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Week 1 Spending Report

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As you know, we’re on a budget diet this month. We’re trying to slash our spending, particularly in the area of food-related spending (including eating out and grocery expenses).

I’ve been using Every Dollar to track all of our spending (review to come at the month’s conclusion), and so far things are going well. It’s been tough to keep within our weekly budget, but I’ve been stocking up with some meat and other freezer-foods and we have our Dream Dinners session coming up, too. My hope is that we’ll be able to do a No Spend Week next week (Week 3), only supplementing with about $25ish for fresh fruits and veggies. We should be able to do it based on the foods we have currently, and it would help us to stay within our overall grocery budget.

Week 1 Spending Report

For Week 1 (April 1-7), we spent $129 at the grocery store and $21 eating out. In my original Budget Post, I’d proposed to spend $300 at restaurants/eating out, $450 for groceries, and $250 for Dream Dinners (already committed/pre-paid). That’s a total of a $1,000 spent on FOOD and, as many pointed out, it’s totally crazy! I agree.

So, in my Every Dollar budget I’ve put the planned budget at $200 for restaurants/eating out, $350 for groceries, and the $250 for Dream Dinners (already pre-paid). That would meet my goal of slashing our food-spending category by 20%. If we successfully complete a no-spend week next week, we should be able to hit these food spending goals.

I’m going to pass on Dream Dinners for next month and try to further cut our food-spending by about another $100. If I could get to a $700-ish range for total food spending (eating out and groceries), that would be ideal! I know with some planning and food prep it can totally be done!

One month at a time – I’ll report on Week 2 spending at the end of our current week to help continue to hold me accountable.

What are your favorite generic/store brand items? Are there any grocery-store items you insist on buying “name brand”?

 


Waste Not, Want Not

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Ever heard the old adage “Waste not, want not”? Basically it’s about making use out of everything you’ve got – even the tiny scraps or leftovers that might otherwise go to waste.

Well, that’s what came to mind when I saw the (ingenious) idea from another blogger (shout out!) to use old leftover hot dog buns for french toast sticks! Sounds weird, right? But the number of hot dogs in a package doesn’t align with the number of buns in a package so there’s always some weird leftover buns that typically sit around until they get stale and are thrown out in the trash. But no more, friends! Check this out:

First, I made a little egg mixture with some cracked eggs and a splash of milk. See here:

I split my hot dog buns in half long-ways (basically just tearing them down the middle) and dipped each half into the egg mixture. Next, I grilled them up on an electric griddle (a skillet would work, too), and dusted with some cinnamon.

Finally, I threw them on a plate (cut into bite-sized pieces for the kiddos), topped with a little powdered sugar, and had a small amount of syrup on the side for dipping.

Add some fruit and scrambled eggs and you’re looking at a complete breakfast! Made with food from my pantry I was probably going to throw away otherwise!

The kids loved it and I loved not wasting food and getting more bang for my buck since every last hot dog bun ended up being consumed instead of tossed!

Bam!

Do you have any fun food hacks or ways you stretch a buck with old/leftover food?