Food Budget Week 4

We went way over again! We spent $278.26. Here’s what we bought:

PRODUCE:

  • Organic avocados $2.00
  • Organic bananas $2.51
  • Blackberries $4.00
  • Red cabbage $4.22 – paid way too much for this lol
  • Carrots $6.05
  • Celery $3.29 – Costco
  • Cucumber $1.18
  • Garlic $1.38
  • Ginger $.65
  • Kiwano melon $5.99 – we didn’t even end up eating this before it went bad, stupid
  • Big bag of romaine $4.58
  • Onions $2.45
  • Bell peppers $5.49
  • Potatoes $2.19
  • Power greens $4.49
  • Snap peas $6.29 – Costco
  • Yams $10.99 – Costco

OTHER:

  • Butter
  • Sliced cheese $8.79
  • Ham shanks $19.51 – 4 big ones
  • Coffee $31.98 – lol we bought 2 big bags at Costco
  • Cottage Cheese $2.79
  • Heavy cream $4.99
  • Ice cream $15.47 – stocking up I guess!
  • 1/2 gallon milk $3.19
  • Yogurt $6.49 – Costco
  • Chicken breasts $7.27
  • Bacon $14.69 – Costco
  • Eggs $3.99
  • Frozen salmon $29.79
  • Brown rice syrup $6.39
  • Coconut $5.04
  • Ground ginger $5.79
  • Honey $20.98 – K bought one at Costco and I thought it was not for the house, so I bought another!
  • Tabasco $3.99
  • Tortillas $5.19

really want to do better. I keep forgetting that a new week starts on Sunday so we just go shopping on Saturday. I guess it doesn’t matter, we just need to do better with only getting what we need and having a plan. I didn’t really have a plan this week, and I still don’t. We will just try to use up what we have before we go shopping again.

So the total that we spent this month is a whopping $966.45. Per week that is $241.61. I think that is way too much and we can do a lot better! I am really going to be a stickler and we aren’t buying anything that isn’t on the shopping list, and I am going to plan out meals and stick to it.

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Food budget Week 2

I know I said last week was week 2, it just seemed weird since the first one was only counting 3 days, so this is week 2. Again. There will be no more week 2s! We spent $90.78. We were trying to keep it down to redeem the fact that we went way over last week. It didn’t quite work, but we tried! And we did do okay. What we bought:

PRODUCE

  • Organic bananas $2.15
  • Bell peppers $3.38
  • Cucumbers $1.00
  • Garlic $1.28
  • Ginger $1.30
  • Green onions $.79
  • Thyme $2.99
  • Organic kale $1.50
  • Organic romaine $1.79
  • Limes $1.00
  • Onion $5.4
  • 5# bag russet potatoes $1.18
  • Radishes $.99
  • Tomatoes $2.64

OTHER

  • 2 1/2 dozen eggs $3.99
  • Baking soda $.99
  • Cinnamon sticks (Costco) $6.39
  • Sugar (Costco) $9.99
  • Chow mein noodles $1.69
  • Molasses $3.69
  • Pecans (Costco) $12.99
  • Fresh apple juice 1/2 gallon $7.99
  • Tortillas $4.89
  • Peanut butter $3.79
  • Cotija cheese $389
  • Sour cream $3.19
  • Guacamole $4.67

We made some really yummy things this week too!  We tried the Lemon Glazed Turkey Meatballs and  they were awesome!

I also did the crispy beef, which was just ok though, I put too much lime in the marinade.  We also tried the Colombian roast chicken legs which we all liked, but would cook a bit differently if we did it again. I ended up marinating them all day and then cooking at 400 for about an hour, that was too long! They were still tasty. Last night we had some Mahi Mahi tacos that were pretty great too.

Truthfully, we are needing to go to the store! But I want to wait until tomorrow so we don’t add anymore to this week’s spending. Here’s what I’m kind of planning for next week:

Posole-ish soup with potatoes

BBQ chicken or pork to use up some bbq sauce I bought

Beefy macaroni and cheese

Black bean and sweet potato tacos

Probably more mahi mahi and some cheesy broccoli quinoa

An onion and broccoli or kale quiche

And for my birthday I am going to make this Spaghetti Bolognese!

 

On Meal Planning

I may have come over to the dark side 😆

I could never wrap my head around meal planning before.  And maybe I still haven’t…  I have always just winged it at meal time.  Protein, veg, starch, all made easy, plain, and usually boring but effective!  A little while ago I saw a link on my Facebook feed for a meal planning website that was giving a 30 day free trial – it is called Plan to Eat.  Now I’m not sure this is the best meal planning website, but I figured I’d try it out for a month and if it helps, great.  If not, I’ll just quit doing it.  So far I am liking it, a lot!!  It does all of the thinking for me!  All I have to do is pick recipes.

