Project Food Budget: Week 7

Goal Budget: $40.00
Actual: $47.15

This was a pretty good week.  I think my favorite meal was this one: Lemon-Splashed Shrimp Salad.  I didn’t follow the recipe exactly, but I created the concept with what I had available.  It was delicious.

I was happy with my overall expenditure, too.  I spent a little more than I’d planned, but the total included $11.03 I spent on chicken, half of which I froze.  I also splurged on a few things that made the total what is was.

Splurges: Gazpacho Soup – $2.99, Ginger Peanut Noodles – $2.69, Almond Milk – $1.69, Chicken Sausage – $3.99, and a Georgia Peach – $0.59 (Delicious!).  I’m so glad I got things from the store this week that weren’t on my list.  They made the week a bit more interesting, and collectively put me only slightly over.  Spontaneous purchases = more exciting week.

Now that I’m planning for next week, I’m debating — should I make it a challenge week?  I’m going out of town briefly next weekend, so perhaps I should focus on using up things I have here and clearing out a little more, before I go away?  I think I’ll set both budgets, and then when I plan this weekend, I’ll go for the challenge number.  If I don’t get it, I won’t beat myself up.  Seems like a fun little twist.

Week 8 Challenge Budget: $20
Week 8 Budget: $30

Want to jump in where you are and get started with Project Food Budget?  Check out this link for all the details: http://emilylevenson.com/blog/project-food-budget/details.  There are some really great people participating in the challenge, so to learn more about the project, check out their efforts:

Week 38 Participating blogs: 

Project Food Budget: Week 6

So this week was a whirlwind week of emotional transition and lots of positive surprises.  And coupled with poor planning and the need for expensive items,  I was way over budget this week.  Whoa.

Budget Goal: $40
Budget Actual: $125.06

Trader Joe’s: $26.40
Market District: $48.90
Wine & Spirits: $13.00?  Lost the receipt
Pizza: $28.00
Lunch out: $8.76

I learned that these items are expensive:  Coffee ($13.99 – I’m tracking how long it lasts me.  My guess is three weeks), Dish Soap & Dishwasher Detergent ($9.99 – Knew these were expensive, but forgot that I’d have to buy them again someday), and take out pizza ($28.00 – Granted I bought 2 over the course of the week and there was much leftover which was nice), but yeah.  Wow, that was a bad week.

I also bought a lot of berries this week to entertain some girlfriends.  I’m not complaining about this one bit, because it was so wonderful to entertain!  I wish I’d have been a bit more selective about the amount of berries I purchased because I’m still swimming in berries, but oh well!  They are tasty and I had fun!

Week 7 Budget: $40

I learned a couple lessons as after living through this week.
One, I’ve got to make sure the things on my menu for the week actually sound interesting to me.  If they don’t, I won’t want to eat them/make them.
Two, life happens.  Some weeks you’ve got to punt and get through it, knowing that the awesome weeks in the past and the awesome ones to come will even out the extra costs from a bad week.  I’m also reminded that this used to be nearly every week’s expenditure — oh how far I’ve come.
Three, the freezer is my friend.  Having a few healthy meal options (not frozen jalapeno popper pretzel bites, Eryn) would have been a godsend this week.  I’m going to keep that in mind over the weekends when I’d have the option to make and freeze a few things.

This week will be great and I’m excited to jump back into a low budget, better planned week.

Want to jump in where you are and get started with Project Food Budget?  Check out this link for all the details: http://emilylevenson.com/blog/project-food-budget/details.  There are some really great people participating in the challenge, so to learn more about the project, check out their efforts:

Week 37 Participating blogs: 

Project Food Budget: Week 5

The budget for this week was $30.

Budget: $30
Actual: $0

Most people would ask why I didn’t eat anything!  But it was a fun week full of a lot of food based events that I wasn’t responsible for paying for.  A cook-out with my best friend’s in-laws and family.  A work event where my boss paid for dinner.  An outing with a girlfriend where I drove and she bought lunch.

