I wanted to explain how my budget system works with my meal plan. With this system, I stockpile and buy enough to make dinner freezer meals for 3 months. I spend small amounts on certain months and then a large amount the month I buy for my 3-month freezer cooking and keep my stockpile going, which will be next month in June. It all averages out to $150 a month. Let me explain:
Month 1 - spend $100
Month 2 - spend $100
Month 3 - freezer cooking shopping/stockpile, spend $250
Average costs of groceries over 3 months = $150 a month
So in order to make it on an average of $100 over 3 months, I will need it to work something like this:
Month 1 - spend $50
Month 2 - spend $50
Month 3 - freezer cooking shopping/stockpile, spend $200
Average costs of groceries over 3 months = $100 a month
I can't really cut down on my stockpile month too much, so that means that the other 2 months are pretty lean. It is easy to do it on the $150 budget, but will be a challenge on this budget for sure. I could do $75 for months 1 & 2 and then cut my month 3 down to $150 but I'm not sure I can get that month's food AND 3-months of dinner meals AND keep my stockpile up cutting it that low. I will see how this month goes and go from there. Once I get canning going next month, I can can soups, sauces and other things that will lower our budget even more.
The main way I save money is buy making homemade foods - this is not just meals, this is snacks, condiments, bread items and desserts. Making homemade organic whole wheat bread, pita pockets, pizza dough and on and on is FAR cheaper than buying it from the store, and it tastes better! This will require a LOT of work on my part but since I'm coming upon my second trimester, they say you get a burst of energy during this trimester and I'm counting on that.
I realized this was a 5-week month, so I'm trying to not do the bulk of my shopping until next week, so I can just purchase for 4 weeks. I suppose you could call this eating-out-of-the-pantry week. This also gave me more time to plan.