We just completed our second week of the grocery budget, and I’m back to give you the update. 🙂 (If you want to read my original post, you can find it here.)
Quick recap: we are a family of five (only two adults) with a monthly budget of $1,250, which works out to $250/week (I started the week of 12/29 and need to make it all the way to the end of January). The first week I spent $398.84, which included meat I bought in bulk the first week at our local wholesale grocery. I do my grocery shopping Sunday afternoon after church and usually hit three different grocery stores: one for bulk items, one for good organic items and one for great prices. The word grocery is a little misleading, because our total budget includes: diapers (can’t wait till these leave the list!), toilet paper, paper towels, toiletries, etc.
Week 1: 12/29/19 Spent $398.84
Week 2: 1/5/20 Spent $198.59
Total Spent: $654.23 of $1,250.00, which leaves $595.77 for the remaining 3 weeks or $198.59/week.
1) No eating out for the second week in a row! I am almost jumping up and down over this one, friends. It was a bigger challenge this week, because all of our activities restarted. And time in the car = temptation to buy a quick meal or takeaway coffee. Tuesday is our biggest challenge, since we have homeschool co-op and are gone all day. By the time we return home, I am exhausted and not interested in cooking. So, I made sure to make Tuesday a SUPER simple cooking day. You guessed it: Taco Tuesday. It doesn’t get much easier than browning ground beef and quickly pulling out some grape tomatoes and spinach (yeah, we use spinach instead of lettuce). I also cooked up some rice, which only takes 15 minutes total! While it is super simple, the key is having all these items ready to go when I need them: ground beef defrosted and tomatoes and spinach available. That’s why the menu and the grocery list are so important. On Sunday, I look at my menu for the week and determine what I’m going to need and then mark up my grocery list to make sure all ingredients are on hand, while no unnecessary ingredients are (so there’s no waste). I will admit I was tempted to grab take out lunch on Friday, because we went out for an afternoon of errands and I was feeling so successful. I realized I equate takeout food as a reward for myself. However, I fought temptation by discussing it with my husband first. Having him as my accountability partner forces me to THINK before I buy. And let me say, he would normally tell me I can get whatever I want, but I have specifically told him eating out is my weakness and I want to WIN this year! He was super sweet as we talked through it, and he recommended eating before we went out, even if it was a bit earlier than normal. We also packed some snacks. I am sure some of you out there think this is ridiculous, but I am truly trying to stop mindless spending! This week really made me think about how I reward myself and what I can use as an alternative. One way I found is to have a snack I love available to take in the car. I am trying to eat healthy, so I want it to be a snack I won’t regret later. So, I settled on a Pecan Pie Lara Bar and Lime Perrier. Very tasty and a win for me! Again, just a little planning ahead to have healthy snacks on hand helped cut down unnecessary spending.
2) Once again, we ate all of our leftovers and NO food was thrown out! In the past, I was always tossing food (mostly vegetables) when I was restocking the fridge after shopping. Now, I have become intentional about checking my vegetable drawer every day. By Friday, I realized we were heavy on some leftovers, so I needed a plan. Enter…stone soup! I took chicken stock and my leftovers: chicken, kale, cabbage, carrots and dumped them all in a pot and made a hearty soup. It was actually quite tasty! Then, I took the leftover bones from my rotisserie chicken along with carrots shreds and tops, celery pieces and some onion peels and whipped up some homemade chicken stock. So, now my veggie drawer is empty and nothing was tossed. Praise the Lord!
Last week I wrote my loss was the kids not liking the egg quiche I made on the weekend, which my husband and I loved. We kept the quiche on the menu, but this weekend I substituted oatmeal topped with maple syrup and butter and toast for the kids and they were completely happy. So, we turned our loss into a win by finding a healthy-ish substitute. Other than that, there were no losses.
Dinner Menu Week 2:
Monday: Leftover Rotisserie Chicken/Potatoes/Carrots
Tuesday: Taco Beef/Rice/Salsa/Spinach/Tomatoes/Kale
Wednesday: Meatloaf/Potatoes/Green Beans
Thursday: Salmon/Rice/Carrots and Peas
Friday: Homemade pizza for the kids/Chicken stir fry/rice for the adults
Saturday: Leftovers – Kale/Cabbage/Chicken/Carrot Soup
Sunday: Fried Chicken (store bought), macaroni & cheese, baked beans
Lunches are very simple: ham sandwiches or PB&J or grilled cheese for the kids and a salad for me.
Breakfast: eggs, sausage and toast on the weekdays/ quiche and oatmeal on the weekends
There it is! Our second week menu and grocery budget.
What about you? Do you treat takeout food as a reward? Do you have a quick and easy menu item to share? Let me know in the comments!