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Project: Food Budget || Week 8

A couple of cool things happened this week:

  • I thought about my budget while shopping. As I walked through Trader Joe's thinking about grabbing this or that, I remembered that I was not as underbudget as I thought for the week. I still grabbed a few impulse items, but it really helped.
  • I did all the Sunday prep on Sunday afternoon and still got in a family dinner out of the house and some relaxing.
  • Halfway through my Sunday prep, I realized I didn't have the proteins in my freezer that I thought I had. Instead of panicking, going out to dinner (even though we had all the veggies needed) or ordering more groceries, I shifted gears.

I feel more mindful about the big picture - what we've spent all month, where I'm spending unnecessarily, what we have to use up - and am definitely appreciating the peace and ease that come from a well planned and executed Sunday.

Budget Review

  • Trader Joe's: $56.17
  • FreshDirect: $62.24/$74.65

Total: $197.06

Where the $$$ Went

  • Produce (all organic):
    • Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, kiwis, salad greens, avocados, bananas, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, snow peas, cucumbers, carrots, red peppers, basil, lemons, scallions
  • Meat/Protein: Italian sausage, grass-fed hot dogs
  • Dairy/Beverages: Milk, yogurt, feta cheese, mozzarella cheese
  • Baby Food: more pouches and jars for the kiddos
  • Packaged Foods:  Waffles (so. many. waffles.), flax almond bars, granola bars, cereal bars, spinach stuffed mushrooms, macaroni and cheese bites, chocolate non-pareils
  • Pantry Items/Miscellaneous: Artichoke hearts, granola, peanut butter, jelly
  • Baked Goods: sandwich bread

What We're Eating This Week


Yogurt/granola, waffles, fruit, cereal and milk, hard boiled eggs


PB&Js, chopped veggie salads with low mercury tuna


  • Chopped veggie salad (tomatoes, garbanzo beans, artichoke hearts, avocado) with tuna and feta cheese
  • Grilled hot dogs and sausages with lemon-basil couscous pilaf
  • Stir fry vegetables and tofu with sesame couscous
  • Goat cheese and artichoke dip and sliced raw veggie chips

How it Went Last Week and What's Working

We're in a nice routine with breakfasts and do fairly well with dinners during the week. We're going out or picking up food once during the week, which is what I've built into the plan. It gives us the feeling of freedom and flexibility (and to use someone else's air conditioning during super hot nights!).

I brought lunch several days last week, which is a major win. I'm on track to eat more home lunches than bought lunches, which is another big win. What has been working for us has been to use the salad in the Prep Dish menu as a lunch salad. The ingredients listed typically make 3 me-sized portions (I like a big salad). It is far easier than trying to get the Little Bear on board with salad (he doesn't like....lettuce....he says) or A, for that matter.

The other lunch option we've agreed on is PB&J. I seriously love a PB&J. We always have fruit and snacks like cheese sticks or granola bars on hand. If it's a good enough lunch for the kiddo, why not make it an easy option for us?

This kind of automating - two options for breakfast, two options for lunch - has some definite potential for us. I'm going to continue to work on it for awhile and I'll report back.

Goals for This Week

Stay cool! Stay flexible! As I mentioned above, we did not have several items I thought we did in our freezer. So I modified on the fly. I'm hoping to keep that up for the rest of the week.

Also, I'm hoping to avoid any emergency shopping trips. The extra Fresh Direct order came because I realized we had no waffles and not enough fruit for the week. In coming way under budget the week before, I had skipped our staples. Not this week!

Please check out the other bloggers on this journey as well:

For more on my experience with this project, check out the whole Project: Food Budget series!

Getting Intentional for the Season

For the Weekend