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

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.


I’m doing a plan with me livestream today at 11:30 PST/2:20 EST and going to meal plan for the week if anyone is interested


For the couple stores I’ve done pick-up with, that would show up on the day you pick up so probably January…I think they put a hold when you order but don’t actually charge you until you take it. But I don’t know if all stores do it that way.


Makes sense to me, anyway - gives me a decision, so I’m going to go with it.

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I’m in. I just set up my tracking spreadsheet for the first time in about 10 years.

Goal 1 is to just see where I’m at, especially with food

Goal 2 is to start cooking at home, not just grab a peanut butter sandwich when I’m hungry, 2-3 times a day

Goal 3 is to eat down the multitudes of ingredients I have here from both my Mom’s passing and my own hording.


I am in. Meal planning is a little beyond me at the moment, but I am setting out to make more meals and eat less ready-made food this month, to get the habit in train for the whole year, and beyond.

So. I got the rice cooker and the slow cooker back out the other day, and now need to re-arrange the kitchen to make space for them to be convenient to use. The hope is to get a simple daily/frequent rice and veggies meal going, like I used to in Nepal. Because I love it, and it tastes good, and is good for me. Start simple, and go from there.

Onwards and upwards friends… :slight_smile: :slight_smile:


When you do, if you have time will you share how you prepare them? I love simple foods :slight_smile:


Meal planning for week 1 is done :white_check_mark:
Will go grocery shopping tomorrow I think and I’m hoping we can cut down to a once a week trip so I can track things easier.


Meal planned for week :white_check_mark:
Grocery shopped at 2/3 stores (trader joe’s closed for the holiday) :white_check_mark:


Week One:

I’m starting this post to edit all week to see what my household has eaten down from the freezer for week one. It’s easier for me to come and add to this than write it on paper and have to come back.

Frozen Strawberries in overnight oats (6 -7 big ones per container)
Pasta sauce x2
Ground beef container (we bought in bulk and have 3 portions left)
Chicken breast (2) package
Naan bread x 4
Burger Patties x 3
Burger buns x 2
Garlic fingers
Donuts x 2.5
Beet soup container
Peaches x 1 bag
1- Chicken quarters pkg of 4
1 pkg perogies
Small container pizza sauce
Pizza dough (which we will replenish with 2 since our batch makes 2)
1 bag stewing meat
1 bagel
Left over prosciutto, salami - finally this container is empty and out of the freezer - used for pizza topping

We did add in 4 pkgs of chicken legs that we purchased on sale. Each package will be a meal. And some ice cream ( pure impulse buy), naan bread.

We will probably be adding a few things back in this week - whole chickens and chicken quarters will be on sale for 1.88/lb. Chickens were sold out when we checked today.

I realized that I need to add some perspective: we have 2 small chest freezers and the one on the fridge, and I am working on all of them. I really need to focus on items that don’t rotate through on a regular basis but stuff that has been prepared in advance or ends of things to be used. Regardless this still shows how useful the freezers are and how it helps minimize eating out because we always have something that can be made.


Week 1 is lentil stew. It’s…edible. The issue isn’t the lentils, it’s that the cook times for all of the other vegetables were way higher than they needed to be. I usually try and do a recipe exactly as written the first time and then modify in the future, but this time I really should have gone with my gut because it’s pretty much mush. Edible mush, certainly, but not quite what I was going for.