NWA Poverty Challenge Mid-Week: Brook Thomas

Creative Family Meal Planning on a Tight Budget

I’ve just finished my third day in a week-long stretch of poverty awareness. The are several other NWA leaders participating in the challenge as well. But I’ve quickly noticed one difference. I have more food!

BT Food

This got me to thinking…what’s going on here?

If it was just me living on $5 a day – I honestly don’t know how I’d pull it off. But I’ve got three mouths to feed in our home. And that brings the total funds up to $15 a day. This seems to be much more manageable (but still tough).

Here’s an example: With Adelaide’s $5 for day one we purchased cereal and milk. That takes care of both of our breakfast for the entire week. With my $5 for day one we purchased hamburger meat, an onion, cans of black beans, corn and Rotel. That made dinner (Taco soup!) for at least two nights plus some lunch leftovers. With Meredith’s $5 for day one we purchased bananas and some assorted veggies. That covered several breakfasts and side dishes for a couple dinners. And that’s just day one money.

Some other ways our family is working around the challenge; peanut butter, bread and honey. All purchased fBT Snackor under $5. Meredith has toast with peanut butter along with a banana (previous mentioned) for breakfasts.

Adelaide wanted a snack so I made a PB&H sandwich, used a Christmas cookie cutter and she was thrilled! …I ate the scraps.
An avocado and a can of Rotel made guacamole to go with our nacho night.

BT Guac

We used the $2 bag of chips, a can of black beans and some shredded cheese to make the rest. The chips were also used to go along with the taco soup (previously mentioned) and serve as lunch side snacks. We purchased some Greek yogurt. That was an expensive item. But Meredith eats it with the honey (previously mentioned) for her lunch, we used it as sour cream substitute for the taco soup and nacho night (both previously mentioned).

My point – we took some time to plan meals that required similar items. That, coupled with a little more spending cash, is allowing us to maintain a family of three without a lot of empty stomachs.

One other detail worth noting. We’re using the “Savings Catcher” from Walmart. All our groceries were bought at a neighborhood market. I got some change back too! While $0.32 isn’t much for this week, it does add up over time. My Savings Catcher account is already up to nearly $7. I would imagine that could go a long way for someone.

I’m sure there is a big picture lesson to be learned here. Something about how the individuals going through this challenge are coping with a lot less food while our family seems to have a much more comfortable cupboard.

But I’ll let others try to sort that out. I’m just focused on tomorrow’s meal plan.


Brook Thomas 2