Project: Food Budget (Week 2)

Well, this isn’t going well.


So, this week has been pretty messed up, but in its messed upped-ness, I have figured something out that I think will help me.  First, the nitty gritty:

Menu board:


Yes, as you can see, not too hot.  We are going to visit family near Buffalo this week, and I started to make my menu Sunday night, but then pretty much gave up.  I added the list on the right this morning.  It’s the things I would like to get done today.  Pears and beets are already cooked and pureed for the boy. Dough for hamburger rolls is kneading away in my bread machine.  Laundry was started by J. before he left this morning.  Working on blog post now!  The reason I wanted to get mostly packed today is because I want to re-caulk the tub tomorrow.  We will be gone for 3 days, so it can dry… wait, I got side-tracked.

Here is what I spent on food since we last spoke:


Iced Coffee  3.16

(lunch out)

SUB 14″ COLD 8.49 B
22 OZ COKE AC 1.49 B
TAX 1.33

**** BALANCE 20.30


Iced Coffee  3.16

That’s it.

I bought other stuff at Target on Saturday, but I’m not including anything non-food.  I did make everything on my menu from last week except the burgers on Friday.  We had chicken salad sandwiches and watermelon instead.  Also, for Meatless Monday, I made one pot pasta with whole grain rotini, spinach, mushrooms, onions, cream cheese and olive oil and some spices instead of the chili stuffed peppers.  (Meal that takes 20 minutes vs meal that takes over an hour to prepare.)  (I need to keep more quick recipes handy.  I was trying to think of things I could put in the freezer for days that just get away from me, like yesterday.  I wonder if you could actually make a pizza, freeze it, and then just cook it like a DiGiorno? What else could I put in the freezer that I could cook without having to thaw ahead of time?  I need convenience here, people.)  I’m making the cheese burgers with roasted potatoes from Friday tonight.  Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday we will be at my parents house.. no need to grocery shop for that.  I did want to make something for the 4 hour trip there because we traditionally stop for fast food.  It’s the only time we do it any more, but I seriously want to just cut it out completely now that the boy is here and sees EVERYTHING.  But, I think I’m gonna let it go.  If I decide I have time tomorrow, I might make some oatmeal cookies or something, I don’t know.  Saturday when we get back, it will be late, we will probably order something. Then on SUNDAY I will go grocery shopping again.  Which works out to our benefit because J. gets paid on Saturday, so we have the current bank balance for gas and junk along the way for our trip.  Phew.


(Friday’s watermelon extravaganza)

Which brings me to my first What I’ve Learned:

I’m going to do our food budget based on two weeks instead of one.  Since J. gets paid every 2 weeks, it makes more sense.  I tend to get enough formula for two weeks, plus I usually do a bigger shopping trip, that first week out of the two.

I’ve also decided to do a much bigger budget than I originally intended, and to include formula.  The boy won’t be on formula for too much longer.  In fact, at his next appointment we are going to talk about when we can ditch it completely.  I want that money to go right back into the food budget, so it just makes sense to include it.  SO here is what I’m thinking for our New and Improved Budget:

60 – formula

50/week – groceries

50 – going out to eat and/or grocery overflow

Total: 210 over 2 weeks.

It’s a huge jump from my previous 50 dollar a week thinking, but it is way more realistic.  Truth is, this should be our Max No Matter What food spending.  At least until I start to make some money to contribute.. But am I ready to do that yet? Yes, if it doesn’t involve babysitters.  (That’s a post for another day)  Even then, we need to increase our savings.  So, very optimistically, it’s 210 with any extra at the end of the 2 weeks (savings from coupons, not going out to eat) going into our savings account.

So, even though we did come under budget over the last two weeks,  I’m not counting it.  I had a stocked freezer. Aside from some puree ice cubes for the little one, and some random stuff, my freezer is pretty bare.  Now I will really see what I’m spending.

How do you guys deal with travel and eating?  I have organic pouches for the boy, and will probably just end up getting drive-through for the grown-ups.  It’s only a 4 hour drive this time, but we did a 20 hour drive to Florida a couple months ago the same way.  There has to be a healthier (and maybe cheaper?) way, that’s for darn sure.

Project: Food Budgeters:

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

Project: Food Budget (Week 2)

7 thoughts on “Project: Food Budget (Week 2)

  1. We have almost completely given up drive-through visits on road trips. We make things but also just bring store bought things. It all depends on the length of the drive. Most recently, I had almond butter, sliced salami, sliced pepperoni, roasted and salted almonds and a chocolate bar in a cooler bag. We also have been known to bring sweet potato chips, dried fruit, fresh fruit, homemade cookies, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Buy pre-made healthy stuff.. Genius. I always have this idea that I’m going to make all of these healthy sandwiches and wraps and cut up fruit, but then I’m last minute packing and everything else and never do it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I just realized I never put in the 12 pack of beer I bought that was around 20 bucks. I do plan on including beer in this budget. It is expensive and It’s a part of the budget I can cut out if necessary.


  3. emlevenson says:

    Sam’s suggestion of buying healthy pre-made stuff is a great one. We also used to just search for healthier options on the trip — places like Panera and restaurants we could get a salad or sandwhich quickly. We always felt way better when we did that.

    When I was at the pique of my food sensitivities and couldn’t eat out anywhere, I would make a big salad (lettuce salad or pasta salad) that would keep regardless of temp, a crazy amount of fruit, and pretzels. That always seemed to be the easiest.

    I also like that you’re restructuring your spending. You have to do what works for you! Interested to see how the new structure works for you.

    Have a great time with family!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes definitely to the healthier road options. That’s something you can sort of learn about the routes you take most frequently. For example, I-80 to Chicago = amazing options, I-70 to St. Louis = no diggity.


  4. Meg Campbell says:

    I’m totally in the same place with “What can I actually freeze successfully?!” When it comes to all things recipes, the internet overwhelms me with it’s very specific rules for how things must be done. Can’t I just put things in tupperware, freeze them, and then microwave/cook them later? Definitely looking forward to seeing what you come up with!


  5. I totally just pack things and take them with me, but I don’t travel with anyone else in the car really – especially not a baby. I can’t wait to see what you come up with to fill that freezer!


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