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The Great Food Fight of 2013 – Month 5 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 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 keep choosing to lose the good fight it seems.  I almost didn’t bother writing this month up.

Food Expenditures from May 13, 2013 – June 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. It’s not the prettiest method ever, but it usually works great to keep our eyes on the prize.  We sort of put this to the side for the 2 months before this update and kept semi-track this month.  I had some blanks to fill in.

Here’s how we did:

May to June 2013 Food Spending

I’d like to go on record saying that all of the Jason’s Deli and Steak and Shake (S&S) spending are the Monday and Wednesday dinners of my husband while he is play testing board games though. I usually eat in those nights. That’s about $80 a month that’s not my fault at least, lol.  I also circled the only times we spent more than $20, which I consider an expensive meal.

Eating Out – $462.76

Groceries – $150.46

That comes to $613.22 total.

Honestly, we ate out a lot.  Our friends were getting close to and now are on summer break (lots of teachers, lol), so we’ve been incorporating meals into our get togethers.  That means we are either spending money at a restaurant or extra for groceries since we want to make special stuff for multiple people.  Or we grab food when we are on the road or at someone’s house all day.  It is what it is.

I am also losing weight successfully with Weight Watchers, but I do splurge on more expensive food than normal as a reward…like $7 for a couple of pounds of cherries.  Or a $5 seedless watermelon once a week.  Those are zero point foods on WW, but that’s way more than my norm of bananas at 45 cents a pound.  Also, Panera Bread and Black Walnut Café are way more expensive than my normal fast food but they are great meeting locations for friends and family PLUS they fit into my weight loss plan.  Again, it is a conscious decision, but we are losing the cost battle.

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
  • Turkey burgers
  • Steamed veggies
  • TONS of fruit
  • Steaks
  • Sides like green beans and carrots
  • Steak n Shake
  • The Egg and I
  • Random value menu items all over town
  • Peanut butter and jam sandwiches
  • Roasted chicken
  • Honey Nut Cheerios
  • Milk

Overall, we have actually failed to hit the $500 mark 3 out of 5 times so far.  I can’t say that I am very upset though.  I hate writing about failing, but I am happier about my weight loss than I am sad about the extra money we spend because we are using food as entertainment AND I’m eating healthier.  We’ll see how the coming month goes, but this may be the beginning of the end of these food fight updates since I am caring less overall.

I think we need to dial back a little just so we don’t go nuts, but overall, I rather not nag my hubby constantly about food expenses anymore when it is obvious that we both know exactly why we are spending so much and are choosing to do so anyway.  Maybe we’ll come up with a new motivation soon…I think we both want to save a little extra money for fun later this year.  I’ll see if that kick in the butt works for us.

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

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12 comments to The Great Food Fight of 2013 – Month 5 Results

  • At least you are still keeping track and slowly decreasing the budget overtime. I always think you two are way over for two people like you mentioned but you have what works for you guys. Hopefully the next few months are better for you and besides you are losing weight and from what I hear eating healthier costs more. Not sure but hey you can use that as well. As for specific goals I stuck with blogging for 4 wks and now will up my postings to 2 times per week. I also starting getting up at 5 am to make sure I start early on in the day getting things done.

  • That’s it. Focus on the positive side of things. But still, aside from your weight loss, you are also reducing your budget. That’s good improvement already. You can hit your target next time.

  • Sounds great! Always need to choose your battles and re-think things when new data pops up. Losing weight will make you feel better, live longer, and enjoy life.
    We have friends that spend over a $900/month on breakfast, lunch, and snacks because they work such long hours they are not home long enough to prepare; and peer pressure would make them feel odd bagging it.
    You are covering all meals, entertaining, and losing weight for a third less than most working people spend just to eat their breakfast, lunch and snacks!
    WTG!

  • Well, I guess that answers how you sped half again as much to feed the two of you as I do to feed my family of 5! :P

    I thought you liked eating out meaning getting together with friends or your S.O. to spend quality time over a nice dinner, and I was like, “Well, it isn’t how I’d spend THAT much money, but I can see how that’s worthwhile to someone else.” But it looks like most of your eating out is one person ALONE grabbing a meal or snack for themselves at fast food places.

