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Home » MyPlate on My Budget » MyPlate on My Budget, Week 1 Produce

MyPlate on My Budget, Week 1 Produce

Can I follow the USDA thrifty food plan and feed my family the MyPlate advised daily nutrients? That’s the question I’m asking this March with MyPlate on My Budget.

Rose McAvoy from Our Lady of Second Helpings is providing support, guidance and yummy recipes.

It’s Day 2 of Week 1 and I just came back from Trader Joe’s.  The grand total for produce was $33.61.

Now for the tough part.

Did I buy the right amount of produce for my family to hit all of the MyPlate requirements?


Vegetables: 73.5 cups

  • 7 cups dark leafy green
  • 20.5 cups red and orange
  • 21.5 cups starch
  • 6.5 cups beans and peas
  • 18 cups other

Fruits: 52.5 cups

  • Whole fruits whenever possible


Vegetables: 67 cups

  • 6 cups frozen organic spinach
  • 9 cups tomatoes and tomato soup
  • 16 cups potatoes and sweet potatoes (5lbs total)
  • 0 cups beans and peas
  • 36 cups other (celery, cabbage, organic romaine lettuce, cauliflower, garlic and frozen organic broccoli)

Fruits: 24 servings

  • 7 apples
  • 3 lbs oranges
  • 7 bananas


I didn’t realize until I got home that I forgot beans and peas.  I also didn’t realize that I hadn’t bought enough starches.  5 lbs wasn’t enough?  Holy heck!

I guess I should have also bought two bags of frozen corn or squash. But that would mean we would be eating potatoes, sweet potatoes squash or corn at every dinner. It normally never occurs to me to do that.

But I’m still going to make the MyPlate requirements this week.

That’s because it’s Day 2.

Yesterday we ate snap peas and there are still some left overs in the fridge.  We had oven fries with dinner and there’s a bunch of frozen fruit in the fridge.

Of course, I typically don’t count french fries as a vegetable!

Today I learned that $33.61 wasn’t enough money to buy MyPlate produce for my family for seven days after all.

But maybe it was enough for six days?


  1. Stephanie says:

    Participating in a produce co-op is a great way to stretch your food dollars. I have a 100% volunteer run one in Arlington where we pool our money and everyone gets produce at wholesale costs. You can see photos on our website, http://www.arlingtonproducecoop.weebly.com and facebook page “Arlington Produce Co-op Wa”. There is also one that would be closer to you, bountifulbaskets.org. You might want to try one. Both my co-op and bountiful baskets don’t require an ongoing commitment.

    • jenbrdsly says:

      Thank you Stephanie for those links. I had heard of Bountiful Baskets, but not about the Arlington Produce Co-op. The Arlington Co-op website makes such a good point I think, about the often high cost of locally grown food. That’s what I’m finding with milk right now. Usually I buy organic milk from PNW dairies. But on the Thrifty Food budget, I’m buy the cheapest milk I can find ($2.5-0 a gallon at Costco). Then I read in the paper about WA dairy farmers needing to sell their milk to China! It seems like for some reason,, consumers and dairymen, are getting a bum deal.

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