2nd Lifestyle Alterations: Food for less budget.

2nd Lifestyle Alterations: ‘Food for Less’ budgeting plan you can implement.

An early lifestyle alterations in setting aside money for food was a required home-schooling focus in my entire childhood.  Instilled by a WWII post-war survivor, Mama could literally use rocks, yes – rocks, for brothing!  This turns out to be a tale from ages before me!

The ‘cooks’: my mother and aunts were master chefs in their generation. Rather, in my opinion, they were the best of the best Filipino cooks who specialized in augmentation and un-arguably known to multiply foods.

Hence, the Chief in ‘miracle’ cooking, Mama for hundredth times prepared 3 dishes from one whole chicken.  She produced appetizers, chicken soup and a main dish to feed all seven of us!  Later, I will share in Raw Food Recipes, Mama’s ‘how to’ grow your recipe to feed 6 children!

$200* budget for food and such.  “Food 4 Less”, a no frill grocery warehouse stores fits the billing description in my shopping.  And, I still shop at other places for our everyday use items.

Costco formerly Price Club, huge in warehouse footage and its products offered food and home items packed in: boxes, cartons, cases and packets were a welcome newness back in the late 80’s.

While, I love reminiscing in those purchasing days, special relevance is the use of cash and sometimes checks, my budget remained firm.  Even at Costco!

Plan of action: Buy food items more than once a week!

Growing up, hand in tow, I watch my Ma shop each day (taking mental notes.) Going to the ‘fresh market’ is a thrill; honestly to see all the newly caught seafood, carved meats, fresh-cut vegetables and harvested fruits, a medley organic and sweet aroma of brightness!

Some of you have the need to grocery shop once a week.  I did and it’s fine. For this scenario of $43 a week budget, my multiple shopping activities incorporated with other chores, was most-effective.  Also, it is important to mention, wasted food is not an option for us.  Thus, items purchased were consumed.

USAToday: “American households throw away about $640 each worth of food every year, and consumers don’t really care about the environmental impact of trashed leftovers piling up in landfills, according to a survey out Wednesday from the American Chemistry Council.”


Can you imagine what you and I could do with an extra $640 a year!

Taking advantage of sale items and coupon days is a must. Stores and markets mailers include ads on weekly, 3-day or 2-day weekend increments.  And, on special holidays, all the stores I shop from, offer even more ‘cut your bill’ prospect.  Download a store app and see your savings (roll-over money) grow!

Stop 1: on Sunday, after church is our local Superior market. Specializing in latin foods yet carry similar everyday items.  We take out our list and focus on Sunday’s sale items.
Stop 2: I line up week-day sale items on either of the two workout days to the gym.  List of sale items in tow, Von’s often times have deals on USDA meats.  Seasonal fruits

Our lifestyle alterations for party of two, please! What I bought with $152 monthly food and household items budget:

Rice, beans, wheat bread, bagels and tortilla chips:  $28

~ Asian market, 20 lbs. bag brown rice: ($14)
$4.66, divide bag into 3 months
~ Costco, 25 lbs. bag “C&F” pinto beans: ($13.99)
$4.66, divide bag into 3 months
~ Oroweat Bakery Outlet, Bread: buy 1 get 1 free: ($3.29)
$9.90, 6 loaves of bread x $1.65
(Plus, punch card for every dollar spent=$30, FREE Customer’s Choice, valued $5Saving roll-over to the next month or for occasional item*.
$3.98 ~ 2 packages of bagels x $1.99
$3.98 ~ Superior market, tortilla chips: $1.99 x 2

Meats: chicken, turkey, fish, cold cuts, milk/soy and peanut butter/preserve: $98

$19.96 ~ Costco baked chicken: $4.99 x 4 each
$14~  Wal-Mart, ground turkey: $3.50 x 4 lbs.
$8 ~ Asian market, 2 lbs. mackerel @ $1.00/lb = $2 x 4 
$5.99* ~ occasional salmon: 1 lb. @ $5.99/lb. x 1 
$11.96 ~ Wal-Mart, cold cuts: $2.99/lb. x 4
 ~ Vons, milk and occasional soy: 1 gal. @ $3.00 x 6 gals.
$10 ~ Condiments: salad dressing, mustard, pickles
and spices
$6.10 ~
Wal-Mart: Adams Natural peanut butter:
o As of 8/12/16, try Free shipping for 30 days
$3.99 ~ Vons, Signature Select fruit preserve

Note: We have orange, grapefruit, lemon and mandarin orange trees which provided for citrus juicing and snacks.  Sweet purple figs harvest comes in July and August.  Often, produce is in abundance enough for family and friends.  Our home-grown fruits are candy sweet enough for dessert!

Household items: kitchen items, detergent and
hygiene products (soap, shampoo/conditioner,
toothpaste, shaving crème, lotions, etc.): $26

$4.99 ~ Detergent = $9.99/2 months
$5 ~ Shampoo/conditioner
$5 ~ Soap/toothpaste
$6 ~ Shaving crème/lotions
$5 ~ Kitchen items

Note: Prices are current, yet changes day-to-day.

A nutritional tidbit:

Rice and beans a complete protein on par with meat.  One serving has 7 grams of protein.  Lentil is a favorite substitute for beans.  A perfect staple to this day for hubby and I.  While, he loves beans and rice for me.

Canned Tuna, salmon and sardines the latter two, I choose with bones because it is rich in calcium.  Therefore, three items make for great nutritious meals.  Buy these yummy goods at Costco and, further your savings.

Allowing some cushion helps with those craving moments! Consequently, dining outside of home may be achieved with roll-over savings!

*$200 a month was a budget for the months of November and December.  Extra $50 allowed for turkey and fixings for Thanksgiving.  Ham and family potato salad with chicken in December.

My sincere heartfelt connection with you my reader, who is in this journey. Hang in there since, from such life’s challenges you will thrive.  And, as a result, hope comes in doing the small steps that will empower you!

Knowledge. Application. Result.

About The Author


A “Pinay” at heart, beautified by the Western ways. Respond to God’s calling, it never fails. Tribal of many colors include many personalities; a part of one’s wholesomeness. Experience lifelong happiness by living a healthy lifestyle.