Weeks 11 & 12: Spending Diet

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I think over the course of the last 3 months, I am most surprised by what sort of foods we are eating for the amount of money we are spending.  We eat extremely well – lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, from-scratch dinners and desserts, whole grains, and not very many processed foods.  And most of the time (minus all the stocking up I’ve been doing!) we’re doing this for under $150 per month.  That’s pretty incredible from where we were at this time last year. 

We’ve also cut out ALL fast food and while we still get the occasional craving, we’re not saddened that we don’t eat it.  What we’re doing isn’t really a nutrition-focused plan, but we really just need to stretch our buck as far as it will possibly go!  It’s an added bonus that we’re doing our bodies some good too 🙂

So this past shopping trip included 3 weeks of meals because that just happens to coincide with the arrival of our international guests mid-April.  I was able to purchase all the groceries we needed for $106.88 or about $35 per week.  It almost sounds unbelievable, but I did it very easily!  By watching the ads and buying the loss leaders, cooking double batches for the freezer, and not impulse shopping, my husband and I developed a very tasty menu for very little money.

3 Week Meal Plan (3/26-4/15)
Sat: Mexican Chicken Lasagna (2x batch – 1 for freezer)
Sun: Pork Cutlets, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Sauteed Broccoli
Mon: Hamburger Soup (from freezer)
Tues: Pasta Carbonara, Sauteed Green Beans
Wed: Chef Salads
Thurs: BBQ Chicken Sandwiches, Chips, Baked Beans
Fri: Sloppy Joes, Mac ‘n’ Cheese, Veggies

Sat: Pasta e Fagioli (I keep forgetting to soak the beans!)
Sun: Herb Crusted Pork Chops, Homemade Applesauce, Roasted Potatoes
Mon: Baked Potato Chowder, Sandwiches (soup from freezer)
Tues: Cheeseburgers, Pork ‘n’ Beans, Homemade Pasta Salad
Wed: Spaghetti & Meatballs
Thurs: Tuna Salad Sandwiches, Chips, Dill Pickles
Fri: Breakfast for Dinner (eggs, toast, potatoes, bacon)

Sat: Chicken & Spinach Pizza
Sun: Biscuits & Gravy
Mon: Hamburger Soup (from freezer)
Tues: Taco Bar Night!
Wed: Mexican Chicken Lasagna (from freezer)
Thurs: Sausage Pizza
Fri: Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

The spending section may look a little different than before.  All I did was organize it the way my budgeting software does so that it’s easier on me 🙂

And…drumroll…here’s the spending for the past 2 weeks:

Automobile: $69.05 (Yuck to the current gas prices.)

Baby Expenses: $99.71 (Epic fail on the milk-based formula 😦  We’re now pretty positive that our son is lactose intolerant – very common but still not fun.)

Groceries & Household Items: $129.31 (I got some amazing deals on personal items by using coupons and shopping the clearance sections at Target.)

Gifts: $1.00 (I bought my son a book for his Easter basket from the bargain section at Target.)

Home Repair & Remodeling: $53.06 (My father is an amazing contractor and has outfitted our whole house with crown molding – It’s gorgeous – this is the cost for some of the items we needed to complete the project.  He also mounted our flat panel TV on the wall in our living room, and this includes the cost of the super-value bracket we bought from amazon.com)

Grand Total: $352.13

After a very difficult week of weaning my son back off the milk-based formula, I am now ready to start making a few posts I promised.  Stay tuned for some new recipes and organization tips!

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