We did it!
November’s major goal was a major success. We planned our meals for the whole month. Naturally, we went out for dinner last night to celebrate. We did go out once in November, but it was on a weekend and it was a late brunch, so we didn’t count it as a strike against our goal (also it was at the restaurant of my people, De Dutch Pannekoek House, which opened recently and I really really wanted to go. So we went).
Overall, we spent 93% on groceries and 7% on eating out. We spent more than I thought for groceries for the month ($570.49), but that’s because the numbers a) aren’t separated out into groceries vs. toiletries & personal care, and b) we had a lot of dishes with meat, which really drives up the cost of a meal. We’ll be working to get that cost down in the future by shopping more of the flyers.
I found that planning meals also yielded a lot more leftovers to bring to work for lunches (Mr. Dollars doesn’t always have access to a fridge, but I do, so if I can I bring something). I only bought lunch twice, and both times it was a soup that is utterly irresistible to me and is served only on Fridays (it’s called Wicked Thai by Campbell’s – you can’t buy it in store but if you see it in a kiosk BUY IT your stomach will thank you). Nutritionally speaking, I think our meals were WAY better than what we had been eating before, ie: crap. Just by virtue of eating at home we increased our nutritional intake immensely. Something to work on in the future is buying more fruits and veggies to snack on and making sure to incorporate them into our daily diet.
For now, we’re going to keep meal planning. We’re on a roll (we actually planned two weeks of October too, to prepare)! I’m also heading out to the coast for Christmas, so December will be a little choppy, but we’ll get back to it in January I’m sure.