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Category Archives: Budget Eating

And…here’s the hard part (Budget eating day 13)

This is most of what we bought at the store on Friday. As you can see, that $34 budget basically went…well, right out the window. At the end of the day, I thought about the lack of food in my refrigerator and fell back into old habits. Buuuuut…. what we did buy was, for the most part, healthy. Highlights include: strawberries (organic), frozen strawberries (NOT organic), spinach, fruit leathers, yogurt, larabars (the jury is still out as to how I feel about these), orange juice (Which I only bought because I had a coupon for, then forgot to use the coupon), light wheat bread, fruit cups and no sugar added applesauce (not pictured), brown rice, and organic milk.

So how much did we spend? Yeah, around $140. Which is more than $100 over our budget and almost the entire budget from next week. Like I said, this is where I fail at keeping my budget.

Better luck next time?

$150 Budget Day 7 ($34.23 still left)

I went to target and picked up the Hawaiian Barbecue sauce and Jennie-O turkey sausages with my $10 in gift cards. I refuse to count the gift cards as money spent, since I didn’t actually pay for the cards. Thus, I still have 34.23 left. Re-thinking the Vietnamese beef salad, since a beef steak will cost a lot of money. also rethinking buying “good” chicken for Saturday night’s date night meal, since that might put me over budget as well.

Instead, I think I’ll do “Brinner” on Sunday night…that’s always cheap and easy!

Thus, my grocery list now looks like this:

Spinach

Veggies

Fruit

Brown rice

Lunch meat

Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped (Maybe)

Milk

Eggs

Heavy Cream

Whole Milk

Orange Juice (with coupon)

 

I’ll also get some 45-calorie bread if I have room for it.

 

In other budgetary news, I confess I’ll probably go over on the other part of our discretionary income– excluding the 34.23 I still have left for groceries, I only have 4.05 left. A trip to Subway on Thursday is already planned, so I guess I’ll have to figure something out…

$150 Budget, Day (six?)–34.23 left

 

Went grocery shopping on Sunday. Our usual day is Saturday, but we had a competition Saturday, which I’ll post more about later. Minus a bag of Epsom salts for crafts night (more about that later), we spent $78.98. Here’s what we got for that: Bacon, cream cheese, chicken drumsticks, whole grain mustard, smoked gouda cheese, monterey jack cheese, unsalted butter, frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts, greek yogurt, olive oil, vanilla extract, turkey breakfast sausage, ground beef, fat free evaporated milk, crushed pineapples, organic apples, enchilada sauce, a potato, bananas, organic grape tomatoes, and a bag of something I can’t identify. Hmm, what is that? What did I buy? When I figure it out, I’ll let you know.

 

Left on the list for this pay period:

 

Jennie-O Hot Italian Turkey Sausage (Target)

4 Boneless skinless chicken breasts, organic

Beef Steak

Hawaiian BBQ Sauce (Target)

Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped (Maybe)

Eggs (Maybe)

Heavy Cream

Whole Milk

 

I have $10 worth of Target gift cards, so I anticipate that the BBQ sauce and the Jennie-O sausages will be free, or close to it. Can we do it with only $34.23 left? I hope so! Incidentally, we only have $11.07 left for other incidental expenses this pay period. That’s going to be over budget, since I have Subway scheduled for dinner on Thursday, and Subway is always more expensive than $11.07 for the two of us. But perhaps one aspect of our lives will be on-budget! Perhaps. I hope.

$150 Budget, Day Three

Ok, so I’ve got a grocery list put together for what I need to buy with my remaining $113.21 (which incidentally is less than I usually spend at the grocery store in a week, let alone two weeks)

This is the list: 

Fruit

Potatoes

Garlic (maybe)

Smoked Gouda Cheese

Ground Beef X 2 lb

Jennie-O Hot Italian Turkey Sausage (Target)

4 Boneless skinless chicken breasts, organic

1 package frozen BLSL chicken breasts

Beef Steak

Chicken Wings

Bacon

FF Evaporated Milk

Grainy Mustard

Olive Oil

Vanilla Extract

Canned crushed pineapple

Enchilada sauce

Hawaiian BBQ Sauce (Target)

Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped (Maybe)

Eggs

Heavy Cream

Whole Milk

Butter

Monterrey Jack Cheese, 8 oz package

Light cream cheese, tub

Also I may need milk, depending on our milk status. I plan to make some whole wheat bread, muffins, etc… we’ll see how that goes.