You basically import recipes from websites, add them to your planner, and it generates a shopping list for you.  You can add stores so it will just send the items to the store lists you usually buy from – like I know I will buy cheese and eggs at Costco so it just sends those items to that store list.  Really, I like it the most just for that reason!!  I like to try new recipes, but scouring through them and trying to write out a list just annoys me, so I don’t do it.  This does it for me, and I can easily delete items that I know I have on hand already.  You are also supposed to be able to use the list on your smartphone, but so far I haven’t been able to log in on my phone.  I just printed the list out last week.  You can also plan for however long you want – a few days, a week, a month, whatever!  I am going week by week, and only planning dinners for now.

This week we’ve tried a bunch of new stuff, some really great and some that didn’t quite work out so well due to user error 😉  But so far I am enjoying it.  I planned out another week last night and I tried to focus on using stuff we have on hand already.  Once I had it all done and unchecked items I didn’t need, I hardly had anything on the list that I need to buy!  I will have to add some staples and stuff for other meals, mostly produce, but I’m excited to see just how much we end up getting, and I hope it is less than the $150 we want to spend for the week.  I am going to do my best to only go shopping one day a week, unless we really need something that we run out of or forget to pick up at the store

Here’s what I’m planning for the upcoming week!

Chicken Alfredo

Beef tacos

Butternut squash and coconut soup

Baked sweet potatoes with caramlized onions – we will have some baked salmon with this

Crock pot beans with a ham shank

White bean and chicken chili

Baked farro risotto and green beans with hazelnuts and thyme

I am also going to make some Lunchbox Oatmeal Bars and these molasses cookies, just to use up some almond flour and carob molasses that I have.

 

Food Budget wrap up for the year

I won’t go into the details of what we bought, just want to catch up and finish out the yearly budget.  We did a lot of eating out.  We also bought a lot of stuff for Christmas dinner and to make goodies to give to my family and friends.  I guess it probably all evened out.

  •  Week 1 $84.46
  • Week 2 $157.60
  • Week 3 $163.30
  • Weeks 4 & 5 $25.58
  • Week 6  $166.90
  • Week 7 $146.80
  • Week 8 $202.40
  • Week 9 $208.57
  • Week 10 $280.10
  • Week 11 $195.90
  • Week 12 $150.20
  • Week 13 $188.59
  • Weeks 14-17 $140.25 per week, total of $420.75
  • Weeks 18-21 $127.50 per week, total of $510
  • Weeks 22-24 $90.28 per week, total of $270.84
  • Week 25 $168.40
  • Week 26 $175.60
  • Week 27 $89
  • Week 28 $89
  • Week 29 $272
  • Week 30 $216
  • Week 31 $43
  • Week 32 $80.30
  • Week 33 $172.26
  • Week 34 $269.50
  • Week 35 $101.30
  • Week 36 $366.80
  • Week 37 $150
  • Week 38 $110
  • Week 39 $200.80
  • Week 40 $268.32
  • Week 41 $94.54
  • Week 42 $141.70
  • Week 43 $9.28
  • Week 44 $147.66
  • Week 45 $132.2
  • Week 46 $261.1
  • Week 47 $28.40
  • Week 48 $205.60
  • Week 49 $119.10
  • Week 50 $162.30
  • Week 51 $103.40
  • Week 52 $155.20

So if I was spending $125 per week, that would be $6,500 for the year.

Our 52 week total ended up being $7504.75 (unless I added wrong!), which comes out to be $144.32 per week.  This is actually pretty great!!  That includes food for parties, and food that we put up, and all of my overbuying on sales 😆

I don’t know that I’ll keep doing these.  It was fun to see where we are at and to be able to keep under the $150 weekly mark.  If I keep doing it, I’ll try to add more of how we are actually using the stuff up. I do want to try and keep less food overall in the house.  We have shelves downstairs that are overflowing with food.  All shelf stable stuff of course.  Just things that were on sale, and a lot of it makes sense but it doesn’t if we don’t use it regularly!  I’m going to try and be better about that this year.  Anyway.

That’s a wrap!

 

Food Budget weeks 37-40

Got a little behind I guess!

