As I sat down to type this post, I actually started making up a silly little song in my head about budgeting. I know, I know! I am a total food budget geek. Why am I doing this food budget challenge? There are lots of good, wise reasons for doing this. It helps me spend less. It helps me plan meals more thoughtfully, and that translates to better nutrition and less waste. It makes me a more organized shopper. It keeps me accountable as I broadcast to all of cyberspace what we spend and eat. The challenge gives me inspiration as I browse the blogs of the other participants. But do you know what my number one reason for doing Project: Food Budget? It’s fun! I love planning and recording, anticipating and calculating. Like I said, Total Geek. I have always been a sucker for pens, folders, notebooks, planners, electronic organizers, and calculators–all the little tools that make organizing fun. This challenge is right in that vein.
We were doing fine on a $600 monthly food budget. In fact, with hubby’s new job (Praising God for such a blessing!), we have more wiggle room than we’ve ever had before, but when my friend Katy mentioned the food budget challenge with Emily Levenson, I knew I wanted to do it, and I’m so glad that I did. I love the very deliberate reflection upon what we purchase and what we consume. I get a little thrill when I look at how much is being put into savings instead of being spent on a grocery trip. I love that I can splurge a little elsewhere in our budget because I shopped smart on Monday! I find the food budget is the easiest place to take control of overspending, and Emily’s challenge is helping me do that. I chose a $400 monthly budget goal simply because I wanted to see what would happen if I really pushed myself!
I’ve been disappointed in myself for being so off track over the last month, and I’ve been eagerly anticipating this week’s post as the first in a long time when I can actually look at some numbers. So here goes:
Hubby did the shopping, so some unexpected purchases found their way into the cart. Namely, a Cheez-It box, a box of vanilla wafers, and a jar of alfredo sauce. In his defense, the jar of alfredo sauce was part of a BOGO deal in partnership with the marinara sauce that was actually on the list, and he also bought BOGO loaves of bread. Go hubby! The total came to a praise-worthy $98. We spent $10 on dinner at the church on Wednesday. We will need to run to the store for more tortillas later in the week, but so far, I’m really happy with our $108 for the first week of 2012.