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:

8 thoughts on “Project Food Budget / My Healthy Budget: February Month 4 / Week 2”

  1. Hm, I would only count the meat you eat in your budget, if you can figure out the amount. I think the important thing is to not stress and not feel deprived. I’ve been loving this project because of new recipes and tasty foods. It’s been enriching for me from that perspective! I just stumbled onto a black bean brownie recipe that I want to go home and try right now!

  2. You’ve convinced me! It would make my life a lot less stressful if I didn’t count the meat until consumed. I think I will revert to that starting this month. I will keep the next deliveries of meat in a separate spot in the freezer and use up all the meat I’ve already “paid for”

    Wow yes thank you for your input. I feel better.

  3. I agree that it would be more representative and accurate (though probably challenging/annoying?) to tally the meat you actually eat. I mean, otherwise it will look like you have all this extra money in the summer and you’ll find yourself going wild at the store. [that might just be how I’d respond…]

    I’ve been feeling frustrated with myself, too, but I’ve been going way over budget each month and not totally understanding why. It seems to be a different reason each month.

  4. I agree with RPM — only count what you consume.

    Also, I don’t get too concerned with counting our eating out budget as part of this project (though you barely eat out!). I keep a separate “entertainment” budget, and that’s where that falls. I guess it is six of one, half a dozen of the other, but it does help me to not stress about going out to lunch here and there. We both work from home, so we often have to to go out to lunch for our own sanities! Otherwise, we’d never see people. ;)

    Congrats on your couponing!

  5. GOOD JOB COUPONING! I kind of feel like a proud mama right now!

    I also agree about only counting the meat you consume b/c you do so well with your budgeting otherwise that it seems silly.

    Also, don’t forget last week’s post about taking it easy. Like I wrote about this week: you absolutely have to make this work for you.

    Finally, re: the fish…I hate missing a good sale. But let knowing that it probably wasn’t the best fit (for the environment or the hubby) salve the wound a little. There will be more sales and more fish. :)


  6. Thanks all, I really appreciate the input!

    @Katy, wow, yes, that makes so much sense, regarding your comment about summer. I never thought about it that way. But yes, it would be lop-sided. Thanks!

    @Angela, we used to go out a lot, take-out mostly, but as you’ve mentioned, we’ve tapered way down. I try eating pre-cooked freezer meals instead. But that is what is so great about this project, there are so many unique ways that all of us do this!

    @Kait, I think of you whenever I coupon!! whoo hoo! And yes, I need to take this not so seriously and just relax. I’m so high-strung sometimes!!! haha. But I do feel better now that I can adjust the budget for meat. WF was still having the hake fish sale, but I decided that I rather get another organic (on sale) chicken instead, so I got 3 chickens.

  7. I agree with the other ladies about only counting the meat you consume.

    This is actually what makes me hesitate about joining a CSA. I had thought about joining one for produce… but most weeks I end up throwing out one or two things from the last grocery trip that I didn’t use. I know I can freeze fruits and veggies, but I don’t exactly have a huge freezer.

    Anyway, great job on the shopping/couponing!

  8. @ Amanda, I understand your hesitance about CSAs.

    I participated in a veggie CSA for 2 years and the food was incredible and the price was right, but I found it very challenging and sometimes overwhelming to process & cook so much food every week.

    It was extra difficult during the weeks that we were heading out on our camping vacations. Plus, I felt like I was missing out on veggies that weren’t included that week.

    I didn’t go to farmers markets very often because there wasn’t much that I needed, especially on the weekends, and I felt like I was missing out on that.

    I am not participating in the CSA this summer, but will continue to support the farm. But I’m excited to experience other farms and farmers markets this summer.

    I am not discouraging CSAs, but it just wasn’t for me, at least for now.

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