Project Food Budget / My Healthy Budget: February Month 4 / Week 3

Project: Food Budget Weekly total: $132.55

My healthy budget goal is to eat seasonal, home-cooked meals while sticking to a $400 monthly budget for all food including groceries, dining out, entertaining, vitamins/supplements, and spices/herbs.

There’s two of us eating 3 (mostly) meals per day. My husband occasionally eats take-out lunch at work, & that $ comes out of his personal cash stash.

February – Month Four, Week One

This week, I’ve spent $132.55, with a monthly total so far of $324.94, leaving $75.06 for the last week of February.

Thanks to a lil re-enforcement last week from my budget buddies, I’ve decided, NOT to automatically include the total CSA meat delivery every month. Instead I’ll be applying the meat as it is consumed, which should be easy to track, since I receive a printed invoice from the farm.

This will be a good opportunity to use some of the meat that’s accumulated in my freezer from prior deliveries, and catch up on much-needed pantry purchases. Plus I feel like I’ve been skimping on veggies and fruit.

Spending Details

Dining Out: $37.00
Groceries: $95.55

Whole Foods Market (Fri, 2/17) $76.44: (3) organic whole chickens, Pacific Oat Beverage, Pacific Almond Beverage, (2lb) Lundberg basmati brown rice, (1lb) 365 Pinto beans, (1lb) 365 Quinoa, sheep’s milk Pecorino cheese, large tub Brown Cow whole yogurt, (2) 365 canned organic tomatoes, bulk barley, (3) Newman’s Own dark chocolate, bananas, 4lb bag o’ navel oranges, organic pears, celery root (local), beet bulbs (local), turnip (local), organic mustard greens, organic celery, organic cabbage, organic fennel, organic parsnips (local), organic bok choy.

I used several coupons: Newmans Own chocolate, 365 beans, Lundberg rice, Brown Cow yogurt, Pacific beverages.

Market Basket (Monday, 2/20) $19.11: 2 bags of shell-on pistachios, 12ct bag of oranges, baby portabella mushrooms, bananas

All in all, I felt good this week, and I am fully confident that I will be able to stick to my budget. I wish I could say that I’d even be under budget, but my pantry still needs some replenishing, so for next few weeks, I’ll probably spend every available penny! 🙂

Week of Meals

  • Thursday: Dinner out (Chinese)
  • Friday: Leftover frozen boneless pork ribs w/ wheat Bulgar and cabbage, carrot, fennel, celery slaw
  • Saturday: Slow oven-braised pork butt shoulder w/ side of white rice & lentils and roasted beets & carrots.
  • Sunday: Chicken soup with homemade broth and winter vegetables over white rice & lentils
  • Monday: Pasta topped with tomato sauce
  • Tuesday: Wheat berries mixed with ricotta, feta and emmenthaler cheeses, over sautéed mustard greens & green beans, topped with salsa
  • Wednesday: Bread baked with salsa, roasted red peppers, mustard greens, & pecorino rolled inside

I had a big cook weekend to replenish the freezer. Friday, I threw one of my organic chickens into the crockpot, and it was fall-off-the-bone scrumptious. Saturday – I had a beef chuck roast in the electric slow cooker and a pork butt roast in the oven. I froze 5 small packs of meat for future meals. Sunday, I made my free veggie/chicken stock using the bones from the crockpot chicken and my saved freezer veg scrapes. I then made a huge batch of chicken soup, enough to freeze 3 quart containers, plus extra for dinner and lunches.

Want to Join the Project Food Budget?

It still amazes me how much I’ve learned (and continue to learn) in just a few months by participating in the Project Food Budget! It’s never too late to join us!

project food budget

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Here’s who else is budgeting this week:

Project Food Budget / My Healthy Budget: February Month 4 / Week 2

Project: Food Budget Weekly total: $70.25

My healthy budget goal is to eat seasonal, home-cooked meals while sticking to a $400 monthly budget for all food including groceries, dining out, entertaining, vitamins/supplements, and spices/herbs.

There’s two of us eating 3 (mostly) meals per day. My husband occasionally eats take-out lunch at work, & that $ comes out of his personal cash stash.

February – Month Four, Week Two

project food budget

This week, I’ve spent $70.25, with a month total of $272.39. After my CSA meat delivery later this month, that’ll leave approximately $127 for the rest of February. Yeah, I’m a little nervous, that’s $60 for each of the two remaining weeks of groceries.

On paper, it’s doable, but it’s going to be tricky.

Budgeting Dilemma

I hate saying it, but I think I’m now starting to regret signing up for my local meat CSA. It was paid-in-full months ago, but I am applying the monthly cost of $83+ to every month that I receive a delivery. Problem is, we don’t eat much meat, and I now have a freezer full of meat!

