Grocery shopping for a week on $15

Okay people, I’m challenged with going grocery shopping for my special needs family of five, for the next week. While grocery shopping for kids with Autism and  sensory issue is difficult to begin with doing it with a budget of only $15 is, dare I say, impossible.

That’s the challenge facing me today.

We have to come up with a grocery list that will feed my family of five for a week, on only $15. Yes, that’s what it’s come to at this point.

Our budget this month hadn’t taken into account Gavin’s return home because we didn’t know he was returning. 



However, I’m trying to take this on as a challenge and make the most out of it. 

It’s really easy to feel beaten down but I’m really trying to remain positive, especially for the kids.

So here’s what I’m thinking:

1) Bananas @ $. 59/lbs  (say 2lbs)
2) Ramon Noodles @ 20 packs for like $5
3) Eggs  @ 18 for about $3
4) Fill the water jugs @ $1.25/5gal jug

Total: $11.43

That will leave a bit extra for emergencies.  Hope it isn’t a big emergency. 😉

Also, the kids are still in school and so they will eat breakfast and lunch there, helping to lighten the load at home for right now. 

This is the most sensory friendly food for the buck. 

The boys would live on Ramon Noodles if we let them.  Everyone eats bananas and we all love eggs. Between these few items, what stock we have left and if I eat less (hey, I have to lose weight anyway), I think we can pull this off. 

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I would love to hear any suggestions. We are going to look at our local food pantry but I believe we’re out of luck on that front (just a timing issue). 

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  • Jeanette says:

    I don’t know if your kids would eat any of this, but we ate a lot of lentils, rice, potatoes, oatmeal, and corn tortillas (with refried beans and rice-yum!) before getting on PA. And a lot of clearanced food. That’s where we would get any meat or canned items like soups. We would use a lot of seasoning (our dollar store had a big jar of garlic powder) and it would be pretty good. A lot of processed food was really cheap, too, like at the Little Debbie outlet nearby.
    It’s sad that when you don’t have a lot of money and aren’t on PA (or even when you are!), the food you can afford is carb/starch-heavy, sodium laden, packed with preservatives, and processed beyond a natural state. Then people have this stereotype of poor people being fat and lazy. OF COURSE! We have no protein or vegetables and our brains are starving. You’re so smart to budget in fruit and eggs for their brain food!

  • JennaBurns says:

    One of the things that we do are navy beans in the crock pot.  You can do one inch above, on high for 8 hours and they will cook right up.  We use all sorts of seasoning like chicken flavor or brown sugar,  S&P etc..My ASD child LOVES them.. and they are filling.

  • graysmama says:

    Do you have a bakery outlet store near you?  We’ve had similar grocery budgets recently and the bakery outlet has been a life saver for us.

  • lostandtired says:

    Sophiestrains SarahChierico @aimee @Gary First of all, let me thank you all for your suggestions and support. My goal with this post was to generate ideas that could not only help my family but others out there facing the same hardships. I’ve said this a million times but I’ll say it again. I have the most amazing, generous, compassionate, selfless and intelligent readers out there. 
    We can have discussions like this and not have it turn into something ugly. I’m both humbled and grateful for all of you.
    No one needs to do anything for us. We always  manage and I know that times are tough for everyone. I’m truly touched by your generosity and am blessed to know you.  We can certainly keep the dialog going because your ideas will most certainly help a great many people. 
    Thank you for making my day and reaffirming my faith in humanity.

  • Gary says:

    Wow. I’m amazed by the generosity of complete strangers that just happen to be in your area willing to drop stuff off for you. That simply wows me.

  • lostandtired says:

    Sophiestrains SarahChierico @aimee

    • aimee says:

      Is Buehler’s in Wadsworth or Wooster too far?  I’ll happily do online ordering for you and you can just drive and pick it up but I don’t see a Buehler’s in Massillon.  I also don’t see that GE offers online ordering.

  • aimee says:

    Salvation Army in Orrville has a food pantry.  Friendship Meals in Wooster offers free dinners on Thursday nights.
    If you picked a location to meet, I could probably get a box of groceries to you and your family tonight or tomorrow.  I’m sure my church family would be happy to help donate.  Please let me know, my e-mail is am369@njit.edu

  • SarahChierico says:

    what are water jugs? why do you have to fill them?

  • Loaf of bread, pasta, rice, bag of potatoes. All go a long way and are filling. Its also a great time to hit up family for a meal if you have any close by.

  • Isn’t there a food bank you could use to stock up your pantry with things like pasta, rice, tomato sauce, cereal, oatmeal, flour etc. also what about a garden co-op of some kind? Here we have something called second harvest which provides fresh produce for those in need. That grocery list will only take you so far… Maybe orange juice frozen concentrates for vitamin C.

  • Wow! Best of luck. Hope the food pantry is willing to help.