Did y’all have a good weekend?! We did. It was rather low key as we took turns passing around a sore throat, but I think we are all on the mend and we still managed to fit in some cookout fun with our new neighbors, a movie (The Other Woman- cute), a few house projects, some family walks and even a short run for me (which is rare for me on the weekends!).
I’m still feeling revved up on the health train. I don’t know if it’s making a physical difference yet, but I do feel energetic and happy, so those are pretty great results in my opinion. Last night I even ate my burger in a collard wrap, despite David’s eye rolls.
I like them like that; I think you can really taste the burger.
Moving on, remember how I was tracking our spending for a month to determine what our monthly budget should be? I tracked week one, week two and week three, then I skipped a week. I skipped it because we had friends up for Labor Day weekend and I spent much more than I usually do and figured I’d toss out that outlier. So now I’m back to share this week’s haul.
Being on my health kick, I wanted to travel to the health food mecca, Whole Foods, so in a possible ridiculous move, Kaitlyn and I drove into Charlotte for this week’s shopping trip. The whole ordeal took 3 hours including driving, nursing, shopping and unpacking groceries, but I dare say it was worth it.
Forgive my photography please… the new camera should arrive TODAY!
Organic egg, premade cowboy burgers, no hormone/antibiotic chicken, organic sour cream, Fage 2% yogurt, hormone-free cheese, fresh mozzarella, organic tortillas, evol breakfast burritos
Organic collard greens, green beans, organic red and green peppers, non-GMO corn, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, organic raspberries, organic red potatoes, organic carrots
Organic salad blend, bananas, organic broccoli, organic grape tomatoes, organic onions, organic spinach, avocado, Throat Coat tea, organic popcorn, organic tomato soup, olive oil, organic cilantro, garbanzo beans, organic pizza sauce
The total for the one stop shop: $130.69
The plan for this week is smoothies for breakfast, jar salads for lunch, yogurt and popcorn for snacks, plus 6 dinners at home:
Burgers & Grilled Corn
Grilled Halibut (from freezer) with Roasted Red Potatoes, Green Beans & Tomato Slices
Crockpot Salsa Chicken Soft Tacos with Sauteed Veggies
Lemon Pepper Chicken with Baked Sweet Potatoes and Broccoli
Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Homemade Veggie Pizza with Salad
Taking the average of the four weeks has me at about $130 a week, or roughly $520 for the month. Since I like the idea of a monthly budget over weekly, I feel pretty good about that total and honestly would be ok allotting $600 a month to allow for more wiggle room. I am embracing spending a higher percentage of our income on quality food because I think it’s important for our health. And after all, if you want to know your priorities, watch where your money goes, right?
Are you comfortable with where your monthly food budget is?
Do you shy away from shopping at places you fear are more expensive?
David will joke about my love for Whole Foods, but I love the selection and find I can shop there for the same total price as I can at most other grocery stores like Harris Teeter or Lowe’s Foods.
John J. Stathas says
Good food choices! And I so agree about priority of life choices. How you spend your time and your money are two of the biggies. Y’all do it well.
Brittany @ Delights and Delectables says
I usually shop at Kroger and then when I’m around TJ’s and WF run in there sporadically. They are just too far to drive for everyday. Kroger has some great deals!
I wish I could just do 1 stop shopping!!
No I am not happy with my budget 🙁 I feel like we spend way too much for a family of 4! I blame it on my husband and his love of meat though I’m a vegeterian it kind of balances out . We primarily shop at Publix esp for their BOGO’s
Brittany Dixon says
Oh I love Publix! We don’t have one around here, but they are building one. I look forward to checking it out!
I do a one stop shop at Earth Fare every week. I spend close to $150 a week, which is kind of a lot for a family of 3. That includes 6 breakfasts, lunches, and dinners and we get our bath/beauty products there as well, which contributes to the cost. For me, I think it is worth the extra money. I know we are getting healthy, quality food and I would rather spend a few dollars more and do a one stop shop rather than spend half of my weekend running around to multiple stores. Especially with a toddler, I prefer to spend time with her rather than visiting a bunch of stores!
I’m trying to cut down on our food budget, but like you, I feel the quality of our food is important, so I’m going to try and keep that a priority, and cut back in other areas of our lives instead. 🙂
We also took a trip just for grocery shopping this week! We live about half an hour outside Asheville, so we loaded up the babe and drove in early yesterday morning, hit up Bruegger’s bagels, then went to Trader Joe’s and then Earth Fare. We sometimes go to Whole Foods (Green Life in Asheville), too, but not yesterday. I don’t shy away from expensive places, other than Harris Teeter! That place is ridiculous, and I’d rather just go to Whole Foods (which, I agree, isn’t that expensive depending on what you buy). I <3 grocery shopping.
Brittany Dixon says
That’s what I always tell David! (that Harris Teeter is just as expensive as Whole Foods). Love that you are so close to Asheville <3
I’ve been reading your blog for a number of years now. You are one of my favorites! I especially love your food budget posts. I’m curious, though, does this food represent ALL of your meal for all 4 members of your family? I’m just curious because we eat similar meals be we spend WAY more money. I’m wondering if food is more expensive in IL or if we’re just buying more food. Thanks!
Brittany Dixon says
Hey Jen! It does cover all our meals for the most part. I usually count on Saturday night dinner being out or pick up (or whatever so mom doesn’t cook ;)). It does not include the protein powder I buy for our shakes (which is about $40 a month) and David usually doesn’t eat lunch. I hate that, but it is what it is. Also, sometimes we stock up on beer or wine at Total Wine and that I didn’t factor in either. OH! It is also for food only (it doesn’t cover toilet paper, paper towels, etc).
And thank you so much for reading! 🙂 If you have any other questions, fire away. I’m an open book!
Ahh….that explains things. My husband eats every meat – sometimes 4/day – at home. I think we spend about $200/week on food!
Brittany Dixon says
One more thing- we usually do a breakfast out on the weekends too. Ok, I think that’s it!
I am in desperate need of a morning smoothie recipe. What do you use? And does your protein powder give you any stomach issues? Bloating/cramping?
Thanks so much!
Brittany Dixon says
Oh Beth there are so many smoothie recipes to choose from! I’m embarrassed to admit that I don’t switch it up very often. I love the combo of almond milk, vanilla protein, frozen banana and peanut butter. It tastes like a milkshake.
My protein powder does not cause any stomach issues for me, but I know everyone is different so it can often require some trial and error. I use Shaklee’s protein (http://brittanydixon.myshaklee.com/us/en/shop/healthyfoundations/protein/product-_p_vitalizing-proteinp) because it’s non-GMO and has no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. I’m happy to send you a sample if you’d like to try it. Just shoot me an email and pick a flavor- chocolate, vanilla, strawberry or cafe latte 🙂
I’m with ya on the whole foods not costing more. I think it is because they have better prices on the natural / organic stuff I buy, plus their store brand prices and local stuff are great deals. Hubby and I joke that any time we run to the nearby supermarket, stop and shop,, it costs us $80, and for nothing 🙁 It’s only funny because even if we just come home with lettuce or yogurt we tell the other it was $80. That said, I can stop at whole foods without a list and blow money stocking up on sale items like baby wash, bug spray, dr. bronner’s soap, etc…but that stuff all lasts forever.
In general, I’m happy with our grocery spending. We spend $400-$500 on average. Kind of a range, but depends what we have going on. I should track it again to get a better idea. We get stuff for breakfasts for the 3 of us, hubby and I pack lunches 4/5 days for work and we eat at home 5-6 nights a week.
We need to get better about planning lunches on the weekend and getting stuff to make breakfast whichever day we don’t go out for breakfast.
Tiff @ Love, Sweat, & Beers says
I like WF for fun shopping, but it’s not my go-to. I’ve been playing around with grocery stores lately, but I guess I’m mostly a fan of HT and TJs. Way to stick to the budget though! I don’t have an exact number I stick to, but I’m always looking for a deal. 🙂
What kind of camera did you buy? I love camera talk 🙂
Food is one of those things that I don’t budget too closely because it’s food and I love it. Brandon gave me “the look” when I picked up some locally sourced reindeer jerky ($$) at the health food store in Seward this week, but food is pleasure and we don’t drink or have gym memberships, so it all evens out in the end. And the jerky was fantastic.
Brittany Dixon says
I bought a Sony NEX-5t and I love it! It’s a hybrid of a point and shoot and a DSLR which makes it a great option to carry everywhere (smaller in size) but it still takes some great photos. It has an option to shoot in manual for that day when I finallllllly decide how to really use a camera
I love that the jerky was fantastic, though all I can picture is poor rudolph… 😉 Haha, just kidding, I’d love to try any locally sourced food from places I visit. I can’t wait to hear about your trip!!
I am fascinated by these grocery budget posts you do! What I can’t figure out, is how I spend $500/month for a family of four (2 adults + 2 toddlers) but we eat all conventional foods! I don’t buy organic, etc. mostly because I just don’t think we could afford it. (And it’s not like I’m filling our cart with tons of expensive, processed junk. I make as much as I can from scratch, like bread etc., and we eat several meatless meals each week.)
I think one of our huge budget drains is milk – all four of us drink a ton of it. But I just can’t seem to justify cutting that out because milk is so healthy, especially for growing kids! I don’t often see you buy milk…do you guys not really drink it?
My other question is about kid snacks. I feel like I’m constantly replenishing our supply of “on-the-go” snacks: Goldfish, graham crackers, raisins, applesauce pouches, etc. I know the cost of these things add up. How to you keep costs down in the Hailey snack dept? (Especially when you need something portable and non-messy…) Maybe that could be a
Munchkin Meals topic!
Anyway, love these posts, keep the coming! Thanks for sharing. (And sorry for the way too long comment!)
Namagiri Sridhar says
Is throat coat tea effective? Is it safe for toddlers? What all does it cure or help?