Week 37 we spent about $150 including the farmer’s market

Week 38 we spent about $110 including the farmer’s market

Week 39 we spent $200.80 – stocking up on some stuff

Week 40 we spent a whopping $268.32.  Sprouts had a brand sale, and I took advantage of that, stocking up on cereal and frozen stuff.  We also went to check out the Real Foods Market to score some raw milk, but they were out 😦  We made up for it by spending $85 there 😮

Here’s what we bought from week 40:

PRODUCE:

  • Apples $2.00
  • Bananas $4.37
  • Broccoli $2.58
  • Cantaloup $1.00
  • Carrots $2.59
  • Celery $.98
  • Cilantro $.99
  • Eggplant $1.00
  • Garlic $4.77
  • Grapefruit $1.92
  • Habaneros $1.00
  • Lettuce $4.47
  • Onions $.68
  • Bell peppers and anaheims $4.00
  • Plums $5.00
  • Pie pumpkins $6.53
  • Yams $3.12

DAIRY:

  • Buttermilk $5.99
  • Cotija cheese $4.99
  • Heavy cream $9.29
  • Ice cream $4.49
  • Kefir $5.00
  • Mozzarella cheese $6.59
  • Sour cream $3.15

OTHER:

  • Pork sausage  – chorizo and italian $22.70
  • Apple cider vinegar $1.29
  • Individual packets of Justin’s nut butter $3.00
  • Tamari $7.98
  • Bread $4.99
  • Allspice $4.99
  • Chocolate square at Caputo’s for M 🙂 $.39
  • Macaroni and cheese $9.60
  • Mustard $4.39
  • Olive oil $12.99
  • Lasagna noodles $4.00
  • Protein powder sample pack $3.69
  • Curry sauce $4.89
  • Oregano and thyme $11.08
  • Sriracha $8.59
  • Applegate chicken burgers $16.77
  • Frozen pizzas $30.75
  • Cereal $29.68
  • Cookies $6.19
  • Hominy $3.38

I hope to be more on top of this for the remaining weeks, I mean there are only 12 left!  Then I’m going to have some fun looking up all of these posts again and finding an average for a TRUE budget for the coming year.

I want to do better this coming week, and we really shouldn’t need to buy much at all except for produce.  So that is my goal, to really and truly buy ONLY what we need!!  I can do it.

Food Budget Week 32

We only went shopping once this week!!  I pulled meat from the freezer and it lasted us pretty much all week.  I cooked a big roast on Tuesday and we still have a few leftovers that will be lunch or dinner today.  Tomatoes from the ‘garden’ make us a quick pasta dinner this week too 🙂  I’m so amazed that we only went to the store once!  I must have just been too busy 😆  We ended up spending only $80.30!!

Here’s what we bought this week:

PRODUCE

  • Avocado $2.37 – the checker rang it up wrong but she didn’t want to change it – should have been $5.00!
  • Red bell peppers $1.00
  • Raspberries $3.49
  • Green cabbage $1.00
  • Cauliflower $3.64
  • Celery $1.96
  • Garlic $1.18
  • Ginger $.84
  • Green beans $.78
  • Kale $1.99
  • Kale salad from Costco $4.79
  • Romaine $3.29
  • Mangoes $2.25
  • Mushrooms $4.79
  • Nectarines $1.06
  • Onions $1.45
  • Oranges $2.60
  • Potatoes $1.15

OTHER

  • Cottage Cheese $4.00
  • Gallon milk $4.79
  • Ricotta cheese $2.99
  • Sour cream $2.50
  • Yogurt $4.39
  • Peanuts $6.35
  • Quinoa flakes $6.29
  • Whole wheat bread, artisan garlic bread, and 2 challah rolls $6.98
  • Packaged cheese sauce 😆 $2.38 – I saw it and thought we could try it for a quick mac and cheese dinner

I guess making the list and sticking to it really works!!  I looked at the online flyers and only wrote down what was on sale, then I chose how much I wanted to spend on each item.  I added whatever else we needed that wasn’t on sale.  When we hit the store, if it wasn’t on the list we didn’t buy it, with a couple of exceptions.  I’ve already made my list for the week, and we still have some produce left in the fridge and a lot of fruit on the counter, so I’m sure we can keep under budget this week.

Food Budget Week 31

Well, we did end up spending way less this week – only because we left town this past weekend and so all week we were just using up stuff from the fridge!  We managed to only spend about $43.  Here’s what we got:

  • Eggs $3.39
  • Balsamic vinegar $10.99
  • Dried cherries $7.99
  • Tortilla chips $13.77 – we stocked up because they were on sale at Costco
  • Pretzel crisps $6.69

I’m considering our ‘vacation’ a whole separate thing, so I’m not including it.  It was mostly restaurant meals and snacking anyway.

