Mr. BFS and I have instigated the Great Food Fight of 2013 early this year to stay on track since we tend to go a little food crazy. We were aiming to spend $500 or less every month. Yeah, that sounds really high for 2 people (because we could probably live on $250 or less if we just kept it very basic), but we enjoy eating out with friends and cooking for them at home. So it is what it is.
But we kept choosing to lose the good fight and stopped tracking from mid-June through mid-September except through our budget. I didn’t post here because I had no actual record – no sheet on our fridge. We just saw totals on Discover.
That all changed when we finished paying off the $11,000 of dental bills that hit within a 35 day period about 2 months ago. We’re back on the tracking wagon.
Food Expenditures from September 13, 2013 – October 12, 2013
In order to track our spending without logging into our credit card account every day, we try to 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 throughout the month. The weird “month” from the 13th through the 12th is because that is our main credit card statement period. It’s not the prettiest method ever, but it usually works great to keep our eyes on the prize. We stayed on top of it like hawks this past month. I had some blanks to fill in.
Here’s how we did:
Eating Out – $321.54
Groceries – $158.29
That comes to $479.83 total. Yay!
We ate out a lot like usual, but made cheaper choices. Our friends meet up with us 1-2 times a week at restaurants like Jason’s Deli so we can all test out board game prototypes. We also tend to eat out on weekends while we hang out at each other’s homes. We’ve discovered Papa Murphy’s and have been enjoying their take-n-bake pizzas a bunch.
On the more positive side, we have successfully eaten all breakfasts and lunches at home during the week. We also are cooking 2-3 week nights too. We’re keeping those meals pretty cheap as well – spaghetti, hot dogs, stir fry’s, and eating out of our deep freezer.
What We’ve Been Eating
Mr. BFS and I have been eating all kinds of stuff this month…
- Hamburgers off our grill
- Restaurants like Jason’s Deli, Greek, and Papa Murphy’s
- TONS of fruit
- Rotisserie chicken
- Sides like green beans and baked beans
- Peanut butter and jam sandwiches
- Honey Nut Cheerios
Overall, this is only the 3rd time this year that we successfully stayed under $500 for the month, but we are going for the 4th this coming month. We’re still eating pretty healthily for us and we are having fun with friends. I am good with that. Knowing that we need to rebuild our emergency fund AND that we want to take a $1500 7 day cruise in January does help to motivate us to stick to the plan. 😉
Did you hit any specific goals lately? How is your food budget coming along?
FYI: I worked at a dead end cubicle job from 2005-2011 for about $30,000 per year. I went self-employed in July 2011 and make between $80,000-$100,000 through blogging, professional pet sitting, hubby's reffing, and our rental home. 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, PLUS a free custom header banner from me!). I even have all of my favorite tools on a resource page - I hope they help you too. Please contact me any time at budgetingfunstuff*at*gmail*dot*com with questions or just to brainstorm! I’d love to help!