I had quite a few questions about my $50 a week food budget I "attempted" for 2 weeks. I would love to answer some of the questions and expand more on my thoughts.
1. Did I feel like my family sacrificed a lot?
I had several people and my awesome family worry that my kids maybe had to give up too much or they were deprived of food. Well, they did have to give up certain things and yes they were deprived of food. Our drinks went from occasional soda and juices down to water. I am sure they felt like they were suffering. Truth is drinking mostly water is not only FREE, but a lot healthier anyway. Soda and most juices are just empty calories that produce more waste. But they like soda and juice....yeah, and I like mochas. Same thing...both are not needed. They were deprived of food too. They did not raid the pantry freely for snacks. Snack food is typically expensive and not needed as well. They would get a snack, but I prepared them. I discovered that I can actually pop my own pop corn...get this..on the stove! Cheap and again healthier. So, yes we did sacrifice what we were used to for a healthier and less expensive life style.
2. Is this something I plan on implementing permanently for my family?
I would love to shout out a resounding, "YES"! Truth is...I'm not that disciplined. Again we wil chalk this up to life that Steffany imagines in her head. In my head..my family lives on a commune. We have our own livestock, garden, chickens, alpacas and goats. I would wake up at the crack of dawn..collect eggs, milk my goat, choose my veggies from my garden, sew my outfit from my alpaca, school my kids, kiss my husband who works on the farm, and not have internet.
Since we know Steffany's world and the real world never collide...I am learning to find happiness in the areas that I can control. I absolutely want to make changes that fit into my families life.
3. How did I feed my family of 8-9 on $50?
The first week was awesome. I simply used what I had bought w/ what I already had. I realized I had WAY more than I thought I did. I used what I had in my cupboard and freezer. The first week was easy. The second week not so much. We had tons of company and that threw me off. I felt like they needed to eat certain things or a certain way. I also made the mistake of buying all my produce up front. By week two..I was out and when I don't have fresh fruit an d veggies I panic.
Bottom line-It is do-able. It does take planning. But it also requires re-learning. I was amazed to find how much I felt my family needed to eat. For me...I plan every meal around protein, veggie, grain and dairy. Unless I see all the food groups on my plate...I feel like I failed. In my mind a good meal has all of them. Truth is...my family really could survive and thrive on just one of those for a meal. You don't need all of them for every meal. We could have smoothies for breakfast made with fruit and dairy, grain for lunch and protein for dinner. I think our expectations of meals are way out of whack.
So...yes, you can feed your family on way less. You can give more to charity. It is hard. It does take discipline. You really don't need what you think you do. And Yes, I will continue to cut back, reuse, and rethink what I think my family needs