Saturday, November 10, 2012

Food Spending Limit Until Thanksgiving...Can I Do It?

If you come here often, you know I operate on a Food Budget of $400 per month.  That amount includes pet foods and all toiletries and paper products too.
Well, most months that is what I strive for but we seem to have spent more than $400 on food in 4 out of the last 10 months. 8-(

For our family(size,habits, etc.)and income I think $400 is a good amount.  It's not so low that the only foods we can afford are highly processed and/or nutritionally questionable....though we do buy some processed and questionable foods on occasion.  I know others spend less on food but given the prices in my area and the dearth of competition between stores which keeps prices lower, this is about as far down in the budget I care to go on this expense.
Of course, should something in our lives change(job loss/income disruption/kids moving out//DEFLATION of prices...hahaha, had to throw that one in for a laugh since prices NEVER go down!), I would be re-evaluating the budget in a heartbeat.

As for November's Food Budget.....
I have just completed buying groceries at the local Shursave grocery to earn a food certificate for free food at their store in the next 12 days before Thanksgiving.
Anyway, I have spent so far in November on groceries a total of $202.54 of my $400.  Along with the weekly items I needed to make the meals served, I have picked up loss leaders and meat & frozen veggie deals along the way this month to use on down the road.  And I earned $20 in free food certs for buying things now(or last week)that I would have bought anyway at the end of the month.  I have also been picking up Thanksgiving meal items as they have gone on sale.  I got a turkey earlier this week so I am set for most of what I need to throw the Thanksgiving meal together.
The only items left to buy are Celery, a small bag of Potatoes, a couple of Rutabagas and Parsnips.

I have between $35 and $40 in free food catalinas, certificates and gift cards to use.
I have $20 to spend at the Shursave Grocer and between $15 and $20 at Weis(PMITA)Markets.
(I have a $5 Weis Cat to use by 11/15, and 2 gift cards--1 is for $5 but I can't remember if the other one is also for $5 or $10.)

I am going to try to use these chits to cover our food expenses up to and including those 4 Thanksgiving meal items.  $35-$40 should cover anything I need to buy until the 22nd.
All meals the next 11 days will be from foods I already have here or we can use one of the pizza coupons I won at the Church Auction last month if we feel like eating take-out during that time frame.

I'm all excited now to see what kind of meals I come up with so I only use that $35 in chits and don't have to buy any food until after Thanksgiving.

Do you think I can do it?
Do you have enough food laid back that you could do this?



  1. I have faith in you!!! I'm hoping to stay at around $300 this month because TBG will be out of town for a week. But who knows how much he'll be spending????

    1. Thanks Alex. Does TBG keep tabs on his spending and report in?

  2. I know you can do it!

    There is enough food here, bought on sale, to last me. I, too, buy on sale a bit at a time as things go on sale. Last year, I did buy all the baking supplies I needed but did less baking, so I still have most of it.However, I will buy confectioner's sugar and flour on sale again, because it will never get lower than the sale price, EVER.

    I have free Libby's pumpkin, but the cranberries have not come down in price yet. I am watching the sales.

    Luckily, at Easter an 4th of July, there are other sales that keep me in almost free baking products all the time.

    Since there is just me, I would rather have a Turkey breast. I will buy several to use throughout the year. I could even get by happily with a couple of chicken breasts.

    Unbelievably, I have four hens not laying--two old hens and two very young ones. I hate buying eggs for holiday baking. Que sera, Que sera!

    1. If I was cooking for myself only, I'd be eating/cooking alot differently than I do now.
      I can eat the same thing over and over if it's something I like until it's gone and then cook something else. I don't need daily variety.

  3. You can easily do it! You keep a reasonable stock pile, right? I don't think I could. Well, I could, but we buy a ton of fresh produce, & would have to deviate pretty drastically from our current shopping to make it happen. I might be swayed, but the husband? No way. he's a produce freak!

    1. What about frozen produce? Living in a northern climate we don't use much fresh produce in the winter. We eat locally/seasonally as much as we can.
      I will still buy salad greens however in the winter.

  4. I know you can do this! Unless, there is a very good sale in Rite Aid coming up :)

    1.'re funny Lena!
      But I don't use money at Rite-Aid so no worries there. lol

  5. Oh you can do it.

    And so can I. After removing some stuff from the deep freeze to add two whole chickens...I discovered I HAVE 3 whole chickens, not to mention 4 ziplock bags frozen chicken breast(3 each bag) and ground bison. I so caved on that bison ($8 a pound). The pantry was getting so full I had to re-arrange and move it to a larger cabinet. Geez, where did all this food come from. My son thought we would be having chicken for Thanksgiving. Heck no!! I have a frozen turkey to boot.

    I think I can get by with just buying milk, eggs, cheese, fruit and veggies until Thanksgiving...maybe even beyond.

    blessings, jill

    1. I think chickens are reproducing in your
      Ouch on the bison but it's a great lean meat.
      How about I hold your feet to the fire and you hold mine? ;-)

  6. Oh wow, Thanksgiving is less than 2 weeks away? That's sort of scary! I totally think you can do it. As for myself, seeing that I haven't gone grocery shopping for myself in quite sometime, I think I have enough for 3 days worth of dinners and maybe 3 days worth of lunches. So I think I definitely need to get myself something!

    1. The days are coming faster and faster as we get to the end of the year, aren't they?

  7. I think I need to get back to couponing again. You do an awesome job with your grocery budget!

    1. Thanks Lisa!
      I honestly haven't used many coupons the whole of this year(except for Rite-Aid shopping-I use MANY
      Just relying on rock bottom price stock-ups and instant meat dept. reductions at the grocery stores, some gardening this past summer with freezing and canning, a little farm buying, a little restaurant supply store buying, a little bread outlet buying, and just not buying out of season when the prices are high.
      Once I throw out the Rite-Aid stuff(which skewers my savings downwards), I am maintaining at least a 35% savings rate over regular retail of what I buy. Very little of that is due to coupon usage(since this doesn't count the Rite-Aid stuff).
      It's not just buying low. A large part of the savings is avoiding FOOD WASTE. Letting food go bad means you have to buy more food, so we keep a good eye on the food here and use it up. It's very rare for us to have to throw any leftovers out. Letting food go bad is just as bad as throwing dollar bills out your car window driving down the highway. That would KILL


Hey there! Thanks for leaving a comment. Though I moderate it's partly to keep spam out but also partly so that I read every comment. I don't often respond to comments so if you need me to answer you please write me at my email addy posted on my "About Me" page, linked on the side bar.