Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Post 1 from the challenge: Food at it's barest minimum

I described our food habits.

These things are NOT set in stone, we change our habits and tastes but it is usually something like this below. Things change seasonally too.
I was going over our food budget. For the 7 of us (2 adults, 3 teens, 2 children) I try to stick to $100 a week. $150 is a budget blow out. 

So at $100 div 7 days = $14.28 a day 
$14.28 div 7 persons = $2.04 per person 
$2.04 div 3 meals = 68 cents!! per meal per person! 

It just seems so unbelievable when you break it down to this degree. It needs to be pointed out that we have a garden and chickens. some times there isn't much action in the garden but there is always parsley and mint. We like to embrace free food too, like picking apples on the side on the road.

Criteria to our eating: Nutritious, no chemicals/additives, we like it, it is filling and preferably not prepackaged.  (In an 'emergency' I do let the adults eat some suspect food but not the little ones if I can help it)
We are finding it harder and harder to stick to this amount as prices increase so we are trying to find ways of filling the above criteria and come in under budget. 

Breakfast in winter porridge. Currently stewed fruit on muesli, or waffles or muffins and yoghurt (ss style) 

Lunch potato wedges, simple salad. Pies with stew insides. Sandwiches. Homemade bread or that foul homebrand bread :o- Has happened more than I'd like :o(

Making up lunch boxes/snack boxes for the little ones so they stop asking to eat all day. Carrot sicks, yoghurt, cheese, strawberries (if I can beat the birds), celery with peanut butter. 

I've been using Sophie Gray's Destitute gourmet books, especially the recipes that use smaller amounts of meat. 
Using the food processor to chop veggies finely. Minced chicken or beef with cabbage and carrot etc, chow mien style on rice. 
We've been roasting chooks and making stock/soup from the carcass. 
We try to have 3 red meat, chicken, fish and 2 veggo nights. Subject to change if there's a brilliant special, or I'm being lazy. ;0) 

We love our desserts too, so fruit and yoghurt. Whipped jelly and yoghurt. 

It's probably less per meal per person when you includes cakes/slices, snacks and fruit to nibble comes out of this total. 

I though it was quite an eye opener of how cheap it is when it's broken down to a per person per meal! I don't think I could feed one person with 68 cents. It is the bulk buying and scratch making that makes it possible. Certainly I could not walk into Woolies and come out with a 68 cents meal, not even close. It having bulk things like lentils or pearl barley that helps fill and add nutrients but one packet goes a long way and used in many meals.

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