Monday, June 20, 2011

Day 2

So, I meant to start this blog with Day 1, but as life happens, I am starting on Day 2. I have been wanting to try the All You Grocery Challenge for 2 years now. This year was it, we had to do it. Almost 3 years ago, my husband and I found ourselves in over $56,000 debt, including, car, credit cards...basically everything... all while living on one income, and at the time, 2 children under 3. He had just graduated with a PhD in Computer Science, and while his degree was great, the economy wasn't and he started a very low paying post-doc research position in Boston, one of the most expensive cities in America!
All I could think of was how to pay for diapers, much less fancy steak meats and farm fresh veggies. Fast forward 3 years later, add another baby to the mix and we are less then $4,000 away from being completely debt free and haven't used a credit card in 3 years, in fact we cut them all up, thanks to strategic couponing for groceries, toilietries and everything in between! I joined the All You Grocery Challenge this year, not just to further cut our budget on groceries, but to challenge eating better overall, which meant adding a lot of fresh produce to our diet. When my 2 year old daughter started asking regularly for some form of chocolate as a snack, I knew I had to get serious about giving them better, more wholesome choices.
Yesterday was a great start and a tough way to start the challenge. Day 1 was Father's Day, a day we would have typically gone to some restaurant or fast food drive thru as a "treat." I'm thrilled to say we ate everything at home! Pancakes, eggs with feta cheese and tomato for breakfast,sandwiches for lunch and lamb burgers stuffed with feta cheese for dinner! Why Lamb Burger? The meat was cheaper than ground beef, only $2/lb. We plan to buy whatever is the cheapest meat and make our traditional recipes using that meat.We were out the whole day and the kids loved getting snacks and water bottles together from home to eat in the car, it was a fun, easy, cheap way to curb the drive thru temptation. The rules of the All You Grocery challenge are to not spend more then $25 per family member per week, children under 1 are not included, and that includes all food shopping, including eating out.
So, here we are Day 2, we are a family of 5, but our youngest is under 1, so our budget is $100 for this week. Tomorrow is grocery shopping day and I don't anticipate buying more then produce for the week. My son, 5, is loving all the fresh fruit we are trying out. I will look for whatever fruit is cheapest and buy that, even if its something we dont normally buy, its a great way to try something new!
In honor of the All You Grocery Challenge and our effort to eat more fruits and veggies we planted our first ever tomato plant!
If you are also in the All You Grocery Challenge feel free to leave a comment letting me know how you're getting along, and even if you're not, what are you doing to eat better and save more!

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