Thursday, April 14, 2011

Project: Food Budget Week 1

Week 1 of P:FB is over and I am hopeful that things will get better (and not terribly upset by how this past week went). The menu planning was not a problem at all since I've been doing that for years now. This was our dinner menu for the week:

Sat: Chinese take-out
Sun: Stir fry- with chicken for him; veggie for me
Mon: whole wheat spaghetti w/ alfredo and chicken for him; mushrooms and bell peppers for me
Tues: Brinner (breakfast for dinner) pancakes w/ real maple syrup and eggs
Wed: FFY (Fend For Yourself night... I have class until 7 pm
Thur: Burger Night- Double cheeseburger for him; Bocaburger for me, chips on the side
Fri: Pizza night- individual pizza pot pies

I also made curried chickpeas on Sunday to bring for lunches as well as black bean brownies for a sweet treat throughout the week.

Our total food bill came to $111.83. Our target is $100, we've been averaging $125+. We had a couple high ticket pantry items:

EVOO $5.99
Real Maple Syrup $5.99

I also splurged on a 4 pack of FRS Energy Drinks $5.99 (-$2.00 coupon, actual cost $3.99).

I almost always shop at one store, once a week. However, this week I was in Portland, so I HAD to stop at TJ's (aka Trader Joe's) and Whole Foods! For the most part I stuck to my list.

Some things I may be able to improve on include:
1. Making my own pizza dough. We have some form of DIY pizza just about every week. I usually buy the wheat dough ($2.29), but I feel confident I could make dough from scratch that will be just as good (or better) for less than $1 in ingredients. I plan on trying this out this weekend. If it's a success I could make a couple batches and stick then in the freezer.

2. Soda. My honey drinks a lot of soda. A 2-liter of name brand soda is $1.25 plus tax and deposit. He is willing to drink generic which is $.89-95 plus tax and deposit per 2-liter.

3. Fresh fruit. I have to have it. I will focus on buying whatever is on sale or available at the farmer's market (which is always cheaper and tastier than the stuff at the grocery store).

4. Veggies. Summer time will be easier on the wallet once the farmer's market gets going, I am also going to have my 'urban micro farm' again this year (i.e. a couple of veggies grown in containers). Last year I grew tomatoes and basil, this year I'm thinking of expanding it to include carrots, bell peppers, and perhaps something else?

So week 1 is in the books and I think we did OK. I'm looking forward to seeing that food bill shrink again this coming week!

Do you have any suggestions on ways we can slash our grocery bill? Leave your comments!

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