It’s annoying because I’m applying the cost, but we’re technically not consuming it. The positive side is, I’ll have enough meat into the summer! 🙂

I’m putting WAY too much pressure on myself to keep within this budget. Last month really depleted my pantry, and I’m starting to feel deprived and a little resentful. sigh. That’s not good! So, I have a choice.

Either add a little bit more to my budget, until the CSA is over.

Or, maybe I could go back to my original idea to apply the cost of the meat we actually consume each week. I think I’m leaning toward raising the budget.

***What do my budget buddies think???

Spending Details

Dining Out: $11.00 – ice cream sundaes
Entertaining: $0
Groceries: $59.25

Whole Foods Market (Fri, 2/10) $59.25: organic bok choy, (2) grapefruit, organic cauliflower, beet root (local), 2lb bag o’ organic carrots, 3lb bag o’ gala apples, 4lb bag o’ navel oranges, split chicken breast, uncured ham, Emmenthaler cheese, feta cheese, (3) Nasoya tofu, Earth Balance mindful mayo, frozen organic green beans, (2lb) Lundberg brown basmati rice, peanuts, wild Alaskan canned salmon, peanut butter, salsa, Muir Glen tomatoes, Sonyfield plain yogurt, dark chocolate

Food Notes:
WF had a “Madness” sale on split chicken breast value packs for $1.99/lb. My dogs eat raw, so most of it was for them (their food is on a separate budget), but I kept a piece for us and split the cost appropriately. They also had Hake fish on sale too, but I resisted. It’s not the most sustainable fish choice, and DH isn’t a fish-fan anyway.

See? It’s missed opportunities like this that are starting to drive me bonkers!

I did pick up some Nasoya organic tofu…for FREE! whoo hooo. $1.25 Whole Foods store coupon stacked on to the $.75 newly printed internet coupon I found this morning. They were selling it for 2/$4. I got three: 2 silky and 1 soft.

I also just realized that they are a local company from Ayer, MA – very cool. I’m not a soy eater, but I tried a sample of the “Engine 2” fruit mousse a couple of weeks ago at WF and it was delicious. Plus there are tons of recipes and videos over at Nasoya, so I’m willing to give tofu a shot. I just won’t tell DH!

I also used coupons for Lundberg rice, Stonyfield yogurt, Earthbound mayo, Muir Glen tomatoes, and Whole Foods chocolate bar, saving over $12. It’s not “extreme” coupon-worthy, but it’s a start! Thanks to Kait, I’m a coupon-luvah!

Week of Meals

  • Thursday: Trader Joe’s Vegetable Lasagna – ok for frozen, and cheaper than take-out. Takes an hour to bake.
  • Friday: Baked sweet potato and fried eggs
  • Saturday: Ham split pea soup w/veg stock, carrots, celery, celery root topped over brown rice
  • Sunday: Oven braised bone-in chicken breast w/ tomatoes & onions, over lentils and roasted cauliflower
  • Monday: Pasta with canned whole tomato and bok choy
  • Tuesday: Frozen leftover beefalo meatloaf with roasted beets, carrots, and quinoa
  • Wednesday: Upside Down Pizza (veggie bake) made meatless with frozen mixed veggies, canned tomatoes, sauteed onions, chili peppers, roasted peppers, and feta cheese.

Want to Join the Project Food Budget?

project food budget

It’s never too late to join the Project Food Budget!

If you’d like to participate, get the details and let Emily know you’re on board!

Here’s who else is budgeting this week:

Project Food Budget / My Healthy Budget: February, Month 4, Week 1

Project: Food Budget Weekly total: $118.81

My healthy budget goal is to eat seasonal, home-cooked meals while sticking to a $400 monthly budget for all food including groceries, dining out, entertaining, vitamins/supplements, and spices/herbs.

There’s two of us eating 3 (mostly) meals per day. My husband occasionally eats take-out lunch at work, & that $ comes out of his personal cash stash.

February – Month Four, Week One

project food budget

I’ve spent $118.81 this week.

My meat CSA will be delivered later this month for approximately $83, so that leaves $197 for the rest of February. I’m hoping to hold out and shop only on Fridays leaving me 3 more shopping weeks, @ $65 each. Fingers crossed!

Dining Out: $0 – really proud of this! whoo hoo!
Groceries: $118.81

Here’s My Spending Details

Amazon Subscribe & Save $16.68 – Wild Planet Tuna (6pk)

Market Basket $34.56 (2/1 Wed): Applegate Farms turkey hotdogs (cheaper than take-out), mushrooms, 2 lb bag of organic sweet potatoes, organic beets w/ greens, 5 lb bag o’ onions, 1 avocado, bananas, small jar of instant yeast, large tub organic plain yogurt, cheddar cheese, salsa, organic peanut butter.

