Snackuary 2023!: Food Budget - STICKER TIME, FILL IN FORM

I’m in, i want to eat down the random things in our freezer and get back into meal planning since we dropped that over the last three months.


I’m in. Goals for the month; track expenses, meal plan each week, keep to a grocery budget of $200 per week.

We’re going to Disney at the end of the month so that will be a lot of dining out money but we’ll still have some groceries delivered to the hotel for breakfast, lunch, and snacks to cut down some of the cost.


In but starting on the 7th. We are traveling until the 3rd and then jump straight into work. So, December takeout trends will continue a few days. But then…

  • get back to eating at home, stretch goal: meal plan weekly
  • use (stretch: use up) one esoteric sauce/ingredient each week (esoteric means not used routinely or a staple…)
  • try low gluten/wheat again (for fertility/hormones not weight…)
  • limit dairy to yogurt, cheese for flavor

Nothing explicitly cost related but should be cheaper overall?


Likely/tentative goals:

  • Track overall food spending.
  • Ask Sweaty how much he spent on each grocery trip and contribute accordingly rather than just throwing him a random amount of money every once in a while.
  • Have a budget limit or separately track with the goal to reduce spending on bottled drinks (ie kombucha) and protein bars.
  • Eat down some food in our pantry/ throw out weird old stuff in anticipating of likely upcoming move.

I’m in! Need to eat down the food that’s in the house. I will be away from Jan 24-31 but will work hard on tracking before I leave.

I will be tracking all freezer and cupboard meals that are consumed to eat the stockpiles down.


ok I’m gonna pretend I’ve learned my lessons from the past and try some different approaches:

  1. No more than 2 grocery store runs per week. Really I’d like to do just 1 per week
  2. I can only get take-out coffee and pastries when I’m doing coffee shop study sessions with a friend
  3. No eating out except for boyfriend’s birthday, ski trips, and aforementioned coffee shop study sessions

I want to do this but I have to think on what a reasonable goal would be. It’s my first carnival season so I am not sure if restricting my eating out makes sense. Which is the first thing that came to mind.


Budgets can be about permission, not restriction! Can you work out an amount you can allow yourself to spend on Carnival food and fun, even if it comes out of your ambitious saving goal? It’s OK to save unevenly throughout the year! Oct-Dec has traditionally been break even or save less time for me due to bdays and holiday travel and gifts. But your holidays might be Oct and Jan/Feb! (Also this year Dec was hemorrhage money month due to movers and flight cancellations but… better months will come!)

And here’s my challenge to you: go out and use it without guilt. Oh yeah. I went there.


I’ve no idea what is realistic though or what carnival even looks like!

Hm. Maybe my goal should be to track carnival food/drink spending? Since it’s my first one and I don’t know what to expect.

And then make the goal also something around meal planning or batch cooking. Since things will really get busy in February and it’d be nice for me to have a nice big freezer stash to pull from during that.


Something I learned in my job…

Do you expect to spend $10? (no, probably more). $10000? (no, probably less) 1000? 500? 200? Once you get to something that sounds likely, add a buffer. (This was explained in the context of work time lines so the buffer was “double it”, but for spending maybe 20-50%. Or double it because I know you try to minimize :grin: :two_hearts:)

You can also double check by doing the same guesswork for # events and avg spending per event, then multiply and add buffer.

I’ve given up on plenty of predictions myself so I’m not trying to harp. I just want you to give yourself permission to spend something so you arent like, why is this number not zero!? when you track. :blush:


Will join! I track most of my expenses in a spreadsheet but I have very broad categories of personal food and shared/gift food, maybe tracking in more detailed categories will be my goal. At least four overnight trips and assorted visits expected in January, so I don’t want to set any goal spending and then feel bad when I go over that :)))) Hmm maybe I can add a goal of going through my food stockpile and checking expiry dates, if any teas smell different, etc.


