Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Week 5 50 Buck Challenge

I miss going out to eat.  I mean, I really do miss it!  Before doing this challenge we ate out twice a week, once during the early part of the week and again on Friday night.  This challenge has altered our dedicated date night substantially.  Instead we have been having a drink on the deck then listening to jazz.  Nice, but a very different night.  I think we need some out of the house activity and for us just about any out of the house night time activity starts with dinner out.

Book club was Wednesday and  as we have all gotten older and decided we no longer wanted to be bound to hosting it at our homes and cooking meals. Now about half the time we go out to eat and everyone buys their own, with the "host" buying an appetizer for the table.  It is the first time in a month I had been to an actual restaurant  and it was fabulous. On Thursday TheHub suggested we go out again.  We belong to a place that has a monthly food purchase minimum we have to pay whether we use it or not.  Thursday was the only night that would actually work for us once we realized September is just about over. (Where did this month go?) So naturally we went, and I loved every second of it. (For the record, Wayne, the bartender makes the best martini in town)

The Shopping
Piggly Wiggly
Pork butt 1.49 lb.  3.78
Ground chuck*  2.99 lb. 3.15 (beware a nerd with a digital scale and calculator)
Cauliflower 1.99  x2 3.98
Broccoli crowns 1.67
Celery .99
Milk .01 gallon w/coupon and 10 dollar purchase
Lettuce .99
Potatoes 4 lb. 1.69
Ice cream 4.50 (indulgence item)
Bacon 24 oz. 3.99 (Did we need this? No! Want it? Yes!)
Chicken 1.99 lb. 3.93
Cornmeal 1.25
Frozen lady peas* .89
Frozen collards .89

Mushrooms .69 x4  2.76
Cucumbers .25 x3 .75
Cheese 1.89
Cheese crackers 1.49
Big Dipper Chips 1.59 (indulgence item for game day)
Chocolate milk 1.59
Garlic .69
Bread .95
Eggs .69 x 2  1.38
Tomatoes .79
Limes .99
Onion snack rings .79 (indulgence item clearance aisle)

grrrr...TheHub ran in to pick up 1 non-food item.  I made the mistake of sitting in the car
Bologna (WTH??? We never get deli bologna, in fact we never get bologna ) 7.34 lb.    2.55
Chocolate syrup 1.99 (unexpected item to go with the luxury ice cream)

Enough green beans to equal about a half a cup cooked
Okra 8 pods
I am assigning no monetary value to these because there were so few.

Week total 50.02

The Meals
Wednesday coffee (had class so no time for breakfast)
Thursday coffee, toast
Friday coffee, banana muffin and a glass of milk.
Saturday coffee, grits, chocolate milk (TheHub)
Sunday milk, cereal, (TheHub bacon sandwich)
Monday dutch baby pancake (thanks, Rhonda!) coffee
Tuesday cereal, coffee

Wednesday leftover taco fixings (lettuce, tomatoes and onions as a salad)
Thursday  forgettable (regretable?) leftovers. I ate something but don't remember what it was
Friday  tomato slices, cucumber slices,  green beans, toast and cheese
Saturday leftover chicken thigh, salad stuff (TheHub went to the ballgame. Prepaid meal deal there)
Sunday fried bologna sandwiches, lemonade
Monday 2 mandarins, leftover pork butt, cucumbers, cheese crackers
Tuesday Volunteering at IP. No time for lunch

Wednesday out to eat for bookclub. TheHub worked later than usual and grabbed something to eat.
Thursday  Have a monthly minimum at a place we belong (Use it or lose it, so we ate out)
Friday tomatoes, onions and okra, grilled chicken thighs
Saturday smoked pork butt, potato salad, coleslaw
Sunday grilled hamburger w/grilled onions and mushrooms (leftover buns) sliced tomatoes, cuke spears
Monday sauteed chicken breasts with mushrooms, cauliflower "stuffing" leftover coleslaw
Tuesday lady peas, collard greens, cornbread

kefir dip with assorted raw veggies, oatmeal cookies,  mandarins, the weird and cheap hot onion ring things, popcorn, ice cream

What did I bake?
oatmeal cookies, cornbread, cauliflower stuffing

Whats leftover?
broccoli crowns, 1 whole head cauliflower + about 1/4 of the other, 2 cucumbers, 3 tomatoes, most of the head of lettuce, carrots, couple of mandarins, 2 whole bell peppers and a part of a third,1 whole gallon milk, 2 dozen eggs, Almost 1 pound pork butt (cooked and frozen) 3 chicken breasts from this weeks purchase, 3 chicken breasts from last weeks purchase (all frozen) , 4ish ounces sharp cheddar, 1/2 pan cauliflower stuffing, entire bag of Frito knockoffs.

