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WIAW (1) & Meal Budgeting

By Travelspot06 @travelspot06

WIAW (1) & Meal Budgeting
I have never done one of these before, but I always sometimes take photos of my food and so all I needed to do was get on the ball and take everything in one day and then remember to post them! (I didn't know it was green month, but oh well).
I know that some people get tired of food photos; everything looks so gross. So, my post is twofold. I have recently been doing a little meal planning. Not so much that I am changing any buying habits, but I made a goal to do a couple of things. 1) Try/Cook a new meal each month. This has actually turned out to be more like one a week**, but I didn't want to overload myself at first. And 2) Figure out how much this is costing me.
One of the reasons I decided to do this was that a friend of mine, who goes to Starbucks EVERY day, eats lunch out probably 3-5 days a week and eats dinner out probably 1-3 times a week, was saying how she wanted to get on track with her spending. She also wants to lose weight in time for a late summer wedding. She asked for my help.
So, on top of trying a few fun new recipes**, I decided to both price out some of my meals and do a calorie count for certain meals, so I could give her a good idea of what to make for herself. It's easy for me to tell her to just stop eating processed foods, but it's hard when you work long hours, don't really like to cook, and have kids. It's easy to buy things that you can nuke or throw in a pan. So, one step at a time. First, a few easy meals. Next, the world.
So, here, without further ado, is my first What I Ate Wednesday, hosted by Jenn at Peas and Crayons. And my first Meal Budgeting post, with both dollars and calories per meal sited. I tried to keep it short, so I wouldn't bore anyone to death. To me, crunching numbers is fun. I like to be aware and this helps me.
WIAW (1) & Meal Budgeting {Breakfast Quinoa/Craisins/Sunflower&Pumpkin Seeds/Almond Milk (**adapted from THIS recipe) - $0.85 /254  Coffee (x 5 with creamer) - $0.60 /100  {total breakfast:$1.45 / 354}
WIAW (1) & Meal Budgeting  {Lunch Brussels - $0.25 / 66 Greek Salad (goat cheese, tomatoes, cucumber, corn) - $1.04 / 201  {total lunch: $1.29 / 247}
WIAW (1) & Meal Budgeting  {Dinner} Mac n Cheese (**adapted from THIS recipe) -$1.58 / 220   Brussels - $0.25 / 66  {total-$1.83 / 286}
WIAW (1) & Meal Budgeting {Snacks} Orange-$1.02 / 62 The whole bag of 1/2 cup Dried Apples - $0.72 / 220 12 Chocolate Covered Gummy Bears - $0.50 / 134  {total-$2.24 / 416} ----- TOTAL: $6.81 / 1303  
(note: these totals may be off. I am not a mathematician, nor a dietician, nor an excel mastermind. I apologize in advance for any rounding errors. Calorie info taken from Loseit) **this week I also made THESE. See, Pinterest isn't a waste of time after all.  So, what did I learn? One, even though I hear that some people spend less than $200/month on groceries, clearly I am not one of them. Not with my snack habits the way they were today ($6.81 x 31 days = $211/mo) Two, eating out is expensive. Whether your habit is a latte ($5/day) or lunch out (easily $10/day), it not only can add up, but is more than an entire day's worth of home cooked food! Now, obviously I am not making gourmet meals over here, but even with a nice piece of fish ($2-$3 per serving) or meat or a fancy sauce or dessert, you can still spend less for an entire day than you can for one meal out!
Now, having said that, next week I am going to be traveling, so will be eating out a lot. Hey, you win some, you lose some. But today I am saving my money for next week's meat with fancy sauce and  dessert! Have you ever broken down the cost of your food by the month/week/day? How much do you spend on groceries per month?Do you ever eat only one food group or one food as an entire meal (see above lunch)?

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