Healthy Food Budget: Wk 3 June 2013

June Week Three Healthy Food Budget: $104.91

It was somewhat spur of the moment, with some previous contemplation, but I decided to try a 21 day cleanse/elimination diet, so this week was a spending fiesta on lots of fresh produce…which made me realize that I really wasn’t eating enough produce every day!

Even with the extra spending, I think I’m still on target for $400, with one more week left! I have plenty of meat, chicken and fish. I might have to get some more brown rice, but there’s plenty of quinoa. I’ll definitely need more fruit and of course greens. The greens never stop! haha!

June Wk 3 Food Spending $104.91 / Total $310.16 / June Balance $89.84

Dining Out: $0 / Total $23.57
Gardening: $0 / Total $16.39
Groceries: $104.91 / Total $270.20

We are doing very well keeping the dining out expense down. hahaa, only because I can’t eat anything due to the “cleanse” – Oh well! Poor DH, he’s been very supportive!

Where I Spent My Grocery Dollars This Week

Hannaford & Trader Joes (Mon) $47.05 for sm pkg of organic baby spinach, raw almonds, raw cashews (not happy that I am forced to buy Asian raw cashews), shell-on pistachios, toasted sesame oil, organic frozen raspberries, pesticide-free frozen blueberries, (2) no-salt canned skinless/boneless Alaskan salmon, organic half & half, bag o’ California avocados, balsamic vinegar, ogranic quinoa, (3) bananas

Market Basket (Tues, Wed) $10.98 for 2.5lb seedless grapes, (2) Mangos, and (1) organic zucchini

Whole Foods Market (Tues) $33 for organic peanut butter, Lundberg brown rice cakes, garbanzo beans, pitted dates, (1) Vidalia onion, (1) cantaloupe melon, (1) organic lemon, 3/4lb organic white peaches and (2) bags of whole cut-up chicken on sale, one of which smelled horribly spoiled when I arrived home (see below for refund)

Whole Foods Market (Fri) net $17.86 for 1lb Alaskan sockeye salmon ($12/lb sale!), 1.25lb organic nectarines, (2) organic lemons, (1) mango, frozen organic peas, olives from bar, .75lb organic purple kale, and one whole chicken (sale $1.49/lb), with a credit of $12+ from the smelly chicken. I was pleasantly surprised they refunded the price for BOTH the chickens I bought on Tuesday. I was only expecting one to be refunded.

Dinners This Week

Saturday 6/15
Leftover frozen chicken with leftover frozen tomato spinach soup over brown rice (cooked in homemade veg/chicken stock)
Sunday 6/16
Eggs with leftover brown rice and steamed spinach & radish greens
Monday 6/17 **Day 1 detox cleanse**
Leftover frozen beefalo tomato potato corn spinach soup (already messed up with tomatoes, potato, corn, but its ok)
Tuesday 6/18
Baked chicken thighs with skin and brown rice (coconut oil) and large salad (farm lettuce, farm radish, NJ cuke, farm parsley with olive oil & vinegar)
Wednesday 6/19
Soup with leftover frozen beefalo, homemade broth, radish greens, carrots, zucchini, broccoli ends, and chickpeas
Thursday 6/20
Baked haddock with roasted onions (me) & roasted potatoes, (DH) with leftover soup
Friday 6/21
Crockpot chicken (DH) – Baked Salmon w/tamari (me) with quinoa and steamed kale (both with a little sesame oil)

About My Healthy Budget

My healthy budget goal is to eat seasonal (local if possible,) home-cooked meals while sticking to a $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. DH occasionally eats take-out lunch at work, & that $ comes out of his personal cash stash.

Healthy Food Budget: Wk 2 Bargains, Veg & Garden

June Week 2 Healthy Food Budget: $77.36

This was a good week. I’ve been feeling kind of sluggish, and it dawned on me that even though I was eating fairly healthily, I really was not eating enough produce! Time to up the veggies and fruit and maybe even make some smoothies. I have to take care of myself better!

June Wk 2 Food Spending $77.36 / Month Total $205.25 / Balance $194.74

Dining Out: $1.07 / Total $23.57
Gardening: $16.39 / Total $16.39
Groceries: $59.90 / Total $165.29

Purchased a Boston pickling cucumber plant as well as a bargain $1.99 3pk flat of regular pickling cucumbers. I also purchased an 8lb bag of Espoma organic tomato food for $10.75 at Ocean State Job Lots.

All in all, a great week, including a full fruit bowl on my counter to boot!

