Being able to feed your family for 7 days on $100 is certainly a challenge. Most of my friends thought it would be impossible, stating that they often spend $200-$250 for a week's worth of food. The first step to making it successful is PLANNING. I'm not going to sugar coat this... planning meals in advance is time-consuming. It took me over an hour to think of a week's worth of meals, compile recipes, and come up with a shopping list. When planning my meals, I had to take into consideration our schedules. My husband and I both work full time and often have after-work commitments as well. We're also in the midst of a home renovation and are constantly having a parade of contractors in and out of our house. So, needless to say, I was looking for budget-friendly meals AND a collection of foods that I could cook easily at the end of a long workday.
Easy doesn't have to be blah either. Sure cooking pasta and serving it with store-bought sauce is easy and budget-friendly but it's no fun. I like to take pride in my meals. I cook mostly from scratch with as many fresh ingredients as possible. I try and mix it up with a variety of seafood, meat, and poultry too. I wanted to throw in a luxury item or two while still maintaining a budget.
So after some serious planning, we came up with this menu:
I have to admit that we went over budget just a tad. On our initial visit, we spent $107.26. I had to swing back through at the end of the week to get mussels so we spent about $112 in total. Not too shabby considering what we ate for the week.