Thursday, March 29

Project Food Budget (Week 26)

Here we are on Week 26 of this project, the half-way point (well not quit my halfway point as I joined a little late, but close enough).

To review who we are - a family of 4: 2 adults, an 8 year old and a 13 month old.  My current spending goal is $200 every 2 weeks; split $150 week one (pay week) and $50 the other week.  We try and do one "meager meal" a week donating our savings to charity.  We also try to do one meatless meal a week, as well as breakfast for dinner once a week.

I've learned a lot doing this project; mainly that when I started I had no idea what we spent on food and how much we were wasting on eating out.  We've (and I mean WE as a FAMILY) have become a lot of accountable in regards to our eating and spending habits.  We're making better choice.

I've also learned you need to have a plan.  Planning is critical.  If you don't have a plan in writing you at the very least need to have a framework for your weekly meals.  Planning meals not only makes evenings and cooking easier, but you spend less at the store.

And speaking of shopping, going with a list and a calculator on a regular schedule is really helpful.  I guess this goes hand in hand with planning.

But I've also learned that no matter how much you plan you need to be flexible and have back-ups plans.  If the family is sick or there is an emergency it's OK go with a simpler dinner, or eat out and go over budget (and if you've stayed in budget the occasional overage is do-able).  Keeping essentials in the house for quick meals like soup stuff and bread and cheese are a must.  There is nothing like so chicken noodle soup or dry toast when you have the stomach-flu.

Goal: $75 (because I went so over last week)
Actual: $72.64

Monday: burritos (Turkey's pick)
Tuesday: we were suppose to eat at my mom's - had to change plans ended up with sandwiches
Wednesday: homemade pizza* and salad
Thursday: breakfast wraps
Thursday: fish, mac and cheese and green beans
Saturday: hamburger steaks
Sunday: pumpkin pancakes

* I made my first from scratch pizza crust and it was super yummy and easy.  We're already talking about other ways to use this recipe.  Turkey has a cinnamon sugar desert idea he wants to try this weekend.  You can find the recipe here.

Don't forget to check out these other participants and see how they're doing.


Heather Kinnaird said...

GREAT post - and I love your blog title:)

We've been making our own pizzas for the last few years - it's a great budget saver and the kids love Friday pizza night. "meager" meal is a fantastic idea - I may have to "steal" that from you.

xoxb said...

Smart to bring a calculator to the store. I'll try this next week and see how I do!

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