The $300 Challenge

So I mentioned earlier that we're on a budget.  Big Time.  I shared that we normallly spend (about) $500-600 a month on food, including beer and wine.  That's an estimate...we've never had a budget in 11 years of marriage.

So I've taken a challenge to get our food down to $300 a month.  Beer and wine isn't included in that, as Adam and I agree that we were treating both as nearly disposable.  Now Adam and I buy beer and wine out of our "personal" account.

So here' s the weekend food shopping total:

Union Square market: $46
Natural Foods: $62
Cheeses of the World (some of the nicest purveyors in the city): $26

Minus $17 for the Dogfish Head beer we bought at Natural Foods...  Bringing our weekend shopping to $117 total.  According to my calculations, this should get us EIGHT meals.  EIGHT!  Here's how it'll play out:

Last night: Shrimp with corn and tomato salad, bread with olive oil and balsamic

Monday: Nachos (I had a can of black beans and a bag of tortilla chips begging to be used...)

Tuesday: Soft-boiled eggs with Artichoke Bread Fingers (courtesy of Chocolate & Zucchini)

Wednesday: Grilled Cheese (Kiddo loves grilled cheese made with smoked mozzarella) with Thick-Sliced Onions (the onion recipe is courtesy of Mario Batali)

Thursday: North American salad (I don't have to buy a single ingredient for this - it's made from food I already have on hand.  Thanks to Nigella Lawson's Feast!)

Friday: Naan paninis - I "discovered" some incredibly fresh naan at Whole Foods.  They tasted great used as a pizza crust, but I thought I'd try them as panini bread in place of the thicker, breadier foccacia.  I'm using some salad greens, leftover prosciutto from tonight's meal, and some Taleggio I bought at Cheeses of the World.

Saturday: Pasta (Adam found some fresh at the Union Square Market) with roasted garlic and scallions - this is something I've totally made up.  Never made it before.  We'll see how it goes...

So, I don't know...I still think that's going to get me over $300.  And other than Kiddo's lunch food and cereal in the morning, we don't spend anything on breakfast or lunch on the weekdays...Adam gets free breakfast and lunch at Google (don't even get me started...) and I have a bagel for breakfast (which I buy from my personal account) and I always eat leftovers for lunch.

Eat, drink, and figure out where else to cut without sacrificing quality...

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