Tonight we had some friends over from our small group at church. After they left I was wondering how much I saved by stocking-ahead like we do. So, I just tallied up how much it cost me to feed the four adults here (there were 3 kiddos under 2 who ate very little!). We have been seeing all these ads on restaurant billboards “Feed a Family of 4 for $9″. That just seems like a lot to me. Well, according to what I did tonight it was!
I get asked quite often if entertaining is included in our food budget of $200/month. Most people can’t imagine being able to eat on that amount, much less entertain friends and family on it too! If you plan your grocery trips, use coupons with sale items and meal plan, you will be amazed at what you can do.
One of the concepts we stick to is a principle we call “stocking-ahead“. Stocking ahead is purchasing your staple items when they go on sale, usually at around 50% off. But, we don’t just purchase one, we buy enough to get us through until it goes on sale again. So, the goal is to never pay full price. In doing so, I try to prepare meals ahead and have Kitchen Prep Days to make meals to put into our freezer for later. Tonight was a night when I got to take advantage of all the great deals I found to bless our friends and to eat a great very inexpensive meal.
Here is a breakdown of what we had and the approximate cost:
Roasted Sticky Chicken – @ $.59/lb a 5-lb chicken, and we ate about 2/3 of it = $2.00
Sweet & Savory Sweet Potatoes – @$.69/bag at Christmas, I made ahead and froze them, we at half a bag with our meal = $.35
New York Ciabatta Bread – $.40 on sale, we ate the whole thing = $.40
Lettuce – $1.68/ea, we ate 1/3 of the bunch = $.50
Avocado – $.77
Strawberries – $1.66/lb, we had three in the salad, so approx $.50
Homemade Salad Dressing = $.25
Tollhouse Brownie Cookies – FREE w/ a sale and coupon!!!
Breyers Ice Cream – $.25/gallon on sale with a coupon, we only had a few scoops = $.10
Total Meal Cost = $4.62
So, do you think you could feed four adults for under $5? Tell me your tips and tricks to save money while entertaining friends and family on a budget.