Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Keeping it real...The $20 Challenge that happened behind the blog...

The $20 challenge behind the blog this past month. Read about this adventure and about the one that is up next. Did I do it? Can I do it? Am I ready? Are you ready to join me?

February 2, 2011--I enter into this not knowing really. How so? Well, I read about it after I had already gone to the store and I've already stock piled items. I wasn't planning my $20 per person per week deal at that time (1/30). I just wanted to stay within and cut my already lowering food budget. Plus, my wonderful husband has his superbowl tradition of wings, pizza and soda and toss in some sweet. All totally unhealthy and not the way we normally eat. Not to mention, those wings and pizza have to be from a pizza shop. So, that goes into my cost as well. YIKES! Honestly, I am not sure if I can make it. But, I am going to try. You'll know by the end of the post if I did or not (no skipping ahead)! Because, I am not posting until it is all over. That's right. This little post is being written in segments behind the scenes. So, we can see if at the end of it all I average $20 per week per person. Is it possible while feeding my family whole foods??

February 7, 2011-- If I only had the $20 per person this week I would have made it. But, I had less than this because I stocked up and because of Superbowl Sunday and the pizza and wings. I am starting to doubt that I can make it in for the month at the $240 amount. But, if I just give up now, I will never know how close we can come. So, I continue to strive forward. I will use stock up items from the pantry and freezer. But, I will NOT feed my family in a way that isn't up to our nutritional standards of lots of fresh fruits, veggies and lean meats. I want the fuel for our bodies to be good fuel. If that means I spend more than $20 per week per person--well so be it. I don't want our food budget to be outrageous but, rather just the cheapest I can  for the way we eat. (Healthy whole foods that will make our bodies healthier.) I want to prove that you can eat healthy, whole foods on a budget. So, this week Darrenkamps reduced items were my saving grace.  We will see how next week goes.

February 14, 2011-- Sales--can I mention how much I love them? I do. I also love CVS bucks. Doing the drugstore game can be fun. Sure it can be frustrating too. But, overall, it's more fun that frustrating.
This week, I don't have much to buy in way of food for our menu. But, there are some good sales on some things that I would like to stock up on. Stocking up can be hard on this $240 a month deal. But, I am determined that it can be done. Stocking up one week leaves you a lot less the next. It's really hard when you spend around $10 a week on milk. That leaves $50 for the rest of the food (stockpiling, fresh fruit, veggies, meat, grains, etc.) When I write that, it sounds like a lot and yet I feel it gets "eaten" rather quickly. I talked it through with a friend and I saw how it does get "eaten" and how much my planning is helping us come close. We are hanging in there. Barely!

February 21, 2011-- Transparency, I expect it from others, so I will give it to you. I went into this week with around $18 left for food, not the $60 I should have. But, I stockpiled earlier and that means those weeks, I was spending more out of pocket to save later. Could I do it? I will tell you, $18 isn't much. Well, after all calculations were made from food shopping. I came in at $239.64 for the month. The goal was $240.  But, that did not include the Valentine's Celebration below--my other Transparency. I am done buying food for this month, so I can now post this mega post!

Other transparency: We did have our valentine's celebration and that was NOT included in this ($239.64). We took that out of spending because that was our gift to eachother. But, if we were being true that should have come out of the food budget. I got creative and took it from spending. We had the money in that part of our budget. But, it should have come from the food budget since it was food. I need to mention that our food budget also includes anything out. Dinners out, quick stops through the drive through, a coffee out. Anything that is food or drinks that go into our bodies goes into our food budget.

Can I make it on $20 a week per person every month? That's something that I will have to wait and see. I am not sure. We eat lots of raw fruits and veggies. We eat lean meats. We eat some organic products. Our diet is (ok we try to be) really healthy. Can I make this work? I think it comes down to VERY careful planning, knowing the prices and keeping the goal in mind. I am not sure that we can do this and eat out weekly. Acutally, I am quite sure we can't. I do like a night off cooking every now and again. Even if it is just a pizza. So, we will look and readjust things. Perhaps, we add a certain amount in our food budget for that every month. I am not sure, I am just trying to figure this all out. But, one thing that I know helped is that almost all of my meals were made from scratch this past month. Yes, me cooking from scratch--scary! :) Master cook I am NOT!

I am letting you in on my next challenge!

My next challange: I am putting this out there for all of you to follow as I will be posting about this for the next month. $20 a week per person while only shopping at one food store the whole month and the drugstores.  I mostly do the drugstores for toothpaste and such. But, a few times food items slip in as well. But, you can't make me give up my drugstore game. ;)

My foodstore of choice for this challenge? Darrenkamps of course! Follow along with me as I share my successes and trials with all of you. I will be updating my thoughts, feelings, successes and trials in real time for this challenge. It's going to be crazy and challenging--at least I think so. But, it should be entertaining for all of you! I think this will allow me to know Darrenkamps prices inside out. Perhaps benefit me after this month. Someone asked if I would do this at Giant the next month. Nice idea, but I already know I can't shop for food without Darrenkamps! So, that's a no go--at least I think so...I may change my mind. We'll see.
This adventure starts for me on February 28th. It lasts 5 weeks because we have a 5 week month. So, while the monthy total will be higher, the budget per week will be the same. $20 per person, per week. Follow along...Anyone want to join me on one or both of these challenges? Needless to say, I will be posting the Darrenkamps prices and best sales in the upcoming weeks. And yes, I will still link you to the Weis and Giant deals! I can't leave you guys just hanging out there!

What do you want to hear about this challenge? What do you want me to blog about? I want it to benefit all of you, so let me know.

Happy Savings! And remember comments are welcome--it lets me know that people are reading. :)

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