I was hoping to do a weekly check in this month, but life has a way of, well, being life! I came down with mastitis (kicked it quickly, thankfully), Helena got coxsackie (not so fast to get rid of that one), and I blinked once or twice, and here we are at the end of the month.
I just finished tallying receipts, and the verdict is...$511.55 for the month. So we did not keep within the $400 mark.
Here's where we went awry:
- I bought 3 jars of almond butter on sale before the start of the challenge for a total of nearly $30.00
- I bought $17.00 worth of olive oil on sale at our coop...I knew this would contribute to pushing us over, but went for it anyway, since it was good price on good quality olive oil.
- I sent Patrick to the store several times without a complete list, and he had to wing it...this always results in more spending.
- Since Helena was sick and her little mouth full of blisters, so we splurged on Popsicles and soft, out of season fruits we would not otherwise have purchased.
- I didn't plan ahead for Patrick's birthday, and we needed some birthday meal items I could have budgeted in better had been more organized.
However, this brought us in a good $200 under our normally monthly expenditure, so, in the spirit of celebrating the small victories rather than focusing on short comings, I'm considering this quite a success.
Some things that helped us cut corners were:
- Using what was available...lots of vegis still from the CSA, and therefor lots of soups and stews that made more than one meal.
- planning meals ahead and sticking to the plan as much as possible.
- Cutting back on meat a bit...Patrick felt ready to relax on the no yeast diet after being fairly stringent for awhile, so we did more vegetarian meals, and bulked up the meat meals with more vegis..and we both agreed we feel better with this balance.
- I did try to use some of what was on hand in the pantry, but made a point not to try to live mostly off what was there and drain our reserves, so to speak.
One thing that would have helped a lot would have been to incorporate more legumes, which I love, but am avoiding at the moment, since they seem to bother little Lucy's tummy when I eat them. We'll try adding them back again in another month or so as her system develops, and see how it goes. I miss them, especially this time of year.
This was a great exercise for me, and one that I will continue to work with. It feels good to tighten things up and be more mindful in this way, and it wasn't hard to do.
Heather has some great ideas in her weekly updates, and there are some great ones in the comments as well.