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Week 2 – Our Epic Food Budget Challenge – Four Couples, $50 a Week, Leftovers Commence!

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Please understand that I know that $50 a week for food is totally doable and many people survive on way less.  My hubby and I have simply been overspending.  This challenge is meant to motivate, not to create friction.  Thanks! My friend, Dee, had a tumultuous end of 2016.  She approached me with a food budget challenge she found online, we made a few changes, and we convinced our husbands to participate too.  Then two sets of our friends joined too!  Our challenge was born – $50 a week per couple for all food for 4 weeks straight from January 2-29, 2017. Our Two Caveats In our challenge, we can use all of our pre-existing food.  For Len and me, that means using any perishables in the fridge, pantry goods, and our stocks in the deep freeze.  All of the challengers started with some reserves we needed to clean out.  We just weren’t allowed to stock up in December for this challenge. Also, I’ll make a note or point it out when we use a gift card, but that’s okay to us too.  Our general goals of this challenge are to spend less, waste less, spend consciously, and make healthier choices than regularly eating fast food and restaurant offerings. Meet the Challengers! Dee … Read more…

Week 1 – Our Epic Food Budget Challenge – Four Couples, $50 a Week, Budgets Commence!

This post may contain affiliate links.
I'm excited to take this food budget challenge and save on groceries this month!

Before reading any further, please understand that I know that $50 a week for food is totally doable and many people survive on way less.  My hubby and I have simply been overspending.  This challenge is only meant to motivate, not to pour salt into any wounds.  Thanks! In this post a few weeks ago, I summarized a rough end-of-year for my friend, Dee.  She approached me with a food budget challenge she found online.  I wanted to tackle it but with a little more leeway than the original challenge entailed.  I convinced my hubby that we should participate, and then two sets of our other friends jumped in too.  Our challenge was born – $50 a week per couple for all food for 4 weeks straight from January 2-29, 2017. Our Two Caveats In our challenge, we can use all of our pre-existing food.  For Len and me, that means any perishables in the fridge, lots of pantry goods, and the deep freeze of mystery foods.  All of the challengers started with some reserves we need to clean out.  We just weren’t allowed to stock up in December for this challenge. Also, I’ll make a note or point it out when we use a gift card, but that’s okay too.  … Read more…

Preparing for the EPIC Food Budget Challenge of January 2017

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Before reading any further, please understand that I know that $50 a week for food is totally doable and many people survive on way less.  This challenge in general is only meant to help food over-spenders like us to feel motivated to cut back.  It is not intended to pour salt into any wounds.  Thanks! My friend, Dee, has had a tumultuous end to 2016.  She got pregnant in September, her husband lost his job in November, they had to tackle some tough financial realizations, and he just started in a new job this week.  Overall, it’s amazing to only be unemployed for less than a month, right?  But they are still tightening their financial belts and Dee mentioned a food budget challenge that had my ears pricking up…$50 a week for 4 weeks straight. Why I Want to Do the $50 a Week Food Budget Challenge My husband and I spend WAY more than we need to on food.  Specifically, fast food and restaurants are vices that we dive into happily whenever we feel like it.  This has led our overall food budget to increase from $450-$500 a month to $700+ a month over the last year or two.  … Read more…

