Samantha’s story: Part 3—the close of her month

Buried under books of homework and balancing the busy lifestyle of juggling a family and a full-time job (PLUS school on top of that—whew!), Samantha took the time to send us the wrap up of her month of January. Attempting to purchase only the essentials, Samantha shares her outcome, and another creative recipe to boot!

Told in her own words:

Well, I must say that this month has not presented as many challenges as I had initially anticipated.  Since our grocery shopping spree of $160.00, we went out to breakfast ($23.00) not too much guilt because it was a little local place, we also went to a coffee shop for date night (exactly $10.00), and we did go to the store and spent $13.25 (needed more veggies). And NO the coffee shop was not Starbucks, it was a little itty-bitty, local place.  Many of the times, it was just taking a couple of moments to think about what we were buying and whether or not it was a necessity.  For instance, Mike noticed these new granola/milk things at the store for $3.00 a box. That was vetoed.
In the next few months, we will have fresh fruits and veggies from our own backyard, and will be virtually grocery store free.  All in all, I am impressed: No Starbucks, No Diet Coke and only one pack of gum for a month.  And we lived through it!
So, we managed to slice our food budget well over half of what we have in previous months.  Now, the real challenge is from here on out, maintaining our stance of only buying what is necessary.  While it is relatively easy to go from spending over $900.00 a month to under $400.00, it may be a bit more of an obstacle to go from $400.00- down to $200.00 a month.  However, it is definitely worth a shot.  Here is our random recipe of the week:
3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
1 bottle of beer (we used Blue Moon Winter Ale-you probably do not want to know how long we have had it in our fridge)
About 2/3 bottle of bottled BBQ sauce.
Put in crock pot on low for about 7 hours.  Shred chicken using 2 forks.
Here’s how we ate it:
Night one:
Put in a tortilla with cheese (pretty simple meal).
Night two:
Put it in tortilla, added cheese, then put on the George Foreman grill for just about 2 minutes. Can we say super low-fat quesadilla?  It was wonderful and wasn’t all greasy like what you would be served at a restaurant.  I have made the chicken like this before and even used the left over chicken to make BBQ Chicken Pizza, or topped salad with it.
And we managed to only go through one garbage bag this week.  Yes, folks, it’s true: Little Green Jennifer has been rubbing off on me and I LOVE it.  We started a compost pile a couple of weeks ago.  Needless to say, our city does not pick up recycling, but we have been reserving it and plan on dropping it off to our local sanitation site, where they actually do recycle.
I look forward to sending more updates your way and continuing to hear your wonderful ideas.  They have been much appreciated!

–Samantha

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8 responses to “Samantha’s story: Part 3—the close of her month

  1. how encouraging to witness progress and awareness..yes the winds are changing course and i see some economic ‘climate morphing’ here..the best part is that no one is complaining and we may even hear about healthful tips and more recipes from the families who dare looking into their food budgets and examine their pantries..one person at a time!

  2. What a fantastic achievement. I particularly love this line “Many of the times, it was just taking a couple of moments to think about what we were buying and whether or not it was a necessity.” That is SO true; it takes just a moment to separate our wants and needs. Well done Samantha and thank you for sharing your recipe; we’re big fans of recipes that can be livened up 2 or 3 times in a row…

  3. $200 per month for grocery!!! wow!!! that is a huge challenge. Reading about your progress I think you are really an inspiration. Yesterday we went grocery shopping and we spent about $160 it will last us for more than a week but we really didn’t buy much and I;m afraid that my husband will have to go back in a few days and get a few extra things. Just right now he’s walking around the house looking for some snacks (we didn’t get any)… I guess time to bake some cookies 🙂
    Looking forward for your next post!

  4. Thanks for the encouragement ladies! I know Samantha appreciates it. I’ll be sure and let her know she has comments. Again, I apologize for the big clump of words. Whenever I get a guest blogger, I copy and paste in, and no matter how much I try to seperate paragraphs, WordPress won’t let me! Augh! I’ll have to get in there and work on that. There has to be a way…

    • jennifer, i have the same problem of word clumps with blogspot..especially if i don’t send it in .doc….then sometimes when i correct–it randomly un-corrects select passages..that’s on my ‘someday list’ i’ll learn more later..right now..verdi green writing..thanks for marching circles around this planet..

      • @ Nadine—yeah, what a pain. You get someone to do a pretty guest post for you and then it shows up in a clump even though you space it out. Sometimes, I could throw this computer right out the window. But it’s wordpress and blogspot, not the computer, I guess.
        I see you’re coming along on your blog over there! It’s looking good. 🙂

  5. Enjoyed Samantha’s story….hang in there girl…isn’t Jennifer wonderful

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