Project: Food Budget – Week 12

14 04 2011

My how time flies when you’re pinching pennies. In a good way!

Side Note: I am changing web hosts tomorrow, and my feed is changing. Please change your RSS subscription to this feed so we don’t lose each other!

Before we get to this week’s report, I thought I’d share a little data of how we’ve faired after 3 months of conscious budgeting. Since this is kind of a small graph, I broke it down a little more in a chart below.

To not skew the numbers, instead of counting fruit and vegetables at the individual level (e.g, number of bananas per purchase), I just counted each fruit and veggie acquisition as “1.” Otherwise, the data was very skewed to fruit – we bought 54 bananas in 3 months!


 As I was grouping items into categories, I really just made things up on the go. Here is the breakdown. I’m happy to see that fruits and veggies make up more than half of our purchases. Most amusing to me is the high percentage in the “cereal” bucket, as, if I didn’t cook for him 2Chili would live on cereal and Trader Joe’s 12 Grain Crackers.



Category Quantity Percentage
Beans & Legumes 7 2.59%
Breads, Rolls & Tortillas 3 1.11%
Broths, Sauces, and Toppings 15 5.56%
Candy and Desserts 14 5.19%
Canned Goods 9 3.33%
Cereal 18 6.67%
Chips & Crackers 6 2.22%
Coffee 3 1.11%
Spices & Condiments 8 2.96%
Dairy 34 12.59%
Eggs 6 2.22%
Flour 6 2.22%
Fruit 57 21.11%
Juice 7 2.59%
Honey, Sugar, and Sweeteners 3 1.11%
Meat, Chicken, or Fish 6 2.22%
Non-Meat Proteins 4 1.48%
Nuts & Nut Butters 8 2.96%
Oats, Quinoa, and Other Grains 7 2.59%
Pasta & Rice 5 1.85%
Potatoes & Sweet Potatoes 14 5.19%
Vegetables 73 27.04%

Finally, here is a store-by-store breakdown:


I would say if I looked back in time a few months a much, much larger percentage of this breakdown would have gone to Amazon Fresh. It is just so much more convenient to shop online and have your groceries delivered to the doorstep.

This project has been great for helping us reign in expenses and really determine if something is worth it or not. If I have wiggle room in the budget, I may splurge a bit (Hello Halibut!), but I have been pretty true to buying only what we need. I haven’t sacrificed quality for cost, and we certainly haven’t gone hungry! I think not really eating meat has helped in the budgeting – meat products are expensive (as they should be).

Here are this week’s results:

Goal: $75
Actual: $81.67

Those darn highbrow chocolate chip cookies pushed me over the line. They were right at the check stand without a price tag (of course), and I caved! Oops! I could have made a lot of cookies from $3.99.

Trader Joe’s Qty. Extended Price ($)
TJ’s Frosted Shredded Wheat 2 $5.98
Organic Red Bell Peppers 2 $2.99
White Whole Wheat Flour 1 $2.99
Strawberries, 1 lb 1 $2.49
Greek Yogurt 2 $5.58
All Purpose Flour 1 $2.99
Super Firm Tofu 1 $1.99
Highbrow Chocolate Chip Cookies 1 $3.99
Organic Fat Free Milk 1 $5.69
Bananas 6 $1.14
Black Beans 2 $1.78
Herbed Goat Cheese Log 1 $2.49
Mild California Cheddar 1 $3.28
Garlic 1 $1.29

CSA Box – $37

I cannot wait to dive into the Rio Star Grapefruit. Texas Grapefruit are just so juicy and sweet – not bitter!


Menu for the Week:

Budget Buddies


Project Food Budget: Week 9

24 03 2011

Nothing too exciting to report this week, unless you’re into TJ’s Frosted Flakes. 2Chili is thrilled because they have been out of Frosted Flakes for weeks at Trader Joe’s. We thought they had been discontinued, but alas, this week, they were available again. While not the best nutritionally, they are generally better than Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes, and make him happy, so I obliged.

You’ll notice he also has a mini chocolate bar dependency. Speaking of mini, on a little mini vacation right now, so I used this week to stock up on a few things to set us up for next week.

