Did I Reach My Goals for December?

December was a month of thoughtful decision making.  Now it's time to check in and see if I met my food goals.  Click on the links to go to the posts where I define these goals.

First let's start with the big one.  Did I keep our Food and Dining Budget under $300 in December?  Almost.  It was really close.  I had to rearrange the food and dining money towards the end of the month. The final count is:
$258 Groceries
$ 46 Restaurants
$304 Total for Food and Dining in December
That's pretty exciting!  Compared to November we reduced our spending by 46%.  Not too shabby.  I feel like $300 for food and dining is reasonable so I'm going to keep the goal into next month.  We'll see if I can hit the nail on the head and stay under $300. 

Next up, I worked on my food mantra.  I wrote it up so it was more clearly defined.  I worked towards it by buying at least 75% of my food as basic ingredients.  I still have things I can work on.  I bought some processed food: cheese, yogurt, tea, flour and boxed stock. 

I would like to learn how to make cheese and yogurt.  Both of those are things I buy that I could cut down the distance traveled, and amount of purchased processed food if I made them myself.  And they are things I have always wanted to take a stab at.  I did a pretty decent job of buying local or organic when given the opportunity.  I'm just waiting for spring so I can get some local asparagus, greens and peas!  I made a ton of healthy, high fiber, low fat soups for lunches and dinners.  I feel like soup is a great option because it helps reduce food waste. 

Food waste is something I didn't really get into in December.  I didn't do a specific post about it.  I did start up composting again.  I hadn't really been doing it because we had been traveling and readjusting to The States.  But no more excuses.  Kitchen compost is very rich and has excellent nutrients for the garden.  It just didn't make sense to be throwing it into the municipal garbage. 
And my last goal was to make more food from scratch.  I did not buy a single loaf of bread!  I made all our bread which I feel pretty good about.  And all those soups I mentioned before were made from scratch a lot of beans and fresh veggies went into them.  I also had my first venture into making homemade pasta.  It was surprisingly easy and so much better than store bought.  I plan on adding fresh pasta into the regular rotation. 

I made some athletic strides in December; I'm clicking my heels with glee.  But I can't rest yet I've got a lot more to learn in finding healthy, responsible ways to feed my family (which at this point is Jeff, me and his mom).

Stay tuned in the next post where I'll define the goals for January which will include not just food, cooking and budget, but fitness and reducing fuel consumption.  Oh exciting!


  1. Well done. You are doingt fabulous with the budget thing. I'm spending more for 2 people. I'm not saying how much more, but enough to get my attention. I don't know where you are, but my ability to buy local is reduced this time of year because of weather. I buy most of our produce from a locally-owned produce-only market this time of year. The best I can do here. I'm looking foward to starting my spring crops in the green house, lettuce and arugula! Have you considered worm composting? My regular compost bin isn't active this time of year, but I thing a worm compost bin might help with my kitchen waste.

  2. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen to keep the budget as low as I do. I am also unemployeed so I have that time. I realize not everyone does and I probably won't be able to spend hours cooking every day when I have a full time job. If only I could parlay this blog thing into an actual money maker. Then I could keep doing it! I love the idea of working from home. Maybe I should become Amish :).

    I'm live in the Midwest right now. Iowa to be exact. I am composting, but right now it is more of a pile of frozen scraps the bunnies pick through. I love the idea of worms! I've always wanted my own and gone so fare as to read "Worms Eat My Garbage" however when living in Panama it wasn't neccessary the high temperatures and humidity composted kitchen scraps in under a month. Now that we are back I'm living with my Mother In-Law and I just can't see her going for worms. Soon! Once we get our own place it will become a priority. I'll have to remember you know about worms so I can ask you for sage worm keeping advice.

    Good luck with your green house! That's another thing that's on the wish list for when we have our own place.