Breakfast for 3 at $4.50 is a great deal...unless it's half your daily budget

Family of 3

This week's challenge is what the name implies: challenging. It requires you to think completely different about food. We applaud this Challenger for sticking to the guidelines, despite accidentally splurging. It only serves to make it a more true to life experience. We are a household of two adults and one toddler.  Our toddler eats half of his meals at daycare, and when at home eats about a quarter to a third of what we eat.  I adjusted the allowance in accordance with this and came up with approximately $73.17 to spend for the week.

Unfortunately this morning we forgot about the challenge and bought doughnuts! This deducted $4.50 from our total weekly budget, which hurt a lot more than I would have thought.  It was a little bit of a shock to realize that such a simple and quick treat (at a seemingly low price point) could have such an effect on our budget.

In addition, I can see how miscommunication can also easily derail a budget.  We have some leftover food (sausage, produce) that must be eaten.  I can’t stand wasting food.  Therefore I had to deduct that amount from our budget as well.  I never would have included pricy Italian sausage, and Cliff bars in this week’s limited budget.

Due to the doughnuts, sausage, and other leftover more expensive food our total for today came to $13.93.  Yikes, well over the average CalFresh SNAP benefit amount.  With these mistakes I need to come up with a meal plan and shopping list that will suit our needs.  Now, the challenge will be to see if we can keep the total for our meals at or under $9.87/day to meet the weekly budget.

It is difficult knowing that I have to stick to a specific amount.  We normally have a budget for food, but not necessarily a strict budget.  This week we will give up our protein powder, individual sized coffee, fresh fish, chocolate, and basically any other luxuries.  I look forward to finding out if a healthy diet can be obtained with such a low budget.