Times are tough. Feeding a #frugal family of six is expensive. Normally we try to feed our family farm fresh eggs and tasty produce from our homestead garden, but heading into a cold Wisconsin winter, like most families, groceries are our main source of food.
On our road to becoming homesteaders we pinched all of our pennies and learned a thing or two about stretching our dollar. We also have the homestead skills to make our own bread, tortillas and pasta. We were recently inspired by this awesome video over at FrugalFitMom- https://youtu.be/LNoiOU3XpR0 where she made 132 meals for $40! Go check that out.
So we challenged ourselves- could we feed our family of six, for one week a delicious homestead dinner for under $20? That’s 6 people multiplied by 7 days or in other words 42 homestead dinners for under $20. That is just $0.47 cents per dinner! The rules are to ONLY use groceries (within $20) and we could only use salt/pepper and some oil from within our kitchen staples. Normally we would use eggs from our chickens, produce from our garden but for this challenge we did not allow that and used only our $20 worth of groceries.
We created a list and started shopping around. We have a local Aldis and the prices and selection seemed doable within our tight budget. Our strategy was to focus on cheap made from scratch staples. We started by buying a bag of flour for $1.15 and a package of yeast for $0.89. This would provide us with homemade bread, hamburger buns, pasta noodles and tortillas all for around 10% of the entire budget! We also found a discounted 10 pound bag of Russet Potatoes for only $1.49! This was a huge score and would work in many homestead meals. Here is our entire and exact list of items we purchased:
All Purpose Flour: $1.15
10lb Russet Potatoes: $1.49
3 lb 73/27 Ground Beef: $7.49
12 Large Eggs: $0.68
12 Large Eggs: $0.68
24 Oz Meat Pasta Sauce: $0.85
2 lb Spaghetti Noodles: $1.39
Pinto Beans: $1.39
3lb Long Grain Rice: $1.89
Steam Veg Mix: 0.79
Aldi Total $18.69
* Grand Total $19.93
*We used the Aldis app to plan this list but in the store the prices were much lower. So with our leftover $1.31 we bought a 1 gallon bag of milk from our local KwikTrip (that’s right here in Wisconsin we have milk in bags! See the video to learn more!) So with our milk purchase our grand total was $19.93.
To stretch our budget we started on day zero by preparing a bunch of bread and hamburger buns using our flour and yeast. Please watch the video to see the meals in all of their glory but here is a quick summary:
Day 1. Meals 1-6. Smash Burgers with homemade hamburger buns and Fried Potatoes.
Day 2. Meals 7-12. Shepherd’s Pie with homemade bread
Day 3. Meals 13-18. Breakfast For Dinner. Egg Crunchrolls with Homemade Tortillas and made from scratch hash browns
Day 4. Meals 19-24. Beef Tacos with Homemade Tortillas, Sticky white rice and pinto beans
Day 5. Meals 25-30. Spaghetti- Homemade Pasta Noodles (and store bought pasta) with meat sauce and a side of homemade bread
Day 6. Meals 31-36. Potato Soup and a side of homemade bread
Day 7. Meals 37-42. Leftover Shepherd’s Pie, leftover rice, beans and leftover Spaghetti.
Overall we had 7 days of delicious meals. The homemade hamburger buns were 10 times better than store bought buns! We also made tortillas for the first time and our girls had a blast making them… and again, they tasted way better over store bought tortillas. Our favorite meal was a tossup between the beef tacos, rice and beans on day 4 VS the Egg Crunch Rolls we had on day 3. Those tortillas hit it out of the park for us. We usually have a weekly taco night on our homestead and from now on it will only be with homemade tortillas!
Overall we were amazed with how well these meals turned out on such a tight budget. It was a lot of extra work making everything from scratch but well worth the effort. All of these meals could have been improved by adding some homestead flair. For example the burgers on day one would normally be topped with fresh tomatoes and lettuce from our garden along with a side of our own homemade pickles. Spaghetti on day 5 would have been improved by using our homemade Spaghetti sauce we canned earlier this year and the eggs would have all tasted better had we used farm fresh eggs from our own hens.
If your homestead is looking to stretch your meal budget, you can really go a long way and still enjoy some amazing dinners especially if you are willing to cook them from scratch and can compliment them with produce from your own homestead.
0:00 Start Video
2:15 Aldi Grocery Haul
4:20 Flour and Bread Prep
7:20 Day 1 Smash Burgers
12:31 Day 2 Shepard’s Pie
13:04 Day 3 Homestead Egg Crunchwraps
18:14 Day 4 Beef Tacos, Rice & Beans
19:35 Day 5 Homemade Pasta and mMeat Spaghetti
23:00 Day 6 Homemade Potato Soup and Bread
25:00 Day 7 Leftovers