Category Archives: Food

So Much for Planning!

I decided to start out slow by creating a wonderful meal plan (see below) that focused on my son’s lunches and family dinners. Sunday was spent cooking the meals for the day as well as the next day. When I returned from work on Monday, the kids were eating french fries, my husband had decided to pick up a few things and had also cooked chicken drumsticks (yes, just chicken and nothing else to go with it). I still don’t know how much he spent because my credit card is being glitchy and no longer showing me pending transactions. This morning I woke up and thought, “Might as well treat myself to Starbucks!”  Its not looking good people!

On the bright side, I am really working on my family’s nutrition. I have been offering a vegetable or fruit at every meal. I have been hiding pureed vegetables in my son’s favorite meals. I also purchased some vegan protein power that I have been sprinkling on everything my son eats. As for myself, I have increased my daily intake of vegetables and fruit tremendously. As always, you have to take the good with the bad. I am also doing a free 30 day trial of the meal planning software Plan to Eat. I’ll probably write a review after trying it for a week or two.

Meal plan for January 11-17

  Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Son’s Lunch Southwest Quinoa quinoa with rice and green beans Southwest Quinoa Pasta with “beef” Southwest Quinoa quinoa with rice and green beans Mac N’ Cheese w/ peas
Dinner Turkey Spaghetti w/ broccoli Leftovers Asian stirfry turkey burgers w side salad Leftovers Jambalaya – crockpot leftovers
Son’s Dinner Mac N’ “Cheese” w/ peas Pasta with “beef” quinoa with rice and green beans Lentils and rice Mac N’ “Cheese” w/ peas Pasta with “beef” quinoa with rice and green beans
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The Bad, the Good and the Food

Here’s our food sp1.10ending so far for January. Eek! Our current total is $485.81 which is more than 1/2 way through our monthly budget of $850. To be honest, I haven’t meal planned or made any significant changes to the way we spending money on food and dining. So I am not surprised at all. My husband has been doing quite a bit of social eating surrounding all the football games. My poor son has been on a campaign for pizza for the last 2-3 weeks so I caved and went to local vegan/gluten free restaurant yesterday. Overall, bad, bad, bad!

My goal for this coming week is to meal planning based on what food we actually have (I hope to post that tomorrow). Hopefully that will make up for what we have over spent thus far! The good news is that we seem to have enough groceries to make decent meals. We will be eating lots of chicken, but who doesn’t love chicken, right?! Since I am off work, I plan to make most Fridays my new recipe day. Now to find some good recipes!

Making Sense of Our Food Spending

This post was supposed to be the first of weekly posts highlighting my meal planning for the week. I was going to share my shopping for the week and what meals I was going to try out on my family. Life has a funny way of laughing at plans. On Wednesday, our brand new heating unit that we are still paying off decided it didn’t want to give us any warm air. My family and I have been sitting in a cold home since then. We called the place that installed it; they came out and said they have to order a part from the manufacture to repair it. In the meantime, we’ve actually used our fireplace and purchased $100 worth of space heaters. Home-ownership woes. At least it is still under warranty! With that, I have not felt like investing any time in cooking or prepping. Also, my husband has been absent due to the end of the football season. I’m going to leave the cooking to him next week since he’s off on Monday and Tuesday!

So instead of grocery shopping, I thought I’d share a few numbers courtesy of mint.com. Last month my family spend $1,189.42 in food-related costs which is about $300 over budget. Here are the numbers:

Groceries $653.78
Restaurants $362.84
Fast Food $91.83
Food & Dining $43.46
Coffee Shops $37.50
Total $1,189.42

Using mint.com, I found that our monthly average for food-related expenses was $1,183 which is almost exactly how much we spent in December 2014. What is our budgeted amount, you ask? Our budget is $650 for groceries (which includes food for my gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, vegan son due to allergies) and $200 for eating out (mostly for my husband who refuses to brown bag it even after years of me complaining). No wonder we were always over budget! So far we have spent $211.95 in January (although some of this was end of December that posted in January):

Restaurants  – $108.43 (celebrated my husband’s birthday)
Groceries – $58.48
Fast Food – $25.99 (hubby lunches for 3 days)
Coffee Shops – $10.00 (Starbucks – all me, I’ll admit)
Food & Dining – $9.05 (hubby brought me cookies to cheer me up and vending machines at hubby’s work)

Not starting off that great, huh? My hope is that we can stay on budget this month of $850!