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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 04-19-2015, 07:37 AM
AnnaInOhio's Avatar
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Grocery Budget Challenge $29 A Week

A hollywood celebrity took on the challenge of trying to eat on a budget of $29 for a week as I guess most people who live on food stamps get a average of $29 per person per week to live on. She failed on Day 4.

It got me to thinking about if I could do it. I was able to get 13 meals with 62 cents left and I need to tweak it to see if I can find a meal for that 62 cents. I did a lot of repeat foods and would like to have seen more variety to the menu and I had to assume that they had some of the basic things in their pantry like flour.

The meals have to not only be filling but have to be nutritious somewhat as well. I did my menu mostly from Aldi's.

Anyone else want to take on the challenge?

If so, please state what state you are in and what grocery stores you based it on and how much each item cost so we have a better idea of where to shop, what to look for etc.

Oh and we have to assume they live in a apt. type setting or don't have access to a area to grow fruits or vegetables. Foraging might be o.k. to list.. I know if I didn't have my fruit tree's my neighbors do and I could ask for apples for free. So if you actually have a real life situation where you could get free fruit post that and what you did with it fresh. Again, the average folks out there don't can like many of us do.. very sad wish there were free classes to teach this skill.

Last edited by AnnaInOhio; 04-19-2015 at 07:39 AM.
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Old 04-19-2015, 12:08 PM
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I caught the news report on the celebrity that failed in her quest to live up to the challenge. I hope she enjoyed the humble pie.

This is a super busy time of the year for me, but come Fall, I'd be more than up to take the challenge with you, Anna.

I'm excited to do a little homework beforehand and plan a strategy for when the time comes.

Looking forward to this!
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Old 04-19-2015, 01:46 PM
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I have done the challenge 2X. It's not that hard. I used Aldi as well.
I did the challenge based on one persons allotment of $29, but worked it out to feed us both.
I had meat, fruit, veggies (some fresh), eggs, and dairy. 3 meals a day. All were nutritious.

If I had done the challenge based on 2 peoples allotment it would have been a lot of food. More than I ever spend.
I never spend more than $25 per person a week.

Yes I garden and stockpile, but do not take that into consideration. even without those things we could eat well.

ANNA - your challenge was better than most as you said it needed to be NUTRITOUS. That isn't a requirement for using food stamps!!!!
Food budgeting and nutrition should be a school requirement and perhaps a requirement for getting food stamps.

Last edited by pootersmommy; 04-19-2015 at 02:12 PM.
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Old 04-19-2015, 02:28 PM
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When you have the time can you post what you did? That way folks here on FC can learn how to do it.


As you go about your chores, think about this challenge and come in and post so that others can learn as well.

I have put the challenge to Brandy at Frugal Homemaker (I think that's her site name, can never remember) but hoping she can put that challenge out to readers besides herself who don't have access to land to grow veggies or fruit.

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Old 04-21-2015, 10:18 AM
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ANNA - I loved Brandy's answer on "Prudent Homemaker". She has a family of 9 and spends $300 a month for EVERYTHING, not just food. That works out to $9 and change per week per person. She is a fine example that $29 a week/person can work.
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Old 04-21-2015, 10:58 AM
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thanks for that site reference, I just read through her posts on that 49 cents a a day, illuminating
Ellen in PA

"God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of love, power, and a sound mind."
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Old 04-22-2015, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by AnnaInOhio View Post

As you go about your chores, think about this challenge and come in and post so that others can learn as well.

Sure will, Anna. I think this is going to be super fun!
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Old 04-26-2015, 06:43 PM
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$29.00 A Week Menu

What I did assuming you would get a months worth of food stamps/Snap/EBT whatever you want to call it so it would be $116.00 for a Month of Food:

It was very difficult and time consuming for me to get this together but I did it, I hope:

3 Chickens 4 lbs. Each= $15.00 (Aldi’s)

3 Turkey Burger 1 lb. Each $1.89 X3=7.56 (Aldi’s)

1 Pkg. Fish Sticks 20 Ct. $3.00(Aldi’s)

2 Pkg. Turkey Hot Dogs 99 cents each =$1.98 (Aldi’s)

1 Can Salmon $2.00 (Aldi’s)

2 1 lb. packs spaghetti Noodles $1.00 Each =$2.00 (Krogers)

4 Jars Hunts Spaghetti Sauce 99 cents each can=$4.00 (1/2 jar or less for each Spaghetti Meal 4 Meals) Use Approximately 1 Jar for Meatloaf & 1 Jar for Chili)

