Sunday, January 15, 2012

Not Perfect But Close….

Another week down and still things are going fairly well in our neck of the woods. 

For us the main goal of The 11 Month Project was to live with the “stuff” we have without adding one single thing.  The project has morphed a bit since the conception to also sticking to a very strict food budget and not just grabbing food out.

We never really set a food budget in the past.  I have always menu planned for at least a week or two in advance, but we never really paid attention to what we spent at the grocery store.  It is too easy to grab a drink or bite while out enjoying the amazing San Diego weather or a day at the amusement park.  This year I set a goal to spend no more than $300 a month on food….all food….fast food….restaurant food….even, gasp…..Starbuck.   Ummm, I could easily, and I mean with ZERO effort  and no thought at all, spend 1/3 or more of our current budget on Starbucks alone.  My coffee was a habit that I didn’t even think about.  So in an effort to be more thoughtful in our spending I am keeping track of my Starbucks spending.  So far this month…$2.65 NOT A TYPO.  I have been to Starbucks exactly ONE TIME.  Now Kelly stop laughing, it’s true.

We are TIGHT on the food budget  and frankly WILL go over, I know that for a fact.  As of this moment I have spent all but $25.00 of the $300 budget.  I have to admit that sounds worse than it is because I have all the protein and starches already purchased for the rest of the month.  The only thing I need to purchase is fresh fruits and veggies for the next two weeks.  Still it is the first month of paying attention to our food costs so going over a bit doesn’t bother me at all and I know we can do better next month.  Also we are going to LA for Chinese New Year at the end of the month so there will be some additional food spending then.

Now as for the “stuff” we have been spot on with that goal.  Nothing new has entered our home.  Not a single bag walked through the front door that did not get unpacked into the kitchen with printer ink being the sole exception.  Sadly, that too will change next week as our school celebrates Teacher Appreciation week starting on January 30th.  The little one and I are making gifts for her teacher based on Alice In Wonderland.  Most everything will be homemade but we do need to buy a few supplies….like a tea cup…..  We will be purchasing things but they will not be staying in our house soooo it still fits in our family’s 11 Month goal of handmade gifts for each other and purchased gifts for others.  Teacher appreciation gifts will be a combination of both.

What goals did you guys set for yourself or your family?  Have they morphed at all since the start of the project? 


  1. I was so excited to read this! We are in a similar situation with our "Project 12." Check it out at I am happy to see that so many have the desire to reduce and make room for what really matters!

  2. Saw you plan the menu a couple weeks in advance, but I once got this advice: plan your menu for the week when the sale ads come out and use the meat, veggies, and fruits on sale that week! Helps the menu, too, b/c there's less to think about. :)

  3. do you ever buy staples in bulk? I find it is cheaper, but buying something in bulk every month takes up at least half our food budget so this month, we're only one week in and have less a quarter of our budget to spend. That will hopefully last for forgotten items, and more produce.