Hi, I am really enjoying your blog! I, like you, have four children and a hungry husband and I am trying to feed us all on a budget. My first question is, it seems like you just don't buy a lot of food for six people. Do your kids not eat much at meals? I have a 13 yr. old son that is a bottomless pit!! My other question is, what do you do about clothing? I would love to know your clothing budget for your family and how often you shop for clothes, etc., Please continue your blog, I am enjoying it so much and have gotten fabulous recipes from it!
Kendra S. in Cleveland, Tn
My kids eat a lot and so does my husband. At mealtimes the kids usually eat off a salad sized plate and for most of the kids it's full. At least one kid always goes back for seconds and sometimes thirds. And during the day they snack on fruit, popcorn, or baked goodies I might have around. My hubs is a big guy (6'4" and 220 lbs) so he eats at least one huge plate full if not two. Me, well I eat off a salad size plate too but that's purely for portion control so I can maintain my weight...or at least try.
I was thinking hard about your question because really, it doesn't look like I buy very much. So here are a few reasons why I think it doesn't look like enough food to last us a whole week. (This was a really good question by the way.)
- I have a huge stockpile of rice and lentils in my drawers thanks to my sister who moved and didn't want to take it with her.
- I don't buy lots of packaged bulky processed foods. Those take up lots of space and would make my picture look like it has much more in it even though what's inside is just a handful or two of food. When I buy in bulk it just comes in bags.
- At least half of the ingredients of my weekly meals is already in my cupboards. I plan my menus around what I already have. If I had to buy every item for every recipe my pile would be HUGE and my total would at the very least, double.
As for the clothes? I don't have an actual budget. A majority of the kids clothes come from a store that takes our old clothes, gives me trade in credit and then we shop in their store for new stuff. A portion of our clothing comes from outlet stores, trips to Goodwill, cousins who have outgrown their clothes, or gifts. As for the adults, we aren't ashamed to shop at Goodwill for ourselves. We make sure that we buy items that can be mixed and matched to form different outfit combinations. I don't need work clothes and my husbands work clothes last quite a while as they are all suits and with his home business, he only needs his suits when it's a day that he is meeting with clients. Because we home school I don't have to do the major "school clothes shopping" that most people do. We keep our eyes peeled for deals all year round and get items here and there as the budget allows.