I am soooo bad at even predicting roughly! I don’t know how many events I am attending, what the food/drink situation might be (I am told of wagons full of booze and snacks for everyone so maybe I will just contribute to that and not spend at restaurants and bars? No idea!), etc. I am curious about how this will go which is why I think I am leaning toward nonjudgmental tracking this year. Then next year I can figure out how to optimize.

(This goes for more than just food/drinks. I do not know transportation costs. I do not know bathroom costs - apparently paying for bathroom access along parade routes is A Thing! But I digress.)

Anyway! I think my goals are going to be around meal planning and batch cooking at home. And maybe tracking food waste? I forgot about 2 avocados in the fridge. They were gross. Those are expensive!


I’m not doing any food-related challenges but I’d be happy to help anyone who’d like a second set of eyes (or full-on help) with creating workable meal plans. I’m also happy to help with food cost savings strategies! Just @ me!


The shelters here are always happy to have food donations since they feed so many people on a daily basis. When I was married and my husband would buy weird things and never use them I would take them there. Also if things were in danger of expiring I would also take them since they would get used quickly.


I’m here! My goal is to review the grocery store receipts. The Boy is our major food shopper and I’ve lost touch with how much food costs. Like I realized that the children’s favorite frozen pizza (stuffed crust Digiorno) is TEN DOLLARS and I was low-key horrified because I haven’t personally purchased frozen pizza regularly since, like, south Georgia in 2006.

So, yeah, review the receipts to get back in touch with what things cost. We have a new food cost coming in January: It is time to start the cuckoo on solid food! I’ll see what I can source from Buy Nothing as far as purees. People sometimes have extras leftover.

Our grocery bill is pretty routinely $1000-$1200 a month and that SEEMS like a lot to me but there are four of us and I know food has gone up. I don’t think we’re especially profligate.


Oh yeah, we’re already involved in a couple mutual aid and food rescue groups. Some of what I’m talking about is like weird flours that are opened and have been hanging around a few years, or odd substances I bought over 5 years ago with ambitions of making super fancy vegan cheese, or bags of dry beans that are expired but fine and don’t get reached for cause they take too long to cook.


Ok. In. Our food budget is out of control, and so is my work snack budget.

Goals for the month:

  • No buying work snacks. Work snacks being defined as food purchased on the way to work or during the work day, and also things like granola bars bought specifically for work during regular grocery shopping. This is the only thing that will actually count for the challenge.
  • To facilitate not buying work snacks, eat breakfast and pack a lunch everyday
  • Track all of our food costs by category (produce, carby meal things like bread pasta and rice, fake meats, other proteins, dairy, junk food/desserts, soda, alcohol, all other beverages, meal bits and bobs like sauces spices etc, pet stuff, non-food grocery purchases, and probably some other categories I’m not thinking of).

@Cannibalsox This probably isn’t a good fit for you with prepping for moving but I use all those old grains/beans/flours to make animal-safe “bread” and toss it outside for winter feeding.

Posting to follow; I’ll probably forget to post updates as usual.

I need to track food expenses at the micro level for a month. In a journal or spreadsheet but not just in my head!

Meal planning for midwinter.


I threw out a bunch of inedible fruits and veggies yesterday, so that has inspired my Snackuary goal:

Don’t throw out any more food! That means cooking the veggies we have and eating the fruit, ideally before buying more.

If the fruit in the Christmas tree is inedible, I should at least be able to make vinegar with it. If one of us cooks something that turns out awful, that can go in the trash with no guilt.

We currently have daikons, turnips, and lots of cabbage. Those should be straightforward to finish. Also regular radishes… I don’t like those so I’m not sure what we’ll do, but we will try!


Regular radishes are good and very different (milder) if you steam them and serve hot. They also work in stirfry.

Meanwhile, question for all. I placed a pickup order last night, which means my card was charged last night, but I’m picking up today. Is that a December or January purchase?

On the unhappy side, it’s a bunch more soft food because I have another tooth acting up - another of the ones filled in late October by the new dentist I’m becoming pretty sure is a quack.