July Grocery Challenge Week IV/Final Thoughts

July 23-31
Monday:  breakfast-John: Scrambled cheese eggs with turkey bacon, toast
me: boiled egg toast 1/3 of an orange
John work lunch: Sliced deli roasted chicken breast, homemade potato salad, fig bars, cottage cheese and pineapple, wheat crackers
dinner: Roast deli chicken breast, potato salad, fried green tomato*
supper:  soda, 1/2 peanut butter jelly sandwich, grapes, fig bar, coffee
snack: milk, fig bars, cashews

Tuesday:  breakfast-John: peanut butter toast, coffee
me: toast with cream cheese
John work lunch: Peanut butter and jelly sandwich, grapes, honey roasted peanuts, celery
dinner: Small piece of chicken breast, frozen Rice and Bean enchiladas
supper:  chicken livers, 1/2 biscuit, potato salad (all leftovers)
snack: soda, nachos

Wednesday:  breakfast: John's treat of breakfast sandwiches from the country store
dinner:  Roast beef/Swiss/Lettuce/Tomato sandwiches on onion rolls, chips, orange sherbert
supper:  Chicken-tortellini-Salad, Italian bread, grapes

Thursday: breakfast eggs, toast, sausage
lunch: burgers from local diner

Friday: breakfast: peanut butter toast with peaches
lunch: out with Mama her treat
John: turkey and lettuce sandwiches, chips, grapes
supper: leftovers from lunch
John: leftovers from my lunch, too!

Saturday:  breakfast: cream cheese and bagels
Dinner: Spaghetti a la Diable, salad with carrot and zucchini, Italian bread
supper:  Cubed steak sandwiches, peaches

Sunday: breakfast: cold cereal, peaches, toast
dinner: roast beef, wild rice, zucchini au gratin

*oranges $2.43 (for 2!){now you know why I ate only 1/3, lol}
* green tomatoes $2.00 (used 1/2 of one)
soda $2.99
grapes $4.23
cheese $2.50
cashews $2.79
milk $1.00
bread $1.29
orange sherbert $1.79
onion rolls $1
roast beef $2.99
Swiss cheese $1.99
Doritos $2.00
Bagels $1.19
Zucchini $1.78
peaches $5.00
wild rice $.69
$37.66 with lots of leftovers

Monday:  Breakfast: peach pancakes, sausage
Lunch: turkey and Swiss sandwiches, grapes, fig bars
Supper:  Roast Beef Hash, Salad, Cheesy bread, Orange sherbert with peaches

Tuesday: sausage, fried eggs, toast
lunch: out with John from entertainment fund money
supper: bagel and cream cheese, peach

turkey luncheon meat $3.29
bread $1.29
1/2 pack all beef Polska Kielbasa $1.50

I confess I am very disheartened to see these figures this week.  I'm tempted to  say all around the challenge was a bust this year for one reason and another.  But...

I managed to save some money towards vacation the first week...and the second week when we had company I had to pull it out and use it to help defray the extra costs.  I didn't have a savings this past pay period due to that spending I did just prior to the third week when the one store had such great sales on items that were missing in the pantry.  I can't say there were NO savings, just the savings meant to be used for vacation went to other food requirements. 

The total amount saved/used was about $174, not an amount to be sneezed at by any means. I remind myself now that this would have been OVERAGE had it not been for the savings I did manage.

I am out of many things in my kitchen.  Our meat stock is low, quite low.  I look forward this next pay period to going to meat market and restocking.  I am pleased however that we managed to make it through an extra month without going to the meat market at all.  That too was a savings, not entirely included in the amount above.  I was able, thanks to our freezer stock, to replenish a few of the outages.

I don't know, truly I don't, if given the cost of food now compared to the same time period last year, $25 per person is even possible.   That said I decided to average what I spent overall for the month, including company meals and divided this by 4.  My figure at that point was $54.56, which is just $18.24 over what I intended to spend for the month.  In which case I am not quite so downhearted!lol  Perspective in all things, right? 

I think, truly that if I do this challenge next year I will change the rules slightly.  While I stuck hard to the usage of what was already on hand and added in only those things which I actually purchased to use this month, next year I'd like to try to actively purchase food strictly for use and not count on my stockpiled foods.  I believe that would really put the challenge to a test!  Second, I would like to increase slightly the amount per person per week.  But that is July 2013 we're discussing, so I'll make no further plans until then.

As a closure for this month, here are the government's figures for recommended spending for food as of June 2012.  I find that mine and John's expenses land us right in the middle between Low cost and Moderate spending.  I can live with that figure, since we do not grow any of our own food at all. And knowing this will help me to relax a little on my vigilance.

I discovered during this challenge month that John is less adamant than I about our current budget.  He made it plain during week 3 that he wanted what he wanted and was less concerned about what was spent.  Mind you he is not a particularly demanding person.  His wants are very modest if sometimes a bit out of my current budget range.  I've agreed to compromise: we'll limit snacks for OUR sakes, not the budget's, but I will buy to suit his desire.  So if he decides he wants a big huge steak I'll buy him a big huge steak.  If he wants a certain type of cookie rather than homemade and it isn't on sale, I'll buy it.  I know that he isn't likely to ask for me to treat these sorts of wants twice a month and would never request it weekly. I'll even go so far as to say I'll even give in to my own wants now and then, too.   Truly I have to agree with what he said to me during that third week when we discussed that treat he wanted:  "If we're so bad off that $5 extra is going to make us go belly up, then say so.  Otherwise, let's just relax, okay?"  Well he's right.  So I'll relax.

Now on to August!   


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