project: food budget, weeks 3 and 4

by Stacy

Project: Food Budget

Life lessons. I’ve been tracking our grocery spending for the last two weeks, settling on a Thursday-through-Wednesday schedule for the convenience of these posts. I’m counting our CSA as a single $28 “charge” every other week since we rely more heavily on it the first week than the second.

Thoughts from this week:

  • I was actually pretty close with my estimate in my last P:FB post.
  • Our bulk order arrived on Tuesday which will make the next few weeks interesting to track.
  • I’m going to figure this out just in time for Thanksgiving when we’ll have houseguests for 2 weeks.

Week 3 total: $46.52
Hubby went to Albertson’s for staples (almond milk), I hit Whole Foods to replenish produce after our vacation. Just two trips.

Week 4 total
: $168.04
CSA pickup, extra fruit at the market, one trip to Whole Foods, and our bulk order which should last a while. What do I mean by bulk?

40 pounds of apples

That’s forty pounds of apples, half Jonagolds, half Honeycrisps.

They should last us a few weeks. They’ll be eaten as smoothies, snacks, and baked goods, then I can slice and freeze the rest for baking later this winter. The organic apples I buy at the farmers market are $2.50 per pound, so these (also organic) are a better deal.

bulk groceries

Also in the bulk order, three pounds of pears, five pounds of almonds, and 3 bags of Teeccino (a caffeine-free herbal coffee-like tea that costs $2 more per bag at the grocery store). About $94 for 54 pounds of food. All organic. It will last a while, especially if I can keep the almonds hidden from my husband.

I really try to keep my pantry well-stocked so that my shopping is limited to perishables. Once I find a way to photograph it effectively, I’d like to do a post on stocking a vegetarian pantry. Then you can see the crazy bags of grains I have laying around.

What’s your food budgeting challenge?

Go check out the budgeting adventures of the other participants! From singletons to families, vegetarians to beef-lovers, there’s a budget for everyone.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Darlene October 27, 2011 at 10:25 am

Our food budget for the last year or so has been $200 for an entire month. I was inspired to try and stick to that budget after reading the people on food stamps often deal with that amount but ate horribly. I wanted to take that challenge. I’ve noticed that eating a diet heavy on fruits and vegetables as well as non-perishables is far cheaper than when I start to add meat into the equation. Of course, there are some months where we go slightly over but I often attribute it to house guests or a party. The month’s we have money leftover is an indicator that we’ve eaten out far too much. It’s a fun game.

Looking at your photos, I’m thinking I should go the bulk apple route.
Darlene recently posted..Slightly Cracked: Pickled EggsMy Profile


Stacy October 27, 2011 at 10:14 pm

That’s awesome. I’ve never officially tracked our spending just because I would rather go without other things than really good food, so I’m interested in the whole process of doing this for a while. It will be a shift when the hubby is home more at night and I have to feed him again. I love thinking of it like a game, though! That perspective has been helpful with the CSA, too.

I order from Azure every month. It’s a minimum $50 order, but if you want to piggyback on mine, just let me know in the next 3 weeks. =)

(P.S. to everyone else — click through to the Pickled Eggs posts. Gorgeous AND tasty!)


Irina G October 27, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Freeze apples!?! I’ve never heard of that! Sounds actually really amazing. Um… any tips?
Irina G recently posted..The Best Way to Save Money: Cooking with What You Have(Checking What’s in My Cupboards for Project: Food Budget)My Profile


Stacy October 27, 2011 at 10:16 pm

You can freeze just about any fruit, but the texture will change. My thought was to chop some and toss them in plastic bags for smoothies, then (like my mom always does) slice a bunch and store in freezer bags for pie/apple crisp filling. Just top and bake!


Angela October 27, 2011 at 7:42 pm

Wow, that is a lot of apples – I am impressed with the value! Apples are so useful for everything. Where does your bulk order come from? Your CSA?


Stacy October 27, 2011 at 10:20 pm

Last year I bought one 20-pound box and we ate them all before I had a chance to bake with them, so I am trying to plan ahead this year. =)

The bulk order is from in Dufur, Oregon.


redpenmamapgh November 3, 2011 at 6:49 am

My biggest challenge is making a menu. I may start posting a Saturday menu for my own sanity! We pick up our CSA box Thursday, so I often don’t know what I’m going to make until then.
redpenmamapgh recently posted..Project: Food Budget Week 5My Profile


Jeff November 4, 2011 at 7:31 pm

How have your food choices changed, if at all, as a result of doing this challenge over the past month?


Stacy November 5, 2011 at 8:41 am

Honestly, I don’t think my choices have changed at all. Right now the focus is eating how we usually eat to set a baseline for the rest of the year. I think it’s good to keep tabs on it, but I don’t think that cheaper is better. It’s about awareness of how and where we’re spending money on food, and I think that showing you can eat healthy food and not spend a gazillion dollars would be a nice side effect.

That’s not to say they might not change down the road. =)


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