2 Packs Hamburgers Buns 8 Pk. 89 cents X2=$2.00 (Aldi’s)

3 Dozen Eggs $1.50 each X 2=$4.50 (Aldi’s)

Condiments.. Mustard, Ketchup, Relish, Miracle Whip, BBQ Sauce (generic) $6.00 (Aldi’s)

Hot Dog Buns 2 Packs 89 X 2=$1.98 (Aldi’s)

1- 5 lb. Pkg. Mild Cheddar Cheese Chunk $8.99 (GFS)

2 loafs of Wheat Bread 99 cents each X 2=$1.98 (Aldi’s)

1 lb. Real Butter $2.49 (Aldi’s)

1 Block Cheese 5 lb. $8.99 (GFS)

4- 1 lb. pkgs. Of frozen mixed vegetables (Krogers on sale) $1.00 Each X 4=$4.00 Use for big pot of vegetable Soup

Chili Beans-6 lbs. 16 oz. X 2=$4.99 X 2= $11.00 (GFS)

Diced Tomatoes 1 Can = 4 lbs. 6 oz. =3.99 (GFS)

2 Bell Peppers 1.00 cents (Aldi’s)

1 Bag Onions 79 cents(Aldi’s) (use for Chili, Vegetable Soup, Salmon Loaf & Meatloaf)

Bag Potatoes 10 lbs. $3.00 (Aldi’s) Use about 8 lb. of potatoes peeled, boiled & made into mashed potatoes.. freeze in small containers for meals. Use leftover potatoes to make baked potatoes for other meals.

5 lbs. Flour $1.50 (Aldi’s) Use to make homemade noodles for chicken noodle soup

Saltines 99 cents a box (Aldi’s) Use for Meatloaf Mix & Salmon Loaf Mix some will be leftover, maybe use crushed in Vegetable Soup & Chili

Peanut Butter 18 oz. $1.89 (Aldi’s)

Grape Jelly 18 oz. Est. Cost 99 cents (Aldi’s)

Large Apple Sauce $1.89 (Aldi’s)

Half Gallon Whole Dill Pickles Mt. Olive Brand (Walmart) $4.00

2 4 lb. Bags of Oranges $1.49 on sale ($3.00) (Aldi’s)

Banana’s 44 cents a lb. =$1.32 (Aldi’s) 3 a bundle 8 Meals at one banana each meal

7 cans of Fruit (Pears, Peaches,Tropical Fruit) 14 Meals $6.23 (Aldi’s)

1 box Cereal Wheat Bran Flakes 17 Servings $1.79 (Aldi’s)

2 Gallons Milk (Kroger sale 99 cents half gallon ($4.00 for 4 half gallons)
reserve some milk (see recipe for Egg Noodles)

Chicken Broth (free) save chicken broth from boiling chicken for your Chicken & Noodle Soup)


Last edited by AnnaInOhio; 04-27-2015 at 07:00 AM.
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Old 04-26-2015, 06:47 PM
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30 Days of Breakfasts

Cereal Wheat Bran Flakes $1.79 ( 17 Servings) 17 Days of Cereal

4 Half Gallons =Milk: Krogers 99 cents Half Gallon Sale Last Week $4.00

16 servings of milk in a gallon 8 oz. 32 Meals at one 8 oz. glass per servings

Eggs 2 dozen 12 Days of Eggs & Toast for Breakfast

One Day Toast Only with Apple Sauce


Leftovers of Dinner Meals or Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches with Apple Sauce

Homemade Chicken & Noodles Soup

Meatloaf with Homemade Mashed Potatoes

Shredded Chicken Sandwiches Plain or With BBQ Sauce

Turkey Burgers with Whole Pickles

Salmon Loaf

Meatloaf Sandwiches with Mashed Potatoes

Spaghetti (Meatless) with Spaghetti Sauce & Cheese (shredded)

Turkey Hot Dogs with Dill Pickle

Scrambled Eggs with Melted Cheese on Toast

Chili 20 Meals Vegetarian Chili

4 Meals of Fish Sticks 5 each meal with veggies on the side or a baked potatoe

I didn't add it but I think my budget allowed to buy 4 more bags of frozen veggies: Corn, Peas, Green Beans to add to meals.

GFS carries 2 lb. bags of frozen veggies pretty cheap but I didn't include it since I can't remember exactly how much they would be.

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Old 04-26-2015, 06:49 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Ohio
Posts: 16,238
Useful Kitchen Tools

I have bought these at the thrift store the cheese slicer I got for 30 cents, the grater around 99 cents.

Kitchen Tools to look for:

Cheese Slicer:

Food Grater:

Potato Masher

Hand Mixer


Last edited by AnnaInOhio; 04-27-2015 at 06:51 AM.
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