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The Great Food Fight of 2013

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Last year, Mr. BFS and I caught ourselves spending around $700 a month on just food early in the year, so we instituted our food fight.  We started keeping track of our food spending as it happened so we would stay around $500 a month instead.  It worked great but thanks to a bunch of holiday parties, we made the decision to put the logging to the side for most of November and December.  But we’ve started once again. How We Track We like to keep things simple, so we just have a sheet of notebook paper on the refrigerator where we log every food expense when we get home.  It has two columns, one column for restaurants and fast food and one column for groceries.  We are attempting to keep the total at $500 or less for January 13, 2013 through February 12, 2013.  Our main credit card statements run from the 13th through the 12th, so we just base our main budget month on those dates to make tracking super easy. Our Spending You may be thinking that $500 a month is still a lot of money for food for just two people.  I sort of agree, but here is how I see … Read more

Our Food Fight – Month 2 – Two Week Update

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Mr. BFS and I are trying to cut back our expenses where it won’t hurt much to build up some padding once we close on our new house. That said, we decided to cancel our big summer vacation to Las Vegas AND started attacking our food expenses. Background of Our Challenge We were spending way too much on food.  The $727 bill from March 13 – April 12, 2012 scared us.  So we were aiming for $600 or less total for April 13 – May 12, 2012…which we achieved!  We spent about $558 total.  Yay! That said, for May 13 – June 12, 2012, we are aiming for $550 or less. 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 are doing for the first 2 weeks of our second month of the challenge… Food Expenditures … Read more

Saving Our Health and Money

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The following is a guest post from an awesome BFS reader, Kim.  She’s been reading for a while and is trying out her hand at blogging for the day.  🙂 My name is Kim. I have been married almost 10 years, and we have a five year old daughter. My husband and I have a good income, but have racked up way too much debt over the years. In our journey to pay off about $30,000 in consumer debt, we have cut almost every expense imaginable, but really did not get serious with the groceries until about a year ago. You see, we never really put much thought into meals. We both work, so who has time to cook? Grocery planning?  That’s something my mom did. Coupons? They make good fire starters. Saving Our Health Our big push came when the husband got a borderline high cholesterol reading at a health fair. We started really looking at where we were and where we wanted to be down the road. It was time for some change. Healthy diets suggest you limit processed food and eat a variety of colors (fruity pebbles don’t count). A bit of history…My husband is the pickiest … Read more

Hilarious Hypocrisy

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I just laughed pretty hard at the end of a grocery shopping trip and just had to share the story.  You’ll understand in a minute. Quick Grocery Trip Mr. BFS asked me to stop by a grocery store on my way home from the dentist (I’m all good there, yay).  So I run in for two things – tomatoes and lettuce.  Well, I of course decide I need bananas too.  And our friends and I demolished a few bottles of wine at the potluck last Saturday, so I wandered over to the wine section to restock a couple of bottles. Now let me tell you, there is a woman who works in the wine section of this particular Kroger that is…ummm…special.  Not mentally handicapped special – just special.  She has an opinion on EVERYTHING and it usually has nothing to do with whatever it is you were looking for to start with.  And she has no idea that people shop at the liquor store next door to avoid her sometimes. Anyway, I took a chance and started looking at Moscatos on an empty aisle (I like the sweet stuff).  And of course, the lady comes up ninja style behind me … Read more

Our Food Fight – Two Week Update

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I was going to name this new series, Making Food Expenses Our B!tch, but Mr. BFS came up with a more family-friendly title.  😉  Anyway, as I was talking about a couple of weeks ago, we are trying to cut back our expenses where it wouldn’t hurt much.  Here’s our 2 week update on cutting our food expenses. Food Expenditures Last Month The first thing to pop into our heads was the fact that we spend semi-crazy amounts on food.  Last month we spent $727 on eating out and groceries combined.  Almost $525 of that was eating out.  That’s sucky.  I know.  We are two adults without any kids…we have been splurging too much.  We also covered a few meals for family after help renovating, but we spent a bunch anyway, so no excuses here. Since I highly believe in baby steps when making big changes, we’ve set this month’s target – $600 total.  We are hoping to spend $300 or less on groceries and $300 or less on eating out. Our Plan Mr. BFS and I agreed we need a plan to stay on top of our spending.  The envelope system works great for anyone who just uses cash, … Read more

How to Save at the Grocery Store

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This is a guest post from Kennedi at the blog Face and Fitness, a brand-new Yakezie Challenger site. Face & Fitness is a women’s personal finance blog. It covers health and beauty on a budget.  Feel free to drop on by and check it out! Many people – myself included — splurge at the local supermarket. Its just groceries, right? We have to eat, don’t we? Then we get home, look at the $40 of fresh halibut and $10 tray of pre-sliced veggies, and realize we didn’t need to spend so much.  Despite what we tell ourselves, overspending at the store isn’t healthy for our bodies or our wallets.  Here are seven ways you can save money when you buy groceries. #1: Make a list. This is helpful since you will know exactly what you want, instead of just standing in the aisle, wondering what you need. Without a list, you’re more likely to buy useless items. #2: Have a budget. If necessary, stuff the cash into an envelope and spend ONLY that much. This will eliminate your need to guess how you spent. #3: Bring a bag with you. This bag should be the size of the amount of … Read more

Are Your Food Costs Rising?

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Mr. BFS picked up some salmon last week for dinner and it was running $9.99 a pound!  I know salmon is an expensive fish, but we still can usually get it for less than $8 a pound on a bad day.  So I took a closer look at our past few grocery receipts.  The price of healthy groceries and some others all went up. Everything seems to be going up except for dairy items like milk and cheese.  Our eggs were 20-30 cents more than usual, the frozen fruit was an extra 50 cents a pound, and even the one case of Diet Cherry 7-Up was a smidge more expensive.  What’s going on? I know gas prices zoomed up because of the unrest overseas, but what’s causing almost all food prices to rise too?  Is it the extra cost of gasoline for the delivery trucks?  I sort of hope so. If I have to suck up an extra $50 a month in gas and food costs while Libyans kick out a dictator, I’ll consider it a donation to the effort.  If prices are rising just because they think our recovering economy can take it, I am going to be ticked … Read more