Show Me the Money: February Recap

Hello! I thought it would be a good idea to devote one post each month to taking a look at how close my grocery spending comes to the $6 per day that I targeted.

With 29 days in the month, my total grocery budget in February was $174.

First, let me say that February was an even more complicated month than January, when it came to figuring out my spending on food. I took a weekend trip to Calgary, ate in restaurants twice, splashed out on beef tenderloin for a Valentine’s dinner and took groceries to the household of a friend for some collective meals. And once (oh, shame of shames), I got takeout from McDonald’s.

After wrangling with the numbers (see below), my spending on food came to $244.85. That puts me past my $174 limit by $70.85, or about 41% over budget. Not great, but … better than the $117.71 overage in January, which tipped the scales at a whopping 63%. This is exciting! While it’s moderate, I’ve improved.

Here’s how the numbers break out:

  • I didn’t include the money spent for food on my Calgary trip. We were staying downtown, and there was no realistic way to cook our own meals.
  • I did, however, include all of my spending in restaurants otherwise.
  • All of the times I took food to someone else’s house for collective meals (the Valentine’s dinner fell into this category as well), there were three of us eating. I divided my total spending by three to get the portion of that expenditure that went into my own mouth.
Actual grocery expenditures = $163.33
Restaurants = $60.05
Collective meals = $21.47
Grand total = $244.85

Following the advice of Steve & Annette Economides, I’ve had a simple workday lunch plan for a couple of weeks now. It’s a variety of sandwiches, coupled with fruit and something dessert-y. You can download a copy of this week’s plan here. Although these aren’t the most imaginative lunches on the planet, they are helping me avoid the siren song of Vicky’s Cafe, which lives on the first floor of the library I work in.

My goal for March is to get my overage down to 20% or less. In the meantime, I’ll keep posting the “Good and Cheap” reviews as I work my way through each recipe. What’s up next? Banana Pancakes — don’t miss it!
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