The Grocery Budgeting Challenge - Pretty Food by Bonnie Blog at - 187982

Pretty Food by Bonnie

The Grocery Budgeting Challenge 
Jul. 29, 2010 5:30 pm 
Updated: Jul. 31, 2010 12:45 pm
I'm on the verge of going back to college and surviving completely off student loans for the next two years.  I help a lot of the young sailors with budgets while working at Navy Federal Credit Union and have been perfecting my own for the past few months.  

Ultimate Goal : Live off $1000 a month

Food Budget : $150 a month

What this includes - Groceries, Take out, Alcohol, Eating out (any coffee, snacks, candy bars, etc count!)

When is this starting? - August 22 is the start of the first week that I'll be living in my new apartment for school.  THE CHALLENGE STARTS THEN!

Who else is involved - I'll be moving with 2 of my friends and hope to split meals/cost of meals so that I'm not eating the same dinner for 5 nights in a row.

How I plan to do this - I'm going to explore new recipes that use cheaper ingredients and find a way to eat delicious food every week.

Why I am doing this - I'm all about challenges, and if I can manage to take care of myself the next two years without running up a huge credit card debt I'll be ecstatic 

So you may ask :  Aug 22 is a long time from now, what do you plan on doing in the mean time? 
I will tell you :  I will be preparing for my transition into college life with no income and researching the best way to stretch my dollars out.

I did a lot of leg work tonight and took some notes on 5 different supermarkets.  I'll share my findings in my next post.

Jul. 29, 2010 5:42 pm
Oh wow.. what a fun thing to blog about. I'm sure you'll get tons of great ideas here. When I was in college, I was a single Mom, living off my Veterans benefits - a grand total of $375/month. I had to pay rent of $140 and the rest went to electric and food. LOL, how I did it is beyond me, but I worked alot of side jobs for the University to make ends meet. One of my favorite things to do was to combine dinner meals with the neighbor and we'd eat spagetti for several nights. LOL It's amazing how quickly you can come up with good menu options on a budget and if you do a google search on 'cooking on a budget', you'll see all sorts of options. Good luck. It will be fun to see what ideas people come up with for you!
Jul. 29, 2010 6:48 pm
good luck, i know you can do it
Jul. 30, 2010 11:44 am
I thought I'd comment here because yesterday, I thought of this blog. We were at Costco a couple of days ago and I bought a roasted chicken. You get them for $4.99 here. I pulled off some of the meat and made panini sandwiches -with sauteed onion, green peppers, some basil oil that I made and a slice of fresh mozzerella cheese. It fed three of us. I had the whole carcass left over and half the meat was still on the chicken, so last night, I pulled off the meat and cooked the carcass in a large container of chicken broth in my pressure cooker for 20 minutes to get a nice, rich broth. The broth was dark, robust and full of flavor because I added both the bone and the skin of the roasted chicken. I strained off the broth and added some cubed potatoes, carrots and celery, along with some fresh parsley. I pressure cooked the veggies for about 4 minutes and then made a roux of butter and flour and thickened the broth and veggies. I added the cut up chicken and poured it into a casserole dish. Then I rolled out a thawed slab of puff pastry and topped it. Then popped it in the oven at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes or so. Once again, it fed three of us, but could have easily fed four. Just a way to make meals stretch. I've used a pressure cooker for many years and make everything from broths to stews.. even risotto. I couldn't live without it and its a wonderful addition to my kitchen and the perfect tool for the frugal chef.
Jul. 30, 2010 12:29 pm
I have to agree with Belles, the Costco rotisserie chicken will feed our family of 5 for three meals-wraps or roasted chimichangas day 1, casserole or enchiladas day 2, soup day 3. They're a great money saver!
Jul. 30, 2010 12:30 pm
Belles, be sure to give her your rice-a-roni casserole recipe!
Jul. 30, 2010 1:55 pm
Beans and rice! Peanut butter! :) Have fun!
Jul. 30, 2010 2:24 pm
Sometimes if you get to the market at just the right time of the evening, you can get those rotisserie chickens at half price! You sound like an awesome young person. Keep up the good work and good luck in your future!
Jul. 31, 2010 1:48 am
About 10 years ago I was in grad school as a single mother going to school full-time, doing an internship, and working part-time. I think I lived off of $400 a month. We ate a lot of hamburger, tuna, and pasta. My daughter, who is now 17, knows if it isn't on sale then it won't be in our house! She doesn't even bother to ask, lol.
Jul. 31, 2010 12:45 pm
heres a blog i follow that you may find helpful . . .
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About Me
I'm a single lady so I do a lot of small portion cooking and cooking things that keep for a while.
My favorite things to cook
I'm a sucker for italian style food but I've been cooking a lot of breads, fish and vegetarian meals lately.
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I love cooking anything that can be done in a skillet
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I made bread for the first time a few months ago and now I never want to buy it again!
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