So many areas of our budget are fixed with no wiggle room. Food cost, however, is one area in a budget that is flexible. We raise much of our own meat and herbs, and try to do better with growing vegetables. My lack of discipline causes most of our garden failures. There are so many, much more interesting, things going on, like puppies, lambs, chicks and piglets that I neglect my garden duties. Therefore, we end up purchasing many of our vegetables. We live in a very rural area with no Costco or Aldis, and shop at one of the 3 grocery stores in our county. We buy baking supplies and oatmeal from a bulk store and that saves quite a bit. I have managed to get the food cost down to $100/week for 4 adults and that includes the cost of hay and feed for the animals that supply our table.
I love raising food, but really don't like to cook and it doesn't come naturally. Scratch cooking was intimidating and quite an ordeal when I first tried it. Practice does indeed make perfect, and while cooking has not become a passion, it is no longer a dreaded task.