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Nature’s Fare Budget Challenge-Week #1

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The budget girl challenge.

A couple months ago, Nature’s Fare and I decided to team up and make me a budget girl for a month. The rules were that I had to grocery shop for my family of four on a budget of $125.00 a week (not a penny more) and record my findings.

Food is a household expense into which I put a lot of our money. I have done a large amount of research on the importance of organic meats, fruits, and vegetables—and the benefits of knowing where your food is coming from—so quality is very important to me. To be honest, however, before I took on this challenge, I was spending more money than I wanted to. This challenge forced me recognize where our money was going and how much food we were wasting every week. When I decided to do this challenge, my current spending (again, going to be honest here) was probably $800-$1,000 a month, and now I was being asked to cut it down to $500 a month. I seriously wondered if I would be able to!!

Now, in my defense, the budget of $800-$1,000 included soap, supplements, and vitamins—not just food items. So the first thing we did was place these items in a house budget section of our planning, and then we placed everything else in food.

First week breakdown:

During the first week, I went to the store with a big plan about what we would eat to stay within our budget rather than researching sales that were happening and items I could buy in bulk for the whole month ahead.

 

This is a look at our Week #1 Menu

 

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Breakfast

Pancakes and breakfast cookies

Breakfast Cookies Recipe:

1/2 cup quick oats

1/2 banana

1/2 scoop protein powder of choice

1 egg

almond milk just to add moisture

Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

You can also add any type of dried fruit or seeds that you have in the house/

Cost of ingredients: $11.17

 Snack

Budget Girl Granola Bars

Cost of ingredients: $20.27

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Lunch

Vegetarian Chili

This was canned vegetarian chilli that was on sale and it was delicious!

When choosing a canned option, make sure to look for BPA free cans.

Cost of Ingredients: $23.68

Afternoon Snack

Protein Shake

Cost of protein: $34.99 for the month on sale!!!

Additional Kid Snacks

Apples

Raw almond butter

Cost: $16.48

budget challenge

Dinner

Whole Chicken

We also used this chicken in salads and stuffed peppers.

We filled the peppers with quinoa,chicken,spices,garlic,onions and baked at 350 for 30 minutes.

So good!

Cost: $ 14.00—with $3.00 taken off at till on sale

Vegetables

Actual Receipt

AVOCADO                         $10.14

NW PEANUT BUTTER CRNCH N/S ORG   $8.99

BD ALMOND BRZ BEV ORIG US GF     $2.99

BD ALMOND BRZ BEV ORIG US GF     $2.99

AVF ONLY OATS FLAKE QUICK WF     $6.49

** E&S NTV COCONUT MILK LT ORG   $2.99

** E&S NTV COCONUT MILK LT ORG   $2.99

** A*K CHILI MEDIUM GF ORG       $2.99

** E/B BLUEBERRY ORG             $4.99

NF DATES PITTED IRAN UNSLPHRD   $2.99

** A*H QUINOA GRAIN             $6.99

** L-C RAISINS FLAME ORG         $7.29

NF DATES PITTED IRAN UNSLPHRD   $2.99

** A*K CHILI MEDIUM GF ORG       $2.99

0.870 kg @ $2.18 / kg

BANANAS                         $1.90

** A*K CHILI MEDIUM GF ORG       $2.99

** A*K CHILI MEDIUM GF ORG       $2.99

1.284 @ $10.90

TRM CHICKEN WHOLE FR           $14.00

MEAT $3 CPN                     $-3.00

S*T EGGS LARGE FR VEG           $4.79

0.505 kg @ $11.00 / kg

PEPPERS RED                     $5.56

APPLES GALA BAG 5LB             $7.49

0.870 kg @ $5.05 / kg

CABBAGE RED                     $4.39

1.565 kg @ $2.18 / kg

BANANAS                         $3.41

 

Subtotal                       $113.33  

 

Family Discount         $5.66

 

New Total                   $107.67

 You can see that we still had money left after our first trip to Nature’s Fare—which was good because I wanted to see what I had for the week and pick up anything else we might end up needing as the week progressed.

We ended up spending the remaining $17.33 on vegetables and Friday night pizza night!!!

My tips from this week:

Shop on Sunday at Nature’s Fare! It’s family day and you get a 5% discount, which equals $25 a month in savings.

Always buy a whole chicken! Way cheaper then buying individual pieces.

Buy your almond milk in bulk.

If you buy a case at a time you save %10% which equals $3.59

 Total Months savings from discount: $28.59

Plan for extra time at the store to shop sales and build your meals for the week around those sales. You can also look for things that are marked down because they are close to reaching their expiration date.

We also stuck very close to this meal plan in the first week in order to not go outside the budget, but we switched up snacks and the style in which we ate our meals to keep things interesting.

This is week #1! Enjoy our recipes

3 comments

  1. Kendra says:

    Hello Rachel,
    I am curious how you were able to make 1 whole chicken last a full week for dinners?
    Thanks,
    Kendra

    • Rachel Doell says:

      Hi Kendra,

      Yes it lasted Monday-Thursday! We stretch our meat options out by adding tons of veggies, beans, brown rice and yams. Friday Night we did pizza night to finish off our work week. Had left overs from that Saturday and Sunday we actually had a family dinner at the Grandparents. The whole chicken is actually pretty large when you stretch it out and I think it’s the second week we did soups with the chicken to make it last till the weekend. Hope this helps!

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