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Getting back on track with food budget

November 19th, 2014 at 07:11 am

Yesterday my partner and I independently came to the conclusion that we need to stop eating out so much. We both looked at what we've spent our money on in the past 30 days and both of us have spent an entire paycheck on food and drink (including groceries). That is absurd. To be fair, we went out of town one weekend and had guests for two weekends and that just is not normal for us. I am glad we are both on the same page now-it is hard to hold to your guns when the other is encouraging you to do something you'd like to do anyway.

I stopped at the grocery store for a quick top up trip. I am going to have to start planning better because I feel like I am always at Kroger. Today I bought olive oil, but when it rang up it was $2 more. Last time I was at Kroger my oranges rang up wrong but I didn't think it was worth the effort for 42 cents. Two dollars is apparently the magic number for me. They checked the price and since it was labeled wrong (or didn't ring up correctly?) I got the bottle for free. That felt pretty good.

Now we have a fridge literally full of leftovers plus all the fruit and milk and coffee we consume daily and I don't see the need to go out to eat for some time or to grocery shop until the weekend.

2 Responses to “Getting back on track with food budget”

  1. Miz Pat Says:

    I know how this feels. I associate going out with a social life aka fun and it is very hard to resist.

    I did worse. I went $240 over on my budget with all the Thanksgiving Sales. Now I know that they were all stock up items, but it wasn't smart on my part.

  2. snafu Says:

    The smartest thing I've done on the home front is to write out a menu plan. I keep it simple and flexible. Started by writing down 5 favourite meals and insisted each family member likewise offer at least 5 favourite entrees. Every weekend I flip through the grocery store flyers to note loss leaders and seasonal stuff. It's much less stressful to know what to make walking through the door and based on the schedule. It helps to make a fast easy meal the most hectic day. Monday's are really busy here so it's practical to do some kind of pasta.

    Tues is 'plan-over' combining leftover's from Sunday's best meal of the week into something else [Ethnic] like casserole, stew, Jambalya or Paella type dish. Wednesday's theme is meatless and fun to try-out different vegetarian ideas that the fridge and pantry will support. Thurs. is usually grocery shopping & errands so it help to have a crockpot dinner ready to plate when we return. Fri is leftover buffet, all the stuff set out in small bowls/plates easily zapped in microwave or add to green salad, sandwich or omelette/Frittata.

    Having a plan makes it easy to monitor the pantry and assign ingredients so they don't get lost and expire. When DKs were young, they made their favourites on Saturday. With a bit of supervision they did hot dogs, grilled cheese, waffles etc. We nearly always invite colleagues, friends and relatives for Sunday dinner and roast some big hunk of meat with special side dishes. It's fun, easy and you really get to know people over conversation at a relaxed meal.

    You can presume eating home cooked meals will cost less than half what you would pay in a restaurant. Likewise wine without the cost of 'corkage' is huge.

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