Here’s what’s in my pantry

Since I’m doing this whole cooking on a budget think, I thought you had a right to see what I started out with. Here’s what’s in my pantry. I forgot to look at the onions and garlic, and I didn’t include the fridge or freezer yet (jeez, give a girl a little time!)

There’s a lot of baaaad food in there. Please don’t judge me.

Canned Goods

Tomatoes
Fire Roasted Diced x 1
Diced x 1
Stewed Mexican recipe x 2
Petite Cut no salt added x 1
Crushed in puree 28 oz x 1

Fruit
Pineapple Sliced in juice
Pear halves in juice

Soup
Progresso Light Zesty Santa Fe Style Chicken
98% FF Cream of mushroom x 2
Fiesta Nacho cheese x 1
Tomato x 1
Chicken broth base x 1
Reduced Sodium Beef Broth x 1
Beef Stock Quart x 1
Misc
Karee curry paste x 2
Green chile peppers diced x 2
Chili beans hot x 1

Boxed Pasta/Dinner Mixes

Dinner Boxes
Hamburger helper Stroganoff x 1
Hamburger helper double cheeseburger mac x 1
Shells and white cheddar x 1
shells and cheddar x 1
spirals with parmesan x 1
Potato Pancake Mix

Pasta/Grains/Beans/Rice
Quinoa Inca Red
Quinoa Traditional
Whole Wheat spaghetti
Whole Wheat spirals
Enriched Elbows
Lentils, brown
black sticky rice
Black beans
Saffron rice x 3
Brown rice

Baking Supplies

Flour
Whole Wheat
Bread Flour

Corn Products
Corn Starch
Grits
Corn Meal
Masa

Sugars/Sweeteners
Powdered sugar
Light Brown sugar
Dark brown sugar
splenda
stevia

Baking Mixes
Bisquick Heart smart x 1
Bisquick
Jiffy corn Muffin mix
Pancake and waffle mix

Other Baking Supplies
Baking Soda
Baking Powder
Unsweetened cocoa
unsweetened chocolate x 2 oz
Crystallized ginger
mint extract
lemon extract
cream of tartar
sweetened coconut flakes
Dark corn syrup
molasses
lite pancake syrup

Misc

Cooking wine, oil, vinegars
Rice Wine vinegar
White cooking wine
marsala wine
salad vinegar
balsamic vinegar
apple cider vinegar
sesame oil
regular vinegar
Fish sauce

Drink mixes
Grape
Strawberry orange banana
tropical punch
raspberry tea
gatorade
hot chocolate mixes (various)
chocolate milk mixes
WW Smoothies: Strawberry banana
WW smoothies: chocolate
WW smoothies: vanilla

Misc
Sugar Free Jello: raspberry, orange, and cherry

Cereal
Cheerios
Corn pops
honey grahams
me and goji cold
me and goji hot

Nut butters
Almond
Peanut
sunflower seed

Misc Snacks
Popcorn
Almonds
dried cranberries
beef jerky
baked tortilla chips
regular tortilla chips, chipotle flavor
pringles

Root Vegetables/other Vegetables
Potatoes, Russet x 2
Sweet potatoes x 1
Spaghetti squash x 1

Sauce Mixes
Chili Mix x 1
Turkey Gravy Mix x 2
Spare Ingredients
Vinegar x 1
Basil
Sugar

Canned Meats
Pink Salmon x 1
Chunk White tuna x 1
Kippers x 1
Sardines x 1

Ramen
Chicken
Pork

 

Is it possible to eat well on a budget?

So yesterday I was perusing this site: http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/100-days-on-a-budget/

(So the word “site” just reminded me: if I ever type “Sight” instead of “site”, just keep in mind that I know the difference, but for some reason couldn’t focus my brain long enough to type the right word. Then forgive me for it. Thanks in advance.)

