November/December 2012 Food Budget

by Merissa on December 17, 2012

in Featured, Food Budget

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It's time again for another glimpse into our shopping habits and how we spend our monthly food budget. As I've mentioned before, each month we budget $200 to spend on groceries. I usually also have an extra $25 I can spend thanks to our irregular income budget plan. I did very little grocery shopping this month.

Hutterite Chicken Order - $25
4 whole large chickens

Azure Standard Order - $208.50
20lb organic apples, half n half x2 (for making easy ice cream), Julies Fudge Bars x3 (for a special treat!), Apple Juice, DrainBo Cleaner, 9lbs bulk cream cheese (I'm making hubby a cheesecake for his birthday tomorrow!), 6lb organic tomatoes (totally didn't need these but they are SO good!), Black Olives & Garlic Gold Nuggets (for a Family Pasta Night gift basket I'm making), 5lb Raw Milk Cheddar Cheese, Romaine Hearts, Whole Milk Yogurt x 6, 10lb Frozen Strawberries, 5lb Lentils, Orange Juice x2 (the price of oranges went up this month beyond our budget so we did the next best thing, I'll still make orange juice cubes!), 5lb Potato Starch (for making Gluten Free All Purpose Flour), Tortilla Chips x2.

Raw Milk - $4
Just got one gallon this month. I froze it for cream cubes and milk cubes since the cows will be calving soon and we won't be able to get milk.

Total for the month =  $237.50

So we came in just over our budget but that's ok, we were way under budget last month.

As you can see we don't buy any meat or add it into our monthly budgeting (besides Hutterite Chickens which come randomly) because we buy our meat in bulk once a year.

I've been falling behind on meal planning this month but I'm going to try hard and get something planned for the next weeks with all of this good food! If you need help meal planning you can check out my resource ebook, Meal Planning Made Simple.

I know that our shopping and cooking habits are not typical so make sure you ask questions below if you have them! This is how we afford to buy great natural/organic food on a tight budget!

Do you have a food budget? How did you do this month?

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9:57 am

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dina J December 17, 2012 at 10:28 am

How many are you feeding? My husband and 15 year old son can put the food away!!! I made spaghetti the other night and there was no left overs (as usual). I cooked the entire bag of spaghetti with canned sauce, 2 cans of green beans with a can of corn, a salad, and parm/garlic bread… GONE! Our monthly budget is $450, that is for meat, 2 big dogs and a cat supplies and 5 chickens supplies, paper products, toiletries and cleaning supplies. We do a lot of dried beans and rice as fillers… also use TVP as fillers… still go over budget 🙁 I had a bunch of wild game give to us, that helped. I also had a ton of potatoes (we live in idaho) give to us and that also helps…

Do you have a food storage?

thank you for all you do!!!


2 Merissa December 17, 2012 at 10:33 am

We are feeding 2 1/2 (most of for us but the baby is starting to eat more table food). We have a large canned foods from this summer pantry. I also have quite a bit of food in our cold storage area. And like I said…we only buy meat once a year so we have all of that in the freezer too.


3 Cherie U. December 17, 2012 at 10:41 am

It’s just my daughter and I so our budget is $50 a week / $200 a month but that doesn’t include anything like cleaning supplies, dog & cat food/supplies which we spend about $200 for because I refuse to feed my animals cheap food. I’m a cancer patient so I try to eat as much organic food as I can. Hopefully starting a ketogenic diet at the beginning of the year so if you have any advice on how to do that on a budget with nothing but organic foods that would be great!


4 Dina J December 17, 2012 at 11:15 am

I am not familiar with the diet you mentioned, nor organic on a budget. I am familiar with the struggles raising a child as a single parent and being sick. I wish you the very best in your life! I am willing to listen ANYTIME!


5 Patricia December 27, 2012 at 11:45 am

Cherie, how old is your daughter? I’m a senior and have been retired for a little over a year. My SS is fairly high but utilities are also so I’m trying to live (beginning Jan 1) on what the US Dept of Ag says they would pay in “food stamps” for a single woman. I’m doing this as a challenge to show how it can be done. I’ve heard of the ketogenic diet – the one with testing strips right? – and would love to know how it works for you.


6 Dina J December 17, 2012 at 10:53 am

I have thought of buying meat once a year… but I don’t have the freezer space and I know canning meat is an option, I have never done it and would not know how… Got any ideas on here that I have overlooked?

Summer pantry=canned foods from your garden? I have learned (please correct me if I am wrong) that canning my own food is more expensive than buying it at the store and less time consuming…

I long for a cold storage area!!!

