Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Frugal & Healthy?

As per my resolutions, I'm working hard right now at getting healthier, and being more financially responsible. In light of that, I want to take on the challenge of feeding my family (of 2), for $40 a week.

For some of you, that may seem like a lot for 2 people. If you grocery shop, and cook at every meal, that is a lot. For the 2 of US, that's nothing. For quite a while last year, we could go through 5 TIMES that much money on food in a week. Breakfast out here (for $25), a dinner & cocktails out there (for $60), a couple of fast food lunches at work (there's another $10)... and before you know it you've blown through $200.

Now, as part of this "challenge", I'm going to allow myself 2 guaranteed "gimmes" during the week. Our standing Sunday breakfast with friends (which only costs us $10 - $12 with tip), and 1 night a week that we buy dinner (could be pizza night, could be a date night, depending on how things work out). I'm also going to be gentle on myself during the work day. If I'm too swamped at the office to go home for lunch, fast food at my desk will be allowed, but only if I truly can't get away (and didn't have the foresight or energy to bring my lunch).

I'd also like to participate in future Menu-Plan-Mondays. That's a bit daunting to me right now, as I'm just getting my feet wet with this whole concept. But, I think it will help keep me in line, and hold me a bit more accountable.

And to pat myself on the back a bit, I've cooked the last FIVE nights in a row! That's huge for me people! HUGE! And, it's been a pretty inexpensive experience. Here's what the week looked like:

  • Monday - pot pies - $1
  • Sunday - kielbasa with fried potatoes & carrots - $4 .
  • Saturday - pasta with sauce & garlic bread - $3.
  • Friday - chicken stir-fry with rice & teriyaki veggies (so easy it's ridiculous) - $5
  • Thursday - tuna helper - $3.

Now, the dollar amounts are estimates, since I don't have a grocery receipt in front of me (and many of the items were already in the house), but I think it's close to accurate. $16 for a week's dinners isn't too bad, I don't think.

I know there is a LOT of prepared food in there, and I want to work toward minimizing that. But, I had to start somewhere, and spending for the WEEK what we would normally spend in ONE NIGHT (and a cheap night at that).... well, that seemed like a good place to start to me.


nancy said...

Good for you.

And I am TOTALLY not talking smack here, just telling you about my discovery. I adore chicken pot pies but haven't eaten one for eons. So I picked one up the other day and while it was baking, I took a look at the back. That sucker had over 600 calories and 62 grams of fat! O.M.G. It was a marie calendar's chicken pot pie. A little big, but the only one the store had. 62 grams of fat. That's like 2 quarter pounders with cheese! ack.

Kaci said...

$40?!? I was planning to ask "you girls" for advice on budgeting for food - right now we're estimating $150/week, and that's only to feed 2 adults & 1 little mouth. I think we need to work on portion control more than anything (you've seen my ass!). Maybe I'll be inspired by your plan!

Anyway, didn't mean to turn this into a me comment. Good luck!

Familyof2 said...

Other good options: buy turkeys, and chicken breasts (they freeze well), also steaks, and roast when on sale. I LOVE Bogo's. So while one week you may pay $50 or $60 you are getting some good meat.

THEN you can do left overs. For example instead of buying chicken pot pie make a sheppards pie. Pie crust, your chicken/turkey/steak what ever you have left, cover with stuffing (if you have it), your vegtables, your gravy, and yoru mashed potatoes on top. Bake at 350 till warmed through. You now have not only 1 meal, but 2 or 3 if you utilize that for lunch. If you bought that many pot pies you already spend $6!

Good luck! You can do it!!!