Tag Archives: juice fast

Wrapping up February Budget

March 1, 2013

I went through all of our receipts for the month and when all was said and done, we spent $10 over our budget! Not bad, not bad at all.

I spent $110 on groceries this last week. So, of the four weeks in February, I was under budget for three of them. I was also under budget for gas, which is why we only went $10 over budget – because of how much $$ I spent week 2 on groceries.

My husband is going to continue the juice fast into March. He loves the amount of energy it is giving him and other than a desire to chew once in a while 😉 , he loves it. I wish we owned a scale because I am sure he is losing lots of weight but it’s hard to tell b/c of how big he was when he started. I wouldn’t be surprised if he has lost 30lbs or so by now though.

I am going to keep the budget as it is ($112/week for groceries, $230/month for gas with hubby driving to the city 2-3 days/week & me trying to cut down driving). I would love to raise the grocery budget but there just isn’t enough money to do that even if I wanted to so I am just going to continue to be a hermit and try to find more ways to NOT spend money 🙂

Speaking of not spending money, my neighbor planted some kale for me this past fall. The bugs got more of it than me but he never turned it under and after all of the frosts we’ve been having (killing the bugs), I was able to pick a grocery bag and a half full of kale the other day. I planted some too, which produced another 1/2 of a grocery bag full. So, that’s about a day or two worth of kale for juicing and some creamed kale for our supper – money saved 😀

Blogging about budgeting, though not exciting to many, was a good way to keep myself in check – having to report successes & failures…are you accountable to anyone for your budget? In what areas do you struggle? Please give any suggestions you have – I am all ears!

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Budget, Week 3

February 23, 2013

Sooo, Week 3. (Week 1 & 2 are here and here). Husband is still on the juice fast, meaning more spent on veggies than normal.

I spent $110 this week at the grocery store and only went one time (though when hubby was in town, I did ask him to get some bananas). That would be great if I hadn’t gone over budget last week. With what I spent on groceries and medicine last week, I was only supposed to spend $15 on groceries this week. Ha! so, we’re still $95 over budget for the month. We’ll see how week 4 goes and at the end of the month, I will factor in gas and see where we are and see how I need to adjust the budget.

We used to spend $150/week on groceries and I was able to reduce our spending to $125/week in January. Maybe reducing it to $112/week in February was too much of a jump. idk. We’ll see at the end of the month.

My husband is LOVING the juice fast – he is continuing on into week 4 and will probably continue on into March – he says it gives him so much energy and clarity! Once the juice fast is over though, I think I will really be able to gauge how much we can/need to spend on groceries each week.

Some things I have done this week to keep from buying at the store are:

1. Made my own jelly.It is perfect! It made enough that we could not eat it all in a week (and we eat PB&Js almost every day) so I stuck one jar in the freezer & took it out at the end of the week. Perfect. Thick and only a Tbsp of honey. When we pick strawberries in the spring, I likely won’t be using any sweetener but this time I used blackberries we had in the freezer that someone gave us this summer and they were a bit tart so they needed something.

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2. I ran out of toilet bowl cleaner this week and dishwashing detergent. So, I used a scrub brush, baking soda, and my lemon vinegar to clean the toilets. It worked! I saved orange peels from a previous week so they are steeping right now for whenever the lemon vinegar is used up. I am going to look for borax the next time I go to the grocery store to look into making dishwashing detergent.

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3. With my husband juicing, we have A LOT of leftover pulp. At first I was throwing it away (ouch!).

I then saw a blog post about making your own chips by laying out the pulp on parchment paper and dehydrating it until crisp. no go. I may try again later but I did not like the taste (he drinks the mean green juice so that’s a bit too ‘earthy’ for chips).

I then realized when we make smoothies, we use kale so why not just use his pulp for our smoothies? We use it in various ways. We drink it, make it thick like yogurt (with granola on top), and use it as you would milk (not as thick as yogurt, not as thin as when you drink it – with cereal on top).

By doing this, I have had to buy more bananas but am not buying kale for our smoothies, not buying milk or yogurt (which we don’t eat anyway), and we are not wasting all of that great, fibrous pulp! Yay for getting more vitamins in the children, even in the winter!

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Our Go-to smoothie recipe:
Kale (however much you can stand – a handful, 2 cups full, test it out)
Water, juice, almond milk, whatever you prefer (we do a mix of some juice and mostly water)
bananas (we do two)
blueberries (two handfuls)
strawberries (one handful)
flaxseed (2 Tbsp milled)

This makes anywhere from 48-62oz of smoothie (depending on how thick you make it). As your tastebuds change and get used to the kale taste, add more! The more the better! Here is why we use kale over any other green.

We are using frozen blueberries from the store only because we already used up all of our frozen blueberries from our garden. We are still using frozen strawberries we picked last April so we’re not buying much more than bananas to make extra smoothies.

