Hello...I'm Hannah, a wife and mother of three children. My husband works hard outside the home every day, and I work hard at home every day. He brings home the paycheck, and I do my best to stretch it and tug it so it will last us through these tough financial times. We've worked together as a team to make ends meet for several years now, and have learned a few things along the way. Our family is happy and healthy and loves being together. We watch what we spend bit by bit so we are free to worry about the important things in life...serving God, raising our family, and enjoying our time together.
I know that feeding a family of five on a tight budget can add a lot of stress, but it can also be very rewarding. I've found that with a little planning and cooking knowledge, I can keep my family grocery budget in the neighborhood of $60 per week. This does include eating fresh produce, and touching bases with all food groups. Yes, it can be done! The key is knowing what things cost and planning your meals according to what you can afford. I've found that the cheapest of ingredients are often healthier options than their pricey counterparts. A bag of dried black beans (one of the healthiest proteins you can buy) can produce multiple meals for around $1. However, you could easily pay $15 for one meal worth of nice steak. My main cooking and shopping challenge hangs on being willing to think through how to cook using the cheapest of healthy ingredients.
Here are some things that we don't use a lot of...prepared foods such as frozen meals, frozen pizzas, canned meals and the like. We rarely buy premade desserts and limit our stash of chips and crackers to a few very cheap deals with coupons. I have found that most prepared foods can be "copied" at home in a much more healthy and cost-efficient way.
Eating this way can seem restrictive at first. I never go to the grocery store and pick up whatever seems good at the time I see it. I always have a meal plan based on the sales in the area. I have found that the longer I cook this way, the more unacceptable I do find the occasional splurge. After you get used to making your own foods, you one day realize that yours tastes much better!
I've waded through many cheap eating websites and magazines. I've copied recipes by the truckload. I've learned cooking methods for anything I think will be helpful. I've experimented with successes and failures, and this blog will share what I've learned.