Food budget Friday, May 12

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My food spending went pretty well this week! My budget is $100 and this week I spent $72. Each week is different but I love to see that number go down. Woohoo!!

I wasn’t skimpy on the groceries either. I bought healthy food such as veggies, beans and rice but also a lot of fun foods like chips, chocolate pudding, and seltzer water. I assume if I bought less treat foods that my grocery bill would go down a lot more. But what is life without a few treats?

I went out to eat fast food a few times and I spent around $10. That number is included in my weekly total.

Want to see some of the groceries I bought? Here is my shopping from May 6 and May 11.

I hope you have a beautiful and blessed day!!

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Frugal favorites: Homemade lunchbox

lunch2When it comes to saving money I believe that little things, done consistently, can really begin to add up.

Every week day I make my little household a lunch box for the day. I believe that both the cost and health benefits are very good. And it’s definitely cool to have a lunch box even if you’re a grown up 🙂

These are some benefits of a homemade lunch:

  • Less expensive
  • Healthy, fresh food
  • Proper portion size (most importantly: not too much food so it’s not a calorie overload)
  • Made with love ❤

Here is a very standard lunch box that I make: It includes fruit, veggies, a sandwich (made on gluten-free bread) and some corn chips. If I used regular bread it would be much cheaper, but health needs comes first.

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Now let’s break down the cost (I’m estimating but it should be pretty close):

Apple: .50 cents

Veggies: .35 cents

Gluten-free bread: .87 cents

Chips: .25 cents

1 Hotdog (in sandwich): .40 cents

Mustard: .03 cents

Total: $2.40

A typical takeout lunch where I live is $6.50-10, so the math here is pretty clear: a homemade lunch definitely is the best.

Here’s a nice bonus: Often a takeout lunch will come with a soda and sometimes a dessert like a cookie. By bringing a homemade lunch you can bypass the temptation to get a “free” soda with your meal. It’s all about the little things 🙂

Food budget Friday, Feb 3

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This week my spending was under budget by about $10! I’m happy about this because my goal is to get my total food spending to about $75-85/week.

My eating earlier in the week was up and down and I binged a few times, but the past few days it’s been more steady and consistent. I’m all about the little wins, one meal and one day at a time.

Recently a friend gifted me a slow cooker which I’m excited to start using. I’ve always read and heard such good things about them so I’m looking forward to using it. I was at the market today and found about 3 pounds of chicken on sale, so that will likely be the first thing I try in the slow cooker. Any recipe suggestions are welcome!

I’m also mindfully trying to eat less sugar to see if that helps me binge eat less. I’m still in the honeymoon phase and have been eating this way for about 3 days but I’m feeling pretty ok so far and I haven’t binged! So that’s positive 🙂

I’m trying to “replace” the sugar by eating a little more protein and fat to try and feel more satisfied.

Back to budgeting matters: I’m glad I was $10 under budget this week. It’s thanks entirely to using all-cash instead of my cards so I’m going to keep doing that 🙂

Spending for the week:

  • 1/28: $24.58
  • 1/29: $4.26
  • 1/30: $6.55
  • 1/31: $12.85
  • 2/1: $14.59
  • 2/2: $13.54
  • 2/3: $13.51

Total: $89.88

Frugal favorites: Frozen collard greens

veggies.jpgI have a new frugal favorite: frozen collard greens!

I know how important leafy greens are for good health, but I gotta be honest: I often forget to eat them. It’s not intentional, it’s simply that bunches of fresh greens such as collard greens and kale are often huge and take time to clean, chop and cook.

These bags of frozen collard greens are fantastic. They are very reasonably priced and make incorporating more greens into your diet very easy. The greens are pre-washed, pre-cut and ready to be mixed into the cooked food of your choice; such as soups (lentil, split pea, minestrone, etc), stews, lasagna, frittatas, pasta sauce and many, many more.

Simply cut open the bag and pour in the greens; that’s it! The greens are delicate and cook quite fast. I recommend not over-cooking them and adding them closer to the end of the cooking process.

Tonight I had gluten-free pasta and meatballs. I added about 1/2 cup of frozen collard greens to the pasta sauce and it turned out great 🙂

These will definitely be making more appearances in my cooking! ❤

Food budget Friday, Jan 27

food.JPGThis week my spending was better and I came in under budget! After my move last week I’m starting to feel a little bit more settled which definitely helps.

Many of the boxes are unpacked including a lot of my kitchen stuff so I’m able to cook here pretty well. But there is still a ways to go- a lot of the walls needs painting, and there is a lot of cleaning to do but those projects just take some time and patience.

