At the Table

The $20 challenge: The final week

I can’t believe we’re at the end of this month-long challenge! I think I speak for both of us when I say we haven’t really felt deprived of good food, either.  In fact, I’m going to try and keep this up until the end of the year, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we end up permanently setting our food budget at (or close to) $20.  I honestly don’t know what I would spend the “extra” money on if we increased our budget back to the $40 it was – I’m trying to remember now what we used to buy, and how it cost so much.  There has certainly been better planning and less food waste in the Walkup house since the beginning of this budget challenge, and it’s kind of nice!

$20 challenge week 4

This week’s shopping list:

6 pound roasting chicken ($3.96 on Manager’s Special)
Sparkling cider ($0.99 also Manager’s Special)
1 box of tea ($2.00)
4.5 pounds sweet potatoes ($1.31)
Brussels sprouts ($3.99)
Prosciutto ($3.33)
Heavy cream ($2.00)
Mini marshmallows ($0.96)
Sour gummy worms ($1.00)
Bakery crisps (FREE – Kroger’s Free Friday coupon)
2 Larabars (FREE – Free Friday coupon.  Jeth started putting the coupons on his card as well, so now we get two of everything free)

Can you tell what we are contributing to my family’s Thanksgiving dinner?  In exchange for bringing a couple of side dishes for 8 people, we get a share in the Turkey dinner (and leftovers the next day).  Compared to last week’s trip, I didn’t get a whole lot today, because some of these things (like prosciutto and brussels sprouts) are more expensive than what I would buy for a non-holiday week.  It all kind of balances out, though, and we get 7 good meals with our $20.

This week’s food comes to $19.54, which brings this months total food expenses (minus a lunch date…which, by the way, are a great way to save money, compared to the cost of going out to dinner) to $79.03 – 97 cents under budget. For 2 people, not too bad! Maybe I’ll take the savings and buy something to celebrate :)

*In full disclosure, I had a day this week where I wasn’t feeling well and bought a bag of snack mix to eat while I laid on the couch watching old episodes of Chuck.  I bought it with my spending money, but still…

Dinners this week:

Monday:  Oven roasted chicken and potatoes (from the bag that we bought 2 weeks ago)
Tuesday: Leftover roast chicken
Wednesday: Chicken enchiladas (using up the cheese we got on sale at the beginning of the month)
Thursday: Thanksgiving (we’re bringing sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts)
Friday: Thanksgiving leftovers
Saturday: Chicken noodle soup (with leftover carrots and frozen veggies)
Sunday: Pasta with peas and prosciutto in cream sauce

I’ve got enough ingredients to make another batch of cranberry-orange breakfast rolls, plus several eggs, so we’re set on breakfasts. Leftover cooked pinto beans from last week will make quesadillas or soup for lunches.  Also, check out my sister’s weekly budget food challenge here.

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