Tonight we did a big shopping trip in preparation for the Welfare Food Challenge. Amazingly we managed to buy what we think is a week’s worth of groceries for only $36.60, well within our $42 budget. There isn’t a lot of fresh vegetables, but what we bought is reasonably nutritious. We scouted out our neighbourhood grocery stores on Saturday and found the cheapest prices at Buy-Low and Kia.
The bulk of our diet for the next week will be beans ($10), rice ($4), flour ($3.50), and oatmeal ($2.17). Our best find was a 10 lb bag of carrots for $4 at Kia. We got lucky with lots of items on sale at Buy-Low and discounted vegetables at Kia.
Here’s what we managed to buy with a rough calorie count. If we ate everything, we’d have almost 3000 calories each per day, more than the daily requirement. Although that doesn’t take into account vitamins and other nutrients, and a large portion of those calories come from the flour and oil.
|Rice, Long Grain Brown||1814||$4.00||6853|
|Flour, Whole Wheat||2500||$3.49||9167|
|Canola Oil||473 ml||$2.19||3784|
|Yeast, Active Baking||23||$0.36||160|
|Soup Stock, powder||50||$0.39||117|
|Potatoes, White (5 lb bag)||2268||$1.99||1841|
|Carrots (10 lb bag)||4536||$3.99||2041|
|Tomatoes (9, discount)||828||$1.00||99|
|Apples, Granny Smith (3)||700||$1.53||364|
|Onion, Yellow (1)||155||$0.24||348|
|Garlic (40 cloves)||120||$1.00||160|
|Jalapeno Pepper (1)||15||$0.08||4|
I’m optimistic now that we can survive the week. With the garlic, onion, broth, and jalapeno our food will be reasonably flavourful. The trade-off is time. We’ve spent hours planning our meals and grocery shopping. Making our meals from raw ingredients and dry beans will mean many more hours spent cooking this week than we normally do.
Good shopping. Thats a lot of food for 36.60
I did this four years ago, as a challenge, and did a couple blog posts too – nicely done!!
Granted, the American amount is going to go farther, but it wasn’t all that much of a “challenge” because I had been on a “welfare budget” for over seven years and managed to feed my kids a wide variety of healthy vegan food during that time. I simply shared what I’d learned. We never felt like we were missing out. It IS tricky and takes a LOT of planning!!
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