My food this week was again up and down. Guess what I ate for breakfast on Monday? A bowl of dark chocolate chips, probably about 1/4 pound. Pro tip: not the best idea. I felt sick until about 4pm. But they did taste great while I was eating them.

One of the biggest problems with my binge eating disorder is how deceitful and sneaky it is. I know chocolate for breakfast is stupid…but yet I had chocolate in the house and over night became obsessed with eating it. So eat it .

This eating episode made me more convinced that the house needs to be a “safe place” where I don’t keep binge triggering foods. There are many foods I’m ok with, but certain ones such as: cake, chocolate, candies, potato chips, soda, pizza and a few more I simply can’t keep in the house.

For example, it’s perfectly ok if I want a cupcake but I need to go to a bakery and buy one and enjoy it thoroughly. I can’t buy a 6 pack from the grocery store and try to convince myself that I somehow won’t eat them. I simply will.

Back to budgeting: my food spending was definitely better this week. I was about $20 under budget. My all cash system worked so I’m going to continue doing that 🙂

Spending for the week:

  • 1/21: $11.55
  • 1/22: $17.66
  • 1/23: $7.47
  • 1/24: $5.97
  • 1/25: $7.55
  • 1/26: $12.95
  • 1/27: $16.04

Total: 79.19

My current grocery budget is $100/week. I eventually would like to reduce that to $75-85/week.

Spicy eggs and corn tortillas: delicious and inexpensive

pepper2This is a last-minute meal that turned out really well! The other night I was busy and ended up needing to make dinner pretty late. I had completely forgotten to cook brown rice or potatoes earlier so I was looking through the fridge to see if I had a “quick” carb that I could use.

I saw a package or tortillas, some eggs and an onion and thought….hmmm…I wonder if there is some potential here. So I looked up recipes ideas online and I found people recommending to cut or tear up some tortillas and fry them first before adding the eggs. I thought this sounds pretty awesome and I have all the ingredients so why don’t I try it out?!

This is a good recipe: it came together quickly and was very tasty. It has all the elements that I really like in a meal: it’s quick, simple, cheap, filling and has a good amount of protein. Dinner for 2 people was about $2 (note: I used inexpensive eggs, they were $1.49/dozen and the tortillas were $2/dozen).

I also like to have a veggie with every main meal. With this dish I served green beans 🙂

This recipe is easy to double or triple if you’re feeding more people. Simply cook it in batches and keep warm.

Spicy eggs and corn tortillas

Serves 2 to 3

9 eggs, whisked together (note: I removed the yolk from 4 eggs to lower the fat level a little bit)

5 corn tortillas,  torn or cut into bite size pieces (but not too small)

2 tablespoons diced yellow onion

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 teaspoons water or milk

Hot sauce, to taste

2 cups cooked vegetables: your choice- green beans, carrots, broccoli, zucchini, etc.

Salt and pepper

Crack eggs in a large bowl, add the water or milk and whisk together. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.

Next, tear or cut the tortillas into bite size pieces and set aside.

Heat a large nonstick skillet on medium and add the oil. When oil is warm add the onion and cook until translucent. Next, add the tortillas and stir with a spatula to coat the pieces with vegetable oil.

When the tortilla pieces begin to brown and crisp slightly pour in the egg mixture. Cook how you would scrambled eggs: let the eggs set slightly and then carefully mix the eggs and tortilla pieces together until cooked all the way through.

Serve with a generous splash of hot sauce and the veggies. I also like mine with a little bit of ketchup. Hope you enjoy!

Food budget Friday, Dec 30

photo12.jpgWoohoo!! This week I’m under budget by almost $6! This is so much better than last week when I was over budget by quite a lot.

I attribute it all to starting to use an envelope system where I’m using cash only to pay for my groceries. I’ve had a tough time staying under budget the last few few months and I think it’s because I’ve had a harder time managing my spending when I use my debit card. I just seem to buy more things I don’t really need. The nice thing about using cash is that when it’s gone it’s gone.

Overall my bingeing was better this week also. I only binged one time…but I did have one slippery day (where I ate half a carton of whipped cream) but it wasn’t a full on binge. Having limits on my spending I think must be helping a little bit because the binge foods are super expensive and the costs add up quickly.

So I’d say this week was a success! I’ll continue using the envelope system for awhile and see how it goes 🙂

Spending for the week:

  • 12/24: $28.27
  • 12/25: $0
  • 12/26: $8.47
  • 12/27: $12.93
  • 12/28: $14.75
  • 12/29: $17.48
  • 12/30: $11.35

Total: $94.05

My current grocery budget is $100/week. I eventually would like to reduce that to $75-85/week.