Budget Challenge

So a few weeks ago I inquired on my facebook page if people would be interested in seeing how I could food prep on a $30 a week budget. Similar to the food stamp challenge where you only get to spend an average of $1-$1.25 a meal for 3 meals a day 7 days a week. I got a great response and have been eager to try it. However, I have encountered a few personal motivation barriers that have kept me from getting started right away. The first one is “fear of missing out” or FOMO. One reason I have hesitated to jump into this challenge 100% is because I technically wouldn’t be allowed to accept food others prepared for me, and that includes my mother’s amazing Sunday dinners. No meals on dates, no coffee or drinks with friends, and no food from outside of the $30 a week. I have a lot of food at home that I technically wouldn’t be able to use if I was 100% gung ho about this challenge. It would be frustrating to only use the food I bought with my budget even if I had a perfectly good bucket of rice, oats, and other goods at home. I also didn’t want to feel so restricted with my shopping. It is summertime and I want to be able to support the farmers at the local farmers market. Some really neat and unique foods are a little pricier, so they wouldn’t have fit into my budget.


So with all that being said, have decided I am still going to start, but in my own way. I am changing the rules a little bit for now and will work into it more as the weeks go on. This week I am starting with a $60 food budget for the week (this includes eating out). Since I am traveling to Las Vegas this week for the NSCA National Convention, this will present a good opportunity for planning ahead on a budget. Unlike my trip to Seattle, where I was only focusing on eating healthy, but not the budget. The other thing I am doing differently is I am going to allow myself to eat food given to me (Family dinners), and I am going to eat the food I have at home. So to get started I am doing a full report of what is already in my kitchen, what I spent at the farmers market this week, and how much money I have left for food this week! Next week I will check back with how week 1 went, if I stayed within my $60 budget, and the plan for next week!


So here is what we are starting with. What I won’t include in this list is the non food items I use for my DIY crafts. I make my own homemade lotion, shampoo, face toner, soap, etc. So there are a lot of non food ingredients in my pantry and fridge. I also won’t include Simba food. However, if you are curious, he is 30 lbs and his diet is 1 cup of Sojos raw dog food in the morning. With that, I soak it overnight in milk made from Honest Kitchen goat milk probiotic for dogs along with a Tbsp of Osso Good Dog bone broth for dogs. At night he gets 1 cup of Orijen Regional Red dry dog kibble. I buy all my dog’s food at Desert Raw Holistic pet food store. Please go check them out and support small family owned stores! I care about my health and my clients, health, my dog is no exception. He eats a pampered diet because he has a sensitive tummy and I want to give him as many years as I can.


  • coffee beans
  • Olive oil
  • Tea
  • cocoa powder
  • Vitafiber
  • peanut oil
  • sunflower oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • more olive oil
  • salt
  • seasonings
  • vanilla
  • almond oil
  • brown rice syrup
  • lemon emulsion
  • gravy mix
  • probiotic starter
  • sweet potato
  • squash

Drawer 1

  • coconut milk
  • kidney beans
  • black beans
  • lima beans
  • pinto beans
  • split peas
  • coconut flour
  • almond meal
  • millet
  • spelt flour
  • chia seeds
  • pearl barley
  • pasta
  • pad thai noodles
  • bonito flakes
  • pacific kombu
  • pacific wakame
  • miso broth mix
  • sugar
  • season salt
  • Mrs. Dash original
  • cinnamon
  • pepper
  • flax seed
  • coconut chips

Drawer 2

  • pie crust
  • crushed candy canes
  • starburst
  • whole wheat flour
  • oats
  • brown rice
  • white rice
  • almonds
  • powerade mix
  • honey


  • homemade kimchi
  • eggs
  • daisy 2% cottage cheese
  • distilled water
  • leftovers
  • cooked rice
  • cooked chicken
  • kale
  • radish
  • cucumber
  • cauliflower
  • lemons
  • amish butter
  • dark maple syrup
  • PB8 probiotic
  • huckleberry pie filling
  • celebratory champagne that has yet to be opened from graduation


  • chicken breasts
  • berry mix
  • edamame


So to wrap this up, with this week’s budget of $60 I started at the farmers market. I got a little excited and got some things that were a little spendy. Plus I gave some cash tips to the farmers that had their adorable little kids in cowboy boots working in the family business. Polite kids are my kryptonite. I despise screaming out of control children, so I always make a point of complimenting parents who have mature and polite kids. So tips happened, oh well! I got out of there today with

  • cherries
  • chard
  • hummus
  • zucchini
  • eggs
  • ground beef
  • lettuce
  • flower syrup (natural flavoring for baking, drinks, etc)
  • scallions
  • garlic

With $23 left over this week, I still plan on buying some shrimp, tofu, and ezekiel break at the grocery store. I can’t wait to report back next week! Tomorrow is going to be meal prep day, I will document it for next week’s check in! Wish me luck!



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