As I mentioned in 10 Strategies to Lower My Grocery Bill – Part 1 I have a grocery budget of $600 a month, which is currently broken down to $300 per pay check. One of our strategies for staying on our overall budget this year is to use the envelope system. So when I got my last pay check I withdrew $300 for groceries (as well as various amounts for other budget categories).
Fast forward to this Friday, February 8th. I checked my grocery envelope and was greatly disheartened to discover that there was only $58 left. I have NEVER shopped for a weeks worth of groceries and spent only $58. NEVER! What’s a girl to do?
Well today I sat down in the rocking chair in David’s room and came up with my menu. I was able to move two dinners from last week to this week (2 of the 3 of us have had a stomach bug, so we didn’t eat as much as usual). That left 5 meals for which I would need groceries. I started with what I knew was in the pantry…..rice and beans. And what was in the refrigerator….carrots, potatoes, lettuce.
Somehow (well not somehow, I directly attribute this to God working through my intuition) I ended up with a really good-looking menu for which the groceries cost….drum roll……$50.18.
That brings our grocery spending for this month to:
February 2nd: in-between trip at the Western (a local grocery) $23.75
February 4th: groceries for last week’s menu (Whole Foods) 156.41
February 7th: diaper and beer run (Walmart) 30.09
February 10th: groceries for this week’s menu (Walmart) 50.18
Hmm….that means there should be $40 bucks left in my envelope instead of $10. I really have no idea how that happened, but I probably re-deposited it. I’m a bit embarrassed that you all know that I’m a CPA =)
(This is probably a good time to note that CPAs are human and that we all make mistakes at some point, and that some of us are much better at researching tax issues and creating remarkably complicated spreadsheets than we are at keeping track of cash)
(It’s also a good time to note that when I use this many parentheses in one post it means that I’m tired and giddy. Has anyone kept count along the way?)
My Very Inexpensive Menu
Monday: Eggplant and Tomato Stew with Garbanzo Beans (slow cooker recipe)
Tuesday: Fried Brown Rice
Wednesday: Minestrone Soup w/ Green Salad
Thursday: Bean & Rice Soup (like chicken & rice soup) with Tofu, Lettuce, and Tomato Sandwiches
Friday: Santa Fe Pumpkin Chowder from Gluten Free Goddess with a side of Broccoli & Corn Cornbread
Saturday: Sweet Potato Peanut Stew (yes, we really do eat this all the time)
Sunday: Falafel w/ Creamy Cilantro Sauce, Slaw, and gluten free pitas (well… pitas if they puff up and make the inside pockets, otherwise we’ll just pretend I meant to make flatbread)
(I couldn’t resist one more…I hope to have the final part of my grocery tips up this week, maybe by Wednesday, so check back for more.)
P.S. Ginger Lemon Girl is hosting the Gluten Free Menu Swap this week, so that’s where to go for tons of gluten free goodness. The ingredient of the week is chocolate which is a perfect excuse to try my hand at a chocolate creme brulee for Valentine’s Day.