Posted on | May 16, 2013 | 8 Comments
Recently I received a gift card to Trader Joe’s in the amount of $10. I don’t normally shop Trader Joe’s. When we moved to the Knoxville area, there wasn’t a Trader Joe’s, but one opened this past fall. I hadn’t been. I decided I wanted to try to feed the 5 of us for one day on this gift card (tax aside).
I looked through their “Fearless Flyer” paper that we get every few weeks. I picked out a few things that I felt would be a complete 3 meals. Since 2 of us are gluten free, I had to keep this in mind as well. After getting there, I found some things cheaper, but seeing them in my cart, it seemed like there wouldn’t be enough food. I have 3 boys. They can eat…
What I came up with may not seem like a lot, but no one went hungry. The better for you & more nutrient dense food is, the better it fills bellies. I decided to show you what I bought, what staples I’ll need with it (and their costs as well) & the menu I’ll be following.
You’ll notice that some of these items are organic, some are not. I try to follow the Dirty Dozen, Clean Fifteen list. However, I buy tomatoes, corn & papaya either organic or locally grown from open-pollinated seed. Over 90% of corn is genetically modified, and the other 2 are often genetically modified, those numbers rising.
The Shopping List:
Avocado (The bag of 4 was $2.99, but I’ll only be using 1 for the day) – .75¢
Coconut milk, unsweetened – $1.99
1 dozen “cage free” eggs – $2.49
18 oz organic polenta – $1.99
1 package “natural” chicken drumsticks (1.19#) – $2.37
1 pound organic carrots – .89¢
1 pound gluten free organic pasta – $1.99
5 bananas – .95¢
Total spent (pre-tax) – $13.42
What’s In the Pantry
1 stick butter – approx .75¢
Honey – pennies
Vanilla – pennies
Salt & pepper – pennies
Additional spices of choice – pennies
Total – We’ll call it $1.50
Total for everything – $14.92
What’s On the Menu?
Smoothies, made with:
> 3 cups coconut milk
> 1 avocado
> Honey & vanilla to taste
Blend til smooth.
Fry polenta & eggs in butter (save 2 tablespoons for dinner), salt & pepper to taste, add additional spices if desired & you have them on hand.
Simmer chicken in coconut milk until chicken is cooked through. Salt & pepper to taste. Season as desired. Debone chicken, shred & return to the seasoned coconut milk.
Melt rest of butter, cut carrots into sticks. Coat sticks with melted butter, then toss with salt & pepper. We also like this with garlic powder & onion powder, but they are tasty with just salt & pepper, too! Roast uncovered at 350º for about an hour or until carrots are tender. This method also sweetens them.
Cook pasta as directed. Serve shredded chicken & sauce over cooked pasta with the roasted carrots on the side.
How did we do?
The food was well received. I completely forgot to get pictures, because I was so intent on following the menu down to the last grain of salt & pat of butter. I’m not usually so fastidious, but I knew this was intense, because it was a challenge for me. I wanted to share this information with you, so I knew it had to flow. While I don’t spend a lot of money on groceries each month comparably, this one definitely took some thought & planning. No one complained that they were hungry, which is great considering 2 of my boys are teens! There weren’t any leftovers, but I didn’t expect there would be.
One of the biggest reasons this worked was menu planning! I promise, when you make a menu plan & stick to it, your grocery budget is better for it! Buy everything you need, or make a menu off the things you buy. You can make a list based off of your stores sales flyers, as I did. Whichever order you do it in, you have to stick to it.
Do You Think You Could Feed Your Family A Real Food Diet On $3 Per Person Per Day? Tell Us How You Keep Your Grocery Budget Low In the Comments Section Below!!
“Michaela– homeschooling Mom to 3 boys, wife to one wonderful Hubba, kitty-momma, likes gardening/sewing/baking/cooking/a multitude of other things.
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