4. I looked into buying roasted peanuts to make our own peanut butter but it does not save $$ so we’ll stick to buying peanut butter, which contains only peanuts and less than 1% salt.

We’ll see how Week 4 goes. I am interested to see what the final numbers are. What are you doing to cut costs? What are you doing to add nutrition to your family’s diet? Do those two ever seem to be in conflict?

Budget: Week 2…and a bit.

February 18, 2013

Budget: Week 2

I am trying not to lose hope but this week did not go well as far as the budget is concerned…

  • My husband decided to do a juice fast this week. Because he is drinking somewhere between a half gallon to a whole gallon of juice from our juicer daily, we have spent more money than normal on vegetables.
  • We were also VERY sick this week (all 5 kids and myself) so we spent $30 on medicine, which is not in our budget.
  • Remember my grocery budget of $112/week? We spent $175 this week.
  • I also bought enough groceries for two weeks of dinners so we will know more at the end of week 3 if we were really that much over or not (depending on how much extra things I need to buy).

So all and all, we spent $223 this week. Considering I was $14 under budget last week, we had $238 budgeted for week 2 & 3 together but it is doubtful I will spend only $15 for fruit & veggies for week 3. However, if we blow our budget on healthy things, like juicing, I am okay with that. What irks me is when we blow our budget on things like candy, take out, going out to eat, etc.

February is not over so there is still hope but my husband is extending his juice fast into week 3 so we are likely going to spend more again. I realize, if we were budgeting ‘correctly’, we would be eating Ramen every day – doing anything we can, no matter how unhealthy, to keep our budget. This is why I am spending so much energy on the garden this year. I refuse to feed my family unhealthy food and make them sick.

You can’t unlearn things. Now that I know what is good for our bodies and what is bad for our bodies (though I am still learning), I cannot, in good conscience, buy things that are bad for our bodies, even if they cost less. Am I wrong? I am totally open to ideas/suggestions. I’ll even post our receipts if that will help!

I have a few things in the freezer that could be possible dinners for Week 4 of February so it is still possible we will be close to reaching our budget… Also, we are way under for gas usage so that will help…we’ll see! I am not giving up!

Budget Beginnings

February 11, 2013

When I lost my part time job at the end of last year, I realized we would not just be living on one income. My husband started working part time last year so we could see him for more than one hour each night. So we would be living on half of an income…for a family of seven. Fun stuff.

We had ‘tried’ to budget many times. Even tried to do the cash envelope system. No dice. However, living on 1/2 of an income for a family of seven…wow. We needed to buckle down and figure out something FAST.

I found a series on budgeting from dontwastethecrumbs.com, took some notes, and we sat down to figure out a working budget. My husband’s area to pare down was the snacks and drinks on the way home and the itunes that were ‘only’ $1-3 here & there. Without realizing it, that sometimes adds up to several hundred dollars/month! My area was to pare down gas and groceries. This meant telling friends we were going to travel ½ as much (though they are welcome to come here!). For the grocery budget, I decided to do a lot of little things that add up.

  • Clean & organize the freezer (now I have a fruit shelf, a veggie shelf, a bean/meat shelf, and a flour shelf). This way, I was able to see what could be used & plan meals around what I had.
  • Eat more veggies! Fruit is more expensive than veggies so at the end of meals, when my kids want something else (which means fruit, normally), we instead offer them veggies. Don’t get me wrong, they get fruit. But before they would get 1-1.5 fruit whereas now they just get ½ a fruit and then they can have whatever veg. they want. Imagine – most of the time they just ask to be excused. That tells me they were not really still hungry at all.
  • Only go to the grocery store once a week. I used to go once a week and then another time to get things we were low on or had forgotten. I would generally spend about the same at each trip. So, now, I am going to try to be more prepared the first time and make due when it comes to ‘needing’ something else until the next time.

I am on week one. I’m learning so much already! My budget was for $112 each week. I spent $98. I could technically go back and spend $14 more but I don’t think I’ve ever made it out of the grocery store spending that little so I am going to save that $14 for another week. My husband is planning on doing a juice fast soon so I can use that extra money for that. We are planning on buying chickens this spring so I can save up for that each week. Or, I may just need to use it one of these weeks for diapers. Who knows.

Because of the extra veggie eating, I have run out of carrots already but we are just eating celery instead. I am almost out of lettuce but I can get some out of the garden (it is not fully mature but I would rather do that then go to the grocery store & spend $). We ran out of PB. I have some raw almonds and raw cashews that we eat with our lunch normally but today, I made our own almond/cashew PB for our sandwiches – just stuck them in the food processor and after a couple of minutes, voila! It was very yummy and VERY rewarding to find a creative way to make do! 🙂

So, yes, it has been less than a week and it has been challenging. I have learned a lot though (about what a ‘need’ is vs a want) and figuring out ways to plan so as to not spend money we do not have has been very rewarding!

Here’s to making it through the short month of February debt-free with budget still in tact! 😀