Can You Really Eat For 100 Dollars?
Yes, you really can feed your family for $100 a month but there will be sacrifices. You can still eat well but you will have to eliminate some things that you are used to and you may have to learn some new skills.
Feeding a family of four for $100 is no easy matter. This is, after all, less than 1 dollar a day per person. Just because it is not easy though does not mean that you can not do it. Read along and we will tell you how to get it done and get through this loss of income from the Coronavirus.
Make Some Sacrifices
First and foremost, you will have to make some sacrifices. You will no longer be able to buy the non essentials.
Tap Water Only
Water will become your drink of choice for the time being and not bottled water either. You will need to make the switch to tap water. This will be particularly difficult for soda drinkers but in a few days you will get over it and probably feel better. If you absolutely can not stand the taste of tap, invest in a water filter.
Think about how much you spend on beverages and you will see how much you can save here. If you have a family of four and each person drinks 3 cans of soda a day, you are burning through a 12 pack of it every day. At as much as 5 dollars a 12 pack, that is 150 dollars in just a month.
Bottled water is better but it is also costly. For about 5 dollars, you can get a pack of 24 but that can still add up to 75 dollars a month if you each drink just 3 bottles a day. This is an expense that you must cut.
Switch To Generics
Name brands like soda need to become a thing of the past. A generic product can cost as little as half of what a name brand one does and chances are good that a major manufacturer makes the generic anyway.
The key to switching to generics is to shop around a bit. Try a “Great Value” brand from Walmart and then try the Kroger generic the next time. Chances are good that you can find one that is just as good as the name brand that you have been buying
Cut Back On Meat
We need some protein in our diet, but you do not have to necessarily get it from New York Strip. Chicken is king for cheap meat based protein and it is almost always on sale somewhere. Shop the grocery store circulars to see who has it on sale and then stock up on it. If packaged well, you can freeze chicken for months.
When you do serve meat, you should also cut back on the portion size. There is no need to eat an 8 ounce piece of chicken when you can get a satisfactory portion of protein in 3 ounces. Cut your usual portions in half or less and make up the difference in cheap staples.
Snacks, especially single serving ones will have to be eliminated. Candy, snack cakes and even chips should be cut from the meal plan. This will take some getting used to but it is a priority. Snacks are probably costing you 200 dollars right now or possibly more each month. Cut them out and save money while becoming healthier.
If you must have a bite to eat in between meals, make it leftovers. Instead of throwing out any extras from lunch, save them for a pre-dinner snack. Do the same for every meal with a goal of wasting little to none of the food that you make.
What Foods To Buy
Now that we know a few things to eliminate or cut down on, what should you buy? What foods can feed your family for just $100 a month or just $1200 a year. You need to switch foods that you can serve for pennies a portion and you need to buy them in bulk. If you do not have a Sam’s Club or Costco membership, now is the time to get one. The 50 bucks that you spend on it will pay big dividends quickly. here is what you should be buying.
You can serve rice for just pennies a serving. There is a reason that it is a staple in developing countries, it is cheap and filling. You can also, with the aid of a few spices, serve it dozens of ways. Rice is a sponge, it soaks up the flavor. Do not be afraid to hit the internet looking for rice recipes to cook.
As for cooking the rice itself, people often have a difficult time with it but it is simple. You just need to pick the right method and here it is. Take 1.5 cups of rice and add 3 cups of hot water and a tablespoon of margarine. Bake this in an appropriately sized and covered casserole pan for 60 minutes at 400 degrees. Perfect rice every time.
You can buy a 10 pound bag of potatoes for less than 3 dollars if you shop the store circulars. That is about 10 cents a serving for an incredibly versatile food. You can turn potatoes into an infinite variety of meals.
Baked potatoes, grilled potatoes, roasted potatoes, mashed potatoes, french fries, etc, etc. The list is infinite so you should never get bored with them.
Notice that I said dry beans here. Canned beans are considerably more expensive. While dry beans are a bit more work, starting with the basics makes this a pennies a serving food. Besides, all that it takes is a little soaking of the beans and you get a cheaper food that will probably taste better as well.
Beans are a great addition to your diet. They are not only filling an cheap but also a great source of protein. Use them instead of meat in some of your meals to further increase your savings.
Overall, frozen vegetables are cheaper than fresh produce and last longer. There is also less chance of waste as you can just take out what you need for a meal.
The best use for a frozen vegetable is as an addition to your rice. A cup of peas or corn can completely change the feel of a bowl of rice and it costs just pennies.
The only meat that you can really fit into the budget will be chicken. It can be had for under 2 dollars a pound and sometimes much cheaper. You should not serve meat every night, but it is good to mix it in from time to time to keep things interesting.
If you can find it, chicken thighs are the way to go. They are usually a bit cheaper that boneless skinless chicken and have a number of advantages. They are tastier, easier to cook and the fat content makes them much more filling.
Whole chickens is another way to go if you do not mind doing some butchering. Slice them up and use all of the parts, even the bones. You can make a nice soup or stock with them
Feeding your family for 100 dollars a month is definitely going to be tough and it will require some big changes. In the Covid-19 era though, we need money to go further, so we must do the hard things. So, make the hard decisions and manage your money as responsibly as you can. You can get through this.