We have been trying to get creative with our food budget. We get $750. per month for 13 people. That includes food and cleaning supplies.
It’s becoming very difficult to stay in the budget. Actually it is insane.
Any ideas short of scraping raccoons off the side of road to help cut costs?
I have been pondering this and I can’t even imagine a household budget of $750 a month for 13 people. The price of produce is out of this world because of all the droughts around the country. Staple items are up because of fuel and shipping charges. The price of meat, is a whole other story. I spend almost $200 for my family of four to eat for a week on relief.
I was going to suggest planting a garden, but the cost of water and fertilizer makes that unfeasible.
I think if food costs are really an issue, maybe your facility would consider starting a pantry and taking food donations, you could supplement that with your monthly budget. A good percentage of our food is donated.
Also, try your local food bank for food at reduced cost. We have a local sportsman’s group that donates venison every year. We pay for the processing and then mix it with our hamburger throughout the year. It really stretches the meat budget.
Are you kidding me you get 750 a month. We only get $21 a person per month and a budget of $25 dollars a month in our own grocery room. for 13 people thats almost $600. With fewer kids it seems to me to get harder because of not being able to buy in bulk.
I don’t know where you are located, but if you are anywhere in the area of a decent sized city there has to be a food bank around somewhere. We just started our home 6 months ago and only have 2 kids right now, so there are 4 of us total. We get about $500 a month for food with just the 4 of us, but we also get food from a food bank at VERY reduced cost. This place is great and allows our budget to work in a way that we can take our boys out to eat about once a week, but in your case it would just make your budget work. Start talking to your director and do some research to find some local food banks in your area. They will probably require some kind of food managers training and may do their own training, but it is worth sitting through a couple of classes to get it! Good Luck!
Wow it has been a long time since I have been able to be on here, we have been houseparents now for a year it has gone by so fast and so slow. About how we make it with our food budget. We have so far had to spend some of our own money on food it seems like every month. The real problem is that we have teenage girls and one eight year old that eats like a horse. So our in town food budget every month is now up to almost 100 dollars. I did forget to mention that we get a dairy budget of $40 and that helps a lot except that only buys 10 gallons of milk a month and that is without any cheese and my girls all love cheese. We live in a part of the country were Mexican food in a main staple item and everything has cheese in it. We had a problem with the girls getting into the pantry at night and early in the mornings and helping themselves, our cottage was the only one on campus without a lock on the pantry. I have since remedied that with a self installed lock after having to go through the chain of command.
ps On a totally separate note if you read this launch I have been reading your blog and I must say my wife says you must be my long lost brother because of all the similarities. Well hopefully I can write more often. I am now up late at night a lot and my 4 month old baby is starting to sleep longer in the mornings.
Seriously though, this is one area that I think facilities tend to overlook. Whoever makes the food budgets up just doesn’t know what’s going on. They act like houseparents, saying more is needed, are wanting to have lobster and prime rib every week. At our last place, you had to use a lot processed food (from the commissary and the food bank to meet the budget. We were able to do it, but it was tough.
But using a lot of processed food is very bad in my opinion. (I have a very compelling story about my bought with cancer and what I had to do when chemo didn’t work, but that is a very long story for another thread. 7 years Alive and Well, Praise God!) Anyway, through that experience, I learned a lot about nutrition and processed food. I believe that a lot of the ADD and ADHD and all the other “disorders” could be remedied or greatly diminished simply by getting these kids off all the processed food and sugar. (like all the cereals they like that I like to refer to as sugar-coated sugar.) Don’t get me wrong, I like chocolate and ice cream and the like and have no problem with kids having those things in moderation, but do yourself a favor and start reading ingredients on processed food. You will be amazed at all the sugar, corn syrup, and the other covert names for those which companies have come up with to fool the public.
Another issue we had to deal with in a house with 8 teen boys (and six of them being 225 lb+) was milk. A cottage was closed down and 4 of our 8 boys came from that cottage. They were accustomed to drinking as much milk as their heart desired. No kidding here, they were going through a gallon of milk a day EACH! We had to put a stop to that real quick. Of course that made us the devil their eyes because their previous staff didn’t limit their milk consumption. We would let them have a large glass at breakfast (unless they had cereal on which they got the equivalent of a glass), and a large glass with dinner. After that, if they were still thirsty, they could have juice or water.
This is definitely a difficult aspect of houseparenting (are there any easy aspects to it?), but one that is very important.
I know that I am not a houseparent yet, but I have been referred to as the “budget queen”. I have had to feed a LARGE family on a very low budget (less per person than you are talking about.)
Does your city, or a city near you offer food angel? Their “regular box” comes with enough food to feed a family of 4 for a week (minus dairy), and it costs $30. It comes with a variety of foods, and changes every month. A month’s supply of food through them (minus dairy) would be under $500, and the rest of your budget could go to dairy, fresh foods, or treats. It’s a thought, anyway. I hope that this helps at least a little. You could also look into co-op buying with other houseparents. You can normally get healthier foods this way, too. If you live near an agricultural area, you could put the request out to farmers. Maybe they could cut you a good deal on produce (especially if you guys are willing to go out on a Saturday to pick the apples, etc). Just a thought. I hope it helps.
It’s worth looking into even if you just use it to supplement your current groceries. http://www.angelfoodministries.com/
Yes one idea would be having a garden to grow vegetables and also planting fruit trees. Could do organic gardening that would be the most healthy. I have started a cross garden but, did not get much yield on the first attempt. Basically its boards in the ground in the shape of a cross with the soil dug up about the depth of the shovel. If you could plant oranges this would help a lot when it comes around to allergy season and the times when there are a lot of upper respiratory problems. If reasonable. I have a doctorate degree in chiropractic and we covered a lot of nutrition in my degree program. It’s really a challenge to eat healthy and feed the kids healthy in houseparenting. You can find info on organic gardening online and also this is a good group activity each kid can be assigned a portion of the garden to take care of if this is allowed at your place of work. This can also be relaxing