Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Week One, Day Two

I should've known better than to send my husband to get groceries ALONE. He's an amazing budget shopper, but not great at sticking to a budget (hope that makes sense). You send him for one thing and he comes back with five because he saw a great deal on this or that. Usually they are things that we need, BUT part of this project is only shopping one week at a time and limiting our purchases based on preplanned recipes. We ran out of baby wipes, which prompted his trip to the store. He spent 49.46 - he did end up buying a lot of things that we could use throughout the week and most of the things that I need for the recipes I have planned. We only have 20.70 left, but we only need approximately three or four more things to get through this week. Anyone know where to look for curry paste? We don't have any special markets here so I'm wondering where normal grocers usually stock it - cold section in produce? Spice aisle?

I was super proud of myself. I ate pretty healthy and worked out quite a bit. I've realized though that I'm not coordinated enough to work out to fitness videos. I was going to take a long ride this evening, but it figures that it would start pouring rain. Fall is hitting early here so that means I will be on the hunt for a stationary bike so I can keep exercising through the winter.

Onto the food log....

The most unhealthy thing was obviously dinner. Sometimes a rainy evening just lends itself to comfort food. I made sure to eat a smaller portion because this was a meal high in fat, but it was delicious. I planned on just making fried potatoes and hot dogs, but decided to add everything together. This Idaho girl can make fine potatoes - I just add two tablespoons butter, four medium sized potatoes, paprika, parsley, seasoning salt, onion flakes, garlic, and pepper together and cook on medium heat until potatoes are golden brown and soft enough to put a fork through. Tonight, I just threw in some hot dogs and cheese and dinner was done!

Week Two Begins!

Mondays are rough for me - I have three classes and don't get home until after 7. I was proud at how well that I ate though!

Breakfast: Yogurt W/ Bagel (1.40)

Lunch: Yogurt W/ Granola, Watermelon + Banana

Afternoon Snack: Grapes and Crackers

I believe the key to a delicious stir-fry is allowing your veggies to cook together separately in a little oil before adding sauce, meat, or noodles. I usually cook my veggies (in this case: pepper, carrots, snap peas, and water chestnuts) for five minutes, add the meat and sauce, let simmer until meat is done, and then add the noodles. 

We went grocery shopping for a few necessities last night as well as ingredients for the stir fry (26.43). I am really disappointed because Jeff refuses to come home for his lunch if I am at school. Therefore, he ends up eating junk and spending money (1.98). We need to get him a small lunch box so I can pack his lunch when I pack mine on the nights before school. I'm planning a simple dinner for tonight and tomorrow, but we'll need to go shopping again to pick up stuff for the rest of the week. 

Our remaining budget is 70.16 - we will have to be REALLY careful this week. 

Sunday, August 29, 2010

End Of Week One...

I haven't been biking as much as usual the last few weeks. It was a delight to ride this morning. I just went for a short fifteen mile ride, but enjoyable none-the-less. I wanted to go for another ride this evening, but the weather has took a turn for the worse. I think the key to exercising is finding something you actually love - whether that be biking, hiking, or swimming.

Moving onto the food log....

Breakfast: Cheerios with a banana

Lunch: Noodles with watermelon

Dinner pictured below.
As you may have noticed, I am not a natural food photographer so I apologize for the distorted pics. I promise that I will work on it! 

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Today was one of those rare exception days. We had to drive three hours to pick up my oldest son, who was visiting his dad in Oregon. Spending six plus hours in the car has made us exhausted and grumpy. We have only three dollars remaining in our budget. We went grocery shopping on Friday to pick up things that we desperately needed. One local store has Fresh Fridays, where produce is drastically marked down. They always have AWESOME deals. I was able to nab a cantaloupe for one dollar and a ten pound bag of potatoes for ninety-eight cents. I cannot stress enough how important it is for families to SHOP AROUND!!! My husband is one of those guys who prefers to shop at just one place and be done with it, but I find the best way to do grocery shopping is pour through your local stores' weekly advertisements and compile lists of what you need from each store. Of course, this works best if you live in a small town like ours where grocery stores are only a few blocks away from each other. My other tip: check out bulk bins for things you don't use much of. I find that it's much better to buy a little of something from a bulk bin than pay 4 x's as much and end up throwing it out because it goes bad or gets stale. This week has been hectic, insane, and exhausting. If we didn't already have a semi-full fridge when the week began than we would've failed miserably. I apologize that we are kind of easing into everything - this is a huge adjustment for us. Now that things will settle down and we'll start getting used to new schedules we should be a lot more on top of things both health and budget wise. I've already been searching for recipes for next week...I've found two so far that I'm going to attempt: Red Lentil Curry W/ Homemade Naan and Coconut Curried Chicken. 

Friday, August 27, 2010

Day Five...

I had a three hour class this morning - busy, busy! I didn't eat anything real exciting so no pictures today... 

Breakfast: Toast with apple juice

Morning Snack: Grapes

Lunch: Fruit Salad, Yogurt, and Crackers 

Afternoon Snack: 1/2 Protein Bar + Remaining Grapes

As you can tell, I just snacked my way through the day. I was sleepy and hungry when arriving home and had some leftover pizza. No idea what is in store for dinner. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Day Four...

Our remaining budget is 45.25 ... I wish that I could say that we ate healthy today. However, today was a super stressful day and that led to a total disregard of both budget and health. I had a cervical biopsy done today. Jeff took time off work to go with me, but that led to both of us eating out afterwards. Then because I was left feeling sick all afternoon, we resorted to pizza for dinner. We'll have dinner (albeit not healthy) tomorrow thanks to leftover pizza. AND we have some frozen chicken in the freezer, canned veggies, and fruit. I think we'll make our budget this week but only because we haven't had to make any major shopping trips. Next week might be a different story if we don't watch ourselves. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Day Three...

