Project: Food Budget (Week numero 1)

So, here’s the thing.  I’m a new stay-at-home mom.  New in every sense of the word.  (I really grew a human inside me, birthed him, and for the past ten months have cared for him like I’m a real grown up? WUT?) Part of being a stay-at-home mom means I never have to worry about the costs of child care, both mentally and monetarily. It also means I have to budget carefully.  I am grateful for my husband’s job like you wouldn’t believe, but that money goes fast in a one income household with a mortgage, 2 cars, and a little one.

I’ve gotten pretty good at budgeting, meal planning, and spending less on food in general, but I would love to get better.  That’s where Project: Food Budget (by the always delightful Emily Levenson) comes in.

PFB2015

The way my budget usually goes is this:  I decide I’m only spending 50 dollars a week on food.  I make a menu.  I go grocery shopping and spend about 65 bucks.  I stop at a store a couple more times that week for 5 or 10 dollars worth of food here or there.  I spend 10 or 20 bucks on beer.  We end up out to the new brewery in town for lunch on Thursday.  And, as you can see, by the end of the week my food budget has at least doubled, if not tripled.

So for the summer, myself (a brand new blogger) and some other (much more experienced) bloggers are going to really look at what we are spending on food.  Some immediate things come to mind.  What’s the cost of eating healthy? The cost of the baby food I make for my son.  How important is eating out to us as a family?  Formula… oh how expensive you are. The world of couponing (Those people are crazy.) And other stuff, too.  I hope to really deal with these things in the coming weeks, and more stuff, too.  Fifty dollars a week is probably unreasonable.  It doesn’t even include formula, dog food, paper towels and the like.  What should my actual food budget be?  This is already hurting my brain.

So here’s what I did this week:

My little menu board that’s on the wall in my kitchen:

IMG_1688

This is pretty typical.  Simple menu.  We always do tacos on Tuesdays, pizza on Sundays, and meatless on Mondays, which makes the planning easier.  Something you should know about me; I rarely buy bread and rolls.  I bake most everything from scratch because the cost of bread makes me stabby.  Although, I will buy it when there’s a sale or if I’m just lazy or busy that week.  You can see we are having friends over on Friday and I totally didn’t buy any snacks or drinks, so I can already tell how my budget will be messed up this week.

I almost always grocery shop on Tuesdays.  I can’t stand the two local discount grocery stores with a furious passion.  I know other people swear by them, my local ones just stink.  I usually go to Giant Eagle Market District or Trader Joes or the local farmer’s market or all 3.  Here’s how I did today:

IMG_1686

SB DBL WALL TRAV 14.95 T
VOIOP SB DBL WALL TRAV 14.95-T
SB ICED COFFFEE 24 2.95 T
TAX 0.21

**** BALANCE 3.16

3LB B SZ RED 3.49 F
3.31 lb @ 1.79 /lb
WT YAMS 5.92 F
BEETS 2.99 F
3.83 lb @ 0.54 /lb
WT BANANAS 2.07 F
NB RASP LEMON AC 3.29 B
GE PASTA SAUCE AC 1.69 F
GE PASTA SAUCE AC 1.69 F
1 @ 5/5.00
GE TOMATOES 1.00 F
GE WW ROTINI AC 1.19 F
GE WW ELBOW MAC AC 1.19 F
2.03 lb @ 1.99 /lb
WT DANJOU PEARS 4.04 F
0.54 lb @ 0.99 /lb
WT VIDALIA ONION 0.53 F
GE CHUNK CHEESE 2.99 F
NB BABY SPINACH 3.99 F
2.17 lb @ 2.49 /lb
WT GREEN PEPPER 5.40 F
MUSHROOM GIORGIO NP 2.00 F
SC NB RASP LEM (2.50) 0.79-B
SC GE PASTA SA (1.00) 0.69-F
SC GE PASTA SA (1.00) 0.69-F
SC GE WW ROTIN (1.00) 0.19-F
SC GE WW ELBOW (1.00) 0.19-F
TAX 0.17

**** BALANCE 41.09

SDLS.WATERMELON AC 6.99 F
SC SDLS.WATERM (3.99) 3.00-F
TAX 0.00

**** BALANCE 3.99

(thank you Iggle for my email receipts which means I just copy and pasted that) (should probably do a better job of making that readable in future posts)

Total: 48.24

Under budget! woo! Except wait, there are no proteins in there.  I buy meat on sale whenever I can and freeze, then I make my menu based on my freezer.  We didn’t need any this week.  (Future topic: we may buy a half a cow!)  Also, I totally went to Target earlier this week and bought some food.  Also, if you look at my menu, you will see we are having friends over on Friday.  I totally didn’t buy any snacks or drinks for that so we will be going shopping again.  But I was close!  Ack.  You can see why I need this project.

Here are my fellow Project: Food Budgeters.  Click around.  They are awesome.


Emily Levenson
McGinnis and Bean
Rainaldi.org
Red Pen Mama
Erra Creations
Eryn Says…
Seeking White Space
Gardening in High Heels
Melissa Firman
Copy & Post
Rachel Olive Miller

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Project: Food Budget (Week numero 1)

6 thoughts on “Project: Food Budget (Week numero 1)

  1. emlevenson says:

    I’m so glad to have you joining us for the next 12 weeks.

    I feel like I’ve gotten into the same bad habit of shopping at multiple stores throughout the week. Which makes everything more difficult to track. And also makes me think I’m doing better than I really am at the shopping and budgeting.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Meg Campbell says:

    I was asking myself many of those same questions and having the same reaction! I actually asked one of the Trader Joe’s employees “So, if coffee’s not labeled Fair Trade & Organic, should I assume it’s being made with slave labor and destroying our environment?” I feel like this is making me thinking about my shopping habits all around, which is good and needed, but also overwhelming.

    Keep us posted on the cow developments! I’ve always been curious how that works out for people.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Welcome! I also usually go to the Eagle, I know it costs more but it is so convenient. We have a tween and a teen at home and with the constant running it just makes sense. I do want to try trader joe’s though. Taco Tuesday!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I always go to Giant Eagle too because of Fuel Perks and convenience. I’m also doing a $50 budget as well and I’m planning on using my freezer of sale proteins and garden heavily throughout the summer. Beer at breweries around the Burgh is expensive, yo!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Beer is expensive. Before having my son it was actually my job. I ran the beer department of an Iggle. I’d like to keep going with it, maybe do some sampling events or writing (that’s a big maybe/hope) for a little extra money and to stay connected to the beer community in PGH which is awesome.

      Like

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