100 Days on a Budget

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Our first “100 Days of Real Food” pledge brought lots of unexpected experiences and also lessons learned. What was originally created to draw attention to how dependent people have become on highly processed food actually ended up being a life-changing event for us. I didn’t expect our pledge to have such a big impact on me personally, but in the end I am glad it did. And that’s actually the reason why I am still here blogging about real food…long after the original 100 days!

Now while most agreed that real, unprocessed, organic, local, whole foods sounded great, quite a lot of readers also implied that it couldn’t be done without breaking the bank. So we of course had to prove all those skeptics wrong, which is why in October 2011 we began our “100 Days of Real Food on a Budget” pledge. We let the blog readers vote to determine our weekly budget of $125 for our family of four. (Note that on FULL food stamp benefits we would have received $167/week.) This real food on a budget pledge proved to be even more difficult than the first pledge at times, but we successfully completed the challenge in January 2011…whew!

Index of posts I wrote during our 2010 – 11 budget pledge:

Related Post:

Also, check out:

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251 comments to 100 Days on a Budget

  • Thanks for creating such a blog! My family of 4 is learning how to eat a natural/organic lifestyle and diet on $400 per month. It’s a struggle, but well worth it! Thanks for all you do!

  • Ralph

    Great site. I have been prepping myself to eat like this as a lifestyle so when I saw your site I got very excited.

    Can you start this plan taking a 100 day pledge or is only a 10 day pledge? I want to stay committed for 100 days and monitor my progress.


  • Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

    Hi there. Sure, you can take on the full 100 days. The form, however, just applies to the 10 day pledge. Best of luck! ~Amy

  • Suzanne

    My family of 4 has a food budget of $230, can you do it for that?

    To be specific, I am 29, my husband is 32 and my mother lives with us, and my son is 17 months.

  • Anne

    Hi! Love the site.

    I am a student and therefore cook and buy for one on a very strict budget! You may already have a post for this, but do you have any tips for narrowing the weekly budget for one person? I love your plan and would enjoy adapting it to a student’s needs and budget!

    • Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Anne. We’ve not done anything specific for a weekly budget of one. However, you can always just plan on cutting the recipes and shopping list in half. Also, freezing leftovers will just make your meal planning a little easier. :) ~Amy

  • Roda

    How did you choose the $125 / week ? Is that what you can afford or is another reason ? Thanks :)

  • Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

    Hi Roda. The readers decided what Lisa’s budget should be for this challenge. ~Amy

  • We have a large family and this refrigerator would be very well loved and utilized. We need to buy all new appliances for my husbands parents 37year old house that we are renovating. It is very expensive to have to start over and winning this refrigerator would help tremendously.
    Thank you!! Fingers crossed! Have a blessed day.

  • Steve

    Hi… I was reading through this and wondering exactly when a single mother (or father) of two kids who works two jobs has time to spend a couple hours a day preparing and cooking meals? And when exactly is she supposed to have time for gardening?

    • Melissa Bruechert

      Steve, I am a single mother of 3, now into the second year of changes. We haven’t fully cut out all processed foods, but are well on our way. I have 2 jobs and attend college full time. It isn’t easy, but I prioritize. I was up until 10:30 last night, making muffins and smoothies for the freezer for lunches and snacks. Up again at 5:30am to make breakfast, pack lunches, and start tonight’s dinner. It really is all about what is important to you. Oh, and my garden is done for the season.

      • Marilynne

        I agree Melissa, it is about what is important to you. If eating good food is a priority for you then you make time for it. Walking my dogs every day is important to me so I’m up at 5.20am during the week to make it happen. I organise my breakfast and lunch as much as I can the night before including getting out pans and setting the table. I work full-time, I study at university full-time, and manage a full house. If it’s a priority for you, you will not find an excuse, you will find a way to get it done.

  • We have a small farm where we raise much of our food. I may only spend $75 at the grocery each week for our family of 6 – but I have to purchase healthy feed from the feed mill for the livestock. Eating healthy comes at a price, but it’s worth it!

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