I also made a lot of meals with food I had on hand.  (Some of it, especially Monday night’s fajitas, was getting a little sketchy.  But hey, I’m not dead.)  My favorite moment was when I was attempting linguine with clam sauce on Tuesday night only to find that I didn’t have a lot of the ingredients I needed/thought I did.  So I improvised, tomato sauce for crushed tomato, shallot for onion, white wine for red wine.  It tasted good and felt great to use up so many random ingredients!

So for this week, the budget is $40.  I have to buy coffee.  I can’t remember what that costs, and since I’ve never purchased it for one person (albeit a person who does drink 6 cups a day), I’m not sure how long it will last.  I’m also having some girlfriends over on Saturday, and well, sketchy might be ok for me — but not for them.  And I might try to buy a bottle or two of wine too.  I don’t count entertainment eating out into my budget, but I do count buying wine.

Week 5 Budget: $40

Want to jump in where you are and get started with Project Food Budget?  Check out this link for all the details: http://emilylevenson.com/blog/project-food-budget/details.  There are some really great people participating in the challenge, so to learn more about the project, check out their efforts:

Week 37 Participating blogs: 

Project: Food Budget Week 4

It was another weird week.  I spent the weekend in Johnstown, PA, my mom’s hometown, retracing her roots.  We did the incline plane and the Johnstown Flood Museum.  And, we stayed in a great little bed and breakfast called Heritage House.  The two women who cared for us, Ginny and Maryann, were wonderful.  Maryann is a great cook, so I spent the weekend full of her delicious cooking.  Ever looking for a weekend away?  Put it on your list for a great B&B experience!

On the way home on Sunday, I made a quick stop at Trader Joe’s for pizza crust, multigrain crackers, and english muffins.  I’ve been eating the muffins and crackers, but pizza is on the list for the weekend.  I also bought two basil plants, one for me and one for a friend.  I love having fresh basil around.

And on Monday night, I broke down after a pretty intense massage and got a pizza.  Monday’s there’s a $8.99 special here in town, so for the first time in over a year I got the pizza I wanted.  It lasted into the week.  I did a little Yoga on Tuesday for the first time since last January.  And I caved today and got lunch out – mostly because I didn’t plan well this week. But the weekend is very close.

Week 3 Budget: $30
Week 3 Actual: $31.34

Week 4 Budget: $30

I fully expect to come in under next week, because there is A LOT of food in the fridge and I have a normal weekend to plan and prepare.  I might need some pieces to connect it all together, and I’m also going strawberry picking this weekend, but in general, I feel like things are really under control budget wise.  I can’t believe I’ve been working on this project for nearly a month!  I’m so happy about not only the money I’ve saved, but the positive choices and changes I’ve been making!

Want to jump in where you are and get started with Project Food Budget?  Check out this link for all the details: http://emilylevenson.com/blog/project-food-budget/details.  There are some really great people participating in the challenge, so to learn more about the project, check out their efforts:

Week 36 Participating blogs: 

Project: Food Budget Week 3

This was a great week!  I used a lot of the things I had on hand and started to develop my essential pantry list.  I’ve used one in the past, but have found that I purchased things I never used, even though they were “essential.”  So I’ve realized that I can create my own and that it can be exactly what works for me.

I shopped at Target and Trader Joe’s this week.  At Target, I bought toothpaste and sponges (which are expensive!).  At Trader Joe’s, I bought ingredients for a pizza and also some really great eggs, organic and cage free, which made me feel good.  I also bought myself flowers; they make me happy every time I see them and are totally worth the money!

Week 2 Budget: $30
Week 2 Actual: $31.17

Week 3 Budget: $30

I made a Thai Chicken Pizza last night and its was really very good.  It was my first time making homemade pizza from start to finish, though it was something we did often.  I went a little crazy with the flour and forgot to add the water to the peanut sauce, so it didn’t spread especially well, but it was delicious anyway!  So here’s my result:

My first attempt at Make at Home Pizza

And here is my recipe for the Peanut Sauce.  It’s so amazing, you could eat it on ice cream (just remember to add the water)!

There are some really great foodies participating in the challenge, so for more budget-friendly tips, check out their efforts:
Week 35 Participating blogs: