I started this week $35.23 over my budget of $300 for food, household items and toiletries. Each week I crunch the numbers to see where I stand. Today marks the end of the month. You can read about weeks one, two, and three.
My dad and step-mom do so much for us… hosting dinner each Sunday night, child care for date nights, random “play dates” so mama doesn’t go crazy.
So my sweet husband wanted to do something nice in return for them.
Plus I think he was in the mood for shrimp.
Browsing the local circulars, we came up with a tasty menu that wouldn’t break our bank. Remember that we’re cooking for a chef and former food and wine director, so it HAS to taste good, otherwise they’ll just cook for themselves!
Since these purchases were unplanned, we’re splitting the cost between our food budget and a free-for-all line-item that we call “buffer.” The individual prices reflect the actual cost of eat item and the store total is portioned for just the grocery budget. No photos this week since the food was chopped and cooked (or burned) almost immediately upon arrival on my kitchen counter.
Savemart – $17.37
charcoal – 3.49
milk – 5.98
bell peppers x4 – 3.96
cilantro – .47
spinach – 1.99
mango – free
onion – 1.11
chicken breast (not organic) @1.99/lb – 9.47
shrimp – 11.98
The conventional chicken goes against our recent commitment to buy organic, but this particular store charges $8.99/lb for organic chicken breast and that price wasn’t going to get us very far with four grown adults and two growing children.
We decided to do shrimp and chicken kabobs with grilled pineapple, peppers and onions. I also made a mango salsa (that was AMAZING) and served with coconut rice and grilled corn on the cob… which Mr. Crumbs forgot on his first trip but didn’t realize until he got home, so…
Savemart – $3.06
tortilla chips – 2
bamboo skewers – 1.99
corn on the cob x6 – 1.98
He also forgot skewers and tortilla chips for our salsa.
Coscto – $9.27
bananas x2 – 2.78
apples – 6.49
Remember all the apples, pears and bananas I bought last week at Costco? We were down to one of each by this Wednesday morning and there was no other fruit in the house. I knew there was no way we’d all survive four days without fruit (mama without her green smoothie is NOT a happy camper)
Total Month of September – $364.93
For those who have been reading for a while, you know that this total is very high. I’ll admit that I’m often over by $30 or so, but I don’t recall being nearly $65 over budget before. Do you think there’s a correlation between saving this same amount during August’s pantry challenge?
Anyway, my blown budget leads me to two thoughts:
1. With the addition of organic chicken, eggs and butter, and the quantity of produce we consume, we may need to increase our grocery budget.
2. I need to be better prepared so an unexpected guest doesn’t break my budget.
I don’t really want to do #1, but it may be a necessity. Our budget is already pretty lean and I’m not sure if it can be trimmed more given our beliefs on nutrition.
#2 is a must and that is going into action immediately. If you notice, my grocery months don’t line up with the calendar months. Ordinarily, my October grocery budget would start tomorrow, but I’m going to finagle it a bit and throw a two-week plan in and then pick back up with October’s plan.
Sound confusing? Don’t worry, there’s a full explanation coming with tomorrow’s meal plan.