What did I run out of?
mayonnaise, fruit except the couple of mandarins, cheese crackers

* Stuff I had in the freezer that I applied the current sale price to based on the actual store indicated in the purchase column.


  1. We virtually never eat out - my partner doesn't like it. Every couple of months we order home delivery and generally get at least two (and often) three nights meals from it.
    Turkish pide this week. Yum.
    I am still impressed at how well you are doing - and your perserverance.

    1. I am impressed that you don't eat out a lot! I know we typically eat out too much, but it is TheHub's favorite thing to do. Most of the time it is nothing spectacular but at least once a month we get gussied up and go somewhere very nice. I miss it!

  2. we have never eaten out a whole lot but we did get take away about once a fortnight. These days there is absolutely no respite from the eternal question of what to cook.
    I think you deserved your night out!

    1. Trust me, I don't think I deserved it at all. I just miss it a lot!
      I wish people here would request meals more often, I don't mind the cooking part but I really don't like the thinking part at all.

  3. Cauliflower stuffing? Will you share a recipe?
    Practical Parsimony

    1. Sure, you can find it

  4. Do you ever use Groupon when eating out? My husband and I love it and use it all the time. It's a great way to discover a new-to-us restaurant in our area as well.

    1. We have used Groupon as well as coupons from Discover the City and BirminghamMenus. It is a great way to find new places to go, because we do get in a rut going to the same places all the time.

  5. I'm impressed. You get dressed up once a month and go out. That's not something we do very often--maybe once a year, however we used to do it a lot more when we were young before kids.
    If you did this budget for very long, I think you'd figure out how to work more eating out into it. You'd save in another area to spend in this one. You'd watch for specials and ask for gift cards for birthdays, etc. It might be fun exploring out of the way inexpensive places to eat.

    1. I am fine with extremely inexpensive places to eat and maybe that is what I will do once this challenge is over. In fact on book club night we went to a new hole in the wall type place for Persian food and I ate for $5.71. In November, until everyone starts arriving for Thanksgiving I am going to try a no buy challenge, eating strictly out of our food storage (exceptions will be milk, salad stuff and coffee)

  6. You are doing a great job! A night out here and there is deserved. Oh look at me encouraging you to spend money. I'm so bad. Are you going to unfriend me?
    Your hubs and mine would get along great. High end everything!

    1. Nah I would never unfriend anyone who encourages me to spend! Can't take it with me when I am gone, right? TheHub not only loves eating out, he love a pre dinner drink, wine with the meal and a dessert. (Well when we go to the one really nice place a month)

  7. I need to a version of this but not sure about $50. I have started a weight challenge at work and oddly enough healthier foods at the grocery store also tend to be more expensive. Go figure.

    1. Yeah it is kind of a sad state of affairs that food in it's purest most unprocessed form costs more than stuff that has had a lot of steps to get it to our table.

  8. I am glad you were able to go out to eat, especially if it is something you enjoy doing on a regular basis and missed it.

    You did well this week, too, staying to the budget and managing to get a couple of indulgences items, as well. You got a great deal on the eggs! Even the bacon was a good price - this week, the stores here are having 12-16 oz. packets of bacon on sale for $3.99 (with a $1 off digital coupon).

  9. Thanks Bless! The bacon was a pretty good price and is a really tasty thick sliced bacon. I am going to start paying attention to grocery stores that have vendors with samples. The sample items seem to be deeply discounted.

  10. TheHub needs a spanking for that bologna purchase. I like to eat out to have a salad or other food that will go bad quickly so I save money by not wasting food. Right?


  11. we go to eat out once in a month or it depends on mood and weather also .my son lives in a city far from our's and he has also joined a place where he has to pay whether he eat or not and i don't like it though.
    your blog is so full of life and amazingly managed and updated liked my visit

  12. When I was married, I often asked my husband what he wanted, what I should cook that night. He never, ever helped me on that count. I complained and he said he thought I liked to cook. When I told him it was the decision of what to cook every night that I disliked, he never understood and still would not express a choice. It was disheartening.
    Practical Parsimony

    1. I know some people like the planning but I am more of an execution type person. I get tired of being the brains behind the meals