I get asked about budget a lot. It's a tricky thing to balance for sure when you're focusing on health and quality of food plus all of life's other expenses. For us, budget is so important (student loans, hey), but there are also some things I'm not willing to compromise on when it comes to keep us healthy and provide the best meals for my growing kiddos. I would LOVE to buy all organic produce and every bit of protein from a local farmer, but for more than $20 for one chicken, I just can't justify it right now, so I buy the highest quality that I can find for most things and make sure to include plenty of unpackaged fresh produce (cheaper than the pre-cut kind) and let good enough be good enough some days.
This is a ham steak (not the cleanest of ingredients, but everyone likes it, and provides our protein for less than $5), half a bunch of Tuscan kale sauteed with one piece of bacon and two cloves of fresh garlic, and 4 or 5 whole carrots carrots. This was lunch for our family of four with no leftovers for about $7.
I'm the food planner and the budget person in our family (house, car, and technology things go to @wxag07 ), and for me it makes sense to spend extra in some places and cut back in others.
Ways we save:
Buy unpackaged everything, no pre-cut veggies, and get nuts and dried fruit in the bulk bins;
Look for sales-if there is a meat I know we'll usually buy, chicken thighs or pork chops, and it's 25% off, I'll buy extra at once;
Know what we have before I shop. This is a biggie. For the average family of four the value of the total amount of produce thrown away each year is about $1600. Just a quick scan of your veggie drawer so that you don't buy double broccoli for the week can save some money.
Ways we spend:
*Avocados & Blueberries. I wish someone would have told me before I became a parent to buy stock here. The kids eat a ton of these, but I don't mind because they're a healthy brain food.
• Kerrygold's. Same on this. My kids eat butter straight, so it better be grassfed and high quality.
(Continued in comments) - 3 hours ago