Snackuary 2024: Food Budget Challenge

It’s the first monthly budget challenge of 2024!

This month we’re working on food costs for the fifth annual Snackuary

If thinking/talking about food isn’t a good fit for you right now, please check out our 24 in 2024 challenges Topics tagged 24-in-2024

If seeing food content isn’t good for you - You can click at the bottom to mute this thread you don’t see this category in the “latest posts”!

A note about content warnings

PLEASE put a spoiler over any content that mentions intentional weight loss or dieting for weight loss. And - please no negative commentary on other peoples’ bodies or food choices, that stuff never feels good! You can spoiler your comments using “hide details” under the little wheel. If you can’t figure out how to spoiler, just “flag” your own post and a mod can help you spoiler it.
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Snackuary will run from January 1 to January 31.


The goal is to understand your food costs better. Many of us have a complicated relationship with food, and at the end of a day, it isn’t an expense we can make go away entirely because it’s fuel! For many households, it’s the 2nd highest expense in their overall budget (after housing).

I found that my food costs have gone up a lot for the past two years for inflation.

Your Snackuary goal could be as strict as a no-takeout-all-month ban or as simple as a goal as “track my food expenses this month”. Or making coffee at home or simply tracking what parts of your food budget went up since Snackuary last year.

Maybe your goal is to cook more - batch cook each week or bring a packed lunch to work (if you are going into work these days). Perhaps you want to focus on reducing food waste! Or maybe you want to set a cash weekly budget for groceries and not go over it. Maybe you just want to track your food costs for once.

Or maybe you want to go to the cheaper grocery store once during the month.

Whatever it is, make sure the goal is generally aimed towards understanding your food costs better.

Snackuary will have a special forum badge and even a STICKER for people that complete the whole month, that will (probably) be cat-themed.

Basic rules:

  1. You must establish your own rules about how you are going to lower or track your food costs this month. State them in the first few days of the month to get us kicked off in the right direction.
  2. Each weekend you will report how you did on your challenge for the week on this thread . You can report on where you’re at, and what your biggest challenge and victories of the week were. Then, you’ll put your predictions/goals down for the week ahead.
  3. If you want, build in a celebration meal (fancy cheese or a dinner out- covid-safe of course ) at the end of the month. It’s nice to have a reward!

Who This Challenge is For

Anyone who wants a little public accountability and discussion about reducing food costs. If you liked any of our previous challenges and want to keep it going, here we are!

This challenge pairs very well with Dry January and Uber Frugal January and maybe Veganuary.

What do you get out of participating?

  • Lower food costs ideally!
  • Lower environmental footprint than dining out and/or wasting food.
  • (maybe) healthier food choices
  • A community to support you as you resist getting takeaway for the 4th time this week
  • A CUTE forum badge for participating in the weekly check-ins
  • And if you do all 4 week check-ins, you get a STICKER mailed to you.


If you’re in to participate (or on the fence and need encouragement), comment below with your goals for Snackuary.


Yay! I love Snackuary! I even know my goals already.

I want to seat a goal around eating out. One goal we have tried in the past is not duplicating restaurants in the month. So only eat out at any given restaurant one time in the month. Really not that hard, since we usually only eat out once per week, but there have been months when that results in Chipotle 4x :joy: It’s also just getting so expensive when we eat out, $50-$60 each time since the girls eat full portions now too.

I also have the goal to make one new recipe per week, as our dinner on Sundays. I have a few cookbooks that I was so excited about when I bought them, but I haven’t made any of the recipes because they aren’t online so I can’t just clip them into my meal planning app. They have to be manually added in, which always seems like too much of a burden when I’m meal planning.


I’m in! Last year grocery expenses really got away from me so my goal is to focus on pantry/freezer cooking this month.

I will need to think about how to make this a more specific, quantifiable goal, but that’s my starting point for now.


Hey hey I’m in for snackuary and I have three goals:

  1. visit Winco once for the weekly shop
  2. update my tracking list by category to see how much it’s jumped
  3. one new weeknight dinner per week

In…my eating down the pantry in Nov didn’t end up working out well given sales so I extended it into December, but in January I should look at building up what actually makes sense for my pantry and eating habits. And just generally working out the tricks in the new tracking software I’m trying, although that’s not exactly food-specific.


Hellooooooo I’m in!


  1. Keep total food & grocery costs < $2000 (a stretch based on 2023 spending!)
  2. Empty & restock pantry, properly wipe down the shelves and everything.
  3. Make a list of what should be in the pantry, so I can stick it inside the pantry door and make checking stock easier.

I’m in


I want to better track money spent on protein, carbs, vegetables, fruit, and misc to try to get our spend to align to my nutrition goals and start moving my weight back into the range I held 2010-2021

Also - I have a hypothesis that focusing on getting cheap produce means I fell out of meal planning, which makes the above worse - even though the things I get from the produce boxes are primarily fruit/veg


I’m in! I want to track food spending for the month.


I love a challenge! I’m moving in late January so I’m not going to try and Change Anything, but I do want to track it and figure out what’s Going On there.


This is a tricky challenge for me because I am not the main shopper- BUT I am the auxiliary shopper. So my goal for Snackuary 2024 is to start a virtual price book. I’ll ask the Boy to save me the grocery store receipts and I will compare those to my receipts from Costco/Sprouts/Target/Walmart to see what items we can save money on if I buy them elsewhere.


If you shop at King Soopers you can log in and see all of your purchases there! KS and target have the easiest websites for that.


As usual, I am in, with goals that are probably too optimistic lol

  1. Keep eating out/getting takeout to 2x per week (partner’s bday week excepted).
  2. Grocery shop max 2x per week. Which means…
  4. Absolutely no stocking up on food or spices. Need to clear things out before moving.

I am in! My goals:

  • track grocery store spending for the month and hopefully keep it under $400

  • cook dinner 3x per week (this should not be difficult, but I am VERY prone to getting too tired at the end of the day and declaring it a “fend for yourself” night. This results in me eating snacks for dinner, and my spouse getting takeout. So overall it is not good for our budget when I don’t cook). The other days of the week can be for leftovers or snack dinner, or asking spouse to cook.


I’m going to add an ‘eat down the pantry’ component to the grocery components money tracking. Today I used up the haleem spice mix which I have had for a while as a ‘to do’ experiment. I know there is a big tin of fava beans. I will check to see what the bb dates are on the other things to help with the food planning and trying things I haven’t made before.


  • fava beans
  • laksa paste
  • mole poblano simmering sauce
  • flank steak seasoning
  • mung beans
  • spam

I’m in! My two goals are:

  1. find a way to track food spending that works for me
    • I’m starting with Leisure Guy’s tracker, but I’m allowed to change tactics at any point in the month and as many times as I want to.
  2. abstain from delivery for the month of January
    • I’m allowed to order fast food / restaurant food for pickup as many times as I’d like. I don’t own a car or a bike, so braving winter weather on foot will keep me from over-relying on the pickup loophole.

We are going to meal plan and batch cook every week! This is basically going to have to happen with my new gastrointestinal needs haha. So it’s a + if lower food cost happens!


I’m in and I’m scared lol.

  1. Spend $500 or less on takeout.
  2. Keep grocery receipts and calculate FOOD spending.
  3. Go one full week without takeout.
  4. Eat as much from the freezer and pantry as possible.

I really ought to tackle the deep freezer. Think I’m going to make a goal to eat three things that are already in the deep freezer as of today per week.

I also need to come up with some sort of eating plan for both of us on campus 4 days a week, him teaching late on Thursday nights.


I have $99 left in my restaurant budget for December should I order pizza because I don’t want to cook and Snackuary starts tomorrow