Today I started our new 200 dollar a month food budget. We had been reading about the struggles people who are dependent on EBT cards experience so we are trying it for 2 1/2 months mainly to see if we can do it. This is going to cause some major adjustments in both the way we shop and also the way we eat and it is going to be particularly hard on TheHub. Stopping at Publix on his way home from the office is recreational plus it also feeds his ice cream or candy bar habit.
As usual I am creating some arbitrary rules about the budget. I decided even if I use something from the freezer, I will deduct the current week's ad price from the food budget. I want to see if we could actually stick to the budget using the real food cost. The exception is things like staples, spices, condiments and things I carried over from last week that are in the fridge. I will base all meals on the best buys of each weeks current food ad, and am trying to stay under 50 dollars a week, but am hoping I can do it for a little less just in case there is a terrific buy one week so I could buy enough to carry over to the next week.
I have to confess, I have not hated a trip to the grocery store so badly since we were first married and had a 50 dollar a month food budget. (Which is why we ate with TheHubs parents at least once a week, so we could one delicious meal every 7 days. Plus they had a garden and always kept us supplied with whatever excess veggies they grew. I actually think his dad planted an extra row so he could give us their excess. We were both still in college and our part time jobs barely covered rent, utilities and spartan living expenses so their food gift was most appreciated)
I am listing our expenses here and will update them as I shop the remainder of this week.
Boneless chicken breasts @ 1.79 lb 6.37
Brown rice @ .50 lb .93
White rice @ .50 lb. 1.06
Avocado 3/1.00 .64
Bell pepper 2/1.00 1.00
Red pepper .98 .98
Black grapes @ .88 lb 1.79
Tomatoes @ .48 lb 1.68
Yellow onions 2 lb. bag 1.00 1.00
Zucchini @ .98 lb. 2.13
Carrots .89 lb bag .89
Lemon 3/1.00 .34
Limes 5/1.00 1.00
Coffee 6 firstname.lastname@example.org 1.00
Wyler's lemonade 1.00* 1.00
Eggs .49 per dozen 1.47
Cucumbers .25 each 1.00
Mushrooms .79 1.58
Carrots .49 1.57
Chocolate milk 1.59 1.59
Hamburger buns .85 .85
Baked Beans 1.39 1.39
Italian seasoning .99 .99
Canned garbanzos .79 .79
Multi grain oats cereal 1.79 1.79
2% milk (gallon) 2.69 2.69
Iceberg lettuce .89 .89
Bananas .29 lb .70
Buttermilk biscuits .48 .96
Tea bags 1.69
Homegrown okra 1 lb value 1.50
Total spent this week 48.75 food cost or value
I found cleaners and paper products are not allowed SNAP purchases so I will have 50 dollars for food purchases.
As of today I have spent 27.43 of my 200.00 for the month. Since our grocery ads are Wednesday-Tuesday I have a tad under half of my "weekly" budget. (There is no way I am going to keep this as a weekly budget though. A month is all I really need to keep up with.)
I am keeping up with the meals we are eating and will probably post them at the end of the week. Looks like this week is going to be a heavy chicken and egg recipe week. It will be interesting to see
what meals I plan based of what the food ads dictate.
* indicates a food I already had on hand but assigned the weeks cost to it
** The coffee from Dollar Tree is horrible. I only bought it because I was out of coffee and there were no good coffee sales this week. Horrible coffee provides the same caffeine fix, but in a much smaller dosage. 2 cups is more than enough!