Hi, friendly readers. I’m back with another installment of Project Food Budget. I had a few great questions from readers concerning our food budget, and I thought I would take some time to answer them here.
1. Do you count cleaning supplies in your grocery budget?
The short answer is no, but it is a little more complicated than that. Since the last time I did Project Food Budget, I began making my own cleaning products. I have a multipurpose cleaner, a disinfectant, and a window cleaner. The ingredients for these cleaners are simple household items that I do include in my grocery costs. They are essentially food products anyway. They include water, vinegar, baking soda, sometimes lemon, tea tree oil, and a little dish soap. The ingredients are extremely inexpensive. They are not affecting my budget much at all. However, every now and then, I like to buy Method brand window cleaner. I love the mint scent. It smells so clean and fresh, and I like to “treat myself” to one every now and then. I buy it at Target, and I do not consider that in my food budget. Paper towels and toilet paper tend to get scooped up into the general food budget because I buy them at Aldi when I’m doing my grocery shopping.
2. What about diapers?
No, I don’t include diapers in my food budget. Again, I buy diapers at Target when I’m not grocery shopping, so it is easy to not include them in my total. Plus, they are expensive and would blow my budget. Because this project is focused on food expenses, diapers would skew my numbers. One last note on this topic– we use cloth diapers about 75% of the time. When we are out and about, I tend to reach for a disposable diaper. I just prefer not to carry around a poopy diaper in my bag when I’m out all day or traveling. We also use disposables over night (unless we run out). Cloth diapers are an investment, but they do save you money in the long run. We’ve used them for 3 of our 4 kids, and many of those first diapers are still being used by Baby #4. Now that’s savings.
3. Do you only include suppers in your food budget? This is a really important question! When I got this question from one of my very loyal readers, I realized that my posts definitely made it look like I was keeping a tally of dinner costs only. Oops. No, my goal and total expenses include suppers, lunches, breakfasts, and snacks. I only list the suppers because our lunches and breakfasts are rather a la carte affairs. We don’t all eat the same thing at the same time. Typical breakfasts for us are eggs, oatmeal (with various toppings), English muffins, breakfast sandwiches on English muffins or bagels, bagels with cream cheese, sometimes cold cereal, fruit, or yogurt. Lunches are often sandwiches–tuna or peanut butter or egg salad or sometimes turkey. We like hummus, raw veggies and fruit. Sometimes I make soup or grilled cheese. Just simple things.
Let me know if you have other questions.
Here are my stats for the week:
Goal: $120 Actual: $18 at Giant Eagle + $110 at Aldi = $128 (Edit: Messed up the math.)
I’m a little bummed that I went over again. On to next week! Let’s see how my blog friends did.