Back in early November I set a few food budget goals and blogged about it here:
Basically, we wanted to save a little money for Christmas and eat a bit healthier for the month. So I set a food budget of $600 for November. We also decided not to eat out at all during the month. Here's how we did!
Total Money spent on Groceries: $662.22
You guys, it was hard to stick to $600! I tried really hard to only buy the necessities, and I even switched to conventional milk instead of organic. And even with those changes, I still went over our budget. I should note that this amount does not include the $73 we spent on Thanksgiving. But it does include food for Jenna's birthday party, as well as snacks for Ryan's soccer team after 1 game.
Instead of running out for unnecessary ingredients, I really tried to utilize what I had in my pantry and freezer. By the end of the month our food supply was pretty sad! I must have heard "there's nothing to eat!" a million times. Our freezer was practically empty by the end and I used some canned goods that had been sitting in our pantry for a long time. (Roasted Red Pepper pasta, anyone?) We had a few strange meals, but overall it was fun to get creative and use up what we had on hand.
As far as eating out, we did pretty good with this goal. We weren't perfect....we had a few slip-ups, but still spent a lot less money than usual on eating out. Adam went to Dutch Brothers once for coffee. Then I bought lunch for us from the Safeway deli one day. And finally, we stopped for fast food during a car trip to the Bay Area that ended being longer than we expected. In total, we spent $37.41 on buying food out. Not too bad!
For the month of December I am going to continue to keep track of every penny we spend on food. I had to stock up on a lot of essentials at Costco and Safeway, so I have already spent over $200! I'm going to see if I can stick to a budget of $650 for this month. I think it should be doable. I just wish food wasn't so expensive!