I don't feel like I had any time to breathe today, but at the same time I can't say that I got anything accomplished. We started the day with a delicious breakfast...
All of my sons absolutely love fruit. We don't eat a lot of sugar so fruit is always considered a sweet treat. We don't have air conditioning in our rental home and today was a hot day so I figured that it would be a good day to have a picnic. I loaded up sandwiches and fruit and away we went... 

We were ready for a cold treat after running around in the sun for an hour. I contemplated buying ice cream from a small restaurant near our house, but instead opted for picking up some organic ice cream from the local health mart. They also had some chocolate creme cookies on sale. I spent a total of 4.88 - which I think was a great deal. It's always a good idea to check your local health food stores for deals. Sometimes I can find even BETTER deals on organic merchandise just from keeping my eyes open. 

I had an algebra class this evening and then went out with a close friend for a few drinks. We shared an appetizer tray, but she treated! Jeff made the family dinner...

We buy kosher hot dogs (no preservatives or fillers) and get them at Costo (which saves us anywhere from 2-6 bucks). 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Day Two...

I was a lazy bum today. I didn't get anything done that I should have. Oh well - I stuck to eating healthy and our budget. I got the morning started with a favorite of mine...

I am aware that french toast is more of dessert breakfast, but it can be quite healthy if prepared right. Many would probably agree that the unhealthy part of french toast is the syrup. I believe the most important thing is finding a syrup that does not contain high fructose corn syrup. I know it can be discouraging because organic syrups can be quite expensive. However, stores do stock all-natural maple syrups among the "normal" syrups - they are usually tucked away on the top shelf.  These generally are not certified organic, but have no sugar added and are way healthier! 
My lunch today was the lunch that I was supposed to eat yesterday... 

After Jeff got off work, we went shopping for the first time since starting this project. We bought a watermelon, cantaloupe, an onion, three cans of tuna, two cans of broth, vanilla extract, and garlic powder (12.33). Adding in a can of soda (.60) Jeff brought home for me because I desperately needed caffeine, we have 74.13 remaining. 
This was dinner...
The rice was a recipe that I've never tried before. Basically, you add one cup rice to one can + one cup of your choice of broth, spices, and veggies in a baking dish. Bake at 350 for one hour and you're done. We are running low on veggies so our dish was pretty plain. 

Monday, August 23, 2010

Day One Continued...

Sadly, today ended up being a day of what not to do. I explained earlier that I rushed off to school without lunch or snacks...well, that ended up costing me of course. On top of that, Jeff opted for a drive-thru lunch which goes against the very purpose of this blog. Here is the food break down.....

I started the day with a bowl of honey nut cheerios with cut up banana (no picture included). After peddling my bike to catch the bus at 6 AM and sitting in the cold for nearly 40 minutes, I was ready for a large cup of hot cocoa (2.50) and quickly discovered that you should never buy overpriced hot cocoa from a school cafeteria because it tastes like watered down burnt coffee. After my first class, I was famished because it had been six hours since breakfast. I rushed to the cafeteria and purchased this.... (6.25)

After consuming this sandwich, I vowed never to eat in the cafeteria again. I never imagined that a club could taste so awful. My afternoon snack before my third and final class was yogurt and part of an apple (2.21). For the record, Jeff's unhealthy lunch was only a whopping 1.98(and we wonder why poor people love fast food). Jeff made us his famous bean burritos for dinner, which are both cheap and healthy! I'm guessing dinner was approximately 5 dollars, but I'm unsure because we already had everything needed from a previous shopping adventure. 
Colton was not a fan of the burritos, but I'm guessing it is because they were more fun to play with than to eat. 

Any sane person would probably just decide to move the budget start date until tomorrow. However, I suppose there are going to be slip-ups every now and then so I might as well get used to it. Our remaining weekly budget is 87.06. 

Day One

Today marks the official start of our budget project. However, I am off to a horrible start. Unfortunately, today also is the beginning of the school semester. Things are quite hectic because we are all adjusting to new schedules and routines. I had great intentions - I packed a delicious lunch last night (crackers, cheese, grapes, and carrot sticks), BUT I remembered that I didn't have an ice pack to keep it cool OR even a lunch bag to put it in. I put a water bottle in the freezer to serve as a ghetto ice pack and planned on throwing everything in my messenger bag, but at the last minute decided that I didn't want to haul around a heavy frozen bottle all morning until my classes were over. So, I'll have to buy my lunch in the cafeteria today and buy all the necessary supplies this week. I'll make sure to post my daily expenses at the end of the day.

- Angela

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Meet The Eastons...


Stick to a strict budget of one hundred dollars each week. This pertains to ALL food purchases - snacks, lunches, eating out, random impulse buys, etc. 

Maintain a HEALTHY diet...this means no resorting to ramen noodles, doritos, or fast food. 

Try new recipes each week from around the world.


We want this blog to be realistic. There are a few occasions where we will probably not be sticking to our budget...birthdays, holidays, and road trips. We will TRY, but no promises. 


Our grocery bill has been increasing rapidly for months now. We easily spend around two hundred dollars a week when you count in all food purchases. I know many families are in the same position we are and most feel helpless. I've heard so many people say that there is no way to feed a family healthy and nutritious meals on a strict budget. Well, we are going to try. We will share tips, recipes, and hopefully some weight loss success stories along the way. This won't be easy so we'll need your support and suggestions! 


I considered making our weekly budget seventy-five dollars. However, we are a family of five with a baby. I want this blog to be realistic and attainable. One hundred dollars allows each member of our family a 2.85 daily food budget. That is less than what most people spend on their morning coffee or lunch.