Cheap Family Meals Challenge is a one-year food blogging plan that we have created. It is based on exactly what we eat and drink as a family of 5, giving you cheap meal ideas and shows you that can have delicious cheap family meals if you want to.
We consider ourselves to be managing financially. Not super poor, but not comfortable either and often robbing Peter to pay Paul, transferring money from one bank account to another to pay the bills. I grew up with very poor grandparents and they showed me the value of money and how far you can stretch groceries if you truly want to.
My grandma was a waitress/barmaid and my grandad was a fisherman and they raised 5 daughters, 3 of which were born during rationing.
We are also in a world obsessed with convenience food that is overpriced and not good for you, as well as this we eat meat too often. Compared to other generations that ate meat twice a week, because that is all they could afford.
And that is my inspiration behind my Cheap Family Meals Challenge.
We can’t wait to share with you our cheap family meals. We love our food. We love our burgers, our pizza, our chicken, our one pot dinners, our pasta, our chocolate and think that Christmas and Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same without huge amounts of roast turkey.
We even love turkey so much that we buy it cheap when it is on sale post Christmas and then save it for later.
But we are also grocery shopping savvy. We don’t want to waste money on food and believe that with some shopping around and cooking everything from scratch, that we can have the best of both worlds.
When we read on other food blogs about how they try to do their own cheap family meals and find it so difficult, we had a crazy idea to not do it for a week like they did, but for an entire year instead!
But before I dive in with our Cheap Family Meals & Our Cheap Meal Plans & Recipes let me share with more about the Cheap Family Meals Challenge and how you can follow us along at home:
Cheap Family Meals Challenge
Cheap Family Meals Challenge is a campaign I am running aimed at highlighting the amount of money, many suffering from poverty are expected to live on. We are personally going to live on (as cheap meals for 5) $300 a month. This is £220 if in the UK and 250€ if based in Europe.
The idea here is to spend this amount per month for grocery shopping and create lots of delicious cheap family meals with the money.
During 2018 we will also be travelling throughout Europe and visiting the UK to see the difference in prices and not just to base it on where we live here in Portugal.
By running our cheap family meals challenge it gives us the chance to re-assess how much we spend on grocery shopping and where we go wrong ourselves in the money we spend on food.
In many, many countries $300 a month is the equivalent of what you will receive if you are on food stamps and are on a low budget, therefore this amount sounds like a fantastic starting point.
In the USA during 2016, 44 million Americans were helped with an average of $125 per person supplied in food stamps.
For example, in 2017 we averaged a monthly family net income for the 5 of us of $1600 a month. If we lived in the US, it would be expected that 1/3 of our income would go towards grocery food ($480). With a maximum entitlement of $771 in Food Stamps we would receive $291 ($771-$480).
On a side note we do live in Portugal. The minimum wage here is $4.50 an hour. A nurse working in a hospital earns just $6.25 an hour and there is at least a third below the poverty line with no food stamps to fall back on. This makes me really want to highlight the poverty situation we see around us.
As you already know we are sticking to a Mrs Beeton recipe calendar during 2018 and it feels like the perfect fit. Mrs Beeton was all about classic cooking from scratch and they go together like cheese goes with biscuits.
Though our personal Cheap Family Meals Challenge will NOT include:
- Pet Supplies
- Cleaning Items
- Baby Milk
We will not be including baby milk, just because it varies so much from country to country and many family of 5’s will not have it to consider.
As well as this our teenage son earns his own money and I can’t ask him to ditch his canteen snacks for this cheap family meals challenge.
We also normally spend about $400 to $500 a month on family groceries so it will be exciting when we drop the amounts down and see what meals we achieve.
What We HATE:
- Unrealistic cheap family meals that are full of processed foods
- That there is no in between ground – cooking is either aimed at people that eat everything organic or live off chicken and rice. We want to be the in between ground.
- That many food challenges don’t include things for my super sized sweet tooth.
- That people have stopped shopping for bargains and go into supermarkets blind on the deals
- That many grocery challenges are based on many years ago and are now out of date.
Cheap Family Meals
Below you can read all the different months for when we stuck to the cheap family meals food challenge and fed our family of 5 on $300 a month or less: