As you may have seen from the March budget update, we went over budget this month on groceries. Why? All because of JUICE! We started juicing for breakfast again now that the temperatures are climbing here in Arizona and I hadn’t accounted for how much the extra veggies add to our grocery budget each week. Luckily, I saw the trend about halfway through the month and made some adjustments to both our juicing and our meal planning so we were only over by $23.18. We will continue juicing in April but I have learned my lesson and will stay in budget this time!
Quick side note: For those who are wondering…JUICING? FOR BREAKFAST? Yup and Yup. We whip up a veggie juice every morning and have that as breakfast. It fills us up enough until lunch and actually makes us feel so much better. Our juice base is typically a head of romaine, multiple big handfuls of spinach, an apple, 4 carrots and a lemon or lime. We then add zucchini, cucumber, beets, ginger (but not too much!), berries or other delicious fruits and veggies depending on what is in the fridge and how the budget it doing. We don’t have to worry about getting all our servings of fruits and veggies in this house.
Anyway, here is where the money went:
— Groceries: $323.18 —
Fruits and Veggies: $216.37
Canned Goods: $43.20
Vegan ‘Meat’: $6.37
Meat, Seafood and Dairy: $7.22
Dry Goods: $19.14
House Supplies: $ We are now accounting for this cost in our household budget.
Minus 45 cents from our bag credits. Gotta love a little extra savings 😉
— Comments —
Over $200 on fruits and veggies. That’s 66% of our total. Now that’s what I like to see! Now we will need to decrease this as I get the juicing component of our spending down. We figured out we were spending at least $25 a week on our juices. That’s 1/3 of our budget. Sure, breakfast is one of three meals during the day, but we want to be able to keep eating the gourmet foods we love for dinner (and leftovers for lunch the next day) so this needs to go down. The plan is to not use an entire cucumber in every juice (we spent over $23 on cucumbers alone) and really bulk up on the romaine and spinach which can be bought in bulk cheaper. One nice thing about the juicing is that we never have to worry about our fruits and veggies going bad before we get to them!
Everything else looks fine. The next biggest spending category was canned goods and the biggest expense there was stocking up on olive oil (a necessity in all our cooking). We also bought a big tub of salsa from Costco. We’re going to try to price out how much it would cost to make our own salsa instead. We eat Mexican at least 2 times a week so it is definitely worth it.
So we failed to keep our $300 budget for the first time in this process. It will probably not be the last as our tastes and lives change. Luckily, because of our mastery of the food budget in past months, we are still under budget for our average monthly cost. I plan to keep it that way by being smart in April and making all the food we buy and make count! Stay healthy and full!
Steve is a 38-year-old early retiree who writes about the intersection of happiness and financial independence. Steve is a regular contributor to MarketWatch, CNBC, and The Ladders. He lives full-time in his 30′ Airstream Classic and travels the country with his wife Courtney and two rescued dogs.