Where I Spent My Grocery Dollars This Week

Market Basket (Sat, Sun) $13.45 for gallon Turkey Hill ice cream, (.76lb) organic gala apples, (.5lb) crown broccoli, (2) pickling cukes, (2) Vidalia onions, (.75lb) bananas and a REDUCED SALE Olivia’s spring mix (10 oz) for $2.99

Whole Foods Market (Mon) $12.15 for .60lb bulk peanuts, 5lb bag o’ organic carrots, (1lb) bulk chick peas, and (3) Cedar 8oz hommus with (3) 75cents coupons, making each only 75cents!

Wilson Farm (Thurs) $16.33 for 1lb (calif) plums & white nectarines, 1/2 lb farm English peas, bunch of farm torpedo radishes, bunch of farm parsley, 2 (NJ) large cucumbers, 1 qt (Calif) strawberries, large farm red lettuce.

Market Basket (Thurs) $6.51 for 1 avocado, 1.5lb organic apples, 2 red grapefruit, 2lb bananas, and a Chobani yogurt for a quick lunch.

Trader Joe’s (Thurs) $11.46 for TJ’s fair trade organic chocolate, frozen pesticide-free wild blueberries, 2 bags of organic raisins – FINALLY, they are in stock!

Dinners This Week

Saturday 6/8
DH out to dinner with buddies, I had leftover Chinese for lunch and salad w/ mozzarella for dinner

Sunday 6/9
Pasta with frozen leftover tomato pepper sauce and frozen leftover beefalo

Monday 6/10
Fried eggs with potatoes, NJ beets, vidalia onions, leftover tomato pepper sauce, asparagus, and veggie salad (farm lettuce, cucumbers, farm radishes, carrots)

Tuesday 6/11
Bread pizza with salad

Wednesday 6/12
Crockpot chicken with quinoa and steamed spinach

Thursday 6/13
Made tomato spinach soup, DH brought home food from a client: meatballs, stuffed mushrooms, & chicken fingers.

Friday 6/14
Dinner at inlaws

About My Healthy Budget

My healthy budget goal is to eat seasonal (local if possible,) home-cooked meals while sticking to a $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. DH occasionally eats take-out lunch at work, & that $ comes out of his personal cash stash.

Healthy Food Budget: Wk 1, June 2013

June Week One Healthy Food Budget: $127.89

Started off the month with a BIG $37 for a beefalo top round roast from my freezer stash of local farmed meat. It was slow-cooked in the crockpot for 8+hours and it was delicious!

Even though it was an expensive item, We’ll be getting at least 6 meals (each) from it, so it was worth it!

On the “frugal” side of spending, DH suggested instead of spending $10+ for sundaes at the ice cream stand, we should buy a gallon and some yummy sauce at the grocery store instead. It cost about half, and we each got two LARGE sundaes!

To be specific, Mrs Richardson’s butterscotch caramel topping is actually quite good; It had a “real” taste, and the ingredients, while not necessarily good, weren’t too horrible, especially compared to Smuckers brand toppings.

June Wk 1 Food Spending $127.89

Dining Out: $22.50
Groceries: $105.39

I ended last month with a large overage, so this month, I’m being extra careful.

I have $272.11 left for the rest of June; that calculates to $90 for each remaining week. I have hope that I might even be under this month!

Where I Spent My Grocery Dollars This Week

Market Basket (Sat) $5.49 for Turkey Hill cookie dough ice cream and Mrs Richardson’s butterscotch caramel topping. The ice cream lasted two days, but the topping should last us a couple of weeks. 😉

Market Basket (Sun) $7.60 for 1.5 lb bananas, 1 lb organic apples, 5oz Olivia’s organic 50/50 blend salad (sale), and 1lb Driscoll strawberries. I couldn’t resist strawberries, even though they aren’t local.

Open Meadow Farm $37.41 for beefalo top round roast (meat from the farm is paid in full, so technically no real money is actually spent, but I apply the cost to my budget as we consume it. I still have about $62 worth of meat left.)

Trader Joe’s (Tues) $44.62 for organic sour cream, (2) dry pasta, 5lb gold potatoes, fair trade organic dark chocolate, organic peanut butter, (4) bananas, organic cherries, 1/2 dozen Pete & Gerry’s organic heirloom eggs ($1 off coupon), TJ’s manchego cheese, Applegate farms turkey and ham, organic half & half, shell-on pistachios

Wilson Farm (Tues) $16.05 for large 2lb bag ‘o spinach, (2) lettuce, NJ beets w/ tops, radishes w/ tops, Canadian asparagus (1.99/lb), 1 doz farm x-large eggs ($2.69), and 50 cents for a large M&M cookie, a treat for me since I didn’t have breakfast!