Thanks again…


7 Merissa December 17, 2012 at 10:59 am

Canning is time consuming but it’s cheaper than store bought food and you can’t beat the flavor and health benefits. Yes, you can can meat. I plan to get up some posts in the very near future when we butcher, it’s easier than you think!


8 Dina J December 17, 2012 at 11:08 am

I am anxious to learn more! Sweet!!!

I have enough land to raise a pig, some rabbits and a few more chickens…
I am also interested in goats… I have never eaten goat meat before and would like the chance to eat it before I invest in raising them for milk and meat…what do you or your other readers know about this?



9 Merissa December 17, 2012 at 11:12 am

My husband is really wanting some goats so maybe in the future I will be able to post about them!


10 Dina J December 17, 2012 at 11:24 am


11 Jami November 19, 2013 at 7:59 pm

Goat meat is delicious , as is the milk. Very much so like lamb but it does depend on what the goat eats obviously. A good goat stew is one of my favorite dishes!


12 Karen G December 17, 2012 at 1:31 pm

I just found your blog and subscribe via email. What is Hutterite Chicken? Raised by the Hutterites and you buy from them?


13 Merissa December 17, 2012 at 1:33 pm

That’s exactly what they are! We have a (semi) local colony of Hutterites that we order chickens from (this particular colony only raises birds). They are very yummy!


14 Amanda December 17, 2012 at 5:47 pm

I wish we could Hutterite chickens here in Idaho


15 leenaindeen December 18, 2012 at 7:01 am

With regards to Goat, we used to have a meat slaughtering business that catered towards religious slaughter and we had many customers from all of the world. In this experience we had the oppurtunity to taste many dishes (we delivered to the customers home and often got invited in). The most common dishes are Indian curried, but I did a lot of experimenting with the meats that we could keep for ourselves. I made stews, pizza, spagetti, bbq, etc.The meat does have a different tase that you will have ever tasted, but I personally like goat meat. They are easy to raise and they are a high dollar commodity these days in the US because of the new rising demand, if you wanted to raise them to sell in the market.


16 Merissa December 18, 2012 at 7:02 am

Thank you for posting this info!


17 Julie December 23, 2012 at 11:14 am

Our budget for family of 5 (2 adults, 3 children aged 11, 5 and 21 months) is $300 per month. I started the monthly meal planning for December and with 8 days left in the month, I still have $100 left. I really like the monthly meal planning and find savings this way to be very beneficial. Almost everything I make is from scratch (courtesy of this site and a few others) and I can really see the savings. We’ve been working on regaining control of our food budget for about 6 months. I think it’s really paying off. I don’t use coupons, I find most of the coupons in my area isn’t worth it since I can make it myself. Thanks so much for all your tips. My husband was laid of in July (Thank God he just found employment Dec. 3), there were minimal things we could really strap down on since most of our costs are fixed as we continue to try to pay down our debt. (We did just refinance, lowering our payments about $200/month yay!) Making your own cleaning products and eliminating all the unnecessary materialistic fluff really helped as well keep us above water. I really like our new way of living. Thank you again and Merry Christmas!


18 Candace December 27, 2012 at 10:20 am

Love this. I’ve a family of 4 and our budget is about 400 a month including cleaning and paper supplies. We brown bag all lunches including the kids’. I can or freeze fruits and veggies all summer long so I never purchase jam, corn, beans, peas, peaches etc. We recently purchased a half a pig and a 1/4 of a cow so our freezer is stocked. My husband works for a chicken processing company and thankfully that enables us to get chicken (all kinds) for a very low price. Where we spend the bulk of our money is on fresh veggies, fruits, dairy, breads and pastas. I’m considering freezing milk but not sure yet. I love Greek yogurt but the kind I’m partial too is super expense. Can you freeze yogurt?


19 Merissa December 27, 2012 at 11:51 am

Yogurt is one of those dairy products that does not freeze well. Although you can make frozen yogurt (with a little sugar and vanilla) and that seems to do well!


20 Alene December 27, 2012 at 7:56 pm

wow, I was reading what other folks put down. Our budget for a family of 5 is little less than $400. For everything for the home.I make all our bread. I cheat a little. Use the bread machine alot. It aslo works great for pizza crust and dinner rolls. We eat meat only at supper. And lots of time we only eat 2 meals a day. depending on whats goin on. I make snack for the children. Like pumpkin bread or apple rolls. Simple things.
I want to cann more of what we use. Right now we cann as much as we can from the garden. Im hoping that it last till mid summer.
Our barn is on its own budget. What we make for money from the animals and eggs stays in a jar. With that I have a ledger that I keep track of out and income.


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