Saturday ended the third week of the four-week grocery contest sponsored by All You. As you may remember, the challenge is to spend just $25 per person per week in groceries for those in your household, all for a chance to win a $1000 grocery gift card. Weeks one and two passed by without too much trouble and I even figured out some tips to help keep our grocery bills down. This third week we spent $73.89, which is basically in line with the $71.58 and $71.71 we spent in the first two weeks. However, this week seemed a lot tougher to stay in our budget. In fact, due to a last-minute impulsive snack purchase, we actually went over our limit. As soon as I realized it, Mark was kind enough to take the snack back to the store thus bringing us back down below the $75 limit. But considering that the snack was frozen mango chunks, a healthy treat that Charlie adores, it felt somehow wrong to be returning it to the store just to make sure we were below the imposed $75. If we hadn’t already had a package of unopened mango in the freezer, I probably would have just quit the contest then and there.
I’ve been thinking about why this week was so much more difficult than the previous two.
1. Toward the end of the week we ran out of some basic stock items like rice and butter which then limited even more what we could make at home for meals.
2. The veggies in our CSA box were uncharacteristically few this past week. We’ve really come to rely on incorporating those vegetables into meals throughout the week and we just didn’t have as many to use so we had to purchase more vegetables.
3. I felt tired. With less food in the house I had to be even more creative about what meals I prepared which left me, well, let’s just say uninspired to cook (and a little bit hungry).
Fortunately, this week is going a bit better than last and, even more fortunately, the week is almost over which means that the contest is almost over. I’ve learned some good tips to lower our grocery bill, but I’m looking forward to not keeping quite such a careful eye on our food budget.