Follow our family's weekly vegetarian menu, access recipes, and download weekly grocery lists, during my quest to get our weekly grocery bill down to $70 per week, while supporting local agriculture and eating healthy organic foods!

Friday, February 4, 2011

One More Time With Feeling

Have I ever dropped the ball! Sheeeeesh! Well no more, I am back to updating weekly. I also found a group of veggie food bloggers doing this same thing. You can check them out with the tag "Project: Food Budget" and I am sure they will pop up and give you a ton of really great ideas!

My loyalty to this blog ebbs and flows with our wallet....Our budget currently restricts us to $70/week. I think it will continue to be like this for a long time to come. So I will be planning our weekly menu again and posting it here. I look forward to this practice and hope that as our wallet expands I can keep being frugal with our grocery budget. Seems like a great way to save money and one day build wealth. 

Check out the hillbilly housewife. She has an emergency menu posted. Very frugal. She also makes recommendations such as using dry milk instead of fresh. We gave that a try and paid $5.49 for a box that makes 5 gallons of milk. 5 gallons of fresh milk would have cost us $14.95. Meaning we saved nearly $10! She also has great tips on improving the flavor. I loved the suggestion for putting blackstap molasses in the milk! While I hate the stuff my 2 year old loves it! 1TBL blackstap molasses has 25% of daily recommended iron and 20% calcium. (This varies with brand and from bottle to bottle. So read the labels!) I put a tsp of black strap molasses in her milk at each meal. She loves it and I feel confident that she is getting a huge dose iron and calcium.

Our weekly grocery budget must include everything from groceries, cleaning supplies to personal hygiene products. You will see links to info about cleaning with vinegar and making home made deodorant. It is not just food.

I will also start couponing, but not in an extreme way. The goal of my grocery list is simplicity. I am going to try to limit the variety of item we buy each week. After a very short try at buying local organic produce at the farmer's market, I have come to a strong realization that this is too expensive. We once again signed up for a CSA membership. This has been amazing. A huge variety or fresh organic veggies for $30/week. We have been able to try veggies we would have never tried, and have enough fresh veggies for every meal. I would highly recommend joining one. Check out If money is tighter than time, most CSAs offer a work share. Meaning if you work on their farm for so many hours they will give you a free bushel. I am not able to do this as paying for child care while I work the farm is more expensive than the share. We use Johnson's Backyard Garden. They have multiple incentives, such as being able so swap things you don't like for things you do like as well as one free item if you pick up your share at the farmer's market.

The new formula to keep our weekly grocery bill (CSA cost included) under $70 is:
1.Use our CSA share(use greens at the beginning of the week and tubers and ground veggie later in the week.)
2. Buy a similar list of groceries each week.

  • whole wheat flour
  • 1 type of grain
  • 2 types of beans
  • favorite versatile spices (cinnamon, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, smoked salt)
  • dry milk
  • One block of cheese
  • eggs
  • Oats
  • Various baking supplies (baking powder, yeast, sugar, vanilla)
  • peanut butter
  • vinegar
Buying these core staple items, we should be able to build up a little bit of a variety, while  keeping the bill very low. We also will not have to buy all these things every week. I will also be able to make complete rounded meals. I am going to start posting the menu and grocery list after the week has passed. This will allow me to make a rough menu and cook our meals based on what we have on hand instead of making a strict menu that requires a lot of different ingredients. I have found a weekly menu with a long list of small ingredients equals a very large grocery bill. This being said, I substitute and eliminate a good deal of ingredients in recipes. For instance my refried bean recipe calls for green pepper and onions. If our share did not have green peppers, I only use onions and I add chopped greens. 

We have also cut many things out. We no longer buy cereal, soy milk, more than one package of cheese or more than 1 dozen eggs. I make oat meal, granola bars, or sweet bread for breakfast. Oats are the most versatile food. Nutritional data is great and the price is very low!

I hope you will follow my blog again, and keep me posting! :) Ok, Ok! I will stick to it on my own. :)

Thanks for reading!


  1. You seem very dedicated- I must be too lazy to be this awesome. Nicole

  2. Dedication: not updating your blog for an entire year! ;) You are plenty awesome!

  3. I'll follow, Jeanette. Though I don't know if I can give up my cereal. I love my peanut butter crunch! lol Also dry milk sounds like it tastes horrible! I guess I can give it a shot though! - Tara

  4. Tara,
    Do you shop at Firsts Mart? I don't buy my produce there, b/c they don't have many organic options, but in general their groceries are the cheapest in town. We are lucky to have an HEB and a Fiesta Mart right next to each other. I know which store is the cheapest on each item and buy what's cheapest at Fiesta Mart and then the remaining items that are Cheaper at HEB there.