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Feed your family for $45 Update

Following finding the Hillbilly Housewife’s $45/week menu plan, and blogging about it here, I decided to go to the store and price those items myself, seeing as the $45 meal plan went up to $70 from 2006-2009. What I found was this:

Shopping List
2012 Prices 2009 Prices 2006 Prices Items

3.58

3.98

1.92

10 lbs all purpose flour

1.69

0.93

0.62

3 pack of yeast

0.99

0.98

0.77

Baking Powder

1.99

2.28

1.77

Oatmeal
4.99 (10lbs)

3.5

0.99

3 lbs long grain white rice / 5 lbs rice in 2009

1.79

1.06

0.88

2 lb bag of cornmeal

2.89

2.38

1.88

5 lbs sugar

2.79

2.68

1.5

Vegetable Oil

1.98

3.04

1.76

2 cans frozen orange juice concentrate
18.99 (!)

14.28

8.87

20 quart box of instant nonfat dry milk

1.48

1.88

1.2

2 pounds lentils

1.19

1.76

1.3

2 lbs pinto beans

1.19

1.14

0.6

1 lb black beans

1.19

1.24

0.6

1 lb lima beans

1.11

1.5

1

3 boxes Macaroni & Cheese

0.6

0.48

0.3

3 packs of Ramen Noodles
3.99 (3 doz)

3.33

1.38

2 dozen eggs (2.5 dozen in 2009)

0.85

1.36

0.96

2 lbs margarine

0.79

0.88

0.89

1 lb hot dogs

0.99

0.87

0.89

1 28-oz can tomatoes

0.69

0.54

0.5

1 15-oz can tomatoes

0.65

0.56

0.42

15-oz can green peas

0.59

0.56

0.45

15-oz can corn

0.69

0.58

0.4

15-oz can greens

0.69

0.58

0.42

15 oz cans spinach

2.49

2

2

5 lb bag carrots

1.29

1.87

2

3 lb bag onions

0.99

1.23

1.2

1 bunch celery

0.69

0.82

0.44

6-oz can tuna

1.89

1.64

1.5

18-oz jar peanut butter

1.59

1.48

1

Jelly

1.59

1.88

1

Pancake Syrup

0.89

0.74

0.5

Vinegar

0.5

0.5

0.5

Cinnamon

0.5

0.5

0.5

Garlic Powder

0.5

0.5

0.5

Chili Powder

0.5

0.5

0.25

Salt

0.5

0.5

0.5

Pepper

1.49

2

1

Bouillon Cubes

1.19

1.84

1

100 Count Box of Tea Bags

For a total of $74.97 for 2012. I noticed that the powdered milk was extremely expensive. 22 quarts is equal to 5.5 gallons. It seems to me that you could shave off about $3 if you bought regular milk, not powdered. At least in my area, you can buy milk from some convenience stores for $2.99 a gallon, cheaper than the grocery stores, and about the same price as BJs.

I do have to say that I went with the lowest priced option available, and that means usually store brand, at the cheapest grocery store in town. While the prices are substantially higher than when first recorded in 2006, many of the items listed are pretty regular staples in my pantry. It’s good to know that I would only have to pick up a few things to make this menu happen in my house if we were caught short on cash and didn’t have the money for a full out shopping trip. Based on what I have in my pantry, which is admittedly pretty full, I would only have to pay about $35 to feed my family 3 meals plus snacks for a week. Not a bad deal at all and good information to know. Thank you, Hillbilly Housewife for your hard work. It was a lot of fun pricing this out!

Edited to Add: I found powdered milk at another store for substantially less, so you can drop another $5 off the total cost. Your mileage may vary based on your location and cost of living.

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