Is Living on $29 a Week for Food Even Possible?


Recently the NYC Food Bank Challenge became well-known. This is a challenge that is encouraging people to do something exceptional; eat all their meals for the entire family for an entire week for only $29. The first thing you’re going to do is scoff. I mean, really? I hardly think that this is possible. But then you might think that you can do it but how unhealthy would that be? Would you live on ramen noodles forever (not going to lie, I love a good ramen noodle package and if it weren’t so filled with salt that bloats me into next week I’d eat it three times a day. I LOVE SALT.)? What’s the deal; can you do it? It turns out that the breakdown is around $1.38 per person per meal for a set family.

I have a family of six, and I’m not sure it’s possible to eat like that. However, a family of two might be able to get away with that. I remember when my husband and I were married and we did not have kids for several years. Aside from our wine and nights out, we’d buy all our groceries for around $50 to $100 per week – and we eat well. That included fresh fish, filets, chicken, pasta and a lot of fresh veggies. We love fresh veggies. Now we spend anywhere around $1500 a month on food to feed six people – pack two school lunches and all that good stuff. It’s excessive (but our wine consumption has gone up with kids).

With that said, it’s entirely possible to feed an entire family for $29 per week. We think that pasta – which is around a dollar a box and can serve a lot of people – is great. You can use fresh veggies and other things to make sauce. You can eat chicken because it can be pared down and used for multiple meals. Soups and other dishes are also possible. We think you can do it, even if it means getting a little creative. So on that note, we challenge you to try this for one week and let us know what happens and if it’s even remotely possible for your family to do this.

Photo Illustration by Joe Raedle/Getty Images


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