I went through my pantry and found two packages of Bob’s Red Mill bulgur and 10-grain cereal that I didn’t think we’d be using any time soon, so I donated to the local food bank for a credit of $5.78 to grocery budget.

Dinners This Week

Saturday 6/1
Pasta with tomato pepper sauce made with my canned tomatoes, frozen summer green peppers & jalapeño and frozen leftover beefalo

Sunday 6/2
Bread pizza with summer canned tomatoes, Campo de Montalban cheese, olives (me) and chopped green onions

Monday 6/3
Canned summer tomatoes with green beans, farm green onions over barley. DH also had fried eggs (I had eggs for lunch)

Tuesday 6/4
Slow cooker top round beefalo roast (farm) with roasted farm beets, roasted garlic, onions & potatoes

Wednesday 6/5
Soup with leftover beefalo, chickpeas, farm spinach, asparagus, farm green onions tops, frozen summer corn, frozen summer roasted tomatoes, leftover potatoes, leftover corn salsa, beefalo crockpot drippings, water, turmeric, smoked paprika, dried oregano

Thursday 6/6
Eggs with spinach & asparagus with cornbread, salad (farm lettuce, farm radishes, farm radish greens, & garden clover, topped with homemade ranch dressing)

Friday 6/7
Take-out Chinese pu pu platter

About My Healthy Budget

My healthy budget goal is to eat seasonal (local if possible,) home-cooked meals while sticking to a $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. DH occasionally eats take-out lunch at work, & that $ comes out of his personal cash stash.

Healthy Food Budget: Month End May 2013

Month of May Healthy Food Budget: $471.52

Wow, yep, way over my $400 budget, but there was surplus of $100 from earlier months, so I’m still under yearly total of $4800 – $5000.

May Food Spending Total $471.52

Dining Out: $79.51
Gardening: $5.78
Groceries: $373.53
Vitamins/Supplements: $12.70

Some specifics:

Whole Foods Market: Pastured step4 chickens were on special at $2.99/lb. I bought a whole chicken and a whole cut-up chicken for a total of about $24. I froze a few of the individual pieces for meals throughout the month, and the whole chicken is still in my freezer.

Tropical Traditions: (2) jars each of coconut oil and coconut cream $38 – that took a big chunk from the budget!

Spent about $27 for farm meat (Open Meadow Farm) but I got many meals from 1lb of ground beefalo and 3lb fresh ham steak, including rendered pork fat.

On the other hand, I spent almost $30 at two farmers markets, with not much to show for it. 🙁

But NO excuses! I admit spending went overboard, especially the last two weekends, starting with Memorial weekend, wanting to treat ourselves.

The most frustrating part was there was not a lot of produce in the house during most of the month, and since we’re “between seasons” I’m having a difficult time finding decent fruit, without spending a fortune on organic.

June starts a new month, and local produce is becoming more plentiful. My plan is less spontaneity at the farmers markets, and sticking to less expensive local farmstands when possible.

Freezer/Pantry Update

Took inventory of my preserves, and I am still in great shape.

4 -1/2 pint blueberry jam with 2 in the fridge as well (new!)
7 -quarts canned tomatoes
6 -pints canned tomatoes
5 -pints applesauce
4 -pints cranberry apple sauce
2 -pints corn tomato salsa
2 -pints tomato jam (very sweet, not sure what I’m gonna do with this!)
1 -1/2 pint apple cider jelly
2 -1/2 cup grape syrup
4 -1/2 pint grape syrup

Plus, in the freezer, I have a few bags of summer corn, dried summer tomatoes, summer cherry tomatoes, and probably a few other assorted tomatoes. I am out of summer green peppers, but I still have a quart bag of jalapenos.

Where I Spent My Grocery Dollars This Month

Whole Foods 118.29 (32%)
MARKET BASKET 56.49 (15%)
Trader Joe’s 39.29 (11%)
Tropical Traditions 37.95 (10%) (coconut products)
Hannaford 29.66 (8%)
Open Meadow Farm 27.30 (7%) (meat)
Newburyport Farmers Market 16.80 (5%)
Ocean State Job Lot 14.01 (4%)
Amazon.com 13.74 (4%)
Salem NH Farmers Market 12.50 (3%)
Seven Acres Farm 7.50 (2%)
Total: 373.53

About My Healthy Budget

My healthy budget goal is to eat seasonal (local if possible,) home-cooked meals while sticking to a $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. DH occasionally eats take-out lunch at work, & that $ comes out of his personal cash stash.