Could you spend less than $50 a week for 6 weeks with no food storage?
This is a challenge I have set for the rest of the year. Over the weekend I made $1,000 selling things (find out how here) and $250 was paid in cash for one item. Looking at it, I wondered if I could make that stretch the rest of the year.
How we will do an extreme grocery challenge
Careful planning, eating healthy and mindful eating are all playing a part in this challenge. We don’t have food storage, a big freezer or anything like that as a backup. With some meat in the freezer, we will be eating mostly vegetables, fruits, eggs and have treats on our Friday Family Fun Night (pizza and popcorn mostly). Heavy, carb-based meals aren’t common in our house and I plan to keep it that way. Pasta and bread are out so it’ll be a gluten and dairy free meal plan for the most part. Check out week 1 here.
(Disclosure: there are affiliate links for items I use in this post. It is how I keep providing free content on the site. Find my full disclosure here.)
1.) Check the pantry
Clean out the pantry, fridge and freezer and write down what’s there, then work out what I can make from it and how to make things stretch.
For meat, I have a few chicken breasts, a pack of sausages (which I can make 20 meals from), 2 lots of mince, a roast chicken and roast beef.
In the pantry, I have some flour, tinned kidney beans, cereal and a few bits and pieces, nothing in bulk.
2.) Cash in gift cards
Woolworths Everyday Rewards and Coles Flybuys cards are used through the year so I have some points, but I might not use them. Credit with HelloFresh is being utilised. My latest box arrived today and since the meals usually last us two meals this will contribute heavily to the challenge.
3.) Meal Plan
I am planning our meals around what we have. Our ‘go to’ type meals are chill (mince with a lot of finely chopped veggies, slow cooked with tomatoes and spices), stir fry with seasoning or egg-based meals such as omelettes. If you are on a tight budget, I have an eBook with over 100 recipes you can make from just 26 Ingredients plus tips for turning leftovers into a new meal. It’s only $4.95 and you can read more about it or buy a copy instantly here.
4.) What will we eat?
Our HelloFresh meals in the next 3 weeks include:
Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken
Tahini Glazed Chicken
Jamaican Jerk Chicken
Dukkah Crusted Chicken
Chorizo, Parsley and Lemon Butter Pasta
Cajun Chicken and Roast Veggie Rice Bowl
Pork and Apple Burgers
Korean Style Beef and Vegetable Noodle Cups
Other meals I will make from what we have include:
Roast Chicken (which can be turned into soup, risotto, arancini, curry and pasta bake).
Roast Beef (with leftovers being turned into wraps)
Sausages and Vegetables (which will also be used on pizza, in fried rice and probably frittatas.)
Breakfasts will be protein shakes, smoothies, cereal or eggs.
Lunches include leftovers and my kids take fruit, a salad, crackers and sandwiches to school.
I don’t need a recipe when I cook. Generally, I make things up as I go or have a loose idea of what I will do. Don’t worry about following a recipe exactly. You can swap meats, use different vegetables and look for substitutes to ingredients online. I shared a bunch of tips about this in The Thrifty Issue Group which you can find here.
Are you up for the challenge?