What to Eat on an Extreme Grocery Budget of $1 Per Person Per Day

Al's Epic Family Life
by Al's Epic Family Life

It’s no secret that food prices are high. There’s nothing to fear. We can still feed our families on a super low budget. I have a family of seven and I wanted to do an extreme grocery budget challenge of $1 per day per person. I spent $7 for a day of food.

Extreme budget grocery list

  • Blueberries .99 cents
  • Rice $1.49 for 2 lbs
  • Oatmeal packets $1.50
  • Cauliflower florets/frozen package $1
  • Broccoli florets/frozen package .98 cents
  • Carrots .25 cents for two
  • Garlic .38 cents per head

Total $6.59


Breakfast: oatmeal with blueberries

When buying oatmeal packets on a budget, check the number of packets you get in one box. Some flavors have more packages than others. For example, you get 10 packs of cinnamon oatmeal versus eight packs of a variety of flavors.

Making oatmeal


After making the oatmeal, I put a quarter cup of blueberries on top. There were plenty of blueberries in the package. The package had two cups of blueberries, which is eight quarter cups, just enough for seven people.

Scraos for the broth

Lunch: rice soup

I used some frozen items that I usually use to make broth. You can use chicken or vegetable bouillon/broth powder for your stock instead of using vegetable and chicken scraps as I did.

For example, every time we get a rotisserie chicken, I save the bones and put them in the freezer. 

Making broth

Broth turning opaque

I dumped all the scraps in a big pot of water, set it to boil, then simmered it for about an hour until the water looked a little opaque. Some people like to simmer scraps for up to 24 hours. 

Chopping carrots

After an hour of simmering the soup, I added chopped carrots and garlic and continued to boil until the carrots were fully cooked. I also seasoned the soup at this time with salt, pepper, and parsley.

Adding rice and veggies to the soup

I also made two cups of rice. I only added about half of it to the soup so it would stay soupy. You can add as much as you’d like to the soup for the consistency you’d like. 

Cauliflower and broccoli

Dinner: veggies over rice

I steamed the packages of broccoli and cauliflower, then put them over rice. I made two more cups of rice for the dinner meal. I topped the veggies and rice with a balsamic glaze. You could top it with soy sauce or even ranch dressing. 

Extreme grocery budget meals

It took no time at all to make and if I were in a time crunch, I’d throw the whole thing in my Instant Pot, put it on the rice setting, and dinner would have been done in 20 minutes. It was crazy to me how much my family, including the kids, loved this super-simple meal. 

Extreme grocery budget

This $ 1-a-day challenge showed me that I don’t have to create super fancy or time-consuming meals to satisfy my family. I hope this was an inspiration if you are also planning extreme budget meals.

Share with us in the comments the types of budget meals you like to make. Let me know also if you have more creative ideas on what to do with vegetables and rice. 

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