Since Project: Food Budget ended a little while ago, I haven’t really been paying much attention to our food budget. Or to our budget in general. That is really easy to let happen as the year draws to a close, for me anyway, because I think “Oh January is coming up and that can be a fresh start!” Well…. now January is almost over and I’m only just now getting our budget together, haha.
I thought I would continue to share our budgeting for groceries and food. Just for a little bit of context, we’re a family of three with one primary income and average monthly expenses. So, that’s what we’re working with when creating our budget. Nothing too fancy happening over here.
Last year, I assumed $300.00/month for grocery spending and I did not track – regularly anyway – spending at restaurants. This year, I want to change that. Here’s a dirty little secret: I LOVE eating out. It’s a problem. Or an addiction. It’s an expensive problem! There is a town center (like an open, outdoor mall) near my house that has a Panera. I’ve been going to this Panera since it opened, almost 10 years ago. I don’t even want to know the thousands of dollars I’ve spent there. For awhile, I was going there everyday after classes to study, back in college. I had my own table and when they would see me come through the door, they got my order together before I even went up to the counter. Same thing at a local coffee shop which, admittedly, I go to way less now that Ezra is here.
I’m not saying it’s bad to have “places” you go to all the time. I’m just saying, for us, we need to strike a balance somewhere because I know it’s out of control. We really need to tighten down because, this year, as I mentioned in my 2013 goal post, we’re hoping to move. And that isn’t going to happen if we don’t put more into savings.
I’ll check in weekly to keep a going tab of our monthly spending. I’d also like to get back into couponing and meal planning as well as sharing my monthly recipe recaps. Let me know in the comments if there’s anything else you’d like me to talk about.
This is going to be harder than I’d like to admit to get back into doing. But things worth doing aren’t always easy to get done. It’s just so easy to eat out or pick food up. A few things, though, that I think will help are:
- When I do cook in the kitchen, it’s so much fun. I love tweaking recipes or inventing new ones
- I love feeding my family. And now with Ezra, it’s twice as fun. He is such a foodie baby and I love seeing him try new things
- I’m really only inspired to cook when I have exciting recipes to try. I enjoy repeating recipes but I really enjoy trying new ones. That’s what makes me excited to get into the kitchen
And, somewhat related, Ezra entertains himself better now so I do have the time to get into the kitchen to make meals.
There are two weeks left in January so I’m just going to do meal planning for those weeks. I used to grocery shop on Thursdays, but now I’m going on Sundays so I’ll give you my meal plan Monday-Sunday. On Mondays, I’ll publish the plan plus any budget updates. So, with that in mind, I’ll be back on Monday to give you the numbers on where we’re at for January and what meals I’ve got coming up. If you’d like to join me in tracking your spending and working on meal planning, let me know and maybe we can get a group together to support one another.