Going to make a list now and stick to it the best I can this week!

Food Budget Week 30

We overspent again!  $216.  This doesn’t include the candy bars we bought at the British import store either 😆  Ah well.  I guess we really won’t start spending less until I make a list off of the sales and actually stick to it.  Maybe next week.

Here’s what we bought:

PRODUCE:

  • Organic bananas $2.47
  • Bell peppers $6.49
  • Raspberries $3.49
  • Cantaloupe $3.16
  • Organic carrots 10# bag $5.49
  • Cauliflower $2.21
  • Celery $.88
  • Organic grapes $2.69
  • Lettuce $3.29
  • Mushrooms $1.79
  • Onions $2.19
  • Oranges $1.45
  • Organic baby spinach $3.99
  • Tomatoes $2.99
  • Organic zucchini $2.99

DAIRY:

  • Plugra butter $4.00
  • Cheese $6.59
  • Heavy cream $3.99
  • Kefir $6.00
  • 1/2 gallon milk $2.99

MEAT:

  • 2 whole organic chickens $23.66
  • Amylu’s breakfast chicken sausage $9.99
  • Eggs $3.39
  • Lunchmeat – ham $3.49
  • Fresh wild salmon $25.39
  • Sprouted tofu $1.99
  • Lunchmeat – turkey $5.98

OTHER

  • Evaporated cane juice $11.49
  • Canned garbanzo beans $5.94
  • Chocolate bars $12.00
  • Rolled oats $3.06
  • Frozen wild blueberries $3.99
  • Frozen yogurt bars $6.99
  • Bread $3.49
  • Indian entrees $5.97
  • Guacamole $8.99
  • Tortilla chips $4.59
  • Tortillas $6.49

 

Catching up on the budget – week 24

Okay, so I totally slacked for 12 weeks on this.  I guess I lost interest, and I stopped itemizing our food purchases.  But I want to get back to it!!  I tried to figure out how much we had been spending, but I also just lumped household and food groceries together so I couldn’t do it exactly.  I added up what we had been spending in total and just decreased the numbers by 15%, a really arbitrary number 😆  I have no way of knowing what we spent on either, but I know that is wasn’t all spent on food.  So here’s what I came up with.

Week 13 – $188.59

Weeks 14-17 – $140.25 per week

Weeks 18- 21 – $127.50 per week

Weeks 22 – 24 – $90.28 per week

So as I said, this isn’t even at all accurate but it IS my best guess at what we spent on food groceries.  We were eating out a lot too, which isn’t good, but if we hadn’t been we probably would have been spending a bit more.

My goal is to get back to spending under $125 per month.  I think we can do it!!  And I’m really going to try to stick with the weekly postings, even if it is only for my amusement and benefit 😉  I’ve started itemizing again and separating food and household groceries so I’m all set!

Food Budget Week 11

Well, we didn’t do great this week either, but at least we spent less than last week!  Budget is $125, we spent $195.90, so we went over by $70.90.  Hopefully the coming week will be even lower.

Here’s what we bought:

PRODUCE:

  • Asparagus $2.49
  • Avocado $5.67
  • Bananas $6.67
  • Bell peppers $6.49
  • Broccoli $.53
  • Brussels sprouts $3.79
  • Cabbage $.32
  • Cantaloupe $2.47
  • Carrots $5.49
  • Celery $1.42
  • Chard $3.98
  • Southern blend greens $2.29
  • Cucumber $1.53
  • Dates $8.49
  • Grapefruit $1.52
  • Habaneros $1.12
  • Kale $4.58
  • Lemons $1.50
  • Lettuce $3.29
  • Mini peppers $3.99
  • Mushrooms $2.99
  • Onions $3.69
  • Lemon plum $1.17
  • Snap peas $5.99
  • Spinach $11.97
  • Yams $4.05

OTHER

  • Raw milk cheese $2.69
  • Frozen cod $15.59
  • Almonds $12.79
  • Cashews $6.99
  • Dried cranberries $1.99
  • Mints $6.99 (not really food :lol)
  • Raising $8.89
  • Rice milk $13.79
  • Tea $4.99
  • Frozen berries $11.89
  • Frozen veggie burgers $5.88
  • Crackers $1.99

At least most of it was spent on produce?!  I will be juicing a lot less this week so that should cut our costs down by a lot.  I will try to pay more attention to the sales flyers too, and hit the co-op at least one day this week.