Basically, this woman decides to take her four person family and live on a budget of $125 a week– eating real foods only. Nothing processed, no refined anything, just natural food and boxed food with fewer than five (natural and whole grain) ingredients.

I was impressed, so I told my husband, “if that family of four can do it on $125 a week and eat almost no meat, surely we can do something similar on $150 a week and eat almost no meat.”

Then I realized (hours later) that our food budget is NOT $150 a week. It is $150 every TWO weeks, or $75 a week. Nevertheless, I am determined to do it. I think we can, at any rate. We shall see.

It starts…okay, yesterday. Here are the rules.

–The budget is $150 per pay period. It starts the day I receive my paycheck (either the last day of the month or the 15th) and ends the day before I get my next paycheck.

–I will do this for two months–March and April. We’ll see how it goes

–I cannot adhere to the real food thing. If my husband doesn’t get cheetoes and cookies, I very much doubt he’ll eat enough throughout the day to sustain life. But I will try to buy the “dirty dozen”(http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary/ ) as organic (yesterday I failed in this utterly), and to prepare meals that are generally healthy and as un-processed as possible.

–If this works, we’ll keep it going, and in June I’ll start buying fruits, veggies, and meat from the farmers’ market. Until then, it’s the regular grocery store, dear friends. We don’t have a whole foods, a central market, a Fresh Market, a Trader Joe’s, or anything like that here. We just have Kroger, Target, Brookshire’s, Albertson’s, and Wal-Mart (the latter of which I refuse to step inside).

–Any food already in my pantry, fridge, and freezer is fair game, and it doesn’t cost me anything to use it. Since the goal of this exercise is to be more efficient with my food buying habits and use the food I already have at my disposal, well— you can see how it doesn’t make sense to NOT use any food from my pantry.

–This also does not count eating out, for which we have budgeted $150 a pay period. I also have a hard time with that one.

SO, it starts now. I’ll try to remember to take pictures of what I buy, but for now you’ll just have to make do with a list of what I bought yesterday and how much it cost.

Krogers (Wednesday 2/29)

Red Tomatoes, one jewel package

Yellow grape tomatoes, one tub

Fresh basil, one package

1 Purple onion

1 jewel pack of mini sweet peppers

loaf of 9-grain bread

12 eggs

ham steaks

swiss cheese, 8 oz

Total: 24.34. Ouch.

Weight Watchers Meeting

Granola bars (Aloha Almond!)

Dark Chocolate Turtle Candy Bars

Total: 12.45.

Total spent: 36.79

Remaining: 113.21

For the sake of full disclosure, I’ll share my menu for the next two weeks. At least, what I hope will be my menu. I’m not very good at sticking to the plan.

Tonight: Subway! We have boot camp on Tuesday and Thursday nights, so I struggle to find something easy to make.

Friday: Eating out!

Saturday: Chili-cheese fries with homemade chili (but not homemade french fries. We bake the frozen kind in the oven. They don’t end up being that bad for you. We’ve already bought the french fries)

Sunday: Brinner (breakfast for dinner)

Monday: BBQ Turkey meatballs. See the recipe I posted last week.

Tuesday: Dirty brown rice with shrimp (I will post the recipe next Tuesday)

Wednesday: Mafia Spaghetti (marinara sauce with turkey italian sausage links and pasta)

Thursday: Subway! (again)

Friday: Hamburgers and french fries (or sweet potato. hmm)

Saturday: Date night dinner: Chicken w/ mustard cream sauce, smoked gouda mac and cheese, homemade rosemary bread, Julia child’s chocolate mousse

Sunday: Vietnamese Beef Salad

Monday: Baked buffalo wings, Light Loaded mashed potatoes

Tuesday: Hawaiian crock pot chicken, brown rice

Wednesday: Mexican Chicken Casserole

Thursday: PAYDAY!

What about you? Do you need to stick to a food budget? Maybe you are in desperate need of a financial overhaul. Care to join me? Or are you (as I suspect) going to wait and see if I fail miserably before trying it out yourself.

We’ll see how it goes!