Food Challenge Week 3 and 4

March’s food challenge has been quite different then I had expected.  While having the flu for a week unexpectedly cut some cost from our grocery bill, it also emphasized the most important part of staying on a food budget: organization.  A week without it really made a difference.  While I dislike the effort it takes to map out all of our meals for the week, it saved both money and time.  Planning meals and making a grocery list on Sunday saved many shopping trips during the week.  With three children, that is a big time saver.  I was able to save money by maximizing on sale items by featuring them in our weekly menu, or cooking in bulk and freezing meals. I also learned to appreciate knowing what I had to prepare each day.  It saved a lot of time and energy – both physical and mental.  

Being frugal about things that I hadn’t in the past wound up saving my family quite a bit of money.  I eliminated (for the most part) prepackaged snacks and breakfast cereals.  Not only does this save money, but it is certainly a healthier option.   I took a closer look at what was actually in some of these foods. When I really looked at the amount of sugar and other garbage is in many super processed foods, I realized that we all would be a lot better indulging in things we previously rarely ate.  Although that meant starting from scratch, I often doubled recipes to save future time and money.  I found some great recipes and inspiration for snacks and breakfasts at

I found a balance in where I did my shopping too.  For the most part I our got produce and eggs from the SPUD delivery service.  I have found the quality and sources to be good and I feel very strongly about buying quality produce.  I look forward to shopping for fruits and veggies from the farmers markets and my own garden soon.  Trader Joe’s seems to be the best bet for dairy.  Their organic milk comes from Sunshine Dairy in Oregon.  It may not be my perfect choice, but for the price, I find it to be the best option.  This month I have also kept a closer eye on sale in more mainstream stores.  Often the brands that you find at Marlene’s, or Metroplitan Market are significantly cheaper at a store like Fred Meyer’s.  I have also been using Costco more then before.  But, I always keep a close watch not to get carried away.

I ended the month having spent $490.00.  It was satisfying to notice a significant drop in our recent credit card statement.  I had hoped to come out a little closer to $400…but there is always next month.

How did everyone else do?

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