Mr. BFS and I are trying to cut back our expenses to build up some padding for after we close on our new house. That said, we canceled our big summer vacation, are trying to avoid any major expenses until after September, and we started attacking our food expenses.
Background of Our Challenge
We were spending way too much on food. The $727 bill from March–April 2012 scared us. So we were aiming for $600 or less total for April-May 2012, $550 for May-June 2012, and $500 for June-July 2012…and we have been doing really well! Yay!
That said, for July 13 - August 12, 2012, we were aiming for $500 or less again.
In order to track our spending without logging into our credit card account every day, we keep a running tally on a sheet of paper stuck to our refrigerator. Between the two of us (and by double checking ourselves by logging in to our credit cards), we write down every food expense diligently throughout the month. It’s not the prettiest method ever, but it works great to keep our eyes on the prize.
Let’s see how we did in our fourth month of the challenge…
Food Expenditures from July 13 – August 12, 2012
It was a pretty easy month, woot!!! I have jumped back on the weight loss wagon in order to lose 12.6 pounds by September 4, so I have been eating slightly less and a little pickier. Mr. BFS has whole-heartedly jumped into brown bag lunches (well, Walmart bag lunches…) for his bowling shifts as long as I put them together, so he’s been eating cheap. We have both started only eating out when we really want something specific or we force ourselves to throw something together at home. That is helping a lot. No more random food purchases just because we’re nibbly. Well…not as many…
And just a side note, but I fit in that last $25 grocery charge on the very last day just to give us a head start on the next month, lol. Yep, I am totally cheating.
Eating Out – $222.82
Groceries – $268.02
That comes to $490.84 total.
WOOT!!! WE DID IT!!! And I think this may be the first month that our grocery expenses were larger than our eating out expenses. DOUBLE WOOT!!!
What We’ve Been Eating
Mr. BFS and I have started adding some healthier options to our diet and did okay this month:
- Grilled shrimp
- Grilled squash, zucchini, onions, and green pepper
- 1/4 pound hamburgers grilled at home
- Honey Nut Cheerios
- Godiva chocolate that we received as a gift (yeah, not healthy…shut up. )
- Scrambled eggs
- Value Menu Items
- A few fast food meals like Chick-fil-A and Jack in the Box, but less than usual
- Harvest Supreme Freschetta frozen pizza (it has spinach…that is a huge step up for us)
- Fig bars (Kroger brand “Fig Newtons”)
- Subway sandwiches
- BBQ (it was free and delicious…)
- Potato salad
- Deviled eggs
Overall, yay for a big improvement for us over the previous month! I know we could eat healthier, but I honestly am only really able to tackle a few things at a time. Right now, it is the less than $500 a month goal and the weight loss. So just subbing some of our really unhealthy options like brownies for fruit is a good enough step right now for me.
Did you hit any specific goals lately? How is your food budget coming along?