In order for me to save money while keeping myself fed and healthy I had to re-think re-design and re-build my entire diet. Firstly I hit as many dietary requirement sites/workout sites and a few body building sites. my Over all goal was to lose a little weight, trim the cost on my wallet, lose my dependency on Walmart and other Huge food chains(boy, I just know I'm going to catch hell for being dependent on walmart). So after about 3 days of good solid research on dietary plans I came up with a pretty decent calculation the basics are "Input vs. Output"
Once I had a caloric count/ nutritional value set I tailored my diet and built up a set of recipes. After all this I was able to look up what I needed to buy in bulk and what needed to be bought fresh. anything and everything I could grow/raise/forage/hunt/catch/trap/ that required little to no care on my part I would see that it was done. once I worked enough homegrown veggies into the mix I had reduced my overall food bill from $200/month to $75/month. wishing and knowing that I could do more to cut down it further I tired to raise some fish(they all died) I learned from that horrible failure that aquaponics is not as easy as people make it seem(or I'm no where near as smart as I think I am LOL) In either case I started to post my food bill on facebook and a few close friends ask if I could barter some Pinto beans, mint tea, carrots, and Potatoes(I had very successfully grown a surplus of these that season) I worked out what I could spare and what I still needed. I sent the list to my friends and a few of them had some things on the list. one helped me setup a new aquaponics system that "works"(his word not mine) Eventually I was able to drop to 57.20/month(at the lowest but the average hovers at $60) while providing my kitchen with rice, beans, wine, bread, spices(OMG the spices) Cheese, veggies, beef, fish, mushrooms, cakes, pies, candies to name a few things.
Disclaimer: I am single and live alone so the cost is what I calculated for myself, you also need to take into account that I am a pretty picky eater. I personally do not like any condiments(ketchup, mayo, mustard) they all gross me out with the smell, taste, and look. I do not really like the more expensive food stuffs. I take free food when it is offered to me, some church groups have left overs after giving out food.(sometimes they are given things like a 5 gallon bucket of cinnamon, in these cases they usually just dump them. Thats when they offer it to me
) My Grandfather has a saying!(Behind charity lies gold in unending abundance) I now host a monthly "food exchange party" I think the title is self explanatory
Good luck with the bill reduction!