Tuesday, May 22, 2018

My June Food Budget Challenge and a GIVEAWAY!

June Grocery Money
I have issued myself a "food budget challenge" and my family is less-than-enthusiastic.

I've decided to spend no more than $320 on food for the month of June.   

That's $80 each week!  

 For the record, my husband thinks I can't do it -  all the more reason to prove that I can!

The photo above shows my actual grocery money.  I have it all set aside in an envelope, labelled "June".  I'm ready to go!  

Quick Facts About Our Family Food Dynamics:

1.   During June there will be seven in our family.

Our oldest son is home from college and our son John's girlfriend, Melanie, is coming from Mississippi to visit.  So our family of five will become a family of seven.  Yes, I told Melanie about the challenge.  She is still coming.  So, I haven't scared her off.  In fact, she is excited about rolling up her sleeves to help me be creative in the kitchen.

I really wanted to try allocating just $10 per person each week - or $280 for the month.  But, I chickened out at the last minute and added another $10 bucks per week.  In reality, I didn't know if I could do it on less than $300.

2.  We eat mainly vegetarian. 

I try to eat seasonally, buy from local small farms, and purchase as much organic as possible. Some of you may know that I am vegan, eating a whole foods, plant based diet.  But, most of my family does not.  So, although meat, dairy, and eggs play a minor role in my monthly food budget, they do make an appearance.

3.  We are CSA members. 

The fact that growing season has begun should prove to be helpful in me reaching my food financial goal.  The CSA food is already paid for.  So, it will be food that does not come out of the available $320 for the month.  I'll take photos of our weekly CSA share and show you what we got.  Then, I'll tell you how I plan to incorporate that produce into my weekly menu plan to make the absolute most of it.

4.  I will be spending cash. 

Remember, that's a photo of my actual grocery cash at the top of this blog post.  Statistically, when you use cash you spend less money.  See this post for information on why spending cash reduces how much you spend.

That's it!  Within those parameters I will have $80 a week to spend on food! 

I'll be visiting the farmer's market, going to the store, and spending no more than $320 in total.

This really is a challenge for me! 

I'm super excited to go through this process with all of you.  I think we can prove to my husband that it can be done!  When I told him of my intentions he used the word "crazy" and jokingly prophesied that before the end of the month I would be asking him to eat grass in the back yard for his daily portion of "greens". 

 Nope!  I'm going to be a "food ninja" for 30 days and show him how it is done!

  But.... I Need Your help!!  

I need your encouragement and tips.  To thank you, I'm doing a giveaway of one of my favorite books, Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half, by Steve and Annette Economides.  

Here's what you need to do to enter the drawing.  

1.  Sign up to receive my blog posts via e-mail.  There is a link to do this on the main page of my blog.  Look for the "follow by e-mail" link and just fill in your e-mail address. 

2.  Share this original post to social media.  

3.  Leave a comment in the comment field below.  Be sure to tell me that have completed #1 and #2 AND  give me your best tip for saving money on food.  

That's it!  You'll be entered into the drawing. At the end of the month we'll wrap up our month-long journey, (hopefully) celebrate my success, and I'll announce the winner of the book!  

Best of luck to you and keep those tips and encouragement coming my way!


Do all to the glory of God, 



  1. I have completed #1 & 2, but the only encouragement I can offer is that I am finding your blog an encouragement and a challenge for myself. Thank you!!

    1. Thanks so much! Well, keep cheering for me during June! This is going to be fun to see if I can do this!

  2. We do it on $60 a week!! I do the sales and buy according to season. I eat 2 lbs of non starchy vegetables everyday just me. I am trying to eat more beans they are filling and cheap. No salt tomatoes are at Walmart. I keep fruit at a minimum and use in my salads but will get more if I find a good deal. Minimize your coffee as it can cut into your budget. I don't know your better at this then me. Soup really helped in the winter but nobody wants it when it's hot

    1. I make a mixture of equal brown rice and millet each week too. I make like a triple batch in the rice cooker and then freeze it in 4 cup increments in freezer bags. It's easy to thaw and make fillings S-T-R-E-T-C-H! I thought that about the soup too. But, I use the pressure cooker or slow cooker. So, it really doesn't add any heat to the house in the summer. I make a huge batch of beans twice a week too and then plan meals around that type of bean.

    2. I did 1 & 2 also. I shared on Twitter so I could spread the word

    3. Thanks so much! I'm getting a game plan all ready early this week. The challenge starts on Friday! I'm excited!

  3. 1 & 2 done. The only tip I can think of is to freeze your leftovers that you don’t have planned for another meal right away. If I don’t freeze them I end up throwing things away that I forgot I had in the fridge.

  4. That's a super reminder! Thanks for commenting and entering the contest!

  5. Okay so I did 1 & 2 a while ago, but couldn't think of any good tips because we are working on bringing down our food budget and have really hit a wall. I am finding inspiration from your blog :). We are meat eaters and that being the largest portion of our budget. I am also hoping to get some vegetarian ideas from you so that we can transition down to about half the meat we eat a month. The one thing I do is if I am going to make a pot or crock pot of something I double it, because it is cheaper to double it than to cook it all over again, most ingredients stretch cheaper, Then I freeze half for a dinner later. Also almost every grocery store you go to has clearance greens bags and many times I have gotten a huge bag of spinach or spring greens for 25-50 cents. Yes you need to use them quick but heck, we can eat those 100 different ways!

    1. I don't know why it isn't showing my google profile! (It's Kristy)

    2. Hi Kristy! So glad you stopped by the blog. I think your tips are great! Like you, I am really becoming aware of those wonderful store markdown areas. If you can hit just the right time of the day, they can be so helpful in lowering your grocery bills. Freezing items for later use is also a terrific tip! I hope to do some of that next week. We actually began much like you. We ate meat seven days a week. Then we went to six. Then four. We slowly transitioned. I became vegetarian because my father died of a massive coronary at the age of 47. So, as we neared that age, my sister and I began researching the link between what we eat and heart disease. With our strong familial disposition to heart attacks, it was a really good idea to take meat out of our diet. Thanks again for reading! I've got several posts written and ready to post throughout the month of June!

  6. Number one...done! Number two...done! (along with a go enter right now pitch for your great giveaway!). I don't think I have any tips for you that you don't already use... My grocery habits are a little different (through necessity) but my biggest saver for us is to make that menu and then shop that menu!

    1. I so agree! Planning those meals ahead of time saves money! Thanks for entering.