Saturday, January 8, 2011

My Food Budget 2011 - Update

My household food budget remains the same for 2011 - $200 to 225 a month (the extra $25 is for when I find a great deal on protein or other bulk items).  I thought I'd periodically post my expenses throughout the year of 2011 to show that yes, it is possible to eat Paleo on a Budget.

This week has been...."fun" when it came to food.  My kids returned from their father's house ravenous and ate everything in sight for 5 days straight.  Thankfully, things calmed down by Thursday morning but the damage to the fridge was already done.  So, this was a restocking weekend.

Bad new is that budget sucks this month (January and November are my bad months) so I'm trying to be extra careful about expenses.  Doesn't help that my son's birthday is this week so I had to deal with the added expense of presents and a gluten-free cake (thankfully, my local Target is carrying GF cake mixes now for $3.29) - but it is his one special day of the year so I really don't mind.

The saving grace for this month is that I stocked the freezer full of protein last month.  Otherwise, it would be chicken leg quarters and ground beef/pork for the month.  Ugh.

Yesterday was one of those rare times when I decided to brave the stores on Friday afternoon with the kids.  I usually wait until Saturday morning, when they're safely ensconced at their father's house, to do my shopping in peace but we were all feeling restless Friday afternoon and needed some time out of the house.  Also, I think that it's important for the kids to be exposed periodically to grocery shopping and to see what's all out there.  We usually spend forever in the produce section, identifying fruits and vegetables, discussing their colors, and how they rank on your yummy scale.  My 5 year old daughter makes me laugh as she repeatedly exclaims, "I like celery!  It's my favorite!"  and "I like broccoli!  It's my favorite!".

Anyway, I knew I had to do some major shopping this weekend.  Here's how it played out:

Sprouts Farmer's Market - $34.26
  • 6.75 lbs Bulk Oatmeal @ 69 cents/lb (for the kids - it was on sale so I bought a lot to get us through to the next sale)
  • 2 lbs Bulk Raisins @ 2.49/lb (for the kids)
  • 5 lbs of carrots for 2.99 (bagged bulk carrots)
  • 2 bunches of celery @ 99 cents/each
  • 4.5 lbs Pears @ $1.20/lb (above my usual limits on fruit prices but we needed some sort of variety besides bananas and apples!)
  • 4 cucumbers @ 69 cents/each
  • 9 lbs apples @ 69 cents/lb
  • 5.75 lbs of tomatoes @ 88 cents/lb
(I love Sprouts for two reasons - they have bulk bins and they have 69 cent or 88 cent sales on fruits and vegetables every week.....and they're produce is ALWAYS good quality!)

Target - $25.04
  • 3 loaves of Bread @ $1/each (for the kids)
  • Olive Oil cooking spray (store brand)
  • 8 18-pack eggs @ 1.79/each (this amounts to 12 dozen, if you're keeping score)
  • GF cake mix, frosting and candles for the boy's birthday
(Eggs, bread, condiments, and frozen vegetables are what I usually buy from my local Target.  No frozen veggies this week - no room in the freezer.)


Lion Asian Market - 16.26
  • 5 lbs red cabbage @ 69 cents/lb (going to make German Style Red Cabbage this week - been craving it all month)
  • 3 lbs cauliflower@ 69 cents/lb
  • 3.5 lbs bok choy @ 69 cents/lb (these are great for easy stir fry veggies to go along with dinner)
  • 3 lbs broccoli crowns @ 89 cents/lb
  • 5 lbs bananas @ 69 cents/lb
  • 2.5 lbs zucchini @ 50 cents/lb
(As you can tell from the veggie prices, this place is a god sent during the winter months, BUT I don't buy fruit from here (except for bananas) - every apple and pear I've bought there was bruised)


  • Total for This Shopping Trip: $75.56
  • Total for The Month: $75.56
  • Budget Remaining: $124.44

Now, before you ask....the above grocery shopping stocks my house for two weeks and easily feeds me and two growing kids (ages 3 and 5) with very minimal waste - though I will probably have to go back to the asian market next weekend to top off our veggies since our supply of frozen is very limited this week.    I thank God every night that my kids like vegetables and don't mind eating the same stuff for breakfast and lunch day after day.  That makes my meal planning and grocery shopping so much easier.  ;-)

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