For this assignment, of budgeting 3 complete meals for a family of four, I went to Aldi's on Franklin Avenue where prices are very low. It was my first time at Aldi's and it was very interesting because the first aisle you have to walk down to enter the rest of the store is the aisle with all of the calorie- and sugar-dense sweet treats and cereals. Below is my shopping list:
Whole Grain Oats (30 servings, 1/2 cup ea.) $2.19
Bananas (4 large bananas per pound) $0.44/lb.
Raspberries (8oz.) $1.99
Vitamin D Milk (16 cups) $2.79
Eggs (Dozen) $1.65
Multigrain Sandwich Skinnies (8 pairs) $1.99
Artisan Lettuce (4 main dishes, or 8 side salads) $1.99
Roma Tomatoes (6 smaller-yet-medium-sized) 1.29
Onions (Bag = 3lbs. or about 8 big onions) $0.69
Bell Peppers (3) $1.49
Carrots (2 lbs.) $0.99
Strawberries (16 oz.) $2.49
Red Seedless Grapes (2lbs.) $2.99
Spaghetti (8 cups of dry pasta) $1.69
Chicken Breasts (2.3 lbs.) $5.73
Brussels Sprouts $1.49
I used the above ingredients to think of the following meals:
Oatmeal with Fruit and Hard-Boiled Egg
For breakfast the family will enjoy oatmeal with fresh bananas and raspberries (Bittman, pg.820). Each adult gets 1 full cup, which is 2 servings, of oatmeal and each kid gets a half of a cup, 1 serving, costing 44 cents plus two cups of milk will be mixed into the oatmeal for a total of 79 cents. Each adult will receive one full banana chopped into their oatmeal, kids receiving half of a banana each, as well as 2 ounces of raspberries, kids receiving 1 oz. - costing one dollar and eighty-two cents. Finally, every person will enjoy one hard-boiled egg - costing fifty-five cents. The total cost of breakfast for the family is $3.16.
Veggie Sandwiches and Sides
As everyone heads off to work and school they will go with a healthy lunch in hand. Each person will get a pair of multigrain sandwich skinnies filled with layers of lettuce (1/4 the lettuce bought), cucumber (4/5th of cucumber bought), tomato (2 of the tomatoes), onion (1 onion), avocado (1 and a half avocados), and bell pepper (1 bell pepper) - costing three dollars and eighty-three cents. Everyone will also get a tupperware of boiled and flavored carrot slices (1/2 lb.), some strawberries (2 oz. each), and some grapes (1/2 lb.) - costing two dollars and twenty-four cents. The total cost of lunch for the family is $6.07.
After a long day of work, everyone will return home to a nice, hot meal. One pound of grilled chicken ($2.49) will be cut up and tossed with roasted brussels sprouts (1/2 of what was bought, $0.75) and broccoli (1/2 of what was bought $0.70) on a bed of pasta (3 cups, $0.63) - there are also two small lemons for added flavor ($0.70). The total cost of dinner for the family is $5.27.
This whole day's worth of meals for a family of four costed a total of $14.50. The only thing that didn't come as easily for me in menu-planning (out of the requirements of protein, carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables and healthy fat) was including the protein; to help me think about good protein sources I used http://www.marksdailyapple.com/top-ten-protein-sources/#axzz2DupObrTt but it was still pretty hard to budget that into the meals! I whole I provided a complete diet for the family!