Thrifty Challenge – Conquered

The food ads came out today and I think I did it.  I have come up with 100 meals for less than $167.  That’s 10 more than I needed so they can carry into next month and free up even more food stamp money.    I ended up with $38 left over from the $167.  Now understand, there are NO frills to my menus and although the meals are good and mostly nutritious (not sure about fried bologna) there are no sweets, no soda, no chips, no prepared/processed foods.  Those things are luxuries that someone on food stamps neither needs nor deserves.  Yep, I said it.  You do not have a God-given nor constitutional right to food luxuries….especially when my tax dollars are feeding you.  You get to eat and eat well….just like me.  Now, the extra $38 can be used to buy additional food items so you can have something sweet now and then and maybe some tea and coffee instead of just water or milk to drink. 

Ok, so here is my grocery list.  Oh yeah, you do have to run around a bit to get the best prices on things.  I won’t mention which stores I found what items at just so I don’t break any copywrite laws I’m not aware of or anything.  I’ll just say it was 99% from the actual sales in the sale papers.  The other 1% are for some things that were not on sale, but were needed and I guesstimated the price a little high I think.

Wheat Sandwich bread         4 for $5

Butter          2.99 for 1 pound (yes margarine is cheaper, but it’s not better)

pork sirloin roast       1.29 per pound avg 5 pound roast

Smoked or Polish sausage 3 pound pkg for 3.99

Navel oranges 3 pounds at $1 per pound

Pears 3 pounds at $1 per pound

split chicken breasts 10 pounds for $10

Assorted pork chops at .99 per pound ten pound avg pkg

1 dozen large eggs $1 per carton – buy 4

rotel tomatoes $1 per can

refried beans $1 per can

enchilada sauce $1 per can – buy 2

sour cream 8 oz for $1

leaf lettuce $1 per bunch – buy 3

red bell peppers $1 each – buy 3

avocados $1 each – buy 2

chicken thighs .89 per pound – buy 5 pounds

tortillas    $1.49

canned green beans .58 per can – buy 6

canned peas .58 per can – buy 6

bagged salad $1.79 per bag buy 4

pork & beans  .60 per can – buy 2

milk $1.77 per gallon – buy 1

black olives .99 per can – buy 1

canned fruit   $1 per can – buy 4

5 lb bag of sugar 2.50

peanut butter $2

potatoes 10 lbs for $2

canned corn .50 per can – buy 4

canned tuna  .69 per can – buy 4

jelly $2.29

hotdogs .89

bologna 1.19

spaghetti sauce .99

spaghetti .99 for 16 oz

rice 3 lbs for 1.19

frozen broccoli 1.19 per 16 oz pkg – buy 2

Items needed but not on sale:

Kraft mac & cheese (only cuz it’s the only kind I buy)   .79

Regular oatmeal    2.50

flour 5 lbs  2.50

baking soda .50

baking powder   $2

shortening 2.50

cooking oil 1.50

ground meat 1 lb  2.50

shredded cheese 1 lb 3.50

Total bill  129.50

Left over   $38

There’s the list of items needed to feed one person well for 90 meals.  Actually it will make 100 meals minimum.  Here’s how:

Main Meal:

Spaghetti  — 4 meals

Beans & Franks — 4 meals

Chicken Enchiladas –4 meals

Baked Chicken — 10 meals

Sausage with peppers and rice –6 meals

Tuna Casserole — 4 meals

Pork Roast  — 4 meals

Texas Hash (from roast)  –2 meals

Pork Chops –10 meals




Peanut Butter & Jelly


eggs  — 12

oatmeal — 8

leftovers — 10

Lunches From Leftovers — 8

If you actually use the food in the recipes as I planned you would probably end up with even more food to carry over into the next month even without spending the additional $38 I had left over.

So where would I spend the other $38?  Salad dressing, more mayo, more mustard, more eggs, more cheese, grits, dried beans, cornmeal or cornbread mix, additional seasonings or condiments, more sugar, chocolate chips, vanilla extract, tea bags, coffee, more milk.  You probably would not be able to get EVERYTHING extra listed for that $38 but it gives you an idea of where it could be spent well.

Yes, the meals are repeated, but by spacing out the repeats and being even a little creative in some of the options (there are lots of ways to season chicken before baking to get totally different tastes) you will not get bored with this menu over the course of 30 days. 

Next month the sales will be different so the process would start all over again.  It takes courage, smarts and determination to manage on food stamps, but it is definately doable. The nay-sayers in the media just don’t have a clue how it’s done.  They obviously think using food stamps to buy fake processed food is the only way to do it.  Oh how many ways can I say….NOT!


That was fun.  I can’t wait for my next thrifty challenge.


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