January has officially wrapped up. Another month of 30-day challenges in the books. I’m here to tell you that $10/week for eating lunch out and only $80/week at the grocery store was a HUGE challenge. However, this was one challenge I finished successfully. Sure, I might’ve gone over budget a week here or there, but I made sure that in total for the month, I hit my bottom line.
I bought 5 weeks worth of groceries (since I typically shop on Sundays, I am counting the last Sunday in December in this summary). I spent $443.08 at the grocery store. WAIT! You are now doing the math and telling me that I’m $43 over budget — and while you are correct, I made a very special dinner one night for a near and dear friend who recently had a baby. My total for that meal at the store was $38.05 — thereby putting me only $7 over for the month. By my standards, that is pretty darn good!
I can’t total for you what I spent eating lunches out because that line is lumped in the whole eating out budget for the month, but I can tell you that I ate out very little and am very confident that I am actually under budget on this one!
Now, I know I did my mid-January summary. I, however left one very important aspect out of that post: Fresh vs. Canned vs. Frozen
I learned a lot of things during last month’s challenge — but mostly that both canned and frozen foods are still socially acceptable in my opinion. Sure, nothing beats fresh produce or home cooked beans, but let’s face it: who has time for that constantly? Most frozen veggies are flash frozen, thus retaining a significant portion of their nutrients, so long as they aren’t over cooked when you prepare them. Additionally canned veggies can also remain decent for you. I generally buy the low sodium cans (when possible) and no matter what the can, when I go to prepare our meals, all cans get drained and rinsed to reduce sodium contents even further.
It’s OK to make sacrifices, just make sure you make the right sacrifices when it comes to your food. Now, what does February have in store for me? Oh yes, an International move. Therefore February’s challenge is less of a challenge and more of a necessity: Get my family successfully packed, downsized, and ready to move to Dublin!