In addition to our monthly challenges we have decided to attempt a two-fold year long challenge. I've been reading Erin's blog about living on a $800 food budget for the entire year and have pondered if we could do it. We only have easy access to Walmart, HEB, and Walgreen's so there are no big deal stores like Kroger, Publix, etc. We also don't eat a lot of processed foods which is where a lot of the good deals and coupons apply. The other big snag, James was not going for $800 a year for all food related items. We eat out a lot even though neither one of us really wants to go out.
So here is the two part challenge:
1. We are going to have $1200 for the entire year for our food budget. Obviously, this is essentially $100 a month. This includes eating out and snacks. Here are the caveats: A) If we eat out with our friends, without our spouse, money has to come out of our individual allowances. B) Food costs during vacations come out of the vacation budget. C.) Because we often take a friend out to eat with us and pay for her food, that meal will come out of our entertainment budget. Essentially, all household food and meals we eat out together have to be covered by the $1200. Personal hygiene products, household cleaning supplies, and dog food comes out of different budgets. The $1200 is only for all food related costs.
Any gift cards, reward cards, or rebate checks can be towards food and not apply towards the $1200. For example, I use several websites where I complete surveys for points or rewards. . .these points can be cashed in for gift cards and I can use these during the course of the year to save money from the $1200 total.
2. No fast food restaurants. Here are the caveats: A) If we eat out with friends and they choose fast food, we can eat there. B.) On vacations, we can eat fast food if we have limited options. C.)If we receive gift cards or certificates for fast food restaurants we can use them.
I'll keep you updated on how much we spend and save. It should be an interesting year.
Our January month long challenge is going to be only water, milk, or tea as beverage choices.
Stay tuned for the updates!