Thursday, January 13, 2011

Week 1: Project Food Budget

One of my new year's resolutions was to save money on food by being more resourceful with ingredients, making more of my own food from scratch, growing my own herbs, and shopping sales. So I was excited to see The Reluctant Vegetarian's Project Food Budget and decided to join her.

I set my weekly budget at $100. Because I rarely leave Giant Eagle (Pittsburgh's biggest grocery chain) with less than a $150-$200 bill, this seemed daunting. I was pleasantly surprised with the results! These are the totals from last Friday through today.

Goal: $100
Actual: $87.81

Staple items purchased:
  • 2 bags whole-wheat flour (on sale at Right By Nature)
  • 3 jars tahini (also on sale)
  • Earth Balance shortening
  • Soymilk
  • Olive oil
  • Cooking spray
  • Chocolate chips (yes, I consider this a staple!)
Food made from scratch:
Meals for the week:+
Items to make for a dinner party this weekend:
  • Hummus*
  • Cookies and Cream Cupcakes*
  • Lemony Vanilla Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Frosting*
+Regarding breakfast, I exercise in the mornings and need a high-protein breakfast. I usually have some combination of a bunch of fruit, soy milk, a high-protein fruit & soy milk smoothie with flax meal, whole-wheat bread, and peanut butter. I also make an endurance drink before exercise. All that is included in the above. Lunches all this week have been leftovers.

*items purchased, but haven't made this yet

  • I think my total this week was so low because I had so many ingredients on hand.
  • The food I made on my own saved me about $8.
  • I've never paid attention to sales before now, but I'm seeing it really pays off.
  • It also pays to not shop at Giant Eagle for everything. I now shop at Trader Joe's for most fruits and veggies and some staples (their vegan chocolate chips, for example, are nearly $4 less than Giant Eagle's!) And Right By Nature has good sales, plus a reward program.
Read how others who are participating in this challenge fared this week:


  1. i have to say that i'm a little jealous that you're under budget! looks like you have some great recipes in your menu for the week.

    i have to go back to right by nature next week for some items. have a $10 reward coupon. i'm sure that will help.

  2. I'm totally jealous of your good budgeting skill! I'm the worst when it comes to budgeting for groceries. I'm going to try and do better this week!

  3. awesome, another vegan on the project! I could definitely learn a few things from you, haha. Now I'm going to follow your blog because it seems like you post often, and interesting things. :)