First Person: Feeding My Family on Less Than $100 a Month

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I love food. If I had the money, there would be a plethora of produce and high-quality pantry goods in my house every day of the week. I would eat out, too. Unfortunately, that is not the case; I am a single mother who attends graduate school full time, too. There has never been a point in our lives' that I have skimped on food because I believe that wholesome nutrition makes life easier. Here is how I keep out grocery bill under $100 per month without sacrificing taste and quality:

Public Assistance

While I am not a supporter of EBT or cash aid, unless it is an absolute need, I do support WIC, a nutrition program for mothers and children. WIC provides nutritional education and grocery assistance to low income families. This program protects children from the unfortunate implications of hunger. I enrolled my daughter in WIC on her first birthday because I knew that I could not afford all of the whole grains and nutrition that she required in addition to breast milk.

WIC provides vouchers that can be redeemed for healthy food such as whole grains, breakfast cereal, produce, beans, peanut butter, 100% fruit juice, soy milk/regular milk, cheese , and eggs. It can take a huge weight off of the grocery bill. According to my calculations, it saves around $100 in groceries each month.

Food Banks

When you are living on financial aid, local and university food banks offer non-perishable goods that can save hundreds of dollar on the grocery bill each month. Food banks do not ask questions, they provide meals and canned goods to folks in need. Do not feel ashamed to get food from a food bank. That is why it is there.

OK, so that's how I am saving money, but where does my $100 go each month? The money is spent $25 each week on fresh fruits and vegetables. We aim to eat vegetables that are in season to get the best deals. Our pantry staples are broccoli, apples, onion, and yams.

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