I've put on a pot of small red beans with a hamhock this morning for several meals this week. Such an inexpensive, yet healthy dish for the week. I should get 8-10 meals for about $4. Since the bread only takes 3 cups of flour and scant amounts of yeast and salt, I guestimate less than .50 a loaf. So, if I get 8 meals, thats .56 ish cents per meal! Not bad for something I really enjoy. I will polish off the last of my leftover prime rib stew for lunch today, and the beans will be dinner. I just love the cooler weather and a piping hot bowl of goodness.
Ive been sticking with lite vanilla greek yogurt (buy the large container), blueberries and a sprinkle of granola for breakfast. This averages just under $1 per serving.
I did pick up some crystal lite to have something other than water. However, I dont like the taste using the suggested ratio of powder to water, so I make mine much more diluted. Instead of 8 cups of water, I double the amount. Its not as sweet tasting, but still has a nice flavor. And I get double the amount!! Im sure there are lots of other ways to make flavored water that I would enjoy, but baby steps.
I dont use creamer with my coffee, but rather the pink pack sweetener (1 per cup of coffee) that I buy in bulk at Costco and only replace about every 5 years. I do enjoy a cup or two of tea, especially this time of year, but I make the tea bag (.16) last for at least 2-3 uses.
With snacks - bananas, grapes, string cheese and granola bars (my big splurge!) I am eating for much less than $5 per day. Somedays are even in the $3-4 range.
I just recently started this type of frugal meal planning to test how inexpensive I can eat when I am home alone. And so far, it is a success. I know I will need to cut our budget when I retire, so I am working on ways to test the waters now, so I will have a good plan when the time comes. I dont anticipate the meat and potatoes hub will want this drastic of a change when he is home, so I won't be able to scale the food budget back as much as when he is away for work. But, I am confident I can find ways even during those weeks to scale back at least a little.