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The Great Food Fight of 2013 – Month 3 Results

Mr. BFS and I have instigated the Great Food Fight of 2013 to stay on track since we tend to go a little food crazy. We are aiming to spend $500 or less every month. That sounds really high for 2 people (because it is), but we enjoy eating out with friends and cooking for them at home. So it is what it is. :-)

Food Expenditures from March 13, 2013 – April 12, 2013

In order to track our spending without logging into our credit card account every day, we WERE keeping 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 would write down every food expense diligently throughout the month. It’s not the prettiest method ever, but it usually works great to keep our eyes on the prize.

Let’s see how we did this past month…

Oh, I don’t have a picture.  Because we never started our sheet, which is probably why we lost our dang minds!  Yep, we completely blew off tracking and ended up spending $640!

Eating Out – $425.95

Groceries – $214.38

That comes to $640.33 total.

We spent a little more on potlucks than normal, so I expected it to be a little high.  But I didn’t take into account how many times we went out.  And that’s how we went over budget…

It’s hard to admit, but we semi-consciously knew we were overspending and decided not to care much.  The potlucks were a lot of fun and we have enjoyed the new butcher shop we discovered…I splurged a bit.  We also were away from the home more than normal, so we ate out pretty frequently too.  Jason’s Deli and McDonalds beverages have become a weird staple.  Oops.  I’m not going to beat us up about it though – we’ll just start again.

What We’ve Been Eating

Mr. BFS and I have been eating all kinds of stuff this month…

  • Frozen pizzas
  • Fajitas
  • Steaks
  • Steamed veggies
  • Jason’s Deli
  • Paneras
  • Subway
  • Mexican
  • Chili’s
  • Steak n Shake
  • Euro Bakery
  • Grilled Salmon
  • Hamburgers grilled at home
  • White rice
  • Potatoes
  • Peas
  • Apples

Overall, at least we stayed under $500 a few months in a row before we slipped.  Now to get back on track.  We’ve started our tracking sheet this month already…fingers crossed.

Did you hit any specific goals lately? How is your food budget coming along?

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13 comments to The Great Food Fight of 2013 – Month 3 Results

  • We started shopping at Aldi for some of our grocery shopping, which has cut our grocery bill by probably 5%. This has been pretty nice and I would expect it to continue. With two little ones, we eat out less frequently. So we’ve had some better than expected months.

  • It’s normal to slip from your budget every now and then. We overspend from ours every few months and that’s okay. The important thing is, you are keeping track of your expenses and are trying to get back on track.

  • Um….wow? :) You spent quite a bit more than we did for our family of four. More than $200 more.

    That’s a LOT of money!

  • We have been doing really good with our food budget so far this month. I’m very surprised! :)

  • I think $500 for 2 people seems pretty difficult, at least considering the way my bf and I eat. I’ve never actually totalled up how much we spend on food in a month, but considering we spend almost $100 on groceries a week, it’s got to be pretty high!

  • Great Post. If you all have a Trader Joes in your area, I recommend doing some shopping for groceries there. The produce is not as great as whole foods but its about 40% cheaper. I switched up all my grocery shopping from whole foods to trader joes and haven’t looked back since. My grocery bill went down by 40%!

  • retired

    You did better than our family of 3. We really blew it this month. Have to say some of it was because the quality of food that we had bought was not good. We live far enough away from the store that we did not feel like returning it to get a refund, but I bet our bill is less next month; as I am not buying anything from that particular place for a while. The meat was older than their date lead me to expect (but since I cooked it trying to make it taste better …), the coleslaw was horrible but at $2, not worth the gas to return, some of the fruit is still ripening on our counter. We only ate out three times, but we took some guests once or twice and enjoyed the company so much it was definitely worth it!
    Better luck next month. Maybe ask your guests to contribute more to the pot lucks, lol.

  • I need to start tracking our food spend – I know it’s way too much for 2 people! And there are always those months when things don’t go to plan…


  • Wow! We rarely spend more than $600 per month and we buy all organic for our family of four. We shop at Whole Foods and get expensive meat from a farm. All of the eating out is really hurting your food budget. You should try a month where you stick to real foods only with no processed stuff, it would save a lot of money and you would feel better too.

  • @Money Beagle, I think an Aldi may have just opened in our area – I’ll look into it. :-)

    @KC, that’s what I think too. Thanks.

    @Jenny, yeah, there is a reason I didn’t include “frugal” as part of my blog’s title when I started 3 years ago…we definitely splurge more than a lot of personal finance bloggers that I know. :-)

    @Michelle, awesome, good luck!

    @Lisa, it really depends on what we all eat and who we are comparing ourselves to, lol. I mean, we eat out a lot, so we know we could cut back. But we don’t have any other “habits”, so I sort of don’t mind. It’s lucky for us that food is comparably cheap here in Houston.

    @David, we don’t have Trader’s Joe, but I also don’t ever shop at Whole Foods either. We aren’t very particular about organic food, so we generally find the best deals at HEB and Kroger (and sometimes at Walmart although I dislike shopping there since it takes forever).

    @retired, sorry you went over too. Bad food sucks. Our potluck friends really spoil us, when I say we “splurge”, I am talking about spending $30 instead of $20, lol. Our friends each bring $5-$20 of food too and it’s always a huge buffet. :-)

    @Sarah, yeah, you’re right. Good luck!

    @Courtney, please don’t take this wrong, but HAHAHAHA! I really couldn’t imagine us going even a week without eating out at least once. :-) We just aren’t usually home in the evenings. We work from home during the day and late at night and those are the times we eat sandwiches, cereal, or make real food here. But we literally have some get-together or event every night of the week (friends, bowling league, hubby refs sports, or movie nights), so eating from home all of those nights is just not realistic. But yeah, I know we spend more than necessary – no worries, I know.

  • Well done mate!! We spend $235 a month for 2 adults for everything incl health and beauty and laundry. We don’t always pass,we fail but we have fans that cheer us on like we do for them. I’m all about grocery budgets, meal planning and sticking to the plan each week. If I can encourage you to pop over each week to my blog and post your grocery shops I’m betting we can help you stick to that budget! :-) It’s been a battle for us as well and we know that as long as we hold ourselves accountable and have fans motivate us it helps us to learn to say no or to stick to our grocery list and meal plan for the week. We track all of our receipts each Tuesday on the blog and other bloggers from around the world have joined in with lots of fans! Some of the fan success stories, well they make me happy!! Cheers mate and either way.. you’re doing it right! Keep at it. Mr.CBB

  • Maria

    Houston does have Trader Joes, and Aldi! They are owned by the same company and both are now in the area. Great prices at Trader Joes, and even on their prepared refrigerated meals.

  • @CBB, wow, you rock! We aren’t trying to go as low as we can though – just keep it splurgy but not crazy. :-) Good luck to you and yours though!

    @Maria, I haven’t seen a Trader’s Joe before, so that’s cool. But Aldi did just open up down the street. I was going to head there for the first time next week. :-)