Food has always been a big part of our budget, but it has become a bit nuts. I am sure this is a story you have heard before, but it has been on my mind. It all started with an Orange Leaf frozen yogurt that opened like a mile away (aka, my dealer).
Yep, we visited Orange Leaf one time about 6 months ago, self-served ourselves a couple of cups, and it has been our crack ever since. I think they put drugs in the mix. Especially the flavor named “Brownie Batter”…it is just too good. And now they introduced Chocolate Covered Rasberry…they either love me or hate me. Between that and the employees being so nice, we go at least once a week, but usually twice. On really bad or really good weeks, they see us three times. Let’s put it this way, we go enough that they have started squirreling away fresh waffle cones pieces for Mr. BFS just because they know he likes them on top.
At 43 cents an ounce and 5-8 ounces per person per visit, we are spending about $50-$100 a month on frozen yogurt. That by itself isn’t busting our budget, but when we have $500 set aside for food and I started seeing $600-$800 a month food costs, I took a closer look. You know what I found?
Our Dietary Changes
We eat out a lot more now than we did at the beginning of 2011. We found places like Orange Leaf, a great Chinese place with awesome veggies down the street from there, and the yumminess of Chick Fila. So our restaurant spending increased.
We also eat more expensive foods at home. We seem to go out 3-4 times a week to get out of the house or because we are craving a specific food. And at home, we used to be okay with grilled chicken and green beans. Now Mr. BFS has started tackling more intense recipes like chicken pot pies, gumbos, fajitas, lasagna, and more. And we are hosting more get-togethers like potlucks at our home. It’s been absolutely awesome, but more ingredients cost more money.
So what are we going to do? Honestly…probably nothing. We are spending less on gasoline, less on toll roads, and less on work clothes. We decided we are going to try to stay within our $500 food budget, but I am not going to play the enforcer on anything. We aren’t gaining weight, are making enough to cover our expenses, are on track to pay off our mortgage by June, and are also saving a bunch for our future. I think I am not going to press this particular issue.
So why did I bring it up? Because it has been on my mind. I started this blog to show that you can be financially responsible and have fun in life by prioritizing your spending. I figured this was one of those times I am putting our priorities out there.
Do you have a splurge you are okay with?
FYI: I worked at a dead end cubicle job from 2005-2011 for about $30,000 a year. I went self-employed in July 2011 and make between $80,000-$100,000 through blogging, a rental home, and professional pet sitting. If you’d like to start your own site (link to my free step-by-step guide), I highly suggest checking out Bluehost (my referral link with a nice discount for you). I even have all of my favorite tools on a resource page - I hope they help you too. This all gives me the time to be with my aging family members, the flexibility to stay close with my friends and family, and it should help if we finally get pregnant too! Please contact me any time at budgetingfunstuff*at*gmail*dot*com with questions or just to brainstorm! I’d love to help!