Project Food Budget / My Healthy Budget: End of May Month 7

Project: Food Budget Weekly total: $79.82

My healthy budget goal is to eat seasonal (local if possible,) home-cooked meals while sticking to a $400$350… $400 monthly budget for all food including groceries, dining out, entertaining, vitamins/supplements, and gardening.

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

May – Month Seven, Week Five – END OF MONTH

This week, I’ve spent $79.82, ending the month of May with a grand total of $402.58.

Okay, I tried for $350 again this month, and failed…but at the same time, I feel accomplished because we had approx $75 in entertaining & gardening expenses, so, I really shouldn’t complain that I was a little over my (original) budget because our actual (consumed) food spending was terrific!

Dining Out: $46.66
Entertaining: $0
Gardening: $0
Groceries: $33.16

Yes, our dining-out budget was on the crazy-train-track this week, but I suppose I have an excuse; we received some extra $$ so we splurged a little. I don’t like making excuses, and I really don’t like sliding back into old habits of dining out when I feel too lazy to cook. It’s especially difficult when the weather is so beautiful, and we get caught up in doing other fun things. Planning is key!

Monthly Totals: $402.58

Dining Out: $108.06
Entertaining: $20.33
Gardening: $55.62
Groceries: $218.57

Spending Details

Market Basket $17.42: bananas, bag o’ 8 navel oranges, organic half & half (for DH), (5) Chobani yogurts and (2) Applegate Farms chicken deli meat (on sale, plus I used 2 coupons for $1 off, only $5 for BOTH)

Ocean State Job Lots $9.99: Good sale on (@3.99 ea) Bob’s WW Pastry Flour and (4 @1.50 ea) Rapunzel organic chocolate bars.

Market Basket $5.75: bananas and bag o’ 8 navel oranges – Yeah, the California Navels are definitely out of season. Dry dry dry! bummer!

Amazon.com $0 – free! Subscribe & Save for Wild Planet tuna 6pk $13.21 was applied to my credit card rewards “credit” so my order was free.

Week of Meals

  • Thursday: (Leftover frozen) fresh ham steak w/ salsa, kidney beans in corn tortillas w/ side of roasted beets
  • Friday: Chinese Food – greasy pu-pu platter!
  • Saturday: Dinner over Parents’ house
  • Sunday: Fried eggs topped over bulgar and stir fry veggies
  • Monday: Homemade pizza with fresh mozzarella
  • Tuesday: Leftover frozen meat sauce with pasta & kidney beans
  • Wednesday: Leftover meat sauce transformed into soup with added veg stock, frozen corn, frozen peas, roasted carrots & celery, topped over barley

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: May Month 7 / Week 4

Project: Food Budget Weekly total: $122.34

My healthy budget goal is to eat seasonal (local if possible,) home-cooked meals while sticking to a $400 $350 monthly budget for all food including groceries, dining out, entertaining, vitamins/supplements, and gardening.

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

May – Month Seven, Week Four

This week, I’ve spent $122.34, with a monthly total of $322.76. That leaves $27.24 for 8 more days in May.

Yeah, okay, I don’t think May is my month for budgeting! I’ve been a little impulsive, especially for dining out. A little bit here and a little bit there adds up. I think I’ll be under my original budget of $400, but I am not sure how I’ll do with the $350 adjusted budget.

The good news is we did spend a lot on our vegetable garden, so I am not too worried if I am over.

Dining Out: $27.40
Entertaining: $0
Gardening: $53.93
Groceries: $41.01

Spending Details

Whole Foods $26.97: Peanut butter, vidalia onions, cherries, organic beets, cabbage, red delicious apples, local fresh mozzarella, & organic corn tortillas.

Local Farm $6.50: farm fresh eggs

Meat CSA $7.54: Boneless pork chops (Luckily, products from the Meat CSA are technically paid in full, so no real money is actually spent, but I apply the cost to my budget as we consume it.)

McCue’s Gardening Center $32.97: A few months ago, I bought a Groupon for $30 worth of plants for only $15. I bought three flats of veggies for a total of $32.97, that’s almost like getting one flat for free. Yeah, I went crazy overboard with too many plants (hmm, I think almost 150 plants), but in the end, after they’re all eventually planted, it’s gonna be glorious!

