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The Great Food Fight of 2013 – Month 4 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.  But we have gone crazy the last 2 months apparently…

Food Expenditures from April 13, 2013 – May 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.  But we stopped writing everything down for the last 2 months (well, we tried this past month for a few days and then blew it off) and our food bills show it.

Here’s how we did:

Eating Out – $437.97

Groceries – $294.70

That comes to $732.67 total.

Honestly, we ate out at nice restaurants about 3-4 times, so I did expect this.  Normally we spend $15-$22 max at a restaurant for dinner if we do go out.  But we ate at a nice steakhouse and spent $70.  We also ate some great Italian for $46 and splurged a couple of times at $30 a pop at our favorite Mexican place.  Overall, if we had skipped those 4 places, we would have been at around $550 instead, so at least we knew we were splurging when we did it.  There’s just so many birthday parties and celebrations this past month!  Oh well.  :-)

What We’ve Been Eating

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

  • Salmon off our propane grill
  • Restaurants like Panera’s and Jason’s Deli
  • Spaghetti
  • Steamed veggies
  • TONS of fruit
  • Mexican
  • Chili’s
  • Steak n Shake
  • Soft tacos
  • Beef and vegetable soup
  • Frozen pizza (I love Freschetta)
  • Pork loin
  • French bread and garlic spreads

Overall, we are getting back on track.  I am making our new tracking sheet as soon as I schedule this post and will be taping it to the fridge.  The next big birthday month isn’t until late June to mid-July, so we should be able to be pretty good for the next 31 days…

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

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9 comments to The Great Food Fight of 2013 – Month 4 Results

  • Good luck! We try hard to control our food spending too but sometimes going out is just too tempting!

  • I know how it feels. It just so good to eat. We always wan to try something new and we love to experiment when it comes to food. Well, good luck to us!

  • Wow i still think thats a lot of money on the food front. I am amazed at what other people spend in a normal month. For me its all about Costco and Sam’s. Starting eating out a lot less a few years ago and the bill dropped tremendously.

  • I wrote up a comment, then this tablet disconnected, sigh. Eating out, even for work lunches adds up quickly. When I worked, I found I could save $30/wk by bagging my lunch. By not buying any canned, bottled, or other drinks I saved even more. As a single parent, couldn’t have managed any other way. Now I think more about saving in the long run with my purchases as well. That factors in with food too. If i am paying for a house, refrig, cooking stuff; then I waste resources by not using them. When I buy food, I try to buy apples, oranges, onions, carrots, and celery as they store best, fill you up, and can be used in so many dishes. Bananas are easy filling snack, as are avocados. Oatmeal is a good morning meal and can easily be spiced or fruited. Once you figure out your staples and stock them planning meals, snacks, and your budget get easy. The health costs both medical and dental, can be a great incentive to take control of your food. Good luck.

  • We usually spend $200 a month of restaurants and $220 a month on groceries for our family of 5. :)

  • Meghan

    Food is my budget killer. Instead of just relying on Mint, I’m not making myself write down every expense. Now when I see Taco Bell, McDonalds, or whatever, I have to see what the impact on my budget is right away. Usually when I know I’m doing something I shouldn’t, I just avoid my credit card statement or Mint (I do pay my balance in full monthly but still).

  • In the past, it would not be unusual for me to spend $800-1000 a month on groceries for the 3 of us, on top of eating out. I buy organic everything as much as possible, and organic, grass fed meats only. We haven’t ate fast food in years, and about as close as I come to fast food is Panera Bread. When we do go out to eat it isn’t unusual for the bill to be $50 and up for the two of us due to the type of restaurants on our short list. (And yes, friends and family do refer to me as a “food snob” :-) )

    Our daughter recently moved out on her own, and even though it’s only been 3 weeks since she left, I can see our food budget already dropping. I’ve had a notion sitting on my idea shelf for some time about how to drastically cut our food budget, but still eat well and eat the organic I prefer. I think now would be a great time to try to implement that and see if I can get our food budget down to $400 a month or less for the two of us.

  • Sounds very healthy, as well. I find that cooking at home is both less expensive, obviously, and much more nutritious than eating out.

  • @Christine, I know the feeling!

    @KC, yep, good luck to both of us!

    @Thomas, we use Sam’s too, but mostly for cereal, toilet paper, and paper towels…

    @retired, thanks and good luck to you too!

    @Jenny, nice! I’ll be happy just to stick to $500 or less normally…

    @Meghan, yeah, so far when we record everything, it keeps us from splurging as much.

    @Wendy, good luck! 2 people will definitely be cheaper than 3, lol.

    @Mike, yeah. It’s just so hard to pass up eating when we meet at restaurants for the board gaming play testing twice a week.