Chicken and Veggie Salad with organic ranch dressing
I'm a few days behind in posting my menu plan for the week as I went out of town with my mom for a women's conference this weekend. But here it is, complete with price break-downs:
(My hubby amazingly decided to start eating oatmeal a few times a week! This is HUGE for our family as the kids want to eat what Daddy eats! I'm so excited! He is doing it because oatmeal is cheaper, but it's also healthier too!)
1.50 cents to feed 6 people
Scrambled eggs with cheese (made with farm-fresh eggs from a local ranch)
$3 to feed 5 of us (hubby won't eat scrambled eggs)
(I've been trying to do organic cereals and homemade granola as much as possible this month)
$3 per morning
Fruit/Veggies--$10 per week (thanks to Bountiful Baskets)
Bread (organic 9-Grain) and Butter--$2.50 for 1 snack for 4 ravenous kids
Hardboiled eggs--$2.50 per dozen (1 dozen equals 1 snack for my kids)
Oatmeal/Apple muffins Approximately $4 for 24 muffins
Cheese --50cents to $1 thanks to a $2/lb. sale on cheese
PB&J with organic PB, organic bread, and all-fruit jam
$3.50 for 6 people (not including side dishes like fruit/veggies from the fridge)
Leftovers x2 FREE
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
$5 for 6 people
Bean Burritos (locally grown pinto beans and homemade tortillas)
Approximately $3 for 6 people
80 cents for 4 smoothies
Elk roast in the crockpot, baked potatoes, brussel sprouts
(Elk meat was a gift from a friend) $4 for 6 people plus leftovers
Macaroni and Cheese, homemade, vegetables
(Pasta isn't exactly healthy, but the kids love this, so it's a compromise!)
$4 for 6 people, no leftovers
Quinoa with Chicken and Veggie Stir-Fry
$8 for 6 people plus leftovers
Whole Wheat Pizza, with homemade sauce and veggie toppings
$4-$5 thanks to a cheese sale where I got cheese at $2/lb.
Chili, cornbread, Mexican melon
$5, which includes the peppers, onions, tomatoes, melon from BB
So, my total from the listed meals and snacks is around $80. Of course this doesn't include pantry staples like spices, oil, the milk we drink, etc. Our produce, milk, butter, cheese, flour is not technically "organic." I cannot afford to purchase organic because of how much it costs in our small, rural town. But our wheat does come from a neighboring state and Wheat Montana does not use genetically modified wheat or pesticides on their crops. Our fruits and veggies get washed thoroughly with a veggie wash and we buy milk that is from cows not treated with hormones.
Is it possible to eat non-processed foods on a tight budget? Yes! Is it a challenge, especially with voracious eaters like my kids? Absolutely! It takes lots of work, but it is well-worth the effort if you are concerned about giving your family quality, nutritious food and avoiding artificial colors, preservatives, chemicals, and sugar. If you can obtain wild game, this will give your budget a huge boost, and provide you with organic, grass-fed meat! The Bountiful Baskets produce co-op has enabled us to eat many more fruits and veggies. If you can join a similar group, or get to know a local farmer and barter for fresh produce, it will help you provide your family with healthy foods for less. I am always looking for sales/clearance deals/bulk purchasing discounts, etc.
The reason I've included only 5 lunches and dinners here is because during the weekend we didn't exactly do healthy meals. I went to a women's retreat in a nearby town and didn't have time to make homemade frozen pizzas for my family. So they ate some Digiornos I found for $3 on sale, and my mom and I had a mostly healthy picnic for dinner in the car on the way to the retreat (Tabouli, chicken salad sandwiches, organic pears, and Girl Scout Cookies (yum!), and then on Sunday, we ate at a Mexican restaurant for lunch, and at my parent's house for dinner to celebrate my birthday.
The conference theme color was blue. There was a Sweet Treat Buffet at break time, complete with two cotton candy trees!
While it's great to eat healthily most of the time, it's fun to have some treats every once in a while too!