Goal: $75
Actual: $75.56

Trader Joe’s Qty. Extended Price ($)
12 Grain Crackers 1 $1.99
TJ’s Mini Shredded Wheats 1 $2.99
TJ’s Frosted Flakes 2 $3.98
Olive Oil 1 $3.49
Organic Fat Free Milk Gallon 1 $5.69
Bananas 6 $1.14
Dark Roast Coffee 1 $4.49
Almond Butter Creamy Unsalted 1 $4.99
Mini Milk Chocolate Bars 2 $3.58
Mini Dark Chocolate Bars 1 $1.79
Dried Bing Cherries 1 $3.49
Dried Blueberries 1 $5.49
Jumbo Cage Free Eggs 1 $2.79
Medjool Dates 1 $3.79
Organic Strawberries 1 lb 1 $3.99
TJ’s Macaroni & Cheese Yellow Cheddar 1 $0.99
Fusili Pasta 1 $0.99
Amazon Fresh Qty. Extended Price ($)
Chicken of the Sea Chunk Light Tuna in Water 4 $3.96
Food Should Taste Good Multigrain Chips 1 $3.29
Food Should Taste Good Sweet Potato Chips 1 $2.69
Eden Soba Buckwheat Pasta 1 $4.49
Clabber Girl Baking Powder 1 $1.69
Pictsweet Premium Cut Corn Frozen 2 $3.78

Menu for the Week

Monday: Leftover Baked Ziti
Tuesday: Veggie Yakisoba
Wednesday – Sunday: We’re braving it in the restaurant world! Wednesday was the Whole Foods Market hot bar, who knows what the rest of the week will bring… 

Budget Buddies

Project Food Budget: Week 7

10 03 2011

MP900448178This week could be otherwise known as the week the wheels fell off (sort of). I had a couple items on the list that I don’t normally buy which put us about $10 over. Not too big of a deal in the scheme of things, really, but still – I aim to do better next week!

Goal: $75
Actual: $85.78

This week, 2Chili asked for the chili I used to make before I went all vegified on him, which includes ground beef, so I obliged. I also bought a can of salmon, and a 3lb bag of sweet potatoes on a whim. Those three items pretty much account for my overage.

Here’s the detailed look:

Trader Joe’s Qty. Extended Price ($)
TJ’s Mini Frosted Shredded Wheats 2 $5.98
Organic Sweet Potatoes – 3 lbs 1 $3.69
TJ’s Clover Honey 1 $4.49
TJ’s Organic Salt Free Marinara 2 $4.58
Organic Quinoa 1 $3.99
Canned Salmon No Salt 1 $1.99
Mini Milk Chocolate Bars 2 $3.58
Greek Yogurt 2 $5.58
All Purpose Unbleached Flour 1 $2.99
Bananas 9 $1.71
Kiwi 8 $3.12
Dried Bing Cherries 1 $3.49
Dried Cranberries 1 $2.49
Dry Toasted Pecan Pieces 1 $3.99
Organic Fat Free Milk – 1 Gallon 1 $5.69
Amazon Fresh Qty. Extended Price ($)
WestSoy Seitan 1 $4.29
Tropicana Orange Juice 1 $6.79
Organic Prairie, Lean Ground Beef, 1 lb 1 $6.99
Uncle Ben’s Brown Rice 1 $2.99
Mission Flour Tortillas 1 $3.29
Bush’s Chili Beans 1 $1.29
Dole Pineapple Tidbits 2 $2.78

Observations for the Week:

  • 2Chili still prefers meat in his chili, but not too much. He thought one pound of ground beef for a big potful was a too much, which is interesting, because back in the day when I only made chili con carne, it always had one pound of ground beef. His tastes have clearly adapted to a mostly meat-free lifestyle.
  • I couldn’t bring myself to actually make his chili with the Bush’s Chili Beans – there is just so much sodium in them. I just bought the beans to get the recipe (which I couldn’t find online), as that was the base of what I used to make in the past. I plan to donate the can at my indoor triathlon on March 20, where they’re having a food drive.

Menu for the Week:

I am being lazy in the kitchen this week. I have a crazy week of swimming 5 out of 7 days, which requires so much more time and planning that my other workouts, so I’m cutting a few corners! I planned ahead and had lots of leftovers in the freezer for just this week.

Buddies in Budgeting: