How I feed my family healthy and organically for $140 per week

If asked how much money I spend on my kids for their toys and clothes, I am hazy on the numbers, but I know exactly how much money I spend on food. A few years ago, fed up with throwing away rotted produce week after week from the fridge, I started counting my $$. Clearly, I was over buying. Driven by  a desire to minimize waste, I started going grocery shopping with a specific dollar amount in my pocket. Once that was done, I was finished with shopping for the week. Over time I have adjusted the amount as our family has grown.

When I read reports of how difficult it is to eat at $5/day per person, I snicker because I feed my family of 4  for about $140 dollars per week. This includes fruits and veggies that need to be organic, organic dairy, and organic meat.

Here’s how our weekly grocery budget breaks out:

1)      $50 at the local Farmer’s Market. I walk in with $50 in my pocket and when I have spent that money on our produce, we leave. Over the years I have found that 50 bucks at Farmer’s market minimizes waste (no rotting produce) and this $50 includes our weekly stop at the balloon man and a few dollars as tips for musicians at the farmer’s market.

2)      $50 for dairy, seafood, meat, eggs. This includes organic milk (2 gallons @$6 each) and some combination of organic chicken ($13), seafood ($20), organic dozen eggs ($5) and cheese.

3)      $40 – the remaining $40 is what I call free money – it is spent on bread, lentils, pasta, rice, tortilla,  shopping trips to ethnic stores . This free money is also used for the occasional packaged treat.

This weekly budget feeds us for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the whole week with a few exceptions:

1)      1 meal we eat out as a family over the weekend,

2)      1 meal we probably eat at a friend’s place over the weekend.

3)      My husband eats out for about 3 lunches during the work week.


Here’s why this budget works for us:

1)      We cook at home.

2)      Portion Sizes: We try to eat the correct portion sizes.  Once we started eating the correct portion sizes, we realized how little we have to eat.

3)      We use a lot of dried beans and lentils as it is cheaper than cans. I do however keep a few cans of goodies for Armageddon.

4)      We eat meat/seafood one meal a day.

5)      No soda, juice  or juice packets at home or for school for the kids. We do have a soda stream maker as neither my husband nor I can live without sparkling water.

6)      No power bars and processed packages for kids school lunches.

7)      No chips, donuts, cupcakes, etc.

I recognize that there’s some loop holes  in my budget– but my point is that you can eat healthy without really trying hard. It can be done.


  1. Lana says:

    I was utterly perplexed when I read this a few years back:

    I wrote down the amount we spent at the store every time we shopped and tallied the sums at the end of the month – it never went over $700.00 and it included chemicals, cleaning supplies, paper products, alcohol, etc. Plus, we were a family of 5, with a relative or two visiting us often:)

    It is possible to spend so little like you and I do, but so few families adhere to strict grocery budgets.

    My biggest obstacle is my husband, who was raised on convenient and processed food, with ton of soda and packaged sweets. He sneaks in bags of potato chips and candy, all the time and sabotages my good intentions, even though he is the only one in the family who eats that (the girls know better:)


  1. […] When you are done checking out Robin’s recipes, you can also check out my post, on how I feed 4 people on a grocery budget of $140 per week. […]

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