So I went to the grocery store with $25 to spend, and I think I did pretty well!
Here's what I bought:
1 lb box of Oat O's - the generic Cheerio - $2.19
1 gallon of whole milk - $3.75
Wonder Bread - $2.00
Generic peanut butter - $1.59
Generic grape jam - $1.15
1 lb box of pasta - $0.89
1 can of Hunts meat tomato sauce - $0.99
1 lb frozen green beans - $1.09
5 lbs white rice - $2.99
1 lb red kidney beans - $1.19
Perdue breaded chicken cutlets - $3.00
3/4 lb pork stew meat - $2.10
2 generic yogurts - $0.40 each
GRAND TOTAL: $23.63
Here's what I usually buy but could not afford (and chose not to buy):
Fresh produce, juice, hot dogs, waffles, cookies, chips, and lunch meat.
The week's menu:
Breakfast - Oat O's with milk or a yogurt (twice)
Lunch - PB & J sandwiches
Dinners - Pork Curry with Rice and Green Beans, Pasta with Meat Sauce (twice), Red Beans and Rice (three times), Chicken Cutlets with Rice and Green Beans.
What I learned:
- Grape jelly is significantly less expensive than raspberry or strawberry.
- Wonder bread is more nutritionally-dense than I thought it would be since it is fortified.
- Oatmeal may be filling because of all the fiber, but it isn't nutritionally dense. So even though it was less expensive than the Oat O's, I chose them because they were fortified.
- I would be in big trouble if I needed to buy things other than food; I would quickly run out of money if I needed household products like toilet paper, lightbulbs, or laundry detergent.
Tonight we are having pasta with the Hunts meat sauce. I cooked half the box and half the can respectively. One serving has 480 calories, 3g fat, 16g protein, 28% of your daily fiber, 35% of your daily iron, plus 20 - 50% of some vitamins. Not great, but not bad either. Tomorrow: Pork curry!