Feed your Family for $100 a week, Part 1

Food takes up a major part of the family budget.

Over the years, our food choices and routines have changed. And we have bigger waistlines and slender wallets to show for it.

But what if you could feed your family of four for just $100 a week?

Experts say it is possible, and it is the subject of a special five-part series this week.

It is no secret that many of us are fans of fast food. We think it is cheap, easy and a time saver. But extension educator and consumer expert Edie Sutton says those trips really add up fast.

To illustrate that point, he ordered fast food for a family of four, including: a Big Mac with fries and large drink, a chicken sandwich with fries and a medium drink, among other things.

The total bill to feed a family of four: $22.97

While you may think that's a deal, add it up over time and Edie says it is a budget buster. "Twice a week, spending an average of $20 per time, which is exactly what we spent, $40 every week. At the end of the year [that's] $2,080."

Next, Edie took us shopping with the same amount of money at Aldi, where we purchased the same food items, and got a lot more for less.

At the checkout the final bill was $22.93. It was four cents under the fast food purchase, but the fast food purchase covered one meal for a family of four, while the Aldi trip produced enough food for four meals for a family of four.

"My hope is that people will understand that they can eat healthier and less expensive if they just spend a little time planning," says Edi.

Aldi is able to provide customers with deep discounts, because they have low overhead. They are not reliant on brand name foods and do not advertise a lot.

But Edie says you can find good deals at any area grocery store, if you do your homework.

For money saving recipes from Edie Sutton, click here. For more tips, click on the link below.

To read Part 2 of our special series, click here.

For Part 3, click here.

For Part 4, click here.

For Part 5, click here.

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