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A little while back, L. sent me a link to the $50 a week project. The general gist of the project is to keep all the eating you do under $50 per person, per week. It’s not just about eating on the cheap, it’s about eating well on a budget. L. and I have struggled with keeping to a budget for the entire time we’ve been together. For us, trying out this challenge seemed like an easy way to help us get used to being on budget.

For our family, eating well means eating low-fat and high-fiber. If we’re eating well then we’re also means eating fresh fruits and veg from the farmer’s market whenever possible. It also means eating meatless once a week and having healthy snacks in the house. Lastly, eating well means that we don’t ever feed our dogs generic kibble.

To that end, our budget for food per week is $110. That includes $100 for L. and I and $10 for the dogs. For us, that only includes food, not other things we might buy at the grocery store or alcohol. If I’m out with friends and can’t eat at home, I take those meals out of my entertainment budget. However, if we were out together with friends, that would come out of our food budget. For the dogs, that includes kibble but not treats. Perhaps in the future we will up the budget to include that.

This past week, we wound up edging our way over budget.

Farmer’s Market: $19
Groceries: $68
Dog Food: $10
Bar Snacks: $22
Saturday Lunch: $9.75

Total: $127.75

So, we ended up about $17 over budget for the week. It’s actually a bit less because we bough some supplies that will carry over into this coming week, such as chicken that was buy one, get one free. We definitely need to include Saturday lunches in our budget because that’s the day we go to the Red Hook Farmer’s Market, then come back to Queens and go grocery shopping. It makes for a long morning.



Cristen, a New York City school teacher who loves to cook, even if she's not always amazing at it. Lives in Queens with her husband and two pit bulls. Total cheese addict. Fan of anything savory and sweet, espescially Thai food. Likes to eat seasonally. Trying to be a locavore. Learning how to explain what she likes in a red wine: dry, medium bodied with hints of fruit. If I could only have one network on my TV, it would be the Food Network. I cannot get enough of competitive cooking shows like Top Chef and Iron Chef. I adore Anthony Bourdain more than I probably should.

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