Did I make it to the end of the Month with money left over?
I promised my kids homemade pizza if I made it to my June food budget goal!As you can see in the photo above, I completed my goal and my kids are well fed and happy!
On Wednesday I had just over $62 remaining in the food budget.
Here are some photos of my final shopping trip.
|Mushrooms and Spinach|
|I have no idea if this fancy spread is any good, but it was just $.50!|
|Spring Roll Sauce - Clearance - $.50!|
1 gallon milk - $.98
large peanut butter - $2.50
tortillas - $1.00 per package
strawberries - $1.29 per pound
eggs - $.98
cheese for our celebratory pizza - $2.49
4 loaves of bread - half price!
I know that I said I seldom buy bread, because our church gets bread each week from a local bakery. But, these were clearanced to nearly half price and there was no bread at church on Sunday.
What I spent: Just over $22.00
Bananas - $1.00 per bunch!
8 pounds of baking potatoes - $2.49!
2 bags of coffee
What I spent - Just over $19.00
FREE green beans!
A special shout out to my friend, Lisa, who is a much better gardener than I will ever be! Thanks for the green beans!
Questions, Answers, and Lessons Learned:
How much did I spend all month?
I spent $309.23 to feed my family of seven for the entire month.
Honestly, when I began this challenge I fully expected to be staring at an empty refrigerator by the last week of the challenge and be reduced to grabbing completely random, unrelated items from the pantry, throwing them on the table, and calling them "supper".
What did I learn?
1. That as tight as I often feel my food budget is, there is room for me to reduce it when I need to.
2. That often tough decisions have to be made when you are counting every penny. More than once I stood in a store and vacillated over a purchase as small as an extra bunch of bananas. I would ask my kids, "Do you think I should buy this extra bunch?" They muttered something about embarrassing teen and pre-teen boys in a public place. LOL! But, my feelings were very real! I was afraid of running out of money. I didn't like the way it felt!
3. My readers are smart people! You gave me great tips on taking advantage of Free Friday downloads, clearance sections, and how to use the store gas points. You were a tremendous help!
What allowed me to succeed?
1. My weekly CSA share. This box of nutritious inspiration provided the backbone of my weekly meal plans. Without it, I would have failed.
2. My weekly menu plan. Knowing what you have on hand is critical when you have little money. Overbuying results in waste and throwing out money - in essence it is throwing money out the window!
3. My lack of meat. Some have asked if I could have made my goal with more meat. The answer is that I do feel that I could have swapped out some more expensive items on my shopping list and bought more meat. I did get 2 pounds of bacon and 2 large packages of chicken breasts. I put meat in dishes once or twice a week during the challenge. By making some different buying decisions I might have been able to provide meat 3 times a week or so. But, even then the meat would provide ornamentation to a backdrop of beans, rice, pasta, or veggies. So, if you want meat every day or want organic meat, then my challenge budget would be very challenging, indeed!
Time for the giveaway!
I did this "old school".
I put all the names in a container and had my 13 year old side-kick, sous chef pick the winner!
And the winner is ....
Lisa, message me through the contact button on the blog with your address and I'l get your book in the mail to you right away!
Thanks for going on this journey with me!
Keep hanging out and reading my blog.
I'm working on some posts on free or low cost art and music for children.
Some of my weekly posts (like "cheap eats") will be making more appearances.
I'll give you the chance to tell me what topics you'd like to see on the blog
I'll continue to give you tips on living with Joy and Abundance on a Shoestring Budget!
Until next time,
Do all to the glory of God,