“I sat down last Friday to make a menu and soon panicked,” he wrote. “I had only 5 days figured out with not much food each day and estimated it would cost $37 — over with two days to go. I decided to write down what I ate last week. What an epiphany! I eat out a lot. That is why I spend less than $30 at the grocery.”
On Tuesday, though, he managed to buy a small cart full of food and had money left over.
He started in the produce aisle. Newton said he was trying to choose healthy foods since he is diabetic. But fruits and fruits juices are bad for his blood sugar, so he tried to stay away from those.
His goal was to spend $12 on proteins, $10 on vegetables and $3 on carbohydrates. That would leave him $5 to use over the weekend to eat.
Shopping for produce on his budget, though, was harder than he had thought. He picked up a head of iceberg lettuce for 99 cents. He then grabbed a head of cauliflower but sat it back down when he realized it would eat up too much of his money too quickly. It was $3.
Most of his vegetables would have to come frozen or canned, he said.
He bought beans, macaroni noodles, eggs, soup, brown rice, green beans, wheat bread, peanut butter, cheese, turnip greens, tuna and cottage cheese. He also found milk on sale for 50 cents, ground turkey on closeout for $1.79 for a pound and a 5.5-pound chicken on clearance for $4.49.
His total was $24.18.
“That didn’t take too long,” he said afterward.
The real challenge was still ahead of him. He had to divide the food up to make 21 meals.
He adhered strictly to the suggested serving sizes so that one can of green beans was divided out to make side dishes for three meals.