Monday, January 8, 2018

Food and Household Spending Update and Meal Options Monday

I love a good challenge. The goal, to spend under $350 for the month of January on our household needs and groceries , henceforth H&G. Here's what I spent so far:

January 1-Walmart :Note pad and loaf of discounted Italian Bread $1.52. I also had to buy a bunch of hair care stuff, very specific, for DD2 for show choir, but I'm not counting that as it falls in line for me with the kids activity fund. It wasn't cheap though-nearly $20 on two sets of a spongey roller, $12 on dry shampoo,and $6 for tiny clear  ponytail holders and bobbie pins.

January 3rd:
Target:I needed a supply of my slow release iron and stopped at Target. Our Target in town is closing and so no restocking and they were out. I managed to hit the last of the 90% clearance on Christmas and spent $9.63 on more super large gift bags, wine gift bags, light up Santa slippers (for $1.00!!!) and a t-shirt for me for $1.49. This isn't technically H&G either so not counting it towards the $350.
Pub: I spent $5.00 on two MGD light beers on tap, plus tip. The Coors light keg was empty apparently.

January 4th: I ordered the flowers for the work colleague, but other c hipped in so my out of pocket was $8.

January 5th:
Aldi's. Bought groceries and some cleaning supplies and spent $93.80. However, of that, $8.55 was for two body scrubs and shower jell for future gift giving, so $85.25 was spent on H&G.
Walgreen's: Makeup and eyelash adhesive for DD2. Plus, several clearanced lotions, lip balms, and sticking stuffers. Total came to $18.08, but again nothing towards the $350 goal.

January 6th: Combined, DD2 and  I spent $22 at show Choir, but this included a pass the hat donation of $5, so $17 on food and drinks. Ouch-would have been more if I hadn't packed some food.

What counts against the $350 budget is $86.77, leaving $263.23. I wouldn't need to track all these purchases, but outside of our household utilities, insurance, gas and maintenance and lease/car payments, and our life insurance, it is the extra miscellaneous and H&G where I have more choices on day to day spending decisions. I won't do this after January, but as I blog for myself, it will serve as a reminder of why I do these self imposed challenges. Life is expensive!

Here's what we ended up eating last week:
  • New Years eve dinner of prime rib, potatoes salad and many appetizers. Pizza rolls, popcorn, and snacks for DD2. 
  • Crock pot pasta prima vera
  • Leftover pasta
  • Wednesday-not sure? Everyone just sort of fended for themselves because of crazy schedules
  • Chicken cordon bleu, rice pilaf and steamed vegetables
  • Sloppy Joe's and French fries 
  • DD2 and I sandwiches and consession food and DH grilled cheese and tomato soup
We had no meals out and no take out. On to menu options including things from last week we ended up not making. An * will indicate items that will do for more than one meal. 

  • Yesterday:Egg wraps and smoothies-Sunday brunch. Take out chicken dinner using a due to expire vocuher.
  • Pasta Alfredo with steamed vegetables
  • Tuna noodle hotdish with peas
  • Another crock pot pasta prima vera as my family likes it and is is so easy to make ahead and I have cottage cheese to use up!
  • *Vegetarian Chili
  • Super nachos, with taco meat, refried beans, rice and cheese
  • Red beans and rice and sliced sausages (have two large to use up) and corn or green beans
  • *Navy Bean Soup
  • Turkey meat loaf with mashed or roasted potatoes, corn or green beans
  • Veggie curry with yellow squash and rice
  • Homemade pizza 
I have options and other than the voucher, am not planning any take out or restaurant meals out for supper, or for myself. at lunch. DH  will still most likely have some out of pocket lunches. DH did the first 1/2 of the month bills yesterday and we will tuck $1,000 away, hopefully partially as savings, but most likely to cover the remaining expenses and the lingering ones on the credit card from December. I'm fairly confident we will not go in the red. How is your new year starting off financially?  Who else is belt tightening to get a jump on your financial well being for 2018?


  1. We're doing "okay". I'd say sticking to the plan, but we had an unexpected dinner out on Friday, which is pretty unusual for us. Hopefully there will be a little more than expected in my bonus to cover it. We did cancel our February ski trip, so that will definitely offset some overage.

    I also have a bunch of stuff posted on eBay, so excited to continue decluttering & make some money. Have a goal of $1K this year. Have made $6 so far. ;-)

    1. Hey, only $994 to your goal and 51 more weeks to do it! I really need to start posting some things at least on the local Facebook site. I have a brand new Lula Roe dress-looked so different on line but I hate it. I know there are people that love,love, love this stuff and I might be able to recoup part of the bad (for me) purchase.

  2. After I take a load to Sallie's and the Food Bank I need to get back into listing items on eBay. Nothing has sold since Xmas there but in the past I have sold things in Jan. there, mostly old out of production toys to adult collectors.
    I am $60 into Jan. groceries. I am hoping with the bad weather it will entice me to not go out shopping much. ;-)

    1. I'm thinking ahead to hat we have and meals I want to serve and I think this month is totally doable to be under target. I too have donations. I just think my stuff is useful, but not sale worthy. Maybe I'm wrong.

  3. I am not doing as well as I like with groceries I wanted to stay under $200.00 but here it is the 8th and I have already spent $107.00. I shouldn't have to buy fruit or veggies for two weeks at least. This is harder than I thought. Why is everything harder than I think it is going to be. Drat that optimistic nature of mine:)

    1. With no teen in the house, I know I could get really lean inthe groceries becasue I jsut don't care enough about what's in the hosue, though hubs might go on one of his off budget spends.

  4. We are attempting a January no-spend but I put $50 cash aside for groceries - so far we have used $5.71 of it for milk & onions so I'm very pleased with where we are so far this month.

    1. Wow-almost a true no spend Janaury then. I get ver creative with meals when I challenge myself. I'd love to read what meals you serve.


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