Tonight is one of those nights where it is going to be very difficult to evaluate what the meal cost. For the simple reason that I pulled some soup out of the freezer and made a batch of scones to serve with it from items I already had in the pantry.
The soup was chicken, broccoli and cauliflower. I would estimate that the soup cost about $15 to make. We’ve already had at least one family meal out of it, maybe a lunch or two as well. I really can’t remember. Let’s be conservative and say just one family meal. Which makes tonight’s portion $7.50.
My best guesstimate for the scones would be about 80c for the batch. Bringing tonight’s total to $8.30 or $2.08 per head.
So, it does beg the question, if I’m spending around $7 per dinner on average and around $150 a week on food, how does this add up?
Roughly one third of the budget is accounted for by dinner. Next, let’s look at breakfast. Roughly $12 of oats get eaten per week. Add to that milk and yoghurt. Probably another $3 a week as I buy milk directly from a farm and I make my own yoghurt. I add goji berries. That’s about another $2 a week. I also add some fresh or stewed fruit. That’s another $2.50. Weekends are another story as we tend to eat a big cooked breakfast. Over 2 days, this usually accounts for about $6.20 worth of eggs. What gets added into that depends on what vegetables we have left. Beans, spinach, tomato, cheese, onion, mushrooms, sometimes bacon, chillies, you name it, if I think it will taste good in egg, it gets thrown in. Maybe $8 over the two days? And of course toast. The Ankle Biters have toast daily, the Bread Winner and I weekends only. So, a loaf of bread costs me around $1.60 per load to make. We would use probably 2 loaves on breakfast per week. So breakfast is costing approximately $37 per week.
Snacks are a factor that cannot be ignored. We eat probably 5 pieces of fruit per day as snacks. On average each piece costs about 50c. So there is $17.50 on fruit alone. Then of course there are other snacks like biscuits with cheese and tomato and popcorn. We mostly bake our own biscuits and we buy pop corn in bulk from the organic store so apart from the cheese and tomato, we’re talking reasonably minimal costs here. Perhaps another $5 per week. Then there’s sultana/nut/pepitas/sunflower seeds type snacking. Perhaps another $5. Let’s call it $28 a week on snacks.
Lunch is a hard one to calculate. A lot of leftovers go into lunches. The amount varies from week to week. Sandwiches and wraps are a constant. Bread and sorj bread alone come to $8.95. I need to cut my sorj bread habit and start making my own flat bread. Fillings include things like poached chicken, tuna, salad, cheese, mayonnaise. In terms of cheese and salad I can estimate about $!0 per week. Meats would average maybe $4 per week. Probably 5 lunch serves a week is the average for leftovers at an average $1.75 per seve. So another $8.75. Let’s call it $32.
Breakfast = 37
Lunch = 32
Snacks = 28
Dinner = 49
TOTAL = 146
Now that is interesting as my $150/week budget includes toiletries and cleaning products as well. I make my own soap, crystal deodorant lasts forever, I clean with bicarb and vinegar type products. So no big expenses.
Chances are my obsession with tracking my food expenditure this week is boring you to tears and I apologise for that. I am finding it illuminating though. It shows me that if I really want to reduce expenditure without compromising my food values, I am going to have to cut out my few luxuries like strawberries and sorj bread.
I do want to add too that I know we don’t live on the bread line. I also understand that a lot of people are really struggling and have no option to maintain high ideals with regards to food. Really, this is mostly a personal exercise (that I have shared with the world) to see where my food dollar goes. I certainly do not want to come over sounding all superior or judgey mcjudgement. I totally appreciate that everyone does the best for their family with what they have. I hope that I can offer some ideas for cheap and tasty meals that are useful to those that need it.