My Healthy Food Budget: February, 2013

February Healthy Food Budget: $330.72

This was a great month! I spent $71 less than my $400 budget for the month!

It seems a lot easier to spend less in the winter, so this will allow me a little spending cushion for summer, when I know I spend more. Or if I do well next month, I might use the excess to pay off the whole meat delivery I received in January.

February Food Spending $330.72

Dining Out: $121.52
Groceries: $209.20

Dining out spending wasn’t bad, considering we had a sit-down Valentines night dinner at a local Italian eatery for an extra splurge.

I was amazed at how little I spent at the grocery store. Inspiration was sparked by the Good Cheap Eats 1 Month Pantry Challenge. I didn’t hold myself to any specific rules or timeframe, but I made a conscious effort to refrain from purchasing ingredients when I knew there was something that could be cooked from my pantry, fridge or freezer.

For instance, I skipped the Winter Farmers Market last weekend because I still had kale, cabbage, beet, celeriac, potatoes, and sweet potato left from the prior week’s shopping trip. All I needed at the store this week was some fruit; I was able to use what I had on hand for meals all week.

I’m also finding inspiration over at the $100 a Month blog. Mavis, the author, hopes to feed her family of four with an average of $100 per month. She has a spectacularly massive garden, complete with egg-laying chickens, and it’s very educational to read about her adventures. I’m fascinated by her “reclaimed” food posts. ((Thanks for the recommendation, Angela))

Lastly, I’m excited because I found a local grain grower; We’ll be meeting up with her at a local farmers market on Sunday. To start, I’m trying bags of zorro wheat and barley flours. If it’s as wonderful as I hope it is, the next step might be a grain mill to grind my own flour.

Where I Spent My Grocery Dollars This Month

Total: $209.20
Market Basket 63.43
Trader Joe’s 44.74
Whole Foods 37.68
Winchester Winter Farmers Market 30.65
Open Meadow Farm 25.20
Seven Acres Farm 7.50

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.