Mahoney’s Garden Center $5.96: Even though I bought an exorbitant amount of plants, DH wanted to try growing watermelon, so we bought 2 Sugar Baby watermelon plants.

Miscellaneous $15: One yard/truckload of compost/dirt. Yes, we have an unlimited supply of compost in our backyard, but it was getting time-consuming digging and sifting enough for the new beds and containers needed for all the plants we bought! DH knew a place in town that offered excellent-quality soil for cheap $ so we decided it was worth it.

Week of Meals

  • Thursday: Steamed broccoli with bulgar topped with fried egg
  • Friday: Burger King 🙁
  • Saturday: Marinated pork chop with broccoli and quinoa
  • Sunday: PBJ sandwiches w/ sliced apples
  • Monday: Red lentils with (leftover frozen) chicken vegetable soup
  • Tuesday: Quiche with asparagus, roasted onions, and feta
  • Wednesday: Homemade sausage braised w/ wine, carrots & cabbage, over brown rice

I mentioned in a previous post that I don’t use anything fancy for meal planning; I keep a very simple “Note” on my iPad, which also syncs to my iPhone using my Gmail account. Notes can also be synced using iCloud.

Below is a screen shot of my Meal Planning note for anyone that’s interested. I keep list of current dates, and a tentative meal idea for each day. You can’t see on the screen shot, but under the dates, there is a long list of ingredients as well as future meal ideas and classic go-to meals. It’s very basic, but it works for me! 🙂

meal planning note on iPad

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: May Month 7 / Week 3

Project: Food Budget Weekly total: $103.97

My healthy budget goal is to eat seasonal, home-cooked meals while sticking to a $400 $350 monthly budget for all food including groceries, dining out, entertaining, vitamins/supplements, and gardening.

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.

May – Month Seven, Week Three

This week, I’ve spent $103.97, with a monthly total of $200.42. That leaves $149.58 for the rest of May.

Hmm, I went a little overboard this week. I fully expected to stick closer to my estimated $60, but with Mother’s Day entertaining and a husband craving Chinese take-out, I spent over $100.

I think I’ll be okay for the rest of the month though.

Dining Out: $17.00
Entertaining: $20.33
Gardening: $0
Groceries: $66.64

Spending Details

Market Basket (5/10) $23.10: mushrooms, cara cara oranges, (2) limes, crown broccoli, red grapefruit, bananas, flour, molasses, baking powder, (4) Hunt’s whole tomatoes, brown mustard

Whole Foods (5/11) $21.66: 5lb bag o’ organic carrots, organic strawberries, 4 lb bag o’ oranges, vidalia onions, organic celery, asparagus

Other $13.00: (3) bottles of cheap wine and back to the store for a few bananas.

Meat CSA $11.88: Fresh pork ham steak (Luckily, products from the Meat CSA are technically paid in full, so no real money is actually spent, but I apply the cost to my budget as we consume it.)

Lessons Learned This Week

  • I couldn’t resist purchasing a package of organic strawberries (from Calif) this week. Yes, it was an impulsive buy, and it was not local, but I don’t think it was a poor choice, it was a special treat.
  • Also, I had a further breakthrough on keeping true to what I really need. The Niman Ranch bacon was on sale, and I added it to my initial grocery list, but I later removed it. I have a freezer full of meat, so it’s silly to buy any more at the store, until most of the stuff I have is used. *** I resisted a sale item…yay!

Week of Meals

  • Thursday: Egg brown rice bake w/ cheese, beet greens & broccoli
  • Friday: Braised fresh pork ham steak with lentils and cream of carrot soup
  • Saturday: Take-out Chinese
  • Sunday: Mother’s Day celebration
  • Monday: Whole wheat oatmeal caraway pancakes with maple syrup
  • Tuesday: Pasta with tomato pepper sauce (I still have whole chilies in the freezer from last summer!)
  • Wednesday: Bread Pizzas w/ feta

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: May Month 7 / Week 2

Project: Food Budget Weekly total: $75.28

My healthy budget goal is to eat seasonal, home-cooked meals while sticking to a $400 $350 monthly budget for all food including groceries, dining out, entertaining, vitamins/supplements, and gardening.

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.

May – Month Seven, Week Two

This week, I’ve spent $75.28, with a monthly total of $96.45. That leaves $253.55 for the rest of May.