Cheap, Easy, and Yummy Vegetable Soup

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Thanks to my ongoing pain, I’ve started seeing a chiropractor again and am losing weight to take pressure off of my lower back. That means I keep my eyes out for low calorie meals that still taste awesome. Most recently, I successfully made some amazing vegetable soup. To make a big pot, here’s what you’ll need. Ingredients Olive oil (1 tablespoon) – $Neglible Celery (3 stalks) – $1.50 Garlic (1-4 cloves…I love garlic, so I go big) – 50 cents Onion (1) – 50 cents Carrots (to taste…I used a third of a bag of baby carrots) – 50 cents Broth of your choice (44 ounces) – $2.50 Diced tomatoes (1 can…14 ounces) – 50 cents Tomato sauce (8 ounces) – 50 cents Potatoes (1 large or 2 small) – $1 Cabbage (to taste…I did half a head) – 50 cents 3 bags of frozen vegetables (I used peas, carrots, and a mixed bag) – $3 Garlic powder (1 tablespoon) – $Neglible Onion powder (1 tablespoon) – $Neglible Pepper (2 teaspoons) – $Neglible Thyme (2 teaspoons) – $Neglible Creole seasoning (1+ tablespoons if you like the flavor…I love it) – $Neglible TOTAL = $11 for 12+ servings! Recipe Chop up the … Read more…

A Personal Review of One Harvest Food Ministries – Cheaper But Maybe Not a Bargain

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I had never heard of One Harvest Food Ministries before. It might be an excellent way to save on groceries and it's available in many areas of the US. This would be very helpful for my relatives who are struggling with medical issues right now and can't afford their bills.

SherryH is a long-time reader and commenter at BFS who blogs at Blind. Not Invisible.  SherryH lives near the coast of North Carolina with her husband, their two adult sons, and the requisite writer’s cats.  She just recently lost her sight in the last few years and has been fighting her way back to independence with a fury. One Harvest Food Ministries is a non-profit organization that allows individuals to buy prepacked, prepaid boxes of food at a savings from regular store prices.  The organization buys food in bulk or receives donations from manufacturers, packages the individual boxes in their warehouses, and delivers them to distribution points once a month. Customers can order the boxes online, over the phone, or at a local partner site and pick them up on the appointed day. Their website proudly proclaims that there are “[n]o restrictions or limitations. Anyone can order!”  One Harvest does not deliver directly to buyers-you’re responsible for picking up your own order. When MrH and I pick up our order, we don’t even have to get out of the car. We pull through, confirm our name, and volunteers load our boxes right into the back seat or trunk. So, One Harvest is … Read more…

Food Waste – Leaving Money on the Table

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The following is from my friend / huge blog supporter / staff writer, SherryH.  Sherry lives near the coast of North Carolina. Her family consists of her husband, their two adult sons, and the requisite writer’s cats. In 2013, Sherry survived a brain tumor that destroyed her eyesight. She’s determined not to let that slow her down. She recently started blogging at http://www.blindnotinvisible.wordpress.com/. My husband and I cleaned out the fridge the other day. I was getting tired of not having space to put anything because of all the random mystery containers, and I knew some of the stuff had to be getting kind of old. I was right. Some of the leftovers were fairly recent, and we ate those for lunch. But there were several small containers of veggies that had to go. That bugged me, because I would have eaten them or frozen them for soup if I’d known they were there. Later that day, we had to throw out an orange that had gone bad in the fruit bowl on the counter. Grr. A few days later, a pair of English muffins took on a decidedly green and fuzzy appearance and had those to go as well. … Read more…

Two Frugal Food Appliances I Couldn’t Live Without

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SherryH, a staff writer and friend here at BFS, lives near the coast of North Carolina. Her family consists of her husband, their two adult sons, and the requisite writer’s cats. In 2013, Sherry survived a brain tumor that destroyed her eyesight. She’s determined not to let that slow her down. She recently started blogging at Blind, Not Invisible. I’ll be honest. I love to eat out. Our area has a lot of great restaurants, and I love a fast food burger or chicken sandwich now and again. And when I’m tired, or we’ve had a busy day and there’s nothing planned for dinner, it’s really, really tempting to let someone else cook–and do the dishes! But it isn’t good for our budget, and eating out is much less of a treat when you do it all the time. I’d rather go out to celebrate a special occasion or enjoy time together as a family (or as a couple!) than because I was caught short and didn’t have anything planned. So I do a lot of cooking at home, and there are two appliances I absolutely rely on to help keep it cheap and easy. Because I like cheap and easy. … Read more…