    That would be gone from my budget in a heartbeat.

    First, it takes a lot of time for all those little trips. The time alone is pretty amazing to me–I do not have the physical time to spend like that!

    Second, that’s a ton of money for low-quality food–in terms of taste, nutrition, calories, everything. In my personal budget, I’d call that a bad habit, not a worthwhile allocation of resources.

    Third, trying to maintain a good weight while taking that many trips to fast food joints is rowing upstream. And fast food doesn’t even taste that good–it’s not like it’s hard to make stuff that tastes WAY, WAY better and is better for you.

    I’m wondering now if your budget difficulty is more a habit or a lack of comfort with cooking than anything else. There’s nothing at Wendy’s or Fudruckers that you can’t make at home for less and make it taste better.

  • It’s a shame that really good fruit is often more expensive than less healthy alternatives. Even so, I think you made the right investments!

  • Michelle

    I LOVE Black Walnut Cafe!!!! I actually have dreams about their pancakes.

  • Our food budget is something that Leslie and I struggle with as well. We both LOVE to dine out! Have you tried slicing and freezing bananas? I eat them like that all the time and the texture is similar to that of ice cream. You can even add little healthy toppings to a blended batch!

  • My big goals are experiencing mixed results. I am sticking with my bicycling routine for the last 7 out of 9 days. More to follow at the end of the quarter.

  • @Thomas, good luck with the new 2 posts per week goal!

    @KC, that’s the plan. :-)

    @retired, thank you! :-D

    @Jenny, any of those over $20 meals, the ones at Jason’s Deli, the ones at Steak and Shake, the ones at Fuddrucker’s, the ones at The Black Walnut Café, and the one at The Egg and I are all sit down meals with friends. All of the Sonic ones are for Happy Hour drinks when we are already running errands. McDonald’s is a combo of quick snacks on the way home from stuff or while we are heading to other people’s homes and $1 drinks while we are out and about. We rarely grab food without each other unless we are hanging with other friends instead. Neither of us like eating alone.

    If we stayed at home all of the time, we’d be down to the $350 a month region, but like I said, we aren’t at home most evenings and most weekends. And we like getting out of the house as much as possible since we spend all day here for work and some parts of the weekends. We make about $10,000 a month, so I don’t think we need to give up our social lives quite yet because of the $600-$700 food budget. But we are trying for $500 most of the time since we agree that’s where we could be pretty easily if we make a few small changes.

    As for unhealthy stuff, it depends on what you order. Most restaurants and even fast food places have healthy options. I love McD’s fruit and yogurt parfait for example. And Panera’s has the best roasted turkey sandwiches ever. Sonic’s Coke Zero with vanilla is addictive. And Jason’s Deli has a ton of low-fat, healthy options.

    @Mike, thanks!

    @Michelle, I STILL haven’t had their pancakes. We keep going at night. I use my extra WW points on their chocolate, swirl cheesecake once in a while though…yum. I also love their spinach, artichoke pasta. And Mr. BFS is in love with their $10 chicken finger basket – 8 tenders and a bunch of fries…we sometimes share. It really is an amazing place.

    @Kyle, eating out is fun and changes stuff up, which is nice. I love blended frozen bananas! You should try my strawberry-banana smoothie. If you do it with a cup of 2% milk instead of whole milk (like me), it’s only 2 WW points and DELICIOUS. Just blend half a banana, some frozen strawberries, milk, and a packet of Splenda together…yummy!

  • @krantcents, congrats and well wishes for your continuing routine!

  • I am trying to get my butt in gear for this triathlon I’m doing on the 4th of July. So far, I’m really behind but my goal is to do two of the three things three times a week for the next couple of weeks.

    Fruit is dang expensive unless it’s apples and bananas, but it’s one thing I splurge on. Cherries are fabulous, but rarely under $3.99/lb here.

  • @Kim, good luck! Yeah, cherries are $3.99/lb here too. Hence me calling it a splurge, lol. :-D