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February Food Challenge Success

February 26, 2009

I’m totally bored of this challenge, but it was (probably) a success. Two days left, no spending planned.

I realized my grocery budget is really easy to stick to.   I mean, I bought $6/lb meat (accidentally), chicken and ingredients for special recipes.   Usually I don’t buy meat at all, so I must typically buy other crap.  Like those Butter Waffle Cookies at TJ’s, YUM.  However, I often splurge on going out to eat. And you know, I’m completely fine with that, I just want to stick to once a week. I’m taking down the tab for the February Food Challenge, and pasting the contents below.

Oh, by the way, I came across this post on how to cook and use an entire chicken and get 17 healthy meals for $25.   I was inspired, but I’m not organized enough to pull it off any time soon.  Maybe someday.

—–

I tracked my food purchases for February in hopes of staying under $200 for both grocery and restaurant spending.  This challenge was hosted by Give Me Back My Five Bucks.

Total Spending: $$182/$200 = 91%

ffc5

Notes on where I shop: I grocery shop at both Trader Joe’s and Ralph’s.  Ralph’s is better for cereal and a few other things (only if on sale though), and TJ’s is best for milk, eggs, cheese, produce and a lot of basics.  I’ve found Albertson’s to be cheaper than Ralph’s, but they aren’t conveniently located.  There isn’t much for ethnic stores nearby either.

Week 1 notesT paid for going out to eat (sandwiches ~$17).  I bought ground beef (which wasn’t on sale like I thought) and made my first meatloaf ever and used it in sandwiches.

Week 2 notes:  I bought 2.5 lbs of frozen chicken.  I rarely buy meat so I’m not sure I’ll meet my budget goal.  I figure this can be used in a variety of meals, starting with a huge batch of chicken fried rice that I’ll eat this week.  My turn to pay for going out to eat this weekend!

Week 3 notes:  Lots of extra spending in order to cook an interesting Valentine’s Day meal.  Wow, I think I spent $10 just on cheese!   This is balanced by the fact that we didn’t really go out to eat, but we did get some late night In-N-Out, the perfect end to a lazy Sunday.  I still should be able to meet my goal.

Week 3 notes:  Lots of extra spending in order to cook an interesting Valentine’s Day meal.  Wow, I think I spent $10 just on cheese!   This is balanced by the fact that we didn’t really go out to eat, but we did get some late night In-N-Out, the perfect end to a lazy Sunday.  I still should be able to meet my goal.

Week 4 notes: Mmmmm, rediscovered oatmeal as a delicious breakfast, but I hate doing dishes so I now have no clean bowls.

Some things I ate:

Sausage Egg Casserole (good not very healthy)
Strawberry Avacado Salad
(highly recommeded!)
Chicekn Penne (good, but not amazing)

PB&J – because I like it and I’m lazy, not really out of frugality
Chicken Fried Rice (somehow screwed this up and it was gross)

Apple & Gorgonzola salad with pecans
Pasta and tomato sauce
Apple salad (apples, yogurt, nuts…)

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 26, 2009 7:36 pm

    You are tracking much more than me, I just wrote down total spending and didn’t note what we bought. We’re coming in way under cause on Jan 31 we bought enough food to feed a small country. I’m really fed up with TJ’s for cheese, it goes moldy before I even open it. I keep returning unopened blocks of cheese, when I remember to bring it with me. At least they refund no receipt needed. Still, you don’t want to see me without my cheddar.

  2. February 26, 2009 8:00 pm

    I like this post!

    I shop at TJ’s, Ralph’s (for some basics) and Henry’s (fantastic for produce).

    Great job at the budget. I don’t think I’ve ever gone over mine ($300 total, split between groceries/restaurants) and usually come in around $200-$225. 🙂

  3. February 26, 2009 10:25 pm

    I shop at TJ’s and Ralph’s/Albertson’s and spend close to $130 a week for two people…BF eats a lot and I like my fruits and veggies. (I don’t see that much fruit on your list!). Wish I could find a way to only spend $200/month! In all fairness, we brownbag our lunches and bring enough snacks/fruit to work. Eat out 1-2 a week usually at cheapy places.

    I like going to Costco for bulk items like salmon and chicken and Diet Snapple ice tea. Just freeze the salmon and chicken and we’ve got enough for the whole month (sometimes two).

  4. February 27, 2009 9:09 am

    I usually don’t track in this detail, but I thought it would be good if I went over. But now I see restaurants are the place I go over. I don’t know if this is a typical month or not, but I think this is usually roughly I spend. I usually buy cereal, milk/yogurt, and bananas each week, then try to figure out the rest of my meals. But I didn’t meal plan much this month.

    I haven’t had a problems with TJ’s cheese yet. You can go either way with that store because they have a lot of neat specialty products that really are a little overpriced… but sometimes so worth it!

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