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Money v. Time has now concluded. This was the most recent installment of the series Someone Else’s Shoes. While this experience was slightly different than usual since for the Money part of the experience we used my family’s actual food budget and the way we really shop. Be sure to check out the week 1 report for a detailed overview of how we ‘shop’. See week 2 and week 3 to catch up on our spending to date.
Keep in mind, that we strive to follow a real/whole/traditional foods diet and the Dietary Guidelines put out by the Weston A. Price Foundation we are not all the way there. Currently about 85% of our foods fit these guidelines. Last year at this time our goal was 80%. Next year it may or may not be 90%. Having a goal like this helps me immensely. Something like this may or may not work for you depending on your personality. I like it because I tend to have a slightly addictive personality and be an ‘all or nothing’ kind of girl. By putting a number in play it alleviates alot of stress for me and the need to ‘try to be perfect’. Because, you know, perfection isn’t actually something that would be attainable…
This experience went from April 23 to May 22 (to correspond with how our actual budget works). The experience was Money v. Time. I fully intended to have this wrap-up completed and shared on May 23 but with the WDA fiasco, work and my personal obligations this blog had to take a back seat for a couple of days (possibly it was actually all the way in the trunk not just the back seat!) but here it is the end of Money v. Time.
The Time part of the experience was a BUST after the second week. I did keep track for 2 weeks of the amount of time my family spent in the kitchen (both preparing food and cleaning up) with an average of 1 hour and 45 minutes each day. Surprisingly about 45 minutes a day was dedicated to the clean up part. Also for the Time part of the experience I did not do my usual menu planning wanting to try a different method. I used a combination of the method used by Wardeh of GNOWFGLINS in this post and Andrea of Frugally Sustainable in this post.
At first I kind of liked not having a meal plan. I felt very ‘free’ and liked thinking about what to make the next day. That lasted about 3 or 4 days. Then it started to really become challenging. I had a hard time keeping things together without a plan in place. A few times I found myself putting off thinking about what to make and ended up with no idea just a few hours before dinner time. I did well on the days that I had things in the fridge like chicken or roast. I think Wardeh’s style of planning would work okay for me if I gave it more time. Overall, though I am super comfortable with having a written menu plan and to do list to follow each day. I need that structure to keep me on track.
Even though I only stuck with the time part for two weeks I am glad for it. I thought quite a bit that first week about how I can stream line things in the kitchen. Even saving a few minutes each day could be very helpful. Considering that almost half of the time is spent cleaning up I am really thinking on how to shorten that. Perhaps we don’t need to use 35 water glasses each day (very slight exaggeration)?
The money part of this experience was stuck with until the end. Keeping track of spending is easier for me than keeping track of kitchen time.
Our food budget for this time period (April 23 to May 22) was $575. Week 1 we spent $116.20 (the week 1 post detailed how we focus our food money and what all is considered food here). Week 2 was mainly meat and milk for $172.36. Week 3 was low at $35.98 which brought our month to date total to $324.54.
Finishing up our month was our Azure Standard order for $116.26 (including Azure shipping fee) plus an additional $12 gas contribution to have my order picked up (2 hours one way to the Azure drop) for a total of $128.26.
You’ll see on the one receipt I had a few non-food things so I took those off. The other receipt was only for artichokes. My loves artichokes. Total for this week is 160.24 leaving money left over (woot!). I actually expected to use my entire budget this month but I decided to go lighter than usual on my Azure order. We are actually pretty well stocked on things and the things I would have liked to order were not discounted so I’ll wait until they are at a lower price. Since we only order during good weather (because of the drive) I do have to pay attention to keeping well stocked on my Azure stuff but do have a few months to get everything I need to carry us through winter.
Another thing that was supposed to happen during this budget period was to put in for hunting license draws. The entry period is open until the end of May so that will happen soon. My husband is still trying to decide for sure what he is doing which is the reason for the delay. The remaining budget amount for this period will be used for the draws. I’ve mentioned this before but the way it works is he (and my daughter) will put in for the draws in May, find out if they got their draw in July and then hunt in September and/or October (with no guarantee of success of course). Also in July ‘left-over’ tags become available so we may purchase additional tags then. Wild game makes up the bulk of our meat and processing it ourselves makes it extremely economical.
Budget for this period of April 23 to May 22 was $575 with $324.54 spent before this week. $160.24 spent this week for a total of $484.78 leaving$90.22. Most of this will be used for the hunting draws and any remaining will be put toward the new month’s budget.
Not figured into this budget was birthday dinners out this month (Kiki turned 17) and a lunch out since we have a separate budgets for birthdays and for dining out.
Total amount spent on food (at home) from April 23 to May 22 was $484.78 Again, this was less than normal due to the lighter Azure order and the delay in the hunting stuff.
That’s a wrap on Money v. Time. 4 weeks of money showing our food purchases and 2 weeks of time showing our menus and the time spent in the kitchen cooking and cleaning up. I hope this was helpful to you in some way.
Even though this experience is just wrapping up, next week I’ll be announcing a new experience for the series Someone Else’s Shoes.