Local Farm $6.25 (2/3 Fri): 2 dozen eggs

Whole Foods $44.06 (2/3 Fri): 5lb bag o’ organic carrots, organic celery, organic Italian parsley, organic pears, organic apples, bananas, celery root, turnip, organic oranges, pitted dates, 2 lb bag white rice, 1 lb bag green lentils, bulk split peas, bulk quinoa, bulk nutritional yeast, (2) Muir Glen whole tomatoes, frozen organic green beans.

Market Basket $17.26 (2/5 Sun): 5 lb Bag ‘o organic russet potatoes, California olive oil, molasses, Haagen Daz vanilla ice cream for Superbowl snack – cheaper than sundaes at Friendly’s!

Week of Meals

  • Wednesday (2/1): leftover frozen bean chili with jalapeño corn muffin
  • Thursday: Applegate Farms turkey hot dogs, homemade rye bread, and canned baked beans (cheaper than take-out)
  • Friday: Pasta topped with tomato, carrot, celery, onion sauce
  • Saturday: Slow cooker whole chicken with leftover frozen stuffing (from Thansgiving) & cabbage carrot slaw
  • Sunday: Pantry Soup with leftover Chicken, veg stock, mushrooms, carrots, celery, beet greens, leftover baked beans, leftover chunky tomato/veg sauce over barley grains; Superbowl snack: Haagen Daz ice cream w/melted peanut butter – cheaper than going to Friendly’s for sundaes!
  • Monday: Leftover chicken with white rice, cabbage slaw and green beans
  • Tuesday: Bread Pizza with salsa and cheese
  • Wednesday: Homemade beef broth with vegetables over pasta

Note on the slow cooker chicken. It was so easy. Just throw in a whole chicken, no need for any liquid. Cook on low all day. The chicken is moist and just falls off the bone. I’ll be cooking it like this a lot!

Want to Join the Project Food Budget?

project food budget

It’s never too late to join the Project Food Budget!

If you’d like to participate, get the details and let Emily know you’re on board!

Here’s who else is budgeting this week:

Project Food Budget / My Healthy Budget: January End of 3rd Month

Project: Food Budget Weekly total: $23.71

My healthy budget goal is to eat seasonal, home-cooked meals while sticking to a $308.49 $400 monthly budget for all food including groceries, dining out, entertaining, vitamins/supplements, and spices/herbs.

There’s two of us eating 3 (mostly) meals per day. My husband occasionally eats take-out lunch at work, & that $ comes out of his personal cash stash.

January – Month Three, End of Month

project food budget

Well this is it, the end of January! Phew, I’m not usually one wanting to speed up time, but yes, I admit that I’m more than a little psyched that January is over, and a new month is beginning.

I started the week with $21.10; eggs needed to be purchased for $4, so I was left with $17.10 for groceries to last until Wednesday, Feb 1st. I decided to cut myself some slack, and round up to the nearest dollar giving myself $20 for groceries instead. Whoo hoo, bonus!

Here’s my spending detail for the week:

Eggs: $4 (local farm)
Market Basket: $4.45 = bag o’ oranges, bananas, & small frozen green beans
Whole Foods: $15.26 = organic green cabbage, organic braeburn apples, organic baby bok choy, organic celery, 2lb bag o’ organic carrots.

…For a grand total of….drum roll please….$23.71 – whoo hoo!

Final Total For January: $311.10 over by only $2.61 – I can live with that! haha!
Monthly Total Dining Out: $34.00
Monthly Total Groceries: $277.10

So, the good news is, in February, I’m back to my normal $400 budget. There is going to be a massive stock-up, since my pantry is bare bones.

Week of Meals

Meal planning was super important for this last week, I meticulously planned my meals and grocery list. We had wonderful dinners, but our snacks and lunches were more challenging.

  • Thursday: Fried eggs topped over brown rice, frozen peas & salsa
  • Friday: Premade Bacon lentil veg soup over pasta
  • Saturday: Slow cooker chick stock made into soup with celery, carrots, onions, cabbage & bok choy (leftover frozen chicken added for DH)
  • Sunday: Beefalo meatloaf with caraway cabbage carrot slaw, applesauce, & baked sweet potato
  • Monday: bread pizza with diced tomatoes and mozzarella
  • Tuesday: Leftover freezer beefalo brisket, added to frozen potato leek soup with frozen green beans, diced tomatoes, carrots, celery. Topped over a mix of lentils, white & brown rice
  • Wednesday (2/1/2012): I’ll be including Wednesday’s meal in next week’s entry

Want to Join the Project Food Budget?

project food budget

It’s never too late to join the Project Food Budget! In fact, we have a couple of new bloggers this week!

If you’d like to participate, get the details and let Emily know you’re on board!

Here’s who else is budgeting this week: