Snackuary 2024: Food Budget Challenge

Yes. order the pizza.

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Snackuary goals:

  • dry january
  • use kale from the garden once a week
  • try one new vegan/vegetarian recipe
  • inventory and prioritize older freezer/pantry items to cook with
  • track spending

My goal for Snackuary is to dinner plan each week and shop for that plan each weekend. I’ve got a rhythm I worked out a couple months back, but I haven’t been doing a great job executing it. This week the plan is:

Week One Meal Plan

Monday: Big pot of chicken chili, some of it frozen for later
Tuesday: Lemon Pasta (There’s always a pasta night)
Wednesday: Fish and Veg or Cous Cous
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Egg and Bean Burritos (Always Brinner)
Saturday: Kimchi Stew (Saturday is always Korean night)
Sunday: Takeout/Out to Eat

For lunches I’ve got things for PBJ, cauliflower and ranch, and fruit.
For breakfast I’ve got coffee, bagels, and cheese

Today I grocery shopped and made soup so it’s a good start!
I’m less concerned about tracking my food spending, honestly, though I do that anyway. My budget goals are always $300 for groceries, $250 for eating out and takeout, and $150 for things like emergency lunches and coffee treats. Hoping to be under budget on the eating out parts since I’m being more careful about the planning.


This is such a good idea! Not allowing delivery would mean I have to really want the takout food more than I don’t want to leave the house! I might work this idea into mine!


half of the flank steak seasoning used for our NYE/NYD dinners (grilled flank steak with roast mushrooms & summer squash with bocconcini, and with roasted smashed baby potato, cilantro chimichurri and tomato ginger jam)

half the mung beans are soaking overnight and will be made into a coconut kale curry tomorrow for the rest of the week’s lunches.

Tuesday: cheesy soup (from freezer, labeled May 2023) with good bread
Wednesday: shashi paneer on roasted smashed baby potatoes (sauce from freezer, labeled Aug 2023)
Thursday: okonomiyaki
Friday: anniversary dinner tbc


I’m in! My goals for the month are:

  • continue tracking grocery costs in YNAB (maybe look at some trends for the past 6 months at the end of the month?)
  • plan meals & check-in with grocery costs on Sundays
  • clean out & do a restock (if necessary) of the emergency food kit - I’ve been procrastinating on this for a while, and January/February has been the time when we get power-grid-disabling snowstorms the past few years, so I want to be prepared!
  • finish reading Intuitive Eating - I only have a few days left before I have to return it to the library, so this will be completed this week!

I was actually pretty happy with the mung bean curry other than burning the bottom of the pot. And I was going to note down the recipe. And then I realized that the ‘curry’ I used was the spice blend discard from the bottom of the curried cashews after I decanted them into jars. Not a reliable thing to replicate.


Thank you for reminding me to check my emergency food expiration dates! I think I have some soup cans that need to be eaten this month no matter what.

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purchased an $18 bag of cashews so that I could qualify for the ‘get $8 in points if you spend $40 before Jan 5’ deal. So I guess they got me. Otoh, I would have definitely purchased that bag for $10, and the other things were all super regular purchases. We just don’t tend to spend a lot there unless cheese is on sale. And cashews to put on top of noodle dishes is something we enjoy.


I’m in. Budget goal is to spend $20 max on food delivery. Non-budget goals are to drink more tea every workday to stay warmer, eat a vegetable at least every other day (16/31), and check food stashes for things that expired early last year.


Love this idea!

  1. Use up my pantry and frozen goods
  2. More veg and fruit as possible
  3. Start using so much processed foods
  4. Declutter my kitchen when my foot heals
    5…Only 1 dinner and 1 lunch/snack out per week
  5. Set a reminder to check in with y’all on a weekly basis

Good luck everyone!

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I am in.
Overall goal is to streamline food storage and get the items we already have into the rotation.

Defrost and inventory freezers
Inventory pantry food
Incorporate inventoried food into meal planning

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A bit late but i am in, i want to menu plan and avoid food waste. And also eat down the freezer a bit as it is far too small to have all that stuff in it.


Meal prepped and groceries acquired. Only $90. winning.


First checkin:

Pulled out a bag of frozen ravioli that it turns out Husband really doesn’t want to eat, ever. Cooked it and made a pasta sauce with canned tomatoes, spices, and frozen garden basil. Some for lunch on NY, and four lunch portions back into the freezer for work lunches - so that adds bulk in the freezer, but in a much more usable form, and I’ll go through those quickly.

Husband used up a bag of frozen pepper and onion mix on supper Monday night, plus some brown rice I’d precooked and frozen.

Roasted a bunch of frozen vegetables Wednesday night.


First check in, and results thus far are quite skewed

carbs: 14
produce: 18
dairy: 26
protein: 28
condiments: 62

We generally don’t spend over 40% of our food budget on condiments, but we bought a big container of soy sauce, a little container of soy sauce, a big container of kekap manis, toasted sesame oil and miso curry sesame oil. The first four was because we were out or almost out of all of them at the same time, and the last was on sale. And the protein so far was all structured spend for points.

There is another ‘spend $40 get $8’ deal on the app. Unsure if we’ll attempt to structure things to get it - unfortunately they don’t carry the large bottles and specialty stuff we bought the last couple of days, and we don’t have much space in the freezer.


Goal 2 will be done today: I emptied the pantry. All out of date stuff is in the bin. It will all be packed back in by bedtime.

I also made a list of meals to make that uses what we already have, to make sure that there’s turnover of pantry stuff. I also made a note to buy some variera shelves from ikea (the little half-size metal ones). I might actually screw them into the shelves so they dont slide around.

I haven’t updated my budget but I suspect we spent a little extra on takeaway etc type food, so will balance that this week and buy fancy cheese so I want to eat a homemade lunch.


First check-in! Things are going pretty well so far.

My partner & I have started doing “Sunday meetings” for this year where we go over goals and anything relevant for the upcoming week. It’s a good time to plan meals and sync up on grocery costs. We’re at about $155 so far this month, which includes food for last week and this upcoming week. It feels like a bit more than usual, but we had to restock some bigger things. My partner has some upcoming dental stuff so we’re doing lots of soup for the next week or two. :canned_food:

I also finished reading Intuitive Eating yesterday, just before I had to return it to the library. I wish that I had read this book years sooner, but now that I have, there are a few things that I want to start practicing.

I haven’t started working on the emergency food supply yet, but that’s on the todo list for next week. My plan is to drag the box out of the pantry and go through it a little bit at a time, rather than all at once.


Week 1:

  • Kale - made a salad mix that we ate all week, also put it in fried rice
  • Lots of pantry meals. Rice and beans, etc. Less from the freezer.
  • Dry january going well - been drinking a lot of herbal tea and sparkling water/cranberry juice.
  • Spending: One costco order + one Trader Joe’s trip: $256.71

Still need to meal plan for this week.


Week 1 check in

  1. Well, we got takeout more than 2x, but it was partner’s bday week, so CHECK lol.
  2. Check…? I only shopped on 2 days, but those days had two stops because one store didn’t have everything. I think this’ll be ok for my purposes, so clarifying this as grocery shopping max 2 days a week and 2 orders per day, to account for different stores.
  3. Meal plan more or less accomplished. Sure why not
  4. Check! In fact I’m clearing out a bunch of spices and taking them to work to leave out for people to take.