Hey gang! Happy Thursday – one day closer to the weekend, AND, if you’re off for Martin Luther King Day on Monday, a 3-day weekend to boot! It’s all good.

On a somewhat serious note, I’m hearing experts on the news today predicting (with well thought-out reasons) that food prices are to make a 4% jump over the course of the year, meaning that a family of four (previously spending an average of $800/month on food), will now “have to” spend an average of $832/month, or nearly $10,000 to feed their family this year. Combine that with a similar increase in the price of oil, utilities, etc, and it can create a bleak picture, especially given the current trend of pay freezes, pay cuts, and of course, the higher unemployment rate.

One of the biggest points I’m trying to make in this month’s unsubtle, loudmouth frugalista blog is that there is NOTHING more satisfying than taking these experts numbers and shredding them into confetti. Come on now, $10,000 “required” to feed a household of four for a year? Hogwash. The whole idea of this month’s blog is showing how easy it is to do it for $3600/year instead! If I can do it, anybody can! Decide what your budget will allow, then make any necessary changes to accommodate today’s budget constraints. Resources are everywhere to make your money stretch further than ever. When it comes to food, if you’re living in Southeastern Pennsylvania, take a look at your local Amelia’s Grocery Outlet. Chances are excellent you’ll find everything a growing household needs, and for much less than you’re spending now! Let’s show the experts how it’s done! Tell a friend!

Alright, enough of the nightly news, back to important topics. Like cheap snacks to veg out with in front of the tv.
For last night’s menu, I aimed for Mexican food, so tonight I’m leaning towards some old fashioned stick-to-your-ribs fare.

Day 13 Total: $7.44, Total for Month: $117.36!
Today’s Menu:

Morning Coffee: (0.25). Back to Snickerkicker coffee. Buckets of it. FAB.

Breakfast – ($1.56) — four HB eggs total (0.56) for Victor and I (he brought his to work), and the kids had cheerios w/milk (.50) and some sliced apples (.50)

Kids’ Lunch: ($1.20) – Tacos for Robbie! Last night’s taco shell container had twelve taco shells, and we only ate half of them, so we had plenty to go around for lunch today. Kids loved them! I’m thrilled (and shocked!). It wasn’t quite feasible for Katie to bring tacos to kindergarten, so I sent her off with the usual fun fare – apple juice box (.15), cheesy crackers for snack (.05), PB&J sandwich (.50), and a fruit cup (.50). Even after lunch we had enough taco shells, meat & cheese left over for the kids to enjoy over the weekend.

Adult lunch: (0.39) – Tacos for parents too. He also brought a pound of bananas with him to snack on. (.39)

Afternoon Snack – ($1) kids and I snacked on another pound of apples and one pound of bananas. It’s quick, it’s easy, it tides the kids over until dinner. All cool.

Dinner: ($4.25). Went with a huge slab of Berks Hickory Smoked Ham (.99/#, I used two pounds to ensure leftovers), baked it in the oven at the same time as a pan of Au Gratin potatoes (.75). Side of green beans (.50) and salad with dressing (.50), and we’re set! Sugar cookies for dessert! (.50)

Evening Snack: (.35) Popcorn, popcorn, come to Momma you awesome popcorn. ¼ cup of popcorn popped into around 6 cups, topped with ¼ stick of melted butter.

Total for today: $7.44, total for the month is $117.36!

Hang in there gang, only one more day until the weekend! Frugal On!