Food Budgeting: Back to the Drawing Board

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I have all sorts of colorful language to describe my failed attempts at feeding my family of four a healthy meal plan on a budget of $150 per week.  I’ve managed to stay chipper and share this pg-13 update with you because although I have failed at my initial goal, I’ve learned a lot and have made adjustments that I am excited to try.

I have a new found respect for home economics, a class I thought only slackers took in school.  Its not easy to run a household on a set budget, but I’m learning that there is freedom in planning.  The trick is to make a plan that works for my whole family.  Although I am the primary cook in the house, I am but one of the many eaters!  That is why the revisions made in the new budget and food plan allow for chaos, which is what our life seems to thrive on. Accepting chaos as a fuel for our plan will be the key to success.

The revised plan allows for the return of spontaneity which this experiment previously bled out of me and our meals.  It is reversed from the initial plan, which was spend $X + serve meals  in Y order =  Z number of people are fed each day.  As it turns out, all three variables oscillate wildly, making the execution of this equation frustrating as hell.


  1. Raise budget to $225 week (including entertaining & eating out)
  2. Give up being a control freak by inviting family members to cook
  3. Invite family to post spending on food budget/menu planning Google doc
  4. Shop more often.
  5. Revise budget to count down instead of add up

Success VS Failure
I could look at this as a total failure, but being an eternal optimist I refuse.  I see that my initial budget of $150/week was setting us up to feed each of our four family members 3 meals a day at a cost of $1.78 per person.  Even visiting some crappy ass fast food joint with a 99 cent menu that is unrealistic.  By the time you get everyone in the family a serving of deep fried faux food and throw in a high fructose nightmare of a beverage, we would be spending more than that AND risking our health if we ate that way often.  And these numbers don’t factor in ALL the entertaining we do. So I choose to see the adjustment of my experiment as an improvement instead of a failure.

To be honest I hope there are more adjustments in the future, if the budget goes up again that will mean I am doing MORE entertaining and MORE sharing of HEALTHY delicious foods that not only FEED the people I love and adore, but enliven their bodies with all the LOVE and nutrients I can whip into each meal.

I want to be wise about our spending, AND be willing to throw money at what I love to do.  In some way or another that energy always comes back amplified by the love that propelled the spending in the first place.  Drop the scarcity and pile on the love.  It will all work out.  I know it.

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