So... was reading this piece over at Peter's, and it got me thinking: what CAN we get by with for food costs?
So... as I sit here at the local coffee shop, I'm writing up a quick shopping list. Now usually, Spoon and I do grocery shopping like urban Japanese: we don't have a lot of storage space. So I'm making a list to feed a family of 3 for 30 days, bought out of Sprawlmart, with explanations of each. Here we go:
Ramen packets: $2.18/12 (let's say 4 of these. Ramen is quick and sleazy, and usually filling. Also good to base a more elaborate meal on) $8.72
Canned soup: $1.50 (A can of Chunky soup with oyster crackers tossed in is another good "quick & sleazy, but filling" meal. Let's say 30 cans) $45
Oyster Crackers: $.98 (good both for soups, and as a snack. We'll say 4 bags) $3.92
Mac & Cheese: $.68 (Ah yes, another staple of cheap eats. One box, mixed with cheddar franks, can easily provide a meal for all three people in my theoretical family. Let's say 10 boxes) $6.80
Rice: $6.53 (Largest bag of white rice they had. Should be good for the entire month, and provides a good base for all kinds of meals) $6.53
Bread: $1.38 (Assuming one child in this scenario. Provides both sammiches and toast. 5 loaves for the month?) $6.90
Milk: $3.38 (I go through a LOT of milk. let's go nuts: 6 gallons for the month) $20.28
Peanut butter: $3.98 (Figuring 2 jars a month) $7.96
Jelly: $1.72 (Smaller jars: we'll say 3 a month) $5.16
Lunch meat: $4.98 (Mom & dad need lunches too. figure 6 of these a month for that) $29.88
Cheddar franks: $2.98 (These have become one of the staples for Spoon & I. Can be added to lots of different things for a meal, as well as just nuked & nommed. 5 packs for the month) $14.90
Frozen chicken breast: $11.48/5lbs (Another staple for us. Can be used for a variety of different meals. 1 pack should last the month with everything else) $11.48
Cereal: $5.98 (Bagged cereal at Sprawlmart. BIG bag. We can say 4 of these) $23.92
Frozen veggies: $1.98 (Also able to be combined with a bunch of different things, for variety at mealtime. 10 bags, different combos) $19.80
Eggs: $1.68 (both for breakfast and other meals. We'll overshoot here, and say 5 dozen) $8.40
Hmmm... pretty sure I've overfed the Theoreticals here: there should be some leftovers. Or maybe there's 2 kids, instead of just one. Whichever, it seems that Mr & Mrs Theoretical SHOULD be able to get by for a grand total of $219.65 for the month (not including some small incidentals like spices)
Notice something though: no snack foods, no soda, no alcohol. And no fast food: the family eats together at home every night.
Anyone else wanna give it a try?