I’m shooting for 3 more shopping trips, with about $60 for each, leaving a little buffer for other food costs this month.

Dining Out: $17.00
Entertaining: $
Gardening: $
Groceries: $58.28

Spending Details

Thursday was a busy shopping day!

Citrus is definitely coming to the end of season, the bagged grapefruit and oranges were unsatisfactory. sigh. This is a tough time of year, in between the end of citrus season and beginning of the local season for berries and stone fruit! We might have to rely on frozen fruit, hmm, good chance to experiment with some green smoothies perhaps!

Stop & Shop $3.00: Had a coupon for $2 off $5 produce, so I bought 1 mango and 3 avocados. Good deal at $.75 each.

Trader Joe’s $31.72: 5 lb bag o’ grapefruit, feta cheese, walnuts, (2) raisins, peanuts, reduced sugar blueberry preserves, and balsamic vinegar. Not happy with the grapefruit quality. I’m glad TJ’s has an excellent refund policy.

Wilson Farm $16.58: their own asparagus ($6/lb), their-own eggs, cilantro (NJ), red lettuce (NJ), beets (NJ), and bag o’ cara cara oranges.

Meat CSA $6.98:This week, I used a pound of grassfed beef. (Luckily, products from the Meat CSA are technically paid in full, so no real money is actually spent, but I apply the cost to my budget as we consume it.)

Week of Meals

  • Thursday: Calzone take-out
  • Friday: Pasta with ground beef tomato sauce, simmered for hours in oven. Froze leftover sauce for later
  • Saturday: Broccoli & asparagus with quinoa topped with fried egg
  • Sunday: Dinner at the new neighbors’
  • Monday: Spinach carrot asparagus soup with grilled cheddar cheese sandwiches
  • Tuesday: Pan seared scallops with bulgar, spinach salad, and steamed beets & broccoli
  • Wednesday: Pasta with bean tomato onion sauce

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: April Month 6 / Week 5

Project: Food Budget Weekly total: $22.72

My healthy budget goal is to eat seasonal, home-cooked meals while sticking to a $400 $350 monthly budget for all food including groceries, dining out, entertaining, vitamins/supplements, and gardening.

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.

April – Month Six, Week Five

This week, I’ve spent $22.72, bringing my monthly total to $356.04.

OMG, I was *this* close to being UNDER my new $350 monthly goal, but DH convinced me to get Chinese take-out Friday night. I had some extra cash we received as a gift, so after I applying that toward our bill, it only amounted to $8.

Yeah, it was another “impulsive” buy, but it made DH happy and I was only $6 over budget. Pretty darned good I have to say!

Monthly Totals:

Dining Out: $53.63
Entertaining: $5.57
Groceries: $287.82
Vitamins/supplements: $9.02

May – Month Seven, Week One-ish

New month! I’ve spent $21.17, leaving $328.83 for the rest of May.

Dining Out: $0
Entertaining: $0
Gardening: $1.69
Groceries: $19.48 (includes a small $ adjustment to my Meat CSA balance)

Spending Details

Market Basket (4/26) $14.72: Bag o’ oranges, broccoli crowns, red grapefruit, bananas, Planters peanuts, sharp cheddar, (2) large cans Hunts tomatoes.

Market Basket (5/2) $18.70: Olivia’s value pack spinach, mushrooms, 5lb bag o’ vidalia onions, (2) oranges, (2) grapefruit, broccoli crowns, bananas.

Week of Meals

I haven’t posted much lately on actual “meal planning”, but it’s been working pretty well. No, I’m not a meal planning machine, but I keep a simply meal plan “note” on my iPad w/ 7-10 days of dinners, & it really helps keep me on track.

My meals are not set in stone, so I can easily swap if my food mood changes. The cool thing is my meal plan note is also synced on my iPhone, so if I ever need to refer to it while grocery shopping, it’s ready.

  • Thursday: Baked chicken enchiladas
  • Friday: Take-out Chinese food
  • Saturday: Chicken soup with barley (carrots, celery, (frozen) peppers)
  • Sunday: Bread pizza with salsa, and feta
  • Monday: Rice, lentil, broccoli, egg, cheese bake
  • Tuesday: Potato onion pancakes & carrot/butternut soup
  • Wednesday: early dinner/late lunch at parents’

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: