. I also discovered their frozen fish. I bought 12 ounces of frozen wild Sockeye salmon for $8.99 and 12 ounces of frozen Mahi-mahi for $6.99. If the flavor is good that will be a substantial savings over buying fresh, and the quality should be equal to or better than fresh since the fish is flash frozen when caught. This will be a wonderful way to economically add fish to my diet.
Wish me luck!!