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Monday, March 1, 2010

The 200 Challenge - March update

Hello March!  February seemed like a long month...but I know it really wasn't.  It's time to share how we've been doing on The 200 Challenge!  If you're new here, it's all about spending less on groceries in 2010.  I am so excited to hear about how you all did this past month!

Want to know how much I spent?  I'll tell you.  Out of the $200.00 budget for the month of February, I spent $199.69.  Talk about close!  I could have spent more SO EASILY, but I didn't.  We are out of a lot of our basic stuff here....eek!  I know one thing I don't want to do again.  I don't want to spend most of the money at the beginning of the month.  Even though I stayed out of the store mostly for the rest of the month, it was difficult because if I ran out of something that I hadn't anticipated at the beginning, I would have to fork out some of the small amount of money left over, or do without.  We did a lot of "doing without".  But it was good for us.  I know it made me a lot more conscious of what I was eating.  I watched my portions and thought about how much we take our food for granted.  I wanted to make sure that I was just eating until I was satisfied, but not overeating.  It's so easy to do without paying much attention.  Also, I found myself being really thankful.  Even while I would be hunting through the fridge for lunch, or preparing supper...just thinking about how blessed we are and how so many families get by on so much less.  I am so guilty of taking my food for granted many times.

On another note, we ran out of milk, cheese, chips, and bread, among other things.  Boy did that make for some creativity and mind stretching!  I noticed we ate less cheese and milk during the month too, because we were actually really trying to make it last.  We ate a lot of beans and rice.  It wasn't too boring though...I tried to switch bean/rice meals out with other stuff, and also to prepare them in a variety of different ways.

I should also mention that my husband has been a GREAT sport about the whole thing, and he has really been good about helping to make sure that we are sticking to our goal.  We are WAY excited about going grocery shopping later today!  I'll let you all know how we do with the spending.  :-)

Here is a tentative list of main dish ideas for the month of March.  It's not complete, so I will be changing it a little as I plan each week.  If you want to see my menu for this week, you can view it here.

Warm Dinner Wraps
Tuna Cheesies
Chili Beans
Baked Potatoes
Homemade Pizza
Black-Eyed Peas
Lemony Lentil Greek Soup
Mexican Layer Casserole
Zucchini Parmesan
Potato Cheddar Soup
Rice, Bean, & Veggie Casserole
Black Bean Soup
Lentil Casserole
Perfect Potatoes
Mac & Cheese
Unstuffed Pepper Skillet
Baked Ziti
Fresh Veggie Quesadillas
Minestrone Soup
Parmesan Chicken
Cheesy Veggie Pasta

If you want to join me in spending less and saving more, I'd love to have you along!  The goal is to cut our grocery spending and to live on less.  You don't necessarily have to do the 200 Challenge, but just look at your family and your needs and make your own goal for improving your current budget.  Post about what you're doing then come back here and link up.  Let's inspire each other!

If you have any grocery saving tips or frugal recipes, please share them with me!  I love to get new ideas!


Randall and Rachel Beita said...

So proud of you sis!! Take care!

Holly T. said...

I missed the challenge in Feb. but would love to join you in the challenge when you do it again. I'm thinking of maybe in trying it in March?? Yikes...I'm a little scared but looking forward to the challenge!

SnoWhite {Finding Joy in My Kitchen} said...

Awesome work!! Thanks for sharing how you're doing.

Joyful Wife said...

Sarah I am so incredibly proud of you and all your hard work, hours of planning and sacrifice to meet your goal!

mango said...

I NEED some help 4 adults vegan no animal of any kind include meat chesses eggs and milk how do i spend 200 dollars a month

Megan said...

That's awesome! I'm going to be honest, I've never really thought about how much a month I spend on groceries. This month that's going to change! My challenge will be to find a practical limit and then in the following months work on lowering it.