by A to Z for Moms Like Me

It’s finally over! For 30 days we shared our meals, grocery trips, recipes, and budget that our family of 8 used. This was a challenge for us. Not only was it a smaller budget than we normally use, but the fact of remembering to take pictures, the time typing and uploading posts & recipes- there’s a lot more work in living life when you have to share everything with others.

Our budget for the last 30 days was: Groceries- $600, Date Nights- $100 & Pizza- $100

We realized a couple days into the challenge that we may not use all the groceries purchased in that 30 days- because we are always stocking up our food storage, and our house & pantry is already stocked with some items that we would probably use throughout the month so we thought it would be best to keep 2 running totals.

Groceries purchased: $646.85

The first running total is how much we spent on groceries. This is everything we bought at grocery stores for the entire 30 days. Keep in mind, this included the case lots & pasta sales we stocked up on for our food storage. (those sales only happen once every 12 weeks so we weren’t about to miss out on them!) Even though our goal was $600, considering the savings we got and the additions to our food storage, I’m okay with it!

Groceries used in meals: $297.38

This second total is more typical of how much food our family ate over the course of the 30 days. The dollar amounts were assigned as the best guess of their value (usually rounding up to be safe) for the items we had purchased on sale and remembered the sale price, the sale price was used. In full disclosure, most of the week days we didn’t factor in breakfast or lunches. My family is not big on eating breakfast, so when we do, and those that do, it’s usually something simple such as oatmeal, cereal, or a breakfast shake. If we added on the cost of these types of breakfasts throughout the month it would probably total $50 or less.

For lunches, 5 of us (the older kids) are at school and eat lunch there, the other 3 of us eat at home and my husband & I usually eat leftovers from the night before while our daughter usually has leftovers or a peanut butter & jelly sandwich. If the older kids were to take home lunches every day (which happens occasionally), then this would add about $80 to the month.

Even with adding those 2 meals it would put our total for the month at: $427.38- you could even round that up to $475 to include staples such as flour, sugar, spices, etc. Still a good budget for feeding 8 people for a month!

Date Night: $99.33

We learned that our date night budget really needs to be more than $100. We don’t mind doing free or cheap dates, and my hubby and I spend a lot of time together hanging out & doing things we both enjoy, but we also love going out to dinner- especially with friends. For me it’s a real break because I don’t have to cook, do dishes, clean up, etc. and I get to eat whatever sounds good to me! So although $100 for the month is doable, realistically we will probably go back to our normal budget of $200.

Pizza: $94.29

I was actually impressed with our pizza budget! We ended up only eating pizza 3 times in the 30 days. Partially because of this budget, and partially because we kept meaning to make homemade pizza and had things happen that didn’t give us the time or energy to make it the nights we had planned. But usually we make it homemade at least once a month. So $100 for the month is probably a reasonable budget for the month considering that for our family size it usually costs $30-40 each time we order pizza.

Food Storage Items:

Included in this 30 day challenge we were able to add quite a bit of food to our food storage including:

  • Canned corn
  • Canned green beans
  • Canned Cream of Chicken soup
  • Canned cream of mushroom soup
  • Spaghetti sauce
  • pasta
  • mushrooms
  • peaches
  • instant oatmeal
  • peanut butter
  • diced tomatoes
  • roasts
  • ground beef
  • Strawberry freezer jam

Over all, this was a fun challenge! It’s always interesting to keep track of things and to have this blog to hold us accountable.  If you haven’t tried something like this out before, give it a shot! Feel free to post your goals/budget on our facebook page if you feel you need some accountability.   I hope this was a worth while challenge for you to read and follow and it’s our hopes that we were able to help inspire, give ideas, new recipes, and help